End of Year Haiku 2010 (Part 3: The Readers Write):
So a hundred plus haiku submissions to go through, the most of any year. Thanks to everyone who sent in a poem or two. If yours didn't make it below, be assured that it was read with appreciation and consideration. And then it was deleted.

Now, on New Year's Eve, rude readers provide you with laughter, tears, and genital excitement:

From Paul H.:
Boehner’s Boner
Obamacare’s a
Pre-existing condition
For John’s erection

From Dennis N.:
Wingnuts balls ablaze
find justice for all to be

Sarah Palin's sneering lips and glasses of Republican doom inspired a good third or more of the entries:

From Doreen K. of Hawaii:
Sarah Palin is
an anagram for a "plain
rash," don'tcha know, eh?

From Allanp...:
The proud beast stands tall.
Palin holds him in her sight.
Death and cold high fives.

From Kevin McV.:
Palin Of The North

Frontier woman brave!
How empow'ring it must feel
To kill Bullwinkle.

From Phil K.:
To be a Fox news anchor?
A skull full of shit!

From Nate O.:
George W. Bush
Decision Points lies:
The wrong fetus in the jar!
America grieves.

From Sol:
Wikileaks gushing
No blood spilled on its account
Secrets to surmount

From Iris K. (who's still reading after all these years):
Assange, pale Aussie,
pulls down pants of Uncle Sam.
Rotten parts showing.

Wikileaks haiku based on the documents are available from Haikuleaks. (Tip o' the rude hat to Patrick P.)

From Jim L.:
Sunshine pouring down
Nature's abundance provides
So we drill baby

From Lana H. in New Orleans:
Boom, sand berms, skimmers
Dispersant flavored seafood
Oiled beach and marsh

And, of course, our state of economic fuckedness inspired many a gentle poet like the Lake District did Wordsworth and balling drunk whores did Bukowski:

From Julia V.:
Load up on ammo.
That’s social security,
bitches. Oh, and beans.

From BAB in Los Angeles:
Giant Vampire Squid Seeks Forgiveness

Goldman Sachs wants love,
They can start by returning
Wall Street bonuses

From John J.S.:
Healthy, Hunger Free Kids
Paying for school lunch
By cutting back on food stamps
Go, Centrism, go

From ILUVH...:
Mother's Unemployment Lament

No food for my kids.
Maybe I could sell my blood.
How much for kidneys?

From Rabbitearz in California:
Blowing Chunks
Nothing to do but
write Rude P haikus; being
out of work sucks eggs!

Let's ring this shit to a close with just a moment of defiance:
From Dave N.:
Give It Up
Fuck all the birthers,
Teabaggers and born agains.
It's our country too.


End of Year Haiku 2010 (Part 2):
From the terrible Supreme Court decision that started the year to the shocking grace notes that ended it, sometimes it's just better to say less than more about the tumultuous times. Through haiku, perhaps?

Citizens United
Ironic name, no?
For the new destruction of
Our United States?

A Very Beck 2010

He gets fringier;
His followers get their guns;
Truth asks, "What the fuck?"

Tea Party in Congressional Wonderland
Recall: in the book,
The Mad Hatter is sentenced
For murdering time.

Safety Under Obama
Two years, no attacks.
For the right, that no longer
Counts for anything.


Julian Assange
Is not the story, but he's
A good distraction.

Illegal Immigrants
Make better scapegoats
Because they have no voice to
Cry a plaintive "Nay."

Wait, There's Still a War?

Helmand bleeds poppy
Blooms and men, like skin on a
Never-healed tattoo.

Last Minute Good News
At least gay men and
Lesbians can freely die
For our lost causes.

(Note: Rude readers are invited to send in their own haiku about 2010 to rudepundit[at]yahoo.com. The Rude Pundit's already received about 50 or 60. He'll publish the best ones tomorrow. So let's set an arbitrary deadline of, oh, hell, midnight tonight.)


End of Year Haiku 2010 (Part 1):
Every year, the Rude Pundit uses the gentle, cherry-blossom infused syllables of the haiku to remember the savage stupidity of the year just (almost) complete. To wit:

Arguing with Obama
Never fear, lib'rals.
It's okay to have courage
And your convictions.

Oil Spilled
A black stain sinking
In the brine as balls and blobs
Has not disappeared.

Economics 2010
Foreclosed and jobless -
The American dream: One
Without the other

Christmas in Haiti

Rudolph shit himself
To death from cholera germs.
Red nose fades to black.

Ground Zero Mosque?
Not really, but facts
Can't quell the hateful thrill of
A Christian fatwa.

Sarah Palin's Nipples

They tighten when she
Smells caribou blood, dumb fans,
And Fox "news" anchors.

(Another tradition around these here rude parts is reader participation in this memorial. Submit your own haiku to rudepundit[at]yahoo.com and the best ones will be posted on Friday. Remember: 5-7-5, motherfuckers, 5-7-5.)


Very Briefly Because of the Blizzard:
Hey, any teabagging cockmongers in New York or New Jersey who bitch about too much government can come shovel the Rude Pundit's streets and go fuck yourselves with an icicle.

Tomorrow: back to regularly scheduled rudeness.
Late Post Today:
God's snowy clusterfuck has fucked the Rude Pundit's travel plans. But at least he's not stranded at an airport, sucking in the sweat and diaper fumes of pissed off people larded with open Christmas crap. More cranky-ass rudeness later.


Jon Stewart and the 9/11 Health Care Bill: Comedy Isn't Always Funny:
Don't be stupid and don't act coy, New York Times. Of course, the 9/11 first responders health care bill passed because Jon Stewart made it his cause on The Daily Show. It was an epic assist to New York Senators Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillenbrand (who get the points because they were in position to actually, you know, vote on the bill).

And, yes, it was advocacy, but it was borne not from partisan activism. No, it was part and parcel of what The Daily Show does in pointing out and, 999 times out of 1000, mocking the absurdity of contemporary politics and the media. This was that single time when mocking could not be the sole approach, so Stewart interviewed people who are directly impacted by the legislation.

Because, at the end of the day, it was too much to bear that, during a time of profligate spending on useless wars and tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans, the nation couldn't afford what amounted to chump change in the scheme of things to help the men and women who sucked down poison, concrete, and human ash rescuing people and digging through the remains during the first act of the very wars that Congress and two Presidents have funded without pause. And that, for the most part, the national media was ignoring it. And that it took a guy who makes at least part of his living reading dirty puns to bring it to everyone's attention. That's absurdity. That's comedy of Chaplinesque tragic proportions.

It was the logical end for a year when Stewart and The Daily Show have used comedy to call for rationality, as in its Rally to Restore Sanity. For what could be more irrational than the Senate Republicans filibustering the Zadroga bill? And what could be more ridiculous than a news media more enamored of Sarah Palin's latest jackassery than with the Congress failing in what should have been a no-brainer? How do you satirize that? It's a living, breathing satire in itself. So Stewart zagged when everyone expected him to zig. He took advantage of the closing window of the lame duck Congress as surely as did the voracious tax-slashing Republicans, as surely as Harry Reid did. Good on him.

But the other message not to be lost here is that this is what journalism is supposed to do. On a basic level, it's supposed to hold the powerful to account. It's what Wikileaks is doing. It's the difference between the evening programming of Fox "news" and MSNBC: the former justifies the ways of the mighty for the masses, the latter says that the mighty need to justify themselves.

The New York Times asks whether this puts Stewart in the same league as Edward R. Murrow or Walter Cronkite. That's insane. Murrow fucked up the anti-American madness of a nutzoid Senator. Cronkite helped fuck up public opinion on a fucked-up war. These were great, nation-changing causes. Stewart said that firefighters, cops, and EMTs ought to have their medical bills paid for. If that's what passes for a crusade these days, then we are lost, lost, lost indeed.


