The Widdershins

Archive for the ‘Breaking News’ Category


Hello, Widdershins. I hope you had a good weekend, and were not impacted by any of the fires, hurricanes and floods around the world!

A few months ago, Drumpf figured out that the Republicans in Congress were, in fact, not going to do a d*mn thing to stop his most irresponsible, dangerous and corrupt excesses. This was made very clear by the debacle over DACA, when he said “I don’t care, I’ll sign whatever you put in front of me!” and then immediately refused to sign the bipartisan deal crafted by the Senators whom he asked to craft a bipartisan deal. His fake agreeability effervesced into a miasma of white nationalism, aided and abetted by known xenophobes like John “Empty Barrel” Kelly, John “Let’s Bomb All the Brown People” Bolton and Stephen “I Hate Myself” Miller. And what political price did he pay? None. Mitch McConnell mewled that he wished Dear Leader would make up his mind so they could slavishly create a bill tailored to his ever-changing whims, but that was the extent of the pushback from the GOP.

Once he realized that he had free rein, the crazy came fast and furious. The mad rush to throw any ridiculous lie out there to cover up the Cohen and Stormy Daniels disaster; the brazen continuation of the employment of scandal-plagued Cabinet members like Scott Pruitt, Betsy DeVos and Ben Carson; and the bizarre pretense of everyone in the media (SHAME ON YOU ALL) who have been acting as though it would be a wonderful idea for the Mango Moron and the dictator of North Korea to get together for “diplomacy.” Please spare me the pathetic attempts to make this animal Presidential. What he and the North Korean dictator know about diplomacy would fit on the head of a pin, with ample room for as many dancing angels as you’d like.

And why does Der Drumpfenfuhrer have free rein? Because the GOP and its Con-Man-In-Chief are 100%, wholly-owned subsidiaries of Vladimir Putin. They are no longer Americans at all; they are slaves to the Russian agenda, which is to destroy Western democracy so that Russia can emerge ascendant, as it was decades ago before Communism destroyed it.

Publicly-available evidence that Russia owns the GOP keeps piling up. Right-wing media echoes Russian bots and Russia Today; Russian oligarchs are washing money through Michael Cohen and the NRA in exchange for friendly legislation and policies to benefit Putin; Putin’s fake election is celebrated by “Do Not Congratulate” Donald; etc. etc. ad infinitum. And allies of Russia such as Iran, China and North Korea are suddenly getting much more consideration than our allies in Europe. Again, this is not hard to see or understand.

This, the treason of Drumpf and the GOP, is the only story that matters.

Porn stars, missing children, ICE brutality, plutocratic disasters like the #GOPTaxScam, the 23rd mass shooting IN 2018, widespread GOP corruption and Dear Leader’s narcissistic tweets on Memorial Day; these stories are all subordinate. Thanks to Republican leadership’s willingness to cooperate with our enemies for personal gain, our government now has only one (semi-)functioning branch: the Judiciary. The Executive and Legislative Branches are down for the count.

This is by design. Everything these #GOPTraitors do is for the sole purpose of taking down our democracy, in order to please their Russian master. There really is no other motive one has to look for; there is no head-scratching or tortured analysis needed. It’s a simple story, although the implications are Brobdingnagian.

But once we truly get this in our bones – that this President and his Party are traitors – what remedy do we recommend? What action do we take?

This is the hard thing to solve. Yes, we can and will take back Congress. I am sure we are all focused on November 6, 2018, and plan to do everything we can to help get out the vote, all over the country. What are the next things we need to do after that, though? Assuming we take the House and begin impeachment proceedings, removal of the President requires 67 votes in the Senate. Are there any Republicans willing to sign up for that? If not, well…it ain’t gonna happen, and Drumpf won’t resign unless he sees a benefit to doing so.

I truly believe we cannot leave the future of our democracy up to Republicans in any way, shape or form. The Supreme Court, in its majority Republican configuration, has shown itself to be extraordinarily partisan, making decisions that only benefit Republicans (Bush v. Gore and Citizens United, anyone?). I don’t trust them to do the right thing; no one should.

