The Widdershins

Archive for the ‘end of the world’ Category

It’s a day of the week that ends with “ay,” so it must be Hillary Derangement Syndrome day. On Tuesday night Washington Post fired off a nuke into the political media with a shocking story called: “Clinton campaign, DNC paid for research that led to Russia dossier.” This sent the internet reeling with indignation. About half of the political press forgot that this information is about a year old. Let’s travel back in time to October 31, 2016 when the very first article about the Steele Dossier was written by David Corn of Mother Jones. In it Corn noted that the Dossier was originally commissioned by a Trump opponent (probably Jeb!) But after the GOP imploded and Trump became the nominee, they abandoned it, to be picked up by Democrats. In January 2017 both CNN and New York Times specifically mentioned that the Democrats had connections to the Clinton campaign and the DNC. So almost a year later, WaPo identified the Democrat (lawyer Mark Elias.) That’s the bombshell. I hope your bomb shelters are fully stocked folks.

So what reporter had the hottest take of all on this HUGE story? I’ll give you one guess. You’re right!Screen Shot 2017-10-24 at 9.19.49 PM.png

Please note here Haberman’s use of the word “lie.” Lie! Infamously, this is a word the press will not use when describing Donald Trump or any member of his cabinet. Twitter user Patrick Karlsson put together a stunning thread of Haberman’s past tweets refusing to use the word “lie”about Trump. Over and over and over. It’s worth checking out here if you want to get very angry. “Untruths,” “falsehoods,” “inaccurate narrative,” etc. are the words Haberman has chosen when discussing Trump. Never “lie.” Not even once.

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Some members of the press did react with surprise at the surprise. Joy Reid tweeted: “Only the American media could make a scandal out of opposition research.” Michael Weiss: “OK, people, let’s cut the shit. Trump dossier was commissioned by the team of a *Republican* candidate (not hard to guess which one either).” Josh Marshall: “The Big WaPo Story & Why Everyone Needs to Thank Marc Elias.” Chris Hayes: “Ah yes. We’ve now entered the “Real Russia Scandal” phase.” NPR’s David Folkenflik: “Better headline for valid WaPo story: Trump oppo research dossier funded first by anon GOP foe and then by HRC/Dems.”

But the damage is done, once again. As Joy Reid also said: Who paid for the Steele dossier is the new “but her emails.”

Also worth noting: Sarah Huckabee Sanders retweeted Haberman’s sanctimonious tweet.

Also, Fox before the WaPo story.

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This is an open thread.

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Good Monday, all. As happens every weekend, we’ve been treated to a cavalcade of terrible and not-so-terrible news. Here are some numbers that have struck me lately.

The way the media reports on how people feel about gun control makes it seem that everyone in America is totin’ and shootin’. This statistic, multiply sourced, contradicts that perception – and it’s staggering.

3%

Proportion of people who own half of the country’s guns, according to an unpublished Harvard/Northeastern University survey result summary. Anchoring this group are America’s gun super-owners – an estimated 7.7 million Americans who own between eight and 140 guns.

Let that sink in. 7.7 million Americans own between eight and 140 guns. Who in the f*cking f*ck needs 140 guns? And how could we require Sudafed to be registered and tracked, but not guns?!

After the horror in Las Vegas, the NRA is still desperately fighting against any suggestion that there’s something wrong with our gun laws. Our national insanity on gun regulation has long been a threat to all of our personal safety, and it’s getting exponentially worse. Any one of us could be going to a mall, to school, to church or temple or mosque, to the movies, or to a concert – and any one of us could be shot and killed for no reason. Your “Second Amendment right” does not overrule my right to conduct a peaceful and law-abiding life without fear of being gunned down by a terrorist or a madman.

This is why I have zero patience for any argument against gun regulation. It’s just dumb. I refuse to accept that 4 gun deaths a day – A DAY – is inevitable. We must change this, and soon. Yes, a gun registry is required. And yes, the number of guns per person should be SEVERELY limited. One per person is MORE THAN ENOUGH. If I were President, I would g*dd*mn well take people’s guns away, and I don’t care if I’d have to send in tanks to make it happen. 140 guns? Oh hell to the no. You can have one, and NOT an automatic or semi-automatic. A hand gun, or a rifle. Take your pick.

This is Reason #8,782,495 that I will never be President, of course.

Here are some more numbers that may make us feel a bit better.

We learned this weekend that der Drumpfenfuhrer is very, very unpopular. He’s hit an all-time low, and I don’t think he’s going to go anywhere but down from here, because he’s started to lose his base.

