The Widdershins


Posted on: October 28, 2015

Friedrich Wilhelm Christian Karl Ferdinand von Humboldt was an 18th century Prussian philosopher and name trier-outer.  If there had been Angie’s List back then he would have been very busy since he was also a government functionary, a diplomat, and along with his brother the naturalist (meaning tree loving non-churcher) was the founder of Humboldt University of Berlin.  They were exceedingly “humble Humboldts” because the university wasn’t named after them until 1949 – go figure. Anticipation Rocky Horror

Wilhelm von Humboldt was also a noted linguist of his time.  He’s known for the postulate that language is a system which “makes infinite use of finite means”, meaning that an infinite number of sentences can be created using a finite number of grammatical rules.

Contemporary linguist Noam Chomsky drew heavily upon Humboldt’s work and is credited with the theory that we can potentially produce an infinite number of sentences.  With the advent of supercomputers we have discovered that is not strictly true.  For instance, in a language such as English with about 500,000 words, there are about 10570 possible sentences – a number greater than the atoms in the observable universe — while considerably more than a grocery cart full, not technically infinite.

By way of an example, here’s a sentence I never thought I’d utter in my lifetime:  Without waterboarding as an incentive, I eagerly quote from the ultra-conservative The Weekly Standard.

Republicans are in trouble. A significant bloc regards their congressional leaders as enemies.  A quarter or more of grassroots Republicans think Donald Trump should be president. And to make things worse, Hillary Clinton has a glide path to the Democratic presidential nomination in 2016.

Let’s examine the problems of Republicans one by one, starting with the rebellious faction in the House. It was dismissed as a band of “chuckleheads”…now there are roughly 40 members of the Freedom Caucus, and they have important allies in the conservative media.

The second problem is Donald Trump. He has thrilled many rank and file Republicans…the blue-collar, non-college wing of the Republican primary electorate has “consolidated” around him…meaning Trump, with a solid base, could win the Republican nomination—not likely, but possible.

The third problem was caused by Joe Biden. By declining to run, he left the Democratic race firmly in Hillary’s control. Biden leaves behind an abnormal primary campaign, with a Teflon frontrunner.

ConscienceThis quote comes from none other than Fred Barnes, one of the conservative pundit/activist/snake-oilers who went ashore in Alaska during a conservopaloosa cruise.  While shopping for moose turd jewelry, instead of finding les repères de poopie they found Caribou Barbie, became enthralled, and ultimately gave an unbelievable boost to Tina Fey’s career.  Mr. Barnes was quoted as saying, “I was struck with how smart Palin was.”  For the record, that’s another sentence I never thought I would see in print.

The pachyderm peanut crews are already pissed at Progressives over their electoral woes.  The RNC and Prince Priebus promised these problems were under control with an abbreviated debate schedule.  Oopsie they say — best laid plans of micey men or something like that.

Proving the recurring STD nature of the RNC folly, there’s another Republican debate tonight, so it’s a perfect time to play a game of “Who said?” matching up some of the craziest, “I never thought I’d hear that” quotes with the candidates who mouth-farted them.

Who said?

  1. Liberals are to blame for California’s drought.
  2. To an African-American legislator upset that his cabinet appointments lacked diversity: “I don’t need your people.”
  3. I will unilaterally execute any American who I believe is “thinking about joining al-Qaeda or ISIL”.
  4. Every United States senator should be just like notorious racist Jesse Helms.
  5. Women should not be allowed to serve in combat because of “the emotions that are involved”.
  6. We have to “phase out” Medicare.
  7. Someone should “take a bat out” on a 76-year-old widow.
  8. Homosexuality is a choice because people go into prison straight and come out gay.
  9. I don’t buy into the dystopian scenarios of self-aware robots enslaving mankind, but you don’t have to be a sci-fi conspiracy theorist to acknowledge that plenty of good, well-paying jobs are being taken over by machines.
  10. This president’s foreign policy would trust the Iranians. By doing so, he will take the Israelis and march them to the door of the oven.
  11. Some of the candidates, they went in and didn’t know the air conditioner didn’t work and sweated like dogs, and they didn’t know the room was too big because they didn’t have anybody there. How are they going to beat Isis?
  12. There is a secret plot to merge the United States with Mexico and Canada.


  1. Carly Fiorina
  2. John Kasich
  3. Lady Lindsey
  4. Ted Cruz
  5. Rick Santorum
  6. Jeb! Bush
  7. Chris Christie
  8. Ben Carson
  9. Marco Rubio
  10. Mike Huckabee
  11. Donald Trump
  12. Rand Paul

Credits for each quote along with supporting articles can be found here and here.

