Friday, September 01, 2023


Some homies from the old country, grinding the core.

Let us celebrate American Labor:

Some 3.6 million salaried workers would newly qualify for overtime pay under a proposed rule unveiled by the US Department of Labor on Wednesday. It would guarantee overtime pay of at least time-and-a-half for most salaried workers earning less than $1,059 a week, or about $55,000 a year.

The current threshold is $684 per week, the equivalent of roughly $35,600 a year, which was put in place by the Trump administration in 2019.

The proposed rule would transfer $1.2 billion in wages from employers to employees, mainly from new overtime premiums or pay raises to maintain the exempt status of certain affected employees, the agency said.

Like Gompers said: More! Also, like Woody said, take it easy, but take it.

Speaking of labor, here’s a few (2) freebies from the five (5) Roy Edroso Breaks It Down editions I worked my fingers to the bone on this week. First, my gloss on A.R. Moxon’s essay about conservatives who think liberals should be friends with them but who extend none of the courtesies usually extended by people who want to be friends. It’s a rich subject with many angles, which may why I’ve seen people misapprehend it, thinking it means liberals who reject the (obviously insincere) overtures of conservatives are virtue-signaling because morality, in their view, has nothing to do with friendship.   

But, for one thing, the right of free association belongs to all of us – we don’t need an epiphany nor special permission to claim it. For another, it’s not like we’re making Do Not Befriend lists – we’re rejecting the premise that throwing gay, black, trans, and other people to the wolves -- which conservatives treat as a modest concession because they don’t consider those people fully human -- is a suitable price of friendship. (Notice also the premise that only non-gay, non-black etc. liberals are even in the running for the exalted title of Friend to MAGA.)

This is made crystal clear whenever rightwingers talk about “losing their friends” over their beliefs as if those friends were bound to them by a formal contract and are unfairly breaking it, depriving the rightwingers of an audience for their slurs, as the malignant Ben Stein does here:

More explanation than they deserve, but I got time today. Freebie #2 is on its face about Tim Scott’s campaign for Vice-President, but it’s obliquely about all the coverage Vivek Ramaswamy is getting now that he’s figured out how to combine the Republicans’ desire for a See, You Libs are the Real Racist ™ black candidate with Trumpian viciousness. Scott has himself shown some skill as a panderer – launching his campaign, for example, with footage of Fort Sumter, as if inviting Republican honkeys to imagine him loading cannons for the Confederacy. But Ramaswamy’s Adderall Express runs straight down their hateful street, and it’s amusing to imagine Scott trying to match his ugliness while clinging to his Nice Guy image.

Friday, August 25, 2023


Novelty hot dance with vocals

Another outstanding week in the End Times! I see people are hot about Tubby’s mugshot. Me, I’m not getting excited until he’s put away where he can do us no harm, but I will say this: My old buddy Steven Baker points out that Trump’s attempt at a menacing glower resembles the rendering of Big Brother in just about every film and TV version of 1984. It is noteworthy that while Trump’s fans are always yelling about freedom and liberty, their hero never misses an opportunity to act like a tyrant or a mob boss. That’s not accidental: Rule by Goon is their idea of freedom because the only thing that really makes them feel oppressed is the continued existence of people they believe should be annihilated, and they count on him to do it. That’s why MAGA peeps from the lowliest Twitter howler to Sarah Palin are calling for “civil war” over this rather straightforward legal case against their beloved: If, the original civil war being lost, they can’t have their slaves back, they feel they should at least enjoy the measure of superiority that having a Master above the law would afford. 

Anyway, some of you I know want Roy Edroso Breaks It Down freebies – though I still strongly recommend you subscribe and get five days a week of this stuff for the low, low price of $7 per month or $70 per year – and you shall have them. 

Click here for the one I released yesterday about the Republican debate – an event already forgotten by all except the entrail-readers of the media who seem to be of the impression that second place in the Republican presidential nomination race comes with some kind of prize. I suppose one could say Tim Scott benefited from the slight increase in media exposure, because I believe Tubby would love a POC Veep candidate for You’re the Real Racist ™ points (Nikki Haley would go for the job, I’m sure, but I’m confident Tubby II will be a no-girls-allowed affair). Generally, low as my estimation of Republican voters may be, I can’t believe even they looked at that train wreck with anything other than contempt.

Speaking of which, click here for the one about debate cynosure Vivek Ramaswamy, or rather about the effusion of media interest that comes from being the “Look At Me, I’m Crazy” candidate while Tubby sits it out. To me, Ramaswamy is just the latest iteration of the GOP Business Prick candidacy – previously held by Steve Forbes, Mike Bloomberg, Ross Perot, and Herman Cain -- which slot Trump managed to break out of. With Trump still hogging the cockpit there’s no chance for Ramaswamy to move up and, as a pure political calculation, there’s no percentage in Trump unbalancing the ticket with an obvious lunatic for VP (there’s a reason why they foisted the Bland Boy of Indiana on him last time). I imagine given Bloomberg’s history the Republican Party of some city with a tech-heavy overclass and low standards may push him for mayor, but my guess is Ramaswamy’s more interested in using his new fame to cultivate financial markets in, say, Russia.  

Thursday, August 24, 2023


I took in as much as I could stand of last night’s Republican debate and wrote about it. From the post-mortems I take it I didn’t miss much, and my first impression was correct: That Trump imprinted the party so indelibly with a fake wrestling ethos that the candidates had either to act sensible and recede, or bellow and bully and reveal themselves unfit to govern. 

The New York Times’ doofuses proclaim Haley the winner, which in my estimation means that her seriousness and (groan) moderation appealed to them while her singularity as the Woman of Color (Sort Of) kept her from sinking into the Hutchinson/Burgum morass. “If there’s any life left in the old G.O.P., Haley gave it hope,” quoth the malignant David French, meaning Not a Chance in Hell – though since these birds are all auditioning for Tubby’s Veep, he may yet decide to lady-up the ticket with Haley and she, having no actual principles, would certainly accept.

