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Showing posts sorted by date for query "normal people". Sort by relevance Show all posts

Thursday, July 02, 2020

NO MASKS, PLEASE, WE'RE PATRIOTS.

Even with the departure of Jonah Goldberg, there remain some spectacularly awful writers at National Review like Victor Davis Hanson and David Harsanyi. But in these days of desperate last-ditch Trump defense, the less spectacular, more shoulder-to-the-wheel propagandist Jim Geraghty deserves more attention.

Geraghty had of late been working the popular conservative trope that protests are causing the COVID-19 spread. He may have tumbled that this line isn't working, because earlier this week he seemed to back off, saying protests "may not be the primary factor spreading the virus around the U.S. in recent weeks, but that doesn’t mean they were not a factor at all," an obvious intermediate step to dropping the claim entirely.

Geraghty's got a lulu today. First he plumps what he calls "Maybe the Most Jaw-Droppingly Good Jobs Report in U.S. History" -- a pitch for the hometeam crowd, certainly, since Americans are starting to look at job reports the same way they look at the stock market: "Good news" that does not seem to reflect the reality they're actually living.

Perhaps sensing this, Geraghty gets right to work on bothsidesing the coronavirus catastrophe:
You can point to no shortage of policy mistakes made by President Trump, or governors such as Andrew Cuomo of New York, Phil Murphy of New Jersey, Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan, or New York City mayor Bill de Blasio.
If that doesn't have you convinced that the president who kept telling America the virus was no big deal and stole PPE from the states is no more guilty than three leaders whose COVID curves actually went down (though Michigan's has recently ticked up a little), Geraghty has something else to sell you -- The reason the virus is out of control here is actually America's greatness
Some countries may have responded to this virus better than we did, but they are generally smaller, less populous, had experience with a previous serious virus, and/or have populations that are more trusting of their government and more inclined to obey strict rules and to assent to government monitoring of their movements and activities that Americans are unlikely ever to accept.
We're self-centered assholes who know the leaders we elect will screw us -- that's why we can't perform the simple public health measures that are saving the rest of the civilized world! [Pounds chest] We're "a country literally founded by people who violently rejected the existing legal and political authority when they deemed it unjust or draconian," says Geraghty, and that's why we don't need no stinkin' masks, whattaya say to that, Karen?

Having failed to dispel our Springtime-for-Hitler stare, Geraghty changes tack, seeking to convince us that lockdowns killed George Floyd who you liberals say you care about so much:
If the economy had not been shut down in Minnesota, would George Floyd have been out of work? Would he have allegedly tried to use a counterfeit $20 bill and then been in that particular place and time where former police officer Derek Chauvin would arrest him and hold his knee on Floyd’s neck for more than eight minutes?
In fact, there wouldn't be any protests at all, Geraghty seems to say, if the lockdowns didn't have the kids so darned bored:
I don’t think we fully appreciate how much the still -- ongoing protests are, for young people, the only game in town. Just what else is there to do in still-heavily-locked-down America? They can’t go to the movies. They can’t go to a ballgame... 
In a normal summer, how much of young people’s mental energy is spent on enjoyable leisure, from the NBA to pickup games of sports to Marvel movies and other summer blockbusters?... 
Why are we shocked that young people are flocking to house parties and bars at night and protests during the day? What else have we left them to do?
Ah youth -- when summer is one long roundelay of partying in bars and then yelling "all cops are bastards" out in the warm sun! I expect National Review's geriatric subscribers, whose idea of protests haven't much evolved from Students Wildly Indignant about Everything, will buy it. And isn't that the important thing? At this point it's not like conservatives are trying to convince anyone but themselves.

Monday, June 15, 2020

NEW FRONTIERS IN B.S.

Conservatives have been trying all kinds of anti-protest yak to try and counteract America's sudden realization that cops are out of control and black people bear the brunt -- like the traditional Cop Worship thing, the "boo hoo protestors cancelled Gone With the Wind" thing, etc. But I think their big opportunity will be blaming protests for COVID-19 spikes. This is from a mailer I got from National Review today, a "news editors' roundup" -- Jack Crowe cites the Tom Hanks COVID test results and the NBA season cancellation publicized March 11 as what "turned the disease from a media novelty into a visceral reality," then:
Just as it took one day and two relatively trivial developments to awaken Americans to the scale of the threat, it took the events of one day for them to forget. 
Memorial Day, the day George Floyd was killed by a white Minneapolis Police officer, changed everything. Suddenly, mentions of social distancing and masks, which had dominated news coverage for weeks, disappeared from the big cable shows and the front pages, replaced by coverage of the civil unrest sweeping the country. Gone, too, was the opprobrium meted out to recalcitrant “lockdown protesters,” who selfishly refused to stay home as an act of shared sacrifice. Politicians at the federal and state level, who had been appearing daily to remind their constituents about the importance of social distancing, were suddenly celebrating the open flouting of the rules they had imposed.
Now, normal people reading this might wonder: Didn't something else happen on Memorial Day -- namely, a whole lot of states, many of them red and not really protest hotspots, had opened up bars and beaches for the holiday weekend? Isn't that much more likely to be the cause of COVID spikes -- especially in states (cited in the mailer!) like Arkansas, Oklahoma, and South Carolina?

You're gonna love Crowe's pitch there:
These case spikes may not be directly attributable to the recent protests. But as the NBA cancellation and Tom Hanks’s announcement demonstrates, the public is fickle, responding to high-profile cues rather than CDC announcements about which phase of reopening their state is in. 
If Americans across the country turned on their televisions in recent weeks, they saw virtually every major city awash in protesters, many of whom didn’t bother to wear masks or had them pulled down. Those protesters were allowed to move about freely, and in many cases encouraged to do so by “public health experts.” All of a sudden, the neighborhood barbecue or pool party didn’t seem so dangerous.
So according to Crowe, Mr. and Mrs. America didn't respond to the call of the ancient holiday weekend when they broke social distancing; no, they saw the protests on the TV and thought, "We were just sitting at home watching TV but, since the kids are giving each other COVID at the protests, I might's well take the family down the shore and eat burgers and drink beers and go swimming with a bunch of people I don't know."

Plenty of others are already working the basic theme, but Crowe takes the cake for creativity. So far.

(I should add that in my own personal experience, and that of others, protestors have a greater tendency to keep their masks on than people at bars and restaurants.)

UPDATE. LOL:
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Metro Public Health issued more than a dozen citations to businesses violating COVID-19 Phase Two guidelines this weekend, three of which are bars on Broadway, including Underground and Kid Rock’s Honky Tonk. 
Owners told News 2 it’s a double standard and they’re sick of it. 
“It’s unfair for 5,000 people to march in front of our place yesterday in direct violation of the Phase Two order and then for Mayor Cooper and Dr. Caldwell to come in last night and give us citations,” said Bryan Lewis, attorney for Steve Smith, who owns Kid Rock’s and Honky Tonk Central, both cited this weekend.
Go here to see a picture of the folks crammed in and knockin' 'em back at Kid Rock's. But it's the marches that're making people sick. Well, it's no shock to see motivated reasoning among local merchants who a few months earlier were probably telling the cops "how come you're not out arresting street punks instead of writing me tickets?"

