Thursday, December 29, 2016

HISTORY IN THE MAKING.

President-elect Donald Trump privately told several visitors to his winter retreat in Florida on Wednesday that he is writing the first draft of his inaugural speech and is looking to presidents Ronald Reagan and John F. Kennedy for inspiration, according to three people familiar with the conversation. 
Trump told them that Reagan’s “style” and Kennedy’s articulation of grand national ambitions are central to how he thinks through his own speech, which will be given Jan. 20, the people said. 
And while Trump is working closely with Stephen Miller, his aide and speechwriter, on the text, he confided that in recent days he has become more personally involved in the writing process, the people said. -- Robert Costa, Washington Post
T: What’s this “bear any burden” crap?

M: That’s the whole theme of the Kennedy speech, sir. You know, "Ask not what your country can do for you —"

T: "Ask what you can do to the country," yeah, I got it, but "bear any burden," "let us go forth"— it sounds like I’m asking them to do something. My people won’t go for that.

M: But sir, you wanted to model on Kennedy because he was inspiring.

T: Yeah, that’s what I want, inspiration! Look, this should be easy, okay? We told the press “grand national ambitions,” right? And what’s grander and more ambitious than me? And now national, because I’m the national president. Take anything, take a dog turd, and put Trump next to it and it’s grand and national and ambitious.

M: But sir, the language —

T: Cripes, what am I paying you for? Take some words from Kennedy! It’s not like they’re gonna check. Like the bit about vim and vigor, how about we use that?

M: That’s not actually in the speech.

T: Huh. Maybe it’s in his second inaugural. How about you get me that one?

M: Sir, the point is you can’t inspire people without asking them to do something.

T:  Baloney. Okay, let’s look at the Reagan speeches. He’s more my style anyway. [scans pages, laughs] Boy, he didn’t like the Russians, huh? Maybe I oughta say something about that — you know, Reagan was great, the best, but he was wrong about the Russians, maybe because, let's be honest, his arteries weren't as soft as they used to be — as opposed to me, because I have vim and vigor. [reads more] Jeez, these are long, huh? And no jokes. See, I think maybe he was senile, because he left out his best lines. Like “you ain’t seen nothin’ yet.” I still remember that one! Well, I’m using “build the wall” and “Crooked Hillary,” you can count on that. Oh, and I got a new one: “Pelosi with a ‘P’ — the ‘P’ stands for ‘bitch’!” Crowd’ll eat it up.

M: Maybe we can put in a little story — like Martin Treptow at the end of Reagan’s first inaugural.

T: What, the guy from World War I who got shot taking a message? That loser?  Wait a minute — how about we tell a story about a different messenger — like for a law firm or something, a foot messenger, and it’s in Chicago, but he gets shot by a Mexican gang, and when he's dead they look at his message and it says, “We need Donald Trump, build the wall.”

M: Is that a real story, sir?

T: Let me ask you something — you see this thing in Reagan’s second speech: “I have approved a research program to find, if we can, a security shield that would destroy nuclear missiles before they reach their target. It wouldn't kill people, it would destroy weapons. It wouldn't militarize space, it would help demilitarize the arsenals of Earth. It would render nuclear weapons obsolete. We will meet with the Soviets, hoping that we can agree on a way to rid the world of the threat of nuclear destruction.” Now you’re telling he can have that in there, and I can’t have my Chicago messenger? We’ll call him Lenny, that sounds pretty white.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

PANTLOAD DESNUDO.

