Showing posts sorted by date for query david french. Sort by relevance Show all posts
Showing posts sorted by date for query david french. Sort by relevance Show all posts

Friday, June 07, 2019

FRIDAY 'ROUND-THE-HORN.



RIP. I saw him once. He was a goodly king.

•   Man, Ben Shapiro is a buffoon. But then, so's every wingnut who screams censorship over social media these days -- including and perhaps especially those who are saying oho so you wanted Nazis off YouTube well they're taking Leni Riefenstahl off what about that libtards? Two things: First, Riefenstahl is absurdly overrated -- basically a music video director avant la lettre, fuck her. Second, Nobody has a Constitutional right to have whatever they want posted on YouTube; if these people want Nazi shit to look at they can go buy a server and gaze to their hearts' content. The general stupidity on this shit is so glaring even David French sees it and that's a pretty low bar. (Though to be fair French really botches the landing, proposing as a solution that "Just as conservatives need to send philosophers into Stanford, we also need to send our programmers into Menlo Park and our entrepreneurs to San Jose" -- like, one, there aren't plenty of "libertarian"conservatives in tech already, and two, if these guys really want to succeed they're not going to push the highly unpopular theocratic nonsense French favors -- they'll push cat videos. That's capitalism, comrade!)

•   Hey it's the weekend, so how about I unlock another newsletter issue? This one's about where all that conservative debate between Crazy Team One and Crazy Team Two is really all about. "Enjoy"!

Friday, May 31, 2019

FRIDAY 'ROUND-THE-HORN.



R.I.P. He always gave a song its due.

•  I have unlocked today's newsletter issue (for those of you who for some reason haven't gotten around to subscribing). It's partly about the ridiculous Sohrab Ahmari-David French contretemps -- and when I say ridiculous I mean it on a variety of levels. (Short vs. here.) A number of famous wingnut have stepped in it, including Godly Rod Dreher. I won't attempt to encapsulate his entire 343,000-word essay. but feel I must reproduce this wonderful, thoroughly Dreherian tangent on how he's No Trump Fan But:
French can’t stand Donald Trump, and that seems to be at the core of Ahmari’s ire. French was one of those conservatives who regarded Trump as a betrayal of core principles of conservatism. For his views, French — the adoptive father of a black child — had to endure a torrent of spite from Trump fans that can only be described as satanic. That is important to keep in mind. Personally, I’ve come to think more favorably of Trump than I once did, both because of judicial appointments and because of the raging radicalism of the left, but I think in no way can Trump be rightly understood as an advocate for the restoration of Christian morality in the public sphere. Trump is a symptom of our decline, not the answer to it. Mind you, I can understand traditional Christians voting for Trump as the only realistic alternative to annihilation by the angry left — I might do what I didn’t do in 2016, which is to vote for him — but I can’t understand trying to convince ourselves that he is a good man.
Oh crumbs, Mary, just put on the hat and yell Lock Her Up already!

Friday, May 03, 2019

FRIDAY 'ROUND-THE-HORN.



 Let this wash that piece of shit job out of your mind.

•   Another week, another wingnut blubbering he's been deplatformed. No, I'm not talking about Milo Yabbadabbado, Alex Jones, Laura Loomer and the rest of those clowns kicked off Facebook -- I mean former Federal Reserve Board nominee Stephen Moore, who takes to the Wall Street Journal to cry "the left and the media instantly launched a relentless campaign against me. Last week a reporter who has covered the Fed for 30 years told me he’d never seen anything like it." And that reporter's name was Trump's Friend Jim. Moore says he was prepared to defend his belief that "economic growth does not cause inflation," a libertarian article of faith like trickle-down, but now he'll never get the chance because the big bad media "called [me] an adulterer, a misogynist, a tax cheat, a deadbeat dad, antigay and mentally unfit."

Well, Stevie baby, truth is an absolute defense:
Court records in Virginia obtained by the Guardian show Moore, 59, was reprimanded by a judge in November 2012 for failing to pay Allison Moore more than $300,000 in spousal support, child support and money owed under their divorce settlement. 
Moore continued failing to pay, according to the court filings, prompting the judge to order the sale of his house to satisfy the debt in 2013. But this process was halted by his ex-wife after Moore paid her about two-thirds of what he owed, the filings say... 
The 2010 divorce filing from Moore’s wife said he had destroyed their marriage through adultery, after creating two accounts on the dating website Match.com and beginning an affair with a woman early in 2010. 
Moore is said to have discussed the affair “openly and tastelessly” with his then wife, and to have said at one point: “I have two women, and what’s really bad is when they fight over you.” He also left evidence of the relationship around the home, the filing said... 
The Guardian revealed this week that Moore owes the US government $75,000 according to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Moore disputes the government’s claim and blames confusion over tax deductions relating to his child support and alimony payments...
....which he didn't pay. As for anti-LGBT remarks, Moore's only had a few of those ("This is a state where the legislature recently approved a measure to give 'equal rights' to transvestites"); what he really hates is women, and the idea they have equal rights with men. He's also big on the ascendant David French conservative theory that women should be paid less so men can do better ("If men aren’t the breadwinners, will women regard them as economically expendable?").

The punch line is classic conservative victimology: After snarling about the "gutter" press unfairly reporting on a public figure nominated to a powerful government position, the mud-spattered Moore bravely draws himself up and proclaims:
I realize now that I should have known better. Someone as outspoken as I am, and with a paper trail two miles long, is bound to be a target in today’s political environment. I should have warned the president about skeletons in my closet.
"In hindsight I should have warned Trump that I was a scumbag" is just intrinscially funny, but it gets better:
Still, some good has come of all this. Because of all this attention, unwelcome as it was, my mantra that growth doesn’t cause inflation seems to be taking hold.
If my downfall yet allows the economy to be destroyed, I'll think the sacrifice well worth it, like Billy Mitchell! I must say, I don't know him well enough to say whether he believes this bullshit, but if he doesn't he has my admiration and I can't imagine why Trump cut him loose.

•   Maybe it's just me but I seem to be seeing a lot of tub-thumping for capitalism these days -- like we can't just take it for granted that it's good anymore, the folks who usually spend their time telling us that abortion is murder and immigrants are scum have to be enlisted to cheerlead. At National Review, Ramesh Ponnuru looks at dire poll results for our Poor Get Poorer and So Do The Middle-Class economy and smells hope:
When Americans answer polls, they express less and less confidence in free-market capitalism — even as they express more and more satisfaction about economic conditions. 
Perhaps people are evaluating these questions against different time horizons. They may, that is, think that the economy is performing well at the moment but has become less capable of delivering broad-based prosperity over the course of a generation. If today’s conditions persist long enough, then, the reputation of capitalism may recover.
To put it another way: the saps are catching on, but they don't know how bad it is, so we can bamboozle them back -- Ponnuru's idea is to tell them to appreciate their "non-wage benefits" like their health plans (for those who have them, that is, which under Trump is seven million less than it used to be and going down; and of course the plans are getting shittier), and that "a common method of adjusting for inflation... overdoes it," so everything isn't getting too expensive like you think, you're deluded by socialism! Ponnuru's solution for that: "reform of our monetary regime" (get Stephen Moore in there!) and deregulation. Can I get an Amen!

