Thursday, October 18, 2018


As I've said before (and it's not just me and the leprechaun who tells me to burn things saying so, either, but also credentialed bigbrains at major publications) that the Kavanaugh nomination has basically blown the whole NeverTrump and KindaTrump and JustTheTipInTrump phenomenon, making it obvious that Trumpism is conservatism and vice-versa. And it's had the knock-on effect of making rightwing authors who were previously pitched as prim-and-proper True Conservatives into something more suitable to Trump Time -- that is, trolls.

Take David French, one-time NeverTrump Presidential contender, who has gone on since the dawn of Trump about how real conservatives like him were fighting for the True Cause despite, not enabled by, the vandal Trump; last year he was blubbering over "O’Reilly, Ailes, and the Toxic Conservative-Celebrity Culture," in which he lamented that conservatives' reflexive defense of Fox News "knifework" had "reached its apex in the person and personality of Donald Trump." 

But now French is juiced that Trump has with Kavanaugh brought America one step closer to Gilead, and hardly ever bothers to wring his hands anymore. Just recently he defended Trump calling for his opponents to be jailed. But as the example of his cabinet shows, you're not totally in the tank for Trump until you've humiliated yourself as French does here:
A Conservative’s Guide to the 2018–19 NBA Season
It’s the only sports guide in America that owns the libs.
That's right, French is doing a John Miller "50 Greatest Conservative Rock Songs" thing, only for basketball. The thing is mostly dull analysis on the level of sportstalk radio call-ins, but punctuated with breakers like "The Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Division. Cheerfully inept"; The Beto O’Rourke Division. Expensive busts"; "The Nikki Haley Division. The future’s so bright, they gotta wear shades"; and "The William F. Buckley Jr. Division. Intellectual juggernauts." 

That last one's about the Celtics because "this team was built from the ground up by basketball geniuses to contend for a decade." I would say this is not so much a reach as a reach-around, except I think that gets the positioning reversed. French has done dumb sports things before -- see "Yes, God Cares about Football" -- but this is the first time one can actually feel him straining and cracking his knees to get himself down to the level of the hoi polloi. Marco Rubio talking about Trump's dick was awkward, but this is just depressing.

Speaking of Buckley, with the re-enrollment of hypertroll Kevin D. Williamson, National Review is looking less and less like a classy-conservative operation and more like any other dumb wingnut site. Lately most of the donation pleas I've gotten from them seem to star the latest rightwing blonde-with-big-glasses, Kat Timpf. Here's the top of one such pitch:

Fox News couldn't have done it better. That leaves only a few NROniks still working an inta-mallectual grift anymore --  Jonah Goldberg has gotten too lazy to even laugh at, so I guess we're talking Ramesh Ponnuru and substitute Dreher Michael Brendan Dougherty. When they can be inveigled to don the clown suit, National Review will have completed its transformation into a Gateway Pundit for people who like a little heritage with their bullshit.  

Monday, October 15, 2018


So now she's not Indian enough:

In the immortal words of Jay Silverheels, ugh. I wrote way back in 2012 about rightwingers' woo-woo-woo jokes about Pocahontas Warren (“You Won’t Have Elizabeth Warren To Kick Around By Indian Summer,” said Dan Riehl shortly before she was elected Senator) and today was the first day they even slightly altered their shtick. Warren could split open and Sitting Bull himself emerge from the husk, and conservatives would say, "hyuk, she was pretending to be a chick all along to get that sweet affirmative action!"

There is no reasoning with these people, nor any point in taking them seriously.

UPDATE. I see the credentialed and formerly respectable conservatives are playing the same stupid game. National Review's David French, who recently completed his turn to Trumpkinism by telling the world  Trump calling for his opponents to be jailed was nothing compared to liberals being mean to Ted Cruz, is now pretending to be outraged by what he calls Warren's "resume fraud." French talks as if her criminality were obvious to all True Sons of Liberty, which is what these putzes do when they're nervous that no one is listening to them. Finally, the last refuge of a NeverTrumper turned Tip-InTrumper -- he says Warren's the real Trump!  Can you imagine Tom Cruise once made people think JAG officers were cool?

