Wednesday, February 21, 2024


Hey, here’s a Humpday treat – a rare mid-week release of a Roy Edroso Breaks It Down issue FREE to gen pop. It’s the latest episode of our Washington Insider news talk show Received Opinion with Bolt Upright, this time focused on the Truckers Attack/Richies Forsake New York bullshit being spread by Republican operatives via credulous prestige-press journos. 

The casus bellow is Tubby’s $355 million fraud judgment, which allegedly has truckers threatening not to deliver goods to NYC stores. You might say this is a direct rip from the 2022 People’s Convoy grift, in which a sad gaggle of MAGA dopes rumbled their big rigs around DC claiming they were going to shut down the government, but left with dysentery and a few weeks of lost earnings. 

But it really goes back farther to what I call GOP Butch Cosplay – like the Hard Hat Riot of 1970 and the whole “Joe the Plumber” scam of 2008, it involves rightwingers acting all rough and tough and threatening to shut everything down if they don’t get their way. 

At least the hardhats actually beat up some hippies, though – these guys just yell and pose like WWE wrestlers and take selfies and expect the world to fall at their feet, but have to make do with dumb reporters and whatever half-wits believe them.

We also have rich guys claiming to withdraw their funds from New York City in protest of Tubby’s impending bankruptcy – e.g. today’s Fox News headline: “Real estate investor will ‘immediately discontinue’ working in NYC over Trump verdict, eying Florida, Texas.” It;s enough to make you miss the days when they got over on rubes by offering to sell them the Brooklyn Bridge. 

But, as I’ve also said before, MAGA types have been trained to despise New York as a symbol of everything they hate – different kinds of people living together, public services, culture, soap and toothpaste -- and will believe any crap they’re fed about how it’s all going to collapse any day now. I’d feel sorry for them if they weren’t dangerous lunatics. 

Friday, February 16, 2024


Always liked these guys, glad they got back in the game.

Listen, I’ve never kept a dollar past sunset so I can be pretty tight-fisted, especially when it comes to giving out freebies to my bread-and-butter Roy Edroso Breaks It Down site. [Subscribe! Cheap!] But this week your cup runneth over – partly because I want you non-subscribers to get acquainted with some of that publication’s adorable features.

First, I’ve unlocked today’s installment of Fun Friday, which has become a regular week-ending post that prompts subscribers to talk about a specific type of pleasure in comments – for example, a moviegoing experience that the hecklers in the audience made memorable. Today’s edition is about things you love mainly or even simply because they’re old – or, rather, because their antiquity spurs nostalgia, either for your past or a past you never experienced. The real joy of these things – and this week is no exception – is our commenters, REBID’s secret weapon. Throw in your own comments if you like! 

Also, every year around this time I watch all the Oscar Best Picture nominees before the big show and write about them; this year I’m making all those essays available to non-subscribers. This week it’s on The Zone of Interest – and the post has links to the all my other open-access reviews as well. Nine down, one to go! 

This week’s final freebie is yet another in our series of Received Opinion with Bolt Upright episodes, in which political talk show clucks peck at the issues of the day. This week: How Joe Biden is oh so very old and disqualified while Trump is a dynamic imbecile. I know, it sounds just like the real thing, but you haven’t seen it chewed over by Bolt’s panel of pundits Peoni Doyenne, Chafe Dramaturgy, and Buff Toehold. Tune in! 

Friday, February 09, 2024


Got their Mojo workin'.

RIP to a real one. I met Mojo back in the day, and he wasn't putting it on, that was really him. I told him that when I came down South for the Memphis Jazz Fest I ate so much barbecue I didn't take a shit for a day and a half. He referred to me thereafter exclusively as Hambone.  

I missed a ‘Round-the-Horn last week, sorry! But here, let me offer you a Roy Edroso Breaks It Down freebie from that timeframe which is still good, or will be till after the Super Bowl: My as-usual behind-the-scenes look at how Tubby and his team plan to fight back against the Taylor Swift menace. I know, there’s been so much written already about the rightwing meltdown over the pretty white girl with a football hero boyfriend who for some reason doesn’t love enraged Nazi incels, but mine’s funny.  If you ain't read it yet, it's news to you! 