And at the Wall Street Journal Peggy Noonan tells us not to worry, the real Republicans who've been subjugating themselves to Donald Trump will soon rise again, just you wait, and this time "the federal government will not become smaller or less expensive in our lifetimes" -- but that money will not be spent to give you moochers health care or guaranteed incomes, no sir, but to create make-work projects for "the lost boys of the working and middle classes." Can't you just imagine President Pence bringing back the WPA, only with more moral scolding? (Of course "lost boys" will wind up in camps with refugees, to die by neglect or be diddled by pastors and priests.) Also "resolving the mental-health crisis" i.e. putting crazy people in nuthouses where we don't have to look at them. But above all we must have faith in "the system that yielded all our wealth and allowed us to be generous with the world and with ourselves -- free-market capitalism. Only the GOP can do this, because Republicans genuinely love economic freedom." That's a refreshing change of message that's bound to lead to invigorating changes in American life, huh?

If we can't elect Warren or Sanders I expect the Buttigieg/J.D. Vance ticket to lose 45 states and Trump to declare capitalism the state religion and "I got mine, don't worry about yours" the motto on our coinage.

Wednesday, May 01, 2019

PARAGRAPH OF THE WEEK.

It's from National Review's David FrenchNR's house testosterone junkie whose prose always purples up when he's talkin' man-talk. The title of his latest emission is pretty good -- "Understanding the Inescapable Reality of Masculinity" -- though the story is the same as usual: A man, Oscar Stewart, did something mainly (chased the latest synagogue shooter! Didn't catch him, but M for Maneffort!), which is offered as evidence that boys are "more aggressive than girls, and more violent than girls, and they take greater risks than girls," and that's good because we need boys to do that because girls, well you know, sugar and spice.

(French actually mentions that at the synagogue "a courageous woman named Lori Kaye lost her life shielding the rabbi from the incoming bullets" and never for a second acknowledges that this fact blows his whole stupid thesis.)

But the nut graf, and it is nuts, is thing of beauty. It comes after French is forced to admit that most men aren't cowpunchers and roadhouse bouncers and opportunities to butch up don't come easy in today's modern, sissy world. Attend:
But what used to happen more naturally must now happen more intentionally. Men need to cultivate physical strength even if physical strength isn’t necessary to their daily lives. They should identify as protectors even when immediate threats aren’t evident. Did Oscar Stewart believe he was in immediate danger when he went to his synagogue last Friday? And our culture and our people need to stop mocking and belittling men when they pursue stereotypically “manly” hobbies and activities. Male friendships are vital, and male friendships flow organically from male pursuits.
"Cultivate physical strength" -- you mean like Jack LaLanne? I hate to tell French but there's this thing called health clubs and it's sweeping the country. Maybe he thinks men should do less cardio and more weight training? [Checks cover of magazine -- this is supposed to be about conservatism, right?]

"Stop mocking and belittling men when they pursue stereotypically 'manly' hobbies and activities" is good too, though I wonder what activities he's talking about -- drum circles? Model airplane building? Jack-off clubs? Well, that would explain "flow organically from male pursuits."

UPDATE. Commenter Andrew Johnston makes a great point: "If all of this is 'natural' to men, then why do you need to teach it?" Maybe someday we'll get a David French book explaining how liberals made all the boys girly and conservatives are trying to bring 'em back to butchitude with crossfit, cigars, and Fetal Pain bills.

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

PERSECUTION ENVY.

The Federalist:
Sri Lanka Attacks Highlight Growing Worldwide Persecution Of Christians
Author Kenny Xu leans hard on a Pew Research Center report -- but does not link directly to it, preferring for some reason the British Church Times, which screams "Christians are the most persecuted religious group in the world, says Pew report," though even the figures it chooses to pick from Pew aren't as cut and dried as that:
The Centre’s report on religious harassment in 2016 found that Christians were harassed in 144 countries, up from 128 the year before, while Muslims were harassed in 142 countries, up from 125 in 2015.
So it looks like Jesus and Allah are neck-and-neck! (The Pew report is headlined "Global Uptick in Government Restrictions on Religion in 2016," which is not nearly as good Republican ragebait.) After yelling about Muslims a while ("Few groups have suffered as Christian minorities have due to the rise of Islamist political parties such as the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and ISIS in Libya"), Xu makes the bold leap:
While many European journalists rightly blame mass migration from majority-Muslim countries for these religious persecution issues, migration is not the only factor here. Just as significant is Western Europe’s culture of enforced secularism, a world where religious speech is policed and religious symbols (such as burqas) are not allowed in French public schools or German business settings.
Hundreds murdered in Sri Lanka, dress codes in school -- same diff! Also at The Federalist, David Harsanyi:
Islamic Terrorism Remains The World’s Greatest Threat To Peace
After sputtering over "Islamists" -- a usage I hadn't heard much since the glory days of the Iraq War, but which seems to be coming back -- Harsanyi, too, rages about secularists:
Yet the American left continues to downplay the danger, first by arguing that Islam has nothing to do with Islamic terrorism, then by lumping every white-skinned person who commits a terrorist act into one imaginary coherent political movement to contrast against it.
Actually, that "imaginary coherent political movement" of white supremacists is America's #1 terror menace, far outstripping Islamic terrorism, and it's spreading around the world. But Harsanyi has an explanation for that: Islamic terror only looks weak because our Middle East wars have been so successful!
It’s true that Americans have been spared much Islamic terror since 2002—a year that, curiously, nearly every graph media uses to measure domestic terrorism starts—but only because we’ve spent billions of dollars each year and immense resources, both in lives and treasure, keeping it out of the country and fighting it abroad.
Perhaps sensing that even the morons and yahoos who constitute most of his readership won't buy this, Harsanyi gets back to a trendier attack on godless libs:
Another reason the majority of Americans might not comprehend Islamic radicalism’s reach is the skewed intensity of the media coverage. Political correctness and a chilling fear of being labeled “Islamophobic” makes it difficult to honestly report on terrorism around the world.
If it weren't for liberals you good people would be shitting your pants in fear of Mohammed at the 7-11 or the pediatric clinic, just like you were in the great Nine-Elevening!  Yet now, despite conservative urging, you still haven't killed Ilhan Omar. This isn't the country Harsanyi once knew.

These guys are catching up with Rod Dreher, who is every bit as nuts as you'd imagine:
A liberal friend of mine was lamenting recently that the left has gotten so good at policing its own thoughts, and never letting itself notice things that contradict its narrative, that it is often being shocked by events in the real world. When things like the Sri Lanka attacks happen, the first thing that many American and British journalists think is, “Oh dear, this is going to cause a spike in Islamophobia.” They cannot imagine sympathizing with Christians. They really can’t. Yes, these dead Sri Lankans may be Catholics living on the other side of the world, and sure, they may have roots in their country going back to the 16th century (or earlier), but deep down, when many journalists imagine these people, they see them wearing MAGA hats, and carrying around invisible knapsacks full of privilege.
If only Dreher would actually fuck off to a Benedict Option survivalist compound where he could tell the kids, "Yes, Rachel Maddow and Kamala Harris used to throw rocks at us Christians and put us in concentration Bible camps!"

Meanwhile at National Review we get more of the same ("Islam remains the fount of the most virulent and violent attacks on Christians worldwide"), and Eli Lake at Bloomberg telling us "White Nationalism Is a Terrorist Threat, but Not Like Radical Islam," because "white nationalists have no territory they control, as Islamic State did until recently. Nor is there evidence of a state supporting white nationalist groups..." LOL, who wants to tell him about America?