There are only a couple of exceptions to this “No Republican” rule: Robert Mueller and Rod Rosenstein. So far, Mueller’s investigation has been extraordinarily quick, professional and thorough, and Rosenstein has protected him. What comes of that investigation, I think, is up to us. If we don’t put on massive pressure, Congress won’t act, the Justice Department may not act, and the Supreme Court certainly won’t.

In my opinion, we need to start planning to be in the streets as soon as Mueller releases something definitive. This is the most important thing the #Resistance can do. We need to force the government to do the right thing. Let’s think about how to make it happen – or, if anyone has heard of a demonstration like this already in the works, please share it here!

This is an open thread.

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Too much news

Posted on: May 17, 2018

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May 16 may have been one of the nuttier news days of the Dump administration. It was like the evening news dump, but all day long. And I was working with my boss in the room, so didn’t have much time to see it or absorb it until I got home. So this is an attempt to summarize some of the biggest developments – for my own sake and everyone else’s.

Dump called immigrants “animals.”

“You wouldn’t believe how bad these people are. These aren’t people. These are animals.”

This is deep and dark, and an escalation of his own rhetoric attacking immigrants. Such dehumanization of a group of people (and you know Trump is not talking about Swedes) has a long and terrible history. Nazis called Jews “vermin” and the Tutsi in Rwanda were called “cockroaches” before they were mass murdered. What is also concerning is that apparently none of the evening news shows discussed this statement by Trump. Because of everything else happening a statement this alarming didn’t even warrant coverage.

Stormy Daniels’ lawyer Michael Avenatti has been teasing and baiting Cohen for days with seemingly deep knowledge about his money dealings and the question has been what does Avenatti know and how does he know it. New Yorker provided the answer that the whistleblower leaked the info out of concern after seeing that a government database was missing some records and this person feared a cover-up in progress.

The documents this law enforcement official allegedly could not find are not easily misplaced bureaucratic paperwork. Suspicious activity reports, or SARs, are reports that banks and other financial institutions file if they have an inkling that someone might be engaging in money laundering or another illicit activity. They are filed with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, which maintains a database for government and law enforcement officials. A suspicious activity report is not proof of any crime, just a red flag, and can help authorities establish patterns.

This sounds suspicious indeed but – let’s not overreact just yet. A few respectable people on twitter – Benjamin Wittes of Lawfare blog and former FBI agent Asha Rangappa argued that a) the documents “disappearing” can be for legitimate reasons (removed because of a secret investigation, for example) and b) even if the documents are missing, those are not the only copies. The banks that filed the SARs will have their own records, and there are records of the original transactions as well. So in order to successfully erase Cohen’s activities there are many databases that have to be erased. So if there is anything of interest, Mueller either already has it or can get it from the banks. (Probably already has it.)

There was also the the NY Times non-apology buried in the middle of a long article about their infamous story clearing Trump of any wrongdoing just before the election. We all knew the story was a lie when the Times Lichtlbau Timespublished it. And more importantly, they knew it was nonsense. They interviewed Harry Reid for the story – and then threw out his entire interview, choosing to clear Trump right there in the headline. While openly blasting and speculating about emails on the front page. In their non-apology they blamed the FBI for misleading them. I have no doubt their sources in the FBI misled them, but they had other sources of correct information, which they chose to ignore. I won’t get into the rehash of all that again, it makes my blood boil. But it’s worth noting that more than 18 months after the story was published and executive editor Dean Baquet has been defending it the whole time – they finally acknowledge that they did it wrong. And they accepted no responsibility for doing it wrong. They blamed the FBI. So after all this, fuck you NY Times and Dean Baquet. (BTW, the article itself reinforces the fact that Comey and FBI ratfucked us all by blasting Hillary’s emails and hiding the Trump investigation. They watched as Trump colluded with the Russians to throw an election and did nothing to stop it. Curses on Comey and whoever else in the FBI (yes, including Wray) did this. May they burn in hell.)

