Friday, October 18, 2019


It's a zeitgeist thing. Perhaps you can relate! 

•   I've unleashed another issue of my newsletter, Roy Edroso Breaks It Down, for which subscribers pay big money (well, money anyway) but which you lot can have free 'cause I'm socialistic. It's my vision of how Mick Mulvaney and Trump post-mortemed Mulvaney's insane press conference over a nice bowl of Dr. Bornstein's formula. (I don't believe the obviously planted story that Trump was angry with Mulvaney's presser and made him go back and fix it -- I assume he wanted Mulvaney to be as belligerent about his criminality as he was, as part of his longtime process of numbing the public to his grifts. If anything Mulvaney probably pushed to have his second version on the public record in case some law enforcement agency finally gets the drop on this mob.)

•   After yesterday's fuckfest of Trump corruption -- more evidence of quid pro quo with Ukraine, selling out the Kurds, Trump awarding his own hotel a nice fat G7 contract, Rick Perry (recently implicated in the Ukraine mess) resigning, etc. -- what does Jim Geraghty have for his National Review roundup?

- How conservatives should love Mark Zuckerberg for refusing to vet his ads, which would be totalitarian ("Mark Zuckerberg Refuses to Bend the Knee");

- How Trump's "Impeachment Trial Could Come at the Worst Time" for the Democrats in the Senate (no speculation as to how Trump's impeachment trial, however, would affect Trump);

- "Amazon Decides It’s Had Enough Socialism in Seattle Politics" and is flooding the local city council races with money for corporatist candidates, which is totally not the "crony capitalism" Geraghty normally bitches about.

And in an addendum Geraghty applauds a former head of Planned Parenthood for
recognizing moral complexities and moral discomfort, at a time when the Democratic party and her previous employer are increasingly adamant that the issue isn’t complicated, and that any limitation under any circumstances represents a draconian patriarchal injustice. Wen sounds like the kind of pro-choice advocate that a pro-lifer could have a good conversation with, and in this era, that’s a small miracle.
and that conversation would start with "here's why you're a babykiller" and the pro-lifer throwing a jar of festuses at her.

•   Here, have another treat from the newsletter jar! This one's about what that rumored new conservative network might look like.

•   It's pretty axiomatic that you can judge someone by how they treat people who are serving them. Well:

Now, it's no shock that Fox News people would be total dicks, but I would take it further and say that -- while there are some nice people with conservative views -- as conservatism disintegrates as an ideology and becomes ever more clearly the "series of irritable mental gestures" Lionel Trilling described, it seems just being a specific kind of asshole is nearly all that conservatism demands. I mean, what do they believe in? Good stewardship of the public fisc? Come the fuck on. This quote from Yuval Levin in Jonah Goldberg's newsletter The Dispatch shows, I assume inadvertently, how ridiculous that is:
“The most conservative—fiscally conservative and otherwise—Republican members had a sense that they were there on behalf of a certain kind of voter, and then it turned out that it was their voters who were the first to go for Trump. And Trump talked about none of the things that they thought those voters cared a lot about,” Levin said. “They’re very insecure about their understanding of the political circumstances that they’re living through right now. And part of what that insecurity means is they just don’t bring up stuff that they’re not sure about.”
LOL. Imagine goons like Louie Gohmert and Susan Collins wandering the halls of Congress and having the existential crisis described here. "My voters don't care if we tax-cut our Treasury into the Grand Canyon so long as none of the gains go to black people? My whole life has been a lie!" And what else are they supposed to believe in? Freedom for the Kurds? "All men are created equal"? Who among them could even say it with a straight face? No, the jig is up and the grift is everything. And who's going to attracted to such a cause? Greedy, self-centered assholes. Hell, I wouldn't be shocked if Trump drops a bit into his roadshow about how servers don't deserve tips -- knowing that, unlike his idiot fans, he never has to worry about his next cup of coffee coming with a saliva infusion, because for the modern conservative even one's colleagues are just there to be conned.

Tuesday, October 15, 2019


The New York Times does it again!
Why Are Democrats Jilting G.O.P. Voters Who Want to Like Them?
I just want to like you, Demmycrats, but you insist on killing babies and letting immigrants see a doctor when they're sick, says Ericka Andersen -- described by the Times only as "a freelance writer in Indianapolis," but, David Klion notices, a longtime rightwing operative, writer for The Federalist, and former "Online Media Director for GOP House Leadership  under Vice-President Mike Pence." So you can tell she's ready to consider voting for a Democrat!

Under President Trump, a small slice of America’s electorate seeks a reason to call the Democratic Party home for the very first time. But without adequate hospitality to welcome them, they will disappear quickly.
Is she talking about those Trump voters the Times breathlessly apotheosizes every couple of weeks? I get the impression Andersen seeks to rep a more upscale conservative constituency -- the kind who don't fly Confederate flags but post endlessly on Nextdoor about black hoodlums dragging down their real estate values.
With a few exceptions on particular policies, the Democratic presidential field neglects abundant pools of potential Democrat converts, leaving persuadable audiences — like independents and Trump-averse, anti-abortion Christians (some of whom are white evangelicals) — without options.
The exception is Representative Tulsi Gabbard, the candidate making the most visible effort to help moderates and newbies feel included.
Holy fuck -- she's pushing Reason magazine's favorite Democrat! True, a lot of conservatives who cheered Gabbard for challenging Obama's foreign policy fall off the wagon whenever she claps back at Trump's -- see the mean MAGA comments to her condemnation of Trump turning our armed forces into Saudi rent-a-cops -- but Gabbard has something that Andersen and dozens like her will always love -- the potential to fuck up the Democrats in 2020! She's a Jill Stein they can jerk off to.

It seems Andersen mainly likes Gabbard -- despite Gabbard's positions like Medicare for All which, I'm pretty sure, the former Pence operative does not endorse -- because abortion:
She has a progressive agenda that includes Medicare for All, but she’s also one of only two candidates who supports abortion restrictions in the third trimester. “Unless a woman’s life or severe health consequences is at risk,” she told the conservative podcast host Dave Rubin, “then there shouldn’t be abortion in the third trimester.”
If this op-ed achieves anything, it will be to make more Democrats dislike Gabbard. Which will make more Republicans like her! It's two-and-a-half-D chess.
Appearing on right-leaning media is another clue that she’s serious about attracting new voters (something Andrew Yang, the businessman candidate, has also prioritized.) 
Oh God, that asshole. Anyway, why should Democrats nominate an abortion moderate, what would they gain? Andersen (author of, I swear to God, "Peter Buttigieg Loves God’s Creation When It’s A Rainbow But Not When It’s A Baby") does the non-math:
The voters are there, according to FiveThirtyEight. Younger white evangelical Christians now view Mr. Trump far less favorably than their parents’ generation: 60 percent of those 44 and under saw the president as “very” or “somewhat” favorable, compared with 80 percent of those 45 or older. 
I have a sneaking suspicion that of you're a young white evangelical Christian who doesn't like Trump, you're a Rod Dreher "King Cyrus" type who will cry about Trump's vulgarity all the way to the polling station to vote for him. (Either that or you're secretly gay and it's gonna go off like a bomb at Thanksgiving so have your traveling shoes polished, honey.)
And independents leaning right, who may have voted for Mr. Trump in 2016, hover around 10 percent of the electorate. There’s no guarantee that this translates to voting for the Democratic candidate in 2020...
...but speaking as a member of this group, I think the opportunity exists where it once didn’t.
Speaking as someone not born yesterday, GTFOOH. We're not (Andersen actually writes) "quick to placate culture warriors who demonize those with traditional beliefs about sex and gender" -- we actually think gay and trans people are cool and have rights and we're not going to trade them away so you'll maybe decide to vote Democrat for the first time in your awful Jesus freak life.

