The Widdershins

The week from hell…

Posted on: June 15, 2016

Where do you start in a week like this?  Dwell on the horrific?  Dwell on the histrionics?  Dwell on the hollowness?  Or just say to hell with it all?Orlando vigil

Like all of us, my heart hurts for the folks in Orlando.  Happiness turned into the horrific.  Frivolity turned frantic.  Dancing turned into death.  There are no definitive answers and in all likelihood, there never will be.  As unsatisfying as this is, we should make peace with it.  Otherwise, disappointment will add to the despondency.

For what it’s worth, the shooter was a toxic soup of self-loathing, narcissism, and brutality.  Coming from a family where fantasy seemed the norm, his socialization was problematic at best.  Being a twice-married closeted gay homophobe does not lend itself to a startling degree of self-awareness; though it might lead to a last-minute deflection excuse of ISIL allegiance.

Invariably there is the “same old, same old” gun control chatter.  So far in 2016 there have been 132 other mass shootings.  Will this one be different beyond claiming the record number of lives?  Perhaps – perhaps not.

World MapHere’s the rub – depending on the use, the average lifespan of a gun is generational.  That means a useful lifetime of somewhere between 20 and 25 years on the low side.  We don’t know exactly how many of these AR-15 type weapons there are in the stream of commerce because sales are not reported.  We do know there is a gun in circulation for every man, woman, and child in the country.  The statistics are mind-blowing: America has 4.4 percent of the world’s population, but almost half of its civilian-owned guns.

During the ten years of the assault weapons ban, 1994-2004, we were just beginning to see the results of the ban.  Then it ended.  Now, with the AR-15 being the most popular rifle sold, the number in the stream of commerce is staggering.  Again, we don’t know exactly because the CDC can’t collect information on such things and the manufacturers won’t report.Guns per 100

The best all around article on this Gordian knot of death is one entitled, What No Politician Wants to Admit about Gun Control.  It is well worth the read.  The conclusions are staggering.  It is something to keep in mind given the holy war about to be unleashed over gun sales to those on the “no fly list”.  A holy war over sales to a paltry 247 people – total. Barring people on the no fly list from buying guns is not a big “ask”.

Let’s face it – death isn’t enough to defeat the gun merchants.  It’s going to take different thinking and a different political climate.  Hillary is doing her best to make that world a reality.

Turning to the histrionics – Donald Trump and Barack Obama are two scorpions in a media bottle.  My question is this:  Where has this Barack Obama been for the last seven and a half years?  Yesterday, the world did not come to an end when it appeared he was emotionally capable of being angry.  Where has that man been?

Trump is the political equivalent of the crazy man standing on the street corner.  No one dares make eye contact with him.  No one wants to engage him.  He’s a big orange turd in the Republican punch bowl.  He’s a pariahNo Republican dares stand up for him other than Sleazy, the rotund troll who closed the bridge.

Governor Chris Christie, of New Jersey, another of Trump’s opponents early in the campaign, has transformed himself into a sort of manservant, who is constantly with Trump at events. (One Republican told me that a friend of his on the Trump campaign used Snapchat to send him a video of Christie fetching Trump’s McDonald’s order.)

This is not photo-shopped. He actually did this on Monday...

This is not photo-shopped. He actually did this on Monday…

If there was an “Unpresidential Handbook for Dummies,” Trump would be its author.  Trump’s vanity exercise may well lead to the overruling of Heller and Citizens United.  In the greater scheme of things, he does have a purpose.

As for the hollowness, the Republican Party, as Professor Krugman puts it, is a Party Agrift.  It is a party without a soul.  Those who now pretend to take a stand against Trump were, four years ago, engaged in a primal mating dance.  Case in point:  Mittens.

What is alarming is Trump’s Donny-come lately pro-gay Islamophobia is straight out of the European playbook.  Welcome to the political styling of Paul Manafort. All those years of working for two-bit dictators does pay a dividend.  A word of caution:  It has worked.

Repeatedly Trump confuses political talking points for a substantive understanding of the issues.  One of his favorites is “political correctness”.  Political correctness has become the double secret code word for “white male victimization”.  Criticism of political correctness is a way for white males to delegitimize the experiential reality of minorities.Trump Poll

This election will revolve around the victimization of white males.  As we have pointed out previously, conservatives believe that discrimination is a larger problem affecting whites than minorities.  It worked in the Republican primary.  It is an anathema to those who decide elections, the ten to fifteen percent in the middle.  The hollowness with which Trump is approaching this election is intellectually bankrupt and ironically, he does know about bankruptcy.

