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I suppose there are many games of 3D chess one can play, but I often wonder what kind of game Democrats are playing. As the country continues to spiral out of control with full cooperation of the Republican party (Mitch McConnell will not allow a vote on a bipartisan bill to protect Bob Mueller’s investigation), and the institutions are taking on more and more water, virtually all Resistance to Electoral College Baboon has been grassroots driven. (Real grassroots, not astroturfed like the Tea Party 10 years ago. Kochs literally paid for the Tea Party; Soros has not cut any checks.) So while the public is engaging in resistance, organizing massive marches and voting in special elections to kick Dumpists out (in Texas Democrat Beto O’Rourke is within margin of error against Rafael Cruz), I have seen so very little Resistance from our elected officials. If we have one name politician leader it may be Maxine Waters. Maybe add Ted Lieu and Adam Schiff. (Not counting HRC because she is a private citizen.) But almost everyone else is very careful not to rock any boats. Mark Warner told Democrats that if Rosenstein is fired they shouldn’t do anything.

Sen. Mark Warner, the top Democrat on the Intelligence Committee investigating Russian interference in the 2016 election, told a group of Democratic colleagues on Wednesday that they should adhere to a one- or two-day cooling-off period if Trump fires Rosenstein, according to three congressional sources. Rosenstein met Thursday with Trump amid reportsthat the White House is preparing an effort to undermine the deputy attorney general’s credibility.

“The first 24 to 48 hours, if and when that happens, we should stay calm; we should do our best to reach out across the aisle and talk to our colleagues and say, ‘Seriously, we cannot allow this to happen.’ Just don’t go immediately to DEFCON-1,” said a member of Congress who attended the meeting but asked for anonymity to discuss it candidly. “We should not say anything—let the dust settle for a minute. What I took from it is it’s better to build a coalition across the aisle than just to come out guns a-blazing saying, ‘We’ve got to impeach him now.’”

I don’t know what Mark Warner is smoking, but it’s almost like he has been in a coma for the last 20 years and hasn’t seen Republican behavior going back to Newt Gingrich. “Cooling-off period” is something Democrats have been doing for a long long time and look where it’s got us. And Warner he is far from alone. Chuck Schumer went to Kentucky to yuck it up with Mitch McConnell because:

“Actually, the Senate is a pretty collegial place. We don’t dislike each other,” McConnell said. “We have to work together.”

The problem with this is Schumer goes to yuck it up with McConnell while McConnell has virtually single-handedly destroyed the Senate and bipartisanship. But “we don’t dislike each other.” Actually I’d say Republicans have shown nothing but contempt for Democrats for about 20 years and Democrats continue to yuck it up as if we were all just playing a friendly game of Charades. The word “impeachment” has not entered elected Democrats’ lexicon. Many Democrats actually fear that impeaching Trump would just make Republicans really mad and will mean Republicans will try to impeach the next Democrat president. It’s as if none of these people know that Bill Clinton was impeached for lying about infidelity, Republicans spent 8 years trying to impeach Obama, and that President Hillary would have been impeached by March 2016. Meanwhile Republican Pres commits treason, profits off presidency – and “Let’s not overreact because we don’t want to make Republicans mad.” I am so so so disappointed and angry at our political leaders. There are actually no leaders. The Democratic base is angry and afraid of the insanity coming out of DC. And Democratic officials are Treebearding their voters to death. I don’t know what kind of rose-colored glasses they are wearing, but they truly don’t seem to recognize the seriousness of situation we are in, and they are not recognizing the anger of their voters. They think they can harness the grassroots led anger to win at the polls, but they may find themselves consumed by the fire, just like Republicans got scalded by the Tea Party in 2009 and beyond.

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Hello Widdershins,

My apologies for a short post. It’s difficult to type with one hand after my bagel-slicing injury. Who would have thought something like a bagel would send someone to the ER? (And I don’t mean blocked arteries.)

Two stories I wanted to highlight from the last few days.

