Wednesday, December 07, 2016


If you haven't looked in on Rod Dreher at The American Conservative lately, I have to warn you: as difficult as this may be to believe, he's gotten creepier. It may be due to the added difficulty he must anticipate in peddling his coming Benedict Option book (basically, monasticism with wi-fi) now that Trump's in, because its entire potential readership is now thinking, hey, racist shitgibbon elected = problem solved!

Obviously Dreher's aware of this; before the election, when he thought Trump's nomination was a sign that even his beloved GOP is now godless, he was spieling out flimflam like "When the smoke clears after November, the Benedict Option will be all we will have left." But since the election, while Dreher is naturally pleased that a reactionary is in power (though his image demands he be dainty about it -- every third post is "I didn't vote for Trump, but I'm glad because [insert jubilation over liberal suffering here]"), he's also obviously sweating the pre-sales:
Trump is not a religious man, but I hope that with Mike Pence whispering in his ear, he will make good on these hopes.
I can easily imagine Pence whispering in Trump's ear, "If thou therefore wilt worship me, all shall be thine," and Trump saying, "you have my attention."
It is also to be hoped that a Trump administration, which will replace Scalia, can also replace one or more other SCOTUS justices, and lock in a court majority solidly in favor of strong religious liberty protections. So far, so good, I think. 
But this surprise Trump win in no way obviates the need for the Benedict Option. All it does is buys us a little more time, and maybe a little more space within which to build it. My great concern is that conservative Christians who were beginning to perceive the danger to our faith coming from an aggressively secularist government will now allow themselves to believe that everything is fine, because we are going to have a GOP president and a GOP Congress 
Nothing could be further from the truth!
The inappropriate boldfacing, I am embarrassed to tell you, are Dreher's. Anyway, now that BenOp is off, get-rich-quick-wise, it's back to Dreher's Get-Ready-Man Routine, where he yaps that the world is a-comin' to an end and only Throne and Altar will save you.

Now, aficionados may recall that Dreher is as strong an anti-Islamist as Pam Geller except when it comes to the prospect of liberals in power, which quickly turns him fundy-ecumenical, e.g., "I probably have, re: fundamental morals, more in common with the first 500 people I'd meet in Cairo, Damascus or Tehran than the first 500 people I'd meet in Park City, UT, during festival time," etc. Better to co-reign in Allahworld than to serve fags a wedding cake!

Well, Islamists are not much in the news lately, and Dreher has a short attention span, so he's turned to a new authoritarian avatar: Vlad the Election-Hacker. Check out his post called, I ain't making this up, "Putin, Our Tsar-Protector?"

Dreher is troubled by a New York Times story about the corrupt cooperation of Putin and the Russian Orthodox Church (which is also Dreher's current faith). "Framing Putin sympathy in such stark and alarmist terms — as the media tended to frame Trump sympathy — obscures far more than it illuminates," he whines. Then he tells us about "two young Catholic men" he met on one of his frequent Benedict-Option-related vacations "who expressed sympathy for Putin" because....
...[they] had come to believe that European governing elites did not have their interests at heart, and who (the elites) were committed to de-Christianizing Europe at every opportunity... they respected the fact that [Putin] is a strong leader who embraces his country’s Christian religious heritage, and seeks to defend it and its teachings, especially against cultural liberals whose views on sex and gender are destroying the traditional family.
They sound like agents sent to tantalize Dreher. It seems to have worked, though: "And you know what?" he says. "I agreed with them, broadly." Then he quotes "the neoreactionary writer Ash Milton" and Megan McArdle, who agree with him that liberals want to oppress Christians with homosex. Then:
So: Vladimir Putin is a global leader who openly rejects and defies this memeplex, which dominates Europe even more than it does America. Finally, religious people may say, somebody stands up without apology to these people who are trying to crush us.
I try to imagine the working-class Catholics with whom I grew up in Bridgeport, Connecticut saying, "Thank God for the Russian dictator who will stand up for our values!" but can't.
...We have to keep our eye on the ball here: that the Russian state really is using culture and religion as a propaganda weapon against the West. But that doesn’t make the moral and religious ideas the Russian state weaponizes wrong or illegitimate! Never forget that the United States does the very same thing to advance secular liberalism, especially LGBT advocacy...
Sometimes I feel like giving up on America, but then I look at something like what Dreher wrote and think: You know what -- why should I? It's those assholes who gave up on America, not me; so fuck 'em -- I'll stand with America against them.

