Tuesday, October 31, 2017


There was a terror attack in downtown Manhattan today, but the Village still held its Halloween parade because that's how New York rolls.
There are of course plenty of assholes who will yell at New Yorkers to try and make them scared -- like John Moody at Fox News:
“Don’t let the terrorists change our life in any shape, manner or form,” said Gov. Andrew Cuomo, just two hours after the attack took place. 
That’s right, New Yorkers. Listen to your governor. Don’t take any extra precautions in how you live your lives. Don’t admit that there are evil people in the world who want to kill you, then exhort God’s greatness. Don’t use that ugly word -- war – to describe our conflict with radical Islam. Don’t offend. And don’t defend. It might upset someone.
But this rap is not meant for the citizens, who will tune out Moody's Murdochian mung like any other street person's ravings. They know it's really pitched at the suburban and hillbilly markets -- at the hayseeds who already wonder how any white person -- never mind their friends' kids who fled to the Apple as soon as they were able, or wished they could -- can stand living among so many of those people and riding in trains underground and living in tiny apartments when they could be driving an SUV and living in a big ugly house in the middle of nowhere.

The outlanders' incomprehension will flare up a bit at this news, and they'll tsk and ask one another if they saw that even Jake Tapper, who always seemed so reasonable considering he's part of The Media, doesn't understand that all Muslims are evil ("CNN’s Jake Tapper Calls Allahu Akbar ‘Beautiful’ After Terrorist Attack") and must be driven into the sea, and what about all those other New Yorkers, why don't they stop pretending to be something better than us and come live in Bumfuck where it's safe?

Well, there's at least this blessing: unlike the days after 9/11 when the hicks pretended to love New York, in these Trumpian days we can count on them to not even pretend, and thus be spared their cloying hypocrisy.

Monday, October 30, 2017


...about Mueller and what ensued.

I have particularly enjoyed the last-minute tweets of rage and despair from full-on MAGA choads, e.g.:
It says something that the single area in which the Leader of the Free World can be seen at ease and in sync with any segment of his fellow citizens is in the field of batshit-crazy tweeters.

Sunday, October 29, 2017


I get a kick out of Salena Zito, America's foremost White Working Class Whisperer who made her bones reporting that the talking points of Pennsylvania Republicans were Why Trump Won. But lately her columns have been a little off -- because, I'm guessing, even in Pennsyltucky people are discontented with So Much Winning and she's had trouble finding an alternative to her usual "Here in Konigsboro local entrepreneur Ima G.O.P. Operative tells us why plain folks like her love Trump" shtick.

Witness a recent Zito column about a Bulgarian immigrant who when he came to America "only knew two words in the English language: 'Pepsi' and 'pizza,'" yet thrives and is one of "the folks who help make Chicago Chicago... builders and construction workers, artisans, business owners, and professionals." That was my first tip-off -- a conservative writing abut Chicago as something other than a black-on-black crime scene? Then she says, "Every immigrant in this country is an echo of all of us" and I'm like, okay, what's going on here? True, like nearly everyone Zito ever talks to, "Yoni" is a Republican ("When I first came to this country, I thought the Democratic Party was the party of the people..."), but if you want to keep your cred as the Head WWCW in Charge, praising immigrants seems like a weird move. Plus Trump is never mentioned! Finally we get to her closing:
The next time we complain about the Metro or the barista or how offended we are by the outrage of the moment – think about the Yonis of our country and try to imagine what it is like to appreciate what we have instead of believing we are entitled to what we have.
Son of a gun -- she's telling native-born Americans to suck it up and be like this hard-working foreigner instead of demanding he be thrown out of the country! And earlier she did a column about how technology is shaking up the American workplace and...
...it's hard to imagine many people are ready for the impact that is going to have on their lives and their communities; industrial revolutions create and destroy, if we are better prepared for the one we are experiencing now, our country's temperament will stabilize.
Am I getting this right -- we're supposed to learn new job skills instead of just mining more coal and making Mexico give back our jobs? This populist victory isn't all it's cracked up to be.

Maybe someone talked to Zito, because in her latest column she's back on Trump ("the majority of his voters were inspired by his aspirational message, Make America Great Again. I’m With Her? Not so much") and back to bashing the elites ("most of the decision-and image-makers in this country — in culture, politics and power — live in the 10 wealthiest counties in the country"). But she clearly felt a big gesture was needed right off the bat to let the people know Salena is back, baby! So she starts off with an anecdote about an international firefighters union event in D.C. in 2015. Bernie Sanders, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Lindsey Graham, and Jim Webb were there, testing the Presidential waters. Zito was in the press gallery:
There was a fraternity of connection among the big-city journalists. They traveled together, socialized together at cocktail parties and shared the same cultural touch-tones.
Cocktail parties! Drink! ("Cultural tone-tones," though? Maybe their phones played hardcore rap, as elitist devices will.)
I, on the other hand, was from the Paris of Appalachia.
Poor little coal country mouse! She nervously smoothed her gingham dress and took notes on a coal scuttle with a piece of charcoal when suddenly --
About halfway through Cruz’s speech, one of the reporters sneezed. Out of courtesy and habit I said, “God bless you.” I instantly felt a chill in the room as everyone looked toward what seemed to be my direction. I looked behind me to see if something terrible had happened. It was clear that nothing had. 
A few minutes later, after Cruz was done speaking, an aide to one of the candidates, whispered to me, “We don’t say that around here.” 
I wasn’t sure what he meant, so I asked what was the “that” that we don’t say around here. 
His answer: Blessing someone after they sneeze. 
While the young man was perfectly pleasant, it was clear I was being scolded.
Obviously I'm hanging out with the wrong liberals because "God bless you" when someone sneezes is not in my experience the least bit controversial. And ain't I a elitist? I've thought about this and can imagine only three scenarios where her story is remotely credible:

1. The aide was kidding.

2. A Cruz aide, tipped off to Zito's availability, ran up and whispered, "Listen: I'll tell you 'we don't say that around here,' and it'll make a great story for when Ted is President. Just leave my name out of it."

3. Zito screamed "God bless you" so loud it set off the sprinklers.

Thursday, October 26, 2017


A couple weeks back another three-named honky allegedly left a bomb at Asheville Regional Airport ("Man suspected of planting airport bomb 'wanted to start a war on US soil'") and in Shelbyville, Tennessee white nationalists are planning a white power rally for this weekend. But you know what the real problem is, says Megan McArdle:
Be Careful Who You Call a 'White Supremacist'
If you've cried wolf too many times, no one will listen when you actually see the real thing
McArdle claims liberals are only talking about white supremacy because their old terms for white people who think black people are inferior aren't working anymore: "'Institutional racism' conjures up images of beige-carpeted offices and rows of desks; 'systemic racism' sounds like some sort of plumbing problem," tee hee! Even the milder term "racism" is also de trop;  "increasingly broad uses of the word 'racism' have made it less effective than it used to be at rallying moral outrage." So liberals, desperate for attention, are using "white supremacist" for its shock value.

