Saturday, January 27, 2024

SUNDAY 'ROUND-THE-HORN, SMILIN' THROUGH EDITION.

Will write soon about Maestro, which I liked, not least because
it treated me to several minutes of Bernstein's Mass, which I really love.

Yep, two days later than usual, but bountiful: Since the Oscar nominations are out, I’m going to make all my reviews of the Best Picture nominees available to non-subscribers. So far I’ve gotten through seven of the 10: Barbie, Killers of the Flower Moon, The Holdovers, Poor Things, Past Lives, American Fiction, and Oppenheimer. Will get to the other three and, who knows, maybe some of the non-BP contenders (like May December, for which my review is also available). Enjoy – these are so much less depressing than the political stuff, at least for me.

Actually, that ain’t necessarily so – the first of our weekly Roy Edroso Breaks It Down freebies is about sort of a happy occasion: The ejection of Ron DeSantis from the ranks of the Republican presidential contenders. There is much joy in my farewell to Meatball Ron because  he was so strenuously evil that he repulsed even the pigs who vote in Republican primaries – though our joy must be tempered because those same voters yet cleave to Fat Hitler.
 
And there’s some fun, too, in my bagatelle about the Trump White House pharmacy scandal – whereby we learn Trump’s factota (not even licensed pharmacists!) were shoveling large quantities of opioids and commercial drugs like Ambien (yes, the expensive non-generic) to persons unknown. It reminds me of my many sketches about Trump's relaince on "the Formula," a snortable mixture that makes him seem almost normal on the stump. It also reminds me of the Norman Ohler book Blitzed, about the rampant drug abuse in the Third Reich – particularly of the methamphetamine called Pervitin that was dished out like candy to Nazi soldiers. When I look at MAGA freaks like Giuliani and the Trump lawyer/MAGA moll Alina Habba, raving incoherently in front of the press, I feel like a lot of that crew’s otherwise inexplicable behavior may be laid to speed-and-downers cycles gone out of control.

Friday, January 19, 2024

FRIDAY 'ROUND-THE-HORN: MLKING IT EDITION.

You believe this shit was 20 years ago?

We got a lot of snow here in the Northeast and today I went back and forth from my workdesk at intervals to shovel the stuff off our sidewalk, lest by storm’s end it got two feet deep and encrusted in ice. It was a nice change of pace from my accursed day job, though I imagine if public works were my day job I’d get as sick of it (or, more likely, seriously injured in the commission of it) pretty quickly. So kudos to our local DPW! (I am also grateful that, being on the side of truth and light, I am not even figuratively required to shovel shit at you good people.) 

One cool thing: We get on well with our neighbors, so I took a few minutes to do their walk as well. A while back I went out and found they’d shoveled a layer of our walk. Sometimes it’s nice living in Baltimore! 

But you must be impatient for the Roy Edroso Breaks It Down freebies! Well, Martin Luther King Day – the one day when everyone trots out the One Quote Everyone Knows, Something About Contents – was Monday so is definitionally old news, I guess, but I have an essay that’s still fresh on why conservatives who usually try to suck up to (dead) MLK are starting to denounce him instead. I guess you could file this under Masks Coming Off. As mentioned in the post, the years of tedious “King was a conservative” posts have always been wearisome to folks like you and me, but now that the right is thoroughly MAGAfied, it seems they’ve gotten sick of it too, and are going back to their overtly racist roots. It’s a relief in a way! 

As for the second freebie, here, enjoy this accurate transcript of Vivek Ramaswamy lobbying Tubby for the VP gig. It’s a killer! 

Monday, January 15, 2024

SOUR MLK.

Happy MLK Day! Usually I do a roundup of rightwingers explaining why Dr, King was rightwing too -- and in today’s Roy Edroso Breaks It Down MLK edition, unlocked for non-subscribers, that tendency is mentioned; but the McGuffin is Charlie Kirk’s attack on the late civil rights leader, and indeed on civil rights in general, and what it bodes for conservative MLKing. 

Generally conservatives are still giving the good Doctor lip service – though such service is increasingly strained in the age of Black Lives Matter. At PJ Media, for example, good ol’ Rick “Get a Brain” Moran has a doozy of a lede:

What would Martin Luther King believe if he were alive today? 

King lobbied for federal assistance to the poor and for a form of wealth redistribution, but he was no Communist. He was in favor of affirmative action. But it was a much different kind of "affirmative action" than the quota-based programs today.

