The Widdershins

Archive for the ‘Democratic Values’ Category

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Brett Kavanaugh will be confirmed to be the 5th ultra-conservative judge on SCOTUS. That is 99.9999% guaranteed. Even though in newly leaked/released emails he dismissed the idea that Roe v. Wade was “settled law” – something Susan Collins said would determine her final vote. Well, today Susan Collins said she wasn’t worried about Kavanaugh’s private emails on the subject and she doesn’t see any contradiction in what Kavanaugh writes and what Collins claims she believes. Susan Collins is the latest fraud being pushed on the American public: that of a moderate Republican the media runs to every time there is a close vote. It was McCain until he fell ill. Every reporter rushed with baited breath to McCain to know how he would vote on a close-vote. Now they do it with Collins. Even though nothing in McCain’s voting history – and nothing in Collins’ – suggests that they are anything but right-wing ideologues. Susan Collins will fold and vote straight down the party line every time. Her “resistance” to the repeal of the ACA was performance art. She learned it from McCain. She then voted for the tax cut knowing it gutted the ACA. But her first vote was brilliant marketing, like McCain’s “maverick.” Now people keep hoping that Susan Collins votes Nay on Kavanaugh. Folks, Susan Collins approved Kavanaugh before Trump announced him. It’s one reason Trump announced and McConnell is rushing the nomination through. Because they know it’s in the bag.

The only solution going forward – assuming Democrats ever control Congress again – is trying to remove Kavanaugh from the court. A SCOTUS judge has ever been impeached and removed. But there’s a process that allows it. Let us hope Democrats try – if they ever have anything close to the numbers they need. Or at least let us hope they try to change the number of justices on the court and stack it with liberals. Republicans must be taught a lesson that their treachery – literally, treachery – will be punished. I fear that Democrats don’t have the guts for that though… Which only means Republicans will never stop playing dirty. I think that Michelle Obama’s “we go high” sentiment is sweet, but it’s outdated. It ignores history that taking the high road is for losers. We must burn the road down and kick Republicans into hell.

 

 

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The Hump

Posted on: August 23, 2018

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Wednesdays are known as hump-days. Those dreadful days we suffer through between the terrible Mondays and much-anticipated Fridays. Something about the past few days has felt like a hump of the Dump presidency. We’ve been making our way to the top of the mountain – is it downhill from here? Of course, it is impossible to really tell. I certainly can’t predict anything; I have been wrong before. But with Manafort’s 8 guilty verdicts (or 10 mistrial verdicts, as Faux News and The Federalist like to point out) and Michael Cohen’s guilty pleas – and, more importantly, saying that the candidate for office told him to commit crimes, thus making Trump an unindicted co-conspirator – something feels different today. It’s not the actions of McConnell and Ryan. They are both trying to say as little as possible. Ryan’s office released a statement that they’re aware of Cohen’s plea, but need to see more information (LOL). So that hasn’t changed. Though the NY Times articles on how people in Ohio diners feel about these developments is still a few days away, I think we can safely assume they don’t care about any of it and Trump’s base remains very much intact. Orrin Hatch just told Jake Tapper that “I think [Trump] has changed a lot of his life once he was elected. I think Trump is a much better person today than he was then.” So Republicans in Congress won’t change their tune.

But something changed in how Democrats in Congress speak about Dump. Many have come out very strongly, directly and explicitly accusing Trump and his administration of being a “criminal enterprise.” Nancy Pelosi tweeted very direct attacks on Republicans in general and I don’t think I’ve ever seen that kind of language from her or most other Democrats. “The gross #CultureOfCorruption runs deep among Republicans in Washington,” – Pelosi tweeted. And then: “Michael Cohen. Michael Flynn. Paul Manafort. Chris Collins. Duncan Hunter. Vern Buchanan. Scott Pruitt and the Trump Administration. The Republican Party looks like a criminal enterprise.” This kind of directness has always been Republicans’ ammo and Democrats have largely tried being polite. We know how that’s worked out for us. It seems that Pelosi – and others – have finally smelled blood in the water and, thankfully, are not letting good blood go to waste.

