The Widdershins

Activist Wednesday: Let the Abnormalization Begin!

Posted on: December 2, 2020

Despite the pants-pooper-in-Chief’s increasingly desperate proclamations of victory and ever-more-ludicrous suits over ballots in non-existent counties in Michigan (really!), it looks like the inevitable is starting to sink in: Good won, evil lost. Even Billy Barr admits it. Soon, very soon, the country will be run by competent, caring, intelligent and experienced leaders who will make it their mission to start setting things right.

A large part of setting things right will, of course, be dealing with the enormous public health disaster Drumpf and his band of grifting monsters have unleashed upon us, as well as the massive toll it has taken on the American people, our incomes, our families, our housing situations and our collective physical and mental health. This Herculean task will certainly occupy much of the Democrats’ time. But I believe they can, as Nancy famously said, walk and chew gum at the same time. It is my fervent hope that there will be time for another task as well: the abnormalization of almost everything that has happened over the last four years.

We have been gaslit into accepting things we never should have had to accept. The media, as we have frequently discussed here at TW, has been complicit in the gaslighting, refusing to call out Drumpf’s lies until Covid-19 broke out. They have never collectively called for his resignation despite his being impeached for obstruction of justice and bribery and breaking every written and unwritten rule about Presidential conduct. By contrast, when Bill Clinton was unjustly impeached over lying about an affair he never should have been asked about, more than 100 newspapers demanded he resign.

The media camouflaged the unacceptable in discussions of process and meaningless horserace outcomes and bothsidesism to the nth degree. They shrugged their shoulders when Drumpf, Ivanka and Jared were all found to be using multiple unsecured communication methods (personal phones, emails and WhatsApp) to conduct White House business, yet #ButHerEmails was the worst national security scandal ever. They ignored the weird orb ceremony in Saudi Arabia and let Jared off the hook despite the obvious connection between his visit to MBS and the assassination of Jamal Khashoggi. They failed as a whole to pursue any of Drumpf’s numerous and obvious crimes before and after the 2016 election, and when a few journalists courageously uncovered one, the mainstream media let it drop with no follow-up and no consequences for him and his cronies. Hell, what happened in plain sight was mindboggling enough. Imagine if Hillary or Biden or Harris had a hair dye emergency on national TeeVee like Rudy and were caught with their hands down their pants in a ludicrous gotcha operation with known prankster Sacha Baron Cohen. Those pictures would be on the front pages of every newspaper in the country 24-7. Rudy got away with it, completely, as do all the Rethugs who have been enabling this proto-fascist regime since Day 1.

What the Biden-Harris Administration has to do is abnormalize the abnormal. Some of this, I believe, should be done with new laws. For example, I (like many I’m sure!) have been wondering how aggressively the Biden Administration will dig into the massive amount of criming that took place during the Mango Moron’s Reign of Error.  You know what Biden said about this?

“I will not do what this president does and use the Justice Department as my vehicle to insist that something happen,” Biden told Holt. “There are a number of investigations that I’ve read about that are at a state level — there’s nothing at all that I can or cannot do about that.”

Well how about that – he’s right! That’s abnormalization.

For decades now, Presidents have rarely spoken to their Attorney Generals because it was recognized that those conversations could be considered a conflict of interest. There was a wall between POTUS and the USAG that needed to stay there. We’ve seen the results when that wall is breached, and heaven forbid we get another Rethug President in four years – that person will feel free to breach it again, with even scarier results.

So abnormalization of the way Drumpf ran the Justice Department as his own private protection racket is one high priority item. While PE Biden is re-establishing the correct norms, I think this particular abnormalization is a good candidate for a new law as well – one establishing the absolute independence of the DOJ and making the political corruption of any of its departments or personnel a felony crime.

There are other abnormalizations that should be made into laws, in my opinion:

  1. Refusing a Congressional subpoena should be a crime punishable by at least a year in jail;
  2. Presidents should be prohibited by law from running a business, or profiting from their office during their terms;
  3. Candidates should be prohibited by law from running for President if they do not release their medical records and tax returns;
  4. Social media and any network using the public airwaves, should be prohibited from sharing false or misleading information, with each instance being heavily fined; and
  5. Speech that incites or promises violence (like the MAGAt death threats and calls for beheading) should be criminalized and punishable with jail time. There have already been attempted pipe bombings, shootings, murders, and a foiled kidnapping plot because of the hate-filled rhetoric embraced and promulgated by the wingnuts in this country.

Well, that’s my first pass at a list of abnormalizations I’d like to see. What about you?

Open thread as always.


