Wednesday, November 29, 2017


I see we've had a nice fat crop of white people telling the codetalkers and their families that calling Elizabeth Warren "Pocahantas" at a ceremony meant to celebrate Native-American achievements isn't racist -- why, it's every bit as legit as if they called that "halfrican" Obama "Rastus" or "Shoeshine Boy." (It'd be his own fault for calling himself "black," the big Kenyan liar!)

Let's look at the version of this shtick offered by Mollie Hemingway -- one of the few writers at The Federalist who knows what she's doing (i.e., soulless propaganda):
Democrats and their media footsoldiers decided it’s racist to mock someone for falsely claiming to be Native American. For example, Jim Acosta of CNN wrote: “WH press sec says ‘Pocahontas’ is not a racial slur. (Fact check: it is.)” 
Uh, fact check: no.
Well, that's all the defense her readers will need. But just in case--
For one thing, as Gabriel Malor said...
Ha ha, that's good. I guess if you're going to defend Trump's slur by pretending it's not a slur, citing a gay gay who defends RFRAs makes thematic sense at least.

But hold the phone, Hemingway's got a hat trick: The column is called "Calling Pence A Liar While Protecting Warren Is Why People Hate Media," and the big gotcha is that stoopid libs defend Warren for repeating what her family told her about her Indian heritage, but the Washington Post calls it a lie when Mike Pence truthfully says, "There are more Americans working today than ever before in American history." As Hemingway tells it:
In fact, it is factually correct to say that more Americans are working now than ever before. The Washington Post admits this, showcases the numbers (124 million, up from 65 million in 1968), and says Pence is “technically correct.” So they give him, quite amazingly, three Pinocchios, their little metric that summarizes their analysis of the truthfulness of the statement. Then they admit they wanted to give him four Pinocchios but were constrained by the fact that what he said was true. I'm not joking.
But Pence complimenting his own administration for having more Americans working than ever before is pretty much giving Trump credit for America having more Americans than ever before. From the Post fact-checker, Nicole Lewis:
In 2016 the labor force participation rate for Americans ages 25 to 54 hovered around 81 percent, but it peaked in 1997 at 84 percent. The rate is often used by economists as an indicator of the health of the job market. The higher the number, the healthier the market... 
Of course there are more Americans working. That’s because there are more Americans today than ever before.
We were tempted to say that Pence earns Four Pinocchios, but the numbers are technically correct. Yet they are so devoid of meaning that Pence and the people who applauded his statement should be ashamed.
People who can read, write, and cipher understand that "technically correct" is the right term here, as it is correct in the sense that it would be correct to say when Bill Gates walks into a bar, the mean salary of the patrons exceeds a million -- accurate but meaningless.

Hemingway's traditional treacly mix of moral dudgeon and three-card-monte logic is always annoying, but what makes this even worse is, she's arguing that Warren's claim of Indian heritage -- which, like the claims of a lot of Americans to such heritage, is supported only anecdotally -- is so big a lie that it can be compared unfavorably to the behavior of Donald Trump,  the most notorious and extensively-documented liar in American history.

This is the sort of thing you can only get away with when your readership's minds are so poisoned by years of dumb how-me-big-chief gags about Warren that it's all they've ever cared to know about her; that one impression has become so significant to them, and they're so convinced it's damning, that they hardly notice she beat their heart-throb Scott Brown to win back a Senate seat for the Democrats and is significantly more popular than Trump.

Both Trump and Hemingway notice, though, which is why they bang that one tom-tom (forgive me) over and over. It's also why Hemingway throws in the "Why People Hate Media" bit -- like the Warren woo-woo, it's so detached from objective reality (have you seen Republicans' favorability numbers lately?) it's practically meta.

Sadly, Trump and Hemingway are also able to put this over on some mainstream media dummies, too ("Elizabeth Warren's Pocahontas Pickle" -- oh, fuck you). The good news is that maybe all the pissy media guys who like to beat up on female Democrats will be fired for sexual misconduct by the next election.

Monday, November 27, 2017


(In this case, his racist belch over his Native American guests today.)

I often say that Trump’s obvious social and mental disabilities are not really the important thing, because he’s only carrying out the sabotage of others, and not thinking up any of this himself.

