Saturday, December 10, 2016

Tom Lehrer goes out of date.

Aperiodically, the periodical table of elements grows. Cotton Boll Conspiracy has the latest honorees.

"M. Trump est un vrai d├ęconstructeur."

I do not teach truth as such; I settle accounts on a certain number of problems.

-Jacques Derrida

Friday, December 9, 2016

On my father's 87th birthday.

My dad, Tommy J. Thompson, was born in Dublin, Texas on this day in 1929. He graduated Sweetwater High School in 1947, just after the death of his father, and joined the US Air Force.

He served with distinction in the Korean War. Mustered out in North Carolina, he met my mother, then a senior at Flora MacDonald College, and, after a whirlwind courtship, they married in August, 1952.

He spent his career in the high noon and slow sunset of the Southern textile industry, and everywhere we were transferred when I was a kid, people wept when he left. He had that kind of effect on people.

He was blessed with a bell-like tenor, in the manner of Carreras, and so was much in demand as a wedding singer. He was an accomplished speaker. He ended up the leader of every civil organization he every associated with. Gallons of blood he donated, fortunes he raised for the United Way. He was a Paul Harris Fellow in Rotary; held the Silver Beaver Award of the Boy Scouts of America; was a deacon and elder in the Presbyterian Church, and a confidante to a generation of western North Carolina political leaders. With no college degree, he sat on the board of visitors of a college. His three children collected seven degrees.

When he died in 2001, friends drove and flew hundreds of miles to Mount Carmel Presbyterian Church in rural Richmond County, North Carolina, where my mother's family have been laid to rest for nearly 250 years, to see him off.

Sophocles reminds us we must wait until the evening to see how splendid the day has been.

My father's days were golden indeed.

Remember John Glenn, but for his first career.

People are falling over themselves in praise of the former astronaut and US Senator, John Glenn, who has died at the age of 95.

The long practice of the Catholic Church, when considering declaring one of the faithful worthy of sainthood, was to appoint a devil’s advocate- one who considering the piles of testimony by the cured, the hopeful and the economic development council of another second-tier cathedral town, then says, “Yes, but.”

In that light, I consider John Glenn.

He was an Eagle Scout back when that meant something.

He was a war hero. He flew 149 combat missions in two wars and won a chestful of richly deserved honors for bravery and enterprise.

He married the girl he loved, and she was at his bedside when he died, 72 years later. He was an elder in the Presbyterian Church.

John Glenn served his country for 23 years as a Marine.

Had he stopped there, he would have still been a hero, but a much less famous one.

On the other hand, he would have died with a more honorable and distinguished record.

John Glenn was not only brave and enterprising, he was insanely ambitious and remarkably lucky. He talked his way into the nascent US space program despite being at the edge of the age cutoff and having no background in science.

To his colleagues, he was a pious moralizer who recognized that the first American in space would not get there by being anything but a mascot for American values. Not for nothing did the Mercury astronauts refer to themselves as “Spam in a can.” They went up strapped in a tiny container, and they hoped to come down alive.

Glenn came down alive and became the most famous man in the world. After three years of touring and honors, a la another aviation hero who didn’t know when to go home, Charles Lindbergh, Glenn retired from the Marine Corps one day and announced for the United States Senate the next. He was a Democrat because that was the way the wind blew in the postwar era.

A fall in his bathtub scuppered that run, so he took a job as an executive in a fizzy drinks company and spent the next six years waiting to run again. He ran in 1970, and lost the primary to a cable company mogul, Howard Metzenbaum, who then lost the election.

Glenn bottled RC Cola for four more years, then ran against Metzenbaum, who’d been appointed to the Senate after his loss. That time, Glenn won the primary, and the general election.

Metzenbaum returned to the Senate two years later, and the two feuded for years, reducing the effectiveness of both as representatives of their constituents.

Constituents were never really much on Glenn’s mind, though. He set his cap for the 1976 Democratic Party vice presidential nomination and talked his way right out of it with a stunningly dull keynote convention address. His fame, and his mighty Ohio swingstateness, made him a national party figure his merits did not; he was considered, and passed over, for vice president again in 1984, 1988 and 1992.

