The Widdershins

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Good Tuesday, Widdershins! Today is a bellwether day because last night, Rachel Maddow finally stopped using the word “inexplicably” and used Occam’s Razor instead.

In her opening segment, Rachel was highlighting the fact that Drumpf has a very large number of weak, “acting” cabinet secretaries and vacant deputy positions that haven’t been filled. She then noted that this framework for governing concentrates power in the hands of the President. “There’s a particular type of government that works this way,” she said. “It starts with an ‘a.'”

Indeed! Welcome to the autocracy party, Rachel. It’s quite scary to admit what the end goal of Putin’s Puppet is; kudos for starting to wrap your head around it.

The autocratic end game, however, cannot be won merely by eviscerating critical government agencies like the Department of Defense, Homeland Security, the EPA and so many others. What will really set the tone for declaring Trump King Forever is a determination that he is above the law. And from where I sit, he’s trying his best to make that determination happen. Let me count just a few ways:

  1. The tax returns. The chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, Richard Neal, has demanded Drumpf’s tax returns. The Mango Moron has refused, which is illegal. The deadline for turning them over to the Ways and Means Committee is Wednesday, April 10. If this goes to court, will he get a favorable ruling?
  2. The family separation policy. One of the most Nazi-like policies this evil Administration has ever set in place, family separation was ruled illegal last year. But now, Drumpf is clearing house at DHS, firing Kirstjen Nielsen and others, and to try and find people who will impose the policy despite its illegality. He may have found at least one.

    Though he may not be installed immediately, the Trump administration is likely to find a way to make sure [Kevin] McAleenan will step in for Nielsen on an acting basis, even if it means firing Grady. NBC News reports that McAleenan “has not ruled out” family separation as an option, and that he would consider allowing parents to bring their children with them into long-term detention as an alternative.

    What happens if McAleenan does try to go ahead with family separation despite the judge’s orders? Who will tell him he can’t?

  3. The Fake National Emergency. When Der Drumpfenfuhrer declared a fake national emergency at the border and started appropriating funds for his ridiculous wall, the Democrats sued him.

    Trump declared a national emergency in February to shift federal funds toward construction of the border wall after Congress refused to provide him with the amount he requested.The initial standoff resulted in a 35-day partial government shutdown, the longest in U.S. history.

    The complaint was filed one day after Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) announced that the House would sue the president to block Trump’s national emergency declaration to build a wall along the southern border.

    “The Congress has a solemn responsibility to defend its exclusive constitutional responsibilities, and protect our system of checks and balances,” Pelosi said of the lawsuit in a statement Friday. “The very integrity of our democratic institutions are at stake. We will not let the President trample over the Constitution.”

These are just three examples. Bottom line is, a Constitutional crisis could result from any of these. If the pResident decides to just brazen it out and declare he is above the law, will the Senate stand up to him? Or will they continue to demonstrate their moral decrepitude and lack of interest in our core democratic principles, and help him establish an autocracy in America?

I think we’d all better start stretching our leg muscles and ensuring we’ve got comfortable shoes. While I hope we won’t need to, we must prepare to march to prevent Orange Caligula from consolidating enough power to destroy our country for the foreseeable future. Our activism may be the only thing standing between us and the “a” word.

This is an open thread.

Well, it looks like Barr is doing the job Drumpf hired him to do. He is whitewashing and weaseling and trying like hell to protect the criminal and his cabal currently sh*tting all over American democracy. His four-page summary left much to be desired, and quoted not a single full sentence from the Mueller Report. And the Democrats are determined to get the full story.

The Democratic chairmen of the House Judiciary, Oversight, Intelligence, Financial Services, Ways and Means, and Foreign Affairs committees have written a letter to Attorney General William Barr requesting that he submit the full Mueller report to Congress by April 2.

What they’re saying: “Your four page summary of the Special Counsel’s review is not sufficient for Congress, as a co-equal branch of government, to perform [our oversight activities]. The release of the full report and the underlying evidence and documents is urgently needed by our committees to perform their duties under the Constitution … To the extent that you believe applicable law limits your ability to comply, we urge you to begin the process of consultation with us immediately in order to establish shared parameters for resolving those issues without delay.”

So that’s one thing the Democrats are doing. But it’s clearly not enough, so I would like to pose this question to all of you Widdershins out there:

What [Else] Should Democrats Do?

I think there are a number of avenues they can pursue.

