The Widdershins

GOP: Grand Old Phantasm…

Posted on: July 7, 2016


When I was a boy, I loved Superman – reruns of the original television program with George Reeves. I knew Superman was faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive, and able to leap tall buildings in a single bound.

I knew it. With every fiber of my being, I knew it.

When I was six or seven I heard that Superman was dead and had been dead for years. I was not having it. I knew it wasn’t true. A speeding bullet couldn’t kill Superman because, well, he was Superman.

I made my case. Superman was not dead. I knew it because I believed so hard. Things had to be exactly like what I believed them to be. It was my world. Undisturbed. Perfect. Superman couldn’t die.

Welcome to the world where Republicans live. They live in a world of epistemic closure where if you dream it hard enough and say it loud enough and repeat it often enough, it has to be true.

They believe it, therefore the phantasm is true. The emails would finally do in the mean, evil, hateful Hillary. A simple black box chocked full of electronics would do what Whitewater, Rose Law Firm, Travelgate, Christmas Card listgate, Vince Foster, Arkansas drug smuggling, Kenneth Starr, Gennifer Flowers, Paula Jones, Kathleen Willey, Juanita Broaddrick, Denise Rich, Marc Rich, impeachment, Rudy Giuliani, Rick Lazio, AUMF, Iraq War, and Benghazi couldn’t.

Republicans knew the emails would bring Hillary down. They knew it because they believed it so hard. Fox told them so. Rush and Hannity told them so. The clown college called the GOP primary said so. It was on Drudge, the Blaze, and Breitbart. It just had to be so.

Until it wasn’t.Comey No charges

And the messenger of the impossible: FBI Director James Comey.  The same Comey who is a Republican, who has contributed to John McCain and Mitt Romney, who served in the Bush Administration, and rushed to the side of Attorney General Ashcroft when Dick Cheney was orchestrating the continuation of unconstitutional surveillance.

That Comey.

Comey’s statement about Hillary’s email was untethered. It most likely violated DOJ and FBI policy in non-indictment cases. He’s now going to find himself defending the decision not to indict from statements he made supporting an indictment through his gratuitous remarks. In essence, Comey was against it before he was for it while being against it.

If the old political adage is true, “If you are explaining, you are losing,” then Director Comey is about to relive the Battle of the Bastards from Game of Thrones. And the Bastards are all supposed to be on his team.

Hate is a powerful emotion, but is it so all-consuming and mesmerizing to Republicans that they would turn their back on the country? Can they believe so hard as to not believe at all?

Here are three short videos for some perspective.




What’s on your mind today?





69 Responses to "GOP: Grand Old Phantasm…"

The Comey hearing is just beginning. Of course, CNN, Fox, and MSNBC are all covering it. Chaffetz better have underalls on because he is engaging in some massive ego masturbation.

After an hour, the most important points:

1. Comey: No evidence of law breaking by Clinton.

2. Comey: Petraeus case is not relevant because the behavior of Petraeus was clearly criminal. Petraeus had 8 notebooks containing classified material — including Top Secret and passwords. The notebooks were found pursuant to a search warrant and found hidden in a desk of the Petraeus home. Then Petraeus lied.

3. Comey: When I said we found a small number of documents marked Classified. There were three documents. Three documents out of 30,000.

4. Chaffetz: Congress (Republicans) will make a referral to the FBI about a perjury investigation based upon Clinton’s statement that she sent no documents marked classified. The marking was a “c” in parenthesis in the margin of the document.

The race to be Britain’s next prime minister was whittled to two on Thursday, with Conservative Party lawmakers assuring that the country will have a female leader — the nation’s first since Margaret Thatcher stepped down more than a quarter century ago.

Either Leadsom or May will be the U.K.’s first female prime minister since Thatcher, who ruled the country from 1979 to 1990, and the second in British history.

With a woman now guaranteed to lead Britain, Hillary Clinton topping presidential polls in the United States and Chancellor Angela Merkel continuing to govern Germany, three of the West’s leading powers could all be governed by female politicians by January in a historic first.