Few Americans believe that President Trump understands their needs and problems, and most would not describe him as honest, level-headed, or a strong leader, according to a new poll by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.

Nineteen percent of Americans say President Trump understands the needs and problems of people like them extremely or very well, 17 percent say moderately well, and 64 percent say he understands their needs and problems not very well or not well at all.

Twenty-six percent believe President Trump is a strong leader, 23 percent view him as honest, and 16 percent say he is level-headed. Republicans are most likely to use each of these terms to describe the president.

[snip]

While 67 percent of Republicans still approve of the job the president is doing, support among Republicans has decreased significantly since March when 80 percent of Republicans expressed approval. (bolding mine) Twenty-eight percent of independents and 5 percent of Democrats say they approve of Trump’s handling of his job. Among Democrats, this also represents a decline since March when 11 percent said they approved.

You know the Republicans in Congress are watching these numbers, and none with more glee than Senator Bob Corker (R-Tennessee), who, having decided to retire from the sh*tshow his Party has become, is absolutely DONE with pretending to respect the Marmalade Moron. Corker is out and about, talking about how he’s worried our pResident will start World War III just to get back at Obama, or because his daddy didn’t love him, or whatever insanity caused Drumpf to become the narcissistic dickwad he is today. Here’s the interesting part – the Senator purported to speak for the entire Republican caucus.

All but inviting his colleagues to join him in speaking out about the president, Mr. Corker said his concerns about Mr. Trump were shared by nearly every Senate Republican.

“Look, except for a few people, the vast majority of our caucus understands what we’re dealing with here,” he said, adding that “of course they understand the volatility that we’re dealing with and the tremendous amount of work that it takes by people around him to keep him in the middle of the road.”

Come on, fellas and ladies. Step right up and take the baton from Bobby C. It’s time to throw that orangutan under the bus. The 25th Amendment will do just fine till Mueller comes and makes a clean sweep.

What’s on your mind today? This is an open thread.

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It’s been quite the week (quite the 2 years, really.) Of course, the horrific massacre in Las Vegas has taken up the bulk of the news coverage since Sunday night. The murderer seemed to have planned things out quite extensively, including setting up cameras around the hotel and feeding the signal to his tablet, so he could see what was happening outside of the room and knew when the cops were coming. Needless to say, Fox News’ Tucker Carlson dedicated a fair amount of his show on Monday night discussing…Hillary Clinton. Clinton tweeted about the need for gun-laws and the NRA’s death grip on the Senate, so naturally, it had to be addressed. Wait until Fox News finds out Hillary isn’t running in 2020.

But a few other important stories came out over the past few days that I wanted to mention so we don’t forget them.

Because irony committed suicide a million times over the past year, we learned that Javanka had a 3rd (third) private email account on a private server. They forgot to mention this third one to the Senate, like they forgot to mention the other two.

The emails — which include nonpublic travel documents, internal schedules and some official White House materials —were in many cases sent from Ivanka Trump, her assistant Bridges Lamar and others who work with the couple in the White House. The emails to the third account were largely sent from White House accounts but occasionally came from other private accounts.

Then there’s, of course, the issue of several cabinet officials taking private planes for personal business. Tim Price already resigned over it, but he’s not the only one. Scott Pruitt, the evil EPA chief determined to destroy the environment, did lots of flying, as did Steve Mnuchin.

For lunch on April 26, Scott Pruitt, the new administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, dined with top executives from Southern Company, one of the nation’s largest coal-burning electric utilities, at Equinox, a white-tablecloth favorite of Washington power brokers.

That evening, it was on to BLT Prime, a steakhouse inside the Trump International Hotel in Washington, for a meal with the board of directors of Alliance Resource Partners, a coal-mining giant whose chief executive donated nearly $2 million to help elect President Trump.

Before those two agenda items, Mr. Pruitt met privately with top executivesand lobbyists from General Motors to talk about their request to block an Obama administration move to curb emissions that contribute to climate change.

There are many more Pruitt meetings with agencies he is supposed to oversee. All while flying on the tax-payer’s private jet dime.

In rather stunning news, the US voted against a UN resolution condemning the execution of LGBTQ people, among others.

[UN resolution] called for the death penalty to be banned “as a sanction for specific forms of conduct, such as apostasy, blasphemy, adultery and consensual same-sex relations”, as well as criticising its use on minors, mentally ill people and pregnant women.

Of the 47 countries on the Human Rights Council, 27 voted in favour while 13 states voted against.

