Good Weekend Widdershins!
The calendar tells me (no it really doesn’t talk) that Thursday was the Autumnal Equinox, i.e. the start of Fall. Now I’m not about to start donning sweaters, thinking of roaring fires, or having anything like pumpkin-spiced coffees or teas just yet when the high temps are still hitting the 90s. And no, not really ever going to go for the pumpkin-spiced beverages. Pie yes, pumpkin beverages no. Still though, it is time
to think of fall because if nothing else, football has started and it is really played best in fall-type weather.
There are many, oh so many, songs about fall and I’ll include mine below. I encourage you to add yours in the comments.
(2) September Song ~ Sarah Vaughn
(3) The Vines ~ Autumn Shade II
(4) John Coltrane & Johnny Hartman ~ Autumn Serenade
(5) Ella and Louis ~ Autumn in New York
(6) The Moody Blues ~ Forever Autumn
Alright Widdershins, that should be a break from this week’s political drama. Feel free to add your own contributions below.
Of course it goes without saying that this is an open thread.
* * *
Monday night is the first of the debates. If you are feeling a bit of angst or worry, feel free to post a tune about that. But don’t worry, Hillary’s got this.
Good morning Widdershinners. Only forty-eight days until this interminable election is over. Try as the cable networks might, my confidence in Hillary’s election is increasing with each day.
Even with this increasing confidence, it doesn’t stop me from imagining certain “what ifs.” Since the political atmosphere is full of cyclonic turd-storms and I can’t think of any better way to organize these racing manic thoughts of mine, let’s just imagine.
Imagine if Hillary Clinton had illegally used $258,000 from the Clinton Foundation for her personal benefit.
Imagine if Trump were elected and the person who is in charge of vetting and selecting the 4,000 political appointees of a Trump Administration was the same man who knowingly endangered lives and property for backwoods, ward-heeling, political payback. The same man who has shoehorned his former cronies into the taxpayer-funded transition office. The same guy who denies Trump continued to spout his birther nonsense after 2011.
Imagine how a President Trump would negotiate a $14 Billion penalty with Deutsche Bank, a bank that happens to hold hundreds of millions in Trump loans.
Imagine a world where the white evangelicals and working class voters were not this gullible:
Trump’s promises to build a wall between the U.S. and Mexico and to bring back manufacturing jobs are not just appeals to economic wellbeing. These appeals are often coupled with promises to restore power to the Christian churches, although that part of Trump’s appeal is not prominently reported. For many white evangelical Protestant and white working class voters, those appeals are about restoring a sense of place and a lost cultural world. Trump’s promise is that if he is elected, the factory gates will reopen, the boards will come down off the storefront windows, the pews will fill, different races and genders will be clearly defined and will know their place, and America will make sense again.
The type of information getting through to Americans varies significantly depending on whether the candidate in question is Mr. Trump or Mrs. Clinton. Americans’ daily reports about Mr. Trump are directly tied to what he is doing and saying. If Mr. Trump talks about Muslim parents and their son who was killed in action, that’s what the public remembers. If he goes to Mexico or Louisiana, that’s what they recall reading or hearing about him. If Mr. Trump calls President Obama the founder of the Islamic State, “ISIS” moves to the top of the list of what Americans tell us they are hearing about the Republican candidate.
What Americans recall hearing about Mrs. Clinton is significantly less varied. Specifically — and to an extraordinary degree — Americans have consistently told us that they are reading and hearing about her handling of emails while she was secretary of state during President Obama’s first term. In eight of the past 10 weeks, “emails” has been the most frequently recalled word in Americans’ reports of news about Mrs. Clinton — the exceptions being the week of the Democratic convention, when emails fell to second place, and this past week when “pneumonia” and “health” eclipsed emails.
[The Libertarian Platform] calls for abolition of the income tax and the privatization of almost everything the government does, including education. “We would restore authority to parents to determine the education of their children, without interference from government.” And if parents don’t want their children educated, or want them indoctrinated in a cult, or put them to work in a sweatshop instead of learning to read? Not our problem.