In anticipation of new examples of the vastness of the English language from these candidates, we will be live blogging tonight’s Republican debate.  Come join us at 8:00 P.M. Eastern.  Here’s all you need to know about tonight’s debate.

Enjoy your Wednesday – take the conversation in any direction you might like.




71 Responses to "Anticipation…"

That’s some scary stuff!

There was also a great deal of chatter from my RWNJ friends that Obama was going to “give the country to the United Nations.” Reminding them that the US is already a member of the UN never seemed to work, so the fact that they are eating up the mind-numbing drivel mentioned above just seems normal…….

Only got two right; I stink!

@1, Kim, I fear this is just normal stuff they talk about.

@2, Chat, My RW friends have very little use for facts unless they come from some conspiracy website or Faux News, but that is repetitive isn’t it?

@3, Sue, I had the key and still didn’t do too well.

With only 200 House Repubs voting for Gold’s Gym towel boy Paul Ryan, we have marked a new beginning for pompous sanctimony. After having offered up every bodily orifice for the Freedom Carcass to defile, they still turned on him.

I do believe the Repubs will have to have a plank in their platform supporting cannibalism.

I got 5 of them but I think that’s only because I had seen or heard some of them on the teevee.

@6, there were so many outrageous things belching out of Piyush’s mouth, it was impossible to pick one.

@7: That’s his attempt to be relevant. Something that is totally impossible. He’d be better off just jumping up and down waving his hands and shouting “Me too…me too!”.

Okay, before the debate begins let’s have some prognostications as to how long it will take for Carson to say one of four favorite words:

Slavery, Holocaust, Gestapo, or Nazi.

My bet: By the Twelve Minute mark he will have uttered at least one of the four.

I can’t even believe anyone said those things in public. And their supporters like it!

Guys, I can’t blog tonight. Got a couple.of meetings. Enjoy the lunatic asylum!! I’ll enjoy reading the comments!!

I’ll go with slavery at, maybe, 18 minutes in Alex.

@11, I thought about asking when he would start speaking in tongues, but I’m not sure we could tell the difference.

@12: LOL! I wonder if he’ll do that nodding off thing?

And, what will Trump’s first attack statement on Carson be? You know that no matter what he’s asked he’ll find a way to segue into an attack.

Kudlow was just blathering about the debate being hosted in Colorado. Not remembering he’s talking to a national audience, he said, “The Regents gave us a great deal to have it here.” Now that is journalistic non-partisanship.

Kudlow is right up there with Kristol and Cheney in the smug elitism of being dead, 100% wrong about everything.

At least Kudlow won’t be on the panel. That would have been awful.

If this gets too bad I can switch to Supernatural at 8 central time. It will have an interesting p.o.v.:

Seen entirely from the point of view of the Impala, Sam and Dean go on a road trip to fight monsters and demons.

The stopwatch is running.

Jeb! looks dyspeptic. He needs to suck on a Pepto-tab.

Rand Paul, my greatest weakness is “Geppetto separation anxiety.”

John Kasich has drunk so much Red Bull it’s running out his nose. Lighten up buddy — he’s looking unhinged.

Trump just winked at Carson. Looks like there’s love in the air.

Kasich is just happy to be on the big boys and girls stage.

Carly Fiorina’s motherboard has blown — a three page tax code?

Bush peeing on Rubio. Rubio peeing on Bush. No love — the bromance has ended.

@3: Can’t we cut it down to a sticky note size if we try just a little harder?
@9: A variant of Godwin’s Law?

Why is it that I get weak in the knees when I hear a panel of Republicans talking about Social Security? Not a single person on that stage is going to need those Soc. Sec. benefits so it’s not a biggie for them.

@25, I think Carson’s middle name might be “Godwin”.

Carly: gov’t causes a problem? No witch, it was the greedy-assed banks!

@28, Carly: We need to take the one and only impediment to steamrolling monopolies and empower the steamrollers to go faster so it won’t hurt as long when they are running over people.

The Fiorina Doctrine — everyone should be able to fail upward to bigger and bigger salaries equating to bigger and bigger failures.

Q: How do you help working women?

Cruz: Have them grow a penis.

I know they’re in Colorado and pot is legal there but maybe they’ve had a little bit of something else.

Got a little sumpin-sumpin for all of them.

Oh good, Rick Santelli, the man who explosive diarrheaed the Tea Party. He’s never been right about anything, ever. He fits right in.

@32, LOL — very nicely done.

Since Huckabuck is there is Kim Davis far behind?