The Senate released transcript of Junior’s – and others’ – testimonies and they’re a doozy. Junior is a moron and everything he says reinforces the fact that they met with the Russians to get dirt on Hillary. And instead got an earful on the Magnitsky act. Apparently Kushypoop was livid at lack of dirt offered in the meeting, per testimony of Rob Goldstone:

After a few minutes of this labored presentation, Jared Kushner, who is sitting next to me, appeared somewhat agitated by this and said, I really have no idea what you’re talking about. Could you please focus a bit more and maybe just start again?” Goldstone recalled of the meeting according to hearing transcripts released by the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday. “And I recall that she began the presentation exactly where she had begun it last time, almost word for word, which seemed, by his body language, to infuriate him even more.

Kushner presented a completely different picture of the meeting, of course; one where he was barely paying attention and left early. Sure Kushypoop, sure.

One really fascinating tidbit from Junior’s testimony are mysterious phone calls he made, but says does not remember. Daily Beast summarizes the events nicely and here’s a timeline I compiled from their article:

  • June 6, 2016 Rob Goldstone emails Don Junior with an offer “to provide the Trump campaign with some official documents and information that would incriminate Hillary” via well-connected Russian lawyer and Junior should talk to music producer Emin Agalarov to schedule an appointment.
  • Minutes after speaking to Agalarov, Junior places a 4-minute call to a blocked number.
  • Minutes after that, Junior calls Agalarov again and sets up the meeting for June 9.
  • Junior immediately places an 11-minute call to a blocked number.
  • June 8, 2016 Donald Trump says at a rally that the following week he will give a “major speech” where “we’re going to be discussing all of the things that have taken place with the Clintons.”
  • June 9, 2016 Junior, Manafort and Kushner meet with Veselnitskaya and others where Junior asks Veselnitskaya: “So can you show us how does this money go to Hillary?” And when she drones on about Magnitsky Act, Kushner gets angry.
  • After the meeting ended, Junior placed a 3-minute call to a blocked number.
  • Trump’s speech on the Clintons never happened.
  • Junior says he does not remember who he called on any of those occasions.
  • Corey Lewandowski has said that at the time of these meetings Donald Trump used a blocked phone number at his home.

This is an open thread.

 

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Hello Widdershins,

My apologies for a short post. It’s difficult to type with one hand after my bagel-slicing injury. Who would have thought something like a bagel would send someone to the ER? (And I don’t mean blocked arteries.)

Two stories I wanted to highlight from the last few days.

James Comey published his memoir in which he tells us how awesome he is. The most relevant part might be the one where he says Trump and his entire cabinet expressed zero interest in learning more about Russian hacking and influence on the election. But the part we are all probably most interested in is: what does Sanctimonious Jim think about throwing the election for Trump? Turns out – not much. While he admits that perhaps he should have been less abrasive in his press conference over the summer 2016, Comey does not regret the content of his presentation which violated department rules. As people pointed out, if he truly thought Loretta Lynch was somehow compromised (something he repeats in the book), then his next course of action should have been to speak to Deputy AG, Sally Yates – not to throw everything into chaos with the press conference. And the Comey Letter to Jason Chaffetz which changed the outcome of the election? From the NY Times:

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You see, Comey was just trying to help Hillary! And she went and screwed it all up by not winning. Lame! Comey (who did not reveal that Trump was under investigation while revealing that Hillary was because reasons) then goes into detail of how Obama told him he was not mad at him and how honorable he – Comey – is. Comey says he was quite overcome with emotion. And he claimed other Democrats in private meetings absolved him too. So he’s happy. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

The other story that caught my eye is Ronan Farrow’s new piece in the New Yorker about how the National Enquirer squashed stories about Trump. Included there is a tidbit that one story was squashed with the help of Lanny Davis. Farrow made sure to connect Davis to the Clintons; he called him their “confidant.” While I question Farrow’s motives for making the connection – and the response of some twitter people now making it all about the Clintons (Jon Favreau nastily tweeted “The Clintons have some top-notch friends”), it is worth noting that Lanny Davis was working with the National Enquirer to squash negative stories about Trump even as the National Enquirer and Trump were conspiring to destroy HRC. With friends like these, who needs friends?

