Monday, February 08, 2021


I actually watched the Super Bowl through the halftime show, and peeked in during the more than three hours of pre-game guff, and I have to say I got an enormous kick out of all the woke effusions, not only in the ads but also in Viola Davis' pissed-off DGAF narration on the de-integration and re-integration of the NFL and inaugural poet Amanda Gorman enlisted to introduce the COIN-TOSS (which was performed by "COVID-19 nurse manager" Suzie Dorner after being thanked for her service by the referee). It may have all been bullshit -- particularly the ads from soulless corporations professing an interest in social justice -- but it was American bullshit and thus perfect for the occasion. Sucks that Tom Brady didn't get his ass kicked, but nothing in this world is perfect and I'll take what I can get.

Part of the fun was imagining the rage of pinheads and klansmen at this grossly pro-minority entertainment. I bet Tubby was mad he couldn't vomit his rage through his customary social-media puke-funnels, though his boy Sniffy stepped up ("One comercial in and it’s already woketopia. 🙄 #SuperBowlLV"). 

We who have free souls, it touches us not. The Super Bowl spectacle outside the game itself has always been ridiculous, and what people think of as its "great moments" are actually pathetic -- like the kneeling Clydesdales commercial in the post-9/11 Super Bowl. Remember that shit? Jesus Christ, people fell for it! I was disappointed Budweiser didn't follow up over the next few years with Clydesdales invading Iraq, then piling naked prisoners of war into human pyramids (maybe they couldn't figure out out how to make a Clydesdale do a thumbs-up). 

Still, in our modern age these are the kind of microaggressions that animate rightwing snowflakes. So far the brethren seem to be aiming their rage at, of all things, the Bruce Springsteen Jeep commercial -- which, to the extent it's about anything but selling the faint echo of military ingenuity to rich suburbanites, is a corny hymn to centrism ("the geographic center of the lower 48," get it?). Funny, I thought the big rightwing message-of-the-moment was that Joe Biden is a dangerous radical dragging America to socialism

Mollie Hemingway starts by calling Springsteen a "left-wing political activist," which I'm sure is how he's best known in the caves and klaverns of wingnutdom, and announcing that his commercial "fell flat and faced mockery and opposition from many viewers." (Ever notice that the people who whine the most about cancel culture always sound like old Soviet propagandists when they approach any subject having anything to do with the arts?) 

Hemingway, after briefly admitting that "many Americans love Springsteen’s music," denounces The Boss for several paragraphs because "like so many other wealthy celebrities, [he] regularly speaks ill of Republican voters and politicians," unlike real populists such as Kevin Sorbo and the guy who drinks his own piss on YouTube. Then she complains that the ad was fake -- that's right, an ad on TV! Fake! -- because though this Springsteen fellow is "extremely well known for being from New Jersey" he was shown "wearing a cowboy hat and boots" (and "small earrings in each ear," woo woo). Also, "The Argument For Unity Was Not Made Well," because duh, what about the "74 million Trump-voting Americans who lived through four years of epithets and refusal by elites such as Springsteen to treat the president of the United States as legitimate"? And then Springsteen and his 81 million co-conspirators had the nerve to vote against Trump, resulting in Joe Biden's so-called "election"? Where's the healing?

Hemingway closes:

Jeep sales will not heal the fabric of the country. Jeep ads can’t even help toward that goal so long as they are using dishonest and manipulative partisan framing in service of car sales.

"Manipulative partisan framing in service of car sales" -- forbid it, almighty God! You sell cars by flattering the shit out of the customer, hornswaggling him with phony price points, then making him feel like he owes you something for your time -- everybody knows that! 

Well, we all did a little drinking during the Super Bowl, though some of us waited until we sobered up to write about it.  Clearly the NFL is part of the Deep State and must be countered. Get ready for USFL II!

Friday, February 05, 2021


One of the blessings of modern technology:
Cleaning up these great old blues sides.

I've unlocked two of this week's Roy Edroso Breaks It Down issues for non-subscribers: A meeting between the President of Mar-a-Lago and one of his more famous supporters, and a rundown of young Republican up-and-comers.

I might say it's horrible that the other major political party in the United States is being taken over by psychotic freaks, but, really, it's not that big of a shift; it's more like the party's adherents have just begun to act out the fantasies conservatives have been promulgating all along, and are moving up the chain from "useful idiots" to "elected representatives." Government is the enemy? Check. Science, indeed any type of expertise, is suspect, even nefarious? Check. White people are the only constituency worth addressing? Check and triple check! Marjorie Taylor Greene's videotaped claim that black people are not held back by racism but by “gangs [and] dealing drugs" is just conservative boilerplate, and from there it's not a huge leap to believing in Democratic pedo rings and all the other shit that clogs her skull.