This may be the most Jonah Goldberg line of all time:
And yet, defensive though it may sound, I think the claim that I got “everything wrong” in 2016 reveals more about my detractors than about me.
This is not just a Goldbergian farrt, it is a Kent Treble Bob Major farrt. Backstory: Trumpkins are telling Goldberg they "forgive" him for getting "everything wrong" about Trump. As seen above, Goldberg puts up a bit of slap-fight defense, then backtracks:
That said, I already feel comfortable admitting that, beyond my electoral prognosticating, I got some things wrong about what a Trump presidency will look like. Though many on the left and in the media see his cabinet appointments and policy proposals as cause for existential panic, as a conservative I find most — but by no means all — of them reassuring.
As long as Trump gets billions of federal budget dollars diverted to conservative crony contractors, he's okay with Jonah! Then Goldberg feels the sharp wind on his shapeless buttocks and senses he's been stripped of his pride -- and with hundreds more words to go before Mom will let him play video games! So he scoops this garbage out of the gutter, holds it in front of his junk, and asserts his dignity:
And that brings me to what I think I got right: Trump’s character. I am not referring to his personal conduct toward women, a culture-war weapon that Trump and Bill Clinton together have removed from partisan arsenals for the foreseeable future. Nor am I necessarily referring to how he has managed his businesses, though I think those patterns of behavior are entirely relevant to understanding our next president.
Trump's pussy-grabbing doesn't matter because Clinton dur hurr, and neither does his grifter status notwithstanding that he's about to enter the national henhouse with an axe.
What I have chiefly in mind is that rich nexus of unrestrained ego, impoverished impulse control, and contempt for policy due diligence. I firmly and passionately believe that character is destiny. From his reported refusal to accept daily intelligence briefings to his freelancing every issue under the sun on Twitter — including, most recently, nuclear-arms policy — Trump’s blasé attitude troubles me deeply, just as it did during the campaign. 
On balance, I don’t feel repentant. 
"Trump’s blasé attitude troubles me deeply," please make sure to get that in the record, bracketed in harrumphs. But then again let's not beat a dead horse, there's a country to wreck:  
But I acknowledge that Trump has surrounded himself with some serious and sober-minded people who will try to constrain and contain the truly dangerous aspects of his character. If they succeed, I’ll happily revisit my refusal to ask for forgiveness.
And he marches off the stage, trailing dead leaves and McDonalds wrappers and a cloud of methane, head held high. You may think it's for nothing -- most of his National Review colleagues dropped the act long ago -- but I bet whoever collects the checks and cruise ticket receipts for NR is relieved; there's no money in old-tyme conservatism now, subscribers actually thrill to the New Order, and the smart play is to go full MAGA (with some erudite gush along the margins so the high-end users won't actually feel they're actually rubbing elbows with those beasty Breitbart types). That requires Goldberg to eat shit. And there's the benefit to the guy being so dull: He probably thinks he has craftily avoided an apology, while his handlers realize all he has to do to show obeisance is humiliate himself, and that's a safe bet even on a good day.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

KOTKIN AND CARSON: PERFECT TOGETHER.

Joel Kotkin, whose massive hate-on for city living has been examined here before, has posted a Daily Beast essay under the headline “Progressives Have Let Inner Cities Fail for Decades. President Trump Could Change That.” Kotkin approves and apparently shares the cartoon portrayal of cities that Trump barnstormed with during the campaign (“If ya walk down the street, ya get shot”). For one thing, Kotkin reports, there’s more crime in Chicago than in Fritters, Alabama. But Kotkin knows urban crime’s not nearly as bad as it was back in the Archie Bunker era. Trump’s marks, whose idea of urban life is mostly based on Death Wish, neither know nor care to know, but they aren’t reading the Daily Beast; Kotkin clearly wants to sway housebroken neoliberals who are reading his essay but also live or work in big cities and haven’t been raped and/or murdered by Jeff Goldblum and his gang and have no reason to agree that cities suck.

So Kotkin tries gaslight and guilt: the “much ballyhooed ‘back to the city’ movement” is “mindlessly overblown by the national media” but only really “impacts basically the downtown cores” — so if you like living in Brooklyn or Silver Spring, you’re suffering from false consciousness, comrade. See, the grass is greener on the far side of the Walmart: “Roughly 80 percent of all job growth since 2010 has been in suburbs and exurbs.” Now doesn’t Fritters look good? Come on, you don’t want to be left behind as your peers are driven by economic necessity, I mean flock willingly to Fritters:
And with millennials now entering their thirties in greater numbers, these communities, generally safe and with good schools, seem to be growing in popularity much faster than the inner cities. These are unfortunate facts for Democrats, who have long celebrated, sometimes garishly, cities’ glaring problems—thus helping make Trump’s campaign comments sound that much more reasonable.
Stop garishly celebrating cities’ glaring problems, Democrats! You're just making Real Americans hate you. Oh, and plus you’re the Real Racists too because, unlike small towns and suburbs where the races live together peaceably so long as everybody stays where they're wanted, cities “force poorer, largely minority areas out of areas that, in essence, are considered too valuable for such populations… minorities and working class families are being driven into less desirable areas, often further from work locations” in “a kind of progressive apartheid.”

Don’t get it twisted — this has nothing to do with capitalism, still less with any endemic racism — no, it’s all caused by attitude, as evinced by “hipsters” of the “creative class,” sissy liberals who think they’re not racist but who actually enforce progressive apartheid every time they sip chardonnay and eat Brie (excuse, have to adjust slurs for contemporaneity: sip Kombucha and eat formaggio). Their high-falutin' tastes drive simple Mom and Pop businesses away. If only they could have enjoyed the culture and excitement of the city on a diet of Cheez Whiz, Ritz Crackers, and Michelob, it might have stabilized the local economy! But you know how selfish these people are.

Now, if these sissies worked with their hands and voted for Trump, their voices would certainly be more important than that of the minorities, because ours is The Day of the White Working Class and their judgment cannot be challenged, whereas the opinions of hipsters can be disregarded because they go to subtitled movies and voted for Hitlery Klintoon.

