The Widdershins

Archive for September 2013

tv snow

No it’s not that last night was the series finale of Breaking Bad.  Nor was it because there was an exceedingly good football game on Sunday Night Football.  Nor was it because Fredster was upset over the LSU/Georgia football game.  No, it’s just that I had a couple of unsettling things happen and time simply got away from me.  Now it’s not that I think you’ll sorely miss my daily ramblings but I promise to make it up later in the week.

This is obviously an open thread.  What’s on your minds today?

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Good Sunday, Widdershins.

I’m away for the weekend, chaperoning the BFF’s Sea Scouts at Rifles, Rails, and History.  Therefore, it seems like a pretty good time to do a piece on train songs.

Trust me, there are bunches of them out there.  Rhythm and blues, and jazz abound, and as every good Southerner knows, a train is an essential part of a good country song.

The usual “title-artist-content” rules apply in this otherwise open thread.

(1) Long Train Running – The Doobie Brothers, 1973

(2) People Get Ready – The Impressions, 1965

(3) Crazy Train – Ozzie Osborne, 1980

(4) Drops of Jupiter – Train, 2001

(5) The Loco-motion – Little Eva, 1962

(6) Peace Train, Cat Stevens, 1971

PotChili1

Pot of chili Yum!

Happy Saturday Widdershins.  While I won’t say there’s a bite in the air quite yet, the last few nights have gone down into the 50s here in Saban-land so the cooler weather is definitely on the way.  This post will be on the short side because LSU plays Chat’s Bulldogs today in a day game.  That, a day game, in and of itself is bad juju for LSU as the Tigers always play better in a night game and especially in Death Valley in Baton Rouge.  Today however we’ll be between the hedges in Athens.  I’m not sure how this one will turn out as both teams have good quarterbacks and they are rebuilding on their defenses.  Chat’s dawgs are favored by three but I have a feeling they will win by more than that.  And of course while I’m watching the game I can’t yell “Kill ’em!” for the LSU players because, well that’s a friend’s team they’re playing against and so I have to be nice.  And then to top it off, the Saints play the Dolphins on MNF so again, one of chat’s teams, at least geographically speaking.  Well I am prepared for the Ga/LSU game.  I went to the ABC store today and I have my bottle of Makers Mark and club soda.  I’ll either be having one in celebration of a victory or several of them while I’m in the depths of despair in defeat.

In the name of DON’T PUT YOUR HANDS IN THAT!

Okay I had never thought of drinking from the font of holy water in the church but if you have, you shouldn’t.  Seems like scientists at Vienna University’s Institute of Hygiene and Applied Immunology decided to go around and test some “holy springs” and church fonts and found signs of fecal contamination in them.

Holy water at religious shrines and churches in Austria is often contaminated with fecal matter and bacteria, researchers have found, advising the faithful not to drink it, especially in hospital chapels.

The holy springs had not only fecal contamination but also signs of agricultural nitrates and “bugs” which can lead to inflammatory diarrhea.  Bleh!  One of the researchers explained that during the Middle Ages, the “holy springs” probably came about from the fact that water in cities was so bad that when folks came upon a natural spring in the woods it was not as bad as that in the cities and town so that the better water would seemingly “heal” them.

The article noted that one enterprising Italian priest  has invented a holy water dispenser that dispenses drops of holy water rather than having the faithful dip a hand in.

Cookie Monster Lives!

A couple, Mauricio Handler and his wife Julia were scuba diving in the reefs along the Curacao coast in the Caribbean and discovered a formation of tube sponges that fused together looking like Cookie Monster!

Handler said via email that he had initially swam past the peculiar-looking sponge, without noticing it among the many other sponges on the reef.

But Julia came face to face with what the Handlers now refer to as “The Cookie Monster of the Sea,” and could not contain her laughter.

You can see for yourself.   Here is Cookie Monster.  And here is the sponge formation.  Incredible, no?

I hope this woman is mortified!

But somehow I don’t think the embarrassment will even phase her.  However, I hope her neighbors saw this on tv and give her a dressing down.

Shameless!!  👿

Okay let me know below in the comments how your day is going Widdershins and I’ll be back sometime after the game.

This is naturally an open thread.

Allons les Tigres!

Morning Widdershin friends. Is there anything better than a crisp, crystal blue-skied Fall morning? Here’s hoping your morning is as glorious as the one I’m enjoying.

