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

Thursday, July 02, 2020


Even with the departure of Jonah Goldberg, there remain some spectacularly awful writers at National Review like Victor Davis Hanson and David Harsanyi. But in these days of desperate last-ditch Trump defense, the less spectacular, more shoulder-to-the-wheel propagandist Jim Geraghty deserves more attention.

Geraghty had of late been working the popular conservative trope that protests are causing the COVID-19 spread. He may have tumbled that this line isn't working, because earlier this week he seemed to back off, saying protests "may not be the primary factor spreading the virus around the U.S. in recent weeks, but that doesn’t mean they were not a factor at all," an obvious intermediate step to dropping the claim entirely.

Geraghty's got a lulu today. First he plumps what he calls "Maybe the Most Jaw-Droppingly Good Jobs Report in U.S. History" -- a pitch for the hometeam crowd, certainly, since Americans are starting to look at job reports the same way they look at the stock market: "Good news" that does not seem to reflect the reality they're actually living.

Perhaps sensing this, Geraghty gets right to work on bothsidesing the coronavirus catastrophe:
You can point to no shortage of policy mistakes made by President Trump, or governors such as Andrew Cuomo of New York, Phil Murphy of New Jersey, Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan, or New York City mayor Bill de Blasio.
If that doesn't have you convinced that the president who kept telling America the virus was no big deal and stole PPE from the states is no more guilty than three leaders whose COVID curves actually went down (though Michigan's has recently ticked up a little), Geraghty has something else to sell you -- The reason the virus is out of control here is actually America's greatness
Some countries may have responded to this virus better than we did, but they are generally smaller, less populous, had experience with a previous serious virus, and/or have populations that are more trusting of their government and more inclined to obey strict rules and to assent to government monitoring of their movements and activities that Americans are unlikely ever to accept.
We're self-centered assholes who know the leaders we elect will screw us -- that's why we can't perform the simple public health measures that are saving the rest of the civilized world! [Pounds chest] We're "a country literally founded by people who violently rejected the existing legal and political authority when they deemed it unjust or draconian," says Geraghty, and that's why we don't need no stinkin' masks, whattaya say to that, Karen?

Having failed to dispel our Springtime-for-Hitler stare, Geraghty changes tack, seeking to convince us that lockdowns killed George Floyd who you liberals say you care about so much:
If the economy had not been shut down in Minnesota, would George Floyd have been out of work? Would he have allegedly tried to use a counterfeit $20 bill and then been in that particular place and time where former police officer Derek Chauvin would arrest him and hold his knee on Floyd’s neck for more than eight minutes?
In fact, there wouldn't be any protests at all, Geraghty seems to say, if the lockdowns didn't have the kids so darned bored:
I don’t think we fully appreciate how much the still -- ongoing protests are, for young people, the only game in town. Just what else is there to do in still-heavily-locked-down America? They can’t go to the movies. They can’t go to a ballgame... 
In a normal summer, how much of young people’s mental energy is spent on enjoyable leisure, from the NBA to pickup games of sports to Marvel movies and other summer blockbusters?... 
Why are we shocked that young people are flocking to house parties and bars at night and protests during the day? What else have we left them to do?
Ah youth -- when summer is one long roundelay of partying in bars and then yelling "all cops are bastards" out in the warm sun! I expect National Review's geriatric subscribers, whose idea of protests haven't much evolved from Students Wildly Indignant about Everything, will buy it. And isn't that the important thing? At this point it's not like conservatives are trying to convince anyone but themselves.

Tuesday, November 12, 2019


He has stiff competition -- Kevin D. Williamson! David French! Jonah Goldberg for crying out loud! -- but on Any Given Weekday Jim Geraghty can be the absolute worst person at National Review and brother does he manage today:

I shit you not. Geraghty was in Canada and visited Casa Loma, whose owner did some fighting in the 19th Century, and his regiment in modern times did some fighting in Afghanistan. How's that for a segue?
The museum display on Afghanistan is just a small corner of a room covering the regiment’s more recent deployments, which included Kosovo and Sudan. But the display got me wondering: is it time to start thinking about a National Museum of the Afghanistan War? And should the U.S. have a separate or conjoined museum for the Iraq War? (Would the name “National Museum of Post-9/11 Wars” be too awkward?)
How about "The Foreverwar Museum: A Work in Progress"? After some research-assistant padding about current U.S. war/service museums, Geraghty preemptively pooh-poohs the naysayers:
Inevitably, someone out there is going to cluck about the irony of building a museum for a military operation that is still ongoing, and while U.S. troops are still deployed in those operations.
Well, sure. Don't your visitors want to know how it comes out? A World War II museum built in 1943 would have seemed kinda anticlimactic.
But if you wait until the operation is completely done to begin even thinking about preserving a record to tell the story to future generations . . . you’ll be waiting probably, at minimum, another half-decade.
LOLOLOLOLOLOL. Then more padding, about the great work our G.I. Joes are doing in undeclared wars across the planet, Geraghty assures us he's just asking questions:
If building a national museum about our post-9/11 wars is a good idea, then it is a good idea whether or not we still have troops deployed in these countries. And if it’s not a good idea, then it’s not a good idea regardless of the circumstances of the ongoing deployment.
Resolved: It stinks! Let's all go home! But here's where Geraghty goes into overdrive:
A strange thing happened in our national life as the Vietnam War receded into the rear-view mirror. One of the most bitterly divisive issues in our country’s history calmed, and gradually — some might say, far too gradually — shifted into a broad-based respect and appreciation for the men who fought in it and women who tried to keep them in one piece in the Army Nurse Corps.
(Gotta get the ladies in there!) Prior to that, see, we were all just spitting on soldiers:
Even the most fervent war opponents could recognize that this country treated its returning veterans terribly back in the 1960s and 1970s, and I wonder if our current much broader cultural appreciation of veterans stems from a sense of guilt over that dishonorable not-so-distant history.
I assume, given his audience and that he's Jim Geraghty, he means the myth of mean hippies rather than, say, the fight to deny vets coverage for the effects of PTSD and Agent Orange or anything else that men in suits rather than punks in love-beads may have done to them.
You can think the war was a terrible mistake and still feel a sense of gratitude, awe, and appreciation for those who served in it — and a determination to see that those who served are treated right, in areas ranging from veterans benefits to health care options to post-military careers to naturalization for those born overseas.
"Naturalization for those born overseas" -- did this motherfucker really just fucking say that?

You know what, I'm too pissed to even address the rest of his stupidity ("if the U.S. had known the true limits of the Iraqi WMD program," ha ha, yeah if only). Geraghty can jam this museum up his ass.

Thursday, July 01, 2021


Jim Geraghty is a pretty down-the-middle rightwing propagandist, the unflashy kind of guy that will never get a Fox News or Sinclair spotlight but has done the devil’s work reliably enough to hold his position for decades. But sometimes someone like Geraghty, even more than obvious nutcakes like Rod Dreher and high-profile marquee grifters like Peggy Noonan, will, in the course of his normally tedious work of justifying whatever absurd and inhumane theme the conservative movement has latched onto at any given moment, get creative – perhaps out of boredom, or because he knows he’s good at his job and wants to show off by going the extra mile. Those episodes can be especially revealing. 

The MacGuffin in this case is the evergreen rightwing sentiment that the Media Is Always To Blame – indeed the title of Geraghty's latest is “The Media’s Warped Incentive Program.” There is something to the premise, borrowed from a strenuously bothsidery Jamie Kirchick piece at Tablet (which, among other weird stretches, blames Al Sharpton’s 2004 Democratic Presidential run for Trump, notwithstanding that Democrats failed to give Sharpton a single primary win), that the media rewards freakish figures like Trump “as if he were the ‘heel’ in a professional wrestling match” because it inflates their readerships (which, I would note, have dwindled in the Biden era, which suggests that Kirchick’s claim to a liberal equivalency in hysteria is itself inflated).

