Wednesday, November 03, 2021


I have a big item on the Virginia election working for Roy Edroso Breaks It Down -- subscribers will see it in the morning, which is a good reason to be a subscriber, hint hint.  The big takeaway: Now everything will be CRT for the GOP. Democrats want to tax the rich? It's critical race theory! (They only want that money to give to black people for reparations.) National broadband? Critical race theory! (They just want to pump Ta-Nehisi Coates into your l’il-ol’ one-room schoolhouse.) Obamacare? Critical race theory! Look how many black people are getting coverage under the Medicaid expansion -- obviously done to address some made-up “systemic” “racism.” 

Best part: White people are the victims/heroes! 

‘til then all I have to offer you is the gift of laughter, courtesy of our old friend Megan McArdle:

I don’t know what’s funnier: That McArdle’s even trying this Dreher/Friedman fantasy about a person who’s on the “left” but thinks radical Democrats like Terry fucking McAuliffe have betrayed the race-blind politics taught by her dear sainted mother, or that she has McArdle convinced friendship is the reason she hasn’t been reading her columns. 

Friday, October 29, 2021


Always liked this one.

•   One of the many weird epiphenomena of the conservative COVID movement is their celebrations of Trumpian Governors like Ron DeSantis as heroes of the pandemic. DeSantis in particular has overseen 3.6 million cases and 59,495 deaths and arguably drove these dismal numbers with his insane anti-vaccine-mandate and anti-mask ordinances, yet every time he gets to the other side of one of his self-generated disease waves, conservatives cry “Where Does Ron DeSantis Go To Get His Apology?” The same thing is happening now as the latest appalling Florida summer wave subsides; Karol Markowicz at the New York Post is not only praising DeSantis’ purgative approach but endorsing it for the rest of the country. Her lede is a classic case of disguising cause and effect by reversing their order.   

Florida has the lowest COVID-19 case rate in the country. They did it without vaccine mandates, without mask mandates in school and with no restrictions on businesses. Life simply went on. 

Over the summer, when Florida was experiencing a spike in cases, the media was wall-to-wall news about the numbers. Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis was a frequent target for the blame. His sensible moves, such as not forcing low-risk kids to wear masks, was treated as akin to murder by the media.

In other words, DeSantis allowed the uninhibited spread of the disease to jack up the numbers, and when the virus hit a firebreak of the dead and sickened, and infections paused, he and acolytes like Markowicz could say, “Look how low it is now!” Which is rather like saying, “once the patient died his fever went down.” 

And, given the experience of countries like Iran,  Florida will have even more waves and spikes in the future -- which is great, because as each wave recedes there’ll be more “Look how much it dropped, where’s his apology” talking point opportunities. And it will be compared favorably to places like New York City because, having used mandates and other public health measures to crush their COVID numbers, they won’t have any dramatic drops to report -- which will of course mean they aren’t doing as well. 

•   I mentioned two Roy Edroso Breaks It Down freebies for the week in previous alicublog installments, but here are the links again: The one about Ross Douthat’s Lyme Disease/COVID skepticism, and the one about that evergreen topic, rightwingers mad at a commercial.

Thursday, October 28, 2021


 Hold out your candy-bags, kids -- here's another freebie from Roy Edroso Breaks It Down. And in a rare double-up, like the last freebie this one features Rod Dreher. But he's just one of a bunch of rightwingers who've gone ballistic over a charming Twix Halloween ad, in which a boy who likes to wear dresses gets a nanny with heavy goth-witch vibes who confronts his bullies and proceeds to blow them off (in one case, literally).

The rampage against this ad is not limited to Dreher (who brings his unique "woke capitalism" brainworms to it) but extends to conservative outlets such as the Media Research Center ("Twix Halloween Ad Features Zero Candy and Plenty of Trans Propaganda for Kids"), Gateway Pundit ("Twix Releases Halloween Ad About a Boy Wearing Dresses With His Witch Nanny — Forgets to Mention Candy," hey thanks for the tip, Rosser Reeves), Russia Today ("The Witch & the Wardrobe change: Twix blasted for ‘woke’ Halloween ad with boy wearing princess dress, but no holiday… or candy"), et alia.

One particularly dumb idea in their coverage is that, when the witch-nanny sends off one bully with a gust of wind, the commercial actually, in the words of Ben Shapiro's Daily Wire, "Suggests Violence Against Those Who Disagree Acceptable." Quite apart from the characterization of bullies as "those who disagree" -- there's a whole academic paper on rightwing victim-status-claiming in that -- I wonder if, when these guys saw Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory and Augustus Gloop drowned in the Chocolate River and Violet Beauregarde turned into a blueberry, they stormed the box office claiming it was a pedophiliac snuff film. 

But my essay's not so much about that as why people like these hate fantasies in which the marginalized and bullied vanquish their tormentors, but love fantasies about overthrowing the government and raping and lynching their real-life opponents. 

Tuesday, October 26, 2021


I’m unlocking today’s Roy Edroso Breaks It Down, about Rod Dreher’s review of Ross Douthat’s Lyme Disease book. As you might expect, it’s a popular subject among rightwingers as Douthat is one of their made men. But since the book apparently talks about Douthat’s Lyme being chronic, Megan McArdle’s review talks mostly about how she once had what looked like a chronic disease but it turned out to be poor medication reconciliation, tee hee, and (so?) she’s dubious about Douthat’s chronic Lyme claim; Freddie DeBoer, while lavishing praise on Douthat’s prose (I know, suspicious already, right?), argues that chronic Lyme doesn’t exist.  