The whole Times thing is hilarious. Ross Douthat, rushing to the aid of his fellow petulant bigot Ron DeSantis, says he “stuck to a message designed for a front-running and unifying campaign — but he isn’t the front-runner, and he desperately needs more deftness and finesse.” Of course Douthat can’t even pretend DeSantis is the front-runner, but in what sense is his message designed for a “unifying campaign”? He hates trans people and Anthony Fauci and loves propaganda and brutality – it’s not so much outreach as reach-around; all the MAGA shitheads believe in these things, but not in him.

A bonus to whoever decided to bring on the libertarian clown Katherine Mangu-Ward, who is as one would expect the one Ramaswamy fluffer besides the negligible Daniel McCarthy. Even Mangu-Ward, however, couldn’t avoid acknowledging that some of Ramaswamy’s ideas are “bananas" (nor using the word "manically," one of the more polite descriptors appropriate to his bugged-out affect); but she did coo, “I enjoyed his Reaganite desire to abolish a variety of federal agencies, including the Department of Education…” Still, no rose without the thorn: “…while I found his zeal to close and militarize the southern border deeply troubling.” As usual, I wonder whether libertarians ever wonder why the politicians who excite them always turn out to be moral monsters, and as usual I answer myself: Who cares? 

Saturday, August 19, 2023


Poison fishes and they're freakin' me out, man/
They're so delicious and it's freakin' me out

Yeah, a day late and many dollars short. But look, I have free Roy Edroso Breaks It Down posts! They make great icebreakers at parties, assuming you still go to those. 

I already came across in the previous post with a freebie on the Trump defense taxonomy, so now I’m releasing the PragerU “Slavery as Vocational Training with Frederick Douglass” outtakes to gen pop. Anyone with any sense can see that Florida’s employment of the uncredentialed rightwing bullshit factory PragerU to help teach alternative history to schoolkids is a cynical con job designed not only to misinform the kids but also to discredit the very idea of education (because conservatism thrives on ignorance, and how better to promote ignorance than by turning schools into indoctrination centers that no one, including the kids, can take seriously). 

But what really gets me is that the gig fell to Dennis Prager, truly one of the stupidest wingnut factota around. I still remember his 2008 articles (yes, more than one!) arguing that women who didn’t feel like having sex with their husbands should do it anyway because, well, because daddy horny, that’s why. As I observed at the time:
And here's an analogy that should really win the ladies over: "Why do we assume that it is terribly irresponsible for a man to refuse to go to work because he is not in the mood, but a woman can -- indeed, ought to -- refuse sex because she is not in the mood?" That's why it's called a blow job, girls.

Even more disturbing than his argument is his sheer doggedness in pursuing it. I can understand begging, pleading, emotionally manipulating, and even dressing up nice, buying dinner, and pretending to be a nice guy to obtain sex, but writing two columns for Town Hall is where I draw the line.
Over the years I’ve gotten perverse pleasure from his ravings, the absurdity of which often increases with age as whatever bat was banging around his belfry when he wrote them passes out of living memory (e.g., “If the most left-wing major city in America starts arresting Jews who have their children circumcised there, some American Jews might awaken to the threat to Jews posed by the Left”). I assumed the conservative establishment would have found Prager too bizarre and unstable to entrust with big jobs like the destruction of public education, yet here we are. Well, we saw what chaos The Best and the Brightest wrought on public policy – I guess it's time to find out what The Worst and The Stupidest can accomplish.

Wednesday, August 16, 2023


At Roy Edroso Breaks It Down, I have unlocked a taxonomy of Trump defenses inspired by his latest indictments. There is no need to explicate the brute brayings of guys like Tim Pool, so I confined myself to complainers who try a little spin – not that the spin makes them any more intelligent or convincing; in fact in some ways they’re more pathetic than the dummies yelling “Civil War!” or “Fix!” or “Kill Biden!” because they’re like precocious kids who have just made their first acquaintance with irony and, seeing how favorably some people react to it, try to emulate it without understanding how it works. 

Some of the operatives are already spinning out of control. Erick Erickson has a real lulu. I mention in the REBID item the chronic bothsider reactions of prestige media clucks; well, Erickson, who after all has been employed by CNN, tries his own version of it:

I don’t think Democrats realize how radicalizing it was for Republicans that Barack Obama sued nuns to force them to pay for abortions. Nor do I think Democrats realize how radicalizing it is now for culturally conservative people across races and political parties that they’re pushing transgenderism as hard as they are. They simply do not realize how much of an existential threat they seem to many voters.

They literally sued a bunch of nuns to force them to pay to murder children, which is what abortion is to a great many people.

I don’t think Republicans realize how radicalizing it was for Democrats to see the “character counts” GOP come out for a twice-divorced serial adulterer…

There is blame enough to share, quoth Erickson, between the Trump fans and the baby-murdering nun abusers! Anyway, because he can’t help himself, Erickson repeats the threat popular among his ilk (“Hell is coming for Democrats, most particularly for Joe Biden and members of his family and cabinet. Republicans will pay them back in kind”) and then tries on the Solomon robes and proposes a solution:

The old man on the right must stop trying to get back into the office. And the old man on the left must pardon the old man on the right and bring all pressure to bear on the two state prosecutors, both of whom are Democrats, to stop their prosecutions too.

It’s like a glitchy AI version of The West Wing. Eventually even Erickson stops pretending to believe it could happen and starts raving about Civil War. Once again I must ask: Do these guys even know any normal people?

Friday, August 11, 2023


Hell yeah, Chrome Dreams is out.

Only one Roy Edroso Breaks It Down freebie this week, and it involves the Ohio vote I discussed here on Wednesday. I see what’s good about this latest pro-choice victory, but it reminds me that Republicans are not at all about the Consent of the Governed anymore, as their actions in Texas and Florida and elsewhere have shown, so we have to be prepared for some egregious shenanigans as the voters keep telling them to fuck off. 

