Concentrated comeuppance!

A lot of bad guys have been getting exposed lately. It won’t make a bit of difference, but it’s as if a few journalists are waking up to their job and deciding to do it, so I’ll take it.

  • Alex Pareene shreds Mitch McConnell. Sure, it’s an easy target to reveal that the manifestation of evil in Republican politics is pure evil. If you want to understand why Moscow Mitch is a special evil, though, this is a good and through place to start.

    McConnell has built a GOP machine that is as immune as it can be to the ballot box, because he is smart enough to know that Republicans cannot, as currently constituted, win fair elections often enough to retain power.
    But by choosing incredibly canny battles—his relentless attempts to first upend even the possibility of campaign finance regulation and enforcement, and then to pack the judiciary with right-wing ideologues—McConnell has enabled the conservative movement to dominate American politics long after its tenets are fully rejected by the majority of the electorate.

  • Maybe he is not as powerful, but Scott Adams is the worst blogger (I like that title because it means I don’t hold the record.) The article makes plain his weird contradictions: the popularity of Dilbert rests on the fact that both office drones and bosses like it — it simultaneously tells workers that their lives are miserable, but that you have to suck it up and obey anyway. His blog is a bizarre exercise in phrasing all of his predictions so that either way they turn out, he can claim he was right all along. And how can you be a champion of the working class while defending Trump? Answer: he doesn’t actually support the working class.

    It seems counterintuitive that Scott Adams, defender of the common office drone, would ally himself with a billionaire whose catchphrase is “you’re fired,” but there are strong parallels between the two. For one, they both make you dread reading the newspaper. Neither is willing to acknowledge the real causes of the American worker’s declining fortunes, choosing to pin it all on the idiosyncrasies of office culture or the existence of immigrants. Most importantly, Adams and Trump both offer the working class cheap, stupid, and forgettable entertainment that placates dissatisfaction for a moment before a swift return to late-capitalist dread. We deserve better.

  • Politico is an annoying online magazine, because while they’re generally on the side of the villains of the Right, every once in a while they publish a long piece tearing into the excesses of the far right. Like incredibly blatant evangelical charlatan Jerry Falwell Jr. Do you really want to know how corrupt, decadent, and greedy Falwell is? Then buckle up, because this is a long, jaw-dropping ride through all the perfidy. Tea is served.

    In interviews over the past eight months, they depicted how Falwell and his wife, Becki, consolidated power at Liberty University and how Falwell presides over a culture of self-dealing, directing university resources into projects and real estate deals in which his friends and family have stood to make personal financial gains. Among the previously unreported revelations are Falwell’s decision to hire his son Trey’s company to manage a shopping center owned by the university, Falwell’s advocacy for loans given by the university to his friends, and Falwell’s awarding university contracts to businesses owned by his friends.
    “We’re not a school; we’re a real estate hedge fund,” said a senior university official with inside knowledge of Liberty’s finances. “We’re not educating; we’re buying real estate every year and taking students’ money to do it.”

I know. McConnell, Adams, and Falwell will still have all their money and influence, but it’s nice to see someone spell out how wretched they all are now and again.

Bonus! Jacob Wohl has been charged with a felony. Maybe he’ll go to jail! Nah, rich white Republican fraudsters only get a little pat on the wrist.


  1. DLC says

    It would be nice to see all their works undone. Deleted. Undo-Gobacked. I have other, more sanguinary ideas at times, but I’d settle for seeing them undone.

  2. PaulBC says

    Dilbert is often funny, but the idea that Scott Adams is a “defender of the common office drone” never made sense. His basic premise is effectively Ayn Rand-lite. All the smart people are chained down by bureaucracy. Common office drones like Wally are the targets of derision. There’s some realism here, but it’s cynical and doesn’t solve any problems.

  3. OptimalCynic says

    I agree with the opinion of Scott Adams, but did that post have to do so much classist sneering?

    the dumbest entertainment America had to offer — from 3 Doors Down to Duck Dynasty

    Stuff you don’t like isn’t inherently dumb.

  4. consciousness razor says

    Stuff you don’t like isn’t inherently dumb.

    Not always, but Duck Dynasty is inherently dumb…. Have you not seen it? 3 Doors Down is more like junk food, so not quite the same deal there, although consuming it too much would be dumb. But consumers gotta consume and all that.
    Do I have to give up my rural, lower-class American card now? (Not really a big deal. I wasn’t getting anything for it anyway.)

  5. says

    Wohl might actually want to spend some time in jail. That way he can write an article afterwards about how his manly manliness allowed him to survive amongst the deadly gangs of predators.

  6. Pierce R. Butler says

    Quite oddly (in terms of standard journalistic practice, not necessarily for Politico), the long article about Falwell says nothing about –

    • the notorious pool boy scandal;
    • the hundreds of millions of federal dollars subsidizing tuition for the great majority of Liberty U’s online students;
    • the very dubious quality of the Liberty U curriculum (creationism, American exceptionalism, etc, etc);
    • or (even though one of Jerry Jr’s cronies is named Moon) anything about how the Unification Church bailed out Liberty U from imminent bankruptcy during his father’s erratic reign.

  7. bryanfeir says

    Time Bandits, right at the end.
    “Mom, Dad, don’t touch it, it’s evil!”

    Scott Adams’ biggest issue is that he basically turned a smug ‘I’m smarter than everybody else’ into his main revenue stream. And he’s since gone full into ‘I don’t have to listen to no stupid experts’.

  8. bryanfeir says

    (I didn’t notice this at first, but if you hover the mouse over it, the URL comes up with the image name being ‘Time-Bandits-Evil-Leftovers.jpg’)

    @Pierce R. Butler:
    Yeah, a number of people have commented that this is all coming from people who didn’t have a problem with Falwell Sr., but think Falwell Jr. is going beyond the pale. Which shows just how low the bottom of the barrel is.

    (Of course, people who similarly had no problems with Billy Graham have been complaining about Franklin Graham for years. Billy at least tried to avoid looking like a partisan political hack.)