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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 about deathblow so he can bask in the glow of Democrats’ 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? 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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Good morning Widdershins.

It’s Wednesday morning, so it must be “let’s pile on Hillary” day. As excerpts from her book are starting to leak, they are mobilizing the usual suspects within the media to tell us how much they detest her. At the center of the latest are, naturally, the Times Twins: super star political reporters Glenn Thrush and Maggie Haberman. Thrush recently went on a massive twitter storm listing all the things Hillary did wrong to lose the election. Conspicuously absent from his list was an acknowledgement of multiple Harvard studies showing the media “gorged” on Clinton e-mails.

Back in December of 2016 the Shorenstein Center from Harvard studied the coverage of the television networks and major newspapers.

Clinton’s controversies got more attention than Trump’s (19 percent versus 15 percent) and were more focused,” noted study author Thomas E. Patterson. “Trump wallowed in a cascade of separate controversies. Clinton’s badgering had a laser-like focus. She was alleged to be scandal-prone. Clinton’s alleged scandals accounted for 16 percent of her coverage—four times the amount of press attention paid to Trump’s treatment of women and sixteen times the amount of news coverage given to Clinton’s most heavily covered policy position.

The recent Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard studied online coverage of the campaign and reached same conclusions.

“I think the fact that we get the same results as Shorenstein using significantly different methodologies yields a high degree of confidence,” Robert Faris, the center’s research director, tells the Erik Wemple Blog.

I would come to Haberman, Thrush and the rest’s defense on this particular issue though. The real fault in this lies with the editors of the newspapers. In the case of New York Times it’s executive editor Dean Baquet. Baquet is the one who decides what his reporters will investigate and what the headlines will read. So it’s Baquet who decided in 2016 that Hillary’s e-mails were the single most important story his paper would pursue. (Eric Lichtblau’s disastrous “Investigating Donald Trump, FBI sees no direct link to Russia” headline remains un-retracted and uncorrected.”) Baquet is a disgrace and he controls what topics Haberman and Thrush will pursue. But he does not control what Thrush and Haberman tweet.

Which brings me back to Clinton’s book. Hillary writes:

Jake Sullivan, my top policy advisor, told me it reminded him of a scene from the 1998 movie There’s Something About Mary. A deranged hitchhiker says he’s come up with a brilliant plan. Instead of the famous “eight-minute abs” exercise routine, he’s going to market “seven-minute abs.” It’s the same, just quicker. Then the driver, played by Ben Stiller, says, “Well, why not six-minute abs?” That’s what it was like in policy debates with Bernie. We would propose a bold infrastructure investment plan or an ambitious new apprenticeship program for young people, and then Bernie would announce basically the same thing, but bigger. On issue after issue, it was like he kept proposing four-minute abs, or even no-minute abs. Magic abs!”

This passage brought out perhaps the most deranged tweet I have ever seen Maggie Haberman write.

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Note that Haberman is re-tweeting a Republican Bernie Bro, who worked on Jeb Bush’s campaign. Miller’s feed is filled with anti-Clinton sentiments.

The ethical and moral corruption of Haberman’s vision expressed in this tweet is breathtaking. I have never seen a tweet from Haberman about Donald Trump that approaches this level of insanity. I have been thinking about the media and their coverage of Clinton for a long time. And I’ve concluded that if one assumes true lack of politics (let’s pretend for a minute that Haberman, Thrush, Chris Cillizza and their ilk aren’t right-wing Republicans) – what is it that drives their Clinton Derangement Syndrome? I think it’s amorality. Not immorality, but amorality. There is a school of thought that journalists are supposed to tell a story, but not be a story. And that their stories should be impartial.

We long ago lost sight of “tell the story, don’t be the story” mantra. Perhaps it was the post-Watergate effect, where Woodward and Bernstein became superstars. This is what every reporter today craves: attention. Few of them seek the truth for truth’s own sake. Most of them seek invitations to cable news shows where they can dazzle us with their self-serving insight and wit. Their hunger for twitter followers devours their journalistic integrity.

