Tuesday, May 09, 2017


Here is Jonah Goldberg, onetime #NeverTrump leader ("Sorry, I Still Won’t Ever Vote for Trump") and author of "Conservative Purists Are Capitulating with Support of Trump," on the Comey firing:
Finally, this might have been the right thing to do on the merits. President Trump may even be doing this for all the right — and stated — reasons. But this, too, points to the mess Hillary Clinton created for herself and the country. If Comey needed to be fired — a defensible position — that’s downstream of the hot mess Hillary Clinton dropped on all of us.
The man who Goldberg once pretended to find morally indefensible has just fired a high public official who was investigating him, and Goldberg's reaction is to retreat to his Clinton-hating happy place.

I never liked Goldwater but he at least found the balls in the 11th hour to tell Nixon to get lost. Conservatives are just shit anymore.


Everyone's pissed at the shitty Obamacare replacement Trump's minions rammed through the House, and the damage control isn't looking good. This looks like a job for the White Working Class Whisperer!

At the Washington Examiner, WWCW Salena Zito starts out by telling us that Hillary Clinton deserved to lose in 2016. Proof point: instead of going there herself, Hillary sent her stupid Hollyweird friends Mary Steenburgen and Ted Danson to Rosedale, Michigan, where they "scolded voters about climate change." She seems to be talking about this event, which the Detroit News says the celebs attended to "thank Clinton volunteers and staff members for their campaign work and give them a pep talk" -- not to go down to Ye Olde Mill-Worker Tavern, look around snootily, remove their white gloves and wag their manicured fingers at the Salt of The Earth WWC hunched over their frosty mugs. I bet the Clinton crew didn't mind hearing about global warming.

But never mind; Zito's got hot quotes from a WWC source -- a "petite blonde" named Dawn Wilson whom we meet at "a strip mall with a Walmart, a Dollar Tree, a jewelry pawn shop..." Plus which she just lost her job of 17 years! Can you even get any more WWC! And boy has Dawn Wilson got something to say about Hillary and her Hollyweird friends:
Your message and your optics are everything when you are trying to persuade people to buy something from you or vote for you. Does this look like somewhere that needs to be schooled on climate change? she asks.
No quote marks in the original, BTW. Is it a paraphrase? If someone asks, maybe!

Zito also harshes on Clinton because "she conceded to mistakes during the campaign... and then blamed it all on FBI Director James Comey." This she offers as a contrast to Trump, who always takes responsibility for his mistakes... ha ha, kidding! Zito's idea of a relevant contrast is this:
Last week two politicians made news for the ways they communicated to Americans: Clinton's words were crafted, deliberate and dishonest; President Trump's words were a string of thoughts bouncing everywhere — with no craft, no massaging and they contained great gaps of context.

The press reacted wistfully to the former; to the latter, it went into full meltdown. Again...

Now, that doesn't mean Trump is always accurate in what he says, but he says (or tweets) what he truly thinks at that moment.

We in the press are just not accustomed to this type of honesty.
To recap, Hillary's great sin, beyond dishonest self-assessment, was that she was coherent, a sure sign of duplicity, while Trump talks like a developmentally-disabled princeling who blurts whatever richochets into his frontal lobe.

But at least he's honest, right? Actually, not; as James Poniewozik notes, Trump has a habit of saying what he thinks his audience wants to hear, which sometimes requires a quick switcheroo, like he's had to do on jailing women for abortions and funding for historically black colleges and universities.

Anyway, who needs Trump to be coherent, or Wilson to have quote marks, when Zito has "Bruce Haynes, founding partner of the bipartisan Purple Strategies consulting firm," to fill several grafs on the record, telling us why Trump rules and Hillary drools. Haynes is a longtime Republican functionary working for a typical D.C. hired-gun nightmare; like Zito he mystically communes with the WWC and divines that they hate the media weenies who insist on characterizing Trump's emissions on the basis of elite standards of truthfulness and dignity, when what they should be reporting is what the WWC wants to hear:
"Meanwhile, most voters just roll their eyes and wonder why they are not hearing about whether their sons will be in military conflict because of North Korea, or whether tax reform will give them a shot at a better job, or what's in the health-care bill on preexisting conditions because their cousin has cancer."
Nearly everything Trumps says on these subjects is either gibberish or obvious bullshit, and it's made freely available by the press at all times; but Haynes finds it unsatisfactory, and it can't be Trump's fault because he polls better than the media so it's theirs.

I don't think even this expert whispering is going to do it for the White Working Class -- who, by the way, are observably well-represented at the town halls where Republicans are getting their new assholes torn. Maybe whispering time is over.

Monday, May 08, 2017


...about the American Health Care Act, and the rightbloggers obliged to apply lipstick to its piglike visage.

Many outtakes on this one, mostly removed because I was spending a lot of time explaining the jokes -- that's the Democrats' job! For example, Guy Benson’s TownHall AHCA defense largely relies on the fact that only a “tiny sliver” of beneficiaries signed on to the PCIP, the risk pool used to provide treatment to the usually-uninsurable between the passage of the Affordable Care Act and its full enactment. Benson takes this to mean that there are very few people who ever need that kind of coverage, but my guess is people didn’t sign up for the PCIP because it was notoriously flimsy and insufficientlike most high-risk pools, in fact, which (son of a gun!) is how Republicans propose to take care of the sickest citizens under the AHCA.

It was also rich that Benson, trying to make some kind of point about Democratic fear-mongering, threatened to use a recent study on Medicaid to tendentiously “claim that Obamacare is killing tens of thousands of people” before grandly declining to do so, claiming Republicans don’t go in for such “repugnant hackery.”  I wonder if even sympathetic readers assumed this was because Republicans were scrupulously honest, rather than because no sane person would believe them.

Wednesday, May 03, 2017


First Ross Douthat says, don't worry about Marine Le Pen in France, unlike Trump she's a competent administrator. And she's kinda like DeGaulle -- he disowned the Vichy traitors, she denies Vichy rounded up Jews; same diff! (But then, muses Douthat, "perhaps de Gaulle’s style of nationalism" -- like the National Front's Nazi apologism -- "is too chauvinist and mystical" for you modern sissies. Political correctness run amok!) Also Le Pen is running against "Emmanuel Macron, the John Lindsay of the Eurocrats" -- haw haw Lindsay, only black people liked him!

Inevitably Douthat flashes the now-traditional convincer: "These are the same sort of issues that helped Trump win the presidency..." Your argument is invalid, libs, because Trump won the second-highest number of votes in 2016.

