Friday, November 08, 2019

FRIDAY 'ROUND-THE-HORN.



Who couldn't use a lift!

•   I'm being worked to death, so forgive me if instead of writing a ton here I redirect you to my newsletter, where in my latest free issue I reveal the process by which the nation's richest men selected Michael Bloomberg to represent their interests -- represent them more overtly, I should say! -- in the Democratic Presidential race. Longtime readers know what I think about the son of a bitch. Here's part of something I wrote about him back in 2007, the first time he pretended to be running for President:
The papers find it interesting that we have the New Yorkers Giuliani, H. Clinton, and Bloomberg at the summit of our politics. I find it depressing. If they represented the New York of Billy Martin, Martin Scorsese, and Johnny Thunders, that'd be one thing. But they represent instead the New York of A-Rod, Judith Miller, and Larry Silverstein -- all power, that is, and no class. The poor and lower middle class once had a little somethin'-somethin' in this city, and they gave both steel and fire to its temperment, but now it's all about the most diseased exemplars of the filthy rich, yuppie dipshits and power-mad clowns -- which isn't a bad way to describe the city's current national candidates, come to think of it, and perhaps the reason why they are so popular with Americans these day.
Sort of a prophet, me, hah? I get a little tried of being right sometimes.

•   Matt Bevin, the Republican governor of Kentucky whose defeat gave me such pleasure on Tuesday, still refuses to concede the election. At National Review Alexandra DeSanctis is (you will not be surprised to learn) sympathetic:
In his most recent statement on the matter, Bevin cited “a number of irregularities” in Tuesday night’s voting and noted that “there’s more than a little bit of history of vote fraud in our state.”

Bevin hasn’t presented any evidence of vote fraud, but his protestations aren’t entirely off-base.
Not entirely off-base, you say? Why's that?
In a statement on Wednesday, Bevin said he plans to ask for an official recanvassing of votes. Here’s what Politico reported about his remarks:
Without providing details, Bevin cited “thousands of absentee ballots that were illegally counted,” reports of voters being “incorrectly turned away” from polling places and “a number of machines that didn’t work properly.” He said his campaign would provide more information as it is gathered, and he did not take questions from reporters.

“We simply want to ensure that there is integrity in the process,” Bevin said at the close of his statement. “We owe this to the people of Kentucky.”
So, he's not off-base because... he says so? You can read the whole wretched thing if you wish; you won't find any evidence offered. But most of DeSanctis' readers will walk away convinced that they saw some. And that, my friends, is how the pros do it. 

Wednesday, November 06, 2019

FOR ELECTION DAY, THE GIFT OF LAUGHTER.

Republicans did very badly last night -- so badly that the White House spin team had to do this:

Needless to say, the Republican candidate in friggin' Mississippi was not down by double digits, but actually ahead by seven points in the polls around the time Trump visited. But Ronna Don'tsay-Romney had to fluff the President's ego, because Democrats won the Kentucky governorship and flipped both Virginia houses. Here's Jazz Shaw of Hot Air doing his bit to make the Kentucky loss look good (starting with claiming it's too close to call):
When I turned on CNN this morning, the crew there was already doing their best to make Trump’s prediction come true and paint this as a defeat for the President, and since he had personally gone down to the Bluegrass State to try to drag Bevin over the finish line I suppose that’s technically true. But some fairly recent polls showed Bevin trailing Beshear by more than a dozen points. Assuming he loses, it will be by roughly one or two points, so it appears that Trump did indeed rally the vote for him and deliver a better than anticipated turnout.
Good job, Donald, getting the Republican to lose by a small margin in KENTUCKY. Rand Paul and Mitch McConnell will sleep soundly tonight!

Meanwhile at the sealed stink tank that is Ace of Spades:
Elsewhere, the other big story is Democrats taking control of both houses of the Virginia legislature for the first time in decades. With all the locust carpetbaggers escaping from blue state shit holes, as well as the creeping socialist-sharia from DC infecting the surrounding counties, perhaps the die had been cast.
I thought the official story was that the alleged Blue State refugees wanted Republican FREEDOM. Now they're sleeper agents of socialism. What gives?

Well, surely National Review has some solid election coverage this morning....



LOL. You have scroll down to their no-comments news dispatches to hear anything at all about the election (the highest-placed item is "Tuscon Voters Kill Sanctuary City Proposal"). Guess everyone's hunkered down in his happy place, hoping Putin will rescue 2020.