Prolix, did Chaffetz have one of his famous charts?
He should have been laughed out of Congress after Cecile Richards made a complete fool out of him on TV.

@4, Sue, Chaffetz went chartless today. He is such a gag-inducing hot dog. He is so fawningly earnest and it is such an act. He is Eddie Haskell writ large.

Elijah Cummings made a great point. When Comey said, “A small number of emails were sent with markings,” it was 3 out of over 30,000 emails. These 3 had little “c’s” in parenthesis in the body of the email and did not have headers showing it could have been classified.

And yesterday, the State Department said those 3 emails were marked with little “c’s” by accident and were human errors.

This is a great piece on how ludicrous the GOP looks trying to assassinate Hillary’s character, while promoting a crazed baboon as their nominee.

MB: from that article:

The e-mail episode makes all the case one could really want to make against Clinton, balanced against a record of accomplishment at the State Department notably less impressive than that of her successor, John Kerry.
(bolding mine)

Kerry, really? WTF has he done other than breaking his leg?

I missed the opening of the hearing and CSPAN is airing it again. Man, Elijah Cummings is giving a rip-roaring opening statement.

Prolix, thanks for watching and posting all the info about the hearing. I don’t have the stomach for rethugs today. That chaffetz guy is particularly creepy…like Q-Tip head.

@10: LOL! I love that: like Q-Tip head.

Trump met with the congressional Repubs today. It sounds as if he did not make the best of impressions.

Rep. Mark Sanford (R-S.C.) left the meeting worried about Trump’s grasp on the basics of the Constitution. At a lunch with reporters afterward, he recalled that the candidate did not seem to know what he was promising to defend.

“I wasn’t particularly impressed,” Sanford said. “It was the normal stream of consciousness that’s long on hyperbole and short on facts. At one point, somebody asked about Article I powers: What will you do to protect them? I think his response was, ‘I want to protect Article I, Article II, Article XII,’ going down the list. There is no Article XII.”

Rep. H. Morgan Griffith (R-Va.), who said he was “uncomfortable” with Trump’s language, gave him a pass on the Constitution flub.

“When he made the comment about the Constitution, I love this article and that article, I assumed he was talking about the amendments, because he was off on the numbers,” he said.

Oh boy.

@10, LOL — he is a Q-Tip head, what a perfect description.

@12, what a moron!

Trump is too arrogant to admit he’s ignorant. He thinks he can bluster and bluff his way through.

@14: As I was reading the piece I thought “what the hell is he talking about ?” and looked for my handy-dandy copy of the Constitution,/Declaration of Independence/ Articles of Confederation all in one little book. I realized he didn’t know what the hell he was babbling about.

Well, here we go, this stuff is never going to end.

APNewsBreak: State Department reopens Clinton emails probe

Q-tip Head is good, but my favorite is Gowdy Doody.

@18: He had that hair sooo slicked back today it looked like he perhaps used Crisco or cooking oil in it.

Benghazi is not over yet and the public won’t see the final meeting.

“It’s no surprise that Benghazi Committee Republicans are choosing to take their final vote tomorrow behind closed doors, with no transparency and where no one can fact check their claims,” Democratic Whip Rep Sten Hoyer (Md.) told The Huffington Post.

“That’s how they’ve operated since day one ― not sharing information with committee Democrats and concealing the truth from the public,” Hoyer said. “It reveals what everyone has known since the beginning and what [Majority Leader Kevin] McCarthy admitted: that the Benghazi Committee’s purpose is political, not investigative.”

Here he is with that slicked down hair.

Estimated costs of the Benghazi hearings/committees so far are $23 million. I’m not sure if that includes the Pentagon’s expenses they were complaining about recently.

@21 If I met that guy on a dark street I would freak out. I might even in the middle of the day. Creepy…

GAgal, he totally looks like a greaser there. Bleh.

@23, Gowdy Dowdy looks like a PR ploy for the new Ghostbusters movie.

