The Right's Trying to Spin Hatred for LGBT People

The Right's Trying to Spin Hatred for LGBT People:
Often we must ask, "What are the stupidest cockknobs who are treated as relevant to the political conversation in this country saying about this thing I care about?" For, indeed, it is by seeing what the stupidest cockknobs are saying that we'll learn what the talking points of cockknobbery will be. When it comes to Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer's veto of the "My Bigoted Religion Trumps Your Civil Rights" bill, oh, the white, male cockknobs were beside themselves with rage.

Erick "Erick" Erickson, bejowled, self-flogging friar of the RedState blog and Fox "news" contributing thumb head, got his Christian panties in a wad in the crack of his pasty ass: "In a number of states, a black man can again be forced by the government to work involuntarily for a white man... if the black man is a Christian and the white man is gay, a court can forcibly order the black man to serve the white man or drive the black man from business." It's like Jim Crow, says Erickson and many others. That is some quality, hyperbolic bugfuck crazy right there. Why not add, "And the government will lynch that black man for not serving the white man"?

But, wait, did you know that businesses owned by Christians have a duty to spread the word of Christ? Preach, Brother Erick "Erick": "Committed Christians believe in a doctrine of vocation. They believe that their work is a form of ministry. Through their work they can share the gospel and glorify God...Christian merchants do not see themselves as passive participants in a transaction, but active in a ministry. Their work cannot be separated from their faith." This is a motherfucker of a conundrum. So when the Rude Pundit goes to the bodega on the corner that has a Virgin Mary candle in the window to buy rolling papers and porn, he's getting actively ministered to? The woman behind the counter should probably say more than "Thank you" while taking his money.

Erickson offers up the example of a florist who refused to provide flowers to a gay couple for their wedding, even though they had been good customers prior to their desire to get married. So if that flower shop caught on fire and married gay firefighters showed up to put it out, wouldn't she have to let it burn? Wouldn't that be a test of her faith, God being a tricky bastard that way? Goddamn, this is just too hard. What would Rush Limbaugh do?

Glad you asked. Because that avatar of basic manly heterosexuality himself has been spouting Limbaughly about how the poor, religious homophobes are being bullied by the mean old gays and liberals. (Quick. Someone make an "It Gets Better" video for conservatives. On second thought, don't.) Spaketh Rush, "They're just loving, kind, soft-spoken, gentle people who just want everybody to get along -- except when you don't agree with them, and then they become like jackbooted thugs, and they start bullying everybody in their way. They become highly moralistic in their support of gay marriage, judgmental of those who oppose it, and tolerant of only one point of view: Their own."

The Rude Pundit's pretty sure that Limbaugh knows the definition of "bullying" since most dictionaries feature his picture next to the word (it's also there under "bullshit" and "bovine"). But since when is "bullying" defined as "telling the people who think your existence is disgusting and want to isolate you from the rest of society that they're wrong"? Probably since a black guy got elected president and started "bullying" everyone (what the rest of us might call "leading").

By the way, the thing about jackboots is that it's hard as hell to find the right pants to go with them. Just saying.

But the problem really is that we're all just misinterpreting an innocent bill. The Family Research Council (motto: "Selectively choosing who Jesus loves") wants us to know that the left has just spread wrong information because SB 1062 didn't mention "gays" at all: "All SB 1062 did was ensure the government couldn't force business owners to violate their religious beliefs. If that's controversial, then so is the First Amendment." Yes, the First Amendment isn't controversial at all. The fact that there's cases that get brought to the Supreme Court over its meaning is just an innocuous exercise in jurisprudence. A little game, not a controversy.

What's annoying about all this is that the ones being misleading are the supporters of so-called "religious liberty" legislation. Just be honest, for chrissake. Stop hiding behind the skirts of religion. Stop obfuscating by minimizing its effects. Stop being such pussies. Just say, "Look, we hate fags and dykes. It's that simple." Terrible human beings though they were, at least the racists of the pre-Civil Rights Act days would just say, flat out, there's people they hate for being black.

This ain't about your faith. Are you not paying your taxes because the federal government recognizes same-sex marriages? No, you're helping fund benefits for those relationships you despise. Deal with it.

Trying to Get Inside the Mind of Those Who Need Their "Religious Liberty" Protected

Trying to Get Inside the Mind of Those Who Need Their "Religious Liberty" Protected:
Let's play dress-up and see if we can all pretend to be a conservative whose religious liberty is being attacked.

Let us say, and why not, that you're a waitress at a 24-hour diner in Mesa, Arizona. It's late at night, like three in the morning, and you're the only waitperson there at that time. Now let us say, and, indeed, why not, that a pair of men in skinny jeans and bright-colored t-shirts come in. They're in a great mood for such a, well, ungodly hour. They have hand gestures that are a bit more vigorous than the usual customers. They're kind of touchy with each other, and one of them has vocal intonations that strike you, as a woman, as being more feminine. You're suspicious they're a homosexual couple, but you don't want to automatically think something so evil about people, especially if a tip on a crappy shift is at stake. They sit at a booth, and you bring them menus and tell them you'll be right back with water. One of the men, the more masculine of the two, says to the other man that he's gotta go to the bathroom, and, as he stands up from the booth, he leans over and gives the other man a peck on the lips. Confirmation, right?

Now let's see here. The Rude Pundit is trying to get into your head. He wants to give you the benefit of the doubt, really, that you're not just a homophobe who uses your faith as a beard so you can hate people different than you. No, no. He's gotta stop that. You're not a pathetic bigot who is no better than the worst kind of racist. You're a religious woman. Your pastor has told you that homosexuality is wrong and affront to God. His words have led you to believe that anything you do to make homosexuals comfortable or happy or welcome is you enabling the continuation of sin. How can you, as a good Christian, do that?

You start to sweat. You know that you could just wait on them and not think about it. But you can't help it. Won't you just be helping to assure that these nice-seeming young men burn in Hell for all eternity? How can that be on your conscience? You shouldn't be in this position. You should be able to clearly tell the homosexuals that your religion prevents you from serving them and that they will have to find late-night pancakes somewhere else, maybe down the road. God should punish Jan Brewer for not giving you the freedom to tell them to take their sodomizing ways and hit the road. Sure, sure, one's sexual orientation isn't protected against discrimination in the state of Arizona (except for a few sinful cities), but you feel like you're on unsteady ground. What will you do? Probably pray for guidance.

Okay. Let's stop there. The Rude Pundit's not sure if this is even close to reality because he hasn't been kicked in the head by the Jesus mule (or the Mohammed mule or the yarmulke-wearing mule). He does know that a lesbian couple in Phoenix was kicked out of a restaurant in 2012 because they kissed. He does know that the moment your worship of whatever invisible sky wizard you choose infringes on his right to exist without the rules of your sky wizard imposed on him is the moment that your religious liberty becomes his oppression.

Here's the deal: You can believe whatever hoodoo you want. Your hoodoo priests can blabber about whatever they think will make your hoodoo gods angry. You can set up your personal life around hoodoo spells and curses. But the second you step out into the public, you enter a realm of people who couldn't give less of a fuck about your hoodoo until you start telling them that you're not gonna give 'em pills they've been prescribed or provide services you advertise you provide. Then your hoodoo becomes our problem.

If you don't want to exist in the secular world, then, fuck it, don't take the secular money. Set up communes and do business with only like-minded people, exchanging goat turds and chicken heads as currency. But you know what, Mr. Baker who doesn't wanna make a wedding cake for a gay couple? You better make sure you're buying all your supplies from businesses that discriminate against LGBT people or you're advancing the gay agenda by purchasing them. You better make sure the roads to your business were built by all straight workers or by driving on them to deliver your cakes only encourages the hiring of gay highway workers. You better make sure that no gay legislator supported a tax cut that might benefit you or you're just taking money out of the sodomizing hands of that queer.

Shut the fuck up, bake the fuckin' cake, and contribute the money to your Church of the Holy Asshole or wherever the fuck you freely exercise your right to worship.

Photos That Make the Rude Pundit Want to Shove a Filthy Largemouth Bass Up Someone's Ass

Photos That Make the Rude Pundit Want to Shove a Filthy Largemouth Bass Up Some Energy Executive's Ass:

You see that lovely body of water on the lower part of the picture? That's Sutton Lake, right near Wilmington, North Carolina, close to the Cape Fear River. It's a gorgeous reservoir that is noted for its duck hunting and largemouth bass fishing. "Sutton Lake," North Carolina Sportsman notes, "is home to one of the hottest largemouth bass fisheries North Carolina has to offer." The fish love it because the water is heated by the L.V. Sutton Steam Electric Plant, which uses natural gas to make steam to make electricity. Up until December 2013, Duke Energy, which owns the plant, created the steam by burning coal.

What does this have to do with killing animals in a pretty North Carolina "lake"? Well, the top part of the photo there? See it? That's a couple of coal ash ponds, where the waste products of all that burning coal is stored. And, yeah, there's just a few pretty damn thin earth walls between toxic waste and fishing paradise.

