The Widdershins

Good morning Widdershins.  I hope your Wednesday is a good one.

If I were Beyonce, this is what I would be doing...

If I were Beyonce, this is what I would be doing, just not looking as fine…

Listen, usually I try to weave a thread through these posts so they seem moderately coherent.  I’m not even gonna try today.  It isn’t because I feel defeated or deflated.  There’s just so much stuff swirling around in the political toilet bowl, the only unifying thread is outrageousness.  Accordingly, my cardiologist insists I do something other than sit around and seethe so I’m going to write about “stuff”.

Let’s begin with a question:  Have you heard any newsperson, of any flavor, ask Donald Trump, as they have and continue to do with Hillary, “Why don’t people like you?”

Trump’s negatives are higher than Hillary’s.  Hillary’s negatives are the product of thirty plus years of coordinated conservative assault.  Trump’s negatives are the self-inflicted product of his orange-infused brain and his logorrhea.

To my knowledge I have yet to see anyone pose the question to Trump, “Why don’t people like you?”  The shamelessness of the news media to have no qualms about asking Hillary about her trustworthiness or her “likeability” is the opening gambit in the media’s game of taking an electric sander and leveling the race.

How can you have a race when there is no race?  You sabotage one of the competitors.  Here’s an excellent article by Vox on this very issue.

Ann Telnaes, The Washington Post...

Ann Telnaes, The Washington Post…

Another thing that is overlooked is this:  Of everything Donald Trump has claimed or said up until now, 76% of it has been mostly false, false, or pants on fire lies according to Politifact.  A seven month review of his tweets reveals a scary picture of recurrent negativity and attacks.

But you know what – you know who gets the most negative press coverage?  Not the guy who has only told the truth 2% of the time, it is Hillary who gets the most negative press coverage.  It is described like this:

Consider what Trump will do when he’s behind, being bested by a woman, at risk of national humiliation, struggling to unite a party that is connected to him only through a shared hatred of Clinton. The mind boggles.

Will the Washington press corps chase after ridiculous personal attacks and conspiracy theories regarding Hillary Clinton, whispered into their ears by right-wing hacks?

Have you met the Washington press corps? They have been doing that since the early 1990s. Clinton rules mean guilty until proven innocent, then and now. The Washington media is a machine that transforms crap about Clintons into headlines, and Trump is a bottomless supply of crap.

This brings me to the Blue Nation Review piece on the false equivalency between Hillary and Trump.  There is no equivalency between someone willing to call the Clintons murderers on the one hand and a serious political candidate on the other.  The news media, for the sake of ratings, have climbed into the Trump sewer with some Calgon and Jean Nate and has decided it is a bubble bath of similar or equal quality to real journalism.

And what is most annoying is that the calendar works for Trump and is suspended for Hillary.  For instance, Trump belches up Vince Foster’s suicide as part of a Clinton hobby killing from 23 years ago, but any mention of Trump’s shenanigans and exploits of the 1990s is automatically disqualified as ancient history.  Perhaps some intrepid newsperson with a working calendar will notice.

This brings me to my last point and it is best illustrated by the fact even Kathleen Parker writes about it.  My point is this:  With Trump beginning the campaign by calling the Clintons murderers and narrating by Instagram the Lewinsky scandal, where does he go from here?  It’s like Handel beginning Messiah right out of the gate with the Hallelujah Chorus.  Where do you go from there?Hillary Rodham Clinton Signs Copies Of Her Book 'Hard Choices' In New York

Where does Trump go from here?  He can only go deeper in the annals of the National Enquirer for more and more outrageousness, but hopefully voters will develop immunity to the sight and smell of the Trump sewer.  Think of it as living next to a railroad track (as I did in college) – the first few weeks were quite unpleasant, but after a time you didn’t even notice.  It’ll be like that since it’s Hillary’s destiny to defeat Trump and silence the right-wing dullards who fear her.

What’s on your mind today?