What is meaningful about them, though, is seen on occasions like this — when the extent of his disability is so obvious, we are reminded that his handlers (foreign and/or domestic) must have sought, and felt fortunate to get, someone who is so helplessly self-centered that as long as he were allowed to act out his childish fantasies of dominance, there would be no danger that he’d ever acquire an independent thought that might blow their scheme.

Think about that the next time that fuckwad Paul Ryan or any of the rest of them shakes their heads and makes vague demurrers over some asshole thing Trump did, then rushes back to work on some society-wrecking abomination they can get Trump to sign.

Which is to say, Trump is the true heir to Ronald Reagan. Like Reagan, he'll probably follow up his disastrous reign with a fat payday tour of Japan -- unlike Reagan, though, when he gets there he'll probably push up the corners of his eyes and go "me Chinee, me play joke, me make pee-pee in your Coke." 


...about rightbloggers' Thanksgiving, and a very good one it was, too; when they weren't stroking themselves, they were stroked by the New York Times, the Washington Post, et alia. It's almost as if Trump were not an outlier in American expectations of governance, after all.

It didn't meet our theme so I left off my favorite gibberish from last week: National Review’s Kevin D. Williamson, who celebrated the death of a famous murderer by portraying him as a liberal icon in “Charles Manson’s Radical Chic.”

Yeah, guys, I know, but hear him out: “The history of the postwar period is the history of the struggle against Communism,” begins Williamson. “What’s sometimes forgotten — conveniently forgotten — is that our victory in that struggle was far from assured, and that a substantial swath of the Western intelligentsia and much of its celebrity culture was on the other side. It wasn’t just Jane Fonda and Noam Chomsky, Walter Duranty and Lincoln Steffens…”

Not getting the relevance yet? Well, perhaps this will convince you: “‘First they killed those pigs, then they ate dinner in the same room with them, then they even shoved a fork into a victim’s stomach. Wild!’ That was the assessment of…” Jane Fonda? William Proxmire? No, radical firebrand Bernardine Dohrn. And she knew Obama in Chicago. Manson to Dohrn to Obama — see, it all adds up, and also explains Obama’s Mansonian acid-is-groovy, kill-the-pigs policies as president.

Plus, argues Williamson, not only were the Sixties bad politically, “even the music was joyless, Jimi Hendrix letting his virtuosity go to rot while plonking out a honking flatted fifth, the ugliest chord in music (‘diabolus in musica,’ they call it) to open ‘Purple Haze’…” If you stupid normies knew music like Kevin D. Williamson, you’d throw away your “rock” and “rap” and, when you’re feeling festive, instead crank the speeches of Enoch Powell.

Anyway, enjoy the column; don't just leave it for extraterrestrial anthropologists to unearth and enjoy after we've destroyed the planet a couple of years from now.

UPDATE. Had to go back and correct the spelling of Bernardine Dohrn's name -- which is weird, right, since she's such an important figure among us liberals. It's like misspelling Alinsky!

Tuesday, November 21, 2017


Another piece by your humble narrator at America's finest literary magazine, The Sherman Oaks Review of Books.


We've reached a nadir -- well, a new nadir -- in the Al Franken case with this accusation that screamingly obvious joke photos made by Franken and Arianna Huffington for promo purposes are evidence of Huffington's sexual assault, even after Huffington said that they were not.

Note that the New York Post and Daily Caller stories both refer to Huffington as a "self-described feminist," a usage clearly meant to suggest that Huffington is a hypocrite for not accusing Franken -- in fact, that she is instead collaborating with Franken in her own assault! It'd be neat if they could pull that off: A Democrat sex crime where both the Senator and the woman are bad, and the real victim is the wingnut press.

Any accusation deserves to be taken seriously, but there's serious and then there's just gullible.

UPDATE. Let's Just Give Up On Humanity, A Series: Huffington ran a different photo from that shoot of herself strangling Franken, to make the point that (imagine me speaking very slowly and distinctly now) sometimes people do funny jokes for pictures, see; that's what the funny man was doing before, and that's what the cheapskate publisher is doing here. Here are some of the responses:

This shit makes Idiocracy look like My Dinner with Andre.