And look, it’s gotta be better than Ross Douthat’s plea for conservatives to embrace Taylor Swift because “the cultural valence of the Swift-Kelce romance... [is] normal and wholesome and mainstream in an explicitly conservative-coded way” – Ha! One images the wispy-bearded doofus trying to pitch that to a mob of howling conservabros and getting his ass hitched to a Ford F-30,000 and hauled out of Burlyman Camp in response. You can't reason with them, Father Ross!

Of more recent vintage is my other freebie, inspired by the latest in a series of prestige press Trump-wanks: A “guest essay” in the Good Grey Lady by Kellyanne Conway, the Trump bullshit firehose temporarily disguised as a disinterested observer of the American Scene, who asks, “Who Should Be Trump’s #2?” I expect the next such essay will be Stephen Miller asking, “Aren’t All You Regular Volk a Little Tired of Untermenschen Questioning Der Fuhrer?” We’ve gone way past the well-observed “working the refs” phenomenon, whereby rightwingers scream about “bias” until milquetoast liberal journalists are exhausted/intimidated into waving through all their bullshit; now it seems well-trained bigtime editors look at every single political event or issue and ask themselves, How is this good news for the John McCain Donald Trump?

Thus we have a former president who is very upfront about becoming a fascist dictator if he’s reelected, yet is portrayed in the prestige press as a victim because state officials interpret the Constitution as disqualifying insurrectionists from holding that office; also when a Republican investigator can't find evidence to charge the current president but takes the trouble to insert slurs about his mental state into his report, the pressies all run headlines like “Democrats’ Anxiety Over Biden’s Age Grows After Special Counsel Report.” I can only hope, as I wrote, that Americans have not yet lost the ability to smell bullshit. 

Wednesday, January 31, 2024


It can’t last, so let’s all ride this MAGA Declares War on Taylor Swift thing to clicksville while the iron’s hot, shall we? Here’s a rare midweek freebie from Roy Edroso Breaks It Down, with a ripped-from-today’s-headlines account of the anti-Swift nerve center at Mar-a-Lago. Strictly for laffs! 

As I repeatedly remind you folks, conservative politicians and political writers have entirely abandoned policies and even normal constituent service in favor of lunatic culture war crap like this. Entertainers most of us think of as That Guy In that Movie or That Girl on Spotify are to them as demons sent to Make Everything Woke. This goes for the rightwing intelli-ma-lectuals like Victor Davis Hanson as well as humble clickbait farmers (“The Top 5 Most Overrated Liberal Comedians”), but also for bigtimers like the New York Times' David French, one of those conservatives who liberals simps think is OK, and author of a hair-raisingly weird Prince obituary (“For conservatives, Prince was ultimately just another talented and decadent voice in a hedonistic culture. He was notable mainly because he was particularly effective at communicating that decadence to an eager and willing audience…”).

I didn’t think this Swift thing could get any nuttier but I hadn’t counted on Rod Dreher. I’d more or less stopped paying attention to him since his nervous breakdown and departure from The American Conservative, but my attention was called to his latest Substack item, “Among the Swifties” – and if you sense a reference of Bill Buford’s Among the Thugs there, claim your prize because Dreher does indeed compare the young female fans of Taylor Swift to the soccer hooligans in Buford’s book:

Here is Buford himself, reflecting on what he learned about crowd dynamics by watching a thug leader he calls “Mutton Chops” at work…

This is interesting. It says that we cannot entirely blame Donald Trump, Taylor Swift, or any other “leader” who holds sway over a crowd; the crowd’s latent desire for someone to create them manifested in those individual figures being propelled to leadership. Don’t misread Buford here; he’s not absolving crowd leaders of their actions…

Someone should ring Buford and ask him if he absolves Taylor Swift of her crimes. 

To put it in Buford’s terms: there was a huge crowd of young females who shared a common emotional experience (“the collective female unconscious”) that settled on Taylor Swift, a supremely gifted creator of pop songs, as their leader. Taylor Swift played her role, of course, but Buford would say that Swift was summoned by the latency within the crowd that would later become Swifties.

I bet Dreher imagines “Swifties” as rampaging Valkyries doing Wokeness to the innocent. The thing’s full of howlers, with patented Dreherisms like his regret that he cannot experience the “liberating pleasure of ego death” he imagines sports, Swift, and Trump fans enjoy – “The only time I’ve ever had that experience as part of a crowd was at the U2 concert in Baton Rouge…” The jokes just write themselves! Nonetheless I had a go at REBID, if you can use a chuckle, however mordant. 