Now, that doesn’t mean they can’t be beat – as one of our REBID commenters reminds us, if there are any honest actors with power in a state’s government (which obviously doesn’t apply to Abbott’s and DeSantis’ satrapies) the people may yet be let to rule:

That state Supreme Court bit was a big factor in Michigan voters being able to flip the state. By the 2022 election, the Court had thrown out every GOP effort to block new maps drawn by an independent re-districting commission. No-reason absentee ballots and same-day registration had passed by referendum in 2018, when Whitmer was elected governor, along with Dems in Secretary of State and AG offices. A series of sane Court actions, a hell of a lot of grassroots work, and Dobbs blowback led to the 2022 trifecta.

But they're gonna go down swinging. Another commenter alerts us to this, from the Alabama Daily News:

MONTGOMERY, Ala. – A number of high-profile Alabama Republicans expressed their growing concern Saturday over the impending ruling on the state’s new congressional district map, which some warned could be “precedent setting” and threaten Republicans’ prospects to ever hold a majority in Congress again.

“This doesn’t just affect us, this case is precedent setting,” said Paul Reynolds, the national committeeman of the Alabama Republican Party during a crowded state party meeting in Montgomery.

“Louisiana is right behind us, they’re facing the same problem we are. They’re next in line, and what is decided in our case is going to hit Louisiana right between the eyes”…

“Let me scare you a little bit more; Texas has between five and ten congressmen that are Republicans that could shift the other way,” he continued. “How could we win the House back ever again if we’re talking about losing two in Louisiana, and losing five to ten in Texas? The answer’s simple: It’s never.”

In other words: They can’t win if they don’t cheat. And it’s no shock they’re saying this out loud, because for today’s Republicans it's too late to even pretend anymore – their cover is blown and they’re just brawling with the cops now.

Their descent into lawlessness has Republican electeds like Michigan state rep Matt Maddock openly fantasizing about civil war, and lower-level choads increasingly playing it out – like Craig Robertson, who fucked around and found out and is now getting the Horst Wessel treatment from the internet’s leading fascists.  This isn’t politics as usual; be ready. 

UPDATE. Jumped in to fix a typo and figured I'd add this: "Wisconsin: 'Vos says lawmakers may consider impeachment if Protasiewicz doesn’t recuse from redistricting cases.'" We get a couple like this every week, it seems. 

Wednesday, August 09, 2023


The voters of Ohio smelled a rat and resoundingly rejected a ballot measure that would have required referenda to get 60% approval, rather than a simple majority, to pass -- a change clearly intended to thwart an upcoming bid to protect abortion in the state. 

My favorite coverage of this comes from conservatives. Here's the lede at National Review:

Issue 1, an Ohio ballot measure to raise the threshold required to pass a constitutional amendment, failed on Tuesday in a tough defeat for conservatives who sought to make it more difficult for special-interest groups to influence the state constitution.

Don't know if you can really call them "special interests" when most of the voters agree with them. The word "abortion" does not appear in Brittany Bernstein's story until the 13th paragraph. That girl is getting a bonus! 

My favorite rightwinger post on the subject so far is this one from Pat Brown, "pro-family policy" wonk and (natch) CNN contributor:

I believe this translates as "the voters are against us -- quick, to the SCOTUSmobile!"

I know, they're fascist lunatics and seek to rule without the consent of the people, but let me at least enjoy their momentary discomfiture. 

UPDATE. Jazz Shaw at Hot Air: "Twelve points isn’t really a 'landslide' by any means..." LOL.

Thursday, August 03, 2023


The headline is from a wonderful old Willy Murphy cartoon which, alas, I cannot find online; but I could as well have used Groucho Marx or any one of number of shyster double-talk comedians to represent the latest lawyerly conservative defenses of Tubby against his indictment for trying (as we all fucking saw) to overturn the 2020 election

The ridiculous National Review defense is what inspired today's Roy Edroso Breaks It Down item, which imagines without difficulty NR applying the same logic to an earlier celebrity defendant. (Free to non-subscribers! Live it up!) 

But there's plenty more where that came from, by other conservatives who portray Trump as an innocent victim being persecuted for his Free Speech, e.g. "Jack Smith’s dangerous criminalization of dissent" at the rightwing pennysaver Washington Examiner. "Smith has plenty of evidence that Trump was told he was wrong but scant evidence that Trump believed what he was told," the editors plead, as if Trump's many documented and witnessed attempts to foist fake ballots on the Electoral College, and, in the last ditch, try to murder Congress were OK because he was rilly sincere about it. 

The "not a criminal, merely a dangerous lunatic" defense may comfort MAGA choads but it ain't fooling normal people, which is why Trump and his patsies are screaming to get his trial moved from DC, where his crimes were committed, to some dismal holler whose citizens might consider it their solemn duty to nullify on behalf of white supremacy.  It's no crazier nor more desperate than anything else they've tried -- and they're only going to get crazier and more desperate, and quickly, so we all better watch out. 

Friday, July 28, 2023


Not bad for movie music!

Over at Roy Edroso Breaks It Down, our two freebies are DeSantis-centric.  (Face it, the guy's just hot copy!)  There’s the funny one, imagining what his strategy sessions must be, given not only his own fash politics but the congenial home he gave to the Nazi-riffic edgelord Nate Hochman. (You’d think Hochman having bylines in the New York Times and National Review would be a tip-off, but there is none so blind etc.) 

There’s also the more serious one about DeSantis’ “Slavery: A Land of Contrasts” curriculum. It’s pretty clear to everyone what he and his racist buddies are up to, so I spent some time on the conservative propagandists who thought it was a good idea to pull the “me or your lying eyes” bit over it.

Today there was also a good opportunity for a REBID flashback: for not the first, nor the second, but the third time, the Wall Street Journal has given Supreme Court Justice/corrupt old hack Sam Alito space in the paper to cry that people misunderstand him just because he takes gifts from people who have business before his court – indeed, the first of the two journalistic cat’s-paws in this instance (the second being the longtime rightwing operative who got Alito in the first time, James Taranto) is David Rivkin, who himself has a case on the SCOTUS docket. Talk about balls! 

