Good Monday, Widdershins. It’s just a few days before the worst mistake Americans ever made begins to dirty the air in the Oval Office with his toxic emissions. But all is not lost. In America, and all over the world, the fight against the Mango Meerkat has begun. And you know what I haven’t heard in a while? “We don’t know what he’s going to do! Give him a chance?” I can’t say I’ve missed that bullsh*t.
One way people are fighting back is the Women’s March. Despite its marketing as “pro-woman, not anti-Trump,” I think we all know what’s up. Clearly there will be few Trumpsters in attendance, unless they’re in it to stand outside and yell at us about what “Losers!” we are and how “SAD!” it is that we won’t accept the Siberian Candidate as a legitimate President. I remember when I marched against the Iraq War in 2003; there were over 250,000 people on the streets of New York, and about 10 morons with signs protesting the protest. I’m guessing this will be a similar percentage.
Here’s some rather surprising news: There are three times as many buses going to the protest, as there are going to the inauguration! This has got to be another “unprecedented” moment we can live without. I had to laugh at this quote from our PEEOTUS:
Trump told The New York Times last week he expects “unbelievable, perhaps record-setting turnout for the inauguration.”
Hmm, lowest turnout ever? That would be both unbelievable and record-setting, wouldn’t it?
Then we have the resistance led by politicians. Allegedly our outgoing Post-Partisan POTUS, Barack Obama, is going to be doing something or other. I can’t say I’ve got a huge amount of faith, but maybe he’s learned something from his epic failure to make the argument for Democratic vs. Republican policies. Unfortunately, Michelle Obama, who blew me away during the campaign with her impassioned defense of Hillary and her speeches on behalf of women, has said she will absolutely not be running for office. Damn, I would vote for her! Even if her lesser half doesn’t follow through with his promises, though, there are plenty of other people who are stepping up.
Some of the president’s allies are also preparing for major roles in defending Obama’s legacy. The president’s close friend and former Attorney General Eric Holder is now representing the State of California as an attorney, looking to defend that state’s liberal, Obama-style policies if they come into conflict with Trump’s goals.
A group of elected officials in blue states, including former Obama chief of staff and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, have promised to oppose Trump if he seeks the mass deportation of undocumented people that he proposed during his campaign. And young Democrats who worked as field organizers on Obama’s campaigns and lower-level aides in the White House are now exploring their own campaigns for state legislatures and other local offices.
And yes, some people do seem to realize that Obama was largely at fault for the evisceration of the Democratic Party during his tenure.
The Democrats’ huge losses in terms of state legislative, gubernatorial and congressional seats during Obama’s eight years in office may reduce his credibility in telling party leaders what to do in the future.
I sure hope so. He doesn’t seem to know how to elect anyone other than himself, and his victory lap during Hillary’s campaign also seemed to be an epic fail.
One thing that has been very interesting over the weekend is the escalating feud between Congressman John Lewis and Der Trumperer. After Representative Lewis said what we were all thinking – that Drumpf is not a legitimate President – The Donald’s baby hands went right to his phone and tweeted out that Lewis is “all talk, no action.” Can you imagine saying this right before MLK Day?! The Twitterverse has exploded. I understand that a boycott of the inauguration has begun…let’s hope the Democrats keep it up.
Some other things going on are:
- The international intelligence community is starting to independently investigate Pooty-Poot’s relationships with Drumpf and his closest advisors, including the Mossad. You do NOT want to go against the Mossad.
- People are outraged that the Clamorous Yam has been shamelessly intimidating the press without much pushback. Here’s a petition you can sign on this topic.
- David Fahrenthold, the amazing WaPo journalist, is going to start focusing on the feces-throwing baboon’s business and his violations of the Constitutional emoluments clause.
- And a really bold Hail Mary: This legal argument that the Electoral College is unconstitutional because it favors former slave-owning states despite the ending of slavery.
We have taken ten steps back from Martin Luther King, Jr.’s idealistic vision that Americans can be judged not by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character. Although things are really, really terrible right now, I think it’s becoming clear that Trump is not going to be able to push people around the way he has done as the CEO of his own company. Maybe our long national nightmare won’t be that long after all? And maybe the people we should give a chance to, are our fellow Americans. May we keep each other company and stand as lights against the Dark Times ahead.
This is an open thread.
Good Weekend to you Widdershins!
