Friday, December 09, 2022


The man's just got no end of tunes.

•  I’m getting a little bit more into the holiday spirit and have dished out two (2) heaping Roy Edroso Breaks It Down freebies for the multitudes. First one is inspired by (as mentioned on Wednesday) the challenge to Kevin McCarthy’s claim to the House Speaker’s gavel by someone slightly crazier than he. You might quibble with the "slightly": Biggs is an election denier the Arizona House Speaker says asked him to decertify Arizona’s presidential electors in pursuit of an Electoral College coup. On the other hand, McCarthy wants to lead Biggs and his fellow idiots, so maybe he’s got a screw loose as well; the new majority promises to devote most of their efforts to grandstanding prosecutions and internecine battles, leaving McCarthy to stand around saying "what's all this then" and check his phone for messages from his literary agent. Well, with Denny Hastert in the record books McCarthy doesn’t have to worry about being the worst Speaker in modern history, and who knows – maybe his toadying will pay big dividends if the next coup works out.  

•  Freebie #2 imagines Bari Weiss’ employee communications at Twitter. Weiss is a well-established buffoon, in real life as well as in my bagatelles, but her stint as house scribe for Elmo Mush beats all. I must say, this is very different from when, in my younger days, I did newsletters for corporations; the purpose then was to drum up stories from and of relevance to the employees, and thus encourage cohesion and esprit de corps.  Weiss’ gig is similar in that she has been hired by management and sent among the staff, but the purpose seems to be to humiliate and demoralize them and blacken the reputation of the company at the behest of its mad king. My, how times have changed! Well, perhaps senile dementia will come as a blessed relief. 

Wednesday, December 07, 2022


As we count down the days until the new House majority staggers into the chamber with its arms outstretched, eyes glassy and unseeing, chanting HUNTER BIDEN’S LAPTOP, the muse of comedy has blessed us with some lagniappe: A challenge to presumptive Speaker-to-be Kevin McCarthy by Andy Biggs, who portrays himself as the true red Republican in an astonishingly poorly-written op-ed at the Daily Caller. Sample:

It is time. It is time for new leadership of the U.S. House of Representatives.

Good gimmick, that – worked for Peter Allen

People are thrilled that Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s reign of Leftist extremism is ending. 

First but not last question for the copy desk: Can you identify the organization to which the capitalized “Leftist” refers? (Also, w/r/t “People are thrilled” – cite please.)

The question is whether we will be treated to the status quo that will move us along the same path, though perhaps more slowly.

Will we elect an establishment Republican as the speaker — think Paul Ryan, or in this case, Ryan’s right-hand man, Kevin McCarthy.

OK, never mind, apparently there is no copy desk at the Caller. (I have clangers, too, but I’m just some guy with a blog, a Substack, and a shoeshine, not a major news organization.)

The Left wants to see a McCarthy Speakership, as outgoing Majority Whip Clyburn said. 

OK, Jim Clyburn, same question! Please include contact information.

Establishment Republicans want to see a continuation of the Swamp, as Paul Ryan has endorsed McCarthy for speaker. And, even phony conservative types, claim that McCarthy is the only guy for them (see radio talker Mark Levin for example, who after blasting McCarthy for years has decided that he is perfect for the job).

And people wonder why the establishment is the establishment.

No one wonders, Andy. Republicans become the establishment when a fringe figure calls them the establishment so the fringe figure can look like a bold revolutionary force instead of a fringe figure. Obviously if you’re including neckless radio shouter Mark Levin among your “phony conservative types” this establishment is not defined by political ideas or affinities. Your followers probably listen to Levin and cheer because they agree with his crackpot ideas, which are after all their own (except for this one personnel matter); henceforth they’ll still listen and cheer, but not when you’re within earshot. And when your challenge peters out they’ll forget any of this ever happened. 

The whole thing is a mess, but I’ll share this corker, which refers (insofar as I can tell) to the most recent consolidated appropriations bill:

As I told our leader, if we had banded together and defeated the first efforts of consolidation — as we had the votes to do — the Democrats would have come back to us to negotiate for better terms. We could have controlled much of the action on the floor of the U.S. House. I and my team were rebuffed. The result: the Democrats were able to dismantle America with virtually little resistance.

America was dismantled? That explains the long lines at the post office.

Biggs’ blather further inspired me at Roy Edroso Breaks It Down, where I have published the pitches of other, even more non-moderate Speaker candidates. It’s one of my now-rare freebies; I have to leave most of the content subscriber-only, so as to keep the missus and myself in cakes and ale. Consider it an early Festivus present! 

Friday, December 02, 2022


I’m sure you've seen the Kanye West mess. (I refuse to call him “Ye”; if Bruce Springsteen had taken to extolling the dictatorship of the proletariat, I doubt editorial-writers would be referring to him as “The Boss.” The cognominative infantilization one finds in the music press is inappropriate for Nazi apologists.) I wrote a little something about it at Roy Edroso Breaks It Down, but I’ve been giving away too many free editions lately so this one’s members-only. (This one about the Arizona election certification is free, though, and still good!)

But I will say here that the guy’s ravings should serve as a hard smack in the mouth to the idea that “free speech” – as conservatives seem to mean that much-abused term, i.e. the promotion of hate speech – is the best way to engender rational debate and defeat bad ideas. West and his enablers are very consciously pushing Naziism up from its status of an outlaw creed -- made so long ago in response its advocates' attempt to destroy Western Civilization -- as a comme ci comme ça, was it really that bad sort of thing – which is the first step toward getting the Republicans who are currently only crypto-fascist to go the whole hog, and maybe to get those voters who went Trump for the merry hell of it to step it up, too, and give them power. 

Brothers, sisters, we don’t need that fascist groove thing. 

Saturday, November 26, 2022


I'm developing a taste for these
Low-impact Led Zep tunes.

Another Friday ‘Round-the-Horn on a Saturday! If you must know, I was so relaxed by the Thanksgiving break that I absolutely could not rouse myself to perform my usual duties on Friday. Normally I’m a two-fisted, copy-churnin’ machine, but once I lose momentum it’s hard to kick the engine back into gear.

I did fulfill my Roy Edroso Breaks It Down duties, though – how could I not, with paying customers waiting on their shipment! I can let you free-riders can have a little taste – here from Monday is Alex P. Keaton transported to the Trump Age

And, you know what, let’s pull one out of the vault that, thanks to my deathless prose, remains daisy-fresh – a Hallmark movie for the MAGA set. I was reminded of it by the recent contretemps over Candace Cameron Bure, the lady who -- near as I can figure from the reporting, which seems to rely on readers having more knowledge of the Holiday Movie Industry than I can boast – was a star of Hallmark Channel Lessons in Life and Love Machine and is now the centerpiece of Great American Family (formerly Great American Country) Lessons in Life and Love and Jesus Machine. Since Jesus, in this context, means No Gay People, Bure was able to generate some prestige-media controversy on the subject, thus increasing her and GAF’s media attention in time for the holidays. 