Anyway, the routine is predictable – people who find his frequent Journal blowjobs improper “are really after ideologically congenial rulings,” though if that were the case it would seem more efficient to bribe rather than criticize the guy. Also Alito sometimes rules slightly differently than Clarence Thomas – and his jurisprudence is distinguished by “an emphasis on historical context,” i.e. homos can’t get married. All Alito’s findings that comport with the Federalist Society wish-list are explained as a product of his intellectual discipline, and those that don’t comport with it – just kidding, none of them don’t! 

The authors rub their hands over the prospect of overturning Chevron, which they call “increasingly disputed” because Leonard Leo wants it dead, and Alito, nervy to the last, compares resistance to himself and his fellow SCOTUS wingnuts to the resistance to the Warren Court over Brown v. Board of Education – which would be your tip-off, if you hadn’t already figured it out, that Sam Shady isn’t trying to convince anyone – he’s just trying to show you how far beyond giving a shit he is that he’s been caught red-handed. 

Anyway, as we used to say back in the day, I caught his act.

I will also add something I wrote elsewhere about the artist who recently left us:

Sinead O’Connor... was magnificent and died too young, but she lived and worked the way she wanted to, or rather the way her muse required, and you can’t say that about many. Whether that was worth all the hardships is not for me to say. What I will say is that she was done dirty after she ripped up that asshole pope’s picture — I always hated that son of a bitch — and I am pleased to see people acknowledging at this moment that she was right, and I bet the message carries better now that more people are educated about the savagery we’re all up against – or, to use the simple term, woke. There was a lot wrong with the 90s, and the general reflexive contempt for the weak and those who defended them was the worst of it. It took me a long time to get it myself.

Friday, July 21, 2023


I was just thinking about this guy. Cool tune!

Yeah, I've done a few posts this week and already dished out the Roy Edroso Breaks It Down freebies therein. (There are other unlocked items at the website, by the way, and even if it's been a few weeks or months or years they're still good readin' because, like whatshisname said, literature is news that stays news. OK?) But I figured I'd make an appearance because it's Friday and I'm sentimental!

You may have heard that the Michigan AG did what more Democratic motherfuckers should do and indicted a bunch of local Republican operatives -- including a former Michigan GOP co-chair and a Republican national committeewoman -- who tried to submit fake electors in the 2020 presidential election as part of Tubby's criminal scheme. Good. These idiots seemed to think they were going to get away with it and here's hoping the Finding Out stage of the proceedings will be instructive to them as well as to other crooks, current and would-be:

Funny sidebar: A lot of the rightwingers are complaining, not because they don't think the AG has them dead to rights (well, some pretend to think that, but they're too ridic), but because they suggest the culprits are too old to be indicted. "Michigan Charges 16 Elderly 'Fake Electors' With Felonies," says Fake Tyler Durden at ZeroHedge; "The average age of these legitimate electors is 70-years-old. They could face up to 94 years in prison," cries a typical choad. The average age of the indictees is 69; Donald Trump is 77.

But elsewhere outrages continue

Florida’s public schools will now teach students that some Black people benefited from slavery because it taught them useful skills, part of new African American history standards approved Wednesday that were blasted by a state teachers' union as a “step backward.”

The Florida State Board of Education’s new standards includes controversial language about how “slaves developed skills which, in some instances, could be applied for their personal benefit,” according to a 216-page document about the state’s 2023 standards in social studies, posted by the Florida Department of Education.

Other language that has drawn the ire of some educators and education advocates includes teaching about how Black people were also perpetrators of violence during race massacres.

One is tempted to laugh because it's so insane -- as are the conservatives defending it, like the rightwing pennysaver Washington Examiner, sticking up for Florida's requirement that, when teaching about racist pogroms like the Tulsa massacre, schools must assert that black people share some of the blame: 
When discussing incidents of racial violence, such as the four mentioned, the state wants teachers to include any known details about violence committed by both groups. Are we supposed to believe that whites were never among the casualties? Again, these are just relevant, neutral pieces of information.
Also, did you know that in World War II, Jews sometimes fought back against the Nazis? Our kids aren't getting the whole story here. And at Newsbusters:
It is just a fact that many of the skills, especially agricultural skills, that these people acquired while working on plantations probably benefitted them immensely when they gained emancipation and were able to work their own land and earn money for themselves.
See, it wasn't all bad! And wait until we tell you how slaves were fed and clothed. Shoot, my boss doesn't do that for me! 

But laughter is insufficient; even apart from sympathy for the poor Floridians who will have to live with this nonsense, we should consider that this is what conservatives want for all of us -- not just this inversion of historical fact, but the normalization and promotion of slavery. (They will be helped in this by bothsider prestige press headlines, like Reuters' "Florida introduces new guidelines on teaching Black history, critics give poor grade" -- wow, wonder what the hubbub is about; guess people just like to complain!) We all know how prices on housing, food, and other necessities are getting jacked up, how earnings are becoming increasingly insufficient, and how the corporations that sell these goods and services get ever richer; the endgame for this is a slave state, and don't think for a second they're sentimental about preserving any illusion of freedom for you. They just have to lay the groundwork first by removing slavery's stigma by teaching in schools that it wasn't so bad.

Thursday, July 20, 2023


I have unlocked (lol UNLEASHED more like, amirite) a Roy Edroso Breaks It Down episode featuring lyrics from the latest country/hatecrime hit, "I Done Kilt Me a He-She." 

This is obviously inspired by the Jason Aldean song that has all the fash swooning. Country music has degenerated over the past few decades (I know some of you keep up with it and have contemporary faves, feel free to drop in comments) but man, this shit is a ground-zero nadir. The music is just barrel-bottom sludge. As for the (ugly and stupid) lyrics and video, you can't argue (as Aldean has disingenuously tried) that they're about anything other than hatred of outsiders -- the guy doesn't even bother to stick in some (lazy, maudlin) tributes to his own country way of life until after he's stoked a ton of rube-rage with the sort of clips of urban violence that dumb racists like to vomit into Twitter. So it's obviously not a hymn to small towns -- it's about violent, unreasoning hatred of cities and the sort of people who live in them (hint hint), and pre-emptive threats of violence to make the weak-minded feel strong and brave.

