The Widdershins

Good Monday, all. It has been another busy, crazy weekend. First things first: we need to keep calling our Senators (and for those of us in blue states, calling Susan and Lisa, as I fondly call them) – to make very, very sure that they don’t pass Graham-Cassidy.

Senator Susan Collins: (202) 224-2523

Senator Lisa Murkowski: (202)-224-6665

You can also call McMaverick: (202) 224-2235

And Brillo Pad Paul: 202-224-4343

As for the rest, where do I even begin? While no one would ever defend the media’s horrific treatment of Our Girl, Hillary Clinton, I will say there is a YUGE challenge in trying to keep up with the non-stop sh*storm our Presnit unleashes every single day. I even heard a couple of women talking about it in the nail salon today, and they were not kind. I’m pretty sure they were Republicans, too, being white, of a certain age, and in Croton-Harmon, Noo Yawk (FYI, I live in the more down-market town slightly north). “Why doesn’t he stay out of private enterprise?” asked one. “Why doesn’t someone take that d*mn phone away from him?” asked the other. Neither one had an answer, but it was clear they were absolutely disgusted. “There’s something so wrong with him,” the first one concluded, shaking her head.

Yes, there is. And to attempt to chronicle the madness would take much more time than your intrepid MB has…so here are some thoughts I have about the latest scandals. It will be a lightning round. Here goes…

There are four defining characteristics of the GOP in the Drumpf era: Corruption, white male rage, narcissism and high crimes and misdemeanors. If I were the media, I would put each scandal into one of those frames to make it easier to digest and understand.

It would look something like this:

Corruption

  • Attempting to remove health care from 32 million Americans so the Kocks and Sheldon Adelson will open their checkbooks and spend hundreds of millions of dollars to get them re-elected
  • Proposing a $1.3 million tax cut for themselves and their friends under the guise of “tax reform”
  • Private jets for Cabinet secretaries
  • Staying at Drumpf properties for 33% of his very short term so far, and continuing to make money from them
  • Refusing to disclose his tax returns
  • Buying fake news ads on social media

White male rage

  • #MAGA
  • Stephen Bannon, Sebastian Gorka, etc. etc. etc.
  • Breitbart and Fox News
  • Condemning black football and basketball players for peacefully protesting racism, while opining there are “very fine” Neo-Nazis and Klansmen after they killed a young woman and two law enforcement officials in Charlottesville
  • Build The Wall
  • Lock Her Up
  • DACA rollback
  • Muslim ban
  • Transgender ban in the military
  • Deportation force
  • Birtherism
  • Not sending aid to Puerto Rico immediately – because they are “brown” American citizens

Narcissism

  • Drumpf’s obsession with (ahem) size
    • Hands
    • Rallies
    • Victory in 2016
  • His need to destroy everything related to any person or institution he lost to at one point (which is, like, a lot of people, because he is a LOSER. Sad!!!!)
  • His need to always claim a win, even though…see above
  • His constant need to be praised, stroked, and told he is the best at everything

High crimes and misdemeanors

  • Russia, Russia, Russia
    • Firing of Sally Yates and James Comey
    • Trump Tower, Moscow
    • Wikileaks
    • DNC hacks
    • Voting database hacks with no acknowledgement and no action to prevent them from happening again
    • “Voting fraud” commission as an excuse to purge more voters from the rolls

I am exhausted! I don’t know how Rachel Maddow does it. I hope I’ve given you enough to talk about today, Widdershins.

This is, as always, an open thread.

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A little h/t to chat

Good weekend to you Widdershins!

On Friday we had our Autumnal Equinox.  Of course we wouldn’t know that down here in the lower parts of the country – we hit 89° for a high yesterday. We have the autumnal equinox each year and yes I’ve done music posts about it before.  But isn’t it nice to have some continuity?  (I know that you are all nodding your heads in agreement with that)

I found a site that has some nifty items about the equinox and I’ll share some of them here.

