The Widdershins

Wallpaper and fever dreams…

Posted on: January 18, 2016

Good Monday Widdershin friends.  MB is swamped with work this week and the following is my paltry attempt at a little synaptic stimulation.  MB returns next week.Elephant on the back

Remember the old joke – “If Barack Obama cured cancer, Republicans would complain about the unemployment rate of chemo-therapists.”  During the State of the Union, we saw that joke played out in real-time Kabuki Theater.

When the President called for a “moon shot” to cure cancer, Paul Ryan sat there in his best Derek Zoolander scowl and would not applaud.

Paul Ryan did not clap for curing cancer.  Paul Ryan did not clap for the troops.  Paul Ryan became “wallpaper,” his word not mine, only allowing himself, “to be respectful and not wince or grimace or do anything.  So I just kind of poker-faced the whole thing, just out of respect for the institution, the office.”

To review:  The Speaker of the House, third in line for the Presidency, a former candidate for Vice President, is so frightened of the Fringers in his own party that he presented himself to the nation as a Thorazine enthusiast coming down off a three-day Molly ride.  Just as a point of comparison, Speaker Nancy Pelosi, applauded Dubya 33 times during his final SOTU address.

Derek Zoolander or Paul Ryan in workout gear...

Derek Zoolander or Paul Ryan in workout gear…

This toxicity played out again this weekend with the effectuation of the Iranian nuclear deal and the swap of five Americans and seven Iranians.  Those successes follow the release of ten sailors after just 14 hours of Iranian detention compared to a 2007 incident where British sailors were held for two weeks.

Ahead of schedule, the nuclear deal secured the reduction to 6,000 enriching centrifuges from 19,000 and eliminated 9,700 kilograms of already enriched uranium.  The prisoner swap accomplished the release of the five Americans traded for Iranians who had violated the trade sanctions – not exactly high value targets.

So how did the Kabuki chorus respond?  The Republican candidates were begrudgingly pleased with the release of the Americans, but they sang in full-throated condemnation of the Iran nuclear deal, criticized the feckless Obama, and promised to “tear up the nuclear deal on day one” of their imaginary Presidencies.  Nary one of the candidates acknowledged any American success or optimism.

My point is neither about the bad manners of Republicans, nor is it about the politics of being mindless oppositional automatons.  My point is that the anti-establishment Fringe virus has overtaken the host.  If Republican Party leaders and candidates are so frightened of a de minimus segment of their base, how can that party ever be capable of governing? Sick Repubs

Anger, fear, and conspiracy have replaced any notion of governing principles.  The genesis of this wayward languor is found in the symbiotic relationship between the party and conservative media.  Simply put, there is no delineation between the pabulum spewed by Fox and talk radio and the party’s rightward sprinting ideology.  If their ideology was coextensive with their disbelief in science, they should be falling off the edge of the planet right about now.

This summer I ran across the article, “They Don’t Give a Damn about Governing – Conservative Media’s Influence on the Republican Party.”  It was written by Jackie Calmes, a New York Times reporter, while she was a Fellow at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.  It is a masterful explanation of the parasitism of conservative media as it digests the Republican Party.

The article is no light read – it’s about 17,000 words, but it is the most comprehensive explanation I’ve read about this historic devolution of the Republican Party.  The article is chocked-full of quotes and analysis by the endangered species of moderate Republicans.

The following is a sample of the insightfulness:

Searching for a Republican governing philosophy is not for the faint hearted...

Searching for a Republican governing philosophy is not for the faint hearted…

From a prominent, but anonymous Republican:  “It’s so easy these days to go out there and become an Internet conservative celebrity by saying some things, and who cares if it’s true or makes any sense.  It’s a new frontier: How far to the right can you get?  And there’s no incentive to ever really bother with reality or to compromise.  There’s no money, ratings or clicks in everyone going along to get along.”