American conservatives in the depths of their Trump phase are, like their fearless leader babbling about the unfairness of his dropping Twitter numbers, addicted to victimhood, and so it was only natural that they'd treat the Sri Lanka bombing as an excuse to talk about how persecuted they are. Sure, no one's mass-murdering them -- over here, that seems to only happen to schoolkids and black people and victims of gun fetishists -- but liberals are insufficiently respectful of them, and try to make them bake wedding cakes for homosexuals, which is just as bad. One struggles to imagine them confronted by Jesus as they flee their martyrdom, and declaring, "that's it -- I'll go back to my six-figure job and put up with my kids not going to church and swears on the TV! It'll be rough, but Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam!"

UPDATE. Relevant: "Steve King, censured by his colleagues for racist remarks, compares himself to Jesus... 'And when I had to step down to the floor of the House of Representatives and look up at those 400-and-some accusers — you know, we’ve just passed through Easter and Christ’s Passion — and I have a better insight into what He went through for us, partly because of that experience,' he said."

Friday, March 22, 2019

FRIDAY 'ROUND-THE-HORN.




Jazz ain't dead, it don't even smell funny.

• A snippet from a recent Roy Edroso Breaks It Down newsletter (TO WHICH YOU SHOULD SUBSCRIBE, he hollered with one hand to the side of his mouth like a newsboy in a '30s Warner Brothers picture, IT'S CHEEEEAP ™):
For his recent defense of the Electoral College [David French] might be excused, because it’s mostly no better or worse than all the other shitty rightwing defenses shoved, hastily and scarce half made-up into this breathing world by conservatives after Elizabeth Warren called for the EC to be abolished. (David Harsanyi’s “Democrats Want To Kill The Electoral College Because They Fear The Constitution” at The Federalist is my favorite; Jamelle Bouie effectively smacked down all this nonsense on Twitter.)
French does go the extra mile, though, with this: 
And let’s not pretend that a national popular vote elevates every citizen’s vote in a way that the Electoral College does not. Your vote counts in each state, and the fact that your state is overwhelmingly red or blue is no more or less demoralizing than the popular-vote idea that your single vote is thrown into a pool of 130 million others.
So the Republican voting in D.C. (where Clinton won with 90.9% of the vote) presumably feels himself more connected to the result than he would if his vote had a chance of contributing to a winning margin. I don’t think even French believes that.
I bring this up because the aforementioned wave of wingnut Electoral College defenses by Very Serious Commentators, all full of Founder Worship and rEpUbLiC nOt A dEmOcRaCy yak, has been followed (as if so ordained by Morning Memo!) by some dumbed-down (well, more dumbed-down) versions tailored to the Trumpenproletariat in bottom-feeder media such as the Washington Examiner, where David M. Drucker writes under the interesting headline "Republicans resigned to Trump losing 2020 popular vote but confident about Electoral College":
Some Republicans say the problem is Trump's populist brand of partisan grievance. It's an attitude tailor-made for the Electoral College in the current era of regionally Balkanized politics, but anathema to attracting a broad, national coalition that can win the most votes, as past presidents did when seeking re-election amid a booming economy.
"Trump's populist brand of partisan grievance" is "tailor-made for the Electoral College"? I wonder if James Madison had that in mind.
Others argue that neither Trump, nor possibly any Republican, could win the popular vote when most big states are overwhelmingly liberal.

“California, Illinois, and New York, make it very, very difficult for anybody on our side to ever again to win the popular vote,” said David Carney, a Republican strategist in New Hampshire.
Since it's rather giving the game away to say "Most people don't want our candidate to be President," they're arguing that most people is the wrong people -- libruls whut live in fancy states where they have highfalutin' sundries like soap and toothpaste. (Drucker is so grateful for the Trump campaign's help in filling his column that he ends with some bullshit about how the Trumpkins expect to lose the popular vote again but win the Electoral College even bigger in 2020 -- “We look to maintain and expand the Trump map" -- mainly, it would seem, to impress even more crushingly on Americans that the dead hand of the Founders -- manipulated as a cat's-paw by the modern GOP -- doesn't give a shit what they think.)

For a doubly-dumbed-down version see Hannity on Fox, transliterated here:
"You think all those red states would stick around and be in the United States if they kept losing to New York, New Jersey, California and Illinois?” Hannity asked. “I tend to think not.”
The final tantrum is always secession with these people. This time I say let them go, and we can establish generous refugee programs for the non-assholes who will flee the New Confederacy.


Tuesday, March 12, 2019

HE'S JUST SAYING WHAT WE, THE BIGOTS, ARE REALLY THINKING!

I'm unlocking another Roy Edroso Breaks It Down newsletter issue -- this one about the mishegas around Michael Jackson. As you may imagine I'm not entirely convinced that people who have suddenly realized MJ was a child molester are acting in good faith. (By the way, I swear that you're missing a lot of other first-class material if you're not a subscriber -- go here and get on board.)

Speaking of people who have a strange reaction to explosive revelations, I'm not shocked that conservatives are uniformly defending Tucker Carlson's racist and rapist comments. Typical is this guy (formerly a famous Latin-pseud crackpot) at MAGA cult site American Greatness:
Let’s be completely clear here. Nobody—least of all the leftwing mobs attacking Tucker Carlson right now—cares what he said on the radio a decade ago. Except to the extent that his words can be wrapped around his neck like a noose. 
All the feigned outrage is exactly that: feigned. David Brock and his henchmen, along with their instantly mobilized Twitter mob, are not outraged. Not in the least. They’re giddy! And why wouldn’t they be? They’ve been looking for a way to get “Tucker Carlson Tonight” canceled since the show debuted. The search intensified as its popularity rose and its message caught fire. 
The imperative to kill the show reached a fever pitch after Carlson’s now-legendary January 2 monologue, which is the most searing indictment against a failed ruling class since Thomas Paine’s Common Sense.
Three sputter-filled grafs (and about a dozen thereafter) and no mention of what Carlson actually said; you'd think he had defended motherhood and the flag rather than child rape and white supremacy.

But frankly the unearthed Carlson is just a more-upfront version of the Carlson we've known all along -- the Carlson who told Lauren Duca "stick to the thigh-high boots" and dog-whistles racists with alarming regularity. And more-upfront Carlson excites them for a reason. Someone on Twitter lamented that the right's solidarity with Carlson showed how devoted to "tribalism" people have become. But I say these guys aren't defending Carlson because he's of their tribe -- even some conservatives, after all, peeled off the Roy Moore bandwagon in the final days. No, they defend Carlson because they agree with what he said. Not to put too fine a point on it, they're white supremacists and misogynists, and only wish they could say such things themselves and get away with it. Well, as the Trumpification of the Right progresses, I'm sure they'll get their wish.

UPDATE. As usual, making everything worse, National Review's David French:
Here’s the way it works. If you’re a conservative or a Republican who attains any kind of prominence at all, then the hunt is on. Media Matters has its rolling list of allegedly bad or silly things I’ve said and written, for example. And the more prominent you are, the more diligent the hunt.
Being accurately quoted is persecution! Or, in the words of A. Ridiculous Pseudonym at RedState, "Maoist totalitarianism."