Undeterred, Glenn ran for president in 1984, and ended up in the also-ran category. He ran up a giant campaign debt, but so low were his prospects as a future leader- to the moneyed classes, at least- it took Glenn twenty years to pay it off.

To his credit, Glenn did. To his discredit, it made him susceptible to the wiles of Charles Keating, a Cincinnati savings and loan boss and spare-time Savonarola who despised the gay artist Robert Mapplethorpe.

Keating took a fancy to build a collection of US Senators; when the scandal broke, he had five. Glenn, who got $200,000 in Keating bucks, was not reprimanded but was marked down for remarkably poor judgment, a standard that many argued, in this election year, disqualifies one from the presidency.

Glenn won re-election in 1992, and spent his last term lobbying to go back into space. He failed two of the three medical experiments on how old people would fare in space- as if there was ever a future for old people in space other than powerful US Senators (Utah Republican Jake Garn made it, too)- but one was enough and at 77, he got his ride. Columnist Nicholas von Hoffman cried, “All hail the world’s oldest lab rat!”

Glenn authored a nuclear proliferation regulatory bill in 1978, and that was pretty much the sum of his legislative career. As the ranking Democrat on a special committee investigating Chinese money in the 1996 presidential campaign, Glenn spent his time feuding with the committee’s chair, Fred Dalton Thompson, who also- later- thought being famous was enough to become president, and with the same results.

Once the Senators in Space program failed to yield the hoped-for appropriation boost, and NASA toyed with putting millionaires in space, Glenn- who had also opposed women astronauts- denounced the idea as having no scientific value.

John Glenn retired in 1999 and got a vanity public policy center at Ohio State.

His military heroism is long forgotten. He will be cherished by history as America's most famous human cannonball.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

We've only just begun...

New Labor Chief: the gay-baiting is just a marketing problem.


“We do have healthy products,” Puzder said. “Nobody buys them. It’s not my responsibility to tell people what to eat.”

In an admiring 2009 profile, Franchise Times wrote,

When the other burger chains were seeking ways to appeal to families, Andrew Puzder positioned stodgy Hardee’s and its fraternal twin Carl’s Jr. to attract heavy fast-feeders—young men. And what sells to this group? Hot chicks. 

Even the invitation was cheeky. “McDonald’s may call Chicago home,” it read, “but Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s are visiting the Windy City to ensure people know what the ORIGINAL premium-quality Angus burger tastes like.” 

The Chicago business, food and franchise press was invited to the trendy Redhead Piano Bar in mid-August for a chance to sample those Angus burgers, enjoy an open bar and chat with Andrew Puzder, 59, CEO of CKE Restaurants, parent of both Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s. Since the nearest CKE restaurant is 40 miles away, in Portage, Indiana, CKE chefs drove a portable kitchen all the way from St. Louis. 

But when we arrived, no one was eating burgers or drinking free Coronas. Reporters gathered around a laptop, watching model and “Top Chef” hostess Padma Lakshmi eat a Carl’s Jr. Western Bacon Cheeseburger while wearing a revealing dress and sitting splay-legged on a staircase. When some of the burger’s sauce dripped onto her hand, Padma licked it off. A couple of young male reporters sighed. Puzder, standing in the background, grinned.

Puzder came to head CKE, the holding company for Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr- by an unusual route, Franchise Times found:

In the mid-80s’ the Securities and Exchange Commission accused [Carl’s Jr] founder Carl] Karcher and other family members of insider trading and a disgruntled investor filed a lawsuit against him in Missouri. Puzder, who had been a lawyer in St. Louis since graduating from Washington University Law School, was assigned by his firm to represent Karcher in that case.

The two hit it off immediately:

Karcher, a devout Catholic, supported conservative causes, such as the John Birch Society and a California proposition to block gays and lesbians from working at public schools...Like Karcher, Puzder is a Roman Catholic with a large family (he has three adult children—a physicist, an attorney and a fashion designer—from his first marriage)...