The Rude Pundit Interview in Prick of the Spindle:
Since you're either snowed in, sick of relatives, or stoned (or all three), check out the interview the Rude Pundit did with Laura Ellen Scott in the online literary zine Prick of the Spindle.

And, yes, The Rude Pundit's Almanack is really and truly being released in early 2011.


Continuing a Christmas Tradition (Now with 100% Creepier Bears)?:
Like movies about Bedford Falls suicides and the first and last time most of us ever heard of Gimbels, some things are a tradition around the rude house. Reruns are good for the soul. Like this blast from 2004, updated with new and horrifying photos:

Xmas - And, lo, a small teddy bear will lead them:
In the days before Christmas, the Rude Pundit roamed his neighborhood, looking at the displays in the charming stores and corner markets. There he saw the agony of so many dichotomous feelings about this holiday. One window had a kneeling, praying Santa next to a baby Jesus in the manger. Santa's hat was off. He was balding. Another display had the jolly old fat man landing his sleigh and reindeer on the roof of the manger. Surprisingly, neither Mary nor Joseph seemed rattled by the noise, although a camel was looking upward, as if asking, "What the fuck?" The Rude Pundit loved that camel.

Ah, sweet camel, what the fuck, indeed. Christ and commerce, Alleluia. The Savior has been born and he thanks you for your presents. Santa showing that he'll even honor the king of the Jews in the land of Islam. There's no telling what it means (and don't get all up in the Rude Pundit's face about St. Nicholas). Except this: we want to embrace both things, good deconstructionists that we are: Santa, who soothes our greed,and Jesus, who promises us peace. Either way, we want them both to tell us we're good people, nice people. And, of course, guilt-ridden Christians want to make sure that Santa toes the party line, you know.

For the holiday, here's a few of the Rude Pundit's favorite Nativity sets:

That right there is the Veggie Tales Nativity. In case you don't know, Veggie Tales are cute vegetables who love Christ and salad tossing. The newborn savior up there is a carrot. Get it? A baby carrot? What a delight.

Holy shit, that bear nativity is one of the creepiest fucking things the Rude Pundit's ever seen. Staring straight ahead with their dead eyes, it looks like a satanic cult sacrifice to some horrible bear-demon. Although, the three wise bears have provided snacks for the blood rite: salmon, honey, and berries. All go well with cub entrails.

The Boyd's Bears Nativity is way better and cuter, even if, in that picture, they all seem to be looking at you and saying, "We can see you masturbate."

This is not to mention the Chickentivity, the Dogtivity, the Barntivity, the Native American Nativity, and the various Beartivities, all available unironically for your Christmas consumption.

(Note: Previous editions of the nativity post have included the Moosetivity, but Sarah Palin shot Moose Mary before she could give birth.)


The Bestest Christmas Card Ever to Feature a Senate Majority Leader:

On this Christmas eve's eve, let us all enjoy the image of Harry Reid getting gay-engaged to Lt. Dan Choi on a day of joyous celebrations all over a United States that became a little bit less oppressive.

(Note: A close second is the famous image of Lyndon Johnson bent over near Santa's sleigh, grimacing as if he's farting in Comet's face.)


Agree With Him or Not, President Obama Can Still Fuck Your Shit Up:
Let's put aside everything else - economic reality, intraparty disputes, real and legitimate reasons to be pissed off at the President - and focus solely on the politics of what Barack Obama has done to Republicans in the last couple of weeks. In essence, Republicans challenged the President to a game of chicken, two cars heading towards each other on a dark night late in the year 2010. But, see, they thought the road was shorter than it actually was. They thought that the game ended with the tax cuts. It didn't. It was really just the beginning.

There's many ways in which Obama has fucked their shit up. See, no matter how much Republicans attempt to call these "Bush tax cuts" or "Republican tax cuts," all that matters at the end of the day is that the President signed them into law. They are "Obama's tax cuts," with all the rhetorical and political good that does in the short term (remember: we're not talking about the actual effects of the shitty new tax laws). Oh, sure, Republicans will keep trying to claim them, but how many people remember No Child Left Behind, for instance, as Ted Kennedy's baby? (Yeah, you do, but you should get your head out of the internets for a while.) For most everyone, for good and ill, that belonged to George W. Bush (who, by the way, didn't even think his tax cuts should now be called the "Bush tax cuts," but they were). Besides, by definition, as the Rude Pundit has been insisting, the Bush tax cuts end on December 31. Any new tax cuts signed into law by this President belong on his tab.

So once Obama quickly negotiated an end to the tax cut debate (even though we wished and still wish he had fought more), Senate Republicans were left with their proverbial little dicks in their hands. They had released their grand and mighty statement about how nothing, no-how was gonna get done in the lame duck session unless rich people got more cash. Here's what they wrote: "[W]e will not agree to invoke cloture on the motion to proceed to any legislative item until the Senate has acted to fund the government and we have prevented the tax increase that is currently awaiting all American taxpayers." So they got the their tax cut, and they decided to say, "Fuck the omnibus budget bill we initially agreed to." And now? Well, shit. With their threats met, and plenty of time left in the session, and plenty more to do, well, there's a point where you're just a pathetic back-of-the-bar cocksucker (a line that most of the Republican caucus crossed a long time ago) if you don't act on shit. You can bet they were hoping for a prolonged fight, with the greater hope that Democrats in the House would kill the tax cuts. Then they'd have had all winter break to bitch about how much Nancy Pelosi hates everyone. But all those arrows had to be left in the quiver. It was as if Jimmy Carter had just decided to bomb the American embassy in Iran back in the day, killing everyone inside, and denied the Ayatollah over a year of free propaganda. (Note: this would have been a bad idea.)

And the election is over, so the posturing can die down for a little while. It's like a few moderate Republicans said, "Why the fuck not? Let's do some shit." Putting aside Republicans deciding to punish children by filibustering the DREAM Act, all of a sudden, we got the DADT repeal, we're gonna get START, and, possibly, only thanks to the work of a Jon Stewart, the 9/11 responders bill. These are all no-brainers. The only vaguely liberal thing in there is the DADT repeal. But politics is all about perception, motherfuckers, and what President Obama showed is that he's willing to get shit done. It's a reclamation of the momentum he had at the beginning of 2009.

Oh, sure, next year, they're gonna be a giant sack of dickheads. But, for now, Republicans in the Senate were like a middle-aged man hiring a hooker and paying her in advance for an entire night of making his deepest, most perverted fantasies come true, but, midway through his first diaper change, he blows his wad and doesn't know what to do the rest of the evening but order out for Chinese. By giving in to their greatest desire, Obama was able to change the post-midterm narrative (with vast, huge amounts of help from Harry Reid). And all it took for the President to get some of his goals accomplished was to bribe wealthy Republicans with two years of free money.


Cracker Ass Crackers Acting Like Crackers:
Truly, one of the funnest things you can do when you're in the South is get into an argument over why the Confederate states seceded from the United States. You don't have to talk to some poor dumbass cracker (note: It's not racist because the Rude Pundit's got poor dumbass cracker friends). Oh, no, you can talk to your average, middle class redneck who seems perfectly logical, if conservative, on many issues. And he'll get all huffy, spitting about states' rights and taxation and tariffs and other such bullshit. Remember: you are doing this for your amusement, so don't get upset. Merely say, "And you're telling me that the Civil War would have happened even if there wasn't slavery in the South?" Because it wouldn't have. No way, no how. It was about slavery.

There's a particular delusion that Confederacy apologists have. They have to be in deep denial about secession and the war because it prevents them from acknowledging that it's just fucking racist to honor the Confederacy. And they'd have to acknowledge that it wasn't the honorable beliefs of citizens being oppressed by the federal government. It was just a bunch of traitorous, rich scumbags who didn't want to lose their biggest moneymaking asset: free labor. Remember: when you honor Confederate soldiers, you honor terrorists. Having a party to celebrate secession is not unlike a group of extremist Muslims in a Pakistan cave hosting a let's-fuck-this-goat party every September 11.

