Saturday, July 02, 2022

I SHOULD BE SO "CANCELLED."

 The New York Times’ latest tongue-bath of cancelculture crybabies may be their best yet. The cancellee in question is Joshua Katz, late of Princeton, which fired him for long-ago inappropriate behavior with a student -- though since Katz is also a “Racism? What’s all this talk about racism? The black students are the real terrorists” gasbag, he has been elevated from faculty lounge horndog to brave truth-teller by the sort of people who think “Don’t Say Gay” laws and rightwing donors dictating curricula aren’t worth mentioning.

But Katz is not the star of Anemona Hartocollis’ Times story. That’s Solveig Gold, who according to the headline is “Proud to Be the Wife of a ‘Canceled’ Princeton Professor.” She too was one of the professor’s sexual mentees while at Princeton, but unlike that other no-doubt-jealous bitch who got him fired won the glittering nuptial prize. 

Gold is a pip:

She did not anticipate the force of the backlash against her husband, Ms. Gold said, because she had voiced controversial opinions before, and had not been shunned. As an undergraduate, for instance, she wrote an essay criticizing the women’s march for providing a platform only for supporters of abortion rights. She attributes this new feeling of hostility to a culture of lock-step thinking ushered in by Gen Z, the generation right behind hers.

Sure, that must be it.

You may be shocked to learn from the story that Mr. and Mrs. Cancelee are not living hand to mouth off odd jobs while jewel-encrusted social justice warriors sneer and laugh at them, but rather have just “returned from a brief decompression trip to Amsterdam and Cambridge, England, where Ms. Gold is completing her Ph.D. in classics” and are throwing a dinner party attended by other brave truth-tellers, photos of which ornament the story. 

One such attendee is Professor Robert P. George, who Hartocollis informs us the New York Times Magazine once called “the country’s ‘most influential conservative Christian thinker,’ for his role in laying the intellectual groundwork for the fights against marriage equality and abortion rights.” George’s intellectual groundwork is something I’d seen before – he’s given to statements like "masturbatory, sodomitical, and other sexual acts which are not reproductive in type cannot unite persons organically” and of course has been driven to mad rage by the progress of same-sex marriage -- "Another flagrant and inexcusable exercise of ‘raw judicial power’ threatens to enflame and prolong the culture war ignited by the courts in the 1973 case of Roe v. Wade,” he sputtered when Prop 8 passed in 2010.

Professor George and his buddies may well celebrate, because at least one SCOTUS Justice is openly with him on that (and who knows what his colleagues will do when they see that the coast is clear). And as long as the Times and all the other prestige media outlets portray these assholes as victims of persecution, rather than as privileged and pampered lunatics pushing unpopular policies on an unwilling nation, the wins will keep on coming. 

Friday, July 01, 2022

FRIDAY 'ROUND-THE-HORN.



She had a syndicated afternoon talk show back in the day.
I bet her life's a story.

• Look, I told you guys already, I need more paying customers, not the Love of the People -- I'm like the Democratic Party in election season, except I actually deliver! So there's just one (1) free Roy Edroso Breaks It Down issue this week. Admittedly, it's a good one about a signal feature of the Dobbs blight: vicious scumbags pretending to be nice in the (I think) mistaken belief that if they talk about how much they love mommies and babies, you'll miss that they're stealing your rights. 

Of course increasingly these people aren't even bothering to pretend, as Akiva Cohen caught this morning in a Josh Hammer column:


Hammer later stealth-edited the quiet-part-out-loud about rewarding friends and punishing enemies, but it's still clear what his idea of justice is. One of my favorite targets, ham-faced pundit Erick Erickson, is too stupid to conceal or retract his similar views:

Those of you who are screaming about the Supreme Court this week can, in your words, check your privilege.

(Note the traditional portrayal of liberals "screaming," an old conservative NLP trick, and the use of "check your privilege" as Babylon Bee-grade humor. Also Erickson titles this page "Best Pride Month Ever" for added prickishness, a trait to which outspoken Christians are generally inclined.)

Conservatives have spent over fifty years watching the Supreme Court give you everything you demanded, including a novel right to kill children unheard of in American jurisprudence until 1973. When those of us on the right operated through the nation’s democratic and republican institutions and the elected bodies of our nation, we saw the Supreme Court repeatedly snatch those wins away from us for you...

You people have been able to rub your SCOTUS genie and get court imposed wins that no one could challenge democratically and now you can’t do that anymore. We’ve worked democratically to make sure of it. Now, to win again, you’re going to have to do what we did — change hearts and minds in places as varied as Alabama and Iowa. Why? Because we are a republic and states matter, not just people. We have fifty states and 350 million people. Your coalitions of angry rich white people on MSNBC won’t work anymore.

