The Widdershins

Archive for July 2022

Widdershins,

I’m writing this from the airport as Mr. MadamaB and I head out to the East Coast for some yearly friend time. Cannot wait to get away for a little while!

We have had some major revelations over the past week, including of course last night’s blockbuster hearing. In addition, I just read that Steve “Shower? What’s that?” Bannon was convicted of contempt of Congress after .03 nanoseconds of deliberation. That gob of axel grease, B.O. and dirty laundry is going to jail.

Here’s another thing to discuss while I’m out: looks like the most reliable voting bloc, seniors 65+, has swung heavily towards Democrats. Maybe the QOP shouldn’t have overturned Roe v. Wade and Casey and said they were going to cancel Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid?

I’m sorry I can’t provide links because my wifi signal is weak, but I swear there are sources for all these claims.

In any case, have a great week and tawk amongst yerselves!

Hello Widdershins!

The January 6 Committee continues to make serious headway in their investigation. The most recent brouhaha was the revelation in the press that the Secret Service erased text messages among its members from January 5 and 6 after the Inspector General looking into their actions requested it. To clarify: Secret Service deleted those text messages after the IG asked for them. They argued these were routine actions. The 1/6 Committee sent a subpoena for the text messages. The Secret Service has said they found them (!) and will supply them to the Committee on Tuesday. Let’s keep an eye on that. We can not forget that on 1/6 Mike Pence refused to get into a car with the SS. Trump promoted some SS people to political positions in his administrations. And when Joe Biden won the election he asked some agents who protected him when he was VP – and who had already retired – to return to service to protect him. Because Biden knew SS was corrupt. It’s also being reported that a number of agents were cheering on the insurrection on their personal social media accounts.

Joe Bloody Manchin is at it again. After a year of negotiating a climate change bill – Manchin has pulled the rug out and said “LOL No.” I suppose the most frustrating thing – besides the obvious – is that Manchin keeps lying to colleagues in the Senate by dangling the belief that he can reach an agreement, and then publicly humiliating them. Time and again he has done this. Meanwhile in the UK military runways are melting because of the heat there. But it’s fine. Manchin is worried about how we’ll pay for the climate bill. Of course, coming from West Virginia, there is no other Democrat who can win there. But Democrats need more seats in the Senate.

This is an open thread.

Hello, Widdershins! Well, we had our Independence Day here in America. It was marked by yet more preventable, tragic mass shootings, this time on the very Jewish North Shore of Chicago. The media is just so puzzled as to what his motive could be, despite his attempts to attack a synagogue two months before the attack and being a MAGA cultist extraordinaire. Yes, I canNazi what it could be!

As for women’s rights, the other disastrous SCOTUS decision we’ve had recently, I’ve seen a lot of this kind of sentiment online.

I understand the sentiment, and I, of course, agree that women have lost federal protection for bodily autonomy. I am full of the white-hot fury of 1000 suns. And yet with all of that, I still celebrated the 4th of July this year.

On Independence Day, I’ve always celebrated the American ideal versus the reality. The fact is, I’ve never felt safe in this country. I’ve had a difficult history with sexual assault, starting at the age of 5 and continuing through my childhood and into adulthood. At work, I’ve experienced various forms of harassment, including one co-worker staring at my chest for several minutes till I crossed my arms over my breasts.

I’ll bet every woman in America has similar stories, some a lot worse than mine. The bottom line is, men think we’re their property and it’s okay to do whatever they want to us. Because the Bible says we came from a man’s rib, and of course, we’re inherently wicked because we ate the apple in the Garden of Eden.

Unfortunately, their attitudes have their roots in reality. There actually is no protection in the Constitution for women, and it’s obvious why: it was written in 1787! In those days, women had no legal independence – we were legally considered property of our husbands – and the document reflects that. (Black people were also considered property; that is a whole OTHER conversation.) It makes an awful kind of sense that this country, despite its aspirations of “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” being enshrined in the Declaration of Independence, treats women so poorly. When the document that is the foundation of our law does not even mention the word “woman,” there is a fundamental flaw that Christofascists can exploit. And so they have, for now.

