The Widdershins

Happy Friday, Widdershins.  We’ve made it to the culmination of (yet) another difficult week.  John Boehner had laid his burden down, and the balance of the Repubs in the House are conspiring to ascertain that Hillary Clinton grow old testifying in front of one bogus committee after (yet) another.  The media is off the chain in their drooling hatred for her, and have elevated Bernie Sanders to near-knighthood.   More of our college students have been injured or killed thanks to our 45th school shooter of the year.

Your posters here at TW have been up to their kneecaps in challenges as well. We are wading our way through individually, and some of us have found our way through the darkness.  I know that I appreciate the supportive comments that y’all made during my recent speedbumps.  After all of this, I have decided that what we require is a good, loud, group primal scream.

For those too young to remember, primal scream therapy was trés chic during the 1970s.  PST was introduced by Arthur Janov, with a working hypothesis that neuroses were created by childhood trauma.  If we were to be able to recreate the trauma and experience the pain in a theraputic setting, we could then respond to the pain rather than repressing the feelings and thus shed the accompanying neurosis.  This was really hot stuff at the time, and attracted the likes of John Lennon, Roger Williams, and James Earl Jones.  Sadly, results were statistically unmeaningful, and the therapy was quickly discarded.

Okay, so psychiatrists no longer advise this, but that does not make it useless.  Honestly, I spent much of my life being reminded to smile sweetly, keep my voice modulated, and remain a proper little lady.  Fair enough, but just this once, let me lead The Widdershins in a loud primal scream.  Are you ready?  Deep breath…….

Let ‘er rip!

Please post any songs, movie clips, what have you that help us with today’s therapy.  Otherwise, it’s an open thread.

(1) Shout – The Isley Brothers

(2) Primal Scream – Motley Crew

(3) Screaming Night Hog – Steppenwolf

(4) Shout – Tears for Fears

(5) Screaming and Yelling – Carole King

(6) Anything with a screaming goat – 

morning joe meeka lies

 Good afternoon Widdershins!

I think we’ve all come to the conclusion that watching Morning schmoe has become an exercise…not so much in futility but more of an arm exercise because the show has become something that makes you want to throw things at your teevee.

Not being satisfied with deliberately mouthing untruths about Hillary Clinton’s email server, they have now gone to the point where they will purposefully edit out anything that may sound favorable to Hillary.

Recently Washington Post columnist David Ignatius was on the show and attempted to provide, not so much a defense of Clinton’s actions, but rather an explanation that no, she did not do anything wrong or criminal, and in his WaPo column he explained (but apparently not clearly enough to #socklessdeadintern and #drunkmika) that there was no similarity to the situation with David Petraeus’ situation.

Potential criminal violations arise when officials knowingly disseminate documents marked as classified to unauthorized officials or on unclassified systems, or otherwise misuse classified materials. That happened in two cases involving former CIA directors that are cited as parallels for the Clinton e-mail issue, but are quite different. John Deutch was pardoned in 2001 for using an unsecured CIA computer at his home to improperly access classified material; he reportedly had been prepared to plead guilty to a misdemeanor. David Petraeus pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor in April for “knowingly” removing classified documents from authorized locations and retaining them at “unauthorized locations.” Neither case fits the fact pattern with the Clinton e-mails.

But going back to my first item, when Ignatius was on the show, in the initial segment Ignatius said:

“As I talked to a half dozen of lawyers who do nothing but this kind of work, they said they couldn’t remember a case like this, where people informally and inadvertently draw classified information into their phone conversations or their unclassified server conversations, where there had been a prosecution.
(Bolding in the original C&L article)

Now, #socklessdeadintern wasn’t happy with this so he had to add his own little twists and turns:

JOE SCARBOROUGH: David, so you have over the past week or two turned a bit in some of your editorial, in some of your op-eds, you’ve said you would rather hear Hillary’s policy positions than more talk about the servers, you said you don’t think she faces any criminal prosecution. You haven’t exactly said nothing is here, move along, move along, but you’ve certainly —

MIKA BRZEZINSKI: Getting tired of it, which is what they’re hoping.
(thatagirl #drunkmika!) -my comment

SCARBOROUGH: — Yeah, I mean aren’t you playing into what the Clinton sort of scandal response team wants, which is so much stuff comes at you that at some point you just say, “Come on, let’s just move on.”

