The Widdershins

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Good morning Widdershins,

On Tuesday it finally happened. The book everyone had an opinion about, even though very few people had read it, finally came out. Hillary Clinton’s What Happened hit the bookshelves.

It is important to note that the overwhelming response from all The Usual Suspects on the cyber were predictably vile. Go Away! It’s too late! It’s too soon! Nobody cares! Bernie Would’ve Won! You’re destroying our perfect unity!!! The Chris Cillizza’s and Glenn Thrushes and Shaun Kings of the world all had twitter meltdowns bashing the book they had not read. They had only seen a few of the leaked pages, the one about Bernie (which Bernie had a fit about on Stephen Colbert), so did his minions like Nokimi Konst and Nina Turner. Matthew Yglesias declared the book an obvious money grab. Everybody’s main concern is that Hillary is dividing the Democratic party while Bernie is trying to save it. None of these things make sense here on Planet Earth. These people are really great at gas-lighting, they can give Trump a run for his money.

But as the publication came closer, something odd happened. A few reporters got early copies and were reading. Chris Hayes – a Bernie Bro – surprisingly tweeted that he was reading the book and it not what people expect. Dave Weigel of WaPo first tweeted “this book…it is good.” His review is here. NY Times’ Amy Chozick, 1/3 of the paper’s anti-Hillary axis, tweeted she likes the book a lot. And as the book came out and people really started to read it, the vitriol died down. Not disappear completely, but the temperature definitely dropped. Not a peep comment from Shaun King, though Cillizza is a snake, so he Cillizzas. Maggie has been mum.

The crowds for the book also were huge. In NYC the Barnes and Noble in Union Square Park had lines around the block to meet Hillary at the signing. Maggie Haberman tweeted about the lines and I can only imagine how her soul burned with rage. These interviews might be the first time Clinton supporters have actually been interviewed by the media! At some point during the day they said they were close to 1500 people at the signing. That’s a lot of people not caring about Hillary, some of whom camped out outside overnight.

I think it’s clear to anyone with an ounce of a brain: Hillary Clinton is not going away. Regardless of what Bernie and his Bros want. Hillary may not run for any office again, but she’s not giving up on politics and she thinks we are in more danger than may seem. In a Pod Save America podcast she told the hosts that Trump’s goal is to hold a constitutional convention, for which he needs 34 states. They are already at about 28, and they are packing the courts and States Attorney offices with loyalists. These people will do what Trump tells them. A reporter friend of mine (she works for Reuters) retweeted that Pod and drew a direct comparison to Venezuela and Turkey. That appears to be Trump’s agenda, with full support of the GOP, and full money backing by the likes of Mercers and Kochs, to turn America into some form of dictatorship because he doesn’t like not being in control.

The next few years are going to be interesting. “May you live in interesting times.” That Chinese curse has fallen on us all.

What’s on your mind? This is an open thread.

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Hello Widdershins,

We have survived another week without a nuclear apocalypse. Yay? Doesn’t mean another one won’t come tomorrow. The 45h Dump is escalating the war in Afghanistan (hey, remember when Rita Skeeter Maureen Dowd wrote a whole column arguing that Dump was a “dove” and Hillary was the “hawk?” LOL yeah.) John McCain and Lady Graham couldn’t be happier about more war. And a twitter war broke out between the NYTimes Twins (Thrush and Haberman) and people with a brain, many of whom happened to be Clinton supporters, but not exclusively, after Thrush went on a sexist tirade listing all the things Hillary did wrong during the election. This is after a Harvard study showed that “her emails” was the single most covered story in the media, which perhaps was unwise of the media. But Times Twins found other reasons for the 2016 disaster, among them that Hillary flew home for dinner every night of the campaign (some have disputed that), that she spoke too much (he actually said that) during the campaign, waged a silly war on the media, and should have listened to people more, and that Huma Abedin should have fired. These are things Glenn Thrush tweeted and Haberman backed up, and then Jonathan Martin jumped in too. I’ll just leave the topic right there because I’m getting palpitations right now.

We are also learning that the DNC is having a hard time raising money. Liberal organizations are not having difficulties. Individual political campaigns, like Jon Ossoff’s for example, and organizations like ACLU. So liberals are giving away a lot of money – they’re just steering clear of the DNC. Perhaps, possibly, just maybe the reason is Bernie Sanders? The disastrous “Unity Tour” and endless screaming by Sanders proxies like Nina Turner, as well as DNC’s attempts to reach white people, at the expense of its actual base (women and people of color)  is not going to bring out the donations. And Sanders supporters are not going to start sending their $27 to the DNC. So Tom Perez has some decisions to make. Stick with Bernie and his Bros, and starve DNC of its base money, or throw Bernie into the trash where he belongs.