What really struck me, however, was what the platform says about the environment. It opposes any kind of regulation; instead, it argues that we can rely on the courts. Is a giant corporation poisoning the air you breathe or the water you drink? Just sue: “Where damages can be proven and quantified in a court of law, restitution to the injured parties must be required.” Ordinary citizens against teams of high-priced corporate lawyers — what could go wrong?
But Mr. Johnson and Ms. Stein have received essentially no media scrutiny, so that voters have no idea what they stand for.
Imagine Trump’s first full day in office where twenty-five Obama executive orders are rescinded. Things like immigration, renouncing the Paris Agreement on greenhouse-gas emissions, restarting the Keystone Pipeline, suspending the Syrian refugee program, loosening restrictions on gun purchases, or further relaxing background checks. Dante would add a tenth circle of hell to describe it. (Although long, the link is a must read.)
Imagine a country where the Congress was not so hogtied by the NRA that real research and fact-finding could occur such as:
Around 50% of the guns in the US are owned by only 3% of its adults.
Imagine a Senate controlled by Democrats where the evisceration of the patricians of the corporate privileged class occurred with a little more regularity.
Imagine early morning television without someone sporting an ego so large he wanted the Google algorithm changed so searches would better reflect his awesomeness.
I imagine you have things on your mind today. Please share them.
Good Monday, all! If you read the headlines these days, the press seems to be behaving much better when it comes to Der Trumperer, actually finding, somewhere deep within their ADD-impaired noggins, the capability to focus on his overall awfulness instead of pounding on Hillary incessantly for not paying enough attention to them while dizzy and passing out from pneumonia. (Mommy issues, anyone?) See this “Many Scandals of Donald Trump” article in The Atlantic as an example. Well, see it if you want to experience a degree of boiling rage and nausea you haven’t experienced since you realized that yes, the Republicans were really, truly, f*cking srlsly going to let that mango-colored monkey run against Hillary Clinton. It turns out that Drumpf’s scandals are so numerous, The Atlantic complains it doesn’t have enough space on its pages to write all of them down. Poor babies! If I were a journalist and not a blogger, I might suggest that The Atlantic report on one scandal a day until November 7th. I guess that is just too much Hard Work(TM) for those with journamalism degrees!
In any case, the press is starting to focus its relentlessly negative eye where it belongs, on Dangerous, Despotic, Deplorable Donald. Does this mean they finally get the seriousness of this race? That they have understood the perils of their stunning lack of objectivity and “grading on a curve” when it comes to the pseudo-billionaire who has the overwhelming hubris to think he’s got what it takes to run for President?
If the press “corpse” is to revive itself, it needs to do something it hasn’t yet done, and hasn’t been able to do for the past 40 years: Report objectively on Hillary Clinton. Report on her qualifications, her policies and whether or not they would be good for America; report on what she would do if/when in office. Maybe even cover one of her speeches every once in a while. You know – exactly what they do with Drumpf.
They are showing a few signs of being able to do this. From the article linked above:
The investigation [into his charitable giving] is a new political headache for Trump. The Republican has sought to make hay out of accusations against the Clinton Foundation, but so far that group has no legal troubles. Trump’s charity, however, now finds itself in legal jeopardy.
A truthful and factual comparison! The Clinton Foundation hasn’t done anything illegal, whereas Trump’s Foundation is now under investigation. Could it be The Atlantic has re-discovered what the word “objective” actually means? Not so fast:
The 2016 presidential election could be the most scandal-plagued match-up since James Blaine’s allegedly corrupt business deals squared off against Grover Cleveland’s alleged illegitimate child in 1884. On the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton is the nominee, bringing with her a train-car’s worth of baggage. But the Republican candidate is at least as saddled with controversy as Clinton is—and while many of the Clinton cases involve suspicion and shadowy links, many of Trump’s are fully documented in court cases and legal proceedings.
No, no, NO. Here’s what’s wrong with this allegedly “fair and balanced” paragraph:
- Hillary is not bringing baggage with her. Here’s how I’d write this sentence: “The media is dumping sh*t on her daily, and Hillary has been forced to carry it for the past 40 years.” That is not remotely the same thing. Her worst sin is that she hasn’t found a way to get the media to stop lying about her, for which they, of course, blame her as well. (More on that a bit later.)