James Comey published his memoir in which he tells us how awesome he is. The most relevant part might be the one where he says Trump and his entire cabinet expressed zero interest in learning more about Russian hacking and influence on the election. But the part we are all probably most interested in is: what does Sanctimonious Jim think about throwing the election for Trump? Turns out – not much. While he admits that perhaps he should have been less abrasive in his press conference over the summer 2016, Comey does not regret the content of his presentation which violated department rules. As people pointed out, if he truly thought Loretta Lynch was somehow compromised (something he repeats in the book), then his next course of action should have been to speak to Deputy AG, Sally Yates – not to throw everything into chaos with the press conference. And the Comey Letter to Jason Chaffetz which changed the outcome of the election? From the NY Times:

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You see, Comey was just trying to help Hillary! And she went and screwed it all up by not winning. Lame! Comey (who did not reveal that Trump was under investigation while revealing that Hillary was because reasons) then goes into detail of how Obama told him he was not mad at him and how honorable he – Comey – is. Comey says he was quite overcome with emotion. And he claimed other Democrats in private meetings absolved him too. So he’s happy. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

The other story that caught my eye is Ronan Farrow’s new piece in the New Yorker about how the National Enquirer squashed stories about Trump. Included there is a tidbit that one story was squashed with the help of Lanny Davis. Farrow made sure to connect Davis to the Clintons; he called him their “confidant.” While I question Farrow’s motives for making the connection – and the response of some twitter people now making it all about the Clintons (Jon Favreau nastily tweeted “The Clintons have some top-notch friends”), it is worth noting that Lanny Davis was working with the National Enquirer to squash negative stories about Trump even as the National Enquirer and Trump were conspiring to destroy HRC. With friends like these, who needs friends?

What are the odds on Mueller getting canned?

33750_463348759760_4746600_nWe are slouching towards some kind of reckoning. The past 48 hrs have seen some notable activity by Bob Mueller. He revealed, in filings to counter Paul Manafort’s attempt to have charges against him dismissed, that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein has given him the necessary permission to investigate Manafort’s collusion with the Russians. And if Manafort colluded – so did Trump. What that means in the long run is unclear. Mueller can’t impeach Trump and he can’t prosecute him. Mueller says he will write a report outlining his findings about Trump and Rosenstein will have discretion on what to do with the report. He has to provide both the chairs of the intelligence committees and the ranking members with the report – this is good news because ranking Democrats (certainly people like Schiff) won’t let the report disappear into the night (wanna bet Nunes will try?) But this doesn’t change the fact that Mueller has no power over Trump himself. And the current GOP will do nothing to control Trump. A blue wave in the midterms will be essential. Democrats may be able to impeach Trump, but removing him from office – requiring 2/3 of the Senate support – will probably fail even with Democrats in charge. There are simply no Republicans who would vote to remove Trump. So where does that leave us? I don’t know…

It leaves us with evil men like Mitch McConnell. McConnell just bragged to Kentucky Today that refusing to hold nominations hearings on Merrick Garland “was the most consequential decision I’ve made in my entire public career.” He is proud of this. It gets worse though. He is also very proud of keeping Obama from appointing judges to the lower courts.

McConnell cited the subsequent wave of Trump-nominated judges as a lasting legacy. Recounting a conversation with the White House counsel soon after Trump’s election to Kentucky Today, McConnell said he suggested Trump nominate young judges.

 “I said ‘we’ve got a chance to transform the country in a very significant way for the next generation if we can get our act together,’” McConnell said. 

If ever you feel like giving up from exhaustion – think about Mitch McConnell being proud of these things. And then go out and vote to erase Mitch McConnell and his cabal from our consciousness.

And now for some laughs:

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Happy Thursday Widdershins,

The week is almost over. What madness will be included on the Friday night news dump? Who will Trump fire? Will he launch nuclear missiles at Stormy Daniels’ house? Will he accept Vladimir Putin’s marriage proposal?

Speaking of Trump and Putin: in retaliation against Russia for poisoning people in England with deadly nerve agents Trump responded by expelling 60 diplomats and closing the Russian consulate in Seattle. Am I the only one who wonders who cares about all these diplomat expulsions? Does Putin really give a crap? He will replace those 60 with another 60. [Edit: As pointed out by Fredster, the expelled diplomats won’t be replaced.] Maybe once upon a time expelling of diplomats was a serious slap in the face, but after Putin interfered in our elections, invaded allies (Ukraine), gassed thousands of civilians in Syria, and poisoned dissidents in England – is the expulsion of diplomats really going to hurt his feelings? It’s 2018 folks. That’s not a punishment.

