The Widdershins

Lazy Weekend: Giving Thanks

Posted on: November 20, 2021

I can hardly believe it, but it’s Thanksgiving next week, Widdershins! I hope you’re all going to take some time to relax. Two viruses – the pandemic and the Republican virus of vaccine and mask resistance – have cast a pall over holiday gatherings this year. The pandemic is the one affecting Thanksgiving for me. I am thankful that my family is all vaxxed, AND, that I am seeing my aunt and uncle from Baltimore for the first time since the Rona reared its ugly head. We’ll still need to get negative PCR tests before we can go inside my brother’s house for Turkey and Tofurkey Day (my sister-in-law is vegetarian), but it’s worth it to keep everyone safe and healthy.

Despite the wretched Rittenhouse verdict, we had a lot to be thankful for this week. President Biden signed the BIF and Speaker Pelosi got the Build Back Better bill signed in the House. Now, the bill goes to the Senate, but thanks to the reconciliation process, only Democrats need to vote for it. Despite Manchinema saying they’ll wait for the CBO report to say how they vote, the report is coming soon, and I don’t think they’ll make a lot of trouble after what happened in New Jersey and Virginia. Oh, and remember how McConnell insisted a couple of months ago that he would absolutely, totally, NOT vote yes on raising the debt ceiling on December 15? Looks like he and Chuck are talking about it now. Something tells me Chuck will get what he wants.

I hope you all will indulge me as I take a minute to marvel at what the Democrats have accomplished so far. The Party has had full control of the federal government only since February 3, 2021, when Schumer and McConnell agreed on power-sharing in the Senate. Given that metric, it’s been nine and a half months.

We have been so traumatized and terrified by the hostile maladministration of Rethugs that we are not used to any good news coming from government sources. I believe this trauma, in combination with our blatantly fascist media, are what’s preventing us from appreciating the revolutionary nature of this time in our political history. There has not been a truly significant investment in the 99% since the Affordable Care Act – and even that was weak sauce compared to what’s being passed now. I can only compare the current furious activity to the New Deal, without the racism of that legislation. And Democrats are doing it all with a majority of 1 vote – the revolutionary, first Black and Asian woman Vice President Kamala Harris. (PRESIDENT Kamala Harris for a few hours this week! Incredible!)

I have often said that the job of President of the United States is the hardest job in the world. 350 million souls, so many of them suffering due to social and economic inequality; and the rest of the world, looking to Biden for leadership, aid and partnership – with a few countries trying to destroy him and America from the inside. Imagine coming into that job after almost 27 years of Rethug destruction, plus a global pandemic that has been botched almost beyond repair, with a forever war to end in Afghanistan and an ongoing attempted coup added in for good measure!

Leaders talented enough to take on this job successfully need two traits in combination. One is, the ability to communicate a shared purpose that people can believe in; and the other is the ability to build the right team to drive it forward.

I think Pelosi and Schumer have been able to wrangle the Democrats into passing these historic bills not just because they too are very talented leaders (they certainly are!), but also because Biden has convinced Congressional Dems that his purpose is the right one. (This doesn’t count the Squad, of course, but they’re DINOs.) His purpose to me is quite simple: let’s join the 21st century so China and Russia don’t destroy us. He’s looking ahead strategically and seeing how many of our people are mired in poverty, illness and incarceration without access to the Internet, child care, education and healthcare. This state of the Union makes us less competitive on the world stage, holding us back from making progress on difficult problems like climate change and clean energy. Every initiative Biden has put forward has been consistent with this purpose; whether it’s the American Rescue Plan, which included an increased Child Tax Credit that has already cut child poverty by 50%; or the BIF, which includes billions for clean water and renewable energy; or the Build Back Better Act, which in its current form regulates the cost of child care, provides four weeks of paid parental and sick leave for all American workers, provides free universal pre-K for all 3 and 4-year-olds, and boosts Medicare and the Affordable Care Act, as well as containing $500 billion to address climate change. Women’s rights are far from forgotten – the latest annual budget proposal drops the Hyde Amendment for the first time since 1976, as well as the less-known Weldon Amendment that works in tandem with it, and includes historic amounts of funding for Title X and access to abortion. And let’s not forget the executive orders he’s signed to mandate vaccines in workplaces through OSHA, and block the Keystone XL pipeline and drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. For more details, this poster on Twitter always has receipts.