Decepticon Cruz shortly before his performance art...

Decepticon Cruz shortly before his performance art…

Not since the Decepticons and Autobots declared war on one another has there been anything approaching what we’ve seen this week from the Republican Party. Quite inconveniently, the great Transformer War was fought on Earth. If only we could export this uncivil Republican war to Cybertron, but alas such good fortune is only possible in comic books.

We all witnessed the first salvo this week as Ted Cruz’ “fool-o-bluster” spilled out into open warfare. Warfare ostensibly directed at Obamacare, but really directed against those Cruz declared as “Republican squishes” as his sexually ambiguous preening played itself out in front of C-Span viewers. As conservative columnist Jennifer Rubin observed, it was business as usual in Democratic senate offices, but Republican offices were being pilloried by angry constituents.

The Cruz faux “full-o-bluster” was merely the public face of the battle. A much more insidious battle was being waged by the Heritage Action PAC courtesy of the grim Brothers Koch and Jim DeMint. This chinchilla warfare is being waged through sponsoring ads against less than pure Republican Senators as measured by this holy trinity.

After his self-parody performance art, Cruz scurried to call one of the other generals in this internecine war, Jabba the Limbaugh. Jabba, along with Roger Fails of Faux News, are the leaders of what seems to be the most potent force in this Republican war — the misinformation infotainment forces.

The force is strong with the misinformation infotainment droids. In the face of official reports on the positive premium effects of Obamacare, there was no shortage of one-off anecdotal stories portending the apocalyptic end of humankind on the main misinformation infotainment channels, Faux News and its cable siblings.

The beginning of these scorched earth tactics emanated from the inimitable Newt the Terrible back in the mid-1990s. President Clinton reminded us of the cynical depth of the Gingrich Creed during one of his CGI interviews.

Newt Gingrich told my Deputy Chief of Staff Erskine Bowles, “The difference between us is that we’ll do whatever we can, and you won’t do that. You think there are things you shouldn’t do.”

Republican WarIt is against this background that the progeny of Cruz and the House Tea Partiers have sprung. Their’s isn’t a fact-based warfare, it is anything but.

Their make-it-up-as-you-go tactics have led them to laughably incongruent positions like championing the rights of free-riding moochers by opposing the Affordable Care Act. Or their deficit raising tactic of shutting down the government. Or the cataclysmic economy-killing catastrophe of monkeying with the debt ceiling.

This last one — using the debt ceiling as a vehicle for a right-wing wet dream wish list — is the brightly plumed drum major in the Parade of Horribles. Breaching the debt ceiling could throw the world economy, not just the U.S. economy, into a major economic upheaval.

The last time this tactic was used in 2011, the U.S. credit rating was lowered causing higher borrowing rates and ultimately costing us more. Costing the government more means less for discretionary spending resulting in the inevitable contraction of the country’s social safety net, but it fulfills the words of Newt the Terrible, “We’ll do anything we can.” Just guessing here, but I assume that includes an apocalyptic world economic collapse.

The fear fulminated by the misinformation infotainment complex arises from a fatalistic, nihilistic low-road philosophy. The reason? Being negative is easy. Finding fault is easy because the last refuge of the unenlightened is the darkness of negativism.

This week we have seen the first act of this philosophy play itself out. The pundits like to say, “The conservatives love to hate (fill in the blank), be it Obamacare, Medicare, Meals-on-Wheels, Social Security or whatever.” I don’t agree. The fatalistic philosophy so financially lucrative to the conservative infotainment complex is based not on loving to hate, but hating to love.

Finding the darkest, most negative position from which to pander has bred a general distaste for anything good and elevated the pitiful self-loathing of the disgruntled power-hungry. When it comes to these soldiers of this holy Republican war, I will only say, “Loving to hate might offer you a reason for living, but hating to love is living for no reason.“ We need neither.

This is an open thread.

Good Thursday, Widdershins.

Today’s post is my small way of acknowledging Senator Ted Cruz and his unprecedented (un)filibuster of his own party’s effort to defund Obamacare/shut down the government, a principle to which he firmly subscribes.  To this end, Senator Cruz read “Green Eggs and Ham”.   In order to render homage to this absolutely stupefying event (and with deepest apologies to Dr. Seuss), I give you today’s post.

Cruz don’t snooze.