DAVID IGNATIUS: Joe, I’ve tried to respond as a journalist but in particular I’ve tried to look at what is a real prosecutable offense here. There are violations clearly both of administrative procedure and probably technically of law and how classified information was handled. As I talked to a half dozen of lawyers who do nothing but this kind of work, they said they couldn’t remember a case like this, where people informally and inadvertently draw classified information into their phone conversations or their unclassified server conversations, where there had been a prosecution.

But #sockless…still not happy, has to keep harping on his preconceived ideas.

SCARBOROUGH: But this isn’t happenstance. This is a very calculated move to say if you want to communicate with the Secretary of State, as Edwards Snowden said, whether you are a foreign diplomat or a spy chief from another country or a leader of another country, which they all did, you’ve got to come to this unsecured server, whether it is in Colorado or wherever it is, and there is a standard in the U.S. Code under prosecutions for this sort of thing which is gross negligence. It’s not a know or should have known –
(Italics mine.  Now neither lawyerJoe or (former) congresscritterJoe cited what title and part of the U.S. Code Hillary was violating.)

So Ignatius, trying to be as patient as possible I guess, explained it a bit more s-l-o-w-l-y and thoroughly for #sockless:

This issue comes up surprisingly often because there is an administrative problem where people do these things and their security officers summon them and warn them and issue reprimands and it goes in their file and it’s a serious personnel administrative problem. My only point is I couldn’t find a case where this kind of activity had been prosecuted and that’s just worth noting as we assemble our Clinton e-mail – and more thing, Joe, legally there is no difference between her using her private server and if she’d used, which is also not a classified system. The idea that, oh this would have been fine if she used, not legally, no difference.

And here is the edited version that they re-aired later in the program, leaving out that key part.

As Peter Daou and Tom Watson said over at HillaryMen, “How Low Can Morning Joe Go?”

As Hillary Clinton attempts to make history as America’s first woman president, Morning Joe has emerged as the global headquarters of the He-Man Hillary Haters Club, with Scarborough and co-host Mika Brzezinski presiding over a daily boys club that relentlessly attacks Hillary’s candidacy, her accomplishments, her very humanity. It is an ugly and self-righteous spectacle, rife with misleading allegations, insinuations and false indignation. Searching for words to describe Morning Joe’s particular brand of anti-Hillary invective, we’ve described it as “an unhealthy and unhinged combination of envy, awe, muted rage and dripping disdain.”

And #socklessdeadintern has never been one to back off, even if it comes to bullying his own guests.

and perhaps on a previous show that’s why Jeremy Peters did this:

Also, if you are curious about how we came up with #deadintern for schmoe, then you can go here and read about it.   Prolix, catching something in an article about schmoe’s tendency to go sockless thought it was a good idea to add that to the hashtag.  Works for me.

But back to that article:

Just the facts: Scarborough got a divorce. Then he suddenly resigned from Congress, just six months after re-election. (Invoked old fallback excuse of wanting to “spend more time” with children.) Then he suddenly resigned as publisher of the Independent Florida Sun. Then, just as suddenly, Lori Klausutis, 28-year-old staffer to Scarborough, was found dead in Scarborough’s district office in Fort Walton Beach, Florida. Date was July 20, 2001. Cause of death: Blow to the head. Conclusion: Heart condition caused her to collapse, fall, hit head on a desk, and die. Story barely a blip on the radar. Lots of people left with lots of questions.

Lotsa good stuff at that link and some other links on that site.

And lastly, if you think I’m being sexist or misogynistic about #drunkmika, I’m not.  As they say on the teevee, let’s roll the tape.

Okay, this is a completely open thread so feel free to take it wherever you wish.