UPDATE. Finally realizing that maybe this has all been a terrible mistake, some of the conservative Shuck Troopers are trying to turn it around. Washington Times:

We're not nuts, you're nuts! Well, on their readership it could work. Also Erick Erickson is trying his insufficient best:

Never mind that it hurts Donald Trump. Never mind that it makes the Republicans look deeply unserious. Never mind the political fallout. On a day that Cori Bush has been targeted by the Justice Department, a Democrat progressive targeted by Joe Biden's Justice Department, we're all having to talk about the Taylor Swift, Travis Kelce thing because of what these idiots have done online. 

Oh, I'm sure none of them will mind that the Swift Purge is distracting from the fact that the DOJ, which conservatives constantly accuse of being politically weaponized against Republicans just because they did some so-called "crimes," is investigating prominent Democrats like Bush and even charging Democratic Senator Robert Menendez as well. Screening out inconvenient facts is as important to their whole paranoid vision as the manufacture of lunatic fantasies.

UPDATE 2. Lol, I forgot that conservatives have been raging at Swift for at least ten years now. Here's my 2013 post on the Power Line proto-Catturd Hindrocket doing close analysis of Swift wearing a onesie -- is it a comment on Pajama Boy?? And get a load of all the anti-Swift articles at rightweing rat's nest The Federalist: Imagine going to an editor with a pitch like "Taylor Swift’s Disappointing Arc Is Generationally Representative" and having her slam the desk and cry, "THAT'S GOLD, JASHINSKY! GOLD!" Finally, lest we forget: Mark Hemingway's sad boomer review of Swift. Now that's funny! 

Saturday, January 27, 2024


Will write soon about Maestro, which I liked, not least because
it treated me to several minutes of Bernstein's Mass, which I really love.

Yep, two days later than usual, but bountiful: Since the Oscar nominations are out, I’m going to make all my reviews of the Best Picture nominees available to non-subscribers. So far I’ve gotten through seven of the 10: Barbie, Killers of the Flower Moon, The Holdovers, Poor Things, Past Lives, American Fiction, and Oppenheimer. Will get to the other three and, who knows, maybe some of the non-BP contenders (like May December, for which my review is also available). Enjoy – these are so much less depressing than the political stuff, at least for me.

Actually, that ain’t necessarily so – the first of our weekly Roy Edroso Breaks It Down freebies is about sort of a happy occasion: The ejection of Ron DeSantis from the ranks of the Republican presidential contenders. There is much joy in my farewell to Meatball Ron because  he was so strenuously evil that he repulsed even the pigs who vote in Republican primaries – though our joy must be tempered because those same voters yet cleave to Fat Hitler.
And there’s some fun, too, in my bagatelle about the Trump White House pharmacy scandal – whereby we learn Trump’s factota (not even licensed pharmacists!) were shoveling large quantities of opioids and commercial drugs like Ambien (yes, the expensive non-generic) to persons unknown. It reminds me of my many sketches about Trump's relaince on "the Formula," a snortable mixture that makes him seem almost normal on the stump. It also reminds me of the Norman Ohler book Blitzed, about the rampant drug abuse in the Third Reich – particularly of the methamphetamine called Pervitin that was dished out like candy to Nazi soldiers. When I look at MAGA freaks like Giuliani and the Trump lawyer/MAGA moll Alina Habba, raving incoherently in front of the press, I feel like a lot of that crew’s otherwise inexplicable behavior may be laid to speed-and-downers cycles gone out of control.

Friday, January 19, 2024


You believe this shit was 20 years ago?

We got a lot of snow here in the Northeast and today I went back and forth from my workdesk at intervals to shovel the stuff off our sidewalk, lest by storm’s end it got two feet deep and encrusted in ice. It was a nice change of pace from my accursed day job, though I imagine if public works were my day job I’d get as sick of it (or, more likely, seriously injured in the commission of it) pretty quickly. So kudos to our local DPW! (I am also grateful that, being on the side of truth and light, I am not even figuratively required to shovel shit at you good people.) 

One cool thing: We get on well with our neighbors, so I took a few minutes to do their walk as well. A while back I went out and found they’d shoveled a layer of our walk. Sometimes it’s nice living in Baltimore! 