More than once I've made the case that fascists can make art, but this ain't art, it's bullshit.  

UPDATE: Maybe this'll be the breakthrough Buddy Brown's been looking for.

Monday, July 17, 2023


Yeah, there was no 'Round-the-Horn last week -- apologies, the new-house stuff is still an enormous pain, as is trying to figure out where things are both in and around it. Yesterday I spent 45 minutes on a bus to Marshall's downtown in search of socks and underwear. Thanks to the new American retail "Wait Till Everything Runs Out to Restock" strategy, I got three pair of socks and counted myself lucky. 

(Also had occasion to revisit the comically insufficient Baltimore Metro. On my first trip I couldn't figure out how to use the CharmPass on my iPhone -- I waved it at the gate readers to no avail -- and there were no attendants to assist me, so I just walked in and rode; at the exit gate I found an MDOT MTA employee and asked her how to use the CharmPass; she said, "You just show it to us." Apparently they don't have any way to connect this digital pass to their system. Maybe they'll figure that out by the time the Red Line gets done.)

But don't worry, there's some stuff at Roy Edroso Breaks It Down for non-subscribers -- like today's thing about RFK Jr.'s peculiar theories on how the COVID virus was weaponized to attack "Caucasians and black people" but leave "Ashkenazi Jews and Asians" alone. 

I said this should be the end of the crackpot Kennedy's ridiculous campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination, but the sad fact is, even though he has no chance in hell even as a spoiler, the prestige press and Republican ratfuckers have too much at stake to let it go. So we're still getting stories about him as if he's viable. For example, some Washington Post editor gave Philip Bump's pretty good story about the consequences of Kennedy's mouth-fart the headline "Democratic Party rushes to disown Robert F. Kennedy Jr." -- as if the real news is that Democrats were abandoning the erstwhile RFK Jr. juggernaut instead of (as Bump's story shows) mainly ignoring it. 

And Rupert Murdoch's New York Post just goes on as if there's something else to discuss: "RFK Jr. shrugs off Biden family corruption allegations: Won't be a 'spear tip to my campaign,'" they report. Yeah, bold strategy, guy; more likely we'll just hear how Fauci mixed the COVID cauldron with Hillary's broomstick. Because RFK Jr. has nothing else - he's the anti-vaxxer candidate for people who are too misogynist to vote for Marianne Williamson, and all his other positions, such as his anti-Ukraine yak, are nothing you can't get from J.D. Vance or indeed from your average GOP chucklefuck -- pseudo-populism meant to sway the weak-minded. 

Friday, July 07, 2023


Let's class the joint up a little!

Last week I skipped ‘Round-the-Horn – AGAIN. Apologies. The move that never ends formally finished with the clearance of our last effects from our previous home, but the house remains unsettled as the missus applies the Klotski method to her goods and chattels, plus we still have in-laws aboard. Leisure is at a premium. And they told me old age would be mainly a matter of finding ways to fill my time! 

But though I come late I also come laden with free Roy Edroso Breaks It Down editions. For one, there is the resumption of Sam Alito’s Wall Street Journal column, answering the complaints the thin-skinned old bastard, in my imagining, could not help but notice after the shit decisions he and his fellow wingnuts lately foisted on America. I expect to see him on Joe Rogan one of these days, sputtering over the loss of respect SCOTUS has suffered, and how unfair it is, when all he and his mates have done is rule so that, were the 18th-Century slaveholding plantocrats who founded this nation to come back from the dead, they would feel right at home.  

The next is inspired by the coke cache found in the White House, and how a certain onetime habitué might interpret its meaning. (Fans of the “Formula” series may appreciate the callback.)

On to other outrages. I’ve been telling you people for years that David French is a fraud, a rightwing religious maniac whose winsome NeverTrumper act has fooled many centrists including the ones who hire columnists for the New York Times, and his latest column runs true to form. He inveigles non-MAGA readers by agreeing once again that Trump is no good, but then goes on about how his deluded fans feel not merely “rage” but also “joy” at Trump's events, in his presence, and even gazing upon the insane videos and memes that celebrate him as a buff avenging American Messiah. The dread-and-circuses “give MAGA devotees a sense of belonging,” French says. 

This may seem to some of you like a clever angle – we talk about how crazy they are, but let’s bothsides this, can’t we just admit that they’re also full of joy! (And let’s not refer to it as “mania” or a “mood swing” because that would be Very Bias. Also, these are French’s neighbors and friends back in old Tennessee, so it would also be impolite.) 

But as usual with French this is just a sneaky way to pitch liberals on giving in to the obnoxious ideas that he and the Trumpkins actually share (i.e. most of them, stripped of the unpleasant frankness of MAGA viciousness), and ends with something resembling a plea for understanding and more: 

During the Trump years, I’ve received countless email messages from distraught readers that echo a similar theme: My father (or mother or uncle or cousin) is lost to MAGA. They can seem normal, but they’re not, at least not any longer. It’s hard for me to know what to say in response, but one thing is clear: You can’t replace something with nothing. And until we fully understand what that “something” is — and that it includes not only passionate anger but also very real joy and a deep sense of belonging — then our efforts to persuade are doomed to fail.

What “something” are we supposed to offer these people? The lives of one of our more vulnerable minorities? A do-over in states where he loses next time? Furthermore, why should we offer them anything? They advocate terror, treason, and bigotry. They represent a third of the country and demand violent reprisals against the other two-thirds. Fuck those guys. They want to kill me. There's nothing to discuss. 

Friday, June 23, 2023


Ghana 1973. Wild! Lots of good music coming out of there still
but the hints of garage rock here especially send me.