Well, it’s all in the game, but it does make me wonder how Ben Shapiro, who keeps promising us his own family-entertainment conglomerate, was taking the increased competition. With homo-hating Christianity dying off in the West, GAF leaves an even smaller slice of the pie for Half-Pint; the MAGAsaurs aren’t going to want more than a few such streaming services, though maybe the “continuing to charge aging customers after they die” strategy may keep such a venture afloat. 

Speaking of which, here’s another old REBID episode on the Shapiro Network! Yet another reason to subscribe: deep content reserves! 

Meanwhile the news is full of dumbness to keep up with, but let us spare a thought for the latest Cancelculture Crybaby, in the Washington Post:

Former surgeon general faces his wife’s cancer — and the ‘Trump Effect’

Jerome Adams, M.D. was SG under Trump and now people don’t seem to want to hire him. It’s so unfair! High-level White House posts are supposed to lead to lavish sinecures! Also, “Adams and his wife, Lacey, want to tell a personal story about melanoma and cancer prevention,” so if you don’t give him six figures at least it’s like you’re pro-cancer.

Former surgeon general Jerome Adams and his wife, Lacey, often find themselves talking about what they have named the “Trump Effect.”

It followed them from Washington to their home in the Indianapolis suburbs. They felt it when he was exploring jobs in academia, where he would receive polite rejections from university officials who worried that someone who served in the administration of the former president would be badly received by their left-leaning student bodies. They felt it when corporations decided he was too tainted to employ.

And all because he chose to work for a famous scumbag. But get this: Adams is also a victim of Trump: 

As Donald Trump announced this month that he will run for president again, [the Adamses] had hoped it all would have faded away by now. 

They would rather talk about public health, in a very personal way... But the stigma of his association with Trump, even though neither of them is a supporter of his political campaign, remains.

Oh wait, it gets better:

Whether indicted or shunned or marginalized, a cavalcade of former Trump World figures have foundered in the aftermath of one of the more chaotic presidencies in modern American history.

Eichmann, Mengele – you know they’re bitching in hell that no one gave them this kind of treatment. Hey, Jerome Adams is kind of a common name – couldn’t this guy just say it was a different Jerome Adams who was Surgeon General, and then claim he was in Switzerland the whole time?

Friday, November 18, 2022


I see Doja Cat got some Grammy nominations.
'Woman' is a cool tune, but I'll always love this goofy one.

Today’s unlocked Roy Edroso Breaks It Down episode reveals some of what the New! Republican! House! Majority! have planned for their big opening.  Quite a challenge making satire out of that after the incoming leaders basically announced it's going to be Bidenghazi hearings 24/7. (According to CNN they’ll also investigate “alleged ‘politicization’ at the FBI.” About a hundred years late, I’d say!

You might wonder: Even taking into consideration, as one must, that everything they do is for future electoral gain rather than the good of the country, what’s the play here? Do they really expect Mr. and Mrs. America, who were underwhelmed by their offerings in the recent election, to be excited by diagrams on easels showing the connection between Hunter Biden’s foot-jobs and Brandon the Chinese Cat’s-Paw? 

The best answer (besides polluted brain chemicals, that is, and the fact that they’ve relied on hearings instead of legislation for so long that they don’t remember how to even try and make laws) is that they don’t care about reaching anyone but their base. They know their policies are repulsive to most Americans, but most Americans don’t vote – they’re just counting on that old toxic Trump stew to sufficiently enrage enough rubes and psychos to sweep them back into real power. So demonization that proceeds to criminalization -- like Trump’s anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant formulae -- is their best option. 

Meanwhile I’ve been enjoying all the make-believe Trump apostasy among the big-time conservatives – such as (here, have another REBID freebie!) the folks down at National Review who think we won’t remember how, the minute Trump won in 2016, they went from apostate to prostrate, and are practically assured to do it again if Tubby hangs tough. And today's HuffPo has a lulu:

Key Evangelical Figures Turn On Trump: 'He Used Us'...

Evangelical figures who previously supported Donald Trump are backing off now that he’s announced his third bid for the presidency.

“Donald Trump can’t save America,” Mike Evans told The Washington Post. “He can’t even save himself"...

Another onetime faith adviser to Trump, James Robison of Life Outreach International, said in a speech this week that Trump’s ego is getting in the way of the agenda.

“If Mr. Trump can’t stop his little petty issues, how does he expect people to stop major issues?” Robison said, according to The Washington Post.

Y’all gotta be shitting me. Nobody, but nobody, ever showed their ass worse than evangelicals in the Trump era. Remember all those photos of evangelicals praying with their hands glued to him like he was car they might win if they hung on long enough? Remember the snake handler he put in the White House? If you’re wondering why younger people are abandoning religion in droves, consider these alleged worshippers of Jesus Christ glomming onto a famously amoral scumbag for clout. 

And now some of them want a do-over. LOL. What they mean is, they’ll wait to see what happens when Tubby and DeSantis duke it out for King of the Brutes, and then devote their donations and ululations to whoever wins. 

Friday, November 11, 2022


Ever heard a steel drum band play
Bach's Toccata and Fugue in D Minor?

I kicked out a few Roy Edroso Breaks It Down items about the election – here’s the most recent. Maybe that will be a.) of interest to you, or maybe you’re b.) sick of that shit already. Don’t blame you if b.)! 

But there’s still some comedy to be wrung from the situation. Remember back during the primaries, when some Democratic campaign committees ran ads letting Republican voters know how thoroughly MAGA candidates like Doug Mastriano in Pennsylvania, Dan Cox in Maryland, and John Gibbs in Michigan were – the idea being, let such nuts as love that shit nominate these nutjobs in the primaries and the normal voters would reject them in the general? And remember how Conservatives with Good Taste blubbered over it, saying not only that it was dirty politics to which such as they would never sink, but also that it meant when these lunatics won it would be the Democrats’ fault?

My favorite was Megan McArdle. As I described it at the time:

Megan McArdle is first among equals in mendacity here, dudgeoning that Democrats are willfully making it more likely that the worst Republicans (that is, the ones that are 5% worse than the second-worst) might win if the Democrat loses, and that this shows -- say it with me now -- Both Sides Are The Same ("Democrats can stop asking how Republicans could have sold out their principles and their country in a pathetic grab for some evanescent political advantage. Because now they know"). This will come in handy when McArdle inevitably pimps Yang's Forward Party as the Choice of People Who Want Clean Hands When DeSantis Becomes Dictator.

Well, as it happens, all of these and most of the other Trumpy candidates lost, and now all the rightwing big-bugs from Dame Peggy Noonington on down are crying that Trump must be ousted for the good of the party. Even Salena Zito, long the biggest Trump suck-up under cover of journalism, has turned: “The chickens have come home to roost for Donald Trump in Pennsylvania,” she announces, digging up no fewer than three Republican strategists (but no Republican electeds!) to say things like “I see golf courses and a rocking chair in his future.” (This being Zito, there’s also “a Pennsylvania father of two grown men of voting age… who asked not to be named.”)

It is to laugh, but wait’ll it comes time for prominent Republicans to decide whether or not to endorse Trump; then we’ll see who’s got any guts.  I'll bet not many! 