Friday, October 11, 2019


Blue? Here you go.

•   There's not much Whatshisname can do to rev my disgust beyond the current eternal 100%, but his whole bit about how the homeless should be shoved out of sight because they hurt the "prestige" of cities -- because that's on-brand for him, I guess, in both its stupefying callousness and the warped notion it betrays of what people want out of city life -- does push the envelope. Fortunately his enablers manage to make it somewhat entertaining. Behold, Armstrong Williams -- yes, he's still alive, still a terrible wingnut grifter, and of course writing for Ben Shapiro -- purporting to describe his recent trip to San Francisco. First, attend his "before" picture of Baghdad by the Bay:
A decade ago, you could ask someone what they pictured when they thought of the Golden Gate City: the Golden Gate Bridge, of course, as well as beautiful Victorian row houses cloaked in fog, clanging trolleys, a bohemian vibe, a city that took pride in the legendary football team of Super Bowl champions Joe Montana and Jerry Rice, the thunderous power of San Francisco Giants home run slugger Barry Bonds.
Those were certainly the associations I had as I disembarked at the airport and began a brief business trip in the city. 
See, already he's full of shit. This is like a corporate brochure where you start with the traditional stereotypes, then realize your audience is a bunch of chunkheads who'd think "ugh, Victorian, ain't that sumpin' old, I wanna live in a gleaming tower like my hero Donald Trump" -- though they might like the idea of the Golden Gate if they think it's real gold! -- and so ladle in a bunch of sports bullshit (ancient sports bullshit at that -- I guess he's never heard of the Golden State Warriors) because what's he going to tell them? That the city is rich? Which it is -- and that's the actual scandal of all its homelessness! That there's enough money to house everybody, if only capitalism would allow it! --  but in the Trump fantasy these assholes push, the cities must have given all their money to bums in the form of welfare.

Anyway Williams gets down to it:
What I discovered shocked the conscience and literally left me sick to my stomach. 
I walked the streets near the corporate headquarters of Twitter and Uber. These two tech giants are examples of how San Francisco has transformed itself into a hub of technology and innovation. Scurrying along near the building and gliding past on skateboards were young and optimistic men and women dressed casually as they reported for work. A nearby gym was packed with tattooed exercisers pumping iron as electronic dance music thumped from the speakers.
He's right -- I am sick to my stomach! Oh wait, he meant bums:
...I looked on in disbelief as a man held his shirt aside as a woman with matted hair shoved a syringe into his neck, plunging illegal narcotics into his veins. Around the corner, an encampment of homeless people milled about next to a half-dozen tents that had been set up on the sidewalk right next to the entrance of an office building. 
A barefoot man with open sores oozing blood and pus wandered aimlessly in the street, his eyes glazed over and his mouth opening to emit sounds somewhere between howls and moans. Crack pipes were passed among filthy people squatting on the sidewalk.
How'd he leave out the cockroaches, the smell of urine and Thunderbird, and some stumblin' mumblin' dude named Dakota asking him for a quarter? It's like he's not even trying! But:
I could only stare and shake my head as a man pulled down his pants and defecated in a tree box next to a busy road as people walked past and cars whizzed by.
At least he got feces in there! The fans demand it!

Then Armstrong gives us an alleged "unabashed far-left liberal who backed Barack Obama and today supports Bernie Sanders" who tells him, I swear to God, "We need our own [Rudy] Giuliani to come and clean San Francisco up." Maybe San Fran's Rudy is hanging out with Russian mobsters like the real one. Thanks, Williams, for brightening up this depressing homeless-hate with your hilarious crap writing!

•   And hey everybody, sorry for light alicublog posting; besides the Goddamn Job, I am busy all the goddamn time writing my newsletter, Roy Edroso Breaks It Down. It's a paying proposition, but here are a couple of freebies for you from the past week: First, an examination of one Talking Heads song that's always fascinated me (I used to write about music here and also for others and would kind of like to get back to it); second, another of my Oval Office playlets, this one about Trump's boys coming by for some horseplay.

•   American foreign policy has been shit for decades; seen ungenerously, it has always sucked, and only civilization threats like the Confederacy and Hitler have distracted our leaders from straight land grabs like the Mexican-American War, wars of empire like the Spanish-American War, and client state slapdowns like all the little ones in this century. So it figures that libertarians are glibertarians about Trump getting some U.S. troops out of the way so Turkey can massacre the Kurds. For them, anti-imperialism is gestural, so doing Fall of Saigon Middle East Edition is a win even though we're still leaving forces in the region to regulate our interests (oil, Saudi gelt).

Trump of course has no idea about any of this. He only knows who's paying him, and acting accordingly, with a ham-handed attempt to make it look not so terrible:
Mr. Trump acquiesced to the Turkish operation in a call with Turkey’s president on Sunday, agreeing to move American troops out of Turkey’s way despite opposition from his own State Department and military. 
On Wednesday, hours after the operation began, he condemned it, calling it “a bad idea.” 
By that time, Turkish fighter jets were streaking through the sky over Syrian towns, while artillery shells boomed overhead. Traffic was jammed with terrified civilians fleeing south in trucks piled high with possessions and children.
What a maroon. It's interesting that the rightwing propaganda trust is letting out the string for conservatives to tut-tut the president they all, I remind you, still support despite the growing bill of particulars against him. ("Member of US Special Forces says, 'I am ashamed for the first time in my career,'" LOL. Also LOL: Fox referring to the guy as a "hardened service member.") I assume it has nothing to do with their voters or viewers, 99% of whom wouldn't piss on a Kurd or any other brownskin if he were on fire, and more to do with market share or pole position when the post-Trump jockeying for news show slots opens up. I tell you, I always thought that poster about making the military hold bake sales was stupid, but now I like it (only I'd change it to "military contractors").

Thursday, October 03, 2019


"I said I might have to run all the way/Because the bus might be slow today."
Props to a brother who knew what it was like.

