The Widdershins

Archive for the ‘Feminism’ Category

Hello Widdershins! I’ve just been in Monterey for the first time, and didn’t turn on the Teevee for two days except to watch “Aquaman” in the hotel. (It was fine, I guess…certainly didn’t think it deserved all the hysteria. I preferred “Black Panther.” More eye candy and a much better storyline.)

I agreed with DYB’s post last week. In 2020, the media is going to do its damnedest to re-elect Drumpf. This is not “bothsidesism” in action – it’s greed, pure and simple. The media has gotten used to a hitherto unimaginable volume of viewers and clickers; and the Mango Moron generates an endless vortex of screaming headlines. It’s a match made in authoritarian hell, and I don’t see either party changing any time soon.

What we’ll continue to see is idiotic story after idiotic story allegedly “disqualifying” excellent Democratic candidates. “But her chicken wings!” “But her heritage!” “But her blackness!” “But her management style!” “But his (maybe) sexuality!” These non-scandals certainly will not resonate with the American people, who, based on the latest polls and the massive turnout in last year’s mid-terms, are done with the enabling Rethugs and their corrupt puppet of a front man. Yet, the media is hoping beyond hope that we’ll forget “butter emails” and believe, somehow, that the status quo would be better than sending an experienced, ethical and dedicated public servant to the Oval Office instead.

As Will Bunch said recently about coverage of Klobuchar’s announcement:

What if I told you about a senator who was accused by an ex-staffer of being an “egomaniacal autocrat” who was “determined to manage his staff through fear,” who allegedly yelled at a 23-year-old staffer reminding that senator about scheduling to “get the f—- out of my car”? It wasn’t Klobuchar but former vice president and Delaware senator Joe Biden, who hasn’t decided if he’s running but leads in the polls. And yet I haven’t seen anyone investigating what kind of boss Biden is.

Which prompts a big question looming over the general awfulness of the 2020 election media coverage: How much of it is pure misogyny — a problem in a race with not one but several high-profile female candidates who seem to be getting unequal treatment, where the “tough” male boss becomes “abusive” in a woman’s high heels, or a candidate’s mistaken over-valuation of her Native American heritage is more embarrassing than a man who exaggerated or made up “bone spurs” to avoid Vietnam.

Now, things are different. We have learned from 2016. We are #TheResistance; we’re awake, alive and well. We propelled the #BlueTsunami in 2018, and we’ll make sure that the Rethugs go down in 2020. Hard.

So let’s keep doing what we’re doing. It’s working! Don’t let the bastards get you down.

This is an open thread.

 

 

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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.

The talk about fetal personhood bills, and especially Lauren Kelley’s point about the activists turning a health issue into a criminal one, got me thinking. So much so that I actually wrote her some feedback, which now, I guess, I’m going to turn into an open letter of feedback. (There’s a whole series in the NYTimes, a newspaper I’m terminally annoyed with, so I have most of this secondhand from public twitter feeds.)

Pregnancy is a health issue if women are people.

But they really can’t be people to those pushing fetal personhood. If women were actual humans in their minds, the pro-fetus crowd would know that personhood does not mean a guaranteed right to erase women.

After all, if an adult man is about to die for lack of a kidney transplant, we don’t send tissue-typing trucks to roam the streets until a match is found for him and the required spare kidney is extracted. Yet it’s a parallel case. A person (everyone agrees an adult man is a person) will die unless he can use another person’s kidney. If you wanted an exactly parallel case, the healthy person would be drafted to dialyse his blood for nine months. We don’t do that either.

That’s for the simple reason that the counterparty really is a person in that example. In the case of pregnancy, it’s necessarily a woman which somehow makes everything different.

But it isn’t. The only thing that’s different is that plenty of people are not used to thinking of women as actual human beings. They’re brood mares first, humans, maybe, second.

The real assumptions behind all this are important because they determine the ground on which you argue. Remember the old Roe v Wade days and the anti-choicers calling themselves “pro-life”? The size of the joke on us is becoming clearer by the day. At the time too few wanted to hear that accepting bogus terminology ceded the high ground before we’d even begun to fight. Now here we are, pleading for our lives, not our rights.

We need to be as clear as we can about the real terms of the argument. This isn’t really about anyone’s health. If it was, we’d have had those tissue-typing vans driving around ever since organ transplantation was feasible. This isn’t even about whether fetuses are persons. It’s about whether women are persons.


What a difference a week makes, eh? The common wisdom on Brett Kavanaugh, just a little while ago, was that the fix was in. Or as the Seattle Post-Intelligencer put it, “The fix is on.”

The nomination to life appointment on the high court is being rushed through, by the same Senate Republicans who refused even to hold a hearing on President Obama’s 2016 nomination of fellow appellate judge Merrick Garland to the high court.

The Senate Republicans are using Donald Trump, and Donald Trump is using acquiescent members of his party.

