The Widdershins

Archive for the ‘Current Events’ Category

Invasion of the polar vortex

 

Good Weekend Widdershins!

Yes the polar vortex is going to do one of its little numbers and give a big chunk of the U.S. some of the coldest weather of the season to parts of the midwest, before scooting eastward towards the northeast (heads up DYB!).

the polar vortex is expected to become displaced from the Arctic Circle and plunge down to near the upper Great Lakes.

Our WCW (West Coast Widdershins) should not be affected by this.  Those of us in the south should get some cold weather but nothing earth-shattering, like, say, Chicago.

“Latest indications are that Chicago could set a record on Wednesday for the day’s lowest high temperature,” according to AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Tom Kines. Temperatures have not been held below zero for an entire day in Chicago since Jan. 6, 2014.

And as I said, the northeast will get smacked also.

Temperatures along the I-95 corridor from Philadelphia to New York City to Boston may struggle or fail to reach 20 during the day. Overnight lows can be in the single digits and lower teens.

So let’s take a look at some songs about cold, whether it’s cold weather, cold hearts, groups with “cold” in the name and similar instances.

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Foreigner~Cold As Ice

Annie Lennox~Cold

Ella Fitzgerald/Louis Armstrong~Baby It’s Cold Outside

Queensryche~Cold

Rolling Stones~She’s So Cold

Bruce Springsteen~Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out

Coldplay~Fix You

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Okay Widdershins, my choices above, please add some of your choices in the comments.

Open thread, of course.

 

 

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Border Patrol agent pours out bottles of water left for immigrants trying to cross

 

Good day Widdershins!

MB is away for the rest of the week so I’m taking her Tuesday post, one day late.

With all of the news concerning tRump, Cohen, Flynn and the rest of the corrupt tRump tribe, it’s amazing this story has already fallen by the wayside. However, that’s the nature of the news cycle I suppose.

We already know the basics of the story.

Jakelin Caal Maquin and her father Nery Gilberto Caal Cuz were picked up in a group of over a hundred migrants in a portion of desert in New Mexico near a Port of Entry at Antelope Wells.

DHS *said* “Border Patrol agents screened the migrants to identify any health or safety concerns.”.  Snort!  I just really have to wonder about that statement.  I dunno.

“The initial screening revealed no evidence of health issues,” the DHS statement released Friday said. “During the screening, the father denied that either he or his daughter were ill.”

Authorities said the denial was recorded on a federal form signed by Caal, who speaks an indigenous dialect.(Bolding, italics mine)

“At this time, they were offered water and food and had access to restrooms,” DHS said.

So was there someone there with CPB that spoke this “indigenous dialect” to make sure the father understood?

Then they were prepared to be transported to a Border Patrol station near Lordsburg New Mexico. This was by bus and was done in two trips.  Jakelin and her father were in the second group to be transported.  When they arrived 90 minutes later at Lordsburg, the father told officials his daughter had stopped breathing.

Border Patrol emergency medical technicians began administering medical care and called an ambulance, according to DHS.

“At this point her temperature was 105.9 degrees,” the DHS said. “Agents providing medical care revived the child twice.”

I’m sorry but we’ve seen and heard too many things about DHS and CPB (Customs and Border Protection) so I take anything they say with one.big.grain.of.salt.

She was flown by helicopter to Providence Children’s Hospital, and Border Patrol took Caal there by vehicle, a drive of more than four hours.

DHS said Jakelin was first taken to the emergency room and then transferred to the pediatric intensive care unit. She died at 12:35 a.m. on Dec. 8.

The hospital said their initial impression was that Jakelin died of sepsis.  And as the article states:

Sepsis is the body’s extreme response to an existing infection somewhere in the body that can lead to rapid organ failure and death, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Okay.  I’m not a doctor or nurse, nor do I play one on the teevee and I haven’t stayed at a Holiday Inn Express.  But I have to believe that she had to be showing some type of symptoms of this at the initial intake.  At the least it would seem her temp would have been elevated.  Perhaps our medical and scientific Widdershins can share their knowledge. And again, see my statement above about believing anything from DHS or CPB.

