The Widdershins

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The liberals made my life miserable for 43 years. And I’m going to make their lives miserable for 43 years.

Clarence Thomas to his clerks in 1993

This is the petty schmuck who has led the charge to make all the people he hates – women, LGBTQ+, and non-Christofascists in general – into property of the State. I say “the State” because the federal government, in the person of six ideologues who never should have been confirmed to the Supreme Court, has removed basic privacy protections from all of us.

The State has decided that only women who live in blue states will have rights to their own bodies. In essence, when one person is denied the guarantee of freedom, it opens up the precedent that everyone can be denied the guarantee of freedom. Thomas and the five ChristoClowns have decided that no one has rights to their own bodies except white, straight, Christian men. (I think Clarence Thomas counts himself as white – that’s the only explanation for his buying in to this anti-American bullsh*t.)

As Quixote pointed out in comments, this is the re-establishment of slavery; but Slavery 2.0 casts a much wider net than the original. Friday’s decision removed basic human rights from 166 million women and girls. And each of those women and girls has many people that love her and will grieve her pain along with her. So when she is raped and has to bear her rapist’s child, or dies in childbirth, or dies from an ectopic pregnancy, or lives in poverty and misery because she can’t afford a child, this suffering doesn’t just impact her. It impacts everyone around her.

The horrors that will spread from this decision are unimaginable, and I think we are all incredulous that no one could see it coming in 2016. Young white people in particular should have come out in droves to vote for Hillary, but no. They couldn’t be bothered because “both parties are the same” and “Bernie woulda won.” Do y’all get it now, Gen Z and Millennials? You’re the ones who will actually be impacted by this. I’m going to be 55 this year and can no longer get pregnant, which oddly, makes me feel guilty that I won’t be directly miserable along with so many others. (Jewish guilt is rough.)

For those who say this will only impact women of color, and wealthy white women in red states will be fine because they can travel to other states, I think they’re in for a surprise. The Christofascists have thought of that loophole. They want to test women for pregnancy before allowing them to travel out of state. And, they want to criminalize miscarriages. Sounds like Slavery 1.0, doesn’t it? Will they be sending bounty hunters to capture runaway pregnant women if they cross the border “illegally” to states where they’re not considered property?

Based on the wave of protests that started on Friday and will likely continue, as well as the vast majority of Americans who disagree with SCOTUS, this terrible decision will drive enormous turnout in 2022 and the Democrats will increase their majorities in the House and Senate. (This doesn’t even count the impact the J6 hearings have had on the QOP – but that’s for another post. That will also be quite significant.) Nevertheless, I agree with Quixote, DYB and other Widdershins that every Democrat running for office in 2022 needs to be on message as to what they are going to do to fix this. I’d like to hear them say three things: 1) I will vote to amend the filibuster to make progress on legislation the Republicans are blocking; 2) I will vote to expand the Supreme Court and 3) I will vote “yes” on the Women’s Health Protection Act. None of these things can happen without two more Senate Democrats to nullify Manchinema’s inconsistent insistence on keeping the filibuster sacrosanct sometimes, whatever whatever.

The QOP has massively overstepped both their power and their mandate. They may be celebrating now, but they will be crying in November, and for decades to come. And Clarence Thomas, you will be f*cking miserable for the rest of your disgusting, pathetic life.

Copyright 2021, Getty Images

Widdershins, with a week like this coming up, I hope you’re getting your rest, eating your gluten-free Wheaties with dairy-free milk, and planning to employ whatever strategy de-stresses you.

This week, we have the January 6th hearings continued. Unfortunately, these are not televised during primetime, but that’s why we have the magic of DVR – and pundits to summarize them for us if we miss them. Here’s the schedule so far:

  • Monday at 10 a.m.: Drumpf’s disinformation plan to spread the Big Lie despite knowing he lost (this proves intent)
  • Wednesday at 10 a.m.: The resignation threats of senior officials
  • Thursday at 1 p.m.: The pressure campaign against Pence
  • No dates yet set: Future hearings will cover Trump’s efforts to goad state legislators and election officials into changing their election results and draw direct lines to the Jan. 6 Capitol attack,

I think it’s very interesting that the future dates haven’t been set. I have two guesses about this: 1) Actions by the DOJ may dictate those dates (for example, if the DOJ needs people the Committee is trying to subpoena or compel to testify); and/or 2) The Committee is gauging the effectiveness of the hearings in changing the narrative around Drumpf, both from the media and from voters. Both of these could be wrong, of course.