The people in the towns around Sutton Lake are worried because a Duke Energy-owned coal ash pond upstate on the Dan River in the ironically named town of Eden spilled about 35 million gallons of a chemical and heavy metal slurry (which, yeah, yeah, would be a great name for a band, ha, ha) into the water back on February 2. After initially telling people that the water was safe, now state and federal officials are warning people to avoid contact with the river and not to eat fish from it.

As far as fish go, at Sutton Lake, around the time that Duke was switching the plant from coal to natural gas, environmentalists discovered that selenium from the coal ash was leaching through those wispy banks and poisoning the fish, killing nearly a million and causing deformities in many more. Duke says it isn't true because what the hell else are they gonna say?

And now it seems that the groundwater has been contaminated by the seemingly uncontainable coal ash and is poisoning the water supply. Some residents of Flemington, right near the plant, have said they no longer feel safe drinking the water. Despite insisting that none of this is true, Duke has agreed to build a pipe system that gets residents water from a public system and not the wells in the ground where a plume of poison is heading.

Oh, the state of North Carolina hasn't asked Duke to take any action to prevent this from happening again. Yes, the feds are investigating the Dan River spill as a criminal act and even NC Governor Pat McCrory (campaign slogan: "What Can I Do For You, Duke?") has said that he wants Duke to move the ponds away from drinking water. But when it comes to Sutton Lake, "[p]ressed by a reporter last week, state Division of Water Quality Director Tom Reeder conceded that the state was aware of the groundwater contamination leeching from Duke's dumps at Sutton and had done nothing to force the company to stop the pollution." Maybe this just isn't as glamorous a crisis as the pictures of curls of coal ash in the Dan River.

So, in 2014, large numbers of people can't drink water in two states in the greatest, most exceptionalest nation in the history of everything. That seems like failure at a pretty profound level, but, of course, that demands action which might offend a job creator.

Bobby Jindal: The Motherfucker at Work

Bobby Jindal: The Motherfucker at Work:
How many times have you hosted a party and invited everyone in the office to be fair and one of them ends up fucking your mother? You're all having a good time - the snacks you made are a big hit, the music mix is getting everyone dancing, the secretaries and the execs are getting along - when you turn the corner and there, bent over a table, is your mother, just being fucked, in your own house, by that guy you knew was a motherfucker. You're got no one to blame but yourself. The Rude Pundit's been over this many times, but it always bears saying: If someone is a motherfucker, he will fuck a mother, every time. It is what motherfuckers do. Otherwise, why bother calling them "motherfuckers"?

So it was that yesterday the President of the United States hosted a nice brunch at the State Dining Room of the White House for a gathering of the nation's governors, both Democrats and Republicans. The Vice President was there, too. It was, to borrow a phrase, a big fucking deal, as these things tend to be. President Barack Obama spoke of how much he admires and wants to work with the governors. Congress may be filled with assholes, but, the President said, "I am absolutely convinced that the time is right to partner with the states and governors all across the country on these agendas, because I know that you guys are doing some terrific work in your own states."

Oh, sure, sure, Obama acknowledged reality: "We won’t agree on every single issue every single time." However, the hand of friendship was extended: "I guarantee you that we will work as hard as we can to make sure that you succeed -- because when you succeed, the people in your states succeed and America succeeds, and that’s our goal." Simple, committing to something, however vague, open-minded - what else would you want? And then they met privately with Obama.

After the meeting, some of the governors went before the gathered press on the lawn of the White House to talk about how awesome bipartisanship is, how Congress sucks monkey balls, and how they all are concerned about military cuts because military bases are gold mines (note: They didn't say that part but, you know, c'mon). And then Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, likely loser in the 2016 presidential race, walked up to the mike and decided, quite vividly, "Fuck this shit. I got some primaries to win."

So, being a motherfucker, Jindal brought a mother out and proceeded to fuck the shit out of her. He attacked his brunch host by saying that Obama was "“waving the white flag of surrender" on the economy and that "The Obama economy is now the minimum wage economy." Then he turned that mother over to fuck her some more. The solution to the economic problems of the United States are found in oil, bitches, like approval of the Keystone XL pipeline: "There’s no reason it’s taken five years of study and they still haven’t reached what at this point is an inescapable conclusion...There’s no good reason other than political ideology to turn down the pipeline." And shale, man. Don't forget about frackin' shale. Said Jindal, his Adam's apple undulating like it was an alien trying to escape, "One of things the administration can do to get out of the way...[is] not only to continue to allow the fracking revolution, the shale revolution taking place across this country, they can accelerate it."

And since no one can be a proper motherfucker without saying something about stopping Obamacare, Jindal took that position, too: "Since they’ve shown the willingness to delay some of the mandates, why not just delay the entire program, delay all the mandates, including the individual mandate?"

Jindal was essentially reciting what he had written in the National Review (motto: "Vigorously raping Buckley's corpse on a daily basis"), a great and mighty editorial about how to cure what ails the U.S. of A. It pretty much boils down to "Fuck up the environment some more" and "Give education money to churches and private companies through school vouchers." Jindal also attacks the IRS, unions, and Obamacare. If he had somehow been able to make Benghazi into an economic issue, he'd've had idiot Bingo.

Time and time again, whenever President Obama attempts to show that he is above partisan politics, he forgets that he is trying to tell motherfuckers to stop fucking mothers. It's never gonna happen.

Your State Sucks: Arizona Sucks Because Its GOP Legislators Are Worms

Your State Sucks: Arizona Sucks Because Its GOP Legislators Are Worms:
Last week, the Senate in the state of Arizona (motto: "No, Breaking Bad took place in New Mexico") passed SB 1062, the so-called "Religious Freedom Restoration Act." Essentially, SB 1062, along with House Bill 2153, protects "businesses, corporations and people from lawsuits after denying services based on a sincere religious belief." It is an amended version of already existing statutes. Now, everyone knows that the bill exists solely because the Arizona legislature fears that queers getting married are going to want things like "cake" and "decorations" and "hall rentals" and "hotel rooms in which they can fuck all queerly and shit." And if you think the queers are icky and make Jesus cry blood tears, you shouldn't have to deal with 'em.

Of course, the way the bill is worded, it might have some unintended consequences. For instance, the ugly city of Phoenix has seen its Muslim population grow exponentially in the last few years. It has become a place for refugees from Muslim countries to settle. Let's say, and, really, why the fuck not, that Phoenix gets a critical mass of Muslim inhabitants. SB 1062 would allow them to say to you (assuming you are female) that you need to cover your whore head with a veil or no cake for you. And if you're getting married Christian? Well, fuck your right to rent the local Holiday Inn owned by a Muslim businessman. His religious freedom was restored, too, motherfuckers.

Since the bill's passage, along party lines in the Senate, 17-13, lots of people in Arizona have been encouraging Governor Jan "This Finger Wags at You" Brewer to veto it, including the two Senators in DC from the barren wasteland state, Jeff Flake and John McCain. The Arizona Republic newspaper said the same thing, as have three of the state senators who voted for the bill just last week...

Wait...what the hell?

Yeah, see, 'cause there's no worm like a sun-baked desert worm, three of the Republican senators who just last Wednesday proudly cast a vote for legalized discrimination wearing the ghoul mask of religious "freedom" have sent a letter to Brewer asking her to veto the thing. Over the weekend, they must have heard an earful because they said that "the reaction from constituents to the business community reinforced their discomfort with their 'yes' votes."

This is comedy. You want farce? One of the new fag-loving trio is Rep. Bob Worsley. He is a sponsor of the bill that he now wants vetoed. "We feel it was a solution in search of a problem," he said, not noting that he was the one searching. And in the letter, he added that he and the others "condemn discrimination." It sounds like someone learned the "definitions" of "words" like "freedom" and "discrimination."

Why the change of heart? Maybe because businesses in Arizona, the ones who would have their precious, easily-shattered religious freedom so heinously abrogated by sinning gays tying the knot, have come out against the bill. It would not be overstating it to say that many business groups and leaders are shitting themselves at the prospect of the state that lost a Super Bowl and a fuckton of cash because it hates immigrants moving on to hating LGBT people.

Finally, now that open gays and lesbians have money to spend, it's welcoming arms. The only thing more American than Jesus is money.

South Carolina College Sophomore Appalled to Have Her Idiot Beliefs Challenged in College

South Carolina College Sophomore Appalled to Have Her Idiot Beliefs Challenged in College:
Imagine the horror: Anna Chapman, a sophomore at the University of South Carolina who is a proud Republican, was sitting in her dorm, doing her homework for social work class, reading the textbook, Introduction to Social Work & Social Welfare: Critical Thinking Perspectives by Karen K. Kirst-Ashman. Think about poor, innocent Anna, filled with her ideas about how the world works, how noble conservatives are attempting to make this a great nation, how the sainted Ronald Reagan never did anything bad ever, and then she comes across this passage: "Reagan...ascribed to women ‘primarily domestic functions’ and failed to appoint many women to significant positions of power during his presidency."