Monday, November 20, 2017


...about the Al Franken imbroglio, as well as the attempts of some liberals to reexamine the Clinton impeachment, and the ways in which conservatives have attempted to weaponize these events for their own ends. I hope you won't think me ungenerous in saying that these guys are not interested in advancing the Believe Women movement. They're just trying to take the post-Weinstein moment, in which abused women are getting a little more attention and credence than usual, and exploit it. You can see it especially clearly in the pissy oh-yeah-you-libs-are-supposed-to-be-feminists routines from conservatives like Laura K Potter at RedState:
We’d at least expect former presidential candidate, Mrs. Hillary Clinton to express some sort of support for Ms. Leeann Tweeden, as a fellow woman and believer of all those who come forward, right?...

Nope. Nothing. Third wave feminism is showing, once again, that women deserve to be heard and respected if they hold they correct (read: progressive) viewpoints.
If you'e thinking, wait a minute, Clinton did make a measured and reasonable statement about Franken -- well, yes, but not at the moment when Potter was looking at her Twitter feed, and when you write for RedState there's no point in updating. (Potter's only subsequent article at this writing is, awesomely, "International Men’s Day Spotlight On Male Suicides.")

The culture warriors got into it, too: You saw here last week how Jonathan V. Last at The Weekly Standard took a journey through the past and ranted about the drugs these damn hippies were using on Saturday Night Live and the soiled honor of Spiro T. Agnew. President Trump himself brought up a sketch Franken and other SNL writers worked on, in drafts of which multiple celebrities get raped by Andy Rooney, as if it proved anything except SNL writers took a lot of drugs -- and, for the millionth time, that conservatives don’t understand the difference between fiction and reality.

But Rod Dreher, as usual, outstripped them all in Fallen World paranoia with a froth of outrage over one of the last really funny things SNL did, the 40-year-old "Uncle Roy" sketch with Buck Henry. What's that got to do with Franken? Get a load:
I tried to find out if Al Franken wrote that skit, but my research indicates it was his frequent writing partner, the late Tom Davis. I was wrong — as two readers who watched the Henry interview till the end point out, it was two women: Rosie Shuster and Ann Beatts. Anyway, the reader sends in this more recent clip of Buck Henry defending the integrity of laughing at pedophilia...
And here's a clip of W.C. Fields laughing at blindness! And what about Mel Brooks laughing at Nazis? All these Hollyweirdos are corrupt!
Again: Al Franken did not write the Uncle Roy skit, though he was part of the team that aired it. I’m not saying that Al Franken is soft of pedophilia! I am saying, however, that the 1970s and those who were at the leading edge of pop culture’s evolution back then are probably going to have a lot to answer for as more and more people come out about being sexually harassed or assaulted. I’m wondering if this purgatory spasm we’re living through is going to consume way more famous Baby Boomer males than we can even imagine.
The whole thing's a pisser but what's most amazing, or what would be amazing if we weren't so used to Dreher shattering the limits of ridic, is that he kept going even after admitting his whole premise was wrong.

Finally, to Andrew Sullivan: Dude, let it go.

One other thing that's struck me is the way the brethren deal with the lack of contact between Franken’s hands and Tweeden’s breasts in the famous photograph. Like Peter Hasson at the Daily Caller: “Franken’s defenders in the media have also given him credit for, they say, not fully groping Tweeden.”  I guess in sexual assault close counts, like in horseshoes. (I should add it's not only rightbloggers -- MSM types have fallen into it, too, like Nate Silver, who said the photo "appeared to show Franken groping Tweeden’s breasts while she was sleeping — not providing a lot of room for 'if true' statements about Franken’s conduct." If you're not watching that three-card-monte of a sentence closely, you'll come away thinking he's feeling her up.)

Also, thanks for Yastreblyansky and Sentient Al from the Future in comments for pointing out that the Menendez underage claims  to which Nolte alluded never panned out; I had something about that in the original but didn't feel the column would bear the time it would take to explain -- which is, come to think of it, how a lot of their shit gets over.

Friday, November 17, 2017


Cranky old David Thomas totally bailed emotionally when the band did this last Thursday in D.C.,
but fortunately we have the artifact.