Biden’s ability to build a stellar team is on display all day, every day. From our marvelous VP Kamala Harris, who (despite getting the Hillary treatment from the media) is succeeding on multiple fronts, to his diverse and talented Cabinet, Chief of Staff and Press Secretary, all of his team are on point, on message and doing what needs to be done.

There is plenty of bad that’s going on in this world, but today, I’m thankful for what the Democrats have done for the American people. And today and every day, I’m thankful for all of you Widdershins who have kept me going through good times and bad, for lo, these many years.

Happy Thanksgiving all! Open thread as always.

83 Responses to "Lazy Weekend: Giving Thanks"

What a wonderful post MB, thanks for pointing out all the successes Biden and the Dems have accomplished so far this first year of Biden’s administration.

You’re right that many of us have been so traumatized from Dump and the QGOP, and the media’s constant blathering about how bad things are, that I have escaped into my safe zone much too often.

Turkey Day is right around the corner, my family has all been safe so far, boosters are out there and I am also grateful for all of you that have helped me keep my sanity for many years.

Thank you MB.

Hey! Missed you all! I decided to use the deprivation of my internet access by the monopoly company in my area to take a break from the online world. Kept wondering what was going on, alternating with peaceful times of being unaware of what further ruin the Republicans are trying to bring upon our country.

In the process of switching from DLS copper wire to fiber-optic cable the only company you can get internet from in my area managed to (inadvertently, really, really, we’ll credit you 2 months, oh make that 3 months) cut off internet access and not be able to turn it on for over a week. The grand U.S. of A., where we pay 3 times as much as the rest of the developed world for lousy internet access.

The flooding in WA state and BC has been in the lowlying areas next to big rivers. Yes, it rains a lot in the Pacific NW but rarely the torrential deluge brought in by an atmospheric river (or what used to be called the Pineapple Express since it came over Hawaii). This was a huuuuge sky river, and fortunately it’s over and we’re having a few dry days.

Now to catch up on posts …

Thanks Shadow, and Luna, so glad you’re okay!! What a mess about the internet access. Hope it gets straightened out soon..

Luna!
Glad your back and you are okay. Your internet provider sounds a lot like our PG & E in the Bay Area.

We get constant emails of a rolling power outage because the “wind is coming”. Which is code for, “Our powerlines and wires are so unsafe that a little wind will down the lines and we will burn California back to the molten lava days…

I hope you were able to get a good rest from the negative drama of the news media.

Another good parody song from SNL, about Staten Island.

I think it’s a near-miracle that the 2020 election wasn’t stolen by Republicans.

I’m glad you’re here MB lo,these many years and thanks for the positive view of Biden’s accomplishments. I’m so sick of the MSM downplaying our side. Aren’t we the people who are really going to save this country?
God, I hope so.

@6 that is weird and funny!

@9 Whoa!

Great post, MB! A very good reminder of just how better off we are now. I don’t know how PTSD works, so I looked it up. According to one place I looked, here are the five stages of what the country was/is going through:

1. Impact or Emergency Stage (IQ45 becomes president)
2. Denial/Numbing Stage (outrage fatigue; everyday is a new nightmare)
3. Rescue Stage (Biden is elected)
4. Short-term Recovery Stage (Biden and Dems start to rebuild – actually, to build something even better than pre-Trump. BBB is not just a slogan)
5. Long-term Recovery Stage (?)

My sincere thanks to MB, DYB and Fredster for all the great posts/comments and for keeping this blog going!

That white stage is a beauty and in many native cultures considered sacred, like the white yak in the last thread.

I know the “thoughts and prayers” thing is ridiculed a lot but I could use some for my cat who is very sick and suffering. She is 11 years old. We are taking her to the vet today.

Eleven years ago last month, I had to put my 21 year old cat to sleep. She couldn’t be saved. It was one of the most painful things I have ever experienced. I don’t know how I can go through that again.

Life, my life at least, just gets more shitty by the day.

My 21 year old cat’s death was from kidney failure. But she also had a brain tumor for the last few years of her life. She developed seizures and went blind. Even as sick as she was, I had such a hard time letting her go.

That we both had brain tumors seemed beyond comprehension to me. I thought, how could this be? It was so horrific. She is gone now. I am still here living each day with this tumor in my brain.

Where is G-d?

Today is the “anniversary” of the day a staff member at my mother’s nursing home dropped her and broke her right femur. I spent that Thanksgiving in the ICU with her and then again on Christmas Eve in the ER. She was in so much pain. A few days after Christmas, she died. Every year, this is such a bad time. A lot of trauma that I can’t forget.

