Monday, November 05, 2018


D.C. McAllister, one of The Federalist's awful writers, has decided to make a more overt play for the frustrated rightwing geezers in her audience, and comes out in support of "service sex," which is apparently about women having sex when they don't feel like it because that's just how it's supposed to be. Yes, Dennis Prager has done this bit in the past, but for a lady to do it might just titillate some Fox News producer looking for new on-air talent. (She can always dye her hair!)

McAllister takes off on a column by Wednesday Martin at CNN -- here's a representative Martin passage:
Plenty of us have sex once in a while to make our partners happy. But regular service sex is something else -- an arguably destructive habit fostered by specific social conditions, a symptom that something is amiss in not just our sex lives, but in our larger lives, and the culture more generally.
Later, Martin suggests a "sex strike" a la Lysistrata to level things out; whatever you think of that tactic, her notion that there's something fucked up about women having to make sexual sacrifices that aren't expected of men, and that the phenomenon is related to other sexist assumptions, would strike most of us as perfectly reasonable. I suspected that would be the case when McAllister buried the link to Martin's column deep in her own, and she and her editors offered readers several mendacious descriptions of Martin's POV as an alternative to checking it out themselves -- e.g., "Being Kind to Men Is Actually Evil," Martin is "painting men who want to make love to their wives as sexually entitled" and "instituting a matriarchy," "Men Want Sex, So Don’t Give It to Them," etc.

That sort of thing is par for the course for The Federalist, but it's McAllister's paean to Ugh Alright Can We Leave the TV On sex that stands out:
Service sex is when a woman has sex with her husband or long-term partner even though she’s not in the mood. She does it, not because she gets particular pleasure from it, but because she thinks it’s what she should do to be a good wife.
Most people who have been married more than a couple of years can relate to this.
We can? And here I thought we both had to be in the mood! Wait'll I tell the missus. "Honey, guess what."
The husband comes home from work tired, drained from a day of endless meetings, frustrating assignments, or just the monotony of existing among the gray cubicles of “Joe Versus the Volcano.”
Well, I guess I use a lot of obscure pop cultural references myself.
The wife has been working too. She’s tired. All she wants is a bath and a pillow, but her husband gets that twinkle in his eye.
If the twinkle's too subtle, "Suck my dick!" should do it. And you gotta admit, he's entitled:
He needs reconnection and the calming balm of his wife’s physical presence after a lonely day in his work zone.
And his wife needs to get to work on that hard-on, pronto! She can finish waxing the floor later.
Wanting her husband to be happy because she loves him, she complies. The husband is grateful even if he doesn’t say so.
LOL. "We got any leftover Chinese?"
After all, he loves her too, and having sex is his love language, as it is with many men.
"It's my dick in a box!"
Sometimes the wife fantasizes of more exciting moments—she’d like to be ravished once in a while like that girl in the “Fifty Shades of Grey” books—but the daily grind of life saps energy for such novelties.
So, ladies can't be too tired for sex, but their husbands can be too tired for role play. Or is it the wife who's too tired for the role play she desires but just can't summon the strength for -- probably because she's gonna be doing all the work. (Is this what they mean by topping from the bottom?).
She’s a little sad about that, but she has sex anyway.
This relationship sounds great. Be sure to stick around for the end, when McAllister finds support for her paradigm in the writings of Alexis de Tocqueville. No wonder conservatism's so popular, at least among a certain demographic.

Friday, November 02, 2018


Is that Dr. Rhythm I hear? And heavily gated?

•  I mentioned Thursday's ridiculous Jacob Wohl-Mark Berkman press conference, in which they strung out their sexual assault accusation against Robert Mueller, in the latest issue of my newsletter. (Normally I just nag you to subscribe to the newsletter, but this time I've unlocked the issue so you non-subscribers can take a look!)  Part of my point in the newsletter is that these guys don't merit even the skeptical attention of reporters, because media attention is something they feed on even when they're making idiots of themselves and, as recent events have shown. that can get out of hand. I still think so, though the boys seem to be testing the limits of the old PR dictum that all publicity is good publicity. One thing I didn't mention was one particular statement by Berkman which gives the game away: When reporters pointed out that Wohl and Berkman were notorious rightwing operatives  and this made them unreliable sources, Berkman chastised "the media" for spreading "this terrible sense of anytime conservative are seeking the truth they're somehow evil." Guy, we have to play the percentages here -- rightwing "investigations" so often turn out to be Benghazi-hearing-level oppo ratfucks that there's literally no reason to take them seriously.

•  Republicans have been acting like even bigger assholes than usual this election cycle; Brian Kemp, the Georgia Secretary of State trying to become governor by keeping black voters from getting to the polls, is probably a cinch for Biggest Asshole, but spare some spittle for this guy:
U.S. Representative of Nebraska Jeff Fortenberry recently saw one of his ads vandalized. His face was covered with giant googly eyes, and the ‘o’ in his name was replaced with an ‘a.’ So it now says Jeff Fartenberry. The tagline was also edited to read: “Strong Families, Strong Communities, Strong Odor"... 
Per the Lincoln Journal Star, local professor Ari Kohen saw that same image on Facebook, chuckled, and gave it a like, along with 364 others. He was shocked when Fortenberry’s office called him. 
Fortenberry’s chief of staff, Dr. William Archer III, accused Kohen of endorsing political vandalism, based only on his like of the photo on Facebook. Kohen didn’t pick up, so Archer went over his head. He sent an email to Kohen’s department chair...
After ratting out Kohen for liking a Facebook post, Archer finally got on the phone with him and made threats:
“We have a First Amendment opportunity to put you out there in front of everybody,” Archer says. “We can do that publicly. Would you like that? That’s our First Amendment right.” 
Again, because someone (else!) made a rude joke about his boss, Archer went full Beria on a public employee for liking a Facebook post. Per a National Labor Relations Board ruling in 2014, Kohen would probably have standing to sue if this scumbag got him fired -- though Trump has since then installed most of the NLRB members including the chairman so who knows how they'll rule on such cases in the future. We really, really have to drive these people out of public life.

Wednesday, October 31, 2018


I mentioned in a recent edition of my newsletter (to which you should subscribe! It's cheap, I put out a new one every weekday, and it's keeping me and the missus out of the county home!)  that the Republican running for D.C. council in my Ward is a guy named Michael Bekesha who, like many of the NeverTrumpers and QuasiNeverTrumpers and OKJustTheTipTrumpers extant in the GOP, wants you to know he's not like those bad Republicans.

Bekesha says he likes to "mentor local residents" and "work with a local animal rescue organization," that he's "socially progressive and fiscally responsible," and claims he was "not a supporter" of Trump -- you know, all that stuff you'd like to hear from a Republican to prove they aren't all monsters. At his website, Bekesha sort of elides his 9-to-5:
During the day, I work as an attorney for a not-for-profit government, watchdog group.
Turns out the "watchdog group" is Judicial Watch, an insane far-rightwing org that has devoted lots and lots of its Scaife-and-Olin cash to Hillary's emails -- in fact, Bekesha's bio at Judicial Watch says, "Most recently, Michael deposed current and former senior level State Department officials about former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s use of a email account to conduct official government business."