And for another kick in the pants, there’s this:

Congress told it can’t interview agents who detained 7-year-old migrant girl who died

 

Some members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus were going to tour the Lordsburg Border Patrol Station and wanted to speak to the agents involved in this.  DHS said nope, nahgonnahappen.

Members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus on Tuesday are scheduled to tour the Lordsburg Border Patrol Station in New Mexico, where agents took Jakelin Caal Maquin and her father after they illegally crossed the U.S.-Mexico border. The members had requested a chance to speak directly with the Border Patrol agents who arrested, detained and transported the girl and her father before she was flown to a children’s hospital and died.

(snip)

“While DHS respects the oversight role of Congress, it is important to allow the review process occur unimpeded by politics,” spokeswoman Katie Waldman said in a statement. “It is important to preserve the legitimacy of a fair and impartial process out of respect to the agents’ lifesaving mission and the family of the deceased.”

Unimpeded by politics.  Yeah right!  Glad we’re gonna have a new Congress in January.

Open thread of course.

 


I’m going to repeat something that every Widdershin already knows: There is no significant voter fraud in America.

The Brennan Center’s seminal report “The Truth About Voter Fraud” conclusively demonstrated most allegations of fraud turn out to be baseless — and that of the few allegations remaining, most reveal election irregularities and other forms of election misconduct. And numerous other studies have reached the same conclusion. In a recent report, “Noncitizen Voting: The Missing Millions,” the Brennan Center debunked President Trump’s claim that millions improperly voted in the 2016 election.

Yet, the topic of voter fraud always seems to be at the tip of Republican tongues, whether they be mouth-breathing MAGAs or petulant white, male, wealthy underachievers outraged that uppity wimminz and minorities would dare to vote against them.

Here’s what Democrats should do every time a Republican shitbird starts talking about this long, long debunked fairy tale in which everyone loves him, he is married to June Cleaver, who vacuums in pearls and pumps, and no black people exist anywhere:

“It’s not voter fraud that’s the problem. It’s Republican election fraud.”

Then sit back and watch the exploding heads, because no. one. ever. calls. them. on. this.

Ever.

The way I see it, we have not had an honest federal election in this country since 2000, when Gore won the popular vote by 500,000 votes, but still did not become President, because, Florida. Remember Florida, where Dubya’s paid operatives stormed down there in their Brooks Brothers shirts and demonstrated against the recount? And a Republican Secretary of State and Republican Supreme Court colluded to ensure that Bush won even though his margin was 537 votes?

Once that snarling weasel and his psychopathic VP took office, all bets were off. Electronic voting machines with no paper trails that switched votes to Bush from Kerry; gerrymandering and massive voter suppression became their M.O. And let’s not forget the Republican-controlled Supreme Court, which gutted a critical portion of the Voting Rights Act, opening the door to election fraud that was previously illegal, but now could be considered to fall into a grey area.

Shelby County v. Holder, 570 U.S. ___ (2013), is a landmark[1] United States Supreme Court case regarding the constitutionality of two provisions of the Voting Rights Act of 1965: Section 5, which requires certain states and local governments to obtain federal preclearance before implementing any changes to their voting laws or practices; and Section 4(b), which contains the coverage formula that determines which jurisdictions are subjected to preclearance based on their histories of discrimination in voting.[2][3]

On June 25, 2013, the Court ruled by a 5-to-4 vote that Section 4(b) is unconstitutional because the coverage formula is based on data over 40 years old, making it no longer responsive to current needs and therefore an impermissible burden on the constitutional principles of federalism and equal sovereignty of the states.[2][3] The Court did not strike down Section 5, but without Section 4(b), no jurisdiction will be subject to Section 5 preclearance unless Congress enacts a new coverage formula.[4]

Five years after the ruling, nearly a thousand polling places had been closed in the country, with many of the closed polling places in predominantly African-American counties. Research shows that the changing of voter locations and reduction in voting locations can reduce voter turnout.[5]

But even with all of the storied examples of Republican election fraud, all of which continued in 2018, our current pResident took it to a level never seen in American history when he conspired with a hostile foreign government to steal the Presidential election of 2016. Let’s face it, the Mango Moron did not win legitimately. Russia viciously attacked our election, influencing tens of millions of voters through fake news and bots on social media, hacking into Hillary’s and Podesta’s emails and leaking them for months, and invading voter databases, “not changing results.” Sure, if I were an evil tyrant roaming around voter databases for months uncaught, and I wanted one candidate to win, I absolutely would not change a thing!