The United States voted against the motion, alongside Botswana, Burundi, Egypt, Ethiopia, Bangladesh, China, India, Iraq, Japan, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates.

Cuba, South Korea, Philippines, Indonesia, Tunisia, Nigeria, Kenya all abstained.

And let us cross our fingers, toes, legs, arms, anything we can, about the SCOTUS case dealing with gerrymandering in Wisconsin: Gill vs. Whitford. Though Democrats have won more votes in Wisconsin for the past 8 years, through extensive gerrymandering Republicans (evil Governor Scott Walker) have arranged so that Republicans control all levels of government in the state. That case is now before SCOTUS. After the briefings today, it is obvious that the court is divided along ideological lines. That’s why Gorsuch will be such a catastrophe for our country for generations to come. (Fuck you Bernie, Jill Stein, Susan Sarandon, Rosario Dawson, etc.) The swing vote will be Kennedy, and observers seemed to think he might have been leaning against Wisconsin. He only asked questions of state officials defending gerrymandering.

“Suppose the court…decided that this is a First Amendment issue, not an equal protection issue. Would that change the calculus?” Kennedy asked as the court debated the legality of the Wisconsin plan. A three-judge panel ruled that the GOP-led legislature tilted the table so sharply against Democrats that it ran afoul of the Constitution.

Kennedy also seemed irked when a lawyer for GOP legislators in Wisconsin would not immediately say whether a state law that explicitly stated a policy to harm either Democrats or Republicans would be illegal.

“If the state has a law or constitutional amendment that’s saying all legitimate factors must be used in a way to favor party X or party Y, is that lawful?” he asked attorney Erin Murphy, adding later: “I’d like the answer to the question.”

Murphy eventually conceded that such a law would be unconstitutional, a concession that seemed to open the door to the idea that a redistricting plan that was hopelessly skewed but contained no explicit partisan goal would also be suspect.

Even John McCain (in a joint statement with Sheldon Whitehouse) said he hopes SCOTUS will rule against Wisconsin. And at the briefing, there was a moment between Gorsuch and the notorious RBG.

The court’s newcomer, Justice Neil Gorsuch, said he worried that states would not know what standard they’re supposed to meet without “having every district subject to litigation.” He compared the tests courts were considering to a steak rub.

“What’s this court supposed to do? A pinch of this and a pinch of that?” he asked.

Gorsuch also seemed to irritate Ginsburg when he suggested that maybe the Supreme Court shouldn’t be intruding on how a state draws lines for state offices. “Where exactly do we get authority to revise state legislative lines?

Moments later, Ginsburg shot back that the court’s been doing just that for years. “Where did one-person, one-vote come from?” she said.

I am not a religious man, but as somebody once said, “Let us pray.”

Of course I must end with Madonna. Fun fact: the solo guitar on this song is played by the uncredited Prince. Madonna and Prince recorded a duet for the “Like a Prayer” album called Love Song. But Prince also played guitar on three additional songs on the album, though his name was not (at his own request) included in the credits at the time: the title track, Keep It Together and Act of Contrition. Once Eric Clapton was asked what it felt like to be the greatest guitarist in the world. He replied: “I don’t know. Ask Prince.”

Memes.com

Good Monday, all. As I was toodling around the interwebz trying to find something inspiring to write about, I came across this article about an organization called “Care2,” which has been around since 1998, has over 41 million members, and is considered a pioneer in the field of online activism.

A couple of things that stood out for me:

  • Online petitions actually do help. According to the article, they’re a great tool for showing that a cause has a large number of supporters, as well as leading people to take next steps, such as calling or writing their Congresscritters.
  • The normalization of outrage is dangerous to the Resistance. We are understandably and justifiably exhausted from the constant stream of crayzee coming from Drumpf, but, we can’t let it go by. We can never accept his behavior or his Residency. All we can do is say no, no, a thousand times no, and keep saying it!

That’s all the positivity I have for you today. If you want to leave on a happy note, stop reading, because what’s coming next will not make you smile.

While the Orange Jumpsuit has resolutely golfed his way through the crisis in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, tweeting madly about the mayor of San Juan and the NFL’s standing or kneeling during the National Anthem, the Thugs in Congress have quietly found a way to take health care away from 9 million children and pregnant women. Because you know, that’s what those heartless f*cking bastards live for.

Congress just allowed the Children’s Health Insurance Program, which provided low-cost health insurance to 9 million children, to expire.

If action is not taken soon to restore the funding, the effects will become obvious in schools across the country, with many of the children in the program unable to see a doctor for routine checkups, immunizations, visits when sick and other services.