At my newsletter (SUBSCRIBE! CHEAP! ™) I sometimes do these little White House dialogues, and in so doing I employ to the best of my limited abilities skills I learned in school, and over years as a practicing artist, and over decades as a professional writer, to make the characters sound like distinct, individualized human beings whose plight may be interesting to audiences. So let me tell you that when I see David Brooks create a dialogue between "Urban Guy" and "Flyover Man," I'm not just derisive and contemptuous, which is the default reaction of any intelligent person to David Brooks, I'm also embarrassed as a craftsman.
F.M.: ...Listen, do you remember those months just after the election when people like you were briefly curious about people like me? You sent your reporters out on wild safaris into the hinterlands to interview Trump voters. You read “Hillbilly Elegy.” Back then it was fashionable to say that Trump is just a symptom of real problems in America. He’s the wrong answer to the right question. 
It didn’t take you long to lose interest in all that. Now we’re just a block of concrete you call “his base.” Now, all you care about is Trump, not his supporters or the issues driving us. Your whole media is Trump-O-Centric 
You might say this feller's pretty eloquent for a Trumpkin, but actually he's not eloquent at all -- merely stiff. "Now, all you care about is Trump, not his supporters or the issues driving us," ugh. What's the point of being Flyover Man if you have to talk in clumsy complex sentences like a New York Times columnist? I thought them fellers all sounded like (consults Book of Boomer Cool) Matthew McConaughey.
U.G.: We became Trump-O-Centric because his daily outrages undermine norms, spread xenophobia, degrade public morality. 
F.M.: You think that because you have the kind of jobs that allow you to follow Twitter all day. I don’t have that luxury. So all that passing nonsense seems far away. I have to deal with the actual realities of life. 
Really? You don't "have the kind of job that allows you to follow Twitter all day"? Because you sound like a Heritage Foundation intern. What does Brooks think this guy does for a living? I like to imagine him scribbling a little checklist -- "Supervises operations where men sweat/ Sometimes breaks up fights on the 'shop floor,' but not by violence, rather he uses homespun wisdom and Christian values/ After the factory whistle blows, enjoys a hearty lambic with the 'boys' but always comes home on time to his younger second wife."
One, mass immigration is changing my town, region and state...
ARRRGH why not "my greater metropolitan area"?

Doesn't Brooks realize that "Flyover Man" and "Urban Guy" sound like the exactly the same person, except one has been hired to misapprehend Trump voters and the other to misapprehend Democrats? Here is perhaps the worst section:
F.M... Let’s face it: Bashing Trump is the media’s business model. That’s what drives eyeballs and profit. 
U.G.: We can’t have a productive conversation with Trump around. He lies with abandon. He slanders and insults. He pollutes the water near and far. 
On my honor as an Urban Guy and an impudent snob, I have never heard anyone talk like this. Not even at a "cocktail party"!
F.M.: We can’t have productive conversations if every time I open my mouth you call me a bigot...
For a second I thought this was Brooks being ironic -- because in fact "U.G." had not called "F.M." a bigot -- and maybe in his psychologically crippled way Brooks was alluding to it with this follow-up:
U.G.: O.K. I get it. You’re not the first person to spin the right-wing victim narrative in front of me.
But Urban Guy neither gets not asks for an answer, and instead asks:
Why don’t we focus on impeachment? On rule of law. 
 Again: Who the fuck are these people, and why are they having a conversation, unless it's because they're on some cable talk show where the liberal is supposed to take a dive?
F.M.: Fine. Bottom line: I would be open to impeachment if you cared about my problems...
Neither you nor I have all day, so bottom line: Flyover Man never says anything like "I suppose you think you're somethin' better than me, you Jew faggot bastard," and Urban Guy never says anything like, "Why don't you stop fucking your cousin long enough to notice Trump is fucking you in the ass, you stupid redneck peckerwood," so it ain't interesting.

Thursday, September 26, 2019


King of the JustTheTip Trumpers Rod Dreher, shortly after doing one of his highly outraged Look What Trump Has Done This Time posts, says good conservatives should defend Trump because he's like Edwin Edwards, because he's crooked but acceptable as opposed to "the Left" -- that is to say, Democrats including (I shit you not) Joe Biden, whom Dreher excoriates for his defense of "radical transgender rights" -- which is like David Duke, the Klansman Edwards defeated in the 1991 Louisiana governor's race:
It’s hard to express strongly enough how much both conservatives and good-government liberals despised Edwin Edwards. He was, and remains, a clever man, but also a symbol of good ol’ boy Louisiana political corruption. To find oneself in a position to have to vote for EWE because that was the only way to keep a Klucker out of the governor’s mansion was revolting. I can remember to this day standing in the voting booth and pulling the lever for Edwards — something I never, ever imagined doing.
I bet that's not to only time Dreher had to overcome his disgust before "pulling the lever."
As regular readers know, I did not vote in the 2016 presidential race (it didn’t matter; my state was heavily pro-Trump), but if I end up voting for Trump in 2020, it’ll be a VFTC:II thing.
"If I end up voting for Trump"? He must think his readers are awfully stupid. With good reason tho!
It’s easy to see how Trump is analogous to EWE (though unlike Trump, EWE was quite competent).
Oh for fuck's sake.
But how can the 2020 Democratic presidential candidates possibly be analogized in any way to David Duke?
A non-lunatic would have stopped there, balled up his laptop and thrown it in the trash. But not Dreher: He argues that even though "Duke’s political positions were mostly boilerplate Reagan conservatism... everybody knew that Duke was no ordinary Republican." (Boy, there's a statement that could use some examination!) So many Republicans rebuffed him to avoid "mainstreaming a truly hateful figure."

Of course, from my vantage point in 2019, it looks like mainstreaming a truly hateful figure is Republican strategy and David Duke -- now an ardent Trump fan -- was a prophet of the party's future. But Dreher says no, the Democrats are the Klansmen, because abortion and whatnot:
What about immigration? Am I happy with the way Trump has handled the immigration issue? No. But unlike Elizabeth Warren, his likely 2020 rival, he is not for open borders. Biden has been evasive on his immigration stance, but I have every confidence that he will move to the far left.
As a Christian, it's important to maintain the baby cages to prevent a Mexican from working at my local gas and go.

Oh, and before we leave the topic I have to include some classic Dreherisms. To wit:
Remember Nina Burleigh? She’s the journalist who, back during the Clinton impeachment proceedings, said that she would fellate Clinton herself to thank him for preserving abortion rights. At the time, conservatives (including me) cited that as an example of how corrupt liberals were. Just look at that so-called feminist, carrying water for that dirtbag Bill Clinton! we said. Where are her morals now? 
In retrospect, Burleigh was right... 
Yeah, it was gross. But from a pro-choice feminist point of view, it was defensible. Trump has turned a lot of us into Nina Burleigh Conservatives.
Just close your eyes and think of the Rapture! On the other hand:
UPDATE.2: I’m struggling with this. I’m going to think out loud here for a minute.
It's 4 a.m. and he's still got his pants on. But when your date is Donald Trump, I imagine the idea is to hold out until he gets rough.

Tuesday, September 24, 2019


It could all go to shit, but meanwhile it's sure fun to look at the front pages of wingnut welfare make-work sites like RedState:

He's not mad, he's laughing actually! Also at RedState:

Ha ha, way ahead of you, buddy. You ain't getting away with that Bill Barr bullshit again.