I forebear to judge, noting that many reputable doctors treat Lyme patients’ symptoms for years. And I wouldn’t judge Douthat’s book either, since I have not and will not read it; life’s way too short. But I note that when Douthat’s rightwing reviewers address his apparently alt-medical opinions, they hasten to tell us that they are certainly not against skepticism toward traditional medicine. De Boer:

I stress that I know how he feels; the paternalistic and arbitrary behavior of doctors is a ubiquitous aspect of mental health treatment, and the unique feeling of helplessness that doctors can inspire is something I have lived with many times in my life. But as some point the ruminations on the failings of the medical system start to feel rote, and Douthat’s objections remind me uncomfortably of myself. Because I spent nearly ten years denying my mental illness entirely and another half-decade refusing medication, and thus far have only spent four accepting both the diagnosis and the treatment. All along, my denial and obstinacy were fed by a set of complaints about the medical system that were visceral, justified, and true. But they were also, undeniably, an excuse to look at everything involved in my mental health but myself. [italics mine]

DeBoer seems to be saying, “Yeah, I thought medical science was a con and didn’t even consider that I had a mental illness, let alone take pills for it; now, guess what, I know I’m mentally ill and I took the pills, but I still think medical science is a con that just happened to be right.” McArdle, without totally buying Douthat’s diagnosis, nonetheless defends his skepticism (“I, like Douthat, also know the peril of deferring to doctors who want to treat only what they can measure”) and ends with some rather weak woo:

That does not, of course, prove that chronic Lyme is real. But neither does the absence of clear evidence provide evidence of absence. Given the uncertainties, it seems to me far better to risk false hope than to too meekly accept a counsel of despair.

Or, the sun’ll come up tomorrow, bet your bottom dollar that tomorrow there’ll be sun.

As addressed in the newsletter, Dreher is more ferociously anti-medical-establishment, raving about ivermectin and “how blind science can be” and even working in a Lyme Disease version of the COVID Lab Leak story (Lyme Leak?). 

What all these guys appear to have in common is a vested interest in the kind of “skepticism” beloved of the anti-vaxx community, crystal healers, and such specifically rightwing alt-med-grifters as Stella “Demon Sperm” Immanuel. This is becoming, as we can see from the people screaming at nurses outside hospitals and the cops marching against vaccination requirements, an important constituency for the new Republican coalition. And it mirrors the whole conservative project to destroy any faith in once-respected authorities such as government, schools, and medical science, so that it may be more easily transferred to Trump and similar goons. 

Oh, also of note: Last month a Texas court threw out a suit against the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA), brought by a Lyme sufferer and associates who claim the organization, which publishes standards for Lyme treatment, "engaged in a decades-long conspiracy to deny the existence and prevent treatment of chronic Lyme disease." Now that they've lost, maybe they'll just track the scientists down and assault them, like their co-loons do at hospitals. And do look at the comments at the Roy Edroso Breaks It Down story, especially those of people who've had Lyme Disease and have their own opinions about Dreher's angle. 


Friday, October 22, 2021


If I’m honest, I think this is the greatest American song, and this is its best version.

•   OK cowboys and cowgirls, I’m giving you not one but TWO free samples from Roy Edroso Breaks It Down this week. Feast your eyes:

1. The one about how, though you hear pundits talking about “civil war” as if both sides are choking for it, civil war is really a rightwing thing -- for reasons both political (they know most people won’t vote for them so they celebrate other means of holding power) and psychological (they’re nuts).

2. The one about the rightwing ladies’ magazine I was talking about here yesterday, and how its development mirrors that of other culture-warrior attempts to promote a “conservative” version of something popular: After an initial attempt to “pass,” they give up and become yet another industrial-strength propaganda pump.

Think how great it would be to receive such treasures in your inbox five days a week, with a subscription! But meantime, enjoy.

•   It’s not like me to recommend other people’s essays because I’m selfish, but I encourage wide dissemination of Michael Hobbes’ “The Methods of Moral Panic Journalism” in which, after a quick and apt comparison to the “tort lawsuits out of control” bullshit stories of years past, he rips the bark off the whole Cancel Culture Woke PC blubber brigade. You all know how I feel about this subject, but Hobbes takes a bit of time to pin down some malefactors and it’s glorious, e.g.:

A surprisingly large percentage of “illiberal left” articles pull this same rhetorical trick. In 2019, Laurie Sheck, a New School professor, was investigated by her employer for saying the n-word in class. For weeks, centrist and conservative media outlets sputtered to her defense: The word appeared in a quote from James Baldwin! She was leading a class discussion about racial slurs! Invoking epithets wasn’t even prohibited in any school policies. The case became a totemic example of Wokeness Gone Mad that still pops up in anecdote-parade feature stories two years later.

But that version of the story leaves out an important epilogue. The university cleared Scheck without any punishment. The pundits were right: She hadn’t violated any school policies.

Scheck’s case, as soon as you tell it in full, turns out to be an example of a university that isn’t captured by leftist ideology. Only a single (white) student complained about Sheck’s use of the n-word. Like most universities, the New School has a grievance mechanism that allows students to file complaints and obligates administrators to take them seriously. The term “investigation” conjures up comparisons to Orwell and Kafka, but in this case it appears administrators interviewed Sheck and the student, reviewed their policies and moved on. Perhaps you wish the student had never filed a complaint in the first place, but this is the story of a system working as intended, not breaking down.

