The Widdershins

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Hello Widdershins!

Another week, more shenanigans from Sinenchin. AZ Senator who caucuses with Democrats went to fundraise in Europe while steadfastly insisting the filibuster is saving democracy and Manchin finally drew one red line on what he is willing to support: transitioning from coal to sustainable energy. We all thought Manchin objected to the cost of Biden’s BBB bill, but that ain’t it. It’s the pretty cheap part of the bill that transitions his state from coal. Manchin can’t have that. Coal must flow!!!! Even though it is a tiny part of the state’s industry (Arby’s employs more people than the coal industry). But Manchin looooooves coal. So.

Also Bernie Sanders released a blistering statement criticizing how the media is obsessed with the price tag of the bill, while the public has no idea what’s in the bill. Bernie is right (someone check hell, it must be freezing.) The press only talks about the $3.5 trillion price tag and the negotiations. They barely mention what’s actually in the bill. Naturally this sent the press (people like Magga Haberman!) into a tail spin of “This isn’t our fault, it’s your fault! It’s never our fault!” social media posts. Fact check: It is the media’s fault. 3.5 trillion % the media’s fault. The same media still insists their coverage of 2016 election was perfect. But I keep going back to Harvard’s Shorenstein Media Center’s study that ABC, NBC & CBS Nightly News shows – the most watched news programs in the country – spent 100 mins of 2016 discussing Hillary’s email. 30 mins discussing all political issues combined. And 0 of those minutes were on climate change. And yet, the media continues to insist their coverage is above criticism. Trump was right about one thing, if for the wrong reasons: media is the enemy of the people.

Hello Shinners! I’m extra heads-down at work this week, but wanted to give you all some fresh thread to munch on.

Here are some stories that interested me this week:

The Arizona Audit: A Fricasseed Chicken Ate My Ballot

The Ford F150: Electric Biden Boogaloo

It’s up to you, Noo Yawk

Injustice for Andrew Brown Jr.

Fighting for Florida

Tawk amongst yerselves!

Interesting how we haven’t heard much about Governor Andrew Cuomo lately, isn’t it? Let’s check in on that scandal.

‘Strange and inappropriate’: Flood victim says Cuomo came onto her in her home

Sherry Vill said that after she was introduced to the New York governor in her home in 2017, he leaned over and kissed her cheeks in a “highly sexual manner” and told her, “That’s what Italians do.”

Uhhhhh….that IS WHAT ITALIANS DO! And French people, and Spanish people, and sometimes British people as well. There are other episodes of alleged over-enthusiastic kissing that Cuomo has admitted to and apologized for, and one woman says he groped her (although her story changes frequently). Overall it’s “meh” so far.

So that’s the Democratic side.

How are our Republican friends doing? Let’s check in with those paragons of virtue, all het up about how Cuomo needs to resign.

So there’s Matt Gaetz, who recently leaked that he might not run for re-election and was considering a job at Newsmax. This was news for a hot second, until it was revealed that he’s actually defending himself against charges that he’s committed statutory rape. And while being a sexual criminal seems to be one of the qualifications his future employer looks for, it tends to be at least mildly frowned-upon by Congress.

Sounding shaken, Gaetz told Axios that for weeks, he and his father been working with the FBI in the Northern District of Florida on the extortion case. Gaetz said his lawyers were informed by the Justice Department that, “I was not a target but a subject of an investigation regarding sexual conduct with women.” 

Asked what the charges could relate to, Gaetz said: “I have definitely, in my single days, provided for women I’ve dated. You know, I’ve paid for flights, for hotel rooms. I’ve been, you know, generous as a partner. I think someone is trying to make that look criminal when it is not.”

Oh, but it is, Matt. It’s called sex trafficking. And you’re in big trouble, because you’re linked to an even sleazier, more criminal Republican named Joel Greenberg.

The probe of Gaetz reportedly stemmed from the investigation of Greenberg, who faces a slew of charges including sex trafficking of a child. He is currently slated to stand trial in June.

The Times report noted that many details of the Gaetz probe remain unclear, including how the congressman allegedly met the girl. The encounters allegedly occurred about two years ago and the investigation began in the final months of the Trump administration under then-Attorney General William P. Barr, the report said.

