Wednesday, December 31, 2014


(Here's the fourth and last installment of a year-end bottom-ten of the lowlights of 2014, culled from my archives and elsewhere. See also Part One, Part Two, and Part Three. Read 'em and weep!)

2. Germ warfare. It seems like so long ago, doesn’t it, when a fatal case of Ebola in Dallas was portrayed as the harbinger of nationwide plague and doom. Yet it was only October when Liberian Thomas Eric Duncan succumbed, and besides him in the U.S. the virus has claimed… one life. This shouldn’t seem surprising, because this country has the illustrious Centers for Disease Control and thousands of dedicated scientists and epidemiologists with whom to fight Ebola. It also has wingnuts, alas, who did their best impersonation of a hayseed trying to keep a doctor from practicing his witchcraft on a young’un.

Listen here, they said, CDC’s just Big Gummint, and so-called “scientists” and epi-whatchamacallits are just a bunch of pointy-heads trying to get more o’ that Big Gummint money for their global-warming hoax, and fer t’ help out the coloreds in Africa! Besides, Obama’s in charge, so natchurly everything’s gotta be a disaster!

When CDC declined to seal America’s borders, citing the best science, conservatives declared this was part of Obama’s one-world agenda to unite the globe in disease and misery. (Heather Mac Donald of City Journal actually claimed the “public-health establishment” wouldn’t quarantine other countries because it was “awash in social-justice ideology” and “influenced as much by belief in America’s responsibility for the postcolonial oppression of Africa, and suspicion of American border enforcement, as it is by a commitment to public-health principles of containment and control.”) They ramped up their own custom science: Rand Paul told us you could get Ebola from being in the same room as an Ebola person. Instapundit Glenn Reynolds, whose degree is not in medicine, wondered aloud “if this strain of Ebola is easier to catch than we think.”

At the Washington Free Beacon Matthew Continetti actually wrote a column called “The Case for Panic… Incompetent government + corrupt elite = disaster.” Everyone knows you can’t trust Big Gummint, said Continetti, so if they say don’t panic, you should panic! It’s just logic! Plus the only reason Obama wasn’t quarantining everybody was that “doing so would violate the sacred principles by which our bourgeois liberal elite operate.”

Reliable everything-worsener Jonah Goldberg found a frame of reference for Ebola... in a disaster movie that showed millions of Americans dying. “We now have our own version of Contagion playing out in real time,” burbled Goldberg. Scientists couldn’t save us — “they keep telling us they know what can’t happen right up until the moment it happens,” shivered Goldberg. Time for pitchforks and witch-trials!

And of course there was the usual bullshit from Jim Hoft.

As fear started to subside, some of the brethren began whistling and trying to look innocent (“The Only Ebola Panic Is Being Caused by Doctors and Nurses” — Tim Cavanaugh, National Review). News cycles being what they are, people have probably already forgotten that a bunch of conservatives actually tried to promote a national panic during a medical crisis. But maybe by now they've done enough pants-wetting over Saddam Hussein, ISIS, and other alleged world-destroyers that their fellow citizens will at least begin to form an appropriate character judgment.

1. Cons, cops, and the end of the “libertarian moment." After eight years of big-government projects such as unfunded foreign wars and Medicare Part D under George W. Bush, conservatives took advantage of the Obama era to play at being anti-government again. The Tea Party, with its molon-labe watering-the-tree-of-liberty lingo, was the most visible example (hey, whatever happened to them?); some public officials even played with nullification of federal laws. The more intellectual of the brethren were pleased to call this flavor of conservatism “libertarian” for, though it does not promise freedom for all (women who want to get an abortion are excluded, for example), it does promote hostility to government, which has served the conservative movement well since the days of Reagan.

This theme reached a sort of climax in April at the Bundy Ranch in Nevada, where an old white rancher refused to pay his legally-owed user fees and, surrounded by armed supporters, defied federal authorities’ right to collect his property in restitution. Bundy was celebrated not just by survivalist nuts, but also by elected officials such as Rick Perry and Ted Cruz, and by mainstream pundits such as National Review’s Kevin D. Williamson, who wrote, in an essay called “The Case for a Little Sedition,” “Of course the law is against Cliven Bundy. How could it be otherwise? The law was against Mohandas Gandhi, too, when he was tried for sedition…” Lest his neckless readers accuse him of siding with a half-naked fakir, Williamson also compared Bundy to the Founding Fathers, not to mention the architects of the previous year’s government shutdown, in which “every one of the veterans and cheesed-off citizens who disregarded President Obama’s political theater and pushed aside his barricades was a law-breaker, too — and bless them for being that.” Moving barricades, pointing rifles at federal agents — same diff!