It may be that I am insufficiently woke, but the story of Al Franken kissing a woman who wasn't into it seems more sad than monstrous to me; as for Franken pretending to grope her, we'll just have to agree to disagree whether that's a criminal matter. I do notice that numerous liberals have rushed to demand Franken's resignation and some Democratic Senate colleagues (and Franken himself) have demanded he be formally investigated. Rightwingers, meanwhile, either accused liberals of covering up for him or laughed at them for being stupid enough to fall for their feigned outrage ("Can you imagine how the left must be twisting up as they are turning on one of their own? Al Franken has been thrown under the bus"). The worst response so far, however, comes from Jonathan V. Last of the Weekly Standard, whose headline, "Al Franken: Even Worse Than You Think," should be actionable under Truth in Advertising laws. Last opens by quoting Franken about his time at Saturday Night Live:
There was not as much cocaine as you would think on the premises. Yeah, a number of people got in trouble. But cocaine was used mainly just to stay up. There was a very undisicplined way of writing the show, which was staying up all night on Tuesday. We didn't have the kind of hours that normal people have. And so there was a lot of waiting until Tuesday night, and then going all night, and at two or three or four in the morning, doing some coke to stay up, as opposed to doing a whole bunch, and doing nitrous oxide, and laughing at stuff. People used to ask me about this and I'd always say, "No, there was no coke. It's impossible to do the kind of show we were doing and do drugs." And that was just a funny lie that I liked to tell. Kind of the opposite was true, unfortunately, for some people, it was impossible to do the show without the drugs.
Here is how Last responds to this mild it-was-the-70s anecdote:
So Franken liked to tell funny lies about not using drugs when he wasn’t writing a book castigating Republicans which was titled -- this is so great -- Lies: And the Lying Liars Who Tell Them. Maybe now when he says that he “doesn’t remember” his encounter with Tweenden the way she describes it, this is a funny lie, too.
He also suggests that Franken was guilty of "distributing" drugs because John Belushi did some of his blow. The "funny lies" bit is perfect enraged-dorkspeak -- sputter, you took drugs and yet didn't turn yourself in, now John Belushi is dead and it's all your fault, so what else are you lying about Mr. Funny Liar??? Speaking of your high school guidance counselor, Last is also mad that Franken slurred Spiro Agnew:
I mean, sure, Agnew fought in the Battle of the Bulge and was awarded a Bronze Star. And yeah, I guess it’s true that as governor of Maryland, Agnew repealed the state’s laws against interracial marriage. But you know, he was a double-plus bad Republican and Franken was a coked-up, 20-something comedian in New York. So he really showed that guy.
You are more likely to know Agnew as a guy who pleaded out of a kickbacks charge and had to resign the Vice-Presidency, but that's probably because you're a damn cokehead.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017


Matthew Yglesias on the Clinton impeachment (yes, the cool kids are talking about that again -- but with a modern twist):
To this line of argument, Republicans offered what was fundamentally the wrong countercharge. They argued that in the effort to spare himself from the personal and marital embarrassment entailed by having the affair exposed, Clinton committed perjury when testifying about the matter in a deposition related to Paula Jones’s lawsuit against him. 
What they should have argued was something simpler: A president who uses the power of the Oval Office to seduce a 20-something subordinate is morally bankrupt and contributing, in a meaningful way, to a serious social problem that disadvantages millions of women throughout their lives.
Yeah, that would have worked. "Perjury is a non-starter -- let's go with my notes from a seminar on power relations!"

Clinton had sex with an adult woman not his wife. Not great, morally, but not Bluebeard either. Yglesias, no doubt borne aloft by the recent wave of sex crimes outrage, wants to revisit the case as one of "men’s abuse of workplace power for sexual gain," worthy of impeachment. The national revulsion at rape and harassment, I can get; the idea that sexual relations are only legitimate if they occur between members of the same caste, not so much -- and certainly not as an impeachable offense.

You can tell Yglesias doesn't really believe in it either, because he brings up the much more serious accusations of Juanita Broaddrick as if they might tip the jury. If he really wanted to stick to the subject, he might have named for us some other consensual relationships he thinks are power-imbalanced in the same way as Clinton's and Lewinsky's. Maybe he could have mentioned David Brooks' marriage to his much-younger former research assistant, for example, or other relationships where one or the other party has more money, a higher profile, more street cred, or whatever, and may thus be judged exploitative. But that might have gotten him in trouble, whereas relitigating the Clinton impeachment is au courant, and a way to signal to your rightwing pals that you take this stuff just as seriously as they do -- which is to say, not at all.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017


If you look at Roy Moore's official political positions, you'll see that he's as hardcore a conservative as can be imagined: In favor of "lower taxes, smaller government, and less spending," anti-abortion, anti-immigrant, against "socialized medicine," thinks "homosexuality should be against military policy," etc.