- Saying “many of the Clinton cases involve suspicion and shadowy links” does not pass the smell test. In fact, ALL of the Clinton cases are nothing but innuendo. I’m going to say that again. ALL OF THE CLINTON CASES ARE NOTHING BUT INNUENDO. There is no evidence that Hillary Clinton has ever done anything wrong or illegal. Ever. So despite the media’s gleeful daily exercise of picking apart every single participle she’s ever dangled, searching for evil conspiracies, corruption, and most likely a vagina dentata, there’s “no there there.” And I don’t think there ever will be, frankly. Hillary’s just not that kind of girl.
To follow up on #1, here is my favorite thing the media does when it comes to HRC: continue to talk about a non-story that originated out of some malarial Republican’s nightmare every day, no matter whether there are “new developments” or not, and then say something like this: “Why is it that she can’t stop us from talking about this?” For example: the “d*mned emails” Bernie Sanders complained about. She has been tried and convicted in the press for being reckless and careless and not trustworthy with national security because…she had a private email server from which she sent a grand total of zero emails which were correctly marked as classified. How utterly absurd. Yet because she hasn’t said some kind of magic word, given enough press conferences, and/or apologized on bended knee to the press while self-flagellating for being an uppity wimminz, the press feels justified in yammering about this bullsh*t as if it’s real, and comparing it to actual Dangerous, Despotic and Deplorable things The Donald has said and done.
So until the media purges itself of its toxic, misogynistic hatred of Hillary Clinton, they’re still never going to get it. And this pathetic farce of an election will continue to be reported as though two equally despicable candidates are running, with equal negatives, instead of one amazing, inspiring public servant versus a putrid pustule of a human being.
This is an open thread.
Good Saturday and weekend to you Widdershins!
Yes, sadly once again we are going to have to go to our crazy places. Did we really think we would not have to go here again? Just yesterday, Trump suggested that Hillary’s security detail should be disarmed. (Hint, you go first Donald) Then he finally admitted that yes, Barack Obama was “born in the U.S.A.”, but said Clinton stated the birther thing first. Oy vey ist mir!! And to add further to the comic, but sad and pathetic birther speech in DC, (which turned out to be more of an advert for his hotel) the backdrop falls apart after he speaks.
And no, you cannot make this stuff up.
Today we need more than a palate cleanser, we need a big ole honkin’ tongue scraper and plenty of eye bleach. So once again we are going to look at and listen to some crazy songs. They can be songs about being crazy, being crazy in love, being crazy however. A quick use of the googling machine yielded three separate websites with lists of crazy songs so they’re out there folks. I will list a number of them and let’s see what you all can come up with.
(2) Napoleon XIV ~ They’re coming to take me away
(3) Fine Young Cannibals ~ She Drives Me Crazy
(4) Patsy Cline ~ Crazy
(5) Anthrax ~ Mad House
(6) Dave Matthews Band ~ Crush
While this is football Saturday for me I’ll be around between quarters, at halftime and between games. Have fun!
Please forgive me for slapping you across the computer screen with that title without first offering a courteous good morning. So, good morning Widdershins and a happy Friday to you.
For quite some time there has been a cavalier attitude in the media of, “The press is treating Hillary differently.” Such an acknowledgement is followed by examples of their sins, a limp mea culpa, a yawn, and the enduring repartee first learned in the schoolyard of, “Yeah, so what?”
That bothered me something fierce since just calling it out again and again does nothing to get to the “why” of it. To write these mea culpa articles saying that Hillary’s relationship with the media is irretrievably broken is to stand by and watch the offensive behavior, yawn, and in essence say, “Yeah, that’s bad.”
It’s not like this treatment started with this campaign. It has been going on since the 1970s. Here’s one of the very first interviews Hillary ever granted.
She was a month into her spell as first lady of Arkansas and was being interviewed on local television.
“You don’t really fit the image we have created for the governor’s wife in Arkansas,” says her inquisitor, a man with a brutal hair parting and disconcerting tie.
