The Widdershins

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Good afternoon Widdershins

So today is the first of two big days for the Democrats.  Twenty, count’em, twenty Democrats (well minus Bernie) will be on a stage in Miami over two days to rip each other to shreds, but in a nice way, bless their hearts.

I tried to find a Bingo card or cards for the events but could not.  However, courtesy of someplace, LA Times, NY Times, somewhere, I found a drinking game for each night.  And should you not imbibe in liquor or partake of other mind-alternating substances, well just pretend that you do.

FOR WEDNESDAY NIGHT

Presidential debate, night one

Who’s on stage: Mayor Bill de Blasio, Sens. Elizabeth Warren, Cory Booker and Amy Klobuchar, former Rep. Beto O’Rourke, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, former Rep. John Delaney, Reps. Tulsi Gabbard and Tim Ryan and former U.S. Housing Secretary Julián Castro.

Take a drink if:

  • De Blasio references President Donald Trump as “Con Don.”
  • A moderator or candidate refers to O’Rourke as Robert (his actual first name).
  • A candidate dances around whether they’re in favor of impeaching Trump.
  • Warren says, “I have a plan for that.”
  • A candidate says a progressive stance is not socialism.
  • De Blasio starts a response with “listen.”
  • You have to Google who a candidate is.
  • Klobuchar mentions the Midwest.
  • A candidate turns a question on policy into an attack on Trump.
  • Booker mentions he is vegan.
  • An attempt to answer a question dissolves into multiple candidates shouting over each other.
  • All the candidates give the same answer on a yes or no question.
  • Hillary Clinton is mentioned

* * * *

FOR THURSDAY NIGHT

Presidential debate, night two

Who’s on stage: Former Vice President Joe Biden, Sens. Bernie Sanders, Kirsten Gillibrand, Michael Bennet and Kamala Harris, Rep. Eric Swalwell, South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, author Marianne Williamson and entrepreneur Andrew Yang.

Take a drink if:

  • A moderator or candidate jokes about pronouncing (or mispronounces) Buttigieg.
  • Biden says “folks.”
  • A candidate turns a question on policy into an attack on Trump.
  • Harris has to defend her record as a prosecutor.
  • A candidate says a progressive stance is not socialism.
  • All the candidates give the same answer on a yes or no question.
  • Attacks on Biden tally more than 10, then take a drink after every five more.
  • Sanders wags his finger aggressively.
  • A candidate dances around whether they’re in favor of impeaching Trump.
  • You have to Google who a candidate is.
  • Gillibrand has to explain her shift in opinion about gun laws.
  • Sanders calls himself a socialist.
  • Hillary Clinton is mentioned.

* * * *

Okie-doke Widdershins, you are all set.  Get your cocktail glasses, ice, favorite adult beverage or any other accoutrements that you feel you might need to prep for the next two nights.

Does it need to be said?  Open thread of course.

Courtesy of The Hill

Rut-roh, Bernie! There’s a new cult figure on the horizon, and *gasp,* he is YOUNG. And, he raised $200,000 more in 24 hours than you did! Oh my, oh my, what shall you do?

O’Rourke’s total crushed the first day hauls of many of his Democratic competitors and surpassed even that of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), the fundraising pace-setter and a far better-known candidate who collected $6 million [actually, he didn’t. He raised $5.9 million] in the first 24 hours of his own campaign. In an email to supporters Monday, the Sanders campaign pointed to O’Rourke’s total and asked for help to “close the gap” before the first Federal Election Commission fundraising deadline.

Oh, but that didn’t happen. Why? Because Beto knew how important this was going to be, and he was ready.

The cash windfall was no accident. O’Rourke began preparing for a robust online fundraising push even before he announced his run for president, alerting top supporters to be ready to solicit contributions from their lists. Once he announced his candidacy on Thursday, the campaign began aggressive texting, email and social media appeals. O’Rourke spent more than $157,000 on Facebook last week, running more than 2,300 — many of them soliciting donations, with the campaign telling donors that “what we raise in the first 24 hours will set the tone in the national conversation about the viability of our campaign.”