Of course, that doesn't stop the goat-fucking. The South Carolina Secession Gala was big time fun last night, with ladies and gentlemen all suited up in Gone With the Wind drag. For a hundred bucks each, attendees were promised a not-at-all racist evening: "We have a 45 minute theatrical play re-enacting the signing of the original Ordinance of Secession with Senators and famous individuals as actors in this performance. We even have President Pro-Tempore of the SC Senate, Glenn F. McConnell as Convention Chair, David F. Jamison of Barnwell." Yessiree, ol' times there are not forgotten. But wait, there's even better news. No, not a minstrel show: "The wonderful news is that the ORIGINAL Ordinance of Secession will be available for viewing by our guests. This is not a lithograph, but the ACTUAL document which has been protected for years in the vault and hasn’t been seen in years. Those sponsoring tables will be able to have a group photograph with all Sponsors made with the ORIGINAL ORDINANCE." Man, that's like fucking your cousin on Martin Luther King's grave while using the Emancipation Proclamation as a condom, it's so good.

Meanwhile, we can learn much about the more recent history of the South through the interview in The Weekly Standard with Mississippi's totally not racist governor, Haley Barbour, who, it should always be pointed out, talks like Foghorn Leghorn gargling balls. Barbour has caused a stink on the left and the right by whitewashing (ha!) the history of his hometown, Yazoo City, and praising the White Citizens' Council as totally not like the Ku Klux Klan.

Of course, history will always bite you on the ass. Despite Barbour's seemingly idyllic childhood, unclouded by the nasty civil rights battles going on all around him, Yazoo City wasn't the nice little Southern town that time forgot during Barbour's early years:

In 1955, parents of schoolkids in Yazoo City had signed an NAACP petition calling for schools to be integrated. The White Citizens' Council published the names, addresses, and phone numbers of all those who had signed in an ad in the local newspaper, saying it was a "public service." Medgar Evers' widow, Myrlie, stated how this act essentially killed the possibility of change in Yazoo City since those listed, like carpenters and plumbers, saw their incomes plunge. A grocer on the list couldn't get food from his wholesale suppliers. Local white merchants inflated the price of bread to those who had signed. The Citizens' Council asked its members to fire any black employees or evict any black tenants who signed. All but two parents eventually removed their names from the petition.

In 1957, the only so-identified race-based murder in Mississippi was of Charles Brown, a black man killed in Yazoo City for "visiting a white man's sister."

In 1965, members of local Klaverns, the stupid name for groups of KKK fucktards,were listed for the House Un-American Activities Committee (which also looked at the KKK), and, lo and behold, despite Barbour saying that the Klan had been run out of town, it had leaders in Yazoo City.

Barbour, though, is just another incarnation of the Confederacy apologists. Of course it was a wonderful life for Barbour. He was white and ignorant. You put on blinders as a kid, but you're supposed to realize when you're an adult, "Oh, shit, Mom and Dad weren't blissfully happy all the time. Oh, shit, blacks in my town were treated like shit." So, one has to wonder, is being white and ignorant still his excuse now?


DADT Gone: Social Conservatives Lose Their Fucking Minds:
Upon seeing on the CSPAN that the nation's stupid Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy regarding gays in the military had been overturned on Saturday, the Rude Pundit celebrated in the old way: by inviting a bunch of queer soldiers from every branch (even the Coast Guard) over to Casa de Rude for tequila, ecstasy, and more blow jobs and fingering than in the parking lot of your high school after the junior prom. By the detritus left behind, he knew it had been quite the celebration, even if his only memories involve repeatedly hearing orgasmic cries of "Hoo-ah" and watching a lesbian couple slow dance as a third sang, "Off we go into the wild blue yonder." On Sunday morning, the Christmas tree was festooned with empty condom wrappers, the three wise men in the Nativity were positioned as if they were fucking the camels and donkeys, the nutcracker's mouth was stuck shut, the poinsettia was uprooted, and the pantsless Marine still asleep in the tub had mistletoe tied to rest just below his belly button. A splendid Yuletide festival, indeed.

Around the nutzoid conservative world, the star of Bethlehem had dimmed a bit. Indeed, the reaction to the repeal of DADT could best be described as "angrier than a mall Santa that got kicked in the balls." Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council (motto: "Nothing shows Baby Jesus' love more than hating gays") scribbled off one of his missives of hate, yapping madly, "Today is a tragic day for our armed forces. The American military exists for only one purpose - to fight and win wars. Yet it has now been hijacked and turned into a tool for imposing on the country a radical social agenda." Now, all those people in the military who advise and train soldiers in other countries and, you know, the fucking Coast Guard might disagree with Perkins' definition, but they'd just be part of the liberal cadre who wanted this: "[I]t is a political payoff to a tiny, but loud and wealthy, part of the Democratic base." Otherwise known as "David Geffen," one assumes.

Yep, the fact that most of America wanted the policy changed and that most of the military didn't give a shit had no bearing on the vote of six Republicans. It was the influence of gay-loving liberals with money. John McCain, who has gone the full teabag since he has no actual beliefs, scoffed at "elite schools" and tossed out, "[T]here will be high-fives all over the liberal bastions of America." Damn, the Rude Pundit bets that all over the liberal bastions, they're thinking, "We should have been tiny but loud on every other issue." McCain's pleadings (along with all the homophobic Republicans) are just the last gasps of a diseased animal, lashing out in its death throes, on its way to extinction.

Speaking of not-so-jolly fat men, Pat Buchanan was on the air yesterday to say how much he hates him some DADT repeal, too. On The McLaughlin Group (motto: "No, really, this show is still on the air"), Patty Buch kicked and yawped, "You are trying to impose the values of Fire Island on Parris Island. These are 19-year-old Marines. They’re very macho guys. Many of them are Christian traditionalists and you got these secular values and you bring open homosexuals into the barracks with these guys — it will be hellish." Buchanan's strange obsession with that bastion of gay summertime fun continued, "The multiculturals have won. But there’s one culture basically, as I said, to Fire Island, and an entirely different culture." Sounds like someone doesn't like hearing disco from his beach house. For Buchanan, though, it doesn't matter. We're all fucking doomed: "I don’t think time is on the side of Western civilization, if you want to know." Always remember: Pat Buchanan is not your lovable curmudgeon uncle. He is a bigoted son of a bitch who licked Nixon's asshole.

Yes, there is gonna be a mighty squeak and squeal from the right. But for the rest of us, the majority of Americans? We have once again demonstrated that civil rights lurch ever forward. And for liberals so disenchanted with Democrats these many months? Well, if we're gonna get tossed a bone, at least it was a helluva big bone. (Insert your own joke here.)

(One last note here: Marine Commandant General James Amos, who was quoted endlessly by the nasty grub fucker McCain and was the strongest in opposition to a change in policy, released a statement offering his full support for the new policy and saying, "Above all else, we are loyal to the Constitution, our Commander in Chief, Congress, our Chain of Command, and the American people...I, and the Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps, will personally lead this effort, thus ensuring the respect and dignity due all Marines.")


Photos That Make the Rude Pundit Want to Pour a Dixie Beer on the Beach:

What you're looking at is a $360 million boondoggle. It is the continuing construction of sand berms on the Louisiana coast, once supposed to help clean up oil from the BP oil geyser that gushed for so long below the Gulf of Mexico.

You remember the great sand berm debate? When Louisiana's creepy hunchbacked governor, Bobby Jindal, and oil industry lackey turned folk hero, the giant pudding bag named Billy Nungesser, whimpered and whined and shouted outrage that they had to had to had to build these barriers to the waves of oil hitting the coast? Hell, they were so loud and pathetic that eventually Barack Obama said, "Fuck it," and let them build. (Over on the Fox "news," Fred Barnes sniffled behind his glasses o' smarts that Obama actually considering whether or not the sand berms were a good idea meant "That is not decisive leadership.")