And so on. There’s plenty else to say about this popular rightwing propaganda technique -- I’m reminded of the endless skein of Rod Dreher “reader” “mail” in which anonymous alleged correspondents claim they’ve been cancelcultured -- and we have to keep telling the truth about it, notwithstanding that bullshit is at present more popular, in the hope that it'll eventually sink in. 

Thursday, October 21, 2021


Some of you may remember what fun I used to have with a little number called Acculturated, a rightwing ladymag apparently created to propagandize readers of the Seven Sisters and fashion books. They delivered some lulus, including columns by Boof Kavanaugh buddy Mark Gauvreau Judge and the deathless coochphrase “skin bus to Tuna Town,” before giving up the ghost at the end of 2017.

But wait! There is another, apparently: Something called Evie, which has apparently been operating under the radar since last year. It offers a premium print version, the covers of which appear to emulate the design of Elle, but mostly it’s online. 

I’m probably going to more fully scan the rack, as it were, for Roy Edroso Breaks It Down tomorrow, but for now I want to call your attention to this honey from August, “Man-Hating Feminism Is Turning Us Into Narcissists,” by staff writer Meghan Dillon. It’s all about how, while the good feminists of yore were about “equality and suffrage,” the kind you whores practice is about “sexual empowerment, man-hating, and bashing women who disagree with them.” Dillon also tells us that though stupid feminists think “there would be no more wars if women ruled the world” (“I even heard this sentiment echoed from history professors when I was in college”), she counters that “women can be just as cruel as men” and cites Margaret Thatcher as an example. (I’m not sure she thought that one through.) 

In defense of her thesis Dillon cites authorities like “podcast host Suzanne Venker” and Jessa Crispin, which brings me to my favorite part:

Crispin argues that this attitude leads to a sense of grandiose self-importance, making some modern feminists think they’re more important simply because they’re women. This sense of self-importance (and lack of empathy for others) leads to narcissism, as Crispin writes, “It is a failure of empathy to identify yourself only with those who resemble you. That is as narcissistic as working exclusively in your own self-interest.”

I can’t think of a more relevant example for this phenomenon than what Bachelorette fans witnessed during the season 17 finale.

Very promising! More tomorrow at REBID

UPDATE. My fuller consideration of Evie is up now

Friday, October 15, 2021


Pure charm.

•   Maybe sometime I’ll see that new Dave Chappelle special but the last one he did in 2019, as I wrote at the time, was more interesting as a social phenomenon than it was enjoyable as a comedy show. And I gotta say this bit from Rod Dreher, just before he begins to blubber about how the mean journalists and Twitter posters are “cancelling” a comedian who is richer and more famous than all of them put together, is not propitious:

Have you seen the new Dave Chappelle special on Netflix yet? It’s not bad — not great, but not bad. It has some some laugh-out-loud lines, but mostly it’s pedestrian. Chappelle’s great, but this isn’t his best stuff.

Dreher’s such a lousy writer he’s always dropping tells, and doesn’t he sound here like someone who wants you to show support for some entertainment product on ideological grounds -- like he’s trying to muscle you to attend a fundraising concert -- but he also wants to tip you off that the product isn’t so hot so, when you see it and find that out, you won’t think he has shitty taste? There’s a bunch of Ernst Lubitsch on the Criterion Channel I haven’t seen yet, so who needs it. 

•   OK, here’s the freebie from this week’s Roy Edroso Breaks It Down for you guys who haven’t subscribed. It’s the one about a lightly disguised football coach who was canned for his slurs. I already told you about it here on Wednesday, though. Maybe you feel deprived, even cheated. Well, here’s an idea: Why not subscribe? $7/month for five-day-a-week delivery (less if you go annual-plan) is value for money even in Substack World, plus you get a pass to read everything in the archives -- three years’ worth of quality political commentary, humor, criticism, and even some artistic hooey, plus you get to comment. Think what an impression you’ll make at your next fancy society party when someone brings up, say, Andrew Yang, and you smoothly interject, “I subscribe to Roy Edroso’s Substack, and he says Andrew Yang -- well, I can’t quite remember what, but the gist was Andrew Yang is a piece of shit.” “Why,” your interlocutors will say, “I never thought of it that way. Roy Edroso, you say? I thought he died a long time ago. Suicide.” “No,” you will rejoin, “you’re thinking of Yukio Mishima, whom he closely resembles artistically.” They’ll look at you differently thereafter, I assure you, and a subscription costs less all other means of making such an impression, e.g. new clothes, a spectacular haircut, or bail after you trash the place.

Wednesday, October 13, 2021


Here’s a rare midweek release of a Roy Edroso Breaks It Down freebie to the non-members among you, about one conservative’s (and every one’s, really) response to the firing of an NFL coach for years of offensive messages. It is, as they say in the promos, inspired by true events

As I always say whenever the cancelculture crybabies rush to defend some big name like Coach Gruden who will almost certainly die rich of old age in his bed despite his “cancellation,” I would happily accept laws that kept such people from being fired, suspended, or otherwise punished for speech so long as the law also applied to the non-rich, such as the trans Netflix employee who, so far as I know, is the only person who has actually suffered for what they've said about the Dave Chapelle special (notwithstanding the fantasies of rightwingers who go “I bet my buddies will get fired for writing a good review of The Closer I bet I bet” -- bitch, show me one!). But conservatives never accept that deal, for some reason. 