UPDATE. You know who else will defend Pooty-Poot against the evil those who question him -- even if they're Soviet refugees? Dana Rohrabacher, California Republican and Trump Secretary of State short-lister:
Bianna Golodryga: When you talk about human rights abusers in China much can be dsaid about Russia in that regard as well.
Rohrabacher: Oh, baloney ― where do you come from? How can you buy that?
Golodryga: I come from the former Soviet Union, that’s where I came from. I came here as a political refugee. That’s where I came from.
Rohrabacher: Oh, OK. What country did you say you came from?
Golodryga: I come from the former Soviet Union, from Moldova
Rohrabacher: Oh, well then that’s good, then the audience knows that you are biased.
Golodryga: I’m biased because I am an American citizen who was born in a foreign country?
Rohrabacher: Yeah yeah, when you start saying that Russia... Did you know there have been no poitical reforms in China? None.
Golodryga: I'm not saying... I'm not advocating that China be our best friend. I'm talking to you about Russia right now.
Rohrabacher: You just said that Russia and China are the same. I'm sorry, they are not.
Golodryga: I said they are both human rights abusers. How am I wrong?
Rohrabacher: How are you wrong? In China they don't have opposition force?
Golodryga: And Russia isn't accused of murdering journalists?
Rohrabacher: Okay, look. I’ll let the public decide with that last comment where you are coming from. The bottom line is what’s good for America is to prioritize, as I did when I worked with Ronald Reagan. I wrote most of his speeches on this issue.
Golodryga: And what would Ronald Reagan think about your thoughts about Vladimir Putin?
Rohrabacher: He would love it. Maybe you forgot that Reagan was the one who reached out to Gorbachev with his hand open... and...
Golodryga: Are you comparing Gorbachev to Vladimir Putin?
Rohrabacher: Absolutely I am.
There are some lessons in this -- first, about what Rohrabacher clearly thinks is the right kiss-ass message to portray about Russia and China (or, as The Leader says it, "CHAI-na"), and about how Perestroika Mike is like the resucitator of the KGB.  Also, it's fascinating to see how dismissively Rohrabacher treats a Soviet refugee. I'm old enough to recall a time when, if a liberal suggested a change in our Soviet policy -- even after Nixon's detente and Reagan's glasnost -- conservatives would haul out Solzhenitsyn or Mindszenty and go how dare you! These people were in the gulags! And we, poor saps, felt we had to respect their experience.

So it's instructive to see Rohrabacher dismiss Golodryga's experience as "bias" -- and not just because of its breathtaking hypocrisy; it also suggests a way for liberals to fight back on issues where conservatives presume a natural advantage. For instance, when they tell you Keith Ellison can't be DNC Chair because people like Alan Dershowitz claim he's anti-Semitic, try saying "So?" and "you are being very bias." What the hell -- it worked for Trump.