If only Lonesome Rhodes from A Face in the Crowd had tumbled to this racket! After embarrassing himself at the end of the movie, he could have attacked those liberals who were persecuting him by describing what he said.

Thursday, January 24, 2019

INTO YOUR LIFE IT WILL CREEP.

For me the whole Covington thing boils down to this: These Catholic schoolboys acted like assholes, which is totally typical of Catholic schoolboys, as I can attest because I was a Catholic schoolboy myself and frequently behaved like an asshole. I still cringe when I think of my teenage behaviors, and am glad to have (to some extent, anyway) grown out of them. I hope these kids will, too, but there's less chance of that now that they've been celebrated as holy martyrs by rightwing crackpots. The smirk kid has had his PR-firm-crafted defense published in hundreds of outlets including CNN and been interviewed on national TV, yet conservatives act like he's the Dauphin during the French Revolution.

No doubt you've seen plenty of shit takes without trying or wanting to -- including this brain-melting Twitter spiel by Megan McArdle, which includes a lecture on physiognomonic studies ("most facial expressions are to some extent culturally constructed, even though we learn them so early we think they're innate reflections of our inner emotional state") and ends with "please do read [my column]. Also, hug someone." About the looniest is by Kevin D. Williamson, who seems, well, disturbed:
You people are a bunch of hysterical ninnies, and it is time for you to grow the hell up. 
You know who you are... 
Joy Behar, as profoundly dim and tedious a person as American public life has to offer...
...narrowly partisan, selfish, deeply stupid, entirely unpatriotic, childish, foot-stamping, fingers-in-the-ears, weeping, cooties-loathing, teary-eyed, tremulous, quavering, pansified, gormless, deceitful, dishonorable...
That's in the first three paragraphs. Later:
I’m talking about you, Ruth Graham of Slate, still trying to justify by whatever pathetic means are available what everybody with any sense knows to have been an exercise in pure horses***. I’m talking about you, editors of the New York Times. You sorry specimens are poor excuses for journalists, which, of course, we already knew. What’s more relevant here is that you are bad citizens. Trafficking in lies and distortions...
This is what passes as sweet reason in wingnut world. I recommend you read Laura Wagner's essay at The Concourse, and to watch how this incident feeds the acceleration of conservative paranoia. David French at National Review:
Hostility to traditional, orthodox Christianity is no longer confined to the white progressive elite. It’s now popular in the white Left. Liberal elites who attack traditional Christian beliefs and express contempt for traditional Christians aren’t demonstrating their disconnect from America, they’re giving their constituents exactly what they want.
White Democrats want to kill Christers -- thank God for the black Democrats, I guess; maybe French will support Kamala Harris in 2020! And at the meth labs of The Federalist, Nathanael Blake declares "a culture that considers sexual desire the essence of a person will not tolerate a rival Christian viewpoint, but stigmatize and punish it," and that liberals' "ultimate goal is a legal regime that will treat us very much like the English treated the Irish Catholics" -- prepare for Cromwellian massacre and starvation, Joel Osteen! Our sexy heresies demand it!

I wonder if any of these guys know that they're just talking to themselves and normal Americans are wondering how the fuck they can get them and their psycho leader out of government.

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

A NEW LOW, PART 1,254,090.

Charles Two Middle Initials Cooke at the conservative flagship magazine National Review:

I’ve greatly enjoyed reading the many responses to Tucker Carlson’s now-famous monologue. We’ve had contributions from David French, Kyle Smith, Kevin Williamson, Yuval Levin, David Bahnsen, Michael Brendan Dougherty, Mike Lee, Ben Shapiro, Mona Charen, Jonah Goldberg, David French again, Kevin Williamson again, David Bahnsen again, Jonah Goldberg again, and more. And that’s just on the website. The question has also been discussed at length on many of NR’s podcasts, and, of course, on Twitter....
Forget the rest of Cooke's post; forget anything else written about Carlson's allegedly inspirational speech -- except what I wrote about it in my newsletter (Subscribe! Cheap!) and quoted in a previous alicublog post. Instead contemplate that Cooke has cited the deep thoughts of no fewer than 11 major conservative thinkers on a dumb TV speech by a racist Fox News bowtie buffoon.

It seems like for the past week every conservative bigwig in the country has weighed in on what is essentially standard-issue You Snobs Care About Foreigners Well What About The Poor Hillbillies on Opioids gush as restated by the heir to the Swanson TV Dinners fortune. I knew Trump had gutted their movement, but this is like an Evelyn Waugh parody, like a sub-basement of a nadir of intellectual decay -- it's as if Cooke had an even lower opinion of his own karass than I do, and set out to make conservatism look stupid. It's too bad we can't have a reliable accounting of who finances this crap, because I really suspect it's mostly supported by rich wastrels as a joke to see how many among the dummies who still support this movement will catch on.

Monday, December 31, 2018

2018: THE YEAR IN BULLSHIT, PART 2.

[See Part 1 here and Part 3 here.]


© 2016 XOXO Festival used under a Creative Commons license
6. White people persecution hits all-time high-larious. Being an old man, I don't project myself into the future much -- when prospective employers ask me where I see myself in ten years, I tell them I have a nice plot picked out at Forest Lawn -- but I do expect that before long people will find it unbelievable that so many white people bitched about non-white people making fun of them. Sweet Allah! I hear them saying. These honkies ran everything, and fucked it up so badly, yet they pretended to be offended that a Korean-American tech columnist called them names? Guess it's a good thing we exterminated them! As I reported on the Sarah Jeong controversy at the time:
"At one point, Jeong tweeted a crude graph claiming that as whiteness increased so did awful,” said Fox News’ Tucker Carlson on Thursday. “Later she said that white people smell like dogs.” Carlson suggested Jeong’s tweets could lead to a Nazi purge of white people — a honkycaust, if you will...
The blanco-conservative panic on Jeong has more or less subsided, though there have been recent columns about her by their of-color adjuncts like Michelle Malkin ("Silicon Valley sharia — Laura Loomer versus Sarah Jeong") and Walter Williams ("Acceptable racism is racist, too") -- maybe their white friends made them write these to prove their loyalty. But white woe-is-me is a hardy perennial, and as long as there's a Reddit it will, like cabbage rolls (lol cuz white people eat them get it I'm being reverse racist), keep repeating on us.


5. Women's Marches scare the menfolk. Lately conservatives have been accusing Women's March organizer Linda Sarsour of at least crypto-anti-semitism -- here's a typical headline at PJ Media: "Women's Rights Activist: Linda Sarsour Is 'Empowering' Radical Islamic 'Torture, Terror, Rape.'" (To give you some idea, the "Women's Rights Activist" is Rabia Kazan, president of the Middle Eastern Women's Coalition, which has endorsed Donald Trump for president in the 2020 election.) If that's not convincing, Sarsour has also been denounced by international policy expert Courtney Love.

The controversy seems to be having a negative effect on the March's leadership, though it remains to be seen whether the brethren can use it to tar all anti-Trump activists as rabid Jew-haters, or make them scared to be seen as such, as seems to be the play here.

But their efforts may be too late in any case; the Marches probably achieved their intended effect in 2017 and 2018 by establishing the abnormality of the Trump administration -- an impression that administration has since proven capable of maintaining and even highlighting all by itself.