Also get a load of this, from Mainer:

Maine White Nationalist Charged in Capitol Attack Shares Racist Views of State GOP Leaders

...The Great Replacement theory has been promoted for years by former Republican state legislator Larry Lockman, who also opposed the bill to fund the jobs center in Lewiston. “The sad truth is, open-borders Leftists at the swamp want to welcome, educate and retail everyone but Mainers!” Lockman wrote in a January 2018 e-mail to supporters. “There is too much at stake to let identity politics and the Left’s War on Whites rule the day.”

In a 2019 column, Portland Press Herald editorial-page editor Greg Kesich called out a host of Maine GOP leaders for promoting tenets of the White Genocide theory, including former Gov. Paul LePage, who endorsed Lockman’s bid for a Maine Senate seat last year and is threatening to run for the Blaine House again next year; Maine Republican Party Executive Director Jason Savage, who ran a racist fake-news website called The Maine Examiner; and former Waterville Mayor Nick Isgro, who relinquished his position as Vice Chairman of the state party last month shortly after Mainer published an article linking him to another Republican official with direct ties to neo-Nazis.

More recently, Isgro and other Maine GOP leaders cheered the Jan. 6 insurrection on social media and spread racists lies about Chinese interference in last fall’s election. For example, the liberal online news outlet Beacon reported last month that state GOP Chairwoman Demi Kouzounas told a radio station the Chinese government created COVID-19 to weaken the U.S. economy, “because they knew if the economy stayed strong … our President Trump would be reelected with huge numbers,” she said. “I believe that for sure.”

So, apparently, did [charged insurrectionist Kyle] Fitzsimons...

One of many reasons to be glad about the new administration is that it appears to take seriously the threat of rightwing lunatics, and is less likely than the Obama administration was to fold on its domestic terror investigations when conservatives and libertarians (but I repeat myself) pitch a bitch fit. These nuts have been terrorizing and murdering people for years, and a huge part of the reason why they got as far as they did on January 6 was because Republicans have been acting for years as if even taking notice of this public menace was cancelculture, who's the fascist now libs, etc. I'm glad the insurrectionists are getting charged -- it's about these fuckers got some negative feedback. 

Tuesday, February 02, 2021


 You figure it has to be parody, but no --

Rich Lowry headline: "Biden is the most radical left-wing president in US history, period"

--it's Rich Lowry, so if anything it's self-parody (though really, don't you have to have style to be parodied? The closest thing to a style hallmark Lowry has is "bad"). Just three months ago, Lowry endorsed Trump's reelection as "The Only Middle Finger Available... a gigantic rude gesture directed at the commanding heights of American culture." But he couldn't get enough people to go along with Presidency as Fuck You, so now he's offended by the Communist Insurgency of Sleepy Joe Biden. 

Joe Biden is off to the most left-wing start of any Democratic president in recent memory. 

Just two weeks later, the dulcet tones of Biden’s inaugural address already seem an artifact of a bygone era.

Ah, the "unity" thing. At this very moment Biden is engaged in negotiations with the Republicn party -- which does not hold a majority in either house, nor the Presidency -- in pursuit of bipartisan consensus. Many of us think he's a sap to do so. What no one beside Lowry thinks is that it's divisive. 

But Lowry claims Biden is governing "further to the left of any Democrat who made his career prior to the ascendency of the cultural left" -- which date I don't see in my political timeline: Was it the birth of the Frankfurt School in 1918? The manumission of slaves? Between the end of the "Chatterley" ban/And the Beatles' first LP?  (Lowry clearly stuck this in to ward off anyone who remembered FDR.)

It isn’t new for Democratic presidents to want to tax, spend and regulate, even if Biden seeks to do more of all three than his immediate predecessors. Biden layers on top of this a cultural agenda that represents a new dimension of radicalism that would be alien and baffling to bygone Democrats, who may have wanted to extend the New Deal but never sought to transcend the gender binary. 

Those old-time Democrats might have cursed America with Social Security and Medicare, but they never would have countenanced homos and he-shes! Hell, some of them didn't even like the colored. You could talk to a Democrat in them days! 

Thereafter Lowry gives a rightwing pocket history of evil-but-no-Biden Democrat Presidents, culminating in this howler: 

Bill Clinton and Obama were both ambitious but also cared about the budget deficit and allowed it to restrain their agenda in a way that the Biden Democrats now totally reject. 

That's a new way of saying "We got Democrats trained to clean up Republican presidents' deficits, and here comes this Biden guy who still wants to give money to the suckers instead!" (Missing from Lowry's column: the words "COVID" and "coronavirus." He refers to the $1.9 trillion package simply as a "relief bill," no doubt hoping to conjure in his readership visions of welfare queens and strapping young bucks instead of virus-infected millions.)

Lowry's also mad at Biden's climate change agenda, which he says "speaks of an overwhelming hostility to fossil fuels." See, Biden talks unity, but then gives Exxon Mobil the back of his hand! Also:

There will also be a continual focus on what Biden’s chief-of-staff calls “a racial-equity crisis,” which will be a warrant for a new, more aggressive identity politics. 