I know y’all have thought about this, but it is so unbelievable to me I just have to say it — the Republican Party is about to nominate someone who trolls alt right, skinhead, neo-Nazi websites for twitter bait. Think about that! In 2016, someone who has tweeted or retweeted 75 examples of alt right porn is about to be nominated for President.

I find that hard to believe — even for Republicans.

@26: That’s a big change from Mittens isn’t ?

Can you guys check and see if my comment (link to a tweet) is in spam? I don’t want to post it twice. Thanks!

GAgal, don’t see it in either pending or spam. Try again maybe?

@29 Holy sh*t. This – after Obama spoke to the nation today. Horrible.

And this does **nothing** to resolve any issues at all.

Guys, I didn’t create “Q-Tip head,” I think I got it from Uppity’s.

@29, this country is going insane. I can’t even grasp any of this.

@33: I still like it and it creates a vivid picture of…Q-tip head. LOL!

I’ve been watching CNN but it’s just Don Lemon and some talking heads and the same vid clip being played over and over. I really don’t want to see any more of it.

@33 Fredster, agree. It actually makes it much worse. They have just set back the BLM movement enormously. I’m certain many of those activists are angry about this now because they will be falsely tied to this terrible act. Hate crimes don’t cover occupation, but to shoot random cops for the actions of other cops somewhere else, is unconscionable.

Gonna try my tweet link again. If it goes whacko, please delete.

@35: You are absolutely correct. This accomplished nothing positive at all.

@36: It worked and it was soooo good. 😉

Just one of many good points made in the hearing with Comey today. I’ll bet FOX “news” didn’t bother to share it with their viewers. (I can hardly imagine what they are saying right now after the cops shootings)

fredster, did you see Mark Halperins nose stick up and out (or in) at the end of that Briefing clip? When I first tuned into today, he was grinning with a smirk, laughing, behind Comey when a repub was talking. Just look at the expression on his face in the video above with Rep Lieu. He smirked when the Dems got to ask questions (plus sad, disapproval face) I hope someone creates a meme or montage or something with his facial expressions combined with the subject matter being discussed at the time.

@39: Oh I loved this from the clip:

“None of us here have any idea what we’re talking about”.

@40: I have to admit I sometimes strayed from what was being said just to watch Halperin’s facial expressions. Also, I thought it was interesting that he didn’t stay for the 2nd round of hearings with the OIGs and State employees. Guess those fish just weren’t big enough.

Fredster, I think he was asked to leave because he couldn’t stop squirming. Possibly by his own network who saw what he was doing.Those seats behind Comey changed several times with someone coming up and whispering in the other person’s ear. I don’t know if that’s what happened with him because I turned the TV up loud while I was busy in another room. All I know, he was one there one minute and gone the next. But, I do know this – NO member of the media should be in a screen shot of the Director of the FBI testifying before a congressional hearing.

If you (well, not you of course) watch that ignoring him, then watch it again looking specifically at him, Whoa. But I’m sure he will be bragging about his special access on Morning Joke tomorrow. They will lap it up.

I’m having a tough time posting tonight. Actually for the last few days. My internet service is so sporadic. One minute, it’s faster than I’ve ever seen it. The next I have to refresh, repost, try over and over. Then, it goes completely out. I’ve learned to copy my comments if they are more than a couple of sentences because they will be lost. So irritating. Ah… first world problems.

@43: Oh you know that Halperin is going to be on schmoe in the morning.

@44: Are you sure it’s your internet or could it possibly be your browser eating up a lot of resources? I know that when I use Firefox it uses flash also and sometimes the thing will just hang up. When that happens and I open up the task manager, I’ll see that FF and the flash player are eating up resources like crazy. The only thing I can do then is to close the browser and the flash player and then start FF back up. That will usually take care of it.

I’m going to call it a night.

The news last night was just too heartbreaking and I guess it just has me in a blah mood.

@39, that was very interesting. Thanks GAgal.

Fredster, yes, the Dallas shooting is just heartbreaking.

@39, I think Ted Lieu is a star. He was succinct, collected, and logical. Thanks for sharing that.

