I’m sorry, I may have gone too far

Ever since the Trump administration, I’ve been standing in my shrine, chanting “BLOOD AND SOULS FOR MY LORD ARIOCH,” and leaving a chalice of blood on the altar, all in hopes of summoning the chaos lords to my aid. I may have miscalculated. I did not expect my ritual to be so effective.

The Republican party has descended into shrieking madness, unable to accomplish even the most basic tasks of governing. On the positive side, that may mean they’re going to be unable to implement the specifics of their evil agenda, but on the debit side, they’re also blocking one of the houses of congress from governing at all.

I was thinking maybe I should back off a bit on the ritual incantations, but Arioch does not treat weakness kindly, and the backlash against me, personally, would be unthinkable. I must continue. I will accept the blame if the house of representatives bursts into green flames, Lauren Boebert is elected speaker, and giant tentacled beasts manifest in the Potomac. But you knew this is where the Republicans were going all along, right?


  1. billmcd says

    In the end, the Black Sword refuses to bend to their will as surely as it did to that of the Lords of Chaos. Take comfort in knowing that before everything is over, they’ll beg to be spitted on the blade as Elric was.

  2. macallan says

    Ever since the Trump administration, I’ve been standing in my shrine, chanting “BLOOD AND SOULS FOR MY LORD ARIOCH,”

    Wait, you too?!
    Now that explains a few things.

  3. StevoR says

    @1. rorschach :Many people – more people even in this broken USA Electroal College, gerrymandered, voter suppressed system – did NOT vote for clowns. yet stiill get them.

    Why aren’t more Americans arguing for major long overdue political reforms?

  4. Artor says

    StevoR, we have been clamoring for political reforms for decades, but that relies on politicians cooperating, and you can see how well that works.

  5. StevoR says

    @ Artor :myeah but .. FN hell.. why not more action an d mor epeopel fighting and insiting on refirnming aystem that si as broken as yours blatanmtly is?

    It.. just.. shits ..me.. so.. much.

  6. StevoR says

    Oh & Ozz is a feck of aong way from perfect itself I know.. Live din a safe LNP seat frodecades but .. juuuusst .. Fuuuu…k

  7. StevoR says

    o I know po;litica;l frustrationand borken syemems but ,.. What the..

    Why don’t more Americans work myuch harder tochange tigs thatnar eobvs broken and messed up & just wrong?

    Poitical reforms movement(s) now please?

  8. StevoR says

    @ ^Typos correcting clarity motivated this :

    So I know political frustration (all too fn well) and broken systems but ,.. What the..?!

    Why don’t more Americans work much harder to change things that are so blatantly obvs broken and messed up & just wrong?

    Must sleep now even when can’t sleep .. becase.. (expletives.) time..

  9. StevoR says

    How many more demonstrations of how utterly, horribly flawed the USA’s political system is do you need before you folks there decide to make fixing it a major priority?

    Scrap th electroal college*, end gerrymandering & voter suppression, , shift election rules, abolish term limits, reform how congress doesn’t work and make it so it does, scrap midterms, SCOTUS .. da phuic do I start, ad nauseam..

    Set badic qualifications for offic eof grde basicx sciencde & civicas and logic fa..

    Enter the current century already for ..pities ..sake – and your own!

    .* & if tthat means the rural fly-over rustbelt states wail in impotent futy at the loss of their undeserved rigor mortis desthgrip bigotry until they catch up with fn reality let it be so!

  10. wzrd1 says

    I’m confused as to why the electoral college is even being mentioned, as they only elect the POTUS. Representitives and spenditmores are directly elected, so the point of clowns and circuses is spot on.
    As for reforms, that’s unlikely to happen as a TV minister foreswearing the wealth donated to him – erm, his “church”.
    Or, for those confused by the analogy, as likely as an atheistic deity.
    Way too much lucre and power would be lost.

  11. Ed Seedhouse says


    Well, first you must elect representatives who will do those things. But as your system is currently rigged, that’s going to be rather tricky. The current majority of those elected are all in favour of keeping the current rigged system in place.