Kotkin admits (though politely, for obvious reasons) that Trump has “hardly built his career in fighting poverty,” and that his HUD Secretary nominee Ben Carson basically has no idea what he’s doing, but yet insists their “outsider” status “may prove something of a blessing” — because maybe that means they’ll go for unorthodox (or nonsensical, depending on your POV) approaches to urban policy. They might even “keep industrial jobs in what’s left of the manufacturing economy,” which would be easier to believe if Trump and Carson had ever given even a clue of a policy that might achieve this. Kotkin’s imagined Trump fixes only get slimmer from there — fewer HB-1 visas (that’ll help local minority software engineers out of the ghettos!), “deregulating some businesses, like in cosmetology” (yes, the famous Yglesias Libertarian Maneuver, back in fashion at last), and of course vouchers, a key grift in any GOP Administration. But it’s okay, hopeful noises will do — not to fix anything allegedly wrong with cities, or even to make them more Republican-friendly, but possibly to get Kotkin a HUD sinecure or at least some higher-profile editorial gigs — for in Trump Times, when consevatives howl that city-slickers’ votes are too contaminated to be counted, there must be opportunities aplenty for a city-hating urbanist. Maybe someday they'll put his name on a workhouse.

Monday, December 26, 2016

NEW VILLAGE VOICE COLUMN UP...

...about the Trump team's difficulties in obtaining entertainers for the inauguration, and the extraordinary level of anger expressed by rightbloggers over it.

Didn't want to clutter it up too much, so I left out other brayings over the fact that the living ex-presidents have been slow to RSVP the event. At this writing Jimmy Carter's the only one who has announced his plan to attend. "Jimmy Carter’s policies as President may have been bad, but at least he had the class to say he’ll be at Trump’s inauguration,” says the always-gracious Gateway Pundit; "Jimmy freaking Carter," adds Sierra Marlee at Right Wing News. Why would either Bush or Clinton pass up a reception like that?

Also, there's been some sputtering over the fact that the DC Metro authorities won't have Trump's name and visage on their inauguration day Metro farecards as they did for Obama ("SNUBWAY? Donald Trump’s Name, Face Absent From Inauguration Metro Cards... Twitters users were outraged"). WMATA says they hadn't gotten cooperation from Trump's team in time to put him on the cards, but Townhall isn't buying it: "...it doesn't take a genius to realize that using Trump's name requires no permission at all." Later Trump's inaugural committee flak announced, "We're working closely w/ @WMATA to design a sleeve for @TrumpInaugural SmartTrip cards, similar to what was done for @Pontifex visit to DC!" and Breitbart seized the spin: "DONALD TRUMP TO GET PAPAL TREATMENT BARACK OBAMA NEVER GOT FROM D.C. PUBLIC TRANSIT FOR INAUGURATION." True Trumpkins despise Pope Francis as much as they do Obama and artists, of course, but for them it's all about respect.

Friday, December 23, 2016

FRIDAY 'ROUND-THE-HORN.


Dan Hicks died this year, too, in case you needed 
another reason to hate 2016.

•  WWC whisperer Salena Zito has done very well for herself by going amongst The Common People, and reporting back to readers why they think Trump Rulez. Now at the New York Post Zito reports her conversations with jes' plain Trumpkins on an Amtrak train (a proletarian non-Acela one, for only elites take Acela), specifically "Audrey and Robert, a Virginia couple... heading to Montana to visit their daughter, son-in-law and grandchildren," and "Edward of Lancaster, Pa... traveling to see his mother and brothers and sisters in Fort Wayne, Ind." She doesn't say what they do for a living, but from the way they talk I'd say they're in public relations, possibly for the Republican Party:
“On Nov. 8 I went from a responsible, hard-working, upstanding citizen to an uninformed bigot who gleefully supports Russian interference in our elections and the destruction of our republic,” Robert said. “At least that’s what I have read in the newspaper or seen on television, so it must be true, right?” 
Edward smiled, paused, and then said, “It is refreshing to hear your candor, it’s gotten to the point where you are afraid to not only express your opinion, but to stand by your opinion. Yes, I supported him and yes, I would do it again.”
It is refreshing to hear your candor, too, citizen! Zito also talks to a Clinton supporter and guess what, she eloquently regrets her vote and that her party is/are blaming things:
“It astounds me that the press still doesn’t get it, that my party (Democrats) are blaming everyone but themselves for a poor message, poor messenger and the responsibility she bears for placing her email security in jeopardy . . . it’s not Comey’s fault. It’s hers,” said Elizabeth who was sitting in the booth across the aisle.
Elizabeth voted for Clinton, but wasn’t sure she’d do so again. “The way everyone is acting now post-election shows that no one, no one, has learned anything. She is just proving she deserved to lose"...
Zito concludes that "people, even those who supported Clinton, are tired of Trump’s win being blamed on fake news, the Comey letter and the Russians," so stop talking about the so-called popular vote and Trump's insane post-election behavior because the Voice of America (all four of them) has/have spoken. Give Zito credit -- at least none of these Real People were cab drivers.

