The Widdershins

Archive for the ‘Biden’ 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.

I continue to marvel at the media’s desperate campaign to legitimize TFG, his enablers and their insane actions. They miss the Mango Moron so very, very much, and they want him to run again because he was a ratings bonanza. His political future isn’t very bright these days, unfortunately for them, but they continue largely ignore this and to bash Democrats 24/7. Their Afghanistan coverage is a primary example of this. Check out this headline from the WaPo two days ago: Biden faces most acute crisis of his young presidency. Golly, did we forget about coronavirus already?

Speaking of the ‘Rona, the Delta variant is causing a huge amount of trouble among the unvaccinated (and breaking through for some of us who ARE vaccinated! Many hugs and well wishes for a continued recovery to you, D!). It appears to be both much more contagious AND possibly more severe than Alpha. But don’t worry, Republicans have some super-scientifical solutions to this problem! Oh no, not vaccines and masks – horse and cow dewormer, aka ivermectin! Because Covid-19 is a worm. Or something. I have no idea what is wrong with these #COVIDIOTS. Other weird science solutions include Republican governors trying to block federal mask and vaccine mandates before they happen. I say “trying” because #DeathSantis’s order attempting to block mask mandates was just overturned in court. Texas governor Greg Abbott will likely suffer the same fate.

Meanwhile, the real scientists have discovered a promising new potential treatment for COVID-19 – fluvoxamine. The good thing about this drug is that it’s already FDA-approved, cheap to produce and is a pill patients can take themselves – not an intravenous treatment like monoclonal antibodies, which must be administered by a doctor. Preliminary data suggests that it could reduce COVID-19 hospitalizations and need for ventilators by 31%. As the article states,

Here’s what we know: This is a large and well-designed study that affirms previous studies that pointed in the same direction. More research is needed, but the results from this trial might already start changing how we treat Covid-19. And the way researchers stumbled upon the drug as a potential treatment is a worthwhile story in itself about the scientific process and the unseen and often unheralded work that’s helping humanity fight the pandemic.

I couldn’t agree more. Thank the Goddess for real (not weird) science and scientists! Open thread as always.

Rose-shaped galaxy (Hubble telescope)

Happy Weekend, Widdershins!

Biden’s economic strategy seems to be a banger. The jobs report says almost a million jobs were added in July. Of course Washington Post had this story as the 9th leading story of the day. Joe Manchin’s boat -where Lindsey Graham got Covid – was a bigger story than the economy adding almost a million jobs in a single month. The media continues to fail us.

Meghan McCain (did you know John McCain was her father????) has finally left The View. Whoopi Goldberg and Joy Behar must be breathing a sigh of relief. Except I can’t even imagine what conservative moron they will choose to replace her. Doesn’t it seem like each conservative co-host has been worse than the one before? I think they’ll pick Kaleyigh McNinny or whatever the hell her name was. One of Trump’s big blond press secretary liars.

And Jeopardy is heading off a cliff. Their lengthy search for a permanent replacement for Alex Trebek is nearing its end and the recently hired Executive Producer is looking to hire himself. Literally, no joke. Mike Richards, the executive in question, is nearing final negotiations to hire himself. He used to be an Executive Producer of The Price is Right and his tenure was rife with lawsuits of sexual harassment and discrimination against the models. So this is going to go splendidly if the network goes through with this disaster. The Jeopardy brand will be permanently damaged.

How was your week?

This is an open thread!

Shinners, I still believe Sinema and Manchin will do the right thing about the filibuster in the end, hopefully by Labor Day. After all, their re-elections depend on Democrats in their states being able to vote. But man, it is totally infuriating to see them dig in and act so idiotic about their Republican colleagues, who only got all those judges (including the Supreme Court justices) passed through because they amended the filibuster. Worshiping at the altar of bi-partisanship while the opposition Party has become fascist and traitorous, is nothing short of brain-dead. And I do credit Manchin and Sinema with, at least, the instinct to politically survive.

The frustration with these Senators is not only coming from progressives, liberals and Joe Biden. It’s coming from former GOP as well.

Former Arizona Attorney General Grant Woods urged Senator Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) and Senator Joe Manchin (D-W. Va.) to agree to kill the filibuster or resign from office on Friday.

Sinema and Manchin have both faced heavy criticism for the opposition to eliminate or change the rule, which effectively requires most bills to have the support of 60 senators in a chamber that is currently split 50-50. Republicans used the rule for the first time in the Senate‘s current session last week to block the formation of a bipartisan commission to investigate the violent January 6 storming of the U.S. Capitol.

Woods, who served as Arizona’s Republican attorney general from 1991 to 1999, was a prominent backer of Sinema’s 2018 Senate campaign after switching parties during the same year. He now says that both Sinema and Manchin no longer belong in office if they remain unwilling to kill the filibuster in order to pass Democratic voting rights legislation.

“I do think that Sen. Sinema and every senator should support ending the filibuster for the voting rights bill,” Woods told HuffPost on Friday. “To keep the Jim Crow filibuster while losing some of these basic voting rights that are central to our democracy is preposterous.”

I know that Sinema and Manchin aren’t dumb, and I continue to hope this adherence to a racist and dangerous Senate rule is a clown show meant to impress their conservative voters in Arizona and West Virginia. But as Forrest Gump would say, Stupid is as Stupid Does. Right now, the stoopid – it burnssssss.

Feel free to post any songs that remind you of stupidity. Open thread, as always!

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.


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