When One Is Feeling Stabby, One Should Take a Vacation

In case it wasn't obvious from the last few weeks, the Rude Pundit needs a little vacation before he ends up stabbing someone. Or many people, depending on how ambitious he's feeling.

Instead, he's gonna take the next week off from bloggery. So, like your favorite gay-cake-making bakers heading to Saugatuck in the summer, he's gonna close shop until May 4. He won't be on The Stephanie Miller Show this coming Monday. He might twitterize if he's feeling frisky. But mostly, the Rude Pundit's gonna disconnect, get the hell out of Dodge, and chill the fuck out.

Peace, motherfuckers, peace.

Flags and Valdosta State University: Fuck All Y'all

Fuck this guy:

Fuck Eric Sheppard not because he's walking on a flag in the middle of the campus of Valdosta State University in Georgia. Only an idiot or a ratings-mongering conservative would give a jolly rat's shit about that. Fuck him not even because his reason for walking on the flag is not police brutality or war or money in politics or anything that might make a guy want to walk on a flag. It's not because he did it because, as he said in a YouTube video, "That flag represents white supremacy racism which is plaguing the entire earth, so when we step on that flag we are stepping on racism, white supremacy. We are stepping on the things that were erected alongside our genocide and our holocaust."

Fuck him because while he was asserting his First Amendment rights in a public place by explaining his reasons for putting out a flag and walking on it, he said to people listening, "Ya'll can come in and listen if you're going to truly inquire and not try to interject while I am speaking." Step on all the flags you want, man, but don't be an egotistical asshole. And then, when someone else spoke in the distance, Sheppard told his audience, who might have been looking to see who that was, "I want ya'll focusing on me." Yeah, fuck him.

By the way, Sheppard is wanted by police for bringing a gun to campus. Will the NRA defend his Second Amendment rights?

By the way, the reason anyone even heard of this is because a female veteran, Michelle Manhart, stole the flag to try to stop the protest. Then she resisted arrest. Being white, she was not shot.

Still, even more so, fuck these idiots:

Those are the gathered fucknuts and attention whores who think they're "defending" the American flag. It's a "Flags Over VSU" event today, with supposedly a couple of thousand people, all with flags, all showing they love the Stars and Stripes, although you can bet nearly everyone of them has left little flags on their cars until they became filthy and ragged, worse than any stomping would do. VSU canceled classes because of the protest and fears of violence.

Most especially, though, fuck this guy:

Just because, man. Just because.


Bobby Jindal Writes an Editorial

Gov. Bobby Jindal was in his office in the tall capitol building in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. He had his secretary, Zack, seated at his desk, fingers ready on the keyboard of a computer running Windows 8 while Jindal paced the floor. The governor was pondering the best approach to the opinion piece he was about to dictate, one that was going to run in the New York Times, bastion of secular liberalism. He wanted to tell the nation, no, the world that he was standing firm on protecting innocent Christians from abuse by bullying gays. He thought for a moment and then turned to Zack (whose real name was "Mandip," but he had watched Saved by the Bell as a child) and said, "I've made a decision. I'm going to suck all the cocks."

Zack was shocked. "Really?" he asked his boss. "All of them? One or two would be enough."

Jindal stood firm. "Line 'em up. I'm gonna blow every cock around. I'll even wrestle a few away from Christie and Rand and Ted, if I have to, and suck those cocks." He licked his lips. "Let's do this." He smiled, which chilled Zack because when Bobby Jindal grins, he looks like a brown version of the Joker.

Cock after cock entered and exited Jindal's mouth as the governor dictated his editorial. "Large corporations recently joined left-wing activists to bully elected officials," he sucked off. "Political leaders in both states quickly cowered amid the shrieks of big business and the radical left." That cock blew its load and Jindal gobbled it up, his Adam's apple bobbling like a running goat's testicles.

He took another one, deep-throating it, with "We should ensure that musicians, caterers, photographers and others should be immune from government coercion on deeply held religious convictions." Oh, yeah, Jindal thought, shove that cock harder, harder, yeah. And then, sucking like a Dyson struck by lightning, Jindal swallowed, "I hold the view that has been the consensus in our country for over two centuries: that marriage is between one man and one woman. Polls indicate that the American consensus is changing — but like many other believers, I will not change my faith-driven view on this matter, even if it becomes a minority opinion."

As Jindal blew more and more cocks, Zack tried to stop him. "Governor, stop, please, you don't have to suck every cock."

Zack could barely make out Jindal's words through all the cock: "No. I have to. All the cocks." And then he took another one with "The left-wing ideologues who oppose religious freedom are the same ones who seek to tax and regulate businesses out of existence." Zack had to turn away for a moment when Jindal engorged the whole of a giant scabby cock: "Louisiana has become one of the best places to do business in America." Then he almost threw up when Jindal grabbed an elderly, barely hard cock and "Hollywood and the media elite are hostile to our values."