But Douthat has a cherry gig, and it's a little early in the cycle to go full Nazi; so, he recites dutifully, "the Front’s Vichy taint is a good reason to prefer a world where a Le Pen never occupies the Élysée Palace" -- before coughing into his fist: "At the same time, individual personalities and their policies also matter — and there the case for #NeverLePen seems weaker in important ways than the case for #NeverTrump."

Then at The Week Noah Millman asks, "But why shouldn't the French elect Marine Le Pen? And why shouldn't we in America be fine with it if they do?" Just because her party "has fascist roots and retains sympathies with Vichy" and "the party's agenda remains fundamentally racist and xenophobic" is no reason to oppose her, apparently, because "it is also beyond dispute that Marine Le Pen has moved the party considerably away from those roots" -- that is, they're no longer minimizing the Holocaust, they just hate Muslims, which is apparently no big deal for Millman.

Le Pen is expected to lose, but Millman has learned from Trump that it pays to talk like a winner; after all, way back in 2015, Millman made an "effort to articulate why Donald Trump was getting traction, and why he would continue to get traction if his opponents continued to focus on his unacceptability rather than engage with his fundamental argument." And his half-assed side-bet paid off! So Helter Skelter, she's coming down fast, get ready for the New Populism.

Like Douthat -- and like most of these mini-Moldbugs (though he lays it on especially thick) -- Millman does stick in little bullshit demurrers -- e.g. "In the end, I can't say that I actually hope for a Le Pen victory" -- but you can feel his boredom at even having to make such accommodations with polite society, whereas when he pitches Le Pen he perks up:
Finally, it is true that a Le Pen victory would likely be welcomed in Moscow and in Washington, and would be a terrible blow to those who see themselves as the liberal vanguard. But there are other threats to liberal democracy than populist nationalism, and the technocratic order that Macron runs to vindicate may well be one of them.
And the other is Muslims!
Brussels rules not so much with the consent of the governed as with the conviction that it alone is capable of properly balancing the continent’s manifold interests — which is precisely what ordinary democratic politics is supposed to be for. Is it so unthinkable to prioritize the latter threat over the threat of populism?
Le Pen is populist, which means she's the people's choice whether the people choose her or not, and the EU is technocratic, so if you oppose Le Pen you must be a soulless social engineer. (Who likes Muslims! You know, like all those wussy liberals with wussy desk jobs who like black people.)
I am not a populist-nationalist. I am far too liberal to be a nationalist and far too conservative to be a populist...
Yeah yeah buddy we get it: You're a nice guy.
But I do believe that populism plays an important part in the ecosystem of democracy. And if that banner is going to advance, I might just rather it be carried by someone who cares about our common liberal heritage than by someone hostile or indifferent to them.
Maybe Le Pen should say something about "our common liberal heritage" that doesn't sound like the Rivers of Blood speech for a change.

Rod Dreher, having a special dispensation from Jesus, doesn't even bother to say he wouldn't vote for Le Pen; "No way in hell I would vote for Macron," he says defiantly. "...If Macron [beats Le Pen], as is still expected, does anybody seriously believe that France’s decline will be arrested? That the massive immigration problem in France will be taken care of?" But Dreher's gutlessness inevitably comes out; he can't quite say he's for Le Pen, either; he admits only that feels about her the way he feels about Trump -- "while I could not support him in good conscience, I was most exercised over the vehemence with which so many people — including #NeverTrump conservatives — attacked him." He wants it in the pocket, but it has to be a bank shot -- you know: get it in without being obvious that you're going for it.

We're getting a lot of this sympathy-for-the-devil kind of thing from the more intellectual type of conservatives these days. In his essay about the loonier New Rightists -- those batshit-crazy, anti-social-as-well-as-anti-socialist creeps who are now infesting the White House -- Andrew Sullivan says he himself isn't quite a reactionary, but he used to be one in his salad days, over which he daydreams wistfully, "nostalgic for aspects of my own past" when he was pimping imperialism and The Bell Curve. So while folks like you, upon hearing some weirdo who's been asked "whether he believes race matters to a national identity" respond with "I’m not going to say something that could be used to destroy my livelihood and career,"  might shudder and think, what an asshole, Sullivan is not only sympathetic -- he also cedes such freaks the future: "they are much more in tune with the current global mood than today’s conservatives, liberals, and progressive."

And that's the really weird distinguishing trait of this new "populism": Though  Douthat, Millman, Dreher, Sullivan et alia talk about Le Pen and the reactionaries as if they've already won, they aren't really that popular.  Le Pen's family and party have been at it long enough to have institutional momentum, and they've caught a tailwind from international racist movements reinvigorated by the now-generational War on Terror, but she's no more a beloved consensus figure than Trump and lacks the advantage of an Electoral College; and Sullivan's spotty racist fungi are even less likely to steal your girl, literally or metaphorically.

Apparently Trump's not the only one who's so bent out of shape over failing to win the popular vote that he has to keep finding ways to portray himself as the People's Choice without actually being chosen by the people.

Monday, May 01, 2017


You may have seen White Working Class Whisperer Salena Zito’s obsequious interview with Donald Trump, and perhaps learned about the bizarre part of the interview, which does not appear in the print version, in which Trump wondered aloud what the Civil War had been about. Zito was interviewed about this in a podcast with the Washington Examiner’s own Michael Graham, and to spare you good people I have transcribed a large chunk of it.

The preliminary logrolling is pretty terrible. “When I read your piece and saw his schedule and how much he had — I was exhausted!” enthuses Graham. “I was exhausted,” agrees Zito. “It was about 3:30, 4 in the afternoon — he had already been up for 12 hours.” True, some fast-food workers get up before dawn, too, but look what Trump had accomplished with his waking hours: He “had met with the President of Argentina along with his wife, along with the first lady Melania, he had signed two executive orders, he had had dozens of children in the White House for Take Your Child to Work Day, and then he was doing a series of interviews that began with me, and there was a line of journalists out the door waiting to get in.” “Incredible, particularly the kids part!” says Graham. Whew! All that signing, talking, and staring at young life forms wondering how much their parents would sell them for. Whatever Trump's getting in grift, it’s not enough.

