Wednesday, August 03, 2022


Just a brief look-in to celebrate, not only the voters of Kansas rejecting a Republican-approved referendum that would have enabled an all-out abortion ban, but also the humorous coping strategies of prominent forced-birth advocates. At National Review, Ramesh Ponnuru:

The lopsided result in the referendum is an illustration of first-mover advantage. 

18 points is one hell of a "first-mover advantage."

Kansas (where I grew up) is by no means a pro-life state, but it would probably never have adopted a sweeping abortion-protective constitutional amendment by popular vote. Once the state’s high court effectively amended the state constitution by itself, though, dislodging its mini-Roe by referendum became — as the result suggests – impossible.

Kansas is the home of Operation Rescue and already has heavy abortion restrictions but, to paraphrase Spinal Tap manager Ian Faith on Boston, it’s not a big pro-life state. And the “victory is impossible” tautology is fantastic – why then have the referendum at all? Forced-birthers were very enthusiastic about it, as I recall.

Ponnuru’s colleague Alexandra DeSanctis blames the “confusing” text of the referendum – a gambit employed by Erick Erickson as well – without explaining why the confusion would be all among the putative supporters of the abortion ban rather than the opponents. Is she saying they’re stupid? (Also, she claims opponents were trying to exacerbate this alleged confusion, which is rich considering who was actually caught trying to bamboozle those voters.)

It's not hard. Kansas Republicans wrote the damn referendum question and scheduled the vote to give themselves maximum advantage, and still got wiped out in a heavy-turnout election. Americans don't like what the Supreme Court's rightwing loons did and everywhere they are given a voice in the matter they will say so.

I'll probably have more at Roy Edroso Breaks It Down later but meantime enjoy this bagatelle in which Ben Shapiro decides to do something about this Wet Ass Pussy thing once and for all!  

Friday, July 29, 2022


Mainly known for his funny get-up and act, but he could rave.

•  Like I keep telling you good people, I need paying customers and can't be giving it away so much anymore. So there is only one freebie from the week's Roy Edroso Break It Down: A transcript of Glenn Greenwald's latest interview. Ah, you got me, it's fanciful satire! A jape, a jest! But really it's only a matter of time; as low as Greenwald had sunk in my estimation I never expected him to interview Alex Fucking Jones and portray his amazingly vicious and stupid slanders on the Sandy Hook massacre victims like some kind of honest mistake. (His and Jones' shared portrayal of Jan. 6 as a set-up was, alas, already believable.)

But that seems to be the horseshoe racket these days: Matt Taibbi is also sucking up to Jones as well as the Jones-adjacent incel crowd. In this interview with a director who made sympathetic documentaries about Jones and these people, Taibbi suggests taking them seriously has been "forbidden" by the big media nomenklatura, notwithstanding his subject's films are freely available and one of them is, per Taibbi, "topping Apple pre-order charts." (The rightwing moodswing between persecution mania and delusions of grandeur strikes again!) In another essay (mercifully clipped by the paywall) Taibbi is offended that Paul Krugman said the MAGA movement seems based on "nothing at all." "In the pre-Trump era," says Taibbi, "it was understood reporters weren’t supposed to avoid ugly or scary topics. We were supposed to dive right in, and in the nonjudgmental manner of doctors figure them out." Actually in 2017 we had months of Trump diner safaris; maybe the reporters saw enough of their nihilism and got tired of finding new ways to make it look like something more exalted. I jest, of course -- to this day, there's always someone at a major newspaper willing to tongue-bathe these guys. Does Taibbi really not see that? Maybe he's aware that without the cancelculture crybaby angle he'd look like a higher profile Jim Hoft.

•  Oh, tell you what -- you can always go to my Substack and look at older free stories. They're all quality (and I do it five days a week!) and some of them remain blazingly relevant. For instance: Here's a tweet from a recent stream endorsing an excellent Bloomberg story on the distance between New York City's actual crime profile and the media panic stirred up about it:

This is right in keeping with what I wrote in the summer of 2020, in the heart of the COVID pandemic, about how rightwingers were using Death Wish stereotypes of New York to inflame their suburban base:
...if you read conservatives these days — even as New York has beaten back the virus, keeping the curve flat for months, but still struggles economically — you’ll find they’re not cheering for New York to come back; they’re cheering for New York to die...

...the operatives spreading this stuff don’t care about reality, and they certainly aren’t trying to show any 9/11-style sympathy for New York as it pulls itself out of the COVID-19 hole. Because their pollsters have certainly advised them that stoking their base’s hatred of highfalutin’ city folk might energize them to come out and vote Trump, and that is far, far more important to them than any old-fashioned idea of solidarity with one’s fellow citizens in a time of crisis.
Really, this gift seems like a curse sometimes. A curse I'm willing to share with you for the low, low price of $7/month! (While supplies last.)

Friday, July 22, 2022


Never go wrong.

•  Got TWO free Roy Edroso Breaks It Down items here, but listen, after this I’m cutting you chiselers off, so make with the subscriptions! First there’s my thoughts on the seemingly evergreen polls showing religion taking a dive in this country, and the kind of churches that are not taking a dive because they don’t ask members to do anything Christlike – just make the pastor rich and hate liberals! Then, one about the polio case in Rockland County and how I expect America’s anti-vaxxer movement to promote his brave stand against protecting oneself from life-threatening diseases with leftist medicine.

•  Busy week and I’m tired, but I have to say I found this story pretty typical of the way conservatives think:

Shortly after the Supreme Court ruling that overturned the right to abortion in June, South Carolina state senators introduced legislation that would make it illegal to “aid, abet or conspire with someone” to obtain an abortion.

The bill aims to block more than abortion: Provisions would outlaw providing information over the internet or phone about how to obtain an abortion. It would also make it illegal to host a website or “[provide] an internet service” with information that is “reasonably likely to be used for an abortion” and directed at pregnant people in the state.