Sounds like he’s trying to make excuses for MLK, doesn’t he? (I’d love to know the difference between King’s affirmative action and that of today’s whippersnappers, but no King quotes are offered to describe it, though Moran does manage to work in the One MLK Quote Conservatives Know. Something about content!)

But for the New Breed, it’s all about shoving King into the ash-heap of history. Littleface himself has been shitting out anti-MLK posts all day (“The deification of MLK and his proto-DEI ideology marks the exact moment that the progress of black America goes sideways…), in which he is seconded by Jack Posobiec and other major conservative thinkers. And while Scott Greer’s overt white supremacism embarrassed the Daily Caller into letting him go, he’s still packing ‘em in at his Substack with material like “MLK Worship Gives Us DEI/ Charlie Kirk is right to take on the civil rights idol.” 

You can, as in years past, hear this sort of thing today from the downscale rightwingers who have always hated King – such as the commenters at Free Republic and the Southern culture skidmarks of the Abbeville Press – but they’re no longer fringe phenomena. For reasons I point out in my REBID essay, Kirk’s slur campaign represents the future of American conservatism – or rather its present, which will be made plain sooner than later.

Friday, January 12, 2024

FRIDAY 'ROUND-THE-HORN: IN DEEP WITH THE JUST-THE-TIP TRUMPERS EDITION.

WEEKEND

I see Tubby threw his tantrum in court and it turned out to be a dumb, damp squib – but nonetheless I have  unlocked the rehearsal version I posted for subscribers at Roy Edroso Breaks It Down, because it’s fun and because I expect that, as Trump reaches the Castro-three-hour-speech stage of his career, he’ll be raving things like this soon enough.

Speaking of the former POTUS, the other REBID freebie concerns the ongoing campaign by Conservatives-With-Good-Taste to distance themselves – but not too much! – from Tubby. The reason for the balancing act is that the American conservative coalition of racists, grifters, anti-vaxxers, holy rollers and just plain nuts is fragile, so if big-name conservatives and the prestige press that loves them want to continue to enrich their donors, they have to keep the MAGA people on board at all costs. 

As recapped in that post, I have been observing this phenomenon since Trump first came up, but as a crucial election draws near their straddle is getting wobbly and weird. The latest in a series of disingenuous Please Don’t Nominate Trump (Not That There’s Anything Wrong With It) essays from National Review, and its credulous reception by the media, is one sign; so is this nonsense; and so is Bret Stephens’ latest, in which the headline and multiple disclaimers announce that he’s against Trump but the column itself reads like a campaign endorsement – Trump was right about immigrants, Stephens claims, and about CRT and DEI and George Floyd riots! Plus: “brokenness has become the defining feature of much of American life: broken families, broken public schools, broken small towns…” American carnage, in other words! Thus we see what the phenomenon I have called Just The Tip Trumpism turns into when the sphincters relax.

These clowns denounce every effort to hold Trump to account, but clearly hope he’s thrown off the ballot or into prison so they can push their fellow Just The Tip Trumper Nikki Haley out there and maybe con the voters again. This is one of the reasons why Trump’s ferocious selfishness is so entertaining – because he makes it difficult for them, and it’s fun to watch them struggle. 

Friday, January 05, 2024

FRIDAY 'ROUND-THE-HORN: HAPPY JANUARY 6 EDITION!

Always liked the tune, had no idea there were lyrics --
let alone sung by Dee Dee Bridgewater!

Hell of a week – but aren’t they all! 

Let’s get to the Roy Edroso Breaks It Down freebies, shall we? The first one is Monday’s final installment of the 2023 Year is BS series, called “Unpopularism.” (The title is a gag, I’ll bet at least some of you know, based on the “popularism” peddled by Matthew Yglesias and other dorks back in the day, by which I mean a couple of years ago because tempus fugit is in overdrive anymore.) 

My concept is this: A lot of people like to ask why Democrats don’t brag on their positive accomplishments and policies more – which leads me to believe they don’t get the same campaign mailers I do. 

What I think they mean is, a lot of people don’t know about these accomplishments and policies, not because Democrats don’t brag on them, but because the prestige press leaves them largely unmentioned in favor of “Why Is Biden So Old, Look How Old He Is” stories.