Thursday, November 10, 2022


Looks like at least a few of you fuckers voted, and the damage on Tuesday was thankfully limited – though the Morlocks will probably narrowly take a chamber and devote the next two years to political prosecutions and nuisance bills, as I explain in my latest Roy Edroso Breaks It Down essay, unlocked for your pleasure.

One of my sub-topics is how the prestige press and other con men are trying to make the whole thing about Tubby. The idea that the lords and ladies of the Republican Party will throw him over now -- considering they were too weak and gutless to resist him in the first place, and have shown no sign of increased fortitude since -- is hilarious. 

Some of the folks rushing in for a piece of the action are especially ridic. Take the guy the New York Times chose to deliver the concerned-conservative op-ed “Why the Red Wave Didn’t Materialize.” Here’s some of his copy, see if you can guess:

A week before the midterms, a video circulated online of a Starbucks barista crying while explaining the need for a union: “I’m a full-time student. I get scheduled for 25 hours a week, and on weekends they schedule me the entire day — open to close.” The manager is bad, the staffing is inadequate and the stress is overwhelming.

The video should have elicited sympathy from anyone familiar with the lousy wages and grinding conditions that characterize today’s service economy. That was not, though, the response of the full spectrum of conservative media and personalities, from Fox News to The Daily Wire to Sebastian Gorka.

“Boo Hoo!” replied Media Research Center TV, a conservative media site. “This ‘person’” — the barista happens to be transgender, hence, I suppose, the scare quotes around “person” — “was in tears because they had to work eight hours a day on the weekend.”

Episodes like this may be one reason the red wave didn’t materialize, why Republicans failed to usher in a new dawn of prosperity for the multiracial working class that Republican leaders from Senator Ted Cruz to the House policy honcho Jim Banks say they want to champion…

So: Did you think Ruy Teixeira finally switched parties? Nope, it’s Sohrab Ahmari – former op-ed editor of the Murdoch Stürmer aka the New York Post and national(ist) greatness crank. The last time most of us noticed him was in 2019 when he publicly attacked David French – an activity I normally endorse, but instead of attacking French for the fraudulence of his witchfinder-but-really-a-nice-guy act, Ahamri attacked him for not matching his own devotion to hunting witches:

Drag queen story hour, [Ahmari] warned, was a "global movement," since the group that hosts it has 35 chapters. "It is," he said, "a threat." 

This eventually prompted French to ask the obvious question: What would Ahmari do to combat this supposed crisis? "What public power would you use?" he asked. "And how would it be constitutional?"

Ahmari's answer -- and I promise I am not making this up -- was that he would hold a congressional hearing "on what's happening in our libraries," in which sympathetic conservative senators such as Josh Hawley and Tom Cotton would "make the head of the Modern Library Association or whatever sweat." 

Puts kind of a new light on Ahmari’s Republican Workers Party act, huh? Ahmari is cagey about it, too; he leaves the queer-bashing out of his Times essay, and even soft-pedals his Trump-love (Ahmari wrote “He’s Still the One” about the Leader in September), though if you listen closely you can still hear the tune:

Ever since Donald Trump’s rise, there has been much talk, and some evidence, of a realignment in American politics. Breaking with longstanding G.O.P. orthodoxies on free trade, entitlements and health care, Mr. Trump coaxed huge numbers of white voters without college degrees away from the Democrats. Once in office, he delivered on tariffs. But other pieces of his populist agenda fell away, as his aides forged ahead with the old Chamber of Commerce conservatism (tax cuts, deregulation and a profoundly anti-union labor policy).

Yes, Trumpy populism was halting and self-contradictory, but the variety that emerged in Republican circles after Mr. Trump left office was downright fake.

Trumpy populism cannot fail, it can only be failed! What’s wanted is support for the proles plus attacks on minorities – a proven winning combination! 

Like the old saying (incorrectly) goes, the Chinese word for crisis is danger plus opportunity, and we’re bound to see other conservatives besides Ahmari looking for the main chance in this one -- rebranding themselves post-trainwreck as the future of the movement (and hoping nobody remembers what they were in the past).

Tuesday, November 08, 2022


I could give you guys one of those Resistance pep-talks about how you gotta go out there and vote to save the country, the planet, yourself, etc., but what’s more likely to convince you to storm the ballot box is this essay:

Yes, it’s the Doughy Pantload himself, telling you a dumb ol' election’s nothing to get in a sweat over.

Look, I think my record over the last seven years or so of arguing that politics in general, and right-wing politics in particular, is going in a bad direction is pretty solid. Heck, now that I think about it, my record for arguing that left-wing politics is going in a bad direction is pretty stellar. 

But to listen to a lot of folks, the National Guard should go door to door collecting belts and shoelaces from a vast cross section of the commentariat as well as millions of rank-and-file voters.

Some people just shouldn’t try mordancy. It’s one thing when Lee Marvin, smiling mordantly over his cheroot in a boxcar, tells you “Country’s gone ta hell!” in Emperor of the North (14:13), but when fat-ass legacy pledge Jonah Goldberg puts it on it’s like Jacob Rees-Mogg affecting a gangster lean.   

You want to know what I think will happen if Republicans have a really good night on Tuesday? 

Not much. 

First of all, you'll still have the same friends, family, and job you did the day before the election (not counting a few hundred campaign and congressional staffers and the like). That's important because, as much as partisans have convinced themselves otherwise, politics isn't as important in your daily life as politicians and pundits want you to believe.

‘cept if you’re gay or trans or a refugee or need an abortion or give a shit about anyone besides yourself, in which case sucks to be you, haha, fart.

…Broadly speaking, here's what I think will happen if Republicans gain control of Congress. Things will go very badly for Hunter Biden as the GOP dissects his life down to his DNA (and let's face it, he is a sleazy, corrupt dude, even if he isn't the bogeyman some want him to be). 

Political prosecutions don’t matter if you don’t like the guy.

Alejandro Mayorkas, the DHS secretary, will quit rather than face impeachment, or maybe he'll stick around and be impeached. Anthony Fauci will be put through the wringer. But we'll also probably get some needed investigations into the origins of COVID and the debacle in Afghanistan. 

Four hours a day of Rand Paul screaming “ADMIT IT FAUCI, YOU AND XI JINPING MADE CCP VIRUS IN THE LAB WITH A CANDLESTICK,” followed by four hours of that godforsaken occupation’s biggest fans shaking their fists at Biden for ending it – that’s Goldberg’s idea of The Way Things Ought To Be.

And yeah, Republicans will waste a lot of time talking about and maybe actually going through with what will likely be a stupid, pointless, and hypocritical effort to impeach Joe Biden.

See, baseless and obviously political prosecutions of the President and his son aren’t symptoms of fast-track fascism, they’re just “stupid, pointless, and hypocritical,” like when the guys at The Dispatch make lame jokes about Jonah’s Asness Chair. Chillax, dood! 

…The GOP crazy caucus will expand as a few more tinfoil hatters join Marjorie Taylor Greene's treehouse of stupid.

Broadening out, there will be some new bad apples at the state level, and they will say and do terrible things. 

Don’t Say Gay becomes Don’t Hire Them Either, Don’t Let Them Adopt etc. No skin off his nose, though. 

But most of their schemes will fall afoul of both the courts and the court of public opinion.

