The Widdershins

I survived the Republican Convention ?

Gosh I survived the Republican Convention ?

Good Saturday and weekend Widdershins!

And  yes, it’s true!  We made it through the entire shebang.  We got through all of the pontificating, the pomposity, and the pretension.  And I’m just talking about the political commenters that we watched!  We saw the stellar lineup that Trump promised, which included Scott Baio and Duck guy junior.

So enough of that, it’s behind us.   We need this bit of r & r before the good political convention starts this week.  To give us all a break I’m going to put up a few political cartoons and the cartoonists’ takes on the convention.  And lastly I’m going to add Trump’s epic rant about Ted Cruz.  The National Enquirer?  Really Donald?  He must have watched Men in Black too many times and like Agent K,  believes that all truth lies in the tabloids.

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As you can see, some of these were really playing up the Melania speech incident.  However, it was handled so badly by Trump and his people that it begged for a good mocking.

Lastly, Trump’s epic rant about Ted Cruz.  There are two good writeups about here and here.   Most nominees would hold their first presser and start talking about the campaign, their opponent and things like that.  But then there’s Trump.  This is going to be interesting folks. (this is a long clip – be prepared)

splash-page-separator-fade-lineSo what’s on your minds today Widdershins?  This is an open thread/post so take the conversation in any direction you wish.

 

Courtesy of The New Yorker.

Courtesy of The New Yorker.

Through our extensive connections here at The Widdershins, we have secured an advanced copy of the Boogey Yam’s acceptance speech.  It sounds familiar.  See what you think?  Now imagine the clamoring Yam in all his glorious orangeness as he says…

 

 

Three score and ten years ago my father brought forth on this continent a new son, conceived through sperm, so good, such beautiful sperm, dedicated to the proposition that his new son was created without equal.

Now we are engaged in a yuge political war, testing whether our nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure my narcissism. We are met on a great conclave of that political war along a fault line that cleaves the country into two vastly unequal parts and we come, quite ironically, to a city called Cleveland. You have come to dedicate yourself to me, as a final burial ground of your dignity, your integrity, and any semblance of caring about this country.  You have given your self-respect so that my self-aggrandizement might flourish. It is altogether fitting and proper that you should do this.

But, in a larger sense, you cannot supplicate enough, you cannot grovel enough, you cannot prostrate yourself sufficiently to my cavernous gaping maw of egotistical need. There have been steroidal men and a cavalcade of unctuous women, living and dead, who struggled to bow low enough that I might walk on their backs in order to ever add to and never detract from my self-certified greatness.

The world will always note, and long remember what folly is committed here; it can never forget what was done to a once great political party in this place.  It is for you the living, to be dedicated henceforth to the unfinished work of my adulation, supplication, and bootlicking sycophancy which you have agreed and thus far have so nobly advanced.

It is for you to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before you—that from these honored halls you take increased devotion to me and which I ask your last full measure of adoration—that you here highly resolve that my efforts at self-ennoblement and glorification shall not be in vain, although my vanity is yuge—that this nation shall have a new birth of greatness and whiteness—and that government through my coronation shall not perish from the earth as long as me, and my sons, Uday Don and Qusay Eric, continue to rule from Trump Tower, roam about on Air Trump, drink Trump Water, eat Trump Steaks, play with Trump Cards, imbibe Trump wine, wear Trump ties, scam money through Trump University, and lie about contributing to charities all in the name of Trump. So help me Trump.

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Lincoln Trump

My apologies to Abe Lincoln and condolences to all those who have been tricked, bamboozled, and cheated by Donald Trump.  I can’t include the Republican Party because the RNC began laying the groundwork for Trump with Nixon’s southern strategy fifty years ago, focused it with a bitterly unfair Reagan economic policy, and ran the country and a good part of the world aground with Bush lying us into an interventionist war without basis.

Trump is a Republican project that has been gestating for fifty years. Congratulations — it’s a boy! The Party deserves the rot that is Donald Trump.

What’s on your mind today?

Sometimes the truth is stranger than meerkat scat.  There’s no one, not even those on bath salts, who could have “thunked up” Melania Trump plagiarizing the speech of Michelle Obama, the wife of the Muslim Kenyan.  I’m sure in World Cup Soccer Slovenia has scored on Kenya, but not at this level and not in America.

Remember this:

Fist jab 5

 

Remember that the “terrorist fist jab” was burning with white-hot furor over at Fox.  They even called in a “body language” expert to help decipher it.

