The Widdershins

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I have been a sick Widdershin, my fellow Widdershins. Summer colds are the worst, and you can’t turn the AC off because it’s too hot and humid. So the cycle of cold, dry air at home and office vs. smack-you-in-the-face heat and humidity outside. There’s only so much a body can take.

Plus, a couple of days ago MadamaB asked how long it has been. I can inform you that we just passed the 84th anniversary of Donald Dump becoming president. Ok, it’s only been 6 months, but I think we’ve all aged 84 years, give or take. So my post will be a bit more rambly than usual. Blame it on the fever and, of course, Dump.

One story that caught my eye this week is the shooting of an Australian woman named Justine Diamond by a police officer in Minneapolis. Diamond called 911 to report a possible assault and was somehow shot and killed herself. She was shot through the door of the police car as she was leaning over to speak to the officers. Both cops were wearing body cameras, but they did not turn them on. Another fatal cop shooting in a long string of fatal cop shootings. One would expect the usual reaction: Right-wing forming a protective wall around the cop. Cops can do no wrong. Except this case was different. The victim was a blonde caucasian. The cop: a black Muslim. Imagine the reactions from the alt-right…

In an interview with Ari Melber on MSNBC, Bernie Sanders was asked a question he was clearly not expecting to be asked.

“Did you know then that this might have been part of [the Kremlin’s] design?” MSNBC reporter Ari Melber asked Sanders Wednesday. “To leak these emails precisely so that there would be more riffs in the Democratic Party?”

“Well of course we knew that,” Sanders replied. “Of course we knew that they were trying to cause divisiveness within the Democratic Party,” the senator continued. “That’s no great secret.”

This should, of course, be a bigger story. Sanders admitting that he knew he was acting as a Kremlin-puppet is a big deal. But in our current endless news cycle of endless breaking stories it got somewhat lost. By now if you ask a Bernie Bros about it, they’ll tell you they never even heard of such a thing.

The Senate Judiciary Committee is going forward with its investigation of Russian interference into our election. How it’s going is hard to tell. Chuck Grassley is the chairman and I wouldn’t trust him as far as I can throw a Russian. But they have scheduled an open hearing (with Bob Mueller’s permission) to question Donald Trump Jr. and Paul Manafort. (Also to be questioned is Bill Browder, the man who hired tax lawyer Sergei Magnitsky to look into missing money…the rest is the Magnitsky Act seemingly at the center of Putin’s anger at the West.) The most interesting part of the letter the Judiciary Committee sent to Junior and Manafort, asking them to preserve all communications with people like Carter Page and Sergei Lavrov and that ambassador nobody remembers and Alfa Bank… is the inclusion of Dr. Jill Stein.

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Stein is right there between Michael Flynn and Michael Cohen. Let the fireworks begin. The hearing is scheduled to take place on Wed, July 26th.

This cartoon is from 2014.

Good Monday, all! I was just in the Caribbean without WiFi for 10 days and let me tell you, it was bliss. But alas, Drumpf is still Presnit despite all my most fervent, daiquiri-induced prayers to the Beach Goddess. So it’s time to fire up the Interwebz, put on my big-girl pants and ask this very important question:

How long has Russia been in control of the Republican Party’s agenda?

I realize that what I am saying has not yet been proven. (The operative word, pardon the pun, being “yet.”) But the circumstantial evidence is starting to become, at least in my mind, too overwhelming to ignore.

Let’s just take a minute to ponder the “coincidence” of every single person on Drumpf’s team having a Russian connection.  Every. Single. Person. Rationally speaking, how is this possible? Remember, in 2015, the Mango Meerkat was nothing more than a sleazy, self-important television personality who decided to run for President. He didn’t have a lot of contacts in the Republican Party, since he wasn’t actually a Republican. So what did he do? He surrounded himself with a mix of family, veteran Goopers and white supremacists, all of whom he realized he needs in order to steal the election in 2016. And amahzingly, there isn’t one that is free of ties to Russia.

Seriously.