But now he's an embarrassment, so John Daniel Davidson of The Federalist wishes to inform you:
Long Before Assault Allegations, Roy Moore Betrayed Conservatism
Social conservatives embraced Roy Moore because they thought he was fighting for them. In fact, Moore was never a conservative to begin with.
You have probably guessed Davidson's MacGuffin here is Moore's defiance as a judge that got him kicked off the bench -- proof of his "History of Contempt for The Law," which makes him unconservative because real conservatives respect the law. If you look up No True Scotsman in the dictionary, they have a picture of Davidson's column next to it.

Weirdly, when Davidson covered Moore's victory in the Republican primary in September, he didn't denounce his Constitutional crimes, nor weep for the defeat of conservatism in Alabama -- in fact Davidson said Moore's victory was about "the waning influence of the GOP establishment," and it proved that "mainstream Republicans like McConnell haven fallen out of favor with conservative voters." So conservative voters elected this unconservative. They must have been greatly confused!

Once upon a time I'd have given Davidson points for chutzpah, but I've stopped doing that because it appears every conservative in the country is stocked up on chutzpah these days, having no other way to sell their bullshit in the teeth of obviously contradictory reality. The fuckers have even wrecked chutzpah! No wonder Roger Stone is going down.

Monday, November 13, 2017


...about Roy Moore, the election, and the awkward position into which both have put conservatives -- which may explain why they're not entirely united in defense of their accused kid-diddler. Of course, if the Alabama special election were a true Senate-hangs-in-the-balance scenario, we might get the kind of bad faith and bullshit we got when conservatives were hemming and hawing over Trump's pussy-grabbing tape. But since it's merely important, and still winnable, they're allowed to break ranks.

UPDATE: Man, if he's not fucked after this... 

Thursday, November 09, 2017


Today in What's Rod Dreher On About This Time we find the Get-Ready Man inspired by James Poulos, whose bright idea is that, since America has been ruined for the Godly by atheistic sex freaks, maybe the Godly should leave America and go colonize Europe -- you know, the way religious cults used to take over territories in the American outland and establish monocultural enclaves like Rajneeshpuram and Ave Maria --
...growing numbers in the U.S. may conclude that the only way to retain the essential character of the West is to relocate to Europe...

Not every American will pose that question or act on it. But for those who can match a personal interest in doing so to a more cultural or ideological interest in helping “save” Europe from another traumatizing and turbulent break with its past, returning to the old world for the good of western civilization may hold a unique and powerful appeal.
Poulos briefly acknowledges that "the refusal of large numbers of Americans to seek their fortune outside their country even when it has become effectively impossible for them to live fruitfully at home" may owe in part to the fact that not every Godly-American is a trust fund kid with enough dough to take himself and his quiverful off to Belgium for a Gap Lifetime -- he even brings up drug addiction as an impediment because that's really hot when talking about the poors these days -- but finally realizes paupers don't read shit like this anyway and declares "the primary obstacle to seeking better fortunes overseas is probably a raw lack of imagination — an inability to conceive of a picture of a future outside the new world." So bootstrap your imaginations, Jesus peeps -- maybe run a for-profit education scam like The Leader to fund your travels, or better yet a Kickstarter! Hell, Kim Du Toit did it even before Kickstarter was a thing.

Nutty as that is, Dreher's reaction is ever better. First, he wistfully declares that if he were a younger man, he might do just this:
I don’t want Notre Dame de Paris to become either a mosque or a museum. There’s something in me that wants to resist by loving these things that we Christians in the West have been given, but have for far too long left uncherished.
I assume Dreher's idea of loving Notre Dame is banding together with like-minded morons in front of the place to form a cordon sanitaire against Muslims. Dreher also talks about how he loves all the old things you can see in Europe and "feel[s] at home in Europe in ways that I just don’t in America" -- he's not the only one wearing sandals, for one thing -- and as an unbidden bonus (maybe the old lady walked by, looked over his shoulder, and muttered, "Is it already time for another foodie vacation?"), leaps to a defense of his many gastrotravels:
Yes, it’s true that I love to take vacations to Europe. The food is something I love, but there’s a lot more to it than that. Aside from being delicious, the cuisines of European countries are expressions of deep and abiding traditions. I have a sacramental mentality, which means that I don’t sit down at a table in the Umbrian mountains and eat an antipasti platter of cured meats and experience them as merely delicious. I learn what I can about why cured meats, and cured meats in this particular style, came to be associated with this region, or this village, and what the cooking here says about the local culture and its traditions. I like to eat good local food and drink good local wine or beer. That’s one of life’s great pleasures.
See, when you ignorant peons eat fancy food, you're just gorging, but Rod's sacramental -- meaning, I suppose, that when he says grace he does so in a dreamy voice meant to convey his sacramentality.