Oh speaking of which: Today in bothsiderism, from AP – 

One attack, two interpretations: Biden and Trump both make the Jan. 6 riot a political rallying cry

Remember that 36 hours or so of general agreement that an attempt to stop the Electoral College count by violence so that the loser of the election can stay president was a bad thing? Sometimes I think I imagined it. Anyone who tells you Democrats are making too much of J6 is running a con; in fact I think the repeated release of the footage has been necessary to keep the facts from being drowned in Republican bullshit like Elise Stefanik's claim that it was all Nancy Pelosi's fault. So far normal people seem to understand, thank God, that it's not a case of "your lying eyes" -- those fuckers did what they did for the obvious reason.

As I was saying: While Democrats work against the tide to get their message to voters, Republicans, on the other hand, don’t seem to even care whether voters like the swill they’re dishing out. I try to explain it, but the short version is: If you’re planning to institute a fascist regime, why would you care what voters think?

The other freebie is one of my sketches, this time situated in the Rectory, a place where rightwing cat’licks like Bill Bennett and Brett Kavanaugh can chew the fat and slurp the uisce beatha. Hijinks, based on current events, ensue! (And when I say based on current events, I mean intimidation of the rummy Trump put on SCOTUS, like so:)



Friday, December 29, 2023

FRIDAY 'ROUND-THE-HORN: GOODBYE 2023 AND AMEN EDITION. (UPDATED)

Always a good choice for the New Year.

Sliding into the end of the year now with my Roy Edroso Breaks It Down 2023 wrap-up posts – the first three are ready now, with the last one out on Monday. I’m making these posts public, by the way, so non-subscribers can read them — though while you’re at it you might as well become a non-paying subscriber at least, and get occasionally freebies going forward -- or better still, become a paid subscriber and get five issues a week for peanuts! 

The #5 post is about something that has been normalized but is actually quite bizarre – the Republicans having an entire series of presidential debates without the man everyone knows they’ll nominate. It’s as if, before George W. Bush was renominated in 2004, the networks gave William Tsangares and Blake Ashby several prime time slots to mix it up. 

The #4 post is about the violence of rightwing rhetoric that reached new dark levels in 2023. Yeah, the attempted Capitol coup in January 2021 was pretty gruesome, but back then a few prominent Republicans acted as if they knew it was a bad thing – now pretty much none of them do, and many act as if democracy had it coming and they’ll try to finish the job later. Now every attempt to hold Tubby to account, however solid its constitutional or legal foundation, results in death threats or invitations to same. I get into the historical pedigree of this bloody-mindedness. 

#3 and #2 are combined in today’s installment (poor planning!) but they’re related: The portrayal of anyone who dislikes Israel’s indiscriminate bombing of Palestinian civilians as an antisemite, and the approval of people getting fired for saying they don’t like it by the same people who normally blubber over “cancel culture” whenever some rich wingnut gets in trouble.

What’s going to be #1 on Monday? Subscribe and find out! 

(UPDATE: It's out! The list, in toto:





Meantime I hope you all have a beautiful New Year’s Eve. As I have relocated to an even sleepier town than I inhabited last year, I don’t expect too much excitement on Sunday night, but who knows. Hope your plans and your resolutions are all realized and then some.

Friday, December 22, 2023

FRIDAY 'ROUND-THE-HORN: FASCISM INTERNATIONAL EDITION.

Pretty cool, huh.

We are heading into Christmas, so as I know you have better things to do I will be brief: we have two (2) Roy Edroso Breaks It Down freebies this week. 

One is just a little roundup of tweets showing fascism’s progress around the Western world. It’s worth keeping in mind that fascism is an international movement, and when its masterminds fail in one country (as they have – so far! – here) they pour on the juice in others, and when the con breaks through the fascists go hog wild trying to make it stick – not by making it popular but by making it impossible to displace. 

For example, the newly-installed Argentinian Trump impersonator Javier Milei has wasted no time trying to totally make his country the kind of libertarian shithole/paradise Milton Friedman still drools over in Hell, clearly hoping that once it's not only fucked but ass-fucked the voters will despair of ever getting it unfucked. From the Buenos Aires Herald:

Multiple elements of Milei’s decree point to a de facto dollarization, particularly in contracts. Article 250 establishes that contracts can be agreed in any currency, “whether or not it is legal tender in the country.” Article 257 outlines a similar policy for rental contracts, adding that tenants cannot demand that payments be accepted in a currency other than the one established in the contract.

Foreign Minister Diana Mondino went further and pointed out that contracts could be agreed in cryptocurrency after the decree goes into effect. 