This just makes racism (which sort of exists, McArdle seems to concede, just not anywhere liberals and black people see it) worse. And guess what, This Is Why Trump Won, because even though McArdle, like all conservatives with enough brains to cover their asses, was firmly Against Trump and "shouted to no avail as Trump coyly flirted with hardcore white supremacists," she couldn't stop Trump's election — because liberals used up their race cards on Mitt Romney, forcing white people to vote for Trump,  so this is all liberals’ fault. (Though McArdle is of course grateful for all the Trump policies and appointments of which she approves, nonetheless there are other Trump policies she doesn't like, such as... um... er... well, she did shout to no avail.)

Just for shits and giggles, let's put "white supremacist" in Google News and see what kind of fake outrages we can find that silly liberals are creating with it:

Public Radio International: "Poland's right-wing nationalist government objects to visit by US white supremacist Richard Spencer." Not sure if Spencer's one of the "hardcore white supremacists" McArdle acknowledges as genuine -- probably not, since I'm bringing him up and I'm a liberal.

The Hill: "Former McConnell aide defends labeling [Steve] Bannon a ‘white supremacist.’" Now, don't get excited, maybe Josh Holmes is a liberal -- I'm sure Trumpkins think so! -- rendering his analysis null and void. I mean come on -- Steve Bannon a white supremacist?

Vice: "Reddit Is Cracking Down on Nazi and White Supremacist Groups." Political correctness is clearly the real problem here! Social media sites like Reddit should be required by law to allow you-only-encourage-them-by-calling-them-white-supremacists to rave on their site -- no less a free-speech authority than Steve Bannon says so.

Snopes: "White Supremacist Rally Attendees Arrested After Shooting at Protesters." Oh yeah, those three dudes who "were arrested after shouting 'Heil Hitler' and opening fire on a group of anti-Nazi protesters, according to arrest documents." Look, no one got hit; once again, just liberals blowing things out of proportion and distracting us from the real racists.

NJ.com: "White supremacist group posts recruiting fliers across Rutgers campuses." Well, if you liberals weren't so mean to them they wouldn't need to recruit.

I could go on, but why bother? Long story short: McArdle just wants you to be to be careful who you're calling a white  supremacist because she's afraid one evening she'll be at a dinner party and Jamelle Bouie will be giving her the stink-eye.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017


I've said more than once that the "culture war" is a war on culture but, as pithy an aperçu as that is, it doesn't draw the whole picture of what's wrong with culture warriors. Sure, many of them are brutes who are frightened by the power of art and think it must be some kind of ordnance liberals possess that they should try to steal. That's why they're so excited by the Harvey Weinstein thing  -- not because they give a shit about sexual harassment, but because they think it's an angle they can use to break Hollywood's alleged spell over the masses and grab it for themselves; you can hear it in the exultations of Kyle Smith ("Hollywood’s image of itself as a morally enlightened congress of tribunes of the people has been destroyed") and Jim Geraghty ("Hollywood, you don’t get to lecture us about anything anymore") who seem to think this has been achieved.

Sometimes I think this ties in with Trump's war on the NFL; Trump clearly envies the violent passions football excites and hopes, by portraying it as traitor-infested, to transfer that passion to himself.  For conservatives of the modern type, the ideal state would be one where citizens are driven away from sports and movies and, indeed, any traditional form of recreation, and instead spend their leisure hours on megachurch services and MAGA rallies.

 But there's also the aspect of culture war that's sad as well as weird, because it shows just how damaging it is to the warrior. Get a load of an article by Theodore Kupfer at National Review called "Conservatives Should Reconsider Their Opposition to Hip-Hop." It begins:
Most conservatives don’t like hip-hop. The typical conservative case against the genre amounts not to music criticism, but to...
Ha ha but come on, though, you didn't really think they'd cop to it?
...the charge that it promotes dangerous behaviors in the culture.
Well, the dog heard it. (Another thing about these guys: With them it's always "the culture" instead of culture -- just as for Putin it's always "the Ukraine" instead of Ukraine.)

Kupfer says his fellow wingnuts, apparently on the strength of a 30-year-old N.W.A. record, believe "most rap... feeds the violent loop that mars inner cities, whose residents scorn the justice system and settle scores outside it." But Kupfer -- look at him, the fightin' conservative who knows how to rap with the kids! -- begs to differ.
The first track on Straight Outta Compton is a clue that the critique might be wrong. The song begins with the sobering reminder that, “When somethin’ happens in South Central Los Angeles, nothin’ happens. It’s just another n**** dead,” letting that last word echo before the music kicks in. In other words, N.W.A., which became infamous among conservatives for glorifying violence, began its first album by noting how pervasive such violence is in their hometown, and how little anyone seems to do about it.
Sure, they talk about violence -- but they think it's bad! And they clearly don't think the state is the answer -- why, it's just a short leap from that to support for enterprise zones.

It goes on like that -- Nas has a tune about how much he loves his son, and we're all about family values, right?  It might be touching coming from a prep school student trying to explain to his ofay teacher what rap is, but at National Review it's just some young "Fellow" trying to make conservatism a little more millennial-friendly -- NatRev and chill -- and the comments section reveals that actual National Review readers aren't going for it  ("97% of it is garbage and probably an even higher percentage is liberal").

But him being a clueless honky isn't the big thing. It's the ending that gets me:
This remains an unfortunate blind spot for a political movement with a checkered record on race. Reform-minded conservatives have convincingly argued that the path up from white-identity politics runs toward a civic nationalism that is pan-ethnic, one that celebrates the shared cultural and artistic achievements of all Americans. If they’re right, then the conservative mind ought to rethink hip-hop, a sometimes-great and always uniquely American art form.
What is "the conservative mind" and why should it be argued into liking a form of music? What has one's tastes or desires got to do with being "reform-minded" or "a civic nationalism that is pan-ethnic"? You might just as well write an article about why, on the strength of recent trends in The Movement, conservatives should embrace sweet potato pierogies. And Kupfer's if-you-believe-this-you-should-enjoy-that formulation implies that conservatives are hypocritical not to like rap. This isn't like opposing gay marriage publicly while picking up men in toilets privately -- this is music, and it is beyond dispute.

I have friends who don't like rap, and/or country, and/or other musics I love. Hell, my wife can't stand most of the music I like. But that is, to those of us whose minds have not been turned to glue, the way of the world and something we can live with, if we have attained a certain very basic degree of perspective. Imagine being the kind of person who felt the need to argue someone into enjoying the music they liked. Sure, the famously ugly John Wilkes said that when he was trying to get laid he could talk his face away -- but, well, he was trying to get laid. What's Kupfer's excuse?

Monday, October 23, 2017


...about the La David Johnson case, the ferocious attacks on family advocate Rep. Frederica Wilson, and the stink of racism around it all.

