Friday, January 27, 2023


The Dean put these Ukrainian guys at #1 on his 2022 List --
Not sure about that, but this one's a kick.

•  Today’s Roy Edroso Breaks It Down – available free now, as a gift to the nation! – is the inaugural column of Hiram P. Galligash at the Washington Post. Hiram is just the latest manifestation of the new direction in the Post’s opinion journalism represented by its recent hire of two National Review alumni, Jim Geraghty and Ramesh Ponnuru.

Both of them suck, but unlike previous, spectacularly absurd prestige media hires like Megan McArdle at the Post, Jonah Goldberg at CNN, David French at the Times, Kevin D. Williamson (briefly!) at the Atlantic, etc., neither is especially noteworthy except as a milestone in the decline of expensive opinion journalism. Geraghty is a hack whose prose is as impoverished as the ideas it promotes, as in this one about how would-be refugees from countries we blew to smithereens should take it somewhere else:

Geraghty was a Just-the-Tip Trumper pioneer -- “Yes, Donald Trump is a flawed messenger for the case against Hillary Clinton,” he wrote when Trump got the 2016 nomination, “but that doesn’t make the message any less true or compelling.” And like many deskbound rightwingers, he likes to cry about the Crisis of Masculinity -- though to his credit, rather than pretend to be a stevedore he pleads for butchness in the sedentary arts:

Even when guys do something that seems sedentary — video games, chess, board games — they’re often bringing a competitive spirit to it, an eagerness to demonstrate that they stand out at a particular activity. You could even argue that arguing on the Internet is a form of competition.

Tiddly-winks is, too, a sport! And there’s the one from 2021 in which Geraghty tries to get you to sympathize with billionaires because, like you, they could be audited: “This morning it’s pretty clear that your tax return is confidential, as long as no one at the IRS thinks it is newsworthy. But if they do, you’re screwed.” (Kind of like the current “87,000 IRS agents” bullshit – Gergahty’s a prophet of hackdom!)

Dems are the Real Racist beat? Check: “Senate Democrats’ Short-Lived Opposition to All White Biden Nominees.” (And yeah, Geraghty was also one of the conservatives who claimed George Floyd protesters were spreading COVID: “New York City has nearly 379,000 cases. Do you think none of those people attended any of the protests across the city in the past week?”) Speaking of wingnut hack protocols, here’s his October 11, 2022 column, “The Red Wave Gathers.”

Ponnuru is a less clumsy writer than Geraghty, though he is capable of great absurdities when animated by his bugbears – like abortion, the subject of his book The Party of Death (guess who!); when Kansas smacked down an anti-abortion referendum last year, for example, Ponnuru consoled his readers by claiming the land of Sam Brownback and Operation Rescue was “by no means a pro-life state” (similarly, Boston is not a big college town).  

But while Ponnuru has many other terrible opinions, his specialty is wonkish “reformcon” conservatism, of the sort evinced in his inaugural Post column about the debt ceiling that Galligash mentions, and which, as I have told you good people time and time and again, is in the post-coherence Trumpian GOP increasingly irrelevant -- except as cover for editors who wish to portray conservatism as an important intellectual movement rather than an elephant-shaped tarp thrown over American fascism.  

Hiram, in my view, represents a new frontier in conservative opinion – though, come to think of it, is he really any worse than Erick Erickson? Opinions vary! 

•  Also free for y’all (all this can be yours five days a week, the Tempter says, if you will only subscribe!): Scenes from the recent investigation of the Supreme Court Dobbs draft decision leak. Well, I laughed. 

•  Just gonna add a little something here: You remember the news earlier this month about the revision in the Missouri legislature dress code requiring women to cover their shoulders? (This is a state, btw, with some of the strictest anti-abortion legislation in the country.)

When I mentioned it to people back then and some of them said, oh don’t be silly, it’s just a little thing and a woman proposed it so don’t make a big deal of it.

Well, this is new from Florida:

Republican leadership of the Florida House has posted flyers throughout the Capitol showing what to wear — and perhaps more strikingly, what not to wear.