75 Responses to "Activist Wednesday: Let the Abnormalization Begin!"

Great post, mb! Well done.

I really like your ideas for laws. I can’t come up with anything to add…

I think the first one needs to be passed right away or the Dumpers will just keep on ignoring them.

DYB – from the previous post… Thank God for New York!! I hope NY can somehow get Rudy too. Wouldn’t that make a great headline?

MB, Love, love, love the post! The media’s glossing over of rethug’s constant breaking of laws, norms & common decency makes me literally ill.

Thanks PJ and Annie! I agree, it is nauseating what is going on from the media perspective.

I saw after I posted this that Susan Rice has written a terrific op-ed on shoring up democracy. She suggests passing several laws that are already on the books (sponsored by the entire Democratic House) that address a lot of what I mentioned, and more! It’s a great read, although it is in the NY Times.

Meanwhile the condescending sh*tbird Steve “I hate poor people” Mnuchin was just pwned by Katie Porter.

Mnuchin is one of the biggest assholes on the planet earth.

Funny that Barr waited this long to come out and say there weren’t millions of illegal mail-in ballots or hordes of scary undocumented people voting.

So the statute says the $455 billion only go back to the General Fund in 2026.

Mnuchin seems to understand that it’s not 2026 yet.

So-o-o-o … it’s just “Magic Asterisks!! Now give me the money.” ???

These Dumpaloes can’t disappear fast enough.

@7 – only the best people!
@8 – agree, and to me it’s even funnier that he said anything at all. Where has that bastard been for the past six weeks? I was enjoying his conspicuous absence from the national discourse.
@9 – that was so great. He bragged about writing the law, but has no valid reason for breaking it.

I particularly enjoyed the misogynist sneering when he asked if Katie Porter was a lawyer. Yes, Steve, she was a law professor. Way to show your entire ass..

Never mind science — let’s make things more convenient! But if people think an extra few days is “onerous,” they’re probably not willing to talk to contact-tracers either. What other guidelines will the CDC change because it’s too much trouble for the Trumpist it’s-a-fake-pandemic idiots? (endless screaming)

The standard 14-day coronavirus quarantines potentially can be shortened to 10 days or even seven, according to revised guidance issued Wednesday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in an effort to boost compliance with one of the most important tools for limiting spread of the virus.

The move reflects the agency’s recognition that the two-week quarantine rule is onerous for many people and that most of the public health benefit from quarantining people exposed to the virus can be gained with a more flexible approach.

The CDC acknowledges that this new guidance involves a trade-off. The existing 14-day recommendation reflects the ability of the virus to incubate for a long period before symptoms appear.
“If a person is willing to be more compliant with a shorter quarantine, they may also be more willing to share the names of potential contacts,”

@6, 8, I always love it when Rep. Katie Porter slaps down those fools so effortlessly!

Kamala Harris announced some of her cabinet people and her chief of staff is currently Bill Clinton’s chief of staff!

@11 re shorter quarantine. Great. Just great. As someone who follows New Zealand news, they test people on Day3 and Day 11 of quarantine. They have had at least dozens of people who test negative on Day 3 and then positive on Day 11 in quarantine.

It doesn’t lead to a national disaster because those people are already in quarantine. But we know by now that 20% do 80% of the spreading, and just one spreader going to one megachurch (SKorea) can start a national outbreak.

As you say, Luna. Scream.

I so agree about the quarantine period. The 14-day period is what needs to happen. We can’t coddle people who are too stupid and selfish ro do the right thing.

Just read this horrible story about the brutal kidnapping of migrant children by the Drumpf admin. I knew that if ICE were tracking women’s menstrual cycles while in custody, they absolutely knew what happened to those kids.

Several posts ago, I was raising the question about the safety of the *RNA* in the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. (The vaccine part is fine.) Finally saw the answer in a New Scientist article: It degrades in a few days like any other free-floating mRNA in the cell. So it is *not* a problem. (Phew! Stupid companies for not mentioning that right the way along!)

DYB – I love the idea of the former Presidents taking the vaccine. It shows leadership that our current Resident can never emulate.

Q – that is a big relief! Thank you for sharing.

@17 quixote, I have no idea what that means but I’m glad you checked it for us!

Shorter quarantine: bad idea

Former presidents taking vaccines: positive message

Story about migrant children: stuff of nightmares

@10: No doubt Mnuchin has been busy doing what he does best. Finding new and better ways to make obscene amounts of money from the pain and suffering of human beings. A mensch he is not.

Thank you all for the interesting news. I read it out loud to my family. I get more interesting news from you than twitter.