In the actual courts of actual judicial opinion, however, their schemes will not fall afoul, but rather continue to overtly politicize American justice, which could not possible lead to a poor societal and governmental result. 

The whole thing is nightmarishly bad but I ask you to consider just these two bits:

I take a backseat to no one in my contempt for both the grifters and sincere hysterics on the right who take things like Dinesh D'Souza's 2000 Mules seriously. But even Dinesh's carefully crafted crackpottery works on the assumption that democracy is good. Even putsch-peddlers like Michael Flynn argued for rerunning the election, because in America we believe that elections confer legitimacy for elected positions. 

And, get this:

The January 6 riot proves the point. Most of those goons and buffoons storming the Capitol committed the blunder of believing Donald Trump's lies about the election being stolen. That's the weird irony lost on so many people rightly appalled by that day: Most of those in the mob thought they were fighting for democracy.

Not just high-pressure crooks and propagandists like D’Souza and Flynn are pro-democracy, but so are the guys who stormed the fucking Capitol! I’m shocked Goldberg didn’t include the guy who tried to murder Paul Pelosi. Hell, I guess if someone assassinated Biden, it’d be because the assassin just loved democracy so much – further proof of how healthy and not-in-danger our Way of Life is.

Anyway, if all the totalitarian plans these fuckers brag about implementing as soon as they get power don’t motivate you, let Goldberg’s flurry of farts propel you to the polls! God bless us, every one. 

Friday, November 04, 2022


Another great thing about the internet:
For years I had no idea what this song was called.
Bless you, Shazam.

OK, joy-poppers, this week, I was extremely generous with the free Roy Edroso Breaks It Down stories. Do not expect this largesse to continue! Consider it my week-before-election gift, to celebrate the rescue of democracy at the polls. 

(Yes, I know the papers and talking heads favor the Republicans instead, but though I am usually inclined toward pessimism I have decided to look on the bright side, and not only celebrate but encourage voting as Douglas Fairbanks once celebrated and encouraged the sale of War Bonds. Think of it like democracy Lotto – to win it, you got to be in it!)

Speaking of negativity and its role in depressing the vote, here’s today’s number on Peggy Noonan and how, cloistered though she is in her Manhattan aerie, she has picked up and prettified the GOP message that voting and democracy must be stopped for the Greater Good. Always fun to consider her scented, dreamy, pillowy prose and the brutal uses to which it is put.

Then there's the one about the New Birchers, or rather the Retro Birchers: How today’s conservatives are slopping new paint and powder on some very old ideas from the days when people who promulgated such ideas were commonly classified as Right Wing Nuts. A happier time all around! (BTW, you should be digging the work of A.J. Bauer, who knows the Old Right like Preacher knows his Bible; here’s something he wrote for Politico about the roots of rightwing media.)

BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE! Also unlocked is my “Hate Speech IS Free Speech” column, concerning recent trends in the promotion of ancient prejudices. 

A very serious week of political stuff it’s been, without the comedy sketches, arts criticism, and musical interludes that normally leaven the bread; but ‘tis the season – just as you’re gonna see more Santa near Christmas, you’re gonna see more Satan near Election Day. Anyway, my final message to you is “vote,” and also “subscribe” – the country may go to shit, but I’ll probably be handing mimeographed copies of this thing in the concentration camp. 

Friday, October 28, 2022


Friend of mine just reminded me of these guys.
They're contenders and I hope someday they get a title match.

•   I have been generous with the free Roy Edroso Breaks It Down stories, but don’t count on it lasting – baby needs a new pair of shoes, so please subscribe (cheap!)

Meantime here’s one about what’s next for the newly Muskified Twitter. You can take it as a prediction or as a mere bag-o’-shells, but one thing’s for sure: Musk is going to fuck it up, either so’s you notice or so’s you don’t. But like the Bard said, we who have free souls, it touches us not. My attitude is the same as it was the last time the dummies who used to run it suspended me for absurd reasons. I will repeat part of it here:
I do not mention this [suspension] to invite sympathy – no cancelculture crybaby bullshit for me! These morons can do what they like with their own property – but to remind you that Twitter constantly pitches people off for stupid reasons while turning a blind eye to actual hate speech…

One day I expect they’ll toss me forever, perhaps for some equally innocuous comment, so if I go quiet there you should look for me, not in instructions behind a rock that has no earthly business in a Maine hayfield, but here at alicublog (or, better still, at REBID – subscribe, cheap!).
That’s how I feel now, too; the place has always sucked, and will continue to suck in a different way. Fortunately the platforms I use are not a significant part of my identity; if I can share Substack with a bunch of a bad-faith cancelculture crybabies without getting cooties I can certainly use, abandon, or be cashiered from Twitter without drama or regret.

It’s certainly a better way to look at it than that of all the rightwing nuts now screaming for Elon Musk to avenge them for their alleged "shadowbanning" (i.e. losing followers whom you have come to believe you own, like Egyptian tomb-slaves) and "censorship" (i.e., suspension after violation of terms of service), as if the fat fraud were Jesus and they were the souls in limbo rather than socially backward shut-ins who couldn’t touch grass it you threw Kid Rock tickets on their lawns. What a way to live! Count your blessings, normies.

•  Also on the free table this week: One on the escalation trajectory of Sam “Everyone’s Out To Get Me” Alito. A few people, including REBID commenters, have noticed that even as conservatives like Alito increasingly get pretty much everything they want – from politics, anyway – they nonetheless bitch harder and louder with each passing day. I may well work up an essay on it sometime, but the short answer to the conundrum is: The same abnormal psychology that informs their politics also informs their private lives, and they’re just acting like other, less famous jerks you probably know personally who’ve fucked over other people to get what they loudly announce they want and deserve and have to have, and still aren’t happy, and they know it’s got to be the fault of someone other than themselves.

Saturday, October 22, 2022


That French station again! Wacky versions of classics
like this the missus calls “singer competing with song,”
but for me this one’s pure pleasure.

•  Well, why not Saturday ‘Round-the-Horn, huh? I was busy yesterday, sorry.

We’re in the psycho-nutso phase of the election campaign, with a lot of sketchy polling to rile the rubes. Here’s a MAGA douchebag trying to portray himself as beating Letitia James for New York AG based on a poll from Trafalgar Group – who, as I discussed in June, predicted Trump would win in 2020, and have a weirdly opaque method...

…which includes “proprietary digital methods we don’t share publicly,” nudge nudge, as well as “methods to accommodate the ‘Social Desirability Bias’” which they say “allows us to obtain a poll participant’s true feelings in situations where we believe some individuals are not likely to reveal their actual preferences.” In other words, it corrects results to account for the terror of cancel culture that allegedly animates rightwing nuts nowadays — how, they don’t say, but I wouldn’t be shocked if it involved some “wait a minute, this guy’s white, he can’t possibly mean it when he says he thinks America fought on the right side in World War II, maybe antifa is holding him hostage” judgement calls.

For the usual reasons, things do look bad: Midterms are traditionally poison for the party in power and God knows the Prestige Media are pushing rightwing fuckery especially hard now. I don’t counsel hope, so much, as a continuing insistence on the truth because, if the bad guys win, what you really don’t want is for people to forget where the ensuing unpleasantness came from – because you know conservatives, who rely heavily on bamboozlement, will either try to portray it as Just The Way Things Have Always Been, or blame you.