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

TELL THE GOVERNOR I SAID OWWW.

Big companies saying nice things about Black Lives Matter is okay but it doesn't mean a lot. A bunch of businesses on H Street NE here in DC recently covered themselves in particle board to guard against looters -- who never came, by the way; the looting was very limited here -- and the bigger ones wrote inclusive-sounding slogans on the boards, apparently as talismans to ward off vandals. They were all pretty anodyne, but the one on Starbucks was my favorite: "We Stand With You!" I think that speaks for us all, no? (Ben's Chili Bowl, not the original, just put an 8.5" x 11" flyer in the window that said "Black-owned business," LOL.)

So I think of telecoms and grocery chains going "Black Lives Matter" the same way; in the words of George W. Bush, there, you covered your ass.

I do find it encouraging that polls show citizens, despite a lifetime of copaganda and the bluster and bullying of our current authoritarian regime, think the cops don't have the right to beat up whoever they like and that the protestors have a point. And I enjoy the enraged howling response of conservatives who are used to getting all the white people to line up for them when they yell "law and order."

One of the funnier bits is the cop sob story "America, We Are Leaving" that wingnuts are passing around in which Captain Yates from the mean streets of Tulsa, OK has had enough, dammit, and is throwing his badge on the ground. And it's not just the protestors he's mad about; "Kids used to be taught respect and now it’s cool to be disrespectful," laments Yates; "...Parents used to get mad at their kids for getting arrested and now they get mad at us." And the language they use on TV these days! As for George Floyd, Yates says:
Doctors kill 250,000 people a year. They call them “medical mistakes” because society understands that they do a very difficult job under high stress and they must make the best possible decision in the moment.
So can't you spot the cops a certain number of murdered suspects? It’s only fair! Yates says he's been in 27 years, so his pension must be pretty fat. Vaya con Dios!

I shouldn't laugh -- it must be hard for conservatives at the moment, as the walls are closing in: even NASCAR won't fly their beloved Stars and Bars, HBO won't play (on one of its platforms, anyway) Gone With The Wind, and Paramount cancelled Cops. Now that the free market has forsaken their favorite totems, many have gone to the last refuge of a wingnut, cries of censorship and deplatforming. Christian Toto, one of my favorite culture-war clowns, predicts:
What’s next? The following list features films considered deeply “problematic” or sharing messages deemed untenable to the Modern Left. And make no mistake, it’s the Left tearing down statues, rioting nationwide and erasing history wherever it can... 
“Blazing Saddles” -- Cultural observers have had this Mel Brooks classic on their list for some time. The film liberally uses the “n-word,” features stereotypically gay characters and employs slurs now considered taboo. Brooks himself repeatedly tells us he couldn’t make “Blazing Saddles” today, a toxic reality all by itself.
See, if volume dealers decide not to stock works that celebrate the Confederacy, they're gonna "cancel" Mel Brooks! Toto probably doesn't get that the rest of us -- and I don't mean only liberals, I mean normal people -- enjoy Blazing Saddles because it's funny. And a big part of the reason it's funny (apart from pure skill) is not because of its abundance of n-words, but because it makes the racists that conservatives are currently clutching to their bosoms and weeping over like Stephen weeping over the dead Calvin Candie in Django Unchained look like, well...


Thursday, May 07, 2020

THE DEATH CULT AND THE DEATH STAR.

I don't buy the popular analysis that Trump and his team as geniuses, evil or otherwise, and that anything they do that looks nuts or counterproductive -- including the recent tweet from his tiny-faced campaign manager associating the Republican Party with the Death Star from Star Wars -- is actually brilliant. For one thing, the only talents and interests Trump himself possesses are entirely devoted to his grift -- his disastrous presidency confirms that outside the arena of self-promotion he is lost. As to his handlers, they have mainly been busy cleaning up after Trump's messes, like the functionaries in M.K. Brown's old "Whistle Stop" cartoon ("Do you suppose actually seeing the candidate eat the rat could cost us the election?"), which is why Trump's numbers have been underwater for the most of the past three and a half years.

But Trump has had a Gallup poll bump in the past few weeks, which gives a clue that the Death Star thing isn't about Brad Parscale misapprehending the point of a popular nerd entertainment, as critics suggest, but about the Trump team consciously pursuing a strategy that most of us thought was just the subconscious force behind their and Trump's clusterfuckery. In other words, they're doing it on purpose and here's why.

All things being equal, we can assume Trump has benefited from the reopening plans in most states, of which he has been a booster, if a passive-aggressive one. Now, it's not that voters can't appreciate good management over bad; high-profile governors of states with lockdown and reopening plans like Andrew Cuomo, Ned Lamont, and Gina Raimondo have had much larger poll boosts than Trump, while bumblers like Florida's DeSantis and Georgia's Kemp have seen large drops. So the voters are clearly favorably impressed by active and apparently competent leadership.

I would guess that the difference is that Trump has so accustomed everyone -- supporters as well as detractors -- to his gross incompetence that no one expects anything else from him. So for his base of idiots, and for a slice of that all-important persuadable constituency, it doesn't matter that he doesn't know what a virus is nor probably what day it is; it is enough, maybe more than enough, that Trump steadfastly expresses his fantasy, and theirs, that the whole thing is ending very soon and that it's okay to relax and get back to normal. We'd all like that to be so, and some of us are less clear on the difference between fantasy and reality than others.

But not even American voters, not even Republicans, are dumb enough to really believe Trump's insane assertion that the virus is "just going to disappear." What I think they do take seriously is what previously looked like subtext: That they can go back to normal only by passing through a deadly gauntlet, for the reopening of America after its mostly half-assed and thoroughly underfunded shutdown will come with, as Trump has been saying for weeks, "death... a lot of death."

Death has become a big part of Trump's palaver lately. At his bizarre Honeywell appearance the other day, the sound system played "Live and Let Die"; in an ABC News interview Trump said "there'll be more death." At his Lincoln Memorial stunt, he said "We’re going to lose anywhere from 75, 80 to 100,000 people," casually as if he were talking about average rainfall or crop yields.

A lot of people have remarked on his apparent lack of empathy when he mentions the people who, thanks to the quick reopening, will drown in their own phlegm, but he doesn't seem to lose much support for it. Have you noticed?