Set aside the claim that what this Court has produced comes of conservatives "working democratically" -- which is rich because half of the rogue Justices were appointed by a president who lost the popular vote, and the whole conservative bloc's decisions are highly unpopular in general and in the particular with Americans. "Coalitions of angry rich white people on MSNBC" didn't produce the eight million vote majority Biden won in 2020. (It's amazing what some people will write when they think nobody with any brains will read it.)

But Erickson's main idea, if we can so dignify it, is that liberals got what they wanted for a while and now conservatives should get a turn. This is worse in a way than his fraudulent claim of popular support -- though it also relies on that lie -- because like Josh Hammer thesis it's purely instrumental and anti-democratic, and assumes that the bauble of power is what's important rather than the will and welfare of the people.

I would also say that the Warren-Rehnquist Court decisions conservatives hate mostly furthered unacknowledged rights -- those of arrestees, prisoners, women, LGBTQ people -- while the Roberts But Really Thomas Court decisions are about taking these rights away and then some.  Though abortion rights as such are the big cause and I don't doubt the disapproving majority thinks "put it back, thief" (further polling suggests so), I think the extreme high-handedness of the Court is something of which normal people will also take notice and disapprove. At least I hope so, and that they get the chance to show their disapproval before the Court delivers the coup de grace to democracy with Moore v. Harper

Monday, June 27, 2022

FAKE IT 'TIL YOU BREAK IT.

New, available to gen pop Roy Edroso Breaks It Down item out today, about the Dobbs defenders who pretend taking away reproductive rights is an act of love toward the newly-disenfranchised females and will be followed by a generous outpouring of pre-natal and child care from, get this, the Republican Party. The choads luxuriating in the misery they've caused are annoying, but these guys are just insufferable.

Peggy Noonan was the first one on this bandwagon, as I noted when the Dobbs decision was first leaked, saying Republicans could "use the moment to come forward as human beings who care about women and want to give families the help they need." I am sure GOP party bosses had a good laugh over that one, and one of the few bright spots of the past weekend was seeing even the Meet The Press dummies moved to laughter when she tried it on the air.  After all, Republicans have had great success by being openly vicious and punitive -- why would they act like Care Bears now? 

Saturday, June 25, 2022

FURTHER NOTES ON THE APOCALYPSE: IT'S REICHSTAGGERING!

Just wanted to note one or two things about the situation after Roe. First, let me remind you of this particular sub-plot of the January 6, 2021 coup attempted, as reported in the Washington Post last January:

Within days of President Donald Trump’s election defeat, Stewart Rhodes began talking about the Insurrection Act as critical to the country’s future.

The bombastic founder of the extremist group Oath Keepers told followers that the obscure, rarely used law would allow Trump to declare a national emergency so dire that the military, militias or both would be called out to keep him in the White House...

In an interview with The Washington Post last February [2021], Rhodes acknowledged his group had a cache of weapons outside the city, saying such a quick-reaction force was “only if the president calls us up.”

“We thought antifa might try to storm the White House,” he said, without evidence. If such a thing happened, he argued, D.C. gun restrictions would no longer apply, because “we would have been part of the military.”

The plan, it is clear, was to either cause or fake an "antifa" attack, which would immediately be taken at face value by the brethren after all their caterwauling about the the George Floyd "riots," and use that as an excuse to declare martial law and keep Tubby in office. But they couldn't raise even a piss-on of a Reichstag Fire, and the plot failed.

Just as clearly, they're trying to do something similar now, this time by claiming pro-abortion people who protest the Dobbs decision are part of an "insurrection" that can be violently put down. I mentioned National Review's recent contribution to this fraud in my last post, and there are plenty of other rightwing professions of fake concern over fantasies of pro-choice violence, such as this emission from Ted Cruz claiming "multiple Democrats" (unnamed) are "encouraging" it.

There are other plants, ranging from the sinister...


...to the stoopid:

But really, even though it is indeed quote stoopid, Insurrection Barbie's tweet portraying a normal occurrence of building materials as riot fodder is also sinister. As I've said many times, conservatives no longer feel obliged to make sense, because their frequently-false claims are not offered as evidence, in the usual sense, but as way of showing that their impunity goes beyond law and politics and straight into logic -- that is, their claims don't have to make even basic sense because, as the Bush people used to say, conservatives "make our own reality." 

