The Widdershins

Activist Tuesday: Get Your Marching Shoes On

Posted on: April 9, 2019

Good Tuesday, Widdershins! Today is a bellwether day because last night, Rachel Maddow finally stopped using the word “inexplicably” and used Occam’s Razor instead.

In her opening segment, Rachel was highlighting the fact that Drumpf has a very large number of weak, “acting” cabinet secretaries and vacant deputy positions that haven’t been filled. She then noted that this framework for governing concentrates power in the hands of the President. “There’s a particular type of government that works this way,” she said. “It starts with an ‘a.'”

Indeed! Welcome to the autocracy party, Rachel. It’s quite scary to admit what the end goal of Putin’s Puppet is; kudos for starting to wrap your head around it.

The autocratic end game, however, cannot be won merely by eviscerating critical government agencies like the Department of Defense, Homeland Security, the EPA and so many others. What will really set the tone for declaring Trump King Forever is a determination that he is above the law. And from where I sit, he’s trying his best to make that determination happen. Let me count just a few ways:

  1. The tax returns. The chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, Richard Neal, has demanded Drumpf’s tax returns. The Mango Moron has refused, which is illegal. The deadline for turning them over to the Ways and Means Committee is Wednesday, April 10. If this goes to court, will he get a favorable ruling?
  2. The family separation policy. One of the most Nazi-like policies this evil Administration has ever set in place, family separation was ruled illegal last year. But now, Drumpf is clearing house at DHS, firing Kirstjen Nielsen and others, and to try and find people who will impose the policy despite its illegality. He may have found at least one.

    Though he may not be installed immediately, the Trump administration is likely to find a way to make sure [Kevin] McAleenan will step in for Nielsen on an acting basis, even if it means firing Grady. NBC News reports that McAleenan “has not ruled out” family separation as an option, and that he would consider allowing parents to bring their children with them into long-term detention as an alternative.

    What happens if McAleenan does try to go ahead with family separation despite the judge’s orders? Who will tell him he can’t?

  3. The Fake National Emergency. When Der Drumpfenfuhrer declared a fake national emergency at the border and started appropriating funds for his ridiculous wall, the Democrats sued him.

    Trump declared a national emergency in February to shift federal funds toward construction of the border wall after Congress refused to provide him with the amount he requested.The initial standoff resulted in a 35-day partial government shutdown, the longest in U.S. history.

    The complaint was filed one day after Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) announced that the House would sue the president to block Trump’s national emergency declaration to build a wall along the southern border.

    “The Congress has a solemn responsibility to defend its exclusive constitutional responsibilities, and protect our system of checks and balances,” Pelosi said of the lawsuit in a statement Friday. “The very integrity of our democratic institutions are at stake. We will not let the President trample over the Constitution.”

These are just three examples. Bottom line is, a Constitutional crisis could result from any of these. If the pResident decides to just brazen it out and declare he is above the law, will the Senate stand up to him? Or will they continue to demonstrate their moral decrepitude and lack of interest in our core democratic principles, and help him establish an autocracy in America?

I think we’d all better start stretching our leg muscles and ensuring we’ve got comfortable shoes. While I hope we won’t need to, we must prepare to march to prevent Orange Caligula from consolidating enough power to destroy our country for the foreseeable future. Our activism may be the only thing standing between us and the “a” word.

This is an open thread.

39 Responses to "Activist Tuesday: Get Your Marching Shoes On"

I know this one is dark, folks. There is some evidence that public pressure is working though: Barr said today that he would release the redacted Mueller report next week. He has to do this now, I think at first he was hoping he would never have to release it, so this is progress.

Also, today Drumpf said “just kidding!” to the idea of going back to family separation. So it looks like the rule of law is still holding for now.


Great post MB, your post isn’t dark but what Drumpfff has done for the past 2+ years is something that no one wants to name, but is the test of our country’s democracy and strength.

I am happy to say that we have some great Dems in Congress that are up for the fight. The Chairwomen and men are doing a great job, Nancy and some of our governors and attorneys are doing a great job.

I am hopeful they will not give up even if the public is a little scared right now. This boomer is ready to march whenever it will help.


That guy is a roaring asshole! Ooo, make me livid. Kudos to Maxine.

Gavin, my handsome Gov was great on Cuomo tonight. Making CA proud.