Ol' Ham-Face is taking it well at The Resurgent:

His pleasure centers starved, Erickson snuggles memories of the time they drove that BITCH who tried to take down St. Boof into hiding.
The whistleblower, we know, did not have direct knowledge of the President’s communication with Ukraine’s President.
No citation, natch. If you can't dazzle 'em with brilliance, etc. like Bill Fields said.
The whistleblower is going to be represented by a former staffer who worked for both Chuck Schumer and Hillary Clinton.
Scary rattling of chains! Whoo-oo-oo Pelooooosiiiii.
The Democrats have been trying to use partisan whistleblowers in the bureaucracy to discredit President Trump and, conveniently, a year before the election they’ve found one.
Again, no citation; I assume Erickson means that any time a whistleblower files a qui tam suit to bring a corrupt organization to justice, he or she is attacking Trump, as he is the very spirit of corruption.
Democrats will focus on the President and what the whistleblower claims the President did. But we should wonder about Democrats trying for two years to weaponize the whistleblower statute against the President.
This is going to be the Christine Blasey Ford of whistleblower allegations. There’ll be no direct knowledge, no corroborating witnesses, and the Democrats will insist it is the truth with helpful assists from the New York Times and Washington Post.
If he's going to fantasize that this'll go just like some past event went, why doesn't he do the Clinton impeachment? But then I doubt even Erickson can imagine Trump's polls going up afterward. As I said two years ago, even the few voters who support Trunp have long been kinda sick of him, and will happily throw him over during this season of fire and dream of a shot at electing Honey Boo-Boo or Joey Salads or some other less overexposed creep who will do just as good a job of destroying the country.

Okay, one more -- let's make it a twofer:

Like one of my favorite bumper stickers says, we come from different worlds; mine has soap and toothpaste. 

Friday, September 20, 2019


Genre bendahs.

• For those of who who haven't yet subscribed to Roy Edroso Breaks It Down (five servings of premium content every week! Cheap!), here's another freebie, in which The Atlantic Festival comes up with the perfect interviewer for (and this I'm not making up) their session with former Homeland Security child jailer Kirstjen Nielsen. Enjoy!

• Seeing all these kids marching to fight climate change today puts me in mind of the idea, spread by the New York Times and other trend-chasing organizations and popular till recently, that notwithstanding their candidate got the most votes in 2016 it was liberals who lived in a "bubble" and as some sort of penance must travel outside it to the great Cletus Safari trail, and expose themselves to the views of Trump voters. The idea seemed idiotic to me then -- and even before then, when Charles Murray was peddling it with his Belmost/Fishtown "Bubble Test" -- and nearly three years on, it's so obviously ridiculous that even the Times seems to have backed off it. In polls Trump is down to his rump, the kids are all into reversing climate change, even Republicans want an assault weapons ban, and striking GM workers are showing dramatically that unions are not rightwing swearwords and featherbedding conspiracies but ways for working people to make a decent living, and Americans are increasingly into it. The notion that you had to listen to some geezer in a diner tell you why they thought a game show host was going to protect them transsexuals should be added into future editions of Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds.

Tuesday, September 17, 2019


Rod Dreher, better known for his obsession with gays, transsexuals, and cuddly neofascist dictators, has branched into medicine with disastrous results:
You might remember the post here about “Moralistic Therapeutic Med School,” in which medical schools are starting to remove or relocate images of white men affiliated with the school who accomplished great things.
Ah, yes, I remember -- it was bullshit.
This is about something related, but much more serious. 
A reader who is a physician sent me this WSJ op-ed column the other day. He said that this is bad news for the medical profession. The author is Stanley Goldfarb, a former administrator at Penn’s medical school. Excerpts:
Goldfarb's brief op-ed, "Take Two Aspirin and Call Me by My Pronouns," is just a series of grump-farts -- he complains, for example, of being "chastised by a faculty member for not including a program on climate change in the course of study" at his med school. Ooooh, how SJW! But Goldfarb's real bugbear is the "educational specialists" he encounters who "emphasize 'social justice' that relates to health care only tangentially" and "focus on eliminating health disparities..."

In case you don't know (and Dr. Golfarb seems to hope you don't), this is something known as population health, to which Goldfarb refers as if it were some ghastly new fad like rainbow parties but which has been around for decades and is studied by the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and thousands of scholars and think tanks. It is not something working MDs do instead of treating their patients. Even holy Mike Pence employed a few such experts for his Healthy Indiana Medicaid initiative, from which Seema Verma was promoted to CMS Administrator, in which capacity she often talks about addressing "health disparities." Tell me they're SJWs!

Goldfarb also says that "teaching these issues is coming at the expense of rigorous training in medical science," an outrageous claim for which he offers absolutely zero evidence. Does he really think new doctors don't know how to treat the sick because they spent too much time on "social justice" in school? Doubtful, but I expect he knows some Journal readers will be dumb enough to buy it.

Dreher takes this all at face value, natch:
At some point, reality will take its revenge, and the woke will be banished. But how much suffering will innocent people have to endure before it does? And how many people of faith will be deterred from seeking a medical career because the militant left has placed absurd barriers to keep out the politically incorrect.
Come on, guy, can't you at least find some Young Republican who can claim he was discouraged from attending Johns Hopkins by hippies?

But wait, there's more: Dreher finds a way to connect this paranoid miasma to his transphobia. Instead of hectoring trans folks as usual, though, he tells them (from a hygienic distance) that he understands their plight because he's been there, in a sense:
I have never felt comfortable in my body, though I thought for most of my life this was simply neurosis. No, I have never had the faintest thought of gender dysphoria, but it manifested itself in something feeling … not right. Something hard to define.
To be frank, one reason I drank so much in college — aside from the fact that LSU in the 1980s had a massive binge-drinking culture — was to overcome that sense of not-rightness, so I could talk to girls. The point is, when I read about officially-diagnosed autistic young people seeking sex changes because they say they don’t feel right in their bodies, I get that. I can’t pretend to know about that from a sexualized point of view, but that sense that things aren’t right is quite familiar to me. And it never goes away. You just have to learn how to cope with it. For me, it got better as I grew older.
See, y'all don't need top surgery -- you need time and Jesus! But no, they won't listen -- these transsexuals turn away from their Savior and allow themselves to be "driven by the popular culture and the culture of medicine [!] into asking for life-changing procedures that will not actually cure them..." When Rod takes over as Patriarch of the Popes, them so-called doctors will have to dispense the Blood of the Lamb!

Dreher's materia medica is also invoked in an earlier post:
I’ve done research in the past on the phenomenon of demon possession, and it does seem to be tied closely to intense childhood trauma, especially in the family — sexual trauma in particular. There is something about trauma that cracks the psyche; sometimes, that crack is big enough for evil spirits to come in. It is certainly not the case that everyone who experiences childhood trauma become possessed! (Actual possession is rare.)
Well, there's a relief. I wonder why Doc Dreher just doesn't go the whole hog and start selling nootropics.

UPDATE. Comments are choice on this one, and one guest reminds me of this wonderful bit from Dreher's autobiographical segment:
I’ve come to see, for example, the fact that I have unusual superpowers when it comes to taste and smell to be an advantage. This is why I love food and wine so much: I can experience aromas and flavors more intensely than most people.
It's not gluttony, it's my superpower! I've laughed for two straight minutes imaging Dreher's audition for the Justice League. (For more enjoyment of Dreher's food fetish, see here.)

Tuesday, September 10, 2019


Rod Dreher's been on another of his foodie-Nazi vacations (doesn't spend much time down on the farm, does he?), this time in Hungary, and by utter, absolutely unforseeable coincidence someone decided that one of America's leading white nationalism apologists should meet Victor Orban!

