literary debuts

Beloved Epithet ‘Welfare Queen’ To Be Replaced With ‘Welfare Raccoon’

Nebraska Attorney General Jon Bruning has some kind of rambling magical woodland children’s bedtime story about coons ‘n beetles ‘n rat carcass to share with everybody. Here is your Google translation from the original Wingnut Gibberish: “If the EPA leaves buckets of insects scattered around the bulldozers at an abandoned construction site, the poor turn into raccoons and come to eat them at midnight.” Literary analysis: Jon Bruning believes the poor like to eat insects as long as they are free, because raccoons won’t eat anything they have to pay for. Moral of the story: Jon Bruning believes it is best not to think of poor people as human. Good point, Jon! “Welfare queen” was getting kind of worn out with its connotations of royalty or actual humanity. “Welfare raccoons” it is, from now on! What prompted this bit of dank poetry?

What kind of batshit goal could Bruning possibly have in trying to inadvertently or otherwise re-brand the poor as the kind of scavenging creatures that rednecks like to hunt and kill in their spare time? Oh, just pretend you didn’t see it coming for a minute: a run for Senate!

From TPM:

Nebraska Attorney General Jon Bruning, a frontrunner to replace retiring Sen. Ben Nelson (R-NE), compared poor people to scavenging racoons in a speech this week.

In a video captured by the liberal group, American Bridge 21st Century, Bruning makes the comparison as part of an elaborate metaphor originally focused on environmental regulations. He describes a requirement that workers at a construction project gather up endangered beetles by luring them into a bucket with a dead rat in order to release them elsewhere. But the plan is thwarted when hungry raccoons then eat them straight out of the rat-infested bucket. Which, according to Bruning, is a perfect image to illustrate how welfare recipients receive their benefits.

You put “dead rat” and “free insects for dinner” into the same sentence and we think more of Nebraska politicians, but eh, just us. [TPM]

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  1. Troglodeity

    Of course, the fact that "racoons" is commonly abbreviated "coons" is totally coincidental.

    1. SorosBot

      Yeah, just a total coincidence I'm sure; there's no way that the apparent racism here was completely intentional and Bruning is an idiot for thinking he might fool people.

    2. Ansnarkist

      Okay, confession time: I never knew that this word was a racial slur until just recently. I always thought it was just what hillbillies called raccoon. I'm super glad that I never used it in public.

      1. Ansnarkist

        Oh so everyone knows, I'm not saying that this guy isn't using the term in a racist way. I'm sure he is. I'm just saying that this racial slur was one that I was ignorant over for too long in my life.

      2. Crank_Tango

        ah don't feel too bad…I am sure they are just like the eskimos (arctic arabs, as SP would say) and have hundreds of racial slurs for teh blax.

        Like Canadian…I mean I always thought that Canadian meant Canadian.

        1. bumfug

          I worked for a company once where "French-Canadian" was code for black, just so management wouldn't catch hell if someone overheard them talking. Really.

          1. Jukesgrrl

            I worked in several companies where "the girls" was code for "the secretaries," so don't feel bad.

            (But seriously, that's AWFUL.)

        1. horsedreamer_1

          I remember a to-do over that when Saban took the Alabama football job & disparaged his former boosters at LSU with that term. The confusion could not have happened to a better guy.

      3. GunToting[Redacted]

        A dear friend of mine nearly had the same problem with "nappy-headed… (as in 'nappy-headed ho…')" He assumed it meant that the person had bed-head, not that they had the tight, kinky curls commonly associated with black people. I managed to head off some severe beat-downs with a bit of education.

      4. WunkRocker

        We used to have a Black -n-Tan Coon Hound. But I'm pretty sure he just was raised to hunt delicious raccoons. Not uppities. Really. Swear it.

      5. GOPCrusher

        People in this part of the country are aware that "coon" is a racial slur. Believe me, Mr. Bruning knew exactly what he was doing when he selected this anecdote.

        1. DoktorThompson

          Yeah, he's going to have a hard time getting elected now that he's pissed off both of the black people living in Nebraska.

    3. bagofmice

      But those coons were eating those government funded bugs. And the worst part, was that it was for science.

      1. PristinePantalones

        But that's what the OTHER coons do too. You know. Eat gubmint-funded bugs. For science. Like those Tuskegee airmen, remember?

  2. nounverb911

    Has Nebraska somehow magically banned the poors from voting? Or is he counting on them having short memories?

    1. Eve8Apples

      In Nebraska's poor districts, they have convinced voters Election Day is always on the sixth Thursday of the month.