The historical and political outrages mounted. The book said that Reagan "discounted the importance of racism and discrimination, and maintained that, if they tried, African-Americans, Hispanics and Native Americans could become just as successful as whites," and poverty and homelessness increased under his beneficent, guiding hand. And she also had to read that conservatives "‘tend to take a basically pessimistic view of human nature. People are conceived of as being, self-centered, lazy and incapable of true charity.'" By God, Kirst-Ashman was quoting sources that were very unkind to conservatives, who are generally noted as sympathetic bleeding-hearts on issues like social welfare.

Anna was angry. So angry that she contacted Campus Reform, the clearinghouse for angry conservative students who have to listen to commie-liberal-progressive professors spout their commie-liberal-progressive beliefs. Anna's anger at having a textbook in a class that she was taking tell her things that she did not absolutely agree with was so profound that it struck a chord in the conservative nutzoidosphere. One of Breitbart's portly, skeevy masturbators ejaculated all over Chapman's tale. The Blaze, Glenn Beck's Geyser of Shit, was spouting about it.

Finally, Chapman achieved right-wing nirvana. She was invited onto Fox "news" itself to talk with Megyn Kelly, the host so disdainfully blonde that she doesn't give a shit that her first name is misspelled, about the end of her innocence. Kelly wanted to know who is this professor who dared to assign reading that didn't adhere to strict national Reagan worship guidelines. She must be outed so we may Twitchy her with scorn.

Chapman said, "Well, it wasn't really about the professor. It was more about the textbook and the fact that we were required to read it." Yes, required. It wasn't an option to skip a section of the textbook like a creationist in a Louisiana biology classroom.

Still, Kelly pressed, "Does the professor stand behind this? Does she get up in class and say, 'Shhhh, they're bad and conservative'?" How evil is the professor.

So evil that Chapman had to contort her lack of action into something worth talking about: "She did not denounce this, which was something -- I was the only person to speak out about this, which is another thing that concerned me. I felt that if I wasn't in this class -- you know, would these kids really be buying it?" Anna Chapman was the last wall before the students fell into hedonistic spasms of damned leftism.

Another passage in the book said that the "wealthy find that having a social class of poor people is useful" because poor people do shit work and it makes rich people feel superior. For Chapman, this was an insult too far. She told Kelly, "And the part about demonizing wealthy people, it was something that really, really got my gears grinding, because it literally made no sense to say that wealthy people like having a class of poor people, so they can look down upon them? I mean, literally makes no logical sense."

And right there you see why perhaps Anna Chapman, college sophomore, should open her goddamned puny mind and entertain the idea that the beliefs that have been shoveled into it by Fox "news" might be deserving of questioning. It really makes no literal or logical sense to you that wealthy people like cheap labor? Maybe you should take an economics class.

Dear, dear Anna, if you are going to college just to get a degree to do a job, you may as well take online classes and get your diploma emailed to you. But part of college is exposure to ideas that you may have never considered. The Rude Pundit was a conservative until about midway through his freshman year of college when a political science teacher assigned us Locke and Rousseau. He could have very easily gotten in a huff and said, "How dare you tell me that inequality of wealth is a problem for humanity?" Instead, he listened, he debated, he changed. He didn't think his shit smelled like petunias and got angry if anyone told him differently.

And that was when the Great God Reagan was president, and, listen, no, really, put down the strawberry daiquiri and listen: Reagan was an asshole. He supported and signed into law actual things that harmed women, still harm them to this day. He may have appointed conservative women to positions, he may have nominated the first female Supreme Court Justice, but he hurt everyday women. Badly.

Here's some advice from Dr. Rude Pundit: Go to class. Argue with your professors and your fellow students. But listen to them, too. Consider it a privilege to hear differing viewpoints. If you graduate from the University of South Carolina believing the same troglodyte nonsense you do now, well, at least you can say you come by your bullshit beliefs honestly.

Jordan Davis Killer Michael Dunn Was Just Another White Coward with a Gun

Jordan Davis Killer Michael Dunn Was Just Another White Coward with a Gun:
Over coffee, safely esconced in the corner of an East Village joint, the Rude Pundit talked to an old friend - let's call him "Ben" because that name'll probably piss him off - from the South who has lived up in these sinful Yankee parts for a good long time. We used to drink whiskey together, but you reach a point where too much of it makes you tell either too many lies or too many truths for your own good. So he had stopped pounding the Jack for the time being. He had recently been home in Tennessee, visiting family. He told a tale that you would have to hear him tell, but, at one point, it involved an alcoholic, racist hillbilly who always had his AR-15 with him in his pick-up because "you never know."

"What might happen that he needs his gun?" the Rude Pundit asked.

Ben waved his hands in a gesture of "Who the fuck knows." But he did say, a few minutes later, "I don't think I can ever go back down south. I can't take all the ignorant shit down there." He was talking about a number of dingleberries of stupidity, like the VW workers in Chattanooga preferring indentured servitude to those Communistic union benefits or the homophobia that takes up more time of the politicians than actually helping people. But high on his list was the unending racism of so very many white people. Sure, sure, there's racism up here, but its so open and proudly displayed down South. "It's never going away. It's not gonna change. They will be fucking racists forever," Ben said.

Of course, the conversation veered to the verdict in the Michael Dunn trial. Convicted of attempted second degree murder, hung jury on the charge of the first degree murder of Jordan Davis, as we know by now, the white Dunn shot into an SUV where he felt threatened for his life by the black teenagers in there who had been playing loud rap music. He'll go to jail for a long damn time, but there is something deeply disturbing about, essentially, so far, Dunn getting away with murder.

Much of the focus post-verdict has been on the racism involved - in how Dunn perceived a threat that required self-defense because of he viewed the teens as coming from a "thug culture" that wants to kill whitey - as well as on the Stand Your Ground law that, whether or not it was invoked in this trial, has to have an influence on how people approach potential conflicts.

But let's accept what Ben said (and every time the Rude Pundit goes to the South, he finds no reason to argue): the racism is just there. It exists. It ain't going anywhere any time for at least a few generations, if ever. That's a sad thought, pathetic really, but, c'mon, let's not be naive utopian assholes about it.

And let's accept the reality of Stand Your Ground, which, in Florida, says, "A person is justified in the use of deadly force and does not have a duty to retreat if: He or she reasonably believes that such force is necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself." It's a bullshit law that exists almost entirely because the National Rifle Association wants to "protect" those who shoot the fuck out of "threatening" people. Apparently, before 2005, when Florida passed the first Stand Your Ground legislation, law-abiding, innocent gun owners were rounded up and put in concentration camps for defending themselves against the Hottentot hordes.

Instead, the Rude Pundit wants to focus on the gun part of the whole thing. By the end of 2012, Florida issued its one-millionth concealed-carry permit. That's about 5% of the population. At least one of every twenty people in Florida has the right to carry a concealed gun, and you can bet a good many of them do, on their person or in their cars because "you never know." That phrase, "you never know," is the motto of cowards, people who live in fear, expecting, maybe even hoping, that their fears will be confirmed and it'll be go time.

Florida's the land of cowards because so many gun-fellaters want permits that the NRA is pushing a bill that would allow people to apply for licenses to carry at tax collection offices. Why? Because there's a six-month backup for processing permits and because sometimes people have to drive up to two hours to go to the gun permit office.

The guns are the problem. Take the gun out of the hands of Michael Dunn, and he backs the fuck up and drives away. See, if you have time to reach in your glove compartment and get your semi-automatic pistol out, you have time to shift into "reverse." If the semi-automatic pistol ain't there, all you got is a car that moves in various directions. Without his gun, George Zimmerman sits in his fuckin' car and waits for the cops. Without his gun, Curtis Reeves goes back to his fucking seat and watches a shitty movie. Because these men, and so many others, are pussies who would never push things to a confrontation without having the gun readily available.

You should be able to defend yourself when you're being attacked. But you should also have the balls to fucking suck it up and walk away or call a cop. Instead, we have states that are filthy with racists who have been told they don't have to back down for anyone, least of all that scary-looking nigger. Well, that racist is gonna think, what the fuck is the gun for anyway?

Guest Post from Trans Woman Who Married Her Lesbian Partner Legally in Texas

Guest Post from Trans Woman Who Married Her Lesbian Partner Legally in Texas:
On Monday, the Rude Pundit received an email from Dani Pellett, who said she was part of an awesome story that kicks Texas law right in its homophobic ass. So he asked Dani to tell her tale of love and legal marriage, which she kindly and vividly did (with minor edits because that's what you do):

"I had once thought that getting the marriage license itself was declaring victory for marriage equality; now I’m realizing that I’ll be fighting every step of the way, over the objections of conservatives, rending their garments and gnashing their teeth. But by gods I’ll drag every last person, kicking and screaming if I have to, to acknowledge that I’m legally married.