Power Line’s John Hinderaker cheered as “PHOTO OF THE YEAR” a picture of "Bundy supporters, on horseback and, I assume, armed,” telling “federal agents that they were surrounded and had better give back the cattle they had confiscated”; later, Hinderaker explained “WHY YOU SHOULD BE SYMPATHETIC TOWARD CLIVEN BUNDY” (basically because “you” share his typical rightwing resentments — “[The Bundys] don’t develop apps. They don’t ask for food stamps” — and disapprove any law, or enforcement thereof, that discomfits rich wingnuts).

Most of these rebellion joy-poppers sidled away from Bundy when he made some peculiar racial remarks — which is ironic, as conservatives next got to display their libertarian cred when Michael Brown and Eric Garner were killed in confrontations with police, and black people and their allies started complaining about the suspicious circumstances, the lack of arrests, and the regularity with which this sort of thing seemed to happen.

At first some of the brethren agreed that this, too, required a Bundy-style show of solidarity; National Review even ran a story called “It’s Time for Conservatives to Stop Defending Police.” At the Washington Examiner, Timothy P. Carney said that, though there had been "guffaws" from "many liberals and a few conservatives" when the New York Times Magazine earlier that month suggested a new "libertarian moment" was upon us, the Ferguson case had brought needed attention to the growing militarization of police in the United States, and he expected a consensus across ideological lines against this "insane armament." He added:
There's another problem in Ferguson that calls up some wisdom shared by libertarians and conservatives: When you consider the police shooting of Michael Brown, the riots that followed, the crackdown in response, and the heightened protests after that, the whole situation between the town and the police was one of Us vs. Them.
But the part these guys never got is that the protest over the killings had something to do with the troubled relationship between black Americans and the cops. Indeed, they probably can't get this, because for conservatives racism only exists in its reverse variety, engaged in by "race pimps."

Some of the brethren, reluctant to lose their libertarian props, looked for ways around this issue: many blamed the cigarette tax law Garner was allegedly evading (Big Gummint strikes again!) rather than racism or police overreaction.

The waves of protesters who rose in the wake of these deaths did not see it that way; when some nut killed two NYPD officers, even such expedients as this were abandoned. Most conservatives raged that the protesters, a small segment of whom had called for killing cops, were all “anti-police” and thus to blame for the murders — as was Mayor de Blasio, because he told his black son to be careful around police — and that America must now coalesce behind its Blue Knights and cease to complain about their tactics.

In this they agreed with the NYPD union leadership, with whose apparent encouragement City cops have affected a reverse ticket blitz, reducing their quality-of-life enforcement. National Review's Ian Tuttle applauded -- "when your mayor takes advice from Al Sharpton... it is hard to blame officers who might try to minimize the protecting and serving they have to do." Yes, a writer for a prominent conservative publication was cheering a municipal union work slowdown -- which should give you some idea of how important this was to the brethren. The meaning of "Us vs. Them" was becoming clear.

After a few feints at a personal-responsibility argument that the guy to blame for the murder was actually the murderer, not the protesters, Williamson, that friend of Bundy's "little sedition," got with the program — “The mobs in New York, Ferguson, and elsewhere are not calling for metaphorical murders of policemen, but literal ones,” he wrote, and proposed as a solution… more aggressive policing: “the reality is that what causes American murders is our national failure to adequately monitor, restrict, or rehabilitate violent offenders with sub-homicidal criminal careers…”

This particular libertarian moment, I think we can safely say, is over. especially with a Presidential election coming up.  But never fear: it wasn't the first such moment promoted, and won't be the last. Conservatives like to portray themselves as freedom-lovers when nothing’s on the line, but they know by instinct that their best shot when it's time to woo voters is straight, law-and-order authoritarianism. In fact, if the past fourteen years are any indication, it’s pretty much all they have to offer.