No wonder his family didn't want his bouillabaisse; all that sanctimony probably spoiled the flavor.

Tuesday, November 07, 2017


As I watch wingnut bête noire Bill De Blasio cruising and Democrats romping in Jersey and Virginia, it is clear that for conservatives hoping to distract from the disastrous reign of Trump, the strategy of hailing the Sutherland Springs massacre as a feel-good story because only 26 people died, and spreading the David Harsanyi gospel of "Bringing A Gun To Church Is A Pretty Good Idea" and the Hans Feine gospel of "When The Saints Of First Baptist Church Were Murdered, God Was Answering Their Prayers," and accusing people who sensibly found that crazy of "making fun of prayer," turned out not to be the game-changer they may have been expecting.

The game show host is losing in the ratings, and the attention of the electorate has been redirected to the traditional rightwing spokespeople, who are clearly nuts. The result could have been predicted.

Monday, November 06, 2017


[The Sutherland Springs shooting required that I rewrite, as we say in the journalism business, my Village Voice column last night. But a rough version of the original still sits on my laptop and I figure you might get a kick out of it.]

Hear about the big antifa “civil war” last weekend? Kidding, it didn’t actually happen — and when it didn’t, rightbloggers took credit.

Rumors that The Left would go all Helter Skelter on Saturday had apparently been brewing on the right since August, when old-left group Refuse Fascism called for a nationwide “struggle” against Trump, Pence, and The Man, begining with demonstrations on November 4.

I’ve seen these guys as part (a small part) of anti-Trump events before, and their efforts probably wouldn’t have entered public consciousness were it not for rightwing reports by internet randos about a “civil war” that “antifa” — the randos’ generic term, apparently, for all leftist boogiemen — were planning for November 4.

Word spread among other conservative sites. “America is poised for revolution, and a date has been set, November 4, 2017,” warned Catholic Online.

“’Antifa' preps mass uprising to remove 'fascist' Trump,” reported WorldNetDaily. Like many of the story-spreaders, they started out talking about antifa (“The far-left group known as ‘antifa’ has dramatically increased its presence”), then suddenly switched gears to talk about Refuse Fascism (“On Nov. 4, the group Refuse Fascism is calling for gatherings around America to demand ‘the Trump/Pence regime must go’”).

And of course Infowars was all over it (“ALT-LEFT PLANS ANTI-TRUMP RIOTS IN MAJOR CITIES ON NOVEMBER 4”).

The story even got some play at Politico in a Taylor Gee story called “Inside the Left’s Plans to Occupy Trump.” Though Gee did wonder “whether Refuse Fascism can persuade anyone to show up on November 4,” the Politico placement gave rightboggers’ forebodings an air of legitimacy, and it was cited by rightblogger outfits such as Ben Shapiro's Daily Wire (“POLITICO is being generous when it calls the group's message ‘hazy’”).

All this publicity apparently got the Refuse Fascism guys so excited they took out a full-age ad in the New York Times — or as The New American, confused as to the nature of newspaper advertising, reported, “NY Times Promotes Antifa-Communist Coup Effort Against Trump for Nov. 4.”

As conservatives counted down the days to the new civil war, leftwing wiseguys teased them mercilessly; @KrangTNelson goaded, “Can’t wait for November 4th when millions of antifa supersoldiers will behead all white parents and small business owners in the town square.” A retweet of this taunt was promptly picked up by the notoriously credulous Gateway Pundit: “ANTIFA Leader: “November 4th […] millions of antifa supersoldiers will behead all white parents.”