Back in the summer, everyone was sand berm crazy. Mike Huckabee told Sean Hannity's manly jaw on June 12, "Well, you know what, sand is a lot less of an impact than the oil, for gosh sake." On the radio, Glenn Beck mocked the President when he halted the berm construction for a bit to make sure that it wouldn't fuck things up worse than they were fucked. Oh, sure, there were, you know, "scientists" and "researchers" who all said that it would be bullshit, that it wouldn't do a thing, that it would wash away as soon as it was built, that the dredging required would just do more damage.

Now, hey, look, there's a big presidential commission report out saying, in essence, "Wow, that was one colossal bundle of fucktardery right there." Yeah, seems like the sand berms collected one tenth of one percent of the oil, a big 1000 barrels, or, roughly, the amount to fill up a Hummer for a drive across town. The report says that the okay was given because of political pressure, not because of real confidence in the claims about the magical mountains of sand.

The report even takes the time to call out Jindal for being a little corporate bitch: "In his book Leadership and Crisis, Governor Jindal claims that berms 'proved to be one of the most effective protection measures... Indeed, time and time again, [berms] stopped the oil that got past the skimmers and boom.' Similarly, appearing recently on Meet the Press, Governor Jindal argued '[t]he sand berms were a great success.' We disagree. From a long-term coastal restoration perspective, the berms may indeed be a 'significant step forward,' as Governor Jindal has claimed, but they were not successful for oil spill response."

Maybe, just maybe, in the guise of a response to the oil spill, Jindal, not wanting to seem like he was asking the big, bad federal government for cash so he could remain Tea Party pure, actually conned BP and the feds out of $360 mill for coastal restoration. Nah. That'd be vaguely honorable. And that ain't a Republican quality.


Kyl and DeMint: Baby Jesus Doesn't Want Us to Pass the START Treaty Right Now:
"Ye shall know them by their fruits," motherfucker, says Jesus. And, goddamn, if that Middle Eastern Jew wasn't right in Matthew 7:16. In fact, a good bit of Book 7 of Matthew (King James, man, always King James) ought to be read to the alleged righteous Christians, Senators Jon "Looks Like W.C. Fields and Broderick Crawford Had a Big, Ugly Baby" Kyl and Jim "I Whip My Balls Bloody Every Night" DeMint. Whining like little bitches who were denied their evening Milk Bone, Kyl and DeMint announced that they want their Christmas vacation and they don't give a fuck about any damn reduction of weapons of mass destruction. That's right: no START treaty, no consideration of real and actual peace on Earth unless they get to sing songs about "Peace on Earth."

Said Kyl, Harry Reid is "disrespecting one of the two holiest of holidays for Christians and the families of all of the Senate, not just the senators themselves but all of the staff." Said DeMint, "It’s sacrilegious and disrespectful...This is the most sacred holiday for Christians. They did the same thing last year - they kept everybody here until [Christmas Eve] to force something down everybody's throat. I think Americans are sick of this." In a Waffle House outside Charleston, South Carolina, a 60 year-old waitress, who just got the early shift on the 25th because she was working the late shift at Wal-Mart on the 24th, heard this on the radio and died a little more inside.

So, hey, yeah, these cockmongers talk the Jeebus-lovin' talk so that they can head home and play Wii tennis with the grandkids and drink egg nog next to the banquet nativity. But let's see if they walk the walk, no? Let's check out some of their fruits:

Now, the Rude Pundit's no biblical scholar, but he knows some basic shit. For instance, Jesus was pretty clear on helping people in poverty. Like, you know, 1 John 3:17-18: "But whoso hath this world's good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?/ My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth." Yeah, DeMint and Kyl have clenched their sphincters tight and haven't shit out even a tiny turd of compassion for the poor.

Kyl and DeMint have both voted against expanding the Children's Health Insurance Program, against increasing the minimum wage, against funding for housing for the poor, and for raising the estate tax exemption to $5 million. DeMint gets extra points for voting against extending unemployment benefits in 2008.

Of course, they've both voted big time for anything to do with war, because killing Muslims is really high on Jesus's to-do list. As is torture, apparently, and denial of any help for illegal immigrants, who would probably qualify as the "least of these."

It's always a shame when someone uses the kids as an excuse for something the grown-ups just don't want to do. You know, you've heard, "Oh, sorry, can't go out to the bar tonight because something came up with my kids." DeMint and Kyl have raised that a notch and said, "Sorry, we can't pass your precious peace treaty because the Baby Jesus needs us at the manger." They're like Wise Men or Kings, these guys.

Of course, since all of this is over passing a treaty that would actively make the world safer from nuclear weapons, one imagines that even Baby Jesus would say, "Dudes, shove that myrrh up your asses and get back to work."

(Note: Harry Reid showing Kyl and DeMint his pimp hand on the whole stupid Christmas thing is deliciously fun. And so is Joe Biden's spit-rage.)


The Rude Pundit on Monday's Stephanie Miller Show:
Yes, Stephanie Miller and the Rude Pundit had an actual, substantive disagreement over the Obama tax cut cave-in. But we made up by laughing about God stuff.

If you'd like to feel the rudeness in your ears, subscribe to the Rude Pundit's free podcast. Also, because someone asked nicely, here's a link to the mp3 version. Click 'til ya can't click no more.
A Review of the Epic Comic Novel, Game Change:
The novel Game Change by humorists John Heilemann and Mark Halperin, now out in paperback and on many end-of-year "Best of" lists, is a hilarious romp through the farcical political landscape of a presidential election in a nation called "the United States," one that's like ours except wackier. The race to nomination and the race to election night are presented as savage games of manipulation, a two-year marathon that is inhuman, one that could not possibly be real. For what sane nation would think that there's anything useful in that process? It's part of the comedy of the piece. Also, using an ingenious postmodern conceit, Heilemann and Halperin create characters who have the names of the actual figures who participated in the 2008 election, but, like the country itself, they are personae in quotation marks.

The hero of the novel, a Candide-like naif named "Barack Obama," behaves in ways that would make him the noblest, purest man to ever run for office. Throughout, he actually believes that sticking to his principles and running on ideas will make him win and that the rest is a big circus ring show that he reluctantly must perform in. Behind the scenes, his Machiavellian staff keeps up with the shiv-shoving at others, allowing "Obama" to be above the fray, only having to deal with the women who are holding him back: his wife, "Michelle," who eventually comes around, and, of course, the other major Democratic candidate. In many ways, Game Change is a bildungsroman about "Obama" learning that what is demanded of him is way beyond what any single human being could ever deliver, yet the hopes of all of "America" are invested in him accomplishing just those . Thank God, it's just fiction.

The ostensible villain of the novel is "Hillary Clinton," the one person standing in the way of our noble knight achieving the greatness for which he is destined. However, in a twist, she is actually a pitiable, tragic figure, a respected woman of great accomplishment who surrounds herself with men whose sole seeming purpose is to tear her down while presenting themselves as supporting her. One of them, "Bill Clinton," her husband, an ex-president, is a swaggering, egotistical time-bomb who is one sexual affair away from destroying "Hillary." Another is the grotesque, evil "Mark Penn," an allegory for all conservative-leaning Democrats, a man who is always wrong but is treated as if he's always right, a pig whose sole devotions are to self-interest and profit. As "Hillary" veers from bitchiness to bitterness to self-pity, we can only laugh as she keeps merely eye-rolling at the antics of these two male buffoons and then guffaw when, of all people, she exiles the woman closest to her, "Patti Solis Doyle," and forces her to bear the blame for the failures of her campaign. Man, it's a good thing this is satirical fiction because otherwise it'd sure seem like the authors hate women.