It has been a miserable week so far and as I write this a 2-year old has been attacked and carried away by an alligator at Disney World’s Grand Floridian hotel lagoon.

We need better news.  At least the Bloomberg Poll says Hillary is ahead by 12 points.

Here’s Ken Burns at Stanford with some good life lessons after eviscerating the Meerkat-headed buffoon.


What’s on your mind?



99 Responses to "The week from hell…"

This whole thing has just made me spitting mad. For two days I watched the media go on and on and on about “terrorist, radical, Islam”. I was yelling at the TV to call it what it was. HATE CRIME. This guy didn’t choose this venue because there would be a crowd there, but because WHO the crowd was. Whether gay, latino or both it was first and foremost a hate crime.

It was only after it came out that he may be gay or closeted, that they started changing the narrative. I believe he used Islam to cover his hate, not the other way around. His father was on earlier ranting about ISIS this, ISIS that. I guess he found out his son was gay and was more embarrassed about that than if he was just a mass murdering terrorist.

Prolix, thanks for the post. I’ll be back later this afternoon to read the links.

@1,GAgal, I agree, it is a hate crime and terror was the afterthought to cover it.

Prolix, thank you for the informative post and links.

Barring people on the no fly list from buying guns is not a big “ask”.
No, but it’s probably the only ask the Republicans are willing to give an answer. Forget about extending the three day background check limit, forget enhancing databases and storing names of domestic violence offenders and people who have been flagged by the FBI, forget gun shows and internet sales. We can – for sure – forget banning assault weapons.

I heard earlier that Trump (and McConnell) were willing to talk about the no fly list. Trump said he would meet with the NRA. Yep, a potential presidential nominee thinks it’s appropriate to ask the NRA’ s opinion after 49 people were killed and many others injured. What ever happened to those Reagan loving folks who agreed with the ban in ’94?

I had to laugh this morning when the talking heads were covering the DNC Russian hack. They were saying they probably got files on Trump’s policies and positions. LOL. What would that be? Files of empty pages?

“Trump’s vanity exercise may well lead to the overruling of Heller and Citizens United. In the greater scheme of things, he does have a purpose.”

In a sad post, that made me laugh. It’s true.

But, seriously, I have to stand up for meerkats. What have you got against meerkats? Stop insulting meerkats!

@5, GAgal, yes, it probably is the only thing to which the NRA and gun manufacturers would agree, but it is a mighty small sop. Truth be told, there aren’t that many Americans on the no fly list. In the ten years between 2004 and 2014, only 2,000 people bought guns — about 200 a year. The gun show loophole — 40% of all sales — needs to be slammed shut. And then the large capacity clips — don’t get me started. They need to be stopped — there’s no one who needs a 100 round drum clip. If you are too lazy to change a clip, you are too lazy to own a gun.

@6, LOL — that is good — “intelligence on Trump” is an oxymoron.

I’ve noticed the media only started scrutinizing Trump after he slammed them. First, he mocked them at his rallies and they just let that slide and laughed at him. Then he said if he were president, he’d change libel laws so he could sue them if they wrote something he didn’t like – they perked up a bit.

Then, he held that press conference where he called them all out and called that guy a sleaze. Right after that was when Jake Tapper hammered him on the Vince Foster talk. That really buried that whole talking point for Trump.

Then, revoking WaPo press credentials. They are now fact checking and reporting his past dealings. They’re really disgusted with his “foreign policy” speeches. But, they sat back and allowed lie after lie, month after month, until he hit them.

@7, Quixote, I’m a Meerkat fan, I think Trump aped his hair color from the Meerkats. In other words, Trump is a copy-Meerkat.

@4, Jules, thanks for coming by and I appreciate the nice words.

Prolix, well said. This has been an unbelievably depressing week.

@5 & 6, great comments GAgal.

Trump revoked the credentials for a lot of news organizations. They will make him for that.

quixote are you employed by the meerkat lobby? Have you registered yourself as a meerkat lobbyist? Are you promoting the meerkat agenda? 😆

@8, only 2000 ppl bought guns over 10 years? Does that mean legal gun sales?