@48 – totally agree, Prolix. I was thinking “VP!” while watching it. What a great match for Hillary, temperamentally, although probably not a strategic choice.

I truly think the Repubs haven’t dealt with Trump and his complete lack of viability as a nominee, because they were hoping against hope that Hillary would be knocked out of the race by now. I can only imagine the amount of Imodium AD Reince Priebus is downing. It’s the definition of an “oh, sh*t!” moment.

I’m so tired of this country being held hostage by ignorant, hateful @ssh0les with guns. That’s all I can.say about it without crying and screaming.

mb said: I was thinking “VP!” while watching it.

Actually the thought of A.G. or something in the Justice Dept. crossed my mind. He said something about being an attorney.

And just saw something about Hillary will be on CNN at 3:15. I’m guessing that is Eastern time.

Good article about Mr. “Article XII” Trump.

A small tidbit about the puffery the Repubs have had to do with him:

One of the most puzzling talking points that top Republicans, including Paul Ryan, have used to justify their support is that Trump respects “the separation of powers.” In May, the Speaker said it was one of “the core principles that tie us all together.”

What that’s based on remains unknown.

I agree with every single word of this article. But this made me laugh.

The pattern has become so familiar that reporters now anticipate it. When FBI Director James Comey excoriated Clinton for her sloppy email protocol, it was almost a foregone conclusion that Republicans would peer so deeply into the mouth of the gift horse he’d just given them that they’d pop out the other end.

I hate to link to Howard Kurtz/Fox news, but this is rich. They’re trying to tame their dragon.Or hide him.

Donald Trump, in a sharp shift in strategy, is now refusing to appear on many television outlets, and top advisers who want to limit his exposure are no longer notifying him of every interview request.

According to sources familiar with the campaign, one faction is worried that the constant rounds of interviews entail too much risk of the candidate making mistakes or fanning minor controversies, even though his mastery at driving the media agenda helped power his Republican primary victory.

risk of the candidate making mistakes or fanning minor controversies

“minor?” He’s well beyond that, and any day now he’ll move from medium-sized mistakes and controversies to yuuuuge ones. It is entertaining to watch the Repubs dither helplessly while watching the candidate they created. But he’s inciting violence and fanning the flames all over. Snap judgements and rash actions are what this bully praises himself on. Which of course leads to more rashness and stupidity. (looks again at New Zealand emigration site…hey, looks like I fit the Skilled Immigrant in a Shortage category, hmmm…)

NW Luna said: (looks again at New Zealand emigration site…hey, looks like I fit the Skilled Immigrant in a Shortage category, hmmm…)

Would you consider taking in boarders? 😉

And now for some good news, 3 more months of this and Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell might need to look at a Sbarro’s franchise opportunity:

In unabashedly good news, the US economy added 287,000 jobs in June — the strongest month for jobs since last October.

@53, given the way Howie came to land at Fox, more and more it looks like Roger Ailes was looking for a running buddy with the social evolution of a troglodyte.

@54, Luna, I’ve had all my shots, I can survive six weeks in a quarantine kennel, can I go as your service assistance human? Given that all the “Lord of the Rings” movies were shot there, I might have some hobbit blood.

@55 and @58 — sure! We could work something out about chores. Start a village of ex-pats fleeing from TrumpAmerika if that happens. Not that it’s going to. Our Girl will knock off his toupee but good. He’s fast becoming too repellent for most of the R’s voting base.

@59: I’ll double check to make sure my passport is current.

And about those chores…those won’t involve anything dealing with sharks, reptiles or large beasts will it?

I got an email from Hillary’s campaign which I’m going to share here in the event not everyone gets these. She talks about the events of the last few days. We all know that this is the type of leader we need right now.

Like so many people across America, I have been following the news of the past few days with horror and grief.

On Tuesday, Alton Sterling, father of five, was killed in Baton Rouge — approached by the police for selling CDs outside a convenience store. On Wednesday, Philando Castile, 32 years old, was killed outside Minneapolis — pulled over by the police for a broken tail light.