Finally, after so long and so many cocks, Jindal, exhausted, chapped, bloated from semen, said, "Is that it, Zack? Is that all the cocks?"

"No, I think there's one more," Zack said, weeping a little.

Jindal took that last cock in his mouth and attacked it like a dog on a water hose: "Those who believe in freedom must stick together: If it’s not freedom for all, it’s not freedom at all."

Zack wrapped up his typing. He promised Jindal that he'd proofread it and send it off to the Times. The room smelled of cum and sweat and desperation. The governor said he'd go clean up. Maybe brush his teeth and prep his asshole. He had a meeting with Sheldon Adelson's people next.


In Brief: Two Paragraphs That Show You What It's Like to Be Poor in America in 2015

1. From "This Is What Poverty in Jamestown, Tennessee Looks Like" by Scott Rodd:

"'I know older people on Social Security that draw $575 a month,' she said, shaking her head. 'You can’t survive off that. So a lot of them have no choice but to sell their pills to supplement their income.'"

By the way, the median income of people in Jamestown is $12,800 and 56% of the population lives under the poverty line. The article talks about the wretched living conditions of people on Sunshine Lane, a street in the town. Google Street View stops at the edge of it. Jamestown is close to Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area, one of the prettiest areas of the Eastern United States.

2. From "Texas Sends Poor Teens to Adult Jail for Skipping School" by Kendall Taggart and Alex Campbell:

"She was booked into jail again, and after a restless night she was once again brought in front of a judge to find out how long she’d be behind bars — and how many days of school she would miss. It came down to how much she owed in fines. For four truancy charges and four charges of failure to appear, she owed $2,729. Her mom was unemployed at the time."

The whole article is filled with stories of kids skipping school. Remember when that was something we laughed at and dismissed? Remember how kids used to be sent to detention or suspended or, in the worst case, expelled for it? Public schools have successfully criminalized students and deputized teachers and administrators. If you're middle-class, you can negotiate your way out of a great deal of the grief. If you're poor, you are subject to the whims of a justice system that seeks to punish you for existing.

At some point, we're going to have to do something about how we treat the poor in this country. If the nation doesn't, if politicians continue to ignore the issue of poverty, the poor might just realize that all those guns the NRA has guaranteed they can bear might have another use.  And the United States will have no one to blame but itself.


Ted Cruz and Domestic Terrorists Are Not That Different

Gerbil-faced bastard Ted Cruz, Republican senator from Texas, talks a big fuckin' game, man. In a conversation with young Republicans on Saturday, Cruz expounded on the threat that is Barack Obama: "Obama is a disaster because he’s an unmitigated socialist, what he believes is profoundly dangerous, and he’s undermined the Constitution and the role of America in the world." Cruz may as well have followed that up with "And he's raping the fuck out the Statue of Liberty while shitting on the flag."

Think about that for a moment. The presidential candidate thinks that the current president wants to subvert the nation. In fact, by Cruz's definition, Obama is a traitor who is putting American lives at risk. If that's the case, Senator Cruz, why aren't you calling for Obama's immediate arrest? Why aren't you leading a squad of armed patriots to take the country back? Jesus Christ, man, that shit's scary. Are we really going to gamble the sovereignty of the nation on another 20 months of an Obama presidency? Are you a pussy? Running for president won't stop Obama. You must just be a pussy who's all talk.

And all it takes is one tri-corner hat-sporting fucknut to take Cruz at his word and do the job himself or herself.

This is what the presidential race is going to be like. It'll be rhetoric heightened right up to the point of declaring President Obama an imminent threat to the country but backing off before taking it to the next logical step. It's gonna be terrorism without the commitment. It's one thing for a candidate to say that the current president has shit policies, but when you take a long walk down Crazytown Road, against the dude who won two elections, you've pretty much announced that you're not a serious person.

But, then again, Cruz mocks the serious people as "moderates," and that'll work on the yahoos, droolers, and mutants who make up the Republican base. New Jersey's most-hated yoga ball, Chris Christie, went fully into the demented blue yonder at a New Hampshire town hall: "I feel like we really have had a President for the last six and a half years that we still don't even know. We don't know what he really believes in. We don't know what he really is willing to fight for. We don't know whether he's really willing to fight for anything. We don't know who he really likes or dislikes. We don't know whether he really cares about his own party, or the other party, or about the country."

Most of us hear that and think, "The fuck are you talking about, hoss? You ever watch the news or listen to the man?"

But if you hear that and think, "Yeah, I don't know shit about Obama other than he's an unmitigated socialist who is profoundly dangerous," then 2016 is going to be an election cycle of orgasmic joy for you.