Legal scholars say the proposal is likely a harbinger of other state measures, which may restrict communication and speech as they seek to curtail abortion. The June proposal, S. 1373, is modeled off a blueprint created by the National Right to Life Committee (NRLC), an antiabortion group, and designed to be replicated by lawmakers across the country.

As the fall of Roe v. Wade triggers a flood of new legislation, an adjacent battleground is emerging over the future of internet freedoms and privacy in states across the country — one, experts say, that could have a chilling impact on First Amendment-protected speech.

Conservatives like to say that reliable Democratic voter groups, such as women and black Americans, have been bamboozled into it (“the liberal plantation” etc.), but it’s pretty obvious that these folks get more out of Democratic governance than they do out of Republicans. That’s why the GOP is trying everything it can to keep black people from the polls and women from having control of their own bodies.

But Republican voters don’t get much from Republicans either. Red states have the shittiest government benefits and services, and even when Medicaid expansion makes a better shake possible for them, their rightwing overlords bat it out of their hands

We know that what Republicans give their vassals instead of a decent life – along with the traditional assurance that their black neighbors will always have it even worse -- is culture war crap like CRT and trans panic. But it’s not enough to feed them lies – the scam requires that the vassals be kept in the dark so that they never acquire the data to figure out they’ve been rooked. That’s why they continually dump on blue states and big cities – places where they could experience the benefits of liberal models (culture, education, soap and toothpaste) for themselves if they hadn’t been scared out of it by Republican disinfo.

But keeping them in ignorance requires constant vigilance. Since the Dobbs decision, blue state governments and activists have been doing outreach to help women in red states who need reproductive care. It’s a tough lift, but like the blue cities called upon to harbor immigrants kicked out by Texas shitheels, the allegedly godless liberals always seem to be coming up with the Good Samaritanism when red state “Christians” fall down on the job.

As you may have heard, some red states are trying to keep their women from even leaving the premises to visit blue states for legal abortions. The Commerce Clause may make that impossible (until the Supreme Court decides it can be waived because they say so, that’s why). 

But also, insofar as is possible, they don’t want their brood-sows to even know there’s help available among their neighbors, as this repellent legislation shows. Their further hope is that, if they can pull this off, over time their residents won’t even remember that there even exist places where the help they’re denied is offered, or if they do remember they’ll also be imprinted with the message that such places are evil and liberal and full of immigrants and bums and college professors who look down on them and that they didn’t want any of that anyway. They’d really like to force all of us to live this way, of course, but for now this will do. 

Tuesday, July 19, 2022


Unlocked a Roy Edroso Breaks It Down edition today about an Axios story suggesting the Democrats are turning into a party of "white college graduates" while the GOP gets more "diverse." This grossly mischaracterizes the evidence in a Republican-fluffing way that I'm noticing more often lately. 

For instance: Here's the top of the front page of Memeorandum at the moment --

"Democrats boosted a MAGA longshot..." You might get the impression from the headline on that Politico story that Pennsylvania has an open primary system and Democrats snuck into the voting booths to nominate the comically extremist Mastriano instead of a heavily-favored Rockefeller Republican opponent. But no, actual Republicans nominated the asshole themselves.

What Democrats did is run ads accurately describing the extremism of Mastriano and other candidates before the primaries, and Republicans did the rest:
Democratic ads also targeted Pennsylvania state Sen. Doug Mastriano, who was running in the GOP gubernatorial primary. The ads warned that Mastriano wants to ban abortion, “lead the fight to audit the 2020 election” and is closely aligned with Trump. “If Mastriano wins, it’s a win for what Donald Trump stands for. Is that what we want in Pennsylvania?” stated an ad, which was paid for by the campaign of Josh Shapiro, gubernatorial Democratic candidate and the state’s attorney general.

Mastriano won his primary.
The ads may have been mischievous, but this wave of stories imputes that if any of the far-right candidates nominated by Republican voters win, it'll be the Democrats' fault for letting them know how far-right they are. Similarly, if in debate the Democratic candidate baits the Republican into saying "I want to kill trans people," that too will be the Democrats' fault for leading him on.

The idea that only Democrats have agency is turning into a super-precedent that absolves Republicans of all their crimes, on the grounds that Democrats are the unseen hand behind them. For example: Do Republicans increasingly endorse vigilante justice? It's because Democrats support Defund the Police! (Not really.) Are draconian forced-birth laws predictably leading to nightmare scenarios? It's the pro-choicers' fault for predicting such results, thereby "muddying the waters." When it comes to prestige media -- increasingly a fancier mirror for rightwing propaganda and press-agentry -- Democrats literally can't win. 

Friday, July 15, 2022


What is minimalism?

The case of the raped Ohio child I talked about yesterday very clearly shows one big specific problem with the overturn of Roe (and there's more to it than that, which I'll get to in a minute), That clarity is why conservatives are screaming about it. Several of them follow the example of David Harsanyi of The Federalist, who portrays those of us who were properly horrified by the story when it was revealed -- while conservatives were chortling that it was a "fanciful" fake -- as "gleefully dunking" on those conservatives when the story was amply confirmed, as if we were crouched by ESPN hoping things would break our way and erupted in cheers when it turned out a 10-year-old had indeed been forced to flee for her life because of insane post-Dobbs abortion laws. 

(Harsanyi continues to look for loopholes: "Besides, there are still reasons to be curious about certain aspects of this story. Did the victim really have to go to Indiana to be treated by a nationally known abortion activist? " Jesus, this guy's an even bigger piece of shit than I knew.)

Harsanyi's cynical interpretation notwithstanding, the fact is there is no suspense or element of chance about this: Anyone could have predicted (and in fact many of us have predicted) that atrocities like this would follow because that's what the anti-abortion movement promises. They say abortion is murder, and when you point out the corollaries -- So will women who try to have them be prosecuted and locked down until they give birth? Will they be forced to give birth even if it kills them? -- they phumpher about how they only want to protect women but never answer the question. 

