The Widdershins

Archive for the ‘Affordable Care Act’ Category

I can hardly believe it, but it’s Thanksgiving next week, Widdershins! I hope you’re all going to take some time to relax. Two viruses – the pandemic and the Republican virus of vaccine and mask resistance – have cast a pall over holiday gatherings this year. The pandemic is the one affecting Thanksgiving for me. I am thankful that my family is all vaxxed, AND, that I am seeing my aunt and uncle from Baltimore for the first time since the Rona reared its ugly head. We’ll still need to get negative PCR tests before we can go inside my brother’s house for Turkey and Tofurkey Day (my sister-in-law is vegetarian), but it’s worth it to keep everyone safe and healthy.

Despite the wretched Rittenhouse verdict, we had a lot to be thankful for this week. President Biden signed the BIF and Speaker Pelosi got the Build Back Better bill signed in the House. Now, the bill goes to the Senate, but thanks to the reconciliation process, only Democrats need to vote for it. Despite Manchinema saying they’ll wait for the CBO report to say how they vote, the report is coming soon, and I don’t think they’ll make a lot of trouble after what happened in New Jersey and Virginia. Oh, and remember how McConnell insisted a couple of months ago that he would absolutely, totally, NOT vote yes on raising the debt ceiling on December 15? Looks like he and Chuck are talking about it now. Something tells me Chuck will get what he wants.

I hope you all will indulge me as I take a minute to marvel at what the Democrats have accomplished so far. The Party has had full control of the federal government only since February 3, 2021, when Schumer and McConnell agreed on power-sharing in the Senate. Given that metric, it’s been nine and a half months.

We have been so traumatized and terrified by the hostile maladministration of Rethugs that we are not used to any good news coming from government sources. I believe this trauma, in combination with our blatantly fascist media, are what’s preventing us from appreciating the revolutionary nature of this time in our political history. There has not been a truly significant investment in the 99% since the Affordable Care Act – and even that was weak sauce compared to what’s being passed now. I can only compare the current furious activity to the New Deal, without the racism of that legislation. And Democrats are doing it all with a majority of 1 vote – the revolutionary, first Black and Asian woman Vice President Kamala Harris. (PRESIDENT Kamala Harris for a few hours this week! Incredible!)

I have often said that the job of President of the United States is the hardest job in the world. 350 million souls, so many of them suffering due to social and economic inequality; and the rest of the world, looking to Biden for leadership, aid and partnership – with a few countries trying to destroy him and America from the inside. Imagine coming into that job after almost 27 years of Rethug destruction, plus a global pandemic that has been botched almost beyond repair, with a forever war to end in Afghanistan and an ongoing attempted coup added in for good measure!

Leaders talented enough to take on this job successfully need two traits in combination. One is, the ability to communicate a shared purpose that people can believe in; and the other is the ability to build the right team to drive it forward.

I think Pelosi and Schumer have been able to wrangle the Democrats into passing these historic bills not just because they too are very talented leaders (they certainly are!), but also because Biden has convinced Congressional Dems that his purpose is the right one. (This doesn’t count the Squad, of course, but they’re DINOs.) His purpose to me is quite simple: let’s join the 21st century so China and Russia don’t destroy us. He’s looking ahead strategically and seeing how many of our people are mired in poverty, illness and incarceration without access to the Internet, child care, education and healthcare. This state of the Union makes us less competitive on the world stage, holding us back from making progress on difficult problems like climate change and clean energy. Every initiative Biden has put forward has been consistent with this purpose; whether it’s the American Rescue Plan, which included an increased Child Tax Credit that has already cut child poverty by 50%; or the BIF, which includes billions for clean water and renewable energy; or the Build Back Better Act, which in its current form regulates the cost of child care, provides four weeks of paid parental and sick leave for all American workers, provides free universal pre-K for all 3 and 4-year-olds, and boosts Medicare and the Affordable Care Act, as well as containing $500 billion to address climate change. Women’s rights are far from forgotten – the latest annual budget proposal drops the Hyde Amendment for the first time since 1976, as well as the less-known Weldon Amendment that works in tandem with it, and includes historic amounts of funding for Title X and access to abortion. And let’s not forget the executive orders he’s signed to mandate vaccines in workplaces through OSHA, and block the Keystone XL pipeline and drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. For more details, this poster on Twitter always has receipts.

Biden’s ability to build a stellar team is on display all day, every day. From our marvelous VP Kamala Harris, who (despite getting the Hillary treatment from the media) is succeeding on multiple fronts, to his diverse and talented Cabinet, Chief of Staff and Press Secretary, all of his team are on point, on message and doing what needs to be done.