Judicial Watch is also strongly against letting dark-skinned refugees into the country, and its President Tom Fitton applauds Trump's ridiculous placement of U.S. troops on the border at The Hill today ("President Trump is right to call it an invasion... The political left would like us to believe there is no national security or public safety threat from these caravans..."). In fact, Fitton even goes further than Trump:
President Trump should also consider asking Guatemala to allow us to deploy American troops to provide logistical and other support to Guatemala, so that country can deploy its resources to its own southern border to interdict the caravans from its south. Mexico also should be offered military assistance to interdict the caravans.
The only local reporter who has pressed Bekesha on his Judicial Watch job is Rob Brunner of Washingtonian. Recently he asked Bekesha about a previous Judicial Watch outrage you may have heard about -- when JW board member Chris Farrell told Lou Dobbs that the vaunted Central American caravan of refugees is getting "money from the Soros-occupied State Department." As Brunner reports, "it didn't go so well":
Bekesha responded to my email by attaching a PDF with a statement:
I want to be entirely clear. I condemn all hate speech, bigoted beliefs, and conspiracy theories. The rhetoric we hear on cable news and on social media does nothing but divide us. As I have said throughout my campaign and I will say again, it must stop. 
As our society becomes more and more divisive...
Blah blah blah. Brunner kept telling Bekesha, yeah, but what about the thing I asked you about -- namely, the guy where you work spreading this crazy Soros conspiracy theory on national TV? Bekesha kept dishing him non-answers ("I refer you to the statement... My statement is in response to your questions. Once again, I condemn all hate speech...") and then stopped responding altogether.

I'm not that interested in this one, horrible candidate -- who, by the way, has actually gone on YouTube for Judicial Watch to denounce "sanctuary cities" and defend ICE. I mean, it would be terrible if he won, or even if he did decently, merely because D.C. voters -- who graced Trump with four percent of their votes in 2016 -- had no idea who and what he was and wanted to register a protest against our less-than-optimal governance by voting for a guy who bullshat them that he was a  "progressive."

No, I'm only telling Bekesha's wormy story as a warning: You may be tempted for psychological reasons to believe that somewhere out there is the Good Republican -- someone you can respect and to whom maybe you could even give your (qualified!) support, because they once said something critical of Trump, and they portray themselves as reasonable and open to differing opinions. Maybe if you're a geezer like me, you recall Lowell Weicker and Charles Goodell and Charles Percy and think maybe there's some of that stuff still left in the GOP, and ours is a truly two-party system rather than a system with one slightly corrupt, weak-willed, mildly humane party and one criminal conspiracy that lies its ass off to con rubes into selling off its democratic patrimony and the wealth of a once-great nation for a mess of MAGA.

Wouldn't it be pretty to think so.

Friday, October 26, 2018


How about something contemporary?
C'mon, greybeards, you gotta admit it's atmospheric.

•  I just caught up with the marker that went on Philip Larkin's spot when he was reinterred in Poet's Corner at Westminister in 2016. The quote from Larkin's "An Arundel Tomb" (Our almost-instinct almost true:/What will survive of us is love) seemed like it had to have been pulled entirely out of context, an absurd attempt to draw puppy-dog eyes on the famously caustic poet like Steven Spielberg talking about Stanley Kubrick's "vision of hope and wonder" at the 1999 Academy Awards. But I could not say because I had not read it, so I went and did. It's the one about the statues holding hands. As Jeremy Axlerod exegetes it at The Guardian, it can be seen in a less romantic light, more about oblivion than immortality (...The stone fidelity/They hardly meant has come to be/Their final blazon...), and the "almost" more important than the "love." But it moves me anyway and maybe even more for that. If awareness of the world's cheats and disappointments were enough to deaden the heart to its beauties and wonders, we would have by now built concentrations camps not only for others but for ourselves. (I know, on bad days it looks as if we have.) I don't think Larkin's intimations of the absurd and futile debunk the "sharp tender shock" of the couple's gesture, I think they enrich it. Oblivion has its own majesty, and Larkin's somewhat courtly rhyme scheme shows a desire to built something beautiful of his own in its shadow, and maybe find immortality in that; else why write at all, sculpt at all, love at all? And now in another cathedral the closing couplet of his tribute lies, catching the dust.

•  P.J. O'Rourke has a magazine online. Here's something by him about "Why kids are commies":
What’s the matter with kids today? 
Nothing new. The brats, the squirts, the fuzz-faced mooncalves, the sap-green sweet young things, and the wet-behind-the-ears in general have always been “Punks for Progressives.” 
As soon as kids discover that the world isn’t nice, they want to make it nicer. And wouldn’t a world where everybody shares everything be nice? Aw… Kids are so tender-hearted. 
Kids are broke – so they want to make the world nicer with your money...
Marxism puts inarticulate notions of a sharing-caring nicer world into vivid propaganda slogans. 
Slogans such as: “From each according to his ability, to each according to his need." 
Which may be the most ridiculous political-economic idea that anybody has ever had.
My need is for beluga caviar, a case of Château Haut-Brion 1961, a duplex on Fifth Avenue overlooking Central Park, a bespoke suit from Gieves & Hawkes in Savile Row...
At the top of the essay are recent poll citations and references to Ayanna Pressley and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, but other than that it could have been written in 1984. Some things persist because they have stood the test of time, and others because they still make a profit, but I think the repetition of the "you-hippies-like-nature-well-my-dick-is-all-natural" routine is a retro thing like Happy Days. What's next, the return of Andrew Dice Clay? The Bell Curve Special Anniversary Edition? A revival of Family Ties starring Ben Shapiro? (He's the right height, anyway.) I was hoping the 80s revival would have more cocaine and Hüsker Dü. Cheats and disappointments indeed! Yet I will not harden my heart so long as hope survives that Baboon Dooley will ride again.

Wednesday, October 24, 2018


Now that we're inside the two-week marker on the midterms, Trump has decided to stop piddling around and go for the Big Lie:

This isn't even a close call. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) that Obama pushed through Congress is why we have pre-existing conditions protections in the first place, and Trump has been attacking it for years. The Trump administration is currently arguing in federal court that the part of the ACA requiring pre-existing conditions to be covered is unconstitutional. A recent Trump adminsitration rule makes it easier for states to get waivers that would allow their ACA coverage to exclude such protections; another makes it easier for citizens to meet their ACA requirements with short-term limited-duration (STLD) plans that also exclude those protections. Hell, start putting "trump" and "pre existing conditions" into Google and you get "trump pre existing conditions unconstitutional." That's like the old "you look up 'ugly' in the dictionary, they got a picture of him" joke.