You may have heard that the Hungarian prime minister is a cryptofascist who gutted the nation's top court when it gave him a hard time, took over the national media likewise, and chased a leading university out of the country because of (((Soros))), among other atrocities. But Dreher basked in the man's presence and wants you to know he's dreamy -- in fact, so mesmerized was he that though he had 90 minutes with Orban he didn't ask him any questions.
I tell you this so you readers don’t ask me why I didn’t challenge Orban on this or that policy of his government. I am perfectly aware that he is a controversial figure who has done things and pursued policy goals that are highly controversial for a number of reasons. However, this was a completely unexpected opportunity to be in the presence of one of the most extraordinary world leaders of our time, and to get a sense of his mind.
I mean, would you ask Jesus questions?
If the only thing you know about Viktor Orban is from Western media accounts, you would think that he was nothing but some kind of mafia thug. The Viktor Orban you encounter in person is very, very different from the Viktor Orban shown to Americans by our media. In Orban — who speaks good English — was energetic, fiercely intelligent, funny, self-deprecating, realistic, and at times almost pugilistic in talking about defending Hungary and her interests. 

Well, I'm convinced. In case The Leader's act wasn't enough to convince the group Dreher was part of, Orban also had on hand "Nicodemus, the Syriac Orthodox archbishop of Mosul, whose Christian community, which predates Islam by several centuries, was savagely persecuted by ISIS." What that's got to do with Hungary? Silence, mortal! Nicodemus does Flava Flav to Orban's Chuck D, ringing out every so often with "Those people, if you give them your small finger, they will want your body" and such like.

Dreher faithfully transmits Orban's messages ("Western peoples have decided to create a post-Christian, post-national, multicultural society. Peoples in Central Europe do not") and closes with what he clearly considers the convincer:
Hungary has a million problems, but Parisian-style banlieues filled with angry and unassimilable Muslim migrants, vicious institutional combat around so-called “white privilege,” and endless fights in locker rooms and libraries over gender ideology are not among them.
Yes, Paris is nothing but a wasteland of ooga-booga and trans commisssars, just like California is nothing but bum shit and New York covers up its high crime with low crime!

If you aren't convinced by Vic 'n' Nic, Dreher comes back at you with a whole extra post of Orban fan art:
[Christopher] Caldwell points out that the [Orban] anti-Soros campaign arguably did traffick in anti-Semitic rhetoric... still, that completely justifiable circumspection should in no way justify averting one’s eyes from the fact that Soros really is using his considerable fortune to liberalize Europe, and to dilute European peoples.
Well, at least he said "dilute" instead of "mongrelize." Maybe in February Dreher can jet off to Brazil and, along with the food and drink, take in Jair Bolsonaro, who will explain to the no doubt speechless American why God wants him to destroy the rainforest.

Saturday, September 07, 2019


Between my God Damn Job and my Roy Edroso Breaks It Down newsletter (Subscribe! Cheap! ™) and sundry other commitments, I don't have as much time for alicublog as I used to, which I regret. But sometimes the Muse of History demands my attention. So this one's for Clio:
Scores of people are leaving the New York City area behind every day. 
New York leads all U.S. metro areas as the largest net loser with 277 people moving every day -- more than double the exodus of 132 just one year ago. Los Angeles and Chicago were next with triple digit daily losses of 201 and 161 residents, respectively.
Further down this Bloomberg article:
The migration figures exclude the natural increase in population, which is the difference between the number of live births and the number of deaths. 
In 10 of the top 100 metros, deaths exceed births. Thus, without migration these cities would be shrinking...
Ha ha. There's a link to the Bloomberg pay site -- tricky! -- where you can find out which of these cities are among the 90% who are gaining despite the outflow. But come on. New York, a city of 8.6 million people, ain't hemorrhaging even if minus 277/day were the whole story.

But of course this factoid is useful provender for the anti-blue-city crowd. I don't know whether Joel Kotkin has got hold of it yet, but I see someone named Jack Kelly at Forbes ("I am a CEO, founder, and executive recruiter at one of the oldest and largest global search firms in my area of expertise," he informs us) has some of whatcha call your analysis!
New Yorkers Are Leaving The City In Droves: Here's Why They're Moving And Where They're Going
First Kelly hits us with another impressive factoid:
United Van Lines, the large moving truck company, keeps statistics on the flow of people. The company reports that three states in the Northeast—New Jersey, New York and Connecticut—are among the top places from which people are moving the fastest.
LOL. I tumbled to this "voting with their moving vans" bullshit years ago, when further inspection of even the hardly-representative moving-van metric revealed that the blue-city boogieman Washington D.C. was a huge gainer. (BTW, DC continues to gain population, and it ain't because the citizens want to be close to Trump.) Back then New York's population was a mere 8.5 million. At this rate it'll soon be a seven-figure ghost town!

But then Kelly gets to the meat of his argument -- i.e., he don't like them big cities nohow:
These statistics make sense to anyone living in these places. The costly living expenses, crumbling infrastructure and high tax rates are a big problem for residents. If you live in NYC, you are forced to pay exorbitant taxes. The schools, bridges, tunnels, trains, airports and hospitals are falling apart. Casually walk the streets of NYC and you’ll notice that they are crowded and dirty. 
New York streets crowded and dirty! Gasp! Musta happened after I left.
It's likely that you’ll see or be confronted by homeless people who clearly display symptoms of serious yet untreated mental or physical issues. The politicians running the city feel that it's more humane to let them to live on the streets, as opposed to being treated in appropriate facilities. The crime rate has risen. To top off the misery, it's cold and snowy in the winter and oppressively hot and humid in the summer.
Cold in the winter and hot in the summer! Hyuk hyuk, I don't see how you people live there.  

Let's flip all the cards: Kelly is probably working an angle for his business ("You can no longer simply think of New York or other big cities as the only destination. You need to figure out where can you find the best jobs and lifestyle for yourself." Fritters, Ala., here I come!). But slagging New York and other cities is popular with conservatives these days because the current President makes a point of slagging them, from Paris to Baltimore, on the advice of his brain trust (Steve Bannon and a vat of cocaine), which knows that his base loves hearing that their own modest hamlets -- with their million-dollar high school football programs, their chicken-processing-dependent economies, and plenty of meth and perks to wash it down -- are superior to the fleshpots, what got bumshit and whatnot all over them, not fit for Christian people.

If only their unearned contempt really meant lower populations and empty, affordable apartments for us city folk! But alas, like everything Trumpy it's just a comforting fantasy for his victims.

UPDATE. Commenters, and folks on the Twitter, point out that the article is talking about the New York metro area, which contains 20 million souls, making the whole thing even stupider. Commenter Mortimer2000 also points out Kelly's claim that "one million people have fled New York City and the tri-state area—which encompasses New Jersey, Connecticut and Long Island—in the last nine years" is bullshit:
The Bloomberg authors, statistical bullshit aside, were writing about a single year, the only year recently when this happened. The population of the Metro area has actually increased by several hundred thousand in the past 9 years. 
They really have no shame, or math ability for that matter. 

Friday, September 06, 2019


These guys are hot shit.