People already treat racism as something undesirable  -- as Biden gets "aggressive" about identity politics, people may begin to think it's unforgivable, and then how will Republicans ever get elected? 

There are other, better reasons to root for Biden's barely-adequate package to pass, but it would also be nice to read Lowry's "Joe Manchin: Mountain State Marxist" column. 

Friday, January 29, 2021


Robert Christgau informed me these guys are still at it! 
 Time has been kind.

•   Republicans are so accustomed to minority rule, and so encouraged by their conspiracy-addled looney fringe (and by the customary feebleness of Democratic resistance) to believe it can never be broken, that even after they lost a presidential election by seven million votes and were disgraced by their leader's attempt to overthrow the government they can't acknowledge that they fucked up. For example: Now that the world is seeing more of QAnon Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene's loony beliefs, ham-faced pundit Erick Erickson tells his Twitter followers it's the fault of poor Republican opposition research during the primaries:

Can't be that voters in a district where Erickson and others have been vomiting rightwing poison on the radiio for years found a far-right conspiracy theorist palatable -- nah! They just didn't know what QAnon was, maybe they thought it was like a Sesame Street spelling thing or a brand of athletic shoe. At this rate I expect Vermin Supreme to cross over -- except he's probably too benign for this bunch.

•   Meanwhile the awful Salena Zito has one of her usual Republican sources explain that Trump was really not so bad -- why, Trump and Obama were practically the same:

[Tom] Maraffa says that both Obama and former President Donald Trump were equally divisive — Obama was just more elegant in his delivery. The reporters who covered him missed it because they shared his cultural values.

What cultural values does he mean? Gay marriage, apparently:

"Lighting the White House up with rainbow colors — in a way, that was just sticking a thumb in the eyes of people who disagreed rather than using it as a moment to say the Supreme Court's made its decision, we don't all agree, but this is the law, and we have to move forward together" [Maraffa says].

By celebrating gay marriage Obama was being mean to people who hate gays -- just like Biden is being mean to people who show their patriotism by storming the Capitol. Oh, and Obama gets a pass because he's black: "These reporters and Democrats instantly viewed people who did not like Obama as racists because what else could it be?" 

Then Maraffa and Zito blubber over how what's wanted is "unity" and the Democrats have to meet the gay marriage opponents halfway. Thing is, polls show 70% of Americans approve of gay marriage. And I'll bet if you made a Venn diagram of the 30% who dispprove of gay marriage and the 39% who still approve of Trump, the overlap would be nearly complete. So tell me: Why should we meet these people halfway when they're nowhere near half the people?  

•   Seriously, though, this shit goes on and on and the mainstream aka "liberal" media do nothing but enable it.  The New York Times has extended its Cletus safaris into the post-Trump era -- once they were all "Let these simple souls tell us why they gave Trump an almost-majority of the votes" and now they're all "Let these simple souls tell us why it's mean to hold Trump to account for sending lunatics to murder Congress." Axios invites Tucker Carlson and Ben Shapiro to predict/threaten mayhem ("'Not a sustainable moment,' Carlson added. 'Something will break'").

And the Washington Post has former GOP Majority Leader Eric Cantor in to decry what his successors are doing to the country -- but adding (I assume this was part of the deal) a bothsider bit: sure, Republicans are spreading conspiracy theories to dangerously derange our politics but whatabout The Squad -- 
And to my Democratic friends who think this is a Republican problem, I say be careful. The same pattern is already unfolding on your side as progressive activists — joined by elected officeholders, including Reps. Pramila Jayapal (Wash.), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (N.Y.) and “the Squad,” with aspirations of higher office — tell tales of what Democrats could accomplish if only they were willing to fight and use their power.
By "fight and use their power," they mean "vote for things their constituents want," which is pretty much the same thing as sending one's goons to kill Mike Pence -- it's a form of electoral insurrection against Republican rule, without which there can be no true civility! 

Well, we always knew we couldn't count of these idiots to save us. Put your faith in Roy Edroso Break It Down instead -- one of the only Substack newsletters that's not about how its proprietor has been cancelcultured! We have a couple freebies up from this week: A Twitter beef between two Republican up-and-comers, and the real readout from Kevin McCarthy's visit to Mar-a-Lago. Enjoy, and then subscribe (cheap!).

Tuesday, January 26, 2021


Plenty has been written about the absurdity of U.S. Senator Josh Hawley declaring that he -- and America! -- have been "muzzled" on the cover of the New York fucking Post and on several TV talk shows

One might despair of pointing out the insanity of this, as those who would most benefit from the information are obviously impervious to it and to pretty much any form of reason and logic. (Many of them are apparently training their children to resist it, too.) But we must keep a record for the sake of our own sanity, and whatever posterity there may be. 