“We ratify and confirm in Argentina, contracts can be agreed in Bitcoin,” she said on X (formerly Twitter). “And also any other crypto and/or commodity such as kilos of beef or liters of milk.” (emphasis added)

So -- a barter economy! Usually that’s the last stage of a corrupt and collapsing government, not the first. Well, it doesn’t matter because Milei has essentially made protests against his regime illegal. No wonder American conservatives like John Fund love him! Such people are tired of even the flimsy pretense of democracy we have here, and yearn to go full Duce. Hold the line, comrades. 

The other freebie has to do with all the allegedly anti-Trump conservatives (including the Conservatives With Good Taste at National Review) explaining why Trump talking about how much he’d like to be Adolf Hitler is no big deal really. Outside of my (really excellent!) post I hardly know what to say about this, except it’s further evidence that if Trump really did, as he claimed he could, shoot someone on Fifth Avenue and get away with it, we could expect every Good Taste Conservative to immediately explain that Trump only pulled the trigger because he felt threatened by the presence of ooga-boogas which have kept rightwing rubes terrified of cities for decades now. Never forget, folks: There are no good Republicans, and that goes double for conservatives and triple for libertarians (who, additionally, smell).

Monday, December 18, 2023

A LITTLE FASCISM, AS A TREAT.

I don't always unlock my Monday edition of Roy Edroso Breaks It Down to the general public, but I felt it my duty as an American to make sure everybody got the recent rightwing talking point that sure, Trump keeps imitating Adolf Hitler but that doesn't mean he actually intends to keep it up if he gets elected -- you know the old saying, campaign in Hitler, govern in Mitt Romney! 

My own version is preferable, but among the multiple National Review don't-worry-about-fash-Trump stories on which it's based I especially like this bit from Charles Two Middle Initials Cooke:

To make this case is not to “defend Trump,” but to profess confidence in the American model of government against those who would undermine it. We have already seen this work, back in 2021, when Trump tried to stay in office despite having lost the election. That he tried was a disgrace. That he failed spectacularly was a testament to the strength of our founding documents, the habits of our people, and the enduring relevance of the observation that the best way of checking ambition is with ambition itself.

Sure, Hitler tried to seize power in the Beer Hall Putsch, but he failed, didn't he? And then we never heard from him again. 

It's all the funnier/more terrifying when you see the prestige press picking up these demurrers -- today their flagship, the New York Times, has Matthew Schmitz saying, "Mr. Trump enjoys enduring support because he is perceived by many voters — often with good reason — as a pragmatic if unpredictable kind of moderate." The stuff about vermin immigrants polluting American blood and Trump throwing his opponents in jail is just lagniappe -- come for the high-earner tax cuts, stay for the concentration camps!

Anyway read the thing, it's good. 

Friday, December 15, 2023

FRIDAY 'ROUND-THE-HORN: MOVE OVER, BARI WEISS! EDITION.

<

Loved this since I was a kid.

Another week in the books! Howsabout some free Roy Edroso Breaks It Down numbers? Not the whole week’s worth – I have to hold some back for paying customers only; this here ain’t no charity – but two for a taste. 

The grimmer of the two is inspired by a trend I notice in both conservative discourse and in the prestige press that fluffs it: The attempt to make us all (except the fascists, of course) just give up even trying. Everything in this view is about the unstoppable Trump dictatorship. The wingnuts you can understand, because this has always been their dream of domination, but with the prestige press it seems like a tic – they’ve been in a defensive crouch about “liberal bias” for so long that they just wearily wave the crude absurdities of the Right through the gate as if they don’t have a choice.

You can see this shit in its tertiary stage in James Bennet’s endless crybaby column about how mean widdle kids chased him out of the New York Times over his Tom Cotton “Turn the Army loose on your fellow citizens for MAGA” op-ed, and how it means “the Times’s familiar problem, which is liberal bias” – yes, he actually says this – has turned into “illiberal bias” because the paper won’t run more rightwingers (who’s left for them to hire? Jim Hoft? Charlie Kirk? I doubt even that would satisfy him) and some of the news side journalists express a Point of View. How anyone who actually reads the Times (from the current front page: “The Debate on Wall Street: Did the Fed Pivot Too Soon?”) can think it’s in the tank for the DSA is – well, I was going to say it’s beyond me, but prestige press gotta prestige, as my (far preferable) post and many others show, so it’s to be expected.