•   I thought Jim Geraghty's earlier version at National Review was embarrassing but Jesus Christ, Rich Lowry's "Five Things They Don’t Tell You about Slavery" is even worse. As with all these rightwing responses to the New York Times' 1619 Project, there's a pro forma of-course-slavery-was-bad preface followed by excuses and mitigating circumstances. Get a load:
1. Through much of human history, slavery was ubiquitous and unquestioned
Slavery wasn’t the exception in human history; it was the norm. The “perennial institution,” as historian Seymour Drescher calls it, was an accepted feature of the ancient world, from ancient Egypt to Greece to Rome, and of traditional societies... 
The United States ended slavery too late (again, Britain is a better model). But let’s not forget how long the slave trade, ended in 1808 in the United States, lasted elsewhere...
Like it's Genocide Musical Chairs. (Also, when they stopped the legal importation of slaves in 1808, the practice was already at a low ebb, and slavers got very efficient about breeding new ones.)
3. Islam was a great conveyor belt of slavery...
Certainly, while slavery was in eclipse in the rest of Europe, it had a new vitality on the Muslim-occupied Iberian peninsula, with Muslims and Christians both engaged in the practice... 
“By the fifteenth century,” historian James Sweet notes, “many Iberian Christians had internalized the racist attitudes of the Muslims and were applying them to the increasing flow of African slaves to their part of the world...
But Mom! Mohammed made us racist slavers!
One would think that there would be more attention paid to the Muslim world’s contribution to race-based slavery, but since it doesn’t offer any opportunity for Western self-reproach, it’s mostly ignored.
Lowry can't even stick to his polite premise, and spasms into the querulous bitter-ender position that people only bring up slavery because they hate America.
None of the other societies tainted by slavery produced the Declaration of Independence, a Washington, Jefferson, and Hamilton, the U.S. Constitution, or a tradition of liberty that inspired people around the world for centuries. If we don’t keep that in mind, as well as the broader context of slavery, we aren’t giving this country — or history — its due.
I'm trying to imagine a somewhat conservative German magazine -- Focus, maybe -- running an article like this about the Third Reich. "People were anti-Semitic before Hitler, you know!" "We had a lot of help from Italy and Japan." "Well, in the end we gave the world the printing press, the modern public school system, and the Alienation Effect, so take that into consideration."

National Review began as a segregationist rag and the only thing that's changed is the effort they put into hiding it.

•   Oh BTW I've unlocked another edition of the Roy Edroso Breaks It Down newsletter, all about what we can expect if other parts of ol' Joe Biden start breaking down on stage. Enjoy!

Thursday, September 05, 2019


Every once is a while the NeverTrumpers and JustTheTipTrumpers tell us how they're gonna revive conservatism, by God. And today Timothy Carney of the Washington Examiner makes a bold choice:
It's time to create a conservative ecosystem that doesn't welcome racists 
Liberal commentators will always say conservatives are just a bunch of racists. This is a lie. But conservatives need to do a better job convincing the racists that it's a lie.

Carney has read Hannah Gais' (excellent) investigative report at Splinter on rightwing orgs (the Institute for Humane Studies,  the Intercollegiate Studies Institute, the Daily Caller) that somehow found themselves harboring a bunch of garden-variety racists.

Carney cannot turn away, and after his initial "horror that otherwise sane-seeming people in the United States hold Hitlerian views," he says he has as a "third reaction" this sentiment: "Great, now liberals are going to paint everyone who’s gone through IHS, ISI, or the Daily Caller as racists."

Late as it comes, this emotion animates the rest of Carney's article. Being a true conservative, he is obsessed with his movement's unjust treatment at the hands of liberals; "Snide liberals will chuckle and say something like, 'Because conservatism is racism,'" he mopes, but conservatives must do something to discourage this unaccountable incursion of white nationalists into conservatism even though "none of this will stop the bad-faith or hate-filled folks on the Left from calling us all bigots in the pages of Bloomberg News or the Washington Post."

(Bloomberg News is a recent addition to the rightwing hit-list, owing to one of their reporters forwarding a smart-alecky online post from one of Trump's Labor department appointees, made in reaction to an anti-Semite, to his boss for comment; the boss, irony-challenged, apparently got the appointee to quit, and every wingnut in Christendom blamed the reporter instead of the administration. The appointee has been fully restored.)

Carney gives a brief sermon about how black people have it rough in this country -- though, he assures his readers, this knowledge "doesn’t require one to declare that whites are all vile racists or oppressors. It doesn’t require agreeing that the U.S. is fundamentally a white supremacist nation." Nonetheless one can imagine the punters drifting away; they're reading the Washington Examiner, after all, and we can imagine for such people the plight of African Americans is way down the list.

But Carney makes it up to you by the end: After sermonizing "first, that all humans are created equal (the official teaching of the U.S. founders and all Abrahamic religions), and second, that blacks and Hispanics have far worse outcomes in the U.S.," he says,
If both of these premises are true — and they are — then things in the U.S. still aren’t fair and can be improved. And if the game is rigged so badly in the U.S. that thousands of young men are shot on the streets of Chicago, that tens of thousands of black babies are aborted every year, that hundreds of thousands are born out of wedlock, then isn’t that a crisis that deserves attention?
Chicago murder! Black babies aborted! Broken families! -- it's Wingnut Race Bingo! And Carney's congregants may file out, secure in the knowledge that nothing need change -- though it may behoove them to make an occasional pretense of concern for the darkskins before flocking to the next Trump rally. If only all their problems were so easy to solve!

Monday, September 02, 2019


I was doing another of my This is Hardcore installments for my award-winning* newsletter Roy Edroso Breaks It Down, to which you should all be subscribed**. These are roundups of crazy shit from emails sent around to aged wingnuts in hopes that they'll click through buy gold or at least download malware. I try to keep these light, which is why I ported this one over here instead: From a site called Steadfast and Loyal, this is from "CASES OF THE MUMPS EXPLODE IN DETENTION CENTERS FOR ILLEGAL ALIENS":
Illegal Alien Detention Centers in 19 states are reporting an unusually high number of mumps cases. 
There has been an alarming number of cases of various diseases that have accompanied illegal aliens into this country, including diseases that had previously been eradicated in the United States. One illegal crossing into the United States through New Mexico had a flesh-eating disease and Ebola is a huge fear also.
The "flesh-eating disease" is neither identified nor linked to a reputable source, so I guess he means this guy -- though you certainly don't need an immigrant to get flesh-eating disease in this country.  And "Ebola is a huge fear" means about as much as "A flyer saucer might come down and scoop everybody up, you never know." (It's in this story, no doubt, because any hint of Ebola is a reliable terror tactic for conservatives.)

But you could read the entire wretched thing and have no clue that the Trump administration has been absurdly, willfully negligent of the health of its concentration camp internees -- not providing basic sanitation and refusing to vaccinate them against the flu despite placing them in crowded, filthy conditions that spread disease, etc. And the mumps thing is part of the package, as is reported by BuzzFeed (not the Fox News bullshit Steadfast and Loyal uses):
Outbreaks of infectious diseases are not uncommon in detention centers, “given the fact that not all folks have access to vaccines in their home country and often don’t have access to vaccines/routine medical care in the US,” [an infectious disease expert] said.
But attorneys for immigrants, public health experts, and advocates are concerned that the current conditions in detention facilities are creating an environment unusually ripe for infectious diseases to spread. In June, a Department of Homeland Security watchdog report found “unsafe and unhealthy” conditions in four ICE detention facilities, including “inadequate medical care,” “expired food,” “dilapidated and moldy” bathrooms, and a lack of clothing and hygiene items.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have a protocol for refugees and immigrants that includes obtaining "proof of immunity" from mumps and, if it's not obtainable, vaccinating the subject. But they do a lot of shit that's not in the protocol at Trump's camps.