Shut the Fuck Up and Support Hillary: A Message of Blind Hope

Yeah, yeah, yeah, the Rude Pundit feels your pain. He'd love, love, love for a real liberal to run for president. He says this pretty much every election, often supports whatever quixotic candidate is taking a shot this time until he (and, sadly, it's only been "he") drops out, and then votes for the moderate who he mostly agrees with on Supreme Court picks. In 2008, he supported Barack Obama because he thought the movement Obama had started would be transformative, not realizing that the president cared less about the movement than about governing from the presumptive middle (which, truth be told, Obama's pretty damn good at). Obama didn't move left. The middle moved right.

This time, though, it seems as if we're not getting the token liberal. And we're not getting anyone of color. Those who are remaining are either the white liberals who say they're not running - Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders - and the white dude who might - Martin O'Malley. If that liberal appeared, the Rude Pundit would love to jump on that bandwagon. But he or she won't be there this time. As much as we want to say that Hillary Clinton should have a primary candidate or whatever other bullshit we want to hide behind, the truth of the matter is, as everyone knows, very, very simple. Hillary Clinton is the nominee. She is more or less running as an incumbent. Last week, the Rude Pundit said this and was attacked on Twitter (which is the rhetorical equivalent of a gnat buzzing by you) for being racist because somehow he was dissing Obama. Sorry, but, Alan Keyes' paranoia aside, Obama can't run. And there is no man or woman of color who is even on the bench at this point, something that better be corrected or the Democrats will seem as out of touch as the Republicans.

So what are we left with? 18 months of bitching about what Hillary Clinton is not? 18 months of pretending like that will do a fucking thing to move her to the left on some of her positions? No, what'll it do is, one more time, take the left out of the equation. Because if there's one thing that Team Clinton knows is that most of the people who complain about her not being progressive enough on Wall Street, on foreign affairs, on immigration reform, will still vote for her because who the fuck else are they gonna vote for her? The ones who promise more Scalias and Alitos? Mike Huckabee? Jeb goddamn Bush?

Oh, you can say, "Well, I'll just stay home," and then you're a selfish fucking idiot who doesn't give a shit about the future. In her powerful Facebook post on how women of color should confront a Hillary Clinton candidacy, Jada Pinkett Smith (yeah, a celebrity) says, "The only question I have been asking myself is if I’m suppose to vote for Hillary because she is a woman; will she take us to the mountaintop with her or will women of color once again be left out and left behind?" But she concludes in the most hopeful way possible: "Women of color and white women have been taking on the majority of their fights on the political platform on separate lines; can Hillary Clinton change that legacy through her journey to become president? Because if she can...she would not only have my vote...but she would have my heart." You got that? Pinkett Smith says that she is voting for Hillary Clinton. But she wants Clinton to be something more.

That's why the title of this post is not a threat. It's not marching orders. It's an opportunity. What if the left coalesced behind Clinton and did so early? Clinton has already made one of her big issues a constitutional amendment restricting money in politics. That's some Lawrence Lessig-level shit right there, even if she's raising metric assloads of cash to run for president. What if, instead of the usual cycle of pretending we can get a moderate candidate to veer left by viciously tweeting and blogging and giving Fox "news" a chance to say, "See? The Left doesn't like Hillary," we just said, "Fuck it. We back her. Now let's talk policy"? What if we made ourselves players instead of giddy, powerless outsiders?

Obviously, it could backfire. Obviously, the votes could be taken for granted and Clinton could play us like we've been played so many times (and that's especially true for people of color). But that's what will happen if liberals decide to be the headless opposition, as we learned with Bill Clinton, as we learned, to an extent, with Barack Obama. At the very least, a different tactic during campaign season would force Clinton to deal with liberals in a different way. If there's one thing that we know about Hillary Clinton, it's that she can eviscerate or at least isolate those who seek to destroy her or her family.

And we know that she privileges loyalty. Maybe this time we could play it differently. Just shut the fuck up. Stop acting like there's gonna be any other choice. And behave as if this is the only one we have. Resignation doesn't have to be defeat.


Louisiana Ain't Screwing Around on Same-Sex Marriage

Unlike those pussy states Indiana, Arkansas, and Georgia, Louisiana will not be out-rednecked when it comes to discriminating against LGBT residents who want to get married. Sorry - when it comes to the religious freedom for Louisiana's people to pick and choose which parts of the Bible they want to enforce.

See, the previous states all called their bills a "Religious Freedom Restoration Act," which makes it sound like everyone just wants to live and let live when it comes to however you want to pretend there's an invisible sky wizard fucking around in humans' lives. But Louisiana's religious conservatives in the legislature tossed that shit and said it plain. HB 707 is the motherfuckin' "Marriage and Conscience Act," so no one can be confused about what's what.

It's about as straightforward and not open to interpretation as can be: "Notwithstanding any other law to the contrary, this state shall not take any adverse action against a person, wholly or partially, on the basis that such person acts in accordance with a religious belief or moral conviction about the institution of marriage." That Indiana bill that caused the big uproar didn't even have the word "marriage" in it.