The flyer breaks down a dress code for three different scenarios — when in the chamber, when Members are in the building, and when Members are not in the building. The required attire is, not surprisingly, most formal when in the House chamber.

What sticks out though, is the requirement that women never show their shoulders when House Members are present in the building, whether in the chamber or not. 

I’m sure some people will say this is nothing, really, too. But it’s interesting that, in what under the thuggish wingnut/censor DeSantis has become the most fascism-forward Southern state (and that’s saying something), the Republican legislative leadership is “posting flyers” telling the ladies in the workplace to cover up. 

Friday, January 20, 2023


Joe Tex first came to my attention with "I Gotcha";
It was years before I knew he was also a love man.

•  This week in Roy Edroso Breaks It Down Free Issues we got a couple hot ones based on the adventures of two up-and-coming Republicans who between them pretty well represent their party at this time: Accused political terrorist Solomon Peña, and International Man of Mystery George Santos

Stochastic terror and pathological lying: A good summation of what the GOP stands for! Though perhaps it’s missing that secret ingredient, performative cruelty -- such as is demonstrated by the Iowa House Republicans’ plan for new restrictions for SNAP recipients “that could dramatically limit what foods recipients can get at the store,” as reported by Axios:

No white grains — people can only purchase 100% whole wheat bread, brown rice and 100% whole wheat pasta.

No baked, refried or chili beans — people can purchase black, red and pinto beans.

No fresh meats — people can purchase only canned products like canned tuna or canned salmon.

No sliced, cubed or crumbled cheese. No American cheese.

Why no fresh meat? The only explanation I can think of is, the paupers might get some simple pleasure out of it. Certainly they don’t deserve the luxury of white rice!  I expect these guys will eventually get around to demanding SNAP recipients be fed only on unflavored protein slurry, or maybe slurry engineered to taste bad so as to motivate them to leave the program, or at least steal some decent food for their families so law enforcement can catch them and jail them, making their feeding an asset to the private prison industry and a potential source of donor grift rather than a line item of “wasteful” welfare spending. 

•  I close with one delightful end-of-day news item:

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court’s internal investigation into who leaked a draft of the opinion overturning Roe v. Wade, the 1973 decision that had established a constitutional right to abortion, included interviews with all nine justices, the marshal of the court said in a statement on Friday.

The clarification by the marshal, Gail A. Curley, who oversaw the inquiry, followed widespread speculation over its scope. In a 20-page report on Thursday, Ms. Curley disclosed that the investigation had not turned up the source of the leak while leaving ambiguous whether it had extended to grilling the justices themselves.

But in a statement on Friday, Ms. Curley said she had interviewed them.

Oh, to be a fly on those walls!

CURLEY: Justice Thomas, can you think of anything… 

[A thump is heard; GINNI THOMAS, wearing what looks like a ballgown, pokes her head out of a nearby closet, goes “Psst!” to CLARENCE THOMAS and, when she has his and CURLEY’s attention, taps her lips with her index finger, then withdraws, closing the door with some difficulty.]

THOMAS: Mice. The building has mice. Been trying to fix it for years. Anyway, I think you should ask the Puerto Rican. 

Monday, January 16, 2023


It’s MLK Day, and you know what that means – more rightwing bullshit about how Martin Luther King was basically a conservative Republican. I have already received an email this morning asking “Did the Deep State Kill Martin Luther King, Jr.?” (The premise is actually fairly standard conspiracy-theorizing on the assassination, but author Mike Hambrick apparently thinks the folks who believe a “Deep State” is trying to pump them full of microchips will comprise a significant part of his audience.)

In years past we’ve had bumper crops of such nonsense; the pickings are somewhat slimmer now as many rightwing outlets avoid the subject altogether or express only the most anodyne of sentiments. Maybe that’s because in these economically parlous times folks are getting acquainted with and approving some of King’s more radical ideas like a universal basic income – hell, even trimmers like the editors of Axios are admitting that the plaster-saint version of King conservatives like to push doesn’t tell the whole story (sample: “King repeatedly brought up the legacy of enslavement and the need to address structural racism in 1967 — comments that scholars say were precursors to critical race theory”). 