Here we go, folks, a couple of Roy Edroso Breaks It Down freebies, and a reminder that a paid subscription (which is absurdly inexpensive) gets you five of these every week. First freebie is about a flight to the sun aboard the Icarus, the billionaires who burned up in it, and whether this is classic American heroism or the fault of Joe Biden. Ha ha, bet you caught on to what it’s really about

The OceanGate deathtrap submarine story is so shot through with stupidity that it was hard to choose among variants to satirize. There was, for example, the attempt to turn a crack by the CEO (a libertarian who thought safety rules were for littlebrains, and who perished in the sub-standard sub) about 50ish white guys into proof that the billionaires were killed by multiculturalism. Some exponents were cagey about it -- the end of the Free Beacon story’s URL is “ocean-gate-missing-titanic-submarine-diversity-woke” though the words “diversity” and “woke” appear nowhere in the story – while morons just said out loud stuff like “wokeness killed the people on that submarine.”

But ultimately the big laugh here is on libertarianism. It’s one thing when those guys simply tell their usual billionaire-approved story --  that “liberty” is the one true God, who chooses whether you deserve to be rich or poor, and whose judgment is unquestionable, so you peons shut up and shovel while we eat ortolans. But it’s another thing entirely when libertarians get high on their own supply and fantasize themselves immune to the consequences of their own actions. So long as they enjoy the protection of the powerful, like Sam Alito blubbering that reporters told mean (true) stories about him, even as the world recoils the malefactor may get off scot free; but the laws of nature are harder to bend. I do endorse more of these masters of the universe doing explorers-club stunts – maybe Elon Musk can send a few of them to Mars. 

Speaking of Musk, the other freebie is about the latest instance of celebrity anti-vaxx buffoons demanding an actual scientist debate them. It was interesting to see so many guys on Twitter laboriously simulating Maximum Reasonableness – “it would absolutely advance knowledge to go on [the Joe Rogan podcast]” – and then you look at their feeds and they’re obviously goons. I don’t they’re trying to fool us into thinking they’re reasonable, exactly; I think it’s more like they believe reasonableness is merely a pose (the way they think common decency is a pose, hence the “virtue signaling” insult), so if they affect the manner of a reasonable person/sea-lion it makes them just as reasonable as we are -- which is to say not really but faking it just as well as anyone else can. Modern conservatism is utterly post-truth, and to its adherents all values are fake except loyalty to the cause. 

Friday, June 16, 2023


Just in the mood lately.

It’s slowly feeling more like summer – hope y’all have plans for your Juneteenth weekend. (Remember when Republicans were yelling because Biden made it a federal holiday? I still think we should have given them Liberace Day to shut them up.)

Got two Roy Edroso Breaks It Down freebies for you: First, a fun thing about the movie Slap Shot and why it’s a good intro to the 70s for such poor souls who missed that grubby golden era. And also fun, in its sinister way, is one of my patented “Throne Room at Mar-a-Lago” scenes, starring Tubby and a potential unindicted co-conspirator.  Enjoy! (And also, subscribe! Why miss out on five days a week of this?) 

Not that there isn’t plenty other folly to fool with. I think the Trump indictment has caused actual brain injuries to some of our top prestige press pundits. There’s Peggy Noonan, for example, declaring that hardcore MAGA disciples who have stuck with Tubby through crappy policies injurious to themselves, an attempted insurrection, and two impeachments will turn on him now because he stole government documents:

It is said Mr. Trump’s base never wavers and always rallies, and historically this has been true. When he’s accused of being a trickster in business they don’t care—it’s extraneous to presidential leadership. They don’t care if he’s an abusive predator of women—again, extraneous, old news. But endangering our national security, including our nuclear secrets? That is another matter.

What’s really loopy about this, besides the self-evident, is that Noonan begins the column by quoting herself at great length (so great that I assume she revived from a fugue state only a few hours before deadline and had to fill the page with whatever was handy) to the effect that Trump’s rise among the rabble “is not due to his supporters’ anger at government. It is a gesture of contempt for government, for the men and women in Congress, the White House, the agencies.”  [Emphasis hers.] 

Maybe Noonan has a different definition of contempt than I do, or maybe she thinks the Trumpkins’ contempt has limits based on – well, what, exactly? Respect for the Constitution, from which they only know two amendments, neither of which they understand?  Respect for the rule of law, when they watched Trump’s goon squad try to murder the Electoral College and all their sympathy was with the thwarted assassins? Maybe she doesn’t realize that no native-born American under 60 has ever had a social studies or citizenship class that might inculcate some strong beliefs about the country they live in, and that the people she expects to suddenly swell with patriotic pride and cry “hitherto thou shalt come, but no further!” actually prefer Vladimir Putin to the elected President of the United States

Yet someone has actually topped Noonan; Small-handed Times trimmer David Brooks, who in a bizarre “I Won’t Let Donald Trump Invade My Brain” column that actually begins, “I try to be a reasonable person. I try to be someone who looks out on the world with trusting eyes” – right off the bat, a self-contradiction! – brags that now that he realizes Donald Trump is not one of those trustworthy people (a realization to which he seems have come during the 2020 campaign!), he refuses to follow that revelation to anything resembling a logical conclusion:

And yet I can’t quite feel ashamed of my perpetual naïveté toward Donald Trump. I don’t want to be the kind of person who can easily enter the head of an amoral narcissist.

One wonders: What is the Times paying him for, then? Brooks tells us that if he allowed himself to pay close attention and learn the lesson of Trump, that would force him into a worldview in which “people are basically selfish; raw power runs the world. All that matters is winning and losing.” But this is just a childish cover for what the true lesson of Trump’s malevolence is: That it’s not all people, but a specific group of people – including not only Trump’s diehard voters but also the Republican officials and electeds who continue to excuse and defend him – who are indeed “basically selfish,” devoted to raw power and winning at all costs. This description certainly doesn’t apply to the gutless Dick Durbin Democrats, who actually rather resemble Brooks as he describes himself – which of course is the problem with them. God, between the pols and the pundits no wonder we're fucked. 