To what does S&L attribute the pestilence?
During the Obama administration, they quit doing medical checks on illegals in order to avoid having to release information on diseases brought into the country.
There is no citation for this and this is very much at variance with the administration's performance and planned reforms -- that is to say, it's bullshit. (Conservatives have a habit of lying about this.)

But for the target audience (dotards and assholes), so what? Furriners is dirty, especially the dark-skinned ones, and that's why patriots keep tubs of hand sanitizer within reach at all times, and consume the mental and moral equivalent of it at sites like Steadfast and Loyal.

* I made myself an award out of paper clips painted gold and a gold foil chocolate coin. I'm so ashamed.
** That reminds me,. I haven't put up a FREE newsletter story for a while. So here's a freebie that's sorta political, and here's a freebie that's sorta not. 

Tuesday, August 27, 2019


Look, I know you can open Rod Dreher's blog at The American Conservative any day of the week and get some yuks, but this new item is particularly ridic. As often, it's about how some institution is being destroyed from the inside by political correctness -- in this case, medical school.

How is it being destroyed, you ask? Are students being forced to alter prescriptions to benefit black patients? Is every tenth surgery patient to get forced gender reassignment?

No -- some pictures of white guys are being taken down at some med schools.
If it’s [any day of the week], our Very Woke Media is going to find some new way of telling the story about how white people, especially white male people, are the worst people in the world, and need to be Otherized for the common good. Yesterday it was NPR, bringing to us this “health news,” as they call it.
NPR quotes Leslie Vosshall, a neurobiologist with Rockefeller University and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, on the 100%-male portraits of Lasker- and Nobel-winning scientists hanging in a university auditorium: "It's probably 30 headshots of 30 men. So it's imposing... I think every institution needs to go out into the hallway and ask, 'What kind of message are we sending?'"

Sputters Dreher:
Leslie Vosshall is in most respects vastly more intelligent than I am, but she is a racist, sexist nitwit. What kind of crazy person looks at portraits of a medical school’s Nobel Prize winners and other alumni who have great achievements to their name, and only sees … white men. Who are (therefore) bad people who need to be erased from public life and the institution’s memory?
The Vosshall bitch maybe knows about so-called "science" and "medicine" but by God Rod Dreher knows when white men are getting erased! Plus they got a black guy complaining about his representation! Jesus Christ, what is this, Hitler's "Woke" Germany?

Dreher also relies on this Twitter spin on the traditional Dreher Letters to Penthouse for backup:

"Afraid to say openly" yeah, I bet that means they said "who gives a shit" and Flier said "Gasp! So they got to you, too??" Do check the responses to that tweet -- many female students and MDs kick this guy's ass. And note especially this exchange:

But Dreher totally buys it:
“Afraid to say openly” — because they’re intimidated by the commissars. I keep hearing this, over and over: that people see injustices like this, and they hate it, but they keep their mouths shut because they’re afraid. Guess what, people: this is how bigotry and oppression takes root. In part because of your cowardly silence.
He gabbles on ("Liar. Bigot.") and finally gets to a doozy of a oh-yeah-what-if-it-was-black-people bit:
Let’s say we were talking about the Berklee School of Music, and most of the high-achieving graduates in jazz in the school’s history were black men. If there were a move to remove or relocate portraits of those men because it would make white students feel unwelcome or ill at ease, we would know exactly what was going on here: a racist attempt to deny history, and human achievement. But in this case it’s happening to white males, who, in the eyes of American elites, are demons.
There will be a terrible price to pay for this, you progressive trolls.
Wait'll he finds out there's no picture of Kenny G at Berklee.

UPDATE. Commenters make the excellent point that nowhere in the story is it confirmed that the palefaces will disappear -- Voshall is "redesigning that wall of portraits at Rockefeller University, to add more diversity." Some are just being moved, or integrated, as it were, with portraits of women and people of color. ("We really want to emphasize that we're not trying to erase our history," says a student at the University of Michigan. "We're proud of the people who have brought us to where we are today as a department. But we also want to show that we have a diverse and inclusive department.") Commenter Mortimer2000 notes a Boston Globe story in which some of the living subjects say it's cool with them if their portraits at Brigham and Women's are moved. Ah, but that's only because they fear the PC po-po, no doubt!

Wednesday, August 21, 2019


Wayne Allyn Root write ups are going to be one of those periodic moments where we get to see which reporters will cite RWW for research we did and which ones will pretend they unearthed it all on their own -- Jared Holt
I hear you, bro. Right Wing Watch is always on top of these nutsos and their voluminous coverage of the former Libertarian Party Vice Presidential candidate -- whose most recent self-embarrassment,  his gross "King of Israel" tribute to Trump, which Trump, susceptible as he is to suck-ups, has promoted -- is no exception.

I myself have noted Root's shenanigans over the years -- not in the painstaking way RWW has, but merely as an observer on many occasions when Root was being the rowdiest guest at some crackpot do. There was that time when Chief Justice John Roberts failed to overturn Obamacare and Root suggested he had been blackmailed into it; his insistence, in the middle of Obama's first term, that all his "small business friends" were going to stop hiring entirely ("in this new Obama world of high business taxes... the key to success is to avoid employees") or leave the country and then boy would America be sorry; predicting "Christians Will Empower A Romney Landslide" in 2012 and, when that didn't work, trying to get Obama jailed ("Forget impeachment, it’s time for criminal prosecution"), etc. Haven't noticed him much in the Trump era, though he seems to have maintained the same level of intensity right up to the present (here's one from June where he says libtard American cities are all like Venezuela, and get a load of this).

But Root's not the only conservative who has come to Trump's defense after his incredible statement about the "disloyalty" of Jews who didn't support him and his follow-up gibbers. "MSNBC Panel Tries to Memory Hole Dem Anti-Semitism in Denouncing Trump’s Comments," Newsbusters cries. The tricksy Dems are using the President's plainly anti-Semitic remarks to distract America from the usual Republican smears of dark-skinned Democrats!

Then there are those who straight-up agree with Trump: "'I AM A PROUD JEWISH PERSON', SAYS BERNIE SANDERS WHO PALS AROUND WITH ANTI-SEMITES," rants FrontPage magazine's Daniel Greenfield, waving his Bad Jew detector. Inevitably there are the Insult Jews To Own The Libs takes like "The Morning Briefing: Trump Triggers the Israel Haters" from Stephen Kruiser at PJ Media:
The Democrats have a number of voting blocs they rely on and no one is ever supposed to question why any of them keep voting the way they do. I am a practicing Roman Catholic and I don't understand how millions of other Catholics can vote for politicians who belong to a party that is now positively gleeful about abortion.
I don't know what would make that Catholic thing worse worse for Kruiser -- if he hasn't spent the ten seconds it would take a normal person to figure it out, or if he has.