Cruz don’t snooze.

Don’t snooze, Cruz.  Don’t snooze, Cruz.

I do not like that Cruz don’t snooze.

Do you like his run-on schmooze?  I do not like his run-on schmooze.

Do you like him here or there?  I do not like him anywhere.

Do you like him in the House?  I do not like him in the House.

I’d like him quiet as a mouse.

Do you want him to make a fuss?  I do not want him to make a fuss.

I’d like him to get on a bus.

Do  you like him reading Seuss?  I do not like him reading Seuss.

In fact, I don’t like Senator Cruz,

I do not like Senator Cruz.

I do not like his run-on schmooze.

It makes me want to drink some booze.

It makes me want for Cruz to lose.

Today, today, I say!

I want him gone, anyway.

Now this one is an open thread,

So post whatever’s in your head.

Our dear friend Prolix has made some very good points about moral outrage lately. I do heartily agree that it seems to be no longer the done thing to say, “It’s the right thing to do.” It’s just so square, so unironic; and at least for those of my generation (X), a day without irony is like a day without chocolate. It’s dull as George Bush’s thousand-yard stare.

My point of view about Syria is, however, that killing children is always wrong. If I am going to be outraged when Assad does it, then I am going to be twice as outraged when American war hawks do it. (Because let’s face it, Americans should be better than third-century Bronze Age buffoons like Assad.)

Remember our last attempt at “regime change” because a Middle Eastern dictator “gassed his own people”? (With our gas, I might add – thank you, Donald Rumsfeld.) How did that work out for Iraqi children?

Counting the Dead

A survey published in January 2008, conducted in August and September 2007 by Opinion Research Business, a British polling firm, in conjunction with Iraq’s Independent Institute for Administration and Civil Society Studies found that about 20% of households surveyed had lost at least one member, and estimated that 1.03 million people had died in the war with a 95% certainty for a number of deaths between 946,000 and 1.12 million.

The deaths of so many men, women and children have had an enormous impact on Iraqi society. According to the Iraqi government,around 4.5 million children have lost one or both parents (almost 1 in 3) and approximately 600 000 children are living on the streets. Child labour has increased with 15% of children under the age of 14 now working.  There are now between 1 and 3 million widows in Iraq, many struggling as heads of households and living in extreme poverty.

So far this year (July 2012) 49 children have been killed and 169 injured in the violence.

I am not AT ALL suggesting that our Prolix is for war. However, I do think that advocating for regime change in the Middle East never helps the children we may rightfully want to rescue.

On a slightly more ironic note, we should never allow a maniac like Assad to make us look like the bad guys. John Kerry, you are just inept. Thank goodness Hillary got out before this mountain of cr*p erupted.

“The words of the Syrian regime in our judgement are simply not enough, which is why we’ve come here in order to work with the Russians,” John Kerry told reporters in Geneva ahead of high-stakes talks with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov on the thorny issue of Syria‘s chemical weapons.

He warned it was also up to the Russians to show that they could “deliver on the promise of the moment” after Moscow proposed a plan earlier this week to eliminate Syria’s deadly weapons stock.

But Mr Kerry highlighted that the US and Russia still disagreed on who carried out a suspected sarin gas attack near Damascus last month, which Washington says killed 1,400 people.

“The Russian delegation has put some ideas forward and we’re grateful for that. We respect it. And we have prepared our own principles that any plan to accomplish this needs to encompass [emphasis mine],” Mr Kerry stressed, before a room packed with reporters from around the world.

Okay, first of all, nice syntax, John. I wouldn’t say it was Dubya-worthy, but I think HW Bush might have said something similar at some point.

Second of all, we are now looking like the aggressors because we practically declared war on yet another country that didn’t attack us, for the most contrived and inconsistent of reasons. We have Iraq, Afghanistan and Gitmo taunting us as we attempt to preach against attacking and killing civilians, so “It’s only bad when someone else does it” is not really a stance I’m comfortable embracing.

I’m not sure what else to say on this topic, except that I am really, really tired of the MIC being in charge of our country.  I feel like I’m in a Dustin Hoffman movie, only this film isn’t clever, funny or even ironic.

It’s just a d*mn tragedy.

This is an open thread.

