Friday, December 25, 2020

CHRISTMAS 'ROUND-THE-HORN.

It has been noticed elsewhere that the assholes at the Wall Street Journal opinion section have run another of those Defenses of Christmas Villains with which conservatives like to blight our holidays, in this instance pre-redemption Scrooge. Phil Gramm and Mike Solon write "In Defense of Scrooge, Whose Thrift Blessed the World" that the grasping old sinner did well to deprive Bob Cratchit of a living wage and a heated office, and local paupers of handouts, because his capital was instead invested in financial institutions, and thus created prosperity -- "Wages, stagnant for more than 600 years, exploded during the Victorian era—rising from less than $567 a year in 1840 to $1,216 in 1900 (expressed in 1970 dollars)." In 1970, and its dollars, the U.S. median wage was $9,870, so $1,216 ain't so hot, but there were prisons and workhouses so it's all good. 

Columbia's Karl Jacoby debunked a bunch of Gramm's and Solon's bullshit, but the fact is normal people hardly need it; we know by instinct and upbringing what Dickens' message is: it's that of Jesus Christ, and not the phony Christ of corrupt and vicious megachuches but the Christ of Bethlehem and the Sermon on the Mount. Conservatives write and publish atrocities like "In Defense of Scrooge" as in-jokes and taunts, really; look, we can paint this trickle-down bullshit on any subject, even one of your most venerable social-justice stories! You may blanch at this, but elsewhere we'll tell you $2,000 after nine months of pandemic lockdown is too much to spare Because Capitalism, and a bunch of you will swallow that!  

But after all we've been through, I expect the ranks of the gullible are a little thinner than once they were, and will get thinner still especially among the young, and these people will soon enough find the joke getting turned on them.

Normally on Christmas I put Big Star's "Jesus Christ" up top -- big, heroic-in-an-altrock-way music -- but as we leave 2020 and burn the bridge behind us let us have Nilssonesque nostalgia, because just as we cannot and will not let the sour example of the recent unpleasantness rob us of a better future, so we cannot and will not let it rob us of our better past. Let us bring forward all that was wonderful in our history -- in art and social progress -- and add to it, or rather build on it, new triumphs.

Wednesday, December 23, 2020

RELEASE THE -- WAIT, WHAT'S OUR LATEST BULLSHIT AGAIN?

It's getting on to Christmas, and you know what that means -- more Trumpkin fever dreams of deliverance from the judgment of their fellow citizens! Santa, they pray, please bring us a fascist dictatorship -- or at least let us believe one is imminent! 

I already wrote about one recent effulgence of their mania, in which Congress is alleged to have sneaked a codicil into the Stimulus Bill that would erase the Insurrection Act -- which Trump needs to keep, I guess, so he can kill enough Democrats to stay in office. Neither the Stimulus Bill, nor the Defense Appropriations Bill that wingnuts have taken to claiming is where it actually is, contain any such language. 

Anyway now mainstream sources have gotten around to debunking this bit of nonsense, and Tubby's pretense of interest in $2,000 stimulus payments -- something AOC and other progressives have been demanding since March -- has cooled the brethren's ardor and they've moved on. Now they're talking about the "Pence Card." You can see it as a popular hashtag on Twitter -- at least for the moment. Here's some site called "Newswars" (gee, wonder what audience they're going for) explaining, or rather EXPLAINING:

SOURCES IN THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION CONFIRMED TO NATIONAL FILE THAT PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP’S MOST VOCAL ADVOCATES WITHIN THE WHITE HOUSE HAVE DETERMINED THAT BOTH U.S. CODE AND THE CONSTITUTION CONTAIN LANGUAGE THAT REQUIRES VICE PRESIDENT MIKE PENCE TO REJECT UNLAWFUL ELECTORAL COLLEGE CERTIFICATES, BUT PENCE MUST ACT BY NO LATER THAN WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 23.

They later purport to quote (in sentence case, fortunately) a memo allegedly circulated at the White House that claims support for this scenario in parts of the constitution and federal law, ranging from the Equal Protection clause of the 14th Amendment to 3 U.S. Code § 7. Needless to say there is nothing in there that supports this idea (though I'm sure some operative somewhere is going "Not that 3 USC 7, stupid libtard, this super-secret edition of which I produce a screenshot, checkmate!"), but nonetheless conservative elected officials and Twitter trolls are pushing the idea:

I invite commenters to tell us what's next when this one flops -- a Christmas Kraken, when Trump dressed as Santa rides his sleigh to all Democratic electors' homes and kills them? Or maybe something a little more Trilateral Commission-y?

UPDATE. Snopes breaks it down:

This provision does not give the vice president the authority to reject votes certified by the states. It only says that the vice president shall attempt to expedite the process if states fail to deliver their certification of votes on time.

Furthermore, this provision states that the vice president can only get involved in this process by the “fourth Wednesday in December” if the president of the Senate or the archivist of the United States does not receive a state’s certificate of votes. The archivist of the United States, however, has already received certifications of votes from all 50 states and Washington, D.C, for the 2020 general election. 

If brains were dynamite, these people couldn't blow a fart. 

Monday, December 21, 2020

COME, LET US TREASON TOGETHER.

If you need a little Christmas cheer, they're taking down the statue of Robert E. Lee in Congress' Statuary Hall, and conservatives (who of course support the cause of civil rights in their own quiet way) are throwing a shitfit. The comments at National Review's terse report are a treasure trove. Some of the mourners tell us that Lee really hated slavery, and only fought for a state created to protect it because Virginia happened to be part of it; "The best comparison I can think of to the way people's loyalties to the US back then were distributed," says one, "is similar to the European Union today. Your average Italian has more loyalty to Italy than the EU for example." Well, many Italians consider the Roma sub-human, so it sort of makes sense.  

My favorite is "Anyone else hear the sound of breaking crystal?" -- yes, given the brethren's outsized persecution complex, we must assume this is a Kristallnacht reference -- but there are many other winners and more coming every minute:

This is another example of erasing history instead of reminding us of our history. Lee was a West Point graduate who was on the other side. Grant was a West Point graduate on the right side.

One sided arguments never go well nor do they give reasons for actions taken.If we are to learn from history we need to be reminded of it . We don’t pretend it didn’t exist nor do we persecute.

Benedict Arnold and Kim Philby would be relieved to hear it.

Moreover he left because VA voted to secede! The same legislature that is now attacking him! Has anyone realized this basic fact?!?!

First you say you're in favor of secession, then, 159 years later, you attack Robert E. Lee. Which is it, Virginia? 

This is simply embarrassing. The left is only capable of destroying rather than creating.

I stand ready to support a subscription drive to create a statue of Eugene Debs to represent Indiana. 

What about Patrick Henry? George Mason? VA has more people to honor than any state! Oh wait..they all held slaves!

In their defense, it must be said that, unlike Lee, Henry and Mason never took arms against the United States, either. But you have to expect this neo-Confederate attitude from a movement that mostly refuses to accept Trump's defeat and supports further efforts to overturn the will of the governed -- treason runs deep in their blood. Fortunately they keep showing their hand like this, which raises the hope that more decent people will learn to be vigilant against letting them into power again.  

(P.S., if you've never read Adam Serwer's "The Myth of the Kindly General Lee," today's a good day for it.)

Friday, December 18, 2020

FRIDAY 'ROUND-THE-HORN.