UPDATE 2. In my newsletter today (Subscribe! Cheap!) I explain, among other things, why this is Bad News for Donald Trump:
Trump uses insults like this to neutralize his enemies, but by showing she had some Native American blood — not 1/32nd or three generations back, as her family had told her, but between 1/64th to 1/1,024th, or six to ten generations — Warren showed her good-faith claim was based on reality, and good faith and reality are to Trump as garlic and crucifixes to a vampire, as shown by his even more petulant than usual response: claiming "who cares" — a weird response to something he normally goes out of his way to make a big deal of — and that he never made a promise to pay a million dollars if Warren's Indian heritage were proven even though his promise is on tape. ("It was in the context of a future hypothetical debate and wasn’t actually a promise to give one million to her charity if she actually did a DNA test," homina-homina'd the ball-washers at The Right Scoop.) 
In other words, Trump couldn't even act like he was on top in this situation —he just blustered, something he's actually always doing but, in this instance, was so clearly doing it that even the redhat dummies might notice.
I would also add that, as with French and this Breitbart schnook, the fallback position among conservatives is that the Lame Stream Media, though malice or stupidity, missed the real story, which is that Warren and not Trump is the real crook. Not only is this message not a compelling one,  but they're delivering it to a small audience that already despises Warren and could not despise her more; normal people with memories of the schoolyard will appreciate her fighting back.

Friday, October 12, 2018


Hi, boys and girls, I'm Jimmy Carl Black and I'm the Indian of the group

My primary feeling about the Kanye West jackassery is expressed in my newsletter essay, "Previous Presidential-Pop Star Press Conferences." Subscribers can read the whole thing (which is why you should subscribe! It's cheap!), but here is an excerpt:
1969: Richard Nixon and Wild Man Fischer
FISCHER: No but I mean it's bullshit, man -- I mean ladies and gentlemen of the press. Because the man is trying to keep us down, and he keeps on keeping on keeping on keeping us down. He keeps on keeping us keeping us keeping us keeping us keeping us down. He keeps on keeping us keeping us keeping us keeping us down. [Takes out and plays a tambourine] He keeps on keeping us keeping us keeping us keeping us keeping us keeping us keeping us keeping us keeping us keeping us keeping us... 
NIXON [whispering to H.R. HALDEMAN] What the fuck is this bullshit. 
HALDEMAN: You said you wanted to start working the youth vote early, sir. 
NIXON: Next time get me goddamn Tiny Tim like I asked for.
•  Speaking of Kanye, though, it's something to see the serious intellectuals of the right sing his praises. Here's Peter Suderman:

"Mixed feelings"? What was the part he liked? Maybe it was "The core of Adidas, and Chicago, is the core of middle America, and we have to make middle America strong" -- as a libertarian, Suderman might appreciate branding American renewal with a specific company with which Trump can make a corrupt deal. Maybe it was West's suggestion the 13th Amendment is illegitimate because the number 13 is unlucky. Probably works for Rand Paul!

At National ReviewKevin D. Williamson spends the Kanye aftermath talking about the celebrity political obtuseness of... Taylor Swift and Henry Rollins. (There is one throwaway line about West.) And mostly on Rollins! We're all had our fun with Henry, but it's hilarious to see a professional poseur like Williamson decide that while Rollins has "real intellectual hunger," he is one of those who "see, but they do not observe" (translation: they read and think but still don't agree with Kevin D. Williamson). Then Williamson laments that "there isn’t any price for being intellectually irresponsible" -- I know! Kevin Williamson!

•  Which reminds me, another reason to love is it has text files of old issues of Maximum Rock 'n' Roll. I was looking for a particular Henry Rollins story and found this:
What the fuck is wrong with MRR?

Kurt Cobain kills himself and your attitude is “Fuck him, he sold out three years ago.” Jello Biafra gets beaten up and his knee broken in 17 places, and it's a big joke, cause “he’s not punk-rock anymore.”

