The Widdershins

Archive for the ‘Human Rights’ Category

Good Tuesday, Widdershins! Today is a bellwether day because last night, Rachel Maddow finally stopped using the word “inexplicably” and used Occam’s Razor instead.

In her opening segment, Rachel was highlighting the fact that Drumpf has a very large number of weak, “acting” cabinet secretaries and vacant deputy positions that haven’t been filled. She then noted that this framework for governing concentrates power in the hands of the President. “There’s a particular type of government that works this way,” she said. “It starts with an ‘a.'”

Indeed! Welcome to the autocracy party, Rachel. It’s quite scary to admit what the end goal of Putin’s Puppet is; kudos for starting to wrap your head around it.

The autocratic end game, however, cannot be won merely by eviscerating critical government agencies like the Department of Defense, Homeland Security, the EPA and so many others. What will really set the tone for declaring Trump King Forever is a determination that he is above the law. And from where I sit, he’s trying his best to make that determination happen. Let me count just a few ways:

  1. The tax returns. The chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, Richard Neal, has demanded Drumpf’s tax returns. The Mango Moron has refused, which is illegal. The deadline for turning them over to the Ways and Means Committee is Wednesday, April 10. If this goes to court, will he get a favorable ruling?
  2. The family separation policy. One of the most Nazi-like policies this evil Administration has ever set in place, family separation was ruled illegal last year. But now, Drumpf is clearing house at DHS, firing Kirstjen Nielsen and others, and to try and find people who will impose the policy despite its illegality. He may have found at least one.

    Though he may not be installed immediately, the Trump administration is likely to find a way to make sure [Kevin] McAleenan will step in for Nielsen on an acting basis, even if it means firing Grady. NBC News reports that McAleenan “has not ruled out” family separation as an option, and that he would consider allowing parents to bring their children with them into long-term detention as an alternative.

    What happens if McAleenan does try to go ahead with family separation despite the judge’s orders? Who will tell him he can’t?

  3. The Fake National Emergency. When Der Drumpfenfuhrer declared a fake national emergency at the border and started appropriating funds for his ridiculous wall, the Democrats sued him.

    Trump declared a national emergency in February to shift federal funds toward construction of the border wall after Congress refused to provide him with the amount he requested.The initial standoff resulted in a 35-day partial government shutdown, the longest in U.S. history.

    The complaint was filed one day after Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) announced that the House would sue the president to block Trump’s national emergency declaration to build a wall along the southern border.

    “The Congress has a solemn responsibility to defend its exclusive constitutional responsibilities, and protect our system of checks and balances,” Pelosi said of the lawsuit in a statement Friday. “The very integrity of our democratic institutions are at stake. We will not let the President trample over the Constitution.”

These are just three examples. Bottom line is, a Constitutional crisis could result from any of these. If the pResident decides to just brazen it out and declare he is above the law, will the Senate stand up to him? Or will they continue to demonstrate their moral decrepitude and lack of interest in our core democratic principles, and help him establish an autocracy in America?

I think we’d all better start stretching our leg muscles and ensuring we’ve got comfortable shoes. While I hope we won’t need to, we must prepare to march to prevent Orange Caligula from consolidating enough power to destroy our country for the foreseeable future. Our activism may be the only thing standing between us and the “a” word.

This is an open thread.

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.

 

Border Patrol agent pours out bottles of water left for immigrants trying to cross

 

Good day Widdershins!

MB is away for the rest of the week so I’m taking her Tuesday post, one day late.

With all of the news concerning tRump, Cohen, Flynn and the rest of the corrupt tRump tribe, it’s amazing this story has already fallen by the wayside. However, that’s the nature of the news cycle I suppose.

We already know the basics of the story.

Jakelin Caal Maquin and her father Nery Gilberto Caal Cuz were picked up in a group of over a hundred migrants in a portion of desert in New Mexico near a Port of Entry at Antelope Wells.

DHS *said* “Border Patrol agents screened the migrants to identify any health or safety concerns.”.  Snort!  I just really have to wonder about that statement.  I dunno.

“The initial screening revealed no evidence of health issues,” the DHS statement released Friday said. “During the screening, the father denied that either he or his daughter were ill.”

Authorities said the denial was recorded on a federal form signed by Caal, who speaks an indigenous dialect.(Bolding, italics mine)

“At this time, they were offered water and food and had access to restrooms,” DHS said.

So was there someone there with CPB that spoke this “indigenous dialect” to make sure the father understood?

Then they were prepared to be transported to a Border Patrol station near Lordsburg New Mexico. This was by bus and was done in two trips.  Jakelin and her father were in the second group to be transported.  When they arrived 90 minutes later at Lordsburg, the father told officials his daughter had stopped breathing.

