Tuesday, November 12, 2019

WHAT IF THEY GAVE A WAR MUSEUM AND NOBODY CAME?

He has stiff competition -- Kevin D. Williamson! David French! Jonah Goldberg for crying out loud! -- but on Any Given Weekday Jim Geraghty can be the absolute worst person at National Review and brother does he manage today:


I shit you not. Geraghty was in Canada and visited Casa Loma, whose owner did some fighting in the 19th Century, and his regiment in modern times did some fighting in Afghanistan. How's that for a segue?
The museum display on Afghanistan is just a small corner of a room covering the regiment’s more recent deployments, which included Kosovo and Sudan. But the display got me wondering: is it time to start thinking about a National Museum of the Afghanistan War? And should the U.S. have a separate or conjoined museum for the Iraq War? (Would the name “National Museum of Post-9/11 Wars” be too awkward?)
How about "The Foreverwar Museum: A Work in Progress"? After some research-assistant padding about current U.S. war/service museums, Geraghty preemptively pooh-poohs the naysayers:
Inevitably, someone out there is going to cluck about the irony of building a museum for a military operation that is still ongoing, and while U.S. troops are still deployed in those operations.
Well, sure. Don't your visitors want to know how it comes out? A World War II museum built in 1943 would have seemed kinda anticlimactic.
But if you wait until the operation is completely done to begin even thinking about preserving a record to tell the story to future generations . . . you’ll be waiting probably, at minimum, another half-decade.
LOLOLOLOLOLOL. Then more padding, about the great work our G.I. Joes are doing in undeclared wars across the planet, Geraghty assures us he's just asking questions:
If building a national museum about our post-9/11 wars is a good idea, then it is a good idea whether or not we still have troops deployed in these countries. And if it’s not a good idea, then it’s not a good idea regardless of the circumstances of the ongoing deployment.
Resolved: It stinks! Let's all go home! But here's where Geraghty goes into overdrive:
A strange thing happened in our national life as the Vietnam War receded into the rear-view mirror. One of the most bitterly divisive issues in our country’s history calmed, and gradually — some might say, far too gradually — shifted into a broad-based respect and appreciation for the men who fought in it and women who tried to keep them in one piece in the Army Nurse Corps.
(Gotta get the ladies in there!) Prior to that, see, we were all just spitting on soldiers:
Even the most fervent war opponents could recognize that this country treated its returning veterans terribly back in the 1960s and 1970s, and I wonder if our current much broader cultural appreciation of veterans stems from a sense of guilt over that dishonorable not-so-distant history.
I assume, given his audience and that he's Jim Geraghty, he means the myth of mean hippies rather than, say, the fight to deny vets coverage for the effects of PTSD and Agent Orange or anything else that men in suits rather than punks in love-beads may have done to them.
You can think the war was a terrible mistake and still feel a sense of gratitude, awe, and appreciation for those who served in it — and a determination to see that those who served are treated right, in areas ranging from veterans benefits to health care options to post-military careers to naturalization for those born overseas.
"Naturalization for those born overseas" -- did this motherfucker really just fucking say that?

You know what, I'm too pissed to even address the rest of his stupidity ("if the U.S. had known the true limits of the Iraqi WMD program," ha ha, yeah if only). Geraghty can jam this museum up his ass.

Friday, November 08, 2019

FRIDAY 'ROUND-THE-HORN.



Who couldn't use a lift!

•   I'm being worked to death, so forgive me if instead of writing a ton here I redirect you to my newsletter, where in my latest free issue I reveal the process by which the nation's richest men selected Michael Bloomberg to represent their interests -- represent them more overtly, I should say! -- in the Democratic Presidential race. Longtime readers know what I think about the son of a bitch. Here's part of something I wrote about him back in 2007, the first time he pretended to be running for President:
The papers find it interesting that we have the New Yorkers Giuliani, H. Clinton, and Bloomberg at the summit of our politics. I find it depressing. If they represented the New York of Billy Martin, Martin Scorsese, and Johnny Thunders, that'd be one thing. But they represent instead the New York of A-Rod, Judith Miller, and Larry Silverstein -- all power, that is, and no class. The poor and lower middle class once had a little somethin'-somethin' in this city, and they gave both steel and fire to its temperment, but now it's all about the most diseased exemplars of the filthy rich, yuppie dipshits and power-mad clowns -- which isn't a bad way to describe the city's current national candidates, come to think of it, and perhaps the reason why they are so popular with Americans these day.
Sort of a prophet, me, hah? I get a little tried of being right sometimes.