  • This year, 2017, the autumnal equinox arrives precisely at 4:02 pm (EDT) on Friday, September 22. Unlike an event such as New Year’s midnight that follows the clock around the time zones, equinoxes happen at the same moment everywhere.
  • There are two equinoxes annually, vernal and autumnal, marking the beginning of spring and fall. They are opposite for the northern and southern hemispheres – so for those of you in the south, happy spring!
  • Because it takes the Earth around 365.25 days to orbit the Sun – and why we have a leap year every 4 years – the precise time of the equinoxes varies from year to year, usually happening around six hours later on successive years. On leap years, the date jumps back an entire day.
  • “Equinox” comes from the Latin words “equi” meaning “equal” and “nox” meaning “night.” This implies that there will be equal amounts of daylight and darkness, however such is not exactly the case.
  • Exactly equal day and night won’t happen until sunrise and sunset occur precisely 12 hours apart, which depends on a location’s latitude; the closer to the equator, the closer it is to the equinox. This day is known as the equilux.(“Lux” being Latin for light, isn’t that pretty?)

Okay that’s enough of lessons.  You can go to the link and read them all.  Let’s move on to some music.

I’m going to do this a little differently this time.  I found a lot of fall/autumn images so I’m going to put a picture or image inbetween the songs.

(1) Cloudy~Simon and Garfunkle

(2) Autumn Sweater~Yo la tengo

(3) Indian Summer~Poco

(4) When the leaves come falling down~Van Morrison

(5) Forever Autumn~The Moody Blues

(6) The Autumn Leaves~Nat King Cole

Last:
(7) Autumn in New York~Sarah Vaughan

Okay Widdershins, that’s all I have for today.  Please share your selections, if any, in the comments below.  Open thread of course.

 

 

 

You think we’re buying that crap?

 

A good morning to you Widdershins!

Just a little something since DYB’s Wednesday post was so wildly successful.

So Frankencassidy Bill of Louisiana and Lady Lindsey of South Carolina would have you believe that their plan to abolish the A.C.A. is about giving Americans a “better choice” for healthcare.  And they would accomplish this by creating “block grants” to send to the states and the states would take care of healthcare and health insurance for their residents.  I call bullshit on it.

Here’s what NPR had to say about this atrocity.

Here’s what it does:

Graham-Cassidy essentially deconstructs all of the major programs created by the Affordable Care Act, gathers up the money and hands it over to states to run their own health care programs.

It gets rid of both the subsidies that help people buy individual health insurance policies and the reimbursements to insurance companies for offering price breaks on copayments and deductibles to the lowest-income customers.

It rolls back the Obamacare Medicaid expansion that was adopted by 31 states and Washington, D.C., and it eliminates the Basic Health Program that was created under the ACA and implemented in New York and Minnesota.

All the money that currently goes to those initiatives would instead be distributed to the states as block grants that would particularly benefit those states that did not expand Medicaid earlier and those states with lower health care costs.

There’s a huge graphic there that breaks down how the A.C.A./the House plan/First Senate bill/and Graham-Cassidy affect various groups.  Check it out.

Another thing is the fact that yes this sends money to the states and their legislatures to create some type of health care program for individuals and to manage their medicaid programs.  Now…take a look at this graphic of who controls the state legislatures in the country:

Now do you really think those red state legislatures are going to be very concerned about individuals with pre-existing conditions or keeping the guaranteed essential benefits of the A.C.A. plans?  Puhleeze!

And here’s another little sneaky thing the dynamic duds will accomplish: (again from the NPR piece)

Graham and Cassidy say their plan restores fairness to a system where currently more than a third of the money spent on the Affordable Care Act goes to just four states: Massachusetts, Maryland, New York and California.

[snip]

Timothy Jost, a professor at Washington and Lee University School of Law who wrote a widely used textbook on health law, says the proposed change also has political benefits for Republicans.

“In general, the legislation would over time move money away from states, predominantly Democratic, that have expanded Medicaid and aggressively pursued enrolling their lower income populations in Medicaid and exchange coverage,” he wrote in a Health Affairs blog post. “Money would move toward states, predominantly Republican, that have not expanded Medicaid.”

