Photos That Make the Rude Pundit Want to Down a Handful of Klonopin with a Case of Dixie

That right there is Isle de Jean Charles, Louisiana, written up in the fancy, big city New York Times today because the federal government is going to spend $48 million to relocate the town, which is going to be underwater soon due to climate change. The land used to be 11 miles long and 5 miles wide, but oil and gas companies helped things along by cutting canals and waterways into the already unstable wetlands area. Rising sea waters have accelerated erosion and inundated the land with salt from the ocean. The island has shrunk since the 1950s from 22,400 acres to just 320 acres today. There's a pretty stunning gif from the Baton Rouge Advocate that shows what the area looked like in 1971 and what it looks like now.

It's hard to figure out how moving just 27 families of Biloxi-Chitimacha-Choctaw Indians is going to cost $48 million, but that's the budget awarded by HUD. These are, according to several writers, "climate refugees."

What's happening in far south Louisiana is sad, no doubt, and a way of life is going to disappear, which is always a loss for our culture. It's interesting to note that Isle de Jean Charles is in Terrebonne Parish, Louisiana. The parish has voted strongly Republican in pretty much every election in the last 20 years, at least. The citizens there, who do include those in the small oil company-dependent city of Houma, voted overwhelmingly for Bobby Jindal in 2011. Jindal was a climate change denier who did approximately nothing to help his state from the obvious effects of something that isn't happening in the future, but is occurring right now. It even went for David Vitter in 2015 over the winner, Democrat John Bel Edwards, who trusts the scientists when it comes to science.

This is not to blame the people of Isle de Jean Charles directly. But the one road there is disappearing. A good-sized hurricane, like Gustav a few years back, will wipe it out. Either way, the land will be gone within a few years. So maybe it's time to hold to account some of the people who stood by while the state drowned. Maybe it's time for people in the region to call out the politicians who genuinely harmed them.


Don't Worry, Andrew Sullivan. Americans Are Too Lazy to Support a Tyrant

The Rude Pundit swore last night he wasn't going to read former uber-blogger Andrew Sullivan's "Didja miss me?" of an overlong piece on the death of democracy in New York magazine. He read the first line, "As this dystopian election campaign has unfolded, my mind keeps being tugged by a passage in Plato’s Republic," and told himself that this was going to be the ne plus ultra of douchey faux intellectualism. Then he skimmed the thing and came across "as I chitchatted over cocktails at a Washington office Christmas party in December," which made him close his computer and say, aloud, "Nope."

This morning, he opened the laptop again and it was waiting for him, like some hulking beast in the jungle of a Hemingway story, begging to slaughter or be slaughtered. So the Rude Pundit read the Sulli-piece. In it, our man in DC gets all verklempt that this country, so well-conceived by slaveowners and their enablers, might finally fall due to the rise of the dark lord, Donald Trump, and the heaving hordes of the unwashed that will no doubt follow him. Trump is, to Sullivan's mind, the near-ideal synthesis of subject - candidate - and form - the internet of idiots, as demonstrated on Twitter and various comment threads of the damned. Trump's racist rhetoric is "giving legitimacy to the most hysterical and ugly of human impulses."

Sullivan throws some historical knowledge at us: "Just as the English Civil War ended with a dictatorship under Oliver Cromwell, and the French Revolution gave us Napoleon Bonaparte, and the unstable chaos of Russian democracy yielded to Vladimir Putin, and the most recent burst of Egyptian democracy set the conditions for General el-Sisi’s coup, so our paralyzed, emotional hyperdemocracy leads the stumbling, frustrated, angry voter toward the chimerical panacea of Trump." That term, "hyperdemocracy," is one that Sullivan uses for, really, a democracy that allows the poors to vote and the naifs to get elected. He pins the blame for the rise of Trump on the very anti-intellectualism that propelled him ahead of the GOP's chosen candidates and on the over-democratization of the nation. The rabble are getting the best of the elites, and Sullivan says that we need elites "precisely to protect this precious democracy from its own destabilizing excesses."