Speaking of free speech martyrs, I see now the Post has also reported that Goya Foods CEO Robert Unanue has been "muzzled" by his own board of directors

"Muzzled" has apparently become wingnut word of the week  (e.g. "Singer John Rich said Thursday he’s heard from other country stars who have told him that conservative voices are being 'muzzled' by the industry"). Anyway, the Post goes on:

Goya Foods has voted to silence its pro-Trump CEO Robert Unanue following his recent television appearances questioning the results of the presidential election, The Post has learned.

The Hispanic foods giant on Friday agreed to censure Unanue, 67, for controversial remarks in the wake of the deadly Jan. 6 invasion of the US Capitol building, including on Jan. 20 when he called Biden’s election “unverified” during an appearance on Fox Business.

You could read the whole thing and get the impression that this is all just over a difference of opinion over the extent of voter fraud -- Some say it's a lot! Some say it's a little! -- rather than the casus belli behind the attempted coup on January 6, the widespread support of which among Republicans shows that it's not nearly so benign.

But there are hints in the story for the cognoscenti, such as Unanue's mention of the "great reset,” which has gone from a World Economic Forum COVID-19 rebuilding concept to a psycho-nutso conspiracy theory involving Bill Gates injecting you with microchips to enslave you to Satan. If you still haven't gotten the point, look at Unanue's recent remarks about yet another innocent victim of Muzzling:

There's censorship around the world. This cardinal, Mexican cardinal Juan Sandoval Íñiguez was censored for — by Facebook, for denouncing a new world order. So you know, Big Tech, social media is not looking just for the big prize of the United States, this is a world order.

Íñiguez, retired Archbishop of Guadalajara, had his video taken down by Facebook because they determined his claim that COVID-19 vaccines implant the vaccinated with "the mark of the beast" via a Bill Gates microchip to be disinformation. 

But who's to say, right? The only way we can test this Mark of the Beast theory out is in the marketplace of ideas -- that is, bullying private media companies into publishing it against their will. (If only we'd been this enlightened in the old Procter & Gamble satanism panic days -- we could have gotten the TV networks to address it, and that would have been the end of Tide and Bounty!)

No wonder the Goya board doesn't want this nut representing them. As I have been pointing out for years, employers fire employees for embarrassing them all the time -- only you don't hear about most of them because they're not rich rightwing crackpots with a vested interest in portraying their situation as censorship (or, to be au courant, muzzling). 

I'd be happy to see legislation that allows employees as well as executives to mouth off whatever nonsense they like without getting fired for it -- I got a list of grievances like you wouldn't believe, myself! -- but I guarantee you that none of the people proclaiming the victimhood of Hawley and Unanue or any of these assholes would ever support such a law, because their real interest is not free speech but the further mesmerization of their rubes. Unlike the COVID-19 vaccine, their bullshit really does turn people into zombies. 

Thursday, January 21, 2021


 I feel better already. Getting rid of the Muslim Ban and the "Patriotic Education" bullshit is a good start.

But watchman, what of the Right? They keen, they burn! Attend one of the hot new vendors of wingnut poop, The Epoch Times, which today dropped this: 

That was actually just the email come-on: The thing itself is called  "Ideological Alignment Pushing America Toward Totalitarianism, Experts Warn," and it's a caution. Take this:

The formation of a totalitarian state is just about complete in America as the most powerful public and private sector actors unify behind the idea that actions to stamp out dissent can be justified, according to several experts on modern totalitarian ideologies.

(The "experts" actually cited by author Petr "Not A Typo" Svab, BTW, are "Michael Rectenwald, a retired liberal arts professor at New York University" mainly famous for promoting Milo Yiannopoulos and his own r-u-triggered @antipcnyuprof account, and James Lindsay, another from an apparently inexhaustible supply of "gay people are oppressing us" types.)

So Tubby's only been out of office for a day and already we're Hitler's Germany! I'm not kidding either -- several grafs in the thing refer to "Adolf Hitler, leader of the National Socialist Workers Party in Nazi Germany." ("Socialist," you'll be saddened to learn, was not in boldface type.) For instance:

Hitler initially didn’t control the spread of information via government censorship but rather through his brigades of street thugs, the “brown shirts,” who would intimidate and physically prevent his opponents from speaking publicly.

The tactic parallels the often successful efforts to “cancel” and “shut down” public speakers by activists and violent actors, such as Antifa.

Gee, sounds awful -- until you realize they don't mention any specific canceled/shut-down people because even Epoch Times readers might think, "Oh, you mean like when Josh Hawley loses his book deal (at least for a couple of days)? Or students decide they don't like their commencement speaker? Who gives a shit?" (The people who really get persecuted for speech, as I have observed repeatedly, you seldom hear about.) Svab goes on:

Dissenting media in America haven’t been silenced by the government directly as of yet. But they are stymied in other ways.

In the digital age, media largely rely on reaching and growing their audience through social media and web search engines, which are dominated by Facebook and Google. Both companies have in place mechanisms to crack down on dissenting media.

For rightwingers, "Crack down on dissenting media" means "enforce their own terms of service on their own platforms" -- as when President Tubby, after whipping up his goons to storm the Capitol, got his plug pulled by Twitter and all the wingnuts cried censorship.  

