The Widdershins

Archive for the ‘Current Events’ Category

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.

 

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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.

Too much news

Posted on: May 17, 2018

breaking-news.jpg

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

Dump called immigrants “animals.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This is an open thread.

 

Photo courtesy of CNN

Yes, Widdershins, I’m wading into I/P again. I can’t help it – what’s going on in the Middle East is so appalling and wrong, and since the Republican Party is now a wholly-owned subsidiary of Russia, they’re all going along with it and letting the madness continue. It’s just insane that this oversized orange rhino is galumphing all over the world with his big giant feet, destroying everything he touches…and not a single peep from Paul Ryan or Mitch McConnell! Do they not get that our enemies have nukes?! Christ on a cracker, as our beloved Chatblu used to say!

Now let me be clear: I completely believe Israel is as lawful a country as all the other countries in the world, and it was established with much more care, much more reason, and much less violence. (See: Native Americans and White Europeans Who Stole Their Country, 17th century to present.) The difference in the perception of Israel is, of course, that Israel is mostly Jewish. And the world, especially the white, European 1% who run it, doesn’t like us much. (See: Holocaust, The.) I also believe there is no such thing as a Palestinian. It’s a made-up word for a hodgepodge of people from the surrounding Arab countries who exited Israel after the Zionists bought it and moved in, during the war that followed. And yes, I say “exited” because, contrary to 70 years of propaganda, they weren’t all kicked out. I was surprised to see CNN’s story actually state this, instead of lazily repeating the usual bullsh*t. Here is another good story on the four sticking points causing the unending conflict…sadly, not much has changed since 2002.

Another point of disagreement: Israel is not “occupying” anything. Israel has as much right to Israel, including Jerusalem, as any of the random Jordanians, Lebanese, Egyptians, etc. who claim it. The very premise that this group is “right” and the Israelis are “wrong” is beyond absurd. Israel’s history (thousands of years of continuous living in the area), as well as the Balfour Declaration, proves the Jewish claim to the homeland. And besides, after the Holocaust, European Jews were rejected all over the world. No one wanted us. Israel was the only safe haven we had, and after what we had suffered at the hands of white Europeans, our survival depended on establishing that haven.

That being said…

The Mango Moron’s idea to move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem was a truly terrible one, guaranteed to produce this result. I am quite sure that evangelicals, being prompted by Putin and Netanyahu behind the scenes, convinced Drumpf to do this to bring on the End Times. And while I don’t agree with the protesters, I do fervently support their right to protest, peacefully, and not get killed. Even if some threw rocks and burned tires, did the IDF really need to use live ammunition?! The barbarism of Bibi’s army is appalling.

Here in America, when we protest, we know that, while we may be arrested and/or tear gassed in some extreme cases, we won’t pay for our beliefs with our lives. At the Women’s March, the most that happened was some dyspepsia over the 12 idiotic pro-deathers who tried to make themselves relevant by standing at the end of Pennsylvania Avenue, forlornly draped in black. There was no military presence, no insistence that we not walk right in front of the President’s house and give him the collective middle finger. The First Amendment, protecting the freedom of speech and the right to peaceful assembly, is one of the many things that actually make this country great.

I know the two cases aren’t exactly similar. The protesters do not have to try to cross the border into Israel, or even come close enough to it to be fired upon. But their beliefs are strong, and they are brave, and they are willing to die for their right to express themselves. The cost of protest is high in the Middle East, and I applaud the courage of those who are willing to pay it.

I truly believe that nothing will improve in this troubled region until ignorant, hateful “leaders” like Mahmoud Abbas, Benjamin Netanyahu and Donald Trump are removed from the world stage and put in the Hague where they belong. Perhaps then, like our wonderful American kids who are leading the #NeverAgain movement, young partners for peace will find their voices, and create a new, unified Middle East where all the bloodshed and hatred will be a distant memory.

Ken y’hi ratson. So may it be.

This is an open thread.

Good Sunday Widdershins!

Alas no music or movie posts this weekend.  As I mentioned in the comments somewhere, real life is consuming a lot of my time right now – more than I’d like it to in some ways actually.  Then add in the fact that my poor brain just cannot “brain” at times when it comes to a new or different theme for the movie or musical posts.  Anger?  Check – done it.  Disappointment?  Check – done that one lots.  Seasons?  Well not time yet for the next season.

Sooo…what I’ve done is to find some, in my opinion, choice cartoons of the past week or so for your entertainment pleasure.  It’s an open thread (do we have any other types?) so any and all comments are welcomed.

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And that folks, is a wrap.  Hope you enjoyed them and a h/t to The Week for having them available.

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Good Weekend Widdershins!

My new laptop is on the way – supposed to be delivered today. 

I have the drive on this laptop backed up and have instructions on how to restore the files to a new computer.  Again with the crossed fingers! 

However, I’m still writing this post on the old machine so it will be brief.

So who knew it might be a porn star named Stormy Daniels that might take down tRump and not the Russian ratfcking of the election?  Of course anything short of tRump’s resignation would have to involve the Republicans in the House and I seriously doubt that will happen.

In honor (?) of Ms. Daniels I’ve selected some songs revolving around storms, rain and the like.  Add your own choices in the comments below.

(1) I Can’t Stand The Rain~Tina Turner

(2) A Hard Rain’s Gonna Fall~Bob Dylan

(3) Set Fire To The Rain~Adele

(4) Stormy Weather~Lena  Horne

Okay Widdershins, that’s it for me and my crippled laptop.  I hope by next week I have the new one set up with everything transferred over to it.

Finally, did you remember to set your clocks forward?

Open thread of course.

 

Good Sunday/Monday, and maybe even Tuesday
Widdershins!

“Oh those kids!”.  Or as the vulgar yam, the rest of the Republicans, and the NRA are probably saying, “Oh those *&!@$# kids!”.  Yes indeed, the survivors of the slaughter at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School are not just sitting quietly and listening to their elders.  Hell no, these kids are creating a ruckus that has their elders squirming and feeling quite uncomfortable.  And that’s putting it mildly.

These young folks have been attacked by the right, being called among other things not

Cliff Notes on being empathetic

“real” students and being paid actors.  Paid by George Soros and other members of the left of course.  And when they aren’t attacking these young ones, the Right and NRA  people are just outright lying about things.  (Yeah Dana your lie about “burn her” has already been been disproved).  Nope, these kids aren’t just sitting idly by or being content to let the Parkland tragedy move out of the news cycle for the next big thing.  What these kids are doing is standing up and saying this has to be stopped.  They are being brave, courageous, and not being quiet.

For our musical stylings in this post, let’s take a look at some songs about courage, bravery and maybe even protest.  Protests over the NRA and corporate affiliations are taking a toll. And corporations offering discounts for NRA members are dropping those deals as fast as rats scurrying off a sinking ship.

(1) The Tragically Hip~Courage

(2) The Rising~Bruce Springsteen

(3) Brave and Strong~Sly And The Family Stone

(4) Stand Up And Be Strong~Soul Asylum

(5) Brave~Sara Bareilles

(6) Uprising~Muse

And just to show the kids that we older folks knew a thing or two about protests, courge and bravery “back in the day”:

Open thread and hope you’ll share some songs in the comments.

 

 


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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
2.4 years 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?

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