Geraghty gobbles this up, and goes further: another problem with the political media circus, he says, is it distracts from the menace of ordinary, successful government operations. “The work of government is often boring,” he says, not to mention Byzantine – “the Federal Register churns out pages of new regulations in incomprehensible bureaucratese every day.” And people are missing it because it isn’t sexy:

Boring does not attract attention or scrutiny. Appropriations bills are long and stuffed with all kinds of dubious expenditures because very few people read them. The vast majority of presidential executive orders are ignored by the public, as are almost all of the reports from the Office of Management and Budget, the Congressional Research service, the Defense Department, U.S. State Department, and the various federal inspectors general. Our government generates nearly endless documentation and yet so little accountability.

The more boring something seems to be, the more likely it is that someone is trying to sneak something past you without you noticing.

First, journalists actually do report on the doings of these departments, which are not for the most part opaque (though some have to be aggressively FOIA’d) – here’s a Bloomberg Law story from today, “Visa Backlog at State Department Hinders Biden’s Immigration Goals.” And in fact trade publications, some of which I've done work for, read and analyze federal regs all the time. 

Second, what’s stopping Geraghty and National Review? I realize rightwing media outlets always exempt themselves from their constant media complaints, but obviously these guys have the same wherewithal as any other news org. Yet National Review is much more prone to run stories like (from the current front page) “Wisconsin’s Governor Puts the Public-School Monopoly before Families” and “The Absurdly Misleading Attacks on Anti-CRT Rules" than to investigate federal agencies (unless of course those agencies are helping black people and operatives do the legwork for them).

But the real howler comes next: After warming up the crowd with some obligatory false equivalence between “Gaetz and Marjorie Taylor Greene and Lauren Boebert” and “Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and the Squad,” Gergahty gets to Jim Walsh, the Washington Republican state rep who went around wearing a yellow Star of David as a protest against vaccine mandates. (“Walsh wrote in [a Facebook] comments section that, ‘[I]t's an echo from history. In the current context, we're all Jews.’”) This is similar to Marjorie Taylor Greene’s COVID-laws-are-The-Holocaust shtick, and like Greene, Walsh has apologized. (One expects the apology has become part of the shtick, to be taken by the punters as something the Deep State forced them to do.)

Here’s what Geraghty thinks about Walsh’s stunt:

We can scoff at Walsh, and we should. But keep in mind, if Walsh had just done his job and stood up for his beliefs in an impassioned and articulate manner and didn’t make ludicrously insane Holocaust comparisons, you and I would never have heard of him. Doing his job the way he’s supposed to do it doesn’t get him any attention. Competence and common sense are rewarded with obscurity and yawns. The social-media and mass-media worlds have created all of the incentives to act like a maniac. This doesn’t make Walsh right. But it does help explain why it seems like you’re always hearing about insane obscure lawmakers.

In other words, Walsh had a "common sense" point – sensible public health measures are fascist – but he was forced to act like a nut, not because he is a nut, but because no one would pay attention to him unless he acted like a nut. And it’s all the media’s fault. 

Now that it looks like we’re getting that House January 6 commission, I look forward to Geraghty’s “An attempted murder of Mike Pence is the voice of the unheard” column. 

Wednesday, November 27, 2013


In his Morning Jolt thing he sends around to subscribers (here's a heavily-edited version some guy put on the internet), Jim Geraghty makes fun of the OFA PR campaign encouraging liberals to tell relatives about Obamacare at Thanksgiving dinner. Fair enough. I myself wouldn't bring it up, though if one of them came at me with some bullshit I would say, "that is some bullshit" and take it from there.

As often happens when a conservative has half a point, Geraghty keeps going until he has negative-a-point-and-a-half:
Our friend Jonah gets a lot of grief over Liberal Fascism, usually from people who have never read the book, and who usually go on to insist they don't need to in order to criticize it.
(I have read it; it's a piece of shit.)
But there is a creepy quasi-fascist vibe in this effort to turn families' holiday gatherings into an opportunity to dissuade critics of the president's policies...
When you say the word 'fascist,' people usually picture Mussolini speaking from a balcony and his high-booted goons marching around in public squares. Because we don't see those images in American society today, a lot of people recoil from labeling anyone in our modern politics with the term "fascist." 
Also because a lot of people aren't nuts.
But Mussolini wrote, "for the fascist, everything is in the state, and no human or spiritual thing exists, or has any sort of value, outside the state." Among the Organizing for Action crew, there seems to be some irresistible compulsion to take something outside the state -- Thanksgiving dinner -- and co-opt it for the purposes of the state -- or its leader, or its agenda.
Meanwhile over at his National Review blog, Geraghty encourages his readers to send out Thanksgiving cards devised by the Heritage Foundation with messages like "Let's be thankful Kathleen Sebelius isn't coaching our football team." This isn't a fascist use of the holiday at all, though, because, as Professor Goldberg has taught us, faaaart.

UPDATE. The remainder of Geraghty's thing is even worse, in a way: When a fellow wingnut suggests that maybe income equality on the massive scale we're seeing in this country isn't good for democracy, he sorta sees the point ("All societies have winners and losers, but modern America's winners are separating from the rest of us rather rapidly"), but retreats into victim-blaming:
A big question that is likely to dominate our politics in the coming years is: How much are the "losers" of modern America responsible for their circumstances?... if most of our countrymen getting the short end of the stick are folks who "worked hard and played by the rules," some significant chunk of them exacerbated their problems with bad decisions: They dropped out of school, had children before they were ready, abused alcohol or drugs, pursued unrealistic career paths... 
If most of you who are punished by inequality are blameless, comfort yourselves that your suffering also touches the nation's whores, junkies, and MFAs!
Obama has talked in the past about a “culture of irresponsibility,” but he’s mostly used that phrase in the context of Wall Street, and in fact pledged to “protect consumers from bad mortgages and greedy credit-card companies.” In his world, it’s always the big powerful corporations making trouble for the person in debt, not the person who actually ran up that debt. 
Quite a few Americans want to hear that we ourselves are most responsible for the quality of our own lives. If we could overcome that, the rest of the problems would fall like dominoes.
I guess Geraghty had to satisfy himself that income equality, like everything else, is not Wall Street's fault before he could really enjoy sending out his Heritage Foundation Thanksgiving cards.

Again I have to ask: Do these guys even know any real people?