Google gives preference in its search results to sources it deems “authoritative.” Search results indicate the company tends to consider media ideologically close to it to be more authoritative. Such media can then produce hit pieces on their competitors, giving Google justification to slash the “authoritativeness” of the dissenters.

See? Google considers the New York Times "more authoritative" than QAnon Catturd Infect Your Computer News -- clearly librulmedia BIAS.

It goes on and on like this -- they marvel that "Alex Stamos recently labeled the widespread questioning of the 2020 election results as 'violent extremism,'" as if the Capitol siege were a hundred years ago instead of two weeks -- and who needs it, but you should understand what ET is peddling is right in line with what a lot of these guys are focused on -- not only the usual pencil-necks like Rod Dreher but also now-former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who I am told to my astonishment is prepping for a Presidential run with material like this:

Stands to reason, I guess: You can't run against the disastrous mishandling of the pandemic, unemployment, racism etc. the day after you were in charge of them all. Maybe in a month they'll try it! But till then and in any case, the conservative cri de boor will be Liberal Fascism.

UPDATE. Also what all the wingnut kids are into: transphobia! From Holy Rod Dreher:

And so, on the first full day of a Biden presidency, female school athletics is sacrificed to wokeness. 


From an executive order sent down from on high today:
Every person should be treated with respect and dignity and should be able to live without fear, no matter who they are or whom they love.  Children should be able to learn without worrying about whether they will be denied access to the restroom, the locker room, or school sports. [Emphasis mine — RD]...


This means that schools that get federal funding have to treat biological males who identify as female as if they were female. With this order, the federal government declares that the biological advantage that male bodies have over female bodies, in terms of strength and endurance, does not matter — at least not in schools that receive federal funding.
I can easily imagine Rod squinting at LSU women's basketball games, trying to figure out which ones used to be a dude so he knows who not to beat off to. (Ha, just joking -- Dreher and 99% of these guys never gave a shit about women's sports until it became something liberal to blubber over.)

Friday, January 15, 2021


She's cool.

•   It's been a hell of a 2021 so far, eh?  Well, the upside of seeing the neighborhood overrun by National Guard is that I strongly doubt under the circumstances even the most committed Nazi/Proud Boy fucks are going to try it this weekend or on the 20th. Lauren Boebert (R.-Crazyland) or some other Qball Rep may whip out a gun in an effort to fulfill the Nutcake Prophecy, but I expect the feds have a couple marksmen properly assigned. 

And it seems Tubby's approval rating has sunk considerably -- which, to me, doesn't necessarily mean his hardcore minority of yahoos has shrunk too much: rather, it means some of them are getting less of a kick professing their love for him than they used to. Which is still good, even though they've begged off less out of shame and more because the one thing they could never admit has become incontrovertible -- that Trump is a loser. It still saps his power. It's fun for some people to back a bully when he's beating up nerds, but when he finally gets his ass kicked who's gonna sympathize with him? 

All he was able to do in the last ditch was try a putsch and come up with a figurative bloody nose. Hitler came back from a putsch, true. So the Democrats have gotta start acting like they know that: give the people their two grand (I know I know), whip this vaccine delivery into shape, and in general govern like they want people to vote them back in, not like they want their donors to keep it coming. 

Tall order, I know, but that's what it will take. And it can be done! Seriously, who knew even a couple of years ago this was coming:

The National Rifle Association on Friday filed petitions with a U.S. bankruptcy court seeking protection from creditors by restructuring, the gun rights advocacy group announced.

The NRA filed the Chapter 11 petitions in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Dallas, it said in a news release.

The NRA said it would restructure as a Texas nonprofit to exit what it said was a “a corrupt political and regulatory environment in New York” state, where it is currently registered.

The “corrupt political and regulatory environment in New York” to which they refer is one in which they apparently got caught doing massive fraud by New York Attorney General Letitia James. From August 6:

Sean Delany, a former head of the charities bureau in the office of the attorney general — the same division now handling the case — said, “I think the facts are very strong, but I think the remedy of dissolution is a stretch, because the A.G. would have to prove that the organization is so rife with fraud that there isn’t anything sufficiently substantial in the organization’s charitable programs to make it worth saving.”

WELP.  And James is currently gunning for Tubby. Courage, my friends, with God all things are possible. 

•  Oh yeah, in case you want some funsies here's a bagatelle from the newsletter. Ripped from today's headlines! 

Thursday, January 14, 2021


I've unlocked today's Roy Edroso Breaks It Down issue reviewing the steps that brought us to our current situation, where the inauguration of an exceedingly moderate Democrat as President must be prepared for as if he were Lincoln on the cusp of civil war. 

Unlike a surprising number of commentators, I don't think this country is on the verge of civil war -- I think rather that the sane people of America are being harassed by a bunch of nuts who want such a war, notwithstanding that if they really tried it they would get their asses kicked even worse and much more quickly than their Confederate predecessors. 