But you must be impatient for the Roy Edroso Breaks It Down freebies! Well, Martin Luther King Day – the one day when everyone trots out the One Quote Everyone Knows, Something About Contents – was Monday so is definitionally old news, I guess, but I have an essay that’s still fresh on why conservatives who usually try to suck up to (dead) MLK are starting to denounce him instead. I guess you could file this under Masks Coming Off. As mentioned in the post, the years of tedious “King was a conservative” posts have always been wearisome to folks like you and me, but now that the right is thoroughly MAGAfied, it seems they’ve gotten sick of it too, and are going back to their overtly racist roots. It’s a relief in a way! 

As for the second freebie, here, enjoy this accurate transcript of Vivek Ramaswamy lobbying Tubby for the VP gig. It’s a killer! 

Monday, January 15, 2024


Happy MLK Day! Usually I do a roundup of rightwingers explaining why Dr, King was rightwing too -- and in today’s Roy Edroso Breaks It Down MLK edition, unlocked for non-subscribers, that tendency is mentioned; but the McGuffin is Charlie Kirk’s attack on the late civil rights leader, and indeed on civil rights in general, and what it bodes for conservative MLKing. 

Generally conservatives are still giving the good Doctor lip service – though such service is increasingly strained in the age of Black Lives Matter. At PJ Media, for example, good ol’ Rick “Get a Brain” Moran has a doozy of a lede:

What would Martin Luther King believe if he were alive today? 

King lobbied for federal assistance to the poor and for a form of wealth redistribution, but he was no Communist. He was in favor of affirmative action. But it was a much different kind of "affirmative action" than the quota-based programs today.

Sounds like he’s trying to make excuses for MLK, doesn’t he? (I’d love to know the difference between King’s affirmative action and that of today’s whippersnappers, but no King quotes are offered to describe it, though Moran does manage to work in the One MLK Quote Conservatives Know. Something about content!)

But for the New Breed, it’s all about shoving King into the ash-heap of history. Littleface himself has been shitting out anti-MLK posts all day (“The deification of MLK and his proto-DEI ideology marks the exact moment that the progress of black America goes sideways…), in which he is seconded by Jack Posobiec and other major conservative thinkers. And while Scott Greer’s overt white supremacism embarrassed the Daily Caller into letting him go, he’s still packing ‘em in at his Substack with material like “MLK Worship Gives Us DEI/ Charlie Kirk is right to take on the civil rights idol.” 

You can, as in years past, hear this sort of thing today from the downscale rightwingers who have always hated King – such as the commenters at Free Republic and the Southern culture skidmarks of the Abbeville Press – but they’re no longer fringe phenomena. For reasons I point out in my REBID essay, Kirk’s slur campaign represents the future of American conservatism – or rather its present, which will be made plain sooner than later.

Friday, January 12, 2024



I see Tubby threw his tantrum in court and it turned out to be a dumb, damp squib – but nonetheless I have  unlocked the rehearsal version I posted for subscribers at Roy Edroso Breaks It Down, because it’s fun and because I expect that, as Trump reaches the Castro-three-hour-speech stage of his career, he’ll be raving things like this soon enough.

Speaking of the former POTUS, the other REBID freebie concerns the ongoing campaign by Conservatives-With-Good-Taste to distance themselves – but not too much! – from Tubby. The reason for the balancing act is that the American conservative coalition of racists, grifters, anti-vaxxers, holy rollers and just plain nuts is fragile, so if big-name conservatives and the prestige press that loves them want to continue to enrich their donors, they have to keep the MAGA people on board at all costs. 

As recapped in that post, I have been observing this phenomenon since Trump first came up, but as a crucial election draws near their straddle is getting wobbly and weird. The latest in a series of disingenuous Please Don’t Nominate Trump (Not That There’s Anything Wrong With It) essays from National Review, and its credulous reception by the media, is one sign; so is this nonsense; and so is Bret Stephens’ latest, in which the headline and multiple disclaimers announce that he’s against Trump but the column itself reads like a campaign endorsement – Trump was right about immigrants, Stephens claims, and about CRT and DEI and George Floyd riots! Plus: “brokenness has become the defining feature of much of American life: broken families, broken public schools, broken small towns…” American carnage, in other words! Thus we see what the phenomenon I have called Just The Tip Trumpism turns into when the sphincters relax.