Then Zito gets into the history lesson:
Before the tapes were rolling, he and I were discussing the portraits that hung behind him, which was of Andrew Jackson and Thomas Jefferson. Jefferson was to his right as he’s sitting at the Resolute Desk, and Jackson to his left. And, in very vintage Trump style, he bounced back to that, apropos of nothing, and that’s sort of how those quotes were inserted in the conversation — now, if you were in the earlier conversation it makes sense --
At that point I was really interested to hear how some earlier conversation made Trump’s ravings coherent, but alas, that's where Zito falters (there’s no video, so you can’t tell whether Jared Kushner was holding a gun on her family):
— but you know — if you’re following — I mean — let’s face it, he just bounces around when he talks. He is very much a businessman in his display of language —
Huh? Who thinks businessmen talk like that? If you were arranging a large wholesale order with a guy and he started talking that way, wouldn’t you maybe say you had to go to the bathroom and then skip out the back?
It’s very different than your typical politician or journalist who use very crafted, very vetted words and sentences and that’s not who he is. He’s not a politician. That’s largely why he was elected president. But it doesn’t always serve him well in interviews because he’s all over the place.
You littlebrains are expecting him to make quote-unquote sense, like a schoolteacher or something, but supermen like Trump are beyond your puny sequential thought and sentence structure!

Graham asks Zito what Trump was trying to say.
He was projecting strength.
Holy Mary mother of God.
He was talking about Andrew Jackson’s strength as a leader, you know, as first a general, he referred to him as a swashbuckler, and then as a leader. And he felt confident that had Jackson been in office later in the 19th Century — I think he left off as, no, he was elected in 1828 — he may have been able to thwart the Civil War.
Jackson was as strong a Union man as ever lived and even threatened to hang John C. Calhoun over the threat of secession. So it’s just possible that, had he served later, he might have kept the slave power alive a little longer to preserve that Union. But, if you take Lincoln’s analysis of the situation more seriously than Trump’s or Zito’s, you know he could not have held it off indefinitely. And of course that alternate history would have meant more slaves, but with this crew I figure that's more a feature than a bug; in fact, maybe that's the message Trump was trying to get out to his hardcore supporters.

Last word to Zito:
Y’know, as I always say, context is everything. Anything outside of context is a lie.
Well, glad I was able to help, then.


...about the two recent science-flavored marches (Science and Climate), the frustration of the brethren over same, and how the New York Times rode to their rescue with a Bret Stephens column.

UPDATE. At National Review, Oren Cass offers what looks like the traditional X is The Real Y argument ("Climate-Change Activists Are the Real Science Deniers") but adds a few wrinkles. For one, he admits climate change skeptics were once "irresponsible or dishonest" about warming, but have since adopted "more reasoned arguments" admitting some warming but concerned that we may be wasting resources trying to combat it. Conveniently, this change in approach coincides with the installation of a government seemingly hell-bent on reversing all federal progress on climate change. No need to act hysterical when Trump's doing all your work for you!

Cass doesn't admit that, though -- instead he asserts that the new line of attack is "a disaster for climate activists, exposing the flabbiness at the core of their position." In other words, to you it may look like a political reversal, but to Cass it's an intellectual triumph -- conservatives are winning because they're right, and only coincidentally because a grifter in the White House is paying off polluter-donors.

Cass also employs the hot new conservative tactic of implying that when you oppose their policies you're actually abridging their free speech rights:
At least one might assume that reasonable minds could be allowed to differ on the ultimate question of how well society is likely to cope with the effects of climate change...

At stake are the boundaries of debate in our democratic society, on an issue that the self-appointed enforcers insist is the most important one facing us. The ad hominem “denier” criticism places arguments and their purveyors beyond the pale, unworthy of response. Appealing to a purported “97 percent consensus” asserts that the question has been scientifically answered and policymakers have no business debating it.
They just got a major rightwing climate-change essay planted in the fucking New York Times yet still bellyache they're not "allowed to differ"  because people say mean things about them when they do. Maybe global warming is a fraud because these snowflakes should have melted long since.

Thursday, April 27, 2017


The New Yorker did an extremely generous profile of Rod Dreher this week. If that profile were the only thing you'd ever read about him, you wouldn't know he was nuts. The profile sympathetically tells Dreher's life story as a metropolis-hopping journalist whose heart is really in the holy boondocks (where for some reason he just can't seem to sink down roots) and his apotheosis as an author of easy-reading religious books. Profiler Joshua Rothman lauds Dreher's in-stores-now Benedict Option as a friend-of-Jesus-in-a-chartreuse-microbus plea for Christians to "consider living in tight-knit, faith-centered communities, in the manner of Modern Orthodox Jews," and seems not to have noticed the apocalyptic lunacy of his long public trail of magazine columns. Speaking of which, here's one from this week, responding to a poll that shows 62% of liberals belong have a religious affiliation, down from about 85% in the 1990s:
There Will Be No Religious Left... 
More broadly, we could say that many of the things liberal Christians believe in and advocate, in contradiction to normative Christian orthodoxy, already exist outside the church, period. Liberal Christianity often appears as a somewhat desperate attempt to sanctify modern beliefs...

There will be no religious left in the long term because the religious left, as it is currently constituted, doesn’t even believe in its own religion.
Considering there are still millions of liberals going to church or shul or whatever, this seems rather hysterical. To the extent Dreher bothers to explain why he thinks liberals are doomed to atheism, rather than spew hot gas and adjectives, he mainly cites sex. His sources rail against "a church unwilling to say that all homosexual genital relations are morally wrong; a church which at least makes some allowance for abortion when necessary to assure a mother’s freedom"; Dreher howls that the lib-godly "futilely try to update their doctrines to accommodate the modern world — especially regarding sexuality..." and are about "the legitimization of homosexual desire and the approbation of sexual permissiveness," etc.

Those of you who've read my criticisms and others' of Dreher will know this is SOP for Dreher, who is obsessed with sex, especially homosex (gay "persecution is coming" and you should "prepare for resistance"; gays are coming to kill him, just like they did black people in the days of Jim Crow) and double-definitely trans sex (the he-shes are taking over the multiplexes, even in Texas!). But those who only know him from The New Yorker will get only the merest hint of this when Rothman delicately broaches the subject -- and boy do I mean delicately:
I told Dreher that his life story seemed very similar to those of many gay men I knew... Surely, I said, he must have sympathy for gay Christians.
Like many orthodox Christian intellectuals, Dreher holds labyrinthine views on homosexuality. He is opposed to same-sex marriage but in favor of civil unions...
Labyrinthine, he says! And in the last ditch Rothman finds a Gay Friend to defend Dreher. Want to guess who that might be?
The writer Andrew Sullivan, who is gay and Catholic, is one of Dreher’s good friends... 
“There is simply no way for an orthodox Catholic to embrace same-sex marriage,” [Sullivan] said. “The attempt to conflate that with homophobia is a sign of the unthinking nature of some liberal responses to religion. I really don’t think that florists who don’t want to contaminate themselves with a gay wedding should in any way be compelled to do so. I think any gay person that wants them to do that is being an asshole, to be honest—an intolerant asshole. Rod forces you to understand what real pluralism is: actually accepting people with completely different world views than your own..."
It's perfect in a way: Sullivan, onetime king of the gay conservatives who made his movement bona fides by pimping The Bell Curve to polite company (and only just recently showed how easy that was for him by wondering aloud why black people can't be more like those nice Asians), now steps up to protect America's cuddliest homophobe by telling us the hundreds dozens couple of gay people who give florists a hard time are the real bigots. He may get that crown back from Milo yet!