Tuesday, December 06, 2016


You folks have probably seen some debate over the Electoral College, and how some people say it's a vestige of slavery, and others say Hamilton the musical Founder meant it to save us from people like Trump and now look, etc. Well, Michael Barone has a new angle for you:
Ditching Electoral College Would Allow California to Impose Imperial Rule on a Colonial America
California Über Alles! You can tell he's got a strong thesis from the front-loaded slurs:
They're still counting the votes, going on four weeks after the election, in California. In Brazil, a nation with much more challenging geography, they manage to do it in five hours. 
The seemingly endless dillydallying of California's (presumably union-represented) public employees has obscured two interesting things about this year's presidential election.
I know, you were thinking Little Deuce Coupe and I Left My Heart in San Francisco, but Michael Barone's California is a bureaucratic dystopia where you can't even get votes counted for Chrissakes because the Vote-Counters Union demands a papaya and tantric sex break every couple of hours. Anyway, first "interesting thing" is sure she got a majority but not as big a one as some guy in 1876, and second...
...the most populous state was a political outlier, voting at one extreme in the national political spectrum. 
You can see this easily if you array the states in order of Democratic percentage. At the top, before any state, was the District of Columbia, where 91 percent of voters chose Clinton. Next, some 5,000 miles away, was Hawaii, which went 63 percent for Clinton. Then came giant California, the nation's most populous state. As I am writing this, the latest count has California at 62 percent Democratic.
And the United States, using the same metric, is also more Democratic than Republican. But that doesn't count because California is too Democratic -- not like normal folks who are only Democratic when their parents and pastors aren't looking:
Well, yeah, you might say. California has been called the Left Coast for quite a while. Just about everyone in the Silicon Valley except Peter Thiel and in Hollywood except Pat Sajak supported Clinton. White middle-class families have been pretty much priced out of the state by high taxes and housing costs, and the Hispanic and Asian immigrants who have replaced them vote far more Democratic.
The "white middle-class families" have all left, replaced by "Hispanic and Asian immigrants." One wonders why all the rich stars and computer nerds haven't abandoned this Third World hellhole and moved to Fritters, Alabama, where you can open your car elevator and see white people! That alone would make the constant drone of neo-country tolerable.

Barone rolls out some old electoral maps and shows us California and some other big liberal states used not to be that liberal -- they even voted for Reagan! -- so it was okay if they were on the winning side sometimes, but now that they're reliably Democratic -- unlike such famously purple states as Mississippi and Kansas -- if they were on the winning side it'd be tyrannical because they have the unfair advantage in population (unlike Texas) and because, need he remind you, they just ain't normal.
...The case against abolition is one suggested by the Framers' fears that voters in one large but highly atypical state could impose their will on a contrary-minded nation.
You mean like Florida in 2000? Wait, he's got a point -- their will was thwarted!
...California's 21st-century veer to the left makes [the Electoral College] a live issue again. In a popular vote system, the voters of this geographically distant and culturally distinct state, whose contempt for heartland Christians resembles imperial London's disdain for the "lesser breeds" it governed, could impose something like colonial rule over the rest of the nation. Sounds exactly like what the Framers strove to prevent.
Actually that's the current state of the nation under the cruel tyrant Obama, who craftily got Imperial Cali to vote for him twice. For nearly eight years honest crackers have been forced to endure colonics, Mexican food, and wind farms. Some of them, no doubt suffering from Stockholm Syndrome, began treating members of minority groups with respect, and doing yoga. But now, Trump time is a-comin', and these real non-Hispanic-and-Asian-immigrant Americans can go back to hog jowls and hate crimes, like the Founders intended, and inhale the meth fumes of freedom.

Monday, December 05, 2016


...about the Breitbart-Kellogg's beef and what it says about the new post-truth, post-fact, post-sense Trump reality all the kids are talking about. Actually after years of covering rightbloggers I find this pathology very familiar. It's similar to the famous knock that George W. Bush guy put on the "reality-based community" back in 2004. But it's gotten jacked up a bit since then, in part because, in addition to their traditional contempt toward liberals, the brethren seem to be feeling more resentment -- especially as Hillary Clinton's vote tally grows and more people demonstrate that they're not going to put up with Trump quietly.

Last weekend someone showed up at Comet Ping Pong with a gun because he bought the Nazi Frogs' Podesta pedophile gibberish. The Kellogg's thing has so far unleashed a less threatening insanity. WorldNetDaily, for example, blames Kellogg’s withdrawal (characterized by them as a "blacklist") on an activist twitter account called Sleeping Giants, which “features raised black fists that resemble those used in 1969 posters of the Black Panther Party.” WND further reports that Sleeping Giants “followed only 23 Twitter users — some of whom are actively helping Sleeping Giants publicize its campaign against Breitbart. And nearly all are linked directly to President Obama, left-leaning publications or far-left causes.” WND named the 23 being-followed accounts (usual suspects like Rachel Maddow, David Plouffe, and Michael Moore), but didn’t say which of them were “actively helping Sleeping Giants” — the clear implication is that any of them might have, since they had already committed the crime of being followed by a Twitter account. Maybe soon someone will go to Battle Creek with a sawed-off and a Confederate flag to strike a blow for Fat Goebbels.