Still, National Review feels compelled to put its oar in via “ISI Fellow at National Review and a graduate student at Georgetown University” Bobby Miller:

What Reagan Understood About MLK

Doubtless this headline has most of NR’s readers expecting some revelation from heretofore secret Reagan docs in which the Gipper tells us what he really thought about that damned commie, but it’s really just standard-issue trolling:

…While progressives have long excoriated conservatives for having been insufficiently supportive of that movement, the historical record is much more nuanced than the monochromatic narrative they present. Admittedly, the Right has been far from perfect on this critical issue.

Well, Miller’s lost most of his audience there but we’re still here so:

But the notion that conservatives — those genuinely committed to safeguarding the legacy of the American Revolution and the promulgation of liberty and virtue — are somehow responsible for segregation, a cause championed by John C. Calhoun, the “Marx of the Master Class” himself, and other Southern populist miscreants, is absurd.

Yeah, that’s how most Southerners think about Calhoun – an apostle of the redistribution of wealth! 

One of the inconvenient facts confounding the left-wing account of the civil-rights movement is President Ronald Reagan’s establishment of Martin Luther King Jr. Day in 1983.

Those of us who were around know that a veto-proof majority in Congress and public opinion forced it on the old bastard, who found himself getting called a “sleazeball” by Eddie Murphy and losing some of the saintly patina with which his handlers had assiduously coated him. But Miller says that contrary to “conventional wisdom” and the evidence of one’s own eyes, Reagan was a big King fan because he said some nice things about King in 1987 and recognized that “irrespective of his views on how to best organize society, King believed that America is fundamentally good,” which attitude Miller contrasts with that of “contemporary social-justice warriors, who want us to think that the country is immutably racist and rotten to its core,” a not-at-all-tendentious rendering of the liberal position and similar to that of Ben Shapiro today (“group redistributionism and racial discrimination”). As the old saying sort of has it, when you don’t have the law or the facts, pound the strawman. 

I’ll add more later if I get a chance, but for now I’ll leave you with this from Deroy Murdock at the Spectator, who considers black wingnut Byron Donalds getting some Speaker of the House votes from Republicans and white Americans feeling bad about Damar Hamlin’s injury to be signs that racism is over: “If Dr. Martin Luther King were alive today and turning 94," he says, "he might survey all of this black success and warmth toward black Americans, smile, and say, ‘We have overcome.’” I’ll go this far: It would indeed be nice to live in that alternate universe where King was not shot to death for what he was trying to do.

Saturday, January 14, 2023


I know there are a lot of great versions;
I just like this one.

Look, you’ve been busy, I’ve been busy – sometimes a Friday ‘Round-the-Horn is out of the question. I have found a moment on Saturday, and it’s all yours! 

There are two free Roy Edroso Breaks It Down stories for you from this past week. (Reminder: Subscribers, who pay an absurdly low $7/month, get this stuff five days a week.) The first is a fanciful meeting of the minds between two of the nation’s worst people, cancelculture crybaby queen Bari Weiss and Florida Minister of Propaganda Christopher Rufo, on the campus of the freshly wingnuttified New College of Florida in the not-distant future.

Michelle Goldberg recently interviewed Rufo and he’s even more inclined to say the quiet parts out loud than most conservatives these days – probably because he’s not elected, and so doesn't have to pretend that the consent of the governed, not to mention common sense, means shit anymore. Rufo expresses an intention, in his political-correcting of New College and whatever other schools his confederates can get their hands on, to “steal the strategies and the principles of the Gramscian left, and then to organize a kind of counterrevolutionary response to the long march through the institutions.” I remember when conservatives thought there was a marketplace of ideas, and were pretty triumphalist about conservative capitalism’s victory therein (in part because they had a well-funded marketing campaign). But when it became apparent people were no longer buying their bullshit, they decided outside agitators led by long-dead boogeymen like Antonio Gramsci had made that marketplace obsolete and that it was now time for a command economy of ideas instead. As Adam Serwer has pointed out, this tracks with their current conception of democracy in general: it's OK to be free so long as their preferred result wins; otherwise it's time for the boot and truncheon. 