And last night in Dallas, during a peaceful protest related to those killings, a sniper targeted police officers — five have died: Brent Thompson, Patrick Zamarripa, Michael Krol, Michael Smith, and Lorne Ahrens. Their names, too, will be written on our hearts.

What can one say about events like these? It’s hard to know where to start. For now, let’s focus on what we already know, deep in our hearts: There is something wrong in our country.

There is too much violence, too much hate, too much senseless killing, too many people dead who shouldn’t be. No one has all the answers. We have to find them together. Indeed, that is the only way we can find them.

Let’s begin with something simple but vital: listening to each other.

White Americans need to do a better job of listening when African Americans talk about seen and unseen barriers faced daily. We need to try, as best we can, to walk in one another’s shoes. To imagine what it would be like if people followed us around stores, or locked their car doors when we walked past, or if every time our children went to play in the park, or just to the store to buy iced tea and Skittles, we said a prayer: “Please God, don’t let anything happen to my baby.”

Let’s also put ourselves in the shoes of police officers, kissing their kids and spouses goodbye every day and heading off to do a dangerous job we need them to do. Remember what those officers in Dallas were doing when they died: They were protecting a peaceful march. When gunfire broke out and everyone ran to safety, the police officers ran the other way — into the gunfire. That’s the kind of courage our police and first responders show all across America.

We need to ask ourselves every single day: What can I do to stop violence and promote justice? How can I show that your life matters — that we have a stake in another’s safety and well-being?

Elie Wiesel once said that “the opposite of love is not hate — it’s indifference. And the opposite of life is not death — it’s indifference.”

None of us can afford to be indifferent toward each other — not now, not ever. We have a lot of work to do, and we don’t have a moment to lose. People are crying out for criminal justice reform. People are also crying out for relief from gun violence. The families of the lost are trying to tell us. We need to listen. We need to act.

I know that, just by saying all these things together, I may upset some people.

I’m talking about criminal justice reform the day after a horrific attack on police officers. I’m talking about courageous, honorable police officers just a few days after officer-involved killings in Louisiana and Minnesota. I’m bringing up guns in a country where merely talking about comprehensive background checks, limits on assault weapons and the size of ammunition clips gets you demonized.

But all these things can be true at once.

We do need police and criminal justice reforms, to save lives and make sure all Americans are treated as equal in rights and dignity.

We do need to support police departments and stand up for the men and women who put their lives on the line every day to protect us.

We do need to reduce gun violence.

We may disagree about how, but surely we can all agree with those basic premises. Surely this week showed us how true they are.

I’ve been thinking today about a passage from Scripture that means a great deal to me — maybe you know it, too:

“Let us not grow weary in doing good, for in due season, we shall reap, if we do not lose heart.”

There is good work for us to do, to find a path ahead for all God’s children. There are lost lives to redeem and bright futures to claim. We must not lose heart.

May the memory of those we’ve lost light our way toward the future our children deserve.

Thank you,


Fredster, thanks for sharing that, it was beautifully written.

I also keep thinking about New Zealand!!!

@62: Annie I hope I got all of it pasted in there. I could only copy so much and then the copying function would drop all of the selected text.

LOL about NZ. But as Luna said, I don’t see an event happening (Trump winning) that will force us to consider the move.

Oh my. Well here’s a little oopsie for you. Thanks Delta! Just five miles apart. 😳

Good or rather frightening article at BNR can be found here.

This needs to be shutdown N O W!

Luna, Fredster and Prolix … no need to move. Hillary is going to WIN. Just wait for the debates. Or thedebate. The first cut is the deepest. Hillary is a politician after all. She knows the ropes. She will shred him.

@66: Oh GAgal I don’t think any of us have real issues or worries. And you’re right about “the” debate. It may be a “one and done” after she tears him apart in that first debate.

@64, yikes! We’re heading for the airport in a few hours. Going to visit my Mom & sibs for a week.

@65, that is fucking hideous! I take it as a threat. I hope the secret service get involved.

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