What is even more horrifying is that Gaetz, Greenberg and Roger Stone were all photographed kibbitzing together in Florida. The common denominator between all these criminals is – you guessed it – The Former Guy. And The Former Guy was involved with Epstein, who was a known pedophile and sex trafficker.

Do we see a pattern here?

Here is a long list of Republican sexual criminals. The link goes to “Part 16” of 23. Of the 25 repugnant sociopaths listed in Part 16, about 50% were involved in pedophilia and/or sex trafficking. This seems like something someone should cover, don’tcha think? Maybe something someone should trace back to that inexplicable rise of Drumpf through the Republican Party and how people who were so very Never T suddenly became his bestest pals? (cough cough Lindsey Graham cough cough)

But you know, Cuomo kissed someone on the cheek.

Open thread as always.

On March 13th, #2020, 26-year-old emergency room technician Breonna Taylor was murdered by police in her own home for the crime of living while Black in Louisville, Kentucky. The pain of this injustice, along with the racist murder of George Floyd by white policemen captured on video, breathed new life into the Black Lives Matter movement, and inspired people across the country to “Say Her Name.”

As I write this blog post, I see a ray of hope for Black people in this country because of the way the Mayor of Louisville has settled Breonna’s family’s lawsuit. This may not be complete justice yet – but it is a step in the right direction, and one I can’t imagine would have happened without the months of activism on her behalf.

Louisville, Kentucky Mayor Greg Fischer on Tuesday apologized to the family of Breonna Taylor – a Black woman who was shot dead by police in a botched raid on her apartment in March – and said the city will pay $12 million to the Taylor family and implement new police reforms.

FISCHER: “My administration is not waiting to move ahead with needed reforms to prevent a tragedy like this from ever happening again.”

While the settlement was accompanied by reforms, it did not explicitly admit wrongdoing on the city’s part.

No police officer has been criminally charged over Taylor’s death, but Kentucky’s Attorney General Daniel Cameron is expected to bring the case before a grand jury this week, and Lonita Baker – an attorney for Breonna Taylor’s estate – said she was confident an indictment was coming.

If you marched in protest of Breonna’s or George Floyd’s horrific deaths, or donated to the cause, or signed petitions, or posted on social media – you helped to do this. You helped to get Breonna’s death recognized by the mayor; you helped her family get compensatory damages (possibly the largest in history paid to a Black family); and you helped the state Attorney General bring the criminal justice system to bear on the cops who shot her.

It may not feel like it matters – but it always, always does.

This is an open thread.

I agree with Chuck Schumer and DYB: F*ck 2020. It just gets worse and worse. The luminous Chadwick Boseman has been taken away at such a young age, yet evil thugs like Dick Cheney, Dubya and der Drumpfenfuhrer live on. White cops keep shooting black people, and cities are burning because of it. Hurricanes and tropical storms and wildfires are causing devastation. The pandemic rages on with no end in sight, 180,000 Americans now dead of the virus. The Rethugs are cutting the unemployment aid that staved off a major depression in the spring and summer, after first allowing it to lapse for weeks because they were pissed off that some very poor people were making a few measly dollars more than usual. Schools are re-opening, and not re-opening, randomly. And of course, my favorite revelation of this past week – no one actually investigated Trump’s ties to Russia because Rosenstein shut it down without informing either Mueller or McCabe. (Mueller kept passing his info on to the FBI, trusting that they were on top of it.) No wonder the Senate investigation found more than Mueller did!

On a personal level, I have joined the project from hell. I returned to work fresh from a “week off,” in which I experienced the worst move of my life and lost my uncle and aunt to Covid-19, only to be told at 8 am Monday that I have a 70-page deliverable to whip into shape before Friday. And did I mention that I have a mentee up for promotion and several hours of reviews to sit through on Wednesday and Thursday?

I’m afraid to ask what will happen next, but when it does, I’m shrugging my shoulders and saying “#2020.”

What else is there to say until this four-year nightmare finally begins to end in November?

This is an open thread.


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