From the big Women's March in January to the anti-Kavanaugh demos in October, ladies holding signs in the streets appeared to rattle the Right. Andrew Sullivan sputtered under a picture of protesters that all this menstrual energy was harshing his testosterone buzz. No, I'm not kidding -- Sullivan referred to man-shots he took for medical reasons, and how "the visceral experience opened my eyes to the sheer and immense natural difference between being a man and being a woman," and lamented that discussing this idea was (like all Sullivan's crackpot ideas) now "taboo" because of liberals, and "young men in this environment, will begin to ask questions about why they are now routinely seen as a 'problem,' and why their sex lives are now fair game for any journalist..." Maybe Sullivan figured since Milo flamed out, the incels needed a new gay best friend.

And the obstreperous female Kavanaugh protests, which led to hundreds of arrests, panicked wingnuts like Jay Cost, who at National Review decried the "rude, crude, and abusive" ladies' "Bullying Anti-Kavanaugh Tactics" against poor, defenseless Republican Senators and declared they "Threaten Our Republic." Some tried to posit a pro-sexual-abuser-judge female movement -- "Dems face backlash from ‘mama bears’ angered by Kavanaugh hearings," reported Mary Kay Linge for the New York Post; boy, haven't heard much from them lately, huh? -- but the main message was that women were being scary and playing rough and could they please stop. They may regret driving women out of the streets now that they're turning up in large numbers in Congress.

© 2016 FreeConcordRaw under a Creative Commons license
4. The evolution of Kevin D. Williamson. Once upon a time there was a National Review columnist who amused himself and his fellow conservatives with japes about how women who have abortions should be hanged by the neck until dead. He also said a lot of other obnoxious shit ("it should be noted that being shot in the head by a lunatic does not give one any special grace to pronounce upon public-policy questions," he once said of liberal snowflake Gabby Giffords), but when he got hired by The Atlantic, it was outrage around his abortion crack that got him unhired, leading to a mass conservative outcry that Williamson had been unfairly deprived of his Constitutional right to a job at The Atlantic.

Some, like David French of National Review, reasoned that just as he welcomed Williamson's contribution to the abortion debate despite his own more "moderate" view that "only the abortionist (and not the mother) should face murder charges," liberals should meet him halfway, too, and pay him six figures to express his valuable point of view.

Williamson himself got some mileage out of the event, railing in the Wall Street Journal about the "Twitter mob" that "came for me." Then he returned to National Review, where he has been trollier than ever. As I wrote in my newsletter:
Check out, for example, [Williamson's] rage-thrash against “craven, abject, brain-dead partisan” Democrats who were, in his imagining, trying to steal the midterms; keyslurs include “nobody really believes that Hillary Rodham Clinton is just some dotty old bat who doesn’t know how email works” and “even if Brenda Snipes were simply a wildly incompetent dope…” Also Williamson, whom The Atlantic canned for insisting that women who have abortions should be executed, suggests Snipes be criminally prosecuted because “it is time to make an example.”
During the holidays, perhaps on the advice of editors or a therapist, Williamson has regaled his readers with hymns to capitalism, but I expect before long the bile under his byline will again flow thick and dark. It'll be fun to see what happens when it clogs!


3. The year of yelling at Republicans. When the Trump Administration decided it was good politics to cage refugee children, some folks decided to let members of that administration know what they thought about it in person. Sarah Huckabee Sanders got thrown out of a restaurant, Homeland Security secretary Kirstjen Nielsen got heckled in another, as did Ted Cruz months later.

It was like the French Revolution, said conservatives. "The increasing personal nastiness toward people who work for President Trump reflects the left’s understanding that they are losing. Nastiness reflects desperation not strength," tweeted that noted advocate for civil discourse, Newt Gingrich.

Rod Dreher, as is his wont, claimed that he had "three friends — two Democrats, and one anti-Republican independent — who have written to express profound concern about this political moment, and the behavior of the liberal mob. One of the Democrats — no fan of Trump or Kavanaugh — told me that her party has lost her over all this..."

Republicans picked up this sure-fire message ("Republicans accuse Democrats of ‘mob’ tactics as midterm races head down to the wire"), which led to their landslide victory just a month later in the midterms. Wait, no, the opposite happened! Americans must not have heard enough about what how mean Democrats are to members of the Trump administration; they should definitely do more complaining about that in 2019.

[Stay tuned for Part 3, soon.]

Thursday, November 22, 2018

THE TURKEY'S RIGHT WING.

Usually the holiday that coaxes the most comedy from conservatives is Martin Luther King Day, but in this Year of Our Trump 2018, when noble sentiments ring more hollow than usual, rightwing Thanksgiving is pretty funny too. At National Review Kevin D. Williamson -- whose embittered second tenure at the magazine I recently covered in the newsletter (subscribe now, for yourself or your friends, makes a great gift item!) -- bids us give thanks to capitalism and no thanks to stupid SJWs:
There is a part of the Christian tradition that relates charitable giving to the Seventh Commandment, which is the prohibition on theft. The idea is that the world and all that it contains are God’s gift to corporate mankind — “the universal destination of goods,” in theological jargon — so that the man with two coats holds one of them unjustly when his neighbor shivers in the cold with no coat at all. Private property, in this understanding, is instrumental in promoting the common good, but it does not supersede the primordial gift.
There is great grace and goodness and wisdom in that. But it simply assumes the existence of coats and coat factories, the vast and incomprehensibly complex apparatus of coat-production that incorporates materials, effort, and intelligence from people all over the world...
You see where he's going and yes, there is an actual "thought experiment" along teach-a-man-to-fish lines, except with no teaching because capitalism Knows All: instead of giving the freezing man a coat like a fucking hippie, you imagine "you have ten thousand coats" because like all wingnut heroes you are rich (they used to count military personnel as heroes too but the right's not into that these days), so you invest those coats and presto, farms and factories spring up and your neighbor "is no longer too poor to buy his own coat" -- except of course we are actually living out Williamson's Capitalist Dream today and the results are observably very different: people still need free coats, not as potential investments but because despite the general plenty our great economic system somehow still finds ways to immiserate the poor and deny them the very basics of survival.

In keeping with the spirit of the holiday season, Williamson then transitions to a skein of slurs on "nice intentions or sanctimonious sentiments," "Senator Warren denouncing the supposed excesses of capitalism and the so-called greed of those who do the actual work of feeding and clothing the world," "the desire of people who produce nothing to exercise power over people they hate and envy," etc. Happy fucking Thanksgiving, snarls Kevin D. Williamson, slamming the door in the beggar's face as he gnaws a drumstick, and get a job!

I'll say this for the miserable bastard: He knows his audience.

