The Widdershins

Archive for the ‘Donald Trump’ Category

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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.

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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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Well hello there, Widdershins. Apologies for the long absence, and thanks to DYB and Fredster for keeping our posts going!

Am I the only one who heard about the New York Times’ report about the FBI investigation into Drumpf being a #RussianAsset last Friday and, far from being shocked or excited, could only ask, “And?”

As I have posted and commented repeatedly, there is no innocent explanation for what has happened in full view of the American people. None, zero, nada mucho. No other candidate has ever had contact with a hostile foreign government during an election; it has previously been unthinkable because all of our other candidates for President have been loyal to America. I mean, duh! That’s the lowest possible threshold to meet when running for a country’s Presidency! The Mango Moron, by contrast, is up to about 100 known contacts, folks. One. Hun. Dred. And it’s only now that the Times report came out (most likely based on leaks by Democrats, as House testimony from 2017 was quoted) that the media is starting to come around to a common sense point of view.

What took them so long?

Let’s do a bit of a thought exercise, shall we? Imagine the 2016 election is reset, and the feces-throwing baboon doesn’t run. Instead of the Dicktater, we have a typically odious Republican nominee (like Ted Cruz) and Hillary Clinton is running against him. At the same time it’s becoming known that Russia is interfering in the election on her behalf, the FBI suddenly discovers that Our Girl had just ONE contact with ONE Russian during the 2016 campaign.

It would have been extremely suspicious, of course. Republicans and Democrats alike would have had meltdowns, and the media would have (rightfully) tried and convicted her of corruption and treason prior to the election. (We all know they spent every day hammering her for a faux national security scandal, so what would they have done with a real one?!) If this imagined contact were known before the nomination were decided, there is not a chance in hell she would have become the nominee. If she had become the nominee before the imagined contact were discovered, she would assuredly have lost the election, and the Democrats would be a disgraced Party for decades to come. “Democrats in disarray,” a constant Beltway narrative no matter what the circumstances actually are, would be playing on every channel. The follow-up questions would have been obvious. How could they have allowed this to happen? Who else in the Party knew, and when did they know it? How far into the Democratic Party has Russia reached?

Now let’s come back to reality. Up till now, despite mounds of publicly available evidence that Russians, Trump and the GOP are all hand in glove, der Drumpfenfuhrer has been given the benefit of the doubt to a degree that I, as a human being with a functioning brain, simply cannot understand. Trump admitted to obstruction of justice to Lester Holt on national TeeVee, I have always believed; and according to the story, the FBI thought so too.

Agents and senior F.B.I. officials had grown suspicious of Mr. Trump’s ties to Russia during the 2016 campaign but held off on opening an investigation into him, the people said, in part because they were uncertain how to proceed with an inquiry of such sensitivity and magnitude. But the president’s activities before and after Mr. Comey’s firing in May 2017, particularly two instances in which Mr. Trump tied the Comey dismissal to the Russia investigation, helped prompt the counterintelligence aspect of the inquiry, the people said.

Where has the media been? Why are they still inching up to the real questions that need to be asked…what did the GOP know about Trump’s being a #RussianAsset, and when did they know it?

Maybe because they already know the answer?

As the indispensable journalist Sarah Kendzior wrote in December of 2017, the GOP is not going to get electoral power from their support of the Siberian Candidate. Yet Lindsey Graham has become one of his strongest supporters. Why?

Given that some of Graham’s worst fears about Trump’s Kremlin ties and mental state have been legitimized, what accounts for the senator’s changed attitude toward the president? There are a variety of possible rationales available for conjecture, many of which apply to the GOP at large. Opportunism may play a role, as Graham complies with Trump in order to pursue right-wing extremist economic policies and war. Blackmail may also be an issue, given that Graham has admitted his email was hacked, as was the RNC’s, by Russia. Trump has derided and threatened members of Congress and private citizens, and it’s not a stretch to imagine him unleashing his fire– publicly or privately–on Graham.

Opportunism. Blackmail. Intimidation. Those are three good reasons. But what about corruption? The New Republic had the right take on this in May of 2017. Yes, they knew and they let it happen. They did. not. care.

The basic nature of the [Russian] pro-Trump subversion effort was known to GOP leaders before the parties’ conventions last year: The above conversation took place on June 15 [2016]. Several weeks after the GOP officially nominated Trump in mid-July, in a secure setting with Obama administration officials and other members who receive classified briefings, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell vowed to politicize any effort on the part of the government to reveal that Russian intelligence was intervening in the election to help Trump. “According to several officials,” the Post reported, “McConnell raised doubts about the underlying intelligence and made clear to the administration that he would consider any effort by the White House to challenge the Russians publicly an act of partisan politics.”