When another Puzder client bought Carl’s Jr., then Hardee’s, Puzder became general counsel, then CEO. He didn’t like Rocky Mount, North Carolina, so he moved Hardee’s HQ from its hometown to St. Louis.

At this year’s GOP convention, the future Secretary of Labor was in the thick of the platform fights:

Discussions about social issues also sprang up in the subcommittee tasked with developing the party’s economic plank.

Ohio delegate David Johnson, who owns a small business in the state, criticized what he characterized as federal government overreach in responding to recent transgender bathroom laws.

“I hope we’re not getting this politically correct crap about transgender bathrooms,” he said during a debate about how to word a business nondiscrimination clause. “Any press person who comes to me and says, ‘Do you support that?’ My answer is no. If we’re telling employers to make provisions for 16 different people—”

“You’d have 16 different bathrooms,” another delegate said.

Of course, as we saw in North Carolina’s HB2 debate, it depends on how you define “discrimination.” The General Assembly defined the state’s LGBT residents right out of a redefined nondiscrimination law GOP leaders said was right in line with federal law- which also excludes LGBT Americans. Governor Pat McCrory ratcheted up his pious face and said Congress needs to revisit the Civil Rights Act’s coverage, intending a pose of tolerance and inclusiveness. Of course, he knew Congress, under the control of  would do no such thing unless they took it in mind to gut it.

Last year, Puzder displayed his silent dog whistle messaging skills in The Wall Street Journal. After describing how his Hardee’s brand got old and stale, he segued into how the Republicans needed a brand makeover, too:

...Gay rights is another issue in which Republicans risk alienating potential conservative voters, particularly younger ones. It is reasonable to believe that the states and the people should determine what constitutes marriage, not five justices. But the Supreme Court ruled last month in Obergefell v. Hodges—and it’s over.

There has been talk of a constitutional amendment to overturn the decision, and candidates should drop it. That would require a two-thirds vote in both houses of Congress and ratification by 38 of the states. The chances of that happening are nil. More than 35 states had already legalized same-sex marriage before Obergefell, and Pew Research found in June that 57% of Americans and 73% of millennials favored it. It’s counterproductive for Republicans to look like social Neanderthals to a majority of Americans and a supermajority of young voters. There are better issues for the GOP—religious liberty, for instance.

Of course, as we have seen, again, with HB2, which succeeded a religious freedom bill that died at the finish line of the 2015 session, that “religious freedom” and “LGBT discrimination” are two sides of the same coin. Equality NC executive Chris Sgro explained in a 2015 article:

First thing on the opening day of the N.C. General Assembly’s 2015 session, Rep. Paul “Skip” Stam announced that he would host a legislative briefing on “religious freedom” on Jan. 28.

When Stam, a Wake County Republican, uttered the words “religious freedom,” he was referencing patently discriminatory legislation suggested in 2014 by N.C. Senate leader Phil Berger that would allow magistrates and other state employees to deny same-sex couples marriage licenses for religious reasons.

Stam recently railed against a bipartisan bill that would have protected gay and transgender children in charter schools, so his acting as the mouthpiece for this announcement was not surprising.

Pudzer is a smart marketer. He believes that, just as the Republicans of North Carolina headlined their broadbrush HB2 law with fear and loathing of transgender people most Tar Heels have never met nor thought about, religious freedom is the buzz word for legalizing all sort of discrimination. LGBT Americans will just be one example out of many.

It’s not a matter of changing who you despise, just one of despising them with a smile.

Much hand-wringing has attended the announcement of each high-level staff and cabinet appointment of the new president in the LGBT community. It is wasted energy. The President is a nominal Republican bolstering his base among party faithful who could give the French Revolution Jacobins a run for their radicalism.

They’re Republicans. The two strongest ties keeping the party’s zanies and mountebanks together are their loathing of abortion and gays.

In Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes adventure, “Silver Blaze,” Scotland Yard’s inspector Gregson quizzed Holmes about the crime scene:

"Is there any other point to which you would wish to draw my attention?" 
Holmes: "To the curious incident of the dog in the night-time."  
Gregory: "The dog did nothing in the night-time." 
Holmes: "That was the curious incident."