If you're into more slow-roiling rightwing rage, there's David French, also at NR, who starts with a nice, mostly anodyne Thanksgiving celebration -- shoot, he even speaks without rancor of "Friendsgiving," which you'd think a family-values type like him would denounce -- but then, about halfway down:
At the same time, however, Thanksgiving is gaining in national hearts in part because Christmas is receding. That’s a shame.
Whuh?
As a fundamental idea, celebrating the birth of the Savior of humanity, of the Word made flesh, the “light of all mankind,” is an event rivaled only by the celebration of His triumph over death in Resurrection weekend. Yet the very social transformation that makes Thanksgiving more unifying is rendering Christmas less universal, and sometimes more divisive.
Is French talking about the War of Christmas his buddies at Wingnut Central have been pushing for almost two decades? Or is there some plan to not celebrate Christmas this year, despite all outward appearances, that I don't know about?
After all, how does a specifically religious holiday endure when fewer Americans believe in the specific religion? According to the Pew Research Center, only 56 percent of Americans believe in the God of the Bible. So, for almost half of all Americans, Christmas truly is just another holiday — but it’s a burst of days off that carry with them some rather specific (and often quite expensive) obligations. Even for Christian Americans, while it carries the religious meaning, it’s also laden with secular tasks.
Wait -- French is complaining that Christmas has been secularized? My dude, where have you been for the past century? I've got some shit to tell you about the Coca-Cola Santa that will turn you white!
...Tomorrow we’ll gather as one nation — united in gratitude — but on Friday a season begins that means very different things to different people. 
OH NO!
The transition is a symbol of our country’s challenge. We are one national people increasingly comprising different faiths, or no faith at all. In any nation, a religious transformation is often a wrenching transformation. How we respond to that challenge will define our nation for generations.
He ends with a short , cheerful oh well, enjoy your feast pagans button, but judging from his other columns, French's way of "responding to the challenge" will probably be to call up a Fourth Great Awakening that will put godly Republicans in charge of everything and establish heaven here on Earth -- wait, what's that? You say they are in charge of everything and everything sucks? Well, Fifth time's the charm!

We're going out for dim sum. Enjoy your turkeys, friends, and I hope these two aren't the only ones you get.

Thursday, October 18, 2018

ALL THE WAY DOWN.

As I've said before (and it's not just me and the leprechaun who tells me to burn things saying so, either, but also credentialed bigbrains at major publications) that the Kavanaugh nomination has basically blown the whole NeverTrump and KindaTrump and JustTheTipInTrump phenomenon, making it obvious that Trumpism is conservatism and vice-versa. And it's had the knock-on effect of making rightwing authors who were previously pitched as prim-and-proper True Conservatives into something more suitable to Trump Time -- that is, trolls.

Take David French, one-time NeverTrump Presidential contender, who has gone on since the dawn of Trump about how real conservatives like him were fighting for the True Cause despite, not enabled by, the vandal Trump; last year he was blubbering over "O’Reilly, Ailes, and the Toxic Conservative-Celebrity Culture," in which he lamented that conservatives' reflexive defense of Fox News "knifework" had "reached its apex in the person and personality of Donald Trump." 

But now French is juiced that Trump has with Kavanaugh brought America one step closer to Gilead, and hardly ever bothers to wring his hands anymore. Just recently he defended Trump calling for his opponents to be jailed. But as the example of his cabinet shows, you're not totally in the tank for Trump until you've humiliated yourself as French does here:
A Conservative’s Guide to the 2018–19 NBA Season
It’s the only sports guide in America that owns the libs.
That's right, French is doing a John Miller "50 Greatest Conservative Rock Songs" thing, only for basketball. The thing is mostly dull analysis on the level of sportstalk radio call-ins, but punctuated with breakers like "The Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Division. Cheerfully inept"; The Beto O’Rourke Division. Expensive busts"; "The Nikki Haley Division. The future’s so bright, they gotta wear shades"; and "The William F. Buckley Jr. Division. Intellectual juggernauts." 

That last one's about the Celtics because "this team was built from the ground up by basketball geniuses to contend for a decade." I would say this is not so much a reach as a reach-around, except I think that gets the positioning reversed. French has done dumb sports things before -- see "Yes, God Cares about Football" -- but this is the first time one can actually feel him straining and cracking his knees to get himself down to the level of the hoi polloi. Marco Rubio talking about Trump's dick was awkward, but this is just depressing.

Speaking of Buckley, with the re-enrollment of hypertroll Kevin D. Williamson, National Review is looking less and less like a classy-conservative operation and more like any other dumb wingnut site. Lately most of the donation pleas I've gotten from them seem to star the latest rightwing blonde-with-big-glasses, Kat Timpf. Here's the top of one such pitch:


Fox News couldn't have done it better. That leaves only a few NROniks still working an inta-mallectual grift anymore --  Jonah Goldberg has gotten too lazy to even laugh at, so I guess we're talking Ramesh Ponnuru and substitute Dreher Michael Brendan Dougherty. When they can be inveigled to don the clown suit, National Review will have completed its transformation into a Gateway Pundit for people who like a little heritage with their bullshit.  

Monday, October 15, 2018

WHITE MAN SPEAK WITH FORKED TONGUE.

So now she's not Indian enough:


In the immortal words of Jay Silverheels, ugh. I wrote way back in 2012 about rightwingers' woo-woo-woo jokes about Pocahontas Warren (“You Won’t Have Elizabeth Warren To Kick Around By Indian Summer,” said Dan Riehl shortly before she was elected Senator) and today was the first day they even slightly altered their shtick. Warren could split open and Sitting Bull himself emerge from the husk, and conservatives would say, "hyuk, she was pretending to be a chick all along to get that sweet affirmative action!"

There is no reasoning with these people, nor any point in taking them seriously.

UPDATE. I see the credentialed and formerly respectable conservatives are playing the same stupid game. National Review's David French, who recently completed his turn to Trumpkinism by telling the world  Trump calling for his opponents to be jailed was nothing compared to liberals being mean to Ted Cruz, is now pretending to be outraged by what he calls Warren's "resume fraud." French talks as if her criminality were obvious to all True Sons of Liberty, which is what these putzes do when they're nervous that no one is listening to them. Finally, the last refuge of a NeverTrumper turned Tip-InTrumper -- he says Warren's the real Trump!  Can you imagine Tom Cruise once made people think JAG officers were cool?

UPDATE 2. In my newsletter today (Subscribe! Cheap!) I explain, among other things, why this is Bad News for Donald Trump:
Trump uses insults like this to neutralize his enemies, but by showing she had some Native American blood — not 1/32nd or three generations back, as her family had told her, but between 1/64th to 1/1,024th, or six to ten generations — Warren showed her good-faith claim was based on reality, and good faith and reality are to Trump as garlic and crucifixes to a vampire, as shown by his even more petulant than usual response: claiming "who cares" — a weird response to something he normally goes out of his way to make a big deal of — and that he never made a promise to pay a million dollars if Warren's Indian heritage were proven even though his promise is on tape. ("It was in the context of a future hypothetical debate and wasn’t actually a promise to give one million to her charity if she actually did a DNA test," homina-homina'd the ball-washers at The Right Scoop.) 
In other words, Trump couldn't even act like he was on top in this situation —he just blustered, something he's actually always doing but, in this instance, was so clearly doing it that even the redhat dummies might notice.
I would also add that, as with French and this Breitbart schnook, the fallback position among conservatives is that the Lame Stream Media, though malice or stupidity, missed the real story, which is that Warren and not Trump is the real crook. Not only is this message not a compelling one,  but they're delivering it to a small audience that already despises Warren and could not despise her more; normal people with memories of the schoolyard will appreciate her fighting back.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

THE LADYKILLERS.