The truth is: The “terrorist fist jab” was nothing more than lifting a wild-eyed comment from a wilder-eyed right-wing nutjob website.  So Michelle Obama was fair game to the point of a New Yorker cover over something that had been lifted from the comments section of an online website that should only be read in rooms with padded walls.  Who knew?

My point is this:  Michelle Obama has been pilloried for just about anything and everything she has touched by the right-wing media industrial complex.  Exercise, vegetables – Michelle’s nanny state.  Health care and veterans’ rehab – insincere.  Wearing off the rack non-designer dresses – classless.

Now we are told by the right-wing nutjobs that this Melania plagiarism should be immune from criticism.  Tilting at windmills.  A big nothing burger. Oh, and she’s really hot.  And white.

It’s not just that it was copied, but in talking about the speech, Mrs. Trump III said, “I wrote it with as little help as possible.”

Of course, Melania might come by it honestly because in the study, Plagiarism Policies in the Republic of Slovenia (a real thing, it is amazing what you can get when you plug words into the googling machine) in Section 4.1.2 Plagiarism, it says:

Responders to our survey (both faculty and students) agreed that students should receive more targeted educaton (sic) on plagiarism and ways to avoid it. Based on the informaton (sic) we retrieved, we notced (sic) a lack of specifc (sic) modules on research methods and academic writng (sic).

Apparently, Slovenians not only need instruction on why it’s wrong to plagiarize, they need lessons on why it is good to use spell check – two sentences, five misspellings in an academic study.

This whole episode is a perfect example of the hypocrisy that festers so near the surface in just about everything the RWN do.  Fake candidate, Benghazi lies, lip service to tolerance and inclusion, feigning allegiance to veterans, supporting open carry laws until they have to be in the common places where people actually open carry.  The list is endless.

Why should it be surprising that there was a copied speech and then lying about the lies?

 

What’s on your mind today?

 

Political Science was one of my majors in college.  One of my professors said, “Welcome to the only social science where everyone you meet with an opinion considers themselves an expert.”

All the pundits, columnists, and paid marionettes have an opinion as to why the Bogey Yam so decisively won the primary.  Why he so “resonates” with “his people”?  Why the demon Yam inspires such unyielding loyalty?

Here’s the eye opener – the yammering Yam might just be the caterwauling canary in the coal mine of authoritarianism.  Here’s a video explaining the political science niche of authoritarianism.

If you want to read more about this subject, Vox has done some good, long journalism and original research on the subject.  The article is The Rise of American Authoritarianism.  Another article is Congressional Republicans — and everyone else — should take Trump’s authoritarianism seriously.

Fear is the aphrodisiac, revenge is the religion, and xenophobia is the calling card of the authoritarian.  Evolving social norms and demographic changes frighten authoritarians.  Overreaction is the only acceptable reaction to change.  Democracy is only tolerated to the extent it provides the instruments to further the interests of authoritarianism.  Curtailing civil liberties is praised as a means to an end.Trump Salute

At the risk of violating Godwin’s law, the concept of authoritarianism emanated from studying fascism after World War II.  Whatever the genesis, the conservative media infrastructure preaches how terrifying the world is and how little the god-less liberals care about protecting our security.  This is the Siren song of authoritarians.

Terrorism, instability, and instantaneous communication channels have turned the world into a Petri dish for authoritarianism.  The clamoring Yam is Patient Zero.

As a political strategy it is not new.  Nixon used it in 1968 by creating a zeitgeist of rampant lawlessness and then sculpting his candidacy to fulfill the need he created from whole cloth.  The election of 1968 was the first where the concepts of Vance Packard’s Hidden Persuaders were put to use.  It was Mad Men meeting The West Wing for the first time where it was love at first sight and an inseparable bond was forged.

Trump and babyAuthoritarianism plays to the basest of human instincts, but it creates fierce and fulsome adherents.  The bond between an authoritarian and their followers is unshakable.  As the blabbering Yam said, “I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody, and I wouldn’t lose any voters, OK?”  Finally, he has said something that is true according to the research.

Don’t for a second think this concept is lost upon Trump or his henchmen.  Roger Stone’s first self-proclaimed dirty trick was during the 1968 Nixon campaign.  And there isn’t an authoritarian despot or two-bit murderous dictator for which Paul Manafort hasn’t worked.  Authoritarianism is the clamoring Yam’s campaign strategy.  After his declaration of being the, “law and order candidate,” there is no doubt it will be the recurrent campaign theme.

