The Widdershins

Archive for the ‘Democratic Values’ Category

Hello Widdershins!

Another week, more shenanigans from Sinenchin. AZ Senator who caucuses with Democrats went to fundraise in Europe while steadfastly insisting the filibuster is saving democracy and Manchin finally drew one red line on what he is willing to support: transitioning from coal to sustainable energy. We all thought Manchin objected to the cost of Biden’s BBB bill, but that ain’t it. It’s the pretty cheap part of the bill that transitions his state from coal. Manchin can’t have that. Coal must flow!!!! Even though it is a tiny part of the state’s industry (Arby’s employs more people than the coal industry). But Manchin looooooves coal. So.

Also Bernie Sanders released a blistering statement criticizing how the media is obsessed with the price tag of the bill, while the public has no idea what’s in the bill. Bernie is right (someone check hell, it must be freezing.) The press only talks about the $3.5 trillion price tag and the negotiations. They barely mention what’s actually in the bill. Naturally this sent the press (people like Magga Haberman!) into a tail spin of “This isn’t our fault, it’s your fault! It’s never our fault!” social media posts. Fact check: It is the media’s fault. 3.5 trillion % the media’s fault. The same media still insists their coverage of 2016 election was perfect. But I keep going back to Harvard’s Shorenstein Media Center’s study that ABC, NBC & CBS Nightly News shows – the most watched news programs in the country – spent 100 mins of 2016 discussing Hillary’s email. 30 mins discussing all political issues combined. And 0 of those minutes were on climate change. And yet, the media continues to insist their coverage is above criticism. Trump was right about one thing, if for the wrong reasons: media is the enemy of the people.

Hello Widdershins! What a week. As usual, the Beltway press was salivating and the pundits were putting debt default countdown clocks on every show because McConnell Said The Republicans Wouldn’t Vote to Raise the Debt Ceiling OMG! We’re all going to dieeeeeeeee!

But that didn’t happen, mainly because the Democrats threatened to nuke the filibuster. Apparently, McConnell didn’t think Manchin and Sinema would withstand the pressure from the rest of the caucus, who all want to do SOMETHING about the 60-vote rule, in this very dire situation. McTurtle blinked, and 11 Republicans voted to raise the debt ceiling. And some members of his own Party are shaking their heads. Lady Lindsey, Ted Cruz and (of course!) der Drumpfenfuhrer are calling it capitulation. On the Democratic side, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer mildly and rightfully criticized all Republicans for bringing the U.S. to the point of financial ruin to try to win some pathetic partisan advantage. [Thanks for facepalming behind him, Joe Manchin – I don’t even have words at this point.]

Upon receiving bad reviews from the left and the right, McTurtle went on offense to try to make himself look less weak. In an embarrassing letter to President Biden, he sputtered in hypocritical fauxrage, lambasting Schumer and making hollow threats. Yeah Mitch, we know. You’re very powerful. Do you need some warm milk?

“[Schumer’s] tantrum encapsulated and escalated a pattern of angry incompetence from Senator Schumer … this childish behavior only further alienated the Republican members who helped facilitate this short-term patch. It has poisoned the well even further.”

Democrats argue it was McConnell who poisoned the well by refusing to co-operate with raising the debt limit, a step they took repeatedly with Donald Trump in power. Experts say a US default would be catastrophic for the global economy.

McConnell insisted: “In light of Senator Schumer’s hysterics and my grave concerns about the ways that another vast, reckless, partisan spending bill would hurt Americans and help China, I will not be a party to any future effort to mitigate the consequences of Democratic mismanagement.”

This is, of course, complete Kentucky Derby horse pucky. I’m sure you all know this, but I feel compelled to point out that all of the spending McConnell claims to be upset about has already been authorized! Indeed, $7T of it came from the maladministration of The Former Guy, and even if the Democrats hadn’t passed ANY spending bills in 2021, the ceiling would still have to be raised. This means that trying to prevent the debt ceiling from being raised doesn’t have any impact on future Democratic spending. At all.

The way this went down proves that the Rethugs are indeed terrified that the Democrats will alter the filibuster in some way, robbing them of any power whatsoever, and that McTurtle, despite all the ink and screen time the pundits give him, is not immune to that threat.

Let’s see what happens when the codification of Roe v. Wade, passed on a party line vote in the House in late September, comes before the Senate. Will the Democrats have the same energy to protect these existential threats to the health of hundreds of millions of Americans, as they did to protect existential threats to the economy? Will they finally nuke the filibuster?

When women’s rights are on the table, McConnell is armed with thousands of years of white supremacy on his side to defeat them. The Beltway press and punditry are already saying the House bill has no chance in the Senate. I sincerely hope they’re wrong, again.

Open thread, as always. DYB, this musical selection is for you!

Shinners, I still believe Sinema and Manchin will do the right thing about the filibuster in the end, hopefully by Labor Day. After all, their re-elections depend on Democrats in their states being able to vote. But man, it is totally infuriating to see them dig in and act so idiotic about their Republican colleagues, who only got all those judges (including the Supreme Court justices) passed through because they amended the filibuster. Worshiping at the altar of bi-partisanship while the opposition Party has become fascist and traitorous, is nothing short of brain-dead. And I do credit Manchin and Sinema with, at least, the instinct to politically survive.

The frustration with these Senators is not only coming from progressives, liberals and Joe Biden. It’s coming from former GOP as well.

Former Arizona Attorney General Grant Woods urged Senator Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) and Senator Joe Manchin (D-W. Va.) to agree to kill the filibuster or resign from office on Friday.

Sinema and Manchin have both faced heavy criticism for the opposition to eliminate or change the rule, which effectively requires most bills to have the support of 60 senators in a chamber that is currently split 50-50. Republicans used the rule for the first time in the Senate‘s current session last week to block the formation of a bipartisan commission to investigate the violent January 6 storming of the U.S. Capitol.

Woods, who served as Arizona’s Republican attorney general from 1991 to 1999, was a prominent backer of Sinema’s 2018 Senate campaign after switching parties during the same year. He now says that both Sinema and Manchin no longer belong in office if they remain unwilling to kill the filibuster in order to pass Democratic voting rights legislation.

“I do think that Sen. Sinema and every senator should support ending the filibuster for the voting rights bill,” Woods told HuffPost on Friday. “To keep the Jim Crow filibuster while losing some of these basic voting rights that are central to our democracy is preposterous.”

I know that Sinema and Manchin aren’t dumb, and I continue to hope this adherence to a racist and dangerous Senate rule is a clown show meant to impress their conservative voters in Arizona and West Virginia. But as Forrest Gump would say, Stupid is as Stupid Does. Right now, the stoopid – it burnssssss.

Feel free to post any songs that remind you of stupidity. Open thread, as always!

Shinners, I am a curious person. I like finding out all the five W’s and H (Who, What, Where, When, Why and How) to learn more about a subject of interest. Like birds – I’ve spent a lot of time recently learning about them.

But damn, when your educational system prevents you from even knowing what you don’t know…neither curiosity nor all the will in the world will help.

I was never taught about the Tulsa Race Massacre in school. I guess whomever wrote the textbooks knew how much negative perception would go along with that knowledge – the deep-seated racism in this country, the pure evil of that mass murder, and the reality that would tarnish America’s well-crafted egalitarian image. It was only in the past year (I think it was on Rachel Maddow’s show?) that the veil of my ignorance was lifted. And for the first time, an American President has addressed it, on the shameful and tragic anniversary of its occurrence. Biden made a historic speech, in which his trademark empathy was on full display. But as we’ve started to see with Biden and Harris, words are just the beginning. And now, Biden is looking to begin to address some of the racial disparities that have been kept in public policy and hidden away from public view.

The Tulsa massacre has only recently entered the national discourse — and the presidential visit put an even brighter spotlight on the event.

Biden, who was joined by Housing Secretary Marcia Fudge and senior advisers Susan Rice and Cedric Richmond, also announced new measures he said could help narrow the wealth gap between races and reinvest in underserved communities by expanding access to homeownership and small-business ownership.

The White House said the administration will take steps to address disparities that result in Black-owned homes being appraised at tens of thousands of dollars less than comparable homes owned by white residents as well as issue new federal rules to fight housing discrimination. The administration is also setting a goal of increasing the share of federal contracts awarded to small disadvantaged businesses by 50% by 2026, funneling an estimated additional $100 billion to such businesses over the five-year period, according to the White House.

It is shocking to think that Black prosperity in Tulsa could have been extinguished so quickly. 30 blocks of “Black Wall Street” were destroyed, up to 300 Black Tulsans were killed, and the Greenwood area has never recovered, 100 years later. White people just couldn’t handle the fact that Black people clearly aren’t inferior – when they have equal opportunity, they are able to prosper – and so they made up some excuse about a black man stepping on a white woman’s foot to justify their murderous hatred. But really, they just wanted to stop Black Americans from prospering, and scare them into leaving all the money for white people.

The attempted coup on January 6th was the same type of rage. White men (mostly) are in a panic that when those uppity wimminz (especially Black women) gain power, their power diminishes; thus they decided to scream and attack and kill. Just as on that day in 1921 in Tulsa, no one got arrested on the scene, and it took national attention and a new Justice Department leader to really get the investigations moving. Republicans have begun to gaslight and try to wipe the horrific event from everyone’s minds.

I sure hope they don’t succeed.

Interesting how we haven’t heard much about Governor Andrew Cuomo lately, isn’t it? Let’s check in on that scandal.

‘Strange and inappropriate’: Flood victim says Cuomo came onto her in her home

Sherry Vill said that after she was introduced to the New York governor in her home in 2017, he leaned over and kissed her cheeks in a “highly sexual manner” and told her, “That’s what Italians do.”

Uhhhhh….that IS WHAT ITALIANS DO! And French people, and Spanish people, and sometimes British people as well. There are other episodes of alleged over-enthusiastic kissing that Cuomo has admitted to and apologized for, and one woman says he groped her (although her story changes frequently). Overall it’s “meh” so far.

So that’s the Democratic side.

How are our Republican friends doing? Let’s check in with those paragons of virtue, all het up about how Cuomo needs to resign.

So there’s Matt Gaetz, who recently leaked that he might not run for re-election and was considering a job at Newsmax. This was news for a hot second, until it was revealed that he’s actually defending himself against charges that he’s committed statutory rape. And while being a sexual criminal seems to be one of the qualifications his future employer looks for, it tends to be at least mildly frowned-upon by Congress.

Sounding shaken, Gaetz told Axios that for weeks, he and his father been working with the FBI in the Northern District of Florida on the extortion case. Gaetz said his lawyers were informed by the Justice Department that, “I was not a target but a subject of an investigation regarding sexual conduct with women.” 

Asked what the charges could relate to, Gaetz said: “I have definitely, in my single days, provided for women I’ve dated. You know, I’ve paid for flights, for hotel rooms. I’ve been, you know, generous as a partner. I think someone is trying to make that look criminal when it is not.”

Oh, but it is, Matt. It’s called sex trafficking. And you’re in big trouble, because you’re linked to an even sleazier, more criminal Republican named Joel Greenberg.

The probe of Gaetz reportedly stemmed from the investigation of Greenberg, who faces a slew of charges including sex trafficking of a child. He is currently slated to stand trial in June.

The Times report noted that many details of the Gaetz probe remain unclear, including how the congressman allegedly met the girl. The encounters allegedly occurred about two years ago and the investigation began in the final months of the Trump administration under then-Attorney General William P. Barr, the report said.

What is even more horrifying is that Gaetz, Greenberg and Roger Stone were all photographed kibbitzing together in Florida. The common denominator between all these criminals is – you guessed it – The Former Guy. And The Former Guy was involved with Epstein, who was a known pedophile and sex trafficker.

Do we see a pattern here?

Here is a long list of Republican sexual criminals. The link goes to “Part 16” of 23. Of the 25 repugnant sociopaths listed in Part 16, about 50% were involved in pedophilia and/or sex trafficking. This seems like something someone should cover, don’tcha think? Maybe something someone should trace back to that inexplicable rise of Drumpf through the Republican Party and how people who were so very Never T suddenly became his bestest pals? (cough cough Lindsey Graham cough cough)

But you know, Cuomo kissed someone on the cheek.

Open thread as always.


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