Thus the Trump administration. The curious incident will if someone who isn’t rabidly anti-gay wins a seat near the throne.

“I know what I’m doing, and I listen to a lot of people, I talk to a lot of people, and at the appropriate time I’ll tell you who the people are,But I speak to a lot of people, but my primary consultant is myself, and I have a good instinct for this stuff.”


The solution, it seems, is at one's fingertips

Now, at last, everything is made clear by the boffins at the Spiritual Science Research Foundation:

"4.1. Homosexual attraction

The main reason behind the gay orientation of some men is that they are possessed by female ghosts. It is the female ghost in them that is attracted to other men. Conversely the attraction to females experienced by some lesbians is due to the presence of male ghosts in them. The ghost’s consciousness overpowers the person’s normal behaviour to produce the homosexual attraction. Spiritual research has shown that the cause for homosexual preferences lie predominantly in the spiritual realm.

Physical causes (5%): Due to hormonal changes.

Psychological causes (10%): Having an experience with a person of the same sex as a teenager or young adult that was pleasurable and therefore wanting to experience it again.

Spiritual causes (85%): Mainly ghosts."

"...To overcome homosexual tendencies and desires one should perform the below spiritual healing remedies:

'Chant ‘Om Rudraya namaha’

"Method of chanting:

Chant this chant 108 times each in the morning, afternoon and evening.

Light an incense stick when chanting.

Apply the Holy ash (vibhuti) on the body

Method: Join the tips of thumb and index finger with slight pressure using thumb. Keep the rest of the fingers straight as much as possible.Duration: Daily till the homosexual tendency goes away. Generally, the mudra should be done continuously for 45 min. It can be done for longer duration also."

Practical tips:

"Nyas should always be accompanied by chanting. By chanting we imbibe divine energy of the aspect of God Whose Name we chant. By doing nyas, we channelise the divine energy derived from the chanting to that particular spiritual energy centre. By doing so, that energy is dispersed to the organs in that area. If your hand starts aching during the course of doing nyas you can bring your hand down and rest it for some time or you can change your hand."

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

A new tower on my sandcastle

A: just keep showing up every day for 76 months.

Today Waldo Lydecker's Journal cracked a milestone: we reached and passed 400,000 page views by almost 167,00 visitors.

That's no great shakes in the world of blogging: over nine years, that's about 44,000 a year, or 3600 a month. And 3600 a month is what Waldo has been averaging for years. We've only cracked the 10,000 mark three times in the last seven: July 2010, April 25, and last month, when the total peaked at 14,597.

Considering we're at 6068 six days into December, Waldo may end up 2016 with a bang.

What does this mean? I have no idea. Blogger's analytics are both sparse and promiscuous. It counts every indexing spider and Macedonian teen. I used to track Waldo on Google Analytics, where the difference was striking. GA is a depressingly, overwhelmingly robust analytic program. Working with it was like trying to get a sip of water from a firehose.

It's complicated, too. Very steep learning curve. When its link to Waldo broke a year or so ago, I couldn't figure out why, or how to fix it. The user files led me a merry chase in a hall of mirrors, one article always teasing me off to another until I was so far from what I was trying to learn, it felt like R.D. Laing's definition of schizophrenia: wandering through a doorway in your mind, and losing your way trying to get back out.

So I let it slide. It's not as if Waldo makes any waves in the world. We have all of seven followers here. Non-spam reader comments are events.

I guess not drowning Waldo in his bath after all these years, as I'm sure Det. McPherson longed to do, scratches some itch. The internets have pretty much wiped out the market for freelance writing of the sort I used to do, stuff I got paid for. Here I can pretend there's a market for what I believe, and write. As Somerset Maugham advised,
Make people laugh and they will think you a trivial fellow. Bore them in just the right way, and your success is assured.
And it's cheap self-therapy for what we used to call, in my Seattle days, Unresolved Personal Issues.

But it does sound nice, doesn't it?

"Four hundred thousand."