Whatever we might think about Beto, he certainly has political savvy – enough to know how to shut up the yelling, pointing, almost-octogenarian Senator Sanders. And now, it looks like at least some of the Powers That Be have decided that Bernie and Beto cannot occupy the same space. The compares and contrasts are starting, first on one of Sanders’ signature slogans – er, policy positions: Medicare for All. Guess what? Beto’s on the right side of this. He favors a plan called Medicare for America,  which outlines a gradual phasing in of single-payer. Not too coincidentally, this concept is also what Our Girl proposed in 2016.

That Democrats are arguing whether their next health care proposal should cover every American in a government plan in a matter of years or a matter of decades shows how far to the left the party’s internal health care debate has shifted. But in a crowded presidential field, these distinctions are going to be treated as meaningful. O’Rourke is allying himself with more mainstream Democrats, setting up a collision with Sanders and the single-payer purists [bolding mine].

That is a good sign for Beto. But there are other, more troubling signs that despite the cash he can raise, he just might not be ready for prime time, especially in the era of #MeToo and the massive infusion of energy, brilliance and joy over 100 female freshman Democrats have brought to the House this year.

Much of the criticism of O’Rourke, while specific to the comments he has made, also revolve around his status as a 40-something white male running in a party increasingly leaning on minorities and women for support.

[snip]

Tracy Sefl, a Democratic consultant who served as a surrogate to Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign, summed it up by calling it “the tyranny of bro culture.”

“A seasoned campaign professional — a woman— asked me, ‘Is he running for president in this century?’ A question worth asking based on what voters saw over the past several days,” Sefl said.

So, Beto’s shiny and embodies white male privilege. Bernie’s shiny and embodies white male privilege. At the end of the day, which one, if either, will remain standing? I think we’ll find that two shiny objects cannot, in fact, occupy the same space.

This is an open thread.

 

putintrumptime

The problem with the Russians is that they are always fighting a world war. No matter what it is. An actual World War or the Eurovision contest. The public and the government treat the two with equal ferocity and dedication. When the Soviets formed a human shield around Stalingrad in 1943 they beat back the Nazis with the same fanaticism with which they try to defeat foreign pop singers, especially the transvestites. Wall-to-wall coverage on the news, front page headlines, celebrity coaches, personal visits and encouragements from members of the government – all the way up to Comrade Putin – it’s literally all the same thing to them. There is always an enemy at the gate, ready to destroy Mother Russia and all that is Holy about it. Sometimes the enemy carries a machine gun, sometimes a microphone. But to come in second is to come in last.

So when the mighty Soviet Union fell, something Vladimir Putin once declared to be the greatest tragedy to befall His people, it brought with it festering and oozing scars of humiliation and anger. USSR fell not because it was incapable of functioning, but because the West destroyed it.  The West – and Reagan specifically – happily embraced this view of events. But they underestimated just how deeply these events cut the Russian people.

The West – and America as its face – have always been the Enemy of Russia. As much as the Russian public is obsessed with American money, culture, fashion, etc., it also views it as a perversion of purity and righteousness which Russia represents to its people. It is very much like Gollum and The One Ring. It hungers for The West and hates it in one breath. This belief among the general public that the West generally and America specifically are always trying to destroy Russia should not be underestimated. It’s why the Russians love strongment leaders like Putin. These leaders are the forces who will protect the people from Western interference. Because the West wants all that is Russian: to take it, eat it, consume it and destroy it like it destroys everything. The West is an agent of greed and sexual perversions – and Russia is always under attack. They believe these things with the sincerity of saints.

putin

Russia’s rejection of The Other has over the years taken on odd forms.  For example, in his day Tchaikovsky’s music was seen as too European, his embrace of Europe suspect.  The real champions of Russian music in the 19th century were The Mighty Handful, consisting of Rimsky-Korsakov, Mussorgsky, Cui, Balakirev and Borodin.  They deeply resented the fact that Tchaikovsky was conservatory trained and attacked formal education of music.  Though they tolerated Tchaikovsky himself, Rimsky-Korsakov once wrote that “Tchaikovsky’s Conservatory training still constituted a considerable barrier between him and us.”   (None of the Five received a formal education in composition.)  To this day Russia – a deeply homobigoted country – refuses to acknowledge that Tchaikovsky was gay.  Russia – also a deeply racist country – refuses to discuss that Alexander Pushkin, its greatest poet, was half black.  These ideas are revolting to them, too Other.

