Wednesday, June 20, 2018

I'M A NAZI, BABY, SO WHY DON'T YOU KILL ME.

I see that, since the world is showing its disapproval of Trump's brown-baby-stealing racket and conservatives' initial belligerent and hella dumb responses haven't been turning the tide, the new rightwing comeback is, oooh so you think this is Nazi stuff huh, well then why don't you go all White Rose and get executed to prove it?

No seriously -- look at this guy from the Daily Wire:


I would tell him, #1, there are plenty of Holocaust survivors saying, actually, this is how it started for them, too; and #2, we are doing everything in our power, and in proportionate measure -- for example, the ACLU is fighting the Republicans' attempts to steal the next election. We aren't at the direct-action stage and I hope we never are, but if we do get there, buddy, you better hope nobody remembers who you are.

More low-key but on the same tip is David French at National Review:
If the family-separation policy is so toxic that it leads serious people to tweet images of concentration camps and reduces a television host to tears, shouldn’t you respond to the emergency by tying the president’s hands?
Don't get excited -- he only means figuratively tying them, by... agreeing to the Republican plan, which basically puts the families in jail together (and the President's version puts them in jail together forever). But at least they're not separated -- French actually says "we ought to at least agree that families should stay together, right?" -- so he figures if we won't go for that, we must not think it's so bad then, and we might as well admit it's no big deal

Common sense tells me that the only people who would be fooled by this kind of obvious bullshit are people who want to be fooled. I still make that as less than a majority, and getting lesser all the time.


DEFENDING THE EVEN-MORE-INDEFENSIBLE-THAN-USUAL.

Trump's brown-baby-stealing proceeds apace and, as we saw in my Monday Village Voice column, conservatives are really reaching to make it try and make it look good -- or, I should say instead, since nothing can make this abomination look good, to try and distract people from noticing how evil it is and they are.

Part of their shtick has been, amazingly, humor, as we saw when former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski reacted on CNN to the seizure of a disabled 10-year-old girl with a comedy sound effect. That Lewandowski refuses to apologize for being an obvious asshole -- demanding instead, in the long tradition of Trump factota, that someone apologize for people "killed by illegal aliens," some of whom were presumably 10-year-old girls with Down Syndrome -- shows, just as Ilsa She-Wolf of Homeland Security's choice of restaurant last night shows, that their intention is to act as if those of us with basic decency are the ones who are fucked up for protesting their treatment of the untermenschen.

In the category of long-form humor, here's John Zmirak of The Stream demanding -- wait, you'll love this -- we "Seize Ivy League Dorms and Give Them to Immigrant Families." Ha! "Lest Laura Bush, Catholic bishops, and Planned Parenthood throw another public tantrum about how the U.S. is Nazi Germany or something" -- keep your chuckles down, punters, the real gags are on the way -- and because Democrats just loooove the "little brown kids" because though they're "a little too old for Planned Parenthood to dismember and sell in Styrofoam coolers" they're perfect to use as "human shields for open borders policies" -- because why else would anyone care what happens to the little shits, amirite? Come on lady, I laughed when you came in! -- then, Zmirak zmirks, we should "Fill the Lavish Dorms with Migrant Families, and House Students in Tent Cities."

Zmirak's big joke thereafter is an image of Messicans nestled in a "glorious Gothic dining hall, with sixty-foot carved ceilings and iron candelabras," being served their food by the silly SJW students. Liberals made to serve the brownskins they pretend to love so much -- it's a classic conservative humiliation fantasy straight out of Birth of a Nation. To add cream to the jest, Ole Perfesser Glenn Reynolds pimps that shit to his own coprophages and, in their rush to assault their strawmen, they suggest things like "Just dump them all in Brooklyn" -- because that's where the hipsters live, see, and since they're all limp-wristed sissies they've probably never seen an immigrant, especially in the trendier nabes like Crown Heights and Bed-Stuy.

A bunch of them are weeping over the heckling of Ilsa -- "PUNDITS, ACTIVISTS CELEBRATE HARASSMENT OF FEMALE DHS SECRETARY" screams The Daily Caller; you libtards are supposed to love females! -- with the apparent, fond hope that readers will find a straight-up fascist government functionary forced to hear the complaints of her constituents for a couple of minutes more sympathetic than children torn from their parents and stuck in cages because Trump wants to Look Tuff. Well, with readers of The Daily Caller I guess they have a shot. With normal people, not so much.

UPDATE. Looks like Ilsa wants to walk in the sun again. Let's see what else we can get these assholes to back off of.

Monday, June 18, 2018

NEW VILLAGE VOICE COLUMN UP...