Now if someone has the bad taste to notice Dreher raving "We are all Brendan Eich" and predicting gaymageddon unless the Elect mount the battlements,  he can just wave his pass -- in such fancy type, too! -- and go on about his Crusader business.

Soon enough we'll be hearing about Erick Erickson's misunderstood pluralism.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017


Trump’s threat to defund sanctuary cities just got kicked in the ass by a federal judge, so natch the brethren are doing the Black Robed Masters shit.

“Increasingly I wonder if this Lawfare post from March about a ‘revolt of the judges’ against the Trump White House was correct,” huffs Allahpundit at Hot Air. “On display here is a fair amount of judicial arrogance,” squeals Marc Giller of The Resurgent. “All of this smells far more politically motivated than anything derived from sound legal doctrine,” snarls Kemberlee Kaye at Legal Insurrection.

Well, of course. They hate cities; they hate furriners; and they especially hate the obviousness of the fact that immigrants help make our great cities the economic powerhouses that keep this country’s head above water, while the cracker exurbs mainly generate meth labs, a drain on public funds, and Trump voters.

Even worse for them: It’s to an extent one of their favorite wingnut legal precedents that’s keeping them from playing out this particular racist fantasy. Once again stepping in the shit they meant for someone else's shoe! Small wonder that, despite their near-complete rule of the federal government, they’re such miserable sons of bitches.


German Chancellor Angela Merkel, IMF Managing Director Christine LaGarde, and Trumpelina who puts her name on other people’s clothing designs: One of these things is not like the others and the crowd at the G20 Women's Summit didn’t go for it.

You’ve probably already heard about Chris Cilliza sweetening his own beat by defending Trumpelina from the women who had the effrontery to mutter at her (and after he harshed on Chelsea Clinton, too — man, he’ll never miss a meal!). “It's important to remember,” Cilliza warbles, “that Ivanka is, first and foremost, her father's daughter. As such, she is going to defend him -- as would almost every daughter…” This is pretty much the Washington Examiner’s take as well: “Ivanka Trump booed in Germany while defending her father's record on women." Others in the MSM got in on this angle too -- that Trumpelina was just being a good girl, protecting her soft-headed old daddy from the mean femininimisms who pelted him with mudballs. So much for the toler— well, you know how it goes.

“Ivanka Trump 'Booed' at Women's Forum in Germany,” headlines Newsmax, as if there were some question of the booing’s authenticity. (Well, they did say the booing audience had “a majority of women”; maybe booing is something ladies aren’t supposed to be able to do, like comedy or self-determination.) “That NATO bill just got 10% higher,” says Twitchy, echoing something The Leader is probably bellowing right now in the Lincoln Bedroom while he waits for his buttpad to be warmed.

GOP mouthpiece Amanda Carpenter, looking for some of that sweet Tomi Lahren triangulation from Trump, essays that Trumpelina was “becoming like Hillary Clinton in the worst ways… she’s sort of becoming increasingly unlikable.” Watch your back, Chris Cilliza! There's more than one way to speak "pet me" to power.

Many morons, including Breitbart, accused the audience of behaving “rudely.” “Rude Germans Boo and Hiss Ivanka Trump,” hollered The Gateway Pundit. “So rude Germany, so rude,“ tsked WorldNewsPolitics. “NASTY WOMEN! Ivanka Trump BOOED…HISSED By Unbelievably Rude Crowd,” headlined We’re New But Loud Like Breitbart Come Let Us Slow Up Your Computer With Pop-unders.

And of course they did. Look at how the New York Post pre-emptively fluffed Trumpelina's coming-out:

Because Trumpelina is entitled to this. So what if she has no relevant attainments, let alone enough of them to qualify for such a position? She’s a princess and deserves to be plopped down amongst some of the most accomplished women in the entire world to offer her unqualified views. After all, I assume her father reasoned, it’s just that one, the German, I wouldn’t shake hands with because you have to show 'em who's boss; and that other one, from “Imph” I think they call it, she musta gotten the job by fucking the last guy, DSW or whatever it is, he’s a real hotshot.

Trump sent Jared Kushner to Iraq and let him sit in his bigboy playroom but, brutish as he is, you know he wouldn’t send Jared to address the United Nations or go anywhere else where he had to pretend to actually know something.

But the G20 women's summit — well, that’s just a bunch of chicks, right? What's the big deal?

Sunday, April 23, 2017


...about the firing of Bill O'Reilly and the end of Lena Dunham's Girls and the strange secret they share!

I refer glancingly in the column to two of our favorite terrible writers, who join a few others in running away from the now-toxic O'Reilly as fast as possible. “I have lots of conservative friends in my age cohort who complain about the effect heavy Fox watching has on their parents,” says Rod Dreher at The American Conservative. “The general complaint is that their folks have become a lot more opinionated about political issues, and a lot angrier and more bombastic.” You can see how this puts them out of phase with a conservative movement whose most successful proponent is President Donald Trump. (Dreher adds, "If I had cable TV I would definitely watch Tucker Carlson’s show, because he’s fresh and unpredictable." Yeah, that's some Next-Gen shit right there.)

And at National Review David French laments that O’Reilly was steeped in “a toxic culture of conservative celebrity, where the public elevated personalities more because of their pugnaciousness than anything else,” leading to “a loss of integrity and, crucially, a loss of emphasis on ideas and, more important, ideals” — which, near as I can figure it, means that O'Reilly is no true conservative because true conservatives don’t act like that.

Thursday, April 20, 2017


The end of O'Reilly's TV show means nearly nothing to me. Big-ticket rightwing rageclowns like him are like blockbuster movies and reality shows, just gargoyles for gawkers, and we who have free souls it touches us not.

I'm more interested in the conservative pseuds who try to explain it all on the internet, and so far their take seems to be that the preferred viewing choice of your aged relatives who send you pictures of Obama with a bone through his nose doesn't have anything to do with conservatism.