To quote someone famous:  “Aye, there’s the rub”.

And the biggie of all the biggies in the Repubs wanting so hard to push this deal simply comes down to money that their Lords and Masters say they want and they want it from the A.C.A.

The Kock Brothers (and yes I meant that) and the rest of their ilk have simply said their checkbooks are closed to the Repubs until they accomplish something.  And the something is a big, fat tax break for them courtesy of the money saved by getting rid of the A.C.A.

At a weekend donor retreat attended by at least 18 elected officials, the Koch brothers warned that time is running out to push their agenda, most notably healthcare and tax reform, through Congress.

One Texas-based donor warned Republican lawmakers that his “Dallas piggy bank” was now closed, until he saw legislative progress.

“Get Obamacare repealed and replaced, get tax reform passed,” said Doug Deason. “Get it done and we’ll open it back up.”

Dave Brat, a Repub from Virginia said:
“If we don’t get healthcare, none of us are coming back,” he said in a brief interview. “We said for seven years you’re gonna repeal Obamacare. It’s nowhere near repealed.”

It’s the same for tax reform, Brat said: “We don’t get taxes through, we’re all going home. Pack the bags.”

So there you go:  It’s all about the “dollahs” to the Repubs.

Speaking of dollahs to Repubs, I saw this on nola.com about Frankencassidy Bill and how much he has raked in through contributions:

https://www.opensecrets.org/news/issues/healthcare?type=P

If you look at the top of the heap there’s old Bill from La. raking in the most.

Lastly, here’s Jimmy Kimmel’s round 3 on Frankencassidy and his crappy piece of legislation:

Give ’em hell Jimmy!

And as far as Frankencassidy and Graham, well:

As usual, this is an open thread.

 

 

 

 

 

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There was a moment during the previous Trumpcare vote, when John McCain made his dramatic entrance and gave the melodramatic thumbs down, when Democrats spontaneously burst into applause. And minority leader Chuck Schumer angrily waved for them to stop, which was almost like someone hit the “mute” button. Schumer must have known that Trumpcare was not yet dead and gloating was premature. Sure enough, Trumpcare is back. And it is actually closer to passing now than it was back then. Lisa Murkowski, who with Susan Collins so resolutely stood against it then, is wavering now. It is impossible to read McCain’s intentions. His maverickness has always been an illusion. Will he waver until the last moment and deal Trumpcare another deathblow so he can bask in the glow of public praise? Or will he do his usually hyper-partisan right-wing thing and do what he has always done: vote right along party lines? Who can tell.

There’s a moment in Hillary Clinton’s book “What Happened” where she mentions that at the inauguration McCain came up to her and hugged her, and had the same horrified expression on his face that she had. I’m sure this happened, but I’ve always been fascinated by how politicians can do and say such awful things to one another – and then talk about each other’s integrity. McCain’s behavior towards Clinton has been vile for many years. From Benghazi and emails through the entire campaign. And yet, Hillary considers him a friend. I know this sort of thing has been the gold standard for bipartisanship (fight during the day, share dinner and drinks at night), but when so much it at stake, how do politicians separate their personal feelings? How do they compartmentalize watching people do horrible things and go grab a smoke after? How does one continue to respect a man like John McCain?

Speaking of vile and no respect: Bernie. Yesterday socalannie posted a tweet from Sasha Stone, founder of the entertainment website awardsdaily.com.