(Oh, I will mention that today Jamelle Bouie has a column that pursues a thesis similar to mine --  that for the right "the point is the cultivation of political despair." He doesn't sweep up the prestige press in this but, ha, why would he, he's writing for the Times! As Homer Simpson would say: Still good though,)

For the second freebie I once again open the gate to our Fun Friday free-for-all; this week readers (you too!) are invited to talk about a song or other piece of music that appeared incidentally in a movie or TV show you saw and has managed to stick in your memory. I have lots of examples myself – like the little piece of “The circus is a wacky world, how I love it!” Natalie Wood is recording over and over in Inside Daisy Clover when she goes nuts. Go on, pitch in! 

Friday, December 08, 2023

FRIDAY 'ROUND-THE-HORN: MR. ILLUMINATI WITH THE JADE HELM AT THE FEMA CAMP EDITION.

Dumb as hell but fun as well.

It was as always a heavy week at Roy Edroso Breaks It Down – and subscribers got all five (5) issues of it! As for you non-subscribers who want a peek, normally by week’s end I have two issues open to all comers, but looking back now I find only one cleared – my account of the Wednesday Republican debate (at least the 35 or so minutes of it I could stand to watch). 

That post is fun in a cynical way, of course, but upon consideration I’m more focused on the strangeness of having, what is it, three debates so far and three more scheduled for January and it’s likely that none of them will feature the person who’s actually going to run. So in a way this is just a traveling debating society, except instead of great minds at the Oxford Union we have these idiots. 

On those terms Ramaswamy is getting the best deal – while Haley and DeSantis are just repeating the current crackpot conspiracy theories of the modern conservative movement (with Christie just there to kibbitz), Ramaswamy is pushing the insanity envelope with yak about the Great Replacement and other such fantasies; so, while the others are merely wallowing in the present state-of-the-art stupidity, because that’s all they know how to do, Ramaswamy is working to make the Republican discourse both crazier and (with his famously boorish tech-brat behavior) more coarse, perhaps in hopes that over time Republicans will become accustomed and attracted to this new level of degeneracy. Maybe they won’t have to amend Article II of the Constitution to have Musk as President after all -- because there’s an eligible asshole who’s able to replicate Musk’s shtick. 

Speaking of lunacy, I'm being a sport and also opening up this week’s Fun Friday issue (see, it’s not all high-toned polemics) which has readers commenting with their response to the prompt: What, among all the mad rightwing conspiracy theories, is one that you find hilarious? Got a good response so far, though some just wrote in to say they found the relative success of these conspiracy theories more depressing than funny. Fair enough but come on, folks, some are comedy gold – like one that a commenter brought up, the idea of some adherents to the Sovereign Citizen movement (funny already!) that “the government is controlling our minds through grammar,” with explanatory links. I now choose to think that when I correct an interlocutor’s grammar, I’m actually controlling their mind. I never dreamed I had such power! 

Friday, December 01, 2023

FRIDAY 'ROUND-THE-HORN: PRESS GANG EDITION.

My wings are broken and so is my hair.

The two Roy Edroso Breaks It Down freebies this week (free to non-subscribers, that is – subscribers get five days a week of this excellence! Sign up!) are both about media malfeasance, in a way. Today’s is about Kissinger’s death, treated by the big shots in Prestige Media as an occasion for gracious tribute, but by the average man-on-the-internet-street as either a who-he or fuck-him. 

Kissinger was a mass-murdering, democracy-toppling monster, and the press’ inability to see it, or even admit that reasonable people might consider carpet-bombings and military coups to run contrary to the ideals of their country, is funny in a way, like theater critics reviewing Tamburlaine the Great as if it were Abe Lincoln in Illinois. It’s also depressing – also it just figures, when you consider how slow the Prestige Media has been to acknowledge the menace of Trump even after he literally tried to overturn a presidential election with violence. Well, at least some of us cheap-seaters are catching on. 

The second freebie is about the ridiculous new story about Mike Pence’s decision to preside over the Electoral College vote on January 6, 2021 – that he was talked into his patriotic duty by his son the Marine! Banana oil. He hauled ass to save his ass.

Friday, November 24, 2023

FRIDAY 'ROUND-THE-HORN: PIQUE PROTEST VOTER EDITION.

Certainly the best version.