Border Patrol emergency medical technicians began administering medical care and called an ambulance, according to DHS.

“At this point her temperature was 105.9 degrees,” the DHS said. “Agents providing medical care revived the child twice.”

I’m sorry but we’ve seen and heard too many things about DHS and CPB (Customs and Border Protection) so I take anything they say with one.big.grain.of.salt.

She was flown by helicopter to Providence Children’s Hospital, and Border Patrol took Caal there by vehicle, a drive of more than four hours.

DHS said Jakelin was first taken to the emergency room and then transferred to the pediatric intensive care unit. She died at 12:35 a.m. on Dec. 8.

The hospital said their initial impression was that Jakelin died of sepsis.  And as the article states:

Sepsis is the body’s extreme response to an existing infection somewhere in the body that can lead to rapid organ failure and death, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Okay.  I’m not a doctor or nurse, nor do I play one on the teevee and I haven’t stayed at a Holiday Inn Express.  But I have to believe that she had to be showing some type of symptoms of this at the initial intake.  At the least it would seem her temp would have been elevated.  Perhaps our medical and scientific Widdershins can share their knowledge. And again, see my statement above about believing anything from DHS or CPB.

And for another kick in the pants, there’s this:

Congress told it can’t interview agents who detained 7-year-old migrant girl who died

 

Some members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus were going to tour the Lordsburg Border Patrol Station and wanted to speak to the agents involved in this.  DHS said nope, nahgonnahappen.

Members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus on Tuesday are scheduled to tour the Lordsburg Border Patrol Station in New Mexico, where agents took Jakelin Caal Maquin and her father after they illegally crossed the U.S.-Mexico border. The members had requested a chance to speak directly with the Border Patrol agents who arrested, detained and transported the girl and her father before she was flown to a children’s hospital and died.

(snip)

“While DHS respects the oversight role of Congress, it is important to allow the review process occur unimpeded by politics,” spokeswoman Katie Waldman said in a statement. “It is important to preserve the legitimacy of a fair and impartial process out of respect to the agents’ lifesaving mission and the family of the deceased.”

Unimpeded by politics.  Yeah right!  Glad we’re gonna have a new Congress in January.

Open thread of course.

 

I am writing today’s post with tears in my eyes and fury in my heart.  For over three years now, we’ve seen the horrific evil of the worst of America become ascendant, and the media deliberately turn a blind eye to it; in fact, we’ve seen them refuse to call it by its name.

Let’s be very, very clear. The modern Republican party, once home to noble public servants like Abraham Lincoln and Dwight D. Eisenhower, has become a refuge for the most deplorable sub-human creatures that ever crawled upon the surface of the earth.

There is no longer any difference between Republicans and Nazis.

Shall I present the evidence?

Amazingly, today in 2018, Nazis, neo-Nazis, Holocaust deniers, white supremacists and those who align with them are running for Congress — all under the Republican banner.

Arthur Jones of Illinois is an actual Nazi. John Fitzgerald of California is a Holocaust denier. Corey Stewart of Virginia has taken pro-Confederate and alt-right stances. Bill Fawell of Illinois thinks Israel was one of the “masterminds” of 9/11. House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) all but admitted the truth of allegations that he addressed a white supremacist rally. Reps. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.) and Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) held a fundraiser in July with Holocaust denier Charles Johnson after both had previously been criticized for associating with Johnson.

And those are just some of the Republicans running for Congress. The GOP is also plagued with candidates at the state level like Steve West, who promotes anti-Semitic conspiracy theories on his radio show and said “Hitler was right.” On Aug. 7, he won a contested Republican Missouri House of Representatives primary with more than 49 percent of the vote.

Some of us, in fact many of us, saw this right away. We were able to draw a direct line from Drumpf’s entry into the 2016 race, in which he announced that Mexicans were rapists, to his descriptions of women as dogs, to his mocking of a disabled reporter, to his description of African countries as “sh*tholes,” to his description of Nazis in Charlottesville as “very fine people,” to his railing against LEGAL IMMIGRANTS and ripping their babies from their arms, through to his blatant and amoral disregard of the terrible consequences of his hateful and fearmongering rhetoric this past week.

Instead of sympathizing with Democrats and the news media who have been targets of assassination, he doubles down and continues to attack them. Instead of respecting the wishes of the Jews in Pittsburgh and staying away, he decides to punch back by insisting he will come “grieve with them.” Spare us all! This sociopathic slimeball has never grieved for anything or anyone except himself and his vast echoing hungry shell of a heart. He is an excrescence on the sphincter of humanity.