    2. Jukesgrrl

      He's counting on them not being able to read thanks to the Republican "no-child-left-behind strategy to guarantee illiteracy."

    1. soojank

      was just about to make that comment but then I refreshed to make sure someone else hadn't already. but here's my version, because.

      Haha, wait, isn't Ben Nelson actually a Democrat? Just one who votes with Republicans more often than others do? or something?

    2. emmelemm

      Oh good, I'm not the only person who noticed that and went, "Hmm – it's certainly truth in advertising, but not *technically* correct".

    3. Lascauxcaveman

      Heh, TPM is getting all Fox-newsy on us, only their slips are on the side of truthiness.

  3. terriblyfamous

    In Nebraska, this kind of thing is considered performance art. It's extra high-class if you can insult poor people and decry environmental protection in the same extended metaphor.

  4. gullywompr

    Damned coons. We need to stop supplying them with rat-infested buckets – it's too good for them.

    1. Negropolis

      If by "praying" you mean on his knees sucking dick, and "Jesus" you mean Jesus his poolboy instead of Jesus H. Christ, than yes, I bet he does pray to Jesus with that same mouth.

  5. Doktor Zoom

    What a twist! I thought it was going to be a parable about how environmentalists were stupid and worthless, but it turned into a parable about how poor people are lazy and worthless! Either way, who needs 'em?

  6. MittsHairHelmet

    Whats with that shirt? Is he an assistant coach for the Cornhuskers football team?

  7. Sue4466

    He does have one point: welfare benefits are just enough for the poor to buy bugs for food.

    1. anniegetyerfun

      Maybe in YOUR fancy-pants town. Where I come from, meals of bugs are for the wealthy. We poors get by on twigs and ground-up rusty cans.

  8. Oblios_Cap

    So they're making the nuts wear a little white "N" on their shirts in Nebraska now?

    What a jackass.

  9. BlueMonkeh

    Yeah – seriously – everyone bitches about Benny the Do being a DINO. But this guy is what is going to replace him on the R(at) side of the ticket.

    There is no place like Nebraska! (thank god)

    1. BlueMonkeh

      Nebraska as in the University of Nebraska as in the University of Nebraska – Lincoln.

      And Nutjob. It can also stand for Nutjob.

  10. Come here a minute

    Damn, you had me excited that asshole Wario Ben Nelson is retiring! The story has been corrected; he's running for re-election.

    Nelson would have found it just as hard as Bruning to resist throwing in an aside about how scavenging raccoons are "taking the easy route", just like welfare recipients, who take the easy way of living off meager scraps of assistance instead of working one of the abundantly available jobs with good pay.

    Lucky duckies!

  11. Buckminster

    This pus bucket is so full of rage he can't remember if he's talking about enviros or the poor. Hope his ticker explodes.

  12. Troglodeity

    His shirt reminds me of the old joke about the University of Nebraska: "The 'N' stands for 'kNowledge.'"

  13. EatsBabyDingos

    Nebrasky was whar David Byrne was singing about with the Talking Heads. "I wouldn't live there if you paid me."

  14. dr_giraud

    Shows contempt for science (check) and prissy dumbass scientists (check), extolls natural wisdom of farmers aka the real Americans (check), and compares the poor to carrion-eating raccoons, aka "coons" (check).

    Clearly the next GOP senator from the grate state of Nebraska.

    1. GunToting[Redacted]

      "natural wisdom of farmers" = suckling at the Government Teat of farm subsidies.

    2. PristinePantalones

      "Grate" is right. The asshole just jumped up and down, with both feet, on my last nerve.

  15. LouBristol

    "coons, beetles, rat carcass, bulldozers at an abandoned construction site" – Hey, EPA! Keep your nose out of Jon Bruning's sex-life.

    1. Buckminster

      If he's describing a typical day in the life of a politician…
      well, I'd rather be a racoon.

    1. baconzgood

      FUCKIN AWSOM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! THE HONEY BADGER IS THE BESTEST TOUGHEST MOST EXCELLENTEST ANIMAL JEBUS EVER CREATED!!!!! (and I thought so years before every one else jumped on the Honey Badger band wagon). Major upfists for the post!

    1. Angry_Marmot

      "Loose shoes, tight lady parts, and a warm place to shit on the poors."
      (James Gaius Watt, forgotten but not gone)

  16. x111e7thst

    He's got good hair, and I'll bet he's tall. He will go far in the great state of Nebraska.

