The Widdershins

Hello Widdershins!

Another week, more shenanigans from Sinenchin. AZ Senator who caucuses with Democrats went to fundraise in Europe while steadfastly insisting the filibuster is saving democracy and Manchin finally drew one red line on what he is willing to support: transitioning from coal to sustainable energy. We all thought Manchin objected to the cost of Biden’s BBB bill, but that ain’t it. It’s the pretty cheap part of the bill that transitions his state from coal. Manchin can’t have that. Coal must flow!!!! Even though it is a tiny part of the state’s industry (Arby’s employs more people than the coal industry). But Manchin looooooves coal. So.

Also Bernie Sanders released a blistering statement criticizing how the media is obsessed with the price tag of the bill, while the public has no idea what’s in the bill. Bernie is right (someone check hell, it must be freezing.) The press only talks about the $3.5 trillion price tag and the negotiations. They barely mention what’s actually in the bill. Naturally this sent the press (people like Magga Haberman!) into a tail spin of “This isn’t our fault, it’s your fault! It’s never our fault!” social media posts. Fact check: It is the media’s fault. 3.5 trillion % the media’s fault. The same media still insists their coverage of 2016 election was perfect. But I keep going back to Harvard’s Shorenstein Media Center’s study that ABC, NBC & CBS Nightly News shows – the most watched news programs in the country – spent 100 mins of 2016 discussing Hillary’s email. 30 mins discussing all political issues combined. And 0 of those minutes were on climate change. And yet, the media continues to insist their coverage is above criticism. Trump was right about one thing, if for the wrong reasons: media is the enemy of the people.

Hello Widdershins! What a week. As usual, the Beltway press was salivating and the pundits were putting debt default countdown clocks on every show because McConnell Said The Republicans Wouldn’t Vote to Raise the Debt Ceiling OMG! We’re all going to dieeeeeeeee!

But that didn’t happen, mainly because the Democrats threatened to nuke the filibuster. Apparently, McConnell didn’t think Manchin and Sinema would withstand the pressure from the rest of the caucus, who all want to do SOMETHING about the 60-vote rule, in this very dire situation. McTurtle blinked, and 11 Republicans voted to raise the debt ceiling. And some members of his own Party are shaking their heads. Lady Lindsey, Ted Cruz and (of course!) der Drumpfenfuhrer are calling it capitulation. On the Democratic side, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer mildly and rightfully criticized all Republicans for bringing the U.S. to the point of financial ruin to try to win some pathetic partisan advantage. [Thanks for facepalming behind him, Joe Manchin – I don’t even have words at this point.]

Upon receiving bad reviews from the left and the right, McTurtle went on offense to try to make himself look less weak. In an embarrassing letter to President Biden, he sputtered in hypocritical fauxrage, lambasting Schumer and making hollow threats. Yeah Mitch, we know. You’re very powerful. Do you need some warm milk?

“[Schumer’s] tantrum encapsulated and escalated a pattern of angry incompetence from Senator Schumer … this childish behavior only further alienated the Republican members who helped facilitate this short-term patch. It has poisoned the well even further.”

Democrats argue it was McConnell who poisoned the well by refusing to co-operate with raising the debt limit, a step they took repeatedly with Donald Trump in power. Experts say a US default would be catastrophic for the global economy.

McConnell insisted: “In light of Senator Schumer’s hysterics and my grave concerns about the ways that another vast, reckless, partisan spending bill would hurt Americans and help China, I will not be a party to any future effort to mitigate the consequences of Democratic mismanagement.”

This is, of course, complete Kentucky Derby horse pucky. I’m sure you all know this, but I feel compelled to point out that all of the spending McConnell claims to be upset about has already been authorized! Indeed, $7T of it came from the maladministration of The Former Guy, and even if the Democrats hadn’t passed ANY spending bills in 2021, the ceiling would still have to be raised. This means that trying to prevent the debt ceiling from being raised doesn’t have any impact on future Democratic spending. At all.

The way this went down proves that the Rethugs are indeed terrified that the Democrats will alter the filibuster in some way, robbing them of any power whatsoever, and that McTurtle, despite all the ink and screen time the pundits give him, is not immune to that threat.

Let’s see what happens when the codification of Roe v. Wade, passed on a party line vote in the House in late September, comes before the Senate. Will the Democrats have the same energy to protect these existential threats to the health of hundreds of millions of Americans, as they did to protect existential threats to the economy? Will they finally nuke the filibuster?

When women’s rights are on the table, McConnell is armed with thousands of years of white supremacy on his side to defeat them. The Beltway press and punditry are already saying the House bill has no chance in the Senate. I sincerely hope they’re wrong, again.

Open thread, as always. DYB, this musical selection is for you!

Happy Weekend Widdershins,

Crispy weather is in the air and leaves have turned various autumnal colors. What will winter bring us? Is there a special winter skunk to forecast the weather??

Meanwhile in DC another skunk, named Kyrsten Sinema, left DC negotiations on the infrastructure bill and went to AZ to attend a fundraiser. She then released a statement yelling at the House for delaying the vote on it. That her own behavior is a big reason it is delayed is lost on her. She is an odd sort of person…a troll more than a legislator. Manchin, being from a deep red state, makes sense. He’s wrong, but he makes sense. Sinema is completely unpredictable, which is what makes her dangerous. She doesn’t have to act this way; her fellow AZ Democrat Mark Kelly doesn’t act like this. But she is just….ugh.