That's also why the odious Tim Pool was showing pictures of that truck running down pro-choice protestors in Cedar Rapids as protestors "attacking cars." George Constanza famously told Jerry "it's not a lie if you believe it," but modern conservatives have shown that, for them, it's not a lie even if no one could believe it. 

I will not follow by saying please don't riot over Roe, because even doing that feeds this bullshit. I will say that the "Jane's Revenge" graffiti on fake pregnancy centers, plastered all over the rightwing press before the ruling, is incredibly sus, and none of these monsters deserves the benefit of any doubt because they lie, as Vince Foster said, without consequence, and the truth does them no favors. 

Friday, June 24, 2022

FRIDAY 'ROUND-THE-HORN.



Before Mel Brooks, there was Bradley Kincaid!

Only one free Roy Edroso Breaks It Down item this week -- a prospectus for a new, boldly-bothsider, difference-splitting, ultra-neoliberal magazine. (Look, just subscribe already, OK? Cheap!) But alas, some of my older items about the end of Roe have become newly relevant -- all the way down to the insufferable attitude of Megan McArdle, who isn't necessarily against abortion as such per se, you understand, just the ridiculous notion that American women have a Constitutional right to it, hmmph! 

I already talked about this when the Dobbs decision was first leaked, but let me add a few things. I mentioned then, as others have, that as bad as Dobbs is (and it's a nightmare), it's not all they want to do; conservatives continually dump on all the other rights based on privacy, such as those decided in Griswold (contraception), Lawrence (non-procreative sex), and Obergefell (same-sex marriage), and those will certainly be next. The weak sisters in the conservative coalition swear up and down in the Dobbs decision that, oh no, they don't mean you guys, abortion is special because the Jesus people say it's babies. But Clarence Thomas blows their scene, saying out loud that of course we should revisit those cases

Don't tell me Thomas is only one guy, and particularly twisted -- he represents the mad MAGA berserker tendency of conservatism; I'm sure a few of his fellow Justices would love to get all the way to the promised land, and the next time a minority-elected Republican president gets to replace any liberal Justice, all bets are off. I already think of this as the Thomas Court, and Roberts' wistful, whattaya-gonna-do concurrence in Dobbs suggests that he's totally given up trying to make the shit look like shinola.

I know I'm not telling you good people anything you don't already know, but there seem to be a lot of people out there who think the real thing to be worried about is cancelculture or some trans kids taking hormones. So make sure to tell them. 

As for the shock troops on the ground, this Washington Examiner essay is a good indicator of where they're at: They're promising lots of love for the little ones women will be forced to bear, even including expensive legislation for pregnant women and babies -- legislation that, for some reason, they didn't find it necessary to promise before today. But the driver of it is not love, at least not as you or I would understand the word. "The goal," the author says, is "to make abortion politically unpopular, legally unobtainable, and culturally unwanted." The bookends they have not in 49 years been able to achieve, and there's no reason to think they can do it now; but the iron fist of the middle proposition will do all the work for them. 

UPDATEHere's a good thread that might lift your spirits! I know, for many of us it's too soon, but we'll all have to lift our heads up eventually and better sooner than later.

UPDATE 2. I should mention a bit of typical (but, in context, especially ominous) rightwing shtick that’s going on now: Right-to-lifers claiming that they’re the real victims, because they heard somewhere that crazed abortion rights supporters are going to attack them. In the midst of its ululation over the reduction of women to brood-slaves, for example, National Review makes this clumsy transition:

Our fellow citizens who reject the right to life for all human beings, tragically misguided as they are, have the right to protest against the Supreme Court’s decision. 

(LOL like they believe that.)

They have no right to threaten, intimidate, vandalize, or commit acts of violence. One of the worst causes in American history — the defense of a judicially imposed regime of abortion-on-demand — appears likely to end in further disgrace. The Biden administration will be derelict in its duties if it fails to keep the peace.

“Appears likely,” huh? From communiques pulled out of their ass, I suppose. Meantime I just saw footage of a truck running down abortion-rights protestors in Cedar Rapids.  Every Republican accusation is a confession. And, since this is in fact fascism we’re looking at, expect more of it.



Thursday, June 23, 2022

THE RIGHT TO LIFE AND THE RIGHT TO KILL.

I've written a few times about how, as Mayor of New York, Rudolph Giuliani used to brag that his administration made the city safer by getting guns off the streets...

"The Police Department's dramatic success in reducing crime is due in large part to its corresponding success in removing guns from City streets," the Mayor said. "More than 90,000 guns have been seized since 1994, and shootings have plummeted more than 74 percent. The NYPD's gun seizure success is also reflected in the murder rate, which has plummeted 65 percent since 1994, and is down another 11 percent this year over last year. The NYPD has also ensured that thousands of guns can never be used to commit a crime by destroying them and putting the metal to good use. Now, another 3,000 guns have been taken out of circulation -- permanently."

