The Widdershins

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Happy Saturday, Widdershins! I hope you all had a good week. The Mango Moron did not, “bless his heart.” Here are a few things that went wrong in the delusional world of The Former Guy.

The truth is coming out about the non-violent part of his coup attempt on January 6th. One of Drumpf’s attorneys, John Eastman, gave Mike Pence step-by-step instructions as to how to invalidate the electoral votes of the states that provided Biden his landslide victory, and then to throw the vote to the House, in which case the Republicans would prevail. Pence tried his darndest to obey those instructions, but since they came from the outer rim of Pluto and not the Constitution here on Earth, he was not legally able to do so. It doesn’t matter for Drumpf though – a plot to take over the government illegally is still a crime, even when it (BARELY) doesn’t succeed.

Speaking of January 6, the House Commission has issued its first subpoenas to a veritable who’s who of der Drumpfenfuhrer’s inner circle (including, finally, Steve Bannon). Per its chair, Bennie Thompson, it’s “just getting started.” These days, Merrick Garland is in charge of the DOJ, and not Satanic teddy bear Bill Barr, so a Congressional subpoena actually means something, and these people (and others to come) WILL be compelled to testify. Despite 45’s pathetic attempts to paint this commission’s finding’s as partisan hoo-ha, the Committee has prominent Republicans as members, and has even hired Republicans as attorneys and staff.

Trump and his allies have loved to paint the committee as just another partisan witch hunt. Congressional Republicans largely went along, fighting the panel’s formation as a bipartisan group. But the committee’s most prominent staff hires aren’t snowflaky lawyers from the bleeding-heart liberal bastions of America. They’re conservative Republicans to the core with backgrounds in the Air Force (Riggleman) and as a clerk for one of the most conservative members of the Supreme Court (Wood). They can’t credibly be accused as fake Republicans. Whatever the committee concludes will be presented by Democrats and Republicans. Arguments that this probe was motivated by Democratic partisanship just won’t stick in the same way.

Not that surrounding himself by dyed-in-the-wool loyalists will keep The Former Guy safe from reality. Even the Arizona Frauditeers were forced to admit Biden won Arizona…by MORE than before! Same with Mark Kelly, the Democratic Senator who handily dispatched the unloved Martha McSally in 2020. Despite the results showing that the only errors were in allocating too many votes to him and Martha, Delusional Don still declared victory and tried to command that Arizona declare him the winner, same as he did with Georgia. If his mental illness and gaslighting weren’t so terrifying, it would be hilarious.

“There will be no decertification of the 2020 election – the audit does not call for one, and even if it had, there is no lawful way to decertify. As we have every step of the way, Arizona will follow the law,” the governor said.

This poisonous toad and all his enablers must and will be held accountable for their treasonous and criminal actions, and I cannot wait. Open thread, of course!

This week was a revelatory one, wasn’t it? As the January 6th Select Committee sets its first hearing with law enforcement on July 27th, more and more scary-but-not-shocking details are coming out about the depth and comprehensiveness of Drumpf’s attempts to establish himself as the Dick-tator of the United States.

Here’s a story I read this morning quoting Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-MD, the extraordinary leader of Drumpf’s 2nd impeachment effort. Mr. Raskin is also a member of the Select Committee. The story contains some key nuggets about how Mike Pence’s refusal to do the Mango Moron’s bidding on 1/6 likely prevented the overturning of the election and imposition of martial law. And the way the Thugs would have done it, could have been inspired directly by “Veep.”

“All they wanted Pence to do was to rebuff the electors coming in from Arizona, Georgia, and Pennsylvania, lowering Biden’s total below 270, kicking the presidential contest into a contingent election,” Raskin said.

“In the event that no presidential candidate can reach 270 Electoral College votes, the next president is selected by the House of Representatives. This rare situation has not arisen since the 19th century [well…except on “Veep,” when an electoral college tie sent the election back to the House!].

“And there they wanted it because we vote not one member, one vote, but one state, one vote,” Raskin went on.

“And if they’d been able to do that, which would not have been really that much if you look at the different things Mike Pence did over the prior four years for Trump, they would have won it with 27 states to 22 for the Democrats and one tied.”

“And at that point, he probably would’ve followed the advice of Michael Flynn and imposed martial law and a state of siege, and this would’ve been the Reichstag moment,” he said.

Barring the martial law part, which is more speculative, it looks like Drumpf’s coup d’etat plan included elements that were similar to what happened on a TeeVee show about a corrupt politician doing anything and everything to claw her way to the White House and stay there. So on brand for TFG! And only Mike Pence stopped it from working.

I never thought I’d say this, but thank Goddess for Mike Pence. (Sorry, Beata!) Unlike in “Veep,” where the peaceful transfer of power was observed no matter how evil the candidate was, the US as we know it wouldn’t have survived the overturning of the election and the reinstatement of der Drumpfenfuhrer.

Brace yourselves for more of these revelations over the next several months, Shinners!

Open thread, as always.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I sure hope they don’t succeed.


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