"He Was a Centrist, Not a Conservative," claims Joel B. Pollak at Breitbart. But look where Pollak's baseline is, via his approving quote of some wingnut chin-stroker:
What if we could magically remove the metaphoric glass and see, face-to-face, the average American, once his political views are no longer distorted by media bias? What would we see? 
The answer, basically, is Ben Stein.
Tell your aged Obama-hating relatives that their avatar is Ben Stein and they'll smack you. I won't even accept that slander on them! Hell, if the average American were the chinless Stein, we'd have receded into the primordial ooze years ago. (Try to imagine Ben Stein without money. He'd be raving next to an overpass. Or at least whining loudly.)

The others are worse. I include the worthless Chuck Todd who, seeking to impress Hugh Hewitt for some reason, "agreed" with him according to this Daily Caller report that O'Reilly wasn't a real conservative, that is, not a fancy intellectual like Hugh Hewitt:
“He was — to me, what he did — he was the tone-setter,” Todd continued. “He was sort of that anti-political correctness.” 
“He was the opening act that brought the crowds, but he became almost more fun to watch than the concert itself, sometimes, but he was the entertainer, probably more entertainer than any of the others.”
Similarly, gameshow buffoon Trump isn't conservative either -- he just pumps out rightwing policies self-identified conservatives eat up, but he ain't got good taste so when the smart guys stand around in cigar bars with snifters and talk about the Glooory of the Mooovement & Burke & Hayek &tc they shove Trump into a coatroom and blame the smell on the dog.

Plus there's Mark Judge at Splice Today -- "The left is cheering the demise of O’Reilly, but liberals have nothing to boast about," he says, because someone got raped at Occupy and what about that bitch who said she was raped but wasn't, huh libs? And Scott Lehigh at the Boston Globe: "Bill O’Reilly types aren’t just a conservative problem," because all those liberal TV hosts are sexual harassers too and the only reason we don't have proof like with O'Reilly is because chicks lie to protect libtards to keep their precious abortions.

At National Review Ian Tuttle tries a variation: Sure, the old-fogey conservatives go for O'Reilly, but we youngs are modern and a-go-go and we think O'Reilly's trad, dad:
This rough-and-ready genealogy might even include a third generation, emerging now — one whose world was shaped by September 11, Iraq, economic recession, and the hyper-partisanship of the Obama years. These conservatives are not Bill O’Reilly; they’re Ben Shapiro, Mollie Hemingway, and Mary Katharine Ham. Their media are podcasts and Twitter, and while they’re certainly combative, they are more interested in a savvy, cosmopolitan conservatism that goes toe-to-toe with progressivism on its own turf (consider Shapiro’s popular campus-speaking events) than in the countrified, bigger-government, populism-tinged conservatism embodied by Mike Huckabee.
"Ben Shapiro, Mollie Hemingway, and Mary Katharine Ham??" cry the youth of today. "That's all I needed to hear. Direct me to the scene of their symposia, where I will vape, denounce socialism, and maybe beat up some antifa chicks!"

At least Tuttle's got enough sense to be ashamed, but not enough to see that O'Reilly isn't the problem. You still need someone; that someone could be younger, and maybe even female (sexual harassment is a nice-to-have, not a need-to-have for this gig!) or non-white (the murderous psycho Sheriff David Clarke might even do). But you will need someone to summon the clans, and he or she will have to be a scumbag -- and, since this is the age of Trump rather than the age of Reagan, that person also has to let the slavering masses know he or she is a scumbag. Because St. Ronnie wouldn't make it today; they'd see through his unctuousness right away and despise him for thinking them dumb enough to believe he's a nice guy. Shit, even conservatives don't believe in "trickle down" or "law and order" or any of those magic words anymore -- you can imagine what the marks they've been bilking for decades think!

No, for them only the Savage Messiah will do. And if the prissier among the Movement Conservatives have to stand off the side, look as innocent as their careers as childhood snitches taught them, and say oh no this is not what we meant at all, well, they can afford to pretend it's strategy instead of self-deception -- after all, they still get paid.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017


Trump has really taught conservatives to turn on a dime and accept new realities that were once (if you ever believed a word they said) disgusting to them. Remember when it was a wingnut rite of passage to hatewank over Lena Dunham? (My detailed examinations here, here, and here.) Now that her show Girls has ended with her character apparently getting a ridiculously impossible academic job and a kid, the brethren are in love with her.

Well, it's a kind of love. They want to have their cake and eat it too -- and in this their attempt is very like what they do with Trump as well: They say mildly bad things about her, but endorse her policies -- that is, endorse what they think her show's conclusion means in the purely political terms they think apply to every area of human life. Here's Erika Andersen at The Federalist:
Don’t Tell Her, But Lena Dunham Just Made A Pro-Life Season Of ‘Girls'
See, Andersen says, in the real world Dunham's a baby-killer -- "I don’t know for sure if she supports abortion up to 9 months of pregnancy," she says, "but let the record show, she probably does." (Despite the vinyl revival, Andersen doesn't seem to know what the word "record" means.) But the Invisible Hand of the Art-Marketplace forced Dunham to call for the repeal of Roe v. Wade, culture-war-wise, by having her character have a baby:
They could have thrown in a late-term abortion (and wouldn’t the pro-choice media just love the “stigma-reducing” that would showcase?), but they wouldn’t dare go there. 
Why not? It’s her body, right? Because it’s not, and everyone — yes, EVERYONE — knows it. 
Every time a character on TV has a baby, it's a thumbs-up for the Republic of Gilead. (Except Murphy Brown -- she's still a whore.)

Meanwhile Kyle Smith -- National Review's new culture-scold hire, probably enlisted to appease the readers who are confused and angered by Armond White -- praises "Lena Dunham’s Ultimately Conservative Message." Dunham, you see, is the bad Hannah -- "[she] says unconscionable things, just like her narcissistic screen alter ego" -- but "Dunham the writer," ah, she's almost as good as Jonah Goldberg, and "Hannah’s reckless, destructive self-absorption" betrays Dunham the writer's awareness that Dunham the slut is a filthy slut and abortion is murder. Maybe in her next project, Dunham the writer will kill Dunham the slut, like Dr. Jekyll did Mr. Hyde! In the meantime, comrades, let's keep our wits sharp with our guiltily-retained Fappening files!

Of course, the show's not over till Chunky Reese Witherspoon sings, and one can only approach Ross Douthat's contribution with a certain Hell No. Take this:
Tony Soprano pining for the days of Gary Cooper set a tone for all these stories, which then echoed and re-echoed in the Louisiana swamps of “True Detective,” the New Mexican borderlands of “Breaking Bad,” the halls of Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce. Again and again the viewer watched a male protagonist trying to be a breadwinner, paterfamilias, a protector and savior, a Leader of Men; again and again these attempts were presented as dangerously alluring, corrupting, untimely and foredoomed...