Pre-existing condition protections are something everyone understands and that even Trumpkins are not stupid enough to oppose just because the Black President supported them. Thus Republicans have heretofore found it necessary to throw up clouds of ink to try and distract from the glaring fact that removing those protections is one of their goals. National Review's Ramesh Ponnuru, for example, is among many conservative pundits dedicated to spinning anti-Obamacare legislation like Trump's and Paul Ryan's AHCA as not-that-bad-really for pre-existing conditions; here you see Ponnuru blaming perfectly accurate perceptions of the GOP approach as "confusion," and here you see him putting lipstick on the inadequate MacArthur-Meadows amendment to the AHCA:
People with preexisting conditions, then, would have a triple safety net even in a state that took maximum use of the waivers: Tax credits, regulatory protection contingent on continuous coverage, and high-risk pools would all benefit them.
Ask your friends with cancer or chronic illnesses how they feel about that "triple safety net." (BTW get a load of the url:

Today, Ponnuru is enraged on behalf of Republican Rep Barbara Comstock because her Democratic challenger Jennifer Wexton is making it look like she opposes pre-existing conditions protections. Not so, says Ponnuru, because Comstock was among the few Republicans who voted against the very bill Ponnuru was trying to tell everyone was good on pre-existing conditions! Translation: Of course she's good on pre-existing conditions -- she didn't even buy my bullshit!

So in a way it makes sense that Trump would go straight-up Goebbels on this. Painting the corners a la Ponnuru isn't going to fool anyone, so it's time to brass it out.

Thursday, October 18, 2018


As I've said before (and it's not just me and the leprechaun who tells me to burn things saying so, either, but also credentialed bigbrains at major publications) that the Kavanaugh nomination has basically blown the whole NeverTrump and KindaTrump and JustTheTipInTrump phenomenon, making it obvious that Trumpism is conservatism and vice-versa. And it's had the knock-on effect of making rightwing authors who were previously pitched as prim-and-proper True Conservatives into something more suitable to Trump Time -- that is, trolls.

Take David French, one-time NeverTrump Presidential contender, who has gone on since the dawn of Trump about how real conservatives like him were fighting for the True Cause despite, not enabled by, the vandal Trump; last year he was blubbering over "O’Reilly, Ailes, and the Toxic Conservative-Celebrity Culture," in which he lamented that conservatives' reflexive defense of Fox News "knifework" had "reached its apex in the person and personality of Donald Trump." 

But now French is juiced that Trump has with Kavanaugh brought America one step closer to Gilead, and hardly ever bothers to wring his hands anymore. Just recently he defended Trump calling for his opponents to be jailed. But as the example of his cabinet shows, you're not totally in the tank for Trump until you've humiliated yourself as French does here:
A Conservative’s Guide to the 2018–19 NBA Season
It’s the only sports guide in America that owns the libs.
That's right, French is doing a John Miller "50 Greatest Conservative Rock Songs" thing, only for basketball. The thing is mostly dull analysis on the level of sportstalk radio call-ins, but punctuated with breakers like "The Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Division. Cheerfully inept"; The Beto O’Rourke Division. Expensive busts"; "The Nikki Haley Division. The future’s so bright, they gotta wear shades"; and "The William F. Buckley Jr. Division. Intellectual juggernauts." 

That last one's about the Celtics because "this team was built from the ground up by basketball geniuses to contend for a decade." I would say this is not so much a reach as a reach-around, except I think that gets the positioning reversed. French has done dumb sports things before -- see "Yes, God Cares about Football" -- but this is the first time one can actually feel him straining and cracking his knees to get himself down to the level of the hoi polloi. Marco Rubio talking about Trump's dick was awkward, but this is just depressing.

Speaking of Buckley, with the re-enrollment of hypertroll Kevin D. Williamson, National Review is looking less and less like a classy-conservative operation and more like any other dumb wingnut site. Lately most of the donation pleas I've gotten from them seem to star the latest rightwing blonde-with-big-glasses, Kat Timpf. Here's the top of one such pitch:

Fox News couldn't have done it better. That leaves only a few NROniks still working an inta-mallectual grift anymore --  Jonah Goldberg has gotten too lazy to even laugh at, so I guess we're talking Ramesh Ponnuru and substitute Dreher Michael Brendan Dougherty. When they can be inveigled to don the clown suit, National Review will have completed its transformation into a Gateway Pundit for people who like a little heritage with their bullshit.  

Monday, October 15, 2018


So now she's not Indian enough:

In the immortal words of Jay Silverheels, ugh. I wrote way back in 2012 about rightwingers' woo-woo-woo jokes about Pocahontas Warren (“You Won’t Have Elizabeth Warren To Kick Around By Indian Summer,” said Dan Riehl shortly before she was elected Senator) and today was the first day they even slightly altered their shtick. Warren could split open and Sitting Bull himself emerge from the husk, and conservatives would say, "hyuk, she was pretending to be a chick all along to get that sweet affirmative action!"

There is no reasoning with these people, nor any point in taking them seriously.

UPDATE. I see the credentialed and formerly respectable conservatives are playing the same stupid game. National Review's David French, who recently completed his turn to Trumpkinism by telling the world  Trump calling for his opponents to be jailed was nothing compared to liberals being mean to Ted Cruz, is now pretending to be outraged by what he calls Warren's "resume fraud." French talks as if her criminality were obvious to all True Sons of Liberty, which is what these putzes do when they're nervous that no one is listening to them. Finally, the last refuge of a NeverTrumper turned Tip-InTrumper -- he says Warren's the real Trump!  Can you imagine Tom Cruise once made people think JAG officers were cool?

UPDATE 2. In my newsletter today (Subscribe! Cheap!) I explain, among other things, why this is Bad News for Donald Trump:
Trump uses insults like this to neutralize his enemies, but by showing she had some Native American blood — not 1/32nd or three generations back, as her family had told her, but between 1/64th to 1/1,024th, or six to ten generations — Warren showed her good-faith claim was based on reality, and good faith and reality are to Trump as garlic and crucifixes to a vampire, as shown by his even more petulant than usual response: claiming "who cares" — a weird response to something he normally goes out of his way to make a big deal of — and that he never made a promise to pay a million dollars if Warren's Indian heritage were proven even though his promise is on tape. ("It was in the context of a future hypothetical debate and wasn’t actually a promise to give one million to her charity if she actually did a DNA test," homina-homina'd the ball-washers at The Right Scoop.) 
In other words, Trump couldn't even act like he was on top in this situation —he just blustered, something he's actually always doing but, in this instance, was so clearly doing it that even the redhat dummies might notice.
I would also add that, as with French and this Breitbart schnook, the fallback position among conservatives is that the Lame Stream Media, though malice or stupidity, missed the real story, which is that Warren and not Trump is the real crook. Not only is this message not a compelling one,  but they're delivering it to a small audience that already despises Warren and could not despise her more; normal people with memories of the schoolyard will appreciate her fighting back.