•  Now for the Roy Edroso Breaks It Down freebies – which were generous this week, because I’m a hell of a guy: First, a plausible Herschel Walker scenario, given his “I meant to do that” follow-up on his toy sheriff badge thing; second, a shorter and more enjoyable version of Rod Dreher’s latest lengthy blubberfest over why he has to forsake his beloved Dixie (and wife and children) for the Führer of the Moment. I mean, can't you just imagine Jean-Jacques Rousseau telling Dreher, “TMI, buddy"?

Wednesday, October 19, 2022


Ross Douthat is a menace on so many levels – to our politics, to English prose and reason, and so on – that one would think if the Times allowed him to bring in a couple of ringers to help they would vitiate his awfulness. No such luck!  Bad as his columns are, their partisan/theocratic intent is at least more or less unconcealed. But in this “roundtable” collaboration with a couple of other nudniks he tries to portray himself as the friend of the “Politically Homeless” -- in fact the thing was titled “Politically Homeless is Not Politically Hopeless” before it got switched it to “The Midterms Look Very Different if You’re Not a Democrat or a Republican” – as if it weren’t just a Republican recruiting tactic dressed up as high-mindedness.  

Maybe someone at the Times realized some readers would notice that “Politically Homeless” is a red flag signifying that rank bothsider fuckery is coming – the sort indulged by Andrew Yang’s ridiculous Forward Party, and by stray dummies who think “the left wants to censor us because they reject creativity” (??) and thus are no better an electoral choice than people who literally compare them to literal Satan. This is bothsiderism with an extra helping of woebegone and winsome: People who apparently can’t deal with the stresses and hard choices of everyday life -- try to imagine them picking an internet service provider or a wedding dress – and, faced with shitty democrats versus stark raving fascists, choose not to vote for the side less likely to kill them, and instead complain that neither side is serving them so they’ll just sit and cry about it. 

But at least those guys seem sincerely childish. Even without the warning label, you can smell the wingnut shtick Douthat and his collaborators – Reason’s Stephanie Slade, and Tablet’s Liel Leibovitz – have concocted a mile away. Leibovitz:

I came to this country, like so many other immigrants, because I care deeply about two things — freedom of religion and individual liberties. And both parties are messing up when it comes to these two fundamental pillars of American life, from cheering on law enforcement spying on Muslim Americans in the wake of 9/11 to cheering on social media networks for curbing free speech.

On the one hand, Republicans using the actual government to spy on Muslim-Americans (and, under Trump, to keep Muslims out of the U.S. entirely – though maybe Leibovitz doesn’t mind that); on the other, Democrats not doing whatever the fuck they’re supposed to do when Twitter (not a branch of the U.S. government) enforces its Terms of Service on users. It’s bothsides bingo because they’re both “cheering”!

Though Liebowitz is supposed to represent the “left,” he gives no positive defense or endorsement for any liberal or left principle – he just makes the same scared noises about Trump as any Republican milquetoast might. Also he says he’s going to vote for GOP New York governor candidate Lee Zeldin, who’s a literal 2020 election denier – but that, too, is cool with Liebowitz, who actually finds it a reason for a “very big dose of – dare I say it? -- hope”:

Voters are gravitating toward candidates who are telling them coherent stories that make sense. To the political classes, these stories sometimes sound conspiratorial or crazy or way removed from the Beltway reality. But to normal Americans, they resonate.

I guess Big Lie bullshit is OK because it's resonant, and shows independence from the reality-based beliefs of the Beltway elite.

As for Slade, she’s a libertarian, and (as I long ago observed) that means a conservative with social anxieties so, sure enough, while she professes an “almost unimaginable abhorrence… toward some of the Republicans who would have to win in order for the G.O.P. to retake the Senate,” she nonetheless favors them to win the House because

… the sheer economic insanity of the Biden years — amounting to approving more than $4 trillion of new borrowing, to say nothing of the unconstitutional eviction moratorium and student loan forgiveness — is mind-boggling to me, so almost anything that could put the brakes on some of this stuff seems worth trying.

So, she’s mad that the Democrats gave people trillions in COVID financial aid, and hopes to return to power the other party that gave them trillions in COVID financial aid. (Douthat says this makes her sound “like a swing voter”; I’d give him points if I thought he actually knew what that meant.)

The whole thing’s preposterous, but craziest thing is this from Liebowitz:

…I look at the Democratic Party and see a lot of energy I love — particularly the old Bernie Sanders spirit, before it was consumed by the apparatus. I look at the Republican Party and see people like Ted Cruz, who are very good at kicking up against some of the party’s worst ideas. There’s hope here and energy, just not if you keep on seeing this game as red versus blue.

Douthat professes interest in this “Bernie-Cruz” coalition. I would pay a few dollars to see this roundtable reconvened so that the participants could explain what that coalition would be like. Democratic Socilaism without the Democracy and Socialism, but Owning the Libs? Hey, maybe that’s Tulsi Gabbard’s plan! 

Long story short, you should always be suspicious of crypto-non-partisan come-ons, and when it's peddled by post office wall fixtures like Douthat definitely hold onto your wallet.

Friday, October 14, 2022


The missus found a French internet station
that plays odd jazz and pop vocal tracks.
This one tickles me, and I think it shows 
how strong the song's underpinnings are.

•  I'm releasing unto the world today's Roy Edroso Breaks It Down issue, which is more cultural than political -- it's about how the arts and entertainment press talks a lot more about movie box office standings than they used to. This is an observable phenomenon for interested people over a certain age, but I seldom see it brought up. 

Commenters are drawing parallels with other areas of life and media coverage thereof -- for example, the "horserace" approach to politics that predominates among our prestige press outlets. I think it also distorts audience expectations of what movies are about. I don't think it's just nostalgia to lament the vanished film culture where people went into movies not much knowing or caring about the business end of them. Now so much film news is basically business news that I think it must have an effect on audiences -- and they approach movies more as social phenomena, that is, things with which to identify, rather than to just enjoy. 

You can also see its effect in the way movies are used as political props. I’ve written about the weird hate-on rightwingers had for the Toy Story spin-off Lightyear, owing to a miniscule amount of gay-friendly content in it, and how they tried to convince readers the film was a flop because it finished second rather than first in opening grosses. Insane politics aside, the whole idea of a film being a flop because it was only the second most popular release in the country seems to be, among other things, a product of the weird, zero-sum, hypercompetitive way we're encouraged to look at -- well, everything. 

•  Oh, also freed from the mothership: An Alex Jones intervention. The whole billion-dollar thing is pleasing to some people, but more bemusing to me, because first, like a lot of other rich assholes under fire, Jones seems not only unconcerned with but OxyContin-numb to the judgement  -- since it happened he's continued to rave as if he's a big winner. And who knows whether they'll ever be able to extract enough of his money to make any difference in the way he lives? 

