Friday, March 29, 2024


Sure, fuck it, let's go back there.

Happy Easter weekend! Here is my favorite Easter joke, which I will render in all caps because it is meant to be told out loud -- proper capitalization rather spoils it. 


Years later I’m still laughing. This past week was sort of a march up Calvary itself, but fortunately for you folks and the health of the nation I have a couple of Roy Edroso Breaks It Down issues to release free to non-subscribers. (I must remind you that I sling this hash FIVE TIMES A WEEK and that a subscription is absurdly cheap, about 35 cents an issue, so you really ought to pony up and not wait around for leavin’s every Friday.)

In the first one, an episode of our political talk show, Received Opinion with Bolt Upright, treats the Ronna McDaniel née Romney catastrophe obliquely – via an interview between Bolt and yet another high-born Republican who changed his name to show conformity with the new order, Trumpy Killthelibs. Much discussion of liberal unfairness commences, as it did when NBC paid off the former RNC chair to go away after even bothsider simps like Chuck Todd publicly blanched at having an insurrectionist at the news analysis desk. 

Like I could give a shit about any of these people. But even when one of them does something resembling the right thing, the prestige press has to make it into a controversy rather than belated due diligence. The palace gossip angles taken by papers like Politico (“The staff revolt at NBC News underscores how the balance of power has shifted away from management”) is bad enough – some of the big rags were pushing the elderly Liberal Bias line.  “NBC fires former RNC chair Ronna McDaniel after internal uproar and blatant anti-GOP bias,” squirts Ingrid Jacques at USA Today, as if there were no difference between a major GOP executive who actively tried to overturn the 2020 Presidential election on behalf of her crooked boss and straight-laced Republican Joes like, say, the Romney relatives McDaniel disowned.  

Neither Jacques nor any other pundit taking this line even acknowledges what was considered so objectionable about McDaniel (“McDaniel's detractors insisted that she was a threat to democracy,” Jacques says, without revealing why), devolving instead into cancelculture crybaby tantrums. I understand why claiming persecution on behalf on rich Republicans who don’t get to be on the network of their choice appeals to the base, who are so addled by their own resentments and grudges they'll sing along with any bitch-and-moaner, but I can’t imagine normal people going for it – which I take as further proof that these people are counting on voter disenfranchisement, ballot tampering, and, when all else fails, January 6 Part II, rather than on the Will of the People, to get back into power.

The second freebie is my essay about the conservative reaction to Baltimore’s Key Bridge disaster – rehearsing some of the batshit conspiracy mongering and racist rants they offered instead of, I noticed, anything like compassion for the victims. Once upon a time they would have at least ginned up some thoughts-and-prayers – but no longer. American conservatives have always been advance men for wealthy interests, and as such they’ve always tried to claw back the gains that less-rich Americans made over the years and redistribute them to their rich donors; but in recent years this meanness has gotten less businesslike and become more like a deep soul sickness – like they’re more excited to see and revel in the suffering of their fellow Americans than they are to grab the cash. I think more than Tubby’s ravings it’s that sickness that makes people worried about them seizing back power.

Friday, March 22, 2024


If you were to. knock me down. I'd just get up again.

Been a wacky week around America. I know a lot of people are getting a kick out of Tubby’s hunt for the $474 million bond he’ll need to post if he doesn’t want his assets seized. But to me it just looks like more evidence that there are never any consequences for our biggest criminals. For one thing, Trump’s getting a $3 billion payday for the IPO on TruthSocial/TrumpMedia – a value proposition I absolutely do not understand, and apparently neither does anyone else, as CNN tells us “experts say the market is drastically overvaluing Trump Media based on the company’s fundamentals,” so he may not be able to cash out easily. But he’s got a great backup plan: The Republican Party, which has agreed to let him take a nice cut for himself on any Presidential campaign fundraising he does. The guy will never pay a dime nor serve a day. I wonder if Peter “Fall Guy” Navarro sees the irony. George Carlin tried to tell him it's a big club and he ain’t in it, but these guys always believe that doesn’t apply to them, even when they get bounced.