...and how, when Giuliani ran for president in 2008 and was confronted with a broader Republican electorate of gun nuts, he had to pretend flooding city streets with guns was his and the Founders' fondest wish. (Still lost, though.)

Now the Supreme Court has ruled that New York can't use even the most rudimentary checks on universal concealed carry. This is an invitation to flood the streets of New York (and D.C. et alia) with firearms and, as someone who has spent most of his life in big cities, I can assure you the result will not be "an armed society is a polite society," but the return of the Saturday Night Special.

This is what comes of giving the country over to the death cult that is conservatism. Rightwingers have been telling themselves and anyone else who'll listen that crime in the cities is out of control, despite all evidence to the contrary. With this SCOTUS decision they have a chance to make their fantasy real, thereby making it easier to scare their red state subjects out of ever even visiting a place with a diverse citizenry, museums, and libraries that are not regularly invaded by Proud Boys hunting drag queens, thus enforcing the isolation and ignorance that the survival of their creed demands. 

Pack the goddamn Court already.

Friday, June 17, 2022

FRIDAY 'ROUND-THE-HORN.



This one goes out to all the witnesses who turned on Tubby in the hearings.

•  Busy week, but then when aren't they? Your free Roy Edroso Breaks It Down for today is a Hallmark Channel (or maybe a Ben Shapiro Family Entertainment Channel) trailer for a new rom-com based on anti-vaxx M.D. Simone Gold's recent sentencing in the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol. Enjoy! 

•  I'm sure you guys have chewed over the hearings a good deal already, so let's switch gears going into Juneteenth weekend -- another one of those Boo Hoo Liberals Won't Be Friends With or Have Sex With Us polls has turned up:


A lot of the comments on that thread are from rightwingers going oooh you liberals are supposed to be so tolerant.  

This is pretty much an evergreen by now; I remember Dr. Mrs Ole Perfesser (remember her?) leading a strange discussion of it during the Obama Administration.  It has become a staple of the Trump era, in which red-hatted gomers are interviewed by lazy lifestyle reporters for stories like "Young DC Conservatives: No One Wants to Date Us," and emotionally stunted factota at The Federalist bark that "Your Refusal To Date Conservatives Is One Reason We Have Donald Trump." 

The idea seems to be that the tendency of liberals to not hang out with conservatives is a form of oppression, as if our company (and liberal pussy!) were some sort of public utility. 

We already know their grasp of the concept of consent is extremely weak, but this enters the realm of abnormal psychology. They constantly call us snowflakes and groomers, they're working hard to deprive us of the right to vote and as many other rights as they can get their hands on, yet they're mad that we're not trying to hang out with them. What gives? I'm getting Jeffrey-Dahmer-body-parts-in-freezer vibes from this. 

Wednesday, June 15, 2022

DUNGSTORE COWBOY.

Have unlocked a Roy Edroso Breaks It Down episode in which Ben Shapiro works on his cowboy act. I was astonished by how many images there are of the pint-sized pundit wearing ten-gallon hats -- and not Photoshopped mockeries, either; he actually seems to think they become him. (Listening to him deliver one of his patented speed-talking routines while thus chapeau’d is a trip -- like a new version of The Fly in which Marshall Dillon is halfway to his transformation into a mosquito.)

I also see L’il Ben’s idea of cowboying-up is throwing fits over same-sex marriages in Disney cartoons. While homophobia always riles up his fans, Shapiro’s real goal is clearly putting over the “family entertainment” company he’s creating; he reckons smearing Disney will clear a path to success. Maybe someone told him that’s how RKO Pictures went down; Adolph Zukor got it around that Jane Russell was really a man and that Howard Hughes was a groomer.

UPDATE. Had wrong first link before -- fixed now

Tuesday, June 14, 2022

THE GUN NUTS ARE NOT SENDING THEIR BEST.

An extremely mild gun control bill is on its way to being further watered down by Republicans and their Blue Dog Democrat enablers in the Senate. That it may pass even in this weakened state is evidence that, post-Uvalde, people who normally wouldn’t challenge gun nuts are convinced that our Business As Usual approach cannot stand.  