New Republic also notes that

“Obama and Clinton are both high-profile Democrats and neither have been helping the DNC raise much money,” Beckel said. There is a finite amount of resources, and it’s possible that Obama and Clinton are pulling the deep donor networks that they have cultivated away from the party itself. (Obama, however, has reportedly been privately advising Tom Perez.)

And in really fun news: there’s a state of war between Dump and McTurtle.

It seems that the President personally berated McConnell the last time they did talk, on August 9, repeating his complaints about the Senate and about the mild criticism its leader aimed at him. And the two pols have been carrying out a proxy war via Trump’s attacks on, and McConnell’s vigorous support for, Republican senators who have disrespected POTUS, notably Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake, who recently published a book that rejected Trump’s claim to be a legitimate conservative.

Per the failing NY Times, the Dump/McTurtle conversation on August 9th turned into a cursing shouting match. Lordy I hope there are tapes!

What’s on your mind Widdershins?

Good Monday, all. Today, the sun will be completely eclipsed by the moon, a very rare event indeed. Even rarer, it seems, is what has been going on since the horrible terrorist attack in Charlottesville: people are starting to talk about the real reason people voted for Drumpf, the true secret of his appeal.

Two years too late.

Roxane Gay wrote this painful editorial in the New York Times last week. I think she speaks for a lot of us, not just here at TW, but all over America.

A week ago, in Charlottesville, Virginia, white men assembled to rage for a world long lost – one where their mediocrity was good enough. These were men emboldened by a President who shares their odious beliefs.

I’ve watched in horror as they’ve been energized by his campaign and his presidency. It’s possible that hate like this would have been on the rise anyway, given eight years of the Obama presidency and, animus towards Hillary Clinton. But now we don’t have hate on the fringe; we have it reinforced in the White House…

…Back in November, pundits began attributing Mr. Trump’s win to “economic anxiety,” because they were unwilling to face the blatant racism that fueled his popularity. Look where that thinking has brought us. Everyone who says, “This is not America” or “This is not us” is being willfully ignorant of both the past and the present. We all need to acknowledge that yes, this is indeed us, the very worst of us…

Roxane’s eloquent anguish resonates so strongly with me. When that evil orange turd “won” the election, I felt as though the entire country had lost its mind. Instead of electing the first woman President, who would lead us where we need to go so badly, Drumpf voters had embraced a sexually twisted, misogynistic, racist monster because they didn’t care what he would do to this country, as long as he made them feel good about themselves. His language of hate and fear was like poisoned music, a siren’s song telling them that at last, at last, they could blame someone else for their useless and bitter lives. Drumpf made it clear to white men that it really IS women and people of color and Jews and LGBT who are responsible for your pain and suffering, and not only that, it’s good and right for you to think it, and say it, and shout it out loud. Who could resist such a validation? And as a result, instead of the world we all knew would arise with Hillary’s Presidency, a world where #LoveTrumpsHate, a new, awful world seemed to arise.

But was it really that new? No. It had only been hiding, lurking like a tumor, inside of the Republican base. And it’s at the heart of all of their policies, for the past few decades. As Russ Feingold wrote this weekend,

The lesson from Charlottesville is not how dangerous the neo-Nazis are. It is the unmasking of the Republican party leadership. In the wake of last weekend’s horror and tragedy, let us finally, finally rip off the veneer that Trump’s affinity for white supremacy is distinct from the Republican agenda of voter suppression, renewed mass incarceration and the expulsion of immigrants…

Words mean nothing if the Republican agenda doesn’t change. Governors and state legislatures were so quick to embrace people of color in order to avoid the impression, they too share Trump’s supreme affinity for the white race. But if they don’t stand up for them they are not indirectly, but directly enabling the agenda of those same racists that Republican members were so quick to condemn via Twitter.

Gerrymandering, strict voter ID laws, felon disenfranchisement are all aimed at one outcome: a voting class that is predominantly white, and in turn majority Republican.

This is the hard truth that we don’t want to face. We all have Republican friends, relatives and colleagues. We’d like to think that they vote Republican because they want lower taxes and “small government,” whatever the hell that means. Unfortunately, though, those reasons can no longer be used to mask the hatred that hides in the heart of the GOP. It’s become a heart of darkness, and anyone who votes Republican now, shows that they have darkness in their hearts as well.