    Who will bell the cat?

  12. drsteve says

    I think it couldn’t hurt to redirect the object of your worship from shrieking chaos (spider) gods more towards more neutral or even benevolent trickster (spider) gods. Less Ungoliant and Pennywise the Dancing Clown, more Anansi and Charlotte, if you will.

  13. StevoR says

    @ 17. wzrd1 : “I’m confused as to why the electoral college is even being mentioned, as they only elect the POTUS.””

    Wait wut? They “only” elect the POTUS as thougthe POYID S don’t matter islike, say, a dog catcher in Rhode Island or a sheriff in Missouri or summin’> TY;knw aminor office of no major significance?

    As though the votes for President of the United States of America should count 3 x plus more forthe few people living in Wyoming as they do for many living in California and varyng percentages base d on manure rather than every American person’s vote havig equal value?

    Shits the F outta me & I don’t even live in the USA at all let alone a more majority USA state.

    You folks care about fairness this little?

  14. robro says

    Apparently some people live in Eden.

    BTW It’s not just the clown show of the ultra-right wing GOPers in the House. Clarence the Clown Thomas and his paramour weighed in yesterday against Kevin.

    Incidentally, there’s a real possibility that the goal of the 20 (Boebert, Johnson, et al) is breaking the Federal government completely. These are folks who are definitely in the “states rights” vein who see the central government as the enemy. Fort Sumter redux.

    There’s been a movement in the US for some time to revisit the Constitution. Unfortunately, that movement has become dominated by conservative forces who are unhappy with the degree of socialism and Satanism we have obtained. (Socialism for rich business folks is OK, of course.)

    As I understand it, there is a constitutional mechanism for this. where enough state governments can call for a Constitutional Convention to revisit the Constitution. This could be a reason the GOP has concentrated on dominating state governments and they are at the door step of invoking that clause. Things that could change are like the first amendment to allow states to designate an official religion and even mandate religious teaching, constitutional restrictions on abortion, killing the income tax…etc.

    Note: Some things don’t require revisiting the Constitution, of course. The “closure rule” in the Senate, sometimes misnamed as the filibuster, is under the governance of the Senate. They could vote to end it and have for some types of legislation. But ending it requires a 60 vote majority and that ain’t likely to happen.

  15. Allison says

    I don’t think we can blame the current (or past) clownery on a broken electoral or legislative system. And asking why “the voters” don’t elect better representatives misses the core of the problem: the electorate in the USA consists of a lot of different people who want different things, love different things, hate different things, most of the mutually exclusive. I don’t think it’s possible to create a national policy that won’t get a significant chunk of the USA population hopping mad.

    What has changed is that, in the past, there was a grudging acceptance of the fact that you were going to have to work with people you despise to get the necessary things done. In fact, they used to say that politics is the art of working with people you hate. This was true both in government and among the people at large. Now, it seems, a lot of people would rather let things fall apart (or burn them to the ground) than refrain from sticking knives in the people they hate. What we are seeing in the USA House of Representatives is merely a reflection of that mood among the general population.

    I see this among the commentariat here at Freethoughblogs, too. There are a distressing number of comments that want to wipe out the current political system (“burn it to the ground”), assuming that what would then arise would be any better. In fact, if the current system were indeed dismantled (as opposed to incrementally reformed), the USA would go the way of Somalia or Syria.

    It’s the scorpion and the frog all over again.

  16. rorschach says

    “Now, it seems, a lot of people would rather let things fall apart (or burn them to the ground) than refrain from sticking knives in the people they hate.”

    The Republicans who are holding up the vote are insurrectionists and traitors who, if that country was in any way functional, should be in jail right now and not on the floor of the House. These are domestic terrorists, alleged rapists and sex traffickers, Russian agents, take your pick. This whole clownshow is due to the failure of the DOJ to throw these criminals in prison.

  17. says

    PZ, keep it up. Sowing confusion reduces the harm these miscreants can effectively do.
    @4 StevoR, @1. rorschach :more people even in this broken USA Electroal College, gerrymandered, voter suppressed system – did NOT vote for clowns. yet stiill get them. Why aren’t more Americans arguing for major long overdue political reforms?
    @6 Artor reply to StevoR, we have been clamoring for political reforms for decades, but that relies on politicians cooperating, and you can see how well that works.