The GOP gets to lock in a Supreme Court majority that will rule for its interests and uphold rule by the privileged.

With Kavanaugh’s confirmation, the politicized Roberts Court will have a solid majority to uphold gerrymandering of political boundaries and the rights of states to restrict voting rights. The lock-step majority will rule for business and further restrict legal rights of employees.

The person who wrote that was a man, by the way. Little did we know last week that there was a woman whose bravery in the face of unimaginable public scrutiny, much of it unhinged and hostile, would halt Republicans in their tracks. And now, stories like this are being written.

Unless Ford’s allegations are discredited, it seems virtually unthinkable that the two moderate Republican women who hold the balance of power in the chamber—Susan Collins, of Maine, and Lisa Murkowski, of Alaska—would vote to approve Kavanaugh. As Collins walked through the airport in Washington, D.C., on Sunday, a reporter asked her if she believed the accusations against Kavanaugh. “I don’t know enough to make a judgment at this point,” she replied. Later on Monday, Collins issued a statement that said, “Professor Ford and Judge Kavanaugh should both testify under oath before the Judiciary Committee.” Murkowski was less definitive. But, on Sunday night, she did say that the committee might have to consider delaying its vote.

Even the White House appears to have given up any hope of silencing Ford or dismissing her claims entirely. “This woman should not be insulted and she should not be ignored,” Kellyanne Conway, a counsellor to Trump, told Fox News. “I think the Senate is headed to a reasonable approach in that it seems to be allowing this woman to be heard in sworn testimony, allowing Judge Kavanaugh to be heard in sworn testimony.” Later on Monday, Donald Trump chimed in, saying, “I wish the Democrats could have done this a lot sooner. But, with all of that being said, we want to go through the process.” He also said that Kavanaugh was “somebody very special” who “never even had a little blemish on his record.”

Now, I’ve certainly had my share of incorrect predictions (some of which you’ve read here!), and I agree that at the time, it didn’t seem likely that any Republican Senator would find the courage to deny Drumpf his puppet judge. I completely understand the tendency to assume that the Kavanaugh train was unstoppable. But the problem with that tendency is that, taken too far, it leads to despair, and despair leads to inaction.

I am optimistic by nature, and feel that there are very few problems we humans can’t solve. Collectively, we have endless creativity, intelligence and energy, so really, is anything impossible? Sometimes my position is vindicated; sometimes my optimism gets me into trouble. 😉 A dear friend of mine at work once gave me this excellent piece of advice: “Just because you see a problem, doesn’t mean you have to fix it.” Wise words indeed, but hard for me to live by, especially in the time of #theResistance. I want to join everything, march every day, scream at the top of my lungs, rend my garments, tear my hair. Instead, I try to make my moves wisely. I march sometimes, I tweet, I blog, and I speak up.

What I really think this means is, we women are starting to flex our muscles in unprecedented ways. As DYB wrote last week, #MeToo is still cascading through our society, taking down the vilest and most powerful men in the world. And we’re not done yet! We don’t always know what to do with our new voices, and we are sometimes effective when we use them, and sometimes not. But no matter what, we won’t be silent. And in 2018, there are a lot of men on our side! (Thank you so much, o wonderful Widdershin men and the millions of other good men out there!)

So don’t despair. The conclusion is not foregone. If bad things seem likely to happen, find a small act of bravery to perform.

Who knows what will happen as a consequence?

This is an open thread.

 

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.

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Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf with Hillary Clinton

Wednesday was a doozy of news. Between Kushner’s bribes and security clearance, Hope Hicks’ resignation, Trump telling Senators meeting on guns that we should take guns away from people, Trump attacking Jeff Sessions (who then went on to have a public dinner with Rod Rosenstein), Manafort pleading not guilty to whatever outstanding charges there were from Mueller, Walmart announcing they are raising age for gun purchases to 21 (useless, but ok), Louis Farrakhan delivering a blistering anti-Semitic, homophobic, racist 4-hour lecture while getting cheered on by some Women’s March organizers who threw Hillary under the bus  – I found some interesting news about a hero that doesn’t wear a cape.

Her name is Libby Schaaf and she is the mayor of Oakland. Last Saturday she went on TV and announced that according to information she had ICE was planning to do raids in her city and she advised people to be careful. When ICE did go on a rampage on Tuesday they arrested 150 people. But they claim about 800 got away and they are livid at the mayor.

“Sanctuary jurisdictions like San Francisco and Oakland shield dangerous criminal aliens from federal law enforcement at the expense of public safety,” [ICE Deputy Director Thomas D.] Homan said in a statement. “The Oakland mayor’s decision to publicize her suspicions about ICE operations further increased [risks] for my officers and alerted criminal aliens — making clear that this reckless decision was based on her political agenda with the very federal laws that ICE is sworn to uphold.”

Mayor Schaff, however, remains unimpressed.