"I’ll keep my own introduction short, but tie it into the important things for full clarity. I’m a transsexual; I was born with male parts, but my mind thinks/acts/identifies itself as female. (Science has suggested that my hypothalamus might resemble a woman’s more than a man’s, but I’m not about to have my brain dissected to prove this theory.) I identified as one of the girls back when I was in first grade. I knew enough in my youth to try and hide it, even until I was two months away from a commission in the US Air Force. 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' was the law then, and I knew my gender identity would be a swift and fast Section Eight. 'Integrity First' is a Core Value of the USAF, and because of it, I knew I couldn’t serve and live in the closet. So I transitioned to living female full-time and became more Liberal as George W. Bush’s first term proved to me that everything conservative/libertarian that I had believed in was either a lie or didn’t work as effective policy.

"In 2005, I met a girl, and it was pretty much love at first sight. It was awkward at first because she thought I was a cute gay boy and I thought she was a straight girl. We had a non-legally-binding commitment ceremony two years ago because we knew the law and that conservative judges would rather yell down from their bully pulpit that we can’t marry anyone because either it is a same-sex pairing or that it would appear to be on the surface. (I wonder how they would handle intersexed people who don’t fit their binary, small-minded views.)

"This year, another lesbian couple we knew (one transgender like myself, the other not) decided to get married. The law is, technically, on our side. But they were turned down by 17 judges and two Justice of the Peace offices. They were told that the District Attorney is ‘looking into it’. Naturally, that pissed me off enough to flippantly say, 'I ought to call up that DA and threaten to marry my own partner!' JJ, my partner, heard me and, agreeing with my sentiment, made me put my money where my mouth is.

"So we went to a JP court where we were told a judge would marry us, thinking that his clerks understood that the 'M' [for male] on my birth certificate meant I could marry someone with an 'F' on theirs. Apparently, they didn’t get the memo. Within minutes of us being there, all the window blinds were drawn shut, save for the occasional peek and gawking. Then a clerk swore up and down that JJ had been here before and been turned down, only to come back with a different hair color and a different partner just to ‘get one over’ on her. (One thing you should never do is call my wife 'a liar' and go so far as to suggest she just dyed her hair to commit some sort of fraud. Hell, her roots were slightly showing.) Still, we were informed that the DA ‘was onto us’ in hopes that we would simply go away and not be her problem.

"That’s when my wife pointed out that we were, in the eyes of the law, an opposite sex couple because the law only cared about how I was born. Apparently, talking slow and pointing out the letter of the law confuses them, as the clerks there said that they would only let me marry a man. I really wanted to point out that she would be violating the constitutional ‘definition’ of marriage because two penises touching makes their Baby Jesus cry. We were told we’d have to go to the JP office in downtown Dallas, and hinted that she’d happily call the police to help us leave in matching handcuffs.

"Once downtown, it was easier. We got our license, and called the nice JP clerks back to schedule our time with their judge to be married on Valentine’s Day. They tried ignoring our calls and emails, then said they penciled us in, but they were very wary about the legality of it all and wanted to know who issued it because ‘they could get in trouble as well’. After our first encounter, the judge apparently ‘politely declined’ to be ‘associated in any way with this’ and swore he sent us an email.

"A marriage license can expire if it’s not signed in time, and we started to realize that this may have been their plan if ‘make the lesbians go away’ didn’t work. We had about two weeks to get this done, and we knew we wanted it done by a judge for that extra bit of legitimacy so it couldn’t be nullified by challenging the officiant we may have had to use.

"So we had to find a new judge to marry us, and on a ticking clock. Nineteenth judge is the charm, right? We were informed there was a judge willing to do this for us, and got married the morning of Valentine’s Day. A week before, however, a local news channel reported that it would be ‘up to the judge’ to allow the marriages ‘to be sanctioned.' (Again, the law is on our side and this was merely more conservative, passive-aggressive, tantrum-throwing in an attempt to seem ‘fair and balanced’.)

"Now we just have to get the paperwork turned in and filed without any more ‘accidental snafus’ or ‘misplaced paperwork.' In the end, despite the invasive and big-government meddling of Constitutional ‘definitions’ to ban GLBT persons [from getting married] and this futile last stand that the GOP is fighting to enshrine this discrimination, I got to use legalized transphobia as my loophole to marry the woman of my dreams. Eventually we’ll have marriage equality and all their efforts will look really spiteful, but until then, two lesbian couples got legally married in Dallas."

The Rude Pundit wished Dani Pellett and JJ well, and he hoped any challenges would be over with quickly. Dani responded, "The license was accepted without any problems in downtown Dallas. The actual clerk we got it issued by and returned it to seems gay and was being very professional about it all. So here's hoping there's no challenge on it, that is, until either myself or the other trans woman decides to get her sex marker changed legally on her documents."

Perhaps we can all advocate finding subversive ways to turn hateful laws against those who created them.

Joe the Plumber Can Blow Each and Every One of Us

Joe the Plumber Can Blow Each and Every One of Us:
Remember Joe the Plumber? Remember the bald dude who dared, in 2008, to ask President Obama about why he had to pay more taxes if he moved into a higher tax bracket? And Obama dared to say, "I think when you spread the wealth around, it’s good for everybody," which caused a hategasm on the right? And then he was invited to go along with John McCain, probably so McCain could spend less time with Sarah Palin, on the campaign trail? And then he became a conservative darling, the alleged voice of the Everyman, the regular guy who got hand jobs from Sean Hannity on an almost regular basis? And he was invited to give his opinion on everything from guns to immigration because of course he had some kind of Forrest Gump-like wisdom? And he got to be the star to fuck at teabagger orgies?

Yeah, he's now a member of the United Auto Workers at a Chrysler plant in Toledo.

That's the same Chrysler that received a bailout from the federal government under Barack Obama that prevented it from going bankrupt. That's the same bailout that allowed Samuel Wurzelbacher, the artist formerly known as "Joe the Plumber," to have a job; the same bailout that Samuel Wurzelbacher, the 2012 Republican candidate for Congress, opposed and said was government overreach.

And while Wurzelbacher claims he has no problem with "private unions" if that's what workers want, his blog celebrated that workers at the VW plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee, voted down unionizing and receiving the benefits that would bring.

See, Wurzelbacher, the self-professed good and loyal conservative, is eating of the fruits of liberalism and refusing to acknowledge it. What's he getting as a UAW member at Chrysler? Shit, the 2011 contract, good for 4 years, includes higher hourly wages for new employees, yearly bonuses, profit sharing, and cheap medical care. Oh, and the right to strike. As a UAW worker, Wurzelbacher will have security in a way that he has never had in his life. All because progressive workers and politicians fought together to make sure he could have that security.

So Joe the Plumber can bullshit us. He can act all tough and say, "It’s an American worker’s right to unionize for sure, but that being said don’t expect me not to point out when or if Union leadership takes advantage of union members. And if a union member wants to complain about their union or the upcoming 2015 contract – it’s also their right to do so – would anyone argue with that?"

But he knows. He knows that right now he owes everything he has and everything he's gonna have to the leftists who got the shit beaten out of them by the very people who used him to give them street cred with the masses. He was the taint washer of the media whores and political pricks, thinking he belonged in bed with them when he was just gonna be thrown aside like a stiff jizz rag.

And for a nation that had to put up with his ludicrous aiding and abetting of the people who would crush unions out of existence, well, he can go from sucking desperately at that dry teat to giving blow jobs to and eating out all of us who made it possible for him to work so he didn't have to go back on the welfare he once took.

Late Post Today

Late Post Today:
This fuckin' bird ain't gonna flap through these pipes by itself.

Back later with more avian rudeness. 

Abraham Lincoln Would Fuck Up the Shit of Today's Republicans (Served with a Side of Washington)

Abraham Lincoln Would Fuck Up the Shit of Today's Republicans (Served with a Side of Washington):
At the beginning of the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln, whose Republican Party wasn't filled with barking madmen, went to Congress to ask for the funds to pay for the brutal lesson the Confederacy was going to have to learn. In the speech he gave at that special session of Congress, the tall dude with the hairy face mole laid out what he thought the purpose of a nation, a "United States," was. And it is antithetical to everything that Republicans and, indeed, many Democrats believe. He delivered this message on the Fourth of July, 1861, because the man knew symbolism:

"[The seceding states] invented an ingenious sophism, which, if conceded, was followed by perfectly logical steps through all the incidents to the complete destruction of the Union. The sophism itself is that any State of the Union may consistently with the National Constitution, and therefore lawfully and peacefully, withdraw from the Union without the consent of the Union or of any other State...

"This sophism derives much, perhaps the whole, of its currency from the assumption that there is some omnipotent and sacred supremacy pertaining to a State-to each State of our Federal Union. Our States have neither more nor less power than that reserved to them in the Union by the Constitution, no one of them ever having been a State out of the Union. The original ones passed into the Union even before they cast off their British colonial dependence, and the new ones each came into the Union directly from a condition of dependence...Much is said about the 'sovereignty' of the States, but the word even is not in the National Constitution, nor, as is believed, in any of the State constitutions. What is a 'sovereignty' in the political sense of the term? Would it be far wrong to define it 'a political community without a political superior'? Tested by this, no one of our States, except Texas, ever was a sovereignty; and even Texas gave up the character on coming into the Union, by which act she acknowledged the Constitution of the United States and the laws and treaties of the United States made in pursuance of the Constitution to be for her the supreme law of the land."

