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You Can’t Make Quin Hillyer Go to His Room–You’re Not Even His Real Father!

[ 57 ] June 3, 2014 |

Quin Hillyer is throwing a fit, or as Roy puts it, “acting out.” And how!

There comes a point where the Left’s calumnizingof conservatives, its endless quest to delegitimize ordinary words, and its determination to criminalize religious expression all combine to make me want to offend as many leftists as I can, in response, just for fun. But not only for fun: Deliberately choosing to offend them, and thus trying to shred their ideological straitjackets, is occasionally a necessary endeavor. We on the right must show that we need not cower; we can and must fight back.

Wow. Conservatives have been cowering all this time? Because I thought they were being deliberately provocative assholes all this time. Conservapedia, you so crazy!
On the one hand, columns like this make me sad. Because the perpetually-depressed liberal in me cannot believe that people are actually capable of being this petty and reactionary. On the other hand, columns like this are fucking hilarious. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I love it when conservatives let their freak flag fly. 

If girls act like Lena Dunham’s character on Girls, they are sluts. Anybody with such a fetish for vile exhibitionism, and for public sex, is a slut. The boys whom the show’s main characters consort with, meanwhile — equally exhibitionist, equally casual about sex, and equally without scruples or decency — are scum. Or whatever other word you want to use to negatively characterize them. Even on a show on pay TV, their voyeuristic, shamelessly copulative behavior is intrusively vile.

To be fair, Lena Dunham does frequently sneak into Quin Hillyer’s house, prop open his eyes Clockwork Orange-style, and make him watch binge-watch “Girls.”

Several years ago, somebody tried to take away the perfectly wonderful “niggardly.” Well, I’m sorry, but they can’t have “alien,” too. And if Barack Obama happens to be miserly, then, well, he is niggardly, too.

Who?! Who tried to take it away? Was it George Will? I bet it was. He likes that word a lot.

Here’s better advice to anyone, male or female, who isn’t physically threatened or emotionally abused by somebody with what once was known simply as a “crush”: Just say no, with as much clarity and kindness as you can muster, and move along.

I want to snark here, but I literally have no idea what he’s saying. Quin Hillyer is dumb.

Thank you for being dumb, Quin Hillyer. I can say this because I’m not politically correct, just like Quin Hillyer.

Greatest Troll in LGM History

[ 91 ] June 2, 2014 |

Since we are navel-gazing these days, let’s remember how RICK VENEMA, COLONIAL HEIGHTS, VIRGINIA was not only the greatest troll in LGM history, but really in all of history.

The first post linked above is great for many reasons, not only for RICK VENEMA’s craziness posted from the BIG ASS ARBY’s in COLONIAL HEIGHTS, VIRGINIA, and not only for the awesome commenter responses, but because Manju clearly feels threatened in his role here and works VERY HARD to compensate.

Great times. My greatest failure writing here came in January, when I drove through Richmond and did not realize that COLONIAL HEIGHTS was a suburb until later. Man, I would have loved to post a picture here of the Arby’s. Which is evidently indeed quite large. I wouldn’t have actually eaten there though. Because really, who eats at Arby’s?

Stairway to Freebird, RNC edition

[ 135 ] June 2, 2014 |

I’m on the RNC’s blast email distribution list, so I get an involuntary daily glimpse into the workings of The Scream Machine (I rarely read the emails themselves, but the subject lines are invariably masterworks of terse meaning, much in the way the title “Snakes On a Plane” tells you all you need to know about the essential mise en scene of that film in four monosyllables).

Without bothering to either search my inbox or google, I will try to recall from memory some of the many Obama administration “scandals” the Machine has recommended to my attention (readers can no doubt remember more):

The family without health insurance that had granite counter tops.

Solyandra (sp? Never found out what that one was about. Something lobbying favoritism boondoggle something).

The slut young lady who wanted the government to pay for her birth control.

The IRS persecuting people who file for 501(c)(3) status because they were conservatives.

Standing up for thugs in hoodies.


The government web site that didn’t work.

Releasing Dangerous Terrorists just to get back a no-good deserter.

Like I said I’m sure I’m forgetting a bunch, but anyway this play list is kind of lame. The problem here I suspect is that asking why the Machine is constantly revving up another fake scandal is like asking why a classic rock station keeps playing I Can’t Get Enough of Your Love. It’s just what they do.

And I bet the reason it “pays” to do it is roughly similar: because there’s a built-in audience for the nostalgia value. All these stories are attempts to re-live the magic of the Year of Lewinsky just one more time, in something of the same way that hearing something off Led Zeppelin IV for the 10,000th time is supposed to take the audience back to their own magic moments.