On “Girls,” though, something very different was going on. The fall of patriarchy had basically happened, the world had irrevocably changed … and nobody knew what to do next.
You young people today -- Destroy! Destroy! When are you going to find time to build! By the time you get to Douthat's fuzzbeard Catholic version of Lena Dunham is Conservative ("True, this was motherhood solo, without a mate or male provider. But the male absence felt more like a signifier of masculine failure than feminine empowerment") you have...

Who am I kidding -- I'm sure nobody ever actually gets to that part; why bother to read that far? (Certainly not for the pleasure of the prose!) In the end, these exegeses are unneeded: the people who liked the show will bid it adieu and go watch something else, and the culture warriors will just scan the headlines and quickly flip ahead to the Ann Coulter column, taking it on faith that their public scribes have properly informed History how everything they like -- TV shows, Clint Eastwood movies, choc-o-mut ice creams -- is further proof that tax breaks for the wealthy and persecution of minorities are God's holy will.

Anyway now they can move on to Emma Watson. She too is a libtard, and hot, and ripe for conversion fantasies. Which of them with be the first to write that Beauty and the Beast shows the good Emma's desire to be done with Pajama Boys and instead enjoy the violation of a true conservative mangoat? My money's on Rod Dreher!


In a district that hasn't gone Democrat since 1979, Dem Jon Ossoff lapped his nearest Republican opponent by nearly 30 points to force a runoff in a special election in fucking Georgia.

At National Review, Alexandra DeSanctis fires up the centrifuge:
For months, this race has been cast by activists and pundits as indicative of the road ahead for the current presidential administration, perhaps illustrating whether Donald Trump’s abrasive personality and controversial agenda have already turned off voters. But as the results rolled in on Tuesday evening, it became clear that the GA-06 special election has been perhaps the best example of the national media making nothing into something...
A look at the district’s history should have been enough to talk progressives out of placing their hopes on Ossoff’s slim shoulders...
Tuesday’s results don’t fully clarify the role that the president has played in the fluctuating dynamics of GA-06. But they do prove that Trump hasn’t enraged so many Americans that a nearly unknown Democrat — even one with significant national funding and attention — could turn a solid GOP district blue overnight.

After some concerned-face interviews with voters and a hummer for the top Republican candidate ("Across the district, fans of Karen Handel told me time and again that they chose her as the most experienced Republican who was most likely to succeed"), DeSanctis gives us the moral of the story:
Much remains unclear about the political dynamics of the sixth district; this, evidently, was not a normal election. But the unnecessary national frenzy surrounding this race should teach us a few crucial lessons: Among them, that polling in special elections is largely unhelpful and often misleading, and that early voting doesn’t determine the fate of the race. It should teach us, too, that Democrats shouldn’t expect to flip decades-long Republican strongholds overnight — not even with the help of a scapegoat like Donald Trump. Politics moves slowly in America, and it doesn’t take much heed of those constructing narratives.
I don't see how Ossoff can show his face in Georgia after such an embarrassing defeatvictory, do you?

Of course, that's just in the wingnut press -- surely the liberal mainstream media will...

Man -- and I thought wrestling was fixed!

Tuesday, April 18, 2017


Another shitty, front-loaded-with-received-wisdom internet TV review at The Federalist...
Since first appearing in L.M. Montgomery’s 1908 novel “Anne of Green Gables,” the story has been dramatized multiple times. It is, however, the 1985 television show with Megan Follows that has entered the canon as the movie about Anne. That beloved classic is about to be challenged by a new remake: Netflix’s “Anne” is set for release on May 12. You can view the trailer here.
...but with a record-scratch twist:
While many fans are eager to re-explore their favorite characters, others have been dismayed by footage from the new series. What we see in a released scene is a startling aberration from the spirit of the original story.
I know how she feels. Like when I was a kid and saw the Disney movie of Old Yeller? I thought for sure they'd show the dog's brains blown out in slow-motion, capturing the brutal sadism of the Newberry-medal-winning novel. Or was that Pet Sematary? Anyway, what a rook!
In the new show, Anne talks to her friend Diana about sex via a peculiarly unpleasant analogy. She says men have a “pet mouse” in their front pants pocket and that women have babies after they pet the mouse. This conversation is apparently the beginning of an entire plot thread.
At first glance, fan outrage might seem a little silly. We are, after all, talking about a character who experienced abuse and institutionalization before the Cuthbert siblings adopted her.
...the fuck? Talk about startling aberrations. Now you've ruined the inevitably film version of your review for future generations of extremely sheltered children!
Regardless of whether she lived in the 1890s or the modern world, a real-life Anne would have suffered trauma. Quite likely she would say inappropriate things to her peers.
Just me, maybe, but if all the children who have pet names for pee-pees were abused, the Catholic Church scandal is really just the tip of the iceberg.
Even Anne’s creator must have realized this. Just as anyone nowadays who plans to adopt an unknown older child from foster care becomes fair game for everyone else’s second-hand horror stories, so also Marilla Cuthbert is warned in the book that “foundlings” are liable to set fires and poison wells.
Set fires and poison wells? Damn, are you sure this isn't The Walking Dead you're talking about?
Yet Anne is not the kind of child who does any of those things. She is not realistic. And that is the whole point...

There is a reason children have long been given inspirational, idealized protagonists. When you think about it, is it realistic that Harry Potter is so well-adjusted? That Charlotte, even if she could spell, would care about Wilbur? That Cinderella has such a good work-ethic? There is also a reason it is cruel and perverted to take away those protagonists and replace them with the grit that some adults call reality.
I might agree, in the offhand way one agrees with monomaniacs for the sake of a quiet life, that it's kinda too bad if the show had Anne of Green Gables working a glory hole. But she just has a childish, fanciful name for a penis. Still author Anne Mussmann ("a stay-at-home mom who writes during nap time") goes on and on about the "glimpses of perversion" represented by the mouse thing:
Just as children cannot legally consent to sexual intercourse with an adult, we should recognize that they have a right to be protected from sexual references that are inappropriate for their developmental level. They have a right to sit down to a story marketed as family-friendly without hearing the characters talking about “mice” in men’s trousers.
LOL, again, but also WTF: I thought that was what the Benedict Option was for -- really godly rightwing people who've turned their backs on This Fallen World will only show their broods Veggie Tales episodes from which the Witchfinder General has scrubbed all worldly references. No contact with the godless, no problem!

So what is Goodwife Mussmann complaining about? Probably that This Fallen World is allowed to disappoint her expectations at all. That's why, though I'm inclined to laugh at these freaks, there's always an edge on the humor -- because they're just nuts enough about what you and I see as no big deal that I can imagine them really trying to make us all live up to their fantasies.