 

Good Monday, Widdershins. The weekend proved yet again that there is no bottom to the depths #TheBernout is willing to sink to, in order to cling, bitterly, to his blind, self-deluded ambition to be President.

Not only did Mr. Sanders call Hillary “the lesser of two evils,” but he threw potshots at the chair of the DNC, as well.

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders on Saturday said he supports Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s Democratic opponent in her August 30 primary, adding that if he is elected president, he would effectively terminate her chairmanship of the DNC.

Sanders, whose campaign has engaged in an increasingly bitter feud with the DNC chairwoman during his presidential bid, said in an interview set to air on CNN’s “State of the Union” that he favors Tim Canova in Florida’s 23rd congressional district. Canova is supporting Sanders.

“Well, clearly, I favor her opponent,” Sanders told Tapper. “His views are much closer to mine than as to Wasserman Schultz’s.”

And…he’s raising money for her opponent, too. Because hell hath no fury like #TheBernout scorned; his apoplectic choler seems to increase in inverse proportion to his growing realization that he has, in fact, lost the nomination. It doesn’t seem to dawn on him that he’s once again, targeting a Democratic woman who is very popular with her base, and whom he most likely cannot defeat.

…Democratic activists and operatives say that Wasserman Schultz remains popular in her South Florida district — especially among Democrats — where she remains an active and visible presence, despite her national profile. The district is heavily Jewish, and she is the only Jewish woman to represent the state in Congress.

Wasserman Schultz has had only one Democratic primary, in 1992, when she first ran for, and won, a seat in the state House. She successfully ran for reelection, then state Senate, then Congress, without facing any Democratic opponents. Each time, she easily dispatched her Republican opponents in the strongly Democratic district.

Honestly, I don’t even know what to say to this latest series of nasty attacks, except that it seems clear why the oh-so-Independent Senator from Vermont has not accomplished one tiny piece of his agenda in the past 32 years. Because it certainly seems like he doesn’t know how to work with anyone that disagrees with him without throwing rhetorical bombs and making empty threats he is powerless to carry out (no, Bernie, you will NEVER be President, so saying that you wouldn’t re-appoint DWS doesn’t impress.)

But what will she do? Will she take action against Bernie? While DWS has firmly denounced his lack of apology about the chaos his supporters provoked in Nevada, she has not yet moved to retaliate against his latest petty attacks. In fact, she recently wrote an open letter about how awesomely unified the Democrats are. Oy vey ist mir, Debbie!

You can’t really blame the Democratic Party for not wanting to disturb the reality-challenged youngsters believing that if they just clap their hands, Tinkerbell Bernie’s dead campaign will come back to life. After all, they’ve shown they can’t be trusted to behave like grownups when they don’t get their way. But at this point, it’s just a matter of time till Bernie’s 15 minutes of fame are over. And when that happens, don’t expect Democrats to forgive or forget; and don’t expect Sanders to survive another term in Congress.

In the meantime, till that convention happens in Philadelphia, let’s stay strong for ourselves and Hillary. As Peter Daou of Blue Nation Review wrote,

So this is our admonition: a successful campaign requires our strength as well as Hillary’s. We are backing the candidate who has more conviction, stamina, and intellectual willpower than all her rivals combined.

A bumpy summer lies ahead. Polls will bounce around. Pundits will predict doom. Opponents will savage Hillary’s integrity. Lies and distortions will fly across social media. No one will be spared. Everything will be considered fair game.

But if we keep carrying Hillary on our shoulders, then long after we’re gone, women and girls will look back at this moment in history as an inflection point when the impossible become the possible.

This is an open thread.

 

 

 

Women protestingGood Saturday and weekend Widdershins!