There's even a pie-in-the-sky-are-you-shittin-us section about how allowing for discrimination will contribute to a more tolerant society: "Laws that protect the free exercise of religious beliefs or moral convictions about marriage will encourage private citizens and institutions to demonstrate similar tolerance and therefore contribute to a more respectful, diverse, and peaceful society." You got that? If you're free to tell the marrying queers that they can't have their reception in your nice hall, you make this a better country for all of us.

The author of the bill is State Representative Mike Johnson, who comes from the shitkicker District 8 in Bossier Parish, tucked under Arkansas (which didn't mention marriage in its failed religious freedom restoration bill) and across the Red River from the much more racially diverse Shreveport. Yeah, Johnson won in a special election back in February of this year, with a bio that reads like a fuck dream involving Jerry Falwell, a big crucifix, and a half-empty jar of Vaseline: "Mike has provided legal representation and consultation to many national organizations as well, including: the Family Research Council, Focus on the Family, Concerned Women for America, the National Day of Prayer Task Force, Living Waters Publications/Way of the Master, Coral Ridge Ministries, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Answers in Genesis, and the National Council on Bible Curriculum in Public Schools."

Gov. Bobby Jindal, who looks like he swallowed at least one goat testicle that got stuck in his throat, supports the hell out of the bill because it's not like he has a record to run on for president. But already, the Louisiana Chamber of Commerce, being concerned about, you know, commerce, has said, "Whoa, whoa, what the fuck are you doing?" And IBM, which is a big employer in the state, put out a statement to Jindal that said, "IBM has made significant investments in Louisiana including most recently a technology services delivery center in Baton Rouge, creating new jobs for Louisiana workers.We located the center in Baton Rouge because we believe Louisiana has great talent and would continue to be a rich source of such talent.  However a bill that legally protects discrimination based on same-sex marriage status will create a hostile environment for our current and prospective employees, and is antithetical to our company’s values."

Who knows if the thing will pass? Weirder shit has happened lately. But you can bet that the glory-seeking nutzoids will always try to appeal to their mad minions. 


Racist Idiot Loses His Business Because He's a Racist Idiot

Jim Boggess is a motherfucking idiot. About as stupid as a shithead can be. Boggess owns - no, wait...owned a deli in Flemington, New Jersey. He obviously gets his political views shoved down his throat and up his ass in a Chinese fingercuffs fucking by Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity, with internet rage mavens jacking off on him as he is thrusted back and forth between talk radio and Fox "news." So he decided, as any good business owner would, to put his opinions on race right on the front of his place, Jimbo's Deli on Main Street.

How startlingly, breathtakingly, mouth-droolingly dumb is Jim Boggess?  This fucking dumb:

And you'll never guess what Boggess said to explain his sign. No, really, go ahead and guess. Did he just say, "Ah, fuck it. I hate coloreds and immigrants"? Did he say, "Black History Month is bullshit"? No, of course not. Because contemporary racists aren't honest about their racism. He said, "No matter what you are -- Muslim, Jewish, black, white, gay, straight -- you should be proud of what you are. I shouldn't have to feel bad about being white."

When he was called on it by a biracial customer and eventually took the sign down, Boggess said, really, "I never meant it to be a black/white thing. I only meant it to be a white thing." The deli man also made reference to a website for White History Month, which is supposedly going on now. A Facebook page for the celebration is a charming mix of anti-Obama shit and, strangely, a whole bunch of stuff on how blacks in Africa are mean to white people.

And now Boggess has gone out of business, closed the deli, and is begging for money on Go Fund Me, perhaps hoping for a little of that homophobic green that let Memories Pizza's owners in Indiana make sacks of coin. Says Boggess, who has earned $20 as of today, "I don't think I deserve this just because I wanted to be proud of being white and be able to celebrate my heritage like everyone else does." Self-awareness is obviously not Jimbo's strong suit.

Boggess should become an example in colleges about how capitalism operates: if you offend everyone except a narrow bunch of fucknuts, the market will wipe you off the map. And if you gamble your business on the stupidity people forward you or post on your Facebook wall, you reap what you have sown.


Photos That Make the Rude Pundit Feel Parched Enough to Drink PBR

This is the Enterprise Bridge over Lake Oroville in Butte County, California.

The picture on the left is the lake in flush times, in July 2011. The picture on the right is the lake in the age of permanent drought.

Just a brief, graphic reminder that California may be facing increasingly desperate water needs. As Felicia Marcus of the State Water Resources Board told a Sacramento audience last week, "We don’t know if its going to rain next year. We don’t know if its going to rain after that."

But, no, really, let's continue to argue over whether climate change is "real."