Thursday, June 11, 2020


National Review's Jim Geraghty wants you to join him as the recent racial unpleasantness chases him down an alley called Memory Lane:
The Nineties were a different time, kids. It was the kind of era where, in the aftermath of horrifying riots in Los Angeles, David Alan Grier and Jim Carrey could appear in a sketch on the comedy program In Living Color as beating victims Rodney King and Reginald Denny, and declare, “Staying in school and staying off drugs is fine, but it ain’t gonna do you any good at all if you don’t have sense enough to stay in your car. See, we were stupid! We got out of our car. We didn’t use our heads and look what happened. We may have won the battle, but the early bird got the worm.”
Ha ha, yeah that was funny, what the fuck tho.
You Millennials and Generation Z kids wonder why we in Generation X can be so tasteless and shocking in our humor and tastes? Try having your formulative years shaped by sketch comedy shows, National Lampoon’s, Gary Larson’s Far Side, and comedians like Sam Kinison... 
Don't leave, I'll skip the rest of the Grandpa part.
I can’t find it online, but I recall another In Living Color sketch that depicted whites rioting after a jury acquitted the attackers of Reginald Denny. The sketch was funny because of the inherent absurdity: Wealthy, comfortable white people don’t burn down their own neighborhoods, no matter how angry they are about any particular event.
But every group feels anger at some point, even if they don’t express it in an easily visible way.
After the L.A. riots and the O. J. Simpson case, a few cultural observers argued that wealthy, comfortable white people “rioted” in a different way.
He explains by quoting Roger Boesche from the L.A. Times on all the service cuts and economic immiseration the black community suffered after the riots. In part:
So how do white people riot? They riot by eliminating affirmative action so that jobs and education will be more readily available to whites; by voting to deny services like education and health care to illegal immigrants; by declaring English as the official language and attacking bilingual education; by leaving 38 million people in poverty — 30.6 percent of all African Americans and 30.7 percent of all Latinos.
Now, this sounds to me like a bad reaction to the riots that just kept the wounds festering and led to the present explosion, which has to be Geraghty's point, right? Ha ha ha, guess you never read his shit before! After some yap about how "there are probably quite a few Americans outraged by the sights of statues of Christopher Columbus or other figures from history being beheaded or pulled down" -- I guess he doesn't name them because they're all Confederates! -- Geraghty warns:
There will be a backlash to these actions, but not in the form of the “white people’s riot” that In Living Color imagined. That backlash may come at the ballot box, or it may come in some other indirect form. Some people aren’t interested in direct confrontation in the streets. They may simply prefer to express their opposition in a way that these protesters expect it least — businesses moving out, reluctance to hire, reluctance to visit a neighborhood, effectively abandoning a community. Not every wall that is built is physical and visible. But one way or another, the reaction is coming.
Next to no black people are reading Bill Buckley's White Supremacist magazine. Geraghty's message is mainly going out to his honky rightwing readers who have seen the latest polls and are getting the sick feeling that they might not be able to just beat, gas, and shoot more protesters to get out of this fix. So I reckon it's meant as a comfort: Relax, we have ways of dealing with this -- we did it before, and we can do it again.

Thing is, the rest of us see this stuff too, and have our own reaction. 

Tuesday, June 09, 2020


I'm sure we've all heard more than enough "bothsides"  bullshit -- the rhetorical approach that seeks to obscure one's own crimes and idiocies on the grounds that someone else dropped a gum wrapper on the sidewalk so who's to judge. But it never stops coming. While it's annoying enough when it comes from weak-kneed liberals, it's a total stinkbomb coming from conservatives and is a favorite gambit of JustTheTip Trumpers -- here's a classic example by David French. But things have reached the point where even some of the usually loud-and-proud wingnuts are starting to crocodile-weep for comity. Here's Jim Geraghty at National Review:
Our Civil War of Stupidity
The loudest, most dominant voices in American political discourse often are the ones with the least thought-through, least useful perspectives.
For a brief moment, we had a broad, bipartisan national consensus that the police should not kill those in their custody. 
We did? When was that? I and a whoooole lot of black people missed it.
Then, our warring factions of idiots went and ruined it.
Why would anyone do that? What might each of these "factions" been in favor of -- oh why do I bother.
On May 25, Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin did something terrible, pressing his knee on the back of George Floyd’s neck for more than eight minutes, during which time Floyd’s heart stopped beating and he died. Chauvin’s fellow officers, Thomas Lane, J. Alexander Kueng, and Tou Thao, stood and watched. This angered many Americans, if not almost all Americans.
Then, some residents of Minneapolis chose to respond to Chauvin’s actions by setting fire to the Third Precinct headquarters of the city police.
Boy, as your cousin on Facebook would meme, that escalated quickly. Did something else noteworthy happen between Floyd's killing and the fire, like national protests?
Our national discussion was quickly overrun by those who wanted to use the actions of Chauvin and his fellow officers to define all police across the country, and those who wanted to use the actions of the looters and rioters to define everyone participating in the protests. Anyone with eyes can see that not all police officers are Derek Chauvin, and not everyone who attended a protest, march, or demonstration in response to Floyd’s death was looting and committing acts of violence. 
Anyone with eyes can also see hundreds of videos of police violence against the innocent during the past few weeks of protest, which seems to have caused a massive change in public sentiment -- Americans appear to support the protestors and think the cops went too far, which for the land of Nixon and Agnew and endless Law & Order editions is pretty amazing. But Geraghty doesn't mention it.

Near the end is Geraghty's most concentrated pellet of motivated bothsiderism:
The president wants to restore order in the streets with soldiers; his opposition declares that the proper alternative is to do away with policing entirely. The president wants to reopen the economy; his critics contend that steps in the direction of reopening are an “experiment in human sacrifice.”
Thus Trump's looter-shooter ravings (and other provocations, including his attack on the Minneapolis senior citizen whose skull was cracked by a cop) are portrayed as a sensible call for order, while the Democrats are portrayed as off-the-pigs lunatics because some leftists want to drastically reduce police budgets; also, Geraghty describes Trump's threats to force states to cram workers who might have coronavirus into their warehouses and offices as a simple desire to "reopen the economy," and if you think that's bad how about this, Democrats interpreted it uncharitably, hmmph!
Where are the sane grown-ups? Isn’t anyone willing to take a break from the usual partisan food fight to spend just a little time trying to solve our actual problems? Or are we just destined to be bystanders in a Civil War of Stupidity indefinitely?
It's all too much -- everybody back to the status quo, where black people got extra-judicially executed on the regular but at least we weren't arguing about it.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

17 YEARS ON...

...conservatives aren't sure what to do with 9/11. Back in the day, it was a great bludgeon to bully everyone into line: Wear your flag pin, support the troops, watch what you say, torture's too good for 'em. Thousands of American lives, untold numbers of other lives, and trillions of dollars later, it all seems insane. Actually it seemed insane to many of us at the time, but over the years others, including even some conservatives, appear to have caught on, albeit sullenly, that the general response to the event was, shall we say, counterproductive.

The biggest warmongers, like Glenn Reynolds, still claim everything went great except Obama fucked it up. Maybe he thinks tinfoil will defend him from the judgment of history. True Muslim-haters like Bruce Bawer and Frank Gaffney generally hope Trump will make things right but take a "jury's still out" approach -- that is, they know he's the kind of callous thug who wouldn't mind bombing Iran, they're just getting impatient for him to actually go on and do it.

Most of us are content to treat 9/11 as our era's Pearl Harbor, a day of forgetting as well as remembrance; we're as far from the WTC and Pentagon attacks as Americans were from the day of infamy in 1958. (By then we were already buying Japanese transistor radios.) But this hindsight, like the mania that preceded it, is evanescent. Some conservatives today have been telling us that the terror is all but over, implying that it was our bloody, expensive wars that made it so. "Oh, some analysts say al-Qaeda won?" says Jim Geraghty at National Review. "I notice Osama bin Laden didn’t make it to the victory party." Geraghty has nothing if not nerve, and I mean that literally. "Al-Qaeda’s not even the top 'brand name' in Islamist terrorism anymore," Geraghty fist-pumps. "ISIS turned into the big name in the headlines, the preeminent threat, the most feared producers of those nightmare-inducing videos. And the Islamic State has been reduced from a sprawling terror-nation the size of Britain to a bunch of guys making their last stand in Hajin, a town of about 60,000 people." Wow, problem solved! Go look at the news from Afghanistan (e.g., "Dozens killed and injured in suicide attack at Afghan protest") and Iraq (e.g., "Water shortages to cut Iraq's irrigated wheat area by half"), or better yet go to Iraq or Afghanistan and see how it looks from there. We fucked those countries up beyond recognition and Geraghty's hauling the Mission Accomplished banner back out.