“You’re not a native. You’ve been educated in liberal eastern universities. You’re less than 40. You don’t have any children. You don’t use your husband’s name. You practice law. Does it concern you that maybe other people feel that you don’t fit the image that we’ve created for the governor’s wife in Arkansas?”
Hillary answered, “I think that each person should be assessed and judged on that person’s own merits. I’m not 40 but that hopefully will be cured by age, eventually I will be,” she quipped.
Just because this behavior has been going on for nearly 40 years doesn’t answer the “why” either. If anything the behavior has gotten worse. Just look at these two charts cataloging campaign coverage:
There are two possible explanations for the bias against Hillary Clinton in the media. The first is that the media is punishing her for the scandals that occurred during her husband’s presidency, but the most likely explanations are related to gender bias. Individuals who hold executive positions in media companies are overwhelmingly white and male.
These are not the only theories being advanced. There is the theory based in basic jealousy that goes something like this, “The Clintons have had their turn, now it’s someone else’s turn,” — another ethical tenet right out of the elementary schoolyard.
Here are three more theories, one picking up on the sexism:
Sexism is one: Clinton is still struggling to fight the perception that she is not “presidential,” or that she lacks charisma, something that is rooted in the many ways in which being a female candidate makes her, for some people, uncomfortable and confusing to deal with.
Donald Trump’s personality is another: With a rival who is so flippant and resistant to any accountability, Clinton remains as the only candidate who can legitimately interact with the press. The media is increasingly numb to Trump’s outrageous, incendiary, and dangerous statements, due to the frequency and regularity with which he recites them.
But there may be another reason Clinton is held to a higher standard: the press essentially thinks she will win. Therefore, they pay more attention to her and take her more seriously than they do Trump.
These last two are quite entertaining. Trump gets a pass because he’s crazy and Hillary gets lambasted sixteen ways from Sunday because she is sane; therefore, she’s going to win so she should be happy with the maltreatment.
I’ve read other reasons, like the fact that $120 million has been spent investigating her so the American public is entitled to know every last detail of her life. There’s the “what do you expect” theory that so many investigations have left too many threads upon which to pull so you naturally get possible corruption stories. Then there’s the “they can’t be innocent” theory since the Clintons have been in politics for forty years.
Let’s not forget the ever popular conservative dogma that Hillary is being held accountable for Bill’s sexual transgressions, i.e. blame the wife for the husband’s philandering. If that were the case, Mrs. Roger Ailes would never be seen outside a confessional.
There are more theories, there are even rules about the brutal differences in covering Hillary, but nothing I have read encapsulates the theories better than a study conducted by Harvard investigating the stereotypical-based social costs that women face as political candidates. These are the most relevant findings:
- When participants saw male politicians as power-seeking, they also saw them as having greater agency (i.e., being more assertive, stronger, and tougher) and greater competence, while this was not true for their perceptions of power-seeking female politicians.
- When participants saw female politicians as power-seeking, they also saw them as having less communality (i.e., being unsupportive and uncaring), while this was not true for their perceptions of power-seeking male politicians.
- When female politicians were described as power-seeking, participants experienced feelings of moral outrage (i.e., contempt, anger, and/or disgust) towards them.
- Participant gender had no impact on any of the study outcomes – that is, women were just as likely as men to have negative reactions to power-seeking female politicians.
These last two findings are “slap your mama” eye-popping and jaw-dropping. Women seeking office are seen with moral outrage, feelings of contempt, anger, and disgust. The last finding is Madeline Albright saying, “There is a special place in hell for women who do not help each other.” Women are just as likely as men to have negative reactions to female politicians. Someone please read this to Mrs. Greenspan, Susan Sarandon, and Cruella van den Huevel.
Let that sink in for a moment. No matter whether the reporter is a man or woman, Hillary is behind the 8-ball, at least at some level, before she utters the first word or advances the first policy.
