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The school is the last expenditure upon which America should be willing to economize.
Franklin D. Roosevelt

Hello and happy Tuesday, Widdershins! Who know what infobombs will drop before this post is published? Perhaps via the Democrats (whose memo debunking the Nunes lie-fest was released in the evening on Saturday) or Mango Meerkat nemesis Mueller?

Regardless of what else is going on, I am quite sure that the “March for Our Lives” movement, which has sprung organically from the activism of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas mass shooting survivors, will still be in the news. (Have you signed up for a sister march? They’re being set up across the country. Check it out here! I’m excited for the one in NYC.)

The effectiveness of this movement, led with moral clarity and ustified outrage is growing daily. Calling out the way the NRA has been buying Congresscritters’ inaction on any gun-control initiatives was a brilliant strategic move. Corporations who used to offer discounts or other benefits to NRA members, are running away from the now-toxic organization. As of today, here’s the list of companies that have jumped off the NRA ship.

  • First National Bank of Omaha
  • Delta Airlines
  • United Airlines
  • Allied Van Lines
  • North American Van Lines
  • Avis
  • Hertz
  • Alamo
  • Enterprise
  • National
  • Starkey Hearing Technologies
  • MetLife
  • Chubb
  • TrueCar
  • SimpliSafe
  • Symantec

This movement is only 11 days old. What might it become as it becomes stronger and gains support?

It’s having ripple effects beyond any that the kids could have imagined. A huge voter registration effort is under way; Florida Republicans are running scared; and Drumpf is promising action, although we all know what his promises are worth – and the NRA is already pushing back. Between the fierceness of the Parkland activists and the supreme professionalism and skills of Team Mueller, life is going to be getting more and more uncomfortable for Drumpf, the GOP, the gun nuts of the NRA, and the alt-right enablers attacking the movement and issuing death threats to kids…who have already survived death. Deplorables, all.

I tie this all back to the Women’s March on January 21, 2017. The March was underestimated by the media and even those of us who participated – we had no idea what we were starting – but now, over a year later, #TheResistance has grown into an enormous countrywide presence, with chapters in every state. We are organized, active and we make a difference. And now, kids and teachers are joining in with single-issue focus.

I am hopeful in a way I haven’t been in a long time. This movement is bigger than Drumpf, bigger than the GOP, and bigger than the NRA. It’s about citizens forcing leaders to go the way they want. It’s about engagement, caring and passion. And it’s an amazing thing to see.

I must follow the people. Am I not their leader?
– Benjamin Disraeli

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, concerned citizens can change world. Indeed it is the only thing that ever has.
—Margaret Mead

This is an open thread.

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Well, well, well. Oprah gave a speech at the Golden Globes, and now, she’s gonna be President in 2020! Indeed, she seems not just inevitable, but the best possible choice against Drumpf, if we believe the hyperventilating media.

The breakout star of the 75th Golden Globes has better odds to claim the White House than former Vice President Joe Biden, according to BetOnline, a prominent Internet gambling company.

The company is currently giving the former daytime television star 20 to 1 odds of becoming the next President of the United States. Those betting on Biden are given 25 to 1 odds. Some other contenders Winfrey topped were Mark Zuckerberg, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand — all of whom were given 25 to 1 odds.

Or…maybe not.

Winfrey trailed other Democratic luminaries, including Sen.  Elizabeth Warren and Sen. Kamala Harris, both of whom had 12 to 1 odds. Leading the pack, of course, was the president himself, Donald Trump, who BetOnline put at 2 to 1.

D’oh! If we believe these guys, Oprah is a long shot at best, and the Mango Moron is a shoo-in for 8 years, no matter who runs in 2020.

So uh…what’s going on here?

My musings are, we really don’t know what 2020 will bring. There are a few factors we have to consider if we are going to indulge in this kind of pre-emptive prognostication. Come with me now into the future…future…future….

Q: In 2020, will Drumpf still be squatting in the Oval Office like an orange smushed on the carpet?

MB Says: No. I am almost completely sure that Drumpf will no longer be President, but when will his removal happen, and what will precipitate it? Will it be the Michael Wolff revelations, causing the conversations about the Mango Meerkat’s mental stability to go mainstream, and to become too vociferous to ignore? Will the Republicans successfully navigate that particular storm, only to be toppled by #BlueTsunami2018?  Will Robert Mueller’s investigation take down not just the corrupt POTUS, but the VP, others in his family, and Russia-connected members of Congress?