What are the odds on Mueller getting canned?

What a year this week has been! I’m going to try to run through some of the exciting developments.

Beto O’Rourke has won the Democratic primary in Texas and will now face Ted Cruz DXuu3JXXkAAAqwn.jpgin the election. While generally people think it’s still a long shot for a Democrat to win in Texas, we have seen some surprise elections and flips since Dump lost the popular vote. Democrats have flipped deep red seats which Dump won by  40 points. So who knows what will happen in November. We do know that Cruz immediately began blasting O’Rourke. Cruz’ first shot was a radio ad which said: “If you are going to run in Texas, you can’t be a liberal man. I remember reading stories, liberal Robert wanted to fit in. So he changed his name to Beto and hid it with a grin.” Ok fine, Rafael “Ted” Cruz. What’s your excuse for changing your name? When confronted with the hypocrisy, Rafael Cruz gave the most predictable answer you can imagine from a Republican today: “Satire! LOL!” Everybody’s a goddamned comedian.

Stormy Daniels, the adult film actress, is suing Donald Dump.

“Despite Mr. Trump’s failure to sign the Hush Agreement, Mr. Cohen proceeded to cause $130,000.00 to be wired to the trust account of Ms. Clifford’s attorney. He did so even though there was no legal agreement and thus no written nondisclosure agreement whereby Ms. Clifford was restricted from disclosing the truth about Mr. Trump,” the document states.

In her lawsuit Daniels also says that she has photographs and/or text messages from Donald Trump… which, lord help us, means there are dick pics. Which also is one step 180306203120-trump-stormy-daniels-split-medium-plus-169.jpgcloser to a pee tape. Sarah Huckleberry Sanders, when questioned about all this, said that there was no hush agreement, but that Ms. Daniels is in violation of one. Or something to that effect. Republicans in Congress are livid about all this and are demanding Trump resign. LOL, satire! I’m a comedian too. Nobody in the GOP cares. It’s almost as if decades of hunting and complaining about Bill Clinton cheating on his wife wasn’t a real moral outrage on their part. Because they are just fine with candidate Trump paying hush money to a porn actress a month before the election and demanding she sign a hush agreement after having an affair with her while his wife was pregnant. Perfectly normal, peak Trump-age.

Hope Hicks, the mute former White House Communications Director, told the House Intelligence Committee that her private email account was hacked. So, Hope Hicks was using a private email account. LOL, she’s a comedian too! And it was hacked. I’m just gonna leave it at that.

And finally, the New York Times, that putrid rotting corpse of the old grey lady, just demonstrated why it’s an irredeemable rag. They just promoted Patrick D. Healy to bepatrickhealynyt.jpeg.256x256_q100_crop-smart.jpg their Politics Editor. Healy is one of their leading Clinton Derangement Syndrome carriers. Healy is the one who came up with the “Clinton cackle” line to describe HRC’s laugh. Healy is the one who wrote their massive 2,000 word investigation into the how the Clintons spend their time together as a couple, going as far as suggesting that Bill was still having affairs. Healy’s writing history with the paper, documented here, is full of attacks on both Clintons and softness on Trump. It is further proof that the Times’ coverage of 2018 and 2020 is going to be just as catastrophic as their coverage of 2016 was. Brace for impact.