...on the North Korea scam and child prisoners of immigration control, among other subjects. The Nork thing was obviously designed, not to deliver any diplomatic or national security benefits, but solely to impress dummies, and there's something almost poignant about the clumsy defenses offered by those few remaining conservatives whose careers rely on Making It Look Good -- they seem already to belong to another time, back before every Republican became a MAGA choad incapable of absorbing any analysis not entirely flattering to their own Dear Leader.

The GOP is also being hustled down the road to Nuremberg by the brown-family-splitting policy: a new poll shows that, while Democrats and Independents are horrified, most Republicans approve of this nightmare. I see that Ann Coulter is tying it all together by calling the caged kids "child actors" -- which suggests that the old famehound has intuited that her and Trump's base are ready to buy the "crisis actor" conspiracy theories of the extreme right, which would put them very far beyond the reach of reason. It's a high-stakes game for sure: On the down side, this small group of crackpots may actually destroy American and Western Civ; on the upside, thanks to these revelations -- and also the weasel behavior of Republican "moderates" -- we at least know for certain where the virus (or as Charlie Pierce calls it, the prion disease) is isolated, and how voters may eradicate it.

Friday, June 15, 2018

FRIDAY 'ROUND-THE-HORN.


22 years, really?

• I see Commentary has put out a number baldly entitled, in 50s-social paintbrush typositor, "African Americans vs. American Jews," and it features an essay by Jamie (now "James" -- today he is a man!) Kirchick, as well as one by an actual black guy, Jason D. Hill, who has previously written for The Federalist "Loveless, Narcissistic Sex Addicts: A Gay Man Critiques His Community," so we can imagine what kind of a love letter his other community will be getting here. I'm getting too old for this shit so I doubt I'll read -- I know, maybe it's miraculously stupendous; nonetheless, at a certain point one has to play the odds -- but I am titillated by the reference in Hill's title to "My Negro Problem -- and Ours," written by Commentary's former editor, Norman Podhoretz, who is the father of Commentary's current editor. "Negro Problem" is awful (go find Marvin Mudrick's evisceration, not alas online, though Jeet Heer reproduces some of it here), but I prefer to recall N. Podhoretz's 2013 revisitation, "'My Negro Problem -- and Ours' at 50," in which he tells us how he came to write the thing, in conversation with James Baldwin. He was yelling at Baldwin for giving a story to The New Yorker rather than to Commentary notwithstanding, N. Podhoretz suggests, Commentary had commissioned it. Over a drink N. Podhoretz "let him have it with both barrels even after the minimal contrition he now showed" -- the first (I assume unintended by the author) sign that Baldwin was not only playing it cool with the hotheaded N. Podhoretz but genuinely could not give a shit, and had met with him just to see how much he would embarrass himself. This N. Podhoretz did in spades, per his own account, ranting about "my childhood encounters with black thugs of my own age" and how the solution to racial problems in America was not, as the Black Muslims had it, separation but "the opposite extreme: the wholesale merger of the two races through miscegenation." Then:
As I talked, Baldwin’s normally bulging eyes bulged and blazed even more fiercely than usual. “You ought,” he whispered as though participating in a conspiracy, “to write all that down.” It was important, more important than I realized, for such things to be said; and they had to be said in public. Thus it was that Baldwin repaid me for giving him the idea and the incentive for The Fire Next Time with the idea and the encouragement for “My Negro Problem—and Ours.”
N. Podhoretz seems never to have realized what a cruel practical joke Baldwin was playing on him, getting him to publish his ravings and ensuring that his reputation would be forever yoked to them. And, given that even in that 2013 essay N. Podhoretz was still frothing about the "almost complete abdication of black responsibility and the commensurately total dependence on government engendered by so obsessive and exclusive a fixation on white racism," it seems he never will.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

MASTERS OF THE BLUFF AND MASTERS OF THE PROPOSITION.

I know Tim Kaine is the kind of tryhard MOR liberal Democrat that makes us smart-alecks want to go all worser-the-better helter-skelter but holy shit as of last night’s primary he’s running against an actual Republican white supremacist:
In 2012 during his run for lieutenant governor, [Corey Stewart] bragged about Prince William County’s “crackdown” on undocumented immigrants via a 2007 law that required police to check the immigration status of anyone detained or arrested if there was “probable cause” that the person might not be a citizen…

And for Stewart, with Trump has come an all-out embrace of neo-Confederate viewpoints and the alt-right. In 2017, he attended the “Old South Ball” in Danville, Virginia, and gave a speech saying Virginia was the state of “Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson,” adding that the Confederate flag “is our heritage, it’s what makes us Virginia, and if you take that away, we lose our identity”…