Speaking of Putin murdering people in foreign countries. Christopher Steele didn’t just compile a dossier on Trump’s sexual fetishes and collusion to steal elections. He also compiled a dossier on the death of Russia’s former media Czar and founder of RT, Mikhail Lesin. Lesin was found dead in his Washington DC hotel room on November 5, 2015.

The coroner determined that he had died from blunt force injuries to the head and had also sustained blunt force injuries to his neck, torso, upper extremities, and lower extremities. After an 11-month investigation, a federal prosecutor announced in late 2016 that Lesin died alone in his room due to a series of drunken falls “after days of excessive consumption of alcohol.” His death was ruled an “accident,” with the coroner adding acute alcohol intoxication as a contributing cause of death, and prosecutors closed the case.

This is something that has been discussed before: Lesin’s accidental death by flailing about his room so much that he sustained “blunt force injuries to his neck, torso, upper

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Putin and Mikhail Lesin

extremities, and lower extremities” sounded ridiculous. But the government said there was nothing further to investigate. We now learn that Steele asserts in his dossier (which the FBI neither confirms nor denies it possesses) that obviously that’s preposterous. The man was murdered by enforcers working for an oligarch close to Putin and that they were instructed to only beat Lesin, but they really got into it and beat him to death instead. According to the BuzzFeed article linked to above, FBI had information from three other sources, independent of Steele, corroborating that Lesin was murdered by the same oligarch Steele named. So why did Obama’s Justice Department rule that the man died accidentally by falling a lot and falling really hard in his hotel room? These are questions that would be interesting to get answers to some day.

Remember last year BuzzFeed wrote an article called “From Russia With Blood” that detailed the suspicious deaths of 14 Russians and Brits in the UK, all of which UK ruled accidental or suicides, including the scientist who identified the substance that killed Alexander Litvinenko (polonium flavored tea): Dr. Matthew Puncher was stabbed and slashed repeatedly with two different knives. His death was ruled a suicide by Scotland Yard. UK authorities refused to reopen any of the cases until earlier this month when Russians tried to kill former spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter with a deadly nerve agent. After an outcry and Parliament demanding that the previous deaths be looked into once more, authorities have agreed to take another look. Don’t we all feel safer already?

This is an open thread.

gado.jpgSaturday Night Massacre is really a 2016-2020 Massacre in Trump years. It’s better for the ratings. The latest victim of our slow motion descent into chaos is National Security Advisor H. R. McMaster. He was one of Trump’s beloved Generals. His predecessor in the post was Michael Flynn. Flynn is trying not to get locked up and McMaster is probably looking to get his 4 stars and retire ASAP. Stories are that Trump thought McMaster was too serious and talked too much. That must have been especially galling, to talk more than Trump. What is Trump supposed to do when a National Security Advisor talks too much? Listen? LOL. McMaster’s replacement – who needs no confirmation from the Senate – is John Bolton. Dubya first put Bolton in power as a U.N. ambassador, even though Bolton detests the U.N. So never forget that no matter how bad Trump is, Dubya was awful, awful, awful. And it’s only fitting that Bolton get a fancy new job the week we celebrate the anniversary of the Iraq War! It’s a nice present to one of the architects of that catastrophe.

Speaking of great ratings being delivered by Trump: Jeff Zucker, head of CNN, had some harsh things to say about Fox News.

“What has happened to that network in the last 18 months, especially the last year, is that it has just turned itself into state-run TV,” Zucker said. “TASS has nothing on them,” he said in reference to the Russian news agency.

[…]

Zucker said that Fox has “a handful of good journalists but they get lost in the propaganda machine.”

“The idea that they are a news channel is really not accurate at all,” he said.

This is all hilarious because Jeff Zucker made a choice during the election: he chose to elevate and normalize Trump and everything Trump stands for. Hours of uninterrupted and unchallenged speeches by Trump aired live on CNN for months. And everybody missed the Russian story and, now we learn, Cambridge Analytica story; because of “her mails.” It’s not an exaggeration to say that Zucker is one big reason we have Trump. But that kind of self-awareness does not exist in the media. To date not a single reporter* has stepped forward and said: “Maybe her emails were less important than Trump/Russia.” Not only has no reporter done that much self-reflection, many have dug in and insist that they did nothing wrong. Some pick fights on twitter with anyone who even suggests that they might have spent too much time on unworthy subjects. Ken Vogel of the NY Times, who wrote extensively about the Clinton Foundation, and has tweeted extensively practically foaming at the mouth with rage that the Foundation is a sinister money laundering scheme, tweeted that Cambridge Analytica story is overblown. That the company is harmless. That’s the state of modern journalism.