As Drumpf retreats further and further from a country whose people are loudly protesting what he stands for, vastly outnumbering the Neo-Nazis in Boston by tens of thousands, there is beginning to be a wide recognition that he cannot last much longer as President of the United States. But when he goes, and takes all the nightmare Cabinet members and Javanka with him, and probably takes Pence down too..what then? Are we going to pretend he never happened, that he was a terrible aberration, and that the “real” Republicans never wanted him in the first place?

I am quite sure the media, addicted to equivalency as they are, will try to smooth this horrorshow over and make it seem as though the Republican Party temporarily lost its mind to der Drumpfenfuhrer, but is now sane. We cannot let them do it. We must continue to hold them responsible and accountable for what they’ve done to our democratic institutions and the mental and moral health of our country.

We’ve done really well after a blow that could have crushed us, Widdershins. Together, the Resistance has halted the destruction of ACA, the tax cuts for the wealthy and the infrastructure whatever that, I’m sure, would have done nothing but shovel more money into billionaires’ pockets. But we won’t be finished until we have dragged the racists and misogynists, kicking and screaming, into the 21st Century.

I think we can do it, don’t you?

This is an open thread. Enjoy the “oldie” but goodie below.

Hello Widdershins, and a very good Tuesday to all of you. Today I want to make a statement about women and the Democratic Party.

We’re reclaiming our time.

Maxine Waters Doesn’t Take Your Crap, Bro

As we know, the “election” of Drumpf was a devastating blow to those of us who knew, just knew, that this time we’d get the President we wanted and deserved. Obama set off red flags in 2008 with his sexism and lack of qualifications, and we hated the obvious push to hand him the nomination by rigging the DNC rules to favor caucuses. So we declared “Party Unity My *ss,” and the Obots swarmed and won. In 2016, when it should have been obvious that Hillary would run unopposed, that narcissistic, lazy sh*thead Bernie Sanders decided to start a Party of One…and the Obots swarmed, newly reborn as Bernie Bros/brogressives. This time, they lost, and lost YUGE. It was surely, finally time for Hillary!

But it wasn’t. Bernie had done a lot of damage to her reputation, and that, along with so many other factors, doomed her to lose once again. And as if that weren’t enough, the Democratic Party is still cosseting and kowtowing to the man who lost the primary by 4 million votes, AND who will not even show the most basic respect of declaring himself a Democrat. His followers are primarying Democratic candidates instead of supporting them, and creating ridiculous smear campaigns against any Democrat who doesn’t fit the Bernie mold. You know what that means: white, male, sexist and self-righteous.

Look what they’re doing to Kamala Harris, whose voting record is the second most progressive in the Senate. (Bernie is not even in the top 10. Surprise!)

Cosmopolitan goes so far as to say, “Leave Kamala Harris Alone,” pointing out in no uncertain terms:

Kamala Harris doesn’t have a Bernie Sanders problem. The so-called “Sanders Left” has a black-woman problem. In fact, the entire left has a black-woman problem. On May 25, a group of black women wrote an open letter to DNC Chairman Tom Perez requesting that he meet with black women politicians and policy makers. The letter noted that the 115th Congress has “20 Black women—the largest number in history” and reminded Perez that in 2008 and 2012, black women were the party’s most loyal voting bloc. The DNC refused to even give black women an official response to the letter. I say this, because I want to be clear that the DNC is no friend to black women. However, if 2016 is any indicator, the vast majority of black women rejected the Sanders solution as a model for the kind of left politics that meets their needs.

Let me be clear: Bernie Sanders and his sexist brogressives will NEVER stop demonizing women, no matter what color they are. Look what venerated feminist blogger Melissa McEwan of Shakesville posted today. Everyone knows she is a progressive – but OMG she supported Hillary!!!11111!!! so she must NOT BE!

“Sanders Democrats” don’t own the left.

For thirteen years, I’ve been occupying this space, advocating for progressive policy and social justice. I support universal healthcare and a basic guaranteed income. I am pro-choice, anti-death penalty, a prison abolitionist, and advocate for vast criminal justice reform. I strongly reject privatization schemes and strongly support free public education. I am an intersectional feminist; an anti-racist; a fierce defender of LGBTQ rights; an advocate for dismantling the rape culture; a disabled survivor; a fat activist; a Democratic critic and a Democratic supporter.

Those are not conservative positions. They are not even centrist positions.

They are leftist positions.

And I have spent the last thirteen years of my life being mercilessly inundated with gross harassment for taking those positions.

RECLAIM YOUR TIME, MELISSA!!! What the hell have the Keyboard Kommandoes of Bernie’s non-existent ‘revolution’ sacrificed for their position? How dare they abuse and disdain women who have been working for many years for liberal causes, just because they favored Hillary over #TheBernout?