Faint as the memory of the war-whoops may be, so too, soon enough, will be the memory of the reckoning, and when Trump declares war on Iran -- or Venezuela, or North Korea, or Canada -- it'll be Johnny Get Your Gun all over again for a lot of people. We'll see then how much we have and haven't learned.

Meanwhile, all honor to the memory of the dead. It was strange, sad time to live through in New York; I have no prose poems or weeping eagles to offer. Here's a little something I wrote in the immediate aftermath.

Thursday, January 05, 2017


It was better before, before they voted for What's-his-name.
This must be the new world.

 Even among the other freaks, thieves, and mountebanks Trump has been hiring, the name Katy Talento, slated to advise The Leader on health care policy, stands out. First, she's a contributor to The Federalist, which as regular alicublog readers know is a bad sign right off the bat. One of her posts on the subject of health care is called "Ladies: Is Birth Control The Mother Of All Medical Malpractice?" and in case you're wondering, she thinks it is (h/t Jason Millman). Romper and Talking Points Memo do a good job of debunking her physiological ideas, but even laymen may gape at her connection of birth control with "economic and relational devastation that has left women and children abandoned by men who now feel entitled to consequence-free orgasms." This nut is telling Trump about women's health care and Congress is defunding Planned Parenthood. So much for the Trump third way, huh? But at least Julian Assange is happy!

•  At National Review, Jim Geraghty:
The worst among us do not represent us as a whole, thankfully. William Calley doesn’t represent men and women in uniform. Ward Churchill doesn’t represent professors. Jeffrey Dahmer doesn’t represent chocolate factory employees. Aaron Hernandez does not represent the New England Patriots. 
Most of us know that. Most of us understand that it’s unfair, inaccurate, and a smear to take the worst individual in a group and contend that all members of a group are “like that.” James Holmes is rare among gun owners. Eric Rudolph is rare among abortion opponents. Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik are rare among Muslims.
Come let us reason together! When have you ever seen a wingnut show charity toward Ward Churchill before this? But then Geraghty takes a graf-long detour for a Seinfeldesque didjaever-notice "authorities keep acting like they never want to admit that a mass shooter is Muslim?" and with a weary Not this bullshit again we are reminded that Geraghty is not a healer but a propagandist and his show of reasonableness is a ruse to soften white readers up for his energetic flame-fanning over those black guys in Chicago who tortured a white guy. It's a typical Trumpian "there's-something-going-on" routine -- encouraging listeners to stretch a specific incident into a general indictment without the assistance of logic. Geraghty also links the usual pull-your-pants-up bullshit from David French, whose dogwhistle is nearly split from overblowing; for one thing, the title is "Chicago is Breaking" but the URL is "black-thugs-torture-white-disabled-man-speak-truth-leftists." For another, French finds room in the middle of his customary Obama's-Chicago ululation for this:
Outlets such as Buzzfeed — ever vigilant in the quest to hunt down and expose celebrity Christians who might actually believe the Bible — write fawning articles about hip-hop celebrities who write and produce some of the most vile music imaginable.  
It’s all part of underlying liberal squeamishness about attacking anything that can be labeled authentically “black.” Music “from the streets” is worshipped, no matter its content.
The relevance of French's jungle-music criticism to a crime (the perpetrators of which, I remind you, have been swiftly apprehended) is not immediately apparent unless you're on the same Ooga Booga wavelength as French and his colleagues -- which is just one more reason why it was always a sure bet that, for all their #NeverTrump bullshit, the NROniks would fall in line with The Leader: Game recognize game. Proper conservative clubmen they may be, with good manners and manicured nails, but deep in their shriveled hearts they're delighted to have the cruder Trump and his deranged apparatchiks reverberating their slurs.

Friday, May 22, 2015


Mama had this record. Whole thing's great, but I particularly like the part
with the Leslie'd organ and what I believe is choked-pick percussion git.

•   National Review's John Miller is again pimping Liberty Island, the website whose politically-driven belles-lettres we've examined before, so I figured I'd have a look. Among recent offerings is the winner of its recent Memorial Day writing contest, a story called Bait, in which he-men with Marine training use a sissy Hollywood actor to break up a super-sophisticated dogfighting ring, and then see to it that the sissy gets beat up because he's a sissy. The author demonstrates a great deal of knowledge about armaments, and sympathy for dogs if not Hollywood sissies; if you're going to be cruel at Liberty Island, it pays to be sentimental, too. Fave line: "Hell, there was even the rock god my kid sister had worshipped in high school [at the dogfight]. I guess meat was only murder sometimes." Picture Morrissey crying "ten thousand quid on the pitbull with the faraway eyes." Also in rotation: "WILL YOU SURVIVE IF (WHEN?) THE POWER GRID GOES DOWN?" which I think is sponsored content but with this bunch you never know. Oh, and an announcement for a new Book of the Year contest, sponsored by the Conservative-Libertarian Fiction Alliance, for people who like their art-product vetted by ideologues.

•   Elizabeth Warren says "the game is rigged" and she's right, says National Review's Jim Geraghty, "but she’s off-base in her assessment of how it’s rigged" -- it's you liberals and your so-called "education" that rigged it! Geraghty points to an article in The Economist called “America’s new aristocracy: Education and the inheritance of privilege," and tells us,
...the liberal-dominated world of higher education has turned itself into the exorbitantly expensive entry gate to the middle class, setting aside quite a few slots for the offspring of current elites.
Wait a minute -- colleges are expensive, and the children of the rich get unfair advantages in them? This is brand new! Thanks, Obama! Wait, it gets worse: Geraghty says the article also tells us firms, investment banks, and consulting firms tend to hire applicants from well-known universities who were already “culturally similar” to the institution. “Employers sought candidates who were not only competent but also culturally similar to themselves in terms of leisure pursuits, experiences, and self-presentation styles. Concerns about shared culture were highly salient to employers and often outweighed concerns about absolute productivity.” In other words, if you don’t remind the elite employer making the hiring decision of himself, you’re less likely to be hired for the big job.
It sounds as if Obama has changed human nature itself! In the old days, you could just search the candidate's chest for the right class pin or school tie; now I suppose you have check out his "self-presentation style" -- to see if it's liberal! Next Geraghty will read somewhere and rush back to tell us that under Obama rich people eat fancy food while ordinary Americans eat sammiches. This could break the election wide open for whichever rich theocrat the GOP nominates!

•   I'm tired of doing all the hard work around here, so I'll just point out that in this Michael Brendan Dougherty column the job of proving, or even making an argument, that letting all kinds of people (including gays and singles) have babies will lead the disaster is entirely left to the framing device, which talks about an abandoned baby left in a bag -- another thing that never happened before Obama! -- and then shock-cuts to the tale of a child-support suit against a sperm donor and proceeds to other such curiosities, none of which, so far as the column tells, are related to the abandoned baby except in that abandoned babies are bad and these things near it are, in Dougherty's view, also bad. I knew these guys were feeble in the logic department, but couldn't they take a weekend course and learn something about metaphors at least?

Friday, October 18, 2019


It's a zeitgeist thing. Perhaps you can relate! 