Well, as enjoyable as the results themselves were, these reactions really gild the lily -- thanks, dummies!

UPDATE. Noted Republican grifter has most Republican solution ever to people not wanting to vote for them:


Thursday, October 31, 2019

THE SO-CALLED NETWORK.

It was hard not to feel the irony while I was reading excerpts from your recent speech at Georgetown University, in which you defended — on free speech grounds — Facebook’s practice of posting demonstrably false ads from political candidates. I admire your deep belief in free speech. I get a lot of use out of the First Amendment. Most important, it’s a bedrock of our democracy and it needs to be kept strong. 
But this can’t possibly be the outcome you and I want, to have crazy lies pumped into the water supply that corrupt the most important decisions we make together. Lies that have a very real and incredibly dangerous effect on our elections and our lives and our children’s lives. 
-- "Aaron Sorkin: An Open Letter to Mark Zuckerberg," the New York Fucking Times 
[ADAM ORKIN, nearly out of breath, his hair roguishly disordered, his trenchcoat wet, bursts through the door of the office of MARK ZUCKERBERG, who is seated at his desk studying a model of the Great Pyramid of Giza. ZUCKERBERG looks up as if he'd been expecting this moment, and dreading it, yet also curiously resigned to it.]

ZUCKERBERG: Ah, Adam Orkin. I've been expecting this moment, and dreading it. Yet I'm also curiously resigned to it.

ORKIN: I just wanted to get one good long last look at you before racing to the offices of the Daily Sojourner to tell the world how a great talent and the promise of a better tomorrow were both thrown in the trash just so you could make a buck.

ZUCKERBERG: Would that be my story, Mr. Orkin? Or the story of mankind?

[ZUCKERBERG rises.]

Consider the pharaoh Khufu, often Hellenized as Cheops. Despite his wealth and splendor, he was just one among an endless parade of crowned heads now receding into the darkness of history, just as the 45 men who have served as our president -- even your precious Jed Bartlet -- will vanish.

[ZUCKERBERG gestures toward the model pyramid.]

Yet we know Khufu because he left us the Great Pyramid of Giza. Since they laid the capstone on Lincoln Cathedral in the 13th Century it is no longer the tallest structure in the world, yet it still fascinates, because it represents the whole labor of a great nation turned to the will of a genius.

ORKIN: Is that why it fascinates, Zuckerberg? Or is it fascinating only because of the waste, the pettiness, the sheer asininity of killing thousands of your countrymen just so you can have a swell tombstone? Is it a Great Pyramid or a Great Pyramid Scam? Well, maybe that pile of rocks will last another ten thousand years, but it won't light up the soul of man like this!

[ORKIN throws a damp, rolled-up parchment U.S. Declaration of Independence onto ZUCKERBERG's desk. ZUCKERBERG stares at it. SHERYL SANDBERG, her long black hair sexily disordered, storms into the office with security guards, who lay hands on ORKIN.]

SANDBERG: Looks like we're here in the nick of time, Mr. Zuckerberg. Just say the word and we'll throw Adam Orkin into the alley with the trash where he belongs.

[ZUCKERBERG silently unrolls the parchment, reads. SANDBERG is evilly enraged.]

Don't be a fool, Mark! Ultimate power is within your grasp at last. Don't let this journalist and his fancy words stand in your way!

ZUCKERBERG: [Reads quietly] "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." My father used to read this to me at bedtime when I was a boy. [Scowling at SANDBERG] My mother, Doctor Zuckerberg, thought he was crazy. [To ORKIN]  You made me remember, Mr. Sorkin. And you made me ashamed.

[ZUCKERBERG wheels on a sour-faced SANDBERG]

Ms. Sandberg, there’ll be no more lying to customers of The Facebook!

[ZUCKERBERG and ORKIN go in for a bro-hug as the music swells.] 

Monday, October 28, 2019

HOMETEAM CROWD.

LOL

The two towns Trump has lived in -- New York and Washington -- both hate his guts. What does that tell you?