Having tied the fate of American religious liberty to Pat McCrory's, an astonished Maggie Gallagher takes one on the chins.

gallagher 2.JPG

Modest to a fault, author and commentator Maggie Gallagher tells readers of her Official Website this:

For 25 years, Maggie has been a thought leader on life, religious liberty and especially marriage. She is the author of four books on marriage (including “The Case for Marriage” with University of Chicago Prof. Linda J. Waite); her latest book “Debating Same-sex Marriage” (co-authored with Prof. John Corvino) was published in 2012 by Oxford University Press. After founding and running a think-tank on marriage (the Institute for Marriage and Public Policy), Maggie went on to co-found the National Organization for Marriage in 2007, which the Washington Post called the “pre-eminent organization” fighting the legalization of same-sex marriage. Her Weekly Standard piece “Banned in Boston” launched a national debate over the religious liberty consequences of same-sex marriage. Maggie stepped down from the board of NOM in the summer of 2012.

Maggie currently serves as a senior fellow with the American Principles Project.

In fact, Maggie Gallagher is an angry slag who vies with George W. Bush for the title Yale’s Dumbest Graduate (she’s a lapsed, then born-again Catholic who, during a lacuna as a “pro-life atheist” got her worldview from Ayn Rand and Robert A. Heinlein, and, during the 1991 Murphy Brown TV outrage, published an op-ed called “An Unwed Mother for Quayle”, which makes her as effective an advocate for marriage as, say, Bristol Palin is for abstinence), and who makes a handsome living in the Right Wing American Anti-Gay Thought Complex. In her “senior fellowship” at the APP’s broom closet office, she does the wet work and second-story activity for the antigay campaigns of Princeton's Prince of Darkness, Professor Robert P. George. For decades she has been a human vinegar distiller, taking George's highminded nostrums and spewing them out as scorn, spite and hypocrisy, and all for top dollar.

Thought leaders, after all, don't come cheap.

Well, at least their thoughts don't.

George is a ferociously intelligent man, so bright he cannot imagine people will see through his fantasy explanations of how President Lincoln’s opposition to the Dred Scott decision proves Americans can ignore the US Supreme Court’s marriage equality decision.

Fastidious to a fault, a priestly philosopher-king, George writes fawning letters to the Vatican, proffering his wisdom on how to throttle modernity, while payrolling James Callender-like thugs like Gallagher and Brian S. Brown, president of the National Organization for Marriage (another of George’s favorite bottom-feeders was the Watergate enemies list compiler, felon, and pachydermatous God-botherer, Charles Colson, who spent his last, pre-Hell years peddling George’s truly nasty and borderline insurrectionist Manhattan Declaration).

George started NOM with Gallagher and Brown. They enjoyed a high-riding time for a few years, bankrolled by the Knights of Columbus and a billionaire family of Michigan, whose leading public servant, Education Secretary-designate Betsy DeVos, now awaits the call of Republican Senators to go and hasten the Kingdom of God on earth in our schools.

But after a few wins, they saw their strategy go up- and down- like the Hindenburg. They ruled out civil unions as a sellout to Satan, a position that, looking backward- as they always do- must have looked better in the light of the Supreme Court’s Obergefell decision. They have spewed donor money on losing lawsuits defying state campaign finance disclosure laws, arguing that their vitriolic gay-bashing will leave them and their suddenly disclosed supporters- scurrying out from under rocks, antennae quivering with suspicion- liable to unfair bashing back by their targets. Between basher and bashee, they like the former way more, and so, they say, does Jesus.

Brian Brown occupies his days issuing fundraising appeals and running NOM into the ground, and fronting for Vladimir Putin as president of the Moscow-based World Congress of Families. In between, he issues fatuous wet-dream prophecies of how he will lead NOM- and through it, the Trump Administration- to a true, sea to shining sea, riddance of America of what Vice President-elect Pence likes to call “the gaydom.”

Maggie moved on to her APP sinecure, and has spent the last few years issuing diatribes announcing her readiness to lead American conservatives back to righteous gay-bashing: rescuing them from the very ditch she drove them into.