At the same time, Trump's operatives are playing down the death count, even saying it's all a big conspiracy of the biased media and the so-called scientists to make Trump look bad. We know that, under Trump, their reality has become, let us say, fluid and changes with the Leader's whims. But there's something about death that's pretty inescapable and, based on my experience of human beings, while it brings these guys pleasure and comfort to sneer at the libtards who try to bum them out with epidemiology tables, in their heart of hearts they know that a lot of people will die -- maybe even their loved ones, maybe even themselves. But at this point, if that's the price they have to pay for this wonderful fantasy Trump has given them -- where their diminishing job prospects and earning power are fake news because the stock market roars, where they'll get even better health care once Trump lets insurers do what they like with what they have now (the same way landlords are presumed to lower rents once freed of the burden of rent control), where their own lives gain meaning and purpose and dignity when Mexicans and Muslims are made to suffer -- then it's worth every sacrifice, including the ultimate.

If you watched the old Mad Men series -- which, I am told, is enjoying a kind of revival -- you may recall the subplot about tobacco advertising and the famous Surgeon General's report and the idea that consumers could be encouraged to make peace with the idea of death and the addictions that bring it to them more quickly. You probably don't need Mad Men to tell you that, as the Marlboro Man and Joe Camel already told everybody. We could spend all day talking about the way death is threaded into our culture, and how we embrace and deny it at the same time. We can even imagine a political cause that does that, and that advertises itself with an emblem of mass destruction. It's cool, to many people, to be associated with something of such enormous, deadly power -- even when it's likely to be turned on them.

I've been saying this is a death cult and I'm not kidding.

Friday, March 20, 2020

FRIDAY 'ROUND THE HORN.



This is not a vacation.

Here, have a free newsletter issue! This one's set at the Winter White House in Gulchville, Kentucky, where some of our cartoon characters are taking a break from the swamp. (That's Roy Edroso Breaks It Down, kids. Tell your friends!)

• How y'all doing? I'm doing the work-from-home thing for the God Damn Job and it does not in any way feel like a vacation from the cares and strife of the Before Time. In fact, playing with buggy and probably overloaded phone conference services and screen-sharing apps has just added to the usual demonic activity level. On the other hand, when I take a break I can go lie down or play with the cat, so that's good. And I am very grateful not to be one of the millions who will be furloughed or just plain laid off in this the Glorified Gig Economy that was bound to collapse at some point even without a national emergency hastening it along.

Anyway there's always music. I know my regular readers will drop some good shutdown tunes in comments, so go have a look.

• I'm glad Bernie Sanders is hanging in there so I can once again proudly vote from him in the DC primary (assuming we have democracy anymore at that point in time) and doing the public-facing work Biden apparently finds too threatening to his fragile my-fellow-Republicrats act. The Biden bros are less pleased, and Jonathan V. Last, one of the holy Tribe of NeverTrump who now fancy themselves the conscience of the Democratic Party, has really come up with a stunner:
The Sanders Campaign Is a Menace to Public Health
Bernie Sanders can't beat Joe Biden. But he can force millions of people to risk being exposed to the coronavirus.
I'm not even gonna get into what calling the first viable Jewish presidential candidate a disease vector looks like. Last's argument, such as it is, is that Bernie has no chance, no hope, no prayer (this point is hammered away at for a third of the essay); one wonders what Last would be saying if Sanders had a few hundred more delegates (probably the same thing with a different grade of bullshit). So it's not worth subjecting our citizens to the peril of representative democracy:
And if Sanders wanted to go on a scorched-earth campaign against Biden designed to make him radioactive for the general election—purely out of spite? No problem. All’s fair. 
But this is not a normal time. We are in the midst of a global pandemic. America is adopting desperate measures—like voluntary quarantines and the elimination of communal events and gatherings—to slow the infection rate of COVID-19. Many of these measures are hurting the broader economy and will create societal pain down the road even if they work. 
Voting is a communal activity...
No, you asshole, it's not a "communal activity" like a maypole dance (in fact if this stupid country had its shit together we could be doing it all by mail) -- it's the difference between us and North Korea. People fought and died so we could keep doing it. I realize when your stock portfolio is the biggest thing in your life, and you only adopt the wounded This Is My Country tone to get some grubby result you think you can con people into giving you, that might be hard to remember.
This would be a risk worth taking if we were talking about a real election with real implications for the future. Our democracy is precious and we should not allow it to be overrun by emergencies.
But since my candidate's ahead let's all shelter in place while Biden sleepwalks into a woodchipper. Oh, Last tries to blame the struggle over the Ohio primary on Sanders, too:
America is very lucky, we will not add a constitutional crisis to our health crisis and our economic crisis. 
But by continuing his dead-end campaign, Bernie Sanders gave us a little preview of what the weeks ahead might look like. If he continues to persist, there may be more instances where governors show that they can do what they will with the timing of elections, the courts be damned. Instances that—I promise you—the biggest chief executive of them all will be watching.
Our democracy looks pretty safe but if someone insists on actually exercising it, the jig will be up and it will be all his fault, Bernie! I imagine Last also blames Hillary Clinton's defeat on women's suffrage -- if they'd never had the vote, she'd never have been in a position to lose.

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

KEEPING UP WITH THE VAN JONESES.

You remember CNN's Van Jones announcing, after the first relatively fart-free Trump SOTU, that Trump "became President of the United States in that moment"? Well, after a series of Presidential shit-scapades, in a recent coronavirus presser Trump apparently did not soil himself, so he's getting a new round of attaboys. Stephen Collinson at CNN:
He dispensed unimpeachable information based on fact. He called for national unity and seemed like he meant to help forge it. And he ditched his normal habit of hyping the best possible outcome to a situation with improbable superlatives -- instead communicating the gravity of a fast-worsening crisis. 
"It's bad. It's bad," Trump said as he unveiled a 15-day plan to try to flatten the curve of new infections to alleviate a feared surge of sick patients that could overwhelm the health system.
He said "it's bad" twice -- that's how seriously he's taking it! And later he showed even greater seriousness -- lying about his previous lack thereof ("I felt it was a pandemic long before it was called a pandemic"). See, he feels shame, or at least knows how to fake it, which when you think about it is even more advanced.

Collinson's colleague Dana Bash:
Trump spoke and took questions at a coronavirus briefing Tuesday afternoon, after which Bash said, “This was remarkable from the president of the United States, this is a non-partisan — this is an important thing to note and to applaud from an American standpoint, from a human standpoint. He is being the kind of leader that people need, at least in tone, today and yesterday… that people need and want and yearn for in times of crisis and uncertainty.”
A guy in a bar at 3:30 a.m. "needs and wants and yearns" for true love, but he'll take what he can get, and so I guess will America.  Oh, and this is just from the allegedly liberal mainstream media -- his usual sycophants go even soppier, like Philip Klein at the Washington Examiner:
His sober comments came as the White House task force issued revised guidance saying Americans should avoid gatherings of more than 10 people for at least the next 15 days. And in a stark contrast to his early predictions about the virus going away in April, he warned that it could be into July or August until the virus "washes away." 
Trump also changed his tune when it came to lashing out at his typical enemies or refusing to distance himself from allies.
This is as if a mass murderer paused his shooting spree to get a drink of water and people said, "Note his new tone, there's every indication that he has rediscovered his humanity." Meanwhile his handlers are using the pandemic as an excuse to loot the Social Security fund with a payroll tax cut and shovel our tax dollars to bail out favored industries and corporations including -- get this -- Boeing. In other words, shit has not been magically transmuted into something other than shit by the power of positive thinking.

