The Widdershins

Archive for September 2018

Hi gang! How’s it going? I see Fredster’s countdown thingy on the sidebar is down to 2.3 years to go. Years, people, years. Ugh. How did we make it this far? I guess we’ll keep hanging in until his time is up or Congress comes to their senses and decide it’s time for the madman to go. (which will be the twelfth of never)

In 2016, the 2018 midterms seemed so far away. Now it’s just around the corner and I’m nervous. How can we be sure of anything with voter suppression, hackable voting machines, Russians crawling around in the voter rolls and out-right voter purges by our own damn politicians?! We can’t. All we can do is wait and bide our time.

Let’s do some music related to time.

Chicago – Does Anyone Really Know What Time It Is? (check your volume)

Matchbox 20 – 3 AM

The Rolling Stones – Time Is On My Side (lots of screaming fans here)

Pink Floyd – Time (again, check volume)

Maria Muldaur – Midnight At The Oasis

REO Speedwagon – Time For Me To Fly

This should be pretty easy. Open Thread.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Dr. Christine Blasey Ford

I must confess that watching the Christine Blasey Ford and Brett Kavanaugh testimonies left me feeling hopeless. I don’t know if I’ve felt this depressed since election night and inauguration. What we saw was such a horrific display of partisanship from Republicans, such naked thirst for power, such terrifying absence of decency, that I don’t know if we can ever truly recover from where we are now. And, frankly, the weak performance of Democrats against Kavanaugh revealed that we don’t have strong leadership. Yes, there may be flashes of it here and there, but in the second half of the day Democrats surrendered all control to Republicans. Lindsey Graham goes on a full frontal attack on Democrats and their only response was Cory Booker calling Graham his friend. Every Republican attacked Diane Feinstein. And Democrats remained silent. Democrats kept hammering on about the FBI investigation: important yes, but the point was made already and repeatedly, and anyone who mentioned it after Dick Durbin drew blood by getting Kavanaugh to fall speechless on the subject was wasting time. They let so many things fall through the cracks because they harped on that single issue. They also kept quoting Kavanaugh’s former roommate who said he saw Kavanaugh get very drunk many times: yes, we heard it and Kavanaugh dismissed that story pretty easily. Yet they kept returning to it Kavanaugh swatted them away just as easily each time. It was a waste of time.

Democrats should have pursued Rachel Mitchell’s questions about the July 1st party on Kavanaugh’s calendar – which perfectly matches Dr. Ford’s description of the party where she was assaulted, including the guest list and the timeframe where she ran into Mike Judge in a grocery store approximately 6 weeks later. The Republican prosecutor seemed to accidentally stumble on the actual date of the party where Ford was attacked! She had Kavanaugh read the first and last names of all his friends who were going to attend this party. The names match everyone Ford names, including the man Kavanaugh’s friends tried to pin the assault on (but who denied any involvement in a letter to the judiciary committee.) The date of the party – July 1st – also matches Ford’s story that she ran into Mike Judge in a grocery store approximately 6 weeks later. But because she wasn’t sure when the party was, knowing when Judge worked in the store would help. Well, Mike Judge wrote in his book that worked in that grocery store in August of that year. It matches perfectly the time-frame Ford laid out. A party Kavanaugh attended, the guest list of friends that matches Ford’s list of those present, and the 6 weeks before seeing the eye-witness in a store. Rachel Mitchell – intentionally or not (probably not) – laid this out for Democrats. Democrats did nothing with this information. As soon as Mitchell asked these questions about the July 1st party, Grassley called for a recess. They returned and Graham went for the Democrats’ jugular. Mitchell was not heard from again. Every Republican after that went for the same jugular. And Democrats did nothing. They didn’t fight back, they did not pursue the line of questioning that quite literally may reveal the date – on Kavanaugh’s own calendar – of the party where Ford was assaulted.  The hearings ended as a disaster for Democrats.