It just seems there won’t be any palette cleansing or relaxation of late.  Bernie, his advisers, and the bros just do not want to give us a break.  Not to beat a dead horse, but the Nevada state convention was a very telling event.  There was the shouting down of Barbara Boxer and blocking the camera so she couldn’t be seen on the big teevee screen, then the general melee that occurred over the “minority report” that the Bernie supporters wanted to submit, followed by the outrageous verbal, texting and messaging assaults of Nevada Democratic party leader Roberta Lange.  That was followed by the defacing of the offices of the state Democratic Party.  Oh and did you notice how it was the “bros” who did the harassing of state leader Lange?  Also, it was seemingly the young guys who did the harassing.  (How proud would their mothers’ be at that?).

So with that in mind, I thought we might take a look at some songs of empowerment for women.  Now these aren’t revenge songs but rather songs about women being strong.  Let’s face it ladies, between the media attacks/insults of Hillary, the Bernie folks behaving badly (and I’m including the candidate here) plus Herr Drumpf’s attacks, we Hillary supporters are going to have to keep our heads up.

I’m just going to put up a few songs so the page doesn’t take a long time to load.  So that means I’m counting on you to add more in the comments below.

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(1) Brave – Sara Bareilles

(2) Stand – Rascal Flatts (no it doesn’t have to be all gurlz)

(3) Born This Way – Lady Gaga (excuse the unicorn)

(4) U.N.I.T.Y. – Queen Latifah

(5) I’m Coming Out – Diana Ross

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So there ya go Widdershins!  Please add your songs of empowerment in the comments below.

 * And that Latin in the title means “Don’t let the bastards grind you down”.

Happy Wednesday Widdershins.  If I might, please excuse me for a moment.

 

Thanks for your patience.  I needed to do my happy dance because against all odds, our gal Hillary won the great Commonwealth of Kentucky yesterday.  It was a squeaker, but in a 90% white state known for digging black rock out of the ground, voting for someone with a plan proved to make good sense.

Hillary at Transylvania University, Lexington, KY on Monday...

Hillary at Transylvania University, Lexington, KY on Monday…

The naysayers, as naysayers do, said Hillary outspent BerningBum and campaigned furiously.  Truth is:  Hillary spent a paltry $70,000 more than BerningBum and spent one extra day campaigning.  Hillary bested the Sand Crab because she won Jefferson County, the state’s largest county containing Louisville, which just happens to look like the Democratic Party.  That is why she won.

I’ve said this before, Trump and Sanders are the flip sides of the same coin.  They represent resentment and fear and, most importantly, anger.  If white male grievance were an ocean wave, Sanders represents those seeking to attain status on the front side while Trump represents those who have lost status on the waning side.  For either side of the resentment/grievance wave, the emotional response is anger.

It’s the tale of white male resentment.  It has been the premier organizing philosophy of the Republican Party for the past thirty years.  It is new to the progressive movement and that is disturbing.  Progressives have always championed solutions.  Progressives have known the inherent energy in positivity.  Now a significant portion of people claiming to be progressives have turned to the dark side of grievance, resentment, and negativity.

These Sanders-come-lately people aren’t really progressives – they are Independents who have scurried through an opening to rage against the Democratic Party courtesy of a fly-by-night Socialist – a Socialist whose pedigree is long on outrage and miserably short on accomplishment.  This rage is predicated on punishing the Democratic Party and Hillary for some imaginary wrong committed by a system in which they have chosen to play no part.

As Fredster’s excellent post on Monday demonstrated, the weekend events in Nevada were reprehensible.  Threatening volunteer officials, their families, and even their grandchildren is beyond the pale.  Throwing chairs, charging the stage, and profane disrespect for Sen. Barbara Boxer, who has labored her entire career in the pursuit of Democratic goals, are the actions of feral animals deserving no countenance within the party.

NV ConventionSo what does Bernie Sanders do in response?  He issues a statement that does not get around to condemning the violence until the tenth sentence in the third paragraph and then qualifies it with, “but, you people were mean to us first and rules suck.”