Friday, February 14, 2020

FRIDAY 'ROUND-THE-HORN.



People laugh about "yazz flute" but Bobbi Humphrey ain't no joke.

•   I'm releasing another edition of Roy Edroso Breaks It Down for you non-subscribing folks. In this one I imagine a meeting between Tom Perez and his party's major donor, Michael Bloomberg. As I've been saying for years, Bloomberg sucks. Here's me in 2007 when people were also talking about a Bloomberg presidential run:
When we imagine the archetypical Rich Prick, we generally think of vulgarian clowns like Donald Trump, but Bloomberg is a better example of that breed: he doesn't have to even stir himself to sneer. As we saw during the last Mayoral Debate, he effortlessly radiates contempt for anything that is not his will. When he gives press conferences, his manner is bland, because he knows there's nothing to get excited about: he is right, you are wrong, and he will prevail.

As Mayor he has blithely exercised his will, or his whim, on matters ranging from trans-fats to the razing of neighborhoods for private profit. And nearly everyone rolls over for him. All the major dailies endorsed him in his last Mayoral race. (He spent over $75 million on the campaign.)

No wonder he's interested in the Presidency. Experience has taught him that very little is beyond his grasp. So he will patiently go on accumulating power...
Fortunately a lot of people (including Elizabeth Warren, bless her) are pointing out his shortcomings now -- his erstwhile stop-and-friskiness and the transparent insincerity of his apologies for it, his blaming the 2008 financial crisis on black people, etc. He's clearly hoping his billions and free-spending thereof will do the trick like it did back in New York. I couldn't stop the guy back then, but maybe everyone's gotten a little more wised up in the interval.

•   Readers of this site will know I've long suspected authors of "reader email" to Rod Dreher (or as I like to call them, "Letters to Repenthouse") are pulling his chain, and now I suspect they're sending Sacha Baron Cohen in a variety of disguises to prank him. From his latest:
But I have to tell you about something deeply shocking I learned tonight in conversation with one of the conferees [at a Nashville conference]. There’s nothing funny about this at all. It’s the kind of thing that makes me want to write a book called Benedict Option II: Head For The Hills.
Gasp! What a come-on. Gather round, Jesus fish!
I spoke with a man who works with victims of human sex trafficking. This is not a world I have paid attention to. He was telling me that it is much, much worse than people imagine, because of the Internet. Online pornography, he said, is destroying the hearts and minds of so many young people. He told me about a 13 year old girl in his church who came to the pastor and asked innocently if it was worth it to give a boy a blow job in exchange for a meal at McDonalds. She was holding out for Applebees, and wondered if it she was overshooting.
One waits in vain for the rimshot. Apparently Rod is buying this. Emboldened, his interlocutor goes further:
He said that in his line of work, he hears from fertility doctors — not one fertility doctor, but several — that they are having to teach married couples how to have normal sex. Normal, as in penis-in-vagina sex — this, if they want to conceive. These young people have been so saturated in pornography, and have had their imaginations so thoroughly formed by it, that the idea of normal reproductive sex acts are bizarre to them.
“This one doctor told me that she has to prescribe only doing penis-in-vagina sex exclusively for six months, so they can learn to feel normal about it,” he said. He wasn’t joking. He said that the first time a fertility doc told him that, he thought it must be a one-off thing, but he’s heard it from fertility docs from around the country.
I am old and out of it in many, many ways, but I would bet folding money that young people can figure out how to fuck no matter what they see on the internet.

I almost feel sorry for Dreher. Sooner or later his credulousness is going to affect his career trajectory. Imagine him going to some classy conference where someone brings up the declines in teen pregnancy, and Dreher explaining this is because young'uns don't know that the pee-pee goes in the hoo-hoo because porno. Imagine the astonished stares as David Brooks whisks Dreher to a waiting limo!

Monday, January 20, 2020

MLKKK: HAVE A RIGHTWING MARTIN LUTHER KING DAY!

Conservative MLK Day tributes are always hilarious. This year the brethren seem to have coordinated on the theme that King wasn't really as interested in winning rights for black people as he was in helping conservatives defeat social justice warriors.

A few wingnut outlets go old school: "Does Martin Luther King Day Honor a Communist?" asks a thing called Headline Wealth (one of the Senile Rageaholic Grandpa sites I used to cover), and avers that it does, because the ex-communist Stanley Levison gave him money, supporting "FBI claims that King had told Levison that he was a Marxist." They also repeat the FBI claim that King watched a guy commit rape and laughed, which has also been circulated by more prominent conservative outlets, who always act as if the vile charge were undisputed. 

But most of the brethren realize outright demonization of King is no go, and so try to portray him as one of them, or at least the enemy of their enemies. "The woke Left vs. Martin Luther King Jr." editorializes the Washington Examiner:
The cultural Left’s intersectionality crusade has separated the country into different corners: White people are not permitted to address racial issues, and men are forbidden from speaking about women’s matters (i.e. abortion).

This is exactly what King feared.
If a guy can't advocate white and male supremacy without getting yelled at, MLK's Dream is over.
...it's important also to acknowledge that those who claim to be carrying on King's struggle for justice in modern times have strayed far from his dream..

Instead, they have embraced an identity politics that veers from merely fighting against all forms of discrimination, to carving people up by race, gender, sexual orientation, and placing those distinctions above all else...
Imagine MLK coming back today and seeing people fighting for Latino, immigrant, and gay rights! Boy, would he be mad. The Examiner also says MLK sided with Israel against "Arabs" ("Asked about the argument advanced by a black editor who viewed Arabs as people of color and thus supported them against Israel, King was dismissive"), without noting that, in the very same interview the Examiner cites, King said "peace for the Arabs means the kind of economic security that they so desperately need" and called for a "Marshall Plan for the Middle East, where we lift those who are at the bottom of the economic ladder and bring them into the mainstream of  economic security," which is the opposite of what both the Israeli government and American conservatives endorse for Palestinians.

At GraniteGrok, Steve MacDonald:
Today, equality, when invoked from the left, is about silencing free speech or ideas with which the Democrats disagree.

They empower their quest by calling it hate speech, bullying, bigoted, or even supremacist. As if there were a form of supremacy higher than using the power of the state to deny human beings the right to express ideas of which it disapproves.