Christine Blasey Ford’s testimony was astonishing. With strength and courage she arrived to tell the truth. And she did. What was striking about her answers is that she didn’t try to be right. She knew there were gaps in her story, she willingly acknowledged the limitations of memory. Contrast this with every Kavanaugh testimony: in his desire to be right and perfect, Kavanaugh lies. He lies easily and repeatedly. Republicans don’t care that Kavanaugh has committed perjury numerous times already. But we know that he has. And we know that Dr. Ford has not. This extraordinary woman has upended her entire life – the persecution of Dr. Ford will continue forever – because she wanted to do what is right. She faced the lions and went in. She did it for all of us. She said that her greatest fear is that she would do all this, put her family and herself through hell and it would not matter. She is probably right, that Kavanaugh will still be appointed to the Supreme Court. But her testimony matters. It matters to countless women and men who have been abused and who have been too afraid to speak up. People who have blamed themselves for the attacks. Christine Blasey Ford showed us that sometimes we must do what is right, even when we know it may not make the difference we seek in the moment. Dr. Ford and her courage do not exist in a vacuum. She has already changed the lives of countless victims of sexual abuse. May she take some comfort in that. And may we all hope to have that kind of courage.

“Even the smallest person can change the course of the future.” – J.R.R. Tolkien

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Honestly guys, I can’t keep up. So, here’s some Randy Rainbow and a fresh thread.

Enjoy!

 

Gillian Flynn’s words echo and echo and echo inside my skull.

They don’t care about us enough to hate us. We are simply a form of livestock.

(Via Sarah Kendzior. I’ve said the same too, repeatedly, less efficiently.)

There’s Senator Orrin Hatch saying, “…consider who the judge is today – because that’s the issue. Is this judge a really good man? And he is. And by any measure he is.”

“By any measure.” Any measure.

Kavanaugh has never shown any repentance or made any amends, but by any measure he’s in Hatch’s good books. Despite every indication of willingness to commit a crime so bad it’s right up there with murder. Technically, of course. It’s vanishingly unlikely to happen to Hatch. So Kavanaugh is a “good man.”

They don’t care about us enough to hate us. We are simply a form of livestock.

You wonder how the slavers could do what they did to black human beings two hundred years ago? This is how. They thought it was natural, normal, just how things were. They could think well of themselves with no trouble while they sold people. Those people were livestock. Just as people now consider themselves “good” while thinking that a little rape never hurt anyone. Not any real people. Slaveholders were Supreme Court Justices once. What could possibly be the objection to a rapist on the highest court in the land?

They don’t care about us enough to hate us. We are simply a form of livestock.

Crossposted from Acid Test


What a difference a week makes, eh? The common wisdom on Brett Kavanaugh, just a little while ago, was that the fix was in. Or as the Seattle Post-Intelligencer put it, “The fix is on.”

The nomination to life appointment on the high court is being rushed through, by the same Senate Republicans who refused even to hold a hearing on President Obama’s 2016 nomination of fellow appellate judge Merrick Garland to the high court.

The Senate Republicans are using Donald Trump, and Donald Trump is using acquiescent members of his party.

The GOP gets to lock in a Supreme Court majority that will rule for its interests and uphold rule by the privileged.

With Kavanaugh’s confirmation, the politicized Roberts Court will have a solid majority to uphold gerrymandering of political boundaries and the rights of states to restrict voting rights. The lock-step majority will rule for business and further restrict legal rights of employees.

The person who wrote that was a man, by the way. Little did we know last week that there was a woman whose bravery in the face of unimaginable public scrutiny, much of it unhinged and hostile, would halt Republicans in their tracks. And now, stories like this are being written.

Unless Ford’s allegations are discredited, it seems virtually unthinkable that the two moderate Republican women who hold the balance of power in the chamber—Susan Collins, of Maine, and Lisa Murkowski, of Alaska—would vote to approve Kavanaugh. As Collins walked through the airport in Washington, D.C., on Sunday, a reporter asked her if she believed the accusations against Kavanaugh. “I don’t know enough to make a judgment at this point,” she replied. Later on Monday, Collins issued a statement that said, “Professor Ford and Judge Kavanaugh should both testify under oath before the Judiciary Committee.” Murkowski was less definitive. But, on Sunday night, she did say that the committee might have to consider delaying its vote.

