The Widdershins

Sorta thankful…

Posted on: November 23, 2016

Coming up with a theme wasn’t easy this year.  I thought about doing a takeoff on Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children and entitling it Miss Melania’s Tower for Beastly Boys, but there weren’t enough arrows in that quiver. 1950-boy-and-bird

So here are some things for which I’m backhandedly thankful.


Thanks to Donald Trump for single-handedly spurring sales for doomsday gear, creating years of work for ethics lawyers, and bringing about the end of the Republican Party.

Thanks to Mike Pence for proving Hoosier hypocrisy is second to none when it comes to the disclosure of emails.

Also, thanks to Mr. Pence for ensuring Donald Trump will be safe for four years as he works on the destruction of the Republican Party.

Thanks to Jefferson Beauregard Sessions for proving racism isn’t just a job requirement for Alabama Senator, but it can also be an asset for the highest law enforcement officer in the country.

friends-thanksgivingThanks to Steve Bannon for proving to middle-aged Coke addicts there’s always a second act.

Thanks to Donald Trump for not saying “just kidding” after telling white supremacists to “stop it” on 60 Minutes and then naming Bannon and Jefferson Beauregard Sessions to Administration positions.

Thanks to Rudy Giuliani for proving that the extortion of millions of dollars and poor dental hygiene are not mutually exclusive.

Thanks to bankers for proving an entire industry can be into submissiveness in S & M relationships.

As for white supremacists, thanks to the Alt-right for proving you can’t be too crazy to have a platform.  Also, thanks to the Alt-right for single-handedly making great strides in turning the country bilingual by translating their speeches from the original German.dancing-turkey

Thanks to the Judge in Texas who saved accountants the trouble of calculating paycheck increases for millions of working class Americans by enjoining the raises proposed by President Obama and the Democrats in Congress.  Make America great again by working overtime at the same hourly rate.

Thanks to the pundits for using “angry white working class” when “angry white” was enough.

Thanks to Sherwin-Williams for the new spring color, “Angry White”, it is a retro-color that can only be used in areas where time stopped in the 1950s and lady parts are only discussed at the beauty parlor.

Thanks to all those voters who proved no one likes a quitter by voting for an economic policy that has provided thirty years of wage stagnation and diminished social mobility.

magic-plateThanks to Donald Trump for creating a market for old pictures of German World War II soldiers by tweeting them out superimposed over the American flag.

Thanks to the Trump Transition Team for draining the swamp by replacing old lobbyist swamp creatures with new lobbyist swamp creatures.

Thanks to the press for not bothering us with the intricacies of the tax-dodging, law-breaking Trump Foundation since it was so much easier to understand than the contrivance around the non-existent conflicts of the Clinton Foundation in keeping eleven million people alive.

And also, thanks to the press for the temporary amnesia around the ten thousand or so articles during the election about the “forgotten white working class man” since all it would have taken was one more article to prove the anger had nothing to do with racism.

One last thanks to the press for not confusing us with any investigative analysis proving that the manufacturing jobs the “forgotten white working class men” were always complaining about were never in the rural areas where these “forgotten angry voters” were.

Thanks to the Robert Mercer family for proving in America any old multi-billionaire can buy an election if you launder your money hard enough.turkey-on-the-table

Thanks to Kris Kobach for not knowing about cover sheets or folders because we wouldn’t want his plan to round-up 3 million people to be a surprise for everyone.

Thanks to Chris Christie for proving lap-band surgery does nothing to reduce one’s ego.

Thanks to Ben Carson for being a fast learner since H.U.D. is only a half a trillion dollar generator and last week he said he wasn’t qualified to run an agency, but since he grew up in a house in a city he believes he’s got the housing, urban, and development parts covered.

Thanks to Donald Trump for reminding everyone what emoluments are and that people still read the Constitution.

Thanks to Lt. General Flynn for reminding us that he always uses the bathroom stall because he doesn’t like anyone bigger than him around.

pumpkin-pieThanks to James Comey for proving a paranoid, subversive, cross-dressing Director isn’t the worst thing or biggest embarrassment that can happen to the F.B.I.