Fuck Your Conscience; Do Your Job

Let us say, and why not, that you are a firefighter, the captain of the department in Sisterfuck, Arkansas, a little bit outside Little Rock, and, in your off-duty life, you're a good, loyal member of the Church of the Bloodiest Christ You've Ever Seen. At your church, Pastor Jamie Lee Closetqueer preaches about how abortion is just President Obama trying to murder Christians to make room for more Muslims. You never saw a Muslim abortion clinic, did you?

Now let us say, and, indeed, why not, that one night the Planned Parenthood in Little Rock goes up in flames and it's all hands on deck, all around the county, the area, even. Your squad is called into action before the whole complex, maybe the block, burns down. But you know that the Planned Parenthood does abortions. You're faced with a choice. Pastor Closetqueer's words echo in your ear: "If you support the sin, you are a sinner yourself." Do you tell your Sisterfuck squad to stand down, let it burn, let other firefighters handle it? Or do you go against your faith and do your goddamn job?

It's not a big leap from pharmacists to firefighters. Down the road a bit from Sisterfuck is Millegdeville, Georgia, where Brittany Cartrett had a miscarriage. She needed assistance passing the miscarried fetus, so her doctor prescribed her Misoprostol, a pill that would help her complete what had started naturally, if sadly. When her doctor called local Walmart to have it filled, the pharmacist on duty refused to do so because, as she later told Cartrett, "I couldn't think of a valid reason why you would need this prescription." Misoprostol can be used to induce abortion, which is why it would be effective after a miscarriage. When Cartrett explained why she needed it, the pharmacist said, "Well, I don't feel like there is a reason why you would need it, so we refused to fill it."

And it's perfectly fine because Georgia has a law that says if pharmacists think that someone's prescription violates their beliefs, they can refuse to fill it because of a conscience clause, which over 20 states have or are considering. In this case, that meant that, despite a doctor calling in the prescription, the pharmacist thought, "Abortin' babeez" and bugged out.

By the way, Brittany Cartrett is a devout Christian who once worked at the same Walmart. And her response to the ensuing controversy, which became known because of her Facebook post on it, is about as common sense as you can get: "The point is that she refused to fill it based on an assumption and that is not her job. Her job is to fill it. Not to make the decision as to why I needed it. There has to be a line drawn when it comes to stuff like this."

Cartrett also wrote, awesomely, "I don't care about an apology. I care about women going through one of the worst possible things that they could go through and to be judged and refused. And what if I was going to get it for an abortion? I don't personally believe in abortion, but I would never judge or disrespect someone who felt like that was the only choice they had. As a friend, I would try to advise alternative options. As a pharmacist? It's not my place."

When you're right, you're right. Conscience clauses when it comes to things like this are just impositions of one's religion on others. Do your fucking job. If you can't do your fucking job properly, find another fucking job. If your bullshit beliefs are going to prevent you from fulfilling basic duties, then get the fuck out of the public sector. Go work for a church. Just stay away from people who might need you to shut the fuck up and do the job. Conservatives like to talk about "special rights" for different groups. An exclusion from the duties of your profession is pretty much the picture book definition of "special rights."

It ain't just religion. In Carlisle, Pennsylvania, a school nurse refused to assist a middle school student and threw the girl out of her office. The girl's crime? She didn't stand during the Pledge of Allegiance, the loyalty oath students around the country are asked to recite every morning at their indoctrination center schools. Except, interestingly enough, the Pledge is voluntary, and the nurse is being investigated for abiding by her patriotic conscience. So there is a line.

When it comes to religion, though, that line is being erased. We are not far from just letting shit burn.


The Inevitable Inevitability of Hillary Clinton

We're getting a new Star Wars movie this year. If you're like the Rude Pundit, your first thought when you heard about it was "C'mon. How about coming up with something new, fer chrissake?" See, once The Phantom Menace, the fourth one (or the first, depending on your level of geek), came out in 1999, most anyone except the stupid, the children, and the most devoted, completist fans stopped giving a shit about Star Wars, feeling it was better to live on with your memories of the original three, however skewed those are by the distance of time. Besides, along came Harry Potter in book and movie form around the same time, and, holy crap, that was so much bolder and original than the dumb new Star Wars flicks. It was something different, something that would take you to places you didn't know, or places that were familiar but presented in a new way. How cool is that? Fuck boring Anakin Skywalker.

Of course, the Harry Potter series ended, as it had to, and while it was fine, it certainly didn't live up to the magic of the start, at least not to the Rude Pundit. It promised more than it could fulfill, some of the subplots were worthless, and the end was so unsurprising as to be tedious. However, when it was good, it was transcendent, and that's enough.