A Republican Congressional staffer said, “Now it seems that so many people are going for the niche, for the red meat, and there are all these outlets where you can do that.  It’s playing to the base, but the base doesn’t live in reality.  And that’s the problem:  It’s taken the party in a really self-destructive direction.”  The aide continues, “When you’re setting down a marker and you know that your ask is unaccomplishable, that it’s not a goal that’s achievable, then it’s just about ratings and money.”

If anyone should ask, that is what this election is about:  Who is the best person to save this country from a governing agenda conjured by the fever dreams of talk radio and Fox.

This is an open thread.

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82 Responses to "Wallpaper and fever dreams…"

My only question is, does Paul Ryan know what it’s like to be really,. really, ridiculously good-looking? (Purses lips, sucks in cheeks)

@1, we have not yet seen him strut on the catwalk or hump on the dawgwalk.

@2: Hey! Be careful not to take Dawg Walk in vain!

Good line from above: It’s playing to the base, but the base doesn’t live in reality.

And you know that the Repub politicians know that half of what they are doing, mouthing off about the Iran deal, or anything else that Obama did is just street theater.

Love Ryan saying this: So I just kind of poker-faced the whole thing, just out of respect for the institution, the office.”

Tell ya what Paul: Gain some respect for the man. He did something twice that you and yours failed miserably at.

Two emails today from WaPo. The first: “Bernie Sanders won the debate say pundits and social media”. The second: “Who won the Democratic debate?”. It’s like they don’t even believe their own bullshite.

Bernie has reached the point where his answers are (noun) (verb) Goldman Sachs.

@7: Oh but Bernie won the debate…so said pundits and social media. 🙄

Geez, another one. R.I.P. Glenn Frey.

Frey was only 67 years. Very sad.

@10: Sorry, I meant “67 years old”. Frey had rheumatoid arthritis, the crippling autoimmune disease my mother suffered from for decades. The pain of RA can be unbearable and the drugs used to treat it are very hard on the body.

Ack, we’re losing all the good ones! I admit I love the Eagles. Sue me. RIP, Glenn. 😟

PS, Amen, Fredster. Ryan is such a little pisher.

MB@15: Ryan can “dis” the man all he wants but he did something that Ryan and his guy couldn’t do once. Well twice with Mittens. 😆

No, man, don’t you know it’s all about THE REVOLUTION. It’s a noun, verb and revolution!!!!

Remember when Ryan was growing a beard? I read an article recently that he told Obama he had to shave it because his fringers told him he looked too muslim. It said Obama “chuckled”.

My now departed love o’ my life has a guitar and Peaceful Easy Feeling engraved on his tombstone.

@20: What a great tribute.

@3, Please forgive me Chat, for I know not what I chew re: the Dawg Walk. In penance, I will say 10 Ugas and eat 18 Freestone Peaches.

@4 & 5, they just don’t live in reality sums up the current state of “unhingedness” of the Repubs.

For instance, Parliament today debated banning the leading Republican candidate from traveling to Great Britain. Can you imagine voting for someone who is so offensive on the world stage he can’t travel to our oldest and closest ally? That is where we are and it’s unbelievable.

@6, yeah, social media says Bernie won. How about this? Social media is populated by teenagers and twenty-somethings — I don’t know many people in their 30s and beyond who fired up the old googling machine at midnight and logged on to showoff their Bernbots.

Excellent post, as always! The current republican party makes me insane.

@1, I don’t get it. Is Ryan supposed to be good looking?

Am also sad about Glenn Frey, and glad we saw his solo concert a couple of years ago. He could still play and sing. I’m amazed he died before Randy Meisner, who looks, sounds, and acts like death warmed over. He shakes incessantly. I loved their music in the 70s/80s. Still do.

@7, a story that isn’t getting told near enough is just what a prickly, crank Bernie is. He’s not the cantankerous grandfather, he’s an irascible, short-tempered, unliked guy who has made a career of going it alone. If someone likes policy and is interested in solutions, Bernie is not a serious candidate.