Several people have now explicitly called Trump an illegitimate President. Democratic Senators have also now come out and said they will not even consider Kavenaugh for SCOTUS because Trump is an unindicted criminal and should not be allowed to appoint a SCOTUS judge. This is also different. Kamala Harris: “President Trump is an unindicted co-conspirator to a federal crime to influence an election for the office he now holds. He should not be allowed to name a Supreme Court Justice without resolving this accusation first.”

So something is different. Do you feel it? Or am I being too optimistic?

This is an open thread.

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It’s a mess. All of it. The whole damned thing is a disaster. Dump nukes NATO, issues an executive order to fire some judges, nominates a hyper-partisan former Bill Clinton hunter and Bush White House torturer to be the new SCOTUS (which justice Kennedy might have used some unethical backchannel shenanigans to make happen), Roe is on the chopping block, etc. etc. I don’t need to make a full list, you already know. So where the bloody hell is the Democratic leadership? Chuck? Nancy? Bueller? I think we have all been asking this question for a long time. Why are the national Democratic leaders not leading protests and rallies to oppose Trump? Why is Maxine Waters the only member of Congress to seemingly be an avowed member of The Resistance? They may not have the votes to stop him and McConnell/Ryan – but why are they not making any noise to make it seem like they give a damn? It’s demoralizing, yes? I’ve been raging at them for some time, I know you have too. A few days ago The Hoarse Whisperer wrote an interesting thread on twitter that attempted to answer that question. And I think he made a very compelling argument for why Nancy and Chuck are not on TV every day screaming at Trump and McConnell and generally wreaking havoc, and why it may actually be the correct strategy.

The Hoarse Whisperer argued that by placing themselves in front of the camera as “leaders of the Resistance” Chuck and Nancy and Kamala, etc., will make every single election around the country about the Democratic leadership, not about the specific Democratic candidate, and that would be a disaster for Democrats. Imagine San Francisco liberal Nancy Pelosi every day on TV calling Trump a dumbass. One reason Democrats have managed to flip almost every special election, even in deep red states, is that although Republicans keep trying to tie Nancy Pelosi or Chuck Schumer or Kamala Harris to each candidate, the “establishment” leaders of the party – by staying largely out of the way – allow each candidate to disown them and run on local issues…and then win. (Pelosi actually said recently that she doesn’t care if Democrats like Connor Lamb bashed her as long as they win their elections.) The public thinks their absence a sign of weakness or lack of determination to fight Trump. (It may actually be with Schumer, who is a wuss, but definitely not with Pelosi, who is a legislative warrior.) The public wants to see Pelosi storm the barricades because it will feel like she’s doing something even though legislatively there is nothing she can do at the moment. But in reality all Nancy Pelosi storming barricades would do is make each special election, in every red state, about Nancy Pelosi, the San Francisco liberal. So it’s not a sign of weakness; it is a strategy for Democratic party leaders to stay out of the way and let others be the faces of the Resistance. And the special elections results so far are evidence that the strategy is working.

What do you think about this? I actually was convinced by this argument.

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Another question: this photo of Melanie Trump is from Brussels. Does it look like she had kidney surgery?

And a bit of literature trivia: The Booker Prize is a prestigious British literary award, given each year to an English-language work of fiction published in the UK. To commemorate their 50th anniversary the Bookers decided to create a special award this year, to recognize the best novel out of its past 50 winners. It’s an impressive list made up of Salman Rushdie, William Golding, Hilary Mantel, Kazuo Ishiguro, Margaret Atwood