Martin Luther King Jr. had plenty to say about that.
There follows an MLK quote in favor of free speech, which MacDonald interprets as a wicked burn on "The Democrat party, some in the media, the white tower, and more than a handful of street thugs" who "work diligently to deny you free association and expression even your right to free press –- as a creator, curators, or consumer." Again, if you have to go on Gab because Twitter won't publish your Nazi propaganda, the Dream is over.

The New York Post:
We suspect [King would] also be distressed by the hypersensitivity and growing political correctness of today’s discussions about race — the near-impossibility of honest dialogue and the insistence by too many to label any who disagree with them as racists...

And, while hailing the beautiful prose of writers such as Ta-Nehisi Coates, he’d be saddened by their pessimism about the possibilities for true and full racial reconciliation.
Picture King shaking his head at Coates: "Brother Ta-Nehisi, you have to give the white man a break. How can we achieve true equality if Stefan Molyneaux can't use Mailchimp to send his white supremacist newsletter?"

Maybe the best is by Jeremy Lott at The American Spectator:
About 30 years after King delivered his speech, a young white high school student in Tacoma, Washington, delivered fragments of that same speech over the school intercom. He did so by mimicking Reverend King’s great, deep voice, which apparently rubbed a few black students the wrong way. A friend warned him, “Do you want to get your ass kicked?” He was bumped into a few times and nudged up against a locker. He left by a different route than normal to avoid such a conflict.

That naive student was me, of course. It wasn’t the huge deal it could have become. Things didn’t escalate into the Great MLK Day Throwdown, thank God. By the next day, folks had let it go. Looking back, it’s really amusing. Still, it helped to reinforce in my mind an important lesson: dreamy idealism will get you only so far in life.
The message of Martin Luther King is boy, those black people are touchy!

UPDATE. Meanwhile in Richmond at the big gun fetishist flex,
 Won't someone please think of the militias?

UPDATE 2. I thought National Review's MLK tribute would be utterly anodyne, the magazine having been in a confused defensive crouch since the dawn of the Trump era. But Roger Clegg turns in a honey. He spends the first half of it praising Donald Trump, and eventually gets to the black people:
Black Lives Matter and Michelle Alexander’s polemics to the contrary notwithstanding, the reason there are a disproportionate number of African-American prison inmates is not because of racist laws or law-enforcers: It’s simply because a disproportionate number of crimes are committed by African Americans.
Um, Happy MLK Day?  Here's his wow finish:
Now, I said that Americans really aren’t hopelessly divided with respect to foreign policy, capitalism, and our constitutional structure: Am I exaggerating when I assert that there is such a division with respect to law, work, family, patriotism, and God?

Well, no doubt there are plenty of people who voted for Hillary Clinton and like at least a couple of items on that list. But I do think there is more of a division here, and certainly it’s more reasonable for a lot of Americans to perceive it here. In one way or another, the Left derides them all — and one major political party is unwilling to challenge the Left, because its politicians and leadership are afraid to.

I’ll end by saying that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., while not blameless in his entire legacy, did not intend to reject any of them.
So King was kind of a shit, just like the Democrats, but at least he did his damage unintentionally. Well, no black people read National Review, so no harm no foul.

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, August 01, 2019

THIS YEAR'S GIRLS.

There's always something creepy about Republicans offering what I am accustomed to call Advice From Your Mortal Enemies, but in the wake of the two Democratic Presidential debates this week they've managed to make it creepier with their encomia to weirdos Marianne Williamson and Tulsi Gabbard. It's not just the interplay with the rightwing operatives pushing Williamson and Gabbard in online polls, though that's weird enough; it's their passive-aggressive insistence that these fringe candidate could lead the party to sanity and victory if only Democrats weren't such losers.

Since Libertarians Are The Worst let's start with Christian Britschgi at Reason:
While the rest of the candidates at the first Democratic debate tonight have been doing their best to out-socialist each other, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard has been trying to keep the country out of war.
Save us from those famous neocon-socialist hawks Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, Tulsi! Ha, kidding, he maybe means these guys:
Gabbard's position contrasts with the positions of other Democratic candidates on stage. Sen. Cory Booker (D–N.J.) was the lone debate participant to say that he would not automatically re-enter the Iran deal worked out by President Obama, suggesting a better deal could be had. 
Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D–Minn.) said that, while she favored reentering the deal, she would like to push for stricter terms. Klobuchar also stressed that if a war with Iran were to occur, it would require congressional authorization.
Stricter terms! Better deal! Well, that couldn't possibly be look-tough bullshit for the moderate wing, it has to be socialist bloodlust. But wait -- how do we know Gabbard isn't a socialist? After all, she's standing up there with all those socialists and not wearing a dollar-sign pin nor quoting Ayn Rand. Here's the best Britschgi can do:
That Gabbard was willing to duck a softball, red meat question about raising wages for women to focus on America's war-making abroad was nonetheless a refreshing moment amidst the otherwise dreary, shockingly left-wing rhetoric from the rest of the Democratic field on stage tonight.
Higher wages for women -- that's how Kennedy got us into Vietnam, right?

Meanwhile at The American Conservative, James Antle III, a buffoon, assures that while Bernie Sanders has "mostly failed to recapture his 2016 magic" (cite needed), Gabbard, "perhaps the most interesting Democrat running for president," has the secret sauce:
While reliably progressive, she has occasionally reached across the political divide on issues like religious liberty and Big Tech censorship, a potent combination that could prove more responsive to Trump voters’ concerns than what we’ve heard from her neocon lite interlocutor from Youngstown.
By "religious liberty” I assume Antle means she ragged on Senators Kamala Harris and Mazie Hirono for questioning anti-abortion crusader Brian Buescher, now comfortably ensconced on the federal bench, on his Knights of Columbus membership during his Senate hearing, which she called anti-Catholic bigotry; by "Big Tech censorship" I assume he means her lawsuit against Google, a tedious tactic of Republican cry-babies that she has adopted and promoted on Tucker Carlson's show.

Antle affects to believes that Democrats' failure to take Gabbard up is because their party "cares more about wokeness than war." Think of all those Social Justice Warriors who want to abolish ICE and invade Iran!

As for Williamson, well, let's just stick with the always good for a laugh Rod Dreher:
Russian Orthodoxy treasures the yurodivy, or “holy fool,” an ascetic who behaves in ways that seem insane to normal people, but who, in so doing, reveal Christian truth. The New Age guru and Democratic presidential candidate Marianne Williamson is not a holy fool according to the usual definition, but I can’t help thinking that to some extent, she’s playing that role. We all love to laugh at her, because she is something of a kook … but she’s onto something important about us. 
In last night’s Democratic debate, Williamson spoke of the “dark psychic force” of “collectivized hatred” that Donald Trump draws up and exploits. Here’s the clip... 
I know: ha ha, what a ding-dong! But she’s not wrong, except in that she pins this entirely on Trump.
In other words, the holy fool is absolutely right about Trump being evil, except she doesn't realize that evil is also Al Sharpton, and since TV commentator Sharpton is, like President Trump, the leader of his party, it's all the same really, just like the Republicans were really just as bad as the fascists in the Spanish Civil War, and we should all unite to persecute homosexuals.