  17. OkieDokieDog

    Maybe Nebraska will get lucky and the raccoons will eat Jon instead.
    Yummmm… tastes like porkrinds dipped in crap.

  18. Rosie_Scenario

    Does the GOP have any analogies to do with the "free" amniotic fluid that nourishes welfare fetuses/ feti?

    1. Guppy06

      Blessed are the rich, for if they weren't blessed, The LORD wouldn't have given them all that money, would He?

  19. baconzgood


    If you take a bunch of bat shit and moth balls and put it in a pail you have the head of Nebraska Attorney General Jon Bruning.

  20. Monsieur_Grumpe

    The moral of the story is reasoning by analogy can produce any kind of conclusion you want to support your wacky little agenda and you will still be completely wrong.

    1. bagofmice

      How else are you going to make those capital letters? Oh, right, the bane of my existence, the caps lonk key.

    2. DahBoner

      Them raccoons just sit around all day and don't work.

      He knows, because he sits around and watches them all day with his binoculars…

  21. finallyhappy

    At TPm comments,someone said 70% of Nebraska farmers get farm subsidies- but somehow they don't see that as welfare. Seems to me if you get paid and aren't doing work for it- it is welfare.

    Also the raccoons around here in suburban MD are picky- they only seem interested in attacking my garbage can when there are the remains of salmon . I'm sure they would not be interested in a mess of bugs and rats .

    1. DahBoner

      Actually said to me by a Republican:

      "Well, I'd rather give welfare to rich people, than poor people!"



    2. Neoyorquino

      Well, just goes to show you — even the East Coast racoons are high-falutin', what with their cultured taste buds and all. A simple and hearty Nebraska bucket-o-bugs is too good for them.

    3. Jukesgrrl

      I suspect the residents of rural Maryland (what's left of it) would be happy to tell you that the raccoons in suburban Maryland are ELITIST.

  22. Lionel[redacted]Esq

    Let's say that the someone wanted to have a doctor check them out. So they get a dead rat and use it to attract cockroaches. Suddenly, they have so many cockroaches, they can't get out the door to get to the doctor.

    This is exactly what is wrong with socialized medicine.

    1. Rosie_Scenario

      That's the kind of fresh thinking that animates the teabagger wing of the GOP. Great point.

    2. DahBoner

      "Let's say that the someone wanted to have a doctor check them out. So they get a dead rat and use it to attract cockroaches. Suddenly, they have so many cockroaches, they can't get out the door to get to the doctor."

      Tom Delay? Is that you?

  23. bagofmice

    Republicans against privatized raccoons maximizing their profit by taking advantage of government subsidies!

  24. YasserArraFeck

    His arms seem very short and stumpy, and his eyes small and piggish. Inbred Nebraskan motherfucker.
    I read somewhere that, back in the day, a baseball game was the only place a black man could wave a stick at a white man and not get lynched. On a similar note, maybe folksy tales about raccoons are the way a racist whitetard can repeatedly slip "coon" into a public statement and not get tagged for it.

  25. fuflans

    i must confess, tools like this make me glad i live in a corrupt gang ridden mob infested very urban area.

  26. baconzgood

    Collecting beetles? They don't have time to do that, 'cause construction workers NEVER stand about doing nuthin'.

  27. DaRooster

    So is he upset that the beetles are not able to be saved due to them damn 'coons? He truly cares about the environment… Nice guy!

  28. Goonemeritus

    He’s got a point these Welfare Corporations do have it kind of easy maybe some of that aid needs to be cut. He was talking about Corporate Welfare wasn’t he?

  29. arihaya

    why does Jon Bruning hate bible thumping, flag waving, Medicare-funded scooters riding Teabaggers ???

  30. Fare la Volpe

    It's a much funnier story when he tells it at his klan lodge meetings:

    "Q: What's the difference between a raccoon and a welfare queen?
    A: A raccoon's only black around the eyes."

  31. Weenus299

    "But the plan is thwarted when hungry raccoons then eat them straight out of the rat-infested bucket."

    Hey fucko, come run for some office in SC, where this shit is written into the 1896 constitution.

  32. El Pinche

    Leave poor people alone, but rap your mouth around a job creator's cock and wear his old balls like a feedbag.

    To be fair, Bruning rushed through that speech since he needed to get his stomach pumped because it's filled with Koch semen.

    1. widget2011

      Behind every Jesus loving hardcore Republican is a self loathing closeted homosexual. Also maybe those balls are actually in his mouth, making him a true teabagger. The are indeed "Children of the Corn(holers)", or more likely corn-holing children.