Saturday, December 03, 2016


A day late, but I did it. Here, have some vintage live Black Flag for your trouble.

 I finally got into the National Museum of African-American History and Culture this week. It’s very much a typical, signage-heavy Smithsonian museum — long on curios, display cards, and uplift. At first I thought the slavery history galleries were a little too talky, and should have had some of the grim immersive effect of the U.S. Holocaust Museum. (I feel the same way about the National Museum of the American Indian, which always feels like it’s hiding something, genocide-wise.)  But then I noticed the place was packed, mostly with black families, and they were reading the history with great interest, so maybe they neither need not want to be smacked in the face with the horrors of slavery and segregation. To be fair, there are some coups de muséologie like the Emmett Till casket, and also images with quieter, more melancholy power; for example, a large wall projection of a photo of an Emancipation Day Parade in some city in 1905; a sea of black folk, neatly dressed but showing no sign of revelry or even celebration, seeming in fact somber, for reasons we are moved to imagine. And once you gets upstairs to the cultural section, all is bliss and wonder; special credit to whoever designed the groovy light boxes in the 70s-radical section. I take Steven Thrasher’s point about “respectability politics,” but it is on the nation’s biggest tourist strip, and you could do worse with four hours. (Oh, and like the American Indian Museum, the food is very good.)

•  I have to thank Steve M. of No More Mister Nice Blog (which you really should be reading, especially lately) for alerting me to the latest by culture-war clown Christian Toto appearing at the once-proud The Hill:
Film 'Miss Sloane' another reminder of Hollywood's liberal smugness
We warned you effete liberals, by our glorious election of The Leader, that we didn’t want to see anything but Batman vs. Superman vs. Wonder Woman’s Tits XVIIIVXI from now on, but you preemptively ignored us during the production cycle of this movie (or as you sissies call it “film”).
Now, the industry hopes a new film will change the public narrative on gun control. When will celebrities learn their one-sided sermons rarely change hearts or minds?...
Eventually Toto pretends to actually review the film and, surprise, says it’s bad on the merits, which is as may be, but clearly that isn’t why he finds it worth talking about because 1.) he’s Christian Toto 2.) he keeps sticking in talking points like “never mind that the National Shooting Sports Foundation recently revealed that women are the nation’s fastest growing group of gun owners,” and 3.) It’s in The frigging Hill, not Cahiers du Cinéma.
The film suggests most Beltway types want more gun control, but the gun lobby strong arms senators to make them do their bidding. Off screen, there are forces on both sides, each with its own resources and forms of persuasion. Like glossy Hollywood movies…
Like glossy Hollywood movies! From Hollywood! What a bunch of hypocrites.
Hollywood didn’t bother to ask why some Americans thought Trump, flaws and all, might be the change agent they craved. And “Miss Sloane” refuses to consider any NRA member’s arguments regarding the Second Amendment…
He seems to want advisory councils brought in to make sure the artistic product doesn’t challenge the Trumpenproletariat, at least not without an appearance by a raisonneur named Tistian Chroto to explain why conservatism rocks. In show biz they call these focus groups, and that’s how we get Batman vs. Superman vs. Wonder Woman’s Tits XVIIIVXI (in IMAX®!). Which I guess will be the ideal entertainment for the New Age.

•  As for the Carrier deal, you know what? First and foremost I’m happy for those guys who will get to keep their jobs. It sucks that many of the Carrier employees are losing their jobs and no one seems to give a shit, and that the propaganda Trump is making of it is probably a model for his general kleptocracy cover, and (most of all) that nothing about him and his factota suggests there’ll be anything like a policy that would generate better-than-subsistence-wage jobs for those hinterland honkies who thought voting for him was gonna fix everything. But in this round of winners-and-losers at least somebody who isn't a billionaire won something; also, we get to hear the hardcore wingnuts sputtering that it’s not real conservatism — and their Twitter followers snarling back at them. It's an ill wind that blows no one some laffs!