Then you turn around and publish sexist, homophobic bullshit like George Tabb and Mykei Board. George Tabb spends a whole column calling Henry Rollins a pussy and a sissy. OK, Rollins sucks now, but what’s George Tabb ever done that's as good as Damaged or Slip It In? You wanna talk about sellouts—George would sell his wife to a donkey show in Tijuana to get a major-label contract for his lame metal band. Mykei [sic] Board used to be funny, but now he’s just a pathetic Rush Limbaugh imitation, whining about being oppressed by “women and homos”!

He’s probably mad because the only way he can ever get laid is to go to Thailand and pay for it.
I hope this man is almost done with the Great American Novel. (PS The story I dimly recall -- it might have been in the New York Press -- involved George Tabb challenging Rollins to a push-up contest; Tabb goes first and does a hundred or so push-ups, and gets up sweaty and exhausted; then Rollins gets down, does one, and says, "Now you can tell people you beat Henry Rollins in a push-up contest." Anyone here remember where this was printed?)

Wednesday, October 10, 2018


This is the most concentrated pellet of IOKIYR in recorded history.

What does Lewis mean by radicalization? He might be talking about policy -- for example, the growing impatience on the part of liberals with half-measures like the ACA and their shift to Medicare for All. But while the ACA turned out to be easy for Republicans to demonize, Medicare for All is very popular. And a lot of  Republican policies, like immigrant baby cages, are very unpopular. The midterm polls suggest not too many people are scared of what the Democrats are promising them.

So Lewis, like other conservatives these days, shifts emphasis from radical policies to radical behavior, calling the Democrats a "mob" that assaults Republican politicians by telling them they don't like them, which is what Hitler did.

In the linked article Lewis' evidence of "mob" activity is protesters at the Supreme Court "banging on the walls" and "Ted Cruz getting chased out of restaurants." They sure don't make mobs like they used to.

The Maximum Leader has been pushing this line ("You don't hand matches to an arsonist and you don't give power to an angry left-wing mob, and that's what the Democrats are"), and all the little Trumpkins -- which is basically every conservative, bound in blood to him since he muscled Rapey McRoeRepeal onto the Supreme Court -- have followed suit, from the blog bottom-feeders ("Democratic Party = Mob," "Democrat mob shows true colors," etc.) to bigger fish like Fox News' Stuart Varney ("Could it be that the treatment of Kavanaugh by the Democrat mob is swinging votes to the GOP?"), North Carolina GOP vice chairwoman Michele Nix ("modern Democrats prefer mob rule over the rule of law"), and Senator Tom Cotton ("the Democrats’ crazed, hysterical attempt at left-wing mob rule has failed, and rightfully so").

Rod Dreher, of course, is very anti-Democrat-mob and claims America joins him in condemning them, presenting in evidence his usual rock-solid testimony from unnamed persons whose existence we must take on faith:
I’ve heard from three friends — two Democrats, and one anti-Republican independent — who have written to express profound concern about this political moment, and the behavior of the liberal mob. One of the Democrats — no fan of Trump or Kavanaugh — told me that her party has lost her over all this. The independent told me he hasn’t voted GOP in 30 years, but that may change this November, because of the “malice” (his word) on the left. And the third remains a devoted Democrat, but he is agonizing over the demons now taking over his political side, and worries if they can ever be reined in.
Also Dreher knows a couple of ex-Soviet citizens who swear the Democrats are just like their captors back in the gulag  -- "these aging former dissidents, who don’t know each other, see the same thing happening in the liberal West." Like the biggest question I'd have about these possibly imaginary people is whether they colluded on their story.

The presumably real people who say the Kavanaugh hearings convinced them to vote for Trump are even better. "I Was A Never Trumper Until Democrats Went Gonzo On Kavanaugh. Now, Hand Me That Red Hat," declares... Nathanael Blake, longtime writer for The Federalist and author of columns like "How To Respond With Reason And Compassion To Transgender Bullies." Yeah, we were really hoping to turn that guy.