Speaking of current events, this week’s Roy Edroso Breaks It Down freebies are pretty timely. #1 is Governor Abbott’s meeting with his border-jumper bounty hunters. Right after this one came out a Fifth Circuit panel slapped a stay on the nutty law that gives Texas its own immigration department (with the blessings of the Trumpified SCOTUS), but Abbott is fighting back and if he gets his way several other states in the Shitheel Belt have signaled they want to throw immigrants out, too. It all makes me think back to the 1984 centenary of the Statue of Liberty, when every conservative from Reagan on down kvelled over Lady Liberty and her golden lamp and what immigration had done for America. Bad as they always were, conservatives can always find a way to get worse.   

Freebie #2 is our latest entry in the category of Hardcore, our term of our term of art for ragebait emails that lure your senile relatives to rightwing garbage sites. This time, though, instead of trawling the Mariana Trench of less-well-known wingnut equities, we focus on the work of two conservative icons whose recent gibberings have won them Hardcore status. First is Candace Owens, who just today got de-partnered by the Daily Wire, though probably for allegedly antisemitic content rather than the loony “French President’s wife is a man” thing she’s been pushing; second is one of our longtime fave figures-of-fun, Rod Dreher, who has risen to the latest ultraracist rightwing talking point that Haitians are cannibals bent on invading America and eating up the white people, and attributes this to voodoo and the fruit of its poisoned tree, the liberation of Haitian slaves in 1804. It’s a doozy, and I see Br’er Rod’s on a streak:

He was always weird but divorce really put the zap on his head

Friday, March 15, 2024


I admit it, I love music that you'd hear under a
"sinister dance club" scene in a movie.

A little late off the mark today -- Substack was down for a while so I couldn't set up the freebies for non-subscribers. (You know, an actual subscription is absurdly inexpensive - $7 a week month (whoops, I mistyped -- it's cheaper than I said!) even less when you do the annual plan, and that gets you five [5] issues every week. It's almost insane not to subscribe.)

Anyway: Freebie #1 is one of my Mar-a-Lago Throne Room sketches, this one speculating on what the next step might be after Tubby's total nepo-takeover of the GOP. Trump's yammerings, in real life as well as in my artistic renderings, just get weirder and more sinister every day, but democracy' loss is satire's gain. 

Speaking of which, Freebie #2 is a brief review of prestige press thumbsuckers that show how big a leg-up they're giving Trump, in part by concealing how openly racist and authoritarian he is, so voters just view the election as a couple of celebrities competing for a prize. This has become a popular topics in liberal circles, sometimes advanced by people who seem only to have acknowledged the problem very recently. Regard Lord Saletan:

Sounds miffed, doesn't he -- as if he'd thought: surely by now Republicans should be rising up and showing us all what good citizens they are! Tsk tsk, so disappointing; still, you have to admit Joe Biden is old.

Friday, March 08, 2024


Absence of Malice!

 I was too busy with work to watch the State of the Union, but from the clips I’ve seen Biden was far from the doddering dotard Republicans and the prestige press (but I repeat myself) have spent years painting him as. Apparently their “pivot” is that Biden was on drugs! 

Given that the Trump White House pharmacy under the leadership of Dr. Ronny “Feelgood” Jackson was throwing around uppers and downers like beads at Mardi Gras, and that Tubby himself is an obvious user, you might say it’s projection, but I begin to think it’s the only explanation they can fathom. For why, in their view, would anyone get so excited about traditional Democratic policies that help less fortunate Americans get ahead? It’s got to be drugs! 

UPDATE. All the rightwing talking heads are getting into the act. Erick Erickson claims Biden's speech was "supplement fuelled." And get this, from the Washington Times:

A psychiatrist who has worked with elderly dementia patients said President Biden exhibited signs of stimulant use to mask cognitive decline in his amped-up, aggressive State of the Union speech on Thursday.

Mr. Biden, 81, often raced through his remarks with the speed of an auctioneer, loudly shouting his words despite having a microphone in front of him.