Part of the insurrectionist Right's shtick is to talk about the 73 million Trump voters as if they're all waiting for Ted Cruz to drop his handkerchief and will come rebel-yelling over the ridge when he does. That's what Peter Navarro is doing here:

This is part of the Trumpian con-manner, whereby everything you do is colossal, stupendous, the greatest, and can't fail. Thus the Trumpkins enlist Republican voters as co-conspirators in their imaginary uprising. 

Not bloody likely. There's a lot of madness afoot, but if all or even most Republican voters were as crazy as the Republicans who are screaming sedition, this country would  have ground completely to a halt years ago as they all tried to figure out how to pour piss out of a boot.

The ones who actually are that crazy are finding out quick that federal law enforcement is not going to wave them through this gate. Their elected nutcakes, and their unwillingness to go the whole hog and eject Tubby to prevent more miscief, remain a problem. And it bears remembering that in addition to the five dead at the Capitol they are at least partly responsible for the mounting COVID death toll and a lot of other lethal and just plain stupid shit.

For that we only have the tedious remedy of politics. So on to the Biden Administration and all the cruel disappointments that await us there! But as for the MAGA Mob, the prescription is simpler: Play stupid games and win stupid prizes.  

Saturday, January 09, 2021


The great volume of work required by my God Damn Job and Roy Edroso Breaks It Down (a classic, only Substack newsletter not devoted to cancelculture blubbering, subscribe!) is part of what keeps me from following Rod Dreher as closely as I used to. But most of it is just fatigue and disgust. As with another of my longtime figures of fun, Jonah Goldberg, their idiocies that once tickled me have palled; neither Dreher nor Goldberg ever improves or even becomes memorably worse, and all they seem to learn are new scholarly references to stick to their same old, shitty ideas. 

Dreher is mainly noteworthy for the increasing obviousness of his fascist beliefs.  Last week I mentioned his latest expression of fondness for Generalissimo Franco (one in a series). This week, as you may expect, he has been disgusted that the awful man whose manners he excoriates (but who he nonetheless had hoped would be reelected) spurred the mob to violence, but did you know the attempted coup was actually "The Left’s Reichstag Fire"? No, he's not saying the Left actually did the attempted coup (at least not yet) but that they stand to benefit from it -- that is, sure, Trump's goons tried to murder Congress, but now liberals will treat this "as an opportunity to begin to implement the rudiments of a social credit system, and to otherwise marginalize and suppress right-of-center discourse and people." Which is so much worse! 

Then, in another post, Dreher goes further

Anyway, I anticipate that rightist radicals will now begin to undertake campaigns of low-level violent actions — bombings and other forms of domestic terrorism. It won’t amount to anything, but it will give the Establishment (= not just the state, but corporations too) even more excuses to crack down. 

So "rightist radicals" are going to do "bombings" and "other forms of domestic terrorism" but "it won’t amount to anything" -- besides, I guess, the murder of a bunch of people, but Rod's not really concerned about them because really, what's some dead terror victims that probably don't go to his church compared with cancel culture victims? You may have lost your life but I got a 12-hour Twitter time-out! And my beloved horrible president [sniff] lost his Twitter entirely! ALL GAVE SOME, SOME GAVE ALL!    

Guy's a fascist.

Friday, January 08, 2021


Kia's still on a Carol Burnett kick, and we saw one where Gentry did this number.
Pretty cool, no?

Funny thing -- I was on way late Wednesday morning to the Mall to take some pictures, as I am accustomed to do at local protests, when I ran into a disabled neighbor who needed help; by the time I got through with that, I had to go back home to do job-work. Thus I missed the helter-skelter at the Capitol, though like everyone else I had a few hours' worry about how it was going to come out.

I'm still worried. After a wave of bipartisan calls for Tubby to be removed by impeachment or 25th Amendment -- including from Peggy Noonan, of all people! -- the energy seems to be flowing the other way; Nancy Pelosi is holding firm, but Lindsay Graham has tweeted, "As President @realDonaldTrump stated last night, it is time to heal and move on" -- as if Trump's word for anything could be trusted, except when it is employed -- as it has been from “I would like you to do us a favor though" through "We’re going to walk down, and I’ll be there with you... you have to show strength" -- in the commission of a crime.   

I hope not only our electeds but also the FBI and whoever actually countermanded Trump on National Guard deployment are getting busy, because the nuts who rampaged on Wednesday are as accustomed to a lack of consequences as their leader, and unless they see some consequences pronto they'll be back with worse. Count on it. 

Wednesday, January 06, 2021


I understand from people who spend time on Facebook and Brit Hume's Twitter feed that a lot of MAGA zombies are saying today's obvious, red-hatted, incited-by-Tubby attempted MAGA coup was the work of Antifa provocateurs pretending to be Trump supporters. 