Oh, Beata I’m so sorry! *hugs* It’s just brutal to have to do this. My 14 year old cat got very sick very quickly and I had to put him to sleep last month. It’s rough… I wish I had real words of comfort. But it’s impossible. I’m sorry. 😦

Beata, I am also so sorry! I’m afraid DYB is right. Sending you thoughts, prayers, hugs, good wishes, positive energy, held hands and anything else I can think of.

Lordy, Beata. Old age ain’t for sissies, as whoever it was said. Too right.

I wrote a small story about a tiny part of that struggle of soldiering on, years ago. About the tomato. It’s only slightly a story. Most of it was transcribed from life of my partner’s mum. Old people are the biggest warriors. By far.

You’re in my thoughts, now and often.

Beata! Gentle hugs through cyberspace for you, and gentle pets for your kitty. It hurts so much when they are ill and when we have to decide that a peaceful death for them is better than living with uncontrolled pain and disability. Last year I had to ask for my elderly grey kitty to be euthanized. He had a spinal infarct and despite oral opioids was still in pain with movement and losing ability to move his legs. I made a nice sheltered hospice kitty cave for him. My other two cats kept right next to him the last few days. A soft-spoken woman veterinarian came out to do the procedure at home. She used tiny needles for pain meds first and let them take effect before the last injection. I crawled next to him and laid my head against his side and heard his last few heartbeats. I buried him in the garden in one of his favorite lounging spots, with a catnip plant over him. My remaining two cats claimed the hospice area as their favorite nap spot for the rest of the cold season.

Beata, I’m so sorry your kitty is sick. Sending you hugs and healing thoughts!

After my friend died this spring at the age of 54, suddenly and with no warning, one thing kept going through my head: appreciate the ones you love, whether they be two- or four-legged, and always let them know how you feel. At least that way, you will always take comfort in their memory knowing that they understood how special they were to you.

I am sure your kitty knows, Beata. 💔

Beata, I too am sorry your kitty is sick and for the heartache you are going though this time of year. I send you kind thoughts, hugs and love.

The slow movement of Beethoven’s 9th Symphony is such heavenly, moving, peaceful music. I often play it for comfort.

@9, DYB, what a beautiful white buck! Must be leucistic rather than albino since it has a dark rather than pink nose.

Unfortunately the line about “to protect it from non-Native hunters” seems to leave open that Native hunters are OK.

Beata, here are a couple of songs which I find soothing during hard times.

So vaccinating travel industry employees is highly effective, but we don’t want the same for the passengers? It’ll be a long time before I’ll get on a plane again.

Buttigieg says vaccine mandate for U.S. flights isn’t necessary

Despite a recent push from dozens of lawmakers for the United States to add a vaccination requirement on domestic flights, the prospect of a federal mandate is looking slim.

During an interview Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said strategies other than a vaccine mandate — such as requiring masks and vaccinating travel industry workers — are “highly effective.”

https://www.washingtonpost.com/travel/2021/11/22/buttigieg-vaccine-mandate-domestic-flights/

What is the deal with Buttigieg?? When he started out, he struck me as a jumped up marketing droid coasting on his Y chromsome. Then Biden made him Stay upTransportation maven, and he seemed to have a couple of good ideas. Now this.

If the airlines bent his ear about the cost of enforcement, what about the cost of everyone who’s not flying because there’s no mandate? What about the cost of all the fights on airlines by proud disease vectors?

He’s not stupid. So what does he do? Stay up nights, studying how to be this stupid?

“proud disease vectors” LOL! I’m stealing this next time I need a description for those right-to-infect-others antivaxxers.

I got my Moderna booster today, No symptoms so far, Yippie!
My second shot threw me for a loop for months…I am super happy.

Buttigieg never impressed me, and I just don’t like the fake super confidence he puts forth. He had about as much experience as a city street cleaner. Is he the best Biden could pick for the job…nope. He has 3+ years to change my mind…I won’t throw him to the wolves yet.

“proud disease vectors”

Good one Q, I agree with Luna.

On Buttigieg’s airlines vaccination decision: it’s hard to know whose decision it actually was. It could have come from the top, but he can’t say he’s just following orders. In any case, the decision would have been approved at the very top, so it’s obvious Biden/Klain are pushing this policy, for whatever reason.

I also started out really confused by Buttigieg, but I think his appearances on Fox have been spectacular (and not just on Fox). Buttigieg is a fantastic surrogate in interviews. He doesn’t get frazzled, responds calmly but firmly to the stupid questions. He seems like a loyal and team player, which is important.