I’m not just talking about his family – those connections can be explained by the fact that Drumpf is in bed with Russian kleptocrats, and his sons and daughter are all active participants in his corrupt business practices. I’m talking about the Republicans who, from Day 1, came along for the ride in the Orange Klown Kar. Roger Stone. Paul Manafort. New York’s Nosferatu, Rudy Giuliani. Henry Kissinger, for f*ck’s sake. Why? What could this babbling, Tweeting, empty-headed egomaniac have to offer them? Didn’t they have any principles, people wondered. Had they all gone crazy?

Well yes, they have principles. It’s just that these principles just happen to be the same as those of Vladimir Putin. To whom they are all so coincidentally connected.

Read the rest of this entry »

GOOD SUNDAY WIDDERSHINS!

Obviously this was a week where we could barely catch our breath before the next revelation regarding the T.C.O. (tRump Crime Organization) slapped us in the face.  There were no twenty-four hour news cycles this week.  It was one, unending, continuing news cycle.  Vladimir Putin and his cohorts played a big part in it.  When a former counterintelligence officer shows up for a meeting at Trump Tower we’re talking serious spy shit stuff.  Also, it seems our “friends” on the other side of the aisle are not overly concerned about Russia’s helping hands in our elections.

And that continues to amaze me because who were the ones that constantly railed against the former Soviet Union and its leaders?  (Mr. Gorbachev tear down this wall).  Our Republican friends don’t seem to understand there is very little or no difference between the new “Russia” and the old U.S.S.R.

So with that thought or theme I found us a nice selection of “spy songs”.  These would be obvious “spy” songs but also some with just inferences of spying or watching. I will leave out some of the most obvious ones from my selections so y’all can add some of those on your own.  My selections are below.

(1) Every Breath You Take~The Police

(2) Somebody’s Watching Me~Rockwell

(3) Secret Agent Man~Johnny Rivers

(4) Spy of Love~inxs

(5) On Her Majesty’s Secret Service~John Barry

(6) Spy In The House Of Love~Steve Winwood

(7) The Spy~The Doors

So there you are Widdershins, a half dozen plus one of songs about spies or watching or being sneaky.  Add some of your choices in the comments below.  Of course, open thread.

 

 

 

 

What a week! Everyone is struggling to explain what is happening. I’ve heard the pundits say it is where “greed meets incompetence” or “malevolence meets the sewer” or any number of unsatisfying descriptors.

It might be an intersection or a confluence, but I prefer the Swindon “magic roundabout”. It is seven traffic circles in one. Here’s an explanation:

So in the Dolt 45 turd-o-matic roundabout, we have greed meeting incompetence meeting malevolence meeting dirty tricks meeting incoherence meeting indifference meeting amorality. It is the non-compunction junction since there are no qualms about any loathsome behavior.

Then last night it became apparent these idiots have sat on these emails for three weeks – emails saying “Clinton-Russia” in the subject line – and yet, they had no plan for dealing with them I was reminded of Burn After Reading, the Coen brothers movie. Burn After Reading celebrated a bunch of incompetents who thought they were genius; when in reality, none of them should have been in public without a Mommy’s Helper leash.

Like a hummingbird during mating season, the excuses have been everywhere all at once. Of course the paragon of square-headedness, Sean Hannity, the dumbest man ever paid to talk on teevee, quickly got to the essence of it all with a demand to investigate Hillary’s emails.

There are bright spots though. People like Russ Douthat ate a big heaping helping of crow:

The benefit of the doubt I extended to Trump was limited, but on a rather important subject: I thought that direct collusion between his inner circle and Russian officialdom during the 2016 campaign was relatively unlikely and the odds of ever finding proof of such a conspiracy vanishingly low.

You can read my argument in full here; it’s a mere six weeks old. It’s also no longer operative, because we know now that Donald Trump’s son, his son-in-law and his campaign manager all took a meeting in which it was explicitly promised that damaging information on Hillary Clinton would be supplied as “part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump.”

If this was a tease in the review of a sitcom, the next part would be prefaced with, “hilarity ensued.” Having known about these emails for a month, the crack P.R. Team decided to fabricate a story for release last Saturday that morphed into another story on Sunday that again morphed into another story on Monday, and yet again changed for Tuesday. Honest folks don’t have to lie – repeatedly.