And a final thanks to Hillary Clinton for being too good for America and proving the Harvard research correct that found there is always a backlash against women in leadership positions, no matter how qualified, no matter how experienced, and no matter how extraordinarily capable they are.


Friends, 2016 has sucked.  Hard.  But, I am thankful we made this journey together.  We are more clear-eyed, resilient, and defiant.  For those things we can be truly thankful.

Your thankfulness thoughts or just your thoughts will be gratefully appreciated.




101 Responses to "Sorta thankful…"

Planned Parenthood wants to thank Mike Pence for 50,000 donations in his name since election.
ACLU wants to thank team Trump for a 100 year record high donation rate

Thank you, Prolix for helping us laugh and cry through the year with unequalled wit and Trump takedowns.

@1, I thank you, Contrask. I like the thanks you give to Dence and Team Trump. Well deserved on both counts.

Ditto what you guys said…I’m thankful for all of you, but other than that, pretty darn bitter. This year has sucked up one side and down the other.

@3 Annie bitter and so sad. We lost so much

I’m thankful for this and other blog communities of Hillary supporters!

J. Alex Halderman’s post on the NYMag’s not-quite-accurate interpretation of his and others’ talks with the Hillary campaign:

Were this year’s deviations from pre-election polls the results of a cyberattack? Probably not. I believe the most likely explanation is that the polls were systematically wrong, rather than that the election was hacked. But I don’t believe that either one of these seemingly unlikely explanations is overwhelmingly more likely than the other. ….

Examining the physical evidence in these states — even if it finds nothing amiss — will help allay doubt and give voters justified confidence that the results are accurate. It will also set a precedent for routinely examining paper ballots, which will provide an important deterrent against cyberattacks on future elections.

View story at

@3, Annie, you, Laker, and Hubs made it a better year for all of us. I’m thankful for that.

@5, Luna, we sure did persevere through some bad juju this year. You’ve helped all of us get through.

Well done post, Prolix. Clever as always!

I am thankful for gifs. I don’t know how we managed to survive before they were invented.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving. Widdershins! Hope you all have lots of good food. I made persimmon pudding for our holiday dinner and am leaving the rest of the cooking to others.

It has been a crap year. I’m still in shock.

@8 & 9, Happy Thanksgiving Beata. Glad your computer is still giving it the old college try. You are so right, it has been a king crap year. The pudding sounds great and everyone else cooking is their price of admission for the pudding.

As Luna said, I’m thankful for this blog and some others for giving us a warm and comforting place to take refuge.

Don’t mean to be a debby downer but I don’t see 2017 as being much, if any, improvement over this year.

We thought we worked hard (and we did!) and were going to be able to enjoy the next four or eight years of enlightened governance, only to see our work and our candidate denied once again.

And so it’s back to the trenches once again. Do we have the strength collectively to do it again? Better question: Do we have a choice?

@11: I’m so glad Sir Elton asked what immediately came to my mind:

“Why not ask Ted fucking Nugent?”

@11 & @13 Yes, Nugent’s “Stranglehold” is the perfect theme song for the new Republican Party

@12, Fredster, “Do we have a choice,” is not the better question, it is the BEST question!

I’m thankful that you are here to answer all the questions and keep the trains running on time. I, for one, would be lost without your constant help and vigilance.

@14, okay, Contrask, I must say, I’m impressed you know a Nugent song.

I am grateful for all you wonderful people! A bunch of us followed MB here waaaaaay back in 2008 as refugees from other blogs, blogs that went bizarrely unhinged after Obama was nominated. It’s been a wonderful place ever since. So hard to believe it’s been 8 years already. Who knows where we all go from here. But yes 2016 has been a bad year. Stay tuned for for shenanigans.

Happy Thanksgiving to all!

@16, that squirrel is fundraising off of it — she’s just trying to feather her cuckoo nest for further escapades of the deranged and deluded.