Warm Leatherette's the killer but I always liked the flip side too

•   I unlocked today's edition of Roy Edroso Breaks It Down, which is about the Biden campaign worker who got in trouble for calling Republican "fuckers" and how she had the right idea and rather than apologize she and all of us should tell the pearl-clutching pissants to eat shit, take their nomenclature and like it. I always opposed them because I thought they were wrong and even crazy, but between Trump nihilism, COVID denialism, and QAnon cultism, they've mutated into a clear and present danger. David Atkins got grief for talking about "deprogramming" Republicans ("We have to start thinking in terms of post-WWII Germany or Japan. Or the failures of Reconstruction in the South") but when their major media outlets and elected officials are transparently trying to get the election results overturned -- not because their fraud claims have any merit, but because those results show that their voter-suppression tactics are starting to lose their potency and their minority rule may be coming to an end -- it's clear a Rubicon has been crossed; if they're willing to defy both democratic principles such as consent of the governed and objective reality, they are not in any sense a loyal opposition, and the absolute least we can do is acknowledge that and stop cooperating with the absurdly hypocritical standards by which rampaging Republicans are treated like entertaining scamps while mild incivilities from Democrats are treated like war crimes. Fuck that and fuck them.  

•   One good thing about Kyle Smith's (roundly mocked) stupid column about Joseph Epstein's (roundly mocked) stupid column about how Jill Biden shouldn't use her "Dr." honorific is that it exposes more people to what a piece of shit Kyle Smith is. You can find several references to Smith's career as a culture-war creep at the New York Post and National Review by searching his name at this site. Among the highlights: Smith venturing into theater criticism solely, it would seem, so he could yell at Will Ferrell for unpatriotically making fun of George Bush ("Is it too much to ask for Hollywood's leading comic actor not to use the deaths of our troops in combat for a giggle?"); the logical culture-warrior conclusion to years of rightwing rage-wank over Lena Dunham, entitled (amazingly) "Lena Dunham’s Ultimately Conservative Message"; and Smith explaining that while Republicans enlist in the armed services for noble reasons, Democrats only enlist to disguise the fact that they hate America.

Smith's absolute nadir, though, came when New York's Shakespeare in the Park did Julius Caesar and made Caesar a Trump look-alike, leading conservatives to the insane conclusion that the venerable theatrical institution was calling for the President's assassination; Smith went further still, exulting that the theater got some of its funding cut and that "Lefty Actors Are Beginning to Fear Donald Trump," as if that were something anyone who pretends to care about culture as opposed to culture war would be happy about.  Well, everything else conservative has degenerated; I guess it's only natural that they culture warriors would, too. 

Monday, December 14, 2020

DON'T DREAM IT, BE IT.

Today Joe Biden's winning vote was tallied in the Electoral College. At The Epoch Times -- leading contender for Rupert Murdoch's propaganda crown now that the brethren have judged Murdoch too soft -- here's the headline:

It wasn't just the rightwing press, either: Perhaps inspired by White House neo-Nazi nudnik Stephen Miller's crackpot scheme, Republicans in four states that Biden won actually assembled "electors" of their own and either attempted to storm the actual vote or went off in a corner and had their own fake ceremony:

Copies of the documents obtained by The Arizona Republic show a group that claimed to represent the "sovereign citizens of the Great State of Arizona" submitted signed papers casting votes for what they want: a second term for Trump and Vice President Mike Pence.

Mesa resident Lori Osiecki, 62, helped created a facsimile of the "certificate of ascertainment" that is submitted to formally cast each state's electoral votes as part of an effort to prevent what she views as the fraudulent theft of the election.

I wonder if her certificate was covered with gold stars like a kindergarten report card. I wrote this weekend about the fantasy world of wingnuts as displayed at the DC "Jericho March," where Trump was celebrated as a quasi-Biblical figure and the true victor of the 2020 election; it appears many of them are accelerating their descent right into actual madness. I expect a significant percentage of them to mutilate themselves for their mania like the Ellen Jamesians in The World According to Garp. As I said elsewhere, I would happily abandon them to their fantasy if they could resist trying to impose it on the rest of us.

Saturday, December 12, 2020

ALL THE STAGES OF GRIEF AT ONCE.

The Supreme Court dismissal of Texas' lunatic attempt to overturn the election offers a momentary respite from what, alas, is an apparently unshakeable conviction among a depressing number of our countrymen that Biden stole the election and Trump doesn't have to leave on January 20. 

Nonetheless a respite it has been, and at times hilarious: RedState reports on "The Cases Still Out There," doing the old King Lear "Look on her, look, her lips" bit ("There are still cases wending their way through the state courts, including one in Wisconsin. The plaintiffs in the Pennsylvania case just filed a petition for writ of certiorari..."). In case that fails to convince, the author portrays a SCOTUS silver lining:

We heard from the left that Justice Amy Coney Barrett, Justice Brett Kavanaugh and Justice Neil Gorsuch were going to be shills for President Donald Trump. That obviously wasn’t the case. Not that Democrats would ever admit that.

Ha ha, take that, libtards! By saying we're full of shit, the Supreme Court is saying you're full of shit! 

Meanwhile the Texas Republican Party  -- or rather their leader, reliable buffoon Allen West -- is calling for Trumpkins to secede and create their own union, perhaps to be called Griftopia. It's like they're going through Kübler-Ross's five stages of grief at once, or in an endless loop. 

We can laugh -- I sure have! -- but we should note that these people are a little cracked and some of them more than a little: Along with the cries for secession at Parler and elsewhere (some humorously misspelled) are calls to murder judges, and some yahoos who are attending this weekend's Jericho March in DC -- like the Christian "Return" event last summer and the MAGA March last month, an opportunity for Trumpists to vent -- are openly calling for violence and insurrection. (And so are Diamond and Silk!) 

And the high-profile grifters who have played on their illness -- like Sidney Powell and Sebastian Gorka and Trump himself -- are still out claiming the fight isn't over. Their self-interest is obvious, as is their lack of concern for what it's doing to the country. And it's a cinch their agents in Congress will try to leverage this mania as well -- their stonewalling of the stimulus is not about fiscal responsibility (who even believes that about Republicans anymore?) but about making Americans more desperate: They've sized up their suckers and decided that since they blame everything else bad that happens to them on black people, Antifa, and Soros, they'll do the same even as Mitch McConnell spits directly in their faces. 

But those of us who always thought of Biden as half a loaf at best know the transfer of power is a milestone, not a finish line tape. Here's hoping for some lucky breaks, and that good policy (if we can get it!) has slightly more appeal than fascism. 

Friday, December 11, 2020

FRIDAY 'ROUND-THE-HORN.

 
 Just found out about this guy. Brilliant! 
(Maybe we can make it a fun game -- Fela had a Zombie, and Zappa a Zombie Woof.
Any others?

 •  Have a blast with some free Roy Edroso Breaks It Down copy -- there's today's edition about what's probably going on at the Biden camp's Be Nice To Republicans office, and my previous column on leftward comrades who have already declared Biden the samer of two evils. And while I'm at it, my review of Mank, now playing, as a public service. 

 •  On Tuesday White Working Class Whisperer Salena Zito -- who has been scraping the clouds for silver linings since Biden won the election -- paid tribute to the brave Republican Attorneys General who have "set their sights on checking Joe Biden and Kamala Harris":
[Adam Piper, the executive director of the Republican Attorneys General Association] said the line of defense Republican attorneys general will possess will be more coordinated than ever before. “You will see Republican AGs take bold action to make sure that Joe Biden and Kamala Harris cannot unconstitutionally use the phone and the pen the same way Barack Obama attempted to do so,” he said...

As Piper sees it, Republican attorneys general are the one thing that will defend the country during the Biden-Harris administration.
Piper might have said "defend the country from there ever being a Biden-Harris administration," as about a day later 17 of those AGs signed on to Ken Paxton's insane lawsuit to overturn the election in states other than ones they serve, on the grounds that states that are not theirs electing Biden is against the Consti-ma-tution. 