The ambulatory carrot stain has dumbed down normal. Of the top ten recounted in the article, here are a few of my favorites:

  1. It’s not normal for the presumptive nominee’s son to take a meeting with a Russian lawyer who claims she has dirt compiled by Russian governmental forces who want to see your guy win.
  2. It’s not normal for the President to sign off on a public cover-up of that meeting when confronted with the facts.
  3. It’s not normal for the President to hold a Cabinet meeting that consists of his staff gushing over him.
  4. It’s not normal for the President to obsess about cable-news coverage of himself, yell at White House televisions, and instantly react to stories before checking the specifics.

But this is normal for this White House and the person illegitimately occupying the Oval Office. What is not normal is the speed at which Special Counsel Mueller is forging ahead. Mueller learned valuable lessons prosecuting Enron, its executives, and related organizations. He will not be daunted by these halfwits and morons.

In thinking about the week, here are my takeaways:

  1. No matter what happened with the hacked emails, the Russian activities, or the various conspiracies, but for the Comey letter on October 28th, Hillary would now be President.
  2. The Mercer family is battling a $6.0 Billion tax bill. They have also bankrolled Milo, pollster Kellyanne Conjob, Breitbart, Steve Bannon, and Cambridge Analytica, their data mining firm. Someone had to identify and target promising precincts in Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania and transmit that information to the Russian bot controllers. There is an electronic trail and the NSA probably already has it.
  3. If only Obama had demonstrated the courage to ignore McTurtle’s obstruction last summer and forge ahead with the warning of Russian interference, Obama would have been proved correct and vindicated by the email saving his legacy and the country from the orange plague.
  4. The tightly choreographed kabuki of the G20, starring Pootie, Lavrov, and Dolt was nothing more than a performance for good old Rexxon. If you are Rexxon, how would you feel being played for the fool on a world stage? Watch for a resignation.

Here’s the last scene from Burn After Reading. They ask a good question. If we learn not to let this happen again by making the name Trump synonymous with Benedict Arnold or genital herpes, we will have learned something of value.

 

What’s on your mind today?

 

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We are going to be stuck with Donald Dump for the foreseeable future. Republicans will not impeach him. Nothing he can do will force them to abandon him. Even as the country tries to absorb Dump Jr’s e-mails confirming he met with a Russian lawyer with government connections to get dirt on Hillary Clinton – GOP collectively yawns. Mitch McConnell says he has no comment. Paul Ryan is MIA. John McCain is concerned and Lady Graham is disturbed. That’s as bad as the recriminations got. (Bernie Sanders, by the way, says we shouldn’t jump to conclusions. The strongest response came from Moe Scarborough who announced he’s leaving GOP to become an independent. Which is nice, but who cares?) The right-wing media has closed ranks around Dump and his abominations. Collusion with the Russians isn’t so bad, Breitbart and Fox have declared. Besides, shouldn’t Hillary Clinton be prosecuted, Sean Hannity asks?

The best response so far came from a surprising source: Trey Gowdy-Doody.

Someone needs to get everyone in a room and say, from the time you saw ‘Dr. Zhivago’ until the moment you drank vodka with a guy named Boris, you list every single contact with Russia,” Gowdy said, referring to the 1965 movie.

But Gowdy-Doody says he will investigate nothing via his House committee; he’s leaving it all to Bob Mueller.

Vice President Pence’s courageous response via his spokesperson was:

The Vice President is working every day to advance the president’s agenda, which is what the American people sent us here to do. […] The Vice President was not aware of the meeting. He is not focused on stories about the campaign, particularly stories about the time before he joined the ticket.

“Before he joined the ticket.” That’s Pence trying to have it both ways. Standing by Trump’s agenda and “Hey, don’t look at me, I just work here!” in case the story has legs. But considering each new story feels like the one that breaks the camel’s back and then it doesn’t… we shouldn’t expect this new story to be any different. Dump is here to stay. If he is to go, it can only be accomplished if Democrats take both House and Senate in 2018 (unlikely), and then the 2020 elections. Until then… we must fasten our seat-belts and get comfortable. The ride will continue to be bumpy.