(Quick George Washington sidenote, from his letter transmitting the Constitution to the Congress: "It is obviously impractical in the federal government of these states, to secure all rights of independent sovereignty to each, and yet provide for the interest and safety of all: Individuals entering into society, must give up a share of liberty to preserve the rest.")

Continuing with Lincoln, he said that the war, for the Union, was "a struggle for maintaining in the world that form and substance of government whose leading object is to elevate the condition of men; to lift artificial weights from all shoulders; to clear the paths of laudable pursuit for all; to afford all an unfettered start and a fair chance in the race of life. Yielding to partial and temporary departures, from necessity, this is the leading object of the Government for whose existence we contend."

Essentially, Lincoln was saying, "You can go fuck yourselves with your secession, Confederate states. You would not exist if it were not for the nation as a whole." And he presented as blindly obvious that the objective of a government was to promote the general goddamned welfare, not make it so that we are a country of assholes only concerned with ourselves.

He was saying this shit even before he was president. This is from an undated fragment of something the Great Man wrote: "The legitimate object of government, is to do for a community of people, whatever they need to have done, but can not do, at all, or can not, so well do, for themselves-in their separate, and individual capacities. In all that the people can individually do as well for themselves, government ought not to interfere. The desirable things which the individuals of a people can not do, or can not well do, for themselves, fall into two classes: those which have relation to wrongs, and those which have not. Each of these branch off into an infinite variety of subdivisions. The first-that in relation to wrongs-embraces all crimes, misdemeanors, and non-performance of contracts. The other embraces all which, in its nature, and without wrong, requires combined action, as public roads and highways, public schools, charities, pauperism, orphanage, estates of the deceased, and the machinery of government itself."

Lincoln scribbled this at the end: "From this it appears that if all men were just, there still would be some, though not so much, need of government."

The presidents we celebrate today believed in the power of a federal government and the necessity for that government to act on behalf of the people to make our lives better. They would wonder who the fuck libertarians and GOP anarchists think they are in trying to contort the United States into something else, especially when they claim Lincoln or Washington as their ideological ancestors. Shit, if zombie Lincoln saw Ted Cruz daring to quote him, he'd eat Cruz's face just to shut him up.

For Valentine's Day: The Same Sex Marriage Fight's Almost Over, and Opponents Have Lost Their Minds

For Valentine's Day: The Same Sex Marriage Fight's Almost Over, and Opponents Have Lost Their Minds:
Choose your metaphor. People who oppose same-sex marriage are batting in the top of the ninth inning, and, chances are, we who support it will have won the game without swinging in the bottom (save your pitcher and catcher jokes). Or how about this: The cake is baked; we just need to ice it.  Or maybe: "This is an ex-parrot."

In other words, we're pretty much done here in the United States with the argument over whether or not an adult, gay and/or straight, should be able to marry another adult, should they both be so inclined. Oh, sure, just like a fish flopping on a dock lakeside before it takes its last gasps, there's gonna be some thrashing around. But, unless the Supreme Court stabs that fish in the head so it's over quicker, it's all just a matter of time before it dies.

For what else are we to make of recent events in LGBT advancement? Virginia's ban on gay marriage: struck down. Kentucky's gotta recognize same-sex marriages done in other states. Both are pending appeal, but the state of Virginia ain't even gonna bother, just like the state of Nevada. In Idaho, the state Supreme Court said to conservatives, "Don't be such twats. Of course, gay people can adopt children." Throw in recent decisions in Utah, Ohio, and Oklahoma, and, while we're not at the end of the battle, we're at the point where the fight is coming down to the crazy-ass true believers who are ready to go down shooting (save your "going down" jokes). This is not to mention Michael Sam or that Disney Channel show that freaked out some parents by featuring a lesbian couple who are parents.

Another way to know who's winning is to taste the delicious desperation of the losers. For instance, if you want to see what it looks like when an evangelical Christian legislator doesn't get to put hate for LGBT people into law, check out the Twitter feed of Indiana State Senator Mike Delph. Delph lost his corn-stuffed Hoosier mind when a change in the wording of a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage scuttled the whole thing in the legislature. Tweeting like a sparrow on meth, Delph went a good chunk of the night and today responding to people and offering such useful koans as, "Intolerance is accepted against Christian men and women by the media and cultural elite but radically rejected against all others." Remember: "Intolerance," in this sense, means you think that Christians shouldn't be allowed to discriminate against others. It's like the "Stand Your Ground" of ethical arguments.

That sour whiff of a side shitting itself is also strong in the statement in support of the amendment made by Peter Sprigg, a Senior Fellow for Policy Studies at the Family Research Council (that's apparently a real position you can have). Said Peter spriggily, "Regardless of the private reasons why any individual couple desires or chooses to marry, the reason marriage is a public institution is simple and clear. It brings together men and women for the reproduction of the human race, and keeps together a man and a woman to raise to maturity the children produced by their union." Since pretty much every judge who has ruled on this has called it "bullshit" (or, to use Supreme Court terminology, "argle-bargle"), you gotta wonder if Sprigg even managed to sound convincing.

Of course, now that the gay marriage debate is getting closer and closer to absolutely settled, people who get all queasy thinking about a dude ass-fucking another dude have to come up with a new tactic. In Kansas, the state House has jumped on the "intolerance" train, passing a bill that would allow anyone to deny service to LGBT people. So "the measure would allow any individual, business, or state employee to deny gay couples everything from wedding services to unemployment benefits, as long as the reason for doing so involves a strong religious objection to homosexuality." It's all about "religious liberty" or some such shit. But let's not get our well-cut underwear in a bunch. The state Senate has pretty much said it's dead.

Alas, sweet homophobes who put on a Jesus mask to hide your hate. You live in a society that is becoming increasingly not just tolerant of difference in sexual orientation, but simply doesn't care about it. You're invited to stay and reap the benefits of that. But your bigotry has gotten tiresome, and soon it will be a vestige of an age that only the old and ignorant celebrate.

Oh, lovers, young and old, LGBT or straight, one day very, very soon, all that will matter on Valentine's Day is whether you got your love the right gift.

Rand Paul: Exhibit A on Why People on 'Ludes Should Not Run for President

Rand Paul: Exhibit A on Why People on 'Ludes Should Not Run for President:
Whenever Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky stares into a camera, he looks either like he is stoned from gills to balls on quaaludes or else he's got a small vibrator set on low shoved up his ass after getting horny watching titty torture porn. When Paul made his great and grand filibuster last year over the CIA's murder drone program, that was one reason that the Rude Pundit couldn't join with other liberals to praise and thank the Republican for drawing attention to the issue.

"Fuck Rand Paul with a polar bear's dick," the Rude Pundit wrote back then. And the same goes for him on his latest thing that like-minded liberals might be tempted to praise: his class action lawsuit against President Obama and the National Security Agency's mass collection of metadata of Americans' communications.

This ain't a case of an imperfect messenger being better than no messenger at all. Christ knows we have enough of those, starting with President Obama. No, this is about Rand Paul, the opportunistic huckster and exploiter of legitimate and illegitimate paranoia. There is little in Paul's approach to governance that demonstrates he's doing anything other than fluffing the expectations of the slobberingly naive libertarians and crazy-as-mongooses-fucking teabaggers. Why? Because a few years in the Senate lines your pockets for the long haul, baby. That's why. All those slobberers and fucking mongooses are gonna worship at the altar of Rand Paul for a good couple of decades. Here's how you'll know this is the real deal: When he announces he's running for president, something he knows he doesn't have a snowflake's chance in hell of winning, and doesn't run for reelection as a Senator.

This little fucker's sharking his followers as surely as any TV preacher, pool hall hustler, or Newt Gingrich.

Need more proof? Son of a bitch (and that bitch is his dad, Ron) stole a chunk of his lawsuit from the lawyer who wrote it up, Bruce Fein. Fein is a loony motherfucker who, at a press conference with Paul in June 2013 announcing the intent to file the lawsuit, compared the Obama administration to Caligula's rule in Ancient Rome, but probably with less hot incest and bestiality.

Paul brought in recent election loser Ken Cuccinelli to file the lawsuit, leaving Fein out of the picture until a date to be named later. But they totally plagiarized Fein's work: "[A] Jan. 15 draft of the complaint written by Fein has long passages that are nearly identical to those in the complaint Cuccinelli filed Wednesday." And they booted Democratic Senator Mark Udall off the list of plaintiffs and added Freedomworks, a Koch-funded bunch of raging assholes. Now, who does that make them more credible with?

Meanwhile, the ACLU is in the midst of appealing its NSA lawsuit, which was dismissed by a district judge in December. But you won't hear much about that since it's not being filed by glory whores aching for greater visibility and future speaking gigs.