And then there’s impartiality. Impartiality sounds great on paper, but it can not be achieved, like Utopia. It can not exist if you have morals. It does not exist in judges, it does not exist in politicians and it does not exist in journalists. Morals and ethics drive everything that we are because we are human. But lack of impartiality should never be confused with lack of honesty in the story, however. As Christiane Amanpour said in an important speech in November 2016:

I learned long ago, covering the ethnic cleansing and genocide in Bosnia, never to equate victim with aggressor, never to create a false moral or factual equivalence, because then you are an accomplice to the most unspeakable crimes and consequences.

I believe in being truthful, not neutral.

This is where people like Haberman and Thrush and all the rest fail, and fail so painfully because it is the rest of humanity that pays the price. Supposed impartiality in their work actually demonstrates the absence of morals.

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

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Good morning Widdershins,

Hurricane Harvey has been a massive catastrophe. As I was writing this on Tuesday evening, a levee in a county south of Houston has breached. “NOTICE: The levee at Columbia Lakes has been breached!! GET OUT NOW!!!” Brazoria County said on Twitter on Tuesday morning. Many trillions of gallons of water have fallen. The entire Texas National Guard has been deployed. Meanwhile president Dump and his wife (wearing 4” heels) went to visit and Dump wondered at the size of the crowd assembled. “What a crowd, what a turnout,” he declared in Corpus Cristi. Meanwhile Glenn Thrush of the New York Times declared that Dump “used the dulcet, reassuring and uplifting language of prior presidents” when speaking of the disaster, in an article with the headline: “Harvey Gives Trump A Chance to Reclaim Power to Unify.” I assume that’s when Dump wasn’t wearing his $40 hats his company sells while making appearances in Texas. The New York Times has reached peak dumpster fire in their apologia and legitimization of Dump. Just a few days ago their reporters (you know the ones) were screaming on twitter that everything is Hillary’s fault. (I’m sure I’m wrong about it being peak. Bigger dumpster fires are yet to come.) The only person at the Times with any sense of decency is Paul Krugman who sent out a series of tweets pointing out the media screwed up. Sadly the political desk at the Times, headed by Dean Baquet, doesn’t listen to Krugman.

Speaking of Dean Baquet, read this remarkable article about Baquet, the media, Melania Trump’s plagiarized speech, and Meredith McIver, who took responsibility for stealing Michelle Obama’s words. Is McIver an actual person? Who knows! Even though the Times, among others, wrote glowingly about her, nobody seems to have met this woman in at least 10 years. And Baquet thinks the reporter who asked to confirm that someone at the Times actually has met this woman is a “moron.”

…we really don’t know if Meredith McIver is real, alive, and well, or not — she may very well be. But I know the explanations from Team Trump for what happened at the time were completely ridiculous — one involved Sean Spicer and a My Little Pony box (please, Google it); I know that other people searching for Meredith have received anonymous threats; I know that a phone conversation I had with Meredith’s alleged ex-boyfriend, Stephen Palitz, led to far more questions than answers; I know that fake social media accounts for Meredith popped up immediatley after she accepted blame…and suddenly and inexplicably began communicating in Russian before disappearing again.

A few months ago, Arthur Sulzberger, publisher of the NYTimes, fired the paper’s public editor. The public editor was originally hired after the paper’s disastrous coverage leading up to the Iraq War. Now Sulzberger declared the role was no longer necessary because the public would keep his reporters honest. On Tuesday evening Peter Daou, a former Clinton staffer who is very vocal in his defense of Clinton on twitter, announced he has now been blocked by 3 major Times reporters, including Thrush and Haberman. How does one keep reporters honest – when reporters block you?

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

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Good morning Widdershins!

Because of technical glitches which I can’t even understand – the comments closed in the previous thread. So here’s a very super duper quick post of no importance whatsoever, so we can keep commenting.