Friday, June 09, 2023


Was just thinking about it.

If you follow alicublog’s Friday ‘Round-the-Horn sessions, you may have noticed I didn’t manage one last week. Apologies; I was moving house, and interstate, and with a spouse who, unlike me, hangs onto every goddamn thing. 

So it was agony, and it’s not over, which brings us to our first Roy Edroso Breaks It Down freebie of the week, about that very thing. But if that’s too personal-essay for you, here’s another freebie – which is personal too, in that it’s based on my own actual dealings with what I’m sure is a new frontier in AI horseshit, but, you know, full of complaints about the state of the nation, as the public has come to expect under the Roy Edroso byline. 

Not sure how much this will move you now that Tubby’s under federal indictment. Like many of us I’m cynical about these things – after “Mueller Time” (not to mention “Fitzmas”) how can you not be? It’s times like these that make one sympathetic, if not forgiving, toward the crazies whose whole politics is conspiracy-based – I mean how hard can it be to nail this crook, anyway, unless The System is not so interested in justice as it is in titrating tension-and-release with these slow-moving prosecutions toward some nefarious, Bilderbergian end? Best to stay cool and see how Aileen Cannon fucks it up

Far greater entertainment value can be had from that daft bint Peggy Noonan, who squints at the carnage that is national politics and says, you know what, maybe a third party candidate can win it all in ’24! This is of course the sort of bullshit that got Trump elected in 2016 and Bush the Lesser elected in 2000, but Noonan doesn’t mention Jill Stein or Ralph Nader (nor the crackpot RFK Jr.) – though she does fawn over the No Labels fraudsters, and Ross Perot is her beau ideal:
Perot was a business visionary, the founder of a great company, Electronic Data Systems. He was public-spirited and blunt-talking. In June 1992 he was leading both George Bush and Bill Clinton. But his campaign was hapless and gaffe-filled, and he was unpredictable.
That’s putting it mildly; Perot was a Musk of the machine age, an ego freak who thought himself a world-beater. To this day I suspect he was in it just to fuck Bush over some obscure Texas beef, and so he did. Noonan marvels Perot got 19% of the vote even though voters “thought he might be a little nuts” – which to a normally observant person would suggest a comparison with the berserker Trump, rather than a smoldering, decades-old hunger for a third party candidate, but that’s a road Republican Peg doesn’t want to go on. So she weakly essays: 
… I can quite imagine a competent third party now getting 35% of the vote to the other guys’ 32% and 33%, say. What would happen then? Most likely, no candidate would receive a sufficient Electoral College vote. The election would go to the House, causing uncertainty that would at some point be resolved.
“would at some point be resolved” ho ho ho – I guess Noonan scared herself there, but gamely tries to wrench the fantasy back into focus:
It would be real edge-of-the-seat stuff in a nation that already has too much edge-of-the-seat stuff, but also seems to like it. 
A short while ago America elected the ancient trimmer Joe Biden because it was sick of Trumpian whoop-de-doo, and the only reason Noonan is pretending that didn’t happen is because her party’s prescription for victory is to act like trans people in beer ads constitute a screaming emergency requiring drastic measures like Mystery President. She knows as well as you do that RFK Jr. and No Labels are just cons to siphon off enough votes to put the Republicans back in power. But she made her bones peddling the Reagan fantasy, which was no less ridiculous until it happened, and I suppose she figures lightning can strike twice. 

Friday, May 26, 2023


He had no one to fall on but me.

What was once a somber tribute of our fallen men is now, whee, a three-day holiday weekend! This strange dichotomy plays on my mind and I write about it now and then; here’s the latest iteration. Whatever it means to you, I hope you get to enjoy it.

Also unlocked from Roy Edroso Breaks It Down (my premium site, and subscriptions make a lovely gift!) is another dispatch from Bolt Upright and Received Opinion, celebrating the Republican Vice-Presidential I Mean Presidential Candidates of Color. As I’ve said many times, the as yet unannounced Rep. Byron Donalds is only national-profile GOP POC who’d be an asset to the inevitable Trump ticket – he’s as evil as Scott, Haley, and Ramaswamy, but unlike them competently emulates normal human behavior. Scott in particular is a beaming, slow-witted goofus – exactly the sort of person Trump would hate too much to entertain – so naturally Peggy Noonan thinks he’s swell

“He is a breath of fresh air,” former Sen. Rob Portman told me by phone.

And he should know! 

…[Scott is] from South Carolina, a frisky conservative state, and watched his fellow senator, Lindsey Graham, be batted about for independence on various issues and early opposition to Mr. Trump. It left Mr. Scott cautious. 

Or “cowardly.” That works, too. Noonan on DeSantis is even worse:

On transgender issues, it is hard to resist a destructive ideology while maintaining, in public ways, respect and affection for those who are wrong. And who don’t necessarily want your respect and affection. But you have to try anyway. Because it’s right and nice, and we’re human beings, and people can see good faith, sometimes in time and often reluctantly. And because it keeps those you’re opposing from arguing, persuasively, that you’re just playing a culture-war card and they’re only road kill on your highway to victory.

Maybe I’m not giving the old bat enough credit – maybe she knows full well that DeSantis is definitely not going for “right and nice,” nor “human being” nor “good faith.” He has never said a good word about LGBTQ people and never will, because he believes that what the Republican base has been missing is overt permission to hate those people and slur them out loud. That’s what the whole trans thing was about, and why it segued so quickly and smoothly to attacks on drag queens (who are not by and large trans) and why MAGA shitheads are now smashing up Gay Pride displays at Target. Like smart people have long been saying, they were never going to stop with trans people. 

So it’s possible Noonan is trying to be ironic. Haha, who’m I kidding? Her real kung fu is describing the lives of trans people as a “destructive ideology” while insisting Republicans act nice to them. There’s the Riefenstahl of Reaganism in action. 