  33. nappyduggs

    Ooooh, what a terrific selection from "Jackoff's Fables". Does this irritable bowel of a man even realize that it isn't called fucking "welfare" anymore? It is now referred to as Temporary Assistance for Needy Families and the requirements for receiving it are reasonably stringent. Way to keep it current there, guy.

    1. Fare la Volpe

      Honey, honey. If they used it by its real name it wouldn't be such an effective dog whistle. Never let a good lynchword go to waste.

    2. SoBeach

      Pandering to pinchy-faced idiots is reality neutral. You just tap into the audience's ignorance and hostility. Actual facts and stuff are not required.

    3. nappyduggs

      Sigh. I know this, youse guys. But for real, I just want these muhfuckers to wear their sheets in the daytime already. What can it hurt at this point to stop frontin' and say "I don't care much for niggers." Let's take this enema, let all shit and hell break loose, and get it the fuck over with. I'm tired and angry, for the sake of my children and yours too, if you've got 'em.

    4. bagofmice

      There is the "General Welfare" bit in Article 1 Section 8 clause 1 of the constitution, but what would those douchebags know?

  34. Weenus299

    Why not the parable about how our plan to eat paint chips is ruined by drone-guided asbestos bombs, which blow up our grandmothers?

  35. SorosBot

    This analogy works, assuming that the racoons have to jump through hoops to prove that they really are hungry and need the food, will be cut off for life if they have ever committed even the most minor of crimes, the process is designed to be as humiliating and dehumanizing as possible, the beetles are just barely enough food for the racoons to survive, and rich pundits routinely attack and demonize the racoons and claim that it's their own fault they were born racoons and they could easily make themselves non-racoons if they just worked a little harder. Then welfare recipients would be just like racoons.

    1. freakishlywrong

      If there were any justice in this world, the raccoons would bite the motherfuckers while they were doing their mandatory drug tests.

  36. horsedreamer_1

    In an alternate universe, where Hillary is President after having defeated Huckabee (in a Monster Truck Rally of an election), this analogy is made using seahorses, not [rac]coons.

  37. SheriffRoscoe

    But the hated endangered beetles are still being 86'd, right? So, yay? Dumb politician can't even follow his own line of blind hatred.

  38. DemonicRage

    Please let him show up for Congress wearing that Magenta and White (what is it? a…) coach's shirt, and shiny white shorts with Adidas stripes on the sides. This will make Standard and Poor's show new respect for our legislative capabilities as a nation.

  39. Eve8Apples

    Jesus on caring for the poor, ""For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in, Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. "

    Jon Bruning on caring for the poor, "Give 'em a bucket of dead rotting rats and run over them like highway raccoon roadkill. YEEEEHAAAWWWW!"

    1. PristinePantalones

      Welp, I know *you* had nothing to do with this, but just today some pinche little motherfucker decided to do just that to a black man:

      If that's a photo of Deryl Dedmon in that story, he is going to be EVERYfuckinbody's bitch before he's done serving his time. Just ran the man over.

      1. Negropolis

        18-year-old Deryl Dedmon is just 5-feet-tall and weighs 130 pounds.

        That's when Dedmon announced that they should drive to Jackson, 16 miles away, to "fuck with some niggers."

        They climbed into a Jeep Cherokee and Dedmon's F-250.

        How was his little ass able to see over the steering wheel is what I want to know?

        Mississippi never ceases to surprise me…unfortunately so.

    1. PristinePantalones

      Well, you know how that is. Once you've had welfare recipient, ain't no goin' back.

  40. JustPixelz

    "…like welfare recipients – if we don't incent them to work they're gonna take the easy route …"

    This is great news for the unemployed. The problem isn't lack of jobs; it's lack of incentive to get a job. Hooray! Now we can move on to solving the important problems.

    1. mumbly_joe

      Translate: we haven't dehumanized them enough that they're willing to work a degrading minimum-wage job without benefits that also doesn't pay enough for a family to subsist on either.

      1. GOPCrusher

        But according to Republiklan Economic Theory, losing a 20 dollar an hour job and taking a 8 dollar an hour job, means your better off.

  41. imissopus

    Wait, food banks are handing out buckets of grapes to poor people now? And here I am still paying nearly three bucks a pound at the grocery store like a sucker!

    1. horsedreamer_1

      & then, they're making prison-wine with 'em! Prison-wine & gov't-cheese for the "disadvantaged" in this country. Why, slip 'em a copy of Annie Hall & you'd take 'em for the upper-class.