The second freebie is straight from the Congressional Record (in my mind!): Marjorie Taylor Greene, now a respectable elder stateswoman of the GOP, demanding an investigation into an ancient menace and this time it’s not The Jews (not directly, anyway). The House GOP has gotten crazier quicker than even I predicted – they’ve even jumped directly on the “Joe Biden Try’n Steal Mah Gas Stove” bandwagon with – this I am not making up – “H.R. 263, the Stop Trying to Obsessively Vilify Energy (STOVE) Act.” 

Again pointing back to former conservative talking points,  I remember when they all chortled along with P.J. O’Rourke that Congress was a “Parliament of Whores” because Dan Rostenkowski got free stamps; now, as we have seen from the spreading George Santos tsimmis, the House is even more corrupt than before but, unlike in the old days, its members can’t even serve the nation’s interests properly and indeed seem hell-bent on sabotaging them even as they play at culture war. It’s still funny but this ringside seat on the Death of the Republic is getting a tad uncomfortable. 

Friday, January 06, 2023


These guys were nice and scuzzy, but they don't get the critical cred
that the Seeds and such like get. 
Too big for Nuggets, but alright by me!

•  I am being more generous than usual with the Roy Edroso Breaks It Down freebies, but history demands it! Here are two, related to the high weirdness in the House of Representatives: a comic sketch featuring some of the principals, and a more serious one -- more like all preachy talking, as little Alex would say – about What It All Means.

With regard to the former, I got some flak from readers because Jim Jordan and Marge Greene, portrayed therein as insurgents, are putatively pro-McCarthy; but I think the fluidity of the situation since I wrote it Tuesday night supports my portrayal. I note that Jordan got some Speaker votes of his own, and I can’t imagine he wouldn’t pop if a groundswell appeared; Greene is holding the line, but with her, who knows. She refers to the resistance as “nothing but drama,” and she’s more right than she knows -- which brings me to the point of the second piece: there is not, as the old saying goes, a dime’s worth of difference between McCarthy and his harriers, and you should not let all the internet Who’s-Hot-Who’s-Not palaver convince you otherwise. It’s all crabs in a barrel. 


Looks like the allegedly irreconcilable combatants are coalescing! Like I said: Principles ain't in it.

• Oh yeah, it’s also the second anniversary of the first in a planned series of insurrections. (That the metal detectors have been removed from the entrance to the House chamber is particularly ominous; at least the House Dems saw what was coming with the incoming GOP majority and sent the J6 files to the Government Printing Office before they could be meddled with.) 

I said my say about that event last year and I stand by it. Excerpt:

So I could sort of see it coming, just as could anyone who knew how thoroughly Trump lacked any feeling for democracy or due process or anything else that got in his way. I knew he was a gangster who had blundered into the presidency; I had never expected, as had fools like Van Jones, that the office would or could elevate him. For four years I had watched Trump crudely paw the levers of power and bawl his bigot spiels, and from the moment his defeat was declared I saw him work the courts, work his rubes, work anything that could keep him in power…

But I never thought America, sweet land of liberty, would come to this. And yet we did. We have. And to this day most of the goon squadders think it was a great idea…

I think it’s all worth reading but if you know you know. 

Tuesday, January 03, 2023


Boy, Rod Dreher must be bummed:

Writing about politics and current affairs in the era of Donald Trump ideally requires a variety of traits that do not always, or even often, go together: factual and intellectual clarity, moral seriousness, and a spirit of generosity toward others and humility toward oneself.

Happily for Times Opinion, those traits are embodied to an exceptional degree by David French, who is joining us as our newest columnist, beginning January 30. We are delighted to welcome him.