There are many other things happening now as well – the imminent destruction of Roe v. Wade, the strange details of Kavanaugh’s stalker, the continuing war of aggression against Ukraine – and I, for one, have been quite tense about everything. Adding to my stress is my Jewish guilt (oy!). I feel guilty that if Roe v. Wade gets overturned I’ll probably be okay, because I’m past my childbearing years. I should be suffering more, I tell you!

My advice to get us through all of this insanity: Lean into thankfulness for what we have in this life. And, let’s be proud of ourselves for the goodness we’ve managed to create. Yes, many of us are both marginalized and privileged – it’s just part of who we are in this crazy old world. We are complex, beautiful tapestries, and I’m grateful for each and every one of you.

As our dear Fredster used to say, I’ve “Gone Fishin'” for a while. I’m at the beach in SoCal, where it is currently “June Gloom” every day. (Annie knows what I’m talking about!) So far my swimsuit and I have not been seen together, and I’m not sure we will be. But still, the time away from work has been very special.

The news has been a mix of good and bad…the good: yesterday, all three Rethugs who refused to rig the Georgia election for Drumpf won their primary elections. The bad: Marjorie Traitor Greene won her primary election. And of course, Texas continues its freefall into dystopia under Greg Abbott’s “leadership,” as 19 children, two teachers and a grandmother were murdered yesterday by a mentally ill 18-year-old who (cuz Texas) was able to purchase body armor and an automatic weapon without the most rudimentary check or balance.

My position on guns is, most people don’t need them and shouldn’t have them. The whole “hunting” thing is absurd. If you are truly a hunter, you need a rifle, not an automatic weapon or a handgun, and how many people these days are really out hunting for their supper? I believe we should take peoples’ guns away. Due to decades of deregulation from state and federal Republicans, the situation in this country has become completely untenable. Guns have proliferated beyond any reasonable interpretation of the 2nd Amendment. People cannot go anywhere in public, and kids cannot go to school, without a low-level hum of terror through their veins. Nowhere is safe.

If I had my way, this would be the way we would handle guns in America.

I know these are strong statements, but there is a lot of grim data to back them up. Here are a few lowlights from the Gun Violence Archive for 2022 (yes, this is just for this year):

Number of mass shootings: 214
Number of people killed and injured in mass shootings: 1154
State where the most mass shootings occurred (21 this year): Texas

But of course, this is just another public safety hazard we are expected to endure in this country, along with the latest wave of COVID, because Republican voters anesthetized by Faux News and Sinclair Broadcasting are voting for people who are literally killing them. They’re sleepwalking into their own deaths, and taking the rest of the country with them.

All I can say is, vote. Vote Democratic in every election, even if it’s for dogcatcher. If everyone who can vote comes out to vote (this includes the young ‘uns), Republicans will never win another election. Let’s hope people finally do what they need to do in 2022. Otherwise, this is going to be how we handle each and every horrible, preventable tragedy.

Hello Widdershins, and happy Mother’s Day! I hope you have some time to relax and enjoy.

This was the wildest week in a long series of wild weeks. For several months, the Supreme Court has been reviewing a Mississippi law that bans abortion after 15 weeks. This law, along with dozens of others that exist in red states, is clearly in violation of the precedent established by Roe v. Wade. The draft opinion siding with Mississippi (and even more alarmingly, setting the stage for ignoring any rights not specifically enumerated in the Constitution) was leaked this week in an unprecedented break from traditional SCOTUS secrecy. Written by Justice Alito with contributions by the Lead Handmaid, it contained terrifying phrases such as “domestic supply of infants.