•  At National Review, Christian Toto finds a new category of Your Article is Very Bias journalism:
If you think liberal media bias is strictly an issue for the New York Times and the Washington Post, you haven’t looked at your average entertainment site lately. 
Nearly every major Hollywood news site leans left. It has been that way for some time, but in recent years it has gotten worse. The improbable rise of Donald Trump is hastening that shift. And, in an age when pop culture plays an increasing role in our body politic, that matters.
People in the arts don't like Trump -- why, that's as big a shock as Guns & Ammo not liking Obama. What examples ya got, Chris?
[The Hollywood Reporter’s Daniel Fienberg] also referred to former Daily Show host Jon Stewart as “the most trusted man in comedy news.” Trusted? Sure, liberals trust he’ll echo their worldview. What about the other half of the country? Doesn’t Fienberg have a duty to consider them?

And then there’s the recent news that Adam McKay signed up to shoot a movie based on former vice president Dick Cheney. Deadline.com broke the story but failed to mention McKay’s political leanings.
Well, stop my presses! Toto never gets around to explaining why this "matters," except for the already-classic You-Elites-Must-Now-Be-Nice-To-Tumpkins routine ("try to learn something from the election results"). But I suspect Toto's article isn't really meant as an exposé anyway so much as a long-copy Position Wanted ad.  I've written several times about Toto's shit, and discovered him a true child of Zhdanov, specializing in attacks on movies that don't flatter his political prejudices. He bylines himself here as a "conservative movie critic," so despite his whinging about bias in arts journalism you know "balance" is not his shtick -- but he's probably praying it's what some stupid publisher thinks is needed in the back of the book, and that will get Toto on a major pub as Counterpoint for your Very Bias. Till then he traipses the same sad circuit as Mark Gauvreau Judge and other culture warriors. That Rupert Murdoch can't loosen his pursestrings and buy these guys some columns in his publications is a pity -- or maybe the tricksiest Bias of all!

Thursday, December 22, 2016

NUTSY NAZI TIME.

It's turning into old home week at alicublog, and mainstays like Rod Dreher and The Federalist are always good for holiday cheer. But let us not sleep on Roger L. Simon, kingpin of the PJ Media empire, who in his occasional waddles to the mike always says something sensational, and this week is no exception:
Are Europe's 'Extreme Right' Parties Really So Extreme?
If you're curious to hear what Simon thinks of Jobbik's call for a ban on all immigration in Hungary, or of the overtly fascist Golden Dawn in Greece and People's Party in Slovakia, apologies, his handlers have steered him toward three more telegenic/less ostentatiously jackbooted entities: UKIP, which he thinks is all about "local democratic rule"; Geert Wilders, a notorious bigot but only against Muslims, hence MSM-friendly; and Germany's AfD, which has recently started slowly to de-Nazify itself, which may explain Simon's sangfroid ("my knowledge [of its extremism] is not first hand, but I am skeptical") -- or maybe he's heard that many of the new neo-Nazis are trending pro-Israel and figures, hey, let bygones be bygones.

So he doesn't see what's so Nazi about these guys -- but...
The irony of ironies may be that the true heirs to the Nazis are the Merkels of the world, not the AfD, etc. While not Hitler-like in mass murder and megalomania, not to mention all the master-race insanity...
(Because that's not the important part of Nazism.)
...they do share a background with the genocidal dictator -- socialism. The Nazis were the National Socialist Party.
Like Jonah Goldberg, Simon thinks libtards are the Real Fascists; unlike Goldberg, he doesn't even dimly perceive what a hash of that theory the election of Trump makes.
That Merkel is East German is not accidental.
Similarly, Trump can't be a fascist because like FDR he's a white American. Then, a kill-Mozzies close and it's off to his weekly fedora-reblocking. So much for linking arms against fascism, guys; guess we'll have to do it ourselves.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

TODAY'S ASYLUM TOUR.

The kids at The Federalist are on fire lately, but I know you guys are busy with Christmas shopping and fighting the patriarchy and whatnot, so I boiled down a couple of their recent offerings for you:

2016: The Year The ‘Alt-Right’ Breached The Moral Quarantine On Racism. Robert Tracinski quotes himself on how the alt-right is the left’s fault because they accused less-racist-than-the-alt-right people of racism, sort of like how people who bring charges against burglars are responsible for Bernie Madoff because with their nitpicking they discredit the whole concept of theft. Tracinski is thus able to admit that his own party nominated and elected “a candidate whose entire campaign is penetrated by the Aryan Nation” because it’s neither his fault nor any skin off his ass.