So the Democrats should start talking about this, loudly and often. Perhaps some already are.

This is an open thread.

 

aclu_socal_vote_carousel.png

We are less than a week away from the midterms. November 6, 2018 will be a red-letter day for America. History will be written with that day as the dividing line. What America was before 11/6/18 and what it will become after. It is impossible to really know what will happen. Predicting the outcome is an exercise in futility. We thought we knew what would happen on 11/8/16 and the electorate disappointed. Will the Blue Wave of the special elections become a tsunami of the midterms? Or will it subside and resemble only a small tide? Nobody can predict. Will people actually leave their homes and vote? Who knows. There are still an extraordinary amount of people who don’t plan to vote. New Yorker just had an article about some young people who don’t plan to vote because reasons. There are voters who still don’t feel inspired by anyone. And there are voters who just don’t think it’s a big deal. Will these people vote when it counts? Who knows… We can hope that someone, a friend, will make them see the light on the issue.

There is also the question of Trump voters: will they vote? Some argue that believing that everything on the news is Fake News makes them ignorant of the imminent blue wave. That may be true… but it’s also true that Trump and the entire GOP – now openly, proudly a party of Nazis, racists, anti-Semites, homophobes – are using every dirty trick in the book to steal the election: everything from purging voter rolls to shutting down voting stations so people can’t vote to sending out wrong voting information to leaving Democratic candidates off the ballot. We’ve seen all these things play out in real time and it terrifies me to say that I’ve seen very little reaction from Democrats. ACLU does what it can to file lawsuits, but the Democratic party leaders are mostly silent, letting the candidates – the vast majority of whom are new at this – find their own way. In North Dakota Republicans – after saying Native Americans must have IDs with an address they don’t have on reservations – are now rejecting ballots because the color of the ink is “wrong.” Election is being openly stolen in Georgia and the Democratic party – and the media – are looking at it as helpless spectators.

And we also don’t know what will happen on November 7th. Whether Democrats manage to win anything or if Republicans hold on to all of their power. What will Trump do? I think we can safely assume that if Democrats win the House – Trump will try to declare the election invalid. He is already floating ideas of rigging by Democrats. We know the GOP will back Trump 100%. What will Democrats do when that happens? I am not hopeful. If Republicans hold on to all of their power – things will go off the rails in a different way. GOP and Trump will declare a mandate and I really think that will be our last election. I am sorry to be this negative. I just want to make sure we are all prepared for November 7th. Because I think November 7th is going to be very bad, no matter how the vote goes.

Do you think I’m off my rocker?

Today is September 11, the 17th anniversary of the terrorist attacks in New York, Pennsylvania and Washington, D.C. that had such a devastating impact on our country and our world. (Of course our petty f*cktard-in-chief is going to Pennsylvania – because it’s the state that *allegedly* voted for him in 2016 – instead of New York or DC, because he is despised in both locations.) This day is always one of remembrance of those that were lost, sharing our personal stories, and talking about how our friends and families were affected by the tragedy.

But in 2018, there is never just one dramatic event in 24 hours. Today, we have a second-rate reality TeeVee star in the White House, and the thrills, chills and roars of outrage never stop. Today, besides the attacks by Al Qaeda on that fateful day, there is another disaster to consider: the possible co-opting of the Supreme Court by an illegitimate, traitorous President and his complicit Congressional enablers.

Based on his history and record, there is no doubt that Kavanaugh is in line with the typical racist, sexist Republican judicial appointee. In addition, the guy appears to be an operative from wayyyyyy back, in like Flynn with today’s high-profile right-wing politicians and pundits. As former wingnut David Brock wrote for NBC:

Call it Kavanaugh’s cabal: There was his colleague on the Starr investigation, Alex Azar, now the Secretary of Health and Human Services. Mark Paoletta is now chief counsel to Vice President Mike Pence; House anti-Clinton gumshoe Barbara Comstock is now a Republican member of Congress. Future Fox News personalities Laura Ingraham and Tucker Carlson were there with Ann Coulter, now a best-selling author, and internet provocateur Matt Drudge.