The fallout has been instantaneous, but at first, the media (mostly white and male, as we know) didn’t know where to look. They focused on the leak itself. As per usual, they were taking their cues from Republicans in Congress, who are demanding that Merrick Garland and the DOJ investigate the leak -despite the fact that it is not a crime.

Soon enough, opinions began to emerge about why the leak happened. And believe it or not, I saw this one over and over again on social media: Someone on the right leaked it to take the sting out of the actual ruling in June. Once the ruling happens, people will forget about it and still vote Republican in the fall.

There are so many things about this draft opinion – and the emboldening effect it’s having on the Christofascists in this country to push more and more extreme laws criminalizing abortions, miscarriages, birth control and IVF- that fill me with white hot rage. But for some reason, this reaction – that the leaked draft will somehow be “good for Republicans” – is especially insulting to me.

I’m insulted because of that smug privilege it takes to write something like that. The lack of any understanding of what will happen to women in red states as soon as that opinion takes hold; the incredible amount of oppression that women will face immediately due to laws that are ready to take effect as soon as Roe & Casey are overturned. Will women and girls “forget” being imprisoned, along with their wives, sisters, daughters and mothers? Will they shrug and say “Oh well, I’m still voting Republican” when they’re told they can’t leave the state without a negative pregnancy test? What about the men these persecuted women leave behind? Will they “forget?”

The decision has yet to be made – but its impact on the midterms is starting to break through the wider narrative that Democrats are fated to lose the House and Senate. Republicans are doubling down on anti-choice positions, whereas Democrats have fundraised tens of millions this week by promising to protect women’s rights. And as we know, Democrats represent the views of the majority of this country, whereas Republicans are trying to impose a dystopia that only a religiously insane minority wants. I don’t think this cycle of voting is going to go well for a Party that is telegraphing a national abortion ban if they re-take Congress.

I know a lot of people are going to complain about the Democrats not doing anything to stop this. I see a lot of this opinion too. Here are my thoughts on this: First, the votes are not there in the Senate to pass the House bill that codifies a woman’s right to choose into law, although Schumer will bring it to a vote this coming week. That vote will, of course, get every QOP on the record on this issue. Second, I don’t know what Biden will come up with yet. There may be an avenue we don’t know anything about. Or, perhaps there’s something the DOJ can do about prosecuting the three conservative justices (Gorsuch, Barrett and Kavanaugh) for lying to Congress.

But I’ll tell you the reality of the situation, no matter how frustrated we are: here in California, I feel safe and protected from this insanity (at least for now), because we have elected enough Democrats to prevent this sh*t from being brought up and passed in the state legislature. Electing more Democrats will, in fact, allow this law protecting choice to get codified into law in January – all we need is to get two more in the Senate and the filibuster will be gone, no longer held hostage by Manchinema. This will also open the door for other marginalized groups to be protected by law from the Supreme Court’s radical right-wing agenda.

As for what we can do until then, there are quite a few statewide elections and primaries that are happening now, before November. We need to vote blue in every one, and do whatever we can to support GOTV efforts in our neighborhoods and states. We can march. We can donate to Planned Parenthood and other like-minded organizations.

We will survive this. Because 166 million women will not be put in cages and forced to become baby factories for Christofascist lunatics.

We will not go back.

Hello Shinners! It’s been a while since we did anything light and fluffy, and boy, do we need and deserve it.

Let’s have some fun! Since it’s spring, I’m in full birding mode. Here are some of the amazing birds we’ve been seeing in our back yard and in the nearby park.

Hooded Oriole – this beauty drinks nectar, and his beak is skinny enough to insert into the holes in our “flying saucer” hummingbird feeder. We see him perched on it almost every day.

Western Bluebird – We think we have two pairs of these in our yard. The male’s deep blue and rusty breast are extremely striking.

Northern Mockingbird – This bird’s song is the real star of the show. The variety is mindboggling!

Black Phoebe – This is a really pretty black and white bird with a crested head. We see them flying around the creek in our neighborhood park.

Open thread – let the fun, fur and feathers fly!


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