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We are also celebrating (?) Women’s History Month. This is all too apropos, because women’s history is bursting at the seams with men wreaking havoc on us – and none worse than the evil monsters who start global wars, such as our not-so-dear Pooty-Poot.

There is a concept in activism called “Nothing About Us Without Us.” In other words, don’t make decisions about a marginalized group, such as folks with disabilities or Black people, without significant representation from that marginalized group. It strikes me that this concept has been largely absent from so much of the decision-making that has created the difficult conditions women live in today.

Its absence has been deeply felt. For example, how many women agreed when the Texas legislature effectively overturned Roe v. Wade in that state? How many agreed when the Supreme Court refused to put a stop to it? (The Supreme Court consults the Constitution, which is a woman-free document, thanks to the QOP men who refuse to pass the ERA – without getting agreement from women.) How many women agree to allow trans women to enter their safe spaces? How many women agreed that Putin should wage war on Ukraine?

I want to be clear that women in power are NOT the women who would need to agree to all of these actions that impact us; those women are far too likely to echo the men, as they benefit from the patriarchy almost as much. It is the marginalized and disenfranchised who need to be brought into the conversation. Joe Biden is a great example of how to do this right. He knows his base is Black women, and true to his promises, he has set about elevating Black women to positions of power they have never had before. Under his leadership, we now have a Black woman Vice President, and will soon have a Black woman Supreme Court Justice; he’s also appointed more Black women to appeals courts than any other President already. Way to go, Joe!

To me, “Nothing about us without us” seems to cut through the convenient excuses white male supremacy throws up when they make policies that hurt us. I’m going to keep it front of mind as I talk about women’s rights going forward.

Open thread, as always.

Courtesy of Daily Kos

Good morning Widdershins! This week we saw another torrent of bad news for Drumpf and his partners in crime. As all the birds starting singing to the January 6th committee and news came out about secret meetings in the Oval Office, a planned and coordinated fake electors plot (with a project plan, deliverables and milestones!) and the scheme to seize voting machines in 2020, the RNC doubled down on its gaslighting by censuring the only Republicans on the January 6th Committee, Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger, and officially denoting those who participated in the attempted coup against our government as engaging in “legitimate political discourse.” Also, War is Peace, right Ronna?

RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel said Friday’s resolution targeted the Jan. 6 committee probe, which has subpoenaed a range of politicians and Trump White House aides as it tries to piece together their role in events leading to the assault.

“Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger crossed a line. They chose to join Nancy Pelosi in a Democrat-led persecution of ordinary citizens who engaged in legitimate political discourse that had nothing to do with violence at the Capitol,” she said. She said she “condemned violence on both sides of the aisle.”

The censure was overwhelmingly passed.

Let’s take a look at what she’s saying here. Her argument is that everyone who didn’t go to the Capitol and riot was just expressing an opinion. So everyone trying to overturn our government through non-violent means should be ignored and allowed to continue, according to her. This would include Mike Pence’s and Drumpf’s staff, Rudy Giuliani, Mark Meadows, Mike Flynn and his brother, Steve Bannon, Sidney Powell…the list goes on and on.

That is a horrifying statement, but if you think about it, why wouldn’t she make it? The Republicans know they are no longer a political Party that can win elections legitimately. They haven’t won the Presidency legitimately since George Bush I, and they’ve used voter suppression tactics, election fraud, gerrymandering, conspiring with foreign enemies, and the Electoral College to gain control of state legislatures and steal the Presidency.

They have been like this since 1994, and every single elected Republican knows it.

Newt Gingrich Republicanism was bad enough, but what Newt and it has evolved into since 2015 is even worse: a Party promoting white supremacy, and promising violence and prison to everyone who opposes them. They are Nazis: actively for fascism and against democracy.

There is nothing “legitimate” about that.

So when I see people like Mike Pence coming out and saying that the Mango Moron is wrong and Pence couldn’t have overturned the election; Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger sitting on the January 6th Committee; and Mitt Romney (whose niece is Ronna McDaniel) saying the RNC was wrong to censure Cheney and Kinzinger, I don’t applaud or give them any credit. Cheney and Kinzinger are doing the bare minimum their oaths to the Constitution require. Mike Pence stood by Drumpf for 4 years as he rampaged through the federal government, destroying everything he touched. Mitt Romney voted with Drumpf while he was President, and in the age of Biden, he has voted against voting