Aside from, you know, the awful hurricane in Texas (Ted Cruz and John Cornyn want federal aid…… let that sink in), Dump has pardoned the evil Joe Arpaio (so the media is falling over itself screaming “But Marc Rich!” because false equivalencies and “Clinton did it” is their natural state), Nazi Sebastian Gorka was “fired” from the White House (he claims he resigned) and last heard from, he was in talks with Breitbart to work there. Because, naturally.

What fresh hell will this weekend bring?

Discuss amongst yourself!

Good Monday Widdershins!

Our blogmistress had some real life issues come up so I’m covering here at sort of the last minute.  Because of that and not having a lot of time this is mainly going to be a link dump post.

From this WaPo piece, it seems like the “ugly American” tourist is making a resurgence.  Only this tourist was in Germany and thought it would be cute to do a Nazi salute.  Color him clueless since he seemed not to know that the salute is a crime in Germany and he got busted-literally.  Someone saw him do it and beat the crap out of him.

An American tourist gave the Nazi salute in Germany — so a stranger beat him up, police say

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Peter Cvjetanovic would like you to know that he’s really, really not a racist mkay.  No, seriously.

You can read that HERE. By the way he’s also a precious 20 years old.  Whatcha wanna bet he’s still on mom and dad’s health insurance?

 

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There is a new hashtag that is going viral, #ThisIsNotUS and you can check out a HuffPost article on it.

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From Business Insider here is an article with some background info, on the hit and run driver in Charlottesville, James Fields, again a 20 year old.

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David Frum in The Atlantic says it’s time for Republicans to “leap from the boat” that is the S.S. Trump. And I thought they were all so comfortable there.

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The occupant of the White House, appeared to be his usual clueless self when he made his statement after the events in Charlottesville happened and it took his staff making the rounds of the news shows the following day to attempt some damage control.

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The last link I have for you today is to an article about the photographer who captured the image of the car slamming into the counter-protesters.  That was his last day working for the newspaper.

 

Welp, that’s all I have for you today.  Hope you check out the links.  Of course this is an open thread.

 

 

Good morning Widdershins. Happy Friday.

Times are tough for the MAGA gear crowd. Did you know now you can get MAGA overalls? Who knew? I figure they might also start test marketing MAGA Opioids to take the edge off all this bad news. Of course the only way the Trumpkinites would hear about it is if Fox has to shut down in order to focus on their primary business – pimping sex for old men.

Over the past few days, I’ve been noticing how consistent the Trumquats are when it comes to things they care about passionately. Percentage feeling “proud” that Trump is Presidenting – 26%. Percentage wanting The Mooch to stay after his profane rant – 26%. Percentage who think the Sun orbits the Earth – 26%. Such consistency even puts a twinkle in the dead eyes of Baby Goebbels as he dreams of being a roadie on an American Apartheid tour.  (That guy is only 31-years old and unless he’s Benjamin Button he was taken to the cleaners in his deal with the Devil.)

Last night Dolt went to “wild, wooly, wonderful West Virginia”. That used to be the official tourism slogan. I know that because I did a 5th grade report on the state with an obligatory refrigerator box diorama complete with a papier mache map.

This week has been difficult for the Trumpkin menagerie. Just imagine their consternation last Friday when they got up and discovered they still had health care. Big Daddy Orange, McTurtle, and Paul “Fountainhead” Ryan weren’t able to keep their promise to the faithful MAGA-heads that “they have the right to die penniless due to health care bankruptcy.”

Just imagine the righteous Trumpkinesque anger over not keeping two womenzie-Senatorettes and a guy with brain cancer in line to vote for a simple thing like depriving 32-million people health care. Honestly, the shelf-life of bought politicians ain’t what it used to be.

To heap another insult on the orange loyalists, that cute little pocket-sized Pomade Pez dispenser, The Mooch, got the boot this week. How unfair! He is really the first person who spoke Oranganese in a manner the tried and true Trumpkins could understand – no words over four letters and always screeching like a howler monkey ordering peanuts from the cheap seats at a ballpark.