So as we learn more details about Russian interference in American elections, we must understand that this is Russia’s war for survival. The attempt to reverse decades of what they see as humiliations at the hands of the West – and America specifically. Russia is like a Holy Land, its people its righteous pilgrims, and the barbarian Western hoardes are at the gate.

The news of Russian interference on Trump’s behalf (and they are now attempting to take down Angela Merkel too), isn’t news to anyone who paid attention before November 8th. Hillary Clinton discussed it in the 3rd Presidential debate on October 19th.

CLINTON: Well, that’s because he’d rather have a puppet as president of the United States.

TRUMP: No puppet. No puppet.

CLINTON: And it’s pretty clear…

TRUMP: You’re the puppet!

CLINTON: It’s pretty clear you won’t admit…

TRUMP: No, you’re the puppet.

CLINTON: … that the Russians have engaged in cyberattacks against the United States of America, that you encouraged espionage against our people, that you are willing to spout the Putin line, sign up for his wish list, break up NATO, do whatever he wants to do, and that you continue to get help from him, because he has a very clear favorite in this race.

So I think that this is such an unprecedented situation. We’ve never had a foreign government trying to interfere in our election. We have 17 — 17 intelligence agencies, civilian and military, who have all concluded that these espionage attacks, these cyberattacks, come from the highest levels of the Kremlin and they are designed to influence our election. I find that deeply disturbing.

WALLACE: Secretary Clinton…

CLINTON: And I think it’s time you take a stand…

TRUMP: She has no idea whether it’s Russia, China, or anybody else.

CLINTON: I am not quoting myself.

TRUMP: She has no idea.

CLINTON: I am quoting 17…

TRUMP: Hillary, you have no idea.

CLINTON: … 17 intelligence — do you doubt 17 military and civilian…

TRUMP: And our country has no idea.

CLINTON: … agencies.

TRUMP: Yeah, I doubt it. I doubt it.

CLINTON: Well, he’d rather believe Vladimir Putin than the military and civilian intelligence professionals who are sworn to protect us. I find that just absolutely…

(CROSSTALK)

TRUMP: She doesn’t like Putin because Putin has outsmarted her at every step of the way.

But for reasons that will spend decades trying to understand, the story never found traction in the media or among the patriotic Americans who supported Trump. John McCain and Lindsay Graham were silent. The New York Times did not cover the story above the fold of its print edition, like they covered FBI’s announcement that they were looking at Anthony Wiener’s computer with 3 stories above the fold in a single edition. I suppose we should be grateful that finally people are taking notice, although Mitch McConnell prefers not to drag Trump into it.

russian-hunting

This was a very long game played by Putin. One really should try to admire it, if one was not the victim of it. Putin will have Trump’s election engraved on his own tombstone. “Here Lies Vladimir Putin, Wrestler of Bears, Shirtless Horseback Rider, and Conqueror of America.” Putin is making Russia Great Again. With the assistance of Julian Rapist Assange and Glenn “Leftwing Dictators are grrreat and Putin totally has nothing to do with this election” Greenwald. Bernie Bros reposting fake news stories on social media and the American news media that never met an e-mail it didn’t like to speculate about. Soviet leaders spent decades trying to bring Red Russia to Blue America. Putin has finally succeeded.  Putin has put a momentary numbing balm on Russia’s persecution mania.

Note that the color Blue in Russia represents homosexuality. That depraved Blue America has taken on the color of Red Mother Russia means so much to them. Hail Comrade Putin! We thought we would all have to learn Chinese in the new century. I suggest people start taking up Russian instead.

putin

 

Good Monday, all! Now that Super Tuesday and this weekend’s primaries and caucuses are over, it seems pretty clear, even to the disappointed dummies on MSNBC, that Hillary’s delegate lead would be “challenging” for Senator Sanders to overcome. And since we aren’t the Republicans, who very well might end up with a brokered convention or some other mess, once Hillary wins Florida and New York, that should be the final hurrah for this year’s brogressive unicorn.

Now it seems like we can stop worrying about Bernie Sanders pulling an Obama from 2008, and start a fun game called, “Who Will Be Hillary’s VP?” It would be irresponsible NOT to speculate!