Maggie-Gallagher-300x292 (4).jpg

Expanding her brief, she took on critics of “reparative therapy,” a grab-bag of tortures, medicine show drug treatments, and shaming designed for parents willing to pay top dollar to get the gay prayed beat, bled or exorcised from their boys. She ran a long campaign in defense of the JONAH Project, a reparascam that flourished in New Jersey until two of its victims took it to court, won a judgment for consumer fraud, and got it shut down; but never, that I have found, did she ever reveal she also sat on the JONAH Project’s board.

A Jonah, indeed, our Maggie: whatever cause she announces she will lead, promptly dies.

At the end of August 2016, her pulsing mind febrile with teeming images of massive, legally-active male members, she etched a column in home-brewed venom and despatched it, via flying monkey, to the offices of National Review. Since the death of William F. Buckley Jr in 2008, his heirs at the magazine, now in its seventh decade of not turning a profit, have done a Rupert Murdoch on the one-time Arbiter of All That Was Right and True Right. Where once it was The Times of London, now National Review is the Daily Mail, the Mikey of the Right: they’ll print anything to stay relevant in the Age of Breitbart.

So Mags launched her screed with this fire bell:

The future of religious liberty for traditional religious believers hangs on what happens to North Carolina governor Pat McCrory’s bid for re-election this November, and he is down six points in the latest CNN poll.

As I wrote at the time, Gallagher whinged that a victory for “the Left’s interpretation that people with penises can be women, too” will be dispositive proof that conservatives have no balls:

Part of the process the Left has discovered to quickly change the culture involves, first, controlling the framing of issues in mainstream media; second, bringing in entertainment media (including sports) to validate and repeat the idea that outrageous things are being done to gay people by letting gay-marriage dissenters keep their jobs; and, three, persuading GOP elites to shut up about the issue, leaving the pathway to cultural change uncontested.

Politics is really not a separate thing from culture; it is part of the way conservatives contest, and Liberals complete, the Left’s cultural domination. Its most important cultural effect in a democracy is to determine which views are “inside the mainstream” and which are “radical and outside the pale.” Thus, persuading Republican elites to shut down on an issue has enormous cultural, as well as political, consequences. That is how “consensus culture” is created.

(Phallocentrism means a lot to Gallagher: at the article’s end she rears its ugly head again: “The particular issue in North Carolina is whether schoolgirls should be forced to shower with people with penises”).

Take away their lurid bathroom sex fantasies, Gallagher argues, and the GOP will be left a desiccated shell:

Once gay issues are out of the way the Left will use these same techniques on the other things it cares about most, hoping to reduce the Republican party to a sterile and politically impotent quasi-libertarian, pro-business economic message.

In Georgia and elsewhere, GOP politicians are watching: If McCrory loses, the GOP will concede whatever the Left demands on gay rights, including the right to fire gay-marriage dissenters from public position  and deprive us of our right to form nonprofit schools and charities and organizations on an equal basis with other Americans.

“The Left knows it’s that serious and they are acting like it,” she screeched, to a halt. “Where are we?”

Well, now we know: with a stranglehold on governance the likes of which America has not seen since 1928, when GOP control of all three branches of government frittered away the inherited prosperity of the Harding/Coolidge years to usher in the greatest economic collapse this side of the Great Flood.

maggiegallagher (3).jpg

Donald Trump, against whom National Review martialed the thoughts of 21 of its most boring writers in a special issue last spring, is now President-elect. While his views on every subject except the sexual allure of his daughter, his greatness (including that of his penis, on which he has as specific an obsession as Maggie Gallagher has on the worldwide generality of male genitalia), and Carrier air conditioners, remain as vague as ever, he has, so far, managed a perfect 1.000 batting average selecting a dazzling array of zanies and mountebanks for his cabinet and staff who, despite presenting a full atomic chart of eccentricities and preferred methods of predation on the resources of the Republic, are united in their loathing of abortion and gays.

Yet Gallagher- who could write this with a straight face:

Democratic forms of government are vulnerable to mass prejudice, the so-called tyranny of the majority.

-yoked the future of the Republic to the fate of North Carolina’s gladhanding, frat boy governor: the very Platonic form of virtue.

