The Widdershins

Archive for July 2017

Good Monday, all. Today is the first day of the last few months of Donald Trump’s Presidency. After all, he’s brought in a general to be his Chief of Staff, same as Nixon, and the conservo-rats are deserting his sinking ship. As the spectacular failure of the Wealth Transfer Bill made clear, the Senate can defy the Rancid Cheeto without any real consequences…and, the Rancid Cheeto is going to be no help to their agenda whatsoever. What will happen now? I don’t know, but while we wait for the next giant flameout, I thought we could spend some time connecting the dots.

The ongoing fight between the Bernie and Hillary wings of the Party is not about re-living the primaries, despite what the Bernie Bots would say on Twitter. It’s about looking to the future and figuring out the way forward for the Democrats. It IS important to have both the message, and the messaging, correct, so people know they’re not just voting against something, but FOR a positive vision of America.

In order to make this happen, we have to make sure that all Americans understand the connection between a racist, sexist and xenophobic campaign, and a country going in the wrong direction. From the Bernie cultists, and unfortunately from some members of the DNC, we hear that we need to appeal to the white working-class male voter with a strong economic message. The problem with this is, that it’s no different from the Republican approach.

Yes, you heard me right.

Make America Great Again is a white-people-only slogan, based on bringing the Fake 50s back to the US – a decade of great prosperity and segregation. Coal jobs, union jobs, they would be coming back under him – and all those “bad hombres” who have been taking those jobs away would be sent back to Mexico. He added to his racist cred by announcing that Mexicans are rapists, outing himself as a sexual predator, and being endorsed by white supremacists and having Steve Bannon as his senior campaign adviser. White people claimed they didn’t care, because all of these “identity politics” didn’t matter. But “identity politics” were really what energized all those white people to come out and vote for him. Nothing else mattered so much as race to the Trump voter.

And what happened when Drumpf came into office? He started advocating for policies to do exactly what he promised. Mass deportations. Known racist Jeff Sessions at the helm of the Justice department. True to his misogynistic ways, pushes to defund Planned Parenthood. Trying to overturn the freedoms and rights Obama granted to LGBTQ. And all his promises about bringing coal jobs back? Yeah, not so much.

What would happen if Democrats really decided to chase the white male vote, and decried “identity politics” as unimportant?  What message are they sending to everyone who isn’t white and male, who, not so coincidentally, votes Democratic? With all of these white men jockeying to run for the Presidency, two of them in their 70s, I find it very hard to believe that they will prioritize any of the things that matter to me…just as Barack Obama, who ran on misogyny, didn’t prioritize gender equality.

What we project matters. What we say matters. And visuals, they matter. And I am personally so very, very tired and sick of hearing and seeing “f*ck you” from the Democratic Party, a Party still, shamefully, disproportionately white and male. This is why Bernie Sanders held absolutely no appeal to me. He and his followers routinely dismissed the things I cared about, and mansplained that we were all too dumb to understand #TheBernout’s greatness and vast superiority over HRC. And of course, if we protested, we were playing “identity politics.” Well, yes. We want an equal seat at the table, and we’re tired of asking nicely.

So the Resistance you’re counting on to save your sorry butts and stop the evil Republican agenda, and vote for you in 2018? We’re women. And you won’t ignore us any more.

We’re awake now, and we’re paying attention.

This is an open thread.

 

Just six seconds, please play.

 

That was McTurtle about 2:00 a.m. Friday morning. He was not amused at the reappearance of the mavericky ways of Sen. McMaverick.

Amazingly, it was just a mere eight hours or so after Sen. McMaverick, the Lady Lindsey, and RoJo (Dodo – Cheeseland) called a press conference to say, “We hate this hateful bill that we are hating on because we hate it so much we can’t hate it near enough, therefore, we hate it that we can’t hate it more because we only have so much hate to go around, but, we are going to vote for it if Paul Ryan sends us a note saying he hates it too.”

McTurtle’s “shellacking” came only a couple of hours after releasing the text of cobbled together legislation affecting one-fifth of the economy. Mind you these legislative scions wrote the bill after lunch so they could give it the full attention it deserved.