I wonder if Piper could have tipped Zito to the attorneys' plan to destroy democracy and how the squares with their passion for our founding documents. Come to think of it, I wonder if the AGs tipped Piper. In either case, it just goes to show what happens when you praise any Republicans' devotion to American first principles these days -- they'll disprove your thesis within the week.

 •  Haven't looked in for a while on Victor Davis Hanson, the gentleman farmer who blamed Obama for Bonnie and Clyde and the theft (via his Mexican agents) of Hanson's chainsaw. Turns out VDH has taken a strong position not only on Trump but on hydroxychloroquine, the fad COVID cure that Republicans keep trotting out crackpots to promote, notwithstanding it keeps getting debunked by actual scientists -- most recently in this randomized study with results published in the Annals of Internal Medicine. This week VDH asks: Will Joe Biden make the socialistic mistake of turning his back on hydroxychloroquine just because Trump endorsed it? 
Almost immediately [after Trump endorsed the drug], the media, the university and government medical community, and the progressive political opposition declared hydroxychloroquine useless and dangerous. 
"The university and government medical community" apparently means doctors and researchers who are not obvious nutballs and quacks like Jane Orient and Stella "Demon Sperm" Immanuel.
A recent media study from the National Bureau of Economic Research found that positive news stories about the research and development of COVID-19 vaccines barely outnumbered negative stories about Trump and hydroxychloroquine.
Never mind what the so-called "scientific studies" say about the drug -- what matters is that the media reports those results, which is liberal bias! I bet a lot of these scientasters will tell you Biden won the election and Jesus didn't endorse Trump, neither!
Trump’s presidential endorsement was apparent proof of rank quackery. 
Well, mainly it was the actual research, though after four years we can probably assume everything Trump says is bullshit and be right >95% of the time.
Yet a few recent second-look studies, especially abroad, suggest that hydroxychloroquine, a dirt-cheap, time-tested anti-malarial drug, can in fact offer help in treating some cases of COVID-19.
VDH declines to link to such studies, natch. 
This Hydroxy Effect — hysterical disavowal of anything Trump has endorsed — is dangerous to the country at large.
The answer is clear: Either Biden admits Trump was actually right about his debunked miracle drug (and a long list of other things Hanson describes as "Trump successes") and starts dishing it out tout suite or else he is simply giving up on COVID-19 -- as liberals claim Trump has; how ironic! -- out of spite and "Trump derangement syndrome." Either way Trump wins! That so many Republican go-getters such as the aforementioned amici AGs will mouth nonsense in defense of Trump's insane claims is disturbing, but to see an old classics professor doing it, even one with Hanson's clownish reputation, is just disgusting.  

Friday, December 04, 2020

FRIDAY 'ROUND-THE-HORN.

It's like 70's detective show music -- but good!

•   Sorry to be so light in posting lately -- things are out of hand at the Cott Damn Job. Mind, I do appreciate having one at all, since Tubby's on a rule-or-ruin rampage and his co-saboteur Mitch McConnell is killing the stimulus. (I'm not a Nancy Pelosi fan, but let's be clear about whose mess this is.) Still, this dull shit is making my eyes cross and it's true what they say about getting old -- one gets much less tolerant of tedium than one was in even the last blush of youth. 

But I lament leaving you guys high and dry, so tell you what I'm gonna do: You can have have a crack at no fewer than three (3) free installments of Roy Edroso Breaks It Down, that rare Substack newsletter with more laffs than cancel culture crybaby crap! Yours for the clicking:

Don't thank me! Were I you, though, I'd consider a subscription. Five days a week for $7 a month -- it's like throwing money away if you don't subscribe. 

•   A month after the election, and sone of the brethren are still only grudgingly starting to acknowledge the results. A. Ridiculous Pseudonym at RedState clearly hopes readers will be attracted by hopeful headline -- "Justice Alito Has Asked Pennsylvania to Respond to Kelly Request for Emergency Injunction -- by December 9" -- and too dumb to realize they're being had when they read through reams of copy to this:

It has now been posted on the Supreme Court’s docket for the case that Justice Alito has directed the attorneys for Pennsylvania to file a response to GOP Congressman Kelly’s Emergency Application for an Injunction to prevent the naming of Electors for Joe Biden by December 9. That date is meaningful.

The “Safe Harbor” provision for naming Electors is December 8.  What that means is that Congress must accept as valid — without allowing any challenge — the Electors named by a State on or before December 8 if those Electors were chosen in the manner prescribed by state law.  The Pennsylvania state officials are not, at this time, prevented by any court order from naming Electors for Joe Biden...

This is how a dollar-a-word man tells his suckers "we lose." Later Ridic Pseud does try to keep hope alive -- "the fact that [Alito] has ordered Pennsylvania to respond does suggest that there may be some sentiment in the Court to take up the case," ha ha -- but when he senses the crowd turning ugly (probably a few thrown tomatoes late) Pseud goes for the more au courant alternative, A Plea for Electoral Integrity:

The bigger problem we have as a nation is that we are acquiescing to voting processes that are not capable of being verified and tested in a meaningful fashion during the time period available under the statutes and Constitutional provisions that determine how Presidents are selected.  

If you interpret this as "Republican state legislatures kept election officials from counting mail-in votes till the last minute so they could scream fraud later," congratulations, you've been paying attention. Hope everyone else has been, too! Meanwhile for the slower members of the RedState congregation, another genius works the Let Me Explain How This Footage of Nothing Is Actually Vote-Stealing grift. You sheeple may think it's been "debunked," but Nick Arams sees the Truth:

It’s important to note that we cannot identify what exactly has been passed, we cannot say for sure that it was a usb and it’s not clear that anyone did anything improper. 

The plot thickens!

You see them looking around and the man’s body partially blocks the camera. The older woman hands something to her daughter. Then some speculated that she hands that thing to the man, that’s not clear. But if you saw action like this on a casino camera in Las Vegas it would certainly perk up the eyes of the security. 

I've been amusing myself imaging Kevin Costner reading these lines in his "back and to the left" voice from JFK, but Tom Waits as Renfield in Bram Stoker's Dracula works too. 

UPDATE, 12/6: Alito has moved the response date up to December 8. The smart people say don't worry, it makes no difference, which is something I'm awfully tired of having to be told. 

Thursday, November 26, 2020

THANKS FOR NOT BEING A PSYCHO.

[This Thanksgiving post is mirrored at my newsletter, Roy Edroso Breaks It Down, in a spirit of comity and mutual respect and laziness. Please, subscriber and non-subscriber alike, enjoy, and don't expect too much of me on Friday.]

The thing that is supposed to be ruining Thanksgiving for all True Sons of Liberty is not bothering me any more than it usually does. But the people it’s bothering the most are certainly making it worse.

I haven’t had a big “family” Thanksgiving in years and while I cherish my childhood memories of a warm, bustling, sage-scented house, I do not miss the traditional Thanksgiving travel chaos I’d have to face to get to such a feast. (I understand travel is vastly lighter this year than before, though this Thanksgiving travel flight animation still makes my skin crawl; it looks like one of those microscopic films of teeming human blood cells.) I wouldn’t mind seeing a few friends, but the missus and I can keep the holiday happily enough ourselves without playing COVID roulette with a bunch of people, at least for this year.

I confess part of my phlegmatism — is that a word? Well, if not, then part of my phlegm — is a reaction to conservative rage over Thanksgiving COVID-19 restrictions, real and imagined.

