The Widdershins

Archive for the ‘Congress’ 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.

Hello Widdershins! What a week. As usual, the Beltway press was salivating and the pundits were putting debt default countdown clocks on every show because McConnell Said The Republicans Wouldn’t Vote to Raise the Debt Ceiling OMG! We’re all going to dieeeeeeeee!

But that didn’t happen, mainly because the Democrats threatened to nuke the filibuster. Apparently, McConnell didn’t think Manchin and Sinema would withstand the pressure from the rest of the caucus, who all want to do SOMETHING about the 60-vote rule, in this very dire situation. McTurtle blinked, and 11 Republicans voted to raise the debt ceiling. And some members of his own Party are shaking their heads. Lady Lindsey, Ted Cruz and (of course!) der Drumpfenfuhrer are calling it capitulation. On the Democratic side, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer mildly and rightfully criticized all Republicans for bringing the U.S. to the point of financial ruin to try to win some pathetic partisan advantage. [Thanks for facepalming behind him, Joe Manchin – I don’t even have words at this point.]

Upon receiving bad reviews from the left and the right, McTurtle went on offense to try to make himself look less weak. In an embarrassing letter to President Biden, he sputtered in hypocritical fauxrage, lambasting Schumer and making hollow threats. Yeah Mitch, we know. You’re very powerful. Do you need some warm milk?

“[Schumer’s] tantrum encapsulated and escalated a pattern of angry incompetence from Senator Schumer … this childish behavior only further alienated the Republican members who helped facilitate this short-term patch. It has poisoned the well even further.”

Democrats argue it was McConnell who poisoned the well by refusing to co-operate with raising the debt limit, a step they took repeatedly with Donald Trump in power. Experts say a US default would be catastrophic for the global economy.

McConnell insisted: “In light of Senator Schumer’s hysterics and my grave concerns about the ways that another vast, reckless, partisan spending bill would hurt Americans and help China, I will not be a party to any future effort to mitigate the consequences of Democratic mismanagement.”

This is, of course, complete Kentucky Derby horse pucky. I’m sure you all know this, but I feel compelled to point out that all of the spending McConnell claims to be upset about has already been authorized! Indeed, $7T of it came from the maladministration of The Former Guy, and even if the Democrats hadn’t passed ANY spending bills in 2021, the ceiling would still have to be raised. This means that trying to prevent the debt ceiling from being raised doesn’t have any impact on future Democratic spending. At all.

The way this went down proves that the Rethugs are indeed terrified that the Democrats will alter the filibuster in some way, robbing them of any power whatsoever, and that McTurtle, despite all the ink and screen time the pundits give him, is not immune to that threat.

Let’s see what happens when the codification of Roe v. Wade, passed on a party line vote in the House in late September, comes before the Senate. Will the Democrats have the same energy to protect these existential threats to the health of hundreds of millions of Americans, as they did to protect existential threats to the economy? Will they finally nuke the filibuster?

When women’s rights are on the table, McConnell is armed with thousands of years of white supremacy on his side to defeat them. The Beltway press and punditry are already saying the House bill has no chance in the Senate. I sincerely hope they’re wrong, again.

Open thread, as always. DYB, this musical selection is for you!

Image courtesy of KTSP TV

Widdershins, something truly extraordinary happened yesterday. Derek Chauvin, the psychopathic cop who was caught on video killing a Black man in cold blood, was found guilty of second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. Across the country, but especially in Minneapolis, the celebration and relief were palpable. Even though the officer’s guilt was documented clearly for all the world to see, and was not questionable by any seeing human being, most people were cautious in their hopes for accountability.

After all, murdering police officers are so rarely convicted for their crimes.

Garrett said there are hundreds of instances where police use deadly force each year but despite the fatality, very few of those incidents result in an officer facing criminal charges.

In the aftermath of Chauvin’s guilty verdict, Garrett believes there will continue to be a “rethinking” of how and when officers should be held civilly and criminally liable when they cause a death. The problem is that there is very little data available on deadly force used by police.

In police brutality cases, the question is whether the officer accused of misconduct acted “reasonably” and their behavior was necessary under the circumstances — but how “reasonable” is defined remains largely elusive.

“There are so few cases that tell us what reasonable is, and that’s why a conviction in the Derek Chauvin trial would set a standard for reasonable that we didn’t have before,” said Gloria Browne-Marshall, professor of constitutional law at John Jay College of Criminal Justice and civil rights attorney.

The Chauvin trial is a rare example of “zealous prosecution” in hundreds of years where prosecutors have failed to prosecute White people for crimes against Black people, Browne-Marshall said.