Speed and volume of speech can be a sign of using Adderall or another amphetamine, said Dr. Carole Lieberman, a forensic psychiatrist based in Beverly Hills, California.

You can find Lieberman elsewhere on the internet calling herself "America's Psychiatrist" and posting gibberish like this:

As Lorenzo Semple DuBois said in The Producers: They try... ok, how they try! 

Readers of Roy Edroso Breaks It Down know that for years I’ve been doing sketches in which “The Formula” – a mix of cocaine, Adderall, ketamine, and Lord knows what – is used by Trump’s handlers to keep him upright. (I’ve even got a few with Biden in them; here’s one I think you might enjoy under the circumstances.)

The cherry on the SOTU Sunday was Senator Tradwife’s rebuttal. As has been pointed out, her delivery is only bizarre if you’re unacquainted with the “fundie baby” voice with which evangelicals project winsomeness to cloak their theocratic intentions. But maybe now that ordinary Americans have gotten a load of it on national TV they’re starting to realize how fucking weird that whole crew is. 

I mentioned Roy Edroso Breaks It Down, which is a subscriber service – but as usual on Fridays I have a few free issues for you joy-poppers.  Feast your eyes! 

First, another of my recurring features – political talk show Received Opinion with your host Bolt Upright – in which Bolt asks whether Kyrsten Sinema’s departure from public life (the less-remunerative non-lobbyist part of it, anyway!) is yet another example of the sad death of comity and compromise in Washington, which in Bolt’s view and the view of all network chuckleheads are values to be treasured above democracy, equity, and everything else. 

Also: My annual Oscar predictions! Yes, once again I’m indulging my sick interest in this festival of glamour and hubris!  I’m already getting cold feet about my Adapted Screenplay pick, but by and large I think I’ve got something worth risking $5 in a pool. (That statement implies no responsibility if you lose the house! Wager responsibly!) 

Friday, March 01, 2024


It's still funny to me that this kind of music can qualify
as "a tune that's been running through my head"
as if it were some pretty Tin Pan Alley number.

Happy March! The deeper we get into political campaign season (what, you didn’t know? It started after the consultants got back from their post-election vacations in 2023) the more fucked up things look. 

For example, you would think, nine months out from the general, that Republicans would try harder to tamp down the crazy. Didn’t at least the more politically exposed Republicans try to look normal about IVF after their lunacy was revealed by the Alabama Supreme Court decision – which, after all, merely followed their stated belief that life begins with the fertilized egg, even if it’s in a freezer? Sure, they also blocked a Senate vote to protect IVF, but one could read that as a tribute to the Grand Old Party’s grand old tradition of being obviously full of shit. 

But their shock troops are still going before the public with snakes flying out of their mouths:

Sorry, kid, our base demands child broodslaves! Either the smart Republicans can’t control these nuts or smart Republicans don’t exist. Or they think binding the small core of nutcakes who can be counted on to vote/insurrect on their behalf is so important that they have to back up whatever lunacies they demand, and count on voter suppression to carry the day for their candidates in elections. 

Anyway I understand some of you are here for Roy Edroso Breaks It Down freebies! OK, here’s the most recent edition of Received Opinion with Bolt Upright, on the scandal of Joe Biden eating ice cream. I would have thought this a two-day story at best but the clown corps is still ON IT (“Joe Biden's awkward ice cream moment has only put the US president under more pressure,” etc). I guess it will never end and the Republican National Convention will include a ritual detonation of a big tub of Häagen-Dazs.  

I will also remind you aesthetic types that I’m doing my annual Oscar movie reviews – with my latest that’s all ten Best Picture nominees sorted, with all of those essays free to non-subscribers, so if you want to prep for the big show March 10 now’s your chance. I also intend to watch and report back on some of the other nominated films. Watch that space! 

Friday, February 23, 2024


Around all these years but I can't recall hearing them before. This'n's a banger!

Happy nearly almost spring, folks! Sunset’s more than an hour later than it was in the depths of winter, so have hope! 