And to that one can only say, "Motherfucker, who got us into this situation? It was the fucking insiders and the fucking 'elites' of each of the parties. It was the cocksucking elites in the media who wanted to lick some of the balls of real power. It was the bastard moneyed elites who manipulated elections and districts and courts and the entire goddamned system. We aren't here because gay people wanted to be allowed to get married and that pissed off the yahoos. We're here because decades of bullshit told the yahoos that their ignorance was right. The elites let them believe that they knew best. The elites can save us? Fuck. Only if they can save us from themselves. There aren't enough buildings for them to jump off in order to save the rest of us."

On top of that, Sullivan truly believes that widespread violence is on its way: "Every time Trump legitimizes potential violence by his supporters by saying it comes from a love of country, he sows the seeds for serious civil unrest." But the historical examples he uses dealt with populations who were legitimately oppressed, who legitimately had nothing. Many of Trump's supporters are people with jobs and health insurance and houses and families, people who like to go to ball games and drink beer with friends, people who might listen to Sean Hannity while driving around, but, at the end of the day, could give a fuck less when they get home and jack off to some online porn. Do you honestly think that those people are going to risk all of that shit that makes up their lives because Donald Trump tells them to riot? Fuck no. A couple of them are gonna throw some punches, a bunch of others will film it with their phones, and most everyone will go home because they don't want to lose their fuckin' jobs.

Writing about reality TV, Sullivan says, "In such a shame-free media environment, the assholes often win. In the end, you support them because they’re assholes." He's right. But he leaves out that most Americans are assholes, too. We are selfish and we mostly just want to be left the fuck alone. It's one of our greatest faults and one of our greatest strengths. It's why the post-Obama America didn't support the hopey-changey stuff when it needed support. We are selfish and we are fucking lazy assholes. Get up and go vote in the midterms? Nah, fuck that. So do you really think Americans are ready to put on the brownshirts? Do you know how much effort that takes? We've got cat videos to watch, goddamnit.

Sullivan tosses Sanders's candidacy into the fire of potential uprisings. But if Bernie Sanders's election run has taught us anything, it's that crowd-size doesn't equal votes. So calm the fuck down, Sully. Go back to obsessing over Sarah Palin.

Because, really, democracy started its death spiral sometime around Bush v. Gore in 2000, back when you supported W and then the Iraq war. Frankly, everything else is just a coda.


Are All Trump Supporters Fucking Dumb? An Investigative Series (Part 1)

You can read a truckload of shit theorizing about Donald Trump's seemingly impossible rise to become the inevitable Republican nominee for president. Some of them are anti-Trump and fantasize about a contested convention in Cleveland in July. That ain't gonna happen. Some are just Ol' Yellers, standing in line, waiting for the sweet kiss of a bullet to put down their diseased party. That would be anti-Trump conservatives like the New York Times's David Brooks, who really wrote that he's going to spend less time in "the bourgeois strata" and will spend more leaping "across the chasms of segmentation that afflict this country." Well, bully for you, Dr. Livingstone. Give the hottentots of Alabama our regards.

Then you get Trump-lovin' opinionators like Wayne Allan Root, who, writing for Fox "news," says that the real reason "people" support Trump is President Obama has made the economy suck. Let WA-Root explain it all for you: "I understand that President Obama has wrecked the U.S. economy. We are in an economic disaster. And it can get worse. Much worse. If someone who thinks just like Obama is elected, we could slide into economic Armageddon." Now you may look at that and think, "Huh. I didn't realize that creating millions of new jobs overwhelmingly in the private sector and cutting the unemployment rate in half brought us to the precipice of the End Times," but fuck you. You don't understand Economics with a capital motherfuckin' E like WA-Root, who is hisself a bidnessman who has him some bidnesses.

You could write days and days of bloggery disputing all the nonsense in WA-Root's anxiously masturbated scribblings. For instance, he dribbles, "Republicans are the private sector. We own our own small businesses. Or we work for private sector businesses. Or we’re independent contractors -- real estate brokers, stockbrokers, car salesman, insurance brokers, mortgage brokers, etc." Just the first sentence there: "Republicans are the private sector." Republicans control both houses of Congress, have total control over the legislatures and governorships of 23 states, and share in control of 20. Republicans are actually the goddamn government for most of the nation. To deny that is to dwell in myopic madness and a miasma of meaninglessness. Or support Trump. Pretty much the same things.