Somebody should have told that to the current and former Republican office-holders who joined the vandals at the Capitol! Not to mention such notorious MAGA chunkheads as Baked Alaska who sent selfies out from the coup to their social media streams and law enforcement officials who, I hope, will start doing something about it as soon as we wrench control of this government away from Tubby's bund.

The people who refuse to believe what is happening even while it's happening are a sad testament to our shitty public school system and perhaps lead-based paint, but even worse are the rightwing shysters who sort of admit that it's terrible but the real crime is the left using it to cast aspersions on Trump and his devoted followers. Here's Scott Johnson, one of the assholes at remember-when blog Power Line:

President Trump seems determined to leave office in a manner that vindicates the vile accusations hurled at him by his opponents over the past four years.

If only he behaved like the true gentleman we know him to be! Alas, now our years of tongue-bathing him will come to naught, as evil liberals exploit his actual behavior to diminish him and our cause! 

Worse, predictably, is Rod Dreher:
Nevertheless, I believe that these MAGA fools have provided those on the Left — in the government and within corporations, universities and other institutions — who wish to suppress conservatives and religious dissidents with a Reichstag-fire excuse to crack down (except in the case of the Reichstag fire, that didn’t happen; this abomination in Washington today really occurred). The soft totalitarianism I’ve been warning about: the MAGA mob today accelerated its arrival.
It's like the Reichstag fire -- except we totally did it!

I'm glad to see some Democratic officials invoking the 25th Amendment -- not because I expect the gutless shits in Tubby's cabinet to do the right thing, but because it has to be said, loudly, that this shit is so unacceptable we have to do something drastic -- or it'll keep happening and maybe next time they'll get lucky.

As for the oh it must be antifa types, it's time for some serious de-Nazification. Make 'em look at the evidence, like the Allies did to German citizens after the war, and see what they did. 

Tuesday, January 05, 2021


[Note: This is part of an upcoming item in Roy Edroso Breaks It Down, the Substack for smart people with a sense of humor. Most items are paywalled but some, like today's lookback at the 2020 election, are open to the public.]

While low-rent rightwingers howl for a coup, most top-ranked conservative outlets are at this point slightly abashed, maybe even scared, at the unseemly spectacle of their hero trying mob boss tactics to overturn the election. At National Review the longtime utter fraud and heretofore reliable defender of Trump Andrew C. McCarthy was originally willing to go along with the gag in post-election stories like "Michigan Certification of Biden Win Is a Step Toward the End — But It’s Not the End" and "As Time Is Running Out, Trump Campaign Files Stronger Lawsuit in Georgia." 

But now McCarthy seems to caught nerves; In "The Risky Wager of Betting on Trump" he even begins "Were the anti-Trumpers right all along?" before deciding, like Principal Skinner, that no, it's the children who are wrong:

The Trump fanatics notwithstanding, the case for Trump, in 2020 as in 2016, was never based on the comparative merits and demerits of the man. It was Trump as opposed to whom? That’s still the most sensible way to look at it.

This is like the argument made by Russian and Polish Nazis who argued after the war that Hitler was, on balance, a better guy than Stalin and that's why they killed those Jews.

Even the damage now being done, the trail being blazed for the next Democratic administration to subvert future Republican electoral victories, has to be weighed against, say, what the Supreme Court would look like for the next 30 years if Mrs. Clinton had been president for the last four, and what that would portend for our constitutional republic.

Like other Republicans, when this is all over, whether they boldly defend their Trumpism or pretend they were in Switzerland for the entire war, McCarthy will comfort himself that he may have put American democracy at risk but oooooh those reactionary young judges! (And, of course, the traditional confidence of the hypocrite that his opponents would do just as badly in his shoes.) 

One imagines McCarthy wouldn't be too sad if Tubby actually did blow it all up, but apparently he expects that won't happen and he doesn't want to look too Trumpist when the smoke clears. So he talks about how the threat was never so bad because we were always bound to be saved by either the bureaucracy ("the quotidian details of governance are handled by an administration, now grown to thousands of bureaucrats") or the Constitution ("the real genius of the Framers was to plan for the inevitability of crises"). 

Also, ho ho, Trump himself isn't a real threat because he's too silly; "in reality, his lust is more for pomp than power... his fatal flaws have little to do with coveting power and everything to do with vanity..." He's just a clown, not a serious man like Hitler or Mussolini! 

Then McCarthy goes on to slag the just-as-bad Democrats and to hope, like many other conservatives-with-good-taste, that what he's heard about the ever-shrinking attention spans of our citizens is not a myth, and in a few weeks at most they can pretend to care once again about the deficit and "rule by pen and phone" and the dignity of the office without too many of them going Hey, wait a minute!  When do you suppose they'll accuse the absurdly moderate President Biden of posing a greater threat to the stability of the country than the much-maligned Donald Trump ever did? I give 'em two months. 