Though Erick Erickson is not my model for the REBID item (when he is, I take greater care to ape his awfulness specifically), his own essay on the subject was inspirational. It’s full of nuggets like these:

Gruden said in private what other people might say, including referring to Joe Biden in 2012 as a “nervous clueless pussy.” Whether you like it or not, these conversations happen among friends who sometimes use coarse language.

This was clearly an orchestrated effort to punish Gruden for past comments and drive him out of the NFL. We can speculate on who did it. But we should really focus on the problem here that keeps happening.

There’s so much ugly-stupid in there, but for me the suggestion that Gruden was targeted by the NFL because he said something bad about Joe Biden once, plausibly-deniable chickenshit though it is, doesn’t approach the cowardliness of the “Gruden said in private what other people might say” argument. Erickson can’t even go all the way with the logic of his essay: that it’s so common and understandable to use racist, misogynist, and homophobic slurs on a regular basis that anyone, including himself, might do it. 

I’m not saying Erickson spews like Gruden did; obviously he’s too weaselly to expose himself like that. But if he were more forthright about his assertion, he might be forced to explain why, in his experience, “conversations” that “happen among friends who sometimes use coarse language” (not his friends, surely!) so frequently include these slurs. Or would that be a “critical race theory” question to ask, since it implies American bigotry didn’t die at Appomattox?

Can’t resist adding this bit from Erickson’s essay after this one, about how mandatory vaccination against pandemic viruses is liberal tyranny:

When my father-in-law went for an antibody infusion the other day, the nurse told him the infusions were in short supply. According to the nurse, the Biden Administration was punishing Georgia, Florida, and other states that had no mask or vaccine mandates by withholding antibody infusion doses. Whether that is true or not is beside the point. The point is the nurse believed it and is relaying that to patients. That will have an effect and, in fact, the Biden Administration is withholding antibody doses for reasons that remain nebulous. [Italics added]

I mean, the anonymous authority with an outlandish accusation that the author disseminates is standard procedure with, for example, Rod Dreher, but I don’t think even Dreher would just admit up front that it may be bullshit. 

Friday, October 08, 2021


Weird to see them show-bizzin' it up here-- I always imagined them
all serious, even pained, in a church. Shows what I know!

•  I've been asked more than once this week what I think about Rod Dreher getting greater-than-usual dissemination in the mainstream press for his recent bizarre reminiscence about being in third grade and ogling his black classmate's "primitive root wiener when we were at the urinal during recess, because it was monstrous." But I have followed Dreher for many years and frankly this doesn't even make my Top Ten wacko Dreher moments, such as his friend's wife's exorcism ("his wife’s face contorts into expressions that he has never seen in her, despite their nearly two decades of marriage"). Besides, as far as racism goes, the Mandingo root weiner may be funny, but I've seen so much of the guy's less-funny racism, such as his suggestion that if airlines hire more black pilots, airplanes will "start falling out of the sky" (because, come on, black people flying planes!), that it has lost it charm for me. Meanwhile Dreher's still dropping gibberish like this on the regular:

A reader who grew up in communist Czechoslovakia said the letter from the National School Board Association to President Biden, asking for the feds to move in to protect school boards from angry parents, reminds him of this August 1968 letter that the Communist leadership of his native country sent to Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev, fraternally requesting an invasion to protect them from the Czech people...

But while this comparison of a DOJ investigation into violent threats by rightwing freaks against school board members for purposes of intimidation to the crushing of the Prague Spring is clinically insane, it's well within the range of mainstream conservative opinion, so we can count on the prestige press to continue to fluff Dreher the way they have Hugh Hewitt and other such ogres as fascinating contrarians. 

•  I have cleared only one Roy Edroso Breaks It Down entry for readers who are not paying subscribers -- the latest in a series of conservative columns about how you liberals are just silly to worry about another attempted Trump coup (bringing to mind the old Tom Lehrer lyric: "Once all the Germans were warlike and mean/ But that couldn't happen again/ We taught them a lesson in 1918/ And they've hardly bothered us since then"). It's been such an action-packed week that you should really consider subscribing. I mean, take today's entry on the new political party/grift created by Andrew Yang. (Here's a free column of mine from 2019 about how I knew Yang was no good. Sometimes the gift of prophecy is a curse!) That alone is worth the $7 monthly subscription rate -- and it's just one of the twenty (20) issues you get for that price! It's almost wasteful not to subscribe! 

Friday, October 01, 2021


Crossing the streams.

Busy week! And I haven't much left for y'all here. Free from the newsletter for non-subscribers (and what are they waiting for, an invitation?) (If they are, I invite them to subscribe!), I offer one inspired by the weird Stephanie Grisham anecdote about Trump and his "Music Man." Many layers of WTF in that story -- assuming it's true, and I don't, because let's face it, why should anyone trust any ex-Trump officials to tell the truth, especially the ones who were specifically hired to lie? The only way anyone's gonna be interested in her book is if it's got hot parts. If it were a Profiles in Courage treatment of Tubby, I doubt even local Republican chapters would spring for bestseller-list-goosing bulk-rate boxes of I’ll Take Your Questions Now. But with stories like Trump calling Grisham to defend his penis, they'll get some thrill-seekers at least, probably from both sides of the aisle -- conservatives know as well as we do what a buffoon he is; they just think it's great that we had him as president because, at bottom, they hate this country because they think black people and feminists are taking it over, and so love to see it humiliated. Anyway, enjoy! 