I’m frankly surprised they picked French over Dreher – they could have had a twofer: Yet another God-bothering rightwing editorial writer, and an “Ask the Exorcist” columnist

I’ve been over French’s awfulness many times in this space, Substack and elsewhere. The most egregious and amusing examples, like the one pictured above, go back a few years, before French began to cultivate the Reasonable Right persona that the prestige press really goes for. But he can still come up with some corkers, as when, oh-so-regretfully approving of Trump’s first impeachment, French felt obliged to bring up The Clenis (“Yet, in both circumstances, the president was clearly guilty of serious misconduct. Partisanship saved Bill Clinton. Partisanship will save Donald Trump”). Sure, to you, trying to blackmail a foreign government for personal gain seems worse that getting your dick sucked, but to Jesus and French they're equally sinful.

French remains a theocrat who not only wants abortion treated like murder but also actively works (with what the Times calls “an emphasis on the First Amendment”) for the Masterpiece Bakery/Little Sisters of the Poor agenda of sabotaging national health care and minority rights. And his civility act is not merely obnoxious, it’s a cover and a con for American conservatism in all its hegemonic viciousness – the pretense that you can guiltlessly maintain society’s savage inequities if you drop some coins in the poor box. He’s got the Times snowed, but I think at this point most people who can read know better. 

Friday, December 30, 2022


This tune's getting to be an alicublog New Year's tradition!
Tell me about your favorite NYE songs in comments.

•  Announcing a big year-end treat for those of you haven’t subscribed to Roy Edroso Breaks It Down – my entire week-long, five-issue, Year In Review series, The Year In Suck, is FREE and unloosed upon an unsuspecting public. This set includes stories about:

Why the experts predicted a red wave in the 2022 midterms (short version: In their minds it’s always the 1990s).

The ridiculous “People’s Convoy” and what happens to cancelculture crybullying when conservatives try it on regular people;

The GOP’s return to out-and-proud homophobia;

How the mean and dirty ol’ internet was cool for everyone, right and left, until conservatives realized they couldn’t control it; and

The widely-denied but still deathlike stranglehold Trump has on the GOP (and why they can't quit him).

I will add this much on the Trump stranglehold thing and the general theme of Republicans getting weirder every day: There are all kinds of well-known reasons why this is terrible for democracy and all that, but we should also acknowledge that it keeps the Democratic Party from ever getting any better. American politics is pretty corrupt and neither party wants to give its adherents everything (or frankly much of anything) they want – otherwise what would they use for a come-on? “Republicans are nuts” has been a good enough reason to keep sane people voting Democrat since 2018, and thank God a plurality still feels that way, but the dotards who run the works are even less inclined to come across with policies we desperately need because, really, why bother? 

Worse, this lets them use the rightwing judiciary as part of their rope-a-dope, and feint at, for example, immigration and student loan reforms that they can reasonably expect the courts to deny. I know about and approve Biden’s energetic judicial appointment schedule but speaking for myself I don’t have decades to wait for those to bear fruit. Maybe the party could get serious about rightsizing SCOTUS, at least through term limits – with court-packing as an implied threat? Anyway: A less-mad GOP might encourage the Democratic Party to offer shoppers a better deal. Sadly it looks like we’re going to have to wait for them to either try another coup (and, if Merrick Garland is still in, yet another, and then another etc.) or Whig out.  

•  I will also note that I am represented in the annual Jon Swift Roundup, conducted as usual by Batocchio (not his real name!). This is a compendium of some invited bloggers’ favorites among their own posts in 2022. You may know some of these guys – including old-timers like his vorpal sword, Tengrain, Yastreblyansky, The Rude Pundit, driftglass, Self-Styled Siren, and our host; the ones that may be news to you, though, are at least as good, so stretch your horizons! Who knows, in the coming info-dystopia maybe blogs will make a comeback and you’ll already know what the hot ones are.  Happy new year! 

Wednesday, December 28, 2022


I haven’t been too attentive to recent developments at Roy Edroso Breaks It Down because I’m doing my usual year-end review series, in keeping with the Auld Lang Syne spirit. But there are two things I want to address right quick:

First, George “Catch Me If You Can” Santos. Before his grift blew completely wide open I had a bit of fun with the idea of the guy at House Freshman orientation:

[KEVIN] McCARTHY: Well, Walter, we may have to finesse that one a little bit. For one thing, we want to be absolutely clear that while the Party is against the corruption of children it is not against gay people. In fact I see we have a gay freshman here today — George Santos from New York. Stand up, George. [Pause] George, stand up please.