Friday, October 12, 2018


Hi, boys and girls, I'm Jimmy Carl Black and I'm the Indian of the group

My primary feeling about the Kanye West jackassery is expressed in my newsletter essay, "Previous Presidential-Pop Star Press Conferences." Subscribers can read the whole thing (which is why you should subscribe! It's cheap!), but here is an excerpt:
1969: Richard Nixon and Wild Man Fischer
FISCHER: No but I mean it's bullshit, man -- I mean ladies and gentlemen of the press. Because the man is trying to keep us down, and he keeps on keeping on keeping on keeping us down. He keeps on keeping us keeping us keeping us keeping us keeping us down. He keeps on keeping us keeping us keeping us keeping us down. [Takes out and plays a tambourine] He keeps on keeping us keeping us keeping us keeping us keeping us keeping us keeping us keeping us keeping us keeping us keeping us... 
NIXON [whispering to H.R. HALDEMAN] What the fuck is this bullshit. 
HALDEMAN: You said you wanted to start working the youth vote early, sir. 
NIXON: Next time get me goddamn Tiny Tim like I asked for.
•  Speaking of Kanye, though, it's something to see the serious intellectuals of the right sing his praises. Here's Peter Suderman:

"Mixed feelings"? What was the part he liked? Maybe it was "The core of Adidas, and Chicago, is the core of middle America, and we have to make middle America strong" -- as a libertarian, Suderman might appreciate branding American renewal with a specific company with which Trump can make a corrupt deal. Maybe it was West's suggestion the 13th Amendment is illegitimate because the number 13 is unlucky. Probably works for Rand Paul!

At National ReviewKevin D. Williamson spends the Kanye aftermath talking about the celebrity political obtuseness of... Taylor Swift and Henry Rollins. (There is one throwaway line about West.) And mostly on Rollins! We're all had our fun with Henry, but it's hilarious to see a professional poseur like Williamson decide that while Rollins has "real intellectual hunger," he is one of those who "see, but they do not observe" (translation: they read and think but still don't agree with Kevin D. Williamson). Then Williamson laments that "there isn’t any price for being intellectually irresponsible" -- I know! Kevin Williamson!

•  Which reminds me, another reason to love is it has text files of old issues of Maximum Rock 'n' Roll. I was looking for a particular Henry Rollins story and found this:
What the fuck is wrong with MRR?

Kurt Cobain kills himself and your attitude is “Fuck him, he sold out three years ago.” Jello Biafra gets beaten up and his knee broken in 17 places, and it's a big joke, cause “he’s not punk-rock anymore.”

Then you turn around and publish sexist, homophobic bullshit like George Tabb and Mykei Board. George Tabb spends a whole column calling Henry Rollins a pussy and a sissy. OK, Rollins sucks now, but what’s George Tabb ever done that's as good as Damaged or Slip It In? You wanna talk about sellouts—George would sell his wife to a donkey show in Tijuana to get a major-label contract for his lame metal band. Mykei [sic] Board used to be funny, but now he’s just a pathetic Rush Limbaugh imitation, whining about being oppressed by “women and homos”!

He’s probably mad because the only way he can ever get laid is to go to Thailand and pay for it.
I hope this man is almost done with the Great American Novel. (PS The story I dimly recall -- it might have been in the New York Press -- involved George Tabb challenging Rollins to a push-up contest; Tabb goes first and does a hundred or so push-ups, and gets up sweaty and exhausted; then Rollins gets down, does one, and says, "Now you can tell people you beat Henry Rollins in a push-up contest." Anyone here remember where this was printed?)

Wednesday, October 10, 2018


This is the most concentrated pellet of IOKIYR in recorded history.

What does Lewis mean by radicalization? He might be talking about policy -- for example, the growing impatience on the part of liberals with half-measures like the ACA and their shift to Medicare for All. But while the ACA turned out to be easy for Republicans to demonize, Medicare for All is very popular. And a lot of  Republican policies, like immigrant baby cages, are very unpopular. The midterm polls suggest not too many people are scared of what the Democrats are promising them.

So Lewis, like other conservatives these days, shifts emphasis from radical policies to radical behavior, calling the Democrats a "mob" that assaults Republican politicians by telling them they don't like them, which is what Hitler did.

In the linked article Lewis' evidence of "mob" activity is protesters at the Supreme Court "banging on the walls" and "Ted Cruz getting chased out of restaurants." They sure don't make mobs like they used to.

The Maximum Leader has been pushing this line ("You don't hand matches to an arsonist and you don't give power to an angry left-wing mob, and that's what the Democrats are"), and all the little Trumpkins -- which is basically every conservative, bound in blood to him since he muscled Rapey McRoeRepeal onto the Supreme Court -- have followed suit, from the blog bottom-feeders ("Democratic Party = Mob," "Democrat mob shows true colors," etc.) to bigger fish like Fox News' Stuart Varney ("Could it be that the treatment of Kavanaugh by the Democrat mob is swinging votes to the GOP?"), North Carolina GOP vice chairwoman Michele Nix ("modern Democrats prefer mob rule over the rule of law"), and Senator Tom Cotton ("the Democrats’ crazed, hysterical attempt at left-wing mob rule has failed, and rightfully so").

Rod Dreher, of course, is very anti-Democrat-mob and claims America joins him in condemning them, presenting in evidence his usual rock-solid testimony from unnamed persons whose existence we must take on faith:
I’ve heard from three friends — two Democrats, and one anti-Republican independent — who have written to express profound concern about this political moment, and the behavior of the liberal mob. One of the Democrats — no fan of Trump or Kavanaugh — told me that her party has lost her over all this. The independent told me he hasn’t voted GOP in 30 years, but that may change this November, because of the “malice” (his word) on the left. And the third remains a devoted Democrat, but he is agonizing over the demons now taking over his political side, and worries if they can ever be reined in.
Also Dreher knows a couple of ex-Soviet citizens who swear the Democrats are just like their captors back in the gulag  -- "these aging former dissidents, who don’t know each other, see the same thing happening in the liberal West." Like the biggest question I'd have about these possibly imaginary people is whether they colluded on their story.

The presumably real people who say the Kavanaugh hearings convinced them to vote for Trump are even better. "I Was A Never Trumper Until Democrats Went Gonzo On Kavanaugh. Now, Hand Me That Red Hat," declares... Nathanael Blake, longtime writer for The Federalist and author of columns like "How To Respond With Reason And Compassion To Transgender Bullies." Yeah, we were really hoping to turn that guy.