“So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.”

Yes, Tales From Topographic Oceans (1973)

Treason In Defense of Slavery is the Ultimate Patriotism

[ 149 ] June 2, 2014 |

From the description of a new biography of traitor in defense of slavery (although he privately opposed them both, Scout’s honor!) Robert E. Lee:

In Clouds of Glory: The Life and Legend of Robert E. Lee, Michael Korda, the New York Times bestselling biographer of Dwight D. Eisenhower, Ulysses S. Grant, and T. E. Lawrence, has written the first major biography of Lee in nearly twenty years, bringing to life America’s greatest and most iconic hero.

Really? The very greatest American hero? We can’t think of a single of the many Americans who have not rebelled against the American government in order to protect the right of wealthy whites to own black slaves who might be worthy of this honor? Martin Luther King? Abraham Lincoln? Willie Mays? The tailor who successfully hemmed the sleeves of my sports jacket last week? I figure we should get around to honoring confederate generals sometime well after we lionize the nation’s telemarketers. Although I might be willing to rank Lee above the people who created those DirectTV marionette ads. (Admittedly, this does seem to track with the definition of “American” that Republicans have been pushing for years — i.e. it would seem to exclude anyone who isn’t white, lives above the Mason-Dixon line, lives in a city, doesn’t have at least five possessions decorated with Confederate flags, etc.)

Whether this book is as terrible as the description suggests, I can’t say. It was excerpted in the Daily Beast, and while the content isn’t abominable the sub-headline certainly is. (Robert E. Lee “saved the union” by protecting slaveholders before the Civil War, doncha know. I guess it didn’t take.) Either Korda has been really badly served by various copy-writers or this book will be epically awful.

…via comments, Eric Foner’s review. 

For the Republican Policy on Climate Change, See the Republican Policy on Health Care

[ 28 ] June 2, 2014 |

As part of a post arguing (correctly) that Obama’s environmental record has, on balance, been excellent, Jon Chait has some links to people assuming that the regulations issued today would never come:

The lingering conclusion that Obama simply did not care about the environment made many of my fellow liberals doubt that Obama would ever take such a risky step. “I think this has the proverbial snowball’s chance in hell of actually happening, but don’t let anyone tell you Obama has no options,” wrote Matthew Yglesias. The failure of the EPA to immediately produce regulations prompted Joe Romm to conclude Obama was “delaying action.” When Obama’s budget did not include power plant regulations — which are not a budgetary item — Ryan Lizza wrote, “Nothing in his new budget follows through on that promise. And if that doesn’t, what will?” in a column headlined, “Has Obama Already Given Up on Climate Change.”

As Chait implies earlier, I assume this ultimately baseless pessimism has essentially Green Laternist roots. To some people, the fact that climate change legislation didn’t pass can be taken as ipso facto evidence that Obama didn’t really want it to pass. At any rate, we can now presumably proceed to an argument that the standards are inadequate, which you can bet will mostly ignore the Anthony Kennedy’s veto power over them.

Meanwhile, Ezra Klein, while (again, correctly) noting that the regulations are “probably at the outer limit of what can be done,” argues that there’s some basis for optimism in that they’re less ambitious than what Republicans nominally favored a few years ago:

The power plant regulations the Obama administration will announce today are far less ambitious than the proposal McCain offered in Oregon in 2008. They’re less ambitious than the proposals Newt Gingrich championed through the Aughts. They’re far less than what’s required to keep the rise in temperatures to two degrees Celsius.

But they’re probably at the outer limit of what can be done so long as the Republican Party refuses to even believe in climate change, much less work with the Obama administration on a bill. The good news, if there is any, is that the Republican Party hasn’t always refused to believe in climate change. There was even a time when its key national leaders were committed to doing something about it. Those leaders are still around today. They could still do something about it today.

I think the problem here is the word “committed.” Given Republican control of the government from 2001-06, plus (on this issue) a Congress that would have worked with Republicans on climate change in 2007-8, we can have a very good idea of what Republican elites actually favored on climate change. Their actually policy preference on climate change, like their policy preference for health care reform, is “worse than nothing.” The record of the Republican Congress on climate change under George W. Bush was terrible, as was the record of George W. Bush’s EPA. There is less than no chance that a McCain or Romney administration would have issued anything like these regulations. The fact that the McCain campaign pretended to favor some good climate change action and the fact that a notably uninfluential Republican buffoon favored some decent policy proposals while the Republicans who actually governed the country were making things worse is really neither here nor there, and it’s hard to imagine this changing anytime soon.