So on top of the garden variety sexism, Hillary is seen as contemptibly disgusting by virtue of merely being a female politician. Doesn’t matter if she is married to Bill or Homer Simpson. Doesn’t matter if she is a Democrat, Republican, or Druid. Doesn’t matter if she is running against a trained gibbon or a less trained Trumpanzee. It is all the same because she is a woman.
Why? The vilifying vagina is not treated the same as the palliative penis or so says this Harvard study. This election is our chance to start changing that tired, sorry rule.
What’s on your mind today?
Where to start? How about cold-cocking a rambunctious 69-year-old oxygen-dependent woman who dared not genuflect at a Donnie Deplorable donnybrook? Or how about starting World War III by blowing Iranian boats out of the water if they make ugly gestures offending the tender sensibilities of our sailors? What about discussing the clamorous Yam going on Russian T.V. and declaring his enduring homoerotic fascination with Vladie Dearest?
Or we could just dwell on Hillary’s pneumonia.
Then there is the all important transparency. Transparency is last week’s “optics” that was the prior week’s “lack of access”. Luckily all three collided last Sunday in the iPhone clip that has been played and replayed as if it were the Zapruder film showing the infamous second stumble into the campaign van. Of course it doesn’t stop there since the dark cauldron of internet rumors knows no end.
We could spend our time exploring just how deplorable the marauding hordes of angry Trump phobia-phobic phobes are, but we started that discussion back in May. That’s when we discovered Trumpkins consider “white discrimination” to be as large a problem as discrimination against minorities. We could talk about the Alt-Right not considering themselves racist, since they just hate Jews, but that is merely the beginning when talking about the parade of deplorables.
Nearly half of Trump’s supporters described African-Americans as more ‘violent’ than whites. The same proportion described African-Americans as more ‘criminal’ than whites, while 40 percent described them as more ‘lazy’ than whites.”
A Pew poll released in February found that 65 percent of Republicans believe the next president should “speak bluntly even if critical of Islam as a whole” when talking about Islamic extremists.
Another Reuters/Ipsos online poll in July found that 58 percent of Trump supporters have a “somewhat unfavorable” view of Islam and 78 percent believe Islam was more likely to encourage acts of terrorism.
The deplorable remark brought with it the Right’s professional victimization. The victimhood kicked-in with all its righteous fury and so did the Right’s selective amnesia. It seems they conveniently forgot that Deplorable Donnie called half the country losers.
Just last night former Secretary of State Colin Powell reluctantly joined the fray by way of purloined emails. Secretary Powell has little good to say about the Yam, his orange-tinted acolytes, or their racist ways. The Powell emails have lovely pet names to describe the Yam like “national disgrace,” “international pariah,” and “racist”.
In keeping with what is the equivalent of muscle memory, our attention could just return to Hillary’s email which is the trusty stand-in for every false equivalency story for the past two years. The Washington Post summed it up quite nicely by pointing out how good news about Hillary’s email doesn’t seem to find its way to the front page or into Matt Lauer’s “Moderating for Dummies” textbook.
First is a memo FBI Director James B. Comey sent to his staff explaining that the decision not to recommend charging Ms. Clinton was “not a cliff-hanger” and that people “chest-beating” and second-guessing the FBI do not know what they are talking about. Anyone who claims that Ms. Clinton should be in prison accuses, without evidence, the FBI of corruption or flagrant incompetence.
Second is the emergence of an email exchange between Ms. Clinton and former secretary of state Colin Powell in which he explained that he used a private computer and bypassed State Department servers while he ran the agency, even when communicating with foreign leaders and top officials. Mr. Powell attempted last month to distance himself from Ms. Clinton’s practices, which is one of the many factors that made the email story look worse. Now, it seems, Mr. Powell engaged in similar behavior.
Last is a finding that 30 Benghazi-related emails that were recovered during the FBI email investigation and recently attracted big headlines had nothing significant in them. Only one, in fact, was previously undisclosed, and it contained nothing but a compliment from a diplomat. But the damage of the “30 deleted Benghazi emails” story has already been done.
Since it is pretty much accepted fact that there is a double standard in the coverage of the two candidates, there are now compilations of questions the media has refused to ask the whirling Cheeto. There is even convoluted excuses for engaging in false equivalencies.