Even the White House appears to have given up any hope of silencing Ford or dismissing her claims entirely. “This woman should not be insulted and she should not be ignored,” Kellyanne Conway, a counsellor to Trump, told Fox News. “I think the Senate is headed to a reasonable approach in that it seems to be allowing this woman to be heard in sworn testimony, allowing Judge Kavanaugh to be heard in sworn testimony.” Later on Monday, Donald Trump chimed in, saying, “I wish the Democrats could have done this a lot sooner. But, with all of that being said, we want to go through the process.” He also said that Kavanaugh was “somebody very special” who “never even had a little blemish on his record.”

Now, I’ve certainly had my share of incorrect predictions (some of which you’ve read here!), and I agree that at the time, it didn’t seem likely that any Republican Senator would find the courage to deny Drumpf his puppet judge. I completely understand the tendency to assume that the Kavanaugh train was unstoppable. But the problem with that tendency is that, taken too far, it leads to despair, and despair leads to inaction.

I am optimistic by nature, and feel that there are very few problems we humans can’t solve. Collectively, we have endless creativity, intelligence and energy, so really, is anything impossible? Sometimes my position is vindicated; sometimes my optimism gets me into trouble. 😉 A dear friend of mine at work once gave me this excellent piece of advice: “Just because you see a problem, doesn’t mean you have to fix it.” Wise words indeed, but hard for me to live by, especially in the time of #theResistance. I want to join everything, march every day, scream at the top of my lungs, rend my garments, tear my hair. Instead, I try to make my moves wisely. I march sometimes, I tweet, I blog, and I speak up.

What I really think this means is, we women are starting to flex our muscles in unprecedented ways. As DYB wrote last week, #MeToo is still cascading through our society, taking down the vilest and most powerful men in the world. And we’re not done yet! We don’t always know what to do with our new voices, and we are sometimes effective when we use them, and sometimes not. But no matter what, we won’t be silent. And in 2018, there are a lot of men on our side! (Thank you so much, o wonderful Widdershin men and the millions of other good men out there!)

So don’t despair. The conclusion is not foregone. If bad things seem likely to happen, find a small act of bravery to perform.

Who knows what will happen as a consequence?

This is an open thread.

 

Hi gang! How’s your anxiety level? Mine goes up and down, but I’ve pretty much learned to ride the wave. We’ve been seeing lots of talk from doctors and psychiatrists that their  patients are suffering from higher anxiety levels over the past couple of years. I was not really comforted by the ‘Anonymous’ op-ed assuring us ‘there are adults in the room’. Are they on meds? You’d have to be to hang out with that gang and not throw yourself out the window. I wonder if Anonymous is one of the two who went to Yale psychiatrist Brandy Lee last fall?

Two White House officials actually contacted me in late October, stating that Trump was “scaring” them, that he was “unraveling.”  Not wishing to confuse the role I chose, as an educator of the public, and a potential treatment role, I referred them to the local emergency room without inquiring much further.

That’s some pretty shitty advice if you ask me. I can just imagine walking into my local emergency room and telling them I need some Xanax because Trump is scaring me. (Although he does)

Anyway, my post is not really about Trump’s erratic behavior or anxiety in America (or the world for that matter). I just want to share some odd news pertaining to drugs. Maybe we all need this

HUGO — This town on Colorado’s Eastern Plains warned its residents not to drink, bathe in or cook with its tap water on Thursday because officials said multiple preliminary tests of the water came back positive for THC, the main psychoactive compound in marijuana.

Concerns about the water were first raised by a Hugo company using quick “field tests” to check employees for THC, Yowell said. The strip tests are similar in function to home pregnancy tests in that they return only two results: positive or negative.

Yowell said the company, which he did not name, had been getting inconsistent results and decided to test a vial of tap water, expecting it to be negative. Instead, the test came back positive, and the company called the authorities.

But wait! Not so fast – says the people with a lick of sense.

Peter Perrone, who owns Wheat Ridge cannabis testing facility Gobi Analytical, said cannabinoids such as THC or CBD “are in no way soluble in water.”

“There is zero possibility that there’s anything like THC in the Hugo water,” Perrone said.