    The above have good questions and a valid response. But, My understanding, based on extensive research, is that the government and most elected officials in the u.s. are fully owned and operated by Crapitallist Corporations. They don’t want their stranglehold on legislation to be ruined. That’s why honest reforms that benefit the populace have been, and will continue to be ignored

  18. robro says

    As of the ninth ballot, McCarthy is down to 200 votes. Meanwhile Jeffries is holding steady at 212.

  19. numerobis says

    Green flames?

    Boebert wouldn’t be able to handle that socialist envirofascist colour.

  20. says

    Then it may surprise you that in the 2022 U.S. House elections, Democrats received 51,477,313 votes and Republicans received 54,506,136 votes

    So, more people neglected to vote altogether than voted for candidates of either party. Part of what’s broken here.
    As for the electoral college, that will never change as it’s enshrined in the Constitution, which requires the vote of 3/4 of the state legislatures to amend. A measly 13 out of 50 state legislatures can kill any amendment, so anything with political ramifications is basically dead in the water right off the bat. And since the Republican party has lost seven of the last eight popular votes for president, yet won the office a total of three times, there’s no way anything is going to change anytime soon.
    The writers of the Constitution made that document hard to change–probably mostly a good thing, as it needs to be protected sometimes from the “whims and passions of the day,” and Dog only knows what fundamental human rights might have been voted away over the centuries without that protection.
    The other side of that coin, though, is an inability for government to respond when something in society changes rapidly, including technological advancement.
    But that seems to have left a few time bombs built into the foundation of the whole edifice–the electoral college, the unrepresentative Senate, SCOTUS judges appointed for life, the gun problem, etc. This is what chess analysts used to call “organic weaknesses.” They are structural, and can’t be fixed without upsetting the board and starting over. In government, doing that is messy and painful and comes with no guarantee that the new system won’t be worse.
    The only thing like a solution I can come up with is better education, particularly when it comes to critical thinking skills. Unfortunately, the right wing knows this and would rather destroy public education than risk losing power. And religion, one of the things people turn to when things turn to shit, is the antithesis of critical thinking.
    Not to be a pessimist or anything, but it looks to me like things are going to get worse and never get better again. Unless, of course, the Republican party turns out to have “organic weaknesses” of its own, and implodes before doing irreparable damage. If you want a reason to hope, I guess that’s it.

  21. robro says

    Oh boy. For the 11th ballot Gaetz has actually nominated Chump. He’s voted for Chump at least one other time (and maybe twice), but I don’t know that Gaetz had formally nominated Chump. That would be a hoot.

    The US House has a quorum requirement of 218 members. McCarthy might have a hard time pulling together a quorum if the Dems decided to balk about something that the 20 were balking over.

  22. hemidactylus says

    An interesting sidelight is an escalating spat between Boebert and MTG. MTG doesn’t like the drama BoBo et al are creating. BoBo might have a good reason to distance herself from MTG: “By contrast, Boebert is … not feeling so good. As of last spring she already appeared to be objecting to some of Greene’s most extreme views; they reportedly looked as if they were about to come to literal blows during an argument after Greene had attended one of Fuentes’ events.”

    Boebert also mocked the Jewish space laser thing: “In comments to the Daily Caller on Monday, Boebert dug in on her criticism of Greene and expressed frustration about being tied to her fringe statements and actions.

    “I’ve been asked to explain MTG’s belief in Jewish space lasers, why she showed up to a white supremacist’s conference, and now why she’s blindly following Kevin McCarthy and I’m not going to go there,” Boebert said.”

    This bizarre GOP factionalism is the best stuff since the NWO vs Wolfpac feud in WCW wrestling decades ago.

  23. StevoR says

    Latest from Aussie ABC news :

    Despite offering new concessions to hardline colleagues rebelling against him, Mr McCarthy lost the seventh, eighth and then historic ninth and 10th rounds of voting.