[Necks crane toward GEORGE SANTOS, who looks bewildered.]

SANTOS: There must be some mistake. My name is Henry White.

McCARTHY: George, I met you at the Vanderbilt Room last week, come on.

ANOTHER FRESHMAN: Hey, George, I saw you at S.O.B’s last week! Eu sou Brasileiro, dude!

SANTOS: What is that? Is that some Brazilian thing? Because I’m not Brazilian and I’m certainly not gay! And I don’t represent New York, I represent the 2nd District in Oklahoma as a proud Cherokee! My parents were in the Trail of Tears —

McCARTHY: Alright, alright, all that to one side, let’s see what else we can think of that will capture the imagination of ordinary Americans…

But that was before more details on the scope of his fraud became known, elevating the situation from “haw haw” to “damn.” One thing the prestige press ain’t saying much about, even when they express mystification by Santos’ unexplained (given his work status) wealth, is Santos’ Russian oligarch connections, as described by Daily Beast reporter William Bredderman on November 30:

But unreported until now is that by the time Devolder-Santos [as he was then known] made these statements, his congressional ambitions had already received a $32,800 boost from a controversial figure linked to the uppermost echelons of the Russian regime—and that support would more than double in size during the months ahead.

The cash came from Andrew Intrater and his wife, who variously listed her occupation as “homemaker” and “analyst” for Falcon AI, one of her husband’s subsidiary firms.

Intrater’s main venture is today called Sparrow Capital, but it previously used the name Columbus Nova—and its primary function has long been to manage the investments of Intrater’s cousin, Viktor Vekselberg, one of Putin’s wealthiest and most influential courtiers.

So tightly intertwined is Intrater’s business with that of his relative, who snatched up swaths of Russia’s aluminum and fuel industries during the post-Soviet period…

Etc. The “statements” to which Bredderman refers are Santos’ pimping for Putin as the injured party in the Ukraine war, which as you know is one of the hallmarks of the MAGA new breed and which makes his Russkie cash connection even more piquant – as it does the well-covered Tulsi Gabbard throwdown against Santos. Could it be that Gabbard, who went full feral wingnut a ways back and has her own unseemly Russian connections and affiliations, was dispatched to take down a former asset who had become a liability? Or was it a throwback to her anti-gay past (and, I should add, present)?

Anyway, like I always say: Your Republican Party, ladies and gentlemen! (I should also note the attempt by many conservatives to whatabout this by referring to Elizabeth Warren as Hashtag Pocahontas, the stupidity of which should be apparent even before you consider that while our Native American tribes also have good reason to want to overthrow the U.S. government, they have not the means that Vladimir Putin and his many not-even-sleeper agents have.)

Second: Rod Dreher’s latest stinkbomb. Having learned (or simply being unable to ignore any longer) that his father was a Klansman – which adds an interesting sidelight on Dreher’s obvious racism – Holy Rod has unleashed another instant TL;DR (exhaustion of the critic is part of his arsenal). It’s all awful, but two things are especially noteworthy. First, Dreher admits his old man was racist but also says he got along better with black people than he did. I know, when you put it like that it’s very funny, but it also sets up Dreher’s shtick about how being a conscious anti-racist white person is worse than being a racist because it ain’t natural:

Specifically, as much as I hated to admit it, my dad, who had grown up in rural Louisiana, and who had spent his career as the chief public health officer for our parish, knew more about actual existing black people and their culture than I did -- because he had lived among them all his life! For me, black people were mostly an abstraction. I had allowed the living, breathing human beings to be assimilated into an idea of Blackness -- specifically, of black people as the eternal victims of white people.

Then he talks about reading a Flannery O’Connor story about some jacked-up young Southerner who turns his back of his patrimony, which brings a blush to his cheeks. 