@20, that’s really sweet.

@25, thanks Annie. I’ve been AWOL today with appointments so I’m in the catch-up mode.

I agree, Glenn Frey’s passing makes me incredibly sad. The Eagles provided the soundtrack to my growing up.

@18, Ga6th, the Bernbots forget that “Revolution” also means spinning in place with no particular direction.

@20, Georgia, a guitar and three words that speak volumes.

@25, Annie, please mention the article to my bud, Laker. It’s the kind of read I think he might enjoy.

@20: Agree that was indeed a sweet thought.

“The Bern” was in B’ham today. How convenient for MLK Day. The newz reporter quoted one attendee as saying “He might be 74 but he’s a rock star.”. Also since he was here on MLK Day he visited the 16th Street Baptist church. 🙄

@19: I truly believe he said that. I also believe that people told him that. What’s sad is that he believed it.

@25 annie, It took me awhile but I think mb was referring to the Derek Zoolander pic in her post.

@24: It’s really sad but here’s a forty year old guy who feels the Bern.

I used to read Skooks’ blog just about every day and I followed him and his wife on twitter. After he referred to Hillary as a monster I stopped going over there regularly. I go over every so often just to see what’s got him going that particular day. I sent a couple of pro-Hillary tweets to him and his wife and they stopped following me. I was crushed.

Oh and yay for Bernie getting the endorsement of The Nation. I’m so happy that they’re happy.

Oh.My.God. Killer Mike explains how he became a member of The Church of Sandersology. (He didn’t say that)

http://www.cnn.com/2016/01/18/politics/killer-mike-bernie-sanders-joint-tweets/index.html

GAgal, I’m glad they explained who Killer Mike was because I didn’t know.

@37, I wonder how Killer Mike would explain his compatriot in Sandersology, Cornel West, to his fans. Professor West, since 2007 has been a constant critic and full of ridicule for Obama. Of course, with Killer Mike having so much on his mind while he was figuring out to endorse Bernie, like keeping the bong lit, I’m sure he didn’t consider such things.

A good read on Bernie’s recipe for puppies and rainbows when it comes to single payer. It is intellectually anorexic on a good day and diet tips for a Fashion Week casting party on a more realistic day.

http://www.vox.com/2016/1/17/10784528/bernie-sanders-single-payer-health-care

Someone needs to tell Killer – it’s sh!t like dat give pot a bad name! (my pathetic attempts to rap tell me I can never be gangsta)

I wonder if Sanders supporters noticed during the debate that he said ‘I know what’s in the ACA. I helped write it’. Hmm.. please elaborate, Bernie.

@42, none of the punditry has noticed yet and with the emphasis on “deal making” by Trump I’m surprised it hasn’t come up, but if you take the two oldest candidates on both sides, the spread on their governance policies is, wait for it, $24,000,000,000,000.00 plus — $24 Trillion plus.

That’s more than a rounding error, but either way the deficit might as well be sitting in a bathtub looking at a sunset after a mighty healthy dose of Cialis.

@43 LOL! I’m confused. Are you saying the “cure” for the deficit is a few porn magazines? It would have to be magazines because there’s no way that guy is getting WiFi wherever he is.

@44, exactly — or a visit to the local “toy store.”

@35, ahhh! Thanks GAgal! I’m more dense than usual lately!

@42, yeah, I’d like to know exactly what he contributed to ACA.

@46 annie, it’s not dense. We are all on overload right now. We have to take a break sometimes. Larry Wilmore on the “new” KKK.
http://crooksandliars.com/2016/01/nightly-show-mocks-cable-news-ability-take

Note that Catholics remain conspicuously absent from the dance card.

At last, the long national nightmare may soon be over. What nightmare you ask?

The nightmare of uncertainty surrounding Sarah Palin’s preference to be the leader of the free world is finally over. The synchronicity within the force is about to healed.