For those of you tuning in expecting MB, she can’t be here today.  Here’s what I have to offer.

dog with rabies

It always starts out innocent enough.  There are subtle changes in behavior.  There might be changes in tone, maybe there’s an elevated temperature and things are a bit warmer than normal, and there is the constant irritation – always irritated about any and everything.

The next phase of the infection manifests itself in wantonness craving – craving to eat anything, even inedible objects.  This craving gives way to incessant growling and grousing.  There is a general disorientation to the world as it exists.  Nothing goes right – can’t go right – won’t go right – the whole world is wrong since it fails to listen to the copious amounts of advice so freely offered.

Then the erratic behavior begins.  There are episodes of aggressive behavior toward others.  The erratic behavior is unexplainable since it often goes against convention and the world as it presents itself.

Those suffering from the condition show visible signs of anxiety and alertness to even the slightest provocation.  The irritability is palpable.  There is constant restlessness and episodic outbursts of irrationality.

When it gets to this point, time has drawn short for those suffering from the “Furious Phase of Mad Dog Syndrome”.  I could have just as easily been describing the cabal of U.S. Representatives who are celebrating the resignation of John Boehner as Speaker last Friday.  Simply put, John Boehner didn’t have a prayer.

If the analogy holds, for rabid dogs the next phase is paralysis and total incapacitation.  We can only hope this group of the fringiest of the fringe holds true to the symptomatology they have exhibited so far.

Who are these mad dogs of the House?  They are a group of about thirty-seven members of Congress (36 testosterone-based and 1 estrogen-based).   They call themselves the Freedom Caucus.  They are new members mostly having been elected in 2010.  They are Tea Party swilling ideologues who detest gubmint in all its forms especially the gubmint presently headed by a commie Afro-Kenyan named Obama.

These caucusteers suffer from Mad Dog Syndrome and banded together after the House Republican Study Caucus (RSC) became too liberal or better said, not severely conservative enough for them.  Lest you get the wrong idea, the RSC was headed at the time by Steve Scalise, the guy who claimed to have all the good points of David Duke, but none of the baggage.

A few of the Freedom Caucus...

A few of the Freedom Caucus…

Emblematic of the membership is a cast of characters who are, according to Republican sources, the “craziest of the crazies.”  There are the usual suspects like Steve King of “cantaloupe calves” fame and Raul Labrador of Idaho, who himself is of immigrant heritage and is an immigration attorney, but who has fought immigration reform at every turn.

There are those who are not as well-known like Gary Palmer of Alabama who is “set his hair on fire” angry about Planned Parenthood funding even though the tapes that have him so upset were doctored and edited with stock images.

There’s Mark Meadows of North Carolina, one of the founders of the group, who submitted the resolution in August declaring the office of the speaker vacant.  One of his seven reasons:  The Speaker uses the power of the office to punish Members who vote according to their conscience instead of the will of the Speaker.  Well Mark, welcome to two-hundred years of House of Representatives history.

Another member is Justin Amash of Michigan.  Amash was profiled by the NY Times as the most contrarian member of Congress.  What an honorific!  One of his brilliant policy points is that he isn’t sure Planned Parenthood will stay dead after Congress kills it because it can just change its name to something else.  He’s frightened of zombie health care workers.

Then there’s Cynthia Lummis, who represents the entire state of Wyoming.  What is it about Wyoming?  Her most eloquent statement is this:  I wouldn’t trust Obama with a clod of dirt, let alone international trade deals.Markwayne Mullin

Then there’s my new personal favorite from Oklahoma, Rep. Markwayne Mullin (one name, no space) who is a former competitor in mixed martial arts cage matches.  (See, rabid dog explanation earlier in this post.)  Markwayne runs a workout session in the mornings in the Congressional Gym and is stealing members from Paul Ryan’s P90X workout because Markwayne’s sessions create prettier abs or at least that is what the Tulsa World surmised.