So the Chauvin trial turned out the way it should have, which is a rare victory for the forces of social justice. But not everyone felt that way. Some seemed to feel that Chauvin, as a white man, should have had the right to kill George Floyd however and whenever he wanted to. (No wonder the Republican House voted against Kamala’s anti-lynching law in 2019!) If you look over at Foxnews.com (don’t worry – I did it for you and I need disinfectant), you’ll see some normal-seeming headlines surrounded by batshittery: a straightforward description of the verdict is in the same space as accusations of “mob justice” from Candace Owens and Democratic extremism from some random Black guy in a MAGA hat. (I don’t know who he is, and my life is better for it.)

As so many have said, this is one very tiny step towards a better world, and it wouldn’t have happened if some very brave people didn’t record the murder on their phones. What will happen to the police officers who murdered a 15-year-old girl in Columbus on the same day the verdict was returned (yes this really f*cking happened)? What about Chauvin’s fellow officers who helped him – what will become of them when they are tried in August? Will the Senate be able to pass the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act now? (I predict no, not without reforming the filibuster!)

So many questions about what comes next…at least we’re asking them knowing George Floyd’s killer will be held accountable.

Ze thread, she is ouverte.

Time Magazine’s Person of the Year…Meh!

When all they have to write about is a Democratic government running smoothly and doing good things.

For almost six years they have had an endless gusher of outrage and horror to drive clicks and views. Der Drumpfenfuhrer was great for the bottom line. If he happened to only do ten terrible things in one day, the media could always dive into his tweets for fresh doses of red meat. Racism! Sexism! Fascism! Incitement to insurrection! Disturbing dictator love letters! They were all there, always there, 24-7, an endlessly regenerating perpetual motion machine of content to feed the perpetual news cycle.

But alas, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are only saving the country from coronavirus by increasing the amount of vaccines by 70% in one month. They are merely nominating the most diverse Cabinet of all time. They are simply holding informative and truthful press briefings every day, repairing the damage Drumpf did to our international relationships, re-entering the Paris Climate Accords, taking action to re-house migrant kids who have been separated from their families, reversing the transgender ban in the Army, creating space for us to mourn our 500,000 dead from COVID-19, and oh yes, live-streaming a dual press conference with Justin Trudeau. Sacre bleu! So, so…how you say…BOH-RING!

There is so little of value to report out of the Biden administration that CNN and all of the other major cable news networks are making sure to include the “other perspective” (aka alternate facts) from the reality they would have preferred: Donald didn’t do anything wrong on January 6!! In alternate fact, maybe he still won! Oh, wouldn’t that have been wonderful for them? Then they could get away with sympathetically reporting on all the Drumpf voters still voting for him despite all the racism, misogyny and fascism – without any pushback from anyone. Those were the days baby! So they keep booking people like Matt Schlapp, a festulent pustule on The Former Guy’s butt, in prime time. Every Sunday they make sure they have “balance.” Gotta somehow get that crazy Nazi itch scratched!

Now some of the media punditry is not playing ball and yearning for the glory days when the Mango Moron was gleefully destroying our democracy every second of every day. Some refuse to pretend they have amnesia and don’t remember that the majority of elected Republicans supported Trump throughout every second of his Reign of Error, including after he incited an insurrection at the Capitol. Some won’t play along with the endless yammering at, and criticizing of Democrats for not being “bipartisan” with people who TRIED TO KILL THEM!

Witness the beauty of Rachel Maddow taking the Thugs to task and calling out their general bad faith. She doesn’t seem to wish Drumpf was back, at all. Huh.

I don’t know what it will take for the media to quit Drumpf, but I will say this: Joe Biden is more popular than Donald ever was. And his policies, such as the American Rescue Plan, are more popular still, And I hope the Powers that Be eventually realize that those pundits and outlets that cater to the majority of Americans who like Biden and hate Donnie, will be proven to be on the right side of history.

Open thread, folks!

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.


Biden illustration: REBUILD WITH BIDEN

Nice picture of our gal

Madam Vice President

Our President

It’s here: QUARANTINE BINGO!

Wanna Be A Widdershin?

Send us a sample post at:

widdershinssubmissions at gmail dot com

Our Frontpagers

Blog Archive

December 2021
M T W T F S S
 12345
6789101112
13141516171819
20212223242526
2728293031  

Not done yet with you

Friggin Lizard people

You go gurl! h/t Adam Joseph

“The” Book

Only the *best* politicans bought by the NRA

Marching for their lives

Need Reminders?

IOW Dumb = Happy?

Dems are coming for ya