•   I've unleashed another issue of my newsletter, Roy Edroso Breaks It Down, for which subscribers pay big money (well, money anyway) but which you lot can have free 'cause I'm socialistic. It's my vision of how Mick Mulvaney and Trump post-mortemed Mulvaney's insane press conference over a nice bowl of Dr. Bornstein's formula. (I don't believe the obviously planted story that Trump was angry with Mulvaney's presser and made him go back and fix it -- I assume he wanted Mulvaney to be as belligerent about his criminality as he was, as part of his longtime process of numbing the public to his grifts. If anything Mulvaney probably pushed to have his second version on the public record in case some law enforcement agency finally gets the drop on this mob.)

•   After yesterday's fuckfest of Trump corruption -- more evidence of quid pro quo with Ukraine, selling out the Kurds, Trump awarding his own hotel a nice fat G7 contract, Rick Perry (recently implicated in the Ukraine mess) resigning, etc. -- what does Jim Geraghty have for his National Review roundup?

- How conservatives should love Mark Zuckerberg for refusing to vet his ads, which would be totalitarian ("Mark Zuckerberg Refuses to Bend the Knee");

- How Trump's "Impeachment Trial Could Come at the Worst Time" for the Democrats in the Senate (no speculation as to how Trump's impeachment trial, however, would affect Trump);

- "Amazon Decides It’s Had Enough Socialism in Seattle Politics" and is flooding the local city council races with money for corporatist candidates, which is totally not the "crony capitalism" Geraghty normally bitches about.

And in an addendum Geraghty applauds a former head of Planned Parenthood for
recognizing moral complexities and moral discomfort, at a time when the Democratic party and her previous employer are increasingly adamant that the issue isn’t complicated, and that any limitation under any circumstances represents a draconian patriarchal injustice. Wen sounds like the kind of pro-choice advocate that a pro-lifer could have a good conversation with, and in this era, that’s a small miracle.
and that conversation would start with "here's why you're a babykiller" and the pro-lifer throwing a jar of festuses at her.

•   Here, have another treat from the newsletter jar! This one's about what that rumored new conservative network might look like.

•   It's pretty axiomatic that you can judge someone by how they treat people who are serving them. Well:

Now, it's no shock that Fox News people would be total dicks, but I would take it further and say that -- while there are some nice people with conservative views -- as conservatism disintegrates as an ideology and becomes ever more clearly the "series of irritable mental gestures" Lionel Trilling described, it seems just being a specific kind of asshole is nearly all that conservatism demands. I mean, what do they believe in? Good stewardship of the public fisc? Come the fuck on. This quote from Yuval Levin in Jonah Goldberg's newsletter The Dispatch shows, I assume inadvertently, how ridiculous that is:
“The most conservative—fiscally conservative and otherwise—Republican members had a sense that they were there on behalf of a certain kind of voter, and then it turned out that it was their voters who were the first to go for Trump. And Trump talked about none of the things that they thought those voters cared a lot about,” Levin said. “They’re very insecure about their understanding of the political circumstances that they’re living through right now. And part of what that insecurity means is they just don’t bring up stuff that they’re not sure about.”
LOL. Imagine goons like Louie Gohmert and Susan Collins wandering the halls of Congress and having the existential crisis described here. "My voters don't care if we tax-cut our Treasury into the Grand Canyon so long as none of the gains go to black people? My whole life has been a lie!" And what else are they supposed to believe in? Freedom for the Kurds? "All men are created equal"? Who among them could even say it with a straight face? No, the jig is up and the grift is everything. And who's going to attracted to such a cause? Greedy, self-centered assholes. Hell, I wouldn't be shocked if Trump drops a bit into his roadshow about how servers don't deserve tips -- knowing that, unlike his idiot fans, he never has to worry about his next cup of coffee coming with a saliva infusion, because for the modern conservative even one's colleagues are just there to be conned.

Thursday, July 09, 2015


My favorite AC/DC tune is "Back in Business," but there's no good video of it.
This'll do, though. What's your favorite? It's all streaming now!

•     Republican pundits (or should we say RINO elitists?) are panicking over Donald Trump's strong showing in GOP polls. Jim Geraghty attempts, unqualified as he is, to talk sense to his fellow wingnuts in a post called "Do Trump and His Fans Even Want to Persuade Others?" (something I ask about conservatives generally all the time):
I realize that if you’re a Trump fan right now, energized by his in-your-face combativeness with the media and anyone who disagrees with him... 
But let’s take Stephen Covey’s advice to “begin with the end in mind” — presumably that is conservative governance — and recognize that to achieve that, we need a Republican president. And as much as Trump may be rising in the polls of the GOP primary... let’s take a look at his numbers head-to-head against Hillary Clinton: 
CNN: Clinton 59 percent, Trump 35.
Fox News: Clinton 51 percent, Trump 34. 
Quinnipiac: Clinton 50 percent, Trump 32.
Some of you will see the problem right off. Wait for it...
(One caveat: That CNN poll had Hillary ahead of Rubio by 16, Walker by 17, and Bush by 13, so perhaps we can argue that it was a Democrat-heavy sample...
A Democrat-heavy sample! Or "perhaps we can argue" that Clinton is a revered name in American politics and the Republicans are running approximately 239 feebs, flakes, and nincompoops led by a racist blowhard clown. Wait, though, Geraghty's not finished:
...Most polls have these candidates trailing by single digits or tied with Hillary.)
Geraghty provides zero links to support this assertion, so I looked up keywords in Google News and got some results such as this from the Washington Examiner:
Ted Cruz is winning at Twitter, tied with Hillary Clinton on Facebook
If only elections were totes social media LOL!  Also, that was from December of last year.  Much more recent (June 26) was this:
Poll: Sen. Bernie Sanders Is Statistically Tied With Hillary Clinton In New Hampshire
Well, now it makes sense!

•     Jesus-con Alan Jacobs has a long more-in-sorrow-than-in-anger thing at The American Conservative about how all us gay marriageists and non-fans of the Confederacy are not merely expressing opinions he does not share, but actively trying to shut down debate with our Twitter feeds and our mean looks -- which schtick, I'm sure you've noticed, is a popular favorite among the brethren these days. "Survey and critique others, lest you make yourself subject to surveillance and critique," Jacobs characterizes his opponents. "And use the proper Hashtags of Solidarity, or you might end up like that guy who was the first to stop applauding Stalin’s speech." He himself, of course, is just trying to keep free discourse alive -- his post's called "The Value of Disagreement," see?  The first tell that this is bullshit is an opening quote from a particularly passive-aggressive post by P-A Queen Mollie Hemingway. But it's even more instructive to get in the Wayback Machine and read Jacobs' 2003 article called "The War in Quotes: Journalists who don't like the war -- and like thinking even less -- have a little trick they use to tell us how they really feel." There, Jacobs calls rightblogger whipping-boy Robert Fisk "the Krusty the Clown of journalism," and notes that when referring to the invasion of Iraq Fisk put quotes around "liberators" and "liberation," which seems to me like basic hygeine for handling government propaganda, but which Jacobs calls "punctuational Tourette's Syndrome." Jacobs also complains that the New York Times and other peace creeps are doing the same thing:
...the Times apparently can't bear under any circumstances to use that term, in the context of the Iraq war at least, without scare quotes. Thus my description of this practice as a tic or as disease: After a while it kicks in automatically, and one wonders what habitual users could do to keep it from taking over their minds.
Twelve years later, Iraq is wreckage and everyone knows the idea that we "liberated" it was always a joke -- and Jacobs, then so diligent about what he considered journalists' inappropriate use of quote marks, is now telling us that liberals are the real language cops.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015