It should be obvious that, as Eric Levitz points out in New York magazine, when Republicans protest, the threat of actual violence -- not banging on walls, not discomfiting diners -- is much, much closer to the surface. Me, I can remember back to 2014 and the Bundy Insurrection, when armed crackers drew beads on federal agents and conservatives went squee. Here's John Hinderaker of Power Line at the time:
As time went by, more and more allies showed up at the Bundy Ranch, pretty much all of them armed. The arrivals included some who described themselves as militias. Today there was an extraordinary scene that gave rise to this photograph. Hundreds of Bundy supporters, on horseback and, I assume, armed, told the federal agents that they were surrounded and had better give back the cattle they had confiscated...
There was no cry against the mob in that post -- just Hinderaker spreading stories about Harry Reid ("Rumor has it that Reid wants the land for a giant solar farm that would be supplied by a Chinese company") and defending the Bundy position ("I don’t understand why there isn’t a stronger movement to turn most of that land over to local management"). Tree of liberty and all that.

Today, as it happens, Hinderaker talks about "the Democrats’ repellent mob actions as part of the 'Kavanaugh confirmation process.'" This level of shitfulness is par for Hinderaker's course, but what makes it even better is that his post argues his "mob" talking point is moving the polls in the Republicans' direction -- something he perhaps hopes will convince Sheldon Adelson to give him a bonus after the GOP only loses 34 seats. No doubt the rageaholic base does find this energizing, if by energizing we mean "now Grandpa, you know you're supposed to take your medicine every day," but how many of them make it to the polls -- and how many of us they'll be able to keep from the polls -- will have more to do with the result. That's the kind of mob tactic I worry about.

Friday, October 05, 2018


I was deeply honored to stand at the White House July 9 with the woman who is my wife, Ashley, and my girl-children Margaret and Liza, while in the audience my mother, a woman whose accomplishments as a woman I endorse, and the many other women I have promoted and shaken hands with and nodded to in hallways and coached in girls’ basketball teams watched me accept President Trump’s nomination to the Supreme Court which also has female members which I endorse.

I told all these brave, wonderful women who applauded my nomination as an ally of women about my 28 years at law, and nothing about how most of that was not spent on any bench but clerking and helping out with chores around the Republican Party until I had risen far enough and married his secretary that President Bush put me on the U.S. Court of Appeals.

There I rendered judgments impartially and unimaginatively, but certainly not in a partisan or sexist or in any other way career-damaging manner, waiting for my number to come up. By the way, judges must be impartial and beyond politics, did you know this? There are no Democrats and Republicans as far as the Supreme Court goes, just a team, including three women, of jurists whose numbers also came up, and I will serve amicably with them impartially and certainly without getting handsy with the ladies.

In the course of my politically neutral confirmation process I met with many Senators, bullshitting the Democrats and giving the hi-sign to the Republicans. I answered what I consider to be a large number of questions and despite what the Democrats say I think that number was quite sufficient.

But suddenly wrongful and sometimes vicious allegations were made about my behavior during a time long, long, long ago when I was a mere lad but still behaved impeccably, especially with women. The primary result of these baseless charges was a series of threats against all the Kavanaugh females mentioned above.

In defending these women and myself against accusations by parties whose gender I will not mention, I was of course outraged, as would be any man whose women had been attacked, and so I sneered, cried, told that mouthy Amy Klobuchar what’s what, yelled about my affection for drinking, and accused Bill and Hillary Clinton of setting the whole thing up. In the course of this understandable demonstration of my righteous indignation, I may have been a little rash and said a few things that were hurtful (though not to women, except maybe Senator Klobuchar who I expect is big enough to take it, and Hillary Clinton, because come on it's not like everyone doesn't know I'm going to carry out my Boss’ personal vendetta against her from the bench).

Anyway I’m sure now that it’s too late to do anything about it you will accept this non-apology and the inevitability of the nation-altering decisions my appointment will make inevitable. And once they get past the shock, I'm sure women will see that I am doing this all out of respect for them. See you on the sunny side of the mountain, ladies.

Wednesday, October 03, 2018


I did a thing in the newsletter (subscriptions r cheap! $7 a month!) about Rod Dreher and how, after what seemed like months of Vatican stuff (tl;dr more U.S. priests turn out to be pedos, big shock, which Dreher blames on that libtard Pope Francis and the "Lavender Mafia"), he's been pulled back into his usual ways by the Kavanaugh case. Oh boy does he support Kavanaugh, and for the reasons you'd expect (SJWs, Our Boys, feminazis, etc -- or white male supremacy, to cut to the chase). Dreher has even declared himself "red-pilled" by the hearings (though, being a wuss, he cops out in the end: "I’m not an alt-rightist. They would be embarrassed to have a Jesus person like me on their side, as many of them have said in the past." They don't have to like you, Rod -- they just have to let you carry their water).

Dreher has really returned to form with another of his spooooky stories for religious maniacs: After setting the scene with a news item about "a rash of cattle mutilations" in Arizona (it ain't Merrin and Pazuzu but it'll do) and expressing his concerns over a remake of (I'm not kidding) Sabrina the Teenage Witch ("The mainstreaming of Satanism in pop culture... is undeniably culturally significant"), Dreher tells us:
Background: “Nathan,” as I’ll call my friend, is a devout Catholic who lives in a major US city, and who works in a sophisticated professional milieu. He is in early middle age, and a husband and father. He and his family go to mass daily, and confession weekly. 
Nathan started his story with a jaw-dropping line: “For the past year, my wife has been under the care of an exorcist.”
Nathan told me the story of how things came to this point. I won’t give you too many details, out of an abundance of caution. It turns out that his wife had an eating disorder as a teenager, and tried to kill herself twice back then. Now, in the middle of her life, depression returned, but with certain strange characteristics that seemed … off. She began to despise religious things, in an inexplicable way. When she went to a “healing mass,” there was a manifestation that indicated something dark and alien was at work in her.
Here, where many of us would be asking, "uh, psychiatrist?" Dreher tells us "Catholic exorcists today work in a professional way, ruling out all other medical possibilities to explain the behavior before they start" -- so I guess they got past the psych eval, possibly by not doing one, and Nathan's wife's began "multiple sessions" with the exorcist. Also, "Nathan has been part of the rituals."

I know what you're thinking, guys, but --
...his wife’s face contorts into expressions that he has never seen in her, despite their nearly two decades of marriage.
Okay, now you've got me thinking it too. Dreher is still buying the story of the wife's hysteria treatments -- uh, I mean exorcism sessions, and muses:
I don’t know how I would do if I were in a situation in which I would be lying in bed at night, and my wife blurted out, “I hate you!” and then started growling in an otherworldly voice.
I suppose if he asked nicely he could find out, and then maybe we'd all be better off.

