Normalizing Anti-Semitism

Yesterday the President and the Chair of the Judicial Committee, Charles Grassley, repeatied lies about George Soros. Today Rudy Giuliani joined in this mainstreaming of anti-Semitism.

1) The accusations against Soros come out of organized anti-Semitism. They use Soros as a stand-in for the unacceptable formulations that have been used by anti-Semites for centuries. Don’t use these accusations, and don’t go to websites that promote this stuff.

2) I take this somewhat personally because back in the 1990s and early 2000s, when I was working in countries that had been part of the Soviet Union, the Soros Foundation funded work to help those countries become democratic. The foundation still funds work along those lines.

George Soros grew up in Communist Hungary. He knows what unfreedom is like, which is why he set up his foundation to do that kind of work.

Late Night Open Thread: All Deplorables Together!

An’ Ah’m proud to be a Deplorable / Cuz at least Ah know Ah’m free / Of the social norms that a wider world / Tried so hard to force on me…

“None are worth the good profanity” — I like that.

Adam Serwer, at the Atlantic, “The Cruelty Is the Point”:

Taking joy in that suffering is more human than most would like to admit. Somewhere on the wide spectrum between adolescent teasing and the smiling white men in the lynching photographs are the Trump supporters whose community is built by rejoicing in the anguish of those they see as unlike them, who have found in their shared cruelty an answer to the loneliness and atomization of modern life.

The laughter undergirds the daily spectacle of insincerity, as the president and his aides pledge fealty to bedrock democratic principles they have no intention of respecting…
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Late Night Cheap Laffs Open Thread: Glib Takes for Shallow People

Yes, it’s from Politico, but I’m liking this Bill Scher review…

Have you lived through the past three presidents and managed to still believe that Republicans and Democrats share a single corporatist overlord? Do you casually use “neoliberal” as an insult, even though nobody has spotted a neoliberal in the wild since Gary Hart’s 1984 presidential campaign? Do you enjoy history lectures, but only when they are delivered by sarcastic, self-righteous people who conveniently omit anything that conflicts with their ideological worldview? Well then do I have the book for you!

The Chapo Guide to Revolution: A Manifesto Against Logic, Facts and Reason lives up to its ironic title. The freshly published polemic is co-authored by the hosts—Felix Biederman, Matt Christman, Brendan James, Will Menaker and Virgil Texas—of the socialist, satirical podcast Chapo Trap House. The podcast rakes in six figures a month from more than 20,000 Patreon subscribers. It built its following on withering takedowns of insufficiently leftist liberals who serve up “thin, flavorless gruel” in the dying news media.

The book, which aims to expand the reach of “the Chapo Way,” begins with a self-consciously over-the-top sales pitch. By imbibing the authors’ words, “you’ll become an initiate in the Chapo Mindset and take control of the neurons that govern your weak, fragile emotions.” Apparently, we should take our “Ironic Left” cult leaders seriously, but not always literally.

Yet by the end of the book, it’s hard to escape the nagging feeling that Chapo—the podcast and the book—is, at bottom, an actual, unironic infomercial scheme. They make bank by selling you a candy-coated version of socialism, one that may offend real socialists even more than liberal gruel-peddlers like myself…
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Eat Your Heart Out, Alan Sokol

Back when I was a young grad student and budding young fascist, I remember giving my thorough opinions on what I thought of postmodernism. I’m sure I was a real treat in those classes. And, apparently, conservatism has also moved on from their thorough disdain of postmodernism:

President Donald Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani on Sunday claimed “truth isn’t truth” when trying to explain why the president should not testify for special counsel Robert Mueller for fear of being trapped into a lie that could lead to a perjury charge.

“When you tell me that, you know, he should testify because he’s going to tell the truth and he shouldn’t worry, well that’s so silly because it’s somebody’s version of the truth. Not the truth,” Giuliani told Chuck Todd on NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday morning

“Truth is truth,” Todd responded.

“No, no, it isn’t truth,” Giuliani said. “Truth isn’t truth. The President of the United States says, “I didn’t …”

A startled Todd answered: “Truth isn’t truth?”

Giuliani: “No, no, no.”

Todd said: “This is going to become a bad meme.“

Giuliani‘s remark was not the first time he has gone down this road.

The times, they are a changing.

Late Night Open Thread: Easily Triggered White Men, the Internet Equivalent of Herpes

They won’t kill you, probably, but it’s irksome that they never go away permanently. The Chicago Maroon presents: Conservative University of Chicago Law Professor M. Todd Henderson:

Henderson said in a tweet Tuesday that Justice Sonia Sotomayor was appointed to the Supreme Court because “her Latinaness gave us insight into her soul.”