The novel veers into sheer absurdism during its final third, when Heilemann and Halperin take us inside the campaign of irascible old man "John McCain," whose every utterance is punctuated by "fuck" or "goddamn." The Republican candidate swings between savage anger at phantoms and barely lucid apathy. This reader was laughing so hard he had to put the book down to wipe the tears when "McCain," outraged at having to attend events for his daughter's graduation, screeches, "How many fucking times can you fucking graduate from fucking Columbia?" Now that's comedy.

"McCain" is complemented by the novel's most impossible creation, "Sarah Palin," a God-loving idiot who truly believes she is somehow qualified for the position she is asked to fill, Vice-President. "Palin" is like Forrest Gump combined with the awful aspects of every other woman in the book, whether it's the self-pitying viciousness of "Hillary Clinton," the screeching harpy behavior of "Elizabeth Edwards," or the incompetence of "Patti Solis Doyle." And "Sarah Palin" shops and primps, too, and is prone to bouts of depression...

Wait a second...sorry, what?...no, really?...non-fiction?...you're kidding...well, then it's total bullshit. 'Cause if this is real, our system for electing a president is fucked beyond fucked. And these guys really, really hate women.

(Note: The Rude Pundit was asked to participate in what's being called a "virtual book tour" for the release of the paperback version of Game Change. He's not really sure how this is a "book tour," since Halperin and Heilemann aren't visiting, but, sure, hey, call it what you want. That's why today's blog post is a review of Game Change. If you get a chance, check out the review by Thers over at Whiskey Fire. He feels much the same as the Rude Pundit does.)


Glenn Beck Is a Terrorist By Glenn Beck's Own Definition:
Let us pause for a moment, and why not, in the tax cut debacle that's creeping into reality like that slow-moving blizzard that's chilling the fuck out of the eastern USA to enjoy a fight between Godzilla and a flea. Godzilla here would be Fareed Zakaria, the writer and CNN host, and the flea would be Glenn Beck, jowly idiot-warrior for all things wrong and host of programs on radio and Fox "news."

So, last week, Beck, with the dunderheaded confidence that a high school education and a little bit o' book learnin' can give a man who is probably brain-damaged by cheap tequila and cheaper blow, asserts that, well, by his estimates, 10% of all Muslims in the world must be terrorists. That would be about 157,000,000 terrorists, an army big enough to, you know, conquer the world or at least a few extra nations than are already Muslim. But facts are to Glenn Beck as emotional control is to John Boehner. In essence, it'd be an insult to turds to say that Beck pulled the figure out of his ass.

In a pimp-slapping that'd make real pimps say, "Damn, you slapped the shit out of that bitch," Zakaria takes apart Beck's logic-free estimate on Sunday, even mocking Beck's producer's claim that Beck was also including terrorist sympathizers, not just active, bomb-wearing, plane-plunging terrorists. So, if you call for someone's death or say that you support those who are killing people, you, too, are a terrorist. Zakaria stomps the fuck out of Beck by saying, "[H]ow would one describe a man who has been fueling such anger against the American government on television daily for the last two years? How, in other words, would one describe Glenn Beck?" Like the Rude Pundit said, Godzilla versus a flea.

Now, Beck, who has skin that's thinner than John Boehner's tear threshold, mocks Zakaria. He offers,"If I said to Fareed Zakaria, 'Fareed, I'm not going to kill you, but I support the people who do want to kill you,' am I a problem, Fareed? Yes! Yes, I would be a problem!" You see what Beck says there? He lays out the criteria for what makes one a terrorist: calling for or supporting direct violence.

You probably know by now where this is going, so let's get there. Here's a list of times where Beck said he wanted to kill people or thought they should die:

- In August 2009, Beck gleefully fantasized about what it would be like to hand Nancy Pelosi a glass of poisoned wine.

- In September 2006, Beck said that if Muslim extremists "take over" the Middle East, "we're going to have to nuke the whole place."

- In May 2005, Beck teased out what it would be like to murder Michael Moore with his bare hands.

- In March 2001, Beck listed the people he'd like to "beat to death with a shovel," including Rep. Charlie Rangel.

Sure, sure, Beck would say, in that "Shucks, I'm a fucking asshole" way of his, that he's just joking about Pelosi, Moore, and Rangel, ha-ha. But let's go farther than Zakaria. How would Beck react to a well-known Pakistani media figure saying that if, say, the Tea Party takes over America, they should just nuke us?

And, frankly, if you were living in, say, Iraq or Afghanistan, in isolated places where you don't even know why the fuck these foreigners are blowing up your house, you'd probably be a little more justified in thinking that, because of Glenn Beck and other American media mullahs, 10% or more of us are terrorists.


Note to the Weary Left: It's Okay to Have Principles:
So after backing President Obama on compromise after compromise on various bills, on the stimulus, on health care reform, after supporting and advocating for deals that were not only far from perfect, but were in some ways detrimental to the cause for which the bills themselves were created, after watching the President reach out again and again to Republicans, only to be told he wasn't reaching out enough and only to watch Obama say that he needs to do more to compromise, after seeing Republicans drub Democrats in an election because many Democrats were too afraid to stand for anything Democratic for fear of seeming too "partisan," after listening to Obama justify doing almost everything that George W. Bush did in the name of national security and, in some cases, going further, after years and years of watching Democrats allowing Republicans to set the terms of all arguments, whether in the majority or minority, after investing in Barack Obama the modicum of hope he asked for in changing the terms of that long, ongoing American political fistfight, only to see the whole thing twisted again by the right as they put forth the most obnoxiously anti-American candidates they could find and obstructed progress in an unprecedented way, finally, on this one thing, on absolutely opposing allowing the tax rate for the wealthiest 2% of Americans to rise by a small margin, we on the left are told by people across the political spectrum that we want too much and that we need to back down and that we need to be happy because this is the best we're gonna get.

To which the Rude Pundit can only say, "Blow me." You're allowed to dissent, dear, worried liberals. You're allowed to draw a fucking inviolable line. The Rude Pundit has supported Obama on issue after issue, but he is allowed to join with many Democrats in the Congress and call, "Bullshit." No one gets a blank check.

No, thank God, Allah, Buddha, Everyone, or No One, he's not facing the panic and horror of having his unemployment insurance cut off, the extension of which should never have been tied to the tax cuts at all (and was the stupidest move by every Democrat in DC). But what he's facing is the long-term horror of our decimated economy after a decade of irrational policies, topped by the political suicide bomb of the expiration of the Bush tax cuts. He's facing the inevitable result of multiple decades of unending attacks on the poor by government budget cuts and corporate exploitation. And who fucking warned everyone about this? Who stood there, even in the good times, waving their fuckin' arms and saying that there's gonna be hell to pay, when Reagan gutted programs for the poor and then slashed taxes while building up the military for no good reason other than to pay off contractors? Who jumped up and down for attention while Clinton triangulated the fuck out of the welfare safety net? Who had the most credibility when Bush II raided the Treasury to give money to the rich while fighting two wars? While all three of them gutted regulations on financial and other industries? Yeah, we on the left, motherfuckers.

Bernie Sanders' epic speech on the Senate floor wasn't just about the tax cut. It was about an insanity of instant financial gratification that puts the desires of the very few above the needs of the very, very many, an insanity that has fucked this country for the rest of our lives. Again and again, with the assistance of the conservative Democrat Mary Landrieu, who voted for the original tax cuts, Sanders came back to the income disparity that has turned the United States into an oligarchy. Shit, it was always that way. But at least it was a benevolent oligarchy. Not anymore, as Wall Street greed pulls on our flayed flesh to finally skin us all alive.

Don't worry. The tax cut extension will pass. The unemployment benefits extension will pass, as it should. We will put off any hard decisions on our future again for two years. And then, don't worry, we'll put them off again. Because that's who we are. That's our learned behavior. We are Americans and we've forgotten how to sacrifice anything because no one for a generation has asked us to. We're like Nicholas Cage in Leaving Las Vegas: we've decided to drink ourselves to death while being cared for by whores.