Then WA-Root drops this truth barrel bomb: "We know Obama, Hillary and the mainstream media are lying about 'economic recovery.' There is no recovery. We have been living in an 8-year-long Obama Great Depression. Yes, those living in New York (Wall Street), San Francisco (Silicon Valley) and Washington, D.C. (government jobs and contracts) are fat and happy. But everywhere else in-between, the people are in severe trouble." Which would be totally true if it wasn't factually false. 'Cause, see, in the real world, the states that have recovered from the Great Recession most are the ones in-between, like Texas, Colorado, Utah, Michigan, South Carolina, Florida, Georgia, and more. Yeah, California did damn well and New York made it out okay, but the area around DC has had mediocre growth. Shit, that's leaving out North Dakota, which boomed because of fracking but is now going bust because of it.

You gotta read the rest of it. You'll pause every now and then and wonder, "Is he writing from some fucking wormhole that has made him fall into an alternate dimension? 'Cause this sure as shit ain't the country where we're all living now"

WA-Root's point here is that people like him understand that "only a capitalist billionaire businessman can possibly turn this nightmare around." So he believes that Trump has the support he has gotten because of an emphasis on financial issues, on relieving us of the economic "nightmare" under Obama. And to believe that, you either have to be willfully blind or so filled with lies and bullshit that your eyes smell like a rancher's boots.

By the time WA-Root gets to asserting that many Democrats "are in school, or college, or broke and jobless living in mommy and daddy’s basement eating Doritos, while watching Jerry Springer," you realize that the only way you can vote for Trump is to delude yourself. Sure, as long as you can ignore the millions of Trump worshippers who love him for his racism and xenophobia, you can rely on a series of vague insults that sound good but offer nothing but comfort for the hateful.

Really, WA-Root? The economy? Motherfucker, you yourself give away the game when you say, "Sure, Trump has failed but he came back bigger and better than ever, each and every time." Trump failed during the reigns of both Bushes (one of his corporate bankruptcies was in 2009, but the filing started in 2008). He "came back bigger and better than ever" during Democratic presidencies, Clinton and Obama.

Score for Trump voter WA-Root: "Fucking Dumb."


L.A. Quickie: Donald Trump Demands Copious Blow Jobs

To(Note: The Rude Pundit is on a plane, about to leave Los Angeles, so this will be brief.)

In his speech yesterday, Donald Trump, who is, really, pretty much the Republican nominee for president, told the world, "In a Trump administration, you can all suck America's balls. In fact, if you don't suck our balls, you're dead to us. Except for Israel. Gimme that circumcised dick to fellate better than Obama ever could."

Actually, that was more articulate than Trump was. We're so fucked.


L.A. Quickie: The "Woman's Card" Is Utter Bullshit

(Note: The Rude Pundit is on his last full day in Los Angeles, so posts are short. He'll be heading back to the welcoming arms of the East Coast tomorrow. You can hear him in the morning on The Stephanie Miller Show.)

Noted sexist Donald Trump has accused Hillary Clinton of "playing the woman's card" in the election. Last night, after his Cruz-crushing victories in five states, he jerksplained, "Well, I think the only card she has is the woman's card. She has nothing else going. And frankly, if Hillary Clinton were a man, I don't think she would get 5 percent of the vote. The only thing she has got going is the woman's card."

Think about that for a second. Or don't. Because, see, Hillary Clinton happens to be a woman. And if talking about women's experiences and her own life is playing some vaguely-defined card, then you're saying that a woman isn't allowed to view the world and politics from the perspective she's gonna have whether you like it or not. What you're saying is that only the male's (or, more precisely, the white male, since we could add "race card" to this) point of view is the valid one. In fancy scholar-speak, we call that "hegemony."

Clinton herself addressed it, saying, in essence, "Suck it, cockface": "Now, the other day Mr. Trump accused me of playing the, quote, 'woman card.' Well, if fighting for women's health care and paid family leave and equal pay is playing the woman's card, then deal me in." When a male Democrat talks about abortion rights or other issues, he's not accused of playing the woman's card. So what's the only thing there that's different about Clinton?