I see a remedy: super-creep Senator Josh Hawley's dumb bill to send federal employees to Bumfuck:
Under Hawley’s proposal, 90 percent of the USDA’s workforce would move to Missouri and an additional nine other federal agencies would relocate their headquarters to “economically distressed” areas. 
“It’s such an insular place and people forget that there’s a vast country out there and there’s lots of places in the country that aren’t like D.C. and haven’t seen gobs of money poured in,” Hawley said in an interview on Capitol Hill Wednesday afternoon... 
Under Hawley’s proposal, several agencies would land in swing states critical to the presidential race. Pennsylvania would become home to the Department of Commerce, the Department of Transportation would relocate to Michigan and Ohio would host the Department of Housing and Urban Development. The Department of Interior would migrate to New Mexico. 
The rest of the states in Hawley’s plan are solidly Republican.
Why not include the Presidency? Try to imagine Trump trying to get an in-house around-the-world and a bucket of blow in Fritters, Alabama! (I mean, in the manner to which he is accustomed.) He'd resign in a week.

UPDATE. GUESS WHO'S THE REAL VICTIM HERE! If you guessed "civility," yewww might be a pundit.

In my many happy days and nights at Shea Stadium, the fans often rained boos down on their own team. I begin to wonder if these guys have ever been to a baseball game.

UPDATE 2. The go-to wingnut response is that citizens of Washington, D.C. loved Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, late head of ISIS, and are mad at Trump because U.S. forces killed Baghdadi last weekend. Chrissy Clark at The Federalist:
The timing of the crowd’s reaction was revealing. The crowd booed Trump on the same day he announced his administration and U.S. personnel had taken out the founder and leader of ISIS.
 Yes -- a very adulterous reaction! "If you’re gonna go around whackin’ austere scholars, Washington can be tough," burbles Andrew McCarthy, National Review's impeachment bullshit expert. Oh well, guess the days when a crowd at the ballpark was considered salt-of-the-earth American rather than treasonous are over, Wrasslin's America's sport now!

Friday, October 25, 2019

FRIDAY 'ROUND-THE-HORN.



Selections from Melvin Van Peebles'
Ain't Supposed To Die a Natural Death --
performed at the motherfucking TONYS.
Miss me with your
Hamilton bullshit, honkies.
(Check also a young Garrett Morris.)

•   I am releasing to you good people who have yet to subscribe to Roy Edroso Breaks It Down a free issue from Wednesday -- it's about Tulsi Gabbard's non-victory tour of rightwing media outlets since Hillary Clinton called her out, and how I expected it to evolve, and man, was I on the money or what:
To prove Clinton wrong, Gabbard went on Sean Hannity’s Fox News show Thursday night — she and Hannity both touted mistaken initial reporting that Clinton had claimed Russia, not Republicans, were “grooming” her for a third-party run — and blamed Clinton (a former senator and secretary of state) for the last 18 years of U.S. wars, then echoed Republican complaints about the “transparency” of the House impeachment inquiry.
And get this:
Tulsi Gabbard, fresh off her nasty tussle with former first lady, secretary of state, and 2016 Democratic nominee, Hillary Clinton, was given a hero's welcome at a meeting with Wall Street executives and potential donors on Wednesday evening in New York City that took place at Anthony Scaramucci’s Hunt and Fish Club restaurant, FOX Business has learned...
"Tulsi is a rock star," said one Wall Street heavy hitter who attended. "She's warm and smart, people in the room loved her."
I'm beginning to suspect Gabbard is being worked on in Dr. Jillenstein's lab for third-party service.

•  Conservatives are trying to pump up the case of a seven-year-old biological boy who identifies as a girl; the child's divorced mother supports this but, after shitfits by Greg Abbott and Ted Cruz, her ex-husband, who's against the transition, has been given a say in the matter by a court. (The child is not currently undergoing hormone treatments, though wingnuts talk as if she were.) The Daily Beast has good coverage, revealing that the old man is a fraudster:
Younger [the husband] and Georgulas separated in 2015. In marriage annulment proceedings, a court awarded Georgulas more than $45,000 in damages for a truck Younger fraudulently purchased in his name through her company. Georgulas also accused Younger of fabricating his background before they married....
A court took this fraud seriously enough to grant Georgulas an annulment. You won't learn about this, natch, in coverage such at that of The Federalist, which also insists that the kid doesn't really want to be a girl -- and, double natch, you won't learn anything about it from Rod Dreher, who doesn't seem to know about the annullment :
It’s a horrifying situation. It sounds like a terrible divorce. Granted, it is hard for anybody outside a failed marriage to know its internal dynamics.
LOL. Dreher, triple natch, is beating pots and pans to portray this unusual case as a harbinger of the trans menace: "The situation with the Younger boy in Texas looks like it’s serving as a wake-up call to people all over the country about how far the trans ideology has spread, and how much it has captured institutions," he writes under the headline "When They Come For Your Kid." This is consistent with his years-long drive to reverse all the protections gained by non-binary people. Oh, by the way, from the Dallas Morning News (Dreher's old paper):
Texas leads the nation in transgender murders. After the latest attack, the Dallas trans community asks why
Frankly, I don't think they need to ask.