Not that politics makes it easier, especially with all the bullshit being generated over the Alabama Supreme Court’s lunatic IVF ruling, which I covered in a Roy Edroso Breaks It Down item available to non-subscribers for free. Like I said, the outrage isn’t only about the fate of in-vitro for the people who need it to have children – it’s about the “fetal personhood” concept on which the ruling is based, which is exactly the concept on which Republicans base their drive to ban abortion nationwide – which is also why Republican “moderates” like Nikki Haley and Larry Hogan are doing such a tortured pee-dance over it: They know their bullshit ain’t getting over like it used to.

Now you see the Republican National Senatorial Committee rushing out talking points to convince voters that when they said life begins at fertilization they didn’t actually mean it – there’s a political-poison takeback clause! Funny, I don’t remember them taking this position in December 2022, when Republicans blocked a Senate bill to protect IVF:

Of course, back then their factota on the U.S. Supreme Court had just pushed Dobbs out and Republicans were feeling feisty – everything’s coming up Roeless! But after several state ballot ass-beatings showed that nobody is fooled, they’re shitting themselves and running for cover. We have to make sure they don’t get it. 

The other Roy Edroso Breaks It Down freebie is the one I talked about in the last post, about the Sad Truckers’ latest PR push: Claiming they’ll starve New York of groceries on behalf of Tubby. Though rightwing YouTubers and legacy drags like Jeffrey Lord try to keep it going, like all their previous chest-beating displays this one hasn’t panned out and even their more prominent spokesbuffoons are backing off. Guess it’s time to put Joe the Plumber on the case!   

Wednesday, February 21, 2024


Hey, here’s a Humpday treat – a rare mid-week release of a Roy Edroso Breaks It Down issue FREE to gen pop. It’s the latest episode of our Washington Insider news talk show Received Opinion with Bolt Upright, this time focused on the Truckers Attack/Richies Forsake New York bullshit being spread by Republican operatives via credulous prestige-press journos. 

The casus bellow is Tubby’s $355 million fraud judgment, which allegedly has truckers threatening not to deliver goods to NYC stores. You might say this is a direct rip from the 2022 People’s Convoy grift, in which a sad gaggle of MAGA dopes rumbled their big rigs around DC claiming they were going to shut down the government, but left with dysentery and a few weeks of lost earnings. 

But it really goes back farther to what I call GOP Butch Cosplay – like the Hard Hat Riot of 1970 and the whole “Joe the Plumber” scam of 2008, it involves rightwingers acting all rough and tough and threatening to shut everything down if they don’t get their way. 

At least the hardhats actually beat up some hippies, though – these guys just yell and pose like WWE wrestlers and take selfies and expect the world to fall at their feet, but have to make do with dumb reporters and whatever half-wits believe them.

We also have rich guys claiming to withdraw their funds from New York City in protest of Tubby’s impending bankruptcy – e.g. today’s Fox News headline: “Real estate investor will ‘immediately discontinue’ working in NYC over Trump verdict, eying Florida, Texas.” It;s enough to make you miss the days when they got over on rubes by offering to sell them the Brooklyn Bridge. 

But, as I’ve also said before, MAGA types have been trained to despise New York as a symbol of everything they hate – different kinds of people living together, public services, culture, soap and toothpaste -- and will believe any crap they’re fed about how it’s all going to collapse any day now. I’d feel sorry for them if they weren’t dangerous lunatics. 

Friday, February 16, 2024


Always liked these guys, glad they got back in the game.

Listen, I’ve never kept a dollar past sunset so I can be pretty tight-fisted, especially when it comes to giving out freebies to my bread-and-butter Roy Edroso Breaks It Down site. [Subscribe! Cheap!] But this week your cup runneth over – partly because I want you non-subscribers to get acquainted with some of that publication’s adorable features.