I also knew from reading that story that my dad understood things about black folks -- at least in the rural South -- that I did not, despite the fact that he was blinded by his own unconscious prejudice. The point is that I too was blind, but my blindness carried with it the taint of moral superiority. O'Connor showed me that both my father and I were guilty of making abstractions of black people to suit our own conflicting senses of moral order. She also showed me that this is the way it is with us human creatures. We are all at risk of assimilating our fellow creatures into ideas.

So, you see, Daddy was a Klansman, but his son had erred, too, by trying to be something he wasn’t (namely an anti-racist). Both sides! It appears to have never occurred to Dreher that trying to overcome a negative. indeed damaging, heritage might involve some work, some mistakes, and some embarrassment – or maybe the embarrassment was just more painful to him than the racism.

Further down Dreher gets into how “the Left” has turned his back on Martin Luther King (unlike Daddy, who’d never let one o’ them get the drop on him like that), and the obligatory Dreher Black Crime Chronicle:

This past summer, I met a young South African white man, a Christian, who told me the story of how his grandmother and his younger brother back home had been stripped, beaten, and held hostage by black robbers who were sure they knew the combination to the safe (they did not). This young man was under no illusions about the evil of apartheid. But he was also under no illusions that black South Africans were somehow collectively innocent, and free from sin, because his white ancestors had collectively benefited from an evil system.

But then, the world today, which correctly paid so much attention when it was white South Africans brutalizing black ones, prefers not to know what is being done to white South Africans in the post-apartheid period…

His father’s son, alright. Also obligatory is a cameo from Dreher’s exorcist – but it comes with a wrinkle that, so far as I know, is new to Dreher: a warning on the deviltry of Freemasons! 

There's something eerie here too. Just last week, in conversation with an Orthodox priest back in America, a cleric who is also an exorcist, the priest told me how he had discovered in his exorcism work how wicked Freemasonry is. He has seen people become possessed through it. I told him about my Catholic friend in New York whose grandfather was a high-level Freemason in Italy, and who had become possessed through the curse he brought onto the family (which destroyed her father and his generation within the family, and had wreaked havoc on hers). In this conversation, I mentioned to the exorcist my belief that my late father, a 32nd-degree Mason, had been involved with the Klan in the Sixties, and how I suspected that had a lot to do with his prior involvement with Freemasonry. The exorcist told me that I must pray for my father's soul every day for the rest of my life. I agreed to do this.

The problem isn't racism, it’s masonism! Time for Dreher to storm the Vatican to petition his former religion to bestow sainthood on William Wirt.

Sunday, December 25, 2022


Just dropping by like a poor relation with a thermos of Irish coffee and Big Star to carol ye Merry Gentlefolk as we did in days of olde.

True, the world is full of human shit:

Several busloads of migrants were dropped off in front of Vice President Kamala Harris’ residence in Washington, DC, on Christmas Eve in 18 degree weather late Saturday.

An initial two busloads were taken to local shelters, according to an administration official. More buses arrived outside the vice president’s residence later Saturday evening. A CNN team saw migrants being dropped off, with some migrants wearing only T-shirts in the freezing weather. They were given blankets and put on another bus that went to a local church.

Tatiana Laborde, managing director of SAMU First Response, said her group was prepared for Saturday night’s arrivals. Busloads of migrants have been arriving in Washington weekly since April.

But! I bring you tidings of great joy, or at least provisional optimism. I have previously said my say about the Republican troll governors who torture these poor souls for political lulz – but also on the blowback: that Americans, who are mostly not the scumbags Abbott and DeSantis take them for, by and large don’t share their viciousness

I think [Byron] York is even more wrong than (I’m sure) he secretly knows himself to be. I think Americans generally have heard all the screaming about immigrants, and all about Abbott’s and DeSantis’ use of these poor broke-ass refugees as props in their culture war, and decided they knew who the bad guys are, and it wasn’t the folks who were trying to give these people who fled poverty and God knows what else a break.