Donald Trump, like his father, is a Nazi. He has always been a Nazi. He will always be a Nazi. He is running on the Nazi platform of “blood and soil:” ‘pure’ white blood and American soil is what all of his campaigns are about. Make America Hate Again is his true slogan.

The news media would do well to remember that, while the primary targets of Nazis were indeed Jews (some in my family, in fact), there were many more that did not fit Hitler’s idea of what human beings should look like. Romanians. Catholics. LGBT. They were all targets of Nazi rage. Why did no one want to admit the ideological connection until 11 Jews died while naming a baby? (Sorry, crying again.)

As Republicans continue to call out to hatred and fear of The Other, let’s hope more and more pundits and journalists have the courage to call them out for being Nazis. This hate speech has thrived long enough.

Hillary’s campaign was prescient. She said “Love Trumps Hate.” And it must.

We must remove Nazis from our public airwaves, from our state houses and from our federal government.

And we must never, never forget that the First Amendment does not protect the man calling “Fire” in a crowded theater.

This is an open thread.

Gillian Flynn’s words echo and echo and echo inside my skull.

They don’t care about us enough to hate us. We are simply a form of livestock.

(Via Sarah Kendzior. I’ve said the same too, repeatedly, less efficiently.)

There’s Senator Orrin Hatch saying, “…consider who the judge is today – because that’s the issue. Is this judge a really good man? And he is. And by any measure he is.”

“By any measure.” Any measure.

Kavanaugh has never shown any repentance or made any amends, but by any measure he’s in Hatch’s good books. Despite every indication of willingness to commit a crime so bad it’s right up there with murder. Technically, of course. It’s vanishingly unlikely to happen to Hatch. So Kavanaugh is a “good man.”

They don’t care about us enough to hate us. We are simply a form of livestock.

You wonder how the slavers could do what they did to black human beings two hundred years ago? This is how. They thought it was natural, normal, just how things were. They could think well of themselves with no trouble while they sold people. Those people were livestock. Just as people now consider themselves “good” while thinking that a little rape never hurt anyone. Not any real people. Slaveholders were Supreme Court Justices once. What could possibly be the objection to a rapist on the highest court in the land?

They don’t care about us enough to hate us. We are simply a form of livestock.

Crossposted from Acid Test

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.

Speechless

Posted on: June 21, 2018

Screen Shot 2018-06-21 at 2.40.11 AM.png

I have spent the last 2 days thinking about what the subject of my weekly post here would be. Honestly – I’m just at a loss for words. The revelations about the concentration camps Donald Trump is building for children – including babies – just kind of takes my breath away and leaves me speechless. Over the last couple of years, as we have watched Trump rise, many of us began comparing him to the Nazis, seeing parallels between his rise to power and Hitler’s. There are many who really believe in Godwin’s law that comparisons to Hitler are inevitable and once you compare someone to Hitler you’ve lost the argument. Except we’ve now jumped the shark and even Mike Godwin himself has cancelled his own law. “By all means, compare these shitheads to Nazis. Again and again. I’m with you,” he tweeted in August 2017. I don’t think you need to have millions of people burn in ovens before you say: “You know, maybe it’s not too early to call them Nazis.” As awful as Trump has been, I just was not ready for “concentration camps for babies” awful. Though it should be noted Hillary Clinton warned us about that too: in one of the debates she said Trump intended to take children away from their parents. But who would believe such a thing was possible! All the pundits who laughed at Hillary, called her “over prepared,” and openly shilled for Trump are now dismayed that Trump would do such a thing. Well, she tried to tell you. When Hillary said “I’m the last thing standing between you and the apocalypse” – perhaps the hyperbole wasn’t that big.

So here we are, with baby concentration camps courtesy of Donald Trump. Kirstjen Nielsen, who was at the center of Dubya’s catastrophic Katrina response, has thrown herself into this with body and soul. Trump will wrap this disaster around her neck and throw her overboard soon. She will be the latest casualty of Trump’s magical ability to grind people and their reputations into dust. People like Reince Priebus, Sean Spicer, General MacMaster, Rex Tillerson, James Comey, etc. etc. Don’t feel bad for them. Each and every one was a willing participant in this charade. So it will be with Kirstjen Nielsen when Trump blames her for everything and fires her. The disgraced secretary who had no idea most people in Sweden were white will crawl away licking her wounds and not peep a bad word against Trump. And let her crawl away all the way into hell. I am not a religious man, but times like these make me hope there is, in fact, a God who damns evildoers to hell. Because that’s where people like Donald Trump and Kirstjen Nielsen belong: in the fires of hell, for all eternity, amen.


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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
21 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