    The House has now reached a level of dysfunction not seen since 1859, when it took 10 votes to select a leader in the turbulent run-up to the Civil War.

    Members of Congress said Mr McCarthy, endorsed for the post by former president Donald Trump, had offered to weaken the speaker position as a way to win over 20 right-wing Republicans who have repeatedly blocked his bid — changes that political allies warn would make doing the job even harder.

    Source : https://www.abc.net.au/news/2023-01-06/us-house-representatives-speaker-vote-day-three-kevin-mccarthy/101831192

    @26. marner : Yeah, that does surprise me, find it hard to believe. Not saying its wong, just hard to believe.

    Ye-non-existent-gawds the USA is messed up.

    It also really does surprise me that more people aren’t demanding significant reforms to a system that clearly isn’t working and, above all, it surprises me that a number of obvious traitors who should be counted as domestic enemies i.e. the Trumpists especially those who aided the attempted Coup a couple of years ago to the day almost aren’t in prison already – and also SCOTUS traitor Thomas and (do I really have to say ‘älleged’) sex trafficker Gaetz.

    Republican cynical hypocrisy and the poorly educated Murdoch brain-washed hypocritical agnorant* Christianists that vote for them are just breath-taking.

    .* Portmanteau of arrogant and ignornat that Ican’t take credit for – seen as a meme on fb.

  24. hemidactylus says

    MTG’s side as she slams on her fellow kooks:

    An overview of Freedom Caucus dynamics that also highlights that very tense moment between MTG and BoBo that MSNBC characterized as a near fight:

    “Their confrontation grew so heated that at least one onlooker feared the Greene-Boebert back-and-forth might escalate beyond the verbal cage match had another board member not stepped in to de-escalate, according to a GOP lawmaker who was granted anonymity to describe what happened. The incident was confirmed by three people connected to the Freedom Caucus, whose members largely avoided public criticism of Greene and Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.) at the time and focused their discontent on the event organizer, Nick Fuentes.”


    “The run-in last month between Greene and Boebert opened a new window into the internal dynamics between two of the group’s highest-profile members, each of whom has their own distinct persona within the party.

    Still, not everyone in the Freedom Caucus sees Boebert and Greene as distinct. When both leapt to their feet during President Joe Biden’s State of the Union this year to chant for a border wall — one day after their board-meeting clash — a viral photo captured Rep. Byron Donalds (R-Fla.) sitting between them, looking uncomfortable with the display.

    Another Freedom Caucus member, Rep. Ken Buck (R-Colo.), later posted a video that juxtaposed photos of Donalds with lyrics from a famous Stealers Wheel song: “Clowns to the left of me / jokers to the right / here I am, stuck in the middle with you.”

    Buck knew full well that the lyrics slammed his colleagues when he posted the video, according to a Republican with knowledge of the decision.“

    That’s the Byron Donalds siphoning some of the votes from McCarthy though his share has declined over the course of the multiple rounds.

    I say nominate Hunter’s laptop…a sure winner to claim the gavel.

  25. robro says

    I just had an idea…perhaps the Democrat leadership should offer to support McCarthy in exchange for concessions. They have more votes than “the 20”. Perhaps they could even arrange a “powering sharing” thing where they get more say in some committee assignments.

  26. beholder says

    @34 robro

    I just had an idea…perhaps the Democrat leadership should offer to support McCarthy in exchange for concessions.

    While that does sound like Peak Democrat thinking, they would have no guarantees to back up any concessions. For a party that runs on mindless loyalty nowadays instead of strategic coalition-building, it would just make the Democrats look like weak losers who aren’t worth voting for because, in the end, they will support the Republican party instead of being a proper opposition.

    No, I’d prefer to drag this out. Watch what happens when a nonfunctioning House runs up against the overriding corporate priorities of funding endless warfare in Ukraine and not defaulting on the federal debt. Should be interesting if the handlers of the Republican party allow them to proceed that far.

  27. silvrhalide says

    “I have never made but one prayer to God, a very short one: Oh Lord, make my enemies ridiculous. And God granted it.”