“proud disease vectors” is great! I also call them “bio terrorists” and “biological hazards.”

Programming note: Hillary Clinton is on Maddow tonight.

Buttigieg *has* been great on Fox.

I was under the impression Biden said something about vaccine mandates for flights and then PB said no, no, not really necessary. Which, a) stupid, b) bizarre from a unified messaging standpoint.

Or did I get something confused?

@35 quixote, I don’t know if Biden said that. But whatever policy Buttigieg announced would have been approved by Ronald Klain and Biden.

I completely agree it’s stupid.

I hate it when this happens.

DYB, thank you for the tip on Hillary being on Maddow. I would have missed it – I haven’t been watching much of MSNBC or any news lately.

@37 LOL! Are those people still waiting? Lord have mercy. It’s kind of a good point though – about the people still waiting for Jesus to show up…

@38 That poor woman! 🙂 (it’s times like this that I’m grateful I can’t play twitter videos)

America is a nuthouse.

Regarding the return of Jesus… you know, with all those Catholics eating his body and drinking his blood all the time (I confess! I did my fair share – in my youth), there might not be much of him left.

PJ, that preacher @ 38, I think maybe that’s the story she told her husband when he walked in on her and the pool boy. (Or the butler.)

Ha! Could be! Props for her imagination and original thinking – that’s a new one as far as explanations go…

Or maybe her husband was in on it! And they were just doing some sort of kinky role-playing that maybe got out hand which caused Jesus to get involved.

Ted Haggard once said that evangelicals have the best sex life of any other group (if only he had been talking about sex with his wife). Who knows, maybe he can hook up with Sharon – she sounds wild.

Ok, I’m going to get serious now and go watch Hillary on the Rachel show (I recorded it).

DYB, I see on your twitter feed that Lauren Boebert is challenging Madison Cawthorn to a race for the hand interning of Rittenhouse.

Has she ever even seen wheelchair racers? Or even non-racers? Has she given a second’s thought to the physics of forward motion of wheels vs feet on a road?? ( 😆 “Boebert” and “thought” in the same sentence 😆 )

Seriously, tho. Has anyone checked to see if she’s drunk?

Thank you all for the kind words, positive thoughts and relaxing music.

We brought our cat home from the vet with 2 weeks worth of strong antibiotics and pain meds. I am feeding her with a syringe which is not fun for her (or me) but we hope she will recover. At least she is home now where she feels most comfortable.

@18: I believe it was Bette Davis who said “old age is not for sissies”. What a great actress she was! I loved her movies, especially “Now, Voyager” and “Dark Victory”.

I am 60 years old so I don’t know if that qualifies as old age these days? I suppose it is a matter of perspective.

An 11 year old cat would be the equivalent of what age in people years?

Beata, here’s a chart for measuring cat years to human years.

https://www.pumpkin.care/blog/cat-age-chart/

I’m glad your kitty is home. I agree, they are definitely more comfortable at home. I remember reading somewhere a while ago that according to some study (can’t give more details than that) a cat would rather stay in their old home with new owners than move to a new home with current owners. How wild is that?! I mean, I’m sure eventually they adjust… I know when I moved from Queens to Manhattan, my cat hid for two weeks. Did not eat, did not drink, did not use the litter box. Slowly he adjusted. But interestingly when I came upstate (NY) last year for an extended stay, this time it was also with a dog. The cat hid for about an hour, but I think seeing the dog running around encouraged him to come out right away.

@ 42 Beata, well if either one of them was screaming “Oh God Jesus!” he came to see what was going on, probably.

How was the Hillary interview on Maddow? I don’t have cable TV!

Shadowfax, how is the booster coming along?

I did ask my doctor on Monday if I should get a booster since I had Covid in August and he said: “Basically, nobody really knows anything, but it’s been 3 months since Covid so yes, you should get a booster.”

@49: “Basically, nobody really knows anything.”

Truer words were never spoken!

@44 Oh quixote, she had no intentions of letting him use his wheelchair! MAGAts, QOP, Rethugs, etc. like rigged races, guaranteed wins. I guess Cawthorn initially challenged her to an arm wrestling match over Baby Face Nelson/Rittenhouse? Lord. You’re right – good point about “thought” and “thinking” with this crew. Not in their wheelhouse.

I’m sure she was just “joking”. Like Cawthorn was just “joking”. Like Trump is always “joking”. Aren’t they funny?!

Beata, so happy to hear your kitty is home!

Good news today.