Well the talking yam has yet to take office but the congress critters have already started their session and naturally the first thing the Repubtards did, right out of the gate, was to start their “let’s kill obamacare” stuff. Paul “grannystarver” Ryan says things are too urgent and just can’t wait. Now that may be because he’s afraid of what folks and other congress critters might see. And indeed they would be correct in wanting to at least find a replace before they decide to repeal. Still, it’s going to be those angry folks who pulled the lever for Trump who will regret their vote the most.
Across rural America, the Rust Belt, Coal Country and other hotbeds of Trumpism, voters have repeatedly expressed frustration that the lazy and less deserving are getting a bigger chunk of government cheese.
I would say that getting some cheese is better than getting no cheese. What’s the old saying: Act in haste-repent in leisure? They’ll have plenty of time now for the new version: Act in haste-die without healthcare. So these folks are going to experience regret.
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Okay, those are my picks and I hope you will add some below.
All too often, internet shorthand stumps me. So off I go to the Urban Dictionary, like I did with “tbh” and “to be honest,” until I saw it I had no idea.
You are probably wondering why I’m going out of my way to advertise my ignorance? Pretty simple: Actively seeking understanding is power. We “libruls” understand that. Those on the other side have retooled their party around the credo of “power through obfuscation and misunderstanding.”
It’s as if there’s a “Parade of Deplorables” being led by a bloated balloon of neediness in the shape of an orange-hued con man and a drum majorette, Khaleesi Conway, a breeder of dragons who makes nightmares come true. To paraphrase Lt. Aldo Raine from Inglourious Basterds, “You probably heard PeeOTUS and Khaleesi Conway ain’t in the truth-tellin’ business, they in the double-dealin’, deceitful, duplicity business. And cousin, business is a’boomin’!”
Tbh, their shirtless BFF Putin hasn’t been this happy since he found a use for that third nipple. Just think, with a set of rubber sheets and a couple of small-bladdered babushkas, half the American public no longer trusts the CIA while the Republican Party is one shot of vodka away from being Putin’s baby mama.
This Kremlin/FSB hacking operation couldn’t have shaken American institutions any more if you had hidden a quart of oil and turned loose a Oklahoma fracking operation.
This operation has brought out all manner of gaseous Russian nesting dolts. Those people who whine and bray about those 70,000 white guys in Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wescottsin who are pissed off that their 72 inch flat screens only have 200 sports and 600 porn channels.
To hear the likes of comrade Bernie and Frau Jane tell it, we need to chase these 70,000 guys out of their deer stands, off their four-wheelers, and camp out at Nascar races to tell them how much we empathize with their economic plight. We have to tell them they have an NRA guaranteed constitutional right to earn about twice as much as a teacher, have better health care, take four weeks vacay, as long as they worship the good book, Hillbilly Elegy, and pray to a guy named J.D. Vance.
It’s now a religion to accept the child abuse of J.D.’s dysfunctional family as a quaint sociological Uber-ride straight to 1955 without mention of the purple bruising against their lazy lily-whiteness. This “other side of the tracks” chic is a fixer-upper just like a mid-century renovation without the “open concept” kitchen.
For poor millionaire folks like Bernie, Frau Jane, and J.D. (Just Darlin’), it has to be about the economics because, “They is kind. They is smart. And they is important.” But, to be honest, “No it ain’t.” It is because the Trump voters are hostile sexists and rabid racists. And in Kentucky, they can no longer have sex with their pets, but they can continue to indiscriminately date other barnyard animals.
Here’s what their sexism and racism looks like before they buy an oven mitt celebrating it at Cracker Barrel.
Even after their tattoos have failed spell check, it is possible to overcome this WWE/MMA mentality. It only takes 10 minutes of engaged storytelling. For the 70,000 unibrowed, deep-set eyes crowd, “It places a premium on being smart but is skeptical, even contemptuous, of public displays of the work of getting smart…Ours is a culture of cleverness, not of knowledge, one that is far more comfortable in assessing wit than in assessing evidence.”
This will-o-the-wisp cleverness, written in spasms of 140 characters, is where these political Yetis dwell – sniffing at Proust, but reeking of Breitbart and waxing eloquent from the verbal explosive diarrhea of Alex Jones. The internet’s public square is littered with the intellectually homeless.
Tbh, collectively we are impressed with a Texas oil guy who was CEO of a gang of international mud engineers who now believes he can master Foggy Bottom in one grand leap of fastidiousness. Everyone is focused on the bigness of his office, but is missing the smallness of the man. I have never known an executive who is a lifelong company man – a man who has never been challenged with a new corporate “repotting” – who is kept awake at night by original ideas.