Wednesday, November 30, 2016


Sean Davis of The Federalist says the evil libtard media doesn't care about the fires raging in Gatlinburg and elsewhere 'cause it's only crackers getting burnt:
Ravaged by months of drought, huge swaths of the southeast United States are on fire, but you wouldn’t know it judging by national media coverage... 
The lack of rainfall has led directly to the scores of fires currently burning throughout the South. 
The scene in Gatlinburg is nothing short of terrifying... 
But because it’s not happening in New York or D.C. or Los Angeles, it doesn’t really count as news. When a few snowflakes begin to fall in Washington, it’s a national emergency. When Los Angeles has a lot of traffic on Thanksgiving, it requires an international APB. But when tens of thousands of acres are burning in the South following months of drought, it barely warrants a shrug.
So what does Davis care? I keep hearing that the MSM is discredited and full of lies, and real patriots only watch Fox and read hate sites.

I opened up Google News and saw this at the top of the page:

Also, if you look up "georgia fire" or "tennessee fire" on Google News you get hundreds of thousands of references at present. They're not mostly from and

Oh, just for grins I looked up "fire" on the front page of I got "Theismann: Fire Any GM Who Trades for Tony Romo," "Levi Strauss: Do Not Bring Your Legal, Concealed Carry Firearms Into Our Stores," and "Top Cleric Criticizes Egyptians For Rejoicing At Israeli Forest Fires."

And you know what's eating up Breitbart's front page right now?

Apparently Breitbarteers, enraged that Kellogg's stopped advertising on their site, are tweeting pictures of their Fruity Pebbles and Frosted Flakes in the garbage so people will know they're serious. Why doesn't Breitbart tell their readers to send their cereal to Gatlinburg instead? At the very least they can try dropping it on the conflagrations from helicopters; given the texture of the stuff, it'll probably work just as well as that foam they normally use.

No pleasing some people, though I guess they get something out of being displeased.

UPDATE. From comments, Jimcima:
The scene in Gatlinburg is nothing short of terrifying....but when tens of thousands of acres are burning in the South following months of drought, it barely warrants a shrug
And that fire is barely half the size of just the last fire we had to evacuate from where I live in San Diego. 
Before that? 
The Cedar Fire burned 280,000 acres, which is 17x bigger than the Gatlinburg fire. It killed 26 people and we lived in the parking lot of the local high school for almost a week. 
I don't recall the national news coverage but I distinctly remember commenters on conservative websites saying how "stoooopid" we fucking Californian fruits were for living in a wildfire area.


It appears some advertisers are pulling out of the Breitbart ad streams:
Kellogg’s has announced that it will pull all advertising from the site. 
The company cited concerns that Breitbart News, which has been described by many as portraying alt-right ideals, does not align with its values... 
Kellogg’s isn’t the first brand to pull its advertising from the website. That growing list includes Allstate, Nest, EarthLink, Warby Parker and SoFi. says Kellogg's is "blacklisting" them:
“Kellogg’s decision to blacklist one of the largest conservative media outlets in America is economic censorship of mainstream conservative political discourse,” it said in a statement. “That is as un-American as it gets.”
That would be a fair analogy if, say, Zero Mostel and Millard Lampell were able to keep making movies even if some producers didn't like them, and Breitbart were thrown off the internet.

Interestingly, the response from Breitbart's CEO, per the Hollywood Reporter, is more belligerent:
"We'll handle this the way we always do — war," Breitbart CEO Larry Solov told The Hollywood Reporter (founder Andrew Breitbart, before his death in 2012, declared "war" on what he called the "Democratic-Media Complex," his term for a liberally biased news and entertainment industry)... 
"Our readers are mainstream America and, frankly, that's who these advertisers risk alienating," Solov said of Kellogg's and Allstate. "They're creating economic censorship of conservative discourse. They say we don't represent their values — but we represent American values."
To review: A commercial entity is declining to buy ad space from a publisher. The publisher proclaims itself a victim of a "blacklist." Its CEO says it will go to "war" over this. And the chairman of the publisher is chief strategist to the President Elect of the United States. 

In other words, wingnut business as usual -- professing victimhood while wielding power and making threats. 