For reasons of space I had to leave out Jonah Goldberg who, perhaps sensing that the Starship Troopers Gen. Kelly-worship the brethren were indulging wouldn't age well, tried another, still dumber approach: “What if Kelly was actually lecturing his boss?”  Sure, to you littlebrains, it appears Kelly was sucking up to Trump, but “if you can take off the partisan blinders and restrain your tribal instincts, it’s not all that hard to see” that Kelly was sending Trump coded messages, says Goldberg. Since most of us very clearly missed that, I'm surprised Kelly didn't give a second speech to clarify.

Thursday, October 19, 2017


Remember the National Review "Against Trump" issue? I knew back then it was bullshit, but let us recall, indeed savor, the closing passage of their lead article from January 2016:
Some conservatives have made it their business to make excuses for Trump and duly get pats on the head from him. Count us out. Donald Trump is a menace to American conservatism who would take the work of generations and trample it underfoot in behalf of a populism as heedless and crude as the Donald himself.
Flash forward with me now to this week, where we join brave Jonah Goldberg, who likes to advertise himself as tough on Trump (to the credulous applause of dummies: "So tough on Trump"!) in mid homina-homina:
But first I should explain something. As I’ve said before, I do not consider myself a “Never Trumper” any more for the simple reason that the label is inadequate to the times. Never Trump, as I saw it, was about the primaries and the election. Once elected and sworn in, Donald Trump was the president, and to whatever extent “Never Trump” was a movement, it had failed. I call myself a “Trump skeptic,” because, among other reasons, I don’t buy any of the hagiographic explanations and justifications for his behavior. Other former Never Trumpers hold onto the label. Others don’t. This just helps illuminate a point lost on many Trump supporters and left-wingers alike: Never Trump was never some coherent, unified thing. It started as a hashtag on Twitter as far as I can tell and included people of diverse opinions and tactics, some of which I never subscribed to.
Ironically, the people who cling to the term the most are actually Trump’s most ardent supporters...
Yeah, whatever, Tubby. Go change your pants and get back in line.

This is a reminder that these people are all as full of shit as it is possible to be without getting hauled away by Don's Johns. If you, like many good folks (not me, though!), were taken in by Chief of Staff John Kelly ("John Kelly, New Chief of Staff, Is Seen as Beacon of Discipline" -- NYT; "Why John Kelly is President Trump's Last Hope" -- Time), and considered him an Honest Conservative and a True Patriot, and were thus surprised to see him work a Trumpian con (it's all the black lady's fault!) at the behest of his boss today, well, take comfort that you were not alone, and that it's not only difficult to be as icily cynical as me but also probably not healthy. But please, try and take a lesson from the experience: There are no "good ones."

Wednesday, October 18, 2017



"Hi, this is President Trump. This a bad time? If it's a bad time just say so."

"No, sir, it's fine."

"Good. OK, how ya doing? You taking some time off or you still going to work?"

"Excuse me?"

"Either way is okay. I'm not saying anything. What I am saying is, there's lots of jobs out there for people who want to work, that's all. Unemployment's the lowest it's ever been, is all I'm saying. Listen, sweetheart, I'm calling because, uh, I understand your -- boyfriend? Husband. I can't make out these chicken-scratches they give me here, very bad handwriting, the worst. Anyway, your husband had some kind of accident over in -- Niger? I say that right? Niger. Thank God. I guess they told you about it, but it was news to me, and when I heard I said, the President of the United States must call this woman and tell her that, uh, Private, Private what's-his-name died a hero. Captain. General. Private. They told your husband, don't do it, don't do it, what's-your-name, don't be a hero, his friends in the streets and in the NFL, they said this to him, or so I'm told. They don't respect anything, these people, it's disgraceful, and we're going to do something about it. But your husband, he went ahead anyway and enlisted, it's not like he was drafted, because we don't have the draft and I don't think we should have one, but we'll see about it, anyway he went over there and not ten minutes later they shot him dead, they, well maybe he blew up or was in a car crash, whatever it was it killed him, it's terrible what's going on over there. But you know, he didn't have to be in the Green, the Green Forces, he could have, I don't know, he's musical, right? Your husband? Looks like a guy with a lot of musical talent. He could have been a singer or maybe washed cars or, but, phew, he took his shot, you know what I mean, he took his shot and boom, he's gone. What can I tell you... Hello? Look, I can understand it's rough for you, I'm gonna personally send you a little something, okay, just an envelope with some cash in it, think nothing of it, I do this all the time... Hello? [disconnects the call] Well, I'm not doing that again."

UPDATE. National Review's Rich Lowry is always a miserable Trump suckup but on this subject he really outdoes himself. First, he says, "it appears to be correct that Obama didn’t call all the families of the fallen" -- when Trump very obviously implied Obama didn't call those families at all before he got rattled and backed off. (Lowry also gets extra chickenshit points for adding "it doesn’t mean it was right for Trump to use that point as a bludgeon," as if Trump had made a credible accusation but went a little too far by insisting on it.) Also:
Three, Trump’s “knew what he signed up for” statement seems horrible in isolation, but it’s hard to know what to make of it except in context and listening to the conservation. Even the Democrat congresswoman says that Trump said “it hurts anyway.” On the other hand, the family confirms that it was upset by Trump’s call.
We can't really know what went on because on the one hand we have the word of the world's most notorious liar and, on the other, that of a grieving widow and her friends -- how can you figure out which one's telling the truth? Plus the grieving widow is black!
Now, Trump is engaged in a fight over what he really said. Is it too much to ask that everyone back off this one and not to add to anyone’s distress and leave condolence calls — if nothing else — out of our poisonous political debate?
Leave President Trump alone!  You're really just hurting the people he wants you to think are lying about what a piece of shit he is.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017


Do you retain a sentimental feeling for Christianity, despite the fact that many American Christians actually worship money and Trump and Rod Dreher exists? Here, this article at Reason may cure you:
Are Free Minds and Free Markets Compatible With Christianity?
A baker's dozen Christian libertarians weigh in
If you know libertarians, you may have some idea of the kind of "Christians" they would know. And no, there isn't a single hippie-dippy "Blessed are the poor" pussy in the bunch. Right out of the gate:
"In my mind, capitalism is what happens when you have the absence of initiated force, and that's perfectly compatible—beautifully compatible—with Christianity. Capitalism simply means the freedom of individuals to make contracts and to engage others in a peaceful and voluntary way. That's precisely what Christ taught." —Lawrence W. Reed, president of the Foundation for Economic Education and author of Rendering Unto Caesar: Was Jesus A Socialist?
Reed's book is available online, and it'll make your average pig-eyed Jesus grifter doff his cap in tribute, full of stuff like this:
In his book, Biblical Economics, theologian R. C. Sproul Jr. notes that Jesus “wants the poor to be helped” but not at gunpoint, which is essentially what government force is all about...
This reminds me of the capital punishment bit in Beyond the Fringe, in which a warden argues for it while escorting a prisoner to his doom: [Warden] "You don't want to be cooped up for life." [Condemned prisoner] "Yes, I do want to be cooped up for life." [Warden] "Come along, now, you're playing with words."