Tillerson, a man who is a success by fluffing the corporate rung just above him, and the clamorous Yam, whose greatest joy is pissing upon those below him, are uniquely unsuited for vistas of self-awareness and discovery. You can easily see the commanding vacuity of Tillerson – he’s a man who sends his shirts out to be stuffed.
The lesson we are about to learn is a simple one. Actions borne of anger are seldom, if ever, decisions celebrated for their clarity of purpose. The Trumpanzee is uniquely adept at flinging the feces produced by the prolific arseholes of the Tea Party. He’s a Vesuvius of frothing at the pie hole and a Death Valley of generosity of spirit – the perfect avatar of crippling anger and brilliant ignorance shining from a hilltop as a beacon of impending disaster.
To be honest, the Trump/Putin administration offers vintage rage rarely seen more than once a century. The Chinese curse of living in interesting times could not be truer if it were printed on a Trump tie and shod in Ivanka boots.
What’s on your mind today?
Breaking news out of Washington is something that’s been discussed before the election (like HRC during a debate, and Harry Reid in a letter he wrote to Comey asking him to explain if there are ties between Trump and Putin.) But with the exception of David Korn and Kurt Eichenwald nobody paid attention. Until now. Why now? Who knows. Maybe Trump just pissed off the CIA too much and they leaked more than is normal. Or maybe CNN wanted to crawl to number 1 spot by publishing the story first, unleashing the flood of what Trump would call “yellow journalism” from everyone else. Now it’s everywhere, the media is treating it like watergate. Twitter is the best though because you don’t need more than 140 characters to discuss the PEEOTUS’ sexual fetishes. Trump and his team have been astonishingly quiet about this. Trump did tweet somethings about FALSE NEWS (capitals not mine). Of course it’s a trap he’s boxed himself into with years of “People say so there must be something to it” mongering. Whether it’s Obama’s birtherism or HRC’s supposed Alzheimer’s. “People say…” His followers have said we live in a world that no longer has such a thing as facts. WikiLeaks takes on a whole new meaning (Assange has already stepped out to defend Trump) and Glenn Greenwald made his name publishing things without sourcing, so here we are. You live by fake news, you die by fake news. I’ve heard people say somewhere on the internet that Greenwald is a pedophile. I don’t have this info myself, it’s just something people say. But besides Trump’s salacious sex stuff, there are issues of greater concern, of course. However, it’s the sexual stuff that will keep the story in the news. Too bad the CIA didn’t e-mail these documents to HRC or John Podesta. Then maybe we would have been reading it about November 8th. But now it’s too late.
We are slouching towards Bethlehem. January 20th approaches and who knows what will come after that. We know Trump is basically a Russian spy and the US has lost the Cold War. But some people are still trying to tar and feather HRC for losing the electoral college. Chief among them is Bernie Sanders. Many are still feeling the bern. I’ve always been told that if a bern lasts more than 4 hours to contact a medical professional. But there is no cure for their rash. Instead of looking towards the Trump/Putin/Pence Presidency, Sanders has been taking a victory lap since November 9th trying to convince everyone that he would have won against Trump.
First, to quote someone famous, at this point what difference does it make? Second, Sanders’ claims are strictly anecdotal anyway. Unless someone has a time machine stashed away and we try the election over again with Sanders, the hypothesis is completely rhetorical. But if we must speculate, in my humble opinion, Sanders would have lost and lost bigly. He would have split the angry white men vote in the rust belt with Trump. (These white supremacists would have voted for a self-described Socialist Jew from Vermont? Are you nuts???) And Sanders would not have brought out the rest of the non-white coalition HRC was able to bring to the polls and win the popular vote by almost
3,000,000. He didn’t bring them out in the primaries and he wouldn’t have brought them out in the general. This is why Bernie’s unending “All White Men In The Rust Belt Matter and Democrats Should Love Them More” tour is so tiresome and unecessary. And as the white Independent Senator from the white state of Vermont continues to slam Democrats for not loving white people enough, I wonder what the non-white Democrats who voted for HRC think about being considered chopped liver, because once again they are told that they are not enough and that white people matter more. I think Democrats will face disaster if they follow Sanders’ line of thinking. Not only will they not get those white people from the rust belt to vote for them later, but they will lose a good number of non-whites who support them and HRC in 2016. Democrats’ solution to the 2016 disaster and the loss of a small football stadium worth of white voters in a few states should be surgical, not a nuke at the entire strategy because HRC’s strategy actually worked. She won by 3,000,000 votes across the nation and I fear that by appointing Sanders as their white people outreach ambassador – an ambassador who insists on using his bully pulpit to continue fighting the 2016 Democratic primaries – they will alienate the strong coalition of non-whites HRC built in 2016.