As I've said, and keep saying in my latest newsletter (subscribe! It don't cost much), it seems all conservatives are now solidly on board with Brett Kavanaugh and the Tit and Clit Club and, when it comes to their arguments in defense of the accused attempted rapist, the sober mainstream types are more or less indistinguishable from the crazy he-man woman-haters club types on the fringe. Dig professional harrumph machine David French, for example, arguing in the allegedly legit National Review that the real problem is not Georgetown Prep Republicans who think they own women, but liberal jazzbos who "stripped away moral prohibitions against extramarital sex, celebrated youthful experimentation, combined it with similar celebrations of drug and alcohol use — even at early ages — and then have been shocked — no, stunned — at the sheer amount of groping, grabbing, coercion, and assault." Yeah, elite males getting drink and rapey are the fault of Hugh Hefner; before the 60s, they only raped low-status females who were easily paid off and no one was the wiser.

But give the low-class conservatives credit; while guys like French are matching them in misogyny, they can't keep up with their expertise in plain old insanity.

Take Robert Stacy McCain, who I last noticed attacking Sarah Jeong for racism against whites -- "No one at Harvard or at the New York Times will speak a word in favor of white people, Christians, heterosexuals, or police officers" -- which was pretty ballsy of him, considering McCain is a neo-Confederate.

Well, sure enough, the American Spectator enlisted McCain to tell this mouthy Christine Blasey Ford a thing or two. A large part of his rap, you will not be surprised to hear, involves the Rolling Stone/UVA case -- when Men's Rights types can't get it up for normal porn anymore, they can always get a stiffy over that.

But the meat, as it were, of McCain's argument is that Kavanaugh's accuser has no right to be in a position to make such an accusation -- and the fact that she is in such a position suggests that she's lying:
It is perhaps not a coincidence that Judge Kavanaugh’s accuser is a university professor. The former prep-school girl Christine Blasey went on to obtain two master’s degrees and a Ph.D. in psychology, marry an engineer named Russell Ford, and thus become Professor Ford of California’s Palo Alto University. 
That's how women get doctorates and professorates: Marrying titled men!
Having spent her entire adult life working in academia, Professor Ford is eminently qualified as a representative of the mentality that currently prevails on our nation’s university campuses, where male students are presumed guilty of rape as soon as any female student accuses them.
Interesting. And what mentality is represented by Kavanaugh, who has spent his entire adult life as a factotum to Republican Party bosses? Why should his predictable careerist rise be any less suspicious than hers? It would seem the main difference between Kavanaugh's and Ford's position among the "elite," in McCain's view, is that hers is absurd because she lacks a penis.
This mentality was what led to the debacle at the University of Virginia in 2014, when a Rolling Stone reporter destroyed her career...
Let us draw the curtain, or close the men's room door, on McCain, and look in on Dennis Prager at National Review. Prager is a total idiot who has in the past argued that wives owe their husbands sex ("Why do we assume that it is terribly irresponsible for a man to refuse to go to work because he is not in the mood, but a woman can -- indeed, ought to -- refuse sex because she is not in the mood?"). I wouldn't say he's topped that in his pissy column "The Charges against Judge Kavanaugh Should Be Ignored," but he comes close. First he pretty much accepts that Kavanaugh tried to rape Ford but shrugs it off because he's been such a good boy since ("No matter how good and moral a life one has led for ten, 20, 30, 40, or even 50 years, it is nullified by a sin committed as teenager"), and that anyone should think otherwise is just "another example of the moral chaos sown by secularism and the Left." But here's the money part, and by "money" I mean nuts:
When my wife was a waitress in her mid teens, the manager of her restaurant grabbed her breasts and squeezed them on numerous occasions. She told him to buzz off, figured out how to avoid being in places where they were alone, and continued going about her job. That’s empowerment.
If only gals would learn to dodge their bosses' advances like Andy dodged butt-rape in The Shawshank Redemption, then come home and gave their husbands the blowjobs they deserve, we'd have the little gender thing fixed up PDQ.


Thursday, September 06, 2018

CAN KAVANAUGH.

I wrote earlier about the Kavanaugh SCOTUS hearings for my newsletter. (Ooh! says I, ostentatiously dropping my handkerchief, did I say my newsletter? Yes, that's right, I mean my brand new, $7 a month/$70 a year newsletter, and in the words of Brendan Behan, damn well good enough for you.) I still pray that the Senators wise up about this piece of shit -- or, if they don't, the voters will, and show that they do in November.

In my (available for a very cheap subscription price!) newsletter story, I addressed a post by National Review's David French, in which he brushes off any concerns about restriction of reproductive freedom owing to Kavanaugh's appointment, despite Kavanaugh's transparent animus against abortion, including his recent reference to birth control pills as "abortion-inducing drugs." French offers this as proof that Trump doesn't want to restrict women's rights:
The president is a libertine philanderer who pays off porn stars and playmates, but somehow we’re about two steps from Gilead. 
In 2016 Trump proposed legal punishments for women who had abortions. The Republican Party made him back off because it was too on the nose. Trump's "libertine" morals obviously apply only to himself. If you wonder why wingnut fundamentalists still support Trump, remember: There's still a lot of money in supporting the most vicious and corrupt Republicans, so long as you keep a few Party officials around who can be counted on to say, "Why that's outrageous, we would never" whenever someone points out how full of shit they are.

We are told that the judicial operatives Republicans have been sending to the court for decades now are just impartial lawgivers devoted only to the Constitution and the secrets of its intent that it whispers to them from its ark at the Federalist Society; but it hasn't worked out that way in practice. Here's just one piece of evidence from Linda Greenhouse's review of the record of that earlier, similarly obvious wingnut plant Clarence Thomas, at the New York Times:
I have saved my favorite Thomas opinion for last: the concurrence in the chief justice’s opinion in the case that upheld Trump’s “Muslim Ban,” Trump v. Hawaii. “Merits aside,” he wrote, “I write separately to address the remedy that the plaintiffs sought and obtained in this case.” The Federal District Court in Hawaii, in an opinion upheld by the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, had imposed a nationwide injunction against the ban’s enforcement. “I am skeptical that district courts have the authority to enter universal injunctions,” Justice Thomas wrote. “These injunctions did not emerge until a century and a half after the founding.” They were once rare, he said, “but recently, they have exploded in popularity.” He concluded: “In sum, universal injunctions are legally and historically dubious. If federal courts continue to issue them, this court is duty bound to adjudicate their authority to do so.” 
Why do I call this opinion my favorite? Justice Thomas, I’m willing to assume — as I do of all members of the Supreme Court — is a man of high principle. Yet I searched his concurring opinion in vain for a citation to a nationwide injunction issued three years ago by a federal district judge in Texas and upheld by the Supreme Court in June 2016 on a 4-to-4 tie vote. The case was United States v. Texas. The subject was President Barack Obama’s proposed Deferred Action for Parents of Americans program, known as DAPA, granting temporary deferral of deportation to the parents of the young “Dreamers” who had received protection under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, DACA. The district court not only found in favor of the states that had challenged DAPA but, over the Obama administration’s objections, gave the injunction nationwide scope. The United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit upheld the injunction on a 2-to-1 vote. 
In the spring of 2016, Justice Scalia had died and had not yet been replaced. A 4-to-4 tie at the Supreme Court upholds the lower court’s judgment without an opinion and without identifying which justices are on which side. There is no doubt which side Justice Thomas was on. If he had any problem with a nationwide injunction then, he kept that to himself, rather than join the four liberal justices to make a 5-to-3 decision overturning the injunction.
To sum up: Kavanaugh, like Thomas, is an apparatchik, and is being promoted by the conservative establishment not only to overturn Roe but also to reverse any liberal decisions made since the advent of the Warren Court. Brush it off if you will -- but check back in two years and see if I'm wrong. 