In his speech Tuesday evening, BerningBum followed up that shamelessness with a challenge to the Democratic Party to do “the right thing” by allowing open primaries and eliminating superdelegates.  In other words, allow casual, drop-in-at-their-pleasure Independents to decide Democratic primaries.  As for superdelegates, does anyone with half a brain think a governor, senator, or other elected official wouldn’t be elected to attend the convention?  Superdelegates make it possible for 700 regular citizens to have a place in the party apparatus as well as thwarting another improvident 1972 McGovern massacre from occurring.

The negativism of white male resentment isn’t profound.  Being negative is easy.  It takes no thought, it takes no facts — it is opinion clad in anger and grievance.  Being optimistic is a characteristic of striving for higher actualization.  For instance, here’s an excellent article about things you won’t hear from Drumpf or BerningBum:

Job growth has been strong for five years, with unemployment now below where it was for most of the 1990s, a period some extol as the “good old days.” The American economy is No. 1 by a huge margin, larger than Nos. 2 and 3 (China and Japan) combined. Americans are seven times as productive, per capita, as Chinese citizens. The dollar is the currency the world craves — which means other countries perceive America’s long-term prospects as very good.

Pollution, discrimination, crime and most diseases are in an extended decline; living standards, longevity and education levels continue to rise. The American military is not only the world’s strongest, it is the strongest ever. The United States leads the world in science and engineering, in business innovation, in every aspect of creativity, including the arts. Terrorism is a serious concern, but in the last 15 years, even taking into account Sept. 11, an American is five times more likely to be hit by lightning than to be killed by a terrorist.

Is the middle class in dire straits, as Mr. Sanders contends? Yes, inflation-adjusted middle-class household income peaked in 1998 and has dropped slightly since. But during the same period, federal income taxes on the middle class went down, while benefits went up. Gary Burtless of the Brookings Institution has shown that when lower taxes and higher benefits are factored in, middle-class buying power has risen 36 percent in the current generation.

Is American manufacturing in free fall, as Mr. Sanders and Mr. Trump assert? Figures from the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis show industrial output a tad below an all-time record level, while nearly double the output of the Reagan presidency, another supposed golden age. It’s just that advancing technology allows more manufacturing with fewer workers — a change unrelated to foreign competition.

Being positive, looking for answers, is an indicator of intelligence.  It is also a marker of well-being.  It used to be dominant within the progressive movement. BerningBum has hampered that.  For a good part of my career, I had the great fortune of working with pioneers in the field of positive psychology.  Here’s a Ted talk explaining positive psychology and its benefits.Nietzsche

The white male resentment takes little to communicate because it fails to educate.  It is a hallmark of both Trump and Sanders for one simple reason:  Both men are raging against a system to remake it in their likeness for their own aggrandizement – not to better the lives of others, but to feed their egos.  Pretty much the opposite of what a true leader would do.  Pretty much the opposite of what Hillary has lived and preached.

When Hillary said it takes a village, she never said, “First, burn it down and then remake it in my image,” as Sanders or Trump would have advised.  Hillary said work positively within the system to make the system better.  It isn’t as sexy.  It isn’t as heady.  It isn’t as macho.  But it is much more effective and will lead to sustainable growth and well-being.  That is the way to write the ending to the tales of white male resentment.

What’s on your mind today?

 

Funny-Bob-Rules-cropped

Good Monday to you Widdershins!

As you can see, mb is not doing a post today.  She had some issues to come up so I said I would look into the Magic 8 Ball to see what came up.  And the 8 ball came up with “clueless, rude people should not be allowed to participate at state caucuses and conventions”.

As I’m sure you already know, Nevada held its state Democratic convention this weekend.  From the reports (h/t to GAgal for the WaPo link) it appears a good time was not had by all  or probably even any.

You’ve probably heard it seemed like it was a chaotic mess.  People were rude and crude.  There was shouting down of folks, in one instance a medic had to be called for an attendee, and a distinguished United States Senator was booed during her speech.

It appears that the party leaders wanted to make a change whereby previously temporary rules were to be voted on as permanent rules.  And that’s when the stuff started hitting the fan.