It’s Going To Take Men With Guns To Stop The Suburban Deer Uprising. I’ll just quote John Daniel Davidson’s closing -- you can pretty much reverse-engineer it from there:
In any case, we’d all better get used to hunting and eating more deer. If not, we’d better get used to them crashing through our windows and breaking down our doors. The deer uprising has begun.
Now That Trump Is President, Can The Left Finally See How Much He Has To Offer Us? Sean Lester is a “member of the political left” who chooses to address “my own supposed half of the spectrum” at The Federalist because as the old saying goes, if you’re hunting for ducks you ought to go somewhere where all they ever do is bitch about ducks. Lester reminds liberals that Trump has gay friends, is anti-TPP etc., and not to worry about all his other stated intentions that horrify liberals because he’s “dishonest” (about the horrifying stuff, not gays and TPP — that you can trust him on). And to those worried about Trump’s nightmarish transition and cabinet picks, Lester says, “don’t ignore, however, that he brought on Elon Musk,” so if Trump destroys the planet you might be able to book a SpaceX ticket for Mars.

Dear MTV: Telling White Guys What To Do Just Provokes Racism. The Tranciski article run through the Urban Dictionary filter.

Maybe It’s Time To Redefine What It Means For Women To ‘Have It All.’ Grace Olmsted works, yes, but she’s a good mommy, as you can tell because she talks about how good a mommy she is, not like you bitches and skanks.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

DREHER'S HAPPY FUN STORY TIME.

Oh brother:


Rod Dreher's Reader Mailbag feature is a fun object of contemplation. Sometimes I have no doubt the items are authentic, even when they're most fantastical -- as when he gave the floor to some guy in rural Pennsylvania who told readers his town was a BenOp paradise, with lots of churches and plenty of good manly work that you don't need a sissy degree to do -- "the biggest problem those factories face is not competition from Mexico or China, it’s a shortage of workers" -- and encouraged Christians of a certain persuasion ("we are CATHOLIC. The community demands it") to move there and, one is forced to conclude, join him in nightly mass self-flagellation frenzies to prepare for the day when The Leader calls on them to go to Philly and kill the unbelievers.

But there are some Dreher correspondents who I can't be sure are real -- like the "old friend" who called and said she and her son had been terrorized by potty-mouthed "obviously transgendered" men at a showing of Captain America: Civil War in Texas, of all places:
“Rod, I have gay and lesbian friends. I have a bi friend,” she said. “None of them behave like that. I’ve never seen anything like it. They were egging each other on. And the sense of rage coming off those people — it was evil. And here’s the thing: this was not in Austin, this was not in Deep Ellum [hipster Dallas neighborhood], this was in the far north suburbs. 
“This was not at the fringes. It’s in a town that’s home to three of the biggest churches in Texas!”
Was this person kidding? Was her story actually made up by Dreher, channeled by him while he was dressed like and talking in the voice of Norman Bates' mother? It's a tantalizing mystery.

But this Liberal Who's Had Enough, and whose alleged correspondence fills this current Dreher post, is something else. She says she's a "secular/agnostic Californian" whose "ex-Catholic mom loathes organized religion to this day," and describes herself as surrounded by "secular liberals"--
Almost everyone at my corporate law firm was a secular liberal. My California neighbors and friends are secular liberals, as are my fellow government lawyers. My mother, siblings, and their spouses are all secular liberals.
If this incantation suggests the groundwork for a conversion narrative to you, congratulations! As once we had the liberals who since 9/11 were outraged at Chappaquiddick, so now we have one who is saved by the grace of MAGA, her emotional pussy grabbed by The Leader:
But November 8 and its aftermath revealed to me that I am just so tired of these people. I can’t be like them, and I don’t want my kids turning into them.
Since that fateful day she has become sick of her liberal friends, family, and colleagues, of their "name-calling and virtue-signaling," of their "trendiness," of their "acceptance of vulgarity and sarcastic irreverence," -- indeed, of everything Rod Dreher excoriates from his pulpit every week. And now the metamorphosis:
That leads me to . . . drum roll . . . the Christian Right. It is no small feat, switching tribes. It feels stressful and weird to abandon your tribe for the Detested Other Side.
Since November 8, my husband and I have been taking the kids to church. (He is politically conservative with a religious bent, so no argument there.) I have come this close to buying a giant poster of the American flag for the living room. I may do it still.
We've all had that friend who was really into something -- maybe punk rock, maybe Sufism, maybe Morris dancing -- and then, one day, suddenly hated all those things and went the opposite way; like if they used to be into Bukowski, now they were obsessively reading Chesterton and C.S. Lewis, and had grown a shitty little beard and started smoking a Meerschaum.