While the talking point online is now to elect more Democrats so we can pass the Women’s Health Protection Act and other important bills that are stalled because of the filibuster, few people are talking about electing more Democrats to ratify the ERA, which I believe would be a lot more effective in protecting the rights of women and LGBTQ. The organization “Equality Now” was prescient in making the case for the ERA before the Dobbs decision:

While the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment has been interpreted to protect against discrimination on the basis of sex, that understanding of the Amendment is not assured or guaranteed.

The Fourteenth Amendment was passed in 1868 and it was not until over a century later, in the 1970s, that the U.S. Supreme Court began to apply the Equal Protection Clause to cases of sex discrimination. However, with its 1976 ruling in Craig v. Boren, the Court found that men and women could be treated differently under the law if such treatment served an “important governmental objective” without being in violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment.

Additionally, laws like Title IX and the Equal Pay Act are not permanent protections for women and can be rescinded or replaced at any time.

With the ERA, there is no room for doubt that discrimination on the basis of sex has no place in the United States.

That’s all very well, you might be saying, but, can we still pass the ERA? Yes, we can! There is a time limit for ratification; but after Virginia became the 38th state to ratify in January of 2020, a joint resolution was introduced in the House and Senate declaring that time limit removed. This happened on Day 1 of Biden’s Presidency. Once we elect more Democrats to Congress and get past the filibuster, it is entirely possible to get equality enshrined in the Constitution.

Don’t get me wrong, I agree that Congress should pass laws that protect all marginalized people from discrimination by the white supremacist minority. But let’s be like the QOP in one way only – let’s take a multi-pronged approach to achieving our goals. Passing laws, using obscure Constitutional language to limit the power of the rogue SCOTUS, AND enshrining the ERA – let’s do it all.

For example:

And someday, maybe our ideals will match our reality, and we’ll achieve true independence.

Snitches

Posted on: July 3, 2022

Former White House/Mark Meadows aide Cassidy Hutchinson swearing in for testimony before House’s 1/6 Committee.

Hello Widdershins,

A big week of 1/6 Committee hearings: former senior aide for Mark Meadows – former Republican Representative (and Freedom Caucus chief) who became Trump’s chief of staff 2020-21 – threw something of a nuke into the proceedings. Cassidy Hutchinson was one of Meadows’ most trusted deputy. A former intern for the likes of Ted Cruz she catapulted into the highest echelons of Republican power. A former staffer for Paul Ryan tweeted that Meadows always insisted that Hutchinson be present in every meeting. They didn’t think much of it at the time, he noted. Up until just a few weeks ago Hutchinson was being represented by a lawyer who was taking orders from Meadows and Trump. But she suddenly fired that attorney and hired her own. The information she provided – privately and in the public hearing – made a real impact. We learned that Meadows texted Hutchinson the day before the public testimony, warning her not to go through with it. (That’s illegal!) Perhaps one of the most consequential parts of Hutchinson’s testimony was her revealing that Donald Trump insisted on going to the Capitol right after his rally, just as his MAGAts began their march and Proud Boys were already on the premises. According to Hutchinson – who said she was told by people directly involved – Trump lunged for the wheel of his car and tried to choke the Secret Service agent, insisting he be taken to the Capitol. While SS (always appreciated that acronym) first insisted no such thing happened, within 24 hrs other people came forward – including from the SS – saying that it did. And a grainy video and photos appeared showing things getting wild inside Trump’s car. That video is now being examined like the Zapruder film.

The main take-away from this information isn’t that Trump was throwing a hissy fit and choked his Secret Service agent (who, incidentally, remains loyal to Trump.) That’s absurd and salacious. But the important part of that story is why Trump demanded to be taken to the Capitol, when you add the other known parts of the Insurrection. Trump continued to demand that Pence not certify the votes, and was pleased that Pence’s life was threatened. The Proud Boys had already arrived on the premises of the Capitol well ahead of the MAGAt rioters. The Proud Boys were organized. We know the Proud Boys were coordinating with Roger Stone, who was coordinating with Trump and Rudy Giuliani. We know that there are only a handful of unfortified windows in the Capitol and the Proud Boys knew exactly which ones. Why did Trump wanted to go to the Capitol so violently? Trump insisting to go the Capitol – combined with the other things – can only mean he intended to declare himself the winner of the election just as the votes were counted. The violence was the cover so he could declare martial law or something similar. Proud Boys were hunting for Pence and Pelosi. Just imagine the horrors if the rioters found them – and Trump arrived to declare himself the winner.

This is an open thread.


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