I think Jerry Nadler should issue his subpoena to the DOJ for these documents tomorrow and not wait a week for the redacted version. Also, since Barr said today he has no intention of going to the court to get permission to supply the underlying evidence to House Judiciary, which has always been done in similar situations without a blink of the eye, Nadler needs to move forward on that immediately. No more delays.

Can I just say that Mnuchin is weeiirrd?

Your post is interesting & spot on, MB. I read it earlier & liked but didn’t have time to comment. Most of the info is new to me, so thanks for that.

@2, LOL, I watched it. What a worm. Love Auntie!

@5, well said.

@5 – I wish Nadler would just go with the subpoena too. Maybe he is waiting to see if Barr will be forced to change his mind again due to public pressure.

If the subpoena is used and it’s ignored, what happens then? Are the Dems ready for this?

Peter Daou thinks we should march too. I hope he is wrong about the Dems in Congress, because they have been great. But do they really have the spine to stop authoritarian rule from being instituted in our country?

“do they really have the spine to stop authoritarian rule from being instituted in our country?”

Exacttly. Same question I had in a longwinded way on skydancing.

he’s already breaking court rulings by doubling down on his internationally criminal family separations.

I see no sign of him being made to understand he’s not the law. No summons to explain himself to Congress. No house arrest. Nothing.

That said, I don’t now what the House can legally do. Do others here know?

Hey, Fredster, are you surviving? Sending good wishes your way, fwiw!

How cute is this:

The Democrats are doing something. It seems slow to us (because it is!) but it’s building. That’s what they have to do. Larry Summers is an idiot, but at least he knows the law. Rachel’s build up before bringing him on her show, is more important. Watch the IRS Commissioner (WTF?) use the same old weasel words. The first 2:30 minutes.

Thanks GAGal!

Here’s another interesting tidbit from the Barr testimony.

@13, I don’t believe much that Barr says.

I’m not glued to the TV so maybe I missed it – but I’ve only seen the media chase down Democrats to question them about Bill Barr’s comments in the last two days. Has any reporter for CNN or MSNBC chased down a Republican on these committees for comment? Stuck a microphone in their face? Just wondering because I haven’t seen that.

Agree Luna! GAGal, I only watched Maddow and a third of Lawrence tonight, so I couldn’t say. Annie, so true!

Folks, Fredster gave me a heads up that his computer has gone to electronic heaven. He will be on a break from the blog until he gets a new one or the old one is resuscitated!

Julian Arrange has been arrested.

Sorry to hear about Fredster’s computer — hope it can be revived.

Looks like Gillibrand is trying to win support from Hillary supporters.

Too bad, so sad…no vote from me.
Trying to step into Hillary’s shoes and yet, thinks Bill should have given up his presidency. She should resign

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand calls Hillary Clinton ‘a role model for all’

I’m laughing too.

What a weird week. Besides the foul news, no Fredster, and Sophie’s twitter account is suspended.

@23 It’s been a weird month for me. I finally sold some acreage I bought 30 years ago for a decent price. I felt so much relief. A huge burden lifted and much needed funds.

Then, I got a jury summons. I would love to serve on a jury, but my Crohns would never allow that. I called and told them I had a medical issue so I couldn’t serve. They said have your primary care physician send a fax. Too bad I don’t have a primary care physician because I haven’t been able to afford insurance. I was diagnosed after being hospitalized through ER. I had three weeks notice.

If you don’t show for jury duty, you’re found in contempt and a bench warrant is issued for you. Which means, they won’t show up at your house looking for you, but the next time you deal with any “government official”, that it’s. For example, if a cop is behind me in my car and runs a check on my plate just to see if I have insurance, they will arrest me on the spot.

Or, I can turn myself in and tell it to the judge. I went up there and talked to the woman behind the counter and told her my problem (not to mention the other people who were waiting in line got to hear it). It took me 20 minutes to finagle from her that I could get a ‘one time deferral’ until the next court docket in July.

I had fully planned to find a new doctor after I sold my property. (I had a primary care doc I loved who closed her practice in 2008 because her asshole husband was freaked about OBAMAcare. Asshole)

I’ll do my best to get it done. I had already been asking around to find a new doctor, but I find it sickening (pun intended) that you have to have one to avoid a warrant. I’m fortunate. I worry about people who aren’t.

How madly annoying, GAgal. The times I’ve been called up, faffing around, bored out of my gourd, waiting for them to make up their minds to kick me out (they always do when they find out I’m a biologist with doctorate trimmings), I’ve been amazed what people get excused for.