Screen Shot 2017-09-19 at 8.16.28 PM.png

That’s a perspective on Sanders and his Revolution I hadn’t appreciated until Stone articulated it. And suddenly, so much of it makes sense. Bernie is the alien from “Aliens,” a parasite with acid for blood that latches on to a host because it can’t survive on its own, and then eats its way out through the chest cavity. It lays eggs (Bernie’s loyal minions like Nina Turner and Susan Sarandon), who do their own damage by killing their own hosts. And the cycle continues. Of course Sanders’ revolution is against Democrats. He and his believers have dedicated more time to attacking Democrats than Republicans and Trump. And they are doing it by infiltrating the party and are now eating their way out. Sadly the Democratic party is allowing it. Last week Sanders managed to bully a lot of leading Democrats, like Kirsten Gillibrand, Corey Booker and Kamala Harris into supporting his single payer plan, a plan each and everyone one of them knows has zero chance of passing. And a plan that they announced just as the newest version of Trumpcare, conceived by Lindsey Graham, began to dig its way out of the grave. Sanders convinced Democrats to take their eyes off the undead with the usual promises of magical unicorns. Even Bernie Bro Matty Yglesias tweeted that October 1 – the day after reconciliation of ACA repeal ends – would have been a better day to introduce single payer. Now it’s impossible to tell if ACA will survive. And no, contrary to what Bernie Bros maintain, death of ACA will not lead to single payer.

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On the plus side, NY Times’ Glenn Thrush announced he quit Twitter. Sayonara baby.

What’s your minds Widdershins? This is an open thread.

Oh my goodness. They couldn’t. They wouldn’t.

Well, maybe they would. Those Republican f*ckers Graham and Cassidy are setting their sights on the ACA, and this time they’re really trying to remove it completely. Who actually wants this to happen – the 200 people who came to the “Less is M.O.A.R” rally?

“This bill is far more radical [than previous repeal bills] in that it envisions going back to the pre-ACA world, where the federal government wasn’t in the business of helping low-income adults or moderate-income people without employer coverage get health insurance at all,” Aviva Aron-Dine, senior fellow at the center, told HuffPost. “Compared to pre-ACA, there would be some extra state grant money floating around ― but it would have virtually no requirements attached to it at all and, since the funding wouldn’t adjust based on enrollment or costs, it would be hard for even well-intentioned states to use it to create an individual entitlement to coverage or help.”

Oh, and the bill would repeal the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate, and do so right away ― destabilizing insurance markets and causing premiums to rise right away, according to official projections [bolding mine].

Even though the actual defunding doesn’t start till 2020, the negative impacts will start immediately. Because, GOOPers are in charge and neener neener, they like screwing over poor people just for sh*ts and giggles.

Does this craptastic mess really have a chance to pass? No one is sure. After all, I don’t see why Lisa Murkowski and Susan Collins would budge from their previous positions, and Rand Paul, who won’t be satisfied until the only entities collecting government aid are corporations, has also said he feels it’s Obamacare Lite. Um, sure, Rand. Maybe there’s a brain somewhere underneath that Brillo pad you call a hairstyle, although so far I’ve seen no evidence thereof. But you just go on with your crayzee self and help us prevent a massive humanitarian disaster for all the wrong reasons, mmmmkay?

I think we still need to call, write, tweet, and go to town halls. We must make absolutely sure the GOP knows we will NOT accept the removal of health care from tens of millions of people.  If you need to find a town hall near you, here’s a nifty site that will help.

Oh – and if you haven’t seen this, it’s reason #1,875,643 to institute the 25th Amendment. Is this hideous creature really our President? Good f*cking Christ.

This is an open thread.

Happy Saturday (and Sunday) Widdershins.

We have survived another week. This week was off to a rough start because Hillary Clinton’s book about the 2016 campaign, “What Happened,” was released and before its4c498a1fa3498d0d740dfb69e25bea87--american-life-time-magazine.jpg release virtually every pundit on TV and Twitter had a meltdown about it. How dare Hillary say anything? People have been talking about her publicly for 30 years, but at this point, they said, she needed to go away. But an odd thing happened as the week progressed: as people actually read the book, they found they liked it. Ok, so maybe not the usual pundits. Those have a case of Clinton Derangement Syndrome so strong that nothing would appease them. (No really: Slate wrote an article questioning why Hillary isn’t angrier… like really, this happened.) But the more reasonable types found themselves not unhappy. And Clinton gave a number of remarkable interviews, everyone from Vox (Ezra Klein) to Rachel Maddow to The View. Turns out what Hillary has to say is not only interesting, a lot of it is important. Like the discussion about Republicans potentially working their way to a Constitutional Convention. This needs to make bigger headlines.