Meanwhile, The Mooch was exhibiting textbook June bug craziness in keeping with his amalgam of hummingbird/mako shark/honey badger genetics. His characteristic enthusiasm was directed toward the orange man baby he’s tending these days instead of his own baby born last Monday while Dolt 45 was corrupting the Boy Scout Jamboree.

The days of Rancid Penis being 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue’s most expensive fly wrangler mercifully ended Friday. In bidding adieu, Rancid said he was going “To spend more time with his family.” When contacted, his family said, “Don’t bother.”

With this crazy Dolt Administration just hanging on by a thread, it is a wonder Newt Gingrich isn’t trying to divorce it.

Rest assured, no matter how crazy this week seemed — it will get crazier. There is no bottom for these lunatics.

In a moment of fleeting optimism, Machiavelli said, “Always assume incompetence before looking for conspiracy.” Having faced all manner of immorality, Machiavelli never envisioned Dolt & Sons, Grifters Extraordinaire — conspiratorial incompetents serving Mother Russia since 2000.

Here are some “CRAZY” songs, but don’t be constrained by just music or “craziness” as a theme. Feel free to post anything you want — tweets, jokes, songs, or stories about adorable new puppies.

 

 

 

 

This is a gaping maw of an open weekend thread for self-care and maintenance of our mental health. Giddy up!

 

Yes, we tan!

Remember the picture on the right? Remember what a sensational scandal that was? “Yes we tan.” It ran on a loop on the Fox Ailes-o-vision for weeks. Good times!

By now you’ve seen the rant by “The Mooch”.  He was a reject from MTV’s Jersey Shore because of his lack of sophistication. The producers decided to go more upscale with the genteel steroidal “The Situation” and a puking drunken Snooki.

Like all instances of world-class stupidity, The Mooch seemed to get a jump-start. While this is just an opinion, it wouldn’t be a surprise if The Mooch had convenient nose attachments for hoovering up unsightly mounds of Colombian cha-cha powder. Just think: The consummate twofer – cleanliness plus manic jags to contemplate Steve Bannon pleasuring himself in Cirque du Soleil style.

The dysfunction he represents isn’t a fish rotting from the head. This White House is one of those fermenting, beached whales rotting itself into an IEC – interspecies exploding carcass. It’s now too tiresome to even engage in the threadbare apothegm of, “What if it was a Democrat?”

Jim Collins is unsurpassed as an author on leadership and management. He writes based upon scientific research animated with anecdotal examples. One of his more famous observations is:

The old adage that people are your most important asset is wrong. People are not your most important asset. The right people are. We found that the great leaders got the right people on the bus, the wrong people off the bus, and the right people in the right seats on the bus. Then they decided where to drive the bus.

The personnel of this White House are made in the image of their coppery-hued leader – they are dolts, ignoramuses who are enjoying the pinnacle of their incompetence. To pick up on Jim Collins’ metaphor, this White House bus has two stops – the first at the home for the criminally insane and the second at the penitentiary for the insanely criminal.

Who could be surprised? This orange phlegm from a thrice used Kleenex is an abomination. He has assembled a coterie of weak-minded slugs better suited for long aimless strolls while muttering “made another grunt again” – MAGA for short.

Bannon conducting West Wing Staph training…

There is open warfare among administration personnel. Personally, pissing on that racist garden gnome Sessions makes no difference to me. Sessions hanging on by his percale sheet is just delaying the inevitable constitutional crisis on the horizon.

What is worrisome is this: Do you think the likes of Rick Perry or Betsy Devos are ever going to take a principled stand on any issue given the treatment of Sessions? Pruitt is out looking for ways to pollute, Zinke is threatening Alaska, and Rexxon is listening to the echoes of an empty State Department. We passed lawlessness about ten miles back – these people might as well have Cyrillic labels, “Putin’s automatons for crippling America.”

And on the other end of the alimentary canal known as Pennsylvania Avenue, old crusty hangers for colostomy bags called Senators proclaimed, “We hate this law so much we are voting yes.” Fortunately, three Republicans put a shiv into McTurtle while pouring kerosene over his shell and torching him.

