The Widdershins

Archive for the ‘2021’ Category

I’m suffering from both too much and not enough to say today, plus tons of life stuff to get to. So, Happy Father’s Day, happy Juneteenth and happy weekend!

Open thread.

Shinners, I am a curious person. I like finding out all the five W’s and H (Who, What, Where, When, Why and How) to learn more about a subject of interest. Like birds – I’ve spent a lot of time recently learning about them.

But damn, when your educational system prevents you from even knowing what you don’t know…neither curiosity nor all the will in the world will help.

I was never taught about the Tulsa Race Massacre in school. I guess whomever wrote the textbooks knew how much negative perception would go along with that knowledge – the deep-seated racism in this country, the pure evil of that mass murder, and the reality that would tarnish America’s well-crafted egalitarian image. It was only in the past year (I think it was on Rachel Maddow’s show?) that the veil of my ignorance was lifted. And for the first time, an American President has addressed it, on the shameful and tragic anniversary of its occurrence. Biden made a historic speech, in which his trademark empathy was on full display. But as we’ve started to see with Biden and Harris, words are just the beginning. And now, Biden is looking to begin to address some of the racial disparities that have been kept in public policy and hidden away from public view.

The Tulsa massacre has only recently entered the national discourse — and the presidential visit put an even brighter spotlight on the event.

Biden, who was joined by Housing Secretary Marcia Fudge and senior advisers Susan Rice and Cedric Richmond, also announced new measures he said could help narrow the wealth gap between races and reinvest in underserved communities by expanding access to homeownership and small-business ownership.

The White House said the administration will take steps to address disparities that result in Black-owned homes being appraised at tens of thousands of dollars less than comparable homes owned by white residents as well as issue new federal rules to fight housing discrimination. The administration is also setting a goal of increasing the share of federal contracts awarded to small disadvantaged businesses by 50% by 2026, funneling an estimated additional $100 billion to such businesses over the five-year period, according to the White House.

It is shocking to think that Black prosperity in Tulsa could have been extinguished so quickly. 30 blocks of “Black Wall Street” were destroyed, up to 300 Black Tulsans were killed, and the Greenwood area has never recovered, 100 years later. White people just couldn’t handle the fact that Black people clearly aren’t inferior – when they have equal opportunity, they are able to prosper – and so they made up some excuse about a black man stepping on a white woman’s foot to justify their murderous hatred. But really, they just wanted to stop Black Americans from prospering, and scare them into leaving all the money for white people.

The attempted coup on January 6th was the same type of rage. White men (mostly) are in a panic that when those uppity wimminz (especially Black women) gain power, their power diminishes; thus they decided to scream and attack and kill. Just as on that day in 1921 in Tulsa, no one got arrested on the scene, and it took national attention and a new Justice Department leader to really get the investigations moving. Republicans have begun to gaslight and try to wipe the horrific event from everyone’s minds.

I sure hope they don’t succeed.

It’s hard to imagine two attorneys who have been more harmful to the United States of America than Rudy “New York’s Nosferatu” Giuliani and Faux News’ Victoria Toensing. Between the two of them, they have helped Republicans perpetrate numerous and deadly crimes against this country.

Let’s start with Rudy. As we have talked about for years at TW, Rudy was THE CAUSE of the terrible fallout of the attack on the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. Countless first responders died on that day, and became ill and died later, because he moved the city’s Disaster Response Center out of Brooklyn and into the WTC. He, of course, did this because he wanted to be closer to his mistress when he was doing the serious business of Mayorin’. And since then, this goo-oozing sycophant has done nothing but dive head down into the muck of wingnuttery and just keep swimming. He’s been the mover and shaker behind so much evil:

The faux Hunter Biden story (now being used to justify his FBI-raided apartment)

The Big Lie that Drumpf won in 2021

Weird Hillary lies about 9/11

Corrupt Ukraine lobbying

Collusion with Russia in 2019 and 2020

Four Seasons Total Landscaping (okay, that one was just funny)

Yes, Rudy is a well-known and well-recognized goon for the Republican Crime Syndicate. But Victoria Toensing – she’s flown a bit more under the radar. Here are some of her (and her husband’s!) greatest hits. (Wonder what hubby’s up to these days?)

You might not know them well, but without Toensing and diGenova, the most outlandish theories might not have found their way into the ether. Toensing’s client and longtime friend John Solomon is the one who spread the rumor that Marie Yovanovitch, the former US ambassador to Ukraine, hated Trump; so-called “documentary evidence” of Joe Biden firing a Ukrainian prosecutor to protect his son had emerged in a case that both Toensing and diGenova are working on; and the couple have also alluded to the conspiracy theory that it was Ukraine — and not Russia — that meddled in the 2016 election by seeking to help Hillary Clinton. Often lording over the whole spectacle, in their telling, was Soros — the billionaire who has become a bogeyman for the right. (The line that he is seeking to run Ukraine, for one, could have come straight out of the mouth of Vladimir Putin.)

[snip]

Toensing and diGenova fortified their conservative bonafides throughout the Bush and Obama years, with Toensing particularly active. She penned op-eds in favor of the Patriot Act and in defense of the reporter who outed CIA agent Valerie Plame. She lobbied for the MEK, a violent fringe Iranian group, just as Giuliani has, as it sought to get off the US list of terrorist groups. She represented “whistleblowers” in the Benghazi hearings who accused Hillary Clinton, then secretary of state, of refusing to let them testify, as well as an informant who claimed to have information that Clinton had orchestrated the sale of part of Uranium One to a Russian company in exchange for donations to the Clinton Foundation (she didn’t). She picked up Erik Prince as a client and took part in numerous Judicial Watch panels devoted to the subject of Clinton’s missing emails. As the Trump era approached, both Toensing and diGenova found themselves more and more on Fox News, regulars on Sean Hannity (another Toensing and diGenova client) and Lou Dobbs.