This year, the first teaser-trailer for The Force Awakens came out, and the Rude Pundit thought, "Okay, fine, that looks fun as hell. Maybe the time is finally right, the people working on it finally know what they're doing, and it'll be good. Sign me up." It's not exactly "Fuck yeah, let's get our motherfuckin' Jedi on." It's more of "Yeah, I'm ready for the comforts and potential thrills of a new Star Wars."

The second yesterday that Hillary Clinton made it official that she's running for president, the race was over. Barring anything health-related, Hillary Clinton will be elected president in 2016. It doesn't matter who the GOP nominates. This is now as predictable a race as 2012.

Oh, sure, we'll pretend. Already, you have writers and prognosticators saying that Clinton is not "inevitable," even people the Rude Pundit admires and agrees with. You have others writing about how Clinton's last campaign was dysfunctional or how she's her own worst enemy or how we're going to have the unending Clinton "drama," a storyline concocted and propagated by the media. We'll act like any of the avaricious charlatans, craven whores, and scabby lepers running for the Republican nomination stand a chance. We'll have to see absurd articles like how Marco Rubio could win. We'll have to play this tedious, depressing race for the next year-and-a-half, punishing the public with nonstop messaging. All of it will amount to nothing because the ending of this story is written, like St. Peter's book on your life at the gates of a Calvinist heaven.

Simply put, there is no argument out there that makes any sense as to how she could lose. While there are places in the U.S. that might want a gay marriage-opposing, Obamacare-eliminating, climate change-denying, abortion rights-overturning, immigrant-bashing leader, these positions make no sense to the majority of the country. On the other side of that, most of the nation also doesn't give a fuck about the stuff that gets us in Left Blogsylvania all distressed about Clinton: her coziness with Wall Street and her more-hawkish-than-Obama foreign policy. And if you think there are still skeletons in her closet that are big enough to sink her, you must think that Vince Foster was murdered and that Hillary stood there and laughed while Bill raped women in front of her.

Clinton's inevitability isn't a good thing. It isn't a bad thing. It's just what it is. It's more tangible than the inevitability of Bob Dole or John McCain or Mitt Romney because they were inevitable nominees. Clinton is the inevitable winner.

If the Rude Pundit were advising the GOP, he'd tell it to forget about the presidency. Concentrate on keeping your backwards-ass local and state elections in your win column. Until you come up with a Harry Potter of your own, we'll gladly return to Star Wars.


Three Follow-Up Questions Designed to Piss Off Rand Paul

As we've learned, it's very easy to make Sen. Rand Paul get as pissy as an aggravated 8th grade girl when he's questioned even slightly. So here's some quick follow-ups sure to push him over the edge. They can come after anything from queries about Iran to "Were you really named after Ayn Rand?"

1. "Really?"

2. "Dude, really?"

3. "Are you shittin' me?"


Bill O'Reilly Spins the North Charleston Shooting Like a Greased Top

Perhaps you were sitting home yesterday or today, wondering, "How in the world will Fox 'news' be able to discuss the shooting of Walter Scott by Officer Michael Slager? How could it possibly spin an obvious murder by a cop? Surely, even Fox will have to admit we have a problem here."

Oh, dear wonderer, you don't know Fox.

Last night, on Bill O'Reilly's Slaughterhouse of Fuckery and Lies, O'Reilly showed how it's done: You deny it's anything other than a one-time incident. Here's how he starts the conversation with Some Asshole on there to agree with him: "What struck me is, when we were doing research for this story, police shootings have fallen 70 percent -- police shootings of black Americans 70 percent in the last 40 or 50 years. So they are way, way down. In 2012, last stats available, 123 blacks were killed by police; 326 whites were killed. So there doesn't seem to be as some people would have you believe, that police are trying to hunt down young black men and take their lives."

Then, no shit, he followed up with "However, there is no excuse for what that officer in South Carolina did." See? He cares.

After briefly talking to Some Asshole, O'Reilly opined, "You have to chalk it up to the man, the police officer you are seeing, allegedly -- and I believe he will be convicted -- committed a crime and let the system play out. He is being held without bail as I mentioned. But there are people who are not going to let the system play out. They're going to condemn the system." And that's just wrong. You can't condemn a system for the actions of a few bad actors.  "You take each crime and you put it into whatever context this justice system can provide," O'Reilly says.

You got that? O'Reilly, a master of taking an incident and proclaiming a "War" on something or other, thinks that you can't do that in this case.  He regularly says that Muslims need to do something about Islamic terrorism, even if the vast, vast majority of Muslims are not terrorists. Benghazi means the entire State Department and the Obama Administration are corrupt. But a white cop shooting an unarmed black man? Like so many other shootings of unarmed black men? Each done in a motherfuckin' vacuum, according to O'Reilly.

That's the spin you're gonna hear from Fox. This one incident was isolated. This one doesn't tell us anything. Let's get upset about this one and forget about the others that have even the smallest amount of doubt in them. Let's absolve ourselves of any complicity. The issue, as O'Reilly tells us, is that we hate to feel bad about America: "It besmirches a country -- a country that you have prospered in and I have prospered in."