When informed of their pwnage, Gateway Pundit pretended to be mortally offended (“Imagine for a second if I, or any other conservative with a public voice, tweeted out a ‘joke’ about how we should ‘behead all black parents’”) while other rightbloggers banged the drum even harder:

“Antifa plans massive demonstration for one demand – and it’s about Trump,” cried Glenn Beck’s The Blaze.“Antifa Rallies Planned in at Least 20 U.S. Cities — Won’t ‘Stop Until This Regime Driven from Power,’” announced SGT Report.

“More than 20 cities across the nation fear protest marches on Saturday to demand Trump's removal from office could be hijacked by violent anarchists,” long-breathed the Daily Mail. “USA coast to coast RIOTS planned TODAY as Antifa anarchists hijack anti-Trump protests,” claimed the Sunday Express.

Legit outlets like the Washington Post and Newsweek tried to calm them down, but why should patriots in the Age of Trump listen to the Fake News Lügenpresse — especially since Fox News was out there telling the real story: “Anarchist group's plan to overthrow Trump 'regime' starts Saturday,” Caleb Park told Fox’s audience of terrified elderly shut-ins at their website; the TV station, of course, did the same.

The 4th came and went and only a few small and non-violent rallies materialized. Did the brethren admit at last they’d been conned? On the contrary: They declared victory.

“Antifa Activists Overwhelmed by Huge Trump Supporter Contingent in Austin, Texas — Forced to Slink Away (VIDEO),” announced Gateway Pundit.

“George Soros may want his money back today after Refuse Fascism's mass insurrection failed to materialize on November 4,” laffed Debra Heine at PJ Media.

“Nationwide Soros-Funded, Antifa 'Uprising' To Remove Trump From Office Fails,” reported Zero Hedge, which further reported that the protests fizzled even though they had “received widespread attention in the mainstream media for the last week” — without mentioning the “widespread attention” was mostly from rightbloggers or people revealing it as a fraud.

“ANTIFAIL: LOW TURNOUTS AT NATIONWIDE ‘REFUSE FASCISM’ PROTESTS,” hollered Breitbart. “In contrast to previous Antifa rallies, there haven’t been any reports of violence as of yet,” they reported, “although independent journalist Tim Pool did report being yelled at for asking questions about communism. That’s the thing about commies, they never admit it. Except when they wave Soviet flags in the middle of Seattle. So I guess they sometimes admit it.” Save a vitrine at the Newseum!

It makes sense in a way. For a year liberals have been holding huge anti-Trump rallies while pro-Trump rallies have been more modest — over which conservatives could only fume. How much better, then, to fabricate the specter of a violent leftist mother-of-all-rallies, and then stand in the empty public square, fists balled up, crying "aha -- so you're scared, are ya?"


...about the early, stupid reactions to the Sutherland Springs shooting. The column had to be filed early so I missed such lulus as David French's "In the Face of Evil, Prayer Is the Most Rational and Effective Response" at National Review, in which he yells at the "angry Twitter Left" for dismissing the usual Thoughts 'n' Prayers glurge.
The simple and stupid version of the argument is that “prayer doesn’t work” — either because the critic believes the God of the Bible is no more real than a Flying Spaghetti Monster or because he sees the persistence of evil as refuting the efficacy of prayer.
Did you think the argument was actually that T&P is a distraction, used by conservatives as a way to avoid confronting our national gun problem until the outrage over the latest murderfest cools, to be hauled out again the next time? French responds that gun control doesn't work, notwithstanding the example of several other Western countries. And anyway how dare you interrupt the thoughts and prayers with your heathenish response -- it's too soon:
While I disagree with atheists, my quarrel right now isn’t with their disbelief, it’s with their choosing this moment to not only mock Christians but to also display their ignorance of basic Christian theology.
French counts on his readers not to remember that just days before, right after the Manhattan bike path terror attack, he wrote a post called "Sure, Go Ahead and Politicize Tragic Events," in which he wrote:
I’m just cynical enough to believe that the vast majority of politicians, pundits, and Twitter warriors who demand that we not “politicize” a tragedy are really begging, “Don’t make me talk about my political opinion in an unfavorable environment. Let’s wait until the news cycle passes, and the public moves on.” But perhaps moments when the public is energized and interested are among the best times for politicians to make political arguments. Do it tactfully. Respect the fallen. But make your case.
This rhetorical game of Simon Says can go on forever, which is why they play it every time a white guy shoots a place up.