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Michael Ondaatje

and many other writing geniuses. The judges narrowed the list down to 1 title from each decade and then they let the big words loving public vote on the ultimate winner. And the prize was given to….Michael Ondaatje’s “The English Patient.” I’m sorry to our friend Pat, a former member of our blog, who detested Anthony Minghella’s movie adaptation with every fiber of her body. It’s a shame because I consider it to be one of the top 10 best (English language) movies ever made. And Ondaatje’s novel – quite different from the movie in some key story points, but breathing the same fire in spirit – is truly a masterpiece of words. When I read it I would go back and re-read entire pages because of the beauty of Ondaatje’s language. It is poetry in prose. And the characters he created are magnificent and rich with life. From the title character, the “English” patient – a man who betrayed everything he believed in for a woman he loved; to the young nurse, Hana, who tries to give him comfort in his final days because he reminds her of her loved dead ones and she is desperate to hold on to her memories for as long as she can; to the young Indian sapper Kip, whose life is consumed with finding bombs to diffuse and if he misses one – he knows people will die. “He spends all day searching,” Hana says at one point, “and at night he only wants to be found.” One of the most beautiful passages in the book – read in its entirety in the movie – is from a journal the Patient’s beloved, Katharine, left behind in a cave where she died alone.

My darling, I’m waiting for you — how long is a day in the dark, or a week? The fire is gone now, and I’m horribly cold. I really ought to drag myself outside but then there would be the sun. . . I’m afraid I waste the light on the paintings and on writing these words. We die, we die rich with lovers and tribes, tastes we have swallowed, bodies we have entered and swum up like rivers, fears we have hidden in, like this wretched cave. I want all this marked in my body. We are the real countries, not the boundaries drawn on maps with the names of powerful men. I know you will come and carry me out into the palace of winds. That’s all I’ve wanted — to walk in such a place with you, with friends, on earth without maps. The lamp is gone now, and I’m writing in the darkness.

So, the Mango Moron has nominated himself a Justice. Based on his writings, Justice Brett Kavanaugh is as conservative and Trumpy as any criminal traitor “President” on the verge of indictment could want. He has already gone on record against undocumented immigrants, against LEGAL abortion, against the Affordable Care Act and against the Consumer Financial Protection Board….and of course, has said he felt it would be disastrous for a President to be indicted.

What now? As DYB pointed out so eloquently, the Democrats have no procedural remedy to stop the confirmation of this asshole. Chuck Schumer cannot pull a Mitch McConnell and fakely claim that he is concerned about adding a justice at such close proximity to the election, even if he wanted to. (My point, that Drumpf is an illegitimate President, and shouldn’t get to nominate anyone because he did not legitimately win, is clearly not being embraced by anyone in power. SAD!)

As I write, protests are going on in front of the Supreme Court. People are truly fired up about this, and that’s great. I think calls and letters and showing up in front of Senators’ offices will be forthcoming, and will have an effect. But what will be the most effective, in my opinion, is this: Lobby the Ladies.

We cannot allow Lisa Murkowski and Susan Collins to hide behind a pretension that they “don’t know” whether or not Judge Kavanaugh will overturn Roe v. Wade. The Federalist Society List ONLY contains people who will overturn Roe v. Wade. As conservative columnist Jennifer Rubin stated so eloquently,

It should not be more complicated than this: Voting for a nominee on the Trump list (either the original 20, or the wider 25) opens the door to the criminalization of abortion. Collins might break her pledge and vote to confirm one of these judges approved by Federalist Society. That is up to her. But she should fool no one that voting for one of these judges would not amount to reversing Roe. Oh, and the Federalist Society judge-pickers must be called to testify under oath, and all notes, documents and other materials relating to their selection process must be subpoenaed for review. I bet that’d be fascinating.

This, to me, is the key point. Every man and woman in the Senate who claims to be pro-choice should be told this over and over again: We ARE NOT FOOLED. We know that Kavanaugh was picked partially for his anti-choice beliefs and record. There should not be any pretension otherwise, and Susan and Lisa should be confronted with this reality by us, Democratic Senators and activists everywhere.