Check this out:

In 2015-16, everything changed. [Russian oligarch] Blavatnik’s political contributions soared and made a hard right turn as he pumped $6.35 million into GOP political action committees, with millions of dollars going to top Republican leaders including Sens. Mitch McConnell, Marco Rubio and Lindsey Graham [emphasis mine].In 2017, donations continued, with $41,000 going to both Republican and Democrat candidates, along with $1 million to McConnell’s Senate Leadership Fund [emphasis mine].

I believe that what causes 45’s political demise will impact the 2018 mid-term elections, as well as the 2020 election.

Q: What will the narrative be for Drumpf as he crashes and burns?

MB Says: I don’t know! I am sure that whatever it is, all the brand-new Democrats running will effectively weaponize it in order to win the House, and perhaps the Senate. But if he stays in till the Democrats impeach him, people may feel that Drumpf’s issues were not due to his inexperience, but to his uniquely toxic mixture of corruption, obstinate stupidity and autocratic daydreaming. In an odd way, his impeachment may legitimize the choice of the Electoral College to install someone who has no clue what’s he’s doing as President. After all, other presidents who were impeached, or almost impeached, were legitimate. (I’m sure someone, somewhere, is thinking up that spin right now.)

On the other hand, if the 25th Amendment is used to remove him, Americans may look at Oprah or any of the other celebrities running, and say, “We tried the “no experience” thing and we got a complete whackadoo who won’t let people change his sheets for him, who naps (come on, you know that’s what “executive time” means) from 8 am to 11 am every day, and who freaks out on Twitter every five minutes. Thanks, but no thanks. Let’s get someone in there who actually knows how the government works. Mmmkay?”

And that leads me to this question:

Q: What role will the media play in 2020?

MB: This is the $64,000 ($64B in 45’s dollars) question. I have historically insisted, long and often, that the media has no power over Hillary Clinton. In one way, the election of 2016 vindicated my position regarding traditional media outlets; HRC won the popular vote, by a lot, despite the best and sincerest efforts of the Teevee and some papers (You know who you are, New York Times!) to cause her to lose. In another way, the election of 2016 demonstrated the awe-inspiring power of social media, which was expertly hacked by Russia to target persuadable voters and convince them that, at the very least, “Bernie wuz robbed!”. Without these bots and troll farms, more Bernie/Stein/Johnson voters would have voted for Hillary, and even the #fake electoral college victory wouldn’t have been credible.

The media problem we have is twofold.

First, all forms of media are now addicted to a political environment that changes every 20-30 minutes. The clicks and refreshes and subscriptions and views are off the charts for all cable news. If you have a non-celebrity Democratic candidate in 2020, who would just happen to make a great President, will the media yawn and give other candidates, perhaps other Republican celebrity candidates (don’t rule out porn and meth house maven Steve Bannon), the free publicity they gave the Orange Crusher?

Second, the media falls in love with folksy figures like Oprah. Look what happened with Obama (who didn’t have 1/10th of Oprah’s charisma, in my opinion)! The media swooned, and people fainted at his rallies. He had folksiness. The Donald, spoiled, entitled, rich sh*thead that he truly is, also knew how to fake it. Meanwhile, there was Hillary, much, MUCH better qualified, but without the innate sound-byting and messaging capabilities of either her 2008 or 2016 opponents. I continue to believe that Obama was a middling-to-poor President, and clearly, Drumpf is running away with the “WPE” title, vastly exceeding Raygun and Dubya in only his first year.  (So. Much. Winning!)But it hardly matters. If the media doesn’t realize that the qualities of an exciting and charismatic campaigner are not the same as the qualities of a President who knows how to govern, we’ll be hearing all about how Kamala Harris or Cory Booker “just don’t have the passion of Oprah” or how Eric Swallwell (someone I’d like to see on one side of a ticket) “seems like too much of a white guy from Connecticut.” Too smart! Too wonky! Yada yada f*cking yada.

As you can see, I don’t have a lot of answers, only musings. I’ll leave you with this one: My poli-sci professor friend asked me which celebrity I could see running as a Democrat in 2020, and I picked Oprah. So I’m not totally opposed to the idea (again: Voting for the D no matter who it is. Just wanted to say that for the record). My point is that now is wayyyyyyyy too early to be thinking about 2020. Let’s get out the vote in 2018 and take our country back from the corrupt and cruel GOP, and kick Russia out of our electoral system once and for all.

What do you think?

I’m just going to throw Randy Rainbow’s latest in here, because it’s actually genius.