•   Matt Bevin, the Republican governor of Kentucky whose defeat gave me such pleasure on Tuesday, still refuses to concede the election. At National Review Alexandra DeSanctis is (you will not be surprised to learn) sympathetic:
In his most recent statement on the matter, Bevin cited “a number of irregularities” in Tuesday night’s voting and noted that “there’s more than a little bit of history of vote fraud in our state.”

Bevin hasn’t presented any evidence of vote fraud, but his protestations aren’t entirely off-base.
Not entirely off-base, you say? Why's that?
In a statement on Wednesday, Bevin said he plans to ask for an official recanvassing of votes. Here’s what Politico reported about his remarks:
Without providing details, Bevin cited “thousands of absentee ballots that were illegally counted,” reports of voters being “incorrectly turned away” from polling places and “a number of machines that didn’t work properly.” He said his campaign would provide more information as it is gathered, and he did not take questions from reporters.

“We simply want to ensure that there is integrity in the process,” Bevin said at the close of his statement. “We owe this to the people of Kentucky.”
So, he's not off-base because... he says so? You can read the whole wretched thing if you wish; you won't find any evidence offered. But most of DeSanctis' readers will walk away convinced that they saw some. And that, my friends, is how the pros do it. 

Wednesday, November 06, 2019

FOR ELECTION DAY, THE GIFT OF LAUGHTER.

Republicans did very badly last night -- so badly that the White House spin team had to do this:

Needless to say, the Republican candidate in friggin' Mississippi was not down by double digits, but actually ahead by seven points in the polls around the time Trump visited. But Ronna Don'tsay-Romney had to fluff the President's ego, because Democrats won the Kentucky governorship and flipped both Virginia houses. Here's Jazz Shaw of Hot Air doing his bit to make the Kentucky loss look good (starting with claiming it's too close to call):
When I turned on CNN this morning, the crew there was already doing their best to make Trump’s prediction come true and paint this as a defeat for the President, and since he had personally gone down to the Bluegrass State to try to drag Bevin over the finish line I suppose that’s technically true. But some fairly recent polls showed Bevin trailing Beshear by more than a dozen points. Assuming he loses, it will be by roughly one or two points, so it appears that Trump did indeed rally the vote for him and deliver a better than anticipated turnout.
Good job, Donald, getting the Republican to lose by a small margin in KENTUCKY. Rand Paul and Mitch McConnell will sleep soundly tonight!

Meanwhile at the sealed stink tank that is Ace of Spades:
Elsewhere, the other big story is Democrats taking control of both houses of the Virginia legislature for the first time in decades. With all the locust carpetbaggers escaping from blue state shit holes, as well as the creeping socialist-sharia from DC infecting the surrounding counties, perhaps the die had been cast.
I thought the official story was that the alleged Blue State refugees wanted Republican FREEDOM. Now they're sleeper agents of socialism. What gives?

Well, surely National Review has some solid election coverage this morning....



LOL. You have scroll down to their no-comments news dispatches to hear anything at all about the election (the highest-placed item is "Tuscon Voters Kill Sanctuary City Proposal"). Guess everyone's hunkered down in his happy place, hoping Putin will rescue 2020.

Well, as enjoyable as the results themselves were, these reactions really gild the lily -- thanks, dummies!

UPDATE. Noted Republican grifter has most Republican solution ever to people not wanting to vote for them:


Thursday, October 31, 2019

THE SO-CALLED NETWORK.

It was hard not to feel the irony while I was reading excerpts from your recent speech at Georgetown University, in which you defended — on free speech grounds — Facebook’s practice of posting demonstrably false ads from political candidates. I admire your deep belief in free speech. I get a lot of use out of the First Amendment. Most important, it’s a bedrock of our democracy and it needs to be kept strong. 
But this can’t possibly be the outcome you and I want, to have crazy lies pumped into the water supply that corrupt the most important decisions we make together. Lies that have a very real and incredibly dangerous effect on our elections and our lives and our children’s lives. 
-- "Aaron Sorkin: An Open Letter to Mark Zuckerberg," the New York Fucking Times 
[ADAM ORKIN, nearly out of breath, his hair roguishly disordered, his trenchcoat wet, bursts through the door of the office of MARK ZUCKERBERG, who is seated at his desk studying a model of the Great Pyramid of Giza. ZUCKERBERG looks up as if he'd been expecting this moment, and dreading it, yet also curiously resigned to it.]