•  Speaking of rightwing tropes, you may have noticed a lot of conservatives -- from Steve Scalise's Mooks Brothers Rioters to Tulsi Gabbard -- demanding "transparency" from the Democrats on Trump's impeachment. Well, to paraphrase the old saying: when you have the law pound the law, when you have the facts pound the facts, and when you have neither pound your pud.

The most pathetic of this lot is, to me, National Review's Kevin D. Williamson. He likes to play internet tuff guy, and his normal attitude toward the Constitution is hey, them's the rules and if you don't like 'em, tough. As he told Bill Maher in August:
“Like me, you don’t trust big masses of people because they tend to be stupid and easy to scare. All of the best things about our Constitution are the anti-democratic stuff like the Bill of Rights, which is America’s great big list of stuff you idiots don’t get to vote on..."
Welp, here comes impeachment, which is one of those Constitutional things the "big masses of people" have no say in, and Tuff Guy Williamson is pleading to "Bring Impeachment into the Light":
And so we are obliged to ask the question: Who in Washington has the moral authority, the political intelligence, and the patriotism to see the country through this episode in a way that fortifies our institutions rather than undermines them, that leaves the country better off rather than damaged, that builds trust instead of pissing it away? 
Answer: Nobody. 
Trust is not an option. That leaves us with the second-best option: surveillance. 
And so Nancy Pelosi must end the secret hearings and closed-door depositions, and put the process, the politics, and the evidence before the public.
Bullshit she "must," buddy. Man, there's nothing more obnoxious than a tuff guy who starts crying for mercy.

Thursday, October 24, 2019

A BLITZ OF BULLSHIT.

Remember when grifters like Jack Posobiec told their fans (a depressing number of whom went for it) that if Trump got impeached by the House but acquitted in the Senate, he could run for President two more times? Once upon a time, you could count on such an idiotic idea to remain locked in the wingnut netherworld, to be shared over jars of everclear by mouth-breathers and ignored by the Conservative Eloi who write for fancy publications like the Wall Street Journal.

But not anymore!
Impeachment Needs a Replay Booth
An acquittal should allow a president to run for a third term.
William Mattox knows his audience, so he starts with a football analogy (and cites NFL royalty George "Macaca" Allen to get the crowd even more pumped up):
In 2010 former Sen. George Allen, whose father coached the Los Angeles Rams and Washington Redskins, published a book, “What Washington Can Learn From the World of Sports.” He advised policy makers, among other things, that they should work tirelessly to ensure a level playing field (“equality of opportunity”) while remembering that there’s no joy in games that end in a tie (“equality of outcome”). 
In that spirit, here’s an idea for dealing with impeachment fatigue. In the National Football League, teams can challenge a call on the field—but there’s a risk. If instant replay doesn’t merit overturning the call, the challenging team loses one of its three timeouts. That discourages frivolous challenges and keeps the game flowing, while also providing a way to reverse egregious errors.
If football can do it, why can't Washington? Huh? You stupid legislators think you're sumpin' better than Eli Manning? People make money on these games!

Similarly, after a person is elected president he or she should be allowed to go for a conversion; if they make it they get six, maybe seven extra months in office.
Why not amend the Constitution so that any president who is impeached and acquitted is permitted to serve a third term? That would allow him to make up for the time lost advancing the agenda that voters elected him to enact. 
Think what a president freed from Constitutional remedies for his depravity could accomplish! There are a lot of disputed territories left that Putin would like America to help him acquire. And a lot of refugees left untortured!
It would preserve impeachment for genuine offenses but discourage its use for disputed ones and for mere politics. 
Because if Mitch McConnell stonewalls impeachment like he did Merrick Garland's Supreme Court appointment (and does nearly everything the Democratic House sends him), that means the charges must be bogus.
Absent such an amendment, and in an era when government is divided more often than not, impeachment seems likely to become an increasingly common means of opposition.
Especially if the Democrats nominate John Gotti or El Chapo!
True, my amendment would open the possibility of a 2024 election that forces Americans to choose between Bill Clinton and Donald Trump. But it is likelier to give members of Congress a much-needed reminder that their main job is legislating.
In fact, why don't we just delete this impeachment side-job from the Constitution, anyway? Getting that passed as an amendment would be tough, though... I know! We could use video review on the Founders! Or get a call from robot umpires created by Diebold!