For all that is right and holy, if these people weren’t so ghoulish and jacked-up looking, this would be like living in an Inception world.

There is no need to belabor this confederacy of doltish dunces, but I want to leave you on a positive note.

Since August of last year, I’ve been sharing my thoughts about the Umber Ulceration’s behavioral characteristics. You have listened patiently and courteously.

As I have said, Dolt 45 gets every ounce of his self-esteem from the way others see him. His reason for being is to perpetuate his illusory stature. Every waking moment is but another scene in the epic stage play that is his life.

During the G20 I noticed two things – both of them were instances of Dolt bottoming for Putin. Once was the handshake where Dolt bottomed and the other was Dolt walking around the massive table to go sit at the feet of Putin during the dinner. Dolt was the subservient submissive partner in both acts.

So what? In Dolt’s ghost written books he made mention of both practices calling them weak and for losers. So whatever Putin has on Dolt, it is of sufficient quality to cause Dolt to suffer ignominious public debasement by his own volition. It must be of sufficient weight to cause this tub of Orange Offal to deviate from his 70-year charade. As has been amply demonstrated this week, neither Dolt nor anyone working for him is deft enough to conceal it much longer.

What’s on your mind today?

For your entertainment, a little known Jersey Shore audition video — don’t know if it is The Mooch.

 

 

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On Sunday, CNN anchor Chris Cuomo posted an article about some latest poll Democrats must be worried about, adding in his own words: “Democrats need to be for something and about something to make gains with voters.” Someone left a comment that “Dems were about something. The media were about her e-mails.” Cuomo responded to this person: “Main slogan was ‘I’m With Her’ – doesn’t exactly top the list of making it about the voter.”

As anyone who followed the Clinton campaign knows, Clinton’s actual slogan was Slogans.png“Stronger Together.” It was right there on the campaign bus, on the backdrop behind Clinton at rallies, and on the cover of her book of proposed policies. “I’m With Her” was a twitter hashtag started by her supporters, which the campaign sometimes also used. If Cuomo knew this and forgot, or if he literally didn’t know the actual slogan of the candidate whose campaign he covered on CNN for over a year, we’ll never know. His response to people who criticized him for a factually incorrect statement was a link to Chuck Schumer’s Hillary bashing article in WaPo with the words: “’You guys’ like Schumer?” He then went on to say that everyone really missed the point. Yes, everybody missed the point.

The WaPo article Cuomo linked to with Schumer had nothing to do with Clinton’s slogan. It was the classic journalistic whataboutism. Instead of admitting he made such a public mistake, Cuomo deflected, and with a straw-man argument. The intellectual dishonesty would have been breathtaking if it wasn’t so common among journalists.

The same day some in the media celebrated the one year anniversary that Jeff -Jeff MasonMasonbecame president of the White House Correspondents ‘Association. Mason launched his tenure with an op-ed in USA Today titled “Trump, Clinton both threaten free press: The White House Correspondents’ Association is alarmed by the treatment of the press in the 2016 presidential campaign.” Let us remember Trump’s attacks on the free press…so so many. And that at the White House has held almost a month’s worth of off-camera White House briefings. But yes, tell us more about how Clinton and Trump both threaten the free press…

This is all coming on the heels of the preposterous New York Times interview with Donald Trump by Maggie Haberman, Peter Baker and Michael S. Schmidt. (A few days later Baker wrote the NY Times article saying Trump’s treatment of Bob Mueller is exactly like Bill Clinton’s treatment of Ken Starr…) The insane discussion with Trump was pure Trump: confused and malicious. The response of the Times reporters was pure NY Times: confused and juvenile. The reporters (how many NY Times reporters does it take to screw in a light bulb?) all talked over one another, giggled, and let Trump ramble. Nobody corrected him or steered him anywhere. There is a school of thought in journalism that this is how journalists should behave. After countless readers lambasted the trio for not fact-checking Trump’s insanities in real time and to his face, some reporters came to their defense. Nick Riccardi, of the Associated Press, tweeted: “You don’t interview people to ‘call bullshit.’ You don’t interview people to put them in their place or DESTROY them a la John Oliver.”