Friday, January 01, 2021


Rod Dreher, who we know from his previous posts is glad the fascist Francisco Franco overthrew the Spanish government and ruled as a dictator for 39 years -- "I didn’t intend to argue about who was right and who was wrong in that war. Personally I believe the better side won" -- recently put up a post about how bad the Spanish leftists Franco defeated were, and how this reminds him that today "the cultural left really is marching through the institutions" and of the "costly stand against the mob" taken by, get this, Bari Weiss. Also, Dreher explains he can't back the Trump "Stop the Steal" crew because they're not doing it right:

It’s all performative with that crowd. They satisfy themselves with, “But he fights!” — ignoring that at best, Trump has only slowed down the takeover. There’s no strategy there, only emoting about God, the flag, and pillows. Instead of a Gen. Franco, a leader who seriously and effectively fought the radical left, they have produced a Gen. Flynn, the crackpot who is now openly promoting the QAnon cult. 

The Right needs leadership. Desperately. [Emphasis added]

This guys gets loved up by David Brooks, the New Yorker and lots of other mainstream types, and he's a straight-up fascist. That's all I came here to say. Happy new year! 

Thursday, December 31, 2020


All the "fuck 2020" talk has got me a little crabby; it's not like everything changes just because the clock strikes twelve. We still have the same creeps, assholes, and wasters following us into 2021. But thanks to a few things that went right last year -- like Black Lives Matter and Blue Georgia and a general understanding that the last four years was not what we want for ourselves or anyone else -- we have a better chance than we've had in a while to kick them to the curb. A friend wrote to me that she thought the Trump fiasco might actually be salutary in the long run: "the openness of his misogyny compared to the comparatively covert previous war on women brought many younger women who felt feminism unnecessary into the fold." She thinks this lesson might also apply to issues of race, water rights, health care and so forth. Maybe it's New Year's talking, but I think she may be right. So let's toast that, and with whatever music or other means bolsters our resolve to make this next whatever better. If that's a champagne toast, so be it. See you on the other side.

Wednesday, December 30, 2020


Michael Brendan Dougherty at National Review last May:

Horseshoe theory holds that at a certain point, the political left and the political right bend around and begin to get closer together again. You can see it on economic issues when Senator Josh Hawley is talking with Matt Stoller. I noticed it often among my fellow “restrainer” foreign-policy friends.

And here's Stoller himself on December 5, after Hawley "joined" (for some sense of the term) Bernie Sanders in requesting $1,200 checks for stimulus relief in the senate:

"Bipartisan cooperation a welcome sign on Capitol Hill" marveled the Boston Herald. "If our lawmakers can do it on stimulus payments," the Herald went on, "maybe there are other areas where the left and right can find populist common ground: criminal justice reform or paid family leave perhaps." 

"Josh Hawley, populism's philosopher-in-chief," swooned Charles Fain Lehman in a long, lubricious ode at the Washington Examiner that had Hawley denouncing the Pelagian heresy "that you can 'emancipate yourself from God by creating your own self'" and extolling "the original Populist Party" of the early 20th Century:

"It was a moment of significant social, economic, international upheaval, which we’re experiencing now as well,” Hawley said. “The late 19th, early 20th century was also a moment when the existing political coalitions were in a state of collapse and reforming, which is clearly what we’re in the midst of right now."

Populist and anti-Pelagian -- a 2024 dream candidate! Hawley also joined the more recent Sanders push for $2,000 checks -- even less likely to go through than $1,200  (and it hasn't), but a great way to keep the rubes paying attention. 

Well, today the horseshoe is on the other foot:

Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) announced Wednesday that he would object next week when Congress convenes to certify the electoral college vote, a move that all but ensures at least a short delay in cementing President-elect Joe Biden’s victory.

Turns out the dreamboat is just another crackpot grifter like Louie Gohmert and Tommy Tuberville. Being a boring old-fashioned type of liberal I could smell Hawley walking in. Here's your humble narrator in June 2019 on Hawley's lionization at The Federalist as one of two "Brand-New Senators" who "Cast Light on the GOP's Post-Trump Future" (the other one was, lol, Rick Scott): "Josh Hawley's the young, hip kind of theocrat creep who's bound to appeal to hypothetical young people who think like Roy Moore."

About the only good thing about Hawley is that his horseshoe-y idea to make Federal workers decamp to rural districts so's to make everything more equal-like -- 'cause he don't like no "cosmopolitan elites" nohow! -- inspired me to my Gulchville, KY Winter White House series*.

But gratitude only extends so far. When we talk about Trump being succeeded in the hearts of conservatives by cleverer fascists, this is what we're talking about.

* BTW that edition of Roy Edroso Breaks It Down isn't the only freebie presently available to non-subscribers -- today's Twitter feud among leading conservative lights is also yours for the clicking. Consider subscribing before your company's Substack benefits for the year run out! 

UPDATE. Some people never learn.

After January 20 Tom Cotton will start referring to Biden as "the so-called president" and McArdle will wonder if he's a body double. 

Friday, December 25, 2020


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


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:


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


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


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


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.