That's my offhand psychological explanation. It's also possible that Dreher just made her up. Or it's a Dummy Trap: Someone else made it up and sent it in, knowing Dreher would read it and, his hands shaking, his eyes brimming with grateful tears, fall to his knees and cry to whatever God he's up to now Thank you [Your Name Here] for leading the lamb out of the liberal darkness! I shall repost it on my blog to glorify thy [Your Name Here]!  What do you think?

Monday, December 19, 2016

NEW VILLAGE VOICE COLUMN UP...

...a miscellany of sorts, with no overarching theme other than stupidity.

I did get a little into the fake news stuff again. One of the things I left out was a rabbit hole I followed from a tweet by some dummy with a Breitbart icon on Twitter:  “BREAKING,” he cried, “Director Of WikiLeaks Just Found Dead, Cause ‘Undetermined…’” The linked story was datelined December 16 but the BREAKING news at Conservative Daily Post was from October: “Julian Assange’s lawyer,” they declared, “was mysteriously ‘killed’ late one evening when he stepped in front of a train ‘on accident’ at 3am in London.” They explained this with an internal link asserting that “ASSANGE NARROWLY MISSES DRONE ASSASINATION, THEY KILL HIS LAWYER INSTEAD.” (Look up “assange lawyer” on Google and you’ll find a lot of sites with names like Forbidden Knowledge' peddling the same innuendo.)

Conservative Daily Post added, “Now it is being reported that WikiLeaks director and founder of the Center for Investigative Journalism, Gavin MacFadyen, has died at age 76. As one can imagine, the cause of death has yet to be revealed, but this feels awfully suspicious…” — notwithstanding that the guy was 76 years old and, a quick visit to non-conspiracy news sites reveals, had lung cancer. Or is that just what they WANT you to believe? In any case, the Macedonian clickwheel rolls on.

As for Trump's "unpresidented" spelling, I see the Christian Science Monitor has enlisted some schooly types to tell us no no dear boy, you must understand the rabble love when he spells poorly:
"His base is not stupid. His base is just sick and tired of being told [what to think] by what they call 'the elite' and I’ll call 'the political system,'" she adds, grouping academics and mainstream-media players with members of the political establishment. "So he’s meeting their expectations and violating ours"...

"We always interpret our friends in the best possible light, and we interpret our enemies in the worst possible light," [a schooly type] tells the Monitor in a phone interview Sunday. Those who are inclined to mock Trump do so, and those who are inclined to support him see evidence that his Twitter presence is really him, with immediacy and charisma, and without experts filtering through what he's saying.
What do you want, good government or good taste? This is maybe good instruction for operatives trying to Jedi-mind-trick the voters into voting non-fascist, and perhaps Democratic nominee Honey Boo-Boo will sweep in 2020 with the slogan "I don't know nothin' 'bout nothin'." But we who have free souls, it touches us not; my only obligation to this disintegrating Republic is to remind the citizens within my signal that rich con men have been playing dumb for years and it usually doesn't work out for their marks.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

WHATEVERTRUMP.

Jonathan Chait has noticed (as I have) that a lot of the old NeverTrump guys have rolled on their backs and peed in submission to The Leader. National Review writers in particular were, back in the day, writing columns like "Is Trump a Double Agent for the Left?" and filling entire issues with demands that he be stopped, but even before the election began extending feelers ("He is a demagogue, but he might be our demagogue") and are now wholly bought in.

Some of the NR guys are crabbing about it. Kevin D. Williamson complains that Chait tied their movement to Ayn Rand, which is absurd because Rand's for babies -- mature wingnuts go for Charles Murray. Also, God: "Actual conservatives are more likely to be found in church, where, among other things, they exercise the philanthropic impulse in community." (Trump goes to church too, and even tried to drop money in the collection plate at least once, so I guess he's as philanthropic as Wilbur Ross and Kevin D. Williamson. Also, doesn't he have some sort of foundation?) Williamson does not otherwise describe the intellectual pedigree of modern conservatism, but judging from the insults with which he peppers his essay he might have named Don Rickles.

Better still is Charles Two Middle Initials Cooke, who has apparently been working on his House Englishman routine:
Here’s a fun theory, courtesy of New York magazine’s resident apparatchik, Jonathan Chait: Because they are devotees of the work of Ayn Rand, Donald Trump’s critics have begun to shut up.