  1. susanoftexas12:27 PM

    they know by instinct that their best shot with the voters is straight, law-and-order authoritarianism
    You go with what works and that never fails. They are a fascist movement in search of a leader. Thank goodness they've mentally degenerated too much to find one. Yet.

  2. randomworker12:44 PM

    Those two are some industrial grade bullshit right there. Ebola? What Ebola? And jesus christ all the asslicking of cops going on is downright unseemly.

  3. [The Bundys] don’t develop apps. They don’t ask for food stamps

    No, they just steal the use of pubic resources for private profit, which is totally different.

  4. Zencomix1:13 PM

    If you meet the Aqua Buddha on the road, stop and frisk him, he's probably carrying weed.

  5. A moment of self-indulgence, if you will. In looking over this list, I realize that I may have inadvertently captured the conservative moment circa 2014 in a piece of writing. This is from something I've been rewriting - a story I first did in 2013 based on an idea I came up with in 2011. I'm not making any of this up.

    The chief villain is the strongman founder of a constantly expanding empire. The empire is divided into a privileged (if tightly-controlled) overclass and the sprawling underclass that makes things for them. Over the course of the story, he is shown employing torture, mock executions and threats of collective punishment to get what he needs. His greatest enemies in his endeavor are a sissy poetry-writing pacifist and some nutjob who insists on giving people free health care. At the story's climax, he guns down an unarmed dark-skinned man before being done in by an uppity childless career woman.

    Did I miss anything?

    Seriously, this story contains no deliberate partisan content. This villain was originally meant to be a commentary on out-of-control consumerism or some shit like that. I don't know what happened.

  6. Conservatives like to portray themselves as freedom-lovers...

    And the ARE: for White Males. Everyone else should shut up and do what they're told! Or else the liberty tree will be watered!

  7. What, no he wasn't carrying any weed, not that I saw! Gotta go, I, um, left the oven running!

  8. I'd rather see them water the electric fence.

  9. Megalon1:18 PM

    Just as long as he didn't buy it with food stamps.

  10. I love that "unite the world in disease and misery" trope, because it reveals so much about the right-wing mindset. They LOVE the fact that there is poverty to the extent that they not only tolerate it, but they foster it, even here in these United States. I want a world united in health and happiness, to the extent that I'm willing to pay more for consumer goods and energy to improve the lot of people in the developing world.

    Once again, it's all projection!

  11. Conservatives know that there is not enough happiness and health to go around! Only enough for a small minority of men.

  12. The weirdest thing is the conflation of developing apps and receiving food stamps- shouldn't developing apps be a good thing because it is a capitalist (appitalist?) endeavor? Is there good capitalism and bad capitalism? Is a dipshit who raises a few scrawny cattle on marginal public land a hero because he has a gun and a cowboy hat? Is the developer of an app which revolutionizes an industry a villain because he lives on the coast and looks like Pajama Boy?

  13. Mormon Scabby Knuckle Choir1:54 PM

    If a hippie in Colorado buys a pot brownie with food stamps, and the DEA isn't there to hear him chewing, does Oral Hatch make a squealing sound when he's lunching with Lyndsey Gray Ham?

  14. Bizarro Mike2:11 PM

    Fascist is the proper word, the just word, the necessary word. Too bad it has been dragged around so much to tar people it doesn't apply to.

  15. Well, don't forget - cattlemen are all Red Staters and therefore inherently virtuous, while that app developer likely lives in a CITY, probably in a BLUE STATE, and is therefore suspect of treason and parasitism.

  16. LookWhosInTheFreezer2:20 PM

    Or selling Loosies.

  17. LookWhosInTheFreezer2:25 PM

    It's funny how they pretend that spreading the wealth is their noble cause when it is so transparent that spreading the misery* is the real goal.

    *To anyone lower than their class

  18. That was the point of dragging it around in the first place, to rob it of meaning.

  19. Mr. Wonderful2:50 PM

    The answer, my friend, is blowing in the wind. Where the wind is blowing from...don't ask.

  20. coozledad3:13 PM

    Brother, there are still parts of this country where grizzled old men drive up and down the road in pickup trucks all day, tellin' Mexicans what to do, writin' checks, and goin' home at the end of the day to baste their saddle sores in hemorrhoid cream and watch TV.
    When they're gone they'll be gone.