Friday, September 24, 2021


I wonder if the younger readers get as much pleasure 
out of these Stan Freberg spots as I do.

•   Only one Roy Edroso Breaks It Down freebie this week (though why don’t you visit the archive and look at some of my previous unlocked issues -- yes, they’re topical, but also deathless): The one about Bari Weiss and yet another of her stupid cancelculture whinges. While I'm at it here’s another Wari Beiss thing from back in May; boy, that one’s still daisy-fresh, too. How do I do it? I trust in the Lord, kids! 

•   Things have changed around here since I used to fill up alicublog with reports on commentators with names like The Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler and Ace of Spades. (Yes, they’re still around! Find them yourselves if you think you can stand it.) No need for that, mostly, as the crass stupidity of the old blogging days has advanced to the top ranks of conservatism, either through the direct engagement of rightbloggers (as we used to call them) or by old-school rightwing journalists like Rich Lowry aping the rabble. Among the latter is Peggy Noonan who has preserved all her old, horrible prose crotchets while dropping culture-war hankies in hopes of attracting the regnant rubeoisie. Take her latest:

What Milley Got Right—and Wrong
His preoccupation with his own image points to a larger problem, though his talk with Li was justified.

The nu-style conservatives have been screaming their heads off for Joint Chiefs chair Milley, who was reported to have assured the Chinese that then-lame-duck-president Tubby would not blow up the world, to be fired or tried for treason to expiate this offense to the former guy’s good name. Even assuming the reporting is accurate, this is ridiculous, and as eager to get “with it” as Noonan is, she can’t quite indulge it, but (maybe I should say “so”) she finds something else to score Milley for: First, vanity (LOL, c’mon), and then -- wokeness! 

… While the wars were being fought, did top brass keep the military a step apart from the damaging cultural and political swirls that have swept the nation?

It looks to me as if they have been too eager to prove they have all the right cultural and political predicates, that they want the media and political class to see this. That they’re desperate for them to see it.

Looking for proof of this claim? You don’t know our Peggy -- she's more into implications and buzzwords than evidence.

But the U.S. military is the most respected institution in the country in part because its members aren’t like the country… They are called on to preserve and protect the Constitution. They’ll die for you. They don’t make you swear to that at Oberlin.


…The services should be bringing in everybody—women, sexual minorities—gathering all the talent they can, because only our talent will give us the edge in future wars, which will come. Talent comes from all quarters.

But that doesn’t mean adopting the ideologies and assumptions of the leftist cultural regime that reigns in other institutions—Critical Race Theory, wokeness. Don’t let that stuff in. If in your reviews of the past 20 years you determine you have, stop. Your future and ours depend on it.

As mentioned, Noonan offers no citations to back up the implied charge, borrowed from the current rightwing avant-garde, that the military is “woke.” And I think she has some idea of what those guys are trying to communicate about it to their meathead followers (lookit, rainbow dogtags durr hurr!), which is why she coats herself with the Plausible Deniability Concealing Spray of that bit about welcoming “sexual minorities.” She doesn’t want to be held responsible for the slur, but she wants the people who love it to know she hears them, and hopes it will convince them that she’s not just an old Reaganoid priss to be dropped out of the helicopters with the libs.

Sunday, September 19, 2021


I mean:

Nolte: Howard Stern Proves Democrats Want Unvaccinated Trump Voters Dead

Do you want to know why I think Howard Stern is going full-monster with his mockery of three fellow human beings who died of the coronavirus? Because leftists like Stern and CNNLOL and Joe Biden and Nancy Pelosi and Anthony Fauci are deliberately looking to manipulate Trump supporters into not getting vaccinated…

Not even kidding: John Nolte of Breitbart’s “argument” here is that liberals have been using reverse psychology -- a concept you may recall from old sitcoms and cartoons! -- to keep conservatives from getting vaccinated, thus killing them. 

How does that work? Nolte lays it out:

1.) Liberals are, in his words, “pieces of shit” and “scumbags,” so conservatives hate them;

2.) Liberals, using their status as pieces of shit and scumbags, have “bullied or ridiculed or mocked or pushed” conservatives to get vaccinated, knowing this will cause them to have the “perfectly human response” of refusing to get vaccinated.

There’s so much wrong with this: For one thing, this only sounds like a “perfectly human response” if you’re five years old. For another, before anyone made fun of conservatives for refusing to get vaccinated, they had to start dying in massive numbers but still continue to tell pollsters that they wouldn’t get vaccinated, and had to march in multiple protests and their red-state governors had to issue orders against vaccine mandates, and they had to resort to horse paste and other folk remedies out of fear that the vaccine would load them up with microchips or liberalism or whatever. 

Nolte also suggests that the liberal media was hiding the fact that nearly nobody who gets vaccinated dies of COVID-19. But that fact has been well-publicized by, among others, CNN -- excuse me, “CNNLOL.”

I’ve heard some people say, well, whatever it takes to get these guys vaccinated is good. But this won’t get them to vaccinate. These people booed Donald Trump when he told them to get vaccinated. You think John Nolte is going to turn them around?

I don’t think Nolte expects it either -- and neither do the nuts like DeSantis and Greg Abbott who are keeping their states petri dishes for the virus. In fact I’m sure they expect hundreds of thousands more to die, and their plan then is to blame liberals for their own death-waves (DeSantis has already started), because at this stage in the decadence of conservatism that’s how they do everything -- like when they run up massive debts giving the rich tax cuts, and then scream when Democrats do deficit spending to recover the rest of the country from the damage of the pandemic. 