@18, D, I’m very thankful you are here and beginning to write. I’m truly excited.

@15: Thank you Prolix. We all do what we can, right?



I think they should ask for the recount.


@17 Prolix – I’ve seen him in concert. Used to be a huge fan. I’ve kicked him off my jogging playlist now, though. I just go Running with the Devil 🙂

Charles Blow is not ready to make nice:

“You are a fraud and a charlatan. Yes, you will be president, but you will not get any breaks just because one branch of your forked tongue is silver.”

DYB, congrats on becoming a front-pager! I’m looking forward to your posts.

I wouldn’t get too excited about Jill Stein’s recount plan. I agree with Prolix that she is just trying to get some acorn$ before winter sets in. I heard on the teevee she hopes to raise $2 million by Friday.

@26 loved it – Charles Blow has my vote. So after Stranglehold, on the inauguration playlist, Snakeskin Cowboy

@24, LOL — good one.

@26, that’s a classic line — a keeper. You know another thing I really, really like about Charles. When the conservodroids fall back on their media training and begin talking over someone when there is an issue they want to deflect, Charles won’t let them get away with it. He will stop what he’s saying and begin, “No, no, no, no you won’t talk over me. Stop it. Stop it now,” and he will go on and on until they stop.

More libruls should have his spine and conviction.

@29, just think about it, he’ll have those big stars, Chachi and Antonio “zipperless” Sabato, and father of the year Jon Voight.

What could go wrong?


So apparently Elton John’s complete statement way back when Trump was using his music at rallies was: “Why not ask Ted fucking Nugent? Or one of those fucking country stars? They’ll do it for you.”


@33> I wonder if this is good or bad? I mean, do we want him knowing any of this? Do we trust him with any of it? Tough call…

@27> Thanks Beata! I’ll write as often as I can! 🙂

Barney Frank being Barney Frank…

On the election:

In particular, Frank believes that Bernie Sanders’s primary campaign helped Trump’s portrayal of himself as a populist succeed in the fall. “Sanders wounded her badly,” Frank said, referring to Hillary Clinton. “His differing with her on the issues was entirely reasonable, but he’s the one who sold the argument that she was corrupt and bought by Wall Street. He had one ad which I called McCarthyite—where he essentially said Goldman Sachs got off so easy because they paid Clinton for speeches. Sanders helped Trump become the guy who says we are tired of rich guys getting away with everything. Sanders helped persuade people that she is on the wrong side of that issue.” Then, too, of course, there were the e-mails and the last-minute intervention of James Comey, the F.B.I. director. “If she hadn’t been using that e-mail system, she would have won, and Comey exacerbated the problem,” Frank said.

@35, D, you have a point, but he has such a learning curve and he won’t study this stuff like Obama has done every night he’s been President. I just don’t trust the Trumpanzee’s gut reactions. He’s like Dubya in that way — thinking his gut reactions are infallible. The Yam has the worst case of the dreaded disease — Egoouttawhack — without any evidence to support it, he believes he’s brilliant — the dangers of a fact free world.

Well, this could be a thing. What do you think?

“Elections Commission preps for recount of Wisconsin presidential election”

“State officials are readying for an unprecedented potential recount of Wisconsin’s presidential election after Green Party candidate Jill Stein, citing concerns with the legitimacy of the results, told the commission her campaign will request one.”

“Elections Commission director Michael Haas said Wednesday that the commission is preparing for a recount. But Haas said the commission has not seen credible evidence of any attempt to manipulate Wisconsin’s election results.”

@39, I saw Nate Silver, Nate Cohn, Krugman, and several others put some analysis on the three states. When you back out the education/race/income distribution, it accounts for nearly all the differences. I wish there was there there, but I fear there isn’t. I’m not lending any of the few precious atoms of hope I have left on this effort. Jill Stein is a rabid squirrel that should be turned loose in a pen with dogs suffering from distemper and then their poop incinerated at a temperature slightly warmer than the surface of the sun with the ashes being encapsulated in cement and sunk into the Mariana Trench. That sounds about right.