  28. birgerjohansson says

    I never really “got” Michael Moorcock and his writing.
    Trump became president because of a bogus TV reality show, so…

    How to settle the House conflict?
    (cue song by Tina Turner)

  29. fishy says

    The only practical solution as I see it is to deal with the people the Republicans have maligned for so long. This would be the Democratic Party.
    The Republicans would have to make some serious promises. It should be in writing. It should be publicized. The media should pay attention and remember.
    This will never happen.

  30. Akira MacKenzie says

    Slightly OT: Over the last few years, Julien Blondel has been producing some really good graphic novel adaptations of he Elric Saga. Highly recommended.

  31. robro says

    beholder @ #36 — Oh I agree it would be a dicey situation for the Democrats. I can’t see them doing anything to help McCarthy. Right now they’re just looking like a Bozo Bus and will only get worse as the next two years unfold.

    fishy @ #40 — You’re right probably not going to happen because Kevin knows that his “party” would balk even more and in any case not stick to the agreement. So it puts them in the position of constantly highlighting to the media what a bunch of lying twats they are.

    BTW…12 votes done and still no Speaker. Kevin did get 213 votes this time…the most he’s gotten so far and the first time he has more votes that Jeffries. Jeffries lost one vote.

  32. StevoR says

    Took him a record 15 votes and I’d say he’s been humiliated and badly weakened so how long he keeps the job, who knows? However, McCarthy is finally Speaker at last :

    For four straight days, the House had been at a standstill while the speaker’s job was settled. The 57-year-old Californian suffered one final humiliation when Representative Matt Gaetz withheld his vote on the 14th ballot, as midnight Friday approached, prompting a scuffle in which fellow Republican Mike Rogers had to be physically pulled away. (From Matt Gaetz – ed.) Mr McCarthy’s victory in the 15th ballot brought an end to the deepest congressional dysfunction in 160 years.However, it sharply illustrated the difficulties that the speaker will face in leading a narrow and deeply polarised majority. He won after 15 rounds of voting on a margin of 216-211.

    Source : https://www.abc.net.au/news/2023-01-07/kevin-mccarthy-elected-republican-u-s-house-speaker/101834958

    I hope the behaviour of the Trumpists does NOT go unpunished by their own party as well* as the voters and that there are severe negative consequences for them all. A lot of them should already be in jail as far as I’m concerned.

    .* Eventually, I know they hold a undue infuence and have “won” concessions that give them power in the short term here.

  33. John Morales says

    StevoR, you do get how spin works, no?

    “He bravely persevered and finally won; he is a fighter and deserves the post” type of thing.

  34. StevoR says

    @ ^ John Morales :

    Yeah, spin is when an object sometimes a car or canoe (see 1 min 25 second mark esp) or driedel / top or a pulsar or stars or worlds rotate 360 degrees worlds sometimes repeatedly?

    Oh and then there are the various forms of spin bowling in cricket, leg spin e.g. Shane Warne, wrist spin eg Kevin Koththigoda, off spin like Tim May, etc..

    Its gunna take some spinning for sure. Reckon they might be more than a bit giddy after this – even sick.

    Meanwhile, politically spin it publicly as they no doubt will the party itself, I’m hoping will remember this treachery and hold a grudge – even (superficially) affable malleable, pitiful McCarthy himself. Coz he and they have every reason to be really pissed and want to send a deterring message.

  35. Silentbob says

    Morales finally meets someone more hyperliteral than himself.

    Utterly hilarious. :-)

    Well played Stevo, if you weren’t pissed already I’d buy you a beer.

  36. outis says

    Eh, it seems that there fella managed to snag the Speakership, with what future ahead one has to wonder…
    And concerning Moorcockian demonds, now we know where Stormbringer went: mounted above PZ’s desk probably.
    Concerning the writings, if the Elric books do not satisfy (they are rather standard fantasy after all), try the later, distantly- related ones like the Second Ether series, which I found weird and excellent. Look also for the comic/illustrated versions by P.Craig Russel, whose “Stormbringer” is a real Meisterwerk.