So conservative pundit Erick Erickson has rushed to explain that if we pass red flag laws, liberals will be mean to conservatives, and that’s worth any number of shot-up children. He starts with three anecdotes he seems to think will sway his readers, though if you haven’t been soaking in rightwing grievance culture for years you might not be feeling it:

In 2020, while in New York’s Central Park, Amy Cooper called 911 to report an “African-American man” was threatening her. The man, a bird watcher, had asked Ms. Cooper to leash her dog. She refused and called 911. The man, whose last name was also Cooper, recorded the incident, which went viral and cost Amy Cooper her job. She also got charged with a crime, though it was later dismissed at the urging of Mr. Cooper, the bird watcher.

This is an interesting opening, as everyone knows the story and that the woman was clearly trying to sic the cops on the “African-American man” who was not doing anything illegal, for reasons anyone who has lived more than a few years in America will understand. And her firing is not his fault, nor that of Cancelculture Run Amok, but rather an ass-covering move by her employers, empowered by employment laws that no conservative ever challenges.   

Late last week, in Raliegh [sic], NC, Wye Hill, a restaurant and brewery, canceled a reservation for a group of conservative moms who were going to get together at the restaurant. An online progressive activist who calls herself “Katherine 4 Justice” went online to take credit for pressuring the restaurant into canceling the reservation through the use of vague threats.

The “group of conservative moms” is Moms 4 Liberty, an overtly political organization that has been successfully pushing “Don’t Say Gay” laws and book-banning across the country. If Masterpiece Bakery can’t be forced to make a gay wedding cake, I don’t see why a restaurant has to cater to an openly anti-LGBT group. I don’t know what “vague threats” Erickson is referring to but Moms 4 Liberty’s supporters are now calling the restaurant owners and staff “groomers” on Twitter, which given the hair-trigger lunacy of that crowd can be considered an actual threat.

Yesterday, Rep. Eric Swalwell took to Twitter to suggest Ben Shapiro is a lunatic and that a red flag law could be used to stop Shapiro from purchasing a gun.

Swalwell made a very good joke about Half-Pint (“Please tell me this lunatic does not own a gun. Reason 1,578 America needs red flag laws”) that anyone over the age of 12 should understand, but which conservatives, due to misguided political priorities or maybe brain damage, pretend to believe is not a joke but rather an assault on Shapiro’s rights.

The Senate is currently considering red flag laws as part of its measures on gun control…

I am deeply concerned that such laws are going to start being used to attack people because of their political opinions. The left has concluded words are violence. I fear red flag laws will be weaponized by partisans over differences of political opinion.

Given our present politics, people’s willingness to view opponents as enemies, and people’s willingness to use the state, private enterprise, and the mob to exact retribution on those they disagree with, I think we should fundamentally resist a federal red flag law or a federal incentive to embrace red flag laws.

So, to nutshell it: Liberals are so depraved that they will disagree with conservatives, and make jokes about conservatives, and even choose not to voluntarily associate with conservatives, so we should let conservatives of whatever mental state have AR-15s to defend themselves from them.

The NRA must be awfully desperate if this is the shit they’re paying for now.

Friday, June 10, 2022

FRIDAY 'ROUND-THE-HORN.



Apollonia 6 riding an iceberg of Prince.

It’s Christmas in June! Along with the Roy Edroso Breaks It Down essay I gifted you folks yesterday about the media’s latest Crime In The Streets fad, I hereby release today’s edition to gen pop. It’s New York Times deputy executive editor Ned Bins’ defense of his paper’s phlegmatic coverage of longtime New York Republican politician Carl Paladino's paen to the political gifts of Adolf Hitler -- and believe me, if you haven’t seen Paladino’s rap, whatever you’re imagining that was, it’s even worse. 

I’m actually in sympathy with the Times, in a way, because they imagine themselves to be the Paper of Record and I’m sure its bigwigs -- most of whom, I notice, came of age when the Fourth Estate was still coasting on Watergate-era prestige and few noticed how poorly it was performing its traditional societal functions -- envision future readers scanning its back pages for a fair, fact-based, balls-and-strikes record of then-current events. They probably also feel their even-handed approach makes a historically accurate portrayal of any controversy (including whether or not what Paladino said was a big deal) easier to craft.

But it also reminds me of this 2019 Tablet story about the Times’ Berlin correspondent in the run-up to WWII:

At the outbreak of the Second World War, The New York Times bureau chief in Berlin, Guido Enderis, was known to sit in the bar of the city’s famous Adlon Hotel spouting “a loudmouthed defense of Nazism,” eventually provoking another reporter to complain to the Times’ publisher: “Isn’t it about time that The New York Times did something about its Nazi correspondent?”

But the Times had no intention of doing anything about Enderis. In fact, it valued his close connections to the Nazi government, as it had throughout the 1930s.

If the name “Maggie Haberman” flashed in your mind, have a cigar.