I’ll tell you, I am absolutely over the moon that these two traitorous morons are finally getting investigated by the FBI, now overseen at DOJ by the brilliant and most importantly, honest, Merrick Garland. Now all the crimes they were committing in plain sight will be thoroughly investigated.

Let’s have the last Drumpf attorney who was investigated by the FBI, Michael Cohen, give the last word.

Open thread, as always.

Before I begin, Widdershins, I want to thank you for your patience. I know we have not been doing our usual posts recently. I hope more people will step up, as Fredster suggested, since there are now just two of us doing the writing (and thank heaven for DYB)! If you want to be added to the roster, feel free to DM me on Twitter or write me at madamab at gmail dot com.

After less than two months of the Biden-Harris presidency (and yes I said that deliberately), there’s an unfamiliar feeling that has started to settle over me.

It’s called peace. And it’s wonderful.

No more being surrounded by insanity, gaslighting and fascism all day, every day, from everywhere. That was taken care of by social media companies after 1/6, when they removed Der Drumpfenfuhrer from every social media platform. The difference was immediately, starkly noticeable.

Online misinformation about election fraud plunged 73 percent after several social media sites suspended President Donald Trump and key allies last week, research firm Zignal Labs has found, underscoring the power of tech companies to limit the falsehoods poisoning public debate when they act aggressively.

The new research by the San Francisco-based analytics firm reported that conversations about election fraud dropped from 2.5 million mentions to 688,000 mentions across several social media sites in the week after Trump was banned from Twitter.

Yes, the noise died down quite a lot when #TheFormerGuy was silenced. But that alone doesn’t give me peace. No, what gives me peace is that day after day, night after night, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, the Democrats in Congress and the Cabinet, and so many amazing volunteers, organizers and candidates throughout every state in the Union are working hard to make things better. We don’t just want things not to get worse – we want them to IMPROVE significantly. Turns out, if you elect Democrats, even with a razor-thin majority, that’s exactly the mission they will take on.

Hey Chuck! Nice job on that ARP. Give yourself a pat on the back!

Yes, it turns out that what this nation needed was a rare combination of empathy, experience, inclusivity and – not to put too fine a point on it – money. I think the American people, especially those who insisted that the answer to lifting people out of poverty was TOTALLY NOT CASH, are going to see how incredibly effective it is when the government gives suffering people a helping hand – especially when the government was a huge part of their suffering.

I used to wonder why people who leaned to the right were so against the government spending money to help the poor and middle class. Now I know; it’s not a devotion to some version of deficit hawkism – it’s Raygun’s welfare queen trope write large. Heaven forbid – money could actually go to Black people if we’re not careful! My stars, I can see Senator Graham clutching his pearls right now!

Well, Lady Lindsey might be using his couch to faint because the gummint is actually HELPING people instead of stealing their money and giving it to gross, fat, old, rich, white Republicans – but me? I’m lying on my couch in happy bliss. Because the people running the United States now are true public servants who are working hard, every day, to Build us Back Better. And isn’t that a wonderful feeling?

Open thread as always.

Nearly 1 million women have been forced out of work during the Pandemic

About how this pandemic is affecting their jobs.

The tumultuous year of 2020 may be over, but the coronavirus pandemic and the significant financial insecurity facing many women and their families are not. As the year closed out, the nation’s employment numbers for December revealed that the nonfarm payroll job losses for the month were entirely borne by women.2 This development, while unique to December, is emblematic of the disproportionate damage to women’s employment that occurred during the year: Women and their families, who were already treading water before the pandemic,3 are bearing the brunt of this crisis.

It was already tough in America for women. Our alleged “liberation” notwithstanding, we remain the primary caregivers for children (not to mention being the ones who bear those little bundles of joy for nine months!), aging relatives and ailing spouses, causing us to take significant breaks in our careers that diminish our lifetime wealth exponentially.

This wealth gap is not news, but because it’s “just women” and as you know, we always have to pretend there’s no systemic misogyny in this country, the issue has failed to garner the attention it deserved. (The last 10 years of Republican legislative dominance made things even worse.)

But now that the good guys are in charge, something may actually get done. There’s a lot of help and hope in the American Rescue Plan for women and children. Neera Tanden, President of the Center for American Progress, will soon become the head of the Office of Management and Budget, and her organization has recently come out with several policy proposals to help achieve financial equality and security for women. Here’s the first set – this one is the newest and the most important, I believe.

Create a robust care infrastructure. Women need caregiving support if they are to return to the workforce and ensure the economic security of their families. Policymakers should:
* Establish high-quality, affordable child care and universal preschool by increasing federal assistance.69
* Guarantee all workers access to permanent, comprehensive paid family and medical leave and ensure employers provide all workers with earned paid sick leave.70
* Increase funding for long-term supports and services.71
* Ensure care workers and early educators have quality jobs with fair pay and workplace benefits and protections.72

I truly, truly hope we see some of this in our lifetimes, Widdershins. It is the dawning of the Age of Aquarius, after all.

Tawk amongst yerselves!


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