There are obviously concerns, but the Trump Organization, since it is smarter than the Mensa Society and the Ryan Gosling fan club combined, perfectly planned the announcement. At one point the announcement was going to take place on the roof of the Trump Tower, but there were fears Palin might say, “I can see America from here.”

In discussing the issues, Trump made mention of a passage from Two Corinthians and Palin said, “This is the most important election since World War Eleven.”

They then ate pizza with a knife and fork.

The end.

How about Bristol Palin, the mascot of the Purity crowd? Will she be dethroned by her second out-of-wedlock child?

Just a refresher for all those who have heard #SocklessDeadIntern and #DrunkMika complain about Patraeus and Clinton having done the same things and only one of them having been prosecuted.

Petraeus pleaded guilty last year to giving Broadwell (his mistress and ambitious neophyte author) eight notebooks that he compiled while serving as commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan and that he knew contained classified information. The notebooks held some of the most sensitive kinds of military and intelligence secrets, including the identities of covert officers, intelligence capabilities, quotes from high-level meetings of the National Security Council, and notes about Petraeus’s discussions with President Obama.

Petraeus could have faced felony charges, including for lying to FBI investigators, but was allowed to plead guilty last year to a misdemeanor count of unauthorized handling classified information. He avoided a prison sentence but received two years probation and a $100,000 fine.

Now they are thinking of demoting Patraeus, cutting his lifetime pension from $220,000 to only $170,000 per year.

Let the outrage rekindle and blaze brightly.

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2016/01/18/exclusive-pentagon-may-demote-david-petraeus.html?wpmm=1&wpisrc=nl_daily202

@51, Chat, you are confusing the Purity Posse with the Promise Keepers.

Just a fun fact, Dakota Meyer, Medal of Honor recipient and baby daddy, has sued Bristol for joint custody and child support.

A proud moment of consistency for all concerned.

What do you bet that this demotion has something to do with his Benghazi testimony?

Latest polls (national) per MSN:
Clinton 52, Sanders 37 (down 7 since December)
Women: Clinton by 19 points
Liberals: Sanders by 9
Minorities: Clinton “substantial lead”
Older voters: Clinton “substantial lead”.
http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/clintons-lead-narrows-nationally/ar-BBor90h?li=BBnb7Kz

@54, it might, but you can never underestimate the Pentagon pit of vipers, gossip, and star envy. There are lots of non-publicized cases of “official demotion for conduct unbecoming” that hit the lesser known officers in the wallet. I imagine Ash Carter and the Joints are hearing general/General grousing about the overlooking of Petraeus for the demotion.

I become so pissed when these Conservatives diminish what Patraeus did, the man was the head of the CIA and had taken official “state secrets” and gave them to his bed buddy. A bed buddy who became his buddy through the self-serving ingratiation of a first time author. Give me a break — their relationship was nothing more than a mating dance of two incredibly ambitious humans.

@55, all the media is going to have to come off their narrative of “it’s a horse race” by the weekend because while they want to hype viewership, they don’t want to look like the idjits they are when Hillary wins in Iowa going away.

Catching up on comments.

@52: That always makes me crazy when they pull that stuff with the comparison that is no comparison. It just reminds me of Al Franken’s book about the lying liars who love to lie because their lies will be taken seriously.

Just a fun fact, Dakota Meyer, Medal of Honor recipient and baby daddy, has sued Bristol for joint custody and child support.

@57: But this far after retirement?

Proliix: this morning I saw that #socklessdeadintern and #drunkMika along with #plagiaristBarnicle were talking about the water problem in Flint MI. and schmoe was asking “Where was the mayor? Where was the city council? Where were the local authorities?”.

Schmoe needs to check these things out before asking such silly questions because he would then know who was in control of Flint at the time and who made the decision about drawing water from the Flint River.

Walling said the decision to use the Flint River as an interim source was ultimately made by then-Flint emergency manager Edward Kurtz in about June 2013 when he expanded an existing engineering contract for the Flint Water Treatment Plant to cover needed upgrades.