Thursday, September 27, 2018


As I say in my Friday newsletter item about this (subscriptions available, and even if you only do the free signup you'll still get the Kavanaugh hearing issue), only a small number of people know to a certainty what happened and, though I find Ford more credible than Kavanaugh, my standing policy is to believe only half of what I see and none of what I hear. But if you saw Brett Kavanaugh today, or even just know anything about his history as a rightwing factotum, you already know he's a piece of shit. If you know his history, you know he has devoted his miserable life to the dirty business of the GOP --  spreading manure for Ken Starr in the Clinton impeachmentspinning the Elian Gonzalez case, helping Bush rig the 2000 electionserving as George W.'s dogsbody and even marrying into the mob -- he's like the Zelig of modern Republican black ops. If you saw the hearing, you also know he's a whiny bitch trying the play tough guy. In either case, he is, as mentioned, a piece of shit, and as such shouldn't been anywhere near the Supreme Court -- but the flunkers to this flunkee, the GOP, have the power to put him in, and will race to do so before all hell breaks loose. So you can't stop it, but keep the outrage you feel at this injustice as a nosegay and bring it to the voting booth on November 6. (Also bring ID and the number of the ACLU Election Protection Hotline, 866-OUR-VOTE.) If we turn enough seats maybe we can impeach this prick. (Did I mention the newsletter?)

Tuesday, September 25, 2018


Durn elites be laffin' at mah Preznit:

June 6, 2019 -- At the G7 meeting today at the Centre de Congrès Bellevue in Biarritz, President Trump defecated in his hand and flung his waste into the audience. Fortunately the President's copromaniacal antics were anticipated by the other attendees, and the fecal matter only struck some waiters and Maggie Haberman.

Afterwards American reporters shouted questions about the incident at the President through a large, clear plastic tarp; President Trump laughed, gave a shit-smeared thumbs-up, and said "Some joke, hah?" before being escorted to a waiting sanitation facility.

The President and his followers have always reveled in his outrageous behavior and the shocked reactions of his opponents, but until September of last year his outrages were mostly confined to racist and sexist remarks and offenses to common sense. However, since his self-congratulatory remarks drew laughter at the United Nations General Assembly in 2018, his antics have become increasingly bizarre.

At a rally in Sheboygan, Wisconsin last February, for example, the President led the crowd in a sing-along of his own version of Chuck Berry's "My Ding-a-Ling," with apparently improvised lyrics such as "Suck my Ding-a-Ling, fuck my Ding-a-Ling, It's a Ring-a-Ding-Ding, that bitch Hillary can suck my fuck, you better believe it." Trump reprised some of the song later that week at a press conference with the Dalai Lama.

In March at a meeting of the National Chamber of Commerce the President appeared to break wind loudly enough to be picked up by his microphone; responding to the audience's muffled, embarrassed laughter, the President said, "Looks like we got a bunch of elitists here," and blew raspberries for a solid minute, interspersing comments such as "Do I offend you?" and "Ooooh, pardon me." At the end he lit a match, gave the audience the finger, and walked off to tumultuous applause.

The raspberries have replaced "You're fired" and other Trump catchphrases of days gone by; teachers in deep South states complain that their students frequently make the noise, or actually break wind, when they get bored, and comedian Steven Crowder filled an entire podcast entirely with raspberries and cries of "triggered, snowflakes?" Red "THPPPPPPPT" hats have become a popular alternative to the MAGA hats of days gone by.

"The American people are tired of the false pieties and fancy European manners of the failed Obama administration," former Kansas governor Sam Brownback explained on his radio show. "And as you may know," he added with a sly smile, "my own last name has something to do with shit."

Friday, September 21, 2018


Some of you may have heard that I have been accused of a terrible, violent crime, but rest assured I have an explanation: there is a fellow in Silver Spring named Mort Silverman who looks a little like me, especially with the light behind him. The criminal complaint says the attack took place at a party in Cleveland Park, which is Metro-accessible from Silver Spring, and that the assailant was wearing a Blair Tropicool® Guayabera Shirt, tan slacks, and brown loafers with no socks, all items of clothing to which Mort Silverman had access via local shops or the internet. So please keep this in mind when you hear this accusation, or other similar accusations, made against me. If needed, I have testimonials to the effect that this website (and my newsletter! Cheap subscriptions available!) could not be run as well by other people as it has been by me, available upon request.

What do you mean, it'll never work? Republican functionary Ed Whelan apparently thought it would and, the evidence suggests, so did what passes for a brain trust among Brett Kavanaugh supporters in and around the White House.

I'm not a subscriber to the "these are not very bright guys and things got out of hand" theory of Trump, though this insane tactic makes it more attractive. I still think the strategy is just to brass it out and let male supremacy carry the day. Their confidence that it will do so is such that they aren't trying to convince any undecideds, among Senators or among voters; the former are in the bag and the latter, well, unless voter suppression does the trick the GOP is looking at major losses no matter what they do.

So this doppelganger nonsense is not meant to win support for the nomination; it's probably just wingnut posturing to show each other how loyal and hardcore they are -- hey! Remember that time Ed told people some other guy did the raping? It may have the added effect of injecting more conspiracy bugs into the damaged brains of their base voters, keeping them enraged and baffled and committed to the cause, but I doubt that would be intentional -- more like a reflex, since crazy psyops are kind of baked into Trumpublicanism and anytime they do anything there will be a certain amount of malicious mischief. (I am also open to the idea that Trump enjoys the idea of humiliating his flunkies by making them do something horrible like this.)

Bottom line, Kavanaugh's in, Roe's fucked, and sometime between now and November 2020 Trump will either bomb Canada or get Kim Jong-un to go on TV and debase himself before America in pidgin English in exchange for whatever's still left in the U.S. Treasury, and hope it works out for him. Who knows how far the conspiracy bugs will have spread by then.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018


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

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

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

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

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

Sunday, September 16, 2018


Well, it looks like the Republicans had good reason to have 65 women lined up to assert Brett Kavanaugh never raped them.

All honor to Christine Blasey Ford, who has no reason to lie, is certainly aware of what rat bastards the Republicans are, and may expect horrific abuse for coming out. Hey, look, it's already started -- Breitbart:
Breitbart is suitable for this wet work, but the classier wingnuts have to play it cool. Here's the Washington Examiner's Timothy P. Carney on "The long silences of Christine Blasey Ford and Dianne Feinstein":
You don't know what happened in that bedroom in suburban Maryland 35 years ago. I don't know, either. Hopefully questions and answers in the next few days can help us have a better guess. But a bit off-center from the core dispute here are two questions about silence: the silence for three decades from Christine Blasey Ford, and the silence for two months from Dianne Feinstein.
Most of Carney's regular readers will have bailed at that point, making a point to hate DiFi even more than they already did, in addition to hating the lying whore whatshername.  Those who stick around will see Carney affect sympathy with Ford -- "It is perfectly believable, and frankly understandable, that a woman who went through what Ford says she went through would never want to talk about it." But the real villain in all this, Carney reveals, is neither Ford nor Kavanaugh, but Ford's fellow chick:
The silence of Dianne Feinstein is another thing. 
In July Feinstein heard this story from Ford. Yet she didn't act on it. She didn't ask Kavanaugh about it in committee, in closed session, in written questions, or in a one-on-one meeting. She presumably didn't ignore the letter. So there are three possible explanations for Feinstein's silence until now...
And if one of Carney's speculations are true, ladies and gentlemen --
...that tells us something about Feinstein--she is a dishonest politician playing dirty politics with a deadly serious charge.
To sum up, Carney knows it looks bad to come after Ford, but a leading Democrat makes an appealing secondary target, at least for the time being. There'll be time enough for "a little bit nutty and a little bit slutty" when they get something more than pussy hats lined up.