  42. Pat_Pending

    What truly offends is this man's verbing of nouns: "If we're not gonna incent 'em ta work…" No, I'm not 'incented'. Incensed, maybe…

    1. PristinePantalones

      Listen, in my office it's "incentivize." We need to incentivize the customers to upgrade to Oracle 11 if they're going to run our new software.

  43. mumbly_joe

    But what's Steve King's position on this issue?

    On either racoons, or the poor people who are racoons-by-analogy in a way that is totally not racist, that is. Either one.

  44. SheriffRoscoe

    So he's saying that raccoons should be using wages received from an employer to purchase their beetles? Foraging is taking the easy way obvsly.

  45. SaintRond

    Why not just give them appetite suppressants? Then they won't be so hungry all the time.

  46. EatsBabyDingos

    Note the low forehead, denoting stupidity. Wasn't true about Spock; is true for this one.

  47. Pragmatist2

    I assume, wearing University of Nebraska booster garb as he is, that he is opposed to these "welfare" people playing football for Nebraska.

  48. BlueStateLibel

    The teabaggers really would like to just round up all the poors and shoot them. They ought to just come out and say it. BTW, I have a freeloading racoon that partakes of the cat food I put out for the ferals every night. But if I was a real patriot true Americun I should just shoot him, the poor shambling old fellow.

    1. SoBeach

      "The teabaggers really would like to just round up all the poors and shoot them. "

      Ain't easy on a hoveround.

  49. Allmighty_Manos

    Do we even have welfare anymore? I thought Newt Gingrich's main contribution to humanity was ending it "as we know it". I love how these guys act like it is still 1972 when comes to bullshit metaphors

  50. Redhead

    What I'm getting from this analogy is that welfare recipients are the next target of a wingnut mass murder shooting spree/plane crash…

  51. Mort_Sinclair

    If the Democrats had any firing neurons, the commercial featuring a neglected-looking white girl of about four years with blue eyes and blond hair eating dead beetles out of a bucket with a gnawed rat at her feet would already be in the can. But they don't and it's not.

  52. DashboardBuddha

    What the everloving fuck? Dude best be careful…he's looking cornfed. If destitute folks will stoop to eating bugs can cannibalism be far behind? Just sayin'.

  53. Not_So_Much

    This is bad news for South Carolina, Texas and Arizona — who each thought they had "Nuttiest Shitpile State" all but locked up…

  54. Toomush_Infer

    First off, those raccoons are working hard for their grub, much harder than you, Coach, and, stupid as you are, how'd you get that fat govment job of Attorney General, anyway….fucked who?…that sounds pretty much like the kind of welfare you're talkin' bout, three fingers pointing right back at you….Go, Cornholers!

  55. __kth__

    Right, if you have a minimal safety net, you will have a constant percentage of raccoons using said net as a hammock, and chilling with the T-bone steaks and 40s. Which is why unemployment is 9.2% now and it was 5% a couple of years ago but the welfare system hasn't changed any.

    1. PristinePantalones

      Since when they're making themselves out to be the biggest racists on the planet. Tim Pawlenty was doin' that too, drawpin' his 'gs' and slurrin' and drawlin' sump'n tairble.

  56. ttommyunger

    I thought you wuz dead! "No, I was just in Nebraska." Little Bill, Sheriff of Big Whisky, Nebraska, circa 1870.

  57. voodooeconomics

    Heck, somebody asked me to cash a Raccoon check at my business today. I refused. We don't accept no Raccoons in here. get out!

  58. voodooeconomics

    There are only 3 black people in Nebraska and the GOP has zeroed in all of them. Incredible, trying to steer? those 3 votes from 'bama

  59. widget2011

    "If we don't send them to work, they're gonna take the easy route."

    Where are all these jobs you're talking about, Jon?

    Oh, I get it, this is an euphemism for "Arbiet Macht Frei". Nice, you smug bathtub fart-bubble.

  60. Tundra Grifter

    I know I/m late to the party hree, but I still don't understand why a man named "Jon Bruning" is wearing a damn big "N' on his shirt.

    At least when LaVerne wore an "L" I knew what it was for.

  61. Negropolis

    He's got the beadiest, deadest, closest sets eyes I've seen since Scott Walker. Plus, he's got enough forehead for two people.

    Inbreeding's a bitch, huh?

    BTW, I know Ben Nelson might as well be a Republican, but he's actually (nominally) a Democrat, TMP.

  62. Negropolis

    I love how nearing the end of his meandering, senseless story he totally spazzes out and changes the entire point of his story. lol Tea logic, indeed.

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