@17, quixote, thanks. I was just thinking I should ask you about this again to see if you’d seen any more info. How does this square with the ‘self-replicating’ part? It didn’t seem to make sense in that it’s only a snippet of the viral RNA and shouldn’t be enough to self-replicate. It is enough for our immune system to recognize and then use that as a blueprint to make antibodies against it and to kill off already-infected cells. I’ve got for a live (remote) webinar by a neuroimmunologist to listen to soon and perhaps I can get a question in about this aspect.

I admit the immune system is so complex that I can only follow the basics. One of my older colleagues was describing back when he was in school and knowledge of the immune system then could be described on a couple of transparencies. This is back when overhead projectors were used, if anyone remembers those, lol.

Tragic thread:

Luna, neither of the two current RNA vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna (only Pfizer’s is within days of being okayed in the US) — where was I 😀 — neither is self-replicating. (That may be something we have to think about in the future with other new vaccines.)

Just for general interest: The way these work is the mRNA gets taken up by specific white blood cells where the mRNA produces viral proteins. The white blood cell goes, “Jeezus, whazzat?” and starts the process to produce antibodies to kill anything with those proteins. (Same process as with a real virus. The proteins themselves, by themselves, are harmless.) But the mRNA that starts this cascade doesn’t belong in the cell — and since it is NOT self-replicating — it gets destroyed by cell enzymes that clean up various junk in the cell.

(The enzymes know when to do that because the mRNA has a poly-A tail. An “A” gets knocked off every time it produces a protein. Once all the A’s are gone, the enzymes attack. Rather elegant. And if you’re a bioengineer, you can control how long your articifial mRNA will be active by how long you make the poly-A tail.)

Something about that room full of iPads …. Like seeing headstones all lined up waiting for the engraver to write in the names, but worse. The worst will be ahead, not over, when they’re doing their job.

@27: I read Q’s comment and thought it said the mRNA has a “ponytail”.

I knew there was a reason I majored in history instead of the hard sciences.

@26: G-d, that is incredibly heartbreaking. When I am missing my mother these days, I think it is blessing she died long before all of this happened. I have a few friends my age who have lost a parent in a nursing home to Covid.

@26, Oh, I’m familiar with the basic overall process, with antigen-presenting cells, cytotoxic T-cell roles, and B-cell antibodies. That’s not what I was curious about.

I thought you’d said the mRNA was self-replicating. Maybe that was over at SD maybe last week or two? So it turns out it’s not — good.

Rudy is decomposing in front of our eyes. (That’s Jenna Ellis giving him the side-eye after the second, very noticeable, fart.)

ZOMG, Biden picks another real expert!

Biden asks Fauci to serve as chief medical adviser

@33: Yey, Dr. Fauci! I heard that news on PBS News Hour tonight. As a country, we are so fortunate to have Dr. Fauci to guide us through this nightmare pandemic. He has been a constant and trustworthy voice of reason. Sometimes, I think Dr. Fauci and Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel, who is also a scientist, are holding the world together.

I was hoping Fauci would be in there! Mind you, he may get hyperventilation at the weirdness of being listened to for a change! They’ll have to ignore him for the first few days so he has time to get used to it.

(I know you knew that, Luna. I thought it might be of interest for others. Hence “general interest” 😀 )

“Ponytail” is not totally wrong! The celestial barber snips some off every time the person wearing it does something. Once it’s a crewcut, time to leave 🙂

(No, earlier I said the current vaccine candidates were not self-replicating, but there was a variant in the related group of mRNAs that was.)

Oh wow. You all seen this? (saw it on Eric Boehlert’s feed)

#NEW #GAsen Runoffs Polls:

Warnock (D) 52% (+7)
Loeffler (R-inc) 45%

Ossoff (D) 50% (+2)
Perdue (R-inc) 48%


(LV, 11/27-30)

All fingers and toes crossed it keeps heading in the right direction! (Hard to get any work done like that, but hey, sometimes you have to make sacrifices.)

Just finished listening to a webinar by a neuroimmunologist who talked about the mRNA covid vaccines. Her opinion is this method is closer to what happens with non-vaccine-triggered immunity than with conventional vaccines. Now I’m wading thru the reference material trying to get details on the umpteen roles of the various B and T cell morphs to stay in my head.

@37, Woo-hoo!

Like I said in my post…Republicans get away with everything. If Rudy were a Democrat, that fart and side eye would be on replay 24-7, including the melting photo!

Rachel Maddow is talking about the bribe-for-pardon scheme. This story seems to be sticking, even with our pathetic boot licking media.