First, I’ve unlocked today’s installment of Fun Friday, which has become a regular week-ending post that prompts subscribers to talk about a specific type of pleasure in comments – for example, a moviegoing experience that the hecklers in the audience made memorable. Today’s edition is about things you love mainly or even simply because they’re old – or, rather, because their antiquity spurs nostalgia, either for your past or a past you never experienced. The real joy of these things – and this week is no exception – is our commenters, REBID’s secret weapon. Throw in your own comments if you like! 

Also, every year around this time I watch all the Oscar Best Picture nominees before the big show and write about them; this year I’m making all those essays available to non-subscribers. This week it’s on The Zone of Interest – and the post has links to the all my other open-access reviews as well. Nine down, one to go! 

This week’s final freebie is yet another in our series of Received Opinion with Bolt Upright episodes, in which political talk show clucks peck at the issues of the day. This week: How Joe Biden is oh so very old and disqualified while Trump is a dynamic imbecile. I know, it sounds just like the real thing, but you haven’t seen it chewed over by Bolt’s panel of pundits Peoni Doyenne, Chafe Dramaturgy, and Buff Toehold. Tune in! 

Friday, February 09, 2024


Got their Mojo workin'.

RIP to a real one. I met Mojo back in the day, and he wasn't putting it on, that was really him. I told him that when I came down South for the Memphis Jazz Fest I ate so much barbecue I didn't take a shit for a day and a half. He referred to me thereafter exclusively as Hambone.  

I missed a ‘Round-the-Horn last week, sorry! But here, let me offer you a Roy Edroso Breaks It Down freebie from that timeframe which is still good, or will be till after the Super Bowl: My as-usual behind-the-scenes look at how Tubby and his team plan to fight back against the Taylor Swift menace. I know, there’s been so much written already about the rightwing meltdown over the pretty white girl with a football hero boyfriend who for some reason doesn’t love enraged Nazi incels, but mine’s funny.  If you ain't read it yet, it's news to you! 

And look, it’s gotta be better than Ross Douthat’s plea for conservatives to embrace Taylor Swift because “the cultural valence of the Swift-Kelce romance... [is] normal and wholesome and mainstream in an explicitly conservative-coded way” – Ha! One images the wispy-bearded doofus trying to pitch that to a mob of howling conservabros and getting his ass hitched to a Ford F-30,000 and hauled out of Burlyman Camp in response. You can't reason with them, Father Ross!

Of more recent vintage is my other freebie, inspired by the latest in a series of prestige press Trump-wanks: A “guest essay” in the Good Grey Lady by Kellyanne Conway, the Trump bullshit firehose temporarily disguised as a disinterested observer of the American Scene, who asks, “Who Should Be Trump’s #2?” I expect the next such essay will be Stephen Miller asking, “Aren’t All You Regular Volk a Little Tired of Untermenschen Questioning Der Fuhrer?” We’ve gone way past the well-observed “working the refs” phenomenon, whereby rightwingers scream about “bias” until milquetoast liberal journalists are exhausted/intimidated into waving through all their bullshit; now it seems well-trained bigtime editors look at every single political event or issue and ask themselves, How is this good news for the John McCain Donald Trump?

Thus we have a former president who is very upfront about becoming a fascist dictator if he’s reelected, yet is portrayed in the prestige press as a victim because state officials interpret the Constitution as disqualifying insurrectionists from holding that office; also when a Republican investigator can't find evidence to charge the current president but takes the trouble to insert slurs about his mental state into his report, the pressies all run headlines like “Democrats’ Anxiety Over Biden’s Age Grows After Special Counsel Report.” I can only hope, as I wrote, that Americans have not yet lost the ability to smell bullshit. 

Wednesday, January 31, 2024


It can’t last, so let’s all ride this MAGA Declares War on Taylor Swift thing to clicksville while the iron’s hot, shall we? Here’s a rare midweek freebie from Roy Edroso Breaks It Down, with a ripped-from-today’s-headlines account of the anti-Swift nerve center at Mar-a-Lago. Strictly for laffs! 