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Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf with Hillary Clinton

Wednesday was a doozy of news. Between Kushner’s bribes and security clearance, Hope Hicks’ resignation, Trump telling Senators meeting on guns that we should take guns away from people, Trump attacking Jeff Sessions (who then went on to have a public dinner with Rod Rosenstein), Manafort pleading not guilty to whatever outstanding charges there were from Mueller, Walmart announcing they are raising age for gun purchases to 21 (useless, but ok), Louis Farrakhan delivering a blistering anti-Semitic, homophobic, racist 4-hour lecture while getting cheered on by some Women’s March organizers who threw Hillary under the bus  – I found some interesting news about a hero that doesn’t wear a cape.

Her name is Libby Schaaf and she is the mayor of Oakland. Last Saturday she went on TV and announced that according to information she had ICE was planning to do raids in her city and she advised people to be careful. When ICE did go on a rampage on Tuesday they arrested 150 people. But they claim about 800 got away and they are livid at the mayor.

“Sanctuary jurisdictions like San Francisco and Oakland shield dangerous criminal aliens from federal law enforcement at the expense of public safety,” [ICE Deputy Director Thomas D.] Homan said in a statement. “The Oakland mayor’s decision to publicize her suspicions about ICE operations further increased [risks] for my officers and alerted criminal aliens — making clear that this reckless decision was based on her political agenda with the very federal laws that ICE is sworn to uphold.”

Mayor Schaff, however, remains unimpressed.

She had already made her defiance clear last month when she told reporters that she was willing to go to jail to defend Oakland’s “sanctuary city” policy of protecting immigrants who are in the country illegally and not cooperating with federal authorities to deport them. She said Tuesday that she was responding to a suggestion from Homan in January that the Justice Department should begin criminally charging California politicians who supported sanctuary jurisdictions. Politicians like her, she said.

Asked by The Post whether she considered herself part of “the resistance” movement — the unofficial title for left-leaning Americans who do not support the Trump administration — she responded with a resounding yes.

I, for one, hope more politicians take the risk Mayor Schaff did. Her actions here were extremely brave. No doubt ICE will go after her. ICE is our own American Gestapo. I hope  when Democrats come to power they will not only abolish ICE, but investigate and prosecute people like Thomas Homan, people who commit acts of cruelty. “I was just following orders” is historically not a defense that has held up in courts.

This is an open thread.

 

We thought we hit rock bottom and then someone knocked from underneath.

This is an old Russian expression, appropriately Russian. After more than 2 years of Trump dominating headlines and causing outrage everywhere he went – he launched his Presidential bid by declaring that all Mexicans were rapists and murderers – it’s shocking to me that I can still be shocked. But on Tuesday I found myself shocked when right-wing Republicans began attacking survivors of the Parkland, Florida school shooting. Leading the charge was the demented rancid garbage subhuman demon Dinesh D’Souza.

CNN’s pro-Trump pundit, and former Republican Congressthug from Georgia Jack Kingston, started floating the theory that the kids speaking out were actually actors and they were coached by Democrats to attack Trump. Gateway Pundit, which has White House press credentials, joined the fray. Bill O’Reilly began questioning why anyone listens to the kids anyway. Others began attacking the kids on twitter directly for being liars and fake, and someone started blaming Soros. Donald Junior began liking tweets that were attacking the kids. Florida state representative Shawn Harris’ Deputy Secretary Benjamin Kelly began emailing journalists claiming that the kids being interviewed don’t even go to the school where the massacre happened. When asked for proof he emailed links to conspiracy youtube videos where people claim these are crises actors and not students. Remember Sandy Hook? Same accusations were spread about the victims there by the likes of Alex Jones. Now this entered the mainstream. Harris – after twitter erupted in outrage at Kelly – soon announced that he fired him. But not before he voted in Florida assembly not to advance a bill to ban assault weapons, with some of the Parkland kids in the gallery. This is what D’Souza found so funny. The blowback against convicted felon D’Souza was so severe that even CPAC announced they were canceling this appearance there. (Last year it was Milo Snuffleapaganus’ appearance they cancelled after he defended child rape.)