If ANYONE votes for this guy, they should know exactly what they’re getting: an ultra-conservative, corrupt justice who will overturn Roe v. Wade. As a special bonus, he will protect Drumpf if/when he is subpoenaed by Mueller. If this country were less screwed up, not a single Senator would even consider it. But these are desperate times. We must rise to them accordingly.

This is an open thread.

Yesterday, Wednesday, June 27, 2018 was a bad day. A very bad day. A shitty fucking day. I can’t even begin to process the news about Justice Kennedy’s resignation. And yet – why are we surprised? We knew he was ready to go. Supreme Court vacancies were on the ballot in 2016. We talked about it. Hillary Clinton talked about it. Some of us considered that to be a really big deal. And others did not. Others dismissed our concerns as hysterics and fear mongering. We all know who they were: Bernie and Jill Stein voters. I know some of them personally. I got yelled at repeatedly for fear mongering. Funny enough, I got yelled at yesterday on Facebook for the same thing. A former colleague I haven’t seen in about 10 years declared that I was toxic by posting so much negative news, that no doubt I thrive on all the bad stuff and he was unfollowing me because I was making him anxious. He then sent me a private message reiterating his position. I told him to fuck off and then blocked him. It’s interesting to see this come full circle.

Some smart people with big platforms really thought Trump wasn’t going to be that bad.

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Lizza and Hayes were far from alone from holding those positions. And I’m yet to see any person in the media come out and say: “You know what? I was actually wrong, I fucked up, holy shit, I’m sorry.” Not one. Each and every person either defends their position (see the entire NY Times political desk, plus…well, everyone everywhere actually.) Those that don’t defend their positions pretend they never held them (like Chris Hayes; he doesn’t think Trumps left of Hillary on anything, but he doesn’t acknowledge entertaining that thought in the past.)

I am worried about the fallout from this. McConnell has already said he wants to vote on this in early autumn. Remember he earlier cancelled August recess. (Question to ponder: did McTurtle know about Kennedy’s retirement and cancel the August recess for this reason?) I’m worried about what Democrats will and will not do about it. Truthfully, there’s nothing they can do. There are no hidden levers of power they are not pulling. They are sitting ducks. But I hope at the very least they make a stink of such intensity that people will talk about it in history books. That’s what we need, it’s what the electoral wants. I’m not convinced Schumer and Pelosi understand that. Certainly Schumer has shown himself to be too weak and accommodating in these Trump times to inspire any confidence. Pelosi is a better fighter, but both she and Schumer just threw Maxine Waters under the bus because of “civility.” That tells me we have a lot to worry about. Since our Democrat leaders still consider “civility” to be so important, do we really expect that they will wreak havoc in Congress? They can’t block McConnell – but it doesn’t mean they must roll over and be civil about it. We are living through time of pure, raw political power. Republicans made that. Somehow Democrats still haven’t recognized this reality.

One reporter tweeted that he ran around Congress trying to get Republicans to comment on their desire to overturn Roe v. Wade with the new Justice and he said not one Republican would talk about it. Each one downplayed the significance of Roe v. Wade, if they agreed to discuss it at all. This is clearly coordinated. Republicans will vote to confirm whatever right wing nut job Trump nominates because they want to fulfill their lifelong dream of overturning Roe v. Wade. But they don’t want to talk about it. Our last hope rests on Collins and Murkowski. Collins said she supports Roe v. Wade and considers it settled law, but she has lied to us on ACA before. Murkowski also says she supports Roe v. Wade, but it’s only one of many considerations. So, our last hope is most likely fool’s hope.

Our last last hope is that if Democrats ever retake control of Congress and the Presidency, they might increase the number of justices to re-balance the court. They should do this. I’m afraid that they will not. We will just live with what we have for generations. And everything is on the table: from Roe. v. Wade to gay marriage to Trump prosecution. Where we go from here…

From New York Magazine, 06/18/18

[Note: There is a national day of protest against family separation on June 30th. Here’s the info.]