Despite Ryan’s clear awareness of the truth, we can infer that he sided with McConnell, tacitly or otherwise, because the Obama administration backed down in the face of McConnell’s threat. An official government assessment that Russia was helping Trump in the election didn’t reach the public until after the election, as Trump was transitioning to the presidency.

So where has the rest of the media been? Even after the massive trouncing at the mid-terms, the media has failed to pronounce the doom and disgrace of the GOP as a Party. “GOP in disarray” is not a narrative I hear or see. Steve Bannon, somehow, continues to escape all blame and scrutiny; the latest major stories on him are from a year ago. How is he not as guilty as Manafort? And although this has not been noted anywhere other than Twitter, there is evidence that Mueller is looking into the media as part of his investigation. For example: Faux News has not tweeted since 11/8/18. Seriously. Isn’t this big news?

As the inevitable downfall of Drumpf draws near, I hope the impending Mueller report includes some insight into why the media has been so reluctant to call out Drumpf for his treason, and the GOP for their knowledge of treason.

We deserve and need the truth about what has happened to the right-wing half of our two-party system. And one of the pieces of the puzzle is, what did the media know, when did they know it, and why are they still so unwilling to admit the truth?

This is an open thread.

 

 

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It has been 189 years since You Know Who became president*. There seems to finally be some sort of progress in the Bob Mueller investigation: the Michael Cohen indictments suggest some serious hanky panky and directly implicate Trump. Mueller wouldn’t have mentioned any of that – and Cohen wouldn’t be pleading guilty – if there wasn’t some serious evidence. It is also safe to assume that Mueller didn’t show his entire hand in those filings. But we have no idea what Mueller has or doesn’t have. More importantly – we can’t predict what will happen when he finally reveals the information. We can presume the entire GOP will stand behind Trump. Just look at how they are reacting to the revelations that Trump used campaign money to pay off porn stars:

Orrin Hatch: “I don’t think he was involved in crimes, but even then, you know, you can make anything a crime und the current laws; if you want to you can blow it way out of proportion, you can do a lot of things… President Trump before he became President, that’s another world. Since he’s become President this economy has charged ahead… And I think we ought to judge him on that basis, other than trying to drum up things from the past that may or may not be true.”

Chuck Grassley: “They based it on what a liar says, so it hurts the credibility of it.”

John Kennedy: “Well, let me say this about Mister Cohen: Jesus loves him, but everybody else thinks he’s an idiot. I think most Americans think he’s a sleazoid grifter. I can’t imagine basing any kind of prosecution on the word of Mister Cohen. Do I support violations of the campaign finance act if that indeed happened? Of course not. But the President says it was a private transaction, and it would appear to me that the only evidence is coming from Mister Cohen, whose credibility can be questioned. Duh.”

Do you remember how Hatch and Grassley opposed the impeachment of Bill Clinton for lying about an extramarital affair that came to light during an investigation into a 1970’s land deal? Oh wait a minute, they wanted Bill Clinton impeached and removed from office… Their inconsistency seems odd! But it does tell us that GOP will never ever ever ever turn on Trump. I keep seeing pundits claim that some miraculous event will finally make GOP turn: it’s been 3 years of that and we have seen zero cracks in the facade. The GOP will never turn on Trump. Ever. It’s not because he’s blackmailing them. It’s because they fully support everything he does and stands for. They want more of that. They will support a more extreme candidate next. I remember at CPAC shortly after the election, Kellyanne Conway declared from the stage that when CPAC ends, the GOP will be Trump’s party: she was right about that. GOP and Trump crawled out of the same womb.

One issue that is not only far from being resolved, we have seen no attempt to even try to figure out what happened, is the issue of FBI NY office and the role they played in the 2016 election. Charles Pierce points to a section of Comey’s most recent testimony to the House where he finally explicitly states that the reason he decided to go public with his letter was the leaking of the FBI NY office and his inability to stop them.

“I was concerned that there appeared to be in the media a number of stories that might have been based on communications reporters or nonreporters like Rudy Giuliani were having with people in the New York field office. In particular, in I want to say mid October, maybe a little bit later, Mr. Giuliani was making statements that appeared to be based on his knowledge of workings inside the FBI New York. And then my recollection is there were other stories that were in the same ballpark that gave me a general concern that we may have a leak problem — unauthorized disclosure problem out of New York, and so I asked that it be investigated.”