After the violence and racism of the Unite the Right rally, in which a young woman, Heather Heyer, was murdered, Stewart was alone among Virginia Republicans in refusing to criticize the alt-right rally attendees and instead called out his fellow Republicans for being “weak”…

And then there’s Stewart’s relationship with anti-Semitic, anti-Muslim, too-racist-for-Twitter Wisconsin Republican House candidate Paul Nehlen…
In case you needed more evidence Stewart’s a racist, he went on CNN to accuse the Democrats of “playing the race card,” which in my experience is dispositive. Further evidence, as if it were needed: Trump endorsed him, and Stewart celebrated his nomination by leading a chant of “Lock her up.” He also wants to put Tim Kaine in prison, for no reason he felt the need to articulate.

In short, Stewart is one of those flaming garbage candidates like Roy Moore who have flourished under Trump, so naturally Stewart received a defense at The Federalist, in this case from David Marcus. Though Marcus appears to find Stewart’s “apparent complete lack of concern over the death of [Heather Heyer]” a net negative, and admits Stewart’s ties with obvious racists “offered no nuance,” still, he says, “the question of whether Stewart is a racist is a complicated one.”

You and I both already know, even before Marcus explains himself, that this is bullshit because, having paid attention to Republican politics for a minute, we know the current vogue is neo-Nazis as “very fine people,” black people who protest police brutality as "sons of bitches" who should be thrown out of the countrytearing immigrant children from their parents and telling refugees fleeing threats on their lives to go back and die to scare them off and thus whiten up America for the edification of the dying racist dotards who elected Trump etc. The chances that Stewart only appears to fit this template, the way a kid might only appear to have been beating off because he happened to be holding his dick a funny way, and to have spilled Baby Magic on it, are vanishingly slim.

But thanks to our sappy, gotta-have-both-sides tradition, we're compelled to give Marcus a hearing, so let’s take this one for the team:
But do these things qualify him as a racist today? At a time when even slight, unconscious actions earn that label, indeed when many on the Left argue that racism is the natural and unavoidable state of all white people, who is a racist? And who, if anyone, isn’t? Do we need some new term for “really, really bad racists,” or do we need to scale back the rate of such accusations?
Uggggh yes it was just as bad as I imagined. Readers more scrupulous than I can continue further down through “both sides have gone off the rails," “Democrats taking photos with Louis Farrakhan or Jeremiah Wright,” etc. But I am old and feel keenly the shortness of life.

The time has come to acknowledge this hard fact: conservatives have gone nuts and will continue to be nuts until crushed. Republicans will continue to nominate Nazis and Klansmen; conservatives will continue to tell us that the Nazis and Klansmen are not so bad and anyway you liberals are the real Nazis and Klansmen; unless prevented by vote-thieves, Democrats will, thanks to this conservative habit, continue to beat most of these Nazis and Klansmen in elections (as happened last night in Wisconsin, despite Scott Walker’s best-and-by-best-I-mean-viciously-undemocratic efforts to prevent it); conservatives will come back and tell us that liberals with their swearing and socialism are making them nominate Nazis and Klansmen, and indeed all America shares their This Is Why Trump Won feeling, despite our many post-Trump victories, and stand contentedly on this chosen ground with their arms folded as they are buried in an avalanche

Like so much these days, it puts me in mind of Dylan:
Well, my baby went to Illinois
With some bad-talkin’ boy she could destroy
A real suicide case, but there was nothin’ I could do to stop it
I don’t care about economy
I don’t care about astronomy
But it sure do bother me to see my loved ones turning into puppets
There’s a slow, slow train comin’ up around the bend

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

NORKS 'N' DORKS.

The North Korea thing is such an obvious con -- "I don't need to verify as I have one of the great memories of all time" being only the most spectacular of a series of blazing tells that Trump was bullshitting through this like he bullshits through everything -- that, to me, the most interesting thing about it is not anything that happened in Singapore, but the Twitter thread in which Dinesh D'Souza proposes to "take back Obama’s Nobel Peace Prize and give it to Trump." Better than the MAGA choad hell-yeahs are the guys who think the Nobel has been sullied by Obama's win, as the Golden Globes were by the victory of Pia Zadora. This guy's great...


...but I think this one's my favorite:


In the little theater of @samboyd664's imagination I expect the Chairman of the Olympic Committee, wearing a tux, tells Trump, "I'm a stupid moron with an ugly face and a big butt and my butt smells and I like to kiss my own butt."  (Funny, these guys never bring up Kissinger.) 

It's getting to the point that I'm mainly interested in stopping the flagrant election-stealing that Republicans both off and on the Supreme Court are trying to accomplish just because I want a clean headcount on what percentage of this country is actually brain-damaged. 