Hope everyone had a beautiful Thanksgiving. I worked full shifts at Roy Edroso Breaks It Down this week, and a couple of items have been put on the “FREE” rack for you non-subscribers, though they’re every bit as good as the stuff people pay for. (Which you should think about doing – five days a week, $7/month; it’s like wasteful not to subscribe at these prices.)

First, I have Monday’s scene from the villain’s-lair of Elon Musk, based on what at that time was his latest embarrassment – trying to buy his way out from under his own ridiculous antisemitic comments. In real life it seemed to work on the Anti-Defamation League’s Jonathan Greenblatt, at least, though in my version Musk’s appeal to another prominent Jewish American goes in a different direction. 

(Since then, of course, Musk has further soiled himself by suing Media Matters for reporting the truth about Twitter’s infestation with antisemites. It’s almost as if thuggery and bribery are the only ways he knows to win back lost admiration. You’d think he’d settle for the devotion of the many Weird Elon Nerds who heap mega-dittos on his every tweet – but then it's conservative SOP, isn’t it, to blubber that the people you’ve been absolute shit to don’t love you for it.)

The other freebie is thumbnail biographies of some new Democratic challengers to Joe Biden. You’d think there’d be few Democrats who would fall for the old Jill Stein routine – now the Jill Stein-Cornell West-RFK Jr. routine – and file a protest vote knowing it could deliver the presidency to a fascist lunatic who openly promises to rule as a dictator. I guess you could say the lack of faith in democracy that would drive someone who is intelligent enough to find their polling station to make such a bonehead mistake is the fault of Both Sides, but talk about cutting off your nose (or enabling the Secret Police to cut it off) to spite your face! 

Friday, November 17, 2023

FRIDAY 'ROUND-THE-HORN: HEARTS AND MINDS EDITION.

I heard this in a coffee shop playing the most coffee-shop mix imaginable.
Still good tho!

So much going on, more than I could keep up with at Roy Edroso Breaks It Down but I made a valiant effort. I dropped by the Israel rally in D.C. and saw on the ground mostly Jewish solidarity, fellow-feeling, and determination to get back the hostages. It was understandable and even moving — how can thousands of voices singing “Acheinu” not be? — and I wish it were not attached to the Israeli government’s insane and vicious bombing of the many Palestinians who are not Hamas (and hospitals and refugee camps, and probably whatever hostages were not already dead). 

Jeet Heer makes some good points about why the lies the Israeli government tells about their depredations are so cack-handed and unconvincing, but in the final analysis it’s simply the same reason that Trump lies as baldly as he does: Because the denial of reality is itself a display of power, showing the aggressor is so powerful that he doesn’t even have to make it look good. They believe in this manner they’ll get what they want (in Netanyahu’s case I frankly don’t think the hostages even figure in it) no matter what anyone else thinks, because there’s always another threat behind this one. 

 We’ll see. There have been some interesting side effects: On the one hand, lots of what usually gets called “cancel culture” applied to Palestinian advocates (can't wait for Bari Weiss' big expose!) and, on the other, guys like Elon Musk and Charlie Kirk deciding now’s the time to just say some absolutely crazy shit about Jews. Maybe recent events have convinced them that, since anyone showing any sympathy for the massacred people gets called an antisemite nowadays, the genuine article will go unrecognized. 

On a lighter note, sort of, we have Trump going even fuller fash than before and prestige media affecting not to notice. His “vermin” shtick dovetails nicely with the proffer videos of Jenna Ellis and Sidney Powell (leaked by a conspirator’s lawyer!) explaining that The Boss did in fact know he’d lost the election and still intended to stay in office – that is, was planning the coup some people will tell you he wasn’t planning. I’m inclined to credit Tubby with a sense of humor here; he might come out with a little toothbrush mustache and brown uniform, and start throwing out Seig Heils, because he knows the Times editorial board will be like, “So, is this a Charlie Chaplin thing? I didn’t think red state voters liked old movies! Quick, gentlemen -- to the diners!”

Friday, November 10, 2023

FRIDAY ‘ROUND THE HORN: CRAZY PEOPLE LOSE ELECTIONS EDITION.

Still the best version.

Another week in the books, and what a week it was here in God’s Country, with people getting fired or muscled for showing sympathy toward massacred Palestinians and yet, somehow, not a peep from Bari Weiss or any of the usual cancelculture crybabies in their defense! Why, it’s almost as if the whole cancelculture thing were bullshit

Speaking of that, I went to last weekend’s Palestine rally in DC and my account of it is one of the week’s two (2) Roy Edroso Breaks It Down posts FREE TO THE PUBLIC thanks to a generous donation by General Dynamics. 