The Harmful Mania of Blaming Both Sides

The Harmful Mania of Blaming Both Sides:
Like many a news junkie, the Rude Pundit read with interest what James Taranto had to say about drunk college rape in his ironically-named "Best of the Web" column in the Wall Street Journal. Taranto is one of the Legion of Portly Righties who mask their self-loathing with Pringles and attacks on the powerless. In case you haven't read it, or one of the many aghast responses, Taranto posits that, often, when it comes to whether or not straight, drunk college fucking is rape, it's the fault of both parties involved in said fucking.

As Taranto put it, "If two drunk drivers are in a collision, one doesn't determine fault on the basis of demographic details such as each driver's sex. But when two drunken college students 'collide,' the male one is almost always presumed to be at fault. His diminished capacity owing to alcohol is not a mitigating factor, but her diminished capacity is an aggravating factor for him." But you may sputter, "In a drunk driving accident, they may both be charged with drunk driving, but only one is getting the ticket for veering into the other driver's lane." Or, in other words, in the vast majority of rape cases on campus involving drinking, somebody fucked somebody else when the latter somebody didn't want to be fucked. To say that a woman is not a victim because she put herself in a bad situation is the equivalent of saying that black people should get out of Stand Your Ground states because white people can't help but feel threatened by them and shoot them.

It's a bullshit argument that both sides are equally culpable. That is almost never the case in anything ever. It has become an almost ludicrous way that we deal with things. It's the converse of the "Everyone's a winner" mentality that pervades child-rearing: "Everyone's a victim and everyone's a perpetrator."

Last week, at an event in Michigan where he signed the Agriculture Act of 2014 (aka "The farm bill"), President Obama offered his umpteenth version of "Well, hey, we're all just the same kind of motherfuckers, right?" remarks: "It doesn’t include everything that I’d like to see. And I know leaders on both sides of the aisle feel the same way. But it’s a good sign that Democrats and Republicans in Congress were able to come through with this bill, break the cycle of short-sighted, crisis-driven partisan decision-making, and actually get this stuff done."

The Rude Pundit's first thought was "Are you goddamn kidding me?" The farm bill itself is not the issue here (although it could be). The phrase "short-sighted, crisis-driven partisan decision-making" is what punched the Rude Pundit in the balls. There is only one short-sighted, crisis-driven party. You remember when you were in elementary school and the teacher said if one of you fucks around, the whole class gets punished? Remember how patently unfair that seemed? (And, no, it didn't build character or group-unity; it just made you hate whatever little shit ruined the day.) President Obama does that every time he lumps Democrats in with Republicans, who were invited to attend the signing of this great bipartisan victory, but not a one did.

There's a perversity to this approach by the President. In a speech earlier this month about the long-term unemployed, whose benefits ran out only because Republicans refused to extend them further, Obama didn't mention the GOP once. He did say, "Congress made that harder by letting unemployment insurance expire for more than a million people. And each week that Congress fails to restore that insurance, roughly 72,000 Americans will join the ranks of the long-term unemployed who have also lost their economic lifeline."

Democrats in Congress must be thinking, "What the fuck, man? What the actual fuck? We put our asses on the line for the Affordable Care Act. How about some back-up on other shit, huh?" Frankly, it's no wonder that Democrats don't want Obama campaigning with them. If every speech he makes says that Congresswoman Dem is halting progress the same as Congressman Gop, stay the fuck home. Obama is actually harming the Democrats' chances in 2014 by his constant calls for bipartisanship.

So why throw these two disparate things together? How dare the Rude Pundit compare a WSJ shit stain's terrible rape apologia to President Obama's call for comity and cooperation in Congress, no?

Here's the thing: What the hell does it accomplish to try to say that both sides are equally culpable? It doesn't make drunk dudes think before they rape. It doesn't make the Republicans in Congress all of a sudden say, "Oh, shit, Obama's right. We gotta work together." Our bizarre notions of "balance" and "fairness" (even in the Fox-ian sense for the media) are burying us.

David Brooks' Column Today: "Watch Me Blow Myself"

David Brooks' Column Today: "Watch Me Blow Myself":
Sometimes when you rail Adderall, you can be forgiven for something grabbing your attention and not letting go. For, truly, this morning, the Rude Pundit was considering a half-dozen things to palaver about today when, after coffee and an a.m. bump, he tapped his touchpad on over to the Opinion page of the New York Times, thinking, "Well, let's see what method David Brooks is using to pleasure himself today." Would it be the Fleshlight of False Reasonableness? The Rosy Palm of Psychobabble? The Blow-Up Doll of Mock Intellectualism?

Then, wiping his nose repeatedly to see if the tell-tale blue mucus was appearing, he saw that Brooks was engaged in the rare Backwards Self-Fellatio of Selective Observation. And, indeed, no matter how hard he tried, the Rude Pundit could not let it go. He goddamned the Addy and swore it off for at least a month, but, hey, as long as we're all here, let's do this:

In his "column" today (if by "column," you mean, "the condescending squawks of an elitist shitbird that should have gone extinct years ago"), Brooks wonders why, oh, why American aren't as "mobile" as we once were. Why don't we move as much or change jobs as often as in the 1950s and 60s? Whatever could have happened?

Brooks is glad you asked because of course he is. He offers "true" things to possibly explain it, like an aging population, underwater home values, and labor markets that don't offer much difference from place to place. But fuck you if you think these are the problems. No, motherfuckers, David Brooks has observed us like we're a particularly amusing group of bonobos, and he has come to a conclusion: "[A] big factor here is a loss in self-confidence," especially amongst the poors.

Yes, the poors seem to prefer to move to places where poors can live, squatting in their poor ditches, living in their poor squalor: "they are moving to lower-income areas with cheap housing. That is to say, they are less likely to endure temporary housing hardship for the sake of future opportunity." It's stunning, that in an economy where decent jobs are hard to come by, people might be afraid of giving up the little they have. Why, wherever will they play squash? In public parks? And will they find a bar that can make a proper old-fashioned? Quelle horreur...

It goes on like that for a bit, with Brooks telling us that people, especially the young 'uns, have lost faith in capitalism. Hell, we're even breeding less. And, holy fucknuts, we don't believe in American exceptionalism as much, even though America is the most exceptionalest place ever, duh. We have become, in the word of those filthy Europeans, a Precariat. That is, "the growing class of people living with short-term and part-time work with precarious living standards and 'without a narrative of occupational development.'" We are "fatalistic," and that's a bummer for Brooks.

And the solution is...well, fuck. You gotta read this for yourself. It's what Brooks endorses: "No one response is going to reverse the trend, but Michael Strain of the American Enterprise Institute believes government should offer moving vouchers to the long-term unemployed so they can chase opportunity."

The Rude Pundit has one question, just one, and it's the reason that David Brooks is a simpering prig who should be punched in the face outside high-toned DC watering holes on a regular basis (rhetorically, of course, of course). The question: How the fuck do you write a column on, essentially, job-lock and not mention the words "health" or "insurance" or "inequality"? How the fuck is that possible?

We believe we are not exceptional anymore because we are not exceptional anymore, if we ever were. You can't mourn the decline of the middle class and not mourn the depravity of a nation that would rather cling to the destructive phantoms of "individualism" and "free enterprise" than take care of its people. You can't ask those same people to take risks when those with the most have made sure there is no net to catch those with much less if they fall. And you can take your moving vouchers and shove them up your food stamp-cutting ass.

There is a savage stupidity in Brooks' scribbles that he masks so very well. You can bet that when he finished, he stretched his neck, swallowed his jizz, and got out the Fleshlight to get ready for Friday's column.

Republicans Had No Problems with Bush's Lawlessness

Republicans Had No Problems with Bush's Lawlessness:
Here was Senator John Cornyn on Greta van Susterenenenen's Fox "news" show on January 15: "[T]he Congress passes the laws, but the executive branch is the one that is supposed to enforce the laws. What do you do when you have an overly politicized executive branch including Eric Holder, who refused to hold the president accountable and refused to enforce the law, and you get what we have now, which is essentially a lawlessness in the administration that is very troubling to say the least...this is new ground, unprecedented." Crazy conservative Cornyn, who gets to look like the sane Senator from Texas when you have Ted Cruz scrawling manifestos with his own shit on his padded cell walls, was referring to Obama issuing employer exemptions to aspects of the Affordable Care Act.

And he'd be totally right about it being "unprecedented," except for all the precedents. For instance:

Here's Senator John Cornyn on NPR on June 28, 2006, talking about the use of presidential signing statements by George W. Bush: "I find the use of presidential signing statements as helpful for us to understand the rationale of the executive branch in signing the legislation, rather than vetoing it." He told NBC, "There’s less here than meets the eye."

Cornyn was poo-pooing the Democrats' outrage over the habit of President Bush the Dumber issuing these statements that often said, "Hey, that bill you just passed is groovy, Congress, but, you know, here's some areas where you can go fuck yourselves with a dry corncob and I'll do what I want because 9/11." It was the way to avoid vetoing a bill: just say you won't uphold the laws that Congress passed.

Bush issued a shitload of signing statements, more than every other president before him combined. By this point in his administration, it was about 115, affecting nearly 1000 provisions of acts and laws passed by Congress. By contrast, Obama has issued 25 (which, to be fair, is not entirely consistent with his opposition to them as a senator and candidate).

