Friday, May 24, 2019

FRIDAY 'ROUND-THE-HORN.



"Let's get it straight girl you don't need a nigga fo' nuttin'/Lookin' better every day,
you got that Benjamin Button." You have to admire the craft.

•   I am unlocking yet another edition of my newsletter (Subscribe! Cheap! ™) for you good people. This is one of my semi-regular "This is Hardcore" features based on those rightwing stories aimed via emails with names like The Patriot Chronicles and Three-Percenter Nation at your senile father or grandfather. This edition is special, though, because it's devoted to Justin Amash and how he became a pariah by turning on Trump in the matter of impeachment. So far his few rightwing defenders are mostly usedtabees who put down anti-Trump markers long ago and smell a return on investment -- you know, guys like W. James Antle III, late of Billy Kristol's Flying Dutchman. But most of the brethren stick to the script. At TownHall Beth Baumann tells us that "conservative pundits, however, seemed to have mixed reaction to Amash's take on the situation," but after that she reproduces nothing but attacks on Amash, ranging from dumb slurs ("Justin Amash was off his rocker long before his attention-seeking comments") to the-evidence-is-insufficient harrumph-harrumphs (among the latter, hilariously: Michael Tracey!). But these are mostly tweets -- for the real quality analysis, let's go to Stephen Kruiser at PJ Media:
In case you missed it last weekend, everybody's favorite Trump-hating Republican not named Mitt Romney was busy having a Twitter bonding moment with House Democrats... 
Amash then went on a snoozefest of a Twitter rant about why, in his legal opinion, the party he doesn't belong to is right. 
He not only let his daddy issues be manifested in his Trump hate, but he worked them out with plenty of bad things to say about Attorney General Bob Barr too. 
With friends like this, who needs Democrats?
I have to say, for righteous defenders of principle, they sure do sound like whining little bitches.

•   Lotta "oh you liberals are for equality but what about liberals who are rich" stuff out here these days. Bernie and Liz must be getting to the wingnuts! Here's supergenius Kevin D. Williamson at National Review:
[Actress] Jessica Chastain, who sometimes lectures the world about “wage equality” while making films financed by the money billionaire tech tycoon Larry Ellison gives his kids, has purchased a lovely new home off Central Park for about $9 million. 
On the Upper West Side, some animals are more equal than others.
Jeffrey Goldberg must be kicking himself. Meanwhile at The Fetalist -- er, sorry, The Federalist -- Libby Emmons has a fake-woke shtick: When middle-class working moms hire poor immigrant working moms to take care of their kids, that's bad for the poor immigrant working moms' own kids (who should be separated from their parents by immigration officials, not just because some liberal mothers want to find "fulfillment" or "enough money to leave their asshole husbands"). Ha ha, you liberals are The Real ™ imperialists! You'll be surprised to learn the answer to this dilemma is not socialist stuff like child care programs or living wages:
While leftist women in the West push for less family structure and more centralized child support, they disrupt not only their own families but also families around the world.... 
If American women want equality, it must be global equality. We can’t gain our freedom by exploiting those who are willing to trade it for their children’s future. A better answer than increasing outsourced child care is to make it more possible for women to mother their own children. Women should stop demanding liberation from motherhood, and everyone should acknowledge motherhood’s importance to society.
You broke it, you bought it, ladies, so stay at home with your brats like you deserve and leave these poor mamacitas to live in dignified if extreme poverty back home with theirs! Everybody loses except capitalism, which is what conservatism is all about.

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

FUN ON THE FETAL FEE-FEES FRONT.

I sense the conservative elite (which is probably the wrong word, considering their lack of elite characteristics like education and professional training) is a little nervous about the wack-ass abortion laws coming out of the Bible Belt. They're not less insane on the issue, mind -- just worried that actually bulling this shit through might be a little rough on their election prospects. Even Rod Dreher, a fetus-hugger if ever there was one, counsels the brethren follow Ramesh Ponnuru's go-slow advice: "I think he makes a strong point about the possibility, perhaps even the likelihood, that the pro-life movement has miscalculated by rejecting incrementalism at this stage," says Dreher -- the bolding is presumably meant to tip off his God Squad that this is a tactical matter and when the time is right they can unleash Gilead.