At one time or another, each of them partied at my Georgetown townhouse amid much booze and a thick air of cigar smoke.

This massive conflict of interest and obvious partisan agenda should immediately disqualify any jurist from ascension to the highest court in the land. (Remember conservative fauxrage about “activist judges”?) But what we have seen from this appalling travesty of a Republican government is a commitment to covering their asses at all costs. And Kavanaugh is just the guy to do it.

I agreed with DYB that it is very likely that Kavanaugh will be confirmed. That was, until Senator Cory Booker released just a few of the records George W. Bush and his partisan enablers were hiding from the American public. No help from Russia needed!

There are many ways in which the emails could be a problem for Kavanaugh. First of all, they confirm that dear soccer dad Brett is, in fact, in favor of overturning Roe v. Wade. (Sorry girls, Daddy doesn’t trust you to control your own body!) This means that Lisa Murkowski and Susan Collins, Republican Senators who take pro-choice positions to protect their credibility as moderates, cannot vote for him without that credibility. Will they take the hit, and if they do, why?

Kavanaugh’s racism is so virulent that it presents another, possibly even more urgent, quandary for Murkowski.

Alaska Natives were a key to Murkowski’s re-election, when she ran a successful write-in campaign against Joe Miller. There is little evidence that they encountered problems voting when they helped Murkowski become the first U.S. senator in more than 50 years to win an election with a write-in campaign. In fact, with Alaska’s absentee ballots, Permanent Fund automatic registration, and early voting locations, Alaska is a “no excuse” voting state.

Tlingit-Haida Central Council President Richard Peterson wrote to Murkowski and said that the 30,000 tribal members his organization represents would be endangered by Kavanaugh’s confirmation, “because of his erroneous views on indigenous rights and tribal sovereignty.

“We are concerned moving his nomination forward due to his unsound views and the potential injury that his misperceptions would wreak upon your Native Alaskan constituents, our Native Hawaiian friends and fellow indigenous peoples. I write to you, asking you to vote no, and oppose Kavanaugh’s nomination,” Peterson’s letter stated.

Who knows what motivates these ladies…they may still decide to vote yes. In particular, there is more to Collins, Kavanaugh and Russia than the media is reporting.

Even if all these red flags are ignored by the #complicit Republican Congress, the real reason the emails were hidden is the most damning: Kavanaugh participated in the theft of Democratic strategy emails when he worked for our last horrific illegitimate Rethug President, George W. Bush. Then, he lied about it. UNDER OATH. This may be beyond the pale even for today’s morally bankrupt GOP.

And with the latest poll numbers showing worse and worse news for Drumpf and his political influence, what is their motivation for sticking with him? Aren’t there any who are free from NRA Russian influence?

17 years after a devastating Al Qaeda attack on our country during a Republican administration, all we need is two Republican Senators to stop this devastating Russian attack on American democracy.

Call your Senators.

This is an open thread.

 

 

 

With deepest apologies Widdershins, I really haven’t had the time to sit down and pull together a musical or movie post for this weekend.  So instead I’ve gathered up some political cartoons of the past week and will share them here.

Naturally a number of them concern Roseanne, Trump, and the off-again/on-again summit.

Enjoy.

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Okay Widdershins, hope y’all enjoyed these, courtesy of The Week.

Naturally an open thread to comment as you wish.

 


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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Blog Archive

February 2019
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Kellyanne Conway’s new job

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
23 months to go.

Mueller Time!

Wise Words from Paul Ryan

B-I-N-G-O!

Only the *best* politicans bought by the NRA

Marching for their lives

Perfect Picture

Rudy: oh shit the pee tape IS real!

Need Reminders?

Never too early to shop for Christmas

“Look this way”

Manafort’s Jail Photo

Indeed who?

Trump spam

IOW Dumb = Happy?

Simply Put

Ironic

Awrite! Here’s your damned wall

Dems are coming for ya

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