So, we found ourselves lifted up by Hillary Clinton once again. She may not run for office, but she herself said that she is not retiring from public life and from politics. Things are too important and too dangerous to step away from.

So, like Hillary, we will continue to fight.

Our weekend fight: Trumpcare is back folks. It’s back, like a zombie that will not die. Republicans are trying to repeal the ACA again. This is not a drill and not a joke. Start telling your friends to call their Senators and Representatives again. It is important. It is happening. Start calling 202-224-3121.

And for our weekend musical theme, the theme is: Fight. Fight. Fight.

What’s on your mind Widdershins?

 

hillary-clinton.jpg

Good morning Widdershins,

On Tuesday it finally happened. The book everyone had an opinion about, even though very few people had read it, finally came out. Hillary Clinton’s What Happened hit the bookshelves.

It is important to note that the overwhelming response from all The Usual Suspects on the cyber were predictably vile. Go Away! It’s too late! It’s too soon! Nobody cares! Bernie Would’ve Won! You’re destroying our perfect unity!!! The Chris Cillizza’s and Glenn Thrushes and Shaun Kings of the world all had twitter meltdowns bashing the book they had not read. They had only seen a few of the leaked pages, the one about Bernie (which Bernie had a fit about on Stephen Colbert), so did his minions like Nokimi Konst and Nina Turner. Matthew Yglesias declared the book an obvious money grab. Everybody’s main concern is that Hillary is dividing the Democratic party while Bernie is trying to save it. None of these things make sense here on Planet Earth. These people are really great at gas-lighting, they can give Trump a run for his money.

But as the publication came closer, something odd happened. A few reporters got early copies and were reading. Chris Hayes – a Bernie Bro – surprisingly tweeted that he was reading the book and it not what people expect. Dave Weigel of WaPo first tweeted “this book…it is good.” His review is here. NY Times’ Amy Chozick, 1/3 of the paper’s anti-Hillary axis, tweeted she likes the book a lot. And as the book came out and people really started to read it, the vitriol died down. Not disappear completely, but the temperature definitely dropped. Not a peep comment from Shaun King, though Cillizza is a snake, so he Cillizzas. Maggie has been mum.

The crowds for the book also were huge. In NYC the Barnes and Noble in Union Square Park had lines around the block to meet Hillary at the signing. Maggie Haberman tweeted about the lines and I can only imagine how her soul burned with rage. These interviews might be the first time Clinton supporters have actually been interviewed by the media! At some point during the day they said they were close to 1500 people at the signing. That’s a lot of people not caring about Hillary, some of whom camped out outside overnight.

I think it’s clear to anyone with an ounce of a brain: Hillary Clinton is not going away. Regardless of what Bernie and his Bros want. Hillary may not run for any office again, but she’s not giving up on politics and she thinks we are in more danger than may seem. In a Pod Save America podcast she told the hosts that Trump’s goal is to hold a constitutional convention, for which he needs 34 states. They are already at about 28, and they are packing the courts and States Attorney offices with loyalists. These people will do what Trump tells them. A reporter friend of mine (she works for Reuters) retweeted that Pod and drew a direct comparison to Venezuela and Turkey. That appears to be Trump’s agenda, with full support of the GOP, and full money backing by the likes of Mercers and Kochs, to turn America into some form of dictatorship because he doesn’t like not being in control.

The next few years are going to be interesting. “May you live in interesting times.” That Chinese curse has fallen on us all.

What’s on your mind? This is an open thread.

Keep Up

Atrocities Documented:

What the F*ck Just Happened?!

Victories Won:

Your Victories Against Drumpf!

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Blog Archive

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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

You go gurl! h/t Adam Joseph

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