So if you think at Nolte’s column is an attempt at double reverse psychology -- getting conservatives who are staying unvaccinated to own the libs to instead get vaccinated to own the libs -- consider how they do everything else, and see the truth: It's not about saving lives, it's about saving face.  

Friday, September 17, 2021


I'm very fond of Paul Simon's "Loves Me Like a Rock' 
with the Dixie Hummingbirds on bkg voc,
But I think I prefer their own version. What about you?

•  How about some Roy Edroso Breaks It Down freebies? Here, a fantasia inspired by the hilariously catastrophic California recall effort (previously covered here at alicublog). Larry Elder, beaten by 26 points in the recall, is proclaiming victory in a Trumpian manner by showing how red the map of California counties is, because it shows... how far ahead of #2 loser Kevin Paffrath he is. Like Newsom, Paffrath's a Democrat, see, so he beat a Democrat, so he won. That's how deep in fantasy Republicans will burrow just to avoid the stink of loserdom -- but that was also shown by the 59% of them who still think Trump won the 2020 election (or, more to the point, think it's either very or somewhat "important" to "believe that Donald Trump won the 2020 election" -- a nice distinction that suggests objective reality isn't part of the equation).  

Oh, and here's another one about Peggy Noonan's latest lunacy and why the Never- and Just-the-Tip-Trumpers are really starting to bug me. 

•  If you want to read someone good other than me, Greg Sargent at the Washington Post has a nice one about how the racist "replacement theory" that liberals are flooding America with non-whites to "steal" the country from honky hegemony -- famously expounded by the yahoos at the 2017 Charlottesville protest -- is fast becoming a Republican talking point. Of course the basic idea, which was once the sort of thing only Birchers and Klansmen would express in public forums, has been floating at the top layer of conservative discourse for some time. Witness Stanley Kurtz of National Review who has been raving for years about how Democrats are going to "abolish the suburbs" -- that is, enforce the Fair Housing Act via the federal Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing program, which would cause "de facto urbanization of America’s suburbs" -- and if you know your ooga-booga, you know what that means! From a typical 2020 Kurtz rant:

If you force urbanites into suburbs, force suburbanites back into cities, and redistribute suburban tax revenue, then presto! You have effectively abolished the suburbs.

Gasp -- it's base-mixing! Before you know it, young "suburbanites" may be socializing with "urbanites" -- even dating them! In the same essay Kurtz laments that "Republicans have been too clueless or timid to make an issue of the Democrats’ anti-suburban plans." Well, Sargent shows that's changing.

Wednesday, September 15, 2021


Republicans are addicted to feeling like winners even when they lose -- witness their never-ending claims that the 2020 presidential election, which Tubby lost by seven million votes, was stolen -- and this is evident in their reaction to Gavin Newsom’s lopsided victory in last night’s California recall, which challenger/lunatic Larry Elder preemptively claimed would be stolen from him as well (though since his 2-to-1 trouncing he’s been pretty quiet about that). Jordan Davidson at The Federalist:

Multiple outlets officially called the referendum on removing the governor a failure on Tuesday night, less than one hour after polls closed. Some California residents were stunned…

Coulda used some corroboration for the “stunned” claim, Jordan.

…but others said they are determined to use the power they amassed to create the recall to keep fighting to hold the governor accountable for his tyranny.

So Californians either were literally stunned that the guy who led all the polls won the election, or they were freshly committed to resistance to the tyrant Newsom. Given this consensus I don’t know how Republicans keep losing out there. 

At National Review, Philip Klein said the problem was “Larry Elder Peaked Too Early” -- that is, Californians knew who would be governor if they ousted Newsom and their blood ran cold (“That was plenty of time for Newsom to turn the race from a referendum on him, to a more conventional governor’s race between him and Elder… that was the sort of race that Elder had no chance of winning” LOL). 

Klein’s colleague Kyle Smith took a similar tack: “A recall election that was a referendum on Newsom had a chance to succeed, but, not unreasonably, once the possibility of ejecting Newsom entered the imagination, voters started to wonder who might succeed him.” 

I wonder if these guys ever consider what the effect might be on normal people who stumble upon their stories and read how the Republicans could totally win if only the voters had no idea who and what they are. 

Then again, what do they care: conservatives can afford to cruise with this lazy and absurd shit because the prestige press keeps backing them up. When it’s all tallied Newsom stands to take two-thirds of the vote, yet look at all the headlines today that say he “survived.” 65% looks more like thriving to me. And with spectacularly bothsider coverage from the likes of CNN’s Chris Cillizza (“Tuesday night was, weirdly, a very good night for Larry Elder's political future”) and Kasie Hunt (“Democrats have a tough needle to thread both in California & nationwide… Democrats need to prove they can govern for EVERYBODY"), Republicans need never leave their bubble of contentment except to scream “fraud” and do insurrection.  

Tuesday, September 14, 2021


 You know, in addition to my five-day-a-week gig at Roy Edroso Breaks It Down (Subscribe! Cheap!) I also follow and comment on daily events at Twitter (Follow! Gratis!), which is fun but somewhat saps the strength I would need for more longform observations of life's passing parade. But here's something I noticed that I really wanted to make a point of. 