Yeah. It fucking well does.


Hey, That's Fucked-Up (Part 3): What It Takes to Get a Cop Charged With Murder

North Charleston, SC, Officer Michael T. Slager, white, is checking the pulse of Walter L. Scott, black, after Slager shot Scott five times while the unarmed Scott was running away from Slager.  In the video taken by a bystander, who is understandably hiding behind a fence and bushes until another cop arrives, after we see the shooting, Slager yells at the fallen Scott to put his hands behind his back so he can be cuffed. This moment here occurs after a second officer has come onto the scene and after Slager has picked up what is presumed to be a taser and dropped it next to Scott. This is so he can say that he shot Scott because the running man stole the taser from him. Scott has no pulse in this image. He was already dead by the time Slager checked, perhaps to make sure.

If there had been no video, Slager would no doubt be defended by police organizations and law-and-order conservatives who would tell us that we don't understand what cops have to deal with and we weren't there and Scott was not a perfect angel. If there had been no video, an investigation would have ended in no indictment, nothing, and protests would have happened with those same police and politicians and commentators saying that the protests were misguided and that we're doing harm to society by saying terrible things about terrible events and that the protesters are the real racists.

At the very least, Slager has been arrested for murder. We don't know yet if he'll be convicted. But we do know that it's possible to charge a cop for shooting unarmed black man. That much we finally know. We just need utterly perfect video in order to do it. That's not too high a bar, right?

By the way, Slager fired eight times at a man who wasn't an imminent threat to anyone.  He hit Scott five times. That means three bullets went somewhere else. We also know that there were several people around (there is another video, too). So, in this case, the only threat to the well-being of the citizens of North Charleston was a police officer.


Hey, That's Fucked-Up (Part 2): Red State Advice for Mother's Day

What exactly is this rack implying at a Books-a-Million in south Louisiana? That the lovely daughter wants her lovely mother spanked and handcuffed? That she wishes Dad had coerced Mom into take contraception (yeah, that's in one of the 50 Shades books)? If you buy this for your mom, do you need to give her a riding crop and butt plug? Where's the daughter's other hand in the photo? Is she fingering her mother's twat? Look at Ma's smile. Yeah, she's totally fingering her mother's twat.

By the way, Books-a-Million is like Barnes and Noble's creepy, evangelical uncle. Christian, not just in a Grey way. Bondage and butt sex, sure, just not in a gay way.

Of course, perhaps it's more fucked-up to take the store's other suggestion for Mother's Day:


Hey, That's Fucked-Up (Part 1): You're Gonna Get Some Kid Shot

Oh, good people of America, you have not experienced epic weirdness until you've been to the Laotian New Year's festival at a temple in south Louisiana. Surrounded by flatbed trailers all with giant speakers playing different kinds of loud L-pop (is that a thing?) and disco, with young and old people on mikes, bouncing and singing along, drinks being handed out to the throngs of thousands without care as to age or level of drunkenness, bald monks praying inside the temples, food like rice inside of bamboo that needed to be hacked open and dozens of grills with various skewered parts on them, and so much shit for sale, the Rude Pundit saw what you see in the picture above.

Those are pretty damn realistic-looking play assault rifles. And that little kid is holding a package with a fake but scary-authentic pistol, even if it has an obligatory red trigger.  This led to the sight of small Laotian and Cambodian children running around the tents and temple buildings, firing at each other and one image of a teen pointing the pistol right at the head of a seated kid, cocking it, and firing. Just to complete this incredibly uncomfortable, combat flashback-worthy scene, we were surrounded by sugar cane and rice farms.

The cops, and there were many, present seemed to eyeball the kids and teens bemusedly. But you know, in a different context, and perhaps a different race, some kid could get shot by the police over one of these things.  That's not being p.c. or over-cautious. It's just the times and the place we live in.

(Note: The Rude Pundit is on one of his Red State America sojourns. So he's offering a series this week of fucked-up and strange things he sees in his pilgrimage. Also, it's easier than grappling with the news while he's on something like a vacation.)


Brief Note to RFRA Supporters: Just Say You Hate Fags

Serious Christians are celebrating this week for the gruesome death of their savior. Some are positively jizzing in their Easter baskets over Christ's crucifixion. Even if you're like the Rude Pundit and think the whole thing is ghoulish and bizarre, you have to admire one thing about the biblical Jesus: motherfucker was brave. His story is about a man who said what he meant and meant what he said. He didn't hide behind legal trickery. He fucked up people with his actual beliefs.

So, really, supporters of the Religious Freedom Whatever Acts. Just admit what's really going on. Stop saying that you are supporting your faith (you're not - all that shit you think relates to queers is in the Old Testament) or standing on principle or that you have gay friends/customers. When you say you don't want to provide service or products for gay couples getting married, all you're saying is that you hate fags. And dykes.