For Bush, a signing statement was like lubing up the dildo before he would fuck the nation. Every time Congress pass an act saying no funds could be used for torture, Bush would put out a signing statement that said, "Suck our balls. We gotta torture for Umerka." For chrissake, Bush even had a signing statement for the Prison Rape Elimination Act of 2003: "The Executive branch shall construe sections 7(h) and 7(k)(3) in a manner consistent with the President’s constitutional authority to withhold information when its disclosure could impair deliberative processes of the Executive or the performance of the Executive’s constitutional duties and, to the extent possible, in a manner consistent with Federal statutes protecting sensitive information from disclosure." Got that? No rape elimination if it means we have to give up something we want kept secret.

Let's not even get into Bush's executive orders.

The point here is not that Obama should be allowed to do the same thing that Bush did, even if you agree with Obama's signing statements, like the ones that say, "No, really, guys, I wanna close Gitmo." However, those who are complaining loudest need to be asked why Obama is the most lawless lawbreaker in the history of lawing for delaying a provision or two of the ACA or for telling Homeland Security, "Hey, let's concentrate on arresting the undocumented immigrants who have committed serious crimes first. That's probably a better use of our limited resources."

They need to be asked where they fuck they were when George W. Bush specifically refused for the Executive Branch to adhere to laws it didn't like. Oh, right. They were bent over, encouraging Bush to sodomize them first.

A Tale of the Long-Term Jobless on Jobs Report Day

A Tale of the Long-Term Jobless on Jobs Report Day:
If there's one benefit to being unemployed for well over a year, it's that Sam doesn't smoke anymore. "Cigarettes are too goddamn expensive," he says. So he quit. He'd been meaning to quit for a long time now, so, hey, why not save some money in the process? Especially now that it's so, so tight.

Sam lost his marketing job in November 2012, shortly after Superstorm Sandy laid waste to the place where he worked. It was a damn shame, since he had gotten that job after losing his last one when the company he worked for was bought out by a bigger one and decided they only needed one marketing department. Sam is 57-years old and out of shape. "I go into an interview, and I know they're bullshitting me," he said. "Some kid at a desk is looking across at me. You know he's thinking I can't keep up. I can. He doesn't believe that, but he doesn't say that." The Rude Pundit told Sam he should call out the next young person interviewing him. What does he have to lose? Sam said he'd think about it.

Sam's unemployment benefits ran out at the end of last year, as it did for over a million people. Every time there's a chance for an extension, he follows the debate closely. He's a Democrat, but he's more of a "Fuck both your houses" kind of liberal. He blames Republicans, as well he should, for the loss of his income, for his inability to find jobs. "Why the fuck should I blame Obama?" he remarked. "They didn't pass his jobs program. So why should he get the blame?"

That's logic that's hard to argue with. From the first stimulus to now, we have essentially existed in an economy that is the narrow alley of opportunity that Republicans have allowed. They blocked any effort by the President on programs that might have made things better, from infrastructure spending to job training to extending unemployment insurance. All they have offered is the Keystone XL pipeline and its temporary jobs. Oh, and more tax cuts for the wealthy, which never works, no matter how many times we try it. Well, unless you're wealthy. Then it works just fine. But no doubt the President will get blamed for the mediocre jobs report just released.

Sam's wife went back to work after staying home to raise their two kids. The idea was to get a little more income so the kid going to college wouldn't have to take out loans. Now, her job is their primary income, and it's not near enough. Luckily she has had health insurance through work, but they've looked into switching to Obamacare so she can leave the sales job and update her certification as a nurse. The younger kid is in high school. She gives some of the income she makes babysitting to the household.

They've considered selling some of their possessions, like their car. They've talked about selling their apartment, but they'd be hard-pressed to find anywhere else to live as affordable. They have always lived humbly, in a one-bedroom with part of the living room converted into a sleeping area for the grown-ups.

When he's not cribbing together a little scratch from some small commercial acting gigs (one advantage of having been in marketing is that he knows people who produce ads), Sam does volunteer work for a local political candidate. He hopes that his devotion to the candidate will yield a job if the candidate wins. He's trying to stay hopeful. He trawls the online job sites and newspapers, keeps his ear to the ground, his finger in the wind, his chin up, attempting to find some place to work the rest of his years.

Sam had a great, solid middle-class life, one he's trying to keep going, one his family cobbles together, but one that is fading fast as the American dream dies slowly, as we meander every further into the gloomy depths of this dim, dingy century.

Photos That Make the Rude Pundit Want to Down a Dozen Klonopin with Bottled Water

Photos That Make the Rude Pundit Want to Down a Dozen Klonopin with Bottled Water:


It's an interesting contrast up there, innit? The left hand (the one on the right because, you know, perspective) is showing what the bottom of the Dan River near Eden, North Carolina looked like on Saturday. The right hand is holding what it looked like on Tuesday. The Rude Pundit is no environmental scientist, but he's pretty sure there's a big difference there.

That'd be because a pipe at the ash pond of a closed coal-powered steam plant broke and shit out a long, dark diarrhea of coal ash into the river, 82,000 tons of the gray pollution squirts. Fun fact: "Coal ash is the waste left after burning coal. It contains arsenic, mercury, lead, and over a dozen other heavy metals, many of them toxic." So, of course, officials of the water treatment plant in Danville, Virginia, downstream from said diarrhea, declared the water perfectly safe to drink.

Fun fact #2: The plant is owned by Duke Energy, also famous for blowing the fuck out of mountaintops to get at that delicious coal. Yeah, see, Duke's record in North Carolina is pretty much the equivalent of a dog rubbing its ass along the carpet. You can yell at that dog, "Stop rubbing your asshole on the carpet," but that dog's just gonna look at you like you're crazy.

'Cause North Carolina environmental officials told Duke it needed to clean up a dozen coal-fueled plants. They're adorable: "The N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources sued Duke Energy in state Superior Court in August. The suit cited potentially dangerous groundwater and wastewater violations at Belews Creek, Dan River and 10 other plants. The problems 'pose a serious danger to the health, safety and welfare' of North Carolinians and 'serious harm' to the state’s water supply." Duke has just looked at 'em like they're crazy and gone right on rubbing its asshole along the nice water supply.

What could make this story that much more agitating? What could make you just want to throw up your hands and lose your goddamn minds? How about that the river was already pretty fucked to begin with: "there was already a fish consumption advisory for the Dan River separate from the coal ash spill, due to levels of mercury and PCBs."

Or maybe that a lot of people in Danville just don't give a happy monkey fuck: "the spill has prompted some major health concerns. Just not from Danville residents. They went about their day as if it were any other." There was no one looking at the river to see the curls of ash. Most people just thought, "Well, if the government tells us something's wrong, we'll listen."

The Rude Pundit is stuck. Is that admirable tenacity in the face of crisis? Or just pathetic resignation to one's disempowerment?

Democrats: Don't Defend the CBO Report; Use It to Attack the GOP

Democrats: Don't Defend the CBO Report; Use It to Attack the GOP:
Is this really that hard, Democrats? Really? Here ya go:

The Congressional Budget Office said that the Affordable Care Act will reduce the deficit, allow sick people to stop working and concentrate on getting better, free up jobs for people who are looking for employment, cause a hike in wages for many people, and give people more spending money, which will, in the end, create more jobs.

From page 125 of the CBO report: "On balance, CBO estimates that the ACA will boost overall demand for goods and services over the next few years because the people who will benefit from the expansion of Medicaid and from access to the exchange subsidies are predominantly in lower-income households and thus are likely to spend a considerable fraction of their additional resources on goods and services."

If that's not clear enough, here's page 126: "The expanded federal subsidies for health insurance will stimulate demand for goods and services, and that effect will mostly occur over the next few years. That increase in demand will induce some employers to hire more workers or to increase their employees’ hours during that period."

You got that? This is pretty much high school-level economics. You put a shit ton of money into the economy and you're gonna need some supply for that demand. This effect of the ACA is something that has barely been discussed. As the Rude Pundit has pointed out, especially in states accepting the expansion of Medicaid, we're talking about a stealth stimulus that Obamacare provides. Frankly, it wouldn't be all that surprising if this was a big thing driving the GOP into the incoherent, gorilla rage in which it perpetually exists. Oh, fuck, you mean if you give a few billion dollars out, there might be a larger economic effect?

As for the jobs situation, first off, if there is a decline in the number of people in the workforce and the demand for workers goes up, well, let's see, going back to junior year econ, it looks like that means you'd have to pay workers more.

See, dear, sweet, dumb, easily cowed Americans, employer-provided health insurance was a kind of indentured servitude. You had to stay with your job, no matter what, in order to not drown in medical debt or to take care of a preexisting condition that switching jobs and insurance might not cover. How many people do you know who have said, "I'd find another job/quit/start my own business if it wasn't for health insurance"? How many disabled, sick, or close-to-retirement people do you know who should stop working but haven't because they would be shit out of luck on health care? How many parents would like to stay home with their kids, which was once a conservative goal?