So now, finally, more and more women are getting it. The Democrats won’t give us our time unless we stand up and demand it. Women must have a voice in the Democratic Party, and we want candidates that represent us. This means, tell ENORMOUS LOSER Bernie Sanders to go sit in a corner and rename a post office. That’s all he’s ever been good for.

And for us, let’s find a group to join and start promoting and registering women in the Democratic Party. There are a lot of them out there, including Hillary’s PAC. I joined this one on Monday.

Hey, DNC: We’re no longer asking. We’re telling.

This is an open thread.

 

 

 

Good Monday, all. Today is the first day of the last few months of Donald Trump’s Presidency. After all, he’s brought in a general to be his Chief of Staff, same as Nixon, and the conservo-rats are deserting his sinking ship. As the spectacular failure of the Wealth Transfer Bill made clear, the Senate can defy the Rancid Cheeto without any real consequences…and, the Rancid Cheeto is going to be no help to their agenda whatsoever. What will happen now? I don’t know, but while we wait for the next giant flameout, I thought we could spend some time connecting the dots.

The ongoing fight between the Bernie and Hillary wings of the Party is not about re-living the primaries, despite what the Bernie Bots would say on Twitter. It’s about looking to the future and figuring out the way forward for the Democrats. It IS important to have both the message, and the messaging, correct, so people know they’re not just voting against something, but FOR a positive vision of America.

In order to make this happen, we have to make sure that all Americans understand the connection between a racist, sexist and xenophobic campaign, and a country going in the wrong direction. From the Bernie cultists, and unfortunately from some members of the DNC, we hear that we need to appeal to the white working-class male voter with a strong economic message. The problem with this is, that it’s no different from the Republican approach.

Yes, you heard me right.

Make America Great Again is a white-people-only slogan, based on bringing the Fake 50s back to the US – a decade of great prosperity and segregation. Coal jobs, union jobs, they would be coming back under him – and all those “bad hombres” who have been taking those jobs away would be sent back to Mexico. He added to his racist cred by announcing that Mexicans are rapists, outing himself as a sexual predator, and being endorsed by white supremacists and having Steve Bannon as his senior campaign adviser. White people claimed they didn’t care, because all of these “identity politics” didn’t matter. But “identity politics” were really what energized all those white people to come out and vote for him. Nothing else mattered so much as race to the Trump voter.

And what happened when Drumpf came into office? He started advocating for policies to do exactly what he promised. Mass deportations. Known racist Jeff Sessions at the helm of the Justice department. True to his misogynistic ways, pushes to defund Planned Parenthood. Trying to overturn the freedoms and rights Obama granted to LGBTQ. And all his promises about bringing coal jobs back? Yeah, not so much.

What would happen if Democrats really decided to chase the white male vote, and decried “identity politics” as unimportant?  What message are they sending to everyone who isn’t white and male, who, not so coincidentally, votes Democratic? With all of these white men jockeying to run for the Presidency, two of them in their 70s, I find it very hard to believe that they will prioritize any of the things that matter to me…just as Barack Obama, who ran on misogyny, didn’t prioritize gender equality.

What we project matters. What we say matters. And visuals, they matter. And I am personally so very, very tired and sick of hearing and seeing “f*ck you” from the Democratic Party, a Party still, shamefully, disproportionately white and male. This is why Bernie Sanders held absolutely no appeal to me. He and his followers routinely dismissed the things I cared about, and mansplained that we were all too dumb to understand #TheBernout’s greatness and vast superiority over HRC. And of course, if we protested, we were playing “identity politics.” Well, yes. We want an equal seat at the table, and we’re tired of asking nicely.

So the Resistance you’re counting on to save your sorry butts and stop the evil Republican agenda, and vote for you in 2018? We’re women. And you won’t ignore us any more.

We’re awake now, and we’re paying attention.

This is an open thread.

 


Good Monday, all. There’s a lot going on, and most of it not good, as usual, these days. The new bootlicker Drumpf has hired to represent him on teevee is typical of all his stooges: narcissistic, greedy (h/t Prolix!), and intimately tied to Russia. He’s dangling lots of fake news in front of the cable news media, and they’re all lapping it up. Drumpf still doesn’t believe Russia attacked our elections!! (Of course he does, idiots. He and his campaign helped make it happen.) He’s looking into pardoning himself!! (Of course he is. That doesn’t mean he’ll do it, for heaven’s sake. He knows he’s going to get caught, and is looking for ways to evade the consequences, just the way he always does.)