To leaven their impatience, Dreher does give his fans a taste of that old-time psychosis, claiming the destruction of in-vitro fertilization blobs is also murder -- "IVF is widely used by Christians, and a consistent, logical pro-life position would outlaw it" -- and that his co-religionists only fail to wave signs with grisly pictures of discarded petri dishes because rich people do IVF. Of course, Dreher also says "I don’t think the inconsistency of the Alabama law can be honestly chalked up to a desire to 'control women’s bodies,'" so we can discount his testimony.

At The Federalist, however, moderation is treason, they can't stop/won't stop -- Georgi Boorman and James Silberman:
3 Negative Consequences From Not Prosecuting Parents For Obtaining Abortions
Guess no one told them ix-nay on the ilead-Gay. In another Federalist story, author Lew Jan Olowski laughs -- laughs, I tell you! -- at the baby-murdering Washington Post, "Washington Post Publishes Abortion Article So Stupid You Won’t Believe It." Already I am crying with amusement! Key graf:
The headline says it all: “If a fetus is a person, it should get child support, due process and citizenship.” Why, yes, it should; this is a commonly held view among pro-life Americans. But the author apparently doesn’t know that. Nor, apparently, do any of her editors.
He sure showed us! My question is, does Citizen Fetus have the vote? And how does it make its preference known? One kick for yes, two for no? Or does its pastor vote on its behalf?


Friday, May 17, 2019

FRIDAY 'ROUND-THE-HORN.



Well God tole Noah.
(If you want something more down-home, Flora Molton has what you want.)

•   I am opening today's newsletter edition (Subscribe! Cheap!) about how conservatives aren't even trying to win hearts and minds on abortion anymore -- now that the fix seems to be in, they mostly ululate prayers for the defeat of the heathen majority of Americans that don't want it banned; maybe that was always who they were, but I talk about why their Jesus-freak flag is flying more than previous. Since then more ripe specimens have come in, like this Federalist column by Liz Wolfe, who does the usual "Jesus and Science Say Abortion is Murder" bit but adds a great twist where she talks about her "friends" who "open up to me about their abortions" and how they're murdering sluts:
When I talk about abortion with people I care about, I feel a sense of resigned sadness and the weight of deep depravity... 
My compassion does begin to run out, though, when I see these people—people I respect, people I value—spout what can generously be described as marketing, perhaps more appropriately called propaganda. There’s something deeply broken with our minds if we can’t muster even a morsel of intellectual honesty to properly represent the views of the other side... 
I can absolutely disrespect somebody for doing what I see as killing a fetus, a distinct being who is innocent and worthy of life and protection. I will not treat her poorly; I will not say they are beyond the pale or unable to seek forgiveness. But I don’t have to respect somebody for doing something I consider heinous.
I've said it before and I'll say it again: Either these liberal friends are made up, or have extremely low self-esteem.

•   I have a lot of friends back home who hate Bill De Blasio because he's a trimmer who promised much, much more than he has provided as mayor, particularly on housing policy. Steve Wishnia's your man for that case. (The subways I think we can safely blame on that asshole Cuomo.) Nonetheless BDB did stop stop-and-frisk and, despite the dire predictions of City Journal types, NYC continued and continues to enjoy falling crime rates -- which, now that De Blasio's running for president, all wingnuts from Trump on down lie about because they know their hayseed constituents believe Big Cities Is F'um the Devil and would only go there if they could sneak in a sidearm and do Death Wish on insolent black people. Well, I'm stuck out here in DeeCee with the Greenpoint blues again so it's none of my business, but apart from the wingnut lie eruptions he engenders I see one silver lining to BDB's hopeless campaign: He treats Trump like the pig he is, which no doubt feeds the dummies' rage and may give a few of them strokes. If some of the other candidates can learn a little more aggression from him, it will have been worth it.

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

TONKIN' IRAN WAR BLUES.