Jason Greenslate. You might not know the name, but he’s in no small part responsible for $40 Billion in proposed cuts to the food stamp program. Greenslate is the star of two Fox profiles on the “abuses” of the SNAP program. A member of the band Ratt Life, he is the 28-year-old unemployed surfer dude who is the new avatar of the fictitious face of food stamp abuse.

Jason Greenslate in all his awesomeness...

Jason Greenslate in all his awesomeness…

He represents just the kind of blood-boiling story to get the Fox audience looking for their pitchforks and torches. There is little wonder Fox News, you know them — the fair and balanced ones — conveniently provided clips of Greenslate to Republican House offices the day before the vote.

These clips arrived just in time for the House Republican caucus to double the proposed SNAP cuts from $20 Billion to $40 Billion. This $40 Billion in cuts is on top of the already scheduled reductions when stimulus funding runs out and the sequestration cuts are fully realized.

With a fraud rate of around One Percent (1%) in the program, Greenslate’s transgressions center around his choosing to live his life in abject poverty and dare to collect about $1.42 a meal. While spending in excess of 40-hours a week on his band, Greenslate says, “I’m working, but just not getting paid.”

It is against this backdrop that 3.8 million people will be lopped from the program under the Republican proposal. Of course, this is only the appetizer. Under the proposal, 2.8 million more poor people a year would be cut from the princely largesse of perpetually eating from the dollar menu at Mickey D’s.

The figure of 3.8 million has a certain antiseptic, sterile ring. Let’s put some faces on it. How about the faces of 170,000 veterans who will be cut from getting help with food? How about the 210,000 children who will lose free school meals and who are not counted in the total? How about the 2.1 Million in working poor and low-income seniors? These people don’t have the star power of Mr. Greenslate in the 217 congressional districts where these cuts were sanctioned by their representatives.

Congressional districts like Hal Rogers’s Fifth District in Kentucky — the same Hal Rogers who is the Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee. Kentucky’s Fifth District is the second poorest congressional district in the country where one-in-three people are beneficiaries of the SNAP program.

Or another Kentucky legislator who is a first-term Tea Partier.  His name is Andy Barr. Rep. Barr had the unmitigated audacity to put out a press release with these words, “This legislation is the most compassionate policy because it encourages people who are capable of work to move from dependence to self-sufficiency.”

This bald-face hypocrisy is stunning. Given there are three job applicants for every job, this legislation cuts funding for job training and provides no waiver provisions to residents of high-jobless areas.

The irony of doing an expose on Ratt Life was completely lost on Fox News...

The irony of art imitating life, Fox doing an expose on Ratt Life…

Of course the outrage these cuts should engender were masked from public view by last Friday’s 42nd vote to defund and/or kill Obamacare by threatening a shutdown of the government. Rest assured the government shutdown will get the lion’s share of press coverage between now and October 1st.

This is convenient for the 217 Representatives who voted to literally take the food from the mouths of the poor, children, senior citizens, and the disabled. It also conveniently moves the goal post for cuts from “sequestration cuts plus $20 Billion” to “sequestration cuts plus $40 Billion.”

Such grand synchronic convenience doesn’t usually occur without a little planning. I expect that is the case here. I imagine honorable mention for this feat is in order for the regular rogues’ gallery of Faux News, Reince Priebus, Ted Cruz, Jim DeMint, Kochs, and any number of others who collaborated in the orchestration of this piece of heartless, mean-spiritedness.

This is an open thread.


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Blog Archive

September 2013
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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

***Disaster Donations***

Quick links for donations.

Donations for our furry, and other critter friends:

Texas SPCA Donate Page

Houston TX SPCA Donation Page

Red Rover Group

For the Virgin Islands (Community Foundation of the Virgin Islands)
CFVI.net

All Hands Disaster Relief:
https://www.hands.org/

Puerto Rico’s First Lady’s organization:
http://unidosporpuertorico.com/en/

Americares (provides medical/health support)
http://www.americares.org/en/

“The” Book

Nice picture of our gal

Time till the Grifter in Chief is Gone

Hopefully soonerJanuary 21st, 2021
3.2 years to go.

Mueller Time!

Wise Words from Paul Ryan

Heroine of the Resistance

B-I-N-G-O!

PHONE CONTACT INFO FOR THE DNC:

202-863-8000

TELL PEREZ AND ELLISON HOW YOU FEEL ABOUT BRAZILE NUT!

Storify version of E. Rogers HVF explanation