I doubt Solov means a boycott -- if we've learned anything from conservative consumer activism, it's that you can get them to consume more of what they already gorge on, but not to consume less of it. No one's going to stop buying Frosted Flakes to glorify Steve Bannon. But when his boss, who does not seem like the type to observe ethical niceties, comes to power, maybe we'll see what Solov does mean.  

Monday, November 28, 2016


I don't normally do a second post on Pimp Village Voice Column Mondays, but I found something I wanted to make sure was noted before we're all thrown into gulags. You may have seen that the Associated Press -- whose business is clarity of thought expressed by clarity of prose -- laid down standards for use of the term "alt-right" that make clear AP will not accept use of the term as the disguise for which neo-Nazi goons like Richard Spencer obviously intend it, and counseled editors thus:
Again, whenever “alt-right” is used in a story, be sure to include a definition: “an offshoot of conservatism mixing racism, white nationalism and populism,” or, more simply, “a white nationalist movement.
Enemies of clarity such as Jim Hoft of Gateway Pundit erupted as one would expect:
Don’t be fooled – The left is doing this so they can label all Trump supporters as racists. This enables hateful liberal reporters to label all Trump reporters as evil racists. The AP can go to hell.
So I guess Hoft will stick with the "Grammar & usage R for fags" stylebook he's been using all along.

Not causally related but very relevant is something CNN ran, by one Brad Todd, identified there as "a founding partner at OnMessage, Inc., an advertising agency where he has produced ads for Ron Johnson, Rick Scott, Bobby Jindal, and many others."

So, already, an obvious scumbag -- but one with an interesting Age of Trump angle:  He famously said on one of the talk shows that "voters take Donald Trump seriously but not literally, while journalists take him literally, but not seriously." So far as it goes it's an astute observation of the poetic sense of political rhetoric. But Todd wants to take it further:
Months later and on the far side of the election, the press is still taking Trump more literally and less seriously than voters do. The most recent case in point is the furor over his baseless claim on Twitter about voter fraud, that "millions of people who voted illegally" cost him the popular vote. It's the latest instance of the media buying into Trump's outrage-tweeting strategy. 
And journalists keep falling for it because they, like politicians, over-value words -- and they are now covering a politician who does not. President-elect Trump still takes the same cavalier approach to verbal description as he would in hawking a condo tower that's yet to be designed. And more than enough voters don't seem to mind.
Those of you who value words as -- well, as what they were meant for: a means of honestly communicating with your fellow man -- are just being silly and precious, says the adman: words are just a sales tool, something to put on a brochure with the pretty pictures and every bit as suitable for Photoshopping:
Trump has spent a career interacting with journalists, but as the first president never to serve in the military, the cabinet, or another public office before his election to the White House, he's never been immersed in the word culture that drives political journalism.
Translation: He can't read. Hey, but who cares! What's "word culture" got to do with leadership? And look at those chumps who can read and their childish concerns:
Journalists are conditioned to believe that words are the ultimate product, to be curated, sweated, grinded and polished. The profession slavishly follows the Associated Press Style Manual...
Boo! Hiss!
..which is hotly debated on every revision, to achieve industry-wide consensus on exactly which words are forbidden and which verbal shortcuts are allowed. Any exceptions to that manual come in the form of a style manual unique to each publication or network, a supplemental set of inviolable stone tablets.
You've heard this kind of talk before -- not so much from other admen, who (like David Ogilvy) are usually in favor of clearer communication, as from neo-reactionaries such as Mencius Moldbug and Rod Dreher, who denounce "The Cathedral" of people who maintain intellectual standards ("stone tablets") because they don't serve the racist revanchism in which Moldbug and Dreher believe and are therefore illegitimate. The only reason they can imagine anyone would pay close attention to words is to advance propaganda; the idea that anyone would value the symmetry of words and meanings for any higher purpose or pleasure eludes them, probably because (as their prose betrays) they take no such pleasures and their purpose is lower than shit.