Quotes from the other disciples of Ayn Christ include "Who nailed Jesus to the cross? The state!" and this, my favorite:
The more I read, the more I realized that there's nowhere in here where Christ attempts to use the tools of violence to accomplish his objectives. In fact, it was so extreme in the opposite direction that even self-defense wasn't used by Christ and the early Christians. They chose martyrdom.
I can see why he likes that. Blessed are the meek, they're easier to rob and kill! They talk a lot about how they, in the name of Christ, would not countenance government programs to feed the starving and house the homeless because that's violence, and violence is so ungodly it trumps their need to survive; but I bet if you went for their wallets (or even a crumb from their tables) they'd come up with a gun pretty quick.

I will only add that Kevin D. Williamson, one of the most vicious wingnuts going, is listed here as "National Review roving correspondent and a Catholic convert." As the old saying going, Jesus is alright but his friends are a bunch of fucking assholes.

Monday, October 16, 2017


...about Trump's double-barreled blast at Obamacare and the conservatives assuring an anxious Republic that they're not losing health insurance, they're gaining freedom.

Friday, October 13, 2017


Tweedy maybe leaned minimalist a little too much here, but they still got some funk on it.

•   It would be not only wonderful but also hilarious if the Harvey Weinstein controversy actually did put a crimp in powerful men using their clout to exploit women. I say hilarious because conservatives are betting they can turn it to their political advantage.They're currently using it to beat up on women as hypocrites because they didn't speak up sooner. Their attacks on Clinton for having accepted campaign donations from Weinstein because "everybody" knew about his crimes are already old news; now we have wingnuts doing the same witchfinder-general routine on actresses like Jane Fonda ("‘Found Out About Harvey About A Year Ago’ And Didn’t Say Anything" -- Daily Caller), and Meryl Streep ("Sophie’s choice was between her career and her conscience, and let’s just say she didn’t agonize over her pick" --  Kurt Schlichter). That the actresses who get the most heat are outspoken liberals is no accident; the whole wingnut play is that Hollywood is corrupt because it's lefty, and vice-versa, and this scandal rejuvenates all their old Hollyweird slurs; that's why you have guys like Jim Geraghty at National Review crying "Hollywood, you don’t get to lecture us about anything anymore" -- they have no interest in sparing women workplace indignities, they just want their ancient prejudices and those of their readers validated, and a source of opposition funding neutralized. The fact they can't admit, to their suckers or to themselves, is that it was wealth that insulated Weinstein, not political orthodoxy. That's the part that's most Trumpian about the whole affair -- not so much the simple, shameless hypocrisy of President Pussygrabber's fans decrying Weinstein as the blithe misdirection of outrage from the actual perps onto whomever one needs to smear. However, if the thing blows up like it seems it might, conservatives might find whirlwinds aren't so easily steered. I can understand why they think they're protected; they got their chief predator elected president, and another big one is making his comeback after just a few months offstage. But if their wall of white women voters shifts with this wind, it'll be something, especially since they won't notice (because they don't listen to them) until it's too late.

• As to Trump's gut-stabs to Obamacare, conservatives are of course thrilled. So far the most interesting reaction has been Peter Suderman's at Reason, which may serve as a template for conservatarians who'll need something to shout from the scaffold once Trump's yokels realize they've been had. Written apparently after the association health plan decision was announced but before the subsidies decision was, Suderman's post describes the political difficulty with undermining the ACA:
There is something clever, almost cunning, about Obamacare's policy scheme: It requires unequivocal political support from an administration in order to avoid accusations that the law is being undermined. It is a kind of joint political-policy trap, in which the only solution to the law's failings is to bail it out.
Insidious -- a policy that, like Social Security and Medicare, makes people angry at you if you "reform" it! All Trump's really trying to do, Suderman says, is offer people who've been forced to buy essential health benefit coverage even though they'll never get sick "less regulated, less expensive alternatives" that will cost them little and, if they get hit by a car, send them Mercurochrome and a bill. "The order is less a direct attack on Obamacare and more of an attempt to escape its failings," he says. "Yet the reaction from defenders of Obamacare has been to accuse the president of undermining the health law." By defenders he must mean the American College of Physicians and all the other experts I've seen who say this is an invitation to a tailspin. Suderman admits okay maybe that'll happen, but the important thing is, if it does it's not Trump's fault -- the thing is, we have to do something and anything we do kills it, so I guess the thing is doomed:
This would be true, however, of practically any effort to create more insurance options outside of its regulatory scheme. The law effectively requires total buy in, from market participants and from political overseers, in order to function. The result is situation in which the only way to avoid undermining the law is to prop it up. Obamacare is built to allow no alternative and no escape.
There was an alternative -- a repeal and replace plan, three crap versions of which Republicans threw in with a towel before running off to the woods. They weren't serious about killing Obamacare because they have constituents who would turn them out if they did so; Trump, senile and vicious, can imagine no such outcome for himself, and knows only that the black bastard can't get away with it. Enablers like Suderman have their own motivation -- something they call liberty, which always involves great sacrifice, in this case the sacrifice of even a hint of the decent coverage that Europeans take for granted. They better pray that the hint wasn't taken.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017


Rod Dreher's back from another of his extended Parisian foodie boondoggles -- I swear, for someone who's always going on about Little Ways and common people he spends an awful lot of time in Yurrup, and not doing missionary work neither -- and has resumed his usual Ben Op/Get-Ready Man routine, supplemented with great lashings of Harvey Weinstein because it fits with his Fallen World scenario. But give him credit -- I looked in because I always expect him to exceed himself, and by God he has delivered.

This post is mostly about how 1.) Mark Lilla would be perfect if only he accepted Christ as his personal savior, and 2.) Ta-Nehisi Coates is a racist. At first I thought this was the plum of the post:
Ta-Nehisi Coates and [neo-Nazi] Richard Spencer are both atheists who have found a strong source of belief in their respective races.
But as loony as it is, it's of a piece with other Dork Right attacks on Coates, like this woo-woo at The Federalist by Dimestore Douthatwith Threenames about how Coates, in his perfectly reasonable prediction that America's inequality might lead to violent confrontation, is "feinting toward violence as a means... of achieving social justice," as if Coates had done the interview bare-chested and bandoliered and simultaneously strangled a white man.  (I can imagine Threenames in 1963 hearing Malcolm X talk about chickens coming home to roost and muttering, "see, what'd I tell you about those people.") No, the plum comes at the end:
Only a strong Christianity can counter this nihilistic tribal religion. But this we do not have today. I am on record as strongly disapproving of some of the antics of Milo Yiannopoulos, but he and I are on the same page here, in this excerpt from an interview with America magazine, which he says they refused to print...
By "on record as strongly disapproving," Dreher means posts about Milo like "CPAC Welcomes Pederasty Advocate." But convinced as Dreher is that gay marriage will destroy America (see his Obergefell essay, "Democracy Is Dying; Persecution Is Coming") unless he and his God Squad can destroy it first, he's nonetheless pimping for this recently-gaymarried aging twink because in the alleged unpublished America excerpt (Milo is a master of persecution-as-self-promotion), he praises in his lubricious way things Dreher loves: the military ("Now the men in uniform are much better men than I"), muscular Christanity ("too many in the Church keep masculinity hidden or the subject of shame"), and Rod Dreher:
I’m with Rod Dreher: Anybody who only preaches a namby-pamby God, and not the highly masculine God of Scripture, is leaving young men vulnerable to the monstrous false gods of race and ideology.
Looks like Milo is eager to be gathered in from the wilderness, and has wisely pegged Rod as among the easier gatekeepers to grease. Hope he at least got a reacharound!