Oh, dear weary, weary leftists all, we've been treated like the once-virginal cheerleader who gave in when the quarterback wanted a hand job and then gave in again when he wanted a blow job, saying that it wasn't sex, no, not really, giving in, yes, even though it was against our core beliefs, to straight fucking, but, god, can't we at least say "No" to anal? Or is that too much to ask anymore?


The Rude Pundit on This Past Monday's Stephanie Miller Show:
Yeah, yeah, it's late in the week for this, but enjoy much giggling over the name "Roughead."


Note to Conservative Christians: Your God Is Kind of a Dick:
One of the only differences between contemporary times and ancient ones regarding religion is that, back in the day, people worshiped different gods. Instead of being followers of Apollo or Bacchus or Athena, now, with our oh-so-advanced brains, we just have a single god for Christianity who is capable of all-embracing love for one sect and all-consuming hatred for another. And, if you're a fundamentalist of any stripe, that God's really just a total dickhead:

1. In its increasing effort to be America's most-loathed inbred idiots, the piles of shit from the Westboro Baptist Church have declared that, like fags, God also hates Elizabeth Edwards and, as a result, said piles of shit will be protesting her funeral on Saturday. To teach the Edwards family a lesson, according to the inbreds, God killed their child: "When they were visited from the Most High God with the death of their 16-year-old son, they did not humble themselves before His mighty hand." Since we're just making shit up about what a fictional character thinks, how about this: God wants the Westboro Baptist Church to commit mass suicide in order to demonstrate how much they love him. The next move is yours, Phelps family.

(You know, as long as the CIA is targeting U.S. citizens for assassination, could we just thin the herd around here a bit? No one would even notice.)

2. Apparently, according to the Family Research Council (motto: "No, really, we believe in a God that has time for the shit we care about"), God is all about preventing cloture on votes in the Senate. See, under a secret nom de rude, the Rude Pundit is part of the FRC's Super-Duper Prayer Team, and every week we get our prayeroplasty orders from on high. The most recent email of God's love has said we gotta get on our knees and face Jesus's crotch to stop the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell. "May God's people cry out to Him to stop the introduction of open homosexuality into our fighting forces," we're told. "May conservative Senators vote against any motion to proceed and filibuster if necessary and may cloture fail. God protect our troops!"

You know, if the Rude Pundit believed in any kind of invisible sky wizard, he'd probably be telling that magical fucker, "Hey, why dontcha deal with the cholera in Haiti? We're good here grappling with our fucked-up legislative process." Yeah, he'd just feel like a fuckbag for trying to get God to make sure that Robert's Rules of Order are invoked properly or some such shit while, you know, babies are dying.

3. The Rude Pundit's Christmas wish for Bill Donohue of the Catholic League (motto: "We don't have a dental plan for our employees. Isn't that obvious?"): that Jesus and the Pope have a sword fight in his mouth while David Wojnarowicz films it. If his God's gonna be a dick, well, at least there'll be dicks involved.


Senate Republicans: The Health of 9/11 Responders Ain't Worth the Price:
In honor of the fifth anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States, Senator Mike Enzi, Republican of Wyoming, said, "We remember the fireman, police and rescue squads who responded to the sites of the attacks and performed with great bravery. The concern they showed for others and the sacrifices they made to try to save anyone they could will never be forgotten."

In honor of the sixth anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States, Senator Mike Enzi, Republican of Wyoming, said, "Heroes were made on September 11, 2001 and heroes were lost. We will not forget them."

Enzi, who made statements just about every year between 2002 and 2008, did not offer memorials or condolences or support for troops on the anniversary of 9/11 in 2009 or 2010. Perhaps he forgot, despite a pledge to never do so.

Senator Enzi signed a letter last week saying that Republicans in the Senate would consider no legislation unless tax cuts for wealthy Americans, totaling about $100 billion a year, were agreed to by the Congress and the President.

Which makes it odd, to say the least, and disgustingly hypocritical, for Senator Enzi, so mournful about the date and so into honoring the memory of the victims, not to mention so into giving tens of billions of dollars away to rich people, to not only oppose the Zadroga 9/11 Victim Health and Compensation Act, but to circulate a letter to other Republicans that the $7.6 billion bill would lead to massive fraud and "job-killing taxes." By the way, the cost of the Zadroga Act, which is pretty much explained in the full name, has already been covered by closing a couple of tax loopholes on foreign corporations. Apparently, the definition of "job-killing" has been dumbed down.

The motion for cloture on debate on the bill will be voted on today, but its fate is up in the air as only 59 senators have agreed to it.

You can bet, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that you could go through the websites of every Senate Republican and find canonization after glorification of the mighty 9/11 first responders. Especially the dead ones, because, you know, they don't require any medical care and the living ones are such a nuisance with their "needs" and "illnesses." Compassion is so much easier when you don't have to act. Ask Mike Enzi. Maybe, just maybe, he was too goddamned ashamed to issue proclamations about 9/11 and heroes and soldiers. Or maybe it's just that they were only worthy of attention when they were led by a Republican. Or maybe he's just an asshole.

One final note: Imagine, just imagine, if this whole hostage thing had been taken seriously by the Democrats and the White House. Just imagine the President appearing with sick firefighters and unemployed mothers to hold the line on tax cuts. Imagine that battle. Sadly, it will remain only a fading illusion.


Senate Republicans Have a Celebration Orgy:
The Senate Republican cloakroom was filled with whores yesterday. No, not the senators themselves, who were taking the afternoon off from letting the Chamber of Commerce sodomize them, the better for their assholes to regain some elasticity. There were real, actual, non-metaphorical prostitutes there, female and male, paid for by Karl Rove's American Crossroads GPS and its billionaire donors. Not only would the organization's funds be written off by the rich men and women who just got a tax cut, but the organization could write off the hookers as a business expense. And so here was a big cocksucking "thank you" for this win-win-win, just the way Republicans like compromises to work.

On the 52-inch LED TV screen next that was hung up in a spot where a the head of a moose shot by Teddy Roosevelt once gazed over the room, the Democratic President, Barack Obama, was giving his news conference where he justified his signing off on, at bare minimum, a postponement of one of his signature campaign promises. "[W]hen they expire in two years, I will fight to end them," Obama said, and Jon Kyl laughed, sucked on a cigar, whipped out his dick, and told the coked-out Russian blonde teenager, "Lemme fuck your mouth-silo with my ICBM." She snorted some blow from Barry Goldwater's gold-covered memorial eyeglasses case and started work on Kyl's crank.

Around the room, the scene was repeated with variations. There was Orrin Hatch whipping himself while watching a pair of thin brunette women go down on each other. There was John McCain having a Sarah Palin lookalike shove a bamboo dildo up his ass. There was Lindsey Graham secretly getting blown under one of the mahogany tables by a cross-dressed fat dude. There was Susan Collins, moaning as she was roughly fucked in a chair that was built by Thomas Jefferson's slaves. Inhofe blowing a tranny. Ensign pretending not to notice that he was being hand-jobbed by a Filipino in a maid outfit. Scott Brown running around naked and getting the whores to tell him how hot he looked. On and on, with Mitch McConnell watching the screen, not taking his eyes off the President, even as he was teabagging a forlorn young, hung and cut Mexican dude.

When Obama said, "I think it’s tempting not to negotiate with hostage-takers, unless the hostage gets harmed," McConnell shook his head. "Everyone hear that? We're kidnappers." He looked down at the Mexican man who would have been tortured to death by Rove if he whispered a word of what happened. McConnell asked, "You don't think we're kidnappers, do you?" Mouth full of an old turtle's balls, thinking about his family back home, the man silently shook his head. The Minority Leader patted his head and sipped on some single-malt, thinking, "Well, oughta say something about that."