Conservatives been nuts on this subject from the beginning, of course — at first in total Trumpian “This Is Their New Hoax” denial, then trying to blame the spread of the virus on protesters, then asking why liberals won’t let them shoot grandma up with hydroxychloroquine and/or disinfectant as The Leader prescribed.

Now, thanks in part to their stupidity, we’ve got the explosive third-wave COVID spread across the country that health officials were trying to head off. State officials are, very sensibly, trying to get people to give up Party Size Thanksgiving just this once. (Look, there are vaccines just around the corner! For fuck’s sale show some impulse control!)

But conservatives, in response, are proving that their allegedly serious philosophy is basically all about being a fucking asshole. At the New York Post, Roger Klein:

Not long ago, Americans wouldn’t have even considered the possibility of government agents entering their homes to cancel their Thanksgiving. Then came COVID-19. Gov. Cuomo has imposed a 10-person cap on New Yorkers’ Thanksgiving tables. Three-thousand miles away, the California Department of Public Health imposed a 10 p.m. curfew on millions of Golden Staters. Across the country, other politicians have mandated similar restrictions.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has released an extensive list of holiday recommendations, as well: no large gatherings, no singing, no loud music, no drinking alcohol, no in-person shopping.

This is a tyranny of the joyless and the ­irrational.

You smart readers have no doubt spotted Klein’s crackpot party trick of conflating actual, mild government restrictions such as Cuomo’s 10-person rule with CDC recommendations that do not have the force of law, and then going SEE, LIBTARDS SAY YOU CAN’T HAVE A BEER! MOLSON LABE! This is typical bad-faith conservative argumentation, and also typical modern conservatism in general, which sees any concession to the public good as an intolerable check on Muh Liberty.

And it’s also alarmingly dangerous, as you can be sure it encourages other wingnut assholes, who might have been at least a little observant of social distancing rules heretofore, to take Thanksgiving as an inspiration for a greater show of patriotism — which, again, in the conservative imagination means being more of an antisocial dick. (Whole studies could be written, I’m sure, on the transformation among conservatives of the idea of patriotism from being about sacrifice to being about selfishness.)

You can see the more intellectual-like, conservatives-with-good-taste version of this at National Review, where Michael Brendan Dougherty complains that some of his relatives may not make it to his big Thanksgiving bash because of “a freaking doorknob” at his brother-in-law’s workplace that revealed the presence of COVID:

This doesn’t mean the doorknob was necessarily a source of great danger — more that someone in the company likely brought the virus in with them recently, and because it was a common area, it was impossible to narrow down the potentially sick workers from the rest of the group.

And so the mandatory human testing began. But, there’s a catch. There is a major pre-holiday rush on COVID-19 tests, and so, we may not know the results until Friday.

Well, gee, that’s too bad, but so what? If his brother-in-law may or may not be infected, can’t we trust him and Dougherty to make a sensible decision about their gathering? Last I heard troopers were not pulling cars over on the New York State Thruway and demanding proof of non-infection.

If the doorknob holds back my brother-in-law and his wife, the only guests we’ll have are the vegan in-laws. I love them dearly. We have roughly the same risk tolerance. I already spent a weekend making turkey stock, and preparing for the big roast turkey.

The turkey is the best part of Thanksgiving. I get up early, butter it up, and coat it inside and out with paprika, salt, and pepper...

Uh, yeah — again, too bad, buddy, but you do know the virus is, like, contagious, right?

Really, family is everything this year. I haven’t seen a co-worker outside of Zoom since March. I haven’t seen friends since summer. The kids wear masks to school, which I think is unnecessary, even objectionable. But they’ve needed their friends more than they need my interference on this matter...

Dude, focus. This is a pandemic. I know you’re a ruff tuff Constitutionamalist, and I’m sure you give the other parents at your kids’ school who seem comfortable and accepting of their masks the stink-eye a patriot owes to collaborationists, but as of Wednesday America has seen 2.8 million infections and 262,020 deaths. I realize you’re a conservative, but can’t you think about someone other than yourself even for just a minute?

Apparently not:

Back on April 1, I wrote that this COVID-19 purgatory was no way to live. That we should try never to get used to it. Politicians and average people were becoming nastier and weirder, and accepting infringements on human life that were unthinkable. A British human-rights lawyer suggested Prime Minister Boris Johnson move Christmas to February...

She’s wrong, Christmas is not an arbitrary date. And although she has the debility of coming from a culture used to dictatorial interference in religion, the liturgical calendar is not subject to even the British parliament...

Welp: We can see Dougherty is gone, well past even that Water The Tree of Liberty thing and deep into Faith of Our Fathers Holy Faith. He wails that he’d have his brother-in-law “at the table even if he was dying of leprosy” and nothing you heathens whom bro-in-law or Dougherty or any of the others at his feast might later infect at the toll booth or the grocery store or handing off the kids at school has anything to say about it.

Horrible as it is to have to share a country with these psychopaths, I also share it with good people such as yourselves — and, as was recently demonstrated, we outnumber those guys. For that and for you I am truly grateful. However you celebrate or don’t, I hope you find plenty to be thankful for, and if it doesn’t seem like enough this year, I hope the days ahead bring blessings enough to more than make up the shortfall.

UPDATE: Looks like the Handmaid did superspreaders a solid:

The Supreme Court late Wednesday night barred restrictions on religious services in New York that Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo had imposed to combat the coronavirus.

The vote was 5 to 4, with Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. and the court’s three liberal members in dissent. The order was the first in which the court’s newest member, Justice Amy Coney Barrett, played a decisive role.

The court’s ruling was at odds with earlier ones concerning churches in California and Nevada. In those cases, decided in May and July, the court allowed the states’ governors to restrict attendance at religious services.

Stare decisis my Holy Roman ass, we gotta give Opus Dei some of what they paid for! Jesus loves you and wants you (and anyone you come in contact with) to join him as soon as possible. I bet Dougherty called his brother-in-law first thing and told him to bring the infected doorknob to Thanksgiving, so that he might later bring it to Mass for veneration as a Holy Object. 

John Roberts played Mr. Reasonable in this decision, a role I'm sure he'll fill henceforth with Susan Collins aplomb as SCOTUS' rightwing wackos run riot. Happy Holidays/Pack The Court! 

Friday, November 20, 2020

FRIDAY 'ROUND-THE-HORN.

 Dunno if the '68 Catch My Soul was any good (anyone see it?)
but Jerry Lee is always worth a listen

•   Hey, don't you wish you knew what Tubby was up to behind the fortifications? Here are some White House scenes from my newsletter, unlocked for non-subscribers: Trump with the vaccine team, and Trump giving Mike Pence some news. Plenty more where that came from, so subscribe: It's one of the few Substacks that aren't about how cancelled the author is! 

•   Conservatives continue their Edgeplay of Trump's attempted coup. At the Examiner Edgelord Byron York explains what's really bad about this straight-up assault on democracy:

Thursday's news conference by Trump lawyers Rudy Giuliani, Sidney Powell, and Jenna Ellis marked a turning point of sorts in the way some Republicans view the president's challenge to election results around the country. Among those Republicans -- Trump supporters all -- there is concern that the attorneys' sensational theories of election fraud are hurting the president's cause rather than helping it. [Emphasis added]

I mean, it's like Seven Days in May meets the "It's a Good Life" episode of The Twilight Zone, but the main thing for York is, how does this get us to 270+1? The rest of the cabal are only slightly further along the road to "Donald Who?" Rod Dreher feels compelled to tell readers, "if Team Trump can produce meaningful evidence, then we have to take it seriously, no matter how much that ticks off Democrats," before admitting -- convinced, apparently, by his hero Tucker Carlson -- that the Giuliani-Powell stuff is Looney Tunes and Trump lost. But no need for too much soul-searching because bothsides:  

I talk about the Left and its crazy beliefs about the founding of America (e.g., The 1619 Project). But we are seeing the same kind of thing on the Right with this post-election psychodrama. 
Leftists have opinions about historical events; Republicans try to overthrow the will of the people. Same diff! At the Wall Street Journal Peggy Noonan laments what might have been if only Trump had "acted even remotely normal in his first term, if he’d had the intellectual, emotional and spiritual resources to moderate himself, to act respectably." And if my uncle had tits he'd be my aunt. Clearly these guys are hoping everyone will pull themselves together and get back to electing duller, less volatile authoritarians such as Josh Hawley or Tom Cotton -- unless they won't and choose to stick with Trump, in which case they'll get back to forgetting what was dangerous about him in the first place. 