Carly Fiorina? For President? At National Review, Jim Geraghty jokes about the demon sheep ad from her disastrous 2010 Senate campaign, but in his newsletter for the true believers Geraghty circulates some straight-up Fiorina PR: After praising Fiorina's staff hires ("CRC Public Relations is a pretty big mover and shaker in the world of conservative clients"), he says:
You may recall that last month I wrote, “the former Hewlett Packard CEO has a broader and more interesting résumé than you might think -- member of the CIA’s External Advisory Board, committee adviser to Condoleezza Rice, senior adviser at the Center for Strategic and International Studies -- and despite the “nice” CEO image, she’s fearless on the attack -- tearing into Hillary for lack of accomplishments, ripping liberals for hypocrisy on abortion, challenging Valerie Jarrett on live television about unequal pay for women at the White House. A cancer survivor with a great personal success story, she may be a much more serious contender for the [vice-presidential] slot than most people think right now.” 
Heading into CPAC, she has the not-so-insignificant advantage of being accomplished and almost entirely dismissed by the political media, so the bar is set pretty low.
Pretty low indeed! "The not-so-insignificant advantage of being accomplished"? The consensus (bipartisan, as it were) on her reign at Hewlett Packard, the most significant of her alleged accomplishments, seems to be that she nearly ruined it. And getting on committees and boards is simple for high-level executives even if they are terrible at their jobs. As for tearing and ripping, you can get a dog to do that. (I will say it's nice that she got over cancer.)

Also: Fiorina has never won elective office. Neither had President Washington and President Grant, but we are talking about a whole different level of being-accomplished here.

In fact this is very close to the imaginary-but-with-a-budget campaigns of Ben Carson and Donald Trump. And it reminds me of the complaining conservatives and consensus-seeking politicos did when Scott Walker was recently mocked as a college dropout. I understand the anxiety that episode raised: American folk wisdom says you shouldn't need certification to excel and prosper, and I hope all good people lament that citizens are badgered by employment anxiety to get a diploma and the gigantic price tag that comes with it just to keep the wolf from the door.

But with  candidates like Fiorina, it looks like the Party of Joe The Plumber, which has never put much stock in fancy book learning anyway, is not merely being open to talents (as if these people really qualify as talents), but favoring people who lack not only traditional qualifications but also common sense, as if having the slightest idea what you're doing is some elitist shibboleth that needs to be refuted once and for all with the election of a total dumbass.

Can they pull it off? Depends on how much the voters remember about George W. Bush.

UPDATE. Geraghty's not Fiorina's only friend in the world of wingnut journamalism -- Al Weaver of The Daily Caller:
Is Hillary Clinton Stealing Speech Lines From Carly Fiorina?
The Answer May Surprise You!
During her speaking event in Silicon Valley, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton seemingly snagged a campaign line from potential GOP 2016 candidate Carly Fiorina, the former CEO of Hewlett-Packard. 
Clinton, the presumptive 2016 candidate for the Democratic Party, called on attendees at the conference to “unlock their full potential,” a line Fiorina uses.
Unlock their full potential -- has a ring to it! I bet it catches on, retroactively. Weaver also claims that "back in June during Clinton’s book release of 'Hard Choices,' much was made of the similarities between her book and Fiorina’s 2007 memoir, 'Tough Choices.'" No links and no quotes, natch, and besides, who believes anyone read enough of both books to make an informed comparison?

Tuesday, January 20, 2015


I like Clint Eastwood movies, therefore I want to see American Sniper, therefore I hope it's good. But I have to say, the political ravings about the movie are pretty annoying. Like a lot of people, I thought Dennis Jett's review based on the trailer at New Republic was stupid; but, as I've pointed out before, conservatives do this sort of thing all the time and no one cares -- because no one expects them to treat films or any other works of art as anything but propaganda. Here's Jim Geraghty at National Review:
I’ll reserve any serious comment on the film until after I have seen it – I guess I’m just not up to the standards of The New Republic –
Haw haw.
– but whether or not American Sniper is “pro-war,” it appears to be resolutely and proudly pro-soldier. And that is a giant factor in moviegoers’ enthusiastic embrace of it. Note that American Sniper isn’t afraid to showcase the painful and difficult parts of military life for soldiers and their families, and my suspicion is that audiences love that part, too – because showing the pain makes it honest. Clint Eastwood, Bradley Cooper and company don’t want to tell you only one part of Chris Kyle’s story. They want to paint as complete a picture as they can in the running time that they have. If you made the story about the battlefront, without the home front, or vice versa, you would only be telling about half the story.
So in the very next breath, Geraghty reviews the film he didn't see -- though I suppose "serious comment" is the crossed fingers behind his back. (This is the sort of thing I did as a kid when I wanted to pretend I had seen some big movie of the moment. I wonder if adults do this anywhere but in the pages of rightwing magazines.)

Geraghty also quotes TruthRevolt rageclown Kurt Schlichter on the subject and it's every bit the table-pounder you'd expect, with yips about "the narrative" and Michael Moore Is Fat. (Set the Hot Tub Time Machine to 2004!) Best part:
Next, chunky iconoclast Seth Rogen weighed in with his observation that American Sniper reminded him of the fake Nazi propaganda film at the end of Inglorious Bastards. What a scumbag. This came after we conservatives stood with him when the Norks threatened him over The Interview – even to the extent of watching his piece of garbage on VOD – while his hero Barack Obama whined about people actually exercising their free speech rights.
First, this supports my perception that the only part of arts journalism conservatives genuinely relate to is gossip columns. They don't know what art is, but they sure know who did what to whom! Second, it figures that Schlichter would be enraged that Rogen didn't repay the debt Schlichter imagines he owes "we conservatives" for yelling about North Korea in blogs and switching off porn for a couple of hours to watch this bro-com. Everything is politics to these people; movies, plays, novels, and choc-o-mut ice creams have no value for them except as symbols on a bloody flag to wave at their base. Sometimes I think when they relax at home in front of the TV, they actually watch a placard that says HOME ENTERTAINMENT PRODUCT (CONSERVATIVE).

Hopefully by the time I get to the theater they'll be yelling about some painter who made Jesus look bad or something, and I can watch my movie in peace.

Thursday, May 22, 2014


At National Review, Jim Geraghty has one called "Jill Abramson, and Why Most Women Should Cut Themselves Some Slack." By "Cut Themselves Some Slack," he means don't worry your pretty little heads about any economic injustice you may have hysterically imagined you've experienced. Part of his argument:
As I was saying, employers are people (“Corporations are people, my friend!“) and there will be good ones and bad ones. The bad ones tend to have karma bite them in one way or the other — most often by watching their best, or perhaps most motivated and talented employees leave to work elsewhere.
Either that or they'll grow fat and rich on the exploitation of their workers, though Geraghty won't notice because the free market is dreamy and the exploited are generally the working poor, who are gross.
I’d argue very few Americans really benefit from buying into Democrats’ (and the New York Times’s! ) preferred simplistic, demagogic narrative that America’s workplaces are a Kafkaesque, dystopian landscape of nasty male bosses conspiring to pay their female employees less. This viewpoint may in fact hold women back. If you perceive your boss as a sexist, conniving shyster who’s out to rip you off, then it’s going to be hard to show up every morning and do your best work. And whatever your circumstances, you’ll probably benefit, directly or indirectly, from doing your best work.
You're only hurting yourselves; c'mon, smile, baby! Then he tells the ladies that men have it rough, too, but you don't see us guys complaining, and (I swear to Christ) that you girls should try it sometime:
I am speaking broadly, and generalizing when I make this next statement: Men do worry about this sort of thing, but they don’t talk about it. They’re generally less likely to obsess about it, and/or publicly beat themselves up about it. There are not nearly as many bestsellers about the struggles of working fathers, magazine covers asking “Can Men Have It All?”, daddy blogs with passionate arguments and comments sections aflame, etc. 
It's like Geraghty never saw an MRA rant or Dr. Mrs. Ole Perfesser.
...the guys’ approach certainly is an one that involves less angst, self-doubt, and self-flagellation for failing to live up to some preconceived notion of how all of those roles should be fulfilled.
Also, a woman who thinks more like a man would understand why I want to have my cock sucked every morning.