  21. TGuerrant3:40 PM

    Yer avatar's been hijacked!

  22. The apps thing is a jab at all those intellectuals who understand science and computers and other technology stuff. And many of those apps developers live near San Fran or NYC! So, they're probably spending their off time collecting benefits while getting gay abortions.

  23. Apple is controlled by the gays now.

  24. In the conservative mind, all who suffer deserve their suffering. Those who are not rich and not suffering are being coddled, and so should have suffering visited upon them to raise up their character.

    Personally, I think every one of these assholes should be made to work full-time at a job like removing old fiberglass insulation or hanging sheetrock. Jonah Goldberg would dissolve in tears after 20 minutes at either of those jobs.

  25. They're putting the PC into PCs.

  26. There was some wingnut, I think back in the late 80s? who was going on about how people who were born with a disability had sinned somehow and brought it on themselves; as well, as I keep pointing out, it's a article of faith on their part that being poor is a sign of personal failure, even for atheist gLibertarians.

  27. The GHEY has always been there - why do you think they're called HARD and FLOPPY drives? (And let's not even get into the perverted realm of assembly language, with POKEs and PUSHes and POPs, obviously a reference to amyl nitrate!)

  28. Why do you think machine code is all ones and zeros? It's like a never-ending stream of hotdogs chasing donuts through the Holland Tunnel. (H/T Robert Klein)

  29. A friend of mine was born with severe birth defects that have left him confined to a wheelchair and incapable of much in the way of work. I'm amazed at the number of people to buy into the "it's karma" aspect of his disability. Worse is the number of people who think his physical disability means he MUST be mentally handicapped as well.

  30. Suttree5:53 PM

    And yet marxist, commie, socialist and n***** still hold gravitas. Go figure.

  31. M. Krebs6:22 PM

    They don’t ask for food stamps...

    The Bundys I remember were reduced to eating "toaster leavins."

  32. "My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my word. Prepare to die."

  33. John Wesley Hardin8:19 PM

    "it’s pretty much all they have to offer" And tax cuts. Don't forget the tax cuts. They got that. Getting the EPA off your back so you can piss in your neighbor's well as long as it makes you money? They got that too.

  34. Christopher Hazell8:25 PM

    Both of these items are very good illustrations of how American politics are so incredibly governed by branding.

    The CDC thing is very much a "The food here is terrible, and such small portions!" thing. People don't trust the federal government, which in their view is full of corrupt incompetents, so their solution is to give these self same corrupt incompetents the task of completely closing off the American borders.

    Some of the brethren, reluctant to lose their libertarian props, looked for ways around this issue:many blamed the cigarette tax law Garner was allegedly evading (Big Gummint strikes again!) rather than racism or police overreaction.

    This was easily the stupidest fucking argument I have seen in recent American politics.

    Never once have I heard anybody explain how the following statements conflict:

    1. The law shouldn't allow police to harass you for selling small amounts of your own stuff on the street.

    2. Police have a particular problem dealing with minorities and our legal system is systemically racist.

    Neither of these is obviously wrong, and in fact I think there's a pretty good argument to be made that the two things are related (Excessive police power exacerbates already systemic racism. For example, I don't think there's any contradiction, or even any tone-deafness in saying "Marijuanna prohibition disproportionately hurts black Americans, which is one very good reason to abandon it") but for some reason in this case people felt obliged to choose one or the other.

    As far as I can tell, the reason is that "Fewer Taxes" is a Republican/Conservative brand slogan, and "Police Racism" is a Democratic/Liberal brand slogan, and those are competing brands. Having both opinions would be like singing "I'd like to buy the world a Pepsi"; Like, what are you even trying to sell at that point?

  35. John Wesley Hardin8:26 PM

    Spreading the wealth and spreading the misery go hand in hand. The wealth is spread with the right sort of people, and the misery to everyone else to keep them in their place.

  36. John Wesley Hardin8:32 PM

    I think that's right. Subscribers to The Buckley Project (athwart history; "stop!") cherish no rights more than the ones that they already have, and those rights are only diluted when you give them to the lower orders.

  37. John Wesley Hardin8:34 PM

    There are serious punishments for that sort of thing (unlike, say, choking a guy to death).