The report said that the roughly 2.5 million full-time jobs given up due to a cumulative reduction of hours by employees who choose to work less or not at all because they got on Medicaid or subsidized insurance. There's a good chance that that would free up jobs for people who are seeking them. That's just...fucking humane, isn't it?

And that's gotta drive the capitalists and their congressional lackeys crazy. All of a sudden, a whole lot of workers have choices. Holy fucknuts, that means that the relationship between capital and labor has shifted, ever so little, in favor of labor. What the hell? Haven't we set this whole thing up to dick over workers every chance we can? How the fuck did that slip through? No wonder the right went to DefCon Fast and Furious yesterday (it's just below DefCon Benghazi).

The other thing that's gotta be galling the GOP is that the "risk corridor," which means that insurers making tons of money pay into a pool that gives money to insurers who handle the most at-risk patients, is not a "giveaway" to insurers. It'll actually reduce the deficit: "[T]he government will pay out $8 billion in risk subsidies to the insurers but collect $16 billion. Real-world math says this is a gain to the Treasury of $8 billion; GOP math says it's a 'bailout.' You be the judge."

Republicans' way to deal with that is hilarious. Hypocrisy, motherfuckers. Just say "Man, fuck that CBO report" a few hours after you said, "Man, this CBO report is awesomeness embodied." Which is exactly what Senator Orrin Hatch did yesterday.

Democrats, you can beat Republicans unconscious with this CBO report and piss on them. Then you can toss their statements at them and say, "Wipe your pissed-on asses off with this."

West Virginians Don't Know How Fucked They Are Because No One Will Tell Them

West Virginians Don't Know How Fucked They Are Because No One Will Tell Them:
Here's a fun fact from West Virginia, where, you might remember, 300,000 people had to go without water for a period of time because some dicksacks had a storage facility leaking chemicals into the Elk River, just a mile and a half above the intake for a water plant. In response, Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin (who, of course, is named "Earl Ray") proposed legislation "aimed at creating a new regulatory program for aboveground chemical storage tanks." So far, so groovy, no?

In a press conference two weeks ago, Tomblin announced it, which was a day after a meeting of various groups with the the governor's staff and members of the Department of Environmental Protection. "The stakeholders," as Tomblin's deputy chief of staff called those who met about, you know, the water everyone uses to drink, bathe, water plants, all that water-related stuff.

Who was in that meeting where the legislation was essentially created and finalized? Who were the stakeholders? Oh, you know: "The West Virginia Chamber of Commerce was invited. So were the Oil and Gas Association and the Coal Association. Trade associations representing grocers, manufacturers, trucking firms and energy companies were included," according to documents about the meeting that the Charleston Gazette obtained. Who wasn't invited? Any environmental groups. Any citizen groups. No, see, because they must not have a stake in the safety of the water.

Also in the documents are emails from various lobbyists and others in the business community suggesting changes to the legislation. For instance, "Rebecca Randolph, president of the West Virginia Manufacturers Association...provided a list of 18 different exemptions that would exclude various types of aboveground storage tanks from the governor's bill." Those exemptions did, in fact, make it into the bill.

That was the backdrop for a public hearing on the bill that was held yesterday in Charleston in the House of Delegates chamber, where the legislators indulged the citizens for a couple of hours. They got to hear 52 state citizens say things like "Please, no loopholes, no exclusions," which is the opposite of what the business person said, so, really, no, sorry.

See, the citizens who were there are afraid that their legislators are so in the pocket of the massive pollution-producing capitalist apparatus that runs the state that nothing good will actually come from their government. Said Nancy Ward, "You say this will never happen again. But unless you're willing to pass legislation that is effective and properly enforced, I guarantee it will happen again and again and again."

Why should they doubt the sincerity of the legislature? Perhaps because "about half of the members of the House of Delegates didn't attend -- or left early -- Monday night's hearing in the House chamber." (The bill has already passed the Senate.) Or perhaps because, at the same time, Senate committees are considering a bill that changes how the amount of toxic aluminum is measured in the state's water, a change that will result in more aluminum in the drinking water. (Among other things, high aluminum content is connected to higher rates of Alzheimer's and other shit you don't want.)

Or perhaps because the state hasn't exactly been square with the citizens about the shit that's already in the water. Like, well, formaldehyde. Said an official of the West Virginia Environmental Quality Board, "We know that (crude MCHM) turns into other things, and these other things are bad. And we haven't been looking for those other things. So we can't say the water is safe yet. We just absolutely cannot." He will not let his family drink the water from the faucet.

Yeah, all the flushing of pipes might not have worked. The pipes and the system itself might have been fucked beyond fucked.

If the Rude Pundit were in West Virginia, and it was snowy and rainy, as it has been and will be, he'd wonder just what the hell is in that precipitation and how it is planting the seeds for his future doom.

Chris Christie's Response to David Wildstein Is the Rhetorical Equivalent of a Shit Swirlie

Chris Christie's Response to David Wildstein Is the Rhetorical Equivalent of a Shit Swirlie:
There's no way any responsible circle of Chris Christie's advisers would have allowed the press release titled "5 Things You Should Know About The Bombshell That's Not A Bombshell" to be emailed out to the media. This was the New Jersey governor's response to former Port Authority official David Wildstein's lawyer's claim that "evidence exists...tying Mr. Christie to having knowledge of the lane closures, during the period when the lanes were closed." That's legalese for "Shit that's not in the documents you subpoenaed from our client."

As Josh Marshall says, the thing sounds like it was written by Christie himself who demanded that it go out, unedited. There's so many tells, like "In David Wildstein's past, people and newspaper accounts have described him as 'tumultuous' and someone who 'made moves that were not productive.'" The cited account does contain some negative things about Wildstein's tenure as mayor of Livingston, that Wildstein was such a Republican hatchet man that he was incredibly hard to work with. By the way, the article doesn't say Wildstein was "tumultuous," just that "it was a tumultuous time."

Then there's the list of offenses:
"As a 16-year-old kid, he sued over a local school board election.
"He was publicly accused by his high school social studies teacher of deceptive behavior.
"He had a controversial tenure as Mayor of Livingston.
"He was an anonymous blogger known as Wally Edge.
"He had a strange habit of registering web addresses for other people's names without telling them."

First off, "kid"? What formal response from government office would contain that? And that social studies teacher said publicly that the "deceptive behavior" was from a misunderstanding. As for the "anonymous blogger" thing, that was one of the reasons Wildstein got into the position he did. Christie's office, when he was U.S. Attorney, would leak information to Wildstein's blog, which would look into it and gladly publish it.

But all of this pales next to the big question. Everyone of these things was known before Christie created "a sweetheart $150,020-a-year patronage position with no job description at the Port Authority" for Wildstein. It's a totally legitimate question to ask that if Wildstein was such a horrible creep, why should the state of New Jersey have to pay him a six-figure salary for a job created out of thin air. Oh, and Christie praised the hell out of Wildstein when he resigned.

The Rude Pundit has nothing but disdain for Wildstein, not just because he looks like he's the kind of guy who wants to make the cool athletes laugh by doing a beer enema for them. It's because what's obviously happened is that, since high school, where Wildstein graduated a year ahead of the governor, he worshiped Christie. No, they probably weren't "friends," but Wildstein was the statistician of the baseball team, the one Christie captained. In other words, Wildstein was wedgie-bait, the kind of guy who gets shit swirlies from the jocks and laughs at his abuse because he gets to hang out at their parties.

Maybe Christie defended him once. Maybe Wildstein returned the favor by giving him glowing coverage in a well-read New Jersey political blog. Maybe Christie returned that favor by giving him this job, by putting a useful dupe in a position where he might one day be needed to do something dirty.

Either way, as attorney Chris Christie would probably tell the governor, you don't need to put out a document attacking your accuser's behavior as a teenager if you have the truth on your side. You keep saying the truth because nothing could exist to prove you're lying.

By the way, Christie's office put out a response before this email that said Wildstein's lawyer's letter "confirms" that Christie didn't know about the George Washington Bridge traffic clusterfuck "before" it happened, only when it happened. That's shown in the photo of Wildstein, Christie, and other officials chuckling it up at a 9/11 anniversary ceremony. (Why were they laughing? Did they read a funny name on the memorial? Hear about the kids stuck in the school buses?)

But we're into Clintonian word parsing here as we get to the question of whether Christie was told about the lane closures while they were happening and what was his reaction. The door to Christie's presidential ambitions is getting thinner and thinner. And he won't be able to fit through it pretty soon.

One last thing: there was a hilarious story in the Washington Post this weekend. The story goes like this: Christie was the starting catcher for his high school baseball team. Another student transferred in who was a better catcher, so Christie was going to be replaced as starter. Christie and his father contemplated investigating to see if the transfer was legit and to sue to try to block it. In high school. Against a teenager. He decided against it, ultimately, because he didn't want a lawsuit to have the effect of canceling the entire season. What a mensch.

Christie has long acted like an entitled dickhead. Now that someone is taking away what he thinks he's entitled to, no wonder he's lashing out. It's what he knows to do.