To be fair, many of the people who get paid to do presidential prostate massage embarrassed themselves too. Jonah Goldberg:
Still if Kim is actually sincere this time, then the summit will prove to be a huge success. That is a monumental “if,” but it’s one I think every sane person should hope for.
Diplomacy is a land of contrasts, farrrrrt. But -- and I never thought I'd say this -- at least he's concise; get a load of Byron York:
On North Korea, a president who tried something different...
So now the talks have happened, and North Korea has agreed — much like it has in years past — to denuclearize. Critics rightly point out that Kim and his predecessors never kept their promises before. On the other hand, these talks were the result of a series of events unlike those in the past. 
Maybe Trump's plan will work. Maybe it will work a little and not work a little. Or maybe it will fail altogether. But it's the result of a president re-thinking a problem that desperately needed a new approach.
Now that we've got an absolute moron doing it, maybe this time it'll work! Whatever problems you good people have got, be thankful that at least you're not obliged to pick corn out of Donald Trump's shit.

Monday, June 11, 2018

NEW VILLAGE VOICE COLUMN UP...

...this year's Pride column, about conservatives and gays after the Masterpiece Cakeshop decision. It's interesting to recall that Trump went out of his way to acknowledge gay rights at the 2016 Republican Convention but, though most wingnuts have abjectly capitulated to Trump on nearly all of his agenda, they have haven't shifted an inch on that. Nor has Trump made inroads in the gay community; every once in a while a Kanye or a Candace Owens turns up to tell us how great Trump is for African-Americans, but we're not getting a lot of new Peter Thiels.

True, Trump has repeatedly proven that he didn't mean any of that outreach shit anyway, but even if he were dancing in a rainbow jockstrap on a float on Fifth Avenue I doubt conservatives would budge. Culture war is their most important product, and homophobia helps keep the religious right on board.

Also, as the column addresses (don't forget to read!), there's always some LGBTQ cultural event like a corporate Pride endorsement or a new trans celebrity that may seem innocuous to you but terrifies the Rod Dreher types who consider themselves Elsie Stonemans beseiged by gay Yankees. Thus we have Jonathan S. Tobin telling readers of National Review -- which was just a few short years ago a conservative anti-Trump publication -- that they must reelect Trump to protect God's people from the homosexual hordes ("it would appear that maintaining his presidency and the GOP Senate majority is going to be a must if conservatives are to preserve any dignity for those who cling to faith"). America may be getting more comfortable with gay marriage, but the people who aren't comfortable are downright hysterical -- and thus a reliable Trump constituency.

Friday, June 08, 2018

RIPPED FROM TOMORROW'S HEADLINES.

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- In a surprise, but not too much of one, President Trump issued the 74th Presidential pardon of his administration to Brock Turner, the Stanford sexual assailant whose unusually brief sentence for his crime in 2015 provoked outrage and led to the 2018 recall of the judge in the case. In a bizarre Skype press conference, Turner told reporters, “I guess you could say I moved on her like a bitch,” followed by a long silence, which he nervously filled by claiming Trump had demanded he make that statement as a condition of his Presidential pardon, which he said Trump had assured him “would get a big laugh.”

An angry Trump later tweeted that “Turner is NOT a man of his WORD” and announced he was rescinding Turner’s pardon — something legal experts say he cannot do. The President included a gif of himself ripping up a piece of paper with the word PARDIN written on it in magic marker.

A number of Democratic Congressman have called for an investigation of the alleged quid-pro-quo, including House minority leader Nancy Pelosi, who tweeted, "the Democratic Party is committed to two propositions: that no man is above the law, and that we don't have the votes to pass single payer."

Trump had previously pardoned 73 citizens including Joe Arpaio, Dinesh D’Souza, former Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich, Harvey Weinstein, Charlottesville killer James Fields, the Menendez Brothers, and Lizzie Borden. As part of his outreach to black voters, Trump has also commuted the sentence of Alice Johnson, and pardoned the early 20th Century boxing champion Jack Johnson as well as the fictional character Tom Robinson, who he said "got a raw deal" in To Kill a Mockingbird. (Lately Trump has made a habit of pardoning fictional characters, bestowing the honor on “Papa” from Garth Brooks’ “Papa Loved Mama,” Otis the Drunk from "The Andy Griffith Show," and the Beagle Boys from Donald Duck comics.)

Trump has hinted that more pardons are to come, tweeting a gif of the rescue of Elsie Stoneman in Birth of a Nation with the words “Don’t worry Paul Manafort & Michael Cohn HELP IS ON THE WAY!!!”