This is an open thread.

 

 

 

 

Hello Widdershins! It’s the 2nd day of 2018, and already I’ve got my favorite prediction for the year right above the fold. It’s funny how cautious the press is being when every single indicator shows that Drumpf and the GOP are going to get crushed…then again, they don’t have the best record on the Mango Moron, do they?

In any case, here are some other predictions I’ve seen and liked in the past few days. Please feel free to add your own in the comments!

By Jack Goldsmith in Lawfare: The President Can’t Kill the Mueller Investigation

Not so happy, but important, from Eric Holthaus in Mother Jones: The Arctic will Never be Frozen Again

Here are some really interesting, wide-ranging predictions from the Washington Post.

Is Ivanka about to be arrested for fraud? Oh please, oh please….

Is Devin Nunes going to federal prison? Oh please, oh please

#MeToo becomes #TimesUp: I predict this new organization will change working culture, and relationships between men and women in the workplace.

And one more from me: I predict that Hillary’s organization, Onward Together, will grow exponentially, as the fortunes of all of the men and women who threw her under the bus decline in equal proportion.

This is an open thread.

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Good morning Widdershins.

This week has been rough. On Tuesday and Wednesday Republicans passed the Money Redistribution Act. Not a single Democrat voted for this travesty that will gut whatever is left of the American middle-class. But Republican centrists, those honorable people likeSusan-collins-e1465230869154.jpg Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski – heroines of the ACA repeal fiasco – showed once again that when it really comes down to it, they are as dishonorable as every other Republican. Both sold out the American public for a handful of dollars; actually, when I say a handful I mean a huge handful for themselves and their corporate overlords. Susan Collins, when told that McConnell would not honor his promise to her about the ACA mandate, lashed out at the media:

“I believe that the coverage has been unbelievably sexist, and I cannot believe that the press would have treated another senator with 20 years of experience as they have treated me,” she told reporters in the Capitol. “They’ve ignored everything that I’ve gotten and written story after story about how I’m duped. How am I duped when all your amendments get accepted?”

A certain female former Senator, Secretary of State and almost President might laugh at Collins’ self-pity. The GOP tax bill for all intents and purposes repeals ACA. Collins voted to repeal it after claiming she wouldn’t. Because McConnell promised her something he has no intention of delivering. If she truly thought he would – she may not look it, but Susan Collins was born yesterday.

In other news, the New York Times continued to demonstrate why they are – as I like to say – the rotting corpse of a once great news organization. Just a few short weeks ago they suspended their star White House reporter Glenn Thrush after stories came out that multiple women were accusing him of harassment and assault. On Wednesday Dean Baquet announced that Thrush would be back at the paper, just not covering the White House.

“While we believe that Glenn has acted offensively, we have decided that he does not deserve to be fired,” Baquet said in a statement. He said Thrush will receive “training designed to improve his workplace conduct,” and that Thrush is undergoing counseling and substance abuse rehabilitation on his own.

This is galling, especially when you consider that the Times previously wrote op-eds calling on Al Franken to resign. (Which he did and just announced that he will be gone atmaxresdefault.jpg the end of the year.) Thrush, one of the star male reporters who helped craft the narrative in 2016 that Hillary Clinton was unlikable and not trustworthy, was proven to be a misogynist. Perhaps considering the Times’ coverage, especially Baquet’s political coverage, one should not be surprised. But appalled and disgusted, yes. Or as Brianna Wu tweeted:

Dear . The issue with Glenn Thrush isn’t that he behaved “offensively.” It’s that he got drunk, sexually assaulted women he worked with, and then DESTROYED THEIR PROFESSIONAL REPUTATIONS with colleagues to cover his ass. How can you keep that in your newsroom?!

Perhaps more than any other paper, the New York Times has been responsible for normalization of Trump and White Supremacy, and the destruction of Hillary Clinton. If anyone still has a subscription to it, I urge them to cancel it. (Also worth noting Arthur Sulzberger, the publisher of the Times, announced his retirement from the paper effective December 14th. His place as the head of the paper was taken his son, A.G. Sulzberger. Because, well, of course.)

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Happy weekend Widdershins!