The program, created under a 1997 law passed with bipartisan support during the administration of President Bill Clinton, provided coverage for children in families with low and moderate incomes as well as to pregnant women. It was instrumental in lowering the percentage of children who were uninsured from nearly 14 percent when it started to 4.5 percent in 2015. It was last reauthorized in 2015 and was due to be renewed by Sept. 30, 2017.

The program is a bargain. It only cost the federal government $13.6 million last year. Some of the moneys are paid from state budgets, which makes is structured a bit like Medicaid. Perhaps that’s why the deplorable Thugs hate it so much, although my personal theory is that since it was Hillary’s baby, they’re letting it expire from spite. I said the same thing to Paul Begala on Twitter.

I like Paul Begala, but I really, REALLY don’t want to hear anything more about how Republicans are “actually” good and decent people who “should speak up.” They don’t speak up because they are TOTALLY FINE WITH WHAT DRUMPF IS DOING. If you support the Republican Party, you support the Party of Death. They do not give a flying f*ck if the entire country turns into Mordor; a hot, stinking, war-addicted, slave factory where they rule with iron fists over a squabbling, bloody, ignorant populace afraid of the light. The people like the Kochs, Mercers and Adelsons feel they are immune from it all; that their money insulates them from whatever disasters they perpetrate on the environment and on the American people. They don’t need government health care, you see, so no one else deserves it. They don’t need clean air because they can afford to seal themselves up in a bunker and filter it all out. They probably think they can survive a nuclear holocaust, which, cockroaches that they are, just might be true.

Seriously, doesn’t Sheldon Adelson look like the Portrait of Dorian Grey? He is the very embodiment of corruption.

It makes me even more viscerally ill that a lot of these right-wing f*cktards are Jewish. They are sending millions and millions to people like Steve Bannon and Alex Jones, who preach the exact same anti-Semitism that got 6 million Jews killed from 1941-1945. How dare they empower this kind of racial division masquerading as “right-wing populism” – another phrase I never want to hear again? What a bunch of sociopaths. The holes inside them can never be filled with money, but much to the detriment of America and those who love her, they’ll never figure that out.

What can we do about all of this? Well, we can tweet, and sign petitions, and march, and make sure our Congresscritters know exactly how we feel about everything they’re doing. And we can also take comfort in the fact that the Democrats have flipped 7 seats in special elections this year…and the Republicans have flipped none.

According to the Cook Political Report (and our friend Janicen), the elections to watch are the ones in Virginia.

As those elections show, Democratic voters are hyper-motivated right now. But their chances fall as turnout rises. On June 20, Republican Karen Handel defeated Democrat Jon Ossoff in Georgia’s 6th CD after a $50 million contest that generated 56 percent turnout. The very same day, Democrat Archie Parnell came within three points of a shocking upset in a South Carolina race that attracted a fraction of the money and generated 19 percent turnout.

Virginia’s House of Delegates races are a better proxy of what’s to come in 2018. Turnout won’t be too hot (as in Georgia) or too cold (as in New Hampshire). It will be driven by the governor’s race, which better approximates what a midterm turnout looks like.

Moreover, there are plenty of vulnerable GOP Virginia delegates sitting in districts where Clinton outperformed Obama. Republicans like Dels. Jim LeMunyon (67th), Scott Lingamfelter (31st) and Tag Greason (32nd) all fit that bill – just as there are plenty of House Republicans sitting in districts where Trump is uniquely unpopular. Their races will test voters’ inclination to send a message to Trump regardless of whether they know and like the local GOP candidates.

Let’s keep an eye on these races in particular.  Election Day is 11/7/17. Things could get very, very interesting.

This is an open thread.

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Good morning Widdershins!

Because of technical glitches which I can’t even understand – the comments closed in the previous thread. So here’s a very super duper quick post of no importance whatsoever, so we can keep commenting.

Aside from, you know, the awful hurricane in Texas (Ted Cruz and John Cornyn want federal aid…… let that sink in), Dump has pardoned the evil Joe Arpaio (so the media is falling over itself screaming “But Marc Rich!” because false equivalencies and “Clinton did it” is their natural state), Nazi Sebastian Gorka was “fired” from the White House (he claims he resigned) and last heard from, he was in talks with Breitbart to work there. Because, naturally.

What fresh hell will this weekend bring?

Discuss amongst yourself!

Good Monday Widdershins!

Our blogmistress had some real life issues come up so I’m covering here at sort of the last minute.  Because of that and not having a lot of time this is mainly going to be a link dump post.