Governor McCrory got wind of Gallagher’s cri de coeur, and liked it so well he started repeating it in the plaintive, hangdog vote-begs of his campaign’s last days, notably at the famous conference of evangelicals convened by the hate group Family Research Council, where he whined about how he and his wife were being shunned by their friends over HB2, his signature legislative achievement. He found a ready shoulder to cry on in appearances on FRC head Tony Perkins’ radio show as well.

Having hit bottom in that August 26 column, Gallagher rollercoastered her way through another episode of political bipolarism, declaring a new day just 24 days later:

For weeks, polls have shown Democrat Roy Cooper leading North Carolina’s Gov. Pat McCrory. But a September 11-12 Civitas poll found McCrory had fought his way back to a two-point lead. Pundits began saying opposition to all things transgender was a political death knell.

Now, a second new poll from Elon University of 644 likely voters surveyed from September 12-16 confirms that McCrory leads Cooper by 2.7 percentage points: 48.7 percent to 46 percent, as independents break strongly for him.  This poll was taken after the NCAA decided to strip the “March Madness” games from Greensboro, N.C., as punishment for the state passing HB 2.

The consensus seems to be that Gov. Pat McCrory did a much better job in this week’s North Carolina debate than the robotically-programmed, soundbite-stuffed Roy Cooper.

By November 2, Gallager was aquiver over a poll showing Donald Trump up by six in the Tar Hell state, and adding,

Meanwhile, the same poll shows Gov. Pat McCrory virtually neck and neck with Roy Cooper, 47 percent to 48 percent.

Though McCrory- aided by Hurricane Matthew, to whose landfall he delayed attending in order to attend the pastors that weekend- made up the six-point faith deficit that so fretted Maggie Gallagher in August, he still lost. After a month of sending his aides out to slander voters by name, and crying voter fraud in Durham County- where a recount of 90,000 votes delayed by a computer glitch resulted in a shift of totals you can count on one hand- McCrory threw in the towel yesterday.

The opera buffa’s impresario has shuttered his 2016 tour not with a bang, but with a YouTube video, and left the fat lady lumbering about somewhere backstage, nowhere close to singing. Having mastered The Mikado's "I've Got A Little List", she finds herself dropped into the Mad Scene of Lucia.

She was wrong predicting he’d lose.

Then she was wrong predicting he’d win.

It never seems to have crossed her fever-swamped mind that McCrory was simply a popular jock who transferred from Charlotte Prep- where he was the beloved "Mayor Pat"- to Raleigh Public High, where toughs like Phil Berger, Tim Moore and their gang, the Super Majority, roughed him up mercilessly from Day 1, dunking his head in reservoirs of Duke Energy coal ash.

Conservatism, and religious liberty, has not fallen: they have mutated into a loathsome new Brundlefly of rage and radicalism. The Republican General Assembly rules Raleigh still, and still veto-proofly. The day that science- if not outlawed by next summer- announces proof that there is, in fact, a multiverse, their second announcement will be that they can prove Maggie Gallagher was simultaneously wrong in all of them when she prophesied American religious freedom dying with Pat McCrory, crucified on a cross of penises. And while she jabbers, triumphantly-elected conservatives and donation-flush politicovangelicals are gathering in Raleigh and Washington, salivating over the old, long-stashed texts of discriminatory legislation now guaranteed passage and signature into law. Every indication says Maggie Gallagher is peering into her promised land, but she wouldn't know it if God Himself sent a flaming bush shouting, "Hey, dumbass! Look around you!"

Doubtless she’ll issue a new jeremiad explaining it all- how she was always right all along- in a few days. Until then, I offer a toast to the Delphic sibyl of traditional marriage’s siren song, the prophetess who makes charlatans like the late Jeanne Dixon and The Great Criswell seem more infallible than a pope: Maggie Gallagher.

In the words of a character in Neil Gaiman's American Gods,

“You’re a big one,” said Nancy, staring into Shadow’s light gray eyes with old eyes the color of mahogany, “a tall drink of water, but I got to tell you, you don’t look too bright. I got a son, stupid as a man who bought his stupid at a two-for-one sale, and you remind me of him.”