This is, frankly, preposterous. Riccardi essentially believes reporters are stenographers. To question the subject of their interview with facts is, apparently, bad journalism. One should simply write down what the subject says and occasionally whimper: “And then what happened?” This approach to journalism is what is wrong with American journalism. It allows people to get on TV and blather on whatever they wish. It seems many in the profession do not believe it is their job to correct the facts. I’m reminded of this interview with Jon Snow (no, not Game of Thrones guy) with Carter Page on BBC. Snow’s behavior would horrify American journalists like Riccardi and Haberman (Haberman is only good with twitter snark; that’s easier than putting facts in someone’s face.) Snow has his facts down pat and he doesn’t let Page get away with anything. The results are breathtaking. Because if Snow “destroys” Page, he does so with facts. The idea that facts don’t belong in an interview is beyond preposterous.Screen Shot 2017-07-24 at 9.56.34 PM 1.png

Dan Froomkin posted a lot of fascinating highlights from the Times interview that demonstrated the complete and utter failure of the 3 reporters. (It is to Froomkin’s comments that Riccardi was responding.) You can see them in his thread here:

 


Good Monday, all. There’s a lot going on, and most of it not good, as usual, these days. The new bootlicker Drumpf has hired to represent him on teevee is typical of all his stooges: narcissistic, greedy (h/t Prolix!), and intimately tied to Russia. He’s dangling lots of fake news in front of the cable news media, and they’re all lapping it up. Drumpf still doesn’t believe Russia attacked our elections!! (Of course he does, idiots. He and his campaign helped make it happen.) He’s looking into pardoning himself!! (Of course he is. That doesn’t mean he’ll do it, for heaven’s sake. He knows he’s going to get caught, and is looking for ways to evade the consequences, just the way he always does.)

Meanwhile, some Democrats are buying into stupidity of their own. Such as, “Hillary lost ‘the Obama coalition’ to Drumpf!!! ZOMG we have to chase those 70,000 switchers in swing states with a strong economic message!” Do old white guys like Chuck Schumer never get tired of mansplaining to women?

Apparently the fact that Nate Silver, expert pollster, agrees with Hillary’s analysis of why she lost, has failed to penetrate. And, apparently the fact that the Resistance is female, and the base of the Democratic Party is female AND of color, is immaterial to Chuck and his fellow mansplainers.

Someone please tell me this: how is it a good strategy to target only a few white men by focusing on an economic message that is proven to be irrelevant, and ignore the giant mass of women that is active, energized and ready to vote, and run, as Democrats?

Like this woman.

In Prince William County, Hala Ayala is hoping to bring her values of empowerment for women and equality for all to Richmond, and at the same time, send home one of Virginia’s leading anti-choice, anti-immigrant delegates.

Ayala has long been involved in local politics. She volunteered for President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign in 2012. And in 2014, she helped revive the National Organization for Women (NOW) chapter in her community, becoming its president.

Now THAT is the Obama coalition, you jack*sasses!

The Democrats would be much, much better off energizing its base with a sharper version of Hillary’s message, than losing its principles by trying to gain the voters who want to go back to the fake 50’s in their heads.

Hala Ayala is doing something. And we should too. Forget the Democratic Establishment. The more we Do Something, the more they will get the message.

So let’s go to marches. Let’s form groups. Let’s donate to Planned Parenthood and the ACLU. Let’s call our Senators and attend Town Halls.

It’s all working. Let’s stick with it!

This is an open thread.

 

 

This clip explains where we are. The media – print, television, e-media, Twitter, you name it – are galloping off at breakneck warp speed on a contrived snipe hunt. Dolt 45 is setting the media agenda and the networks, led by accountants sporting green eyeshades, are more than happy to oblige.

But for today’s installment of prolixous prognostication, I’d like to keep the “external initial dampner” engaged and take a slower, more nuanced view of the deconstruction of democracy.