Students are always let off because of so-called time constraints, ie they can’t miss class. But their teachers sitting on the same chairs are not. You’re just supposed to scurry around, find subs for however long it will take, drop your grading and other prep, etc.

One guy had come up with a good shtick: he said his mom had taught him never to judge anyone. It worked!

But just going through that asinine selection process involves sitting for at least the whole day, so you’d think they’d realize there’s a whole slew of medical conditions that make it impossible.

As Dickens said forever ago, “The Law is an ass, an idiot.”

Some of us are not surprised.

@24, GAgal, how frustrating! Then if you had insurance and a PCP you’d have to wait for an appt and then pay the co-pay and deductible. Many places it’s several weeks’ wait for a non-acute appt. I don’t think the $10 pay per day of jury duty has been changed recently either.

As quixote says, usually the other side will throw out well-educated potential jurors. Guess they want the easily led types.

I am so sorry to not only hear of your Crohns but that you also have no health insurance. I hope you are able to afford a good doctor soon, you should have a professional gastro that will always be there for you. My son had Ulcerative Colitis and it was a very bumpy ride until they removed his colon.
Sending you a big hug.

These bros look just like the ones I had try to intimidate me at my caucus in 2016. I’m so happy they’re pissed!

All I can think whenever Bernoidiness gets mentioned:

It’s 2019. I can’t believe I’m still dealing with this shit Burner.

GAgal, so sorry to hear of your Crohns. And that you’re being hassled for jury duty. I hope you can get insurance soon and a doctor’s note.

Jury duty is usually run in a ridiculous manner. When Laker was little I started getting notices. They had a box you could check saying you couldn’t serve because you were a caretaker for a child or family member. A couple of years later, they took the excuse away, and you couldn’t just call them and tell them sorry, I have a disabled child and no one who can take care of him for an indeterminate period. I sent them a long letter explaining this with a copy of his bc, medical diagnosis, and pix of him in leg braces, and a wheelchair. They never responded & I thought good, I’m off their list. But then I got another summons in the mail a year later. I tried calling again to no avail, so resent the letter with the helpful suggestion that they start calling on seniors to serve, that I did volunteer work with seniors and had asked them about this and they all said they would love to sit on a jury but were never summoned. Of course they never responded. A few weeks later I got another summons and a friend, who also has a special needs child, was over & when I told her how I kept explaining to them but them kept ignoring me. She took the summons and threw it in the trash. I was shocked, and told her I didn’t want to get in trouble, but she said she went through the same crap, and the only way she could get off their list was to not respond. She said she threw her last one away a couple of years before and hadn’t gotten one since, and that if I was called on it, I could say I didn’t get it. So, I let it stay in the trash, and I haven’t heard from them since. Incidentally, I was in my early 40s when this happened. I had never received a jury summons my entire life until early 40s, with a disabled child, low income, and no family around. All of my young adulthood, when I was healthy, unencumbered, and financially secure, they weren’t interested in me. Only when it was impossible for me to serve. Typical government bureaucracy. Very Kafkaesque.

That dog is gorgeous.

@30, That makes me happy–so proud of my second state.

He’s going to continue his viciousness while saying nyah, nyah, nyah. He’s not going to release his taxes, and cowed or corrupt officials will continue to do his bidding. Pelosi needs to rethink that impeachment move. Now.

@22 – Ha! Another shiny object.

GAGal, I am so sorry to hear about your Crohn’s and your experience with jury duty. I hope the stress didn’t make things worse! Attorneys never pick me because they don’t want people who are objective. They want people who they think will vote for their side.

This is a great thread for this awful week.

Thank you everyone for your kind words regarding my health stuff and sharing your experiences with jury duty. It just bugs me they think everyone can afford to see a doctor who can then vouch for an illness. I’m fortunate that I can now see a doctor, however she doesn’t know me from Adam, yet. I’m also going to have to get the hospital records and the diagnosis from the gastro doc (who I saw one time after the colonoscopy) so she’ll know. That part is okay, because it was my plan all along. I feel like it’s all being rushed before I get a summons for the next court docket. I think it’s July so I should have time, but you know how slow this can be.

@37 loved that clip of Hill and Bill and reading the Diane & Jefferson twitter feed. Is she the woman who has been a close friend to Hillary for many years?


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