Why does Jeb! remind me of some guy at a mall looking for the Spencer Gifts that went out of business about a decade ago?

These moderators are pitiful.

@34: I’ve been saving that one. 😉

@35, the other day I was thinking about great Halloween costumes and I thought, “Wonder if Kim Davis is going to just comb her hair forward and go as Cousin Itt?”

They ought to be fair and wake up Rand Paul a couple of questions ahead of actually asking him a question.

On the scroll, Barbara Boxer just tweeted an “in your face” to Fiorina on HP.

@bboxer: Phfffftt!!

I’m gonna watch Am. Horror Story.

If Rand Paul and Donald Trump had a love child it would look like a Goldendoodle.

Most ironic closing statement, “Ben Carson talking about waking up.”

@46: LOLSOB!

What a dumpster fire.

@49, when my mother was in assisted living, I visited every single day. After lunch and before Bingo they had the equivalent of the Republican debate. Five people all talking at the same time, all believing they were the most important person talking, and angry that the other person wouldn’t shut up and let them talk.

The only thing that assuaged the beasts was that first call of B 12. John Harwood would have been well-advised to use the technique.

Sounds like I didn’t miss much except several head explosions. The Republicans are floundering now that it’s clear all their character assassination attempts on Hillary have bounced off her titanium pantsuit.

Really, what is their platform?

1) Business good
2) Rich people good
3) White straight (ish) Christian men good
4) All other men bad
5) Government bad
6) Wimminz bad
7) LGBT bad

It’s like a three-year-old took a crayon and drew Conservatism on a napkin.

@50: That’s funny!

@51: Now MB, we know you were sitting in a sports bar watching the Mets. 🙂

@51, if someone could bottle “ugly left wing media” for this Repub crowd, Viagra would be bankrupt. Each and every time one of them didn’t want to answer a question, they went to “ugly left wing media” and the crowd ate it up.

LOL! Even Reince Priebus said this debate was awful.

Republican Profiles in Courage:

Former Speaker Dennis Hastert pleads guilty in a hush money scam to cover up alleged pedophilia. Orange headed drunk John Boehner is chased from the Speaker’s office by pitchfork wielding human teapots. New Speaker and part-time Gold’s Gym towel boy, Paul Ryan, gives a high school commencement speech and Ayn Rand book report on the floor of the House.

And to think, usually with an upgrade you have to use “points”?

Last night wasn’t much of a debate, but it was a great audition for talk radio sidekick. It was as if ten people forgot they had faces for radio and minds eligible for asylum confinement.

The next RNC debate is likely to be on the HGTV network and be the Home Depot/Burger King Debate. It will be a Do-It-Yourself, Have-It-Your-Way affair.

Prince Piebus will emcee in an ubiquitous orange apron as a salute to both sponsors as well as John Boehner.

Or the Comedy Channel.

I thought I had put this up here but apparently not. And yes, apparently one of the candidates actually said this! 😯

@60, that is close to, if not directly, something Huckabuck said a couple of weeks ago.

@61: Well it could have been him then. I heard something like that in passing but didn’t hear the entire thing. Then I saw this tweet that someone had retweeted. Amazing…

I saw this on Maddow’s show tonight and saw they also already had it on youtube. It’s good for a few chuckles.

I didn’t watch the debate. We went out. As interested as I am in politics, there’s no way I can sit thru a gazillion rethug debates. I doubt if I can sit through all the dem debates that are planned. And since two of the candidates have dropped out, why do they still need 6 debates? I think 3 would be more than sufficient. How many did Hillary and Barack have?

@63, Fredster, that was cute!

@65: annie I’m not sure how many they had during the Dem primaries in ’08. But I think when it was down to Obama and Clinton, weren’t there three debates? For whatever reason that number sticks in my mind.

@66, me too. I also remember 3.

@67: But even when they were having the debates before all the candidates dropped out, they weren’t as silly as the one last night was. That one last night was terrible. I changed the channel at 9 CT and went to Am. Horror Story.

I’m with Annie. The number of debates gives this whole process even more of a carnival feeling. It’s not really a debate anyway until it comes down to two people.

I think the Republicans have more than proven that they are a bunch of idiotic clowns who can’t be trusted to fold sweaters at the Gap. I would vote for Kim Kardashian before any one of them. How much more of their mindless, reality-free babbling must we endure?

Enough debates, I say. Let’s have one more Democratic one between Bernie and Hillary and have done.

@68…how could you tell the difference?

@69: The monsters were prettier and hunkier on Am. Horror Story! 😛

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