ZUCKERBERG: Ah, Adam Orkin. I've been expecting this moment, and dreading it. Yet I'm also curiously resigned to it.

ORKIN: I just wanted to get one good long last look at you before racing to the offices of the Daily Sojourner to tell the world how a great talent and the promise of a better tomorrow were both thrown in the trash just so you could make a buck.

ZUCKERBERG: Would that be my story, Mr. Orkin? Or the story of mankind?

[ZUCKERBERG rises.]

Consider the pharaoh Khufu, often Hellenized as Cheops. Despite his wealth and splendor, he was just one among an endless parade of crowned heads now receding into the darkness of history, just as the 45 men who have served as our president -- even your precious Jed Bartlet -- will vanish.

[ZUCKERBERG gestures toward the model pyramid.]

Yet we know Khufu because he left us the Great Pyramid of Giza. Since they laid the capstone on Lincoln Cathedral in the 13th Century it is no longer the tallest structure in the world, yet it still fascinates, because it represents the whole labor of a great nation turned to the will of a genius.

ORKIN: Is that why it fascinates, Zuckerberg? Or is it fascinating only because of the waste, the pettiness, the sheer asininity of killing thousands of your countrymen just so you can have a swell tombstone? Is it a Great Pyramid or a Great Pyramid Scam? Well, maybe that pile of rocks will last another ten thousand years, but it won't light up the soul of man like this!

[ORKIN throws a damp, rolled-up parchment U.S. Declaration of Independence onto ZUCKERBERG's desk. ZUCKERBERG stares at it. SHERYL SANDBERG, her long black hair sexily disordered, storms into the office with security guards, who lay hands on ORKIN.]

SANDBERG: Looks like we're here in the nick of time, Mr. Zuckerberg. Just say the word and we'll throw Adam Orkin into the alley with the trash where he belongs.

[ZUCKERBERG silently unrolls the parchment, reads. SANDBERG is evilly enraged.]

Don't be a fool, Mark! Ultimate power is within your grasp at last. Don't let this journalist and his fancy words stand in your way!

ZUCKERBERG: [Reads quietly] "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." My father used to read this to me at bedtime when I was a boy. [Scowling at SANDBERG] My mother, Doctor Zuckerberg, thought he was crazy. [To ORKIN]  You made me remember, Mr. Sorkin. And you made me ashamed.

[ZUCKERBERG wheels on a sour-faced SANDBERG]

Ms. Sandberg, there’ll be no more lying to customers of The Facebook!

[ZUCKERBERG and ORKIN go in for a bro-hug as the music swells.] 

Monday, October 28, 2019

HOMETEAM CROWD.

LOL

The two towns Trump has lived in -- New York and Washington -- both hate his guts. What does that tell you?

I see a remedy: super-creep Senator Josh Hawley's dumb bill to send federal employees to Bumfuck:
Under Hawley’s proposal, 90 percent of the USDA’s workforce would move to Missouri and an additional nine other federal agencies would relocate their headquarters to “economically distressed” areas. 
“It’s such an insular place and people forget that there’s a vast country out there and there’s lots of places in the country that aren’t like D.C. and haven’t seen gobs of money poured in,” Hawley said in an interview on Capitol Hill Wednesday afternoon... 
Under Hawley’s proposal, several agencies would land in swing states critical to the presidential race. Pennsylvania would become home to the Department of Commerce, the Department of Transportation would relocate to Michigan and Ohio would host the Department of Housing and Urban Development. The Department of Interior would migrate to New Mexico. 
The rest of the states in Hawley’s plan are solidly Republican.
Why not include the Presidency? Try to imagine Trump trying to get an in-house around-the-world and a bucket of blow in Fritters, Alabama! (I mean, in the manner to which he is accustomed.) He'd resign in a week.

UPDATE. GUESS WHO'S THE REAL VICTIM HERE! If you guessed "civility," yewww might be a pundit.