War fans are going all-in for the big win in Iran. Neocon nest Commentary enlists Noah Rothman to tell the world: Actually you libtards are over-reacting because Trump's a peacenik. Rothman's a good choice for this gig because he was about eight years old during the Iraq War so he doesn't have a long, embarrassing paper trail, though he has more than made up for it in embarrassment with Hillary the Hawk columns, weird second-hand Iraq War nostalgia, pimping for war in Syria, etc.
It is no secret that this administration supports regime change in Iran. Indeed, if we were to judge by the rolling protests that have crippled the Islamic Republic over the last two years, that sentiment is not native only to the Trump White House.
Oh my god, it's the Twitter Green Revolution all over again! (Give Rothman credit for balls: the chairbornes just saw their Venezuelan coup go down in flames, yet there's no shame in his game.) Rothman says of course Trump's not interested in war, he just put in sanctions and the famously patient president knows they need time to cook:
...The White House recently imposed sanctions on Iran’s steel, aluminum, copper, and iron industries. These sanctions, which followed Iran’s decision to follow America’s lead and partially withdraw from the 2015 nuclear accords, are aimed at Iran’s blue-collar workers -- the backbone of the Iranian regime’s popular support.
Blue-collar workers? Why aren't we cheering Hassan Rouhani as a populist?
...If the White House is to be believed...
Big fucking if.
...outright hostilities between the U.S. and the Islamic Republic would derail these efforts. Indeed, war would only serve Tehran’s interests.
He's got a point; we did run sanctions against Iraq for 13 years before we decided to invade, so maybe Trump's leaving that for the Honey Boo-Boo administration.
...You don’t have to take the White House’s word for it. On Monday, the White House got the casus belli it is supposedly spoiling for. According to the U.S. assessment, Iran or its proxy forces were responsible for an assault on two Saudi oil tankers, a United Arab Emirates tanker, and a Norwegian-flagged vessel anchored in UAE waters.
The U.S. assessment! [Snaps notebook shut] That's good enough for me.

Rothman concludes that liberals are too childish to see his logic: "They much prefer a simpler narrative in which the tyrannical and terroristic Iranian regime is the victim—all evidence to the contrary notwithstanding." Here again give Rothman credit: It takes a certain amount of skill to convey pessimism that your preferred war will start while simultaneously preparing the "objectively pro-Rouhani" slur for when it does.

Saturday, May 11, 2019

THE RETURN OF THE CRAZY JESUS LADY, TRUMP EDITION.

It's been a while since we had fun with the Crazy Jesus Lady -- which is what I used to call Peggy Noonan, but that was before she stopped being so Jesusy and just leaned on the received wisdom like a one-legged drunk on a bar rail, which is probably what got her the Pulitzer. Well, I recently snuck behind the Wall Street Journal paywall and got a load:
The Missing Order in American Politics
I grow wistful as I watch the congressional chaos while reading Kissinger’s forthcoming oral history.
If only we were murdering civilians, invading Cambodia, and assassinating leaders we didn't like again! One out of three just isn't good enough.

But even before she gets to the war criminal it's gold. First, no regular reader of my work will be surprised to know that, after some early raised-pinky tut-tuts about Trump's lack of polish, Noonan is fully aboard the JustTheTipTrump express and hell, she might just let him shove in another inch.

First of all, the Democrats are really overstepping with all the "Congressional oversight" nonsense:
But there is such a thing as context, and the Democrats seem to be ignoring it. This is a country divided. 
Almost half the country is for Mr. Trump—truly, madly, deeply. Half is against him—unequivocally, unchangeably. There is no resolving this. Or rather to the extent it can be resolved, it will be resolved at the ballot box. The presidential election is 18 months from now, on Nov. 3, 2020. 
Until then, people are where they are and hold the views they hold, and don’t push them too hard.
Don't push them too hard or what? Support for impeachment has actually gone up since House Democrats started acting like they have some guts -- why, it's almost as if people respect that! Also there is such a thing as acting on principle, but for Noonan that's just something Republicans do, while Democrats just pretend to believe things -- "We’ll see how well Speaker Nancy Pelosi can dance right up to the edge to appease some in her caucus, and not over it," she stage-whispers. Soon Nancy and Donald will be telling each other dirty jokes just like Tip and Ronnie!
[Trump supporters] sometimes tell reporters he’s a man of high character but mostly to drive the reporters crazy. I have never talked to a Trump supporter, and my world is thick with them, who thought he had a high personal character.
Noonan's world is thick with Trump supporters? You mean Republicans? Big shock. But after years of "Character Above All" palaver, you'd think she'd be embarrassed to admit that her party supports scumbags.