Wednesday, November 01, 2017


Ed Gillespie's running a tight Virginia Governor race on a Yee-Haw-The-South's-Gonna-Do-It-Again platform and, as you can see below, Them National Review Boys are going all out for him on the front page:

Man, these fuckers love the Confederacy! To summarize their cases:

David French, a stars-and-bars enthusiast from way back, defends "Confederate honor" and the statues of slavers-'n'-traitors Ed Gillespie is using to draw gomer voters:
In the town square in Mount Pleasant, Tenn. — just a few miles from my house — there stands a weatherbeaten monument to a small Confederate unit nicknamed the Bigby Greys...
Cue the lonesome harmonica, the crack of the bullwhip and Rastus crying, "Cut it out, Massa, it tickles!" French doesn't see what you black and liberal people are bitching about -- look, they have a slave memorial nearby, too, and together these monuments celebrate the South at its best: French's confederate ancestors in battle dress and glory, and black people in chains.

Also, French speaks up for John Kelly, whose absurd defense of the Confederacy the other day convinced the last remaining "but Trump's got a few good people around him" holdouts to give it up. My ancestors were honorable just like Kelly says, insists French; only "the cause for which they seceded was repugnant and reprehensible," just like those poor dead German boys at Bitburg. But my, how gallant those French ancestors were, especially in their grey uniforms that were cleaned and tailored just so or else the slaves in charge of them would be whipped and their wounds washed with brine!

Also, it was after all a War of Northern Aggression with an "invading northern army ... attempting to restore the union by sheer force of arms," plus French's ancestors were scared the slaves would rise up in a "bloody, genocidal slave rebellion" and kill them -- and think how unjust that would have been! If you're shocked French thinks such an argument will sway you, remember it's not you he's trying to sway.

Meanwhile Ben Shapiro does a full column of YOU STARTED IT LIBS: Hamilton also recognized, demagoguery provides an easier ascent to power than reason. The Left has known this for decades, which is why they labeled conservatives bigots in the 1960s, even as the Democratic party provided the base of support for segregation...
Yep, he's actually doing the Did You Know Robert Byrd Was In The Klan thing, just like his fellow conservative intellectual Dinesh D'Souza. Shapiro knows which way conservative discourse is going!
The Gillespie ad — the worst in political history — is merely the apotheosis of the trend.
I bet if you could get close enough to ask him, Shapiro would say the 1990 Jesse Helms "Hands" Ad was just a reasonable appeal to North Carolina voters' economic anxiety. In short, Shapiro blames liberals for tearing the country apart while simultaneously defending "the conservative desire to strike back at the Left," then flops on the soccer pitch holding his knee and crying "unity" ("Can the country survive such ongoing, bipartisan hatred?") and hoping the refs will buy it.

As for Michael Brendan Dougherty, as near as I can make out, he seems to think that statues are all that's holding America together, and though people like Jamelle Bouie promise that if we get rid of the Confederate statues they won't try and get rid of Jefferson and Washington, Dougherty knows Jamelle Bouie will get rid of them first chance he gets, and then we won't have any statues except maybe of black and Hispanic historical arrivistes, and thus falls the Republic because the Constitution cannot possibly survive if we don't have pigeons shitting on the Founders, just as Britain would fall into the sea if the statue of Boudicca were ever to be uprooted,.

He's seen it all before, Dougherty has:
When Vermont was considering legislation providing for civil unions for same-sex couples, not even the sweatiest, most paranoid snake-handler imagined that florists would be financially ruined by the government for refusing to serve customers whose nuptials violated their religious scruples. Yet here we are.
The Old Ones tried to warn you that if you fell for their persecution song-and-dance, homosexuals would complain if you said "we don't serve fags here." But nobody listened, and that's why "religious liberty, a liberal value and achievement, died and became doomed to a second ghostly life as a conservative preoccupation, one that makes both the conservative and the preoccupation seem more suspicious by association." And the proof of that suspicion by association is you're laughing at Dougherty instead of crying with him over iron replicas of Jubilation T. Cornpone.

It'd be funnier if there weren't a chance there are enough hayseeds in the hoots and hollers to carry it off.

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...'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. "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?