The Widdershins

Archive for the ‘Democratic Values’ Category

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.

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.

 


Hoo boy, it’s going to be quite a news week even for this Dumpster Fire of an Administration. Here are just a few of the things going on:

  • Drumpf, having received his marching orders from Pooty-Poot, is off to North Korea to further weaken American democracy abroad. #PutinsPuppet
  • House Democrats, seizing the day, are forcing McTurtle to hold a vote on the House Resolution to cancel the fake National Emergency the Mango Moron declared. It may even have the votes to pass the Senate. Whoops! Will the Orange Crusher have to issue his first veto? Even more importantly, will he be able to spell it?
  • House Democrats are also holding a hearing on the global rise of authoritarianism and its danger to the liberal democratic values that have been keeping us out of a third World War since the 1950s. I’m sure it’s just a coinky-dink that it’s happening while Der Drumpfenfuhrer is off playing footsie with Lavrov and “Little Rocket Man.”
  • Manafort’s and Butina’s court cases are proceeding apace, not very well for them.
  • Robert Mueller’s report may come soon, but it’s very likely that Barr (who was picked for this very reason) will not provide an accurate summary to We the People. Democrats are prepared to subpoena Mueller if they are not satisfied with what they see.

And yet…the biggest news, in my opinion, is the testimony of Michael Cohen, who will be speaking both behind closed doors and publicly on Capitol Hill this week. Three days of Cohen, who literally knows everything bad Drumpf ever did, and Democrats hearing it and being able to take action! That is something amazing indeed.

Now it’s true that Cohen has this small issue with credibility, since he’s pleaded guilty to lying to Congress already. No worries, though. Apparently, Mikey has receipts.

“I’m told Cohen has been prepping with this for a long time, and he knows he’s got credibility issues, so he’s coming with documents,” Dilanian said, “and he’s got very detailed, sordid and, what (attorney) Lanny Davis has described as chilling stories of what how the president conducts himself behind closed doors.”

“We shouldn’t underestimate how powerful seeing a Trump insider who has been with Donald Trump for more than 10 years telling these stories before the glare of the television lights,” he added.

In today’s world, where the news cycle has shortened to 60-minute intervals and we’re all dizzy and dispirited from trying to keep up, it’s hard to predict what will land on Trump, the most Teflon-coated criminal President since Ronny Raygun. Somehow I think, though, that what Cohen says will be the last straw for many Republicans, and they won’t come back to the fold once they jump off the TrumpTanic.

I guess we’ll see, Widdershins.

This is an open thread.

Hello Widdershins! I’ve just been in Monterey for the first time, and didn’t turn on the Teevee for two days except to watch “Aquaman” in the hotel. (It was fine, I guess…certainly didn’t think it deserved all the hysteria. I preferred “Black Panther.” More eye candy and a much better storyline.)

I agreed with DYB’s post last week. In 2020, the media is going to do its damnedest to re-elect Drumpf. This is not “bothsidesism” in action – it’s greed, pure and simple. The media has gotten used to a hitherto unimaginable volume of viewers and clickers; and the Mango Moron generates an endless vortex of screaming headlines. It’s a match made in authoritarian hell, and I don’t see either party changing any time soon.

What we’ll continue to see is idiotic story after idiotic story allegedly “disqualifying” excellent Democratic candidates. “But her chicken wings!” “But her heritage!” “But her blackness!” “But her management style!” “But his (maybe) sexuality!” These non-scandals certainly will not resonate with the American people, who, based on the latest polls and the massive turnout in last year’s mid-terms, are done with the enabling Rethugs and their corrupt puppet of a front man. Yet, the media is hoping beyond hope that we’ll forget “butter emails” and believe, somehow, that the status quo would be better than sending an experienced, ethical and dedicated public servant to the Oval Office instead.

As Will Bunch said recently about coverage of Klobuchar’s announcement:

What if I told you about a senator who was accused by an ex-staffer of being an “egomaniacal autocrat” who was “determined to manage his staff through fear,” who allegedly yelled at a 23-year-old staffer reminding that senator about scheduling to “get the f—- out of my car”? It wasn’t Klobuchar but former vice president and Delaware senator Joe Biden, who hasn’t decided if he’s running but leads in the polls. And yet I haven’t seen anyone investigating what kind of boss Biden is.

Which prompts a big question looming over the general awfulness of the 2020 election media coverage: How much of it is pure misogyny — a problem in a race with not one but several high-profile female candidates who seem to be getting unequal treatment, where the “tough” male boss becomes “abusive” in a woman’s high heels, or a candidate’s mistaken over-valuation of her Native American heritage is more embarrassing than a man who exaggerated or made up “bone spurs” to avoid Vietnam.

Now, things are different. We have learned from 2016. We are #TheResistance; we’re awake, alive and well. We propelled the #BlueTsunami in 2018, and we’ll make sure that the Rethugs go down in 2020. Hard.

So let’s keep doing what we’re doing. It’s working! Don’t let the bastards get you down.

This is an open thread.