From this WaPo piece, it seems like the “ugly American” tourist is making a resurgence.  Only this tourist was in Germany and thought it would be cute to do a Nazi salute.  Color him clueless since he seemed not to know that the salute is a crime in Germany and he got busted-literally.  Someone saw him do it and beat the crap out of him.

An American tourist gave the Nazi salute in Germany — so a stranger beat him up, police say

* * * *

Peter Cvjetanovic would like you to know that he’s really, really not a racist mkay.  No, seriously.

You can read that HERE. By the way he’s also a precious 20 years old.  Whatcha wanna bet he’s still on mom and dad’s health insurance?

 

* * * *

There is a new hashtag that is going viral, #ThisIsNotUS and you can check out a HuffPost article on it.

* * * *

From Business Insider here is an article with some background info, on the hit and run driver in Charlottesville, James Fields, again a 20 year old.

* * * *

David Frum in The Atlantic says it’s time for Republicans to “leap from the boat” that is the S.S. Trump. And I thought they were all so comfortable there.

* * * *

The occupant of the White House, appeared to be his usual clueless self when he made his statement after the events in Charlottesville happened and it took his staff making the rounds of the news shows the following day to attempt some damage control.

* * * *

The last link I have for you today is to an article about the photographer who captured the image of the car slamming into the counter-protesters.  That was his last day working for the newspaper.

 

Welp, that’s all I have for you today.  Hope you check out the links.  Of course this is an open thread.

 

 

Good Monday, Widdershins. I hope you had a good International Women’s Day. I saw quite a few women wearing red at my client site last week in honor of “A Day without a Woman.” It was inspirational. I think there are several more actions planned from the organizers of the Women’s March, so stay tuned!

Now to the title of my post. This comes from some research I’ve been doing on the human brain, and the way it works to keep us alive and protect us from threats. This won’t be a super-science-y piece – more of a meditation on the state our country is in, and how it’s possible for sub-human cretins like Drumpf, Bannon and their minions to win even one vote, much less 60-odd million.

As I’m sure many of you know better than I, there are older, more primitive parts of our brains that only exist to make sure we quickly and instinctively respond to threats. From an evolutionary perspective, these parts of the brains are extremely important. They initiate the “fight or flight” response, which actually also includes a “freeze” as well, giving us microseconds to decide either to go to war, or to retreat.

After millions of years of evolution, we actually developed the capability to process these responses and evaluate them. Ah, the frontal lobe! Human beings develop this part of the brain in young adulthood. At least, some human beings do.

…It organizes responses to complex problems, plans steps to an objective, searches memory for relevant experience, adapts strategies to accommodate new data, guides behavior with verbal skills and houses working memory. Its orbitofrontal circuit manages emotional impulses in socially appropriate ways for productive behaviors including empathy, altruism, interpretation of facial expressions. Stroke in this area typically releases foul language and fatuous behavior patterns [bolding mine].

My argument today is that Drumpf and his supporters have either not developed their frontal lobes, or they have developed them, but are unable to use them. Their amygdalae are in charge, causing them to respond unthinkingly to perceived threats without the calming influence of the orbitofrontal circuit. This inability to counter the constant screaming of “Danger, Will Robinson!” makes them extremely susceptible to manipulation by other like-minded people, who deeply understand the constant state of anxiety in which these primitive brains exist.

In other words…they are stupid. And because they’re stupid, they’re evil.

Read the rest of this entry »


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Kellyanne Conway’s new job

So similar

Take the kids to work? NO!

3 turds control fate of healthcare for millions

That moment when *your* pussy gets grabbed

You go gurl! h/t Adam Joseph

***Disaster Donations***

Quick links for donations.

Donations for our furry, and other critter friends:

Texas SPCA Donate Page

Houston TX SPCA Donation Page

Red Rover Group

For the Virgin Islands (Community Foundation of the Virgin Islands)
CFVI.net

All Hands Disaster Relief:
https://www.hands.org/

Puerto Rico’s First Lady’s organization:
http://unidosporpuertorico.com/en/

Americares (provides medical/health support)
http://www.americares.org/en/

“The” Book

Nice picture of our gal

Time till the Grifter in Chief is Gone

Hopefully soonerJanuary 21st, 2021
3.2 years to go.

Mueller Time!

Wise Words from Paul Ryan

Heroine of the Resistance

B-I-N-G-O!

PHONE CONTACT INFO FOR THE DNC:

202-863-8000

TELL PEREZ AND ELLISON HOW YOU FEEL ABOUT BRAZILE NUT!

Storify version of E. Rogers HVF explanation