This week has been a cray-cray rollercoaster. Dump continues to Dump, but we did get further confirmation that everything he touches dies. He has not been good for the GOP. And I don’t just mean that he has corrupted them (in fact, we all know Dump didn’t corrupt them. This is how they’ve been for a long time. Dump is a symptom, not the cause of the infection.) He is bad for the GOP because he is causing “minority flight.” It’s like white flight, but the reverse: non-white people are fleeing. Except by fleeing I mean running to the polls. We have witnessed stunning upsets in elections all over the country, locally Democrats are taking government seats previously occupied by Republicans in deep red places like Oklahoma. And nationally we have seen two stunning upsets for the GOP: Virginia and Alabama. Democrats actually won a US Senate seat in Alabama. And Doug Jones didn’t do it by running as a conservative Democrat. That has been one of the remarkable features of his campaign. He didn’t waffle on choice or gay marriage. He didn’t run by blasting Pelosi or Schumer. So by Alabama standard Doug Jones is a far-left nut job. Except he won the election anyway. He won because black women (and black men) came out in higher than expected numbers and voted. Even though GOP tried their darnedest to stop them. Many irregularities were reported all day. And still, they came out to vote. White men and white women chose the accused pedophile. But it didn’t matter: non-white voters came out to vote. They have lived for a year under the horror of Dump. And this is what happens when Democrats bring out their base to vote: Democrats win. If Democrats managed to win a seat in Alabama, every state should be in play in 2018.

The fact that Roy Moore refuses to concede the race is irrelevant. He will have to exit the stage regardless. There are speculations that Bannon’s reputation is greatly damaged because he went all in on Moore – as did Dump. And Moore losing is a humiliating defeat for Bannon and Dump. So let us imagine for a minute that this is the beginning of their grand exit off the stage too.

Omarosa is existing too. Actually she was escorted out.

So many exits this week. Let’s wish some of these people good riddance.

 

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You think we’re buying that crap?

 

A good morning to you Widdershins!

Just a little something since DYB’s Wednesday post was so wildly successful.

So Frankencassidy Bill of Louisiana and Lady Lindsey of South Carolina would have you believe that their plan to abolish the A.C.A. is about giving Americans a “better choice” for healthcare.  And they would accomplish this by creating “block grants” to send to the states and the states would take care of healthcare and health insurance for their residents.  I call bullshit on it.

Here’s what NPR had to say about this atrocity.

Here’s what it does:

Graham-Cassidy essentially deconstructs all of the major programs created by the Affordable Care Act, gathers up the money and hands it over to states to run their own health care programs.

It gets rid of both the subsidies that help people buy individual health insurance policies and the reimbursements to insurance companies for offering price breaks on copayments and deductibles to the lowest-income customers.

It rolls back the Obamacare Medicaid expansion that was adopted by 31 states and Washington, D.C., and it eliminates the Basic Health Program that was created under the ACA and implemented in New York and Minnesota.

All the money that currently goes to those initiatives would instead be distributed to the states as block grants that would particularly benefit those states that did not expand Medicaid earlier and those states with lower health care costs.

There’s a huge graphic there that breaks down how the A.C.A./the House plan/First Senate bill/and Graham-Cassidy affect various groups.  Check it out.

Another thing is the fact that yes this sends money to the states and their legislatures to create some type of health care program for individuals and to manage their medicaid programs.  Now…take a look at this graphic of who controls the state legislatures in the country:

Now do you really think those red state legislatures are going to be very concerned about individuals with pre-existing conditions or keeping the guaranteed essential benefits of the A.C.A. plans?  Puhleeze!

And here’s another little sneaky thing the dynamic duds will accomplish: (again from the NPR piece)

Graham and Cassidy say their plan restores fairness to a system where currently more than a third of the money spent on the Affordable Care Act goes to just four states: Massachusetts, Maryland, New York and California.

[snip]

Timothy Jost, a professor at Washington and Lee University School of Law who wrote a widely used textbook on health law, says the proposed change also has political benefits for Republicans.

“In general, the legislation would over time move money away from states, predominantly Democratic, that have expanded Medicaid and aggressively pursued enrolling their lower income populations in Medicaid and exchange coverage,” he wrote in a Health Affairs blog post. “Money would move toward states, predominantly Republican, that have not expanded Medicaid.”

To quote someone famous:  “Aye, there’s the rub”.

And the biggie of all the biggies in the Repubs wanting so hard to push this deal simply comes down to money that their Lords and Masters say they want and they want it from the A.C.A.

The Kock Brothers (and yes I meant that) and the rest of their ilk have simply said their checkbooks are closed to the Repubs until they accomplish something.  And the something is a big, fat tax break for them courtesy of the money saved by getting rid of the A.C.A.

At a weekend donor retreat attended by at least 18 elected officials, the Koch brothers warned that time is running out to push their agenda, most notably healthcare and tax reform, through Congress.