At its silliest this leads to simple logical absurdities like the anti-abortion activist Catherine Glenn Foster telling Congress that an abortion is not an abortion, basically, if it makes anti-abortionists look less insane. At its worst, it causes the Ohio nightmare and many others we can very reasonably expect.  

That's why, as I mentioned before, their strategy has been, at least at first, not to arrest women -- as one would imagine any serious anti-"murder" intervention would require -- but to drive them underground to desperately seek dwindling remedies; that way it just seems like abortions are disappearing rather than that women have been deprived of their basic human rights. But some of these women -- or, in the present case, little girls -- will become visible and reveal the inhuman viciousness of the whole rotten charade. That's why conservatives are freaking out now.

Which brings me to another point: Hard cases like this always get attention, but we shouldn't lose sight of the fact that they're only the most extreme examples of the injury to everyone who can give birth and wants to be in control of whether and when they do. Anti-choicers are hypocrites, but their hypocrisy is purposeful: like Foster, they're willing to deny a few principles if it keeps their real mission on the down-low. Not only every scared kid but also everyone who's denied abortion care because their local politicians made it illegal -- or who is denied even legal abortion care because conservatives scared off the people who could give it to her -- or will soon be prevented by getting that care even in places that want to give it because Republicans, at their own admission, want to prohibit her from crossing borders or make abortion illegal in all 50 states -- is also an atrocity and should not be stood for. 

Thursday, July 14, 2022


I released today's Roy Edroso Breaks It Down to gen pop just because the situation pissed me off. We hear all the time how America is sliding into fascism and its alleged watchdogs in the press are either oblivious or required by the terms of their contracts to pretend to be. But the end of Roe v Wade had sped things up perceptibly (at least to non-prestige-media types) . 

By now you've probably heard about the poor 10-year-old who got raped and had to leave Ohio to get an abortion because Ohio's crackpot post-Roe law suggests that removing child-rape-fetuses more than six weeks after the rape would put the doctor in prison. All the worst people on the right (and in America, pretty much), from the editorial board of the Wall Street Journal to wingnut tradcaths, were glib and dismissive; where are the court and medical documents? Are we supposed to just take the word of the doctor who says she treated her? Ho ho ho, fake news etc.

When the news was confirmed, none of these guys was apologetic, and many raced to attack liberals for being right but in a bad way because abortion is bad and anything that makes it look good is bad. Matt Vespa at TownHall:

We later learned that an illegal alien was the girl’s rapist—a Guatemalan national with an ICE detainer. The judge rejected the motion to remand the defendant without bail at the arraignment. And how do liberals react to this horrific story? By pouncing on conservatives for doubting it. That’s a weird flex. They’re cheering that this girl got raped and impregnated by an illegal alien. First, it exposes for the 1,000th time that Biden’s border control agenda remains a pile of garbage. This attack wouldn’t have happened if liberals understood the basic concepts of law and order...

You may see now why I don't industriously collect dumb takes from rightbloggers like Vespa the way I used to: It got depressing to see how they never get less dumb but do manage to get even more repulsive.

Speaking of repulsive, the wingnut AG in Indiana, to which state the poor kid fled for care, is threatening to prosecute the doctor she fled to

There are several good pieces on this mess -- Judd Legum's roundup at Popular Information, for example, and Amanda Marcotte's at Salon -- so I'll only add this: Conservatives are aware that the game is all up as far as Consent of the Governed is concerned; even their usual lie diffusers can't effectively spin how people feel about the Dobbs decision. So they're just rushing to get as far with it as they can before somebody does something about it, in hopes that gerrymandering and voter suppression will gain them enough power to put in a national ban. Laws like Ohio's are ambiguous, to the extent they are, not because they're rushed, but because they're designed to terrorize health care providers so badly that even if they've got a raped child under their care they'll think twice about giving her an abortion.

And it's the providers they have to scare now, because the strategy now is of course we don't want to hurt the precious mommies! At this stage they seek to remove any such opportunity to avail this disappearing right as still exists. But they'll go further. Today a Democratic Senator rose to push a bill supporting the right to cross state lines to get an abortion, and Republicans blocked it. When they've got the girls penned in their states, it will (one hopes) be slightly clearer to even the sleepwalkers, and when they're locking individual women down because they present a breeder flight risk, it'll be clearer still. But for many of us, it's obvious right this very minute and demands immediate action. 

UPDATE. By the way --

National Right to Life official: 10-year-old should have had baby

...Jim Bopp, an Indiana lawyer who authored the model legislation in advance of the Supreme Court’s decision overturning Roe v. Wade, told POLITICO on Thursday that his law only provides exceptions when the pregnant person’s life is in danger.

“She would have had the baby, and as many women who have had babies as a result of rape, we would hope that she would understand the reason and ultimately the benefit of having the child,” Bopp said in a phone interview on Thursday.

Wake. The. Hell. Up.

UPDATE 2. Here's WSJ's bullshit follow-up:

See, we think you ladies should be able to get some abortions -- you just shouldn't have a right to them! OK, comity cosplay over, here's a picture of prominent Democratic bitches making ugly faces, hah!

Friday, July 08, 2022


You never lose with Dr. John.

Rejoice, my non-paying customers, there are two free editions of Roy Edroso Breaks It Down for you this week. One is sort of an invitation to offer your own explanations for the ever-perplexing phenomenon of Cancelculture Crybabies. I can understand why rightwingers push this bullshit -- they want to portray themselves as attractive victims of Orwellian Woke Repression, even when the "victims" in question have their boot-in-the-ass coming or have actually "deplatformed" themselves. I can even understand why squishy liberal simps would push it -- it makes them feel like they're being "even-handed," which to them is more important than sticking up for what's right or even for themselves. But I'm confused by normal people who feel sorry for these obvious frauds -- though I did offer my own ideas. 

Also, slightly related: Here's a rundown of stories for a proposed New York Times magazine devoted to bothsiderism -- which would be a great way to isolate the virus from the rest of the paper. 