Hello from the West Coast, Widdershins! The good news is that Mr. MadamaB and I have managed to lug ourselves here successfully; the bad news is, our furniture hasn’t. We are drumming our fingers in a hotel waiting for the truck to be loaded and driven across country…and we just found out our delivery date is later than expected, so, shelling out more money than we wanted to. And, my first work day is Friday. SIGH. All part of the process, I guess.

While I have been fully preoccupied with all the logistics of The Big Move, our national Dumpster fire has been raging on the topic of the Mango Moron’s policy of ripping children from their parents at the border, and never returning them. (Yes, never, unless something changes.)

This has been a story that has stuck, like the Russia treason, the Stormy Daniels/Michael Cohen obstruction disaster, and Hillary Clinton’s Twitter vindication over her emails being nothing but an actual witch hunt. There is so much bad out there, it’s hard to know what will capture the country’s attention. I’m glad it has, and I believe this is worthy of our focus for two reasons:

  1. Because it’s such a strong signal that the Party of Drumpf truly is following the Nazi playbook by putting people it considers racially inferior into concentration camps; and
  2. Because it’s kids, FFS.

Now it’s hard out there for a Democrat, when you are the minority party and your opposing party is bought out/compromised by Russia and/or billionaire plutocrats like Sheldon Adelson, Paul Ryan’s master. For far too long, Democrats have been trying to work the old, pre-2000 Bush v. Gore, bi-partisan way. They have been trying to work with people of conscience in the GOP to make policy that benefits Americans. Unfortunately, they are only now just starting to realize that these Republicans have no consciences any more, and that Democrats need to work against them, not with them, in order to make progress.

What’s a Senator or Representative to do to show We the People that they truly care about this issue?

Well, how about not letting business as usual proceed, as the Republicans make a mockery of everything the Constitution stands for? Such as, due process, for example?

Today, the Democrats and female activists disrupted the 9,871,297,432th Republican hearing on Hillary Clinton’s emails. Yes, they actually roused themselves to protest during the hearing, and here’s what happened.

With the sound of a young child crying in the background, the top Democrat on the House of Representatives Judiciary Committee, Jerrold Nadler, broke from traditional protocol and started reading from a statement, saying “these children are not animals.” His Republican colleagues tried to shout over him “Out of order!”

Nadler’s comments at the hearing, which was meant to be about the FBI’s handling of a probe into Hillary Clinton’s emails, were followed by protests from the audience, as women with young children stood and shouted “Families belong together!” before they were escorted out by the Capitol Police.

There are many people who suggest that Democrats just walk out of Congress and stop honoring this illegitimate pResident and the Party that enables him and his many crimes against the Constitution. I don’t agree with this, although I understand it, because I feel once the Democrats aren’t there, the Republicans will have no constraints whatsoever. They will complete the evisceration of the New Deal and the destruction of our status as the leader of the Free World in record time. The plutocrats and Russians will take over, and we will no longer recognize our country.

I support these tactics by the Democrats; they garner attention and get our message out there, without handing even more power to the GOP. I hope that Pelosi and Schumer are planning a similar disruption every single time the Republicans hold a hearing. It doesn’t matter what the hearing is about at this point; we must, finally, be done giving the Thugs the benefit of the doubt. We need to finally start calling the other side evil and be done with it.

BECAUSE THEY ARE.

This is an open thread.


Hello, Widdershins. I hope you had a good weekend, and were not impacted by any of the fires, hurricanes and floods around the world!

A few months ago, Drumpf figured out that the Republicans in Congress were, in fact, not going to do a d*mn thing to stop his most irresponsible, dangerous and corrupt excesses. This was made very clear by the debacle over DACA, when he said “I don’t care, I’ll sign whatever you put in front of me!” and then immediately refused to sign the bipartisan deal crafted by the Senators whom he asked to craft a bipartisan deal. His fake agreeability effervesced into a miasma of white nationalism, aided and abetted by known xenophobes like John “Empty Barrel” Kelly, John “Let’s Bomb All the Brown People” Bolton and Stephen “I Hate Myself” Miller. And what political price did he pay? None. Mitch McConnell mewled that he wished Dear Leader would make up his mind so they could slavishly create a bill tailored to his ever-changing whims, but that was the extent of the pushback from the GOP.