Todd's pretty much the same way, philosophically -- he thinks you're only grinding and polishing words to peddle something, just like he does, see! -- but (thank heaven for small favors) he's not as addicted to spooky pseudo-mysticism as Moldbug and Dreher. He's a sunny salesman! And he's here to tell you, Mr. Gloomy Old-Fashioned Journalist, to get your head out of the clouds -- stop "writing endless columns on this or that flip-flop based on Trump's conflicting rhetoric," because you're "wasting the time" of readers -- "also known as 'customers'" -- who see Trump's words "differently than journalists do. They, or at least the members of his winning electoral coalition, see Trump not as a politician but as a businessman.... They may have met other real estate professionals in their own lives and they know better than to take the words of ad hoc marketing seriously."

In other words, it's all bullshit, and you shouldn't harsh the customers' mellow by trying to give them anything else:
Donald Trump's electoral coalition has shaken up American politics in ways few expected. Smart operatives in both parties are already trying to adapt practices and metrics to better suit the wave of change Trump rode. 
The Washington press corps, already suffering through a decade-long decline in viewer trust and consumption, would be foolish to not adapt as well. If the press covers Trump the way it covered prior presidents -- too literally -- it may find its own customers take journalism itself a lot less seriously.
[flaps hand at Mr. Smartypants Journalist] C'mon, get with it! Quit pretending you're better than flacks like me! Be a smart operative! Here are the talking points, now don't fuck things up by checking them against your precious "facts." Do you like your job?...

You know, I turned away from the Church many years ago, but I still can't get over the feeling that the Devil is trying us.

UPDATE. Todd's idea has caught on, at least in some crippled form, with one of the dimmer rightbloggers -- "Trump Punks Media With Claim Of 'Millions Of Illegal Votes.'," writes William Teach of Right Wing News. "Could Trump be correct? Probably not," admits Teach. But that's not important -- what's important is, Trump spurred a "Typical Media Freakout," which shows that "the media still do not get Donald Trump." Boo-yah!

Teach hasn't quote grasped the Tao, though -- he goes to the trouble of trying to explain Trump's bullshit:
But, hey, without an examination of the tallies in places like California and New York, how do we know that they didn’t have millions of illegal aliens, felons, people voting two or more times, and legal aliens voting?
Similarly, how do you know I wasn't kidnapped by aliens, and that these cops who claim I was driving 100 mph drunk aren't in on it? Without a major outer space exploration to check out my assertion, we'll just have to agree to disagree.

So Teach still has traces of oldthink in his system -- to go that extra mile, he has to accept that even dishonest explanations are unnecessary and may even be injurious; best to follow up only with chants of "U.S.A.!" or those bouquets of emojis, hashtags, misspellings, and conspiracy theories with which Trump followers respond to The Leader's tweets. From the evidence of his writing, Teach is not so devoted to "word culture" that he can't get with this program -- especially when he sees how much less effort it takes.


...about the "normalization" of Trump, and the rightbloggers' resistance to any indication that Trump is anything but normal (or superhuman).

In the column I noted Peggy Noonan pretending to be mortally offended by Trump's multiple conflicts of interest. Had I room I would have also treated her later, even worse column, "What to Tell Your Children About Trump." I should mention here, for readers who have not long followed the woman I used to call the Crazy Jesus Lady, how absolutely full to bursting Noonan is with shit. In an earlier, post-election column, she whimpered that "Donald Trump doesn’t know how to be president" and implored the citizenry, "Help him," as if the practiced grifter would not cheerfully help himself every chance he got.

Then came the column I cited, professing to keep an eye on the fellow lest he (inadvertently, no doubt) rob the Treasury. "What to Tell Your Children About Trump" probably came after many cocktails and/or stern warnings to get normalizing if she knew what was good for her. It came with this peculiar illo:

The attempt to make the vicious, hate-faced Trump look avuncular in this image is, amazingly, even more repulsive than the actual Trump's real-life rictus when clutching horrified children, because it shows a more benign countenance than Trump has ever managed to show at any time; it's as if he had died, and had his face wrestled by an undertaker into a cheerful, Uncle Toby grin for the casket, and then someone thought it would be nice if, before he was planted, he could be crunched into a seated position, then surrounded by children who have been promised $10 not to scream in terror while the scene was photographed.