What is with these field test kits? They obviously don’t work. How many people went to jail based on these faulty kits?

WILMINGTON, N.C. (AP) — A North Carolina sheriff’s office thought it made a huge drug bust, seizing 13 pounds of fentanyl worth $2 million on the street. The powder was found in a home along with other drugs and paraphernalia. A field test indicated it was the powerful opioid, justifying a host of charges against three suspects.

The sheriff’s office then sent the powder to a private lab, and the results arrived this week. New Hanover Sheriff’s Lt. Jerry Brewer tells WECT-TV that the powder seized in July includes no illicit ingredients, and is nothing more than “a combination of simple and complex carbohydrates.” In other words, sugar, worth about $8 at the grocery store.

Here is another where the state police (IOW taxpayers) paid dearly for their mistake. Poor guy lost his job, apartment and all his possessions over soap.

Pennsylvania State Police paid $195,000 to settle a New York man’s claims he was wrongly jailed for nearly a month after troopers using a field drug test mistook soap for cocaine, a court document obtained by The Morning Call shows.

A search of their rented Mercedes-Benz revealed two brick-size packages covered in clear plastic and red tape, according to the police report. Cruz, who was the driver, told the troopers they contained homemade soap for her sister, whom Cruz was traveling to visit in Florida, it says.

What really got me started on ‘drug news’ was this recent article. (my bold)

Police in the Long Island town of Coram, N.Y. are looking for the people responsible for putting up vending machines that appear to be crack pipes. Two of the small blue machines were found over the weekend and angry residents reported them to police, who then removed them. The machines have coin slots where would-be patrons insert $2 to get a pen-shaped device that has the items required to construct a pipe used to smoke crack cocaine.

“They were actually repurposed tampon dispensers”, said Jack Kreiger, Communications Director for the Town of Brookhaven, CNN reported.

Speaking of pipes… what do you do if you’re a pot shop clerk who is being robbed. Why, you grab your handy-dandy, trusty, big glass bong. (Don’t miss the teeny pooch at the beginning)

I found this amusing, except I’m surprised no one was killed.

A group of undercover Detroit police posing as drug dealers tried to arrest another group of undercover police posing as drug buyers in a mishap that resulted in a brawl between more than two dozen armed officers.

“This is probably one of the most embarrassing things I’ve seen in this department,” Detroit Police Chief James Craig said Monday, according to the Detroit Free Press.

Idiots. There’s video of the ‘brawl’ at the link.

I’ve got a couple more, but I think I’ll put them in the comments. I’m extra lazy right now – anxiety level low but could change at any time! Open thread, of course.

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The #MeToo movement blasted the door off Hollywood like a tsunami. The first villain to go down was Harvey Weinstein, the notoriously vicious and deranged producer who produced some extraordinary films. In his wake many others have fallen, some perhaps unfairly (Al Franken is still hotly debated on Twitter.) The last couple of weeks saw the fall of 2 big CBS figures: the president of the network Les Moonves and the 60 Minutes’ chief Jeff Fager.

After Ronan Farrow’s article in The New Yorker discussed allegations against Fager, CBS journalist Jericka Duncan, preparing a report on the story, contacted Fager for comment. Fager wrote back via text:

If you repeat these false accusations without any of your own reporting to back them up, you will be responsible for harming me. Be careful. There are people who lost their jobs trying to harm me and if you pass on these damaging claims without your own reporting to back them up that will become a serious problem.

Once head of CBS News learned of this message, Fager was fired.

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Former CBS president Les Moonves

The bigger fall at CBS, however, was its very president, Les Moonves. Moonves has been accused of not just harassment, but assault, forcing women to perform oral sex on him. And, of course, he ruined many careers. Moonves (who is married to CBS host Julie Chen) carried a vendetta against Janet Jackson because of the “wardrobe malfunction” at the Super Bowl, and ordered MTV and VH1, as well as Viacom owned radio stations, to stop playing Jackson’s music. The “disappearance” of Janet from much of the music scene over the past decade is now being largely attributed to this. Before Jackson, Moonves set his sights on Linda Bloodworth-Thomason, the creator of the hit show Designing Women. Bloodworth-Thomason wrote a searing article in The Hollywood Reporter describing her relationship with Moonves and how he ruined her career. One story is that high on the success of Designing Women, she wrote a pilot for a new series (actually she wrote many pilots, all of which Moonves rejected, including one with Bette Middler) and arranged a reading of the script with big names, including Ileana Douglas. At the reading, Moonves sat across from Bloodworth-Thomason and just stared at her:

Having been voted most popular in high school, I felt confident that I would be able to charm him. I was wrong. He sat and stared at me throughout the entire reading with eyes that were stunningly cold, as in, “You are so dead.” I had not experienced such a menacing look since Charles Manson tried to stare me down on a daily basis when I was a young reporter covering that trial. As soon as the pilot was completed, Moonves informed me that it would not be picked up. I was at the pinnacle of my career. I would not work again for seven years.

When Bloodworth-Thomason finally left CBS after Moonves rejected all of her writing, his last words to her were “Go fuck yourself.”

Remember too that Les Moonves said this about Donald Trump in 2016:

It may not be good for America, but it’s damn good for CBS… Man, who would have expected the ride we’re all having right now? … The money’s rolling in and this is fun… I’ve never seen anything like this, and this going to be a very good year for us. Sorry. It’s a terrible thing to say. But, bring it on, Donald. Keep going.

CBS Board of Directors – all men – tried their darnedest to save Les. Arnold Kopelson, who once upon a time won an Oscar for producing Platoon, said in a board meeting: “I don’t care if 30 more women come forward and allege this kind of stuff. Les is our leader and it wouldn’t change my opinion of him.” Another member fo the board, William Cohen (yes, Bill Clinton’s Defense Secretary in the 1990s) said: “We are going to stay in this meeting until midnight if we need to until we get an agreement that we stand 100 percent behind our CEO, and there will be no change in his status.” These are the type of men who protect other men’s perversions. They are why people like Moonves and Weinstein, and there are so many others, have thrived and will continue to thrive.

One other note on Arnold Kopelson: after Kathy Griffin’s debacle with the fake Trump head, Kopelson wrote Griffin a letter telling her how to get her career back. It’s one of the most shocking things I’ve read in a long time. He thinks he’s being helpful, but…

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Mr. Kopelson is no longer a member of the board of directors of CBS, incidentally.

Margaret Sullivan of Washington Post (and a former public editor of the NY Times, a position that paper got rid of) wrote a powerful column discussing the fact that the damage done by men like Moonves – and Mark Halperin and Charlie Rose – is incalculable. They have shaped our culture’s view of women for decades.

What if Mark Halperin, for instance, had not been a network commentator during the 2016 presidential campaign? (James Wolcott of Vanity Fair aptly described him as “a political kingmaker and narrative shaper” and “the most influential” of the men who were felled by sexual-misconduct allegations last year.)

What if Bill O’Reilly of Fox News hadn’t been the biggest cable TV star in the nation when a woman had a major-party presidential nomination for the first time?

[…]

A media figure doesn’t have to show up for a business meeting in an open bathrobe to do harm, though that strange practice has turned out to be something of a leitmotif.

He can help frame the coverage of a candidate’s supposedly disqualifying flaws. He can squelch a writer’s promising work. He can threaten an underling’s job if she doesn’t stay in line and remember who really runs the show around here.

All these little moments add up, though we’ll never know their full cost. Only that it’s very, very high.


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Blog Archive

September 2018
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Kellyanne Conway’s new job

Take the kids to work? NO!

That moment when *your* pussy gets grabbed

You go gurl! h/t Adam Joseph

“The” Book

Nice picture of our gal

Time till the Grifter in Chief is Gone

Hopefully soonerJanuary 21st, 2021
2.2 years to go.

Mueller Time!

Wise Words from Paul Ryan

B-I-N-G-O!

Only the *best* politicans bought by the NRA

Marching for their lives

Perfect Picture

Rudy: oh shit the pee tape IS real!

Need Reminders?

Never too early to shop for Christmas

“Look this way”

Manafort’s Jail Photo

Indeed who?

Trump spam

IOW Dumb = Happy?

Simply Put

Ironic

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