Meanwhile, some Democrats are buying into stupidity of their own. Such as, “Hillary lost ‘the Obama coalition’ to Drumpf!!! ZOMG we have to chase those 70,000 switchers in swing states with a strong economic message!” Do old white guys like Chuck Schumer never get tired of mansplaining to women?

Apparently the fact that Nate Silver, expert pollster, agrees with Hillary’s analysis of why she lost, has failed to penetrate. And, apparently the fact that the Resistance is female, and the base of the Democratic Party is female AND of color, is immaterial to Chuck and his fellow mansplainers.

Someone please tell me this: how is it a good strategy to target only a few white men by focusing on an economic message that is proven to be irrelevant, and ignore the giant mass of women that is active, energized and ready to vote, and run, as Democrats?

Like this woman.

In Prince William County, Hala Ayala is hoping to bring her values of empowerment for women and equality for all to Richmond, and at the same time, send home one of Virginia’s leading anti-choice, anti-immigrant delegates.

Ayala has long been involved in local politics. She volunteered for President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign in 2012. And in 2014, she helped revive the National Organization for Women (NOW) chapter in her community, becoming its president.

Now THAT is the Obama coalition, you jack*sasses!

The Democrats would be much, much better off energizing its base with a sharper version of Hillary’s message, than losing its principles by trying to gain the voters who want to go back to the fake 50’s in their heads.

Hala Ayala is doing something. And we should too. Forget the Democratic Establishment. The more we Do Something, the more they will get the message.

So let’s go to marches. Let’s form groups. Let’s donate to Planned Parenthood and the ACLU. Let’s call our Senators and attend Town Halls.

It’s all working. Let’s stick with it!

This is an open thread.

 

 

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I have been a sick Widdershin, my fellow Widdershins. Summer colds are the worst, and you can’t turn the AC off because it’s too hot and humid. So the cycle of cold, dry air at home and office vs. smack-you-in-the-face heat and humidity outside. There’s only so much a body can take.

Plus, a couple of days ago MadamaB asked how long it has been. I can inform you that we just passed the 84th anniversary of Donald Dump becoming president. Ok, it’s only been 6 months, but I think we’ve all aged 84 years, give or take. So my post will be a bit more rambly than usual. Blame it on the fever and, of course, Dump.

One story that caught my eye this week is the shooting of an Australian woman named Justine Diamond by a police officer in Minneapolis. Diamond called 911 to report a possible assault and was somehow shot and killed herself. She was shot through the door of the police car as she was leaning over to speak to the officers. Both cops were wearing body cameras, but they did not turn them on. Another fatal cop shooting in a long string of fatal cop shootings. One would expect the usual reaction: Right-wing forming a protective wall around the cop. Cops can do no wrong. Except this case was different. The victim was a blonde caucasian. The cop: a black Muslim. Imagine the reactions from the alt-right…

In an interview with Ari Melber on MSNBC, Bernie Sanders was asked a question he was clearly not expecting to be asked.

“Did you know then that this might have been part of [the Kremlin’s] design?” MSNBC reporter Ari Melber asked Sanders Wednesday. “To leak these emails precisely so that there would be more riffs in the Democratic Party?”

“Well of course we knew that,” Sanders replied. “Of course we knew that they were trying to cause divisiveness within the Democratic Party,” the senator continued. “That’s no great secret.”

This should, of course, be a bigger story. Sanders admitting that he knew he was acting as a Kremlin-puppet is a big deal. But in our current endless news cycle of endless breaking stories it got somewhat lost. By now if you ask a Bernie Bros about it, they’ll tell you they never even heard of such a thing.

The Senate Judiciary Committee is going forward with its investigation of Russian interference into our election. How it’s going is hard to tell. Chuck Grassley is the chairman and I wouldn’t trust him as far as I can throw a Russian. But they have scheduled an open hearing (with Bob Mueller’s permission) to question Donald Trump Jr. and Paul Manafort. (Also to be questioned is Bill Browder, the man who hired tax lawyer Sergei Magnitsky to look into missing money…the rest is the Magnitsky Act seemingly at the center of Putin’s anger at the West.) The most interesting part of the letter the Judiciary Committee sent to Junior and Manafort, asking them to preserve all communications with people like Carter Page and Sergei Lavrov and that ambassador nobody remembers and Alfa Bank… is the inclusion of Dr. Jill Stein.

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Stein is right there between Michael Flynn and Michael Cohen. Let the fireworks begin. The hearing is scheduled to take place on Wed, July 26th.


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3 turds control fate of healthcare for millions

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