One of the CT senators, Chris Murphy (?) is filibustering the senate until they talk about gun control:

@14, I meant to say, they will make him PAY for that. I’ve had hideous headaches all week.

Things must be rough all over even for dehydrated, fancy boot-wearin’ Cuban lads — Rubio is rethinking running for reelection.

Now that he has figured out he doesn’t have to come to work, EVER, it is suddenly a great job.

I loved Meerkat Manor! Well, except for that survival of the fittest thing…

@14, Annie, I saw that too. It is also interesting that they have started fact-checking his sorry patootie. They aren’t letting him get by with all his lies.

@18, I loved Meerkat Manor too. I liked them popping up with those big eyes in constant wonder.

@16 I think when I read comments my brain add missing words and correct typos automatically so I no longer notice. But dang, I hate it when I do it. 🙂

*adds* LOL

@GAgal, LOL!

I think we can all agree that the first thing we need to do is to get Hillary elected. Second, do our best to flip the Senate and maybe if we are especially good we might get the House back.

If we get all three back then we can then enact meaningful legislation to start addressing this issue on several different fronts; the assault rifles, the large clips of ammo and putting forth some type of legislation that says “Oh, been investigated by the FBI twice for terrorism concerns? No gun for you.”.

On a happy note, I got my official Hillary Clinton Women Card in the mail today. I thought about buying the whole deck of cards but no one who knows me as ever said I was playing with a full deck. 😛

Supposed DNC Trump oppo research file. Or some of it. Pretty much what anyone would expect.

They found the body of that 2 yr old toddler at Disney.

@26, I’m surprised they could get all the Trump dirt into one volume. I thought there would be a compendium.

I have the Dem filibuster on cspan2. There are several other dems there helping Chris Murphy (D CT) who is leading it. I think the cowardly rethugs have all walked out. Chris Murphy looks good. I wonder if he’s on Hillary’s vp list?

Annie, this piece from the WaPo was from yesterday but has Cali finished their official count yet?

Can someone check in trash for a comment I just tried to post? Thanks!

Fredster, I’m glad they found the childs body, so the parents can bury or cremate the remains. I can’t read any more about it though. Too depressing.

Fredster, here are links from moononpluto @ Upps to get the vote count in Cali. I think its still going:

“moononpluto, on June 15, 2016 at 5:09 PM said: for latest count update then open up the pdf for ballots outstanding.”

Thanks annie.
The comment went into “pending” because of the old WordPress rule of allowing only one link in a comment. It’s silly but I don’t think there’s anything we can do to change it.

Okay, thanks Fredster. I had another one, but I guess my computer disappeared it. What I said was that I had the Democratic filibuster on @ cspan2. They’re still going! Its being led by Sen Christopher Murphy of CT who is doing a fine job. Sherrod Brown and lots of others are there. I think the rethugs have all walked out, and no sign of Bernoid. (figures)

Ok, thanks Fredster. Another comment I made has disappeared twice.

All it said was that I was watching the Dem filibuster on c span 2. It is still going, with lots of Dems participating. Sen Chris Murphy is leading it. I think the rethugs have all walked out.

Fredster, sending you an email.

Senate Democrats on the floor with “talking” filibuster on universal background checks and keeping suspected terrorists from getting guns. It’s on CSpan. Apparently it started before noon.

GAgal, thanks, I tried to post that info 3 times but it kept disappearing.

New poll from WaPo/ABC. Hillary’s unfavorables 55%. Trump 70 percent.

Even though it’s “With All Due Respect” there’s a good clip here.

Finally, even though it is Dana Milbank, someone is finally saying the right stuff about ending the media’s laziness of hiding behind false equivalencies:

Too many journalists are hung up on the old balance of ‘he said, she said’ and are silent about putting their finger on the scale and saying which viewpoint has the larger weight” of truth, he told me. “One would hope that would change.

annie36: Anytime y’all have made a comment and you don’t see it show up in the comments, then give us a shout out and we’ll see if Spammy grabbed it or if it’s in pending.

This would drive Trump insane:

But I suggest an end to the uncritical, free publicity that propelled him to the GOP nomination in the first place

Question: How do you know if you have real serious problems as a Republican candidate?