Rove watched it all on closed-circuit, recording every moment for future use. It couldn't have worked out better, he thought. For $56 billion in unemployment insurance, a mere bag of shells these days, about a third of the AIG bailout, the Republicans had not only pleased every donor they could find, but they had made the first hole in the wall around Social Security, even getting Democrats to praise the payroll tax cut that would reduce the coffers of the last great New Deal program, thus necessitating a movement to privatization at a later date.

And there went Obama, attacking the left, just as Rove had predicted he would, since Obama projects his anger onto everyone he sees as not backing him, calling them ideological "purists" who are "sanctimonious" about it. This, too, was part of what Rove wanted, the rancid icing on the shit cake that Obama was forced to eat. Obama attacked his base, angering them, making them talk primary opponent and filibuster, maybe even depressing the turnout for 2012. It's all, all seeds that will flower in 23 months. Of course they were hostage takers. Of course it was the poor with the guns to their heads. And of course Rove was willing to make McConnell and the rest go out and shoot them dead. You don't take hostages if you're not willing to execute them. That's the beauty of the act.

Back inside the cloakroom, out of the view of Rove's cameras, Jim DeMint watched the orgy, disgusted by the entire enterprise, insulted that he wasn't singled out for his purity and sanctimony. "Relax, Jim," Thad Cochran called out. "Grab one of the negresses and have a good time. And when unemployment benefits run out next year, we'll tell Obama that he has to tap dance for us Bojangles-style if he thinks it's so important that Tiny Tim eats."


Compromise After Compromise Is Just Defeat After Defeat (Updated):
If the Rude Pundit was a congressional Democrat this morning, he'd feel like he woke up with the biggest fucking hangover. He'd feel like he went to a party at his friend Barry's place and got so shitfaced that he only remembers dribs and drabs of the evening before. Sure, sure, Barry's not his best buddy, but he trusted the dude enough that he felt safe drinking his ass off there. But some jerks must have been invited and they must have fuckin' roofied his drink 'cause he sure didn't ask anyone to write "Cum Bitch" on his forehead. And he's thinks he tastes semen. And why are his leg muscles feeling strained? And, holy fuck, why does his asshole hurt? Yeah, if he was a Democratic House member, especially, he'd feel like he'd have to find a bucket to vomit in and never stop and he'd be left to wonder what the hell happened and no one, no one, not Barry, not anyone else at the party, would be able to adequately say. And he'd be have a couple of choices on what to do: find out who did this to him so that person can be punished or let it go and try, no matter how difficult, to move on.

There's writers on the left trying to spin President Obama's deal on extending the Bush tax cuts for two years. They talk about long-term strategy and the potential for 2012. Essentially, what that means is that the President'll re-argue one of the very things that inspired a large majority to vote for him in the first place. In other words, Obama's next campaign would have to say something along the lines of, "Hey, you know how I said I'd let those tax cuts on the wealthy expire last time? Boy, I really, really mean it now." Yeah, man, let's have that soul-searching discussion of American tax rates. Let's see how it goes.

We're talking about a public that was too stupid to realize that health care reform was not a government takeover of Grandma's feeding tube. We're talking about a public that didn't realize that Obama lowered taxes for 95% of the population, that were dead sure that an evil socialist Kenyan was taking money out of their pockets to pay ACORN to have Black Panthers stare blackly and pantherly at white voters in Crackerville, Pennsylvania. Thumbs up for thinking ahead. How'd that kicking it down the road work out before the midterms?

Yes, compromise supporters are correct that an extension of unemployment insurance for 13 months to those whose benefits are just running out (but not those whose ran out before now) is a good thing. And the only thing one can say to that is that the GOP sure fucking outgunned the Democrats without ever firing a shot. This is the end result of nearly two years of nonstop capitulation. Was there a single speech by the President where he said that Republicans were keeping food from the mouths of poor children in order for rich people to give their kids cars with sweeter rims? No, and that's because the poor are always the pawns, man, readily sacrificed until they're really needed. There were ways to have this fight. Get governors involved because a shift of 2 million people off unemployment would have meant a fuck of a lot of people needing public services mostly provided by overburdened, under-revenued states. Take the fight big and open instead of small and backroom.

As far as compromises go, what would Republicans give up? The word "permanent"? That's about it. And what would Democrats give up? One of the major planks of their platform. Fuck, this doesn't even include a vote on Don't Ask, Don't Tell. And it ain't even definite that Republicans are gonna support the extension of unemployment because they're just motherfuckers.

Sorry, dear, sweet, strong Obama supporters. But congressional Democrats should rebel. They should tell Joe Biden today that it ain't gonna happen, that Mitch McConnell can shove it up his ass, that the minority leader needs to explain to America why it's more important to give the wealthy several hundred billion dollars in tax relief rather than extend unemployment, which would cost less then five months of the Afghanistan and Iraq wars. In fact, Nancy Pelosi should donate some of her spine to the President and tell him to join with them. How many more times does this happen? If Obama is willing to cave so quickly with Democratic majorities in both houses of Congress, what's he gonna do with a Republican House abetting a filibustering Senate minority?

The Rude Pundit fears, though, ah, Christ, he fears that we've been cornered again, the cat too afraid to lash out at the rats. Even in defeat (and it was defeat), even while saying that Republicans were wrong, President Obama took a swipe at the left: "The American people didn’t send us here to wage symbolic battles or win symbolic victories." No, we didn't. But one of the reasons we sent you there was because you said, over and over and over, that you'd make the undertaxed, over-loopholed wealthy pay a couple of percent more of their income in order to secure the blessings of liberty for the entire nation.

Update: To be sure, Republican bear almost the entire blame for this debacle. However, almost everyone on the left was telling the President that his approach to bipartisanship was going to bite him on the ass. Republicans acted like Republicans. Obama acted like his ass was made of titanium when it was just flesh after all.


Another Day, Another Democratic Capitulation:
Here we are again, at the edge of another great capitulation. If you liked the capitulations on health care and the stimulus, you're gonna love the one this time on tax cuts. President Barack Obama is about to compromise away allowing the tax cuts on the rich to expire in order to get shit done that should be done anyways, like the START treaty approval. At some point, at some goddamn ephemeral point in this awful time we're being forced to live through by the right, this rigged game of Texas hold 'em we're playing at gunpoint, you gotta stop folding every hand you have. You gotta at least ante up to see what the next cards are.

This time, the Democrats had a pair of aces, man. The polls back the rollback of tax rates to their 1990s level on income over $250,000. Fuck, a CNN poll had only 46% of Republicans supporting tax cuts for the wealthy. And the end of the tax cuts was one of the central tenets of Obama's campaign. To put it simply, it's one of the reasons he got elected: because he said that the only responsible thing to do for the economy was to allow the tax cuts to expire so that we can pay for shit that we need.

Here's speeches he made fucking everywhere on the matter:

November 3, 2008 in Jacksonville, Florida: "I will give a tax break to 95% of Americans who work every day and get taxes taken out of their paychecks every week. And I'll help pay for this by asking the folks who are making more than $250,000 a year to go back to the tax rate they were paying in the 1990s."

October 21, 2008 in Miami: "It's true that I want to roll back the Bush tax cuts on the wealthiest Americans and go back to the rate they paid under Bill Clinton. John McCain calls that socialism. What he forgets is that just a few years ago, he himself said those Bush tax cuts were irresponsible."

October 10, 2008 in Chillicothe, Ohio: I'll give a middle-class tax cut to 95% of all workers. And if you make less than $250,000 a year - which includes 98 percent of small business owners - you won't see your taxes increase one single dime."

October 5, 2008 in Asheville, North Carolina: "I'll cover that remaining cost [of health care reform] with a portion of the money I'll save by ending George Bush's tax breaks for people making more than $250,000 a year. They'll go back to paying the kind of rates they paid when Bill Clinton was President. So we'll get this done responsibly without blowing a hole in our deficit."