These clowns denounce every effort to hold Trump to account, but clearly hope he’s thrown off the ballot or into prison so they can push their fellow Just The Tip Trumper Nikki Haley out there and maybe con the voters again. This is one of the reasons why Trump’s ferocious selfishness is so entertaining – because he makes it difficult for them, and it’s fun to watch them struggle. 

Friday, January 05, 2024


Always liked the tune, had no idea there were lyrics --
let alone sung by Dee Dee Bridgewater!

Hell of a week – but aren’t they all! 

Let’s get to the Roy Edroso Breaks It Down freebies, shall we? The first one is Monday’s final installment of the 2023 Year is BS series, called “Unpopularism.” (The title is a gag, I’ll bet at least some of you know, based on the “popularism” peddled by Matthew Yglesias and other dorks back in the day, by which I mean a couple of years ago because tempus fugit is in overdrive anymore.) 

My concept is this: A lot of people like to ask why Democrats don’t brag on their positive accomplishments and policies more – which leads me to believe they don’t get the same campaign mailers I do. 

What I think they mean is, a lot of people don’t know about these accomplishments and policies, not because Democrats don’t brag on them, but because the prestige press leaves them largely unmentioned in favor of “Why Is Biden So Old, Look How Old He Is” stories.

Oh speaking of which: Today in bothsiderism, from AP – 

One attack, two interpretations: Biden and Trump both make the Jan. 6 riot a political rallying cry

Remember that 36 hours or so of general agreement that an attempt to stop the Electoral College count by violence so that the loser of the election can stay president was a bad thing? Sometimes I think I imagined it. Anyone who tells you Democrats are making too much of J6 is running a con; in fact I think the repeated release of the footage has been necessary to keep the facts from being drowned in Republican bullshit like Elise Stefanik's claim that it was all Nancy Pelosi's fault. So far normal people seem to understand, thank God, that it's not a case of "your lying eyes" -- those fuckers did what they did for the obvious reason.

As I was saying: While Democrats work against the tide to get their message to voters, Republicans, on the other hand, don’t seem to even care whether voters like the swill they’re dishing out. I try to explain it, but the short version is: If you’re planning to institute a fascist regime, why would you care what voters think?

The other freebie is one of my sketches, this time situated in the Rectory, a place where rightwing cat’licks like Bill Bennett and Brett Kavanaugh can chew the fat and slurp the uisce beatha. Hijinks, based on current events, ensue! (And when I say based on current events, I mean intimidation of the rummy Trump put on SCOTUS, like so:)

Friday, December 29, 2023


Always a good choice for the New Year.

Sliding into the end of the year now with my Roy Edroso Breaks It Down 2023 wrap-up posts – the first three are ready now, with the last one out on Monday. I’m making these posts public, by the way, so non-subscribers can read them — though while you’re at it you might as well become a non-paying subscriber at least, and get occasionally freebies going forward -- or better still, become a paid subscriber and get five issues a week for peanuts! 

The #5 post is about something that has been normalized but is actually quite bizarre – the Republicans having an entire series of presidential debates without the man everyone knows they’ll nominate. It’s as if, before George W. Bush was renominated in 2004, the networks gave William Tsangares and Blake Ashby several prime time slots to mix it up. 

The #4 post is about the violence of rightwing rhetoric that reached new dark levels in 2023. Yeah, the attempted Capitol coup in January 2021 was pretty gruesome, but back then a few prominent Republicans acted as if they knew it was a bad thing – now pretty much none of them do, and many act as if democracy had it coming and they’ll try to finish the job later. Now every attempt to hold Tubby to account, however solid its constitutional or legal foundation, results in death threats or invitations to same. I get into the historical pedigree of this bloody-mindedness. 

#3 and #2 are combined in today’s installment (poor planning!) but they’re related: The portrayal of anyone who dislikes Israel’s indiscriminate bombing of Palestinian civilians as an antisemite, and the approval of people getting fired for saying they don’t like it by the same people who normally blubber over “cancel culture” whenever some rich wingnut gets in trouble.

What’s going to be #1 on Monday? Subscribe and find out! 

(UPDATE: It's out! The list, in toto:

Meantime I hope you all have a beautiful New Year’s Eve. As I have relocated to an even sleepier town than I inhabited last year, I don’t expect too much excitement on Sunday night, but who knows. Hope your plans and your resolutions are all realized and then some.