Monday, April 17, 2017


...about the Tax Day marches, the violence at Berkeley, and the efforts of the brethren to mash them all up in one melange of doubleplusungood. A worthwhile companion piece is Will Sommer's backgrounder/scene report on the goons who went to Berkeley mainly to beat up hippies and secondarily to portray their aggro disorder as a free speech movement.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017


Bret Stephens to the Times? Figures; he sucks. Steve M of No More Mister Nice Blog has the goods. This header from one of Stephens' WSJ columns will tell you a lot about his hackery -- and yes, I know authors don't pick them, but this one's perfectly appropriate:

This was the column that made the balloons drop as the millionth time some wingnut said liberalism was like 1984 Farm. I haven't written about Stephens too much here, but in the late campaign he took a Trump-is-the-new-Obama tack beloved of idiots, which probably convinced the Times that he was one of those sensible conservatives like Brooks and Douthat whom, after the Trumpian deluge, they can use like sourdough starter to create a new neoliberalconservatism.

UPDATE. Maybe this is one of those whatchamacallits, "inflection points" I think they call them, where the wingnuts suddenly want to be recognized as anti-Trump, just like in the old days. There was Jonah Goldberg's pathetic effort yesterday, and today, perhaps recognizing what a botch their legacy pledge made of it, National Review has gotten "a politics writer for MTV" to pitch in "What If There Is No Such Thing as ‘Trumpism’?" The article suggests that because Trump "at once could claim a purported allegiance to Evangelical Christianity and wave a rainbow flag at a rally," and other such conundrums, he's not a Real Conservative. The author misses, or pretends not to notice (who knows? Like I could divine the motivations of a "politics writer for MTV" who thinks publishing at National Review is a good move!), that 1.) the Republicans at the Cleveland convention, who were not significantly different from those at previous GOP quadrennials, cheered these alleged contradictions lustily, and 2.) they and 95% of conservatives cheered because they knew Trump would deliver the things they really want: tax breaks for the rich and Muslim-bashing. 

Anyway, as the speed with which they all ran to heel when Trumpy dropped a bomb shows, these cowboys will fall back in line as soon as he shovels big money to the fat cats. That's why he's making them wait for it -- it's his storied showmanship: he knows it'll come off better if he builds up some tension first. (They still know it's coming, but if there's one thing these guys are good at, it's the willing suspension of disbelief.)

Tuesday, April 11, 2017


Jonah Goldberg:
If you’ll forgive the self-indulgence, let me start by sharing a few things about my professional life since Donald Trump won the Republican presidential nomination, in no particular order. Every day, on social media, I am attacked, dismissed, or otherwise declared an illegitimate analyst or fake conservative because of my criticisms of President Trump, even if I include praise or beneficial context. During the election season, I lost large sums of money — large to me, anyway — because I had to turn down speeches in which I was expected to be a de facto surrogate for the Republican point of view. My appearances on Fox News have dropped precipitously...
One might wonder what this workshy legacy pledge, whose columns betray an ever-decreasing amount of effort, could possibly have to bitch about. Rick Perlstein, it turns out; Goldberg claims he has been slandered by him at the New York Times Magazine, thus:
National Review devoted an issue to writing Trump out of the conservative movement; an editor there, Jonah Goldberg, even became a leader of the “Never Trump” crusade. But Trump won — and conservative intellectuals quickly embraced a man who exploited the same brutish energies that Buckley had supposedly banished, with Goldberg explaining simply that Never Trump “was about the G.O.P. primary and the general election, not the presidency.”
The quote, BTW, is accurate. Goldberg retorts:
For starters, Perlstein’s insinuation — that my declaration that “Never Trump” is over represents some kind of “embrace” of Trump — isn’t just wrong, it is breathtakingly dishonest. The very article he’s quoting from has the sub-headline: “The Never Trump movement is over, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to stop criticizing Trump when he deserves it.”
Which is like saying, "I lost, but that doesn't mean I'll stop complaining about it." Goldberg actually lists several columns where he's been "criticizing Trump." Let's take one at random -- "The False Prophecy of the Presidential Pivot” -- and look at the lede:
It was just last week that Donald Trump had the finest moment of his short presidency — his address to a joint session of Congress. Even many of his harshest critics praised his speech or reluctantly conceded that it was “presidential.”
Really lets him have it, huh? Actually Goldberg does get to criticizing eventually, but it's mainly criticism of Trump's intemperate Tweeting -- that is, his failure to "play the part of a somewhat sober, serious, responsible president — even one with an ambitious populist-outsider agenda" when he's handling his device. And he can't even do that without qualifying it -- for example, talking about Trump accusing Obama of tapping his phones, Goldberg admits it sounds bad but has to stick in that "there is an enormous amount we do not know" and "I think more investigations are in order (including of the leaks plaguing the administration)." And here's his finish:
The pivot stuff was always false prophecy. Being president has a funny way of making people more presidential. And by day, Trump’s White House staff can contain his worst instincts. But all bets are off when he’s alone at Mar-a-Lago and the moon calls forth the beast.
In other words: Trump's got a good staff, so things are going okay, but hoo-boy, those crazy Tweets, am I right? He sounds like a 70s Democrat talking about Billy Beer.

Though Trump directly insulted Goldberg and won the nomination by basically telling the establishment Goldberg represents to fuck off, the fact is Goldberg's always been willing to praise Trump. Why shouldn't he? Trump's viciousness is right in tune with Goldberg's brand of conservatism -- it's just less dainty. Even during the campaign for the Republican campaign, Goldberg's NeverTrumpiness was already beginning to take on water. Here's me last May describing one such column:
Take Jonah Goldberg, dean of the #NeverTrump crew at National Review. Last week, Goldberg taxonomized and reviled several Trump-allied factions: "alt-right" loons, converts "who don’t in fact believe in anything at all beyond their own self-interest," "Closet #NeverTrumpers" without the courage of their convictions, and "Fake Moderates" who, Goldberg claimed, had "urged the GOP to be more inclusive and nice" before endorsing Trump.