Once he realized that he had free rein, the crazy came fast and furious. The mad rush to throw any ridiculous lie out there to cover up the Cohen and Stormy Daniels disaster; the brazen continuation of the employment of scandal-plagued Cabinet members like Scott Pruitt, Betsy DeVos and Ben Carson; and the bizarre pretense of everyone in the media (SHAME ON YOU ALL) who have been acting as though it would be a wonderful idea for the Mango Moron and the dictator of North Korea to get together for “diplomacy.” Please spare me the pathetic attempts to make this animal Presidential. What he and the North Korean dictator know about diplomacy would fit on the head of a pin, with ample room for as many dancing angels as you’d like.

And why does Der Drumpfenfuhrer have free rein? Because the GOP and its Con-Man-In-Chief are 100%, wholly-owned subsidiaries of Vladimir Putin. They are no longer Americans at all; they are slaves to the Russian agenda, which is to destroy Western democracy so that Russia can emerge ascendant, as it was decades ago before Communism destroyed it.

Publicly-available evidence that Russia owns the GOP keeps piling up. Right-wing media echoes Russian bots and Russia Today; Russian oligarchs are washing money through Michael Cohen and the NRA in exchange for friendly legislation and policies to benefit Putin; Putin’s fake election is celebrated by “Do Not Congratulate” Donald; etc. etc. ad infinitum. And allies of Russia such as Iran, China and North Korea are suddenly getting much more consideration than our allies in Europe. Again, this is not hard to see or understand.

This, the treason of Drumpf and the GOP, is the only story that matters.

Porn stars, missing children, ICE brutality, plutocratic disasters like the #GOPTaxScam, the 23rd mass shooting IN 2018, widespread GOP corruption and Dear Leader’s narcissistic tweets on Memorial Day; these stories are all subordinate. Thanks to Republican leadership’s willingness to cooperate with our enemies for personal gain, our government now has only one (semi-)functioning branch: the Judiciary. The Executive and Legislative Branches are down for the count.

This is by design. Everything these #GOPTraitors do is for the sole purpose of taking down our democracy, in order to please their Russian master. There really is no other motive one has to look for; there is no head-scratching or tortured analysis needed. It’s a simple story, although the implications are Brobdingnagian.

But once we truly get this in our bones – that this President and his Party are traitors – what remedy do we recommend? What action do we take?

This is the hard thing to solve. Yes, we can and will take back Congress. I am sure we are all focused on November 6, 2018, and plan to do everything we can to help get out the vote, all over the country. What are the next things we need to do after that, though? Assuming we take the House and begin impeachment proceedings, removal of the President requires 67 votes in the Senate. Are there any Republicans willing to sign up for that? If not, well…it ain’t gonna happen, and Drumpf won’t resign unless he sees a benefit to doing so.

I truly believe we cannot leave the future of our democracy up to Republicans in any way, shape or form. The Supreme Court, in its majority Republican configuration, has shown itself to be extraordinarily partisan, making decisions that only benefit Republicans (Bush v. Gore and Citizens United, anyone?). I don’t trust them to do the right thing; no one should.

There are only a couple of exceptions to this “No Republican” rule: Robert Mueller and Rod Rosenstein. So far, Mueller’s investigation has been extraordinarily quick, professional and thorough, and Rosenstein has protected him. What comes of that investigation, I think, is up to us. If we don’t put on massive pressure, Congress won’t act, the Justice Department may not act, and the Supreme Court certainly won’t.

In my opinion, we need to start planning to be in the streets as soon as Mueller releases something definitive. This is the most important thing the #Resistance can do. We need to force the government to do the right thing. Let’s think about how to make it happen – or, if anyone has heard of a demonstration like this already in the works, please share it here!

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
2.3 years 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

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