@39 & 40: Possible reasons for a recount: Gore 2000

@39-41> I’m not good at math and I don’t understand how they put together these polls. But didn’t Silver and Cohn get all their polls wrong this election?

@42: DYB said: I’m not good at math

LOL! Join the club! Two and a half times trying to get through Prob & Stat at Tulane. 😳

Here’s a fact to throw out at the Thanksgiving table. Not only do the gerrymandered rural counties “take” more, it primarily comes from the pockets of Democratic voters.


I had to stay an extra semester and hire a tutor to pass my one math class in college. Even then, I think the professor gave me a “C” out of pity.

There are no jobs in those rural counties anymore. In my smallish city, young people drive here from rural counties an hour away to get part-time minimum wage jobs with no benefits. They are desperate for work.

@42, nope. Neither of them are pollsters. They are basically statistic guys who have created an algorithmic formula for the compilation of polls they deem professional enough to include in their calculations.

As for the polls, the better national polls got it right. The popular vote is going to be 2-3% for Hillary — within the margin of error and very close to what Nate Silver was saying through his aggregation. His last projections were about a 33% chance Trump could win. In fact, that 33% chance of Trump running the table and getting WI and PA worked out.

Nate Cohn’s formula generated a much higher probability of a Hillary win. I haven’t studied his results.

The problem really wasn’t in the national polling. The problem was state by state polling — notoriously inaccurate because of poor modeling.

And not to make excuses, but this is the fact: Trump voters did come out from under rocks by about 2% in his key demographic — education allergic men who were in an income profile of $50K-$75K. Everyone considered Romney’s numbers in 2012 to be the high watermark, no one expected what happened, but no one really predicts the perfect storm.

For what it’s worth, I don’t get math either.

I sympathize with their long commutes, but NYC is so spread out that even though the distances may not be much, because most people do not drive and use public transportation, one hour commutes on overcrowded subways and buses (sometimes both) are not rare. When I lived in Jamaica, Queens and worked in Manhattan my one way daily commutes were one hour on a good day when the trains ran on schedule. They never ran on schedule during rush hour, especially in the evenings. So my evening commutes were almost always 1.5 – 2 hours. It was the price I paid for living in NYC, having an unreasonably large one bedroom apartment (for a cool $1,000 a month) at the edge of Queens and a job in Manhattan. I moved into a studio in Manhattan two years ago so I wouldn’t have to commute 2 hours anyone. My current apartment, costing 3 times more than my old Queens apartment is about 1/3 the size. Again, the cost of living in NYC. The pluses and the minuses.

@47> That helps a lot, thanks! For what it’s worth, I don’t think this effort to recount will lead to anything. I think Clinton – who has apparently known about these reports for over a week – isn’t going to touch any of it with a million foot pole because unless there is some blatant rigging (and there isn’t because we’d now about it by now) doing anything would create chaos and she’s not going to start that.

A swamp creature relocation plan:


@50> Drain. Pass the Drano.

@DYB & Prolix: I suppose my reason for wanting to see a recount is to especially check out the electronic voting machines. Could something have been done to manipulate the votes that were recorded? Yeah, possibly.

This suggests that it is possible:

Awesome comment:

And millions of Hillary supporters could dig a bit deeper and donate something to the recount.

In 2004 a recount for WA state governor was requested and paid for by the Dem candidate and her supporters, and out-of-state donations from people (many who were disappointed Kerry did request a recount of Ohio) helped too. Christine Gregoire did win in the hand recount, and we got a very good Dem gov who served 2 terms (the limit here).

I do not think a recount would create chaos. If a recount doesn’t change anything, then it would reassure us (kinda) as to current voting-system validity. If the outcome is different — well then we damn well need to know this.

A Trump presidency — now that is going to be chaos.

@52, yeah, hacking is possible when, as Alex Halderman did, being the “god of vote machine tinkering”, buy an old voting machine for $200, bring it back to your lab, literally take off the back, pull out the motherboards, and reprogram it to play Pac-Man.