September 18, 2008 in Espanola, New Mexico: "I will cut taxes - cut taxes - for 95% of all working families. My opponent doesn't want you to know this, but under my plan, tax rates will actually be less than they were under Ronald Reagan. If you make less than $250,000 a year, you will not see your taxes increase one single dime."

(To be fair, when that was his campaign line, he wasn't promising to let the Bush tax cuts expire on the wealthiest Americans' income over $250,000. But he was far more explicit before and after.)

July 30, 2008 in Springfield, Missouri: "I'll pay for my plan - by cutting wasteful spending, shutting corporate loopholes and tax havens, and rolling back the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans."

This may be one of the last chances the Democrats have to blame Bush successfully. Remember: Republicans voted to raise your taxes at the end of 2010. George W. Bush signed that into law. That's a fact. That's history. Anything that's done now is something new.

The President should call the Republicans' bluff. Say he'll veto anything that includes a tax cut for millionaires. And the Rude Pundit doesn't want to hear the bullshit about "What are you going to do about unemployment benefits?" If you make that argument, you are playing with the Republicans' loaded deck. They are the ones who tied the two together (and added in START and DADT). Make them hold up the extension of unemployment checks in order to secure tax cuts for Donald Trump. And, frankly, why should Democrats trust that Republicans would keep any word on a deal? Anyone who pretends that the GOP negotiates with honor or good will is a fucking idiot. Goddamnit, at the very least, make them have to decide whether or not to raise, check, or fold. Don't cede the pot on the deal every time.

(Note: The most pathetic thing? Even with the grand capitulation about to happen, the White House hasn't framed it right. The "Bush tax cuts" are over at the end of the month. Any tax cuts that the President signs on to ought to rightly be called the "Obama tax cuts." But even that slight bit of marketing eludes the messaging buffoons in this administration.)


Photos That Make the Rude Pundit Want to Down a Handful of Generic Ambien with a Bottle of Tesco Value Whiskey:

Those anxious-looking people up there are waiting in line at a career fair in Los Angeles. This week, not only did Congress allow unemployment benefits to expire for 2 million out-of-work people, but we learned that the jobless rate rose as a piss-droplet of jobs were created last month.

In L.A., in November, an event called "Honor a Hero, Hire a Vet" attracted "hundreds of military vets" who were attempting to get work. Of vets under 24 years-old, "Labor statistics indicate that more than a quarter of them were jobless last year." In other words, we can't even find jobs for the soldiers that we're supposed to be constantly worshiping.

Those people in a single-file line were at a career fair in Denver yesterday. The Christmas tree indicates that everyone should be festive and appreciative of the birth of Jesus Christ, who, in case you forgot, was poor as dirt.

That's a statue representing congressional Republicans, who are refusing to vote on unemployment benefits until they get a tax cut for millionaires. It does about as good a job as any image in demonstrating what they really think about the poor at Christmas time.


This Ain't Rocket Science:
Ads. Everywhere. Now. Here's the taglines:

1. "Republicans want billionaires to be richer. We want poor people to be able to eat."

2. "Republicans want billionaires to be richer. We want you to not have feces on your food."

3. "Republicans want billionaires to be richer. We want the men and women who rescued people after the terrorist attacks of 9/11 to get healthy."

4. "Republicans want billionaires to be richer. We want firefighters and police officers to be able to get fair pay."

5. "Republicans want billionaires to be richer. We want all Americans to be able to openly serve in the military."

6. "Republicans want billionaires to be richer. We want women and men to make the same wage for the same work."

7. "Republicans want billionaires to be richer. We want to make the nation safe from nuclear weapons."

This even leaves out vaguely controversial things like the DREAM Act.

You wanna start framing things for 2012, Democrats? You begin now. You let everyone know where Republicans stand. And you at least try to pretend you stand for something else.


Don't Ask, Don't Tell, Don't Have Any Excuses Anymore:
There's some sexual positions that you don't understand until they're done to you. Take, for instance, the rusty trombone. See, the name itself sounds kind of awful, conjuring all kinds of junkyard imagery. But, let's say, and why not, that you're a gay guy who's looking for something a little new, maybe not so different from stuff you've done already, but maybe something to enhance the ol' sex life. The rusty trombone combines two amazing things into one: analingus and handjobs. See, you get your lover behind you and, as he's eating your ass, he's yanking your crank. By gum, it's the Reese's peanut butter cup of fucking. Now many of you, straight and/or gay, are nodding, saying, sure, yeah, of course, that's obvious, who hasn't been rusty tromboned a time or two? But there's a good number of ya who are slappin' yer foreheads, thinkin', "Well, son of a bitch. That just makes so much sense." And there's probably a couple of you thinking, "Ew, never." We call those people "lost causes." (Oh, hey, for the ladies, there's the rusty trumpet, which, if you understand the brass section of the band, is a pretty obvious variation.)

Essentially, the findings of the Pentagon working group on the effects of repealing the always-idiotic "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy on gays in the military is pretty much one big goddamn shrug. Sure, sure, let's be honest here: there's a large number of soldiers who don't want to have anything to do with the gays, roughly 25-30% per question. And, to go even further, if you figure in the number of people who answered questions about unit cohesion and more with "Equally Positively and Negatively," well, there's a good chunk of soldiers who feel there will be some bad effects of dropping the policy.

But, and the point can't be made enough, who the fuck cares? All you're seeing is the number of ignorant people who fear the unknown or have lived with enforced homophobia. As the report notes, in 1949, 61% of white soldiers opposed integration of the armed services. You can bet that there's still about 10% or more of white soldiers who think the Marines oughta be lily-ass white, probably even more who think that women shouldn't be allowed to serve in combat. Again, who cares? You know what changed the minds of most whites in the military and in society? Just fucking doing it. People realized that blacks weren't going to rape the WACs and could shoot a fucking gun and bleed as much as a white soldier. It took a couple of decades, and included rank, awful racism, and even riots by soldiers, but that's the growing pains of a society that thinks it should advance rights, not diminish them.

Of course, Republicans in the Senate are going to block any repeal of DADT. Their putrid lie that they were just waiting for the Pentagon report won't make a goddamn bit of difference. We can demonstrate hypocrisy after hypocrisy, and it won't change a thing. Here's Alabama's Jeff Sessions in September on filibustering a DADT repeal: "The Senate’s consideration of a repeal of the ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ law is premature because it preempts the findings of our commanders on an important military policy...Repealing the policy now, before the Pentagon's study is complete, sends the message that election-year politics are more important than military readiness." Let's all hold our breath to see if Sessions says that he'll vote to allow debate now. They're already saying that the report didn't report on the right issues. They're saying that the bigots in the military might leave. They're saying anything they can to avoid pissing off the yahoos.

Because the truth of the matter is what conservatives fear more than anything is that society stops giving a fuck about denying gays and lesbians equality. Because if a good chunk of that 25-30% suddenly realizes that queers are people, too, and are worthy of living lives without getting beaten and mocked, then that might cause them to question other things that they've been force-fed their whole lives, like religion and Limbaugh. Or, at the very least, one of the right's fundraising and vote-getting foundations will be swept away.

Poll after poll shows that the public wants the policy to end. 62% of mythical, magical independents say so, as opposed to 23% who hate gays. At some point, doesn't this become an issue that can be used by a Democrat running against, say, a Jeff Sessions?

And, despite how the Pentagon report tries to minimize it, President Harry Truman did issue an executive order in 1948 that integrated the military. What he also did was order a committee to be established to make it happen, not to study the effects of what if maybe perhaps please some nice Senators would allow it if we all beg and plead and offer to blow them on demand. Again, this was when over 60% of whites in the military opposed integration. In other words, he said, in essence, "If you can't stand the heat, go fuck yourself." Alas, such leadership does not exist in this cowardly age.