As I repeatedly remind you folks, conservative politicians and political writers have entirely abandoned policies and even normal constituent service in favor of lunatic culture war crap like this. Entertainers most of us think of as That Guy In that Movie or That Girl on Spotify are to them as demons sent to Make Everything Woke. This goes for the rightwing intelli-ma-lectuals like Victor Davis Hanson as well as humble clickbait farmers (“The Top 5 Most Overrated Liberal Comedians”), but also for bigtimers like the New York Times' David French, one of those conservatives who liberals simps think is OK, and author of a hair-raisingly weird Prince obituary (“For conservatives, Prince was ultimately just another talented and decadent voice in a hedonistic culture. He was notable mainly because he was particularly effective at communicating that decadence to an eager and willing audience…”).

I didn’t think this Swift thing could get any nuttier but I hadn’t counted on Rod Dreher. I’d more or less stopped paying attention to him since his nervous breakdown and departure from The American Conservative, but my attention was called to his latest Substack item, “Among the Swifties” – and if you sense a reference of Bill Buford’s Among the Thugs there, claim your prize because Dreher does indeed compare the young female fans of Taylor Swift to the soccer hooligans in Buford’s book:

Here is Buford himself, reflecting on what he learned about crowd dynamics by watching a thug leader he calls “Mutton Chops” at work…

This is interesting. It says that we cannot entirely blame Donald Trump, Taylor Swift, or any other “leader” who holds sway over a crowd; the crowd’s latent desire for someone to create them manifested in those individual figures being propelled to leadership. Don’t misread Buford here; he’s not absolving crowd leaders of their actions…

Someone should ring Buford and ask him if he absolves Taylor Swift of her crimes. 

To put it in Buford’s terms: there was a huge crowd of young females who shared a common emotional experience (“the collective female unconscious”) that settled on Taylor Swift, a supremely gifted creator of pop songs, as their leader. Taylor Swift played her role, of course, but Buford would say that Swift was summoned by the latency within the crowd that would later become Swifties.

I bet Dreher imagines “Swifties” as rampaging Valkyries doing Wokeness to the innocent. The thing’s full of howlers, with patented Dreherisms like his regret that he cannot experience the “liberating pleasure of ego death” he imagines sports, Swift, and Trump fans enjoy – “The only time I’ve ever had that experience as part of a crowd was at the U2 concert in Baton Rouge…” The jokes just write themselves! Nonetheless I had a go at REBID, if you can use a chuckle, however mordant. 

UPDATE. Finally realizing that maybe this has all been a terrible mistake, some of the conservative Shuck Troopers are trying to turn it around. Washington Times:

We're not nuts, you're nuts! Well, on their readership it could work. Also Erick Erickson is trying his insufficient best:

Never mind that it hurts Donald Trump. Never mind that it makes the Republicans look deeply unserious. Never mind the political fallout. On a day that Cori Bush has been targeted by the Justice Department, a Democrat progressive targeted by Joe Biden's Justice Department, we're all having to talk about the Taylor Swift, Travis Kelce thing because of what these idiots have done online. 

Oh, I'm sure none of them will mind that the Swift Purge is distracting from the fact that the DOJ, which conservatives constantly accuse of being politically weaponized against Republicans just because they did some so-called "crimes," is investigating prominent Democrats like Bush and even charging Democratic Senator Robert Menendez as well. Screening out inconvenient facts is as important to their whole paranoid vision as the manufacture of lunatic fantasies.

UPDATE 2. Lol, I forgot that conservatives have been raging at Swift for at least ten years now. Here's my 2013 post on the Power Line proto-Catturd Hindrocket doing close analysis of Swift wearing a onesie -- is it a comment on Pajama Boy?? And get a load of all the anti-Swift articles at rightweing rat's nest The Federalist: Imagine going to an editor with a pitch like "Taylor Swift’s Disappointing Arc Is Generationally Representative" and having her slam the desk and cry, "THAT'S GOLD, JASHINSKY! GOLD!" Finally, lest we forget: Mark Hemingway's sad boomer review of Swift. Now that's funny! 

Saturday, January 27, 2024


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


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


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



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


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


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


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


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



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


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!