For lagniappe with the emphasis on the yap, National Review also offers James Lileks chasing the not-all-men meme off his lawn.
Actually, pointing out that you’re not one of [the rapists and abusers] would indicate that you’re not the problem, and hence are part of the solution.
Let me ease your pain, ladies, with old matchbooks and accounts of my trips to Target! Eventually the lack of strawgirl response convinces Jimbo he's not being listened to:
I suppose this is useful information for men who want to have tendentious arguments about male perfidy with the sort of person who might want to put a “trigger warning” on Winnie the Pooh because a reader might have a honey allergy, but most men don’t. In fact, most –
Oh, never mind. Why state the obvious?
I didn't want to talk to you bitches anyway!

Have a nice electoral map, guys.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

IN THE IMMORTAL WORDS OF MAX BIALYSTOCK: "DON'T HELP ME!" Earlier we mentioned conservatives who disingenuously complained they hadn't been given proper credit for debunking the Michelle Obama tape rumor. I didn't think they could top themselves, so hats off to National Review's Jim Geraghty:
The behavior of the mainstream media is sending a clear message to those of us on the right: do not ever help out the Obama campaign, even if you think the world would be well-served by debunking a ridiculous accusation, because no one will ever remember your efforts to get to the truth. Instead, you'll get blamed for spreading the malicious rumors.
One imagines Geraghty in a Boy Scout uniform, trying to muscle an old lady across a four-lane highway. A token of his sincerity may be seen a few posts later, where Geraghty brings up the unfortunate comments of Democrat Fred Hobbs (later referred to as "the Tennessee Democrats"), and admits "Obama has no ties to terrorists... of the al-Qaeda variety." Then, Bill Ayers, the Woods Fund, Rashid Khalidi, etc.

They often try to be courteous like that, only to find their helping hands rudely batted away. Maybe it's time they did some work on their people skills.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015


One thing I didn't make too much of in this week's column (though I teased it out a bit here) is the rush among conservatives to defend Donald Trump's ravings about Muslims. Instapundit stringer Ed Driscoll pushes the line that, though there mmmmmaybe weren't "thousands and thousands" of Muslim-Americans cheering 9/11 in Jersey City, Muslims were cheering in the Middle East, which proves media bias, therefore Trump is right where it counts -- that is, he could, in Driscoll's estimation, beat Hillary Clinton (to whom Driscoll compares Trump, in the fine, incoherent tradition of modern conservatives eager to tar their opponents by free-association):
Both [Clinton and Trump] in their own way are prone to speak in outrageous hyperbole because they have little fear of serious repercussions from their wild utterances. But as Steyn writes, given a choice between two crazed exaggerations — one where “thousands” of New Jersey Muslims celebrated on September 11th and another where “Muslims are peaceful and tolerant people and have nothing whatsoever to do with terrorism,” and given our current president’s ongoing escape into fantasyland, who would you count on to keep you safe in the coming years?
Sounds like Driscoll's thinking the once-unthinkable about Candidate Trump. Oh, and guess who else is? National Review's Rich Lowry, who once teased Trump that Carly Fiorina had cut his balls off, has a column up called "Donald Trump — The Jacksonian Candidate." "Jacksonian" is wingnut code for "white people who don't give a shit who has to die to keep their asses in Barcaloungers," and Lowry is downright respectful toward its new avatar:
Finally, national honor is a paramount value for Jacksonians, a concern that can be heard in Trump’s signature promise to make America great again. He will out-bully and out-fox our adversaries and, as for ISIS, he will bomb and water-board it into submission.

It is tempting to see Donald Trump as something wholly new, the reality star who represents the merger of entertainment and popular culture. He is also something centuries old, the populist railing against a corrupt and ineffectual elite that will, through his chastisement, get the comeuppance it deserves.
Cutting your balls one minute, sucking them the next, these people.

This Strange New Respect for Trump owes much to the temper of the times: Since the Paris attacks, conservatives have been doing their damnedest to re-instill in voters the 9/11 fear that stood them so well in the Bush years. Though they have had their problems with Trump in the past, Il Douche is great for fear-mongering and projecting an image of Making Things Happen By Being Rich and Barking Orders (or, as conservatives know it, strength).

But I think there's more to it than that. Even Trump's non-fans are being extraordinarily gentle with him. Others have noted how media outlets are reluctant to call Trump a liar even when he self-evidently lies. At Commentary, John Podhoretz talks about all the "entirely impressionistic memories" that went on around in New York shortly after 9/11 (though I vas dere, Cholly, and don't recall anything like that), and compares Trump's Jersey City cheering-Muslims bullshit to that:
So, to sum up: There were many hysterical and made-up stories afoot in New York City during that week and the weeks after. People believed anything they were told, and others simply made stuff up... Which suggests not so much that Trump deliberately told a lie in order to rev up a crowd – but rather that he’s very, very gullible.
Actually, Trump claiming to see something that reflects outrageously badly on Muslim-Americans when it didn't actually happen is the opposite of gullibility -- it's mendacity counting on the gullibility of others. It's not even like Podhoretz is covering for some idiot relative with a penchant for story-telling -- he's defending Donald fucking Trump with this well-ya-gotta-understand guff.

I think they've tipped over from Trump-can't-win-if-we-all-growl-at-him to this watery state, soon to be followed by "What sort of President will Trump be?" articles. There are only three things that motivate these people to this kind of behavior: love (ha); fear (def); and money (or the promise thereof in the Treasury-looting Trump Administration).

UPDATE. Allow me to quote me! From Nov. 4, after the CNBC-was-mean-to-us scandal:
As I've said before, in these guys' world truth is no defense against accusations of media bias. I'm not sure the Trump juggernaut can endure long enough to panic some of them into a Strange New Respect for Il Douche, but it would almost be worth a Trump Administration to see it. I mean, the country's fucked anyway, right?
UPDATE 2. Jim Geraghty is trying to preserve some plausible deniability on the Jersey City Jihad thing. Ole Perfesser Glenn Reynolds has his own, rickety spin:
JIM GERAGHTY: Why the Facts of American Muslims and 9/11 Matter. “We cannot be a party or a movement that gets its understanding of the world from chain-e-mails from Uncle Leo.” 
I dunno, it worked okay for Obama. And I think anger at that fact is why so many people don’t care about Trump’s various excesses. You want no rules? Okay! No rules it is! That’s not good for the country, of course, but then, few of Obama’s legacies are.
Not only is Trump Obama's fault, so are "chain-e-mails from Uncle Leo." But this is of course an old racket for both Geraghty and Reynolds.

Friday, July 31, 2020


It was 1973 and they wanted Johnny Mathis to be Relevant, dig!
But he's still Johnny Mathis and he sounds great.

•   As a treat for non-subscribers to Roy Edroso Breaks It Down, I'm unlocking two recent items: One that shows where the recent aggressive Trump donor solicitation emails are headed, and another that shows the President visiting a sick friend. Enjoy, if mordantly!