Can they get the suckers to lemming after one or both of these new Jill Steins? Once upon a time I would have said God doesn't hate us that much yet, but now I'd say it's a toss-up.

Friday, April 05, 2019

FRIDAY 'ROUND-THE-HORN.


End it someday what's that sound

•   This is the 25th anniversary of Kurt Cobain's suicide. On Twitter people are talking about where they were when they found out. I certainly remember; I was getting into a van to do some road dates with a band. Someone said they couldn't understand why he did it; I thought I did understand, and was even more of a drunken asshole on the trip than usual. A few years later I quit the limelight, as it were, and performed only as a humble bass player until I knew I had lost the calling and laid down the tools for good. Part of me thought and still thinks I did so because I was weak, but part of me -- the part that won -- thinks I did it to save myself, and Cobain's suicide was part of the fact pattern that convinced me.

With the benefit of a quarter-century's perspective I realize that everyone's damage is different, and one data point for that is I haven't blown my brains out -- not dispositive, but I'm willing to take it as a sign that either my problems weren't as bad as his or my resources were better, or both. But in 1995 I was vibrating sympathetically with Cobain's music, and the finale made sense to me, not because it rejected life but because dredging up those painful feelings and amplifying them to that scale seemed like very dangerous work -- like sculpting an avalanche. It isn't how it has to be; a lot of artists have plumbed those feelings without even getting dirt under their nails. But some guys can't do it any other way.

Anyway it seems pop music doesn't seem to have any place for that sort of work anymore, and maybe we're better off, just as maybe we're better off with the tiny speakers digital tech has made possible instead of the large, cumbersome, and chest-rattling subwoofers of the past. We're here and he's not, that's for sure. Still, I miss the comfort in being sad.

•   Oh, here's another newsletter edition opened to the general public (Susbcribe It's Cheap™), about how conservative anti-LGBTQ efforts are still happening very much though on the downlow as far as the media's concerned. One of their tools, as usual, is reverse victimhood -- it's actually the minorities who are oppressing them, and they have to exclude them from certain civil rights in order to protect themselves. Today in the Wall Street Journal:
We Were Smeared by the SPLC
Our work for religious liberty got us branded a ‘hate group.’ Such lies have real consequences 
...[The Southern Poverty Law Center] falsely maligns ideological opponents in an effort to crush them rather than debate their ideas honestly. I know, because in 2016 the SPLC branded my organization, the religious-liberty nonprofit Alliance Defending Freedom, a “hate group.”
Hang on, some of you are thinking -- Alliance Defending Freedom? The group that in its early form, the Alliance Defense Fund, field an amicus brief in Lawrence v. Texas for guess which side on the grounds that "same-sex sodomy" is "clearly" a "distinct public health problem"? The group that wants to bring back conversion therapy where it's been made illegal? Whose executive director praised an Indian court for ruling to "protect society at large rather than give in to a vocal minority of homosexual advocates"? SPLC has these fuckers dead to rights, but op-ed author and ADF SVP Kristen Waggoner cries she's been "smeared as a bigot" by them merely because she is moved to "disagree with its far-left worldview." She ends, "Let’s aspire to be a country characterized by tolerance, freedom of conscience and love of neighbor," which must be some sort of inside joke. Remember: These guys have to disguise what they're doing because if normal people knew they would laugh them out of existence.

Thursday, January 24, 2019

INTO YOUR LIFE IT WILL CREEP.

For me the whole Covington thing boils down to this: These Catholic schoolboys acted like assholes, which is totally typical of Catholic schoolboys, as I can attest because I was a Catholic schoolboy myself and frequently behaved like an asshole. I still cringe when I think of my teenage behaviors, and am glad to have (to some extent, anyway) grown out of them. I hope these kids will, too, but there's less chance of that now that they've been celebrated as holy martyrs by rightwing crackpots. The smirk kid has had his PR-firm-crafted defense published in hundreds of outlets including CNN and been interviewed on national TV, yet conservatives act like he's the Dauphin during the French Revolution.

No doubt you've seen plenty of shit takes without trying or wanting to -- including this brain-melting Twitter spiel by Megan McArdle, which includes a lecture on physiognomonic studies ("most facial expressions are to some extent culturally constructed, even though we learn them so early we think they're innate reflections of our inner emotional state") and ends with "please do read [my column]. Also, hug someone." About the looniest is by Kevin D. Williamson, who seems, well, disturbed:
You people are a bunch of hysterical ninnies, and it is time for you to grow the hell up. 
You know who you are... 
Joy Behar, as profoundly dim and tedious a person as American public life has to offer...
...narrowly partisan, selfish, deeply stupid, entirely unpatriotic, childish, foot-stamping, fingers-in-the-ears, weeping, cooties-loathing, teary-eyed, tremulous, quavering, pansified, gormless, deceitful, dishonorable...
That's in the first three paragraphs. Later:
I’m talking about you, Ruth Graham of Slate, still trying to justify by whatever pathetic means are available what everybody with any sense knows to have been an exercise in pure horses***. I’m talking about you, editors of the New York Times. You sorry specimens are poor excuses for journalists, which, of course, we already knew. What’s more relevant here is that you are bad citizens. Trafficking in lies and distortions...
This is what passes as sweet reason in wingnut world. I recommend you read Laura Wagner's essay at The Concourse, and to watch how this incident feeds the acceleration of conservative paranoia. David French at National Review:
Hostility to traditional, orthodox Christianity is no longer confined to the white progressive elite. It’s now popular in the white Left. Liberal elites who attack traditional Christian beliefs and express contempt for traditional Christians aren’t demonstrating their disconnect from America, they’re giving their constituents exactly what they want.
White Democrats want to kill Christers -- thank God for the black Democrats, I guess; maybe French will support Kamala Harris in 2020! And at the meth labs of The Federalist, Nathanael Blake declares "a culture that considers sexual desire the essence of a person will not tolerate a rival Christian viewpoint, but stigmatize and punish it," and that liberals' "ultimate goal is a legal regime that will treat us very much like the English treated the Irish Catholics" -- prepare for Cromwellian massacre and starvation, Joel Osteen! Our sexy heresies demand it!

I wonder if any of these guys know that they're just talking to themselves and normal Americans are wondering how the fuck they can get them and their psycho leader out of government.

Tuesday, January 01, 2019

2018: THE YEAR IN BULLSHIT, PART 3.

[See also Part 1 and Part 2.]