The theme of our other free REBID essay is Election Day and all the Republicans who got their asses kicked because their whole party be acting all crazy. As Jamelle Bouie writes it’s their whole “culture war shtick” that voters seem fed up with, as seen by the defeats suffered by the book-banning Moms for Liberty and various transphobe dickweeds. But abortion is clearly the deal-breaker – the kind of thing that gets red staters to vote against the will of their overlords as they did decisively in Ohio on Tuesday. I’m convinced it’s not just that these voters want reproductive rights – they also know that the people who are desperate to take these rights away from them are out of their minds and cannot be allowed that kind of power over their lives. 

As mentioned in my essay, it’s clear a lot of conservatives have been driven to despair and/or madness by this turn of events. Our old pal Hindrocket from Power Line, for example, headlines his post-electoral-debacle item “WHY DEMOCRATS ARE PANICKING,” which certainly is a counterintuitive take, and Yells At Cloud:

Currently, the most popular position a politician can take, even in red states like Ohio, is enthusiastic support for abortion, as often as possible up to and including the moment of birth. In several states, like Minnesota, abortion after birth–infanticide–has been made legal.

I have heard the up-till-birth-abortion bullshit many times, but “legal” “infanticide” in Minnesota is weirdly specific. Anyone know what he’s talking about? Also, how long after birth can you do it, because I have some suggestions.  

More ominously, I note Republican politicians are working overtime to keep voters from getting any more chances to make their preferences law by referenda -- and to take away those rights even after they're voted into law. That, too, is a thing with Republicans these days – preventing untoward electoral outcomes by force – so don’t let mere awareness that most Americans agree with you make you too confident of the outcome. 

Friday, November 03, 2023

FRIDAY ‘ROUND-THE-HORN: LET’S SEE IF THEY BLOCK THIS ONE EDITION.

News is grim these days, eh?
Let's lighten things up.

As mentioned last week, the prior alicublog F’R-T-H edition that Google unaccountably put behind a gate can be viewed without encumbrance at my Roy Edroso Breaks It Down Substack – as can all previous alicublog posts, and some selected REBID posts that I’ve released to the general public (pay full freight -- $7/month, cheap! -- and you get five posts a week).  

This week we’ve got a consideration of the similarities between the war-drum-beaters in the run-up to the Iraq invasion, and their equivalents in the Israel-Palestine war. In both cases, there was a genuine outrage (9/11, Hamas’ attacks on Israel) followed by a lot of indiscriminate overreach that the civilized world condemned, which made the belligerents declare the civilized world to be on the wrong side of the With Us or Against Us paradigm. It’s depressing to watch an ally blow up refugee camps and ambulances and get mad when you complain, but maybe more of us remember the lessons of the last propaganda putsch well enough to stand up to the present one. 

I’ve also unlocked something for fans of satire and song parodies: A Fiorello!esque number on Speaker Johnson’s weird finances. (RIP Sheldon Harnick, btw.) I’ve seen some journalists talk about Johnson’s missing bank account records as if the issue were his inability to handle personal finances, when the circumstances – specifically his being a Republican politician, a religious maniac, and a just-plain-maniac – suggest that he’s concealing his financial arrangements, not out of modesty, but because revealing them would subject him to opprobrium or possibly criminal charges. After all the mischief they’ve caused, why do we keep giving these schmendricks the benefit of the doubt?

Friday, October 27, 2023

ANY IDEAS? (WITH AN UPDATE.)

As noted -- though, ha ha, you can't see it -- Blogger has blocked my last post and my repost of that post because they claim the posts violate "community standards" -- which they don't.  (Blogger doesn't explain their decision.) 

Google/Blogger has nothing resembling customer service. Suggestions?

UPDATE. Thanks all for your kind advice. I have added my alicublog posts -- both the one Blogger blocked, and older ones, in fact going back years --- at Roy Edroso Breaks It Down. Henceforth, when Google/Blogger gets censorious with me,  you can easily go to REBID and read the posts they block rather than sign in to Google/Blogger to do so. These posts are not paywalled, either. 

The only drawback is the Disqus comments on these posts at blogspot don't port over to REBID. But you can leave comments at either site. 

FRIDAY 'ROUND-THE-HORN: CENSORSHIP EVASION EDITION (UPDATED).