Tuesday, October 10, 2017


Y'know, most of the time I occupy myself here by making fun of Jonah Goldberg and other mentally defective sinecure jockeys, and part of the reason for that is I don't want to just come to you good people with my opinions. I understand pure opinion, untainted by close reading or analysis or even evidence that the opinionator has walked a time or two around the block, is the real high-stakes game in today's media, and that's why Chris Cillizza is making, what, eleven million dollars to put out shit like "It took Hillary Clinton five days to issue this statement about Harvey Weinstein" (She has, so now we can go back to waiting for Greg Gutfeld to denounce Roger Ailes, I guess) and "Donald Trump is acting like a fifth-grade bully" -- boy, that'll twirl some tassels in the head office, huh fellas! Get a load:
Lyin' Ted. Lil' Marco. Low Energy Jeb. Crooked Hillary. Little Rocket Man. Pocahontas. 
It worked like a charm in the campaign. Trump's voters loved his lack of political correctness. They loved that he called politicians out. They loved that he refused to apologize for anything. 
The laughs Trump got from his name-calling masked a far darker -- and more toxic -- iteration of Trump's bullying.
"Far darker"! [yells into kitchen] Honey, did you know about this? GTFOOH. Trump has been like Pere Ubu meets Idi Amin for two years and suddenly Cillizza is playing Edward R. Murrow.

So I don't want to be that guy, in general and on principle, but you know what, it's been a long day and the last column was pretty good, so what the hell, I figure I can take five, stretch out and bloviate like the big boys a while. So here's what I think about this latest ooh-Trump-did-bad-this-time shit.

The hundred-dollar haircuts have been telling us for months that all the anger at Trump is coming from overeducated sissies like themselves and is therefore invalid -- that you millions-and-in-fact-majority of voters who hate Trump should just get with the Wisdom of the People and accept that squirrel-gun gomers rule America, lauded by their herald Salena Zito (let's see if she's still at it -- "who in D.C. or New York goes to a 'Gun Bash?' Plenty of people do in the West Newtons of the country..." ugh, guess she is). It may have seemed a lot to ask us, to read this defeatism week after week in their magazines and watch it on their newscasts, but the production values were excellent and besides, $100 Haircuts don't care -- they can afford to be self-abnegating, because their post-broadcast cocaine, hookers, and microneedling always lifts their self-esteem considerably. And anyway there were the funny news shows to indulge our alienation and outrage, so the serious newsies could stay all Questions Remain and This is When Trump Became President.

But all of a sudden now everyone is noticing Trump's approval isn't so hot anywhere -- not even in squirrel gun territory. Previous polls had a pall -- maybe those bad numbers were just all those educated, non-crazy majority voters, and we all know they don't count! Now even Bumfuck was standing down. Suddenly the White Working Class Whisperers aren't get the phone calls; J.D. Vance can't get his circus of star-spangled opioid addicts booked till Christmas.

Are the yokels coming around? I have a hunch on which I would so far lay only small money but, like I said, it's my day off so here goes: I don't think anybody has changed their minds. I think what they changed was the channel.

There have been plenty of people who would roar "hell yeah" every time Trump peed in the pool and a pollster asked about it. But it wasn't because they loved him. What America experienced last November was not so much a groundswell as a shrug: why not, at least it'll be fun. And it might even work.

I still believe a lot (not all!) of them are racist, sexist shitheels -- I believe this because I've seen them. But even shitheels have lives to live, just like the rest of us. And like the commercial fads that used to briefly animate the heartland in the dull years between conflagrations -- disco and boot-scootin' and C.B. radio -- Trump had his moment. I wouldn't say he jumped the shark, if only because "jumped the shark" has jumped the shark. But the numbers are running the wrong way. I mean, heartland Americans are acting sympathetic toward Puerto Ricans even though Trump specifically told them not to -- he even said "Puerto Rico" like it was black dialect at a Young Republican picnic to remind them that he was white and they weren't. Yet they sided with Chico against The Man. What's that tell you?

The thrill is gone. Women's marches and Trevor Noah didn't have much to do with it, and neither did common sense. The guy just wore out his welcome.

That doesn't mean he won't rise again in the polls. He'll kill some people, or applaud their killing, and that'll animate the base; he'll probably start a war, too, and some will always follow the bloody flag. But the cycles will be more normal, more responsive to the usual social and economic fluctuations than the testosterone surges of '16. Trump will golf and blab and tweet and roar just as Hammer had to haul out the parachute pants year after post-glory year. He'll still do a lot of damage, sure, but don't they all?

In short, the battle will be what it always has been, in reality -- against the rapacious, gun-crazed, life-hating, prion-diseased Republicans who need to be marched into the sea if we are to live. Probably a good thing we got the focus back on that.

Monday, October 09, 2017


...about the Harvey Weinstein revelations and the Milo revelations, and how it came to be that a liberal movie producer getting nailed for sexual harassment became an issue for Hillary Clinton, while a collusion of rich conservatives to promote Nazism in the United States is a non-story.

UPDATE. There's no end to the idiocy attendant on the Weinstein story, but the idea that the New York Times, which broke it, is bad because they didn't break the story sooner is just wormhole-to-another-dimension ridiculous, leading to this M.C. Escher sentence at RedState:
The Times is as responsible for Weinstein’s continued harassment of women as it is for his firing from The Weinstein Company.
I talk a lot about the eternal victim complex of conservatives, but in a way this is one of the best examples yet: Most of the time they refer to the Times and all the Mainstream Media the way Trump does -- as fake news, a joke, failing, etc. Then, when it suits them, the Times is all-powerful, the one force that can make or break Harvey Weinstein. RedState is supposed to be a journalistic enterprise -- why couldn't they, or National Review or even Breitbart have gotten Weinstein, brave truth-tellers that they are? They're the kind of shitheels who scream that all the cops are on the take, then call 911 when they lock their keys in the car and bitch about how long it took them to get there.

Thursday, October 05, 2017


If it's The American Conservative and the headline and header image look like this...