Beata, I’m glad your kitty is back home with you! Many wishes that she have a good recovery. Fed by syringe, lol! No wonder she doesn’t like that. Although one of my cats seemed to be quite jealous that another cat got special attention by getting liquid medicine via syringe — so I gave him water by the syringe and he seemed quite happy! He’s a weird kitty.

Good to see that Ahmaud Arbery’s murderers were found guilty.

So glad those 3 morons were found guilty!

BTW that video from SNL from last thread of Pete Davidson doing the Staten Island song parody, I’m reminded that Pete Davidson has a tattoo of Hillary Clinton.

GABOO GABOO EVERYONE!

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Any Thanksgiving not spent in the ICU is a good Thanksgiving.

Beata, indeed!!

Also:

Today I am giving thanks that a long held mystery for me has been solved.

I could never figure out how the same people cling to both guns and bibles. How does that work? How does one marry those two things (the supposed teachings of Jesus and gun violence) and be rabid supporters of both? The cognitive dissonance that would take is mind boggling. But then I saw a comment by someone and I was like “aha!”. This person said that what these people are really clinging to is white male dominance. Guns and bibles are merely means to that end. Now it made sense. It explains someone like Flynn.

(I’ve been saying that for decades, PJ. So have lots of people. It’s true so it turns up whenever anyone thinks about it for enough time. The part I’ve never understood is how it’s not common knowledge. At least by now!)

Re being old, @Beata’s comment earlier. Yes, 60 counts more as middle aged. But I think what Bette Davis (yes! wonderful actor!) meant is more the physical effects of all the repair processes deciding to take more frequent vacations. Doesn’t Shakespeare (in Hamlet?) have a line about the body being like a kingdom, with some parts in a war with others? Except he’s wrong. They’re not in a war. Some of them are just stodgy bureaucrats with an “out to lunch” sign.

I’m not surprised, quixote! I don’t think it is common knowledge. The bible is about Jesus! Guns are about self-protection! They are NOT about keeping white men in power. The truth is well hidden (I think) from the majority. Probably on purpose.

Hey, that’s great to hear that I’m only middle-aged at 58. My joints feel more like 80 (but I am kind of big baby when it comes to any aches and pains).

Beata, did you know that according to DYB’s cat chart, you and your kitty are the same age?! I hope she is feeling better.

I forgot to add that white men are just better than everyone else. They can’t help it – they were born that way (caste – like you were talking about on your blog, quixote). They don’t need the bible or guns or violence or brainwashing/social conditioning to make it true. No, no, nooooooo.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone.

My Moderna booster didn’t kick in with massive symptoms until nine hours later. It lasted 48 hours and was a doozie. I still have body aches but am well enough to be thankful this day.

Hugs to all.

@51, 54, Oh, animals! Loved both those, DYB.

@69, Shadowfax, glad you’re feeling better. I know what you mean about the booster doozy. Well, my 2nd shot was a doozy too. There’s something about my immune system which snaps to attention and puts itself though bootcamp for covid-19 vaccines. Got my fluvax yesterday and aside from a mildly sore arm, nothing. The soreness isn’t really like the soreness from the Moderna booster, either, and I think will disappear much faster.

Happy Thanksgiving to all! And to your furry companions!

MB, what an uplifting and hopeful post!

Beata, so sorry about everything you’re going through, and hope she recovers. It’s nice that she’s home.

D @62, that’s pretty cool. We were clicking past channels just in time to catch Hillary on Rachel’s, which was a wonderful surprise.

Shadow, thanks for sharing your experience with the booster. I had my flu shot a couple of weeks ago and no problem. I will probably get my booster soon. I’m having a lot of pain in one of my legs and getting some weird scan tomorrow.

Stephen Sondheim has died. One of the big ones. Probably the only “musicals” composer I respect.

Annie @77
Best of luck on your leg and future booster.
What booster are you planning to get, J&J or Pfizer/Moderna?
Take good care.

What about this new variant Omicron?

Our vaccines had better work…………………I’m worried.

Omnicron? Depends on just how different this variant is from what the vaccines are designed to teach our immune system to recognize and fight off. No one knows that yet — but current vaccines definitely are some protection. We should all be masking, sanitizing/washing, and distancing as appropriate anyway.

Pfizer says it’ll take only 100 days before it can bring to market a new vaccine targeting this variant. I’m sure Moderna won’t be far behind.

Annie, I hope there’s nothing much the matter with your leg. Keep us posted! That is, if you feel like it.

NEW POST! COME UPSTAIRS!

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