It is easy to see that the Republican Party might well cleave itself into an establishment wing and an authoritarian wing.  Holding power in Congress will force cooperation between the two factions, but such cooperation will mean no comprehensive immigration policy or investment in infrastructure.  It will also mean cooperation to invalidate Hillary’s presidency through continued BenghaziemailserverWallStreetwhatever conspiracies.Trump Mexicans

This week will be awash with fear-mongering.  The end times are here and they will be broadcast live from Cleveland.  It is no coincidence that the only way to get to the stage at this week’s Republican Convention are by ascending white steps.  Authoritarians would have it no other way.

This week will be difficult.  There will be no concern for damage to the country, inciting violence, or healing.  In fact, just the opposite will serve the campaign interests of the clamoring Yam and his goons.

A quote from the article:

“For authoritarians, in case of moral threat, lock down the borders, kick out those who are different, and punish those who are morally deviant.”

For the Republican Party, the party platform seems to channel authoritarianism — build a wall, block Muslims, deport 11 million, torture, punish women for controlling their health care decisions.  These positions aren’t a stretch if your voters are those who profit from fear and proclaim pain is the prescription for “the others” — more like coming out of the authoritarian closet.

What’s on your mind today?

 

movie theater entrance

Good Saturday and weekend Widdershins!

If you are a fan of politics, a more-than-curious observer of the art form, or like most of us here, have a dog in this hunt, the next two weeks are definitely going to be your cup of tea.

We now know that the talking yam has picked Hoosier governor Mike Pence as his veep selection.  Whether that’s a good choice remains to be seen but at least it did spare Pence the embarrassment of possibly running for reelection as governor and losing.

As to Hillary’s selection for veep, well we don’t know that quite yet.  Elizabeth Warren was slated to speak to the convention as a keynote speaker on the first night, which would seem to indicate she wasn’t going to be Hillary’s veep selection.  Then suddenly, yesterday, her name wasn’t on the list of speakers.  Tongues are wagging about that news but all we can do is wait and see.

So Widdershins, with all of the hoopla of the conventions going on I thought we might take a a look at some movies about politics and the shenanigans and intrigue that go along with that topic.  There are tons of them out there and I’m sure we all have one or more that are favorites.  These are in no particular order.

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(1) The Manchurian Candidate ~ 1962 version

(2) Advise and Consent ~ scene with Charles Laughton ~ his last movie ~ lots of insider politics

(3) The Candidate ~ Robert Redford

(4) The Best Man ~ Henry Fonda

(5) Primary Colors ~ Billy Bob Thornton scene

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Obviously there are lots more movies in a political vein but you all get the drift.  Please add your contributions below.

Good evening Widdershins.

Tomorrow morning the Bogey Yam will be announcing his Sancho Panza.  Here are the characteristics that seem most important to der Drumpf – notice that none of them reflect upon the qualifications necessary to lead the free world.

  1. Be obsequious to the point of being bloodied and beaten by an orange meat puppet and asking, “Could I have some more Sir?”
  2. Stare blindly without giggling hysterically when you see a comb over speaking incoherently in a continuous word salad.
  3. Understand word salad and be able to translate into reasonably coherent English.
  4. Own knee pads.
  5. Be able to kiss butt like an Electrolux with a fresh vacuum bag.

Four Veepstakes

Here are the players and a little bit about each of them – some of it true.  Don’t pay attention to the Army guy because he believes in a woman’s right to choose or did for about 12 hours.  As for the possibility of Sen. Joni Ernst being selected, well, think about it, she’s a woman.

Newt Gingrich:  Former Speaker of the House.  Resigned in disgrace under pressure from his own party.  Highest fine for ethical violations in House history.  Other ethical violations too many to enumerate.  Serial adulterer to terminally ill wives.

Chris Christy:  Caustic and bombastic New Jersey governor with historically low approval numbers.  Bridgegate.  Used state money to pay his $82,500 bar and food bill at NFL games in 2010-11.  Other ethical violations too many to enumerate.

Jeff Sessions:  Translucent white Senator from Alabama.  Second judicial nominee in 48 years of Judicial Committee history whose nomination was killed for, among other things, saying he thought the KKK was, “Okay until I found out they smoked pot.”  Rumored to have a tattoo that says, “High walls and short ladders make good immigration policy.”

Mike Pence:  Translucent white Governor of Indiana.  Former House member.  Chronically dim, but incandescently ambitious.  According to D.C. lore, the most dangerous place to be in D.C. was between Pence and a microphone.  Entire career could be entitled, the “Bland Ambition Tour”.  Signed the “You Are Free to Discriminate Against Gays” Bill and caught nine kinds of hell for it.  Twitter Account handle #hoosierdaddy.