Yeah, she's a fuckin' woman. It ain't only her card. She owns the fucking deck. Let's stop this bullshit argument that because someone running doesn't see the country with a penis in her way, it's somehow a lesser perspective. And maybe someone should point out to Trump that a lot of people are voting for him because of his sex.

Trump is devaluing Clinton because she's a woman. Let's call that "playing the dick card."


L.A. Quickie: Washington Post's Marc Thiessen Is Hard for an Obamacare "Death Spiral"

(Note: The Rude Pundit continues his Los Angeles adventure. He taco'd the fuck out of this town yesterday. Today, whiskey.)

The Washington Post's Marc Thiessen writes in his latest "column" (if by "column," you mean, "The fatuous gargles of a drowning plutocracy") that President Barack Obama has just completely fucked-up this beautiful, un-fucked nation that was left to him in 2009. Well, actually, torture apologist Thiessen doesn't mention the Bush-that-shall-not-be-named; instead, he chooses to compare Obama to the Sainted One: "Reagan defeated Soviet communism and left us a safer world; Obama presided over the rise and metastasis of the Islamic State and left us a far more dangerous one."

Not only is he comparing apples and turtles, Thiessen is leaving out a crucial couple of steps there in getting to the Islamic State, like, well, shit, the Iraq "war" that his former boss started. But, you know, that's Republicans these days, acting like the reign of George the Dumber didn't happen or have any effect on the nation. In their telling of history, we went straight from the shining glory of Reagan to the shit-wallow of Obama.

Thiessen's main point is to flog the conservative talking point that the insurance exchanges in the Affordable Care Act are in a "death spiral" because insurance companies are not making as much money now that sick people have insurance. More precisely, it's that once companies like United Health bail on the exchanges, those sick people will be covered by, horrors, a Medicaid HMO. Thiessen helpfully points out, "Without enough healthy people in the exchanges to pay for the sick ones, taxpayers will be stuck with more and more of the costs over time — a situation that is unsustainable in the long run."

Which would be scary, except for one thing: the sick people signed up first. Now more of the healthier ones, the ones who don't want to pay the (admittedly low) penalty are getting insurance. Yeah, "the evidence shows that with the passing of each month, new enrollees have been coming from healthier and healthier stock. If these trends continue, the price of premiums should soon settle into much more affordable territory, and the rise in premiums from year to year should become much less significant."

Of course, there are fixes that could make the Affordable Care Act work better. A hike in the penalty, for instance, would drive more people to the exchanges. But that would require Congress to stop being such dicks about Obamacare and actually, you know, fix it, like Democrats did with Bush, Jr.'s Medicare prescription drug plan that most of the Democrats in the House opposed.

Just remember, though. It's easier to elide over history, it's easier to forget, and it's easier to complain about something that can be fixed than to actually do something.


L.A. Quickie: Kasich and Cruz Come Together to Form a Megazord of Fail

(Note: The Rude Pundit is in Los Angeles for a few days this week. So blogging will be light and quick, like his liaisons on the Left Coast. You can hear him each morning through Thursday on The Stephanie Miller Show, which probably needs to update his bio.)

In a display of too-little-too-late-ism that ranks up there with "Flowers from a cheating husband," John Kasich and Ted Cruz have agreed on a kind of alliance of fuckery, a Megazord of fail, if you will. Said a spokesturd for Cruz, "To ensure that we nominate a Republican who can unify the Republican Party and win in November, our campaign will focus its time and resources in Indiana and in turn clear the path for Gov. Kasich to compete in Oregon and New Mexico."

Meanwhile, John Kasich's campaign said something that no one gives a shit about.

That's the grand strategy. It's like fouling your opponent in basketball at the end of a game in an often vain attempt to eke out enough points to win. Or when a soccer player rolls around on the ground like he's been ass-raped by a gorilla after he's really been barely touched.

In other words, give it up, Cruz and Kasich. This whole thing is over. You can pretend there's gonna be an open convention and there will be some mighty fight to the death. But it's too late. The pooch has been screwed.

And after Trump wrecks both of them in Pennsylvania and mocks them relentlessly for this strategy (which he's already doing), it's gonna be pathetic watching those campaigns limp around until they finally have the sense to just lay down and fade away.