*The only reporters who have made the point that the media covered the wrong story were already saying it in 2016. People like Soledad O’Brien, Josh Marshal, Charles Pierce and David Corn. I would give 1/2 point to Matthew Yglesias, but only 1/2 point because his Clinton Derangement Syndrome is otherwise rabid.

A final word about Facebook: the story of Cambridge Analytica harvesting profiles and data of 50,000,000 Facebook users is only beginning to hit the front pages. For most of us it’s not a new story. The name of that company has been discussed for a a couple of years and Hillary Clinton talked about it publicly as far back as Spring of last year. At the time she was trashed by every pundit and reporter for refusing to take enough (all) blame for her loss and instead blaming everyone else. Once again, however, we see that Clinton was ahead of everyone else. What she was saying wasn’t so much blame-shifting as warning. Warning that there are layers to the treachery that are still to be uncovered and explored. But the very smart people in the media let their CDS get in the way. That will never change, of course. If Hillary had won the electoral college in addition to theRelated image popular vote she would have been buried under countless Republican investigations (no doubt she would already have been impeached.) Jason Chaffetz would still be in Congress and Trey Gowdy wouldn’t be resigning either. HRC’s administration would have been testifying on something every day of the week and the media would still be blasting her emails on the front page, in addition to some new scandal Alex Jones made up. She would also have been crushed by Democrats, who are incapable of standing by their own. (Trump really did manage to build a wall: a wall of Republicans protecting his every sin.) The Left would have been screaming that Hillary hasn’t given them a unicorn yet and the Right would have been screaming that she is taking away their rocket launchers. Trump would be starting his own media empire accusing HRC of stealing his election and whipping up right-wing paranoia of astronomical proportions. (Ok, the last part happened anyway.) HRC’s life is far more peaceful not being in the White House. Except I know that Hillary Clinton wishes she was saving us from the Apocalypse, even if it burned her first.

This is an open thread.

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On Tuesday the 13th Democrats managed to flip another deep red seat. PA-18 was one of the most gerrymandered districts in the state. It’s one of the reasons PA Supreme Court ruled the state’s maps unconstitutional. For all intents and purposes, PA-18 as we know it – and as it was voted on Tuesday – no longer exists. But the special election ran on the old map. It’s a place Trump won by 20 points. Trump came to campaign for the Republican running there, holding one of his signature racist, sexist, xenophobic Nurnberg-style rallies. Democrats won the election, however. It came close, proving once again that every vote counts. But Conor Lamb pulled it off with just a few hundred votes. As someone pointed out, even if Lamb lost by a few hundred votes, Republicans would have lost 20 points ago. But, in a desperate attempt to spin their loss, Republicans have said all kinds of Republicany things. They declared that the Republican was a terrible candidate anyway. (They’re all terrible when they lose, yes?) They declared that PA is a race Democrats couldn’t replicate anywhere else (hello Alabama and dozens of deep red seats Democrats have flipped.) Finally they declared that Conor Lamb was really just a Republican, so that’s why he won. Conor Lamb, a former Marine and former federal prosecutor, is pro-choice, pro-union, pro-ACA, pro-trade, pro-immigrant, pro-gay rights. He’s wobbly on gun control (isn’t opposed to it, but essentially seems to have a “states’ rights” stance on it.) And he did say he wouldn’t support Nancy Pelosi for House Leader. It’s this latter point that Republicans (and Bernie’s alt-left) jumped on especially, but they also spent millions of dollars in the state trying to tie Lamb to Pelosi. The alt-left is demanding Pelosi resign because Lamb won. They also demanded she resign because Osoff lost. We’ll just have to get used to the fact that they really want Pelosi to reign, for all reasons. It’s all noise, however. Lamb’s win proves that a 20 point Trump win can turn into a loss. Someone pointed out Devin Nunes is in an 8 point Trump win area. The possibilities are endless. We can all collectively cross out fingers, toes and whatever we can – and start praying if we are the praying kind – that this blue wave continues to build. It’s still a long time between now and November midterms. We must not fuck it up. But the momentum is on our side. (We just have to survive Trump’s insanity and Putin’s increasing boldness.)