Lawyers, Guns & Money’s 10th Anniversary Festivities

[ 10 ] June 2, 2014 |

In case you missed it, we turned 10 over the weekend and threw ourselves a little party. All your old friends where there:

It was a party, so shut up, I thought everyone deserved a nickname. Anyhow, you can find all our remembrances of our time here, and you’re more than welcome to link to your own, as I saw a number of you wrote them up in the comments, and it’d be nice to have them in one place too.

The GOP’s 2014 Hispanic Outreach Plan

[ 43 ] June 2, 2014 |

Can’t get elected as a Republican named “Scott Fistler”? Why, just change your name to “Cesar Chavez,” become a Democrat, and run in a majority Hispanic district!

What could possibly go wrong?

“The Democrat Party”

[ 105 ] June 2, 2014 |

One of the stupidest little games Republicans like to play is to refer to the Democrats as the “Democrat Party” rather than the “Democratic Party.” Seems like especially around 2009-11, this was pretty common and a lot of Democrats got angry over it. I mostly ignored it because whatever. It is worth noting however that Joseph McCarthy was doing the same thing at least as early as 1954. See this broadcast of Face the Nation from November 1954. He does this at about the 2:00 mark. Don’t know if he is doing this explicitly as a pejorative or not.

He uses it in this speech as well, which is obviously no later than 1952. Plus “Commiecrat Party!”

Ground the RAF!

[ 15 ] June 2, 2014 |

My latest at War is Boring:

Could the campaign to eliminate independent air forces succeed with the world’s first independent air force? Some air-power critics associated with the Royal Navy are lobbying the U.K. government to disband the Royal Air Force.

“Air power as a joint concept cannot, and is not, best delivered from an independent service,” retired Royal Navy commanders Graham Edmonds and Paul Fisher wrote in Warships International Fleet Review.

This naval assault on an air force might surprise some Americans. With a few big exceptions, the U.S. military services have avoided open warfare with one another since the 1950s. Even retired officers hesitate before throwing rhetorical punches at their comrades in the other branches.

Compared to the U.S. armed forces, the U.K. military branches have sharp elbows. Mostly, this results from differences in how the American and British governments approach military appropriation.

Also see a couple of good reviews of Grounded. First, Dr. Stephen Wright has a negative but thoughtful review at AFRI. Second, Jeong Lee has a good review at

Race to the Bottom, Small Scale

[ 104 ] June 2, 2014 |

I talked a bit about the emissions problems at the Sriracha factory last fall. In short, residents living near a chile sauce factory that is indifferent to emissions violations do not have a good life. The conflict has come to a conclusion and how that went down says so much about the problems with the economy and, really, a lot of modern American life.

As a condition of Irwindale dismissing the suit, Huy Fong Foods has promised to make improvements to its factory’s rooftop ventilation system—but, as Mark Berman points out in the Washington Post, there won’t be any way to tell whether the improvements make a difference until August, when the plant begins production again. The likelier cause of the dropped suit is the public flirtation between Huy Fong Foods and officials from other cities that would be happy to subject their citizens to acrid capsaicin-smog in exchange for sweet moolah—but, whatever!

Perfect. You have a voluntary system of corporate reform with no enforcement, which Irwindale agreed to because Sriracha was looking to move the factory to a city even more desperate for jobs. The scourge of capital mobility in a nutshell. Company after company, move after move, citizen concession after citizen concession, this aggregates into the destruction of the entire set of economic, social, and environmental victories American citizens enacted to tame corporate pathology in the 20th century. This is how the New Gilded Age is created.


[ 74 ] June 2, 2014 |

My son turned three last week. A little about–as many of you know him–Dudeskull…

He had a dinosaur cake! He liked the dinosaurs more than the cake.

Read more…

SEK’s Game of Thrones recap: “The Mountain and The Viper”

[ 115 ] June 2, 2014 |



This week’s recap comes complete with necessary references to both My Girl and Apocalypse Now. Something to whet your appetite:

A key aspect of this scene is that Graves lets the camera linger on both Missandei and Grey Worm for a few beats too long before reversing the shot, which creates an odd effect. Instead of seeing how the other character is reacting to what each of them says — which is what typically happens with a reverse shot, as Person A says something and the camera cuts to Person B reacting to it — Graves allows the audience to see both Missandei and Grey Worm reacting to what they’ve just said, which calls to mind the self-conscious awkwardness of a first date. They’re both judging themselves before they give the other a chance to, and it’s charming, because they’re both far more forgiving of the other’s missteps than they are of their own.

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