As is always the case with the law, I want to see the guilty punished, not for the joy of retribution, but so that those who would do likewise may be discouraged -- and as it stands I'm sure Jones' millions of followers think his is a positive example because he has, even at this moment, gotten away with it. Which guarantees that we'll get more of it. This lesson can be applied to other areas of pubic life as well. 

Friday, October 07, 2022


Kids on the back of the bus were listening to this.
I think Schoolly D would approve.

Got a hot one for you at Roy Edroso Breaks It Down today: Inspired by the latest batshit-crazy rightwing ruling on guns, it’s an overview of evidence that conservatism is not so much a political or philosophical position as it is a death cult. Everything they push for is clearly calculated, not to help anybody, but to make life worse for people they hate – even if they have to make life worse for themselves as well in order to achieve it.

Their pretenses are hilariously shoddy. Look at the difference, for example, between their recent “constitutional” positions on abortion and on universal gun suffrage. In the case of abortion, in the Dobbs decision they read the constitution to mean that a generally popular and useful procedure may be banned because walla walla rhubarb rhubarb sanctity of life, buttressed by the wisdom of a 17th-Century witchfinder. Since they can’t (yet) affirm of behalf of our (so far) non-theocratic state that zygotes are people, they rule that the religious beliefs of a few Americans must trump the health and happiness of most. Our hands are tied – it’s in the constitution! 

But as to the right to brandish guns anywhere and everywhere – a license that very clearly has caused immense damage to our quality of life – their constitution tells them this right must be expanded ever outward, into churches and concert halls and fairgrounds and subway cars, whether we want it or not. Conservatives used to say the constitution is not a suicide pact; now they say, oh, yes it is. Your hands are tied – it’s in the constitution! 

Their constitution, in other words, is as peculiar and malign as their Bible. 

I will add that, along with all the other emotional infirmities that inform the actions of the conservative death cult, there is an important but generally unremarked one which I believe is a major force behind the gun mania: Desegregation. Having been alive during some of the sequelae of Brown v. Board, I recall how deeply conservatives resented having to live by the then-new constitutional order decreeing separate-but-equal an unacceptable accommodation of the civil rights amendments. For most of them, it was the first time a constitutional ruling had interfered with their lives – even if they weren’t subject to, for example, forced busing -- and I believe they never stopped resenting it; nor have they stopped resenting that it has become unfashionable (or, in their modern argot, "cancel culture") to say out loud in mixed company what they think about it. Thus, in the back (at least) of their minds, when they push guns into liberal cities that don’t want them, they consider it revenge for being forced to live with black people.

Tuesday, October 04, 2022


At Roy Edroso Breaks It Down today I wrote a bit about the Herschel Walker revelations (paid for girlfriend’s abortion, son hates him for terrorizing his family) that have been added to the previous Herschel Walker revelations (terrorized his family, left bastards all over the place). 

That it will not necessarily cause Walker to lose the Georgia Senate election is much discussed in the REBID comments section. Some readers suggest this is proof that hypocrisy is a dead letter, at least as far as elections go.

While I agree that Republicans have no compunction about nominating and sometimes electing people who self-evidently do not live by their own professed principles – for example, the myriad GOP officials who, though their party is obsessed with “groomers” and child sex crimes, enjoy statutory rape – that doesn’t mean we should give up, as it were, on hypocrisy as a political issue. 

For one thing, as I wrote back in 2006 during one of several Republican sex scandals that revived the issue, attentiveness to hypocrisy is not merely a campaign strategy – it’s a meaningful feature of civilization:

… human society depends upon at least a rudimentary concept of justice. We can forgive inconsistencies, and even admire trying and failing, but when someone amasses power from us based on his personal superiority, and is proved a fraud, he has broken the basic bargain of leadership. We mock him not out of meanness, but out of a communal survival instinct.

I guess a Republican could argue about relative degrees of hypocrisy and even whatabout the Walker revelations, but frankly they wouldn’t have much of a case. For example, I was at first surprised more Republicans didn’t bring up Bill Clinton, who as you know liked to have sex with women who were not his wife, but Slick Willie didn’t campaign on mandatory fidelity, nor did he hold a gun to Hillary’s head, have a spate of illegitimate children, etc. I expect most people understand this, which is why prominent wingnuts are pulling intellectual feats of derring-duh like this:

Boy, if things were totally the opposite, they’d sure be different, right? Again, as I said this morning, there’s plenty of hypocrisy in politics, but it takes conservative levels of hypocrisy to get us to the point where we’re even wondering whether hypocrisy has become so normalized that it’s no longer a meaningful issue  – which, come to think of it, is similar to the way conservatives have also normalized attempted treasonous insurrection and criminal acts by a president. Which is all the more reason to resist 

Friday, September 30, 2022


Lou Rawls got into some heavy shit during his Axelrod years.

•  So much going on these days -- Vlad P’s little “I now declare these territories conquered” ceremony, Clarence Thomas’ crackpot wife just straight-up telling the House committee Biden stole the election, and Trump’s bought judge further demonstrating her indebtedness, etc. – so the whole rightwing pants-shitting spectacle over Lizzo playing Jemmy Madison’s flute comes as an amusing diversion and a suitable subject for a free issue of Roy Edroso Breaks It Down (Subscribe! Cheap!).

Watching dullards like Matt Walsh and Ben Shapiro dig with their sputter-spoons an ever-deeper hole is fun, but it also reminded me of the old days when I used to pay closer attention to the Konservetkult and Sons of Zhdanov, and what has changed since. Back then the ridiculous fist-shaking communiques conservatives regularly issued about how corrupt our “culture” was and how, once the lumpen were suitably indoctrinated with rightwing wisdom, it would become again fresh and pure were just funny – an endless series of reminders that these clowns were as morons before the Muses, that they had no idea what works of art were for and thought they could hector people into accepting their shabby substitutes. As I’ve said more than once, when they say “culture war” they always mean a war on culture. 

That’s still mostly true and the cream of my jest. But in the Trump age there’s been a slight and disturbing change. First, as has happened generally since I began on this beat, the one-time rightblogger small fry have advanced within the conservative movement, so their ravings receive greater attention from the High Command. Once, George H.W. Bush would just make a dumb crack about how Americans needed to be “a lot more like The Waltons and a lot less like The Simpsons” and let it go at that. But in the Reign of Tubby, their fantasies were promoted at the highest levels; for example, they started to push through a Garden of American Heroes --  a sort of anti-woke Disneyland where tourists could stare at heroic statues and get Cultivated. Albert Speer might have blushed.

And Trump’s arts-beat acolytes got more belligerent. When a Public Theatre Shakespeare in the Park production of Julius Caesar imagined, reasonably enough, Caesar as Trump, the wingnuts went wild because in the play Caesar gets assassinated – and they thought (or pretended to think) this meant liberals (because artists are all liberals) were calling for the assassination of Trump. In one of the creepier Trump-era writings, National Review Zhdanovite Kyle Smith cheered when sponsors began withdrawing funding from the Public and crackpots like Laura Loomer began interrupting performances because it meant that “Lefty Actors Are Beginning to Fear Donald Trump” – that is, the Trumpkins were terrorizing the Entarte Kunstlers, the logical endgame of culture war when you can't produce any real culture yourself.   