The Mooch was retired by that new Dolt “Chief-of-Staph”. General Kelly seems like a good choice to the Trumpkin hordes because he tried to outlaw the Mooselimbs. He was in charge of keeping us safe for a whole 27 minutes on that January Friday night way back when before those librul judicial buttinskies got their thobes in a wad.

When it comes to a pedigree, there’s not much wrong with General Kelly. Everyone talks about him like he is a half-priced golden doodle, but that kind of talk makes Trumpkins suspicious. If someone was that good, why in the hell would they work for a two-legged cantaloupe with liver spots?

The Trumquats all have a turd sideways about Gen. Kelly trying to take away Don Il Dumb’s tweeter machine. All the Trumquats agree it is the only way to reliably hear from their dear leader outside of the voices in their heads. If you asked the Trumquats how many people are on Don Il Dumb’s twitter list, they’d say it is between 20-30 Billion give or take a few Mooselimb Kenyans named Obama.

Speaking for myself, I want Gen. Kelly to leave the Mango Macaque alone when it comes to the tweeter machine. Let him tweet. First, it’s additional evidence for the competency hearing; and two, I sleep a little better thinking he might have opposable thumbs.

If that wasn’t enough, the Trumpkins then got all torqued up by the efforts to besmirch the hallowed name of Fox News reporters. It seems as though there was a little problem with a story about a murder in Washington, D.C. and Fox reported about it. It now appears they got some aspects of the story wrong. Like all of it.

That nice man Sean Spicer tried to help Fox with the story by editing it or spell checking it or something like that. He had them come over to the White House and sit with him because he’s always been so very helpful to reporters. Just like his suit coats, Spicey just wasn’t a good fit for his job. You know what they say, “If it don’t fit, that’s another SNL skit.”

Then yesterday the Trumquats had a “come to Mueller” moment when it was revealed he is throwing a grand jury party in D.C. and lots of Trumpies are going to be invited. The Trumquats shouldn’t get their catheters clogged over this because a grand jury is a natural progression in this Coen brothers movie, No Country for Old Sin.

What should worry the Trumquats is that Mueller, like a big cat, is playing with his food. Great prosecutors and let there be no doubt, Mueller is a great prosecutor, like to mess with the minds of potential defendants and their attorneys. No one is talking about this on the teevee, but why would this grand jury information be conveniently leaked the day before Dolt goes on vacay? As they say, “Nothing so wonderfully focuses one’s mind as a hanging.”

Finally, the Trumpbots are most heartened by a Commander-in-Chief, who despite his disability of Vietnam disqualifying bone spurs (the bestest bone spurs the world has ever known), roughing it in a real dump like the White House. The Trumpbots naturally feel sorry for Don Il Dumb or anyone who has to live in a house without the mobility wheels provide.

Now that I’ve insulted everyone with this feeble attempt at satire, I want to leave you with a personal note. I’m taking a step back from contributing here. When I first started writing it was never meant to be in perpetuity. After well over 400 posts it is time to step back and give it a rest.

Thanks to everyone for their patience with my pedantic ways, thanks to MB with affording me this opportunity, and Fredster for all his support and technical expertise.

Good things are on the horizon.

Take care and what’s on your mind today?

 

Yes, we tan!

Remember the picture on the right? Remember what a sensational scandal that was? “Yes we tan.” It ran on a loop on the Fox Ailes-o-vision for weeks. Good times!

By now you’ve seen the rant by “The Mooch”.  He was a reject from MTV’s Jersey Shore because of his lack of sophistication. The producers decided to go more upscale with the genteel steroidal “The Situation” and a puking drunken Snooki.