At National Review, Charles Two Middle Initials Cooke is one among many wingnuts enraged by last night's Met Gala. But while most of them are (as usual) obsessed with hatewank object Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez ("Twitter erupts over Ocasio-Cortez's 'Tax The Rich' dress at Met Gala: 'Hypocrisy of our ruling class,'" ejaculates Fox News), Cooke is mad that the help was masked:

The photographs from last night’s event at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City show a host of celebrities — including New York Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Carolyn Maloney — enjoying themselves without masks while the staff that are waiting on them are all masked up.


Guests at the event were obliged to be vaccinated. But so, per New York City rules, were the staff...

Never rule out willful obtuseness, but most people in big cities know that staff -- for example, waiters at restaurants -- are typically masked, while guests often are not -- for example, when they're eating food served by the masked servers. At the Gala, the guests were basically doing a photo shoot (what other purpose does the event serve?), hence their masklessness. 

As for the staff, it may be they're cool with being masked because it helps protect them from assholes who don't follow the rules, which service workers know allll about. 

You get some idea why Cooke is making this absurd stretch in his finale:

Is the science different for famous people, perhaps?...

If, as the president claims, unvaccinated people pose a risk to vaccinated people, then the Met chose to put its guests at risk — and those guests, by declining to mask up, went along with it.

"As the president claims." 

See, this is a variation on what I used to call Just-The-Tip Trumpers -- which, come to think of it, has always been overrepresented at National Review. Many, many conservatives have gone over entirely to COVID-hoax horse-dewormer madness, but the manicured magazine types like Cooke need to preserve their credibility with donors, newspaper editors, and Sunday morning talk show bookers. So they instead go the Just-The-Tip route -- for example, they may assure you they personally believe vaccines and masks work, maybe possibly, but liberals who say they do are big hypocrites, which they show either by failing to wear a mask or by wearing masks too much or by failing to acknowledge it's really black people making us all sick --  so, really, when you think about it, it's the MAGA people refusing treatment and getting hospitalized who have the better part of the argument. 

And the Met Gala is perfect for this routine. Look, liberals wearing fancy clothes -- they're for the "working man" so they're supposed to dress like extras in a Pudovkin movie! They think they's sumpin' better'n you, but them Hollyweird sissies are as barefaced as Cousin Cyrus at a Kid Rock concert! So tie their inappropriate glamour to COVID, and presto -- you've done your bit for the Cause without having to get down in the manure with the Base.

UPDATE: They just can't quit her -- National Review has a story headlined "Conservative Watchdog Files Ethics Complaint against AOC over Met Gala Attendance," which sounds very very serious but -- well, let alicublog commenter mortimer2000 tell it:

[National Review says] The American Accountability Foundation has filed an ethics complaint calling for a probe into whether Ocasio-Cortez accepted an “impermissible gift” to attend the gala or violated any campaign finance laws, according to Fox News.... “Without prompt investigation and enforcement of Congressional Rules, the American people are likely to lose faith in the ability of Congress to police its members,” the complaint says.

You will be shocked to learn that The American Accountability Foundation consists of two deeply not-just-the-tip Republican operatives -- veterans of the Trump administration, the Cruz for President oppo program, and Ron Johnson's staff, among other swamps.

Keep up the good work, AOC! They're obsessed with you.

Heh, indeed, get it. 

Friday, September 10, 2021


Here’s something I don’t do enough:
Pimp new shit from people I know!
(Mike was the drummer for the legendary Sharky’s Machine.)

•   Speaking of new shit from people I know, I wonder how many of you are acquainted with The Underground Bunker, wherein former Village Voice EIC/my boss Tony Ortega harpoons his white whale, the Church of Scientology, practically every day. (Tony’s a real newsman so there’s lots of reporting and inside dope, not the kind of folderol I do.) And how about that very tight & cool band The Carvels whom New Yorkers can see live tonight! More log-rolling to come!

•   OK I know what you mugs want: More Roy Edroso Breaks It Down freebies. We have two this week: First, a history lesson inspired by Tubby’s lecture on Robert E. Lee. Next, today’s 9/11 anti-column, sorta, in that it’s about the backwash of bullshit that came in the wake of the Towers’ fall. We can be forgiven for being frightened and uncertain at a time of great stress, but the people who exploited those feelings to launch an expensive and destructive graft machine, and who kept running alongside it for years to make sure no reason or sanity could impede it, really ought to be in prison. Free-riders, why not subscribe? TODAY ONLY we offer 10% off the annual rate.

•   Speaking of grifters, I have to say I’m enjoying the shrieks of wingnuts who think Biden’s federal worker vaccine mandate -- which, I am sure you sane people will agree, is the least he should be doing -- is an infringement on their civil rights. Kudos to this cowboy for the most sputterrific logo:

In a nation where people got sterilized, lobotomized, and experimented on against their wills, it’s pretty rich that some people think inoculation against a deadly disease is Hitler. Top Republicans are trying to get on the bandwagon: In addition to screaming FREEDOM and threatening civil war (the new last refuge of a scoundrel) they’re trying the old “oh yeah what about black people you liberals love so much” thing:

Black folks are actually vaxxing up strong now, but that’s well beside the point -- which is that it’s about time we treated this goddamn emergency like an emergency. Fuck these assholes.

Thursday, September 09, 2021


One of the great things about Daniel Dale the famous fact-checker is that he's very even-handed, and has no compunction about debunking things a liberal might like to believe but which are not so. Today he informs us that a study allegedly showing horse paste made 85% of its male human users sterile is not anywhere near adequate to prove the case -- small sample size, numbers misstated, etc.