In my many happy days and nights at Shea Stadium, the fans often rained boos down on their own team. I begin to wonder if these guys have ever been to a baseball game.

UPDATE 2. The go-to wingnut response is that citizens of Washington, D.C. loved Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, late head of ISIS, and are mad at Trump because U.S. forces killed Baghdadi last weekend. Chrissy Clark at The Federalist:
The timing of the crowd’s reaction was revealing. The crowd booed Trump on the same day he announced his administration and U.S. personnel had taken out the founder and leader of ISIS.
 Yes -- a very adulterous reaction! "If you’re gonna go around whackin’ austere scholars, Washington can be tough," burbles Andrew McCarthy, National Review's impeachment bullshit expert. Oh well, guess the days when a crowd at the ballpark was considered salt-of-the-earth American rather than treasonous are over, Wrasslin's America's sport now!

Friday, October 25, 2019

FRIDAY 'ROUND-THE-HORN.



Selections from Melvin Van Peebles'
Ain't Supposed To Die a Natural Death --
performed at the motherfucking TONYS.
Miss me with your
Hamilton bullshit, honkies.
(Check also a young Garrett Morris.)

•   I am releasing to you good people who have yet to subscribe to Roy Edroso Breaks It Down a free issue from Wednesday -- it's about Tulsi Gabbard's non-victory tour of rightwing media outlets since Hillary Clinton called her out, and how I expected it to evolve, and man, was I on the money or what:
To prove Clinton wrong, Gabbard went on Sean Hannity’s Fox News show Thursday night — she and Hannity both touted mistaken initial reporting that Clinton had claimed Russia, not Republicans, were “grooming” her for a third-party run — and blamed Clinton (a former senator and secretary of state) for the last 18 years of U.S. wars, then echoed Republican complaints about the “transparency” of the House impeachment inquiry.
And get this:
Tulsi Gabbard, fresh off her nasty tussle with former first lady, secretary of state, and 2016 Democratic nominee, Hillary Clinton, was given a hero's welcome at a meeting with Wall Street executives and potential donors on Wednesday evening in New York City that took place at Anthony Scaramucci’s Hunt and Fish Club restaurant, FOX Business has learned...
"Tulsi is a rock star," said one Wall Street heavy hitter who attended. "She's warm and smart, people in the room loved her."
I'm beginning to suspect Gabbard is being worked on in Dr. Jillenstein's lab for third-party service.

•  Conservatives are trying to pump up the case of a seven-year-old biological boy who identifies as a girl; the child's divorced mother supports this but, after shitfits by Greg Abbott and Ted Cruz, her ex-husband, who's against the transition, has been given a say in the matter by a court. (The child is not currently undergoing hormone treatments, though wingnuts talk as if she were.) The Daily Beast has good coverage, revealing that the old man is a fraudster:
Younger [the husband] and Georgulas separated in 2015. In marriage annulment proceedings, a court awarded Georgulas more than $45,000 in damages for a truck Younger fraudulently purchased in his name through her company. Georgulas also accused Younger of fabricating his background before they married....
A court took this fraud seriously enough to grant Georgulas an annulment. You won't learn about this, natch, in coverage such at that of The Federalist, which also insists that the kid doesn't really want to be a girl -- and, double natch, you won't learn anything about it from Rod Dreher, who doesn't seem to know about the annullment :
It’s a horrifying situation. It sounds like a terrible divorce. Granted, it is hard for anybody outside a failed marriage to know its internal dynamics.
LOL. Dreher, triple natch, is beating pots and pans to portray this unusual case as a harbinger of the trans menace: "The situation with the Younger boy in Texas looks like it’s serving as a wake-up call to people all over the country about how far the trans ideology has spread, and how much it has captured institutions," he writes under the headline "When They Come For Your Kid." This is consistent with his years-long drive to reverse all the protections gained by non-binary people. Oh, by the way, from the Dallas Morning News (Dreher's old paper):
Texas leads the nation in transgender murders. After the latest attack, the Dallas trans community asks why
Frankly, I don't think they need to ask.