...and the author is someone whose parents actually named him Addison, you might expect some kind of kulturkampf fodderstompf, but Young Addison exceeds expectations:
It is the cosmopolitan D.C. crowd’s version of a riot: a horde of young men and women descending Sunday morning onto hundreds of barely differentiated joints to swallow down the same bottomless mimosas and “small plates” fashioned from the week’s leftovers.
I thought the D.C. version of a riot was a riot. (Or any anti-Trump protest, since all such events are automatically classed as riots by order of the Central Committee.) Also, I'm not one of the juvey brights Young Addison endeavors to diss, but I have been to a brunch or two and they do not resemble the joyless trough-feedings Young Addison describes unless someone is forced to invite their parents.
It is known as “brunch,” but the refined flavor of that word no longer reflects what it has become. Today it’s about extending the party. Brunch food is hangover food, and brunch is the finale of the quasi-religious weekend trifecta: bar crawl, Tinder hook-up, hungover brunch and hair-of-the-dog Bloody Marys with well vodka.
Oh, so that's his complaint -- brunch replenishes them for more ungodly revels!
Of course restaurants don’t advertise it this way.
I don't see why not. If they told the locals brunch is really mandatory debriefing for sex and drunkenness, they'd be booked through Valentine's Day.
But brunch in D.C. has evolved to be little more than a way for the young urban elite (today’s yuppies) to make their messy weekends look neat, drunkenness hip, and materialistic desires something other than hedonistic. It is a peculiarly coarse, even uncivilized ritual, cloaked in the respectability of Sunday morning.
Oh no... oh you're kidding...
Brunch has replaced Sunday worship. The bottomless mimosa is the blood of Christ.
Hallelujah brothers, we've found Ross Douthat's backup scold! 

But Young Addison is not just mad at sex, alcohol, and ungodliness -- he's also mad at all the other things you'd expect a priss like him to be mad at:
This city (I refuse to call it “this town”) is supposed to be a seat of diversity, ever more valued in the era of the “Resistance”; it is anything but. The brunch spots, as noted, are all the same. So are the patrons.
My thumbed teeth and spray of holy water on your diversity, your resistance, your colloquial speech! And also -- he says, unballing his fist, smoothing his hair and affecting unconcern -- it's awl suh-o boring:
Washington, more than many cities, is home to hordes of young people—of every race and ethnicity to be sure—who watch the same television shows, wear the same clothes, spray the same perfume, bend their necks towards the same few websites on the same little screens...
Gad, what a bunch of phonies! Oh wait, he's not done:
...speak with the same clean, clipped, often-too-fast accent, practice the same American religion which glorifies the utterly unattached individual, and live the same aimless life in which overthrowing the President of the United States is a more realistic prospect than getting married and having a family.
It just goes on and on like that, but I must note one other thing: Young Addison suggests all these damned kids trying to get phoney-baloney desk jobs are wasting their time and should look into trade school instead; "there are thousands more graduates of political science and government relations than there will ever be political scientists and government relations managers." A quick check of LinkedIn shows Young Addison attended the University of Maryland School of Public Policy -- literally inside the Beltway -- rather that Loyola Gonzaga Ave Maria Unaccredited, then interned at the D.C. think tank Worldwatch Institute before taking a gig there, from which I guess Opus Dei reassigned him to TAC. Shop class for thee but not for me! Well, I do recall from my spell in the One True Faith that hypocrisy is one of the requirements.

I must thank him for one thing, though, besides the laffs: Longtime readers know I hate D.C., overstuffed as it is with soulless careerist shits and dull as dun next to my Old Home Town, so it's nice to be brought into sympathy with the place, even if only for a moment.

On, another thing: That Young Addison is denouncing brunch when his obvious model and TAC head boy Rod Dreher is in the midst one of his frequent Parisian foodie boondoggles is a howl in itself.

Tuesday, October 03, 2017


Don’t look now but Jonah Goldberg has a podcast. The debut is here and no, no fucking way guys; last November I actually listened to a Reason podcast with Nick Gillespie and I still wake up shaking in the middle of the night. But I did read Goldberg’s stupid “G-file” letter on it (no link — it’s for fans!), and I can report that it’s full of the shitty goofy-image-Mad-Libs Goldberg considers jokes, and some director’s-cut insights into his working method:
I’m the first to admit that, like Flamenco Dancing or buffalo taxidermy, solo podcasting doesn’t come naturally to me.
What’d I tell you.
I don’t want to be an “interviewer.” Conversation good, Q&A boring. So I went into this with no notes and nothing prepared.
What a shock. Goldberg is so lazy I’m told when he wants to eat, he has one intern pack his maw with Cheetos and another intern put the belt from an old-fashioned reducing machine under his chin and turn it on high.
…In my imagination, I want [the podcast] to be like being stuck in an airport bar with a relatively sober Hunter S. Thompson, a tipsy William F. Buckley and a few entertaining strangers in the mix.
Yeeeahh that sounds great. Anyway why listen to the actual atrocity when we can enter the World of Pure Imagination:

GOLDBERG: Heidi ho, National Review interns, American Enterprise Institute interns, Heritage Foundation interns, and friends of my mother, it’s the Jonah Goldberg Podcast. I want to thank 3 Doors Down for that righteous musical intro aaaand I’ve just been handed a note, whoa, really nice stationery, “Arent and Fox” it says on the letterhead… okay, that was the last time we’re going to play that particular tune and I just want to say one of the worst things Obama did to this country was make people uptight about copyright laws. I mean think what if National Review was copyrighted. Copywritten. Whatever. I mean, who would have ever heard of William F. Buckley Jr. Or me! Something to think about. But I’m being rude to my guest, Megan McArdle, a columnist for the, uh, Weekly Standard, and I understand she’s working on a book about Puerto Rico and Hurricane Whatshername, isn’t that so?

MCARDLE: Literally none of that is true.

GOLDBERG: Hey, lighten up there, Megan! I’m just flying by the seat of my pants here, no prep, no notes, cuz “facts” and “proper attribution,” I mean boring, right? [tries to do Homer Simpson voice] Bo-ring! Did you recognize that? That’s, that’s, that’s the guy on The Simpsons.

MCARDLE: I’m a proud Bloomberg View columnist and I’m not writing a book about Puerto Rico — though I suppose I could, because I was surrounded by those people growing up in New York, and the fact that they’re still there filling up perfectly good East Village property with their housing developments despite their lack of economic dynamism is one of the worst things about the de Blasio Administration —

GOLDBERG: De Blasio, he’s the worst! You folks can’t see it but I’m giving him a big thumbs-down. And that goes double for Ma-Mumia-something-something whatshername the Puerto Rican.

MCARDLE: I mean God, the Italians, Italian-Americans I should say, they gave us all this gorgeous food that I enjoyed so much when I went to Italy. And what have the Puerto Ricans ever given us, culinarily? I mean guacamole, right? And what else? Refried beans. Yuck. It’s poor people food.

GOLDBERG: Yeah. Pretty ghetto. Pret-ty ghet-to. It’s the internet, we don’t have to be politically correct.

MCARDLE: Is there a gas leak in here?

GOLDBERG: Cheese, that’s cheese. I had a cheese. Have a cheese sandwich. In my pants. Pants pocket. [squeaking noise] That was the wind, a mouse. [rustles papers] Homina, homina. Please go on.