There is plenty of bad that’s going on in this world, but today, I’m thankful for what the Democrats have done for the American people. And today and every day, I’m thankful for all of you Widdershins who have kept me going through good times and bad, for lo, these many years.

Happy Thanksgiving all! Open thread as always.

So many times over the past four years of hell and trauma, we wondered: What would it take for Republicans to abandon the Mango Moron?

As things went from bad to worse, many of us thought, this time they’ve got to turn away. This time they’ve got to denounce him. But nothing moved them. Kids in cages, separated unlawfully from their parents? No problem. Grabbing pussies? No problem. Removing access to health care from tens of millions of people? No problem. Obvious and frequent collusion with Russia? No problem. Foreign election interference and a suspiciously fortuitous and narrow election win? No problem. Nepotism, corruption and grift on a scale never seen before? No problem. Deporting DACA kids who will die if they lose access to America’s health care? No problem. Surrounding yourself with traitors and spies? No problem. Abandoning the Kurds to die and forcing Ukraine into a terrible bargain with Russia? No problem. Standing by while the Democrats impeached him for high crimes and misdemeanors? No problem. Letting coronavirus run rampant over our country and kill over 350,000 Americans? No problem. And finally, lying for two straight months about the election that Joe Biden and Kamala Harris won in a landslide? Not only was that not a problem – hundreds of elected Republicans eagerly signed on to claims they clearly didn’t believe at all. Because above all, there was Dear Leader – and he must always, always be defended and obeyed.

Until now.

It took a Presidential loss, the loss of the Senate, and a clear and obvious attempt TO KILL THEM (trust me, they don’t care about the whole coup/insurrection thing) to dislodge their noses from Drumpf’s giant asshole. And even now, some are still committed to sinking with the Trumptanic. I don’t know what motivates Republicans, and to some extent, I really don’t care. All I know is that finally, gloriously, Republicans are in disarray. They’re suffering an existential crisis of monstrous proportions, and it couldn’t happen to a more deplorable bunch of seditionists and traitors.

Some Republicans may think they can wash the stain of the worst President ever (the first to be impeached twice) off their hands by voting to impeach. Oh hell no. Their enablement of this deranged psychopath is, and forever will be, unforgivable. And honestly, I think some are still in denial. They think we’re all just going to move on and forgive and forget.

We will not.

Because it turns out, even though Kamala didn’t become our President, she had the right slogan for these times.

Justice was on the ballot. And now, she’s on her way.

Open thread as always.

It’s so close, Widdershins. Election Day is so close – a day when the Rethugs will see a blue tsunami that makes the one in 2018 look like a splash in a kiddie pool.

How can I be so sure, you ask? For one thing, he’s lost suburban white women.

I know we Widdershins would never vote for that disgusting gob of orange goo. Unfortunately for America in 2016, too many suburban white women did so, and they were a surprising source of strength for Drumpf in swing states.

That strength is gone.

In an ABC News/Washington Post poll in early January, Trump took the lead over Joe Biden among suburban men, 63% to 35%, a 28-point margin. But the suburbs have begun shifting away from Trump.

Polls in June found Biden, now the Democratic presidential nominee, with significant support among suburban voters. A CNN poll found Biden with a 14-point lead over Trump, and a Fox News poll found him with an 11-point lead.

In a Marist poll in late June, 66% of women in suburbs and small cities said they disapproved of the job Trump was doing as president.

Whoopsie! Where’d they all go?

Well, hey. Those pesky women may not be there for Der Drumpfenfuhrer, but I’m sure white men are! They’re his best shot at winning. Right?

In Minnesota, where the contest between Trump and Joe Biden had seemed to tighten in recent weeks — and where both candidates stumped on Friday — a CBS News/YouGov survey last week had Trump running 2 percentage points behind Biden with white voters, after carrying them by 7 points in 2016. Even among white voters without college degrees — Trump’s base — the president was far short of the margin he had against Hillary Clinton.

It’s the same story in Wisconsin, where Trump won noncollege-educated white women by 16 percentage points four years ago but is now losing them by 9 percentage points, according to an ABC News/Washington Post poll. In Pennsylvania, Biden has now pulled even with Trump among white voters, according to an NBC News/Marist Poll.