•  Speaking of rightwing tropes, you may have noticed a lot of conservatives -- from Steve Scalise's Mooks Brothers Rioters to Tulsi Gabbard -- demanding "transparency" from the Democrats on Trump's impeachment. Well, to paraphrase the old saying: when you have the law pound the law, when you have the facts pound the facts, and when you have neither pound your pud.

The most pathetic of this lot is, to me, National Review's Kevin D. Williamson. He likes to play internet tuff guy, and his normal attitude toward the Constitution is hey, them's the rules and if you don't like 'em, tough. As he told Bill Maher in August:
“Like me, you don’t trust big masses of people because they tend to be stupid and easy to scare. All of the best things about our Constitution are the anti-democratic stuff like the Bill of Rights, which is America’s great big list of stuff you idiots don’t get to vote on..."
Welp, here comes impeachment, which is one of those Constitutional things the "big masses of people" have no say in, and Tuff Guy Williamson is pleading to "Bring Impeachment into the Light":
And so we are obliged to ask the question: Who in Washington has the moral authority, the political intelligence, and the patriotism to see the country through this episode in a way that fortifies our institutions rather than undermines them, that leaves the country better off rather than damaged, that builds trust instead of pissing it away? 
Answer: Nobody. 
Trust is not an option. That leaves us with the second-best option: surveillance. 
And so Nancy Pelosi must end the secret hearings and closed-door depositions, and put the process, the politics, and the evidence before the public.
Bullshit she "must," buddy. Man, there's nothing more obnoxious than a tuff guy who starts crying for mercy.

Thursday, October 24, 2019

A BLITZ OF BULLSHIT.

Remember when grifters like Jack Posobiec told their fans (a depressing number of whom went for it) that if Trump got impeached by the House but acquitted in the Senate, he could run for President two more times? Once upon a time, you could count on such an idiotic idea to remain locked in the wingnut netherworld, to be shared over jars of everclear by mouth-breathers and ignored by the Conservative Eloi who write for fancy publications like the Wall Street Journal.

But not anymore!
Impeachment Needs a Replay Booth
An acquittal should allow a president to run for a third term.
William Mattox knows his audience, so he starts with a football analogy (and cites NFL royalty George "Macaca" Allen to get the crowd even more pumped up):
In 2010 former Sen. George Allen, whose father coached the Los Angeles Rams and Washington Redskins, published a book, “What Washington Can Learn From the World of Sports.” He advised policy makers, among other things, that they should work tirelessly to ensure a level playing field (“equality of opportunity”) while remembering that there’s no joy in games that end in a tie (“equality of outcome”). 
In that spirit, here’s an idea for dealing with impeachment fatigue. In the National Football League, teams can challenge a call on the field—but there’s a risk. If instant replay doesn’t merit overturning the call, the challenging team loses one of its three timeouts. That discourages frivolous challenges and keeps the game flowing, while also providing a way to reverse egregious errors.
If football can do it, why can't Washington? Huh? You stupid legislators think you're sumpin' better than Eli Manning? People make money on these games!

Similarly, after a person is elected president he or she should be allowed to go for a conversion; if they make it they get six, maybe seven extra months in office.
Why not amend the Constitution so that any president who is impeached and acquitted is permitted to serve a third term? That would allow him to make up for the time lost advancing the agenda that voters elected him to enact. 
Think what a president freed from Constitutional remedies for his depravity could accomplish! There are a lot of disputed territories left that Putin would like America to help him acquire. And a lot of refugees left untortured!
It would preserve impeachment for genuine offenses but discourage its use for disputed ones and for mere politics. 
Because if Mitch McConnell stonewalls impeachment like he did Merrick Garland's Supreme Court appointment (and does nearly everything the Democratic House sends him), that means the charges must be bogus.
Absent such an amendment, and in an era when government is divided more often than not, impeachment seems likely to become an increasingly common means of opposition.
Especially if the Democrats nominate John Gotti or El Chapo!
True, my amendment would open the possibility of a 2024 election that forces Americans to choose between Bill Clinton and Donald Trump. But it is likelier to give members of Congress a much-needed reminder that their main job is legislating.
In fact, why don't we just delete this impeachment side-job from the Constitution, anyway? Getting that passed as an amendment would be tough, though... I know! We could use video review on the Founders! Or get a call from robot umpires created by Diebold!

Coming soon from the Journal: Since Democrats want illegal aliens to vote, why not register the aliens at Area 51?