So on Christmas -- which if it’s anything is a story about how God lives among the despised and neglected -- which comes near the solstice – which is about turning the corner toward spring -- it’s good to reflect that, as Alex Chilton and the boys sang, “the wrong shall fail and the right prevail.” Now egg your nog, drain your grog and many happy returns. 

Friday, December 23, 2022


Season's greetings.

As we slide (or are pushed by the Big Cold Front!) into the holiday weekend, I wish you all a happy winter festival and congratulations on making it to the good side of the solstice. Don’t think me parsimonious if I only have one free Roy Edroso Breaks It Down for you this Friday – this one about how the GOP House freshman are prepping for January in the majority. After all, if you want more you can always subscribe  – and, for the next few days, you can get a 10% discount on a year of REBID when you click That cuts an already absurd $70/year price to $63 – and, I remind you, REBID is a five-day-a-week service, not the when-I-feel-up-to-it garbage the tyros and poetasters dish out.  And it makes a great gift! It’s almost wasteful not to subscribe.

On a lighter note (maybe): I was just remembering how when the Santa slasher Silent Night, Deadly Night came out in 1984, it caused a controversy bordering on scandal, with ads and showings cancelled, a drubbing on Siskel & Ebert, etc. (Mental Floss has a good rundown.) 38 years later, Christmas horror movies are so popular we have Greatest Lists for them. My question for you to answer in comments is: What changed? Wassail! 

Friday, December 16, 2022


Late entry, song of the year.

 As we hurtle into the holidays (I refuse to say “Christmas” because I’m a godless snowflake whoops oh no I said it by mistake WAAAHHH MUH PRONOUNS) I’m dishing out one (1) free installment of Roy Edroso Breaks It Down – a mere bag-o-shells about that ridic Burton Swaim essay in the Wall Street Journal on how liberals are oppressing conservatives – yes, that old paranoid wheeze, but Swaim’s angle is they’re oppressing rightwing guys like him by being in charge of everything everywhere. No, he doesn’t mean they run bodies of actual political power like the Supreme Court, the House of Representatives, the Senate (most of the time despite having less voter support), and most state legislatures – that’s still conservative territory – but liberals have cultural power, because he sees them on TV, in the movies, everywhere he looks all the time -- as when the average conservative “attends a concert by the local symphony orchestra and has to listen to a four-minute lecture about systemic racism or climate change before the music starts” – why, it’s like Russia, and not the good Putin kind either! Anyway, free funsies, you’re welcome.

I expect they're throwing up shit like this because normal people are fleeing the Republicans like they were plague carriers (which they are, actually!). The New York Post, Rupert Murdoch's prime poison diffuser stateside, just unleashed on Trump's NFT scam in an editorial -- and on Trump himself: "Fool us once, shame on you," they close; "Fool us 1,438 times, and it may finally be too much." They don't say anything else about the 1,438 times -- which is presumably a conservative estimate that does not include the thousands of times Murdoch has gone to bat for the old bastard, from his early John Barron days to approximately yesterday. As House Dems line Tubby up for charges, you're going see more of his old friends bailing out on him, and I just pray that he acts true to form and takes them down with him. 

And speaking of which -- oh, alright, I’ve been trying to avoid the subject because who needs more of it, but this morning I did have something about Elmo and since it’s me and I’m special you may find it rewarding, so that one’s free too!  It’s not so much about the runaway train of recent events with which Elmo mesmerizes the Twitter people – like throwing non-suck-up reporters off the platform for nothing but not sucking up – as it is about the gestalt, the meaning of Elmo.

But on that subject I mainly want to say that, out of all the recent commentary, it’s hilarious to see Elmo's Twitter Files cat’s-paw Bari Weiss trying to have it both ways – promoting the Elmo-promoted propaganda that shutting down hate speech accounts pre-Elmo was “gaslighting” while admitting that Elmo is now basically running Twitter as a giant vanity project and almost admitting (at least insofar as her grift allows) that it’s not exactly the “free speech” project he – and Weiss – have been promoting it as. Like the old Gore Vidal joke had it: Every attribute of a dog, except loyalty.

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.