Like Krugman, I think a recount is infinitely reasonable and if nothing else, alleviates any questions. No problem with a recount and think it is, on balance, a positive.

I just don’t want people to get their hopes and hearts torn from them again — twice in two weeks is too much for any of us. I also don’t think giving money to Jill Stein for who knows what is a good idea. Jill Stein is a charlatan who is delusional at best and calculatingly shrewd at worst — either way people should not be giving her their money.

After this, Jill Stein is liable to take the $2.0 Million and investigate why goats aren’t good at bowling.

@56: Do the voting machines have USB aka thumb drives on them? I don’t know. But I know how they were used before.

@56, I also feel there’s something off about Stein wanting a recount. But I’d donate in a heartbeat to Hillary if she asks for a recount.

Jeffrey Wright just tweeted about Stein: “If Jill Stein can force a recount, great, but the person who struck the matches for the arsonist isn’t honored for calling the fire dept.”

Amanpour’s full speech:

@58 &59: Agree with both of you.

@57, here’s what I know. Halderman, himself, doesn’t think the machines were hacked. The story that got this all ginned up was overstated. Halderman says, yeah, go ahead and recount because anything that brings confidence to the vote process is a good thing. I agree with that.

Here’s Halderman’s own account and explanation.

View story at

@63: Yeah, you’re probably right.

Gonna call it a night.

OMG read these 1-star reviews for that super fancy Trump hat. Sometimes people are amazing.

“It tried to put my nativity figures into an internment camp. Would not buy again.”

@65, that is spot on accurate and very, very funny.

@63, Hmmm, my impression was somewhat different. Halderman writes:

I believe the most likely explanation is that the polls were systematically wrong, rather than that the election was hacked. But I don’t believe that either one of these seemingly unlikely explanations is overwhelmingly more likely than the other.

…which sounds like he doesn’t think there may be a significantly likelihood that hacking is less likely than polls being wrong. He’s being dreadfully cautious in some of his wording and yet quite clear that a recount is appropriate..

@66, those reviews are hilarious! These reviewers could write for SNL.

“Every morning my Christmas angel would be on the floor crying and there would be a naked Barbie in its place on the tree.”

@66, LOL! also from DYB’s amazon site:

“By bmfc1 on November 23, 2016
There was a blue ornament, it was smarter than this one, had a lifetime of experience, supported trees of all colors and beliefs, and (get this) was loved by two million more people than this ornament but somehow this ornament is the one on Amazon.”

@66, I laughed so hard I scared my cat off my lap!

This thing keeps trying to grab my cat.

There was a blue ornament, it was smarter than this one, had a lifetime of experience, supported trees of all colors and beliefs, and (get this) was loved by two million more people than this ornament but somehow this ornament is the one on Amazon.


@70, socalannie, yeah, no wonder we both liked that one.

@68, oops, I should have put a blockquote end after the 2nd paragraph.

“This ornament wants to register some of the other ornaments, kick some off the tree, and build a wall around it so other ornaments cannot be hung.”

“Came with an entire crate of white hood ornaments. Great bargain! Downside: My tree is now on fire.”

“This crappy ornament turned our beautiful tree completely white and when we took it off, we received a legal summons the following day.”

Oh there are so many.

@72, Luna, is that the way you wanted the comment?

@76, Prolix, yes, thanks much!

Happy Thanksgiving everybody! Will be back this evening to catch up and check out links. (looks like some doozies)

@78: Back at ya GAgal and all of the shinners! 🙂

Happy Thanksgiving everyone. What a sad year this has been. I don’t even know what to say anymore. However I think they should do a recount of the votes. I have no idea if they will find anything and if they do what then?

All of you have brightened my year, informed me & made me laugh. I’m very thankful for you!

@80: I guess if the votes in those states have not been certified yet and if there is a difference then the new totals are certified. Just a guess.

@81: It’s been great to have you here contrask. I have a feeling we’re going to need each other’s support during these next four years.

Okay, LSU is playing Tx A&M so I’m going to watch the game. I’ll be back later.