Well, turns out Noonan has an escape clause, or at least an escape adjective:
On the other hand they sincerely believe he has a high political character, in that he pursues the issues he campaigned on. They hired him as an insult to the political class, as a Hail Mary pass -- we’ve tried everything else, maybe this will work -- and because he agreed with them on the issues.
"Pursues the issues he campaigned on"? I remember when we were going to be filing our income taxes on postcards. And that the deficit would go down. And so would prices. And... well, to be fair, he still hates brown-skinned people. Noonan doesn't want to get into this, so she talks about how the people -- the same people that loved St. Ronnie! -- love Mr. Trump, and how when they scream obscenities and act like a lynch mob and cheer shooting immigrants, that's just sly American wit:
When they jeer the press during rallies at the president’s direction, they don’t really mean it. They’re having fun and talking back. They’d be happy if their kids became reporters -- an affluent profession, and half of them are famous.
???????????
The president doesn’t really hate the press either, he wants their love and admiration. You don’t need the admiration of people you truly disdain.
If Noonan thinks Trump doesn't disdain his suckers... well, she thought Reagan was on the level, too.

As for her Kissinger tongue-bath, I can't bring myself to touch it, though I will risk vomit damage to my keyboard to mention this bit about Kissinger's hardscrabble, pre-genocide youth:
The tough Italian-American men he worked with teased the German refugee and took him to Yankee Stadium to learn to be an American. There he first saw the man who years later on meeting him struck him dumb: Joe DiMaggio.
I like to imagine these guys telling Li'l Henry, "Remember Joe DiMaggio, and also that you're a white man, and only kill gooks, spades and spics!" [Patriotic music swells] Young Henry Kissinger never forgot. I tell ya, it's kind of a Cassandra curse to see the people you always knew were shit not only proving it over years but actually getting worse.

Thursday, May 09, 2019

NO RIGHT BUT THE RIGHT TO LIFE.

I'm unlocking this morning's newsletter issue (Subscribe! Cheap! ™) about the new Georgia abortion law and how it mirrors the solution Trump proposed back in 2016 -- "some form of punishment" for women who get abortions (the punishment in Georgia's case being prison sentences).  You may recall that, as I wrote at the time, conservatives complained back then that Trump had distorted the pro-life POV -- they didn't want to imprison women, just take away their rights! -- and made him back off.

Well, what Trump proposed then is coming to pass, and conservatives are eerily quiet about it. The few rightwing sites that cover the new law ignore the liability of women; RedState headlines their thin story "Georgia Signs 'Heartbeat Bill' Into Law, Defying Hollywood," as if that were the important part (and for their readers I suppose it is). At The Resurgent there's an item by Jake Wagner that's much longer, but it's mostly made up of wingnut aperçus like "My problem with the heartbeat bill is that abortion is still permitted, albeit within a certain window" and "People have gotten so used to being able to have sex whenever they please that abortion is a nice safety net"; there's no mention of the legal penalties for women. At this writing, big sites like National Review don't mention the law at all.

I expect that if they get around to it anytime soon, they'll try something like this yutz's tweet -- "There's a difference between 'technically the law could be interpreted this way' and 'its reasonable to interpret it this way' and 'it's been interpreted this way in court,' Please breathe a little" -- trying to hold onto the last shreds of plausible deniability while dismissing the women who are targeted by the law as hysterical. But at some point, I expect they'll all just say sure, you can go to prison -- that's what happens to murderers and everyone knows abortion is murder. Look how many fig leaves they've let drop already. Right now it's just the calm before Der Stürmer.

Sunday, May 05, 2019

P.C. B.S.

I've been talking a long time about the idiotic applications of the term "political correctness" by rightwing choads, who started using it as a way suggest that people who got mad when you used racial slurs were just like Chinese Communists during the Cultural Revolution (and in this sense it was the mother of all SJW Snowflake burbles, not to mention Rod Dreher), and have ended up using it as a curse word to apply to anything they don't like. Well, as with so many things, Trump has proven himself more wingnutty than wingnuts with his sputtery tweet about the Kentucky Derby:


I can't figure how giving the race on a technicality to one horse owned by a rich guy over another horse owned by a rich guy qualifies as PC. Maybe it'll come out that the owner of the awarded horse is a friend of (((Soros))). More likely Trump's lizard brain intuited that the involvement of officials and a review process meant it had something to do with justice and judgment, which would be offensive to him on several levels.

Once again I side with Charlie Brown and his outrage at the regnant bullshit of his age: