The Widdershins

Archive for the ‘Democratic Values’ Category

Good morning, Widdershins. What a horrific weekend we all had in America, as the two mass shootings in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio created twin waves of terror both locally, and throughout the United States. We grieve desperately for the victims and their loved ones and, once again, our sense of safety “outside” is eroded bit by bit, day by day.

If only these were the first, or last, of these mass shootings in our country. According to CBS News, there have been more than one per day since January 1, 2019.

As of Sunday, which was the 216th day of the year, there have been 251 mass shootings in the U.S., according to data from the nonprofit Gun Violence Archive, which tracks every mass shooting in the country. The Gun Violence Archive defines a mass shooting as any incident in which at least four people were shot, excluding the shooter.

The toll of 251 mass shootings include five high-profile rampages in the past eight days, in which more than 100 people were shot [bolding mine]:

*A shooting in a historic district of Dayton, Ohio, with 9 people killed and 27 injured.

*A shooting at Walmart in El Paso, Texas, with 20 people killed and 26 wounded. It was the deadliest shooting of the year.

*A shooting at the Gilroy Garlic Festival in the San Francisco Bay Area, with three people killed and 15 injured.

*A shooting at a Brooklyn block party, with one person killed and 11 injured.

*A shooting at a Walmart in Southaven, Mississippi, with two people killed and two injured.

As an ENTJ, I deal with my feelings through thinking. Figuring out how we can stop this from happening is my way of processing these senseless and terrible attacks. I hope, then, you will indulge me as I go step-by-step through the conclusions that led me to the title and point of my post.

Conclusion 1: White supremacy is now a national security threat, and white supremacists are terrorists. Since most shootings are carried out by white men with white supremacist views, we need to start treating white supremacy like other terrorist ideologies and organizations. This means not only prosecuting white supremacists as domestic terrorists, but also shutting down the forums where they organize online.

The big picture: In addition to the El Paso shooter, extremist killers from the deadly attacks on two mosques in New Zealand and a San Diego-area synagogue previewed their acts of terror on 8chan. “Once again a terrorist used 8chan to spread his message as he knew people would save it and spread it,” said founder Fredrick Brennan, who stopped working with the site’s current owners in December. “The board is a receptive audience for domestic terrorists.”

Many experts agree that domestic terrorism is inspired by white supremacy, including the head of the FBI, Christopher Wray – who, ironically, was appointed by the Nazi-in-Chief, Der Drumpfenfuhrer. And speaking of that feces-throwing orangutan squatting in the Oval Office…

Conclusion 2: With their racist words and constant talk of violence against immigrants and other people of color, Drumpf and the Republicans are encouraging white supremacy, and are therefore enabling domestic terrorism. As I wrote in October of 2018, after the attacks on the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh:

I am writing today’s post with tears in my eyes and fury in my heart.  For over three years now, we’ve seen the horrific evil of the worst of America become ascendant, and the media deliberately turn a blind eye to it; in fact, we’ve seen them refuse to call it by its name.

Let’s be very, very clear. The modern Republican party, once home to noble public servants like Abraham Lincoln and Dwight D. Eisenhower, has become a refuge for the most deplorable sub-human creatures that ever crawled upon the surface of the earth.

There is no longer any difference between Republicans and Nazis.

It is taking a long time for the realization to percolate through our culture, but this weekend we are seeing the political world begin to focus its wrath on the people who deserve it. Writes the incomparable Jennifer Rubin in the Washington Post:

For decades now, Republicans have insisted mass murders with semiautomatic weapons are not reflective of a gun problem. I can no longer comprehend how such a ludicrous assertion is remotely acceptable. But in one sense they are right: It’s not merely Republicans’ indulgence of the National Rifle Association that puts Americans’ lives in jeopardy; it is the support and enabling of a president that inspires white nationalist terrorists — and even denies white nationalism is a problem.

[snip]

…we are awash in hate crimes and white nationalist-inspired mass murders. We have a president whose words inspire and bolster perpetrators of these heinous acts. That makes Trump not only a moral abomination, which no policy outcome can offset, but a threat to national security. Those encouraged by his words in recent years kill more Americans than Islamist terrorists. If that is not justification for bipartisan repudiation of this president and removal from office at the earliest possible moment I don’t know what is. Those who countenance and support this president for his white-grievance mongering are not merely “deplorable” but dangerous.

As I write this, Democrats have taken to the airwaves and Twitter to demand #MoscowMitch recall the Senate and put the gun control measures the House passed FIVE MONTHS AGO to a vote. (Note: McConnell has allegedly fractured his shoulder. If true, thoughts and prayers, Mitch.) For those who have been yelling at Nancy Pelosi for months saying she isn’t doing enough and her strategy sucks, she was right all along. This is EXACTLY how to win against the Rethugs and Drumpf. Show your priorities. Show that you keep your promises. And if you don’t get your way, show the contrast between your actions and those of the Rethugs. Which leads me to my final conclusion…

Conclusion 3: Spend your time on voter registration efforts before the 2020 election. For far too long, there has been a “bothsides” epidemic on gun control. The truth is, when Democrats are in charge, we get legislation like the assault weapons ban in 1994; when Republicans are in charge, we get the overturning of the assault weapons ban, the loosening of laws against mentally ill people getting access to guns, open carry laws…the list goes on and on. This obvious truth has been obscured by a psy-ops campaign against the American people, led by the NRA and its enablers (now including Russia, as we know!).

In 2020, we need to both keep the House, and take the Senate and the Presidency. The Republicans’ white supremacist-enabling inaction on gun control is literally killing hundreds of thousands of people, both at the border and here at home. Let’s do our best to make sure everyone votes blue next November. Our lives depend on it.

This is an open thread.

And so are his friends.

On Saturday, billionaire financier and convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein was arrested for the alleged sex trafficking of dozens of minors in New York and Florida between 2002 and 2005. In a criminal indictment unsealed Monday, federal prosecutors claimed that Epstein lured underage girls, some as young as 14, to his luxurious homes in Manhattan and Palm Beach under the guise of paying them cash for massages. He then molested them and encouraged them to recruit other young girls to return with them. The victims who returned with new victims were paid a finder’s fee.

“In this way, Epstein created a vast network of underage victims for him to sexually exploit, often on a daily basis,” the U.S. Attorney’s office said in a statement.

Lest we forget, this is what Drumpf said about Epstein in 2002:

“I’ve known Jeff for 15 years. Terrific guy. He’s a lot of fun to be with. It is even said that he likes beautiful women as much as I do, and many of them are on the younger side. No doubt about it — Jeffrey enjoys his social life.”

Can you not hear the sleaze dripping from his voice as he says this? The nasty, pedophiliac drool? Oh yes. He knew exactly what that overprivileged piece of shit was doing to children.

That brave woman, E. Jean Carroll, told her story and was basically ignored by the media; not because they didn’t believe her, but because they did. We all know that gob of orange goo in the White House is a sexual predator. That is one of the many, many, MANY reasons we were all so devastated after Election Day in 2016; the knowledge that tens of millions of Americans actually voted for a known sexual predator instead of the most qualified candidate for President in the history of our country, because they hate women and all people of color. White people all across this country made that decision with eyes wide open. And now we are reaping the whirlwind as more and more of the pResident’s men are starting to get caught committing horrible sexual crimes.

People like Jeffrey Epstein are Donald Trump’s friends. People like Alex Acosta are his enablers. Trump’s Attorney General William Barr has recused himself from the Epstein case (for a reason that doesn’t pass the smell test). These are just the most recent “best people” Republicans are fine with keeping in power, but there are oh, so many more.

I just have to ask: what moral compass is being used here? If you’re a Republican, do you think raping children is better or worse than separating them from their parents and putting them in concentration camps? Is raping children better or worse than letting them be killed in school shootings nearly every day? Is raping children better or worse than taking clean air, food and water away from them?

This terrible travesty of an administration has caused us to ask these horrifying questions, to compare and weigh the many cruelties visited on children and to wonder, how can anyone be okay with this? Even more dreadful, it has caused us to answer that question thus: that Republicans will put up with anything to stay in power. It doesn’t matter who gets raped, as long as it isn’t them.

Here’s to truly draining the swamp in 2020. May we make it so that all the slimy sexual predators, like Jeffrey Epstein, William Barr, Alex Acosta and so many others, are sent to prison, along with their Cheeto-hued chief.

And may we make America, finally, a safe place for our women and children.

This is an open thread.

 

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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*** Next Democratic Debate ***

NEXT DEMOCRATIC CANDIDATES DEBATE

 

  • What: Round three of the candidates debates
  • When: 12th (and 13th if needed) 2019
  • Where: Houston Tx
  • Network: ABC and Univision
  • Other: Details on the format, venue, moderators and exact timing for the debates will be announced later.

Blog Archive

August 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
17 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