BoehnerHere’s what we know about this sordid little uprising:

  • Gerrymandering has been very, very good to these crazies. Their districts vote 14% more Republican than the average district and there are very few minorities in their districts.
  • Most came to power during the 2010 midterms. They came promising to pull Obamacare out by root and branch.  They proclaimed Obamacare the end of civilization as we know it.
  • If you only have a hammer, everything begins to look like a nail. This group of representatives only knows two gears – anger and fear.  They know nothing else; therefore, the apocalypse is an event happening on the half-hour according to their timekeeping.
  • Not only are these folk science-deniers, as Republican Rep. Tom Cole said, “These people deny simple mathematics. Either they can’t count or they won’t count. Unless you have 60 in the Senate, your agenda is going nowhere.”Pagliacci
  • This is a group who represent a constantly moving target. The kiss of death of any proposal is an Obama thumbs-up even if it is a policy proposal they have supported in the past.
  • Finally, policy doesn’t mean diddlely squat to this caucus outside of refusing to compromise. Their positions are pathological for the most part.  Hurting people and even hurting the country by downgrading the credit of the U.S. is acceptable to their philosophy of scorched earth politics.

John Boehner is happily getting out.  The cigarettes will burn brightly, the Merlot will flow, and tee times await him.  For him, just like in Pagliacci, it is curtain time with the closing line:  La commedia è finita! – “The comedy is finished!”  Unfortunately, for the rest of us, it is just beginning.

Take the conversation in any direction you might like.

A happy weekend to all Widdershinners.  This weekend’s stories are from a variety of sources such as our friends at News of the Weird.  Enjoy!

PigGate…David Cameron

At one point in his life, David Cameron, British Prime Minister, took the words of E.B. White in Charlotte’s Web regarding Wilbur the pig quite literally.  Those words were, “Wilbur didn’t want food, he wanted love.”

Cameron, the hoity-toity Prime Minister, is a product of aristocratic privilege.  He’s so straight-laced and uptight, when he has gas his butt whistles like a teakettle.

Porkback Mtn.In a tell-all book from a jilted contributor here’s the story:  During an initiation to a select, highly discriminating club, future Prime Minister Cameron allegedly placed his private parts into the mouth of a dead pig – something along the lines of boy meets hog in the most intimate fashion.

For the record, it was the first time, “Sooey Pig,” actually became the sweet-nothings of foreplay.  It can’t be characterized as normal, consensual man/pig love since the irrumation was post pig passing, or in the vernacular it was “necropiglia”.

To date, no industrious British pub has put a BLT, a BLP, on its menu (the “P” doesn’t stand for pig).


Dirty, dirty boyz and girlz…

Clinical field trials for Mother Dirt...

Clinical field trials for Mother Dirt…

Having started with a pig/human coupling, I had to follow-up with this one.

The Cambridge, Massachusetts, company AOBiome believes we have dangerously stripped “good bacteria” from our skins via “excessive cleaning”.  AOBiome has introduced a spray product called “Mother Dirt” to add back what they consider good bacteria to our skin.

Chemical engineer and co-founder Dave Whitlock told WBZ-TV this month that he personally “has not taken a shower in over 12 years,” but instead uses his odorless bacteria-restoring mist twice a day to cover himself with helpful “dirt” that activates the “good” bacteria.  Such personal grooming habits also keep staph staff meetings mercifully brief and to the point.


More Animal Farm nonsense…

I’m on a roll with the animals this weekend.

According to a petition filed two weeks ago by Carole Mundy (and reported in the New York Post), she is seeking a divorce from her estranged husband Jeffrey Stein.  Stein is a “top administrator” for New York’s Nassau County District Attorney’s office.

Who knew this was a thing...

Who knew this was a thing…

According to Mundy’s petition, Stein’s behavior drove her to post-traumatic stress disorder with certain of his “lifestyle” choices.  The sordid details go like this:

Stein sometimes wore a chastity belt to work.  Now, I ask you, “Who doesn’t on occasion?”

Sometimes during sex, Stein wore diapers.  At other times, he wore “a horse-tail” attached via an anal plug (now there’s some efficient engineering).  Stein “gallop(ed)” around their home, but sometimes had a catch in his giddy-up because of his anal regalia.  Stein was housebroken and used a litter box, thereby alleviating messy clean-ups.