Long week and I'm tired, but I do want to mention an idea that's advanced this week by two old-fashioned conservative hacks, Rich Lowry ("Liberals Should Welcome Ron DeSantis’ Rise") and Jim Geraghty ("Whom Does the Mainstream Media Want the GOP to Nominate in 2024?"). The basic idea is: You liberals say Trump is extraordinarily bad because he tried to murder Congress and steal the election, so why don't you help Ron DeSantis beat Trump for the 2024 presidential nomination by saying nice things about him? Lowry:

The DeSantis-hating opponents of Trump are effectively saying, “Sure, Donald Trump led an insurrection and represents an ongoing threat to American democracy, but hey, that other guy refused to let schools impose mask mandates on kids — he’s much worse.”

Progressives have to decide two things. One is if they really want Trump gone, or if they want him as a foil for the duration.

If it is the former, they should welcome DeSantis as a potential vehicle for ending what they believe is the ongoing state of political emergency represented by Trump. If it is the latter, DeSantis could spoil everything.

I don't have to point out the disingenuousness here -- as I've said a thousand times, since Trump these guys have not had to even pretend to advance serious arguments, and neither they nor they audiences are even able to recognize anymore when they're not -- but I will note that "refused to let schools impose mask mandates on kids" is typical of Lowry's sunny interpretation of every element of DeSantis' government-by-rightwing-rampage. Even the governor's Don't Say Gay law and other LGBTQ persecutions  Lowry spiffs up as "prevent[ing] kids from being taught about sexual orientation and gender identity in public schools in grades K-3," as if he were protecting them from nude queer rubdowns instead of forcing both teachers and students to deny the very existence (and, by inference, right thereof) of gay people.  Plus DeSantis is "a sharp political player" and "a voracious consumer of information" -- no Trumpian boor, he! 

One might get the impression that Lowry and Geraghty were never-Trumpers instead of total Trump suck-ups. But face it; in the coming days, all actually prominent conservatives (I mean besides the public lunatics who grift money and attention on YouTube and TruthSocial) will be playing at never-Trumper (well, really, per my glossary, Just The Tip Trumper); they see Trump's flaws and know that DeSantis, though he apes the thuggish delivery of the Former Guy in order to sway the mouth-breathers, will support all the fascism modern American conservatism has come to stand for and, even better, (probably) avoid sabotaging his own/their cause out of petulance and stupidity. So their argument boils down to "Look, we both get something out of this -- DeSantis won't try to overturn the will of the people (unless he thinks he has a clear shot at it, and with the way our judges are working it he just might), which you should enjoy, and he definitely will make America more like Hungary but with more racism, which we'll enjoy. If you won't take that deal, you're the Real Obstructionists™!" Expect David French to lay a bouquet any day now.

Saturday, July 02, 2022


 The New York Times’ latest tongue-bath of cancelculture crybabies may be their best yet. The cancellee in question is Joshua Katz, late of Princeton, which fired him for long-ago inappropriate behavior with a student -- though since Katz is also a “Racism? What’s all this talk about racism? The black students are the real terrorists” gasbag, he has been elevated from faculty lounge horndog to brave truth-teller by the sort of people who think “Don’t Say Gay” laws and rightwing donors dictating curricula aren’t worth mentioning.

But Katz is not the star of Anemona Hartocollis’ Times story. That’s Solveig Gold, who according to the headline is “Proud to Be the Wife of a ‘Canceled’ Princeton Professor.” She too was one of the professor’s sexual mentees while at Princeton, but unlike that other no-doubt-jealous bitch who got him fired won the glittering nuptial prize. 

Gold is a pip:

She did not anticipate the force of the backlash against her husband, Ms. Gold said, because she had voiced controversial opinions before, and had not been shunned. As an undergraduate, for instance, she wrote an essay criticizing the women’s march for providing a platform only for supporters of abortion rights. She attributes this new feeling of hostility to a culture of lock-step thinking ushered in by Gen Z, the generation right behind hers.

Sure, that must be it.

You may be shocked to learn from the story that Mr. and Mrs. Cancelee are not living hand to mouth off odd jobs while jewel-encrusted social justice warriors sneer and laugh at them, but rather have just “returned from a brief decompression trip to Amsterdam and Cambridge, England, where Ms. Gold is completing her Ph.D. in classics” and are throwing a dinner party attended by other brave truth-tellers, photos of which ornament the story. 

One such attendee is Professor Robert P. George, who Hartocollis informs us the New York Times Magazine once called “the country’s ‘most influential conservative Christian thinker,’ for his role in laying the intellectual groundwork for the fights against marriage equality and abortion rights.” George’s intellectual groundwork is something I’d seen before – he’s given to statements like "masturbatory, sodomitical, and other sexual acts which are not reproductive in type cannot unite persons organically” and of course has been driven to mad rage by the progress of same-sex marriage -- "Another flagrant and inexcusable exercise of ‘raw judicial power’ threatens to enflame and prolong the culture war ignited by the courts in the 1973 case of Roe v. Wade,” he sputtered when Prop 8 passed in 2010.

Professor George and his buddies may well celebrate, because at least one SCOTUS Justice is openly with him on that (and who knows what his colleagues will do when they see that the coast is clear). And as long as the Times and all the other prestige media outlets portray these assholes as victims of persecution, rather than as privileged and pampered lunatics pushing unpopular policies on an unwilling nation, the wins will keep on coming. 

Friday, July 01, 2022


She had a syndicated afternoon talk show back in the day.
I bet her life's a story.

• Look, I told you guys already, I need more paying customers, not the Love of the People -- I'm like the Democratic Party in election season, except I actually deliver! So there's just one (1) free Roy Edroso Breaks It Down issue this week. Admittedly, it's a good one about a signal feature of the Dobbs blight: vicious scumbags pretending to be nice in the (I think) mistaken belief that if they talk about how much they love mommies and babies, you'll miss that they're stealing your rights. 