In a previous testimony I recall Comey said there was an attempt to look into his matter when he was still FBI director, but that investigation seems to have died. Certainly no news has come out that references it in any way. I am surprised (not really!) that no media outlet has pursued this story in any meaningful way. There is a Pulitzer out there for an investigative journalist that digs into this; it doesn’t appear as if anyone is interested though.

This is an open thread!


I’m going to repeat something that every Widdershin already knows: There is no significant voter fraud in America.

The Brennan Center’s seminal report “The Truth About Voter Fraud” conclusively demonstrated most allegations of fraud turn out to be baseless — and that of the few allegations remaining, most reveal election irregularities and other forms of election misconduct. And numerous other studies have reached the same conclusion. In a recent report, “Noncitizen Voting: The Missing Millions,” the Brennan Center debunked President Trump’s claim that millions improperly voted in the 2016 election.

Yet, the topic of voter fraud always seems to be at the tip of Republican tongues, whether they be mouth-breathing MAGAs or petulant white, male, wealthy underachievers outraged that uppity wimminz and minorities would dare to vote against them.

Here’s what Democrats should do every time a Republican shitbird starts talking about this long, long debunked fairy tale in which everyone loves him, he is married to June Cleaver, who vacuums in pearls and pumps, and no black people exist anywhere:

“It’s not voter fraud that’s the problem. It’s Republican election fraud.”

Then sit back and watch the exploding heads, because no. one. ever. calls. them. on. this.

Ever.

The way I see it, we have not had an honest federal election in this country since 2000, when Gore won the popular vote by 500,000 votes, but still did not become President, because, Florida. Remember Florida, where Dubya’s paid operatives stormed down there in their Brooks Brothers shirts and demonstrated against the recount? And a Republican Secretary of State and Republican Supreme Court colluded to ensure that Bush won even though his margin was 537 votes?

Once that snarling weasel and his psychopathic VP took office, all bets were off. Electronic voting machines with no paper trails that switched votes to Bush from Kerry; gerrymandering and massive voter suppression became their M.O. And let’s not forget the Republican-controlled Supreme Court, which gutted a critical portion of the Voting Rights Act, opening the door to election fraud that was previously illegal, but now could be considered to fall into a grey area.

Shelby County v. Holder, 570 U.S. ___ (2013), is a landmark[1] United States Supreme Court case regarding the constitutionality of two provisions of the Voting Rights Act of 1965: Section 5, which requires certain states and local governments to obtain federal preclearance before implementing any changes to their voting laws or practices; and Section 4(b), which contains the coverage formula that determines which jurisdictions are subjected to preclearance based on their histories of discrimination in voting.[2][3]

On June 25, 2013, the Court ruled by a 5-to-4 vote that Section 4(b) is unconstitutional because the coverage formula is based on data over 40 years old, making it no longer responsive to current needs and therefore an impermissible burden on the constitutional principles of federalism and equal sovereignty of the states.[2][3] The Court did not strike down Section 5, but without Section 4(b), no jurisdiction will be subject to Section 5 preclearance unless Congress enacts a new coverage formula.[4]

Five years after the ruling, nearly a thousand polling places had been closed in the country, with many of the closed polling places in predominantly African-American counties. Research shows that the changing of voter locations and reduction in voting locations can reduce voter turnout.[5]

But even with all of the storied examples of Republican election fraud, all of which continued in 2018, our current pResident took it to a level never seen in American history when he conspired with a hostile foreign government to steal the Presidential election of 2016. Let’s face it, the Mango Moron did not win legitimately. Russia viciously attacked our election, influencing tens of millions of voters through fake news and bots on social media, hacking into Hillary’s and Podesta’s emails and leaking them for months, and invading voter databases, “not changing results.” Sure, if I were an evil tyrant roaming around voter databases for months uncaught, and I wanted one candidate to win, I absolutely would not change a thing!

So the Democrats should start talking about this, loudly and often. Perhaps some already are.

This is an open thread.

 

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We are less than a week away from the midterms. November 6, 2018 will be a red-letter day for America. History will be written with that day as the dividing line. What America was before 11/6/18 and what it will become after. It is impossible to really know what will happen. Predicting the outcome is an exercise in futility. We thought we knew what would happen on 11/8/16 and the electorate disappointed. Will the Blue Wave of the special elections become a tsunami of the midterms? Or will it subside and resemble only a small tide? Nobody can predict. Will people actually leave their homes and vote? Who knows. There are still an extraordinary amount of people who don’t plan to vote. New Yorker just had an article about some young people who don’t plan to vote because reasons. There are voters who still don’t feel inspired by anyone. And there are voters who just don’t think it’s a big deal. Will these people vote when it counts? Who knows… We can hope that someone, a friend, will make them see the light on the issue.