(snip)

…Trump’s [racist!] rhetoric does not appear to be resonating with white America to the degree it did in 2016. That year, whites cast nearly three-quarters of the vote nationally, and Trump won those voters by about 15 percentage points, according to Pew Research. Four years later, Biden has torn into that advantage, though to what degree is uncertain. The latest Morning Consult poll showed Trump now beating Biden among white likely voters nationally by just 5 percentage points. An NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll on Sunday put Trump up among white voters by 9 percentage points, while a PBS NewsHour/NPR/Marist poll on Friday showed Biden and Trump essentially tied with white voters.

So while political writers seem to feel obligated to say that Drumpf could still turn these voters around and that he’s “making inroads” with Black and Latinx voters (um, sure Jan), he has lost a massive amount of his base since 2016. There’s no getting around that. And more importantly, people are PISSED OFF at the Rethugs. Since 2018, Drumpf was impeached and the Rethugs refused to remove him from office, even though his guilt was more than demonstrated by the stellar impeachment managers in the House. They shoehorned a drunken sexual predator into the Supreme Court. They removed legal asylum-seeking parents from their children, put those children in cages, and performed involuntary hysterectomies on young women in their custody. They let the pandemic run rampant, actively disinforming Americans about the risks of Covid-19 and causing the deaths of 200,000 people (and counting). They ignored the truth that Black Lives Matter. They wrecked the economy by putting 30 million people out of work and then discontinuing the benefits that kept them alive. They are trying to remove health care from millions of people DURING THE PANDEMIC. They are shoving another extreme wingnut into the Supreme Court even though voting for Drumpf’s replacement is already happening and RBG’s tiny body is barely cool.

This year, I know we are committed to doing everything we can to get every. single. one. of those MF’ers OUT. And I think we’re going to see Senate wins we can’t even imagine right now.

Let the tsunami begin!

Open thread, as always.

As I watched the news with a mixture of terror, fury and disbelief over the past few days, I found myself trying to understand why Republicans are still trying to protect this bedraggled, juvenile, threadbare, traitorous, corrupt mess of an Administration. If they don’t care about this country (and I think they’ve made it abundantly clear that they don’t), then surely they care about the hideous, cartoonish spectacle of their Republican President tweeting belligerently about the war crimes he wants to commit? Are they not, at the most basic level, embarrassed by pictures like this? (Note the pic of HRC behind bars on the stock, just below the wackadoo extra Crusade-y Crusader’s Cross. Classy.)

I had a bit of a revelation during my ruminations. I realized that the Republicans are in the classic position of the dog having caught the car after so many years of chasing it. They have worked for decades to get a majority right-wing Senate, Justice Dept, Presidency and Supreme Court so they can finally fulfill their promises to their evangelical base – and more importantly, to transfer as much wealth as they can from the US Treasury into their own slimy pockets. The bumper is finally between their teeth, and the car has been getting them where they want to go; on the other hand, they are fully aware that the bumper could fall off while it’s moving at 95 miles per hour.

What’s a mangy, slobbery, old white cur to do in this situation?

There are only two options: Either hold on and hope for the best, or let go.

Read the rest of this entry »

Hello Widdershins, we have made it to another weekend. Yay us!!!

Do you all remember that the ACA enrollment is currently open? Spread the word because the Orange Turd is keeping it quiet, some people may not even realize.

This week saw some good news – the blue wave continues – we picked up a governorship in Kentucky (Moscow Mitch and Russian Rand’s home state) and took control of the Virginia government. That’s huge. Republicans in Kentucky actually considered voiding the election and placing the Republican into the governor’s mansion, but they decided even they couldn’t be so brazen. Or something. In any case, they’re letting the Democrat stay (how nice!)

Bloomie is jumping into the Democratic primary. The man who ran for NYC mayor as a Republican and then became an Independent wants the Democratic ticket. Ok. To Bloomberg’s credit “Moms Demand Action,” the gun-control organization he is funding has done extremely good things in helping flip places blue. But if he really wanted to be helpful he would just start a Super PAC with a few hundred million he’ll spend on his campaign and support one of the very excellent people already running, like Kamala Harris or Amy Klobuchar. Alas, vanity thy name is a billionaire he’s jumping in. Time will tell what comes of it.

But enough about politics. I wanna hear some tunes! I want to hear some DUETS!!! Because what can be more beautiful than two people working together to achieve beauty? DUETS!!!!

Luciano Pavarotti and Mirella Freni grew up together – they even shared the same wet-nurse! The beautiful duet that ends Act 1 of Puccini’s “La bohème” as sung by Mirella Freni and Luciano Pavarotti in 1964 and then in 1996.

 

 


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