For foreplay, Stein had his wife “walk” him on a leash.  When he was feeling really sassy, he dressed like a “sissy maid” named “Jessica.”  To top things off, Mundy complained about the relatively normal behavior of Stein wanting to be fed and diapered like a baby.

Mundy’s lawyer complained that the marriage was “a bedroom nightmare.”  I would suggest to Ms. Mundy’s lawyer, don’t be too quick to judge if he hasn’t yet attended the extracurricular activities of the ultra-conservative Values Voter Summit going on right now in D.C.  Compared to Mr. Stein’s antics, the VVS attendees look like summa cum laude graduates of the Caligula School of Debauchery and Scrapbooking.


Only in Murica and in particular Flo Rida’s home…

The target audience...

The target audience…

Spike’s Tactical of Apopka, Florida, introduced its version of the AR-15 assault rifle this summer “designed to never be used by Muslim terrorists,” as if that is something anyone other than a slime ball marketer would think about.

The AR-15 is laser-etched on one side with a symbol of the Christian Crusades and on the other, language from Psalm 144 (just for giggles, I looked it up, here’s Verse 1: Blessed be the Lord my strength which teacheth my hands to war, and my fingers to fight).

Spike’s Tactical CEO Angela Register predicted brisk sales: “Men like to accessorize their guns more than women like to accessorize their outfits.”

Since this is obviously a marketing ploy, I wonder why they didn’t offer a three-fer special where in addition to the AR-15 everyone got a free mullet trim and a spell check on their tattoos.


Forget sexual orientation, let’s move on to highway maintenance…

For years now we have heard about “praying the gay away.”  Michele Bachmann’s sweet cheeks, Marcus, made a fortune at it and got paid by the government for “absolutely faaaaabulous gay exorcism”.

Actual Jackson, MS pothole awaiting prayer...

Actual Jackson, MS pothole awaiting prayer…

Well, Jackson, Mississippi, was listening.  The streets of Jackson apparently have potholes capable of swallowing a life-sized Haley Barbour and these mini-canyons are needlessly slowing down the Klan parades – those sheets and torches don’t deliver themselves.

Here’s the problem, Jackson doesn’t have an adequate budget to fix them.

So what’s a mayor to do?  Jackson’s Mayor Tony Yarber came up with his solution in the hot, sultry, cut-the-humidity-with-a-butter-knife, dog days of August. His earnestly offered remedy: Prayer.

Said Yarber, “I believe we can pray potholes away.”  Yarber didn’t elaborate on whether or not the potholes just grew that way or they were exhibiting a lifestyle choice.


Some names in the news…Name

Mr. Daniel Gentleman, 28, was charged with choking and punching his fiancé in Prescott, Arizona.

Ms. Charlene Mess, 48, was charged with killing her husband and burying his body in a manure pile in Attica, N.Y.  Ms. Mess was always nasty.

Mr. Huckleberry Finn was charged with sexual assault in Keene, New Hampshire.  No word yet on whether or not Huck had help from Tom Sawyer.

And when the FDA approved the so-called “female Viagra” drug Addyl in August, it was a big deal.  The announcement garnered lots of attention and I’m sure the selection of the spokesperson was painstakingly undertaken.  When asked about the side-effects, FDA spokesperson Dr. Janet Woodcock, said, “There are no hard and fast, hard and fast, hard and fast rules.”


Here’s a video for your viewing pleasure.

Have a great weekend and feel free to take the conversation in any direction you might like to explore.



From Vox:Crying

John Boehner’s combative, difficult five-year speakership has been marked by many conflicts with Democrats. But his most bitter fights were with conservatives in his own party, whose opposition to his leadership spurred his decision to resign.

That’s evident in the statements members of both parties are making about Boehner today. Democrats like President Obama, Harry Reid, and Chuck Schumer are showering him with praise — as are mainstream, establishment Republicans. But conservatives — particularly some outspoken 2016 presidential candidates like Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, and even Marco Rubio — tend to be glad he’s leaving, with some sounding positively joyful at his departure.