MCARDLE: But anyway, what I am interested in is the inevitable, like it’s so predictable, all these people after Las Vegas, talking about and it’s of course a terrible tragedy but they want to just get rid of the guns, like you could do that, and it’s like, haven’t you been paying attention, I mean like Marine Todd, well I mean not Todd he’s fake okay [laughs], but this other Marine, I saw him on CNN, this man took out an armed robber in a store because the robber did. Not. Know. He was a Marine. And those people? In Las Vegas? I mean maybe they were brainwashed by all those gun-control movies like, I don’t know, tsk, I’m sure you know what I mean, like —

GOLDBERG: Like Stop-Loss and Lions for Lambs.

MCARDLE: Uhhh, pretty sure they’re about Iraq.

GOLDBERG: Uhhhh, pretty sure not.

MCARDLE: Whatever, but these people in Las Vegas who just did what was expected of them and just ran and ducked and died, what they didn’t realize was that the sniper — he didn’t know whether they were Marines or not. Right? I mean, people gave me a hard time after Sandy Hook when I said rush the shooter. But what they didn’t know, and what just occurred to me now, is if the shooter thinks you’re a Marine, and you run toward him, then that shooter is going to hesitate and that’s when you get him, when he’s off his guard! Or if you can’t get to him because, and omigod I just realized this [laughs], he’s like twenty stories up in a hotel window, then you can go [in a deep voice] “Ooo-rah!” Like really loud. “Ooo-rah!” And that gives the police time to get him, because he’s intimidated because he thinks you're all Marines. Now, would it work? Would people do it? How should I know? But it certainly makes more sense than gun control. [Pause] Hello?

GOLDBERG: YES! Got the high score, BITCH! [Sound of chair tilting back and falling, GOLDBERG hitting the ground; GOLDBERG’S voice, slightly off-mike] OWWW! OMIGOD! SHOOT! That’s all we have time for! Oww! I wanna thank whatshername for coming on the podcast. [Loud farting sound] Sorry guys, I said I wouldn't but I had to activate the “gas cushion.” I hurt my bummy-bum real bad! [Cries; Three Stooges closing music]

Monday, October 02, 2017


As you would expect, wingnuts deprived of a dark-skinned boogeyman to blame the Vegas shooting on have already assumed their Defend The Guns posture, with The Federalist's Sean Davis assuring his readers that libtrads r dum because they're worried about automatic weapons, which are highly regulated (and expect Davis to strongly protest this fascist abridgment of the Sacred Second, once things have cooled down!), so you don't have to worry about those except when you do. It is easier to get semi-automatic weapons, but don't worry, those "will fire only one round per trigger pull while preparing the gun to fire another round when the trigger is pulled again," and how many people can you kill with that from a high window overlooking an outdoor concert before the cops get to you? You have to change the magazine every 30 rounds, and then you have to reload, or grab one of the other guns you have at arm's reach. Why, it may as well be a pea-shooter. Davis closes:
The sooner we can all agree to debate the facts, rather than be ruled by our emotions, the sooner we can work together for a solution to the problem of gun violence.
Given how much his guns have gone through, I'm glad Davis hasn't lost his sense of humor.

The weirdest thing, though, is David French at National Review:
Before I begin, let me clearly state two things. First, as I note in the title of this post, my observations are based on early reports, and early reports are often wrong. Second, do not read this post as implying any sort of conspiracy theory of any kind. I’m merely noting the facts as we currently understand them — and how they differ from recent mass shootings.
Sounds like the beginning of every Ancient Aliens show, doesn't it? French isn't saying it was aliens but...
So, a person who’s “not a gun guy” has either expended untold thousands of dollars to legally purchase fully-automatic weapons, somehow found them on the black market, or purchased and substantially modified multiple semi-automatic weapons — and did so with enough competence to create a sustained rate of fire. This same person also spent substantial sums purchasing just the right hotel room to maximize casualties. I cannot think of a single other mass shooter who went to this level of expense and planning in the entire history of the United States.
Soros, right? Must have been Soros. Or maybe it's just good old-fashioned American ingenuity! Come on, buddy, we put a man on the moon! Also, the shooter "doesn’t seem to fit any normal profile of a mass shooter" -- at least not the gibbering Muslim profile in French's head. French is a little behind Alex Jones in this regard, but give him time.

UPDATE. French has updated to note that ISIS has "tripled down" on its claim of responsibility for this old white man's attack -- that is, they jumped up and down three times as long as usual and even claimed the guy had a Jihad name, like Ish Kabibble or some shit. It's a clear sign of frustration that no one believes them, yet French is actually doing the old Questions Remain shtick ("a claim I initially discounted"), even reproducing a screengrab of an alleged ISIS communique (issued by "Abu Umayer," which I understand is Farsi for Heywood Jablome) because if this bullshit can misdirect even a few readers who were beginning to wonder why this country is so fucking gun crazy, it'll be worth it. "We’re only scratching the surface of a sad and horrible story," French closes before whipping out the Hypno Hate Wheel and crooning "you are getting sleeeepy, Moooooslims are coming to kiiiiiiill you."

Elsewhere French tells human interest stories to make you feel warm and fuzzy about the oceans of blood -- the title of his post, honest to God, is "‘Greater Love Hath No Man’ — Amidst the Horror of Las Vegas, There Are Stories of Courage and Sacrifice." From the Other Side, Cecil B. DeMille is scowling, "too much." Maybe in addition to clouding the issue it'll earn French some royalties on a few made-for-Christian-Cable movies. At least enough time had passed by then that French had more material to work with than poor Rich Lowry, who last night could only regale his readers with a story about a guy who chugged a beer and gave the shooter the finger. Shortly thereafter the Central Committee decided even the dummies who read National Review wouldn't go for the yee-haw angle, and started laying on the tinny piano music.


...about Trump's racist slagging of San Juan's Mayor for daring to suggest the mainland's treatment of her hurricane-smashed home was inadequate.

Among the director's cut bits: Conservatives who try to have their Trump and clean hands too are the worst  -- like Charles C.W. Cooke of National Review, who said, around a pat of unmelted butter, “Early criticisms of Trump on PR were unfair. Now he deserves everything he gets. Utterly disgraceful.” We only have to wait for the next phase, when San Juan finally drains, for Cooke to declare Trump the Kitchener of the Caribbean. (That should come soon enough: Bloomberg found a retired Navy captain who said the operation was doing fine, and RedState reported that a "Benghazi hero" delivered a “glorious smackdown” of Hillary Clinton, who defended the Mayor.)