  38. John Wesley Hardin8:40 PM

    Gosh darnit; solid, ordinary citizens Don't Code! Technology's fer nerds and Asians. If you're a real American, you've got at least one appliance blinking "12:00" at you right now. Maybe you dabbled in the HTML back in the 90s but that's over with. You've grown up and are intimidated by your BlackBerry, like a normal person should be.

  39. John Wesley Hardin8:44 PM

    And what's with HEXadecimal and BInary, anyway(note the gay witchcraft)? What's wrong with good old English numbers, like Jesus used?

  40. And yet we idolize nerds like Steve Jobs and Bill Gat...

    um, wait, they're not nerds, they're salesmen. The nerd thing is just a minor hiccup in the blinding light of their entrepreneurship. No, yeah, we're only prepared to tolerate smart people if and only if they're selling something with those smarts.

  41. John Wesley Hardin8:45 PM

    "Jonah, is that you?"

  42. tigrismus8:58 PM

    “[The Bundys] don’t develop apps. They don’t ask for food stamps”

    He'll be singing a different tune when Bundy's new iStamp app comes out.

  43. susanoftexas9:20 PM

    I want to invite this comment to the spitting and roasting of Jonah Goldberg after the apocalypse. I'll bring beer.

  44. chuckling9:42 PM

    Great series. Thanks.

  45. AGoodQuestion9:49 PM

    I'm sorry, it appears the only items on our law enforcement menu are "lethal police brutality" and "doing nothing except subvert a duly elected mayor." That's all we really get a call for, at least among the sinecure blogs.

  46. AGoodQuestion9:50 PM

    Credit them for thinking big, if not particularly well.

  47. AGoodQuestion9:55 PM

    I'm sure there are app developers who contribute time money and advice to The Big Con, but I guess they're expected to hold their tongues for the higher cause.

  48. I suppose it's too much to hope for a police force that has more mental options than your average Paramecium.

  49. we...

    we don't have to eat him, do we? *yech*

  50. redoubtagain10:06 PM

    When they're gone they'll be gone.

    Though some may be missing a chainsaw or two.

  51. redoubtagain10:07 PM

    Heck, they even have their own TV show.

  52. redoubtagain10:23 PM

    National Review’s Kevin D. Williamson,
    who wrote, in an essay called “The Case for a Little Sedition,” “Of
    course the law is against Cliven Bundy. How could it be otherwise? The
    law was against Mohandas Gandhi, too, when he was tried for sedition…”

    I assume it was pointed out to M. Williamson that Gandhi was assassinated, in part, because his killers thought Gandhi insufficiently anti-Muslim.

  53. After he outgasses and the fat renders off, there'd be barely enough left to put on a toothpick. So I wouldn't worry about it, Pere--just show up fashionably late and he'll be all gone.

  54. tigrismus10:45 PM

    He'll be serviceable as a jerk.

  55. To the sufficiently observant, they inadvertently gave the game away by choosing the term "trickle down."

  56. “Of course the law is against Cliven Bundy. How could it be otherwise?""The law was against Michael Brown and Eric Garner, too, yet ... Hang on, let me start over."Lest his neckless readers accuse him of siding with a half-naked fakir,Oh, like that isn't one letter change away from describing most of the NRO crew.

  57. M. Krebs11:44 PM

    Is it just me, or did anyone else notice that Ebola and ISIS/ISIL pretty much went away around the second week of November?

    Happy New Year, comrades!

  58. around the second week of November

    Huh, almost as if something happened that made them no longer a valid object of discussion... hmmmmm...

  59. Hey, 2014 - There’s the door… ——> []

    It’s been thoroughly shit knowing you, and you’ll be sorely unmissed.

    2015 will be better.

  60. montag212:14 AM

    The pessimist in me says, "2015 will make us wish it was 2014," but, one thing I'm pretty certain of is that 2015 will be a very good year for political humorists and cartoonists.

    This will easily be the looniest Congress since, oh, 1855 or thereabouts.. So someone has something to look forward to in the coming year.

  61. Tehanu4:40 AM

    At the Washington Free Beacon Matthew Continetti
    actually wrote a column called “The Case for Panic… Incompetent
    government + corrupt elite = disaster.” Everyone knows you can’t trust
    Big Gummint, said Continetti, so if they say don’t panic, you should
    panic! It’s just logic! Plus the only reason Obama wasn’t quarantining
    everybody was that “doing so would violate the sacred principles by
    which our bourgeois liberal elite operate.”