The modern conservative movement isn't even irritable mental gestures anymore, as Trilling had it; it's more like irritable bowel syndrome.

Friday, August 16, 2019


Just because it's nice and musicianly
doesn't mean I can't like it.

• I have released into the wild a new issue of Roy Edroso Break It Down so non-subscribers can see it. It is about some great new candidates the Republican Party is offering for Congress in 2020. It is inspried by all the new Republican candidates who are totally nuts, like this guy, and these guys, and this lady and oh why go on, just read my thing it's fun.

• I was seriously wondering why Noah Rothman, mainly known to me as a typical commentary asshole, was trending on Twitter like he was Cardi B or something, and found to my amusement that he is a frequent guest on Morning Joe and that everyone hates him. Further reading suggests his latest offense was complaining about Democrats invoking Michael Brown and Ferguson because it is now part of wingnut catechism that Brown deserved to be killed by that cop and that the Real Outrage is Democrats "lying" that it wasn't a good clean kill. There are plenty of examples, but see David French's "On Ferguson, Elizabeth Warren and Kamala Harris Told a Terrible Lie" for a particularly repulsive specimen, featuring this humdinger: "The publication of a false accusation of a crime like murder is libelous under American law. In other words, their lies may well have been illegal." That's pretty rich coming from a theocon crackpot like French, who is also the author of "Is It Uncivil to Argue That Abortion Kills a Baby?" (Calling a quarter of all American women murderers is cool, apparently, but calling the killing of an unarmed black kid murder is criminal libel.)

When I was younger I used to worry whether I was being fair even to conservatives, and might have entertained their bad-faith, angels-on-the-head-of-a-pin discussions about shit like this,  but frankly? Them days is gone.

Tuesday, August 13, 2019


"Give me your tired and your poor who can stand on their own two feet and who will not become a public charge." -- Ken Cuccinelli rewrite of the Statue of Liberty poem.

"We the People of the United States, in Order to bust unions, have appointed me, Jeffrey Epstein's buddy, to run the Department of Labor" -- Preamble of the Constitution as rewritten by Alex Acosta.

"I know not what course others may take, but as for me, give me a cabinet post I'm totally unsuited for, or give my son opportunities to grift -- preferably both!"-- Patrick Henry as rewritten by Ben Carson.

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal except spics and bitches, when's lunch?" -- Declaration of Independence as rewritten by Donald Trump.

Saturday, August 10, 2019


Famed pedophile, celebrity panderer and Trump buddy Jeffrey Epstein manages to commit suicide despite being under suicide watch in a federal facility run by Trump's Attorney General Bob Barr, son of the man who hired (maybe, see Update) the massively unqualified Epstein to teach at the Dalton School.

The big hashtag on Twitter right now is #ClintonBodyCount, and the notion that Hillary killed Epstein is being pushed by at least one Trump official (that is, under her own name, rather than via bots).

I've written about conservatives' weird idée fixe that Hillary Clinton is a mass murderer* but really there's hardly a point to reexamining it anymore; it's wingnut catechism, and as even more bizarre ideas like Pizzagate enter that catechism the original idée gets more fixe; in fact, since whole new generations of wingnut have come up since the madness began in the 90s, its adherents probably have no clear idea of its origins -- why, they probably don't even know who Wayne DuMond is! And they certainly don't know that the crackpot attribution of Vince Foster's suicide to Clinton was promoted by the Wall Street Journal as a propaganda strategy rather than as investigative reporting.

Outside crazytown, there's still some hope justice may be done; but for a certain dank, small slice of the electorate it's too late to avenge the con job to which they've succumbed -- we just have to write them off, leave them to disappear up the asshole of Q-ism, and rebuild.

* I refer to the vengeance and witness-tampering murders for which she is held liable by nuts, and of course the Benghazi bullshit, not her bombing decisions as Secretary of State, of which she is of course guilty as hell.

UPDATE. To be fair -- yeah, I know, but I'm soft-hearted that way -- Barr Sr. announced his resignation in February '74 and Epstein started teaching that summer, so the Times says it's "unclear" whether Barr okayed the hire or not. Barr did stay on at Dalton for the rest of the year, so it could have gone either way.

Friday, August 09, 2019


As I mentioned to readers of my newsletter (Subscribe! Cheap!) this morning, Rod Dreher is raging that a screenplay for The Hunt, apparently an upcoming The Most Dangerous Game ripoff in which people are kidnapped and hunted as prey, shows the hunters in the film referring to the hunted as "deplorables," which Dreher, following the age-old conservative formula of judging movies they haven't seen by their collateral materials, took as an assault by Hollywood on conservatives. Other rightwingers have picked up the cry, and Fox suggests that Trump was talking about this during his latest brain-fart about Hollywood, even though he didn't mention the movie and in fact referred to Hollywood's "racism," which seems not to be a factor in The Hunt.

Snopes is, as you would expect, more cautious about the alleged connection and more sensible overall:
However, the ideology and political affiliation of the characters who hunt and kill what appear to be working-class people from largely rural areas remains unclear, despite the aforementioned websites’ repeated and emphatic descriptions of them as “liberal” and “left-wing” elites. Notwithstanding the context of a fictional horror movie, it should be unnecessary to point out that hunting human beings for sport has never been a tenet of Enlightenment liberalism or modern-day American progressivism. 
Equally, it should be obvious to any mature consumer of culture that a movie that portrays wealthy psychopaths paying to hunt and kill other human beings is not likely to reflect well on the wealthy psychopaths, despite PJ Media’s claim that “The Hunt” actually “promotes violence against ‘deplorables.'”
(Snopes is referring to this dumb Matt Margolis PJ Media thing, which cites the Steve Scalise shooting as evidence of liberal bloodthist.) "It should be unnecessary to point out" are of course famous last words in the bad-faith festival that is modern conservative discourse. In fact Dreher seems to understand that the film's intentions are as yet unknown, but spreads his paranoia capaciously enough that no matter what it turns out to be, he can still be one outraged JustTheTip Trumper:
If you watch the trailer, it’s clear that the liberal elites — talk about your armed Social Justice Warriors! — are not portrayed as good. Still, what the hell could NBC Universal be thinking? They are treating the hunting down and murdering of white conservatives because they are white conservatives as entertainment. Or, more neutrally, they are presenting political mass murder as sport. For all we know, this movie will make the Red Staters out to be heroes. That’s beside the point. In a time of deep and rage-filled political division in this country, in which unhinged people are committing politically-motivated mass murders, this is insanely irresponsible. You cannot convince me that this isn’t an example of wish fulfillment on the part of the Hollywood executives making this movie. 
Universal is stirring up and exploiting primal hatreds. And these cretins wonder why so many people hate them, and vote for Trump. At least now it’s more out in the open than ever.
We last saw this kind of willful misreading in the wingnut sputterfest over Shakespeare in the Park's Julius Caesar which, against all logic, conservatives claimed was inciting violence against Trump. Lord knows they're always comfortable misinterpreting things, but I think they're even more eager to do so with movies, plays, novels etc. because they realize even the simplest works of art have power they neither possess nor understand, and the only way they can deal with it is by squeezing its meanings into tiny bullet-shaped units of propaganda.