Happy Thanksgiving Widdershins! Hope everyone is having a peaceful day and a good meal.

Fredster, I hear Le Tigres are having a good game!

Fun story for you. I just had the most Kafka-esque moment. I get home from spending the day with some friends. I get on the elevator at home and music is playing in the elevator, Fun’s “It’s All Alright.” And I think to myself: “When did they install speakers in the elevator? Weird, but I like it.”

Then I get off on my floor and the music is playing on my floor and I’m thinking: “That’s weird, where are they piping it in? It’s weird playing on the floor like this, it’s late and I’m surprised nobody is out in the hallway complaining. But maybe they’ve already complained.”

Then I walk into my apartment and the music is playing in my apartment. Where the hell is this coming from? The intercom? Yes! Then in the living room it’s coming out of my speakers and out of my computer. I don’t understand, everywhere I go the music is playing. It’s like someone hacked into everything and is playing Fun! I’m so confused! Why isn’t anyone freaking out?

I was about to go down to ask the doorman where the hell this music is coming from. This is insane! Then I take out my phone out of my pocket to check the time and see my phone is playing Fun on speaker.

And that’s how my Thanksgiving ended.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone. I got here with an hour to spare.

Everyone, it has been a rough year. I am just so grateful to have y’all in my life. Some folks would say, “electronic life,” but honestly, there isn’t any such separation. I’ve come to know y’all as wise, funny, and consistent friends — we have just chosen to form these bonds over this format.

MB, thank you for founding this little corner of the intertubz and allowing us to loiter unhindered.

Hope everyone had a great day. There’s tomorrow and the day after and the day after to look forward to. Our challenges are just going to be different. Life has a tendency to do that.

Happy Thanksgiving y’all!

@86, that is a great story and told perfectly. LOL!

@86: D, at least it wasn’t Twilight Zone music. LOL!

@84: Yep annie, the Tigers whomped on the Aggies. This will apparently be Coach Oeaux’s last game as Head Coach. Rumors are that the head honchos were talking today to Tom Herman from Houston. I think it was a crappy thing to do to Ed. At least wait until the last game of the season is over.

Still, gotta play the LSU song.

@90, congratulations Fredster. This will quickly deplete my football knowledge, but I read today that Charlie Strong is on the greased banana peel at Texas and Herman is the sexiest coach alive for them.

Charlie Strong was at UofL so the Louisville C-J is good about following the careers of the good guys.

@87, Prolix, that was beautiful. Agree 100% and thank you!

DYB, are you saying your phone told your home computer to play that song?

@93> No, nothing quite so sinister. My phone in my pocket was playing the song when I walked into the building and continued to play it as I ran around my apartment desperately trying to find the source of the music. The music seemed to be following me everywhere. In fact, it was following me everywhere from my pocket. 🙂

@94, oh ok! Whew! Thanks for answering my dumb question!

Prolix@91: Yes, Texas got all pissy about the rumors on Herman to LSU and started saying “Wait! We have to fire Charlie first and then we’ll talk to Herman”. If that happens and it’s a bidding war for Herman, U. Texas will get him if it’s all about the money since they had a boatload more than LSU can probably come up with.

Fredster, what is going on with that LA senate race? any chance the D will win?

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! I have been very busy hosting my family and preparing my first big Thanksgiving meal in my new house. I am very thankful for our community and everyone in it. Many thanks especially to my co-bloggers, Prolix, Fredster, Fuzzy, GAGal and now DYB, for joining me on this crazy trip. Thanks for not crashing the car, and taking us places we’ve never been!

As for the recount, I completely support it. At the very least we will know the truth about the votes cast in the election. These swing states were not expected to swing like this, and, the voting machines appear to have made a huge difference. So we’ll see what happens.

New post upstairs.

@98: Ga6thDem: It’s entirely possible that Foster Campbell could win but if I had to put money on it I would say John Kennedy the state Treasurer will get it. I would love it for Campbell to win to give us the extra Dem seat in the Senate. Fingers crossed as they say.

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