All this makes sense. Boehner was not even close to being a liberal, but he was viewed by Democrats overall as a Republican they could work with — which is just what infuriated the right.

Also from Vox:

This morning, House Speaker John Boehner announced he’d resign from Congress. And here’s how the Value Voters Summit in Washington, DC — a gathering of conservative Christian activists — greeted the news, according to Steve Peoples of the Associated Press:

And to prove a central tenet of the Grand Old Party, here’s the announcement at the Values Voter Summit by the youngest of the Super Mario Brothers, Marco Rubio.

Apparently, their celebrated values don’t include loyalty, allegiance, faithfulness, obedience, adherence, homage, devotion, steadfastness, staunchness, trueheartedness, dependability, reliability, trustworthiness, duty, dedication, or commitment.  They do demonstrate some world-class consistency and it is said that consistency is the hobgoblin of small minds; ergo, neo-cons are exceedingly pea brained.


This is an open thread.


So much is happening!  I thought I would touch on several items today and let you pick where to run with them.  Feel free to take the conversation in any direction you deem worthy of our time and energy.WayBack Machine

Here’s my first discussion nominee:  I find it downright arse-reddening to have these Republican candidates harp on, “Making Murica Great Again,” or “Taking Murica Back,” or “Restore the Murican Dream,” or any number of other vapid and vacuous word salads harkening us to better times past by climbing into the “WayBack Machine.”

Shall we compare the 2008 angelic conservo-Republicanism of Bush with today’s terrible, horrible, most awful Democratic commie Afro-Kenyan?”

Here’s a fun chart comparing net job creation:


Here’s one on corporate profits – I include it knowing full well corporate profits are obscene, but it absolutely debunks the meme that it takes a Republican to effectively run the economy.


How about gas prices?  Price per gallon in 2008 was $3.25 per gallon.  Now, gas is $2.29 per gallon.  Every 20% reduction in gas prices reflect the equivalent of a $75 Billion tax cut.

How about immigration?  By the end of 2014 or five full years of his presidency, Obama deported more people than Dubya did in his entire eight years.

How about uninsured Muricans?  Down from 15 percent to 9.2 percent.  Or how about unemployment?  Down from 7.2 percent to 5.1 percent.  How about something as arcane as Iranian centrifuges?  Down from 19,000 at the end of the Bush Administration to 6,000 with the Iranian Agreement.

You can see where I’m going with this.  Anyone who seriously wants to “Make Murica Great Again” – great like it was under the former Republican president – obviously doesn’t know what the word “great” means.Carson Muslims Unfit

Then there’s Ben Carson – the quiet guy – the guy who is a super-smart, gifted pediatric neurosurgeon.  I have no reason to doubt he’s a truly great doctor, but there is more than enough evidence to prove he’s clueless about public policy and abysmally ignorant about the government he is so desirous of leading.

Carson said, “I would not advocate that we put a Muslim in charge of this nation.  I absolutely would not agree with that.”  To hear Carson tell it now, he didn’t say it like that, but who are you going to believe?  Ben Carson or your lying ears?

Article VI of the Constitution (pretty important document) says there shall be no religious test for any office within the United States.  Just for clarity, “any office” includes the presidency.

Ben Carson is quiet, unassuming, timid – no bluster, no showmanship, no spectacle like Forrest Trump.  Let there be no mistake though, Carson is every bit as toxic as Trump.  Just because he spews his toxicity quietly doesn’t make it any less corrosive.

Scott WalkerTurning now to Scott Walker and his slow retreat into a vat of Wescottsin sharp cheddar, I can’t help but revel in the knowledge that the Brothers Koch seem to dwell in some kind of political fool’s paradise.

Scott Walker and his ever-expanding bald spot was the Koch boychick in the 2016 race.  In 2012, their shikseh was Michele Bachmann.  Need we say more?

The Supreme Court, through Citizen’s United, has essentially outsourced picking the president to those with the political acumen of the Brothers Koch.  It’s said that a fool and their money are soon parted, but I have no clue as to how long it takes to separate two fools and $130 Billion.