So yeah, it’s still funny that Lizzo and the Founding Flute can set off these clowns (and don’t let me spoil your enjoyment of the story!), but it’s also a reminder of how far they’ll go if they get any power. 

•  Speaking of culture war, one other thing I wanted to mention was the latest entry in the conservative hate-on-for-cities sector: An essay promoted by the hapless Steve Inskeep and written by Hillsdale legacy pledge Carmel Richardson about how all you stupid liberals complaining about housing prices should move to a big house in redstate Bumfuck like she did. Like all her kind, she describes cities as hellholes (“There’s a reason literature’s greatest protagonists [Dostoevsky’s Raskolnikov, for one] go off the rails while living in seedy rented rooms”); Richardson’s innovation is to attribute the continued – indeed, timeless – appeal of cities to fads spurred by social media:

With the rise of social media and online journalism, key housing markets have become trendy in a way they never could have before. A classified ad now has a national audience, and bougie neighborhoods a ream of TikTok viewers. People are moving to areas they have no connection to and no relatives near because they saw it online and thought it looked cool. I know a few. This has the effect of driving up prices in areas that otherwise would never have known such demand.

Actually, the top end of this price-gouging is driven not by Tik-Tok but by realtor greed, absentee tenantssub-tenancy gone wild, and other late-capitalism pathologies. But, perhaps owing to her youth (ha, I’m kidding, she’s an apparatchik and must know better), Richardson misses that the big cities she excoriates are always more expensive than cowtowns for a simple reason that people prefer the cities to the cowtowns and people pay more for what they prefer. In fact, she offers as evidence of the attractiveness of Oklahoma and West Virginia that those states are offering cash bonuses to people who come and settle there – as if she’d never heard the old saying “I wouldn’t live there if you paid me.” 

Her closing is a marvel:

It is true that builders cannot keep up with the demand in places like Colorado, Florida, Tennessee, and Northern Virginia, but in the Midwest and other rural regions across the country, in towns no one ever visits on vacation, countless homes stand for sale and empty -- old, beautiful, and undesired by most.

You don’t say. Why “undesired”?

The towns they fill are thinly populated, and the old storefronts are mostly dark. What would happen if we started buying and living in these towns, dusting out the cobwebs and bringing in new life? One has to wonder what kind of people we would have to become to choose a quiet life over nightlife, and a county fair over a $75 brunch.

You stupid libtards with your brunch and nightlife, why won’t you move to a big house out in the middle of nowhere HURRY PLEASE COME KEEP US COMPANY I’M GOING MAD. Maybe the journalism thing is just a front and Richardson is actually working for brokers. 

Friday, September 23, 2022


If I had my way in this wicked world I would tear this building down.

•  Got a couple of hot ones for you from Roy Edroso Breaks It Down, a big underground hit on the Substack circuit. First, a little something about how the rich are “enclosing” all the good things that were once the domain of the poor. That comparison to the old English enclosure of the commons was a reader’s (in the very lively comments section, which you are invited to join), not my own, but it fits: in my reading the toffs not only increasingly take the fruits of our labor, but also take such bygone common privileges as the right to reinvent oneself, once a quintessentially American option that grows more difficult for us paupers to avail with each biometric innovation but which seems to be all the rage among the “rebranders” of the rich

Speaking of which, another reader made a comparison between this diminution of options for the non-rich and rightwing rage against trans people:

Also it's getting harder and more expensive to legally change your name, and I suspect this is largely gatekeeping trans people which I'm sure they think is a win, but is also conveniently making it harder for everybody to get away from bad lives, and that's a bigger win.

In my view anti-trans bigotry is at bottom about conservative authoritarian misogyny (because how are we supposed to know which is the “weaker sex” if gender is fluid?). But it’s worth considering that part of what riles rightwingers about trans people is that their existence implies people has a choice about who and what they will be – which is obviously in conflict with conservative traditionalism, whether the MAGA choad version of the tradcath “Ye offend the Lord with thy top surgery” blather. Anyway, thinky fun! 

•  Also on the REBID free table: I had a laugh at Scott Adams’ cancellation claims over “Dilbert" being dropped by Lee Enterprises (no one’s idea of a “woke” organization). In point of fact Lee dropped dozens of strips at once, but Adams, being a prominent wingnut, was apparently obliged to hint that he was dropped for political reasons so as to titillate the cancelculture crybaby community. This is another great example of one of my famous equities: the Rightwing Mood Swing TM between delusions of grandeur and persecution mania! I really should make a gift book out of those.

•  I don’t like to focus on Trump much because, as recent events have shown, the Republican Party is a vicious death cult that offers its followers nothing but brutal vengeance against their perceived enemies, and Tubby is just a giant symptom. But I do find this interesting:

Former President Donald Trump reshared a video on his Truth Social platform on Thursday night filled with numerous far-right QAnon conspiracy images, as well as references to satanists and pedophiles. The over a minute-long video contains a series of memes that show Trump alongside QAnon slogans and includes vague threats of retribution against his opponents. 

"Every last traitor, liar, leaker and enemy will pay for what they have done to America," reads the text in front of one image of Trump.

Tubby going full QAnon can be seen a couple of different ways. On the one hand, of course, it’s terrible: QAnon is nuts and its adherents are dangerously deluded. On the other hand, MAGA people are already every bit as dangerously deluded – really, some of them may not know from the alleged central character Q and its mythology, but don’t a lot of them already think that anyone who’s decent to trans people is a Pizzagate pedophile, and that violent insurrection at the Capitol was A-OK

One might argue the danger of the QAnon component is that it’s a social mechanism that pushes the already unmoored Republicans a little further out into la-la land. But if you believe, as I said, that it’s a death cult, maybe it’s better that their separation from the reality most of us share be made more obvious, so that more voters can see exactly how nuts they are and react accordingly. 

Of course this relies on the prestige media paying closer attention, which is by no means a sure thing.

UPDATE. Back to the subject of control over one's gender/personal identity, and the conservative antipathy to it: I'll just add this link to my Twitter thread about something that's related to it: Conservatives trying to get rid of no-fault divorce. This too is part of the modern conservative drive to overturn the modern world and its signal feature, self-determination. I'll highlight the button, which I think is worth repeating -- and I expect I will, in days to come: 

Friday, September 16, 2022



•  Here’s today’s free issue of Roy Edroso Breaks It Down, on the conservatives’ latest New Low – BTW these New Lows seem to be coming faster, don’t they; like the contractions of the birth of fascism – namely, dumping even more immigrants in blue states, only this time sending some of them to Martha’s Vineyard.

As mentioned in my previous and more thorough examination of this trollery, conservatives have been enjoying Greg Abbott’s months-long shipments of immigrants to blue cities because they think the hardships they cause prove that a.) immigrants are disease carriers that no one wants and b) liberals don’t want them either so they’re hypocrites and the Real Racists™. 

But even conservatives know that the blue cities to which they've been sending immigrants are already full of black, brown, and indeed every other kind of people, among whom we white neighbors live quite comfortably. Which is probably why they pulled the Martha’s Vineyard stunt – it’s easier to portray those non-urban toffs as the limousine-liberal-racists of their imagination. 