Friday, May 19, 2023


I floated lonely down the street one day

Ugggh been a long hard week, my friends, let’s keep it short. First, let me hand around the Roy Edroso Breaks It Down freebies – you already saw The Good Samurderer and Other Republican Bible Stories earlier this week, so how about the latest from Marjorie Taylor Greene, who is almost as ridiculous in my imagining as she is real life? See, I’m obliged as one of America’s few remaining satirists – a profession going the way of cigar-factory lectors and human graphic artists -- to try and make the Georgia Congresswoman funny, but the laughs would curdle quick if I gave my Margie the mendacity of the real thing:

If you’re looking for a real point to this exchange [between Greene and Rep. Jamaal Bowman], you’re unlikely to find any. Both of them were playing for the cameras, repeatedly smiling as they made a minor scene.

But the next day, Greene’s comments about the exchange with Bowman suggested that something terrible had happened. At a news conference, she said Bowman was “yelling, shouting, raising his voice, he was aggressive, his physical mannerisms are aggressive,” and she added that “I feel threatened by him.”

I mean, most of us haven’t seen Ooga-Booga like that since Emmett Till. Greene further covered herself with glory this week by introducing what she describes as her “first set” of impeachment articles against President Joe Biden, though she has actually brought Biden impeachment resolutions before the House no fewer than five times before, and has at present such articles posted against four (count ‘em four) cabinet officials. 

Make no mistake, Speaker McCarthy isn’t letting this fool run riot because he’s naturally indulgent – he knows that the diseased rump of the GOP identifies more with her than with him, and he has to keep them on track or the whole racket explodes into dust like a disintegrated mummy. They’re all working to keep it together as hard as they can until all their voter-suppression, gerrymandering, and plain vote-rigging finally put them beyond the will of the voters for keeps. 

Monday, May 15, 2023


I have a rare Monday Roy Edroso Breaks It Down freebie out today, featuring Bible Stories for Conservatives, including the Parable of the Good Samurderer. This is inspired by the recent tendency of conservatives such as Ron DeSantis and the Wall Street Journal editorial board to call Subway Strangler Daniel Perry a “good Samaritan.” 

Many other people have noticed what an insane reversal that is. But it’s to be expected nowadays: First, notwithstanding I know some righteous Christians, the kind you see on TV and in the news – and the many Republican pedophiles chronicled by @antifaoperative and others, and of course holy-rolling propagandists like Erick Erickson – are mostly vicious bastards. When put in a position to be actual Good Samaritans by an influx of immigrants escaping poverty and prosecution, these Christians instead gleefully ship the confused refugees up north and then laugh at the chaos it causes. (At the same time, they constantly holler, over the clatter of their collection plates, that they’re the ones being persecuted.) I tell ya, if I see a crucifix or a Jesus fish on a guy, he’s not getting anywhere near my loved ones or my wallet. 

Also, the prestige press colludes with the idea that killing a guy for yelling on the subway is a rational response – for example, by referring to the Strangler’s actions as “restraining” rather than killing, as if the guy were still alive laughing about how he got away with it like on a cop show. As I’ve said before, many times on the subway I’ve seen tense situations defused by normal common-sense conflict resolution, and none of these ended in death. But for your average suburbanite, who goes from McMansion to SUV to office park and back without ever encountering another human being, let alone a homeless one, it's easy to imagine that the only way to deal with an obstreperous street guy is to kill him. You see these choads online going HE WAS THREATENING and bragging about their gun collections, and you wonder what kind of fucked-up padded existence they live.

UPDATE. Speaking of fake Christians, David French is at the Times to tell us all how dangerous the subway is and how you gotta understand why Penny felt like he had to kill Neely and then EIGHT GRAFS DOWN:

There is no evidence that Neely assaulted anyone...

Nonetheless "The best way to resolve these problems isn’t through jury trials of those, like Penny, who take it upon themselves to intervene" blah blah blah horseshit. These fucking people. 

Friday, May 12, 2023


Yeah, I know, the Supremes' vocals are phenomenal,
but it's also cool just hearing it like this.

Hell of a week, huh? I didn’t watch Tubby on TV – I already knew that he’s full of shit and that CNN is likewise, so what was I going to learn from it? How former Tucker Carlson employee Kaitlan Collins was going to mask her collaboration as incompetence? I understand J-schools frown on this approach, but for me a simple “I caught your act” will suffice. You’ll notice not even the rightwing press is talking about it as if Trump articulated any meaningful point or policy – it was all boo-yah theater reviews of his “characteristically spectacular” style etc.

Who needs it? And who the fuck does Anderson Cooper think he's fooling? This was no learning experience. Again, the whole shtick is just meant to keep the Republican rump excited – which doesn’t deliver a majority, but with gerrymandering, voter suppression, and bills like the one in Texas that allows the GOP to throw out Democratic Houston’s votes on a whim, the plan is to rule without one. 

Anyway, we have a freebie at Roy Edroso Breaks It Down that continues a theme from last week on the Subway Strangler. Conservatives continue to champion Daniel Penny – now up on manslaughter charges for killing Jordan Neely – as a hero; they invariably refer to him as a Marine and/or a veteran to make him look admirable (notwithstanding their Congresscritters are currently fixing to screw veterans on benefits).

At The Federalist Jonathan S. Tobin laments that “someone who isn’t a ‘person of color’ is always going to be assumed to be in the wrong in any violent confrontation today,” refers to Penny as “the veteran who restrained the homeless man” -- rather hoping you'll miss, I suppose, that his “restraint” killed the guy -- and portrays the once-common argument that vigilante murder is not acceptable as an attempt by socialists to turn the dead homeless guy “the new George Floyd” and rekindle what Tobin describes as “the ‘mostly peaceful’ riots that shook the nation.” (No such thing has happened.) These guys really are, as my essay has it, killer nerds, desk jockeys baying for vicarious blood. 

And, you know what, this one was members-only but since it’s Friday I’m releasing it: a fun thing about the old days when people yelled things at the movie screen. (Ain't that just like a liberal -- winking at disorder!) Comments are open, have fun!