Answer: If Texas towns say, “Maybe your rally would be better somewhere else.”

Two North Texas cities have rejected requests to host Trump events, with both Grand Prairie and Irvine declining to help when the campaign reached out. “It’s very unusual that the Republican candidate for president in this deep red state would be having trouble finding a venue for his rallies,” said SMU Political science professor Cal Jillson. Aside from a rally, the Trump campaign has already scheduled a fundraiser. (CBS DFW)

@42, Trump passed insane about ten miles back.

Trump passed insane about ten miles back.

Well it will make him insaner. LOL

@44 & 46 Someone needs to tell Dana that horse has done left the barn. I remember walking by the den here and hearing Trump. I asked my stepdad, did he just say ‘why should I pay for ads when you’ll air me for free?’ He said yeah and we both cackled. And that was a looong time ago.

@49, or as the liberal redneck would say, “It’d make him more insaner.”

Prolix I just emptied the trash. Nothing in there besides a couple of comments from you and me. We can keep an eye on that in the event wp or spammy decides to go on a spree again.

The other rednecks. Trump is racist, Bernie won’t drop out.

@52, if Spammy would eat more of my comments, the intellectual discourse around here would tick up about twenty points.

@47, love it!

@54, don’t even think about it!

@53, LOL!

@47: Wow! That’s Dallas-Ft. Worth. Amazing.

@54: Not on your life!

From 53:
Meanwhile in Utah

(grumble) This never turns out good.



Please watch this Univison clip of the moms from Mexico trying to make sense why their children died that night. They were workers at Pulse who sent money back home to their families and now they have find a way to bury them,

EDIT: They were workers and visitors of Pulse.

Got a line of storms moving thru – lots of lightening with them so shutting down for now. I’ll see y’all in a little while.

@58 Strange things are happening in Utah. The Lt. Gov gave a really heartfelt speech at a memorial tribute for those who died and called out his party. A former Senator has been all over media giving full-on support with a vote for Hillary and saying he wants other Republicans to do same and end these mass “slaughters”. A couple of weeks ago, there was a UT poll that showed Hillary and Trump really close. This is the weirdest election ever.

@60 SM, On either CNN or MSNBC this morning they reported a huge amount of money had been donated to help the families. Disney alone was a million. Plus I think there was more than a million donated to another fund. I was busy with something at the time so I’m not sure where.

That Dana Milbank article was something else. Trump got.about $2 billion in free advertising, with 2/3 of the publicity being positive!! The press deserves to eat crow from now until the end of time for this, and I have ZERO sympathy for them. F*ck them for perpetrating this baboon onto America…them and the Republican Party with their embrace of racism, sexism and homophobia as an election strategy.

Red State Update was great! I loved the image of Romney’s “ideas summit.”

I can’t watch, SM77. I can’t take it.

Haha. Tim Kaine “questioning” Murphey on the Senate floor. This is great. Murphy refusing to yield the floor. It’s been 11 hours now!

Haha. Tim Kaine “questioning” Murphy on the Senate floor. This is great. Murphy refusing to yield the floor. It’s been 11 hours now!

comment disappeared. tried twice.

I’ll try again:

Ha ha. Tim Kaine “questioning” Murphy on the Senate floor. This is great. Murphy refusing to yield the floor. They’ve been there 11 hours!

GAgal, I freed all three. Somehow Spammy threw them all the way into the garbage can — completely passed up moderation and went directly into the can. Spammy has it out for you. If he does it again, I’m taking him out back. Not to beat him up, just to get him high so he will mellow out.

LOL Maybe he’ll pass out for awhile and leave all of us alone.

WSJ reporting Bernie is not being vetted as VP. Hmm.. just when he was getting ready to release his taxes. 🙂

Also, Hill’s camp buying ads.

@71, yes, but Bernie is being vetted for new Beano drug — it’s supposed to combat maple flatulence. It’s called Meano.

Fredster @15: Shhhh! The meerkat lobby is very on the down low. You’ll get me in trouble. All I can tell you is that Douglas Adams got it a bit wrong. It’s not lab mice who actually run the world.

Gotta run.

quixote, I luvs me some meerkats. It’s those damned honey badgers that work on my last nerve.

Checking in on the filibuster (going on 13 hours now) I had a thought. After the Supreme court decision on gay marriage, wouldn’t it be amazing if the Orlando tragedy became the catalyst for finally, at least, getting started on gun control measures too? Can you imagine?