I applaud this even though, as we all well know, conservatives operate very differently and are pushing horse paste (OK, ivermectin, though horse paste is funnier and appropriate) as a cure/preventive measure for COVID-19 despite having no proof or even reasonable hope for this. No rightwing-specific equivalent of Dale exists, so when rightwing celebrities falsely claim, for example, that the guy who won a Nobel Prize for formulating horse paste said it "cures" COVID-19, they are only fact-checked by outlets they don't read. 

And I applaud it even though wingnuts use the fact that liberals are more circumspect and likely to check and correct their own work as a cudgel against them. When Rolling Stone updated a story because they couldn't verify an Oklahoma doctor's claims that horse paste users were flooding the local ERs, every anti-"Fauciite" wingnut in Christendom acted as if it proved horse paste is good for COVID because anything liberals said had to be a lie. (They probably don't take corrections seriously because, being exclusively readers of right-wing publications, they've never seen one.) 

I don't applaud it because I think our sensitivity to what's true and untrue will convince conservatives to stop spreading bullshit -- they're too far gone for that. I mean it's good for our own self-respect. Not everything is politics, after all -- in fact very little is. There are people who are paid to spin the truth to give advantage to their candidates and policies, but for that kind of work I am not only not paid, but could not be paid enough. Think what constantly living according to those calculations, and having to support such absurdities, does to a person. It's not pretty, even if they get to wear pretty clothes. Like Lemmy said: Stay clean

Friday, September 03, 2021


Living in one’s own world has its advantages,
but you do miss a lot of good pop music.
Were these guys as big as they sound like they should have been?

I have two freebies from the Roy Edroso Breaks It Down newsletter for non-subscribers (who really ought to be subscribig and getting this primo content on the regular!): Republicans explaining their inexplicable outrage that we got out of Afghanistan, and the one I showed you yesterday about the Texas abortion law

Speaking of the latter, I have to say I’m astonished by folks online telling me not to use the term “American Taliban” because they consider it Islamophobic. I don’t get it. I don’t associate Islam as practiced by Muslims in America, or even in most of the world, with the Taliban. Insofar as I understand them, it seems the complainants object to using foreign Islamic monsters to shame American Christian monsters. But this is the entire point of analogies, particularly in political discourse. If I compare Texas lawmakers to, for example, the Stasi because their system similarly relies on fear and informants, I’m not unfairly shaming the East German people -- I’m showing up the similarities between past events that we all know are bad and current events propagandists are busily trying to whitewash, to help you see how things really are. And normal people understand analogies, whereas lefties saying "don’t say bad things about the Taliban" may be, uh, misconstrued. What am I missing?

Thursday, September 02, 2021


I've opened to the public today's Roy Edroso Break It Down, which focuses on one fascinating aspect of Texas' insane Paid Informants Against Abortion law and the Supreme Court's evasion of addressing it:  That the religious maniacs who've been keening and snarling for decades for an end to Roe v. Wade are strangely quiet now that it's done. I mention National Review in the piece; if you go there at this moment you'll see the Texas story is barely represented on the front page. 

We can rule out guilt. The best guess -- based on the laughably dishonest readings of public views on abortion from the few of them who do address it -- is that they know this is extremely and broadly unpopular and they're waiting for more red states to enact similarly vicious laws to normalize it. Then they'll tell us the polls are fake news and everyone hates abortion rights as much as they do, always have, and this is just how it is and you have to calm down and accept it -- you know, the way they told everyone to just get over the stolen Bush-Gore election and all the depredations of Trump, and which they would have done if Tubby had managed to intimidate a few public officials into throwing him the 2020 election. (As it happened, when it came time for them to "get over it," and on much more evidence-based grounds, they went bananas.) 

As with the red states that have of late set up their elections to be more throwable to Republicans no matter what the will of the voters is, they'll probably also point to the number of states with intensely anti-abortion laws and say see, this is just how democracy is, get over it. As it stands now, while many states have virtually criminalized abortion, only one state has gone whole hog, and it's riling people up. So they're tiptoeing past their own atrocity, playing for time. 

Friday, August 27, 2021


Can't go wrong with the classics.

•   Just one freebie from Roy Edroso Breaks It Down (subscribe! Cheap!): A call for true patriots to not stop at horse paste and to meet all their medical needs at the veterinarian’s office. With so many red state “skeptics” keeping poison control busy with self-administered ivermectin treatments, I suppose some of these people will see the light and seek the free and proven treatments offered by conventional medicine, but I fear many will decide they just haven’t been MAGA enough and will disdain doctor’s offices as Deep State snares for the unwary.  

•   I am far from the first to observe it, but it’s just waaay too rich to countenance the same ghouls and freaks who drummed up the war fever of the post-9/11 years -- Karl Rove, Paul Bremer, John Fucking Podhoretz for Christ’s sake (“As we mourn the losses of American servicemembers today in Kabul, please keep this in mind: They would not be dead if Joe Biden had not chosen to pull American forces out of Afghanistan”) -- now having the absolute nerve to denounce Joe Biden for the messy exit from Afghanistan. Ending that 20-year occupation and graft gravy train (which I notice Erik Prince is still riding right to the end) is the most positive and patriotic thing Biden has done. Seeing how hysterically he’s being vilified by wingnuts -- with Republican Senators as well as Twitter rageclowns actually calling for his resignation -- I can understand now more than ever why Obama didn’t end the occupation; if he had and anything went wrong, these people would most certainly have lynched him. And I mean that literally. I just hope Biden will hold fast and let these idiots scream themselves out.