For a moment and contrary to the ephemeral nature of optics, let’s talk facts – as boring as that might be. When it comes to policy, the Mango Meerkat has cobbled together 9,000 words on his website while Hillary weighs in at around 113,000. The Orangealope has a grand total of seven, that’s seven whole policies, while Hillary has thirty-three.
In addition, national unemployment is down to around full-employment numbers. Inflation is non-existent. Gas is $2.00 a gallon. And only announced yesterday, the median income for U.S. households jumped 5.2% from 2014 to 2015. That represents the biggest one-year increase since the Census Bureau started tracking this data in 1968. As a result, over 3 million Americans rose out of poverty in 2015. It’s hard to overstate just how big a deal this is.
Remember the last time this happened? A Clinton was in the White House who likewise had spent seven years cleaning up the mess of prior Republican administrations. History might not repeat itself, but it sure does rhyme. So yes, please, another term of this would be nice.
What’s on your mind today?
Good evening Widdershins!
As I mentioned on the previous post, Hillary was at the 9/11 ceremonies in NYC and then had to leave. Her spokesperson said she was “overcome” with the heat and dehydrated. She was taken to Chelsea’s apartment, rested and was rehydrated. As she was leaving the apartment Hillary looked fine.
The BBC had this to say about the situation:
Dr Lisa Bardack said she was diagnosed with pneumonia on Friday and given antibiotics, but had become dehydrated at the New York event.
The doctor’s statement said she was now re-hydrated and “recovering nicely”.
“Secretary Clinton has been experiencing a cough related to allergies. On Friday, during follow up evaluation of her prolonged cough, she was diagnosed with pneumonia,” Dr Bardack’s statement said.
“She was put on antibiotics, and advised to rest and modify her schedule,” it went on.
There are so many things to say here about the “health brouhaha” going on.
First, she’s traveling/flying all over the country right now. It has mostly been in smaller, corporate type aircraft but she’s now added the B 737-800. Still, she is constantly airborne and dealing with pressurized cabins which can definitely affect your respiratory tract, sinuses and the like. Ask anyone who had done a great deal of flying in their careers. Prlolix, mb, would y’all agree?
Second, okay she was diagnosed with pneumonia. As GAgal and I commented we’ve either had pneumonia or known someone who had it and they were given a script for antibiotics and went on their merry way.
Third, what kind of antibiotic was she given? If it was a Zpack or other mycin drug, many times there are warnings on those to avoid a lot of direct sunlight. So let’s say she was given azithromycin. She probably started it Friday and then Sunday, there she is out in the heat and sunlight. Shame Hillary! I tend to believe she was given a mycin drug of some type because another side effect is photosensitivity and there she was with those big ole sunglasses on.
Fourth, should we be worried? Not really. She is constantly on the road campaigning and while she may not be sleeping at the local Motel 6 she’s also not flying home each night to sleep in her own bed at, say, Trump Tower, as the yam does.
As Politico said, this may affect her planned trip to California, but ya know, Cali will still be there.
As the BBC piece said:
George HW Bush once vomited on a Japanese prime minister. His son fainted in the White House after choking on a pretzel. Franklin Roosevelt hid his serious health conditions, and John F Kennedy never spoke of his debilitating back condition.
The BBC piece also goes on with a “yes, but” thing
The difference between these men and Hillary Clinton, however, is that her “overheating” episode – the apparent result of a case of pneumonia – comes in the home stretch of a presidential campaign where she seeks to tie Ronald Reagan as the oldest person ever elected to a first term as president.
Fair enough but once she’s in the White House she won’t be constantly flying around the country. When she does travel as President she’ll have a bed on the 747 where she can rest, and sleep if she wishes to. And she won’t be doing that each and every day.
I’m not sure exactly how much information we as the electorate are actually entitled to know about our candidates. Clinton has released a statement from her internist that provided her overall health status in 2015. Her vitals and lab results were excellent. Are we entitled to ask for any more? And if we are, then both candidates should be held to the same standards.
As usual, this is an open thread to take wherever you wish.