I shan’t attempt to explain how ineluctability silly is this contention...
Oh, you shan't, shan't you? He goes on toffee-nosing like this ("I have seen it expressed elsewhere and think it needs nipping in the bud") for some time, but eventually has to get down to the real bullshit:
In order to answer these questions, one has to reiterate what exactly the Never Trump position entailed, as well as remember that it was never a pledge to reject conservatism or to join the Left on the barricades. Rather, it was a description that was applied to those rightward-leaning figures who believed that Donald Trump was a poor choice as the GOP’s nominee, and that he was an unfit candidate for president. Although I rarely used the term myself, it did apply to me as a practical matter: Throughout the primaries and the general election, I argued that Donald Trump was (a) an immoral man, ill-suited to the office of the presidency; (b) a political opportunist, likely to pursue policies that would seriously damage conservatism in the long run; and (c) a wannabe authoritarian who shouldn’t be trusted with power. As a result, I both opposed his nomination during the primaries and concluded during the general that I could not back somebody so manifestly unsuited to his coveted role.

Quite obviously, Trump’s victory rendered much of this moot — not, of course, because his victory has altered his character or because his success has impelled reconciliation, but because the role of Trump’s critics has by necessity been changed...
Go read the rest if you like, but it comes down to this: NeverTrump didn't mean NeverTrump, it meant UnlessHeWinsTrump, in which case he's like any other Republican, which is to say mostly dandy.

You may compare this posture to the conduct of Evan McMullin -- who was sufficiently NeverTrump to mount an insurgent campaign against him and, unlike many of his fans from that time, continues to kick both Trump and the Trumpified Republican Party in the ass. McMullin seems to have a different idea of NeverTrump than Cooke, based on principle and the plain meaning of words.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

CE N'EST PAS UNE MAJORITÉ POPULAIRE.

Hillary Clinton's popular vote margin is now tallied at 2.8 million and rising -- which only counts in horseshoes, of course, but with the prospect of a possible Manchurian Candidate and definite buffoon as President the fact does rather cast an ironic pall. So many conservatives nervously downplay her higher total, with Michael Barone alone first saying it doesn't count because of California, then because it's all just coastal states full of cities and minorities. (This was also the heart of Breitbart's "DONALD TRUMP WON 7.5 MILLION POPULAR VOTE LANDSLIDE IN HEARTLAND" analysis. Apparently proximity to a Kroger or a meth lab makes your vote count extra.)

At PJ Media, Brian Boyer has a novel approach:
Let me make a bold statement: There is a reasonable chance that Hillary Clinton would not have won under a "popular vote" system, even though it seems clear that she currently has about two million more votes than President-elect Donald Trump. That's because the “popular vote” the media keeps talking about is not representative of what the popular vote would actually look like without the Electoral College. In fact, I believe that the Electoral College is actually skewing the “popular vote” in favor of Democrats.
I'll spare you: Republican turnout was low in California because they had no hope of winning ("Under the Electoral College system, if you are a Republican in California, why bother to vote? California’s 55 electoral votes are going blue whether or not you cast a ballot"); if those GOP voters were in a situation where their vote counted, they'd have come out of the woodwork in droves. Boyer doesn't explain why this same syndrome doesn't apply to Democrats in Texas, Mississippi, Alabama, etc. Maybe it's because Republicans are sensitive flowers who would rather hide in the cellar than face the prospect of defeat. Another reason why they should get extra credit for voting!

But out of all of them Kevin D. Williamson of National Review has my favorite bit:
Who lost (“lost”) the popular vote (“popular vote”) is irrelevant for all sorts of reasons. For one thing, it doesn’t have anything to do with the outcome of the election. For another, it doesn’t, strictly speaking, exist. We don’t have a popular presidential vote, or a campaign for that vote.
If only he'd had the balls to say that arithmetic itself is merely a concept by which we measure our pain! I have to say Trump's solution is more elegant -- he just says he won in a landslide. But then he has no need to convince people he's an intellectual.

Monday, December 12, 2016

NEW VILLAGE VOICE COLUMN UP...

...about the Russian hack revelations and the rightblogger response, which is basically that MSM is "fake news" because Dan Rather so you can only trust PatriotButtMunch.com which sez TRUMP RULES. I'm not sure how much to trust an unsupported CIA claim myself, but I will say the folks calling this McCarthyism are way off -- back in the day, people got called Russian dupes for advocating civil rights and a nuclear freeze, not for arranging for the Soviets to make mad bank -- ask Armand Hammer! -- and publicly begging Stalin to spy on their opponents

I sort of wanted to work in an example of those bogus sites and was looking at PRNTLY: AMERICA’S TOP NEWS SITE -- specifically a post headlined “93% say Global Warming is #FakeNews, Liberals freak out as Trump picks oil CEO as Sec of State." Author (or as Philip Bump would say "apparent author") Shelby Carella writes, "a new poll out conducted online show that only 7% of voters actually believe in the fake news story of Global Warming.” I couldn't find a reference to or evidence of any such poll, but I suspect he means one of PRNTLY's own (catch those collateral clicks!): “It appears that by meeting with Leonardo DiCaprio, and Al Gore, Trump was opening up to environmentalist wacko logic, and was open to falling for the Global Warming shell game,” continues Carella. “To quote our New President? WRONG… Trump just humiliated every wacko environmentalist in US by meeting with Gore, then picking Pruitt.” (That would be Scott Pruitt, The Leader’s EPA pick. Wasn't the headline about Tillerson? Forget it, he’s rolling.) Carella finally suggests readers buy “The Perfect Christmas Gift: Trump 45 Hat,” and “share this story the media does not want you reading." Your rage- and dementia-addled grandma will be glad you did!