    Just 2 quick thoughts: first, and I know I'm just repeating what others have said numerous times, can't we get Obama to recommend against swallowing bleach, so that they'll rush out to do it just to show him? And second, am I the only person who's noticed that "bourgeois" is now, apparently, something bad in the eyes of our ultra-capitalist rightwingers?

  62. This is a well-known (though not-yet-named) phenomenon. Something builds up and builds up, creating ever more frenzy and calls to panic--and then completely disappears after the first week in November. Prior to ebola, the most significant manifestation of this was the color-coded Homeland Security Status Alerts. Through September and October of 2004, these alert levels flashed orange and had repeated reminders of their status broadcast by President Bush and Secretary Tom Ridge. With Bush's re-election, the alerts vanished and were literally never heard of or even issued again.

    Since you identified it, perhaps we should name this the Krebs Cycle?

  63. When he's half naked, Rich Lowry ain't fakin' anything.

  64. You're not the only one who's notice bourgeois getting bludgeoned. I can only guess that, now that the middle class is getting cranky about the state of things, the middle class must be derided as a bunch of freeloaders as well.

  65. Bizarro Mike8:04 AM

    I'm seeing star bursts! (It happens before I puke.)

  66. Bizarro Mike8:06 AM

    In the run up to the ISIS panic, I remember some senator going on the Sunday shows and saying that ISIS was an existential threat to the United States. The most charitable thing I can think of for that comment is that he doesn't know what "existential" means.

  67. mommadillo8:09 AM

    In the conservative mind, all who suffer deserve their suffering.

    Hmmm. Something's not quite right there. Let me try:

    In the conservative mind, all non-conservatives who suffer deserve their suffering.

    Better. They also have an extremely liberal definition of what constitutes "suffering," at least when it's a conservative on the receiving end. Example:

    Liberal child hungry because parent can't find job = not suffering, or deserved suffering

    Conservative is made fun of online = the torments of Hell unjustly visited on an innocent victim

  68. They also have an extremely liberal definition of what constitutes "suffering," at least when it's a conservative on the receiving end.

    What you did there, I see!

    1.) I think in their definition, "liberal" causes suffering.

    2.) The conservative threshold of pain is so low that a hemorrhoid could put one in a coma.

  69. Suttree8:42 AM

    Turd Blossumitis? Luntzian syndrome?

  70. The Ebola hard-on serves as a reminder that these people spend their time fervently praying for disasters so they can blame it on Obama.

    They must be excessively vexed that the only U.S. fatalities were men from African countries, which put a crimp their ability to give a fuck. But that means we weren't deafened by screams of "GENOCIDE! GERM WAREFARE!!!" that would have resulted if there'd been a single RealAmerican fatality. Maybe next election season the new minority outreach will involve Democrabama's plot to kill all the brown people with Eboogabooga fever.

    Most conservatives ^who were dead silent after two Bundy-boosters ambushed and killed two police officers raged
    that the protesters, a small segment of whom had called for killing
    cops*, were all “anti-police” and thus to blame for the murders — as was
    Mayor de Blasio, because he told his black son to be careful around police — and that America must now coalesce behind its Blue Knights and cease to complain about their tactics.


    *Except did, this really happen? The only solid report turned out to be doctored film and audio footage courtesy of a FOX affiliate.

  71. Because if you don't develop apps nor do you ask for food stamps, then you are neither a potentially liberal white nor are you a black. I think that's what he's saying.

  72. can't we get Obama to recommend against swallowing bleach, so that they'll rush out to do it just to show him?

    "Hello. I'm talking to you tonight, because I'm designating the first week in February 'Don't Drink The Pretty Colors under The Sink Week'. And remember, if there's a skull and crossbones on it, it's Pirate Juice, and nobody wants to be a nasty, cruel pirate!"

  73. Of course, if you tread into the fever swamps of the right wing conspiracy crowd (which make NRO look like Democracy Now!), Obama's grand plan of using the 24-Hour Eee-Bola to kill us all is ongoing, only all the deaths and infections are being kept secret so we don't panic and overthrow the Kenyan Usurper, or something.