Which brings me back to Mike Pence’s statement. “The Vice President is working every day to advance the president’s agenda.” What is this agenda? What is the future that Republicans want? It’s all bad. All bad. Mitch McConnell has postponed Senate’s August recess by two weeks, hoping to cobble a coalition that passes their healthcare abomination. Hopefully The Resistance continues the push-back and enough Rethugs are afraid enough of their constituents to vote Nay.

There is another story that came out last week from El Salvador that should chill all our spines because this is essentially the future Republicans want in the US too.

This week a court in El Salvador sentenced 19-year-old Evelyn Beatriz Hernandez Cruz following her conviction for aggravated homicide.

Hernandez says she became pregnant after being raped in the small community where she lived, according to her trial statements. She says she did not report the attack out of fear and did not realize she was pregnant.

In April 2016, Hernandez said, she felt strong abdominal pains and lost consciousness in the bathroom. She was taken to a hospital and treated for vaginal bleeding from an out-of-hospital delivery, but there was no newborn.

Authorities opened an investigation and later found the fetus. She was initially charged with having caused in abortion, which is illegal in all situations in El Salvador. The charge was later changed to aggravated homicide.

Hernandez said she did not know she had miscarried. She has been in prison since the incident.

GOP’s assault on women’s right to control their own bodies is decades old. They started fighting abortion rights the minute SCOTUS ruled on Roe v. Wade. They have never la-fg-c1-el-salvador-women-20150415wavered, they turned the issue into perhaps the single biggest cultural wedge issue in the country. And over decades they have chipped away at abortion rights bit by bit by bit. They have been great at branding (GOP always is), controlling the debate, redefining terms (“partial birth abortion,” for example) and seeing abortion rights erode. With Trump and Pence in the White House, and Neil Gorsuch on the Supreme Court, abortion rights are as much at risk as anything else right now. We should look at El Salvador, where abortions under all circumstances – no exceptions – is illegal, as the future we might have in the US. In El Salvador judges rule abortions and miscarriages as homicide and sentence women to decades in prison. World Health Organization estimates that 68,000 women die each year as a result of unsafe/illegal abortions. This is an issue we must remain vigilant about because we know Pence has it in his sight.

Good Tuesday Widdershins!

Yes, things are so bizarre, so out of the box, so batshit crazy that I thought we could take a look at how some of the cartoonists are seeing things.  Well that and to give us a new post since the Sunday thing was getting very long.

 

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And the best for last:

Okay Widdershins, wide open thread and post for y’all to take wherever you want.

 

Good Sunday and weekend Widdershins!

There you have it, right there in the photo.  The word we need to keep shouting to the vulgar yam, Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell and the rest of the Republican oligarchy.  Just one…big…NO!

NO, you won’t take away our healthcare.  NO, you won’t take away our voting rights.  NO, you won’t take away our equality.  NO you won’t steal our elections. Just one big freaking NO! 

And what is one of the best ways to signal our protest, outrage and solidarity to those who would take these things away from us?  Through music of course!

Below are some of my choices for songs dealing with protest and solidarity.  Please add some of your own choices in the comments.

(1) Factory 1978~ Bruce Springsteen

(2) Solidarity Forever~Pete Seeger

(3) Tiny Hands~Fiona Apple (DJ Matt Bailer Remix)

(4) I Give You Power~Mavis Staple & Arcade Fire

(5) Revolution~Nina Simone

(6) Guns of Brixton~The Clash

(7) Alright~Kendrick Lamar

(8) Ohio~Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young

 

So there you go Widdershins, eight…count’em eight songs of protest, outrage and solidarity.  Please add your choices in the comments below.

Open thread of course.

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What the F*ck Just Happened?!

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Our 2016 Ticket!

Our girl is gonna shine

Busted: Glass ceiling

HRC bumper sticker

She’s thinking “Less than 2 weeks I have to keep seeing that face”

Yeah I can make it

The team we’re on

Women’s March on Washington!

Right-click the pic for more info

Kellyanne Conway’s new job

So similar

Take the kids to work? NO!

3 turds control fate of healthcare for millions

That moment when *your* pussy gets grabbed