Speaking of Sanders still fighting the 2016 primary battle – like the South continues to fight the Civil War after all these years – why does Sanders refuse to acknowledge that HRC won the popular vote by almost 3,000,000 souls? I’m not sure I’ve ever heard him state this fact. It’s kind an important one. Sanders’ refusal to acknowledge it is similar to his refusal to discuss how terrible caucuses are when he bashes closed primaries for the Democratic nomination. It’s just so convenient for his self-aggrandizing narrative to ignore the popular vote vs. electoral college problem, just as it is inconvenient for him to discuss how terribly undemocratic caucuses are – because he won the caucuses. Sanders is intellectually dishonest. As Drumpf is about to be sworn in as President, Sanders and his Bros continue to wage war against Democrats, not Drumpf. It’s almost as if they don’t know who their actual enemy is…
Speaking of enemies – on Sunday January 8th I attended a “What Do We Do About Drumpf?” meeting in NYC organized by NYC Councilman Corey Johnson. Johnson is something of a hero to the LGBTQ community in NYC because he’s a young, openly gay politician. His life story includes being a popular captain of his high school football team when he came out of the closet in 2000; the story made it as far as the New York Times. His teammates didn’t kick him off the team. Since November 8 he has been organizing these monthly meetings for members of the community to meet and discuss what we are going to do about Drumpf. Last month he had NYC Mayor Bill De Blasio as speaker. On Sunday he had NY Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. So he’s getting heavy hitters involved, though at this point nobody has any idea about what to do about anything.
Schneiderman’s presentation was fascinating. He discussed the fact that Republicans have managed to take over the country at the local levels because for many years Democrats just didn’t think local elections were that important.
The GOP now controls 69 of 99 legislative chambers across America. They hold nearly two-thirds of the governors’ mansions. And, in 25 states, they have complete control of the government, including both executive and legislative branches. This gives Republicans control of the rules that govern voting and the reapportionment of legislative and congressional districts.
The big takeaway from 2016 is that, despite the public supporting many Democratic positions on policy, Republicans are now reaping the benefits of their 30-year organizing strategy, supported by dozens of mega-wealthy donors. As someone who has recruited and fundraised for state candidates, I know that while Democrats have been great at raising money for presidential candidates, Republicans have an overwhelming advantage as you move down-ballot.
Schneiderman spoke of his own experience trying to raise money for local Senators and Representatives and being dismissed by donors. Result after 30 years of neglect is that Republicans have a whole lot of privileges, which includes gerrymandering. If we thought (and I thought so too) that gerrymandering is something that only happens in red states – we were all a bit stunned to see these maps:
I mean….What In The Actual Fuck?! This is New York City folks.
Big problem New York state faces is that even though Democrats won majority of the votes – a handful of Democrats have chosen to back Republicans to run the NY Senate. They call themselves the Independent Democratic Conference and they have put Republicans in charge. What do they get out of it? Well, they get leadership positions as payment! Yay, Democracy. (Tony Avella of the 11th District, for example, chairs the – I kid you not – Ethics Committee). One wonderful fella, Simcha Felder of District 17 of Brooklyn (with a largely Hasidic and Russian Jewish population), actually ran as both a Democrat and a Republican. He explicitly said he’ll caucus with whomever gives him the better deal. I suppose we should at least praise him for being honest about his lack of principles. Another wonderful Democrat, Marisol Alcantara, of District 31, was a Bernie Sanders delegate. People swear she’s super nice and liberal. But after the Democratic state party didn’t back her candidacy in the primaries she threw her lot with the Independent Democratic Conference, which gave her cash for her campaign, which she won by about 1% over a Democratic challenger, and now she backs Republicans to control NY Senate. Isn’t she wonderful? One woman at the meeting on Sunday stood up to defend her. She said she knows Alcantara personally and Ms. Alcantara is a “magnificent human being” who didn’t get money from the Democrats and “she really wanted to win” so “she did what she had to.” And there ladies and gentlemen, is all we need to know about Ms. Alcantara. “She wanted to win” and “did what she had to.”