I hope those numbers in GA are not as wrong as all the Senate numbers were during the general election! I don’t believe any of them at this point.

MB, your post was fantastic and I agree with everything you wrote…even your list of laws that should be passed, and the punishments that go with them.

The only fear I have with Biden as Pres is that he is too forgiving. If he ever considers giving Dump a pardon for anything, I will lose respect for him.

Yes, the media is just STARTING to not make excuses for tRump, but only AFTER Joe won the election and almost a month passed. Is it because he has male parts and any male gets a free pass?

Luna @11 & Q

I agree, the minute I heard they want to lessen the time of quarantine to 7-10 days, and the reason being they thought more would comply if the time was shorter, I wondered where this crackpot idea came from. Hell, why not just tell um it’s two days, unless it’s a weekend and you can get a free gallon of chocolate ice cream if you hang in there for two days.

It goes along with the logic of wearing a mask on your chin. WTF.

That being said, the testing in Northern Calif freakin’ sucks. My son had to set up an ‘appointment’ to get a Covid test, with Kaiser, then go get the test, then wait 3 days for the results, all this took over a week. By then, others could say, Hell, I only have to wait 7 days in quarantine anyway, so why bother taking the darn test?

I love Katie Porter. I love her white board and I love it even more when she intellectually runs circles around these stooges and they don’t know how to get the upper hand with her.

She is really cute when she gets excited, winning the argument, her eyebrows go up, her pitch raises and she kinda reminds me a little of Betty Boop.

26 Annie

That is so darn sad.

27 quixote

Longer tails, clean up on aisle ‘A’…wish I could nod and say, oh yes, that’s right. I have no clue. Thanks for keeping tabs for us.

Dr. Fauci…Y-E-S!!!

I’ve been thinking about that forgiveness thing we discussed on a previous post. While some people deserve to be forgiven, some don’t. That would be my brother. As the great poet and sage, Lyle Lovett, once wrote:

God does but I don’t
God will but I won’t
And that’s the difference
Between God and me

I was naughty, not nice. Now I’m in spammy.

The thing with Katie Porter is she used to be a college professor. She knows how to deal with children and smart-asses.

I agree with ya’ll on forgiveness. The short and the long answers to that is: NO. I can’t imagine Biden would pardon Trump. It would, I really think, be the end of the Democratic party. A HUGE amount of Democratic voters will either sever all ties or stop voting. And Republicans will not become Democrats as a sign of gratitude.

My mother never forgave Gerald Ford for pardoning Nixon. Of course, she was a Democrat and never voted Republican anyway.

Thank you Shadow! My experience with being Covid tested was the same. Since I was asymptomatic, I probably had it for almost two weeks before I got tested, which made my quarantine period pointless (although I observed it anyway). It would have been better if I could have gotten results immediately and would have then quarantined during my actual contagious period!

I agree with all of you on forgiveness as well. I am also optimistic that Biden will not pardon Drumpf. He knows he has to work with those Rethuglican senators and he will have to do that, so he’s not going to be able to go after them hard. But Drumpf? That’s his defeated rival who refuses to admit defeat, who was impeached and is in the process of giving corrupt pardons and spending the taxpayer’s money to try to execute a coup against the federal government of the United States! There is no way he would “forgive” that POS. It will send a message that this is okay and normal. And it isn’t and never will be!

I won’t forgive people who voted for Drumpf until they ask for my forgiveness first. We have the mandate of 8 million votes, which is the biggest mandate against a sitting President since 1932, and we have a clear direction that the American people want to go in – away from that Mango Moron! The Drumpf voters are the ones who have to adjust and “forgive” us for being reality-based.

@51 Beata, yes, like your mother people would not forgive Biden. But now things are so polarized even with the Democratic party, that it would cause a huge rift. And even loyal Democrats who have been suffering under Trump (and under McConnell even longer), I am convinced there would be a huge “exodus” to a third party or just “the pox on both your houses” approach. I think the damage to the Democratic party would be irreparable. Imagine every 20-something and under person who has only lived under Republican bullying witness a Democratic President let a criminal and amoral scumbag like Trump off the hook – they would never vote for a Democrat again. There would be, I think, a real push to build a functional 3rd party and they would mostly come from the Democratic side.

Well, duh. Some of us have been doing this for a while already.

CDC recommends people wear masks indoors when not at home

“Compelling evidence now supports the benefits of cloth face masks for both source control (to protect others)” the report said, “and to a lesser extent, protection of the wearer.”