Thursday, November 19, 2020

EDGE PLAY.

You've no doubt heard about the Giuliani clown show today, and you may have even heard some smart people observe that, clownish or no, it's still entirely sinister for the Trumpkins to continue pushing these outlandish conspiracy theories two weeks after the election. 

But I'm not sure enough people have caught on to how much other prominent Republicans are enabling this fiasco -- even as they seem to be demurring due to the outrageousness of the con. 

For example, note what Giuliani's associate clown Jenna Ellis responded when asked where the team's evidence of election fraud was: 

Your question is fundamentally flawed, when you're asking, "where's the evidence?" You clearly don't understand the legal process. What we have asked for in the court is to not have the certification of false results. And so to say, "Hold on a minute, we have evidence that we will present to the court." We haven't had the opportunity yet to present that to the court. We're given you an overview and a preview of what we've discovered. But no court yet has had that opportunity. 

You may have caught that Ellis is saying they have evidence but also that it can only be revealed after state election certification dates have passed -- which would mean delaying or possibly invalidating those certifications of the votes (or, as Ellis puts it, "false results"). And this request to upend the traditional election process comes cloaked in a profession of good faith: That they only want to reveal the truth, but can't do it until the system makes the highly unusual and dangerous concession to their cause (which thus far judges have not been willing to do because they've shown no evidence).

Now consider how the mainstream press is treating the Republican reaction. Here's a tweet by Marc Caputo of Politico about GOP operative Karl Rove's Fox News analysis of the Giuliani conference, which Caputo characterizes, "Karl Rove stops just short of calling the conspiracy theories espoused by Giuliani and Powell crazy." In my view he stopped well short. Below, my transcription of Rove's remarks, with some some sections italicized:

Mayor Giuliani said there was a centralized plot involving widespread voter fraud in big cities controlled by Democrats. 

Sidney Powell said the plot was communist in origin, that it had come from Venezuela, it involved Hugo Chavez, and that George Soros and the Clinton Foundation were key participants in the plot

These are serious, somewhat strange accusations -- but serious, and now Mr. Giuliani and Ms. [Sidney] Powell have an obligation to go to court and prove them. Because these are question of fundamental fairness of our presidential election, and alleging that there are conspirators who worked in major cities in an organized effort to engage in widespread voter fraud, and then foreign agents and powerful Americans, namely Soros and the Clinton Foundation, were involved. 

So they've got an obligation to go to court and prove these, or the American people will have every reason to question their credibility.

So I'm not gonna say that they don't have proof, but they better come up with proof and go to court, because these are serious allegations that basically say our election was manipulated by a combination of foreign and domestic actors and stolen and that cannot be left just simply out there, it needs to be either proved or withdrawn, and the only way to do that is to take these accusations and go to court. Major Giuliani may be right that people who signed those affidavits don't want their names exposed. But by God you cannot make an accusation like that without following it through by going to court and trying to prove it. If it's left out there, it will be both unfair to the President if it's true and unfair to the American people if it's false.

I italicized the section where Rove repeated the Trump team's crazy accusations. You don't have to be an NLP guru to realize that for the careless viewer -- at Fox News, a solid majority -- this is just confirmation that the fantasy is real. 

But notice also that Rove is pushing something very close to what Ellis is pushing: The necessity of getting that "evidence" out there. Rove very weakly alludes to the possibility that they won't be able to produce it, but he portrays the "evidence" of this Soros-Clinton conspiracy as so important that he can't  just dismiss this epically failing legal crusade before they've had a chance to really present it -- which they can't do unless we start to overturn the election process.

So why is Caputo being so chill about it, portraying Rove's carefully titrated, don't-piss-off-the-Leader response as a win for truth and sanity? Maybe for the same reason the rest of us don't want to take this attempted coup seriously -- because it's insane. But not taking their fantasy seriously doesn't mean ignoring it, or pretending it isn't real and telling other people as much.

Unless you're a major media figure with a hard line in consensus reality, I guess. Check out Sahil Kapur of NBC News

Republican senators are mostly standing by Trump as he refuses to concede defeat and pursues litigation. But there are growing signs that they see the writing on the wall… and inch toward acceptance.

"Growing signs" that they "inch toward acceptance," eh? Read the story and you find it's not so much as an inch and maybe not even a millimeter -- there's Mitch McConnell saying "We’re going to have an orderly transfer from this administration to the next one," which could easily mean from the First Trump to the Second Trump administration; Senator Tillis saying "that Biden is 'probably' the president-elect," big concession; and Lindsey Graham fist-bumping Kamala Harris on the Senate floor!  

You never see one of these Republicans saying "Trump should concede," but you see plenty of headlines like "GOP increasingly accepts Trump's defeat -- but not in public." A cynic might conclude they're by no means committed to the obvious, and if the miracle comes they want it known that they never did commit -- but if it doesn't come, they're just as invested as the newsmen in pretending they did. 

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

THE GRIFT THAT KEEPS ON GRIFTING.

Back on November 10, days after rational people accepted the election results, the Washington Examiner's Eddie Scarry was not quite ready to concede them -- but he was willing to consider (just for the sake of argument, mind) whether Trump's litigation was actually something less than a noble crusade:
There are really only two possible reasons President Trump's reelection campaign is now throwing itself into legal fights over the election. Either the president truly believes there were enough invalid ballots counted to cost him the election, or he simply doesn't want to concede defeat until every avenue has been exhausted.

In the former case, the Trump campaign is right to head to the courts — you know, the place where liberals were most at home these past four years chasing the president's tax returns and stopping or slowing every part of his policy agenda.
Had to get that in there, because the next part, mild as it is, might offend his readers:
If it's the second reason, the lasting impact of Trump simply delaying the inevitable with a bunch of baseless charges of fraud and cheating is only going to depress his supporters and puncture a Republican Party otherwise set up for political success in the near future.
Not that Trump's trying to enrage his rubes with a new Lost Cause for future grifts -- no, he's just misguided; he doesn't know what damage he's doing to his beloved Republican Party! 

Well, Tubby's trail of laughable suits seems to have proven out Option B -- but Scarry hasn't admitted that, at least not in his columns; instead, he has counseled Republicans to be of good cheer because though they lost the election, they're really all winners:
Trump came out of nowhere, exposed a lot of our country's problems, and was even good enough to fix a few of them. His presidency was a success. Now it's time to move on.
"Fix a few of them," Scarry's link to another of his own columns reveals, refers to immigration -- though on what grounds he counts this fixed (or plural) is unclear; lines like "Immigration came up in neither of the presidential debates" and "No one has talked about the wall since last year" seems to lean toward a "you can't pin that on him" defense. 