The suggestion on what to do about people like Felder and Alcantara (the Independent Democratic Conference has 7 Democrats who caucus with Republicans), is that we need to get in touch with them and make them – shame them to – do what we need them to do. People also noted that we need to be constantly keeping Chuck Schumer in check to make sure he does the right thing. One gentleman said he and about 100 other people protested outside of Schumer’s apartment earlier in the day. He was home but refused to come out and meet them. And this reminded me of the moment in one of the Presidential debates when HRC discussed how Drumpf was bringing cheap steel from China to build his hotels, instead of getting American steel. And Drumpf responded: “Make me stop; pass laws to make me stop.” So this is what we have come to. We shudder at Drumpf saying “make me do the right thing,” but let’s get honest about this: Democrats insist on the same thing. We are supposed to make Schumer and Alcantara do the right thing. Aren’t they supposed to be on our side? Why don’t they just, you know, do the right thing? Corey Johnson pointed out at the meeting on Sunday that when the redistricting in NY was done – Democrats signed off on it. If they had rejected it, courts would have drawn the district lines. But Democrats worked out deals with Republicans to allow these travesties. Just like Obama knew about Drumpf’s ties to Russia – and just let it all slide, along with Mitch McConnell and the rest of them. How is it that members of our own party sell their souls to the devil and then look at us and say: “Make me do the right thing?” The answer might lie with the nice lady at the meeting who said: “She really wanted to win and she did what she had to do.”
Good Monday, all. Apologies for the long absence. What with the holidays and long, long-overdue vacations, I haven’t been around for more than a minute to expostulate in my usual manner. I have really enjoyed the posts of my co-bloggers, and all of your comments, and I see us getting our fighting spirit back after the still-unbelievable events of November 8th.
I will say that I am gratified to finally, FINALLY see pushback amongst liberals against this ridiculous narrative that because white, male rural voters went for Drumpf, we should all run around pursuing their votes so we can get “back on track.” As you know, TW said “hell to the no” about this immediately. Guess what, those people never voted Democratic, and they never will.
Even more to the point: they are genuinely bad people, whose core values are directly contrary to ours, and who refuse to live in today’s world. The last thing we should do is reward them for this! They just got the biggest prize in the world handed to them – a President just as ignorant, misogynistic, racist, xenophobic and delusional as they are. What more do we think they deserve? Oh, I’ll answer that question for you. They deserve Der Trumperer, who will immediately proceed to f*ck them in their lazy, welfare-loving *sses from here to infinity. And you know what, my soft-hearted liberal side will hope they actually learn from this…but my snarky side will be laughing my head off.
One week into 2017 and it feels much longer than just a mere seven days. Much like the sands of an hourglass, these are the days of our “lies”. Bad pun I admit, but I’ve been sick.
As you’ve undoubtedly heard, the intelligence community (think “Spyville”) released their novelette on the election. It’s no thriller whodunit, we’ve always known it was Pootie Poot. Here’s a good summary from Vox.
When I wrote, “we’ve always known,” that isn’t quite correct. The “we” doesn’t seem to include Prez-elect BabyHands or his band of sycophantic nannies and mannies. Without delay, his merry band of prevaricating provocateurs issued a statement saying, “there was absolutely no effect on the outcome of the election.” Had they taken the time to read it, the official report said quite definitively, “the report did not assess the impact that Russian activities had on the outcome of the 2016 election.”
Fox, Breitbart, Drudge, talk radio, and indeed, the Republican Party plowed the fertile ground for these Russian Putinesque lies to take root. Such lies grow with reckless abandon in the siloed hothouses of profit over patriotism. With the Foxification of NBC and MSNBC, the Petri dish of disinformation continues to grow in pursuit of the dollars flowing from increased audience share.
Amazingly, the Wall Street Journal, in a fit of moralizing heretofore unaccompanied by its business practices, has decided not to use the word “lie” when describing King Carotene’s untruths. The reason? And I quote:
Lie implies much more than just saying something that’s false. It implies a deliberate intent to mislead.
To translate – purposefully taking a fact and surrounding it with words giving that fact a completely different meaning, then purposefully transmitting that misleading set of words to 40 million people via Twitter is no longer a lie. That is the world in which we now live.
So I thought we should celebrate the weekend by reminding ourselves what lies are and what they sound like. Throw out your best songs or your best stories about lies and the people who tell them. Don’t feel constrained to just lying songs – any songs about things not being what they are supposed to be are welcome and encouraged.