Also, I tried at one point to access a Joe Hoft story (yeah, he's still got his brother/alias on the payroll) at another site that was carrying it, teaparty.org; when I did so, I got a popover announcing “Donald Trump with Dr. OZ ‘This tiny pill gave me the mental and physical stamina that won me this election.’” In this ad Trump was alleged to have told Dr. OZ that “the brain is like a muscle, you got to work it out and use supplements just like body builders use, but for your brain…” It's fun to imagine Trump saying this, but even more fun to imagine it said by the guy it's elsewhere attributed to: Stephen Hawking.

Speaking of which, I see John Bolton is suggesting the alleged Russia hack was a "false flag" operation by Obama. False flag! Next he'll tell us about the chemtrails. Can't wait to see Bolton guest-host for Alex Jones, especially if he tries to make the same ridiculous faces.

Friday, December 09, 2016

FRIDAY 'ROUND-THE-HORN.


Jesus and Mary Chain meet Galaxie 500. Nice.
(That reminds me, J&MC have a new one coming.)

•   Guess what, future Social Security beneficiaries -- looks like the Republicans plan to cut your benefits. Like the man says, take a peek at Table B2 of this letter from the SSA Chief Actuary, estimating the impact of the GOP’s Social Security Reform Act of 2016 -- which, I remind you, faces no meaningful obstacles once Trump is in office. Find your AIME (you can calculate it here), then look on the table for the Proposal Schedule Benefit/ Percent of Present Law relevant to yours and see how you'd be affected. Seems like most of us except for the lowest earners with the already-lowest benefits will take a haircut. Make America Sleep on a Grate Again!

•   Maureen Mullarkey, last examined here for her contention that we only countenance abortion because we want fetal tissue to make us immortal, has got with the New Age and sold The Federalist one of those you-artists-are-only-making-us-love-Trump-more stories. The record-scratch here is Mullarkey herself is an artist, she says, though she doesn't seem to like other artists, particularly young ones, sniffing that "second-year MFA students are invited to a 9-day frolic dubbed 'Barefeet and Birthday Suits: MFA in Berlin'" while she toils in her lonely cold-water atelier without even clothed-and-shod love from the cognoscenti. Subheds include "Your ‘Education’ Consists of Indoctrination" and "I Thought Artists Were Against Censorship." She is especially mad that "Trump’s victory has affected even the artists’ listserv I belong to" -- they all talk about how bad Trump is and artists' complex Westbeth even suggests they "donate to four recommended charities. The character of Westbeth’s policy preferences is clear in their selected endorsements," Mullarkey notes with disgust: "Planned Parenthood; the Ali Forney Center for gay and transgender teens; God’s Love We Deliver, a service for HIV/AIDS patients; Cabrini Immigrant Services, a boon companion to illegal aliens seeking social services." Gross, right? Mullarkey apparently has enough brains not to flame her fellow painters where they can see it, and instead vents for the more appreciative wingnut crowd under the subhed "You’re Fueling Trump Again, People":
Here is a pitch-perfect sample of the elitist self-regard that contributed to Trump’s victory. The writer, a painter, takes for granted his own rectitude. He also assumes his audience is equally offended by an election that went against the grain of worthier preferences. Worthiness, you see, is a natural result of intellectual superiority. It comes with those special gifts and unique strengths unavailable to lesser sorts.
How different that is from the Trump voter, who thoughtfully considers the equality of all creatures and respect for the viewpoints of other before pulling on his "Fuck Your Feelings" t-shirt and going out to harass Muslims.

Wednesday, December 07, 2016

ROD DREHER VS. AMERICA, AGAIN.

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 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

FEAR OF A RAD PLANET.

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

NEW VILLAGE VOICE COLUMN UP...

...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

FRIDAY 'ROUND-THE-HORN, EXCEPT ON SATURDAY.


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

TODAY IN WINGNUT WHINING.

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 Hillarypedophile.com and nazifrog.net.

Oh, just for grins I looked up "fire" on the front page of Breitbart.com. 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.

A THREAT FROM THE REAL VICTIMSTM.

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.
Breitbart.com 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

GOEBBELS COMES BACK AS A LESS-CHARISMATIC DON DRAPER.

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.