Now, with approximately 99.9% of top Republicans still refusing to admit defeat, Scarry's got another column today, and guess what it's about:
The Left's post-election spite
It's fascinating to see how spiteful liberals can be, even when they win...
I'll mostly spare you -- since their (still unacknowledged by most Republicans!) Presidential victory, liberals were mean to Jared and Ivanka -- "literally, his children," weeps Scarry, as if they were Romanoff toddlers -- and think the people who helped Trump carry out his policies should not be rehired. But here's the howler:
Conservatives generally accept electoral defeat and wait for the next time when, hopefully, the results will be in their favor.
Generally, huh?  Meanwhile Lindsey Graham is still trying to rig the election results and Giuliani is trying to do his legal Rip Taylor routine in a Pennsylvania federal court. Conservatives are accustomed to having it both ways, so it's no shock to see some of them denouncing the victorious Biden supporters while others refuse to acknowledge they've been victorious at all. I assume this'll be the shtick -- "So-called 'President' Biden signs bill -- but is it legal?" -- for a good long while, maybe four years. 

Friday, November 13, 2020

FRIDAY 'ROUND-THE-HORN.

Love that dirty sound.

Rightwing yahoos are still screaming they were robbed, and their claims just get wilder -- here's a genius who seems to believe (insofar as meaning can be discerned in the morass) that Massachusetts really voted for Trump, and claims footage that is almost certainly from 2016 is of UMass kids protesting Biden.

Meanwhile good-taste conservatives, who are more sensitive to self-ownage, are sloooowly backing off that position  -- but they're not all the way there yet. Byron York, for example, has been feeding the faint hope of diehards for days at the Washington Examiner. Two days after the election he was telling 'em, "There are plenty of anecdotal reports of things that look fishy, but it is up to Trump to present some evidence of irregularities." A week after the election he was telling them about "The election lawsuit Trump should win." He was talking about the one against the Pennsylvania Supreme Court decision to allow ballots received after Election Day to be counted. But those late Pennsylvania ballots were segregated from the others by court order, and total about 10,000 -- Biden won Pennsylvania by 60,000 votes. Maybe York didn't know that when he filed -- whatever the case, he sure didn't share with his readers, though he allowed in the last graf of his column that "In the end, the case might have no effect on the presidential election results in Pennsylvania. But that's not the issue at hand." 

York got a little closer to the reality the rest of us had acknowledged on Thursday, admitting the GOP "has not filed any challenge that appears likely to overturn the results in any state." He even pulled the traditional move of beaten conservatives -- crying about how mean liberals cancel-culture them out of everything they deserve:

Indeed, rather than focus on mail-in ballots or election observers in Michigan, it makes more sense to look at Trump's loss as the result of that daily beating -- a media establishment, an entertainment industry, academia, the government's permanent bureaucracy, and a massive special counsel investigation all trying to bring Trump down every single moment of his presidency. It took a toll. It had too [sic].

With the cause lost, York may have wanted to completely unstick himself from the humiliation before the weekend. But he scored an interview with Trump, which seems to have affected his exit strategy. Trump babbles on to York about how irregularities cost him "millions of votes" in Michigan and Pennsylvania;  York glumly observes, "It was definitely an optimistic scenario and one at odds with the current state of the race." 

You almost feel sorry for the guy. But then you remember that all this bellyaching is in the service of yet another Trumpkin distraction. Because fucking with elections is self-evidently the Republicans' stock in trade.  Trump flunky DeJoy’s USPS smash-up mishandled tens if not hundreds or thousands of mail ballots and the GOP pulled out all the voter-suppression stops, including the drive-through fuckery in Texas -- not to speak of the GOP's years-long gerrymandering and disenfranchisement drives. 

It seems Democrats have found some ways to fight back, particularly under Stacey Abrams in Georgia, and Republicans are scared to death by it. So while the screaming fits of the dead-enders are probably more chemical imbalance issues than anything else, the Republicans' extended indulgence of this "voter fraud" bullshit is at least partially motivated by a desire to get people thinking once again that their opponents are actually guilty of the crimes that they themselves got caught committing.

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

TAKE IT EASY, BUT TAKE IT.



It was great to gather in Black Lives Matter Plaza after Tubby's defeat on Saturday and hear the cheers and shouts and car horns of celebration. Of course, dark cloud that he is, Trump is harshing our good time with his bullshit fraud accusations, enabled in courts by the creeps at the Jones Day and Porter Wright law firms. (Jones Day in particular got pissy about being called out. Fuck 'em. Next time I go to small claims court see if I call them!) 

These charges haven't achieved shit, legally; in the most recent collapse in New Mexico, Trump's lawyers didn't even wait for the judge to tell them GTFO and withdrew their own complaint. But Trump's minions, including not only rightwing TV and internet clowns but also elected officials, insist on treating the election as unsettled (or as settled with Trump as the winner!) even as Biden's winning margins continue to pile up

That's creepy -- and so are the usual media stooges inevitably bothsiding this, like Howard Kurtz:

Yogi Berra famously said “it ain’t over till it’s over,” and while the world is acting like Joe Biden is the 46th president, Donald Trump is still filing lawsuits and complaining about a stolen election. It doesn’t feel like it’s over.

On one side, we have Whoopi Goldberg scolding Trump voters for questioning the election, telling them to “suck it up.”

On the other, we have Mike Pompeo dismissing as “ridiculous” a question about the transition, saying: “There will be a smooth transition to a second Trump administration.”

A President impeding a lawful transition of power while his cabinet officials support him, a comedian making a wisecrack -- same diff, right?

I'm a little pissed about all this intransigent bluster, as the resulting anxiety over how far this goon and his minions are willing (and, more to the point, able) to take this fash fantasy has rather eaten into my good time. But I think Elie Mystal has the right idea. His whole Q&A at The Nation outlining the impossibility of Trump prevailing on legal grounds is worth reading, but this -- about what to do if Trump nonetheless is able to get enough state legislatures on board to get the election to SCOTUS where The Rummy and The Handmaid can fix it -- is the key part:

Well, what’s our plan for that?

My dude, I don’t have a plan for “nothing matters anymore.” The end of democratic self-government is not a thing one has a legal plan for. That’s like asking what my plan is for closing a demonic hell mouth that opens in my backyard. Die. My plan would be to die. I’m not Keanu Reeves.

What if Trump fires FBI Director Chris Wray and CIA Director Gina Haspel and gets the “deep state” to keep him in power indefinitely?

I’m not Kiefer Sutherland either. I cannot find the mole.

What if Trump launches a full-scale coup d’état and uses the military to keep him in power?

Then we’re at war. Honestly, what do you want from me? 

I'm with him. In the event of Code Red I expect to get in the streets, but beyond that I'm not thinking about it. Meanwhile we have a change of administration scheduled in 70 days, and then the daunting tasks of unfucking everything Trump fucked up. That's enough worry! I'll watch the court cases and the vote certifications and the Electoral College vote and all that a little more closely than usual, but life is for the living and right now both I and American democracy are both very much alive and that, my friends, is the main thing.  

Friday, November 06, 2020

FRIDAY 'ROUND-THE-HORN.

Eat a peach.

•   Tubby can still maybe-might-could steal it, but his opportunities are rapidly dwindling, and his supporters are awakening to winning Biden totals from Georgia and Philadelphia and realizing they're getting beaten by black people! Adding cream to the jest are conservative poobahs flipping their shit. When it looked better for his cause on Tuesday night, Godly Rod Dreher was cooing over the socialist race-mixers' defeat ("something very good happened, and I want to celebrate it"); he even ran that picture of a ululating SJW that all MAGA trolls have in their Pictures file.  But when Tubby started to sink into the Slough of Despond, Dreher retreated to the "A Divided Country" angle beloved of losing wingnuts throughout history (when they win, it's a mandate; when they lose it's a "divided country"). Of course, lickety-split Dreher returns to ressentiment; Trump is the "bodyguard" conservatives need against the tyrannical Left, who "control all the heights of the culture, and even that is not enough for them" -- they presume to win elections, too! Bonus LOL: "The progressive writer Jesse Singal gets it."  