This is a version of the old conservative gag about how If You Love [People We Despise] So Much Why Don’t You Let Your Daughter Marry One. You may think they stopped doing this one in the civil rights era, but rightwing internet sleazebags have been doing it as Babylon-Bee-level "satire” for years -- only now they usually focus on Latinos; here's an example from 2018, “Seize Ivy League Dorms and Give Them to Immigrant Families.” You can go read it, but I’ll make it less painful for you by supplying my own contemporaneous, better-written description:

Zmirak's big joke thereafter is an image of Messicans nestled in a "glorious Gothic dining hall, with sixty-foot carved ceilings and iron candelabras," being served their food by the silly SJW students. Liberals made to serve the brownskins they pretend to love so much -- it's a classic conservative humiliation fantasy straight out of Birth of a Nation. To add cream to the jest, Ole Perfesser Glenn Reynolds pimps that shit to his own coprophages and, in their rush to assault their strawmen, they suggest things like "Just dump them all in Brooklyn" -- because that's where the hipsters live, see, and since they're all limp-wristed sissies they've probably never seen an immigrant, especially in the trendier nabes like Crown Heights and Bed-Stuy.

All that’s new about the routine now is that they've got their politicians doing it with them and – as has been the pattern for decades – they’ve gotten even more vicious and stupid about the whole thing, and the contempt in which decent people hold them is still more justified. 

•  BTW I just got out of a week-long Twitter jail sentence for this, inspired by Sullivan weeping over the Queen:

This Twitter claimed violated their "hateful conduct policy” – which anyone with a middle school education would recognize as an absurd misreading of my comment, unless Andrew Sullivan has become a protected class (beyond the prestige media world where he clearly is one, I mean).

I do not mention this to invite sympathy – no cancelculture crybaby bullshit for me! These morons can do what they like with their own property – but to remind you that Twitter constantly pitches people off for stupid reasons while turning a blind eye to actual hate speech.

I really don’t think it’s political in the sense that Twitter is picking one side or another; I think their poor decisions are partly due to shit algorithms, but mostly just ass-covering gestures – gestures toward ass-covering, I should say, because the owners of the multi-billion-dollar company know they’ll only get in trouble if their decision follow any kind of a pattern, even (maybe especially) if the pattern is simply logical. For example, if they got rid of all the genuine hate speech on their platform, they’d be hauled before Congress to explain their hostility toward conservatives. But if they keep on throwing people off for jokes they don’t understand, along with occasional real offenses, they will have shown themselves to have “done something,” and no one can accuse them of bias.

One day I expect they’ll toss me forever, perhaps for some equally innocuous comment, so if I go quiet there you should look for me, not in instructions behind a rock that has no earthly business in a Maine hayfield, but here at alicublog (or, better still, at REBID – subscribe, cheap!).

Also, as a treat, here's one more free issue that may be of use to those of you who will spend the weekend standing in line to see Lizzy in a box. 

Wednesday, September 14, 2022


To tide us over while we're waiting for Kissinger's fast train to Hell, we have the passing of Ken Starr, a first-class piece of shit: Grand Inquisitor of the Clinton Investigation (who then defended Trump from his own, more richly deserved impeachment!), enabler of widespread sexual abuse at Baylor, Jeffrey Epstein mouthpiece, and more. 

Funnier still are the conservatives sticking up for Starr. For example, the also-loathsome Andrew C. McCarthy at National Review:

...he had the patriotic devotion to take on the most thankless task in modern American history: independent counsel in the investigation of President Clinton.

You see this a lot in conservative salutes to Starr: His actions described as "thankless," meaning "all decent people were disgusted by them."
For that, the media-Democrat complex spared no effort to destroy him . . . personally.

That is, they noticed his malfeasances (like Baylor and Epstein, which go unmentioned by McCarthy) and reported them accurately, which is the worst thing you can do to a Republican . 

The best, though, is Quinn Hillyer at the Washington Examiner, under the already-answered-by-my-tshirt headline "Ken Starr, not a villain, did his duty with good intentions":

Former federal judge and independent counsel Kenneth Starr, who died today, was an eminently decent man and dedicated public servant who did not come close to deserving the calumny he received from most of the establishment media.

This is not to say that Starr’s judgment, especially when involving political ramifications, was always the best. But it is to say that he did his duty thoroughly and, importantly, fairly and without malice.

Yeah, he ran those people over, but he was on his way to church! 

...As it happened, both as a staffer on Capitol Hill and as an editorial writer in Little Rock, I became deeply involved in investigating the scandals of the Clinton era, trying to separate wheat from chaff. One bit of chaff (among many) was the persistent rumor that Clinton friend Vince Foster’s suicide had been staged. Some conservatives absolutely would not accept the suicide story and insisted that Foster was murdered.

Starr, with his then-young staffer Brett Kavanaugh playing a lead role, meticulously put that conspiracy theory to rest. And Starr’s team had Kavanaugh walk me through the report they presented, noting key clues that, while public, were ones the media missed. The effect was to exonerate the Clintons further on that score, even as Hillary did lead a cover-up of some materials in Foster’s possession when he died. If Starr had been “out to get” the Clintons, he and Kavanaugh would not have been so intent on noting even more of the exculpatory materials about the Clintons than the media had gleaned.

To recap: The liberal media and the Clintons themselves were to blame for the rumor that Hillary killed Vince Foster, but Ken Starr saved them. And look at the thanks he got! 

The highlight:

As it was, Starr went on to a productive career in academia, again sometimes showing better judgment than at other times.

I wonder if they honestly don't know how funny this is. Nahh, they can't be that dumb.

Sunday, September 11, 2022


I wrote this a year ago, in "The Last 9/11":

God bless you if you have dead to mourn. But I’m done with 9/11. I don’t want to invade any more foreign countries to make some yahoos feel good and some billionaires richer. I just want this country back from the people who manipulated all that violence and heartbreak to make it this way.

I'm only here to say that nothing has changed. Even the sort of buffoons accustomed to automatically wave the bloody shirt seem to be losing steam; at National Review this morning, for example, 9/11 is way down the page, far below stories like "The Biden Administration Is Engaged in a Massive Censorship Campaign"; hapless Dan "Baseball Crank" McLaughlin is wheeled out, and he begins, "One bright, sunny, seemingly perfect Tuesday morning in September, everything changed," and the eyes of anyone who lived through those years of mindless militaristic rah-rah glaze over -- and then you realize his story is datelined last year. They couldn't even come up with anything new.

Which makes sense. Modern conservatism is thoroughly exploitative, and what's left to exploit from 9/11? They long ago wrung all the graft they could out of Iraq and Afghanistan, and so have no real use for jingo perorations -- though they managed to tap some final drops last year, when Biden withdrew U.S. troops, acting as if ending that disgraceful occupation and not the occupation itself were the real crime.  

Their mob boss has no interest in foreign adventuring, except to pick up checks from Saudi butchers; his style is to defend our foreign enemies, saying after all the U.S. is not so innocent so who are we to embark on moral crusades against them -- a crude cracked-mirror version of what conservatives have accused liberals of believing for decades.

To them, 9/11 is like our natural resources -- something to be pumped mercilessly until it's used up, and then abandoned.