Trump on his way to latest dumpster fire…

The media chases squirrels because there are squirrels to chase. They are genetically predisposed to chase squirrels. What is vastly more important are the issues affecting real people’s lives. These issues will rid us of the toxic orange fungus faster than media posses chasing shape-shifting political squirrels.

Just look at where we are – somewhere between 22 million and 32 million people losing health care. Deductibles exploding to $13,000 for someone making $26,000 a year. No longer requiring banks to adequately capitalize. Allowing credit card companies to reinstitute modern forms of indentured servitude. Companies polluting without consequence. Record corporate profits without ze-effing-ro paid in taxes. Give the poor $40 in tax cuts and the ultra rich $940,000. Halting lawsuits of those who have been cheated, maimed, or killed by those more powerful. In short, restructuring policy to resemble the golden gilded age of robber barons.

Who would profit? The Mercers of Breitbart, Kellyanne Conjob, and Steve “Pickled” Bannon fame are fighting a tax bill of $6.0 Billion. Where I come from that’s plenty of money to incentivize Cambridge Analytica and its data mining operation to target angry white guys in the Midwest to vote for someone with the intellect of orange toe jam. Or how about the half-trillion dollar oil deal between Russia and Exxon? Something more redistributive perhaps? How about a trillion dollars being wrenched from the poorest Americans so the wealthiest can wallow in obscene tax cuts? If that doesn’t conjure enough grotesque fuckery, try thinking about two-thirds of the nursing home elderly being turned out on the streets because of draconian cuts to Medicaid.

I tend to see the similarities in people and not the differences, but for the life of me, I can’t see much difference between McTurtle and Mr. Burns — both cartoonish greedmeisters.

You will hear OMB Dick(head) Mulvaney or HHS Tom “insider trader” Price talk about “sustainability through reordering priorities”. There is no reordering of priorities. There has been and will continue to be only one priority of the Republican Party. It is greed. Greed first, last, and always. There is nothing else to understand about the GOP platform – it’s the “Greed Only Party”!

Let’s depart from the usual analysis. Calling the modern Republican Party greedy and ending there is like saying water continues to be wet. Why would someone place a price tag on their soul?

Why are people greedy? Psychologically and unsurprisingly, greed goes hand-in-hand with narcissism.

Both narcissism and greed have their roots in profound self-doubt. Narcissism is self-aggrandizement of the emotional kind, while greed is self-aggrandizement of the materialistic kind.

Narcissism and greed have other aspects in common. They both arise as disorders in people who, in their unconscious mind, are aligned with the conviction that they’re lacking in importance, significance, or value. Such people have difficulty feeling or accessing their own essential value. Instead, a deep negative sense of “self” contaminates their emotional life, and they resonate or identify with this inner default position.

Here’s the kicker. You don’t have to be wealthy to be greedy. Greed is an aspirational characteristic of the Horatio Alger set. You can be thread-bare, broke, and still be greedy. According to one study, the feeling of grandiose entitlement has grown since the 1980s. Who would have thought that Raygun would usher in a “me first” generation?

What does this mean for the country? This “I’ve got mine, sorry about your luck” philosophy means there is no interdependence among the classes unless it is to fight the wars of economic convenience. Put another way, if you can helicopter to work, you don’t need roads traveled by the little people.

A common refrain by Republicans is that our country is weakened by the moochers and the hangers-on, you know, the lazy people. Here’s something to stick up the arse of the next person who says that to you.

By large measure, the wealthy behave less ethically than those of modest means. In reality, the lazy takers are the tax avoiders who are getting away with $2.2 Trillion without having to work for it. They are simply avoiding taxes and sticking it into their pockets. The entire social safety net for children, the elderly, the disabled, and the poor costs us $370 Billion or six times less than the tax avoiding takers.

One last thought about narcissism and greed:

Narcissists deny or cover up inner truth by believing, as they shower themselves in self-admiration, that they truly want admiration from others. Greedy individuals, meanwhile, believe they really want to feel value and worthiness, yet they go chasing after an illusion of value—materialistic self-aggrandizement—that can only deepen self-alienation.