But the real howler comes when Dreher attempts to tug the heartstrings. Cue the mournful harmonica:

Last point. A couple of weeks ago, I was up in my rural hometown buying chicken feed for our hens. As I was checking out at the tractor supply, I saw a very old white man toddling into the store on a walker. He looked to be World War II veteran age. 

At this point I wondered: Why not have him wear something that would definitively identify him a WWII combatant, like one of those VETERAN hats?

He had a patriotic mask on and a red MAGA hat. 

Ahh, I see. 

His voice was so weak that the checkout clerk couldn’t hear what he was saying through his mask. 

Awww.

Finally someone in line interpreted it for her: he wanted to know where he could find brackets to mount his flagpole on his front porch. 

AWWWWW.

It was like something out of a Spielberg movie — but of course you would never see anyone wearing a MAGA hat in a Hollywood movie, except as a villain.

Sputter sputter that lefty Spielberg Jew-know-what! 

I don’t even know who that old man was — his mask covered most of his face — but he loves his country, and wanted to fly the flag. Not a Trump flag — the American flag.

I guess the old man was too frail to mount a Trump flag on a truck and run a Biden bus off the road. Keep playing that harmonica, Slim! 

Now, consider Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones...

LOL OMG contrast this white-man-who-probably-raised-the-flag-at-Iwo-Jima with this insolent Negress!  

...the founder of The 1619 Project, which teaches that America was founded in iniquity: for the sake of preserving slavery. It’s factually untrue, but let’s assume for the sake of argument that it’s legitimately contestable. 

Pfft, slavery, in America? What are they teaching them kids?

This narrative has become standard in American media, and among many progressives. Can you imagine someone who believes what Nikole Hannah-Jones does wanting to fly the American flag from their front porch?

Dreher pitches bitch-fits about Hannah-Jones every couple of days, yet he seems not to have actually read her 1619 essay, which begins, "My dad always flew an American flag in our front yard."

If not, then what does that tell you about why so many Americans chose to vote for Trump, despite his many grievous faults?

It tells us they're morons. 

We are going to remain a divided country. The election solved nothing. 

Again, the "divided country" thing: "solved nothing" is just another way of saying it was a disaster for honky soreheads like Dreher who are about to lose their "bodyguard" and have to share power with people they've been taught since birth to despise. 

•   To add some sparkle to this historic morning, why not enjoy my latest White House scenes unlocked from my newsletter, where Tubby plots his defense of the throne? Like real life only with better timing! 

Wednesday, November 04, 2020

BREATHE.

The good news is that the trends in Michigan, Wisconsin, Arizona, and even Pennsylvania are positive, and Tubby's mob boss routine early this morning seems not to have had the desired effect: Regular media just say the votes are late, and even the front page of Fox News' site says "ELECTION DECISION DELAYED." It adds "Trump and Biden campaigns dig in for legal fight with key battleground state winners undeclared," which is true but slightly misleading: barring a hanging-chad scenario, most of the outstanding states will probably report (but not certify!) enough votes to make a call reasonable, and THEN the legal shenanigans will begin in earnest (though some already have).

So breathe. As I said in the newsletter this morning, "chaos" is what the Republicans want, but our institutions are not obliging them. Some Republicans, having failed to wreak chaos in the press and the process, seek instead to implant chaos in your mind by portraying the President as a king whose word is law, making you doubt the validity of any lawful vote that contradicts him, which in some feeble minds would give him the right to steal it for Our Nation's Good. 

Don't you believe it. The Brooks Brothers Rioters will return, but this time we're not caught off guard and they can be repelled. And it won't happen right away. So have a great day, get some exercise, drink some water and maybe put some bourbon in it. We ain't into the woods yet. 

UPDATE. Really, it's psyops at this point. Take Postmaster General DeJoy's flagrant defiance of a court order on ballots obviously held back by the P.O. from the electoral boards (if it wasn't obvious before, his non-compliance makes it so).  How much difference those ballots would make is unknown, and perhaps unknowable; but DeJoy's intransigence -- as opposed to, say, a bootless pretense of digging up the ballots -- has I think a purpose besides the strictly legal one: the Trump mob thrives on the impression that it's all a fix and so you should just throw up your hands (unless the Democrats are winning, of course) and let America be its own rotten self. This reminds me of a story the husband-and-wife screenwriting team David and Leslie Newman told on some talk show years ago, about a producer in the 1960s trying to line up a convincing student demonstration-turned-riot scene for his film. The director told David Newman that the campus on which they had permission to shoot was a hotbed of radicalism, so they'd just have cameras ready for the riot that would inevitable occur. When Newman asked what would happen if no riot ensued, the director said, "we'll cause one." 

UPDATE 2. The Republicans are trying Brooks Brothers Riot II in Michigan:


As you may know, the Chief Justice, The Rummy and The Handmaid are veterans of the original BBR, so if this attempt to stop the count (with Biden ahead and getting more so) leads to a Supreme Court case I imagine there'll be high-fives for the plaintiffs all around the bench. But the Democrats have gotten way smarter since 2000 so if it can be headed off I expect they're prepared to do so. It's really a matter of how much overt criminality the system will allow. Like I said: Don't do their work for them by assuming they can't be stopped. 



Tuesday, November 03, 2020

DON'T DREAM IT, BE IT.


OK my commie friends, you know the drill: First we Twitter-mob the polls and cancel-culture Tubby with our so-called "votes"; then, once Biden's inaugurated, Kamala Harris slits his throat -- preferably during adulterous sex! -- and throws us the keys to power, thus beginning the REIGN OF ANTIFA! First order of business: extradite all Republicans to Den Haag -- starting with those Lincoln Project fuckers. That'll teach 'em to suck up! 

Alternately, Tubby steals it and we hella riot! So it's win-win, I'd say.

Signs are propitious. My wingnut mailbag is full of hysterical headlines like "Rudy’s Got Them BOXED In! Biden IS FINISHED!" And "Sleepy Joe’s Assault Victim Is Ready To Talk….He’s Done!" (Links provided for historical purposes, I don't advise clicking, they're super spammy). These guys don't sound like winners.

A good barometer for rightwing panic levels is Rod Dreher and... well...

You know what? Nobody fears pro-Trump riots. They fear antifa, they fear Black Lives Matter, they fear the Left — the same people who have been rioting all year, and for which our media have been carrying water. If the Trump voters are disappointed tomorrow, they’re not going to burn down their communities, smash windows and grab loot, and generally behave like a hoodlum.

Sounds like Doc in West Side Story yelling at the Jets -- get outta here, ya lousy antifa, I'm tryin' ta run a candy store! 

Forgive me, I'm a little punchy -- after all, I've been rioting all year.

Dreher cites as evidence that "the Left" is going helter-skelter a clip of some lady on a video chat with 262 people (I didn't realize "the Left" was so small -- we're sure punching above our weight!), talking about defending against a coup by getting armed and ready to defend freedom, which sounds like standard wingnut patter of the past fifty years to me. Plus some businesses are boarding up their windows in case post-election protests get heavy. Dreher goes on:

Cities boarded up for fear of rioting. The President of the United States having to barricade himself in the White House. This is what the Left has done to our country in 2020. And you watch: if this happens, The New York Times, the Washington Post, CNN, NPR, and the lot will all be blaming Trump.

Mark my words, in a month Holy Rod's bedroom walls will be festooned with Boogaloo Boys pin-ups.