She had already made her defiance clear last month when she told reporters that she was willing to go to jail to defend Oakland’s “sanctuary city” policy of protecting immigrants who are in the country illegally and not cooperating with federal authorities to deport them. She said Tuesday that she was responding to a suggestion from Homan in January that the Justice Department should begin criminally charging California politicians who supported sanctuary jurisdictions. Politicians like her, she said.

Asked by The Post whether she considered herself part of “the resistance” movement — the unofficial title for left-leaning Americans who do not support the Trump administration — she responded with a resounding yes.

I, for one, hope more politicians take the risk Mayor Schaff did. Her actions here were extremely brave. No doubt ICE will go after her. ICE is our own American Gestapo. I hope  when Democrats come to power they will not only abolish ICE, but investigate and prosecute people like Thomas Homan, people who commit acts of cruelty. “I was just following orders” is historically not a defense that has held up in courts.

This is an open thread.

 

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Good morning Widdershins,

Another crazy week. Tony Perkins, head of the Family Research Council, has said that  Trump gets a “mulligan” for having an affair with Stormy Daniels. “All right, you get a mulligan. You get a do-over here,” Perkins said. Because Evangelicals no longer care about Presidents who have sex with porn stars while their wife is home with their newborn baby. It’s just a long list of things Evangelicals don’t care about anymore. Child molesters is another, as Roy Moore can attest. (Fun fact: Roy Moore has still not accepted the fact that he lost the election…) There is one thing Trump has done well: reveal the complete moral bankruptcy of the Evangelicals. Their acceptance of his immoral behaviors and the fact that they continue to support him through everything is everything we have ever needed to know about these charlatans. They want the Rapture, I know. Moving the embassy to Jerusalem helps in some way. But I never ever ever ever ever want to hear another Evangelical say anything about someone else’s morals. They are deplorable.

In one of my last posts I wrote about the deplorable Larry Nassar, the former USA Women’s Gymnastics medic who molested hundreds – literally, hundreds – of young girls. Nassar pleaded guilty. The judge presiding over his sentencing, Judge Rosemarie

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Judge Rosemarie Aquilina

Aquilina, allowed many of Nassar’s victims to deliver statements to the court and to Nassar. 156 women spoke. These 156 women are just the ones who were willing to come forward and speak in public. Imagine how many more victims we do not know. Aquilina sentenced Nassar to maximum of 175 years in prison. “I just signed your death warrant,” she said. She also read the letter Nassar wrote to her.

“I was a good doctor because my treatments worked, and those patients that are now speaking out are the same ones that praised and came back over and over,” Nassar wrote. “The media convinced them that everything I did was wrong and bad. They feel I broke their trust. Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.”

“I wouldn’t send my dogs to you, sir,” Aquilina told Nassar.

So what do you think male reporters and pundits have to say about all this? Well, they are very angry at Judge Aquilina.

“Larry Nassar is clearly an evil man, but I don’t care for the judicial grandstanding and dunking on the convict from the bench,” wrote Matthew Yglesias. “I don’t think it inspires confidence in the rule of law for a judge to express a wish that she could hand down an unconstitutional punishment,” wrote Josh Barro. “Statements by the survivors have been extraordinary. A judge performing like this leaves me cold,” mused Jonathan Chait. There are many others like this, some (lesser known intellectuals) calling Aquilina “an attention whore.” It is deplorable to see people get angry at the judge who sentences an unapologetic rapist of over 150 young women to prison. But here we are.

We are also in a world where Chelsea Manning, who recently said she intends to run for the Senate in Maryland, attends an Alt-Right party. Titled “A Night for Freedom” the shindig was organized by Mike Cernovich, one of the biggest Alt-Right/White Supremacist personalities. Also in attendance were a who’s-who of White Supremacists, people like the former Bernie supporter Cassandra Fairbanks, Gavin McInnes, Jack Posobiec and Stefan Moleyneux. The usual topics were covered: Hillary is evil, MAGA, Hillary is evil, Obama is evil, Hillary is evil, Pizzagate, Hillary is evil, Muller is going down, Hillary is evil. Then McInnes waxed poetic about his love of fatherhood and encouraged the almost exclusively caucasian crowd to have lots of children. “Remember, one [child] is for losers. Two is for fags.” So on and so forth.

And there, in the middle of it all, is Chelsea Manning. When asked to explain why she was there Manning said she was protesting and doing research. I don’t know how Manning defines a protest. “Yes I literally shook hands with Chelsea Manning [tonight], the left is freaking out, it was not a big deal,” tweeted Cernovich. Fairbanks wrote that everyone loved Manning and if anybody had been rude to her she, Fairbanks, would have impaled them on her heels. And before Manning attended another Alt-Right party, where this happy photo was taken (included are Posobiec and Fairbanks.)

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So why does Chelsea Manning cavort with White Nationalists as she gears up for a Senate run?

What do you think Widdershins? This is an open thread.


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March 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
22 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