This is an open thread!

Happy Saturday, Widdershins! I hope you all had a good week. The Mango Moron did not, “bless his heart.” Here are a few things that went wrong in the delusional world of The Former Guy.

The truth is coming out about the non-violent part of his coup attempt on January 6th. One of Drumpf’s attorneys, John Eastman, gave Mike Pence step-by-step instructions as to how to invalidate the electoral votes of the states that provided Biden his landslide victory, and then to throw the vote to the House, in which case the Republicans would prevail. Pence tried his darndest to obey those instructions, but since they came from the outer rim of Pluto and not the Constitution here on Earth, he was not legally able to do so. It doesn’t matter for Drumpf though – a plot to take over the government illegally is still a crime, even when it (BARELY) doesn’t succeed.

Speaking of January 6, the House Commission has issued its first subpoenas to a veritable who’s who of der Drumpfenfuhrer’s inner circle (including, finally, Steve Bannon). Per its chair, Bennie Thompson, it’s “just getting started.” These days, Merrick Garland is in charge of the DOJ, and not Satanic teddy bear Bill Barr, so a Congressional subpoena actually means something, and these people (and others to come) WILL be compelled to testify. Despite 45’s pathetic attempts to paint this commission’s finding’s as partisan hoo-ha, the Committee has prominent Republicans as members, and has even hired Republicans as attorneys and staff.

Trump and his allies have loved to paint the committee as just another partisan witch hunt. Congressional Republicans largely went along, fighting the panel’s formation as a bipartisan group. But the committee’s most prominent staff hires aren’t snowflaky lawyers from the bleeding-heart liberal bastions of America. They’re conservative Republicans to the core with backgrounds in the Air Force (Riggleman) and as a clerk for one of the most conservative members of the Supreme Court (Wood). They can’t credibly be accused as fake Republicans. Whatever the committee concludes will be presented by Democrats and Republicans. Arguments that this probe was motivated by Democratic partisanship just won’t stick in the same way.

Not that surrounding himself by dyed-in-the-wool loyalists will keep The Former Guy safe from reality. Even the Arizona Frauditeers were forced to admit Biden won Arizona…by MORE than before! Same with Mark Kelly, the Democratic Senator who handily dispatched the unloved Martha McSally in 2020. Despite the results showing that the only errors were in allocating too many votes to him and Martha, Delusional Don still declared victory and tried to command that Arizona declare him the winner, same as he did with Georgia. If his mental illness and gaslighting weren’t so terrifying, it would be hilarious.

“There will be no decertification of the 2020 election – the audit does not call for one, and even if it had, there is no lawful way to decertify. As we have every step of the way, Arizona will follow the law,” the governor said.

This poisonous toad and all his enablers must and will be held accountable for their treasonous and criminal actions, and I cannot wait. Open thread, of course!

Hello Widdershins!

This week is the end of Summer, at least officially. The funny thing is in Eastern Europe we’d never heard of a season ending in the middle of the month. We always considered Autumn began on September 1 (always first day of school.) Winter started December 1. Spring on March 1 and Summer on June 1st. I learned the hard way shortly after coming to the USA that this is not how Americans do it. On some exam in an ESL class the question was “When does Spring begin.” Naturally I said “March 1” and lost a point. Nobody had ever told me it was different here. I also never quite adjusted to Inches/Feet and Fahrenheit. It just makes more sense that water freezes at 0 degrees and boils at 100. And everything else falls in between. I still use a Celsius thermometer for body temperatures. And the metric measuring system just makes so much more sense! It was Ronald Reagan who decided to stick with the Imperial system in the US, wasn’t it? Well, the UK is about to reintroduce the Imperial system. To spite the European Union, I guess? This is Boris Johnson’s great new idea for Brexit… I just don’t know how many ways Boris Johnson can face-plant England. Of course, we had – and still have – You Know Who. So who are we to judge about face-planting.

Speaking of face-planting, the newest MAGAt rally was a bust. Nobody showed up. Now the complaints are “The media overreacted!” Or maybe in this instance the attention given to the plannings of the second rally scared away people like Ginni Thomas – wife of SCOTUS justice Clarence Thomas – from renting buses to bring people to DC; something she did for 1/6. As did countless others.

Speaking of winter coming, Amy Coney Barrett and Clarence Thomas appeared this past week in public and gave speeches on how completely non-political they are. After I stopped laughing I got scared because these people dominate SCOTUS and we are in a world of hurt with their upcoming rulings. The Texas abortion non-ruling is just a taste of what’s to come. The same person that wrote the Texas abortion law is currently petitioning SCOTUS to uphold the Mississippi abortion law and in the same brief argues SCOTUS must overturn the rulings that outlawed a ban on same-sex sex and that allowed gay marriage. The Christian Taliban is on a mission. We may soon be demanding our Democratic governors tell SCOTUS to enforce their laws if they can.

This is an open thread.

Biden illustration: REBUILD WITH BIDEN

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Madam Vice President

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