  74. I think the conflation comes of knowing your audience will glomph down anything you put in front of them.

    He could have just as easily written "The Bundy's don't renooberate the binguswingus and they don't ask for food stamps" and the sympathetic reader would think "Damn renooberaters, I hate 'em!" and keep going.

  75. I like "the Krebs Cycle." It has a good ring to it.

    This really is a distinct phenomenon that's easy to observe and predict, as regular as the ocean's tides. It should have a catchy name.

  76. A catchy name--something that's easy to metabolize!

  77. The Bundys don't distim the doshes!

  78. You know why I am fucked?

    I'll tell you why I am fucked: I have read only part one of this series. I really liked the idea of taking them one at a time.

    Oh yes, this was totally an own goal.

    /looks at self in mirror and yells "Dumbass!"

  79. montag211:39 AM

    Well, one must note that they're saying "bourgeois liberal elite." As opposed to those hard-working, salt-of-the-earth ordinary blue-collar conservative folks... like the Koch brothers, Lloyd Blankfein, Paul Singer, Dick Cheney and sundry hedge fund managers cruising on carried interest tax law and throwing themselves $10 million birthday parties. And Cliven Bundy.

    "Bourgeois" is just a variant of "latte-sipping limousine liberal." It's not meant to actually be descriptive in English, in this universe.

  80. mgmonklewis11:50 AM

    A.k.a. the iMooch app.

    I just hope the Doughy Pantload isn't working on an iFart app. (Who am I kidding? J-Load... work?)

  81. DocAmazing1:28 PM

    The Brethren and Cistern of the Right actually did us healthcare types a favor: by having a shit fit about Ebola, they 1) pointed out the need for primary medical research (and highlighted how it had been cut by Republican legislators), and 2) forced hospitals and public health agencies to develop Ebola-response protocols, which were actually evidence-based, and which deflated calls to ground airlines and seal borders.

    It's always useful to have the Fox Family hyperventilating about a problem, because it affords an opportunity to illustrate how they themselves have set the stage for the problem.

  82. FlipYrWhig1:51 PM

    Something weird is happening to the word "bourgeois," all around. It's starting to mean "posh" instead of "middle-class"/"towns-person."

  83. My wife's a biology major. Don't get her started.

  84. "'When I use a word,' Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, 'it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.'

    "'The question is,' said Alice, 'whether you can make words mean so many different things.'

    "'The question is,' said Humpty Dumpty, 'which is to be master — that's all.'"

  85. wingnut antisyzygy.

  86. glennisw3:33 PM

    Plus the only reason Obama wasn’t quarantining
    everybody was that “doing so would violate the sacred principles by which our bourgeois liberal elite operate.”

    Right. Because the same folks who are forwarding "Secret FEMA Camps" emails to one another condemn Obama' for having liberal principles that prevent him from forcibly quarantining people.

  87. smut clyde4:42 PM

    An existential threat is when Jean-Paul Sartre warns you that if you go through that door, you'll be stuck for eternity in that room with its two other occupants.

  88. susanoftexas5:28 PM

    Throw it to the dogs and hope they don't get indigestion.

  89. Smurch5:39 PM

    Or, as the Wizard of Id might say, them Bundys are Frammin in the Jim-Jam, Frippin at the Krotz!

  90. Smurch5:42 PM


  91. Another Kiwi5:54 PM

    I was told that you can't catch Krebs from a bicycle seat. IS THIS NOT TRUE??

  92. Smurch6:07 PM

    You make a good point, they are half-baked....

  93. Meanie-meanie, tickle a person6:25 PM

    At the Washington Free Beacon Matthew Incontinetti actually wrote a column called “The Case for Crapping Your Pants… Incompetent government + corrupt elite = Mommeeeeeeee!!.”

  94. YNWA405157:00 PM

    In almost every notable famous or infamous context in which bourgeois or bourgeoisie has typically been used-- or at least for usages with which conservatives have a dim familiarity-- it has been used as a sneering epithet, and that's pretty much the rhetorical bread and butter of conservatives. It also sounds like the sort of thing a clever person would use to modify or "class up" an insult. From time to time I think it is gratifying to them to go with a bit of fanciness-- even some fanciness of a decidedly French sort-- so that they can remind themselves and their audience that they, too, can play (and, goes without saying, win) the game on what they imagine most people think of as the liberal elites' rhetorical home turf (as it were).