Like all instances of world-class stupidity, The Mooch seemed to get a jump-start. While this is just an opinion, it wouldn’t be a surprise if The Mooch had convenient nose attachments for hoovering up unsightly mounds of Colombian cha-cha powder. Just think: The consummate twofer – cleanliness plus manic jags to contemplate Steve Bannon pleasuring himself in Cirque du Soleil style.

The dysfunction he represents isn’t a fish rotting from the head. This White House is one of those fermenting, beached whales rotting itself into an IEC – interspecies exploding carcass. It’s now too tiresome to even engage in the threadbare apothegm of, “What if it was a Democrat?”

Jim Collins is unsurpassed as an author on leadership and management. He writes based upon scientific research animated with anecdotal examples. One of his more famous observations is:

The old adage that people are your most important asset is wrong. People are not your most important asset. The right people are. We found that the great leaders got the right people on the bus, the wrong people off the bus, and the right people in the right seats on the bus. Then they decided where to drive the bus.

The personnel of this White House are made in the image of their coppery-hued leader – they are dolts, ignoramuses who are enjoying the pinnacle of their incompetence. To pick up on Jim Collins’ metaphor, this White House bus has two stops – the first at the home for the criminally insane and the second at the penitentiary for the insanely criminal.

Who could be surprised? This orange phlegm from a thrice used Kleenex is an abomination. He has assembled a coterie of weak-minded slugs better suited for long aimless strolls while muttering “made another grunt again” – MAGA for short.

Bannon conducting West Wing Staph training…

There is open warfare among administration personnel. Personally, pissing on that racist garden gnome Sessions makes no difference to me. Sessions hanging on by his percale sheet is just delaying the inevitable constitutional crisis on the horizon.

What is worrisome is this: Do you think the likes of Rick Perry or Betsy Devos are ever going to take a principled stand on any issue given the treatment of Sessions? Pruitt is out looking for ways to pollute, Zinke is threatening Alaska, and Rexxon is listening to the echoes of an empty State Department. We passed lawlessness about ten miles back – these people might as well have Cyrillic labels, “Putin’s automatons for crippling America.”

And on the other end of the alimentary canal known as Pennsylvania Avenue, old crusty hangers for colostomy bags called Senators proclaimed, “We hate this law so much we are voting yes.” Fortunately, three Republicans put a shiv into McTurtle while pouring kerosene over his shell and torching him.

For all that is right and holy, if these people weren’t so ghoulish and jacked-up looking, this would be like living in an Inception world.

There is no need to belabor this confederacy of doltish dunces, but I want to leave you on a positive note.

Since August of last year, I’ve been sharing my thoughts about the Umber Ulceration’s behavioral characteristics. You have listened patiently and courteously.

As I have said, Dolt 45 gets every ounce of his self-esteem from the way others see him. His reason for being is to perpetuate his illusory stature. Every waking moment is but another scene in the epic stage play that is his life.

During the G20 I noticed two things – both of them were instances of Dolt bottoming for Putin. Once was the handshake where Dolt bottomed and the other was Dolt walking around the massive table to go sit at the feet of Putin during the dinner. Dolt was the subservient submissive partner in both acts.

So what? In Dolt’s ghost written books he made mention of both practices calling them weak and for losers. So whatever Putin has on Dolt, it is of sufficient quality to cause Dolt to suffer ignominious public debasement by his own volition. It must be of sufficient weight to cause this tub of Orange Offal to deviate from his 70-year charade. As has been amply demonstrated this week, neither Dolt nor anyone working for him is deft enough to conceal it much longer.

What’s on your mind today?

For your entertainment, a little known Jersey Shore audition video — don’t know if it is The Mooch.

 

 


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Our 2016 Ticket!

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Busted: Glass ceiling

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She’s thinking “Less than 2 weeks I have to keep seeing that face”

Yeah I can make it

The team we’re on

Women’s March on Washington!

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Kellyanne Conway’s new job

So similar

Take the kids to work? NO!

3 turds control fate of healthcare for millions

That moment when *your* pussy gets grabbed

You go gurl! h/t Adam Joseph

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