UPDATE. Even blowdried media-friendly conservatives like National Review's Rich Lowry have Dreheresque paranoia about the window boards:

There are certainly malefactors on the right who should be called out and shunned, and it’s disgraceful that Trump has spent so much time preparing the ground to argue that he’s been cheated if he loses. Yet the Left has the numbers, the proven penchant for violence (up to $2 billion of property damage this year so far), and the intellectual enablers to put parts of America on crisis footing in anticipation of its possible shock and upset after November 3.

"The Left has the numbers"? I thought these guys thought they were the vox populi. Oh, I forgot -- since Tubby's numbers have tanked, the Right is all "we're not really a democracy, y'know" -- basically admitting conservatives only hold power against the will of the people. 

Trump’s most fervid critics have been expecting a coup with such certainty that they will treat a Trump electoral victory as if it is one.

Jut because everyone knows if he wins again it will also be with a minority of votes and the help of hellacious voter suppression, people will call it a "coup"! They're so touchy. Alright, he goes to Den Haag too. Next!

UPDATE 2. Neither are the front pages at the dumbest rightwing websites encouraging to the brethren's cause:

"All is lost, save my honorarium!" Meanwhile at Gateway Pundit the top story is "Don Jr. Rallies in Yuma City – Ivanka Rallies in Michigan – Eric Trump Rallies in Florida… So, Where’s Hunter?" Now there's a story with legs! Senile Grandpa will probably punch the touchscreen extra hard after he sees that.

UPDATE 3. From comments:

I just drove into NYC (Midtown) and can attest the city is not, in fact, boarded up. A couple of chain hotels are boarded up and one groundfloor salad bar that's been vacant the past couple of months. But definitely not "the city."

Here in DC there's been some boards added to storefronts near Black Lives Matter Plaza, but they started doing that at the end of May, when there was some actual damage. Back then they even had some boards up on H Street NE, which were later quietly taken down because lol come on. 

Also, the only rioting I've encountered this past year was a Trump caravan on the I-287...

Ah yes, the Battle of Mario Cuomo Bridge. The douchebags are trying it at polling places, too. But by all means obsess on Antifa -- it might sell a few more barrels of prepper rations, and ain't it all about the grift?

UPDATE 4. Another commenter:

I guess Rod doesn't pay attention to the news as several Boogaloo Boys have been indicted for actions during riots and the US Marshals straight up murdered an antifa dude.

Doesn't pay attention? Does this look like he doesn't pay attention?

Rod Dreher is a straight-up fascist. And many other popular conservatives are just better at covering it up.

UPDATE 5. Well, they said it would take days to count the votes and that appears to be the case. So get some sleep and drink plenty of water, maybe with some bourbon in it.

Friday, October 30, 2020

FRIDAY 'ROUND-THE-HORN.

When are people going to catch on to Sabrina Chap?

It's the homestretch, boys and girls, and as we might have known the Republicans and their operatives on the courts are trying to steal it. The Boof Kavanaugh opinion on the Supreme Court's Wisconsin election order, the Court's ominous segregation of post-Election-Day mail ballot returns in Pennsylvania, and the Minnesota switcheroo suddenly requiring all mail ballots to be received by Nov. 3 rather than merely postmarked by then -- with Tubby yelling that votes must not be counted after Election Day -- all point to at least an attempted Bush v. Gore 2 and a straight-up gank. The only way around it I can see is to run up the score so much they can't cheat successfully. America expects that every citizen will do their duty. 

On the other hand, Mr. Jonathan Miller points me to  an encouraging sign -- Ole Perfesser Glenn Harlan Beauregard Jubilation T. Reynolds preparing his troops for defeat

What is going on in media now is not normal. It is, in fact, a species of coup. Should Biden win, many will regard his victory as essentially illegitimate because of this, and they will have a good argument.

This is in relation to Glenn Greenwald's "I Been Censored" hissy fit. (Boy, if only I'd still had the Voice gig when I started my Substack; I could have got in on this bullshit.) Can't say I can see the Perfesser's Threepers, Neo-Confederates and Militiamen rallying to the defense of Greenwald -- wait'll they find out he's gay, and that his husband's last name is Miranda!

But most of the brethren express faith in an imminent Red Wave -- based on truck parades, which have replaced boat parades since the unfortunate Lake Travis incident, and other nonsense like this from "Illicit Info" (I warn again clicking their link, it's spammy as hell):

‘Can I Change My Vote’ Trends On Google As Biden Campaign Goes Into Tailspin, Hunter’s Laundry Aired, Debate Lashing [Opinion]

...What if, hypothetically, someone voted early for candidate ‘D’ only to learn that the person they cast their ballot for was … for argument’s sake, … is being blackmailed by a hostile foreign power?  That would be a serious problem IF that were to occur.

Well, apparently there are an increasing number of Americans who have voted early (as nearly 60,000,000 Americans have already done) want to know if they can change their vote.

They then link to a Fox News story and suggest it says "Google searches of the phrase 'can I change my vote' peaked" right after the last Presidential debate and the first wave of Giuliani-Hunter Biden bullshit. Not only is there nothing in the story about whose voters were searching the question -- Illicit Info and Fox News both wait a good long while before revealing that the spike actually happened five days after the debate.  They close:

That fact of the matter is that we do not know, and we will never know, but we will have a much better idea when the election is over and all the votes are counted.

They're as bad at covering their asses as they are getting people to look when they show them. They are right, however, that we do not know. So vote! It ain't illegal yet. 

Monday, October 26, 2020

THE STATE OF THE CONSERVATIVE INTELLECTUAL MOVEMENT, 2020.

Rich Lowry has certainly come a long way since he edited the "Against Trump" issue of National Review in 2016. After the election NR swiftly transitioned to a JustTheTip Trumper publication, and Lowry obligingly struck the colors and hoisted the MAGA flag. Today, as the rats pour over the gunwales, with his movement a blasted hulk, Lowry gives what's left of his followers a final message: Vote Trump to say fuck you to people you hate!

The Only Middle Finger Available
If Trump wins, it will be as a gigantic rude gesture to the cultural Left.

Well, as embarrassed journalists like to say, authors (even EICs) don't write their own heds and deks, so maybe --

If Donald Trump wins a second term, it will be an unmistakable countercultural statement in a year when progressives have otherwise worked their will across the culture.

After months and months of statues toppling and riots in American cities and a crime wave and woke virtue-signaling from professional sports leagues and absurd firings and cancellations, the year would end with a stunning, stark rebuke of all of that.

-- well, guess not: Lowry is pretty clearly taking an O.J. "If I Did It" approach: No declaratives or imperatives, just a description of rightwing bugbears and bêtes noires and how readers whose fever dreams are full of them might-could at least enjoy a spasm of vicarious vengeance via the "middle finger" of a Trump vote. 

Of course you have to believe some weird shit to buy it -- for example:

If Trump manages to pull off an upset in 2020, it will be as a gigantic rude gesture directed at the commanding heights of American culture.

So, Black Lives Matter protestors (whom wingnuts always call "rioters," it's in the Style Guide) and professional athletes are at the "commanding heights," whereas the President of the United States -- who with his footpads in all branches of the government has been wrecking the economy, the national health, the judiciary, the environment, not to mention trust in the institutions that hold the country together -- is, I guess, just a ceremonial figure like the village idiot or a cat or dog you elect Mayor of a township for shits and giggles. There's no consequences to that action except an occasional chuckle about how this collapsed civilization must really piss off the libs. 

Vote, please, and do extra diligence to make sure it gets counted. We're not in fact sending a message (Republicans don't listen anyway) but trying to improve and indeed save our lives.