And we know who appointed all of the emergency managers for cities in Michigan.

@60, yeah, I think that it’s possible since the whole Petraeus affair came to light in November 2012 and probably was held until after the election.

Ash Carter is a Pentagon institutionalist and something like a differential of treatment would get his ear. When Petraeus resigned, Panetta was too much of a politician to let that kind of thing surface — that kind of criticism would make a bigger impression on Carter.

@61, tell me it ain’t so — #SocklessDeadIntern and #DrunkMika said something that was pulled from the nether regions of their backsides?

The first paragraph of the indictment of these Michiganders needs to clearly set out that it would have cost about $100 a day to treat this water so that this would never have happened. That is the opening and closing statement of sending someone to prison. It wasn’t necessarily the Flint water, it was the cheap failure to supply unsuitably treated water.

From the stranger than fact-based reporting:

About a year ago the National Review actually said the Sarah Palin era of self-promotion was over and that she couldn’t continue to travel the country claiming to be the keeper of Ronald Reagan’s legacy — instead, the essay said, she better resembled Donald Trump.

One year passes, now Sarah Palin is endorsing Donald Trump who is traveling the country claiming to be the reincarnation of Ronald Reagan.

Gawd, listening to Sarah Palin at a Trump rally just gave me a seizure. Kinda like MaryWhatsHerName who used to be on Entertainment Tonight.

Poor Ted Cruz is in pain tonight. Once upon a time, it was Ted and Sarah. Before that, Dolly and Porter. Love affairs that were supposed to last forever. Will Ted close his heart now? Did he ever have one?

Okay, just watched Sarah Palin endorse Trump, these thoughts:

1. Neither of them formed a complete sentence.

2. I wonder what identification Palin used when she filled out her I-9 employment form. Obviously Trump didn’t do a pre-employment background check.

3. The sell-by date of Sarah Palin’s “signature three word zingers” has aged passed rancid and are now approaching the toxicity of ricin.

@65, LOL — that’s a classic that I nominate for TW’s Hall of Fame.

Perhaps this rally should have been labeled #feelthefreeze.

“Unfortunately, no, we do not have an alternative location and were unable to have the warming station tonight,” Birmingham city spokeswoman April Odom said Monday night.

@68: I second that nomination.

Maybe momma grizzly should stay home to attend to family matters.

Ralph Reed, chairman of the Faith and Freedom Coalition, said “Palin’s brand among evangelicals is as gold as the faucets in Trump tower.” If these two are going to be doing rallies together, the Governors need to alert the National Guard.

I guess this is the new media site Peter Daou spoke of in their last post on hillarymen.

http://bluenationreview.com/you-dont-have-to-hate-hillary-to-love-bernie/

GAgal, that was a great piece by Peter.

It is a fabtastic article.

@50 & 51, LOL!

Fredster, thanks for posting Uppity’s tweet. We were just watching the news which is blaring that Sanders might win. Last time I looked at Nate Silvers blog, he still thinks Hillary will win both IA & NH.

annnie@77: Yep, Maddow mentioned the Nate Silver 538 things last night.

The Human Rights Campaign just endorsed Hillary for President.

And like the spoiled brats they are, here’s what Sanders’ campaign did:

But the campaign of her main rival, Bernie Sanders, disputed the group’s decision, pointing to the Vermont senator’s record on gay rights.

Sanders spokesman Michael Briggs said the Human Rights Campaign endorsement had to have been “based on something other than the facts and the record. No candidate for president has ever had a better record on gay rights than Bernie.” He noted Sanders had voted against the so-called Defense of Marriage Act, which was signed into law by President Bill Clinton in 1996 and supported by Hillary Clinton at the time.

@77 and 78: He now believes that Bernie will win NH, Hillary Iowa. I’m almost certain that she will take SC and has a decent chance at Nevada as well.

@74, GAgal, most excellent article. Thanks for sharing.

Let’s see if this works.

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