•   You have probably seen at least a few of the literally hundreds of videos of police kettling, beating, and generally shitting on the rights of protestors this summer. And of course what kicked off the protests were videos of cops doing extrajudicial torture and murders of black people. But Megan McArdle says appearances can be deceiving -- remember that dress on Twitter, where people disagreed what color it was? And what about optical illusions, "which simultaneously expose our brain’s hidden subsystems and their mistakes"? And a perceptual study that showed viewers two versions of a video and found -- get this -- "it didn’t matter which video you saw as much as whether your politics agreed with the protesters"? Bet that never occurred to you before.

No, McArdle's not saying the bad stuff didn't happen to the black people and the protestors -- LOL why would you think that, God, people are so negative, this is just, you know, in general -- like hey did you see the one where the cop got hit? After smacking down a protestor, yes, but maybe you didn't get the whole picture:
I saw it via GQ’s Julia Ioffe, who tweeted, “This isn’t the police keeping the peace. This is them treating their fellow citizens as enemy combatants.” Many replies echoed the sentiment. Others saw, with equal conviction, police responding with restraint after being physically attacked. 
Neither was wrong about what was in the video: A police officer was attacked, American citizens were manhandled. But all anyone saw was the element that had commanded their attention — and that was whatever fit the story they were already telling about violent protests or police brutality.
Similarly, the video of a cop smacking 75-year-old Martin Gugino to the pavement and cracking his skull -- was that police overreach, or some commie bastard getting what he deserved? It all depends on your POV.
But because video contains so much rich visual information, we tend to feel as if we’re there instead of receiving a highly selective retelling. That makes video seem more authoritative than other mediums... we still need to remember that what we’re seeing is in some sense an illusion, stripped of vital context by the narrow funnel of a camera lens — and that there can be giant holes in how we integrate what we do see into the rest of what we know.
McArdle clearly hopes you think about that the next time you see a controversial protest video -- which is probably going to be protestors getting beaten up by cops rather than vice-versa. Maybe this will join all the other similar videos you've seen in your consciousness to override, as it has for many Americans, a lifetime of conditioning that once had you reflexively siding with the cops -- but if you remind yourself "It could be a optical illusion, there was a study," maybe you'll return to your original, pre-video feelings about law and order.

•   At National Review, Jim Geraghty has a big pitch:
It’s Time for Conservatives to Take the New Coronavirus Outbreak Seriously
Normally Gergahty's COVID-19 shtick is trying to prove protesters caused the outbreaks. He does a bit of that here, too, but mainly, now that Republican states are starting to experience significant infection and death rates, he wants to get a pro-mask message across to the people his fellow conservatives have been telling for months not to worry because it's all a fraud that a little hydroxychloroquine will fix right up.

Geraghty settles on that now-common refuge of a wingnut, "reader" "mail." In this case a "reader who is the director of medical research for a top-ten hospital" is delivering the social distancing sermon with a conservative spin:
“Conservatives, we need to talk,” he begins. “I know you’re tired of masks; tired of the restrictions on going to bars, going to the gym, going to church. We’re all tired of it. You’re worried about whether your business will survive more months of restrictions. And above all, you’re furious at the double standards exhibited by Democratic politicians and their media allies; when they invoke holy ‘Science!’ to take away your liberty and then turn around and say ‘nothing to worry about here’ when crowds of thousands gather in cities protesting and rioting.” 
This research director is also irritated with his fellow scientists, “especially the ones who are eager to curry the favor of TV producers and Sunday-show pundits, and of governors and mayors, and so will tailor their conclusions to meet the narrative and talking points of the day." 
But he sees what he characterizes as a growing number of people on the right, even “people associated with establishment organizations and otherwise thoughtful and sensible commentary” who are “reacting to the Left’s effort to turn the pandemic into a political weapon by swinging to the opposite extreme.”
I guess the idea is, if he sticks enough slurs on liberals in there, the dummies who've been saying it's all a liberal hoax and are meeting up maskless in nightclubs and bars will believe him. Well, Dr. Frankenstein didn't think his plan through, either.

Friday, June 14, 2019


Fuck you, I'm old. (18 phone calls to Brazil!)

•  I mean come on:

The comparisons are absurdly weak. For example: "Both women were trailblazers in high-powered legal circles; one attended an Ivy league law school, one taught in an Ivy league law school." Lincoln had a secretary named Kennedy; Kennedy had a secretary named Lincoln. Also:
Clinton took a lot of grief about implausible claims of being “dead broke” when she left the White House or her Tuzla Dash; Warren gets a lot of grief about her implausible claims of Native American heritage.
Hey, how about that, two politicians accused of dishonesty. It's like they're twins! Eventually Geraghty gets to it:

For women who have risen to the top of national politics, they’ve faced criticism for being tone-deaf about how they’ve handled sensitive issues.

Both have friends and colleagues who insist they are warm and personable in private; both face accusations of being cold and stiff and inauthentic on the campaign trail. (Recall Warren’s beer chat on Instagram.) Both face the criticism that they’re not “likeable,” and both have allies insisting that criticism is sexist.
According to Edroso's Laws of Wingnut Discourse, when "sexism" appears in a National Review article, it will accompany either 1.) a whataboutist complaint that liberals have been mean to the latest Xerox copy of Sarah Palin, or 2.) Hella bald sexism, and sure enough:

Perhaps most significantly, Trump is likely to criticize Warren the way he criticized Clinton — as an elite who enjoyed the benefits of a rigged system. If Warren gets the nomination, we’ll hear a lot of “Pocahontas” jabs, but probably some version of the “Crooked Hillary,” “the queen of corruption,” “Lyin’ Hillary” attacks. Whether you think it’s sexist or not, Trump and his allies are likely to paint Warren as an insufferable know-it-all nag, an academic who thinks she knows how to best manage every detail of your life, condescending and badgering. For at least four years, that persona will be addressing you from the Oval Office, telling you how things are going to change and how it’s for your own good.
Mind you, it's just the Id Monster saying these things, not genial old Jim Geraghty. But bitches, amirite? Nag nag nag! Well, his target audience (assholes) will go for it, and may be comforted that conservatives haven't fucked up so badly that Americans might actually elect a qualified woman.

•  Sorry I ain't been on here much; work's been extra-strength bullshit and non-work ain't so hot either. (That's the breaks, that's the breaks!) But this week we had some unlocked newsletter entries (Roy Edroso Breaks It Down -- catch it!™) so please enjoy my DC Pride Weekend post and Jack Dorsey and the night visitors. And subscribe so you don't miss nothin'!

•  BTW I think this point needs making (Tscha, that's what they all say): You may have heard David Neiwert, one of America's top experts in alt-right and neo-fascist propaganda, had his Twitter acount suspended because his book cover, which serves as his Twitter avatar, has a bunch of Klan hoods standing for the stars of the U.S. flag, and Twitter thinks (or pretends to think) that's the sort of hate speech users want to be protected from. I've seen many complaints about this, and the liberals (because only liberals care, the freeze-peach right couldn't give a shit) who have done so either just rag on Twitter for its stupidity or talk about how this shows it's tough for social media to tell commentary from advocacy (which is bullshit, but that's a topic for another day). Whereas when Steven Crowder was not suspended (but his ads for "Socialism is for fags" shirts and other quality merch were blocked) for calling some guy a lispy queer, conservatives got all Patrick Henry for their right to yell slurs on other people's websites. I find it instructive that while liberals, who are supposed to be big-government snowflakes, roll rather calmly with the social media problem, apparently judging it a private commercial matter, the rugged individualists of the right bitch like a bunch of drama queens. Working the refs is in their blood, I guess.