  1. Subpoena Robert Mueller. The DOJ might block it, but “what are they trying to hide” is a powerful question.
  2. Turn their focus to other matters. There’s an interesting argument at the link…and, I just read that now that Barr is in charge of the DOJ, all of a sudden they’re cool to overturn the entire ACA. Seriously! This is truly horrendous, and it’s happening right now, when no one is paying attention.

    The Trump administration wants the federal courts to overturn the Affordable Care Act in its entirety, an escalation of its legal assault against the health care law.

    The Justice Department said in a brief filed on Monday that the administration supports a recent district court decision that invalidated all of Obamacare. So it is now the official position of President Trump’s administration that all of the ACA — the private insurance markets that cover 15 million Americans, the Medicaid expansion that covers another 15 million, and the protections for people with preexisting conditions and other regulations — should be nullified.

    When combined with Trump’s endorsement of the various Republican legislative plans to repeal and replace Obamacare and other regulatory actions pursued by his subordinates, the Trump administration’s clear, consistent and unequivocal position is that millions of people should lose their health insurance and that people should not be protected from discrimination based on their medical history.

  3. Continue to investigate. In the absence of any real insight into what Mueller found, the Democrats seem to be committed to continuing to probe the most corrupt administration in history.
  4. Something else. Any other options you can all think of!

What do you think, Widdershins?

This is an open thread.

Dear Diary,

Today I watched in disbelief as pundits and reporters I respect started tearing Nancy Pelosi apart for her statement about impeachment. Here’s an amazing Twitter conversation between the brilliant security expert Malcolm Nance, and the indispensable journalist Sarah Kendzior:

Diary, I could not believe my eyes. These smart, liberal people are attacking the woman who finally tore the House out of the Rethuglicans’ hands, who helped mastermind the biggest Blue Wave in history, and who has repeatedly faced down Donald Trump and made him cry like a toddler who’s dropped his ice cream cone. Malcolm Nance hasn’t done that. Sarah Kendzior hasn’t done that. In fact, I haven’t seen anyone do that since Our Girl kicked his ass in 2016.

And the way they’re attacking her! Let’s start with my friend Malcolm.

“What is wrong with the Speaker Pelosi Congress….”

If only! I am pretty sure that if Nancy were in charge of the whole Congress, impeachment would have happened on Day 1. But she’s not, Malcolm. She’s the Speaker of the House. The part of Congress that has not acted for two fucking years is the Senate. Why not call them the Mitch McConnell Congress?! Can you not figure out who the problem is here?

Let’s keep going:

“Nothing is criminal anymore? Trump can do or say like a dictator as he pleases? All his crimes are OK even if you see them?”

And Kendzior wrote,

“…Pelosi has proclaimed him above the law.”

Diary, when did Nancy say any of these things?

Say it with me, Diary: Impeachment is a political process. It is NOT a legal process. Apparently this point is lost on Malcolm, as is the makeup of the Congress, NOT (sadly) owned by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Contrary to his and Kendzior’s impassioned tweets, Pelosi has nothing to do with whether or not Donald Trump is charged with the multitude of crimes that he has no doubt committed. She has no power over the criminal justice system. She isn’t Bob Mueller or a prosecutor for the Southern District of New York.  All she can do is start impeachment proceedings, which will no doubt fail in the rotten-to-the-core Republican Senate.

With impeachment, every Republican in the country will be up in arms and screaming “Fake impeachment!” “Bullsh*t!” “Democrats kill babies and hate Jews!” (Okay, that last one is happening now.) Do we really want to make that happen before 2020? Politically speaking, we can reap much more fruit by investigating and getting the results of the Mueller Report published to all Americans, and we might pick off a lot more #MAGAs in the meantime.

Oh, dearest Diary, please don’t get me wrong. I really, really want the Mango Moron impeached, more than almost anything else these days. But if the woman who has brought this piece of sh*t to his knees and taken back the House despite gerrymandering and other egregious examples of Republican Election Fraud, says she is against impeachment, well, the last thing I’m going to do is attack her.

Instead, I’m going to defend her to my last breath, and focus my wrath on the Republicans who refuse to do their Constitutional duty and hold him accountable. They are the ones who have enabled his corruption to take hold, and they will face the consequences at the ballot box in 2020.

Who’s with me?

This is an open thread.

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.

* * * *

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

* * * *

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

Open thread, of course.

 

 

 

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?


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Blog Archive

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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
21 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