Meanwhile at misogyny central:
A lawyer close to the White House said the nomination will not be withdrawn. 
“No way, not even a hint of [withdrawing Kavanaugh],” the lawyer said. “If anything, it’s the opposite. If somebody can be brought down by accusations like this, then you, me, every man certainly should be worried. We can all be accused of something.”
Leave us cut to the chase. They can get any rightwing factotum they want on the bench. There's nothing special about Kavanaugh -- he's dimestore. Why not dump him and get someone else equally terrible? Because male supremacy is important to the GOP. They don't care if some Hollywood mogul or small-time pol gets skinned for harassment or rape -- but when it comes to one of their made men, they have to close ranks and show the bitches it's impossible to prevail against them no matter how credible the accusation. It's not like their base is voting for them based on policy.

UPDATE. The parade of conservative sexual assault apologists forms up. Myron Magnet at City Journal:
The Dems “Anita” Brett Kavanaugh
How low will they go
...I didn’t believe Hill’s accusations back then, and now, having a clear picture of Justice Thomas’s sterling character, and having just reread the transcript of the Hill-Thomas hearings, I believe them still less.
Why am I not shocked. Magnet points to "the encomia on [Kavanaugh's] character from the many women whose careers he has fostered as a judge and professor, as well as from his colleagues," which you gotta admit isn't something every 20-year Republican functionary would bring to his SCOTUS confirmation hearings. But, in case it all goes south despite the ladies' auxiliary support, Magnet has a good-boy-made-a-mistake argument ready:
I strongly doubt that he did what Ford alleges, and what her allegation suggests was a rape attempt was, by her own description, nothing of the kind -- though, following the Hill playbook, she has already taken a lie-detector test and hired a well-known lawyer. 
That bitch!
But again, supposing it were true -- as I do not suppose -- he was 17 years old at the time. Do the Democrats really think that a single teenage indiscretion should have a place in confirmation hearings?
In an alternate universe, Black Brett Kavanaugh is being turned down for another, less-exalted job because the boss found out about the two years he did for sexual assault when he was 17. (Someone mentioned the case to then-USAF judge advocate Lindsay Graham at the time. "Only two years! Disgusting," remarked Graham. "No wonder crime is so high in Washington.")

UPDATE 2. Rod Dreher always makes everything worse.

Funny, when a 17-year-old got shot dead for trying to steal a Jeep, Dreher was less forgiving ("I have no sympathy for criminals like that. It would have been better had the Chicago fire lieutenant not shot and killed that thief. But I don’t really care that he did"). No points for guessing the race of the 17-year-old in that case.

I'm sure he'd approve of having those boys on the Supreme Court -- if they enjoyed bullying him, imagine how they'd treat those mouthy women who think they have the right to an abortion.

Thursday, September 13, 2018


One of the great gifts the missus has given me is an appreciation of this giant.
What Chandler said about writers and style goes double for singers.

• In the Friday newsletter (not to late to sign up!) I mention these oddly-promoted PJ Media stories:

I told readers I wouldn't worry about the actual content of these things, the blurbs being so delightful, but later snuck off and read them anyway. Roger Kimball's is a long yawn about how no matter what the kids think socialism is Venezuela. After a few grafs of that and some historical padding Kimball gets here:
So, what is the emotional motor of socialism? In a word, benevolence. 
That may seem counter-intuitive. Isn’t benevolence a good thing? 
That depends. Benevolence is a curious mental or characterological attribute.
He’s an intellectual, see! He sloshes around in this for a while, then:
The sad truth is that theoretical benevolence is compatible with any amount of practical indifference or even cruelty. You feel kindly towards others. That is what matters: your feelings.
I can see, in the abstract, what the appeal of this might be: Why someone might want to call anyone who wants the state to relieve the afflicted a feeling-centered SJW, but wants with it some intellectual credibility. And here's some wiener in an ascot and horn-rims saying it in purty words ("The intoxicating effects of benevolence help to explain the growing appeal of politically correct attitudes about everything...").

But who’s the market? In the age of Trump, why would anyone bother? Just say, as Trump did about the death toll in Puerto Rico, that it has nothing to do with you because you're smart so whatever went wrong with those losers must have been their own or someone else's fault. In the immortal words of Elvis Costello, pretty words don't mean much anymore.

• As for Richard Fernandez, ermahgerd the lede:
Any directed tour depends on prior knowledge of the scenery so it can be introduced as it comes into view. A guided tour into the unknown is impossible by definition. What has kept pundits from accurately predicting what comes next in these years of turmoil is that they were surprised by developments like everyone else. 
The result is that the Narrative is now burdened by a tremendous accumulation of events whose significance no one can quite understand. The liberal response to this jumble of mysteries...
AAAGH STOP I'LL CONFESS. Fernandez has always been tough to follow, but you can usually track his intent through chunks in the spoor. And for a while that method serves here, too:
Europe appears to be unaccountably in the midst of what the media vaguely describes as a drift to the "extreme right." Even Sweden, long the iconic "moral superpower" of the left, is developing a distinct right-wing list.
The libs are concerned with the rise of crypto-Nazis. How childish, when the real problem is political correctness! On and on Fernandez goes about the "censorship" experienced by -- let's look at where his link goes; ah yes: experienced by Alex Jones and other assholes.

And what's worse is what the censorship is doing to our minds: "The willingness to self-censor speaks volumes about how important it is to preserve the paradigm." Soon our children will come home morosely dragging their bookbags and, after the mandatory prayer to Soros, murmur, "Teacher says I shouldn't talk about lizard people and try and sell the other kids supplements."