Mask use is most important in indoor spaces where social distancing cannot be maintained, the CDC said in the report. The agency also recommended mask use at home when a member of the household has been infected or potentially exposed to the virus. It cited research that suggests roughly 50 percent of transmission of the coronavirus is spread through asymptomatic people.

What? Biden’s not really implying he’d pardon Trump, is he?

@53 – I completely agree. As an Original PUMA (and you know this D) I tried to start a local movement that would be more liberal than the Democrats who were in charge of the DNC and pushed Obama instead of Hillary. I was so frustrated that I didn’t want to ever vote for Democrats again.

I got over it, but those feelings of worry and mistrust are still there. Although I am feeling really good about Biden-Harris right now, a pardon would massively disillusion me. I personally would never leave the Party at this point – the Republicans aren’t even a political party any more, they’re a terrorist organization – and I wouldn’t do anything that gives them an advantage – but I can see that a lot of people would.

No, Luna, he isn’t. He said he wouldn’t. I think the people pushing this are Republicans and the pundit class, which are really the same thing for the most part.

I hope, hope, hope Biden picks Sally Yates as his AG.

Then at least one of my favorite people will be honored.

Thanks for the update on Biden not pardoning the demon seed himself. MB, did you go to Denver in 2008? I went with PUMA Pac and wonder if you were there, if we already met?

@60 – I didn’t. I did end up meeting some of the PUMAs offline though, those who were in NYC 🙂 (like D)

Ok PJ, for you: (warning – some foul language by Leslie )

@62: Fredster, this is one of those times when I *really* wish I could play twitter videos. Damn, I would love to see that – you know I would! I think Leslie is so funny (the foul lang. warning must have been for everyone else because…) and you know how much I adore James. I appreciate the thought anyway.

I’ve been thinking about you – not just wondering how you’re doing but also because I’ve really been missing my dogs the last couple of days and I know how much you loved your dog. I’m feeling melancholy and not very talkie. Leslie and James would have picked me up.

But I still like reading all the comments here. They’ve been great.

And Beata – your brother and my sister have a lot in common! DYB is right. The answer is NO.

It’s okay to feel sad. I just wanted to say that. If you’ve ever seen the animated movie, “Inside Out”, you know. The blue girl has an important place in one’s life. (I’ve seen *all* the deep movies) 🙂

@63: PJ, try right clicking on the blue bird and it should open the tweet in twitter and you should be able to play it.

@64: It is okay to feel sad. I don’t know anyone who isn’t feeling that way now. Anxiety, depression, insomnia. Check, check, check. I used to be able to have a “good cry” as my mother called it but I just feel numb these days. We’re all in this together but we’re alone much of the time. Which sucks. A lot. And it’s scary, too. But it’s okay.

I will try that Fredster! I really do want to see it.

Beata, I think you got to the heart of it. It’s way out of balance. The lows feel lower. And I also feel numb a lot of the time… A defense mechanism that appeared all on its own.

We all know this is fucking abnormal. The theme of this post. We’re having a sane reaction to an insane situation. The normalization of this insanity by the news media feels very Nazi-ish. I now have no doubt, it could happen here.

Till our world falls apart, I’d recommend a nice glass of whiskey and some Christmas music. It makes tonight bearable as we’re hunkering down. Interesting times…..

Forgiveness, at least in the New Testament and I assume in other religions too?, is something that happens after repentance. What’s more, repentance isn’t just, “Oh gee whiz, too bad, so sad. Sorry.” The word in classical Greek translations of the bible is metanoia, a complete change of the mind, of consciousness. The idea is that after you’re so sorry for what you’ve done that you’ve changed yourself into someone who couldn’t do it again, *then* there should be forgiveness.

Applied to the Dump, that’s so far away from his situation it’s not even wrong (with apologies to Pauli).

@65: I tried it Fredster. I still can’t get it to play. 😦 I think it’s just my computer. Or the Black Lady in the Sky. Not sure which. It is more than a bit frustrating… But just seeing the picture of Carville made my day.

Uh-oh. The MSM’s alternate version of “Dems in Disarray’ when there’s a Dem administration. Since when did they worry about this shit when Trump was the popular-vote loser? Biden doesn’t own a hotel that he sends government business to, and his kids aren’t starting up companies to distribute vaccines.

‘Old-school revolving door’: Private-sector ties complicate Biden’s efforts to staff incoming administration

Re: coronavirus testing — the rapid tests on the market now aren’t that reliable. The most accurate tests take longer, plus there’s the time en route to wherever the lab is, and then how overworked the staff are who get the test results communicated to the patient.


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