It should be obvious that, as Eric Levitz points out in New York magazine, when Republicans protest, the threat of actual violence -- not banging on walls, not discomfiting diners -- is much, much closer to the surface. Me, I can remember back to 2014 and the Bundy Insurrection, when armed crackers drew beads on federal agents and conservatives went squee. Here's John Hinderaker of Power Line at the time:
As time went by, more and more allies showed up at the Bundy Ranch, pretty much all of them armed. The arrivals included some who described themselves as militias. Today there was an extraordinary scene that gave rise to this photograph. Hundreds of Bundy supporters, on horseback and, I assume, armed, told the federal agents that they were surrounded and had better give back the cattle they had confiscated...
There was no cry against the mob in that post -- just Hinderaker spreading stories about Harry Reid ("Rumor has it that Reid wants the land for a giant solar farm that would be supplied by a Chinese company") and defending the Bundy position ("I don’t understand why there isn’t a stronger movement to turn most of that land over to local management"). Tree of liberty and all that.

Today, as it happens, Hinderaker talks about "the Democrats’ repellent mob actions as part of the 'Kavanaugh confirmation process.'" This level of shitfulness is par for Hinderaker's course, but what makes it even better is that his post argues his "mob" talking point is moving the polls in the Republicans' direction -- something he perhaps hopes will convince Sheldon Adelson to give him a bonus after the GOP only loses 34 seats. No doubt the rageaholic base does find this energizing, if by energizing we mean "now Grandpa, you know you're supposed to take your medicine every day," but how many of them make it to the polls -- and how many of us they'll be able to keep from the polls -- will have more to do with the result. That's the kind of mob tactic I worry about.

Friday, October 05, 2018


I was deeply honored to stand at the White House July 9 with the woman who is my wife, Ashley, and my girl-children Margaret and Liza, while in the audience my mother, a woman whose accomplishments as a woman I endorse, and the many other women I have promoted and shaken hands with and nodded to in hallways and coached in girls’ basketball teams watched me accept President Trump’s nomination to the Supreme Court which also has female members which I endorse.

I told all these brave, wonderful women who applauded my nomination as an ally of women about my 28 years at law, and nothing about how most of that was not spent on any bench but clerking and helping out with chores around the Republican Party until I had risen far enough and married his secretary that President Bush put me on the U.S. Court of Appeals.

There I rendered judgments impartially and unimaginatively, but certainly not in a partisan or sexist or in any other way career-damaging manner, waiting for my number to come up. By the way, judges must be impartial and beyond politics, did you know this? There are no Democrats and Republicans as far as the Supreme Court goes, just a team, including three women, of jurists whose numbers also came up, and I will serve amicably with them impartially and certainly without getting handsy with the ladies.

In the course of my politically neutral confirmation process I met with many Senators, bullshitting the Democrats and giving the hi-sign to the Republicans. I answered what I consider to be a large number of questions and despite what the Democrats say I think that number was quite sufficient.

But suddenly wrongful and sometimes vicious allegations were made about my behavior during a time long, long, long ago when I was a mere lad but still behaved impeccably, especially with women. The primary result of these baseless charges was a series of threats against all the Kavanaugh females mentioned above.

In defending these women and myself against accusations by parties whose gender I will not mention, I was of course outraged, as would be any man whose women had been attacked, and so I sneered, cried, told that mouthy Amy Klobuchar what’s what, yelled about my affection for drinking, and accused Bill and Hillary Clinton of setting the whole thing up. In the course of this understandable demonstration of my righteous indignation, I may have been a little rash and said a few things that were hurtful (though not to women, except maybe Senator Klobuchar who I expect is big enough to take it, and Hillary Clinton, because come on it's not like everyone doesn't know I'm going to carry out my Boss’ personal vendetta against her from the bench).

Anyway I’m sure now that it’s too late to do anything about it you will accept this non-apology and the inevitability of the nation-altering decisions my appointment will make inevitable. And once they get past the shock, I'm sure women will see that I am doing this all out of respect for them. See you on the sunny side of the mountain, ladies.