The greedy are unhappy, angry people. Their souls are empty chasms where self-worth should be. Here’s the not so hidden truth – Dolt 45 isn’t an aberration. That orange blob of disgust and perpetual ego masturbation is the perfect Republican totem. His need for self-esteem and validation are symbolic of the Republican Party.

Big hat, no cattle…

The Republicans have been designing the perfect ticket for almost forty years. Unfortunately for the country with help from the Russians, this banausic, predacious, crowd of angry greedy wannabes got their perfect ticket and punched it.

Sorry this isn’t the good stuff Fredster usually posts on the weekend. Please don’t let my self-indulgence deter you. Post anything you might desire – videos, strange weird news, self-preservation meditations, whatever you want – it is free range at the Widdershin’s.

Have a great weekend.

 

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I have been a sick Widdershin, my fellow Widdershins. Summer colds are the worst, and you can’t turn the AC off because it’s too hot and humid. So the cycle of cold, dry air at home and office vs. smack-you-in-the-face heat and humidity outside. There’s only so much a body can take.

Plus, a couple of days ago MadamaB asked how long it has been. I can inform you that we just passed the 84th anniversary of Donald Dump becoming president. Ok, it’s only been 6 months, but I think we’ve all aged 84 years, give or take. So my post will be a bit more rambly than usual. Blame it on the fever and, of course, Dump.

One story that caught my eye this week is the shooting of an Australian woman named Justine Diamond by a police officer in Minneapolis. Diamond called 911 to report a possible assault and was somehow shot and killed herself. She was shot through the door of the police car as she was leaning over to speak to the officers. Both cops were wearing body cameras, but they did not turn them on. Another fatal cop shooting in a long string of fatal cop shootings. One would expect the usual reaction: Right-wing forming a protective wall around the cop. Cops can do no wrong. Except this case was different. The victim was a blonde caucasian. The cop: a black Muslim. Imagine the reactions from the alt-right…

In an interview with Ari Melber on MSNBC, Bernie Sanders was asked a question he was clearly not expecting to be asked.

“Did you know then that this might have been part of [the Kremlin’s] design?” MSNBC reporter Ari Melber asked Sanders Wednesday. “To leak these emails precisely so that there would be more riffs in the Democratic Party?”

“Well of course we knew that,” Sanders replied. “Of course we knew that they were trying to cause divisiveness within the Democratic Party,” the senator continued. “That’s no great secret.”

This should, of course, be a bigger story. Sanders admitting that he knew he was acting as a Kremlin-puppet is a big deal. But in our current endless news cycle of endless breaking stories it got somewhat lost. By now if you ask a Bernie Bros about it, they’ll tell you they never even heard of such a thing.

The Senate Judiciary Committee is going forward with its investigation of Russian interference into our election. How it’s going is hard to tell. Chuck Grassley is the chairman and I wouldn’t trust him as far as I can throw a Russian. But they have scheduled an open hearing (with Bob Mueller’s permission) to question Donald Trump Jr. and Paul Manafort. (Also to be questioned is Bill Browder, the man who hired tax lawyer Sergei Magnitsky to look into missing money…the rest is the Magnitsky Act seemingly at the center of Putin’s anger at the West.) The most interesting part of the letter the Judiciary Committee sent to Junior and Manafort, asking them to preserve all communications with people like Carter Page and Sergei Lavrov and that ambassador nobody remembers and Alfa Bank… is the inclusion of Dr. Jill Stein.

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Stein is right there between Michael Flynn and Michael Cohen. Let the fireworks begin. The hearing is scheduled to take place on Wed, July 26th.


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Our 2016 Ticket!

Our girl is gonna shine

Busted: Glass ceiling

HRC bumper sticker

She’s thinking “Less than 2 weeks I have to keep seeing that face”

Yeah I can make it

The team we’re on

Women’s March on Washington!

Right-click the pic for more info

Kellyanne Conway’s new job

So similar

Take the kids to work? NO!

3 turds control fate of healthcare for millions

That moment when *your* pussy gets grabbed

You go gurl! h/t Adam Joseph