There is also the question of Trump voters: will they vote? Some argue that believing that everything on the news is Fake News makes them ignorant of the imminent blue wave. That may be true… but it’s also true that Trump and the entire GOP – now openly, proudly a party of Nazis, racists, anti-Semites, homophobes – are using every dirty trick in the book to steal the election: everything from purging voter rolls to shutting down voting stations so people can’t vote to sending out wrong voting information to leaving Democratic candidates off the ballot. We’ve seen all these things play out in real time and it terrifies me to say that I’ve seen very little reaction from Democrats. ACLU does what it can to file lawsuits, but the Democratic party leaders are mostly silent, letting the candidates – the vast majority of whom are new at this – find their own way. In North Dakota Republicans – after saying Native Americans must have IDs with an address they don’t have on reservations – are now rejecting ballots because the color of the ink is “wrong.” Election is being openly stolen in Georgia and the Democratic party – and the media – are looking at it as helpless spectators.

And we also don’t know what will happen on November 7th. Whether Democrats manage to win anything or if Republicans hold on to all of their power. What will Trump do? I think we can safely assume that if Democrats win the House – Trump will try to declare the election invalid. He is already floating ideas of rigging by Democrats. We know the GOP will back Trump 100%. What will Democrats do when that happens? I am not hopeful. If Republicans hold on to all of their power – things will go off the rails in a different way. GOP and Trump will declare a mandate and I really think that will be our last election. I am sorry to be this negative. I just want to make sure we are all prepared for November 7th. Because I think November 7th is going to be very bad, no matter how the vote goes.

Do you think I’m off my rocker?

Have you all seen this video of Lady Gaga on Stephen Colbert’s show? It’s gone viral. For the words about the Kavanaugh confirmation, start around 3 minutes in.

A bell rang deep within me when Gaga said that trauma changes the brain; that the brain puts the pain in a box and shuts it, so we can survive. I realized that, since the day Drumpf stole the Presidency, I have been living with the pain of that day, and that box, while shut, has had some leaks.

Since November 8, 2016, I have lost some of my sparkle, my joie de vivre. My writing has become more direct, more bland, more generic. Satire is impossible; nothing is more absurd than the fantasy world the Republicans are trying to force down our throats. The plays I used to write don’t come out any more, as I have trouble finding humor in almost anything.

My brain functions more slowly now…I struggle to form sentences quickly and speak smoothly, as I used to. I lose focus at work, because my full heart isn’t in it. I am more prone to depression, to tears, to anxiety.

I’m a natural extrovert; yet, I’ve become more retiring, more reluctant to meet new people. I’m afraid any new person I meet may have voted for the Mango Moron, and I just don’t want people like that in my life. I don’t want to speak to them; I don’t want to sympathize with them; I don’t want to hear their excuses for voting for a racist, misogynist, authoritarian thug.

I have been changed, while the box strained and bulged and the pain and sorrow leaked through.

When the story about Dr. Ford broke, that box opened for me. All the psychic trauma of the past two years came rushing out, along with the memories of my own experiences with threatening men and sexual harassment. Online, I read countless, horrifying stories of women and men, recounting their own #MeToo moments.

Yet as terrible as this was to go through, something unexpected happened after Kavanaugh was confirmed.

I felt better. No, not just better: I felt my brain start to work again. The pall over my emotions lifted. I suddenly realized what was wrong, and that clarity gave me the strength to deal with it.

I was changed again.

Make no mistake, we are living in dreadful times. Drumpf now says he won’t fire Rosenstein. Why should he? Rosenstein helped rig the sham FBI investigation that Flake and Collins used as an excuse to vote for Kavanaugh, and Kavanaugh is the guy Trump thinks will fix any consequences of the Mueller investigation for him and his children. More than that – he will help get all of Drumpf’s dreadful, un-American initiatives past court challenges that have, so far, held them up. The Muslim ban. The transgender ban in the military. Family separation. Babies in jail. Overturning Roe v. Wade. Killing the Affordable Care Act. Deporting legal immigrants back to their “shithole countries.” Etc., etc., etc.

But there’s nothing we can do about that now. We all did everything we could, and we caused a lot of “good trouble,” as John Lewis called it. In the end, the Republicans narrowly managed to elevate their pet sociopath to the Supreme Court.

Now, we focus like lasers on getting out the vote on November 6th. Because if we can get control of Congress, impeachment will be on the table – not just for Drumpf, but for Kavanaugh.

I’m sharp, I’m feeling everything, and I’m ready to work hard for the #BlueTsunami.

How about you?

This is an open thread.


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Blog Archive

February 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
23 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

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