Speaking of CPAC, did you see the list of speakers this year? It has gone full on KKK/White nationalist/European fascist. Speakers include Marion Le Pen – the more radical niece of Marine Le Pen, Nigel Farrage, Sean Hannity, “Sheriff” David Clarke, Judge Jeanine Piro, Ted Cruz, Dump and Pence, John Bolton, Wayne La Pierre, Dana Loesch, Sebastian Gorka. And Gary Johnson. Yes, Gary Johnson will be speaking at CPAC among all those other Republican luminaries. (Again, D’Souza’s appearance was cancelled on Tue after his tweets attacking Parkland kids.)

This is the Republican party in February of 2018. We are in Hell.

 

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It is February 15 and we have already had 18 school shootings in the US in 2018. That’s just the school shootings. School shootings are so common and ordinary at this point that NBC didn’t even bother to cut from their Olympic coverage of curling on Wednesday when a former student of the Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland Florida opened fire, killing 17 people. The first modern school shooting in America was Columbine on April 20, 1999. (I very highly recommend the book “Columbine” by Dave Cullen. It’s a difficult read, but essential. If you got your Columbine news from the news – everything you know about Columbine is wrong.) Coni Sanders, daughter of slain Columbine teacher Dave Sanders, said on CNN earlier that “The world stopped for Columbine.” It also stopped for Sandy Hook. But these were all temporary pauses. We barely slowed down for all the others. As the British commentator Dan Hodges tweeted in 2015: “In retrospect Sandy Hook marked the end of the US gun control debate. Once America decided killing children was bearable, it was over.” So it will be again. Thoughts and prayers is the only thing GOP – and some Democrats (and Bernie) – will ever offer. NRA’s behavior follows a similar pattern each time a shooting like this happens: they go silent for a couple of days, and then just go on acting as if nothing happened. And collectively we let them. We will only rise again the next time there’s a shooting. Then we will give up again until the next one.

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Thoughts and prayers is all GOP has been offering so far. Marco Rubio said no one should rush to judgment. Trump tweeted condolences; apparently his aides encouraged him to make a statement, but he passed. It’s just as well. I can’t imagine his statement would have offered comfort to anyone. And that’s depressing too. We actually don’t want our President* to make a statement about a mass killing of children because we’re afraid of what he’d say.

New York Daily News put together some numbers and facts in response to members of the GOP tweeting their thoughts and prayers. It’s worth a read.

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Personally I think we need to take people’s guns away. Republicans spent 8 years trembling that Obama was going to, but that was absurd, obviously. Well, I think it’s time. It’s time for a politician to step forward and call for a repeal or at the very least, a very serious rethinking of the 2nd Amendment. The gun used in Florida yesterday was the same gun used in Las Vegas and in Sandy Hook. And those semi-automatic guns do not belong in homes of every Joe Schmoes in every town of the country. It’s preposterous. Our Founding Fathers never envisioned a gun like that. And even if they had – so what. It’s a document written hundreds of years ago. In many ways it is an astonishing document, but things change and lives change and standards change. And that document needs to grow with the times. And the times are the 2nd Amendment to go. Repel/replace if you will. Down with the 2nd Amendment!!!!!

What do you think Widdershins? Is it possible? Or will space travel to Mars come before gun control?

This is an open thread Widdershins.


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Kellyanne Conway’s new job

Take the kids to work? NO!

So similar

That moment when *your* pussy gets grabbed

You go gurl! h/t Adam Joseph

“The” Book

Nice picture of our gal

Time till the Grifter in Chief is Gone

Hopefully soonerJanuary 21st, 2021
2.6 years to go.

Mueller Time!

Wise Words from Paul Ryan

Heroine of the Resistance

B-I-N-G-O!

Only the *best* politicans bought by the NRA

Marching for their lives

Perfect Picture

Perfect Name For Him h/t Daily News

Scary a.f.

Rudy: oh shit the pee tape IS real!

JUNE IS PRIDE MONTH

Need Reminders?

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