2. The Republican Trump protection racket. Normal people perceive the Mueller investigation to be a sober, workmanlike pursuit and analysis of leads to determine how the 2016 election became a Russian propaganda operation. Yet conservatives kept trying to discredit the investigation and its sources in the FBI and elsewhere.

California Republican Congressman Devin Nunes and his GOP buddies kept hinting that there was something in a House Intelligence Committee memo that would expose criminal or at least unseemly overreach in the FBI's investigations of Trump -- but when released the memo proved to be a put-up job meant to shield the President, of the sort in which Republican committees seem to specialize anymore.

Republican periodically waved messages between anti-Trump FBI lovebirds Peter Strzok and Lisa Page as if their private political opinions invalidated whatever intelligence the agency might have turned up on Trump. Wisconsin GOP senator Ron Johnson even claimed "he had an ‘informant’ corroborate reports concerning the existence of an FBI ‘secret society’ working to undermine President Trump," reported the Washington Examiner.

This went on all year and probably reached its apotheosis in the loony accusations by rightwing grifters Jacob Wohl and Jack Burkman that Mueller, despite evidence removing him from the alleged scene of the crime, committed sexual assault. And indeed the part played in this protection racket by pundits has been huge -- and ongoing: See the New Year's Eve post by David Brooks, in which he suggests that, notwithstanding Trump's probable crimes, if Democrats don't say Simon Says when they go after him -- if they don't act like "modern versions of Archibald Cox, Elliot Richardson and Judge John Sirica... then the roughly 40 percent of Americans who support Trump will see serious evidence that he committed felonies, but they won’t care! They’ll conclude that this is not about law or integrity. It’s just a political show trial." Totally ignoring, of course, that the quietly industrious Mueller is the most Cox-Richardson-Sirica-like Republican since -- well, since Cox, Richardson, and Sirica, yet Republicans already act as if it's just a "show trial."

But even weirder than the paid propagandists running interference -- which we could expect -- is the dedication of what were once unironically called public servants to defense of Individual 1 -- with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell repeatedly propping the door open for Trump to shut the investigation down. I gotta admit, when I focus even for a moment on that, I get that old feeling of outrage we used to get whenever prominent politicians acted like low-level mob goons. And Mitch and the boys don't have too much time left to wear us down and get us accustomed to that level of criminality.


1. Conservatives versus kids. I understand why they take public stands against immigrants, minorities, and even women -- it's the same evil they've been doing for years, and it still works for them, if less over time. But it strikes me as a bad political move for them to side so strongly against the survival of children. Americans don't even approve of Trump's conscious and deliberate immiseration (and in some cases killing) of refugee kids -- and they're not even white! Also, sending administration lie generator Kellyanne Conway out to accuse Democrats of using the dead children as "political pawns" is, under the circumstances, like a rapist complaining that the prosecutor is ruining the girl's reputation by revealing that she isn't a virgin.

But the real headscratcher is their continued devotion to the NRA in the face of all the school shootings -- and, more importantly (because face it, they've been stonewalling school shootings for years), in the face of strong public awareness and activism against their reign of terror, particularly since Parkland and the media-savvy survivors that came out of it -- not to mention the boycotts.

Apart from the usual only-outlaws-will-have-guns bullshit, their outreach seems faulty, too -- mostly these-kids-today seethings from guys like Rod Dreher ("They’re already celebrating the intersectionality of [Emma] Gonzalez, a self-defined bisexual who has shaved her head") and Dinesh D'Souza ("Worst news since their parents told them to get summer jobs"). It's almost as if they don't care if they lose -- that they just want to reassure one another of their own righteousness as Americans get pissed off enough to finally turn on them. I'd like to think it's a neurosis born of guilt, but I must say I'm having a hard time giving them the benefit of the doubt anymore, even on that.

Friday, December 28, 2018

FRIDAY 'ROUND-THE-HORN.


One of my favorite tunes, of which I was reminded
by this terrific interview in the Detroit Metro Times.

•  Rod Dreher's talking Spanish Civil War and guess which side he's on:
I didn’t intend to argue about who was right and who was wrong in that war. Personally I believe the better side won … but that there were no good sides.
Translation: Bothsides, but I gotta go with the fascist dictator. Which is no shock if you're seen Dreher moon over the current crop of European fascists such as Marion MarĂ©chal-Le Pen (and her Auntie Marine) and Viktor Orban ("It seems to me that the Orban government correctly understands that the culture war is a war of imperialism and subversion fought by other means by nations and private actors [Soros] who wish to defeat traditionalists"). To make it look good, Dreher does a little hedging, pointing out that Franco Was A Very Bad Man, but inevitably tips toward the Throne and Altar authoritarian because the Civil War was "incredibly brutal on both sides" and Jesus is the tie-breaker.

Keep in mind that mainstream conservatives like David Brooks take this guy seriously and escort him into polite company. Which has been and remains the way with modern conservatism. Get a load of Roger Kimball, the very model of a rightwing intellectual, hoity as well as toity, getting down with wingnut clown Charlie Kirk:

This is why, when people wring their hands and go, "oh William F. Buckley Jr. would never have gone along with this," I just laugh. Like his pal Reagan was any less of a moron.

•  The conservative movement is in love with Blonde Chicks with Big Glasses like S.E. Cupp and Tomi Lahren, so naturally National Review had to have its own: Katherine "Kat" Timpf, whose attempt to promote herself with a victim narrative I covered some weeks back in my newsletter (and I am unlocking that issue for you because that's the sort of Robin Goodfellow I am -- but you should still subscribe!). Her shtick is silly-liberal-snowflake stories -- and here's her latest:
Being Bigger Than the Person You’re Asking Out Deemed Title IX Violation 
A student at the University of Missouri was found to be in violation of Title IX in part because he asked another student out on a date and is physically larger than she is.
If that "in part" made you suspicious, congratulations. Further into the story:
To be fair, the document does report that the male student had also been pestering the female student for dates and wasn’t leaving her alone — which is, obviously, unacceptable — but the fact that his physical size was enough to constitute a violation-worthy power imbalance is absolutely ludicrous.
Pestering? Wasn't leaving her alone? Hmm -- sounds like him being more physically powerful than her isn't the only issue here. Amanda Marcotte and Andrew Fleischman do us the favor of reading a filing by the guy's lawyer: He sent her romantic Facebook messages, she asked him to stop; he switched to paper notes left with her dance teacher, including one containing "apologies and a confession of 'love' for her." This went on for months with no encouragement from her before the poor woman went to the authorities. Timpf's column -- "updated" once, so I can only imagine how bad it was before -- is like an Olympic victim-blaming routine, e.g.:
The way in which this kind of thinking hurts men is obvious: They risk violating a law, and potentially being punished for it, over what every sane person could agree is normal human behavior.
I predict Timpf will serve as U.N. Ambassador in the Honey Boo-Boo administration.