 

 

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Lyndon LaRouche has died. Does anyone care? I honestly have no opinion on the man; he was way before my time, certainly before my time in the US. I see many on the Alt-Left, like the insufferable bore Matt Bruenig, mourning his passing. This sentence from LaRouche’s Wiki page explains why: “LaRouche’s critics have said that he had “fascistic tendencies”, took positions on the far right, and created disinformation.”

Of actual relevance to the world, the 2020 election is in full swing. Republicans have Trump. No serious contender will challenge him. Jeff Flake once made some noises that resembled the desire to run, but he did the most Flake thing ever: flaked out. The Democratic field, on the other hand, is filling up with a big slate of Big Names who will be competing for dollars and attention: Harris, Gillibrand, Warren, Klobuchar, Booker. And, inevitably, Biden, Sharrod Brown, Bernie. NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio has suggested he’s exploring a Presidential run. (He shouldn’t bother. NYC barely likes him.) Bloomberg is still contemplating, though my guess is he will ultimately decide not to run. That nut-job from Hawaii will probably end up being Green Party candidate. Pelosi-foe Seth Moulton says he’s considering a run also; yeah, LOL, ok Seth, you do you. Am I missing anybody? I’m sure I must be.

The campaign so far is off to a predictable start. Kirsten Gillibrand has already had her first scandal: “But her fried chicken-gate!” At a campaign stop fried chicken was served. Gillibrand first reached for a fork and knife. Upon seeing others dig in with their hands, she queried out loud if she should do the same and then proceeded to eat like everyone else. This is a scandal now. NY Times reporters like Jonathan Martin snarkily wondered if Gillibrand has ever eaten fried chicken before. Gillibrand is no longer authentic and nobody can ever take her seriously. Eating fried chicken with fork and knife is unheard- of and will likely sink her’s chances. Elizabeth Warren is on her 2nd year of “But her heritage!” scandal. Mark my words, this scandal will not go away until Warren drops out of the race. The media will not let it die. It’s too important to keep litigating it because Trump will keep saying racist things. That’s why the media won’t let it die. They want Trump to keep saying racist things so they can make money covering it.

Meanwhile in Trumplandia, at his most recent rally in El Paso, a Trumpkin attacked a BBC cameraman after Trump led his latest “fake news” chant. Let’s be honest, it won’t change how Trump talks and it won’t change how the media continues to cover Trump: with rose-colored glasses. The political media wants Trump to win. It means sales and clicks and ratings. They will roast Democrats like they always do and shrug off Trump’s insanity. Gird your loins, Widdershins. I hope you liked the 2016 campaign because we’re about to get another like it, if not worse. The train has left the station and it’s going to be a bumpy ride.


Oy vey! Today it’s the SOTU – or as I call it, the “STFU.” As usual, I have no interest in watching the Mango Moron spew his ignorance and lies for the 8,000th time. Literally! As of January 21, 2019, the man has told over 8,158 lies since his inauguration, an average of 11.35 per day.

Ah, but what may be worth watching is the Democratic response, given by the fabulous Stacey Abrams…yet another strong, intelligent woman who was cheated out of victory in a transparent case of (say it with me now) Republican. Election. Fraud. Abrams was an unusual choice, given that the respondents both usually hold elected office, and are not African-American women.

That’s what makes it so brilliant.

“I know there were some headlines that characterized her as the future of the Democratic Party. In my estimate, she is the present and the future. She’s shaping the future,” Rep. Ayanna Pressley, who in 2018 became the first African-American woman to represent Massachusetts in Congress, said in an interview with ABC News.

And while Abrams’ defining characteristics set her apart, they also match her up for the current, unpredictable era — one in which the State of the Union is pushed back after a historic government shutdown, and the president giving the address had never held elected office himself before taking office.

“I think it’s untraditional in all the right ways — and ways voters are showing themselves to have an appetite for,” said Jamila Michener, a professor at Cornell University who researches racial inequality and the electoral system. Particularly African-American women, Michener said, who are “the electoral bedrock of the Democratic Party.”

“It’s almost a kind of ‘duh’ moment for the Democrats, and one it’s good they finally had,” she said.

After the triumphant Blue Tsunami of 2018, which women of color played an enormous part in making possible, it seems like the entire Democratic Party is finally overcoming their gender and color blindness to honor their true base.

This awakening does not, of course, include that self-centered screamer who won’t release his tax returns. You know who I’m talking about…the one who’s only a Democrat when he wants to run for office to help elect Comrade Drumpf. Yup, he’s just certain that all his fauxgressive cultists cannot live another day without hearing the same bullsh*t from his yelling pie hole.

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) will deliver his own response to President Trump’s speech to Congress on Tuesday for the third year running.

The senator’s office confirmed to The Hill that his response will follow Trump’s State of the Union address as well as the Democratic rebuttal and be streamed on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.

So, not on TeeVee then? Mwahahaha.

All righty then, here’s my plan. Who’s with me?

  1. Don’t watch Drumpf.
  2. Tune in to Stacey. (And, Xavier Becerra is giving the response in Spanish, so you can also tune in to him.)
  3. Ignore #theBernout.

This is an open thread.

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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