Even more artificial is Noonan's historical analysis. "The legacy media continues its self-disgrace," she claims, because they aren't showing Trump the proper deference -- "Any journalists who are judicious toward Trump, who treat him fairly or even as a human being, are now accused of 'normalizing' him." And what could be abnormal about a crooked grifter elevated to our highest office? Instead, decrees Noonan, the media should "respect" the "happiness" of "60 million people" who "haven’t taken to the streets... they haven’t broken car windows..." which I guess is Noonan's way of saying they're all white, though they are in a sense a minority.

Then comes the kind of Noonan bullshit that makes you proud to be an American, where even the most unbelievable I-walked-with-an-immigrant bullshit can net you seven figures:
Five days after the election I met an Ethiopian immigrant on a street in Washington.
"Hello, drunk white lady! Let us share our stories."
We got to talking. He spoke of how bad it was in his old country, all the killing. He’d been here 15 years. “I love America,” he said. “It gave everything to me.” But he was deeply concerned by the election. He has two sons, 8 and 6. The younger got up Wednesday morning, saw the TV and burst into tears. Trump won! The boy calls Trump “the mouth man.” How could a bully be president? “He wept,” said the Ethiopian. “How do I explain it to him?” 
I thought. Finally I said, “Tell him to trust America.” Tell him that we are the world’s oldest democracy, that we are a good people, that we’ve been through shocks and surprises, and that we have checks and balances. “If it turns out good,” I said, “we’ll be happy. If it turns out really bad, America has a way of making your stay in the White House not too long. But tell him to trust America as you did, and it gave you everything.”
Later Noonan tells us about what a lovely chat she had with Trump -- "how charming, funny and frank he was—and, as I say, how modest. How actually humble," and I see the people who can afford a Wall Street Journal subscription nodding and thinking, of course, he addresses the crowds as the idiots they are, but when he speaks to one of us he is probably as charming as I am when I joke with my caddy about his inferior genes!

I wonder if she'll get to share this touching story with the Ethiopian before he's thrown out of the country to make a swing-state honky feel better about his employment prospects.

Meanwhile the Next Noonan, Megan McArdle, says for Thanksgiving you should be nice to people different from yourself. No, not liberals, silly -- they're scum! But:
...the first thing I’m choosing to be grateful for this year is the strangers I’ve met who were nothing like me, but nonetheless did me some extraordinary kindness. The people who hate everything about my politics, but who have reached out, again and again, to wish me well and even offer me money or expert help when I was going through some sort of crisis. Those people I’m grateful for, and America, you have a lot of them.
Someone offered McArdle money? Did her Thermomix break down?

(Do read the column, it's pretty good.)

Wednesday, November 23, 2016


When a Texas judge stops an executive order granting overtime rights to millions of workers, you expect the usual suspects to rush to yell hooray; though I see Megan McArdle is a little slow off the mark this morning, National Review got Carrie Lukas on the case pronto. Unfortunately, Lukas' bullshit dispenser wasn't warmed up. After announcing the injunction is "good news for workers," she falters in the crucial "make it look good" part of the routine. After trying the old employers-will-just-reclassify-those-workers bit -- at least that's what I think she's trying to convey with that Tammy McCutchen quote -- she gives us this:
Moreover, many workers simply don’t want to have to track their time and inform their bosses exactly when they are leaving early and when they are working late. Moving to an hourly position entails a loss of prestige for some workers, who prefer to feel as though their contributions to the company are bigger than just their time logged.
Sure, you would have gotten a higher rate after 40 hours, but you'd have had to record your hours! And if you're like me -- a rightwing factotum -- you hate bureaucracy more than you need to feed a family! Also, think of the loss of prestige -- imagine your "walk of shame" from the paymaster's office as your coworkers glare at you; you can even hear some of them saying, "yeah, looks like old Smith's only slaughtering pigs for the money!"

Well, there's one real upside: We should stop hearing about economic anxiety any day now.

UPDATE. Hi, guys, Disqus seems to have deleted a bunch of comments I did not ask to be deleted, and I cannot yet figure out how to get them back up. Working on resolution now. New comments seem to work, so feel free to blow off steam here.