His tweet, which said she is a “second-class intellect,” immediately drew sharp criticism from members of the University community and beyond. Some questioned how Henderson was a professor at the Law School; one user wrote, “Your dumb ass couldn’t get onto the food court.”

After initially fighting back against his critics, Henderson issued a half-apology Tuesday evening, again via tweet. He said that having another woman and Hispanic on the Court was a good thing, but argued that there are dozens of appeals court judges “smarter” than Justice Sotomayor. Still, he said, if he were a senator he would have confirmed her to the Court.

Henderson deactivated his Twitter account on Wednesday…

And, of course, along with being a coward, he’s a repeat offender:

… This is not particularly out of character for Henderson. He defended the Law School’s Edmund Burke Society after it advertised a debate using a whip sheet that said immigrants bring “disease into the body politic.”…

In 2010, Henderson wrote in a widely-mocked blog post (also now deleted) that his family was just getting by and that President Obama’s tax hikes on households making over $250,000 might force him to sell his house. In that same post, Henderson said he paid $100,000 in federal and state taxes, which, according to Business Insider, would make his annual household income around $400,000.

By all means click the link, because for full effect, you want to see his publicity still — complete with manly, professorial props!

Henderson and his less-tweedy fellows decided to have their extremely online snit because the NYTimes hired Sarah Jeong, who has previously been snarky on Twitter, and then refused to un-hire her no matter how loud the screams about ethics in online journalism. (Presumably because it’s harder to find a sharp, smart tech writer than another Brave Pundit willing to ask the Bold Questions: ‘Why can’t white people use the n-word?’) Much shade was thrown, in response to nasty brutish & short rages by perennial offenders such as the epically self-pwning Andrew Sullivan. If you’re curious, Roy Edroso has an excellent aggregated summary of the whole kerfuffle: “Oh, the Caucasity!…Won’t anyone think of the white male Christians?

Among the Jeong tweets that seems to have so offended the Hendersonian white men?

How did the mansplainer drown in a puddle?
It was a WELL, actually

QAnon- Also Very Concerned About Ethics in Gaming Journalism

Alvin Chang at Vox analyzed the Reddit behavior of QAnon supporters, and to the surprise of exactly NO ONE, they are exactly who you thought they would be:

Wanna see my shocked face? A small percentage of acne-ridden incel lunatics at reddit, 4chan, and 8chan are really having a grand old time fucking up this country’s discourse.

Shifting Fashions Open Thread: Ivanka Trump Will Not Be Missed

Robin Givhan, Washington Post fashion expert: STOP TRYING TO MAKE ‘TRUMP STYLE’ HAPPEN! IT’S NEVER GONNA HAPPEN!……

The womenswear brand, founded in 2011, was built around the public persona of Ivanka: the tall, blonde corporate executive with the famous last name, a mother of three with a lifestyle glamorously — no, adorably — curated for Instagram. The label was aimed at young, white-collar working women, and so the collections were filled with sheath dresses, simple silhouettes in feminine floral prints and office-ready shoes. There was nothing particularly unique about the products. Indeed, the company was accused of knocking off other brands. But there was nothing wrong with the clothes, either. And that, along with the price and the marketing, was what made them sell…

The gloss peeled away when Ivanka, the daughter, came to Washington as an adviser to her father, the president, who said he wanted to put America first and who touted the importance of manufacturing in the United States. Because her brand was no mere vanity project, and making money was the point, her name was licensed to manufacturers, who did the work overseas, where labor was cheap. Business wasn’t pretty, but it was profitable. In 2017, she published a book offering women advice on how to be their own best advocates and fight for their interests in the workplace, while the company that bore her name failed to offer the kind of work-life benefits that her book was telling women that they deserved.

Politics, with all of its hot air and bluster, made Ivanka Trump a walking contradiction. By extension it made her company’s sins plain. Shoppers boycotted it. Social media trolls attacked it. Department stores dropped the brand…

Intertwined with the fashion narrative of tasteful work attire, accessible pricing and woman-friendly rhetoric was the political story line. She was supposed to be the gleaming beacon for women in the new administration, the voice of the family, the Trump-whisperer. It’s hard to say which made people angrier: the fashion company that shunned American workers or the company’s founder who disappointed a contingent of American voters.

Ultimately, the two grievances became one. And a fashion lie became a political one.

Vanity Fair, infotainment generalist, is more jaded — “She’s Not Going Anywhere“:
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