At the end of this exhausting week of fake soul-searching and mock concern,  be that honest - with yourselves, with others. Just say you hate queers for being queer and queering up your nice not-queer life. Just say that same-sex marriage is that last chance you have to make your hate law.

You do that and you'll earn the right the celebrate your holiday for a man/fictional character who you wouldn't have touched with a ten-foot cross.


Travelin', Boss

Today and tomorrow, the Rude Pundit is headed to parts South. He will report when he gets there if he's been attacked by homosexuals wielding pizzas, wedding cakes, and floral bouquets.


Evangelical Right Is Losing Its Goddamned Mind Over RFRA Backsliding

Sure as the sun rises, the evangelical right was going to go bugfuck insane over any backtracking on the Religious Freedom Restoration Acts being considered or passed in different states. The goal of almost all of them is to discriminate against same sex couples who want to get married, and, truth be told, to discriminate against gays even if they're just single and fabulous.

The Family Research Council (motto: "Sure, Jesus hung out with a bunch of dudes most of the time in a totally not-gay way") has written a thing about Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, who indicated that he's open to undicking over the state and revisiting the RFRA there. Says FRC President Tony "Where's the nearest TV camera?" Perkins, "The governor addressed the complete falsehood that RFRA is about denying people a seat in a restaurant or a room at a hotel. Christians would never deny people these services but being forced to participate in a ceremony that violates religious beliefs is completely un-American and uncivil." The first question that comes to mind is "Have you met many Christians?" 'Cause there's a fuckload of them that'd cast the first, second, and third stone when it comes to LGBT people.

Perkins continues, "The government shouldn’t force religious businesses and churches to participate in wedding ceremonies contrary to their owners’ beliefs." Now you might say, "When the fuck did a bakery become a 'religious business'?" But you're a sinner and probably masturbating right now. Religious people are being subject to "bullying" by the government, Perkins says, concluding with "What is unfolding in Indiana reveals the source of true intolerance: those who want the government to punish people for freely living according to their beliefs."

This is where we are: One side claims it's intolerant to deny service to people whose very existence doesn't comport with the religious beliefs of a business owner. The other side claims it's intolerant to force them to serve those people.  Between them, sweet motherfuckers, is a river too wide to cross.

In many ways, the FRC is far more rational and modulated than the frantic rat orgy of intolerance and religious faith taking place over at the blog RedState, which is where the doughy deacon of delusion, Erick "Erick" Erickson holds forth.  For instance, today, he writes, "In the last twenty-four hours, much of the mainstream media has shown itself perfectly willing to serve as agents of Satan." And he ain't saying that ironically or facetiously. Oh, great Lucifer, no. That walking bowl of paste-colored Jello is dead serious that the media is doing Satan's bidding on earth. And, remember, this dude is on TV regularly to represent the conservative viewpoint.

Yesterday, Erickson was offering pure, uncut crazy Christian soldier rhetoric, freebased and injected right into a slapped vein: "Many people would like to find middle ground. Many churches would like to find middle ground. But there will be none because homosexuals and their culture war warriors on the left are unwilling to have a middle ground." Fuck, that shit feels so fuckin' good.

"The gay rights movement cannot abide a middle ground and a free exercise of religion for a simple reason — homosexuality is not normal in nature, in historic relationships, or in the sacred texts of almost all religions," Erickson went on, the euphoria just coursing around his entire being, an ecstasy, if you will. "Ultimately, over time, two thousand years of Christianity will be forced to be treated as the deviant lifestyle. You will be forced to pick a side. If you remain true to your God, you will be outside the bounds of acceptable conduct. You will be made to care."

Here's another take for Erickson, a hand of kindness reached out to someone who sees only demons where he should see human beings, a flower instead of a straitjacket: Religion adapts, evolves, changes as people change. When Christianity spread to Latin America (or was forced on the people there by cruel colonists and missionaries...sorry, trying to be nice here), the people put their own spin on the icons and the imagery and, yes, the message.  Back in the day, Christianity used to mean killing infidels, much like a sect of a certain, younger religion. But that was untenable in an industrializing, urbanizing, wider-educated Western world. So it changed. Churches were segregated in many places, with racism justified through sins of Cain or some such shit. That changed (well, it's not enforced, although many churches are still self-...ok, ok), too. When one group of Christians didn't like what another group of Christians was doing, they broke off and formed their own version of the faith.

In other words, stop being such a whiny cuntfaced ferret (or ferret-faced cunt, whichever way works better for you), Erick "Erick" Erickson. Your precious faith will survive because people are scared and ignorant and want to believe in phantoms and miracles. It just won't give a shit if someone is gay.

And those who still do? We'll call them "Christian extremists."