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FRIDAY 'ROUND-THE-HORN: GOP RETURN TO RELIGIOUS MANIA EDITION.

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Friday, October 13, 2023

FRIDAY 'ROUND-THE-HORN: JIHAD ENOUGH EDITION.

Never a bad day for it.

Line up now, and no shoving please, for the Roy Edroso Breaks It Down freebies! First, Tuesday’s obligatory Israel post. I’ve heard the Hamas attacks called “Israel’s 9/11,” and since I remember our 9/11 I know the next step is war crimes and it sure looks like Israel’s fixing to commit them. You wouldn’t think opposition to the slaughter of civilians would be controversial, but alas! Among the lowest forms of human life there’s always plenty of engagement to be had by ginning up paranoia and cheering mass murder. 

One almost pities American conservatives, though – on the one hand, they love seeing large numbers of brown people killed; on the other, they have to countenance their bĂȘte noire Biden’s unequivocal support of Israel while their own hero Tubby praises the smarts of Hezbollah. Well, no harm no foul: In a few weeks Trump will sic them on some professor or judge, and they’ll forget all about this.

Also for free at REBID now: My essay on why MAGA people never cottoned to Ron DeSantis. Short answer: He’s a tryhard – straining to prove his viciousness while Trump just comes by it naturally. 

Nothing this week about the Speaker of the House yukfest, because how can you improve on the comic genius of House Republicans? It’s fitting that these backstabbing creeps are showing their ass every day – and predictable that the prestige press is still trying to bothsides it, insisting the Democrats have to walk one of these ghouls across the finish line so he can fuck them over. CNN’s David Gregory reaches a new low

I actually have my eye on Democrats. How long are Democrats going to stand by in the world of identity politics, and zero-sum politics, and not be part of any solution?  

One is put in mind of John Gielgud in Arthur: “Perhaps you would like me to come in there and wash your dick for you? You little shit.”

Friday, October 06, 2023

FRIDAY 'ROUND-THE-HORN: NOT SEE THE SPEAKER? HANG IT, I SEE TWO* EDITION.

Some of the OGs from back home, tearing it up

Listen, folks, times are tough, so I only have one (1) Roy Edroso Breaks It Down freebie for you this week -- "3 Bold Outsider Choices for Speaker of the House." 

I sent that on Wednesday and predicted, accurately, that Trump, who had been floated yet again (as he has been periodically since he left office!) as a candidate for Speaker by the trollier elements on the right (and the click-hungry prestige media outlets -- never forget those!) would never go for it.

The idea was always ridiculous, for the reason I cited in that story and in the previous day's -- oh shoot, let's make that a freebie, too -- Scene from the Throne Room of Mar-a-Lago: that Trump knows his people hate politicians who actually do governing work, as Speakers are obliged to do. As Speaker Trump could not, as he does now, fill his days with the fascist fan service of yammered threats and gibberish. He would have to try to persuade and coerce legislators who have even less respect for him than civilians, and then appear before the press to explain what he had fucked up. He'd look ridiculous, like a badly brought up eight-year-old trying to operate a steam shovel, and remind persuadable voters that he is in any executive role a live menace. (He likes the publicity this stupid idea generates, though, which is why I'm sure he encouraged the latest revival of the story.)

So Tubby has endorsed Jim Jordan, one of a field of eligible frauds who will step on each other's dicks as they jockey to briefly and ignominiously claim the chair. And they and their colleagues will continue to scream that it's all the fault of the Democrats for not carrying them over their own river of bullshit -- which I also wrote about and we might as well open that one up to the public, too! Oh, and here's a prominent Republican blaming Democrats for the Speaker mess (in a bothsider way, of course) that I missed: Come on down, Michael Bloomberg! 
I disagree with McCarthy on virtually every issue, but in some critical moments this year, he showed that he was willing to stand up to his party’s right-wing extremists and take the heat.
WHEN THE FUCK WAS THIS? The closest Bloomberg gets to an explanation is to claim McCarthy was "cooperating with Democrats to keep the government open and running" -- that is, he gave them a 45-day extension, presumably so his colleagues could continue their Biden-hunting antics for the cameras, and then told the Democrats to get fucked
Jeffries should’ve been willing to take the same risk, by rising above partisanship to save McCarthy’s job — if not for the good of the country, then for the good of the Democratic Party.
My ass. I tell you, Elizabeth Warren did us all a solid.

* source