Wednesday, October 03, 2018


I did a thing in the newsletter (subscriptions r cheap! $7 a month!) about Rod Dreher and how, after what seemed like months of Vatican stuff (tl;dr more U.S. priests turn out to be pedos, big shock, which Dreher blames on that libtard Pope Francis and the "Lavender Mafia"), he's been pulled back into his usual ways by the Kavanaugh case. Oh boy does he support Kavanaugh, and for the reasons you'd expect (SJWs, Our Boys, feminazis, etc -- or white male supremacy, to cut to the chase). Dreher has even declared himself "red-pilled" by the hearings (though, being a wuss, he cops out in the end: "I’m not an alt-rightist. They would be embarrassed to have a Jesus person like me on their side, as many of them have said in the past." They don't have to like you, Rod -- they just have to let you carry their water).

Dreher has really returned to form with another of his spooooky stories for religious maniacs: After setting the scene with a news item about "a rash of cattle mutilations" in Arizona (it ain't Merrin and Pazuzu but it'll do) and expressing his concerns over a remake of (I'm not kidding) Sabrina the Teenage Witch ("The mainstreaming of Satanism in pop culture... is undeniably culturally significant"), Dreher tells us:
Background: “Nathan,” as I’ll call my friend, is a devout Catholic who lives in a major US city, and who works in a sophisticated professional milieu. He is in early middle age, and a husband and father. He and his family go to mass daily, and confession weekly. 
Nathan started his story with a jaw-dropping line: “For the past year, my wife has been under the care of an exorcist.”
Nathan told me the story of how things came to this point. I won’t give you too many details, out of an abundance of caution. It turns out that his wife had an eating disorder as a teenager, and tried to kill herself twice back then. Now, in the middle of her life, depression returned, but with certain strange characteristics that seemed … off. She began to despise religious things, in an inexplicable way. When she went to a “healing mass,” there was a manifestation that indicated something dark and alien was at work in her.
Here, where many of us would be asking, "uh, psychiatrist?" Dreher tells us "Catholic exorcists today work in a professional way, ruling out all other medical possibilities to explain the behavior before they start" -- so I guess they got past the psych eval, possibly by not doing one, and Nathan's wife's began "multiple sessions" with the exorcist. Also, "Nathan has been part of the rituals."

I know what you're thinking, guys, but --
...his wife’s face contorts into expressions that he has never seen in her, despite their nearly two decades of marriage.
Okay, now you've got me thinking it too. Dreher is still buying the story of the wife's hysteria treatments -- uh, I mean exorcism sessions, and muses:
I don’t know how I would do if I were in a situation in which I would be lying in bed at night, and my wife blurted out, “I hate you!” and then started growling in an otherworldly voice.
I suppose if he asked nicely he could find out, and then maybe we'd all be better off.

Thursday, September 27, 2018


As I say in my Friday newsletter item about this (subscriptions available, and even if you only do the free signup you'll still get the Kavanaugh hearing issue), only a small number of people know to a certainty what happened and, though I find Ford more credible than Kavanaugh, my standing policy is to believe only half of what I see and none of what I hear. But if you saw Brett Kavanaugh today, or even just know anything about his history as a rightwing factotum, you already know he's a piece of shit. If you know his history, you know he has devoted his miserable life to the dirty business of the GOP --  spreading manure for Ken Starr in the Clinton impeachmentspinning the Elian Gonzalez case, helping Bush rig the 2000 electionserving as George W.'s dogsbody and even marrying into the mob -- he's like the Zelig of modern Republican black ops. If you saw the hearing, you also know he's a whiny bitch trying the play tough guy. In either case, he is, as mentioned, a piece of shit, and as such shouldn't been anywhere near the Supreme Court -- but the flunkers to this flunkee, the GOP, have the power to put him in, and will race to do so before all hell breaks loose. So you can't stop it, but keep the outrage you feel at this injustice as a nosegay and bring it to the voting booth on November 6. (Also bring ID and the number of the ACLU Election Protection Hotline, 866-OUR-VOTE.) If we turn enough seats maybe we can impeach this prick. (Did I mention the newsletter?)