Meanwhile let’s keep an eye on Putin. After Putin poisoned a former spy and his daughter with a very deadly chemical in England, Prime Minister Teresa May is kicking out a bunch of Russian diplomats and suspending high level talks between the two countries. That doesn’t sound very serious to me. Does anyone think Putin is concerned about some diplomats getting kicked out or that UK canceled Sergei Lavrov’s visit? The problem is the Brits are very attached to Russian money being invested in the UK. The weakness of May’s response so far, and the taunting by the Russians, does not bode well for anyone. And with UK rejecting the European Union via Brexit, it’s unlikely that the UK can get much of the EU on board with major sanctions or anything. US stands apart from all of them now too. Putin is winning the war agains the US, UK and Europe.

What a year this week has been! I’m going to try to run through some of the exciting developments.

Beto O’Rourke has won the Democratic primary in Texas and will now face Ted Cruz DXuu3JXXkAAAqwn.jpgin the election. While generally people think it’s still a long shot for a Democrat to win in Texas, we have seen some surprise elections and flips since Dump lost the popular vote. Democrats have flipped deep red seats which Dump won by  40 points. So who knows what will happen in November. We do know that Cruz immediately began blasting O’Rourke. Cruz’ first shot was a radio ad which said: “If you are going to run in Texas, you can’t be a liberal man. I remember reading stories, liberal Robert wanted to fit in. So he changed his name to Beto and hid it with a grin.” Ok fine, Rafael “Ted” Cruz. What’s your excuse for changing your name? When confronted with the hypocrisy, Rafael Cruz gave the most predictable answer you can imagine from a Republican today: “Satire! LOL!” Everybody’s a goddamned comedian.

Stormy Daniels, the adult film actress, is suing Donald Dump.

“Despite Mr. Trump’s failure to sign the Hush Agreement, Mr. Cohen proceeded to cause $130,000.00 to be wired to the trust account of Ms. Clifford’s attorney. He did so even though there was no legal agreement and thus no written nondisclosure agreement whereby Ms. Clifford was restricted from disclosing the truth about Mr. Trump,” the document states.

In her lawsuit Daniels also says that she has photographs and/or text messages from Donald Trump… which, lord help us, means there are dick pics. Which also is one step 180306203120-trump-stormy-daniels-split-medium-plus-169.jpgcloser to a pee tape. Sarah Huckleberry Sanders, when questioned about all this, said that there was no hush agreement, but that Ms. Daniels is in violation of one. Or something to that effect. Republicans in Congress are livid about all this and are demanding Trump resign. LOL, satire! I’m a comedian too. Nobody in the GOP cares. It’s almost as if decades of hunting and complaining about Bill Clinton cheating on his wife wasn’t a real moral outrage on their part. Because they are just fine with candidate Trump paying hush money to a porn actress a month before the election and demanding she sign a hush agreement after having an affair with her while his wife was pregnant. Perfectly normal, peak Trump-age.

Hope Hicks, the mute former White House Communications Director, told the House Intelligence Committee that her private email account was hacked. So, Hope Hicks was using a private email account. LOL, she’s a comedian too! And it was hacked. I’m just gonna leave it at that.

And finally, the New York Times, that putrid rotting corpse of the old grey lady, just demonstrated why it’s an irredeemable rag. They just promoted Patrick D. Healy to bepatrickhealynyt.jpeg.256x256_q100_crop-smart.jpg their Politics Editor. Healy is one of their leading Clinton Derangement Syndrome carriers. Healy is the one who came up with the “Clinton cackle” line to describe HRC’s laugh. Healy is the one who wrote their massive 2,000 word investigation into the how the Clintons spend their time together as a couple, going as far as suggesting that Bill was still having affairs. Healy’s writing history with the paper, documented here, is full of attacks on both Clintons and softness on Trump. It is further proof that the Times’ coverage of 2018 and 2020 is going to be just as catastrophic as their coverage of 2016 was. Brace for impact.


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Blog Archive

April 2018
M T W T F S S
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Kellyanne Conway’s new job

So similar

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
2.8 years to go.

Mueller Time!

Wise Words from Paul Ryan

Heroine of the Resistance

B-I-N-G-O!

Only the *best* politicans bought by the NRA

Marching for their lives

Perfect Picture

Perfect Name For Him h/t Daily News

Scary a.f.

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