Sunday, December 09, 2018

HEAP BIG BULLSHIT.

It is sometimes observed that conservatives' only real principle is racism. That depends, I say: is looting the public treasury for one's donors a principle? It's a real chicken-and-egg thing, as I was reminded by Howie Carr's latest attack on Elizabeth Warren at the Boston Herald:
Smoke signals say Elizabeth Warren’s presidential dreams are over
Just in case you think this might be some disgruntled editor's prank:
It was just a few weeks ago that the fake Indian sanctimoniously released the results of her alleged DNA test. She thought it was going to be the greatest triumph of Indian arms since the Battle of the Little Bighorn. Within hours, though, her political career had taken a worse pounding than the Creeks at Horseshoe Bend or the Sioux at Wounded Knee... 
Sometimes the Times prints fake news. That was not fake news. I have indeed enjoyed – relished, actually – holding “the DNA issue” over the fake Indian’s war bonnet.
This has been a wingnut talking point since Warren's successful 2012 Senatorial campaign, and they haven't learned a new trick since.

I'm not outraged that Carr is still using this ugh how woo-woo-woo shit throughout his column ("But it’s too late for that – many moons too late"); I'm just confused as to the target audience and intended effect. The median U.S. voter age is 47.5, which suggests very few 2018 voters will have grown up with The Lone Ranger. Some of us may have enjoyed the antics of the Hekawi on F Troop as children but, for reasons that have maybe a little to do with wokeness but certainly have everything to do with elementary good manners, don't think this kind of shit is cool.

What makes it even weirder is Carr's pretense that he finds something gravely offensive about Warren getting and publicizing her DNA test and thus "stealing somebody else’s heritage." Does anyone on God's green earth think people who find Photoshopping a feathered headdress on Warren's head hilarious give a shit what Native Americans think?

The only strategic sense I can see in this is that Carr and his cronies get plenty of support from two sources; first, clueless dopes in the mainstream media desperate to look sensitive -- such as (you knew it had to be) the New York Times, which in October ran several thoughtful and polite comments by Natives about how tribal identity is not the same thing as a genetic trait under the ridiculous headline "Why Many Native Americans Are Angry With Elizabeth Warren."

The other source of support they can count on is rightwing fake-woke trolls on social media who also act like they care about identity and appropriation but only use that affectation to attack liberals. A quick look at their feeds usually reveals this to be the case, but most people aren't going to bother:


I mean:

This elaborate fraud will probably work on the press, but maybe normal people have seen too much of this shit to buy it anymore and will in any case be glad someone like Warren who has actually tried to give them a break against the corporations is running. As to the racism vs. cynicism-in-defense-of-corporate-donors question, I see no reason why it can't be both.

Monday, October 15, 2018

WHITE MAN SPEAK WITH FORKED TONGUE.

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.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

THE LADYKILLERS.

As I've said, and keep saying in my latest newsletter (subscribe! It don't cost much), it seems all conservatives are now solidly on board with Brett Kavanaugh and the Tit and Clit Club and, when it comes to their arguments in defense of the accused attempted rapist, the sober mainstream types are more or less indistinguishable from the crazy he-man woman-haters club types on the fringe. Dig professional harrumph machine David French, for example, arguing in the allegedly legit National Review that the real problem is not Georgetown Prep Republicans who think they own women, but liberal jazzbos who "stripped away moral prohibitions against extramarital sex, celebrated youthful experimentation, combined it with similar celebrations of drug and alcohol use — even at early ages — and then have been shocked — no, stunned — at the sheer amount of groping, grabbing, coercion, and assault." Yeah, elite males getting drink and rapey are the fault of Hugh Hefner; before the 60s, they only raped low-status females who were easily paid off and no one was the wiser.

But give the low-class conservatives credit; while guys like French are matching them in misogyny, they can't keep up with their expertise in plain old insanity.

Take Robert Stacy McCain, who I last noticed attacking Sarah Jeong for racism against whites -- "No one at Harvard or at the New York Times will speak a word in favor of white people, Christians, heterosexuals, or police officers" -- which was pretty ballsy of him, considering McCain is a neo-Confederate.

Well, sure enough, the American Spectator enlisted McCain to tell this mouthy Christine Blasey Ford a thing or two. A large part of his rap, you will not be surprised to hear, involves the Rolling Stone/UVA case -- when Men's Rights types can't get it up for normal porn anymore, they can always get a stiffy over that.

But the meat, as it were, of McCain's argument is that Kavanaugh's accuser has no right to be in a position to make such an accusation -- and the fact that she is in such a position suggests that she's lying:
It is perhaps not a coincidence that Judge Kavanaugh’s accuser is a university professor. The former prep-school girl Christine Blasey went on to obtain two master’s degrees and a Ph.D. in psychology, marry an engineer named Russell Ford, and thus become Professor Ford of California’s Palo Alto University. 
That's how women get doctorates and professorates: Marrying titled men!
Having spent her entire adult life working in academia, Professor Ford is eminently qualified as a representative of the mentality that currently prevails on our nation’s university campuses, where male students are presumed guilty of rape as soon as any female student accuses them.
Interesting. And what mentality is represented by Kavanaugh, who has spent his entire adult life as a factotum to Republican Party bosses? Why should his predictable careerist rise be any less suspicious than hers? It would seem the main difference between Kavanaugh's and Ford's position among the "elite," in McCain's view, is that hers is absurd because she lacks a penis.
This mentality was what led to the debacle at the University of Virginia in 2014, when a Rolling Stone reporter destroyed her career...
Let us draw the curtain, or close the men's room door, on McCain, and look in on Dennis Prager at National Review. Prager is a total idiot who has in the past argued that wives owe their husbands sex ("Why do we assume that it is terribly irresponsible for a man to refuse to go to work because he is not in the mood, but a woman can -- indeed, ought to -- refuse sex because she is not in the mood?"). I wouldn't say he's topped that in his pissy column "The Charges against Judge Kavanaugh Should Be Ignored," but he comes close. First he pretty much accepts that Kavanaugh tried to rape Ford but shrugs it off because he's been such a good boy since ("No matter how good and moral a life one has led for ten, 20, 30, 40, or even 50 years, it is nullified by a sin committed as teenager"), and that anyone should think otherwise is just "another example of the moral chaos sown by secularism and the Left." But here's the money part, and by "money" I mean nuts:
When my wife was a waitress in her mid teens, the manager of her restaurant grabbed her breasts and squeezed them on numerous occasions. She told him to buzz off, figured out how to avoid being in places where they were alone, and continued going about her job. That’s empowerment.
If only gals would learn to dodge their bosses' advances like Andy dodged butt-rape in The Shawshank Redemption, then come home and gave their husbands the blowjobs they deserve, we'd have the little gender thing fixed up PDQ.