Here’s the last subject for you to consider:  Why have we spent months upon months wooling around an issue as inconsequentially arcane as Hillary’s email when something as fundamentally dishonest as Jeb!’s economic plan has been barely mentioned in the press.

Wars and Tax CutsA bit of context is useful.  By 2019, more than half of our projected federal deficit will be directly attributable to the Bush wars and tax cuts.  Here’s a handy-dandy chart because you know what they say, “One picture is worth $20 Trillion in words.”

Now Jeb!’s plan is to officially replicate his brother’s tax cut.  Jeb!’s tax plan benefits not the top 1 percent, but the top 0.1 percent.  He conveniently left that part out of his media push.  I can do no better than what Vox has done in explaining it:

Four economists handpicked by Bush’s team to analyze the plan say that it would reduce federal revenue by about $3.4 Trillion over its first 10 years. That’s trillion with a T.

To get a sense of the scale, consider the following big government liberal dream proposals:

Create subsidized job opportunities for 80,000 adults per year ($10 billion)

The Center for American Progress’ plan for high-quality day care ($40 billion)

A bipartisan plan to boost the EITC to help the working poor that’s held up in Congress because of disagreement on how to pay for it ($60 billion)

Obama’s proposal for universal preschool ($75 billion)

Eliminate the Highway Trust Fund fiscal gap ($168 billion)

Hillary Clinton’s plan for debt-free college ($350 billion)

A national high-speed rail network ($500 billion)

End sequestration, and adopt the Congressional Progressive Caucus’s wish list of domestic discretionary funding increases ($1.9 trillion)

Sounds pretty ridiculous, right? Especially if you don’t specify how you are going to pay for it. But this liberal wish list adds up to only $3.1 trillion in new budgetary commitments.

Read too quickly and the difference between $3.1 trillion and $3.4 trillion can seem like just a decimal point, but $300 billion is a lot of money, even spread across 10 years. So much that it would be enough to add in the $30 billion a year it would take to end hunger globally.

World Hunger

Simply put, it’s a choice between Jeb!’s plan to use $3.4 Trillion to help out the top 0.1 percent or a liberal wish list of universal daycare to debt free college, helping the poor, jobs, infrastructure, and eradication of world hunger.

That’s a national conversation worth having if we didn’t have such important things as Hillary’s emails to spit and spew about.  The real mystery to me is why voters fall for this claptrap again and again.

If the fifteen years of this century has taught us anything it is this:  Policy problems, both domestic and international, are complicated.  We need to mind that lesson.

Take the conversation in any direction you would like and have a great Wednesday.

Photo credit: The Associated Press

Good Monday, all! As a Noo Yawkah, I am experiencing some trepidation about what will happen this week when the Pope, the President and the United Nations all converge upon the City that Never Sleeps. Now, I’m not a Catholic, nor do I play one on the Interwebz; but many of my closest friends are believers, and so I have been following Pope Francis’ career with some interest.

Those of you who have been reading my writings for a while know that I am not a fan of the Catholic church. I have pointed out in the past that Catholicism, much to its detriment, has not experienced a modern, liberalizing Reform movement. Its focus on celibacy has, rather predictably, attracted priests who have major sexual dysfunctions, and the Church is still recovering from the horrible revelations of the widespread child abuse practiced by so many clerics in the fold. By contrast, Reform Judaism and many Protestant forms of Christianity have embraced married, female and openly gay rabbis/priests, and by and large, these awful crimes are not committed in Reform temples and churches. I’m not even mentioning the retrograde views of birth control that are embraced as part of the Catholic church’s doctrine, which, per a Guttmacher institute report in 2011, are not even practiced by the majority of those who call themselves Catholic. As for American Catholic women who have had abortions, that is a much lower number (27%), but it’s certainly not as low as the Church would want it (0%).

Fast-forward to this week’s visit. There’s been a lot of excitement about Pope Francis and his statements on the environment, helping the poor, and seeming embrace of tolerance of LGBT. So today I ask the question: Is Francis a harbinger of liberal reform?

Read the rest of this entry »

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