That was when the vote to approve the rules as written — Roberta’s Rules versus Robert’s Rules, as some Sanders backers dubbed them — was conducted by voice vote. The motion, seconded by a Sanders supporter, passed — which is when the room, in Ralston’s phrasing, “erupts.” Ensuing speakers, including Sen. Barbara Boxer (a Clinton supporter), were interrupted by a vocal group of Sanders supporters at the front of the room.

The Bernsters were so upset with this first report that they wanted to file a “minority report” whatever the hell that means.  You see, the Bernie folks were upset because some of their supporters  were denied delegate status.  Nevermind that some of Clinton’s supporters were denied that status too.

Several Sanders supporters, however, put together what they called a “minority report” of 64 Sanders supporters they believe were wrongly denied delegate status. According to state party representatives, six of those were eventually allowed as delegates, and the rest were denied delegate or alternate status because either they or their records could not be located or they were not registered Democrats by the May 1 deadline. [bolding/italics mine]

Ah, those damned pesky rules rear their heads once again.  I have to wonder how these folks handled it in school when they got a test back with their incorrect answers marked as wrong, or when they asked for extra time to turn in that term paper which was listed on the syllabus at the beginning of term (“yes I know the date for this paper was on the syllabus you gave us three months ago, but I am so special those things don’t apply to me because…SPECIAL!”)

Sanders and Clinton supporters were divided over a vote to adopt a set of temporary convention rules as the permanent rules, with the former largely opposing them and the latter supporting them in a voice vote of the convention called by Lange.

Several dozen Sanders supporters flocked to the front of the convention room, shouting “this is fixed” and “no confidence” at party officials leading the convention after the vote. Others hurled insults specifically aimed at party leadership.

What the Las Vegas Sun writer said after it was all over was this: “What the vote revealed, though, was just how deep the divide between Clinton and Sanders supporters runs, and that Sanders supporters are far from ready to give up their fight for the White House.”

Prolix was gracious enough to collect a series of tweets from Las Vegas blogger Jon Ralston who was there and which were both amusing and sad the same time.  What they show about the Sanders supporters is pretty obvious:  the way they have behaved to this point is just exactly how they are going to behave at the national convention in Philadelphia.  These tweets go forward as the event progressed.

Reid talked to his “friend” Bernie and they love each other other and want the Bernie people to behave tomorrow.

ICYMi: Bernie folks sued NV Dems because, well, because. NV Dems won. Harry talks to Bernie: https://twitter.com/RalstonReports/status/731323309376167937 
Barbara Boxer is here to speak for Hillary. “We need civility in the Democratic Party.” She has a future as a Vegas lounge comic.
They had to take Boxer off big screen because Bernie supporter blocking camera with sign. I kid you not.
Bernie guy soliciting media to go talk to Bernie spox so we can understand why upset about rules. Um, is it because they are always upset?
Bernie folks essentially left to complain about: 1. Switch in measly 1 or 2delegates.2. Hillary/party mean to them. 3. Life isn’t fair.

It isn’t F A I R!!! Wahhhh!!

NV delegate count not that important. Real story of NV DEMS convention is as harbinger of Philly: Bernie folks will be loud and raucous. 2/2
And that is sadly most probably true.  What we’ve seen all campaign season is probably what we are going to see live on our teevees at the convention.  Perhaps there will be some lessons learned from all of this for the Bernsters, like making sure you’ve registered as a Democrat before the deadline.  When you don’t know the rules of the game it’s difficult to complain about the outcome. And as far as their complaining and whining is concerned well:
 Cannot fathom f_ck don't give
So what’s on your minds today Widdershins?  Please share your thoughts in the comments below.  It’s a completely open thread so take the conversation in any direction you wish.

Keep Calm Kick Ass-2

Good Saturday and weekend to you Widdershins!

So this weekend we won’t be able to relax so much and take it easy.  Nah, that’s not gonna happen so much this weekend because sometimes the attacks never end or rest.