But conservatives "who simply think supporting Trump is making the best of a bad situation" — well, that was different. "I understand that position and I have sympathy for it," said Goldberg. It would also be okay if Ted Cruz and this year’s other unsuccessful GOP contenders gave Trump "some grudging, pro-forma support… albeit reluctantly and with grave reservations," said Goldberg. Helping to destroy the country is only bad, in other words, if you seem too cheerful about it; a grim visage redeems you. Sort of like Puritanism!
Or you can read him from August defending Trump's transparently bogus outreach to blacks ("Just because one has cynical motives doesn’t mean one’s actions are objectively bad. Lots of people cynically give to charity to make themselves look good to the public, that doesn’t mean charities should refuse money from anyone not of pure heart..."). Or you can --

Ah, what's the point. I could continue to pick apart his bullshit buffalo stance, but who's left to convince -- no one hears about some Trump outrage and says, "I can't wait for Jonah Goldberg to weigh in on this!" That's because the movement Trump took over is still his home and, like Charley Partanna and the Prizzis, he's got nowhere else to go. Even when he's being pissy, he still inside the tent pissing out; just because he can't quite find the flap and catches splashback every time doesn't mean he was ever even thinking about going outside to piss in.

Friday, April 07, 2017


NEW photo: Kushner/Mnuchin/Ross/TRUMP/Tillerson/Reince/Cohn/Powell/Bannon/Miller in the Mar-a-Lago secure room last night. (via @presssec) -- @SteveKopack

TRUMP: I don't get it. I thought you'd show me things blowing up. This is a bunch of dots and lines.

MATTIS: This is a strategy map, Mr. President. The explosions have already taken place --

TRUMP: How do I know that? You could be bullshitting me. Like when they quote unquote killed Bin Laden. Can't you get someone to bring me back a skeleton? And maybe a certificate of authenticity, you know, like they have for baseball memorabilia.

[Knock on the door.]

PRIEBUS: Sir, you did tell Secret Service to secure this area?

TRUMP: Relax, I recognize that knock. [yells] C'mon in, Rodolfo.

[A waiter enters with a cart.]

TRUMP: Great, now we can eat. Listen, guys, I didn't have time to take orders, but there's some roast beef, turkey and I think vegetable wraps. All kinds of chips. And I think Coke and Diet Coke.

[Waiter hands out food.]

TRUMP: Oh, and we got Bannon a pastrami on rye. Get it? Okay, no one's got a sense of humor.

[As waiter leaves, KUSHNER drops a fifty on his cart.]

ROSS: Say, Mr, President -- What's that sound?

TRUMP: I told you. That's the ice machine.

ROSS: No, no, a different sound, next door.

TRUMP: What? Everybody pipe down.

[Room freezes; sound unmistakably of a couple having intercourse in the next room. TRUMP gets up and goes to the wall.]

TRUMP: [knocks on wall] Alright, knock it off in there! [no response] Can you believe these two? What is that, the honeymoon suite? [knocks on wall again; no response] Rex, how about you go over there and tell 'em whats what.

TILLERSON: What? I can't do that!

TRUMP: OK, tell you what you do, you tell those kids we're upgrading their room, penthouse suite, you call down to the desk, Enzio will take care of everything. [fishes out wallet] Here, give 'em a couple of these coupons, they can have a good time in the lounge. Tell 'em it's on the President. That always gets them to cooperate. You should see how the Chinese ate it up. [opens the door for TILLERSON.]

TILLERSON: Mr. President, this, this just doesn't make sense. I'm the Secretary of State!

TRUMP: Alright. [points to lone woman in room] Sweetheart, what's your name?

POWELL: Dina Powell, sir. I'm the deputy national advisor for strategy.

TRUMP: That's nice. Here, take the coupons and get those kids outta there. Attagirl. [POWELL leaves. Room is silent but for the sound from next door] Good thing she left. I'm starting to feel a little horny. [points to the screen] Listen, can we get Pong on that thing?


The greatest of all time, 1926-2017.

•  You could take any Don Rickles long-form appearance, like the one above, and if you really watch it you see that while its savage brio is of a piece with the aggressive attention-hogging that was the hallmark of mid-century American stand-up, it's not just "insult comedy" -- it's a wild, highly energetic and inventive series of riffs, very jazzy, with judicious shifts in timbre and dynamics -- some of them starkly surreal, like the bit that starts around 8:40 about a coxswain from Rickles' U.S. Navy days, where he demands from "the boom man -- the one with the hearing problem" that the boom mike be lowered and, when it doesn't happen fast enough, laments, "40 million boom men and we gotta get Johnny Ray's Uncle." The audience laughs, I laugh -- but what the hell does that even mean? I mean I know who Johnny Ray was, but his uncle? It's like his famous put-down, "hockey puck" -- it makes poetic rather than literal sense; and, even better, it's poetry that makes you laugh. He made me laugh since I was a boy, every time, and while his anarchic hostility had a lot to do with it, so did that mad poetry. He was literally the best.

•  Ah, again with the Syria? Well, I didn't like it in 2013 and I don't like it now. And now would be a good time to review some of my writings from when the Republicans were dead set against Obummer's Syrian adventure -- not for sound non-interventionist reasons, but for hilariously made-up ones. (Special guest star: Megan McArdle!) It's also a good time to note that in 2013 Republicans had a bill before the House to impeach Obama if he started shit with Syria. I have a funny feeling they're not putting in a similar bill now.

•  The New York Post is good (that is to say, evil) at absurd "Is Famous Guy We Regularly Pimp/Revile Running For This Big Office?" stories, like this classic Chris Christie 2012 bullshit ("It would be a dramatic change of heart for the portly, pugnacious pol..."). But this week's "Donald Trump Jr. talks about running for governor of New York" makes Fred Dicker look like H.L. Mencken:
Don Jr. spoke to members of the F6 Labs gun club in Hicksville, NY, and, when asked about his political ambitions, said he would love to follow his father, President Donald Trump, into office.
Oh, I bet the upscale gun nuts who can only dream of going to Africa and killing endangered species like the Trump Boys loved hearing that.
A guest at Tuesday’s meeting told Page Six, “Don Jr. said he is interested in running for office, such as governor of New York, but the position of mayor of New York would be less interesting to him.” 
Don Jr. added that he didn’t want to be one of 100 Senators, nor a member of Congress.
Dream big, Little Donnie! I don't think this is getting even the mamalukes in Gerritsen Beach hard. Trumplet talks a lot about himself and what he'd like out of life ("Do I want to be behind the scenes and be a mouthpiece and fight back against crazy liberal media?") but where does he stand on policy? The Post only finds him saying this much:
...Don Jr. said he would oppose anything that restricts the Second Amendment, and he supports state reciprocity laws, which allow guns to be carried from state to state with a permit.
Well, that's certain to win him all the counties out in Bumfuck where yokels buy the Post and dream of an alternative New York where white people bring the dusky hordes to heel.  But in the actual state, not so much. Besides, we all know Ed Cox and the drooling yahoos of NYGOP will run Carl Paladino again, because he really, how you say, represents their values.