@74 o_O I think I’ll stick with the meerkat.

@72, Thanks, Prolix, I needed a laugh today.

Cory Booker back on the floor. Preach it!

Senator Murphy yields the floor. Wow that was fantastic.

Senator Murphy yields the floor.

Funny how when I post a comment saying my comments disappeared, it shows but the original won’t post. Let’s see if it does it again.

Ha of course. Anyway, Senator Murphy yields the floor.

@81, Okay, GAgal, I’m taking Spammy out back for an herbal recalibration of his mood. He had thrown all your comments straight into the garbage. Did you jilt him? He’s awfully particular in picking on you.

Tangential, but cogent enough to be thrown out here. This is Jim Jeffries, a comic, talking about the Second Amendment. There’s language, but he’s Australian so it sounds normal.

This is Part One:

And Part Two:

@74, omg!!! That thing is off the charts insane!

I liked the Dems filibuster today. They should keep doing it.

Prolix, we loved your comic, it was awesome and hilarious.

AFL-CIO endorses Hillary today.

Two words come to mind: About time.

Young British MP, Jo Cox murdered in Britain for wanting her country to stay in the EU. Killer sounds like an English Donald Trump, as he screamed “Britain first!” while shooting Cox.
We’re one environmental disaster from the shittiest week on record.

Is that some kind of a beard on Ken Burn’s face? He needs to shave it, it distracts from his message. While watching his speech, I kept squinting at the computer trying to figure out if it was facial hair or not.

@88, Sue, that is tragic. Gabby Giffords, if she can, should eulogize her or at least be the official United States representative of the President. Am I too sensitive, but it seems that the crazies somehow allow their sexist demons to take hold when selecting victims.

@89, Annie, I know what you mean. It was so distracting I just listened instead of watching. I enjoyed his life lessons more than his take down of O’Range Donny.

@91, yes, he’s a very interesting person, and I love his docs. He should hire a stylist!

@90: Prolix, you’re not crazy. After all, the predators are looking for “soft targets.”

@90 – Agree Prolix, that is the first thing I thought of. “Of course they chose a woman to kill.”

In better news…#TheBernout’s irrelevance is slowly dawning on both him, and the Democratic Party.

@94, MB, that’s a good article, but I have to take issue. To me at least, it appears clearer every day that BerningBum is hoping and praying that the email police hits “send” Hillary to jail and he, as much as he hates the situation for Hillary, through crocodile tears, says, “I will carry on for her as the nominee. It will be hard, but I think I can do it.” Since March he’s had no chance and at every turn it has been, “Well, there’s next week,” or there’s a next primary. Now that it is over and there’s nothing else to peg it to, he’s been smoked out — he’s a circling buzzard hoping to pounce.

I hope Hillary tells him to pound sound. He needs to go back to Vermont and hump a maple tree and leave the rest of us alone.

@95 – Yeah, I don’t know what’s going on in his mind, nor do I care all that much. Hillary’s emails were always a non-issue, and there was never any chance that her non-criminal activities would lead to incarceration. If he’s really stupid enough to think it will happen, good. I want him to be disappointed and hurt enough to go away.

The good news to me is that it’s clear that to the Democratic Party, the Bernout Bus has now left the station, and the article also says that Hillary doesn’t care about his tiny sliver of voters. Good! I do NOT want this jerk parading around pretending he’s in charge of the Democratic Party nor of its platform, especially since the changes he wants to make would not be beneficial at all. You’ll notice he never talks about removing caucuses either, which is one thing I think the Dem Party SHOULD do. That’s because caucuses and Independent voters allowed him to seem important for so very long. So, sayonara Bernie. It hasn’t been real, fun, or real fun.

Bernie and I have one thing in common. Neither one of us gives two shyts if he speaks at the convention at all. If he does, I won’t be watching. He can take his ‘transform the Democratic party to include..’ and ‘not just wealthy donors…’ shtick and shove it. I’m surprised he didn’t say ‘Democrat party’.

Weaver is such a weasel.

“It is best for the party” if Clinton reaches out to Sanders supporters by endorsing “tangible, concrete changes” to the Democratic Party, Weaver said. “We would like to get to a place where we could very actively support the nominee.”

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