We have many different guesses already. From the lesser-known but intriguing (Tom Perez, the current Labor Secretary) to the 2008 option (Could she Feel the Bern too?) to the ZOMG She Wouldn’t Dare option (Elizabeth Warren – an all-female ticket!! Gyn-tastic), minds are whirling and lips are flapping all over the Beltway.

Here are some of my thoughts on these, and the list of 19 at PredictIt:

  1. Could be: Any prominent Democratic Latino male. Whether it’s Perez, Julian Castro, the current HUD secretary, or someone else we don’t know about yet, a Latino male brings a lot to the ticket. If Cruz or Rubio end up being the Republican nominee, an alternate to vote for would be an excellent thing for Democrats to offer.  This is not to say that I think Republicans are all that attractive to Latinos – but they’re likely to continue to put a huge amount of effort into gaining some ground in that community, since Repubs are not likely to win any other non-white voter groups.
  2. Could be: A prominent Democrat from a key swing state, like Ohio or Virginia. Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio, brogressive darling, and former Democratic governor of Virginia Tim Kaine, are being floated around. I favor Sherrod Brown, just because Hillary is perceived as centrist, and that’s Kaine’s political orientation as well. A centrist white guy doesn’t do a lot for her in the general election, but Sherrod Brown’s liberal creds would be very appealing to the Sanders holdouts. Only thing here is that he’s 63…in 8 years he’ll be 71. As we know, Hillary is always thinking about the future of the Party. A younger man would be a smarter pick.
  3. Nagahapin: Bernie Sanders. Really? A 74-year-old Socialist? I don’t care how many people suggest this, it’s an incredibly dumb idea. See above.
  4. Nagahapin Part Deux: Elizabeth Warren. I see her in a Cabinet position IF the Democrats retake the Senate and we don’t need her there any more. Otherwise, another white woman who is actually LESS liberal than Hillary, who is a one-issue candidate, who is only two years younger, and who is from a state that Our Girl will win hands-down…sorry, what was the point of this again?

What do you all think? This is an open thread.

Dear, dear Debbie Wasserman-Schultz*

Thank you so very much for not scheduling this debate against a football game.  Perhaps someone pointed out that Democrats and leaning Indies watch football, too?  Anyhow, the grateful, Democratic, football-lovin’ portion of the nation salutes you, and we’ll back that up with a toast.

Just for variety, let’s play bingo tonight.  The rules are simple – you check off a box, you take a sip.  You get bingo, finish your drink.  Oh, and you might want to yell “bingo” first, depending on the size/contents of the aforementioned drink.  At the end, let’s all have a toast to DWS and the gift of better timing.

See you on the other side for an open comments thread.  Bottoms up, Widdershins!

*Full disclosure:  DWS is my Congressional Rep.


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Mueller Testimony Info

 

  • Date: Wednesday, July 24, 2019
  • Times: (Eastern) 8:30 a.m. – House Judiciary Committee hearing; 12 p.m. – House Intelligence Committee hearing

Blog Archive

July 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
18 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

NEXT DEMOCRATIC DEBATES

The next set of Democratic debates – 2 nights again, will be July 30th and 31st on CNN.

Not sure of times.

Lineup for Detroit Dem Debates

NIGHT ONE, Tuesday, July 30, 9 pm Eastern each night

  •     Steve Bullock
  •     Pete Buttigieg
  •     John Delaney
  •     John Hickenlooper
  •     Amy Klobuchar
  •     Beto O’Rourke
  •     Tim Ryan
  •     Bernie Sanders
  •     Elizabeth Warren
  •     Marianne Williamson

 

NIGHT TWO, Wednesday, July 31:

  •     Michael Bennet
  •     Joe Biden
  •     Cory Booker
  •     Julián Castro
  •     Bill de Blasio
  •     Tulsi Gabbard
  •     Kirsten Gillibrand
  •     Kamala Harris
  •     Jay Inslee
  •     Andrew Yang

Moderators will be Dana Bash, Don Lemon and Jake Tapper

There’s even info on who stands where but I’m not interested in who is in the center square.

https://www.politico.com/story/2019/07/18/cnn-dnc-pick-second-debate-lineups-1422147