One Texas-based donor warned Republican lawmakers that his “Dallas piggy bank” was now closed, until he saw legislative progress.

“Get Obamacare repealed and replaced, get tax reform passed,” said Doug Deason. “Get it done and we’ll open it back up.”

Dave Brat, a Repub from Virginia said:
“If we don’t get healthcare, none of us are coming back,” he said in a brief interview. “We said for seven years you’re gonna repeal Obamacare. It’s nowhere near repealed.”

It’s the same for tax reform, Brat said: “We don’t get taxes through, we’re all going home. Pack the bags.”

So there you go:  It’s all about the “dollahs” to the Repubs.

Speaking of dollahs to Repubs, I saw this on nola.com about Frankencassidy Bill and how much he has raked in through contributions:

https://www.opensecrets.org/news/issues/healthcare?type=P

If you look at the top of the heap there’s old Bill from La. raking in the most.

Lastly, here’s Jimmy Kimmel’s round 3 on Frankencassidy and his crappy piece of legislation:

Give ’em hell Jimmy!

And as far as Frankencassidy and Graham, well:

As usual, this is an open thread.

 

 

 

 

 

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There was a moment during the previous Trumpcare vote, when John McCain made his dramatic entrance and gave the melodramatic thumbs down, when Democrats spontaneously burst into applause. And minority leader Chuck Schumer angrily waved for them to stop, which was almost like someone hit the “mute” button. Schumer must have known that Trumpcare was not yet dead and gloating was premature. Sure enough, Trumpcare is back. And it is actually closer to passing now than it was back then. Lisa Murkowski, who with Susan Collins so resolutely stood against it then, is wavering now. It is impossible to read McCain’s intentions. His maverickness has always been an illusion. Will he waver until the last moment and deal Trumpcare another deathblow so he can bask in the glow of public praise? Or will he do his usually hyper-partisan right-wing thing and do what he has always done: vote right along party lines? Who can tell.

There’s a moment in Hillary Clinton’s book “What Happened” where she mentions that at the inauguration McCain came up to her and hugged her, and had the same horrified expression on his face that she had. I’m sure this happened, but I’ve always been fascinated by how politicians can do and say such awful things to one another – and then talk about each other’s integrity. McCain’s behavior towards Clinton has been vile for many years. From Benghazi and emails through the entire campaign. And yet, Hillary considers him a friend. I know this sort of thing has been the gold standard for bipartisanship (fight during the day, share dinner and drinks at night), but when so much it at stake, how do politicians separate their personal feelings? How do they compartmentalize watching people do horrible things and go grab a smoke after? How does one continue to respect a man like John McCain?

Speaking of vile and no respect: Bernie. Yesterday socalannie posted a tweet from Sasha Stone, founder of the entertainment website awardsdaily.com.

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That’s a perspective on Sanders and his Revolution I hadn’t appreciated until Stone articulated it. And suddenly, so much of it makes sense. Bernie is the alien from “Aliens,” a parasite with acid for blood that latches on to a host because it can’t survive on its own, and then eats its way out through the chest cavity. It lays eggs (Bernie’s loyal minions like Nina Turner and Susan Sarandon), who do their own damage by killing their own hosts. And the cycle continues. Of course Sanders’ revolution is against Democrats. He and his believers have dedicated more time to attacking Democrats than Republicans and Trump. And they are doing it by infiltrating the party and are now eating their way out. Sadly the Democratic party is allowing it. Last week Sanders managed to bully a lot of leading Democrats, like Kirsten Gillibrand, Corey Booker and Kamala Harris into supporting his single payer plan, a plan each and everyone one of them knows has zero chance of passing. And a plan that they announced just as the newest version of Trumpcare, conceived by Lindsey Graham, began to dig its way out of the grave. Sanders convinced Democrats to take their eyes off the undead with the usual promises of magical unicorns. Even Bernie Bro Matty Yglesias tweeted that October 1 – the day after reconciliation of ACA repeal ends – would have been a better day to introduce single payer. Now it’s impossible to tell if ACA will survive. And no, contrary to what Bernie Bros maintain, death of ACA will not lead to single payer.

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On the plus side, NY Times’ Glenn Thrush announced he quit Twitter. Sayonara baby.

What’s your minds Widdershins? This is an open thread.


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Blog Archive

April 2018
M T W T F S S
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Kellyanne Conway’s new job

So similar

Take the kids to work? NO!

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
2.8 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.

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