Mrs. Alan Greenspan was interviewing the crusty old bastard the other day.  Bernie wanted to take a victory lap or two after his wins (?) in West Virginia and Indiana.  I question the word “wins” because they essentially got about the same number of delegates.  But Mrs. Greenspan was more interested in asking Sanders whether it was unfair to make Hillary have to fight on two fronts – one against him and one against Trump.  Well this set off the c.o.b. to no end:

In every state that we have won, in 19 states, we have had to take on the entire Democratic establishment. We’ve had to take on senators and governors and mayors and members of Congress. That’s what we have taken on, so please do not moan to me about Hillary Clinton’s problems.

Uh no Bernie, you’re confused.  You haven’t had to “take on” anyone.  It’s just the fact that senators and governors and mayors and members of Congress have endorsed your primary opponent, not you,  and that pisses you off.  Welp…too bad and so sad.  Deal with it.

Next, Charles Pierce of Esquire recently opined that maybe Clinton “isn’t the right candidate” to take on Drumpf.  Pierce acknowledges that the W.Va win was a bunch of hoo ha.

I realize that the results last night in West Virginia will not mean very much down the road. They are products of skewed demographics and the playfulness of a number of voters who would not vote Democratic in the fall if you paid them in gold to do so.

Pierce calls Hillary a “plodder” in horsey terms.  He feels she just doesn’t have the stuff to go up against a “rodeo clown”.

At the moment, I don’t see the Clinton campaign as being quick enough on its feet to do what it needs to do. (“Dangerous Donald”? Really?) Right now, it can’t put away Bernie Sanders, who is the most predictable candidate ever to stand in two shoes. Running as a serious candidate against a rodeo clown is always going to be a struggle.

I disagree with Pierce of course.  He’s been a Bernie guy since the beginning. Hillary has tried to place nice as much as possible with Sanders because “we can’t alienate his supporters”…wah wah.  She’ll have no such restrictions in the general against the rodeo clown.

So with that, let’s take a look at some songs of revenge by women.  The songs may reflect revenge from a romantic breakup but they’ll suit our purposes just fine.

black-line divider-no-background-th

(1) Me and Mr. Jones – Amy Winehouse

(2) You’re So Vain – Carly Simon

(3) A Broken Wing – Martina McBride

 (4) No Doubt – Sunday Morning

(5) Adele – Rolling in the Deep (Prolix’s favorite)

(6)Beyoncé – Irreplacable

Okay, so that’s some of my choices for songs concerning women who were scorned, not considered worthy or capable.  What are some that come to mind for you? Please add them in the comments below.

Gnome

There are days when it doesn’t pay to chew through the leather straps.  Yesterday wasn’t one of those days.

I’ve lived my life believing that Republicanism was exploitive and opportunistic, guided not by principle, but inexcusable hypocrisy.  My sainted and salty grandfather, who lived through the Depression, world wars, Hoover, Nixon, and Reagan, always referred to Republicans as “damned radicals who would steal the pennies off a dead man’s eyes.”

Watching the spectacle of Republicans fluttering to Donald Trump like crazed moths to a flame is a surefire affirmation of their philosophical fraud and guile.

As I’ve mentioned before, one of the requirements of leadership is a set of core values.  Those values are sustainable and unyielding.  Most everyone has a set of core values and when someone doesn’t, it is the exception.

Yesterday, we witnessed one of those exceptions by the unification of political wastrels and a rudderless oarsman.  It was a tour de force of political perversion proving G.O.P. does indeed stand for “Good Old Prostitution.”

Who better to be the head of the Republican Party than a scheming contortionist lacking a heart?  It is the perfect symbiotic relationship – allowing those who pretend to believe a cornucopia of convenient beliefs from which to choose.  Pretending to believe underpins the official Republican doctrine:  If you will buy it, we will claim to have always sold it.

Ann Telnaes of The Washington Post brilliantly captured yesterday’s events.

Ryan Kissing Trump's Ass

 

What’s on your mind today?

 

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