As usual the brethren worked their populist bona fides by denouncing celebrities who were upset about Puerto Rico. “Bubble Boobed Bimbo Kim Kardashian Trashes Trump Over Puerto Rico,” snarled Conservative Daily News. (They get bonus points for using “triggered” and the bogus Nobody-voted-for-Hillary map.) NewsBusters attacked Lin-Manuel Miranda, the brains behind Hamilton (that musical despised by the brethren for its cast’s gentle rebuke of Mike Pence) and a major fundraiser for Puerto Rican relief, for calling out Trump because Miranda had tweeted thanks to Trump when the operation started and withdrawn it when the full extent of the clusterfuck became known. Miranda apparently doesn’t know what conservatives know — that when Trump fucks you over, you’re supposed to double down on your sycophancy.

Thursday, September 28, 2017


I gave my tribute to Hefner years ago, through my ode to the Playboy After Dark TV show:
You're a little boy in Bridgeport, CT. Mom's asleep and you have the TV on. On Channel 11 you see a POV shot of someone arriving at the door of a penthouse suite. The door opens to reveal Hugh Hefner in a tuxedo. "Oh, hello," Hef murmurs, graciously removing the pipe from his mouth, "So glad you could join us. Come on inside, and meet my guests." The guests include Marvin Gaye, Shel Silverstein, Buck Henry, the Byrds, and, slithering around these celebs, gents in After Six evening wear and chicks in mini-dresses, all carrying cocktail glasses and looking exceedingly comfortable with themselves. I know what I want to be when I grow up! you cry to yourself. I want to be--a bachelor!
The now-dead Hefner's role in the sexual revolution has been overstated, or maybe misstated: he was mainly a savvy marketer. Nudity was already on the scene; he just classed it up, packaging it with serious-people interviews and world-class photography, fiction, and journalism. The symbiosis worked like a charm -- men got the message that the porn was classy because it came with intellectual stuff and reviews of high-end products, and was art-directed and copywritten to the highest specs. It is easier now than it was in my adolescence, or even for years afterward, to see that conflating women's bodies with Bang and Olufsen and dollar-a-word fiction as dream objects was not healthy. But then, capitalism isn't doing our psyches any favors generally.

Anyway, I've been enjoying the obits from comservative writers, who seem divided between those who think commodification is just darn fine and those who insincerely deny that they're fantasizing Hef roasting in hell. At The Federalist, Ben Domenech takes the former side, and continues to prove my theory that when he plagiarized, he did so not out of laziness or panic as most do, but to spare himself the embarrassment of his own writing:
Hefner’s death comes at a time of deep confusion for the country about all sorts of things sexual in nature.
Maybe for you, buddy.
Embedded in his work was the idea that what we appreciate in one another isn’t sexless. It’s deeply rooted in our differences. Without those differences, sex itself becomes much less interesting.
How can homos enjoy sex, without tits to squeeze? (Lesbos I can see.)
So while he was derided as selling prurience and stereotypes to the profane and stereotypical, he was actually celebrating the sexual complementarity that has bound men and women together since the dawn of time. The fact this idea has become a problematic one in some pockets of American culture is one Hefner would doubtless find absurd – he built an entire empire on it, after all.
I can never hear a wingnut go on about "complementary" boygirl sex without hearing Professor Robert P. George's old rant about "sexually complementary spouses" versus "Masturbatory, sodomitical, and other sexual acts which are not reproductive in type, [and] cannot unite persons organically." Maybe you think of mustard and ketchup. Either way, lol.

On the other side, as I said, lots of highly suppressed hellfire fantasies -- e.g. Susan Wright at Red State:
Does that mean I don’t hope for a peaceful afterlife for Mr. Hefner?

Not at all. My most sincere hope and desire is that as the sun set over Hefner’s life, he had this epiphany of his own mortality, and his desperate need for forgiveness.
Or at least one last orgasm. Wright finishes up (fnarr fnarr) by telling us she won't pray for the heathen, but for "mercy for a society that has too readily forgotten the family and embraced perversion." Hope you filthy sinners appreciate it! I'll close with this remembrance from Anonymous Conservative:
He had the upper lip and naso-labial folds of a man who I would have assumed had been at least sexually abused as a child, if not been outright homosexual.
If these guys have their own version of Hef's grotto, I shudder to think what's in it.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017


Weep for Megan McArdle. She's been hurt so many times -- first by the Supreme Court failing to kill Obamacare in 2012: "my day lilies are still blooming beautifully," she said then, bravely, through shaking lips and tears; "...I assume that we're all looking forward to seeing Obama campaign on his large middle class tax hike. Pass the popcorn!" As if Obama's reelection a few months later weren't worse enough, she has lately had to sit through a couple of other disastrous repeal-and-replace attempts; but when last week Republicans' hopes revived for Graham-Cassidy, so did McArdle's, and she dared to dream of a future where the rickety Rube Goldberg ACA version of national health care lay in ruins and the Democrats must beg for socialized medicine in the streets:
The left can pass another Obamacare, or some different, more expansive plan. But to do so, they will have to go through the whole painful process of passing Obamacare all over again: soothe or pay off all the anxious interest groups; find the extra tax dollars to fund it; reassure voters who have good insurance that they will not lose by the new plan. 
This task will be immensely harder in Round 2 than it was in 2010. By the time they get around to it (in 2020, soonest), Democrats will be forced to scavenge for new sources of funding at the same time as every predator on K Street is scouring the landscape to feed our existing defense commitments and rapidly growing entitlement burden.
That'll show those scavenging moochers! So engrossed was she in her vengeance fantasy, she lapsed into that hoary Peggy Noonan passive-aggressive shtick, counseling Democrats to win big by being Republicans:
Can Democrats win back states they’ve lost by marching into 50 capitols and proposing single payer? Certainly not. But they may be able to win back those states by designing local solutions that fit the local politics, economy and cultural values, while pushing those places a little closer to progressive ideals. And in the process, they might bring some political diversity into their own party, which would be good for Democratic electoral fortunes, and good for America.
Well, today Graham-Cassidy collapsed, and mainly for a reason McArdle could never bring herself to even acknowledge: That no Senator who absolutely didn't have to attach himself or herself to this bill would do so, because the bill was as popular as cancer (just one of the many diseases that under Graham-Cassidy would have bankrupted and/or killed many more Americans than before). Even Trumpkins hated it because, as much as they may hate Colin Kaepernick and people who can read and write, they hate even more the idea of dying just so some rich fuck can be richer still.

And this has been the problem with all the repealreplacements -- Republicans have to show voters they're serious about getting rid of the black guy's health care thing, but can't even pretend to fill the gap with something that won't straight-up kill them, let alone something that would actually improve their lives. Anyone who could be held responsible for such a bill's passage would be hunted down by his or her constituents, as the President is fond of saying, like a dog. So they do these little Kabuki shows that always end with them hanging their heads in front of the microphones and pledging to do better next time while Trump raves on his golden toilet.

Because that's all they can do. It's so plain it takes a pundit not to see it.

I'm not a sentimental fellow, but when I imagine McArdle having to confront the fact that the sole remaining health care bill before the Senate now is Medicare For All,  and that even chucklehead outfits like Politico have to admit single payer "is fairly popular — at least in principle" (their strangulated way of saying it won their poll 49-35), well, I can hardly keep from laughing.