UPDATE. Cleaned up some typos, brainfarts and repetitions, including the original citation of my weekly newsletter price as seven dollars; that is actually the monthly price. Seven dollars a week is what I charge Soros and it comes with a backrub. Anyway, seven bucks a month for a minimum of 20 weeknightly issues is a bargain you won't get anywhere else, and the seventy dollar yearly price is a goddamn steal.

Oh also, speaking of supporters who don't reflect well on their subject, here's a peppy Twitter video from Susan B. Anthony List which basically tells members to work to get Kavanaugh in because he'll overturn Roe v. Wade. They're not confused about what he's been hired for -- and neither are the people in the media who pretend to be.


Thursday, August 30, 2018

FRENCH FRAUD.

David French is always awful but lately he's really been outdoing himself. First there was his article in The Atlantic (har) about how both the right and the left were giving him and his wife a hard time about the little black girl they picked up in Ethiopia. On the right, there was the kind of neo-Nazi viciousness that we've all come to expect from the conservative avant-garde -- racial slurs, gas chamber imagery, the works.

On the left? Under Obama the IRS audited people like French who took the adoption tax credit -- never mind that the IRS had legitimate fraud concerns with it (refundable tax credits are a particular risk, something conservatives like to point out when the refundable credit is, say, the Earned Income Tax Credit), and French apparently kept his deduction. But that's not all: French also heard what he perceived as unkind words from lefties -- not racial slurs, but scholarship! Kathryn Joyce wrote a "blistering attack on the evangelical adoption movement, claiming that the adoption industry was rife with corruption," which to those of us who've gotten a load of evangelicals lately is like, yeah that makes sense, but to French it just means more persecution: "We quickly discovered that if you’re the white parents of an adopted black child, and you’re in the public eye at all, men and women will viciously criticize you for having the audacity to believe that you can raise your kid."

Joyce has kicked French's ass pretty good on this, but no one will care, as French is taking his The Left Was Mean To My Little Black Child act on the road:


If you want to know what the hell BLM has to do with any of this, you too are being mean to his widdle girl.

Also, French has leapt onto the Impeach Pope Francis bandwagon. (He even demands that the Pope "cooperate fully with impartial investigators," at which anyone with even a glancing acquaintance with the history of the One Holy Catholic & Apostolic will LOL.) Rod Dreher has of late been devoting the full flow of his logorrhea to this cause, obviously because he perceives Francis as insufficiently gay-hating to lead the Church of which he was briefly a member; also I expect Dreher dreams of one day being named both Grand Patriarch of his current religion and Pope, in a sort of SCTV Man Who Would Be King Of The Popes scenario. As for French, his shtick is to compare Francis to Donald Trump. I shit you not:
If a person becomes more powerful, does his character matter less? Or more? Increasingly, it seems, the answer from partisans is resounding and unmistakeable.
It’s less. It’s so much less that it’s doubtful character matters at all. 
You think I’m talking about Donald Trump, don’t you?... 
For more than two years now, progressives have been screaming to conservatives that the truth matters. Character matters. You cannot — must not — turn a blind eye to real wrongdoing, even when the stakes seem high. In other words, after selling out to protect Bill Clinton in 1998...
Oh yeah. Francis is like Bill Clinton, too, because of liberal hypocrisy. (French even uses the line, "Is that the progressive Christian version of 'But Gorsuch'?")

The upshot is, one of the made men of the Church has accused Francis of shielding one of the big pedo Cardinals, and French and all the wingnuts are beating pots and pans for Francis' ouster. Because the big liberal units like the New York Times have not joined them in beating said pots and pans, they are pedo-Pope Francis' enablers ("They’ll even overlook sex abuse — until the cry of the victims is too great to be ignored").

Me, I left the Church long ago, and we who have free souls, it touches us not. Still I marvel that these non-Catholics are so exercised. The clergy were fucking altar boys 24/7 throughout the reigns of Saint John Paul II and Benedict XVI, and back then wingnuts were content to mutter about This Fallen World etc.; now they demand to impeach the Pope. It reminds me that conservatives see everything as a means to their own power; hell, that's why Steve Bannon is waddling around Europe, trying to rev up every local Bund he can get to, and sweetening the deal for credulous reporters with dirt on celebrities. It's also why they oppose doing anything about climate change -- rather than admit any advantage to scientists (who, being intellectuals, they associate with cursed intellectuals and thus with cursed liberals), they'd rather see the Earth fry and rule the cinder. Well, humanity had a good run; I'm nearly out of the game, but leave my sympathies for your poor kids.

Tuesday, August 07, 2018

IN NO POSITION TO MAKE DEMANDS.

Some social media companies have finally decided to tell Alex Jones to get stuffed and, wouldn't you know it, prominent conservatives are demanding a mistrial on the grounds of You Didn't Say Simon Says. National Review's David French, in the gaw-damn New York Times:
Apple said it “does not tolerate hate speech.” Facebook accused Mr. Jones of violating policies against “glorifying violence” or using “dehumanizing language..." 
These policies sound good on first reading, but they are extraordinarily vague. We live in times when the slightest deviation from the latest and ever-changing social justice style guide is deemed bigoted and, yes, “dehumanizing"...
French is speaking on behalf of his own buddies who get thrown off other people's internet property from time to time -- like Muslim-hating scream queen Pamela Geller and her Jihad Watch. French's defense of Pammycakes' hate-site: "It’s controversial, to be sure, but it is miles from The Daily Stormer." Oh well then.

Then French runs through the innamalectual dork web's greatest woe-is-me-I'm-a-victim hits ("Just ask Evergreen State College’s Bret Weinstein"), and, get this, tells Facebook et alia to use his own chosen standard when deciding whom to throw out:
The good news is that tech companies don’t have to rely on vague, malleable and hotly contested definitions of hate speech to deal with conspiracy theorists like Mr. Jones. The far better option would be to prohibit libel or slander on their platforms. 
To be sure, this would tie their hands more: Unlike “hate speech,” libel and slander have legal meanings. There is a long history of using libel and slander laws to protect especially private figures from false claims. It’s properly more difficult to use those laws to punish allegations directed at public figures, but even then there are limits on intentionally false factual claims.
This reminds me of a TV variety show sketch I saw as a kid, in which Paul Lynde and Martha Raye played show-biz types. "I'm only willing to do a nude scene," Raye said with her nose in the air, "if it has redeeming artistic qualities." After looking her up and down, Lynde replied, "Who asked ya?"

I mean, this is like if some asshole starts tearing up your house and, as you're pitching him out the door, he starts naming conditions under which he'd be willing to leave quietly. At that point you only hope that when you throw him off the stoop he lands on his head.

Douchebags like French, Glenn Reynolds ("This is absolutely the first stage in a coordinated plan to deplatform everyone on the right") and Ben Shapiro ("Suggest that Caitlyn Jenner is a man, and you might be violating crucial social-media 'hate speech' taboos") come swaggering up making demands like this because they're so accustomed to bullying cowards like the New York Times editorial board that they think, in any situation, all they have to do is yell YOU'RE DEPLATFORMING ME like Rudd yelling "Diplomatic immunity" in Lethal Weapon 2 and they'll get what they want. Guess what, guys: Revoked.