 

There you have it.

People believe Trump could pull a Veep out from under the kangaroo scrotum he calls hair in order to fool the press.  A serious candidate wouldn’t contemplate such a thing, but who knows what madness lurks in the ego that was a stunt double for the Indominus Rex in Jurassic World.  If Trump does pull a Houdini, here’s my best guess for the Trump fungible Veep. Notice the resemblance to the aforementioned candidates.

Ham Head

Whoever is ejaculated from that big, pink, stone phallus known as Trump Tower tomorrow morning at 11:00 a.m. EDT will likely wish there was such a thing as a morning after campaign pill. So will we.

What’s on your mind?

 

 

Happy Wednesday Widdershinners. I hope your day is a good one.

Just a short post to move us along.

Yesterday’s speech by President Obama was exceptional.  It was a Consoler-in-Chief, inspirational, experiential, and spiritual masterpiece. I’ve not been a fan of Obama for the most part, but yesterday’s valediction in Dallas was extraordinary. For a Kenyan Muslim, he sure knows a lot of scripture.Hillary Bernie endorsement

Bernie Sanders finally endorsed Hillary. It was a full-throated endorsement.  Even prior to yesterday, 85% of Bernie’s voters have already seen the light on the road to Damascus and climbed aboard the “H Express”. My only criticism of the event: Bernie needed hugging lessons.

The great Bogey Yam is continuing his auditions for the new Fox show, “So You Think You Can Vice President.” Yesterday he was in Indiana kicking the tires on Gov. Mike Pensive. It seems as if Pence has mainlined some serious carotene – he appeared as pumpkinesque as the Bogey Yam.

Congress is leaving on vacay early. It’s an abbreviated vacay of just seven weeks so, of course, they would leave early. It appears Paul Ryan didn’t want to vote on terrorists getting guns because, well, summertime is fun time for terrorists. Funding for Zika, opioid addiction, veterans – all that stuff can wait – the NRA (Non-Reasonable Americans) said so.

It’s not like Congress hasn’t been doing important stuff.  Jason Chaffetz, Chairman of the Congressional Overreach and Reach-Around Committee, figures what the country needs is another investigation of Hillary.  He’s written a letter to the D.C. U.S. Attorney asking him to make Hillary stop being mean to the Republicans still recovering from their DIY lobotomies.AM hands up

That’s pretty much the news, but I’ve meaning to mention another subject for a couple of weeks. Today’s a good day. If you have watched any of the cable shows, particularly NBC or MSNBC (motto: Our anchors canoodle, but never on air) you have been bombarded with the “Hillary Trust Deficit”. Mrs. Greenspan gets cross-eyed and her toes scrunch each and every time she gets to blather on about the Bogey Yam being more “trusted” than Hillary.

Here’s why I bring this up.  The Wall Street Journal/NBC poll on that question is bogus. Totally worthless and contrived. I can go into the reasons in the comments, but suffice it to say, survey instrument construction is central to serviceable data.

The WSJ/NBC poll asks the question as, “Being honest and straightforward.” Using straightforward as the modifier to honesty is a ruse to drive down Hillary’s numbers to follow the preordained narrative. Even though 76% of everything the Bogey Yam says has been fact checked as a lie, he is perceived to have no filter on his pie hole, despise “political correctness,” and believes insulting others is his right under the “13th Article” in the Constitution.Pew Research on Qualifications

If you pair “honest” with “truthful”, as the Pew Research Center survey did, the results were within the margin of error even during the height of emailgate and gategate (scandals yet to materialize from Republican fever dreams).

The other issue is this, and it’s not limited to just NBC/MSNBC as they troll for addled Fox viewers, if there isn’t an issue upon which to drive a wedge, how can they sell time based on viewership?  In other words, there has to be something to make a horse race a race – no one wants to watch Secretariat matched up against a three-legged mule with a limp.

Not that Chuckles Todd and his poll-baking, elfin friends would ever admit to this, but they don’t really have to.  Here’s the proof:

Issues Research from Pew

On each and every issue other than “Reducing Special Interests Influence” Hillary trounces the Bogey Yam or is within the margin of error. So be not in despair my friends.  Be not troubled when the yakkers wax prolific on Hillary’s deficiencies and der Drumpf’s strengths. Given the Republican primary, the yakkers are just trying to dress up a three-legged mule that outdistanced sixteen other asses.

What’s on your mind today?

 

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