    Alternatively, they're like the first grader hurling an insult they can't really begin to understand at a classmate because they heard a fifth grader say the same thing to someone at recess yesterday. Like the time some conservative (who purported to have obtained a law degree) claimed I was being "intolerable" because I refused to simply accept his inherent right to discriminate indiscriminately.

  95. I want to put this comment in my Rubilator and take it to Calico, CA.

  96. Meanie-meanie, tickle a person8:23 PM

    Good thing I read down a bit more...

  97. Meanie-meanie, tickle a person8:30 PM

    Scientists couldn’t save us — “they keep telling us they know what can’t happen right up until the moment it happens,”

    Yeah, like the CDC should be all doom & gloom whenever more than 2 people come down with a bug.
    "This just in from our Atlanta bureau: 'WE'RE ALL GONNA DIE!!' says a CDC spokesperson in a hastily-called press conference. We'll have more in the 10:00 hour, if anyone's still here..."

  98. Meanie-meanie, tickle a person10:03 PM

    Yeah, man, the like, Krebs Cycle, good buddy.
    I hope it wasn't too much, you know, wÖrk...

  99. Meanie-meanie, tickle a person10:17 PM

    can't we get Obama to recommend against swallowing bleach, so that they'll rush out to do it just to show him?

    Recalling the infamous Tire Pressure Directive, I have no doubt that this would work...

  100. smut clyde5:15 AM

    Another existential threat is when Albert Camus buys a gun and takes to ranting about how someone needs to do something about all the Arabs.

  101. smut clyde5:22 AM

    I remember when "bourgeois" was the ultimate put-down from the Trotskyites at university (there was a general sense that as university students we were totally not middle-class, shut up that's why). Then Brooks adopted it as a right-wing pejorative with "Bobos in Paradise".

    Once again, the current political right is the old much-parodied left wing, grown old.

  102. ydnas63910:18 AM

    Epistemophobia plays a major part in the development of the behavioral trends that lead to the Bundys and their ilk.

  103. ydnas63910:19 AM

    Oh, and so does endogamy, practiced religiously.

  104. Halloween_Jack10:26 AM

    The security alerts had nothing on the Great Gay Marriage Panic of Aught-Four. You might remember that as the sudden surge in the perceived need to keep the hoe-moes from infiltrating and corrupting the heterosexual sacrament of matrimony (not to be confused with the heterosexual sacrament of divorce), resulting in anti-marriage-equality amendment referenda appearing on the ballots of a majority of the states, and the assorted fundies, homophobes and general panty-sniffers that showed up in record numbers to vote those amendments in also happened to favor Shrub.

    Now, the really interesting thing about that was that, not so very long afterwards, the GOP suddenly seemed very, very interested in the gay vote and campaign contribution... let's see, it was... hmm... oh, that's right, when that Democrat got elected. In fact, quite a few GOP ex-politicians and spouses jumped on that bandwagon, as did the newly-out Ken Mehlman, who was Shrub's campaign manager in '04. Funny ol' world, innit?

  105. Whatever happened to the Ground Zero Terror Mosque of Doom? After the 2010 elections, everyone seemed to have forgotten about it for some reason. Has it been built? Are they recruiting jihadis? Nobody cares anymore.

  106. Tehanu1:53 PM

    Yet another thing to loathe and despise David Brooks for? Oy vey. I guess it was inevitable, since the 1% don't want a healthy middle class to exist -- just themselves and the peons.

  107. Gabriel Ratchet12:58 AM

    I'm reminded of what Christopher Hitchens said after Jerry Falwell died: "If they'd given him an enema they could have buried him in a matchbox."

  108. nemesis233:11 PM

    Dependable everything-worsener Jonah Goldberg located a context for Ebola ... in a catastrophe motion picture that revealed countless Americans passing away. "We now have our very own variation of Contagion playing out in genuine time," burbled Goldberg. Researchers could not conserve us-- "they keep informing us they understand just what cannot take place straight up till the minute it takes place," shuddered Goldberg. Time for witch-trials as well as pitchforks!


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  110. What if we send some NYPD to the Bundy Ranch to collect the fees? Who is the bad guy then?

  111. doni8109:16 PM