Coming soon from the Journal: Since Democrats want illegal aliens to vote, why not register the aliens at Area 51?

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

WON'T SOMEONE THINK OF THE MILLIONAIRE MIGRANTS?

Wall Street Journal:
California’s Tax-the-Rich Boomerang
A new study shows the 2012 tax hike drove high earners from the state.
Must be why Cal-i-for-ni-a is a-covered in feces, paw says!
Stanford economists Joshua Rauh and Ryan Shyu analyzed how high earners responded to a 2012 referendum (Prop. 30) backed by Democrats that raised the top marginal rate on taxpayers with more than $1 million of income to 13.3% from 10.3%. The top rates on individuals earning more than $250,000 also rose between one and two percentage points...
I don't see how those poor millionaires stick it. Why, in North Dakota they'd be able to buy a couple of counties! Have to dig their own cisterns, though.
They noted a large uptick in the departure rate of taxpayers with more than $5 million in income following the tax hike — from 1.5% to 2.125% — and a commensurate outflow for taxpayers earning between $2 million and $5 million. 
This essentially means that the likelihood of a wealthy resident moving out of California increased by about 40% after Prop. 30...
The study suggests Sacramento should think again. And watch out for the next recession when investment income and capital gains fall for the affluent. Democrats will have to soak the middle class even more than they already do to finance all of the new spending demands they are creating in the good times (e.g., free health care for undocumented immigrants).
Sounds like the wheels are coming off! Why I bet California's GDP has shrunk to nearly nothin'! Let's see what the St. Louis Fed's figures say:



Whoops, guess not! Cali's also doing well in the Median Household Income category, which just shows what socialistic levelers is a-runnin' that horrible state!

And the state itself says tax revenues are up -- as CalMatters reported in July:
Last week, the state Department of Finance closed the books on 2018-19 revenue and reported that the state collected $144.8 billion, $1 billion more than it had anticipated just weeks earlier, and $2 billion-plus more than the 2018-19 budget had originally forecast. 
It’s also a whopping 71.5% more than the state was collecting a decade ago, far outpacing both population growth and inflation. 
The state has enough money to max out its reserve funds and provide several billion dollars in extra cash to offset schools’ rising pension costs.
Yeah, but it's not millionaire/billionaire money, so it don't count!

The Journal offers no hard numbers for the alleged Millionaire Migration, alas, but once California notices they're missing -- maybe by the number of waiters getting stiffed, or declining sales of Goop products -- they'll certainly switch to a Sam Brownback model of governance. The results should be dramatic!

The Journal seems to be pushing this kind of bullshit even harder than usual lately. Wonder why?

Friday, October 18, 2019

FRIDAY 'ROUND-THE-HORN.


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

YOUNGEST LIVING REAGAN DEMOCRAT TELLS ALL.

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!

Andersen:
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...
LOL
...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

FRIDAY 'ROUND-THE-HORN.


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

FRIDAY 'ROUND-THE-HORN.


"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

CRUMBS, MARY, WHY DON'T YOU JUST KISS HER ALREADY?

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

WE SURE COULD USE A LITTLE GOOD NEWS TODAY.

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

FRIDAY 'ROUND-THE-HORN.



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

QUACK.

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.
Snnkkk.
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

AND WE HEIL, HEIL, RIGHT IN DER FUEHRER'S FACE.

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

ONCE AGAIN: HOW YA GONNA KEEP 'EM DOWN ON THE FARM AFTER THEY'VE SEEN THE FARM?

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. 
Yep.

Friday, September 06, 2019

FRIDAY 'ROUND-THE-HORN.



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

OBLIGATORY PRETENSE OF CONCERN FOR BLACK PEOPLE TIME.

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.
Obligatory:

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!