Let's look at his close:
But the Narrative, however powerful, cannot remain unchanged forever. If the liberal world order does not break up along left-right fault lines then it will fragment under the regulatory schemes aimed at carving it up into fiefdoms It may in the end prove impossible to determine in which direction the "arc of history" bends. #TakeItBack? There's nothing to take back. The future we imagined on September 11, 2001, and the one promised by Barack Obama in 2008 were not what we wound up with. Maybe that is all for the best. About the only thing we can confidently predict is that tomorrow will surprise us.
This is gibberish. I'm sorry. If you've done some reading of rightblogs you'll have some idea of what they mean when they refer to The Narrative, but when it comes to cases all it really means is Stuff Said By People Who Are Not Me. Like The Federalist’s Stella Morbito, who recently harrumphed that "a stranger coming up to you assuming you share his views" is "annoying, not to mention disrespectful," Fernandez eschews the consensus reality of us littlebrains. But what he offers as an alternative is just a thicket of allusions, quotations, and bosh. I charitably assume that he hopes with his wordstorms to attain something like the effect, or at least the status, of poetry. But his writing sucks. It really, really sucks.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

17 YEARS ON...

...conservatives aren't sure what to do with 9/11. Back in the day, it was a great bludgeon to bully everyone into line: Wear your flag pin, support the troops, watch what you say, torture's too good for 'em. Thousands of American lives, untold numbers of other lives, and trillions of dollars later, it all seems insane. Actually it seemed insane to many of us at the time, but over the years others, including even some conservatives, appear to have caught on, albeit sullenly, that the general response to the event was, shall we say, counterproductive.

The biggest warmongers, like Glenn Reynolds, still claim everything went great except Obama fucked it up. Maybe he thinks tinfoil will defend him from the judgment of history. True Muslim-haters like Bruce Bawer and Frank Gaffney generally hope Trump will make things right but take a "jury's still out" approach -- that is, they know he's the kind of callous thug who wouldn't mind bombing Iran, they're just getting impatient for him to actually go on and do it.

Most of us are content to treat 9/11 as our era's Pearl Harbor, a day of forgetting as well as remembrance; we're as far from the WTC and Pentagon attacks as Americans were from the day of infamy in 1958. (By then we were already buying Japanese transistor radios.) But this hindsight, like the mania that preceded it, is evanescent. Some conservatives today have been telling us that the terror is all but over, implying that it was our bloody, expensive wars that made it so. "Oh, some analysts say al-Qaeda won?" says Jim Geraghty at National Review. "I notice Osama bin Laden didn’t make it to the victory party." Geraghty has nothing if not nerve, and I mean that literally. "Al-Qaeda’s not even the top 'brand name' in Islamist terrorism anymore," Geraghty fist-pumps. "ISIS turned into the big name in the headlines, the preeminent threat, the most feared producers of those nightmare-inducing videos. And the Islamic State has been reduced from a sprawling terror-nation the size of Britain to a bunch of guys making their last stand in Hajin, a town of about 60,000 people." Wow, problem solved! Go look at the news from Afghanistan (e.g., "Dozens killed and injured in suicide attack at Afghan protest") and Iraq (e.g., "Water shortages to cut Iraq's irrigated wheat area by half"), or better yet go to Iraq or Afghanistan and see how it looks from there. We fucked those countries up beyond recognition and Geraghty's hauling the Mission Accomplished banner back out.

Faint as the memory of the war-whoops may be, so too, soon enough, will be the memory of the reckoning, and when Trump declares war on Iran -- or Venezuela, or North Korea, or Canada -- it'll be Johnny Get Your Gun all over again for a lot of people. We'll see then how much we have and haven't learned.

Meanwhile, all honor to the memory of the dead. It was strange, sad time to live through in New York; I have no prose poems or weeping eagles to offer. Here's a little something I wrote in the immediate aftermath.

Sunday, September 09, 2018


I suppose you guys have seen the sad stories of saps snipping their swatches over the Nike ad with the Bad Man in it -- which subject is treated at greater length in my subscription newsletter *--  but in future, when I look back on this week's outrage, I shall always first recall, not the reaction of President Trump, but how it was handled by the Conservative Pets twitter account:

Doggos and ressentiment -- it can't miss! Except Nike seems not to be suffering from the wingnut tantrums over Kaepernick, so this one joins previous conservative blubber-boycotts against French wine, the Dixie ChicksGermany, Starbucks, Kellogg's, et alia, that went nowhere, but over which wingnuts beat their chests. And, as with those failed boycotts, conservatives are still declaring victory, confident that their followers don't actually follow the market or read the papers and won't realize that their oafish opposition doesn't mean shit to a company that markets to young people rather than to aging rednecks who only buy athletic gear to burn in YouTube videos. 

You can tell how badly the boycotts are doing by the Wall Street Journal, which engaged Adam Kirsch to lament "The Destructive Politics of Pseudo-Boycotts," taking care to remind us that it's a bothsides problem because, while rednecks burned their shorts without hurting Nike sales, liberals boycotted The New Yorker's festival because white nationalist Steve Bannon was headlining -- and got Bannon disinvited, which just goes to show how awful boycotts are. There's even a paragraph about the Montgomery bus boycott in the thing, which suggests to me Kirsch was prepared to file a more favorable column until the sales figures came in.

But the top propagandists are still throwing Hail Marys. I went above and beyond by watching a Ben Shapiro video on the subject -- or at least as much as I could stand. Within the first 10 seconds I heard this: "Nike in a viral piece of marketing decided it was deeply necessary to reward Colin Kaepernick." Whatever they're paying his ghostwriters should have gone instead to ESL classes. Shapiro also knocked Kaepernick's athleticism -- "He was a garbage quarterback, he's one of the lowest rated quarterbacks in the NFL," quoth "Crossfit guy" Shapiro -- and reported Kaepernick was protesting "police brutality or some such nonsense." By the one-minute mark, when Shapiro brought up that hardy wingnut perennial, Kaepernick's pigs-as-cops socks -- "there's legitimately pictures of pigs with cop hats on them!" --  his adenoidal, mosquito-on-meth burble was giving me a migraine and I had to bail. I guess that's the secret weapon with which Shapiro DESTROYS liberals

The clearest sign that it this is all bullshit is conservatives like Thom Loverro of the Washington Times, Jim Geraghty of National Review, Stupidest Man On The Internet Jim Hoft et alia pretending they care about Nike running sweatshops. I mean, even Trumpkin Reddit forum r/The_Donald has a page called "MUST WATCH. Very Powerful NIKE Sweatshop Documentary" -- previously these guys were only interested in sweatshops as a source for mail-order brides. When you find wingnuts agitating for workers' rights, you know you've hit rock bottom. 

Meantime, I see conservatives have taken up another sports issue -- Serena Williams getting docked a game at the U.S. Open for arguing with an umpire -- and are uniformly siding with the ump. Think it's because they're astute connoisseurs of tennis? Here's a hint: "Whining Serena Williams is tennis’s Hillary Clinton," says rightwing pencilneck Roger Kimball. "Funny How Serena Has Trouble With Referees Only When She's Losing," says Adam Rubenstein at The Weekly Standard. And if you want a good look at the conservative id, check the responses to this MAGA choad's Serena Williams tweet (sample: "I do not take anything Williams says seriously. Her own sister was murdered by the Crips street gang... yet she did the Crips Walk after winning a tournament"). I can see all of these assholes holding an old loving cup like the Coach in That Championship Season and moaning "basketball is no longer the white man's game." 

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