Of course increasingly these people aren't even bothering to pretend, as Akiva Cohen caught this morning in a Josh Hammer column:

Hammer later stealth-edited the quiet-part-out-loud about rewarding friends and punishing enemies, but it's still clear what his idea of justice is. One of my favorite targets, ham-faced pundit Erick Erickson, is too stupid to conceal or retract his similar views:

Those of you who are screaming about the Supreme Court this week can, in your words, check your privilege.

(Note the traditional portrayal of liberals "screaming," an old conservative NLP trick, and the use of "check your privilege" as Babylon Bee-grade humor. Also Erickson titles this page "Best Pride Month Ever" for added prickishness, a trait to which outspoken Christians are generally inclined.)

Conservatives have spent over fifty years watching the Supreme Court give you everything you demanded, including a novel right to kill children unheard of in American jurisprudence until 1973. When those of us on the right operated through the nation’s democratic and republican institutions and the elected bodies of our nation, we saw the Supreme Court repeatedly snatch those wins away from us for you...

You people have been able to rub your SCOTUS genie and get court imposed wins that no one could challenge democratically and now you can’t do that anymore. We’ve worked democratically to make sure of it. Now, to win again, you’re going to have to do what we did — change hearts and minds in places as varied as Alabama and Iowa. Why? Because we are a republic and states matter, not just people. We have fifty states and 350 million people. Your coalitions of angry rich white people on MSNBC won’t work anymore.

Set aside the claim that what this Court has produced comes of conservatives "working democratically" -- which is rich because half of the rogue Justices were appointed by a president who lost the popular vote, and the whole conservative bloc's decisions are highly unpopular in general and in the particular with Americans. "Coalitions of angry rich white people on MSNBC" didn't produce the eight million vote majority Biden won in 2020. (It's amazing what some people will write when they think nobody with any brains will read it.)

But Erickson's main idea, if we can so dignify it, is that liberals got what they wanted for a while and now conservatives should get a turn. This is worse in a way than his fraudulent claim of popular support -- though it also relies on that lie -- because like Josh Hammer thesis it's purely instrumental and anti-democratic, and assumes that the bauble of power is what's important rather than the will and welfare of the people.

I would also say that the Warren-Rehnquist Court decisions conservatives hate mostly furthered unacknowledged rights -- those of arrestees, prisoners, women, LGBTQ people -- while the Roberts But Really Thomas Court decisions are about taking these rights away and then some.  Though abortion rights as such are the big cause and I don't doubt the disapproving majority thinks "put it back, thief" (further polling suggests so), I think the extreme high-handedness of the Court is something of which normal people will also take notice and disapprove. At least I hope so, and that they get the chance to show their disapproval before the Court delivers the coup de grace to democracy with Moore v. Harper

Monday, June 27, 2022


New, available to gen pop Roy Edroso Breaks It Down item out today, about the Dobbs defenders who pretend taking away reproductive rights is an act of love toward the newly-disenfranchised females and will be followed by a generous outpouring of pre-natal and child care from, get this, the Republican Party. The choads luxuriating in the misery they've caused are annoying, but these guys are just insufferable.

Peggy Noonan was the first one on this bandwagon, as I noted when the Dobbs decision was first leaked, saying Republicans could "use the moment to come forward as human beings who care about women and want to give families the help they need." I am sure GOP party bosses had a good laugh over that one, and one of the few bright spots of the past weekend was seeing even the Meet The Press dummies moved to laughter when she tried it on the air.  After all, Republicans have had great success by being openly vicious and punitive -- why would they act like Care Bears now? 

Saturday, June 25, 2022


Just wanted to note one or two things about the situation after Roe. First, let me remind you of this particular sub-plot of the January 6, 2021 coup attempted, as reported in the Washington Post last January:

Within days of President Donald Trump’s election defeat, Stewart Rhodes began talking about the Insurrection Act as critical to the country’s future.

The bombastic founder of the extremist group Oath Keepers told followers that the obscure, rarely used law would allow Trump to declare a national emergency so dire that the military, militias or both would be called out to keep him in the White House...

In an interview with The Washington Post last February [2021], Rhodes acknowledged his group had a cache of weapons outside the city, saying such a quick-reaction force was “only if the president calls us up.”

“We thought antifa might try to storm the White House,” he said, without evidence. If such a thing happened, he argued, D.C. gun restrictions would no longer apply, because “we would have been part of the military.”

The plan, it is clear, was to either cause or fake an "antifa" attack, which would immediately be taken at face value by the brethren after all their caterwauling about the the George Floyd "riots," and use that as an excuse to declare martial law and keep Tubby in office. But they couldn't raise even a piss-on of a Reichstag Fire, and the plot failed.

Just as clearly, they're trying to do something similar now, this time by claiming pro-abortion people who protest the Dobbs decision are part of an "insurrection" that can be violently put down. I mentioned National Review's recent contribution to this fraud in my last post, and there are plenty of other rightwing professions of fake concern over fantasies of pro-choice violence, such as this emission from Ted Cruz claiming "multiple Democrats" (unnamed) are "encouraging" it.

There are other plants, ranging from the sinister... the stoopid:

But really, even though it is indeed quote stoopid, Insurrection Barbie's tweet portraying a normal occurrence of building materials as riot fodder is also sinister. As I've said many times, conservatives no longer feel obliged to make sense, because their frequently-false claims are not offered as evidence, in the usual sense, but as way of showing that their impunity goes beyond law and politics and straight into logic -- that is, their claims don't have to make even basic sense because, as the Bush people used to say, conservatives "make our own reality." 

That's also why the odious Tim Pool was showing pictures of that truck running down pro-choice protestors in Cedar Rapids as protestors "attacking cars." George Constanza famously told Jerry "it's not a lie if you believe it," but modern conservatives have shown that, for them, it's not a lie even if no one could believe it. 

I will not follow by saying please don't riot over Roe, because even doing that feeds this bullshit. I will say that the "Jane's Revenge" graffiti on fake pregnancy centers, plastered all over the rightwing press before the ruling, is incredibly sus, and none of these monsters deserves the benefit of any doubt because they lie, as Vince Foster said, without consequence, and the truth does them no favors. 

Friday, June 24, 2022


Before Mel Brooks, there was Bradley Kincaid!

Only one free Roy Edroso Breaks It Down item this week -- a prospectus for a new, boldly-bothsider, difference-splitting, ultra-neoliberal magazine. (Look, just subscribe already, OK? Cheap!) But alas, some of my older items about the end of Roe have become newly relevant -- all the way down to the insufferable attitude of Megan McArdle, who isn't necessarily against abortion as such per se, you understand, just the ridiculous notion that American women have a Constitutional right to it, hmmph! 

I already talked about this when the Dobbs decision was first leaked, but let me add a few things. I mentioned then, as others have, that as bad as Dobbs is (and it's a nightmare), it's not all they want to do; conservatives continually dump on all the other rights based on privacy, such as those decided in Griswold (contraception), Lawrence (non-procreative sex), and Obergefell (same-sex marriage), and those will certainly be next. The weak sisters in the conservative coalition swear up and down in the Dobbs decision that, oh no, they don't mean you guys, abortion is special because the Jesus people say it's babies. But Clarence Thomas blows their scene, saying out loud that of course we should revisit those cases

Don't tell me Thomas is only one guy, and particularly twisted -- he represents the mad MAGA berserker tendency of conservatism; I'm sure a few of his fellow Justices would love to get all the way to the promised land, and the next time a minority-elected Republican president gets to replace any liberal Justice, all bets are off. I already think of this as the Thomas Court, and Roberts' wistful, whattaya-gonna-do concurrence in Dobbs suggests that he's totally given up trying to make the shit look like shinola.

I know I'm not telling you good people anything you don't already know, but there seem to be a lot of people out there who think the real thing to be worried about is cancelculture or some trans kids taking hormones. So make sure to tell them. 

As for the shock troops on the ground, this Washington Examiner essay is a good indicator of where they're at: They're promising lots of love for the little ones women will be forced to bear, even including expensive legislation for pregnant women and babies -- legislation that, for some reason, they didn't find it necessary to promise before today. But the driver of it is not love, at least not as you or I would understand the word. "The goal," the author says, is "to make abortion politically unpopular, legally unobtainable, and culturally unwanted." The bookends they have not in 49 years been able to achieve, and there's no reason to think they can do it now; but the iron fist of the middle proposition will do all the work for them. 

UPDATEHere's a good thread that might lift your spirits! I know, for many of us it's too soon, but we'll all have to lift our heads up eventually and better sooner than later.

UPDATE 2. I should mention a bit of typical (but, in context, especially ominous) rightwing shtick that’s going on now: Right-to-lifers claiming that they’re the real victims, because they heard somewhere that crazed abortion rights supporters are going to attack them. In the midst of its ululation over the reduction of women to brood-slaves, for example, National Review makes this clumsy transition:

Our fellow citizens who reject the right to life for all human beings, tragically misguided as they are, have the right to protest against the Supreme Court’s decision. 

(LOL like they believe that.)

They have no right to threaten, intimidate, vandalize, or commit acts of violence. One of the worst causes in American history — the defense of a judicially imposed regime of abortion-on-demand — appears likely to end in further disgrace. The Biden administration will be derelict in its duties if it fails to keep the peace.

“Appears likely,” huh? From communiques pulled out of their ass, I suppose. Meantime I just saw footage of a truck running down abortion-rights protestors in Cedar Rapids.  Every Republican accusation is a confession. And, since this is in fact fascism we’re looking at, expect more of it.

Thursday, June 23, 2022


I've written a few times about how, as Mayor of New York, Rudolph Giuliani used to brag that his administration made the city safer by getting guns off the streets...

"The Police Department's dramatic success in reducing crime is due in large part to its corresponding success in removing guns from City streets," the Mayor said. "More than 90,000 guns have been seized since 1994, and shootings have plummeted more than 74 percent. The NYPD's gun seizure success is also reflected in the murder rate, which has plummeted 65 percent since 1994, and is down another 11 percent this year over last year. The NYPD has also ensured that thousands of guns can never be used to commit a crime by destroying them and putting the metal to good use. Now, another 3,000 guns have been taken out of circulation -- permanently."

...and how, when Giuliani ran for president in 2008 and was confronted with a broader Republican electorate of gun nuts, he had to pretend flooding city streets with guns was his and the Founders' fondest wish. (Still lost, though.)

Now the Supreme Court has ruled that New York can't use even the most rudimentary checks on universal concealed carry. This is an invitation to flood the streets of New York (and D.C. et alia) with firearms and, as someone who has spent most of his life in big cities, I can assure you the result will not be "an armed society is a polite society," but the return of the Saturday Night Special.

This is what comes of giving the country over to the death cult that is conservatism. Rightwingers have been telling themselves and anyone else who'll listen that crime in the cities is out of control, despite all evidence to the contrary. With this SCOTUS decision they have a chance to make their fantasy real, thereby making it easier to scare their red state subjects out of ever even visiting a place with a diverse citizenry, museums, and libraries that are not regularly invaded by Proud Boys hunting drag queens, thus enforcing the isolation and ignorance that the survival of their creed demands. 

Pack the goddamn Court already.

Friday, June 17, 2022


This one goes out to all the witnesses who turned on Tubby in the hearings.

•  Busy week, but then when aren't they? Your free Roy Edroso Breaks It Down for today is a Hallmark Channel (or maybe a Ben Shapiro Family Entertainment Channel) trailer for a new rom-com based on anti-vaxx M.D. Simone Gold's recent sentencing in the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol. Enjoy! 

•  I'm sure you guys have chewed over the hearings a good deal already, so let's switch gears going into Juneteenth weekend -- another one of those Boo Hoo Liberals Won't Be Friends With or Have Sex With Us polls has turned up:

A lot of the comments on that thread are from rightwingers going oooh you liberals are supposed to be so tolerant.  

This is pretty much an evergreen by now; I remember Dr. Mrs Ole Perfesser (remember her?) leading a strange discussion of it during the Obama Administration.  It has become a staple of the Trump era, in which red-hatted gomers are interviewed by lazy lifestyle reporters for stories like "Young DC Conservatives: No One Wants to Date Us," and emotionally stunted factota at The Federalist bark that "Your Refusal To Date Conservatives Is One Reason We Have Donald Trump." 

The idea seems to be that the tendency of liberals to not hang out with conservatives is a form of oppression, as if our company (and liberal pussy!) were some sort of public utility. 

We already know their grasp of the concept of consent is extremely weak, but this enters the realm of abnormal psychology. They constantly call us snowflakes and groomers, they're working hard to deprive us of the right to vote and as many other rights as they can get their hands on, yet they're mad that we're not trying to hang out with them. What gives? I'm getting Jeffrey-Dahmer-body-parts-in-freezer vibes from this. 

Wednesday, June 15, 2022


Have unlocked a Roy Edroso Breaks It Down episode in which Ben Shapiro works on his cowboy act. I was astonished by how many images there are of the pint-sized pundit wearing ten-gallon hats -- and not Photoshopped mockeries, either; he actually seems to think they become him. (Listening to him deliver one of his patented speed-talking routines while thus chapeau’d is a trip -- like a new version of The Fly in which Marshall Dillon is halfway to his transformation into a mosquito.)

I also see L’il Ben’s idea of cowboying-up is throwing fits over same-sex marriages in Disney cartoons. While homophobia always riles up his fans, Shapiro’s real goal is clearly putting over the “family entertainment” company he’s creating; he reckons smearing Disney will clear a path to success. Maybe someone told him that’s how RKO Pictures went down; Adolph Zukor got it around that Jane Russell was really a man and that Howard Hughes was a groomer.

UPDATE. Had wrong first link before -- fixed now

Tuesday, June 14, 2022


An extremely mild gun control bill is on its way to being further watered down by Republicans and their Blue Dog Democrat enablers in the Senate. That it may pass even in this weakened state is evidence that, post-Uvalde, people who normally wouldn’t challenge gun nuts are convinced that our Business As Usual approach cannot stand.  

So conservative pundit Erick Erickson has rushed to explain that if we pass red flag laws, liberals will be mean to conservatives, and that’s worth any number of shot-up children. He starts with three anecdotes he seems to think will sway his readers, though if you haven’t been soaking in rightwing grievance culture for years you might not be feeling it:

In 2020, while in New York’s Central Park, Amy Cooper called 911 to report an “African-American man” was threatening her. The man, a bird watcher, had asked Ms. Cooper to leash her dog. She refused and called 911. The man, whose last name was also Cooper, recorded the incident, which went viral and cost Amy Cooper her job. She also got charged with a crime, though it was later dismissed at the urging of Mr. Cooper, the bird watcher.

This is an interesting opening, as everyone knows the story and that the woman was clearly trying to sic the cops on the “African-American man” who was not doing anything illegal, for reasons anyone who has lived more than a few years in America will understand. And her firing is not his fault, nor that of Cancelculture Run Amok, but rather an ass-covering move by her employers, empowered by employment laws that no conservative ever challenges.   

Late last week, in Raliegh [sic], NC, Wye Hill, a restaurant and brewery, canceled a reservation for a group of conservative moms who were going to get together at the restaurant. An online progressive activist who calls herself “Katherine 4 Justice” went online to take credit for pressuring the restaurant into canceling the reservation through the use of vague threats.

The “group of conservative moms” is Moms 4 Liberty, an overtly political organization that has been successfully pushing “Don’t Say Gay” laws and book-banning across the country. If Masterpiece Bakery can’t be forced to make a gay wedding cake, I don’t see why a restaurant has to cater to an openly anti-LGBT group. I don’t know what “vague threats” Erickson is referring to but Moms 4 Liberty’s supporters are now calling the restaurant owners and staff “groomers” on Twitter, which given the hair-trigger lunacy of that crowd can be considered an actual threat.

Yesterday, Rep. Eric Swalwell took to Twitter to suggest Ben Shapiro is a lunatic and that a red flag law could be used to stop Shapiro from purchasing a gun.

Swalwell made a very good joke about Half-Pint (“Please tell me this lunatic does not own a gun. Reason 1,578 America needs red flag laws”) that anyone over the age of 12 should understand, but which conservatives, due to misguided political priorities or maybe brain damage, pretend to believe is not a joke but rather an assault on Shapiro’s rights.

The Senate is currently considering red flag laws as part of its measures on gun control…

I am deeply concerned that such laws are going to start being used to attack people because of their political opinions. The left has concluded words are violence. I fear red flag laws will be weaponized by partisans over differences of political opinion.

Given our present politics, people’s willingness to view opponents as enemies, and people’s willingness to use the state, private enterprise, and the mob to exact retribution on those they disagree with, I think we should fundamentally resist a federal red flag law or a federal incentive to embrace red flag laws.

So, to nutshell it: Liberals are so depraved that they will disagree with conservatives, and make jokes about conservatives, and even choose not to voluntarily associate with conservatives, so we should let conservatives of whatever mental state have AR-15s to defend themselves from them.

The NRA must be awfully desperate if this is the shit they’re paying for now.

Friday, June 10, 2022


Apollonia 6 riding an iceberg of Prince.

It’s Christmas in June! Along with the Roy Edroso Breaks It Down essay I gifted you folks yesterday about the media’s latest Crime In The Streets fad, I hereby release today’s edition to gen pop. It’s New York Times deputy executive editor Ned Bins’ defense of his paper’s phlegmatic coverage of longtime New York Republican politician Carl Paladino's paen to the political gifts of Adolf Hitler -- and believe me, if you haven’t seen Paladino’s rap, whatever you’re imagining that was, it’s even worse. 

I’m actually in sympathy with the Times, in a way, because they imagine themselves to be the Paper of Record and I’m sure its bigwigs -- most of whom, I notice, came of age when the Fourth Estate was still coasting on Watergate-era prestige and few noticed how poorly it was performing its traditional societal functions -- envision future readers scanning its back pages for a fair, fact-based, balls-and-strikes record of then-current events. They probably also feel their even-handed approach makes a historically accurate portrayal of any controversy (including whether or not what Paladino said was a big deal) easier to craft.

But it also reminds me of this 2019 Tablet story about the Times’ Berlin correspondent in the run-up to WWII:

At the outbreak of the Second World War, The New York Times bureau chief in Berlin, Guido Enderis, was known to sit in the bar of the city’s famous Adlon Hotel spouting “a loudmouthed defense of Nazism,” eventually provoking another reporter to complain to the Times’ publisher: “Isn’t it about time that The New York Times did something about its Nazi correspondent?”

But the Times had no intention of doing anything about Enderis. In fact, it valued his close connections to the Nazi government, as it had throughout the 1930s.

If the name “Maggie Haberman” flashed in your mind, have a cigar. 

Thursday, June 09, 2022


I have a free Roy Edroso Breaks It Down item up now about how the recent California elections show (along with the political power of billions of dollars, but everyone knows that, right) how the ancient ooga-booga equities of conservatism are experiencing a revival thanks to the social media videos and memes calculated to Other the fuck out of the opposition. 

One of my points is, discussion of social media seems stuck on modish tropes like algorithms and brigading when the most relevant points of comparison are much more old-fashioned. I guess it makes some difference how the images are disseminated, but the real power of, e.g., multiple videos of shoplifters in drug stores is simply that they’re visual. All social does is make it possible for propagandists to send them to you and make sure you see them. The model is less Mark Zuckerberg's Facebook and more George Orwell’s telescreens, and the relevant concept of post-literacy goes back to McLuhan.

One reason I don’t write much these days about what the conservative “intellectuals” say is that, on the right, anything even resembling intellectual content is laughably beside the point anymore. It used to be (and sometimes still can be) easy and fun to dissect their idiocies, because their unenviable pig-lipsticking tasks left them naked to creative ridicule. But seriously, what am I going to do with National Review articles like “Putin the Marxist-Leninist”? They spend their time on shit like that because there’s no point in even trying to make conservative policy look like anything but what it is: a naked appeal to America’s worst prejudices, craziest conspiracy theories, and purest animal hatreds. Viral videos are not just a good tactic: they’re perfectly suited to conservative philosophy, indeed they more or less define it.

Friday, June 03, 2022


Heard this playing at a D.C. COVID testing center last week.
One more thing to admire about public health workers!

Bleah, long hard week, me sleepy, But! You the Public have a right to appropriate entertainment so here are two (2) absolutely free items from my big underground hit newsletter (the great Digby calls it “one of my favorite newsletter[s],” and that’s no joke), Roy Edroso Breaks It Down: 1.) A transcript of Tubby’s speech to the NRA, and 2.) Upcoming Johnny Depp projects

Regarding the former, though people focused on the gross bell-ringing stunt, I was actually more interested in Trump’s contention that “inner city schools rarely have these kinds of mass shootings” because of their “stronger security measures” such as metal detectors and police presence, and he wanted that brought to schools in the suburbs. So much rightwing yak is about protecting the white enclaves (where most of their base lives) from the contagion of cities -- yet here the guy is basically admitting that suburban schools in Republican neighborhoods are happy hunting grounds for nuts with machine guns, and they can't do anything about it so they have to adopt big-bad-city precautions. Thus, the burbs are both cultural wastelands and shooting galleries! It’s amazing how much their shamelessness disguises their admissions of failure. 

As for Depp, well, I’m a fan of his performances -- some more than others -- and as a non-Zhdanovite I don’t count his personal failings against his acting. But after this trial I’m not very interested in hearing about him again. (Don’t let that stop you, though! And while you're there, subscribe -- it's cheap!) 

Thursday, June 02, 2022


Here's an unlocked Roy Edroso Breaks It Down number, laying out some possible future projects for Johnny Depp. I did not pay attention to the Depp-Heard trial, and it may be that someone has laid out a coherent explanation for the verdict, though mainly what I have seen from those who approve of it has nothing to do with legal rationale and everything to do with creepy pseudo-butch displays

Against my better judgment I have been guided to Rod Dreher, whose work I haven’t looked at much since he revealed that he was getting divorced and sternly warned everybody not to read anything into it. (Everything conservatives always say about divorce culture destroying America, for example, apparently doesn’t apply to Dreher. It’s Wilhoit’s Marital Law!) He seems to have gotten even weirder since. And sure enough, in a recent post, he “responds” to this “reader” “email”:

…The news of your divorce coming around the same time as the Johnny Depp/Amber Heard trial has me thinking thoughts that had never occurred to me.

First of all, I can’t believe I’m riveted by a dang celebrity trial. It’s typically not something I spend any kind of time on. But riveted I am. Despite the fact that we are practicing conservative Christians, our own marriage is headed for a hard crash, because I’m confident that my wife is mentally ill. Watching the Depp/Heard trial, I learned about the existence of a condition called Borderline Personality Disorder…

When I read that, everything became SO CLEAR to me about why my marriage is in so much trouble, and why therapy has not worked for us.

(Dreher, resuming his authorial voice, follows up: “This is really something, because I have been getting a surprising number of e-mails from readers saying pretty much the same thing…” Future ex-Mrs.-Dreher, I hope for your sake you have a lot of money in a separate account.) 

The Dreher “reader” experience does seems to comport with a general observation that, whatever this particular celebrity trial was really about, all the creeps have lined up with Depp. But this is no different than what we experience in other areas of real life, whenever we see someone driving with needless aggression on the highway or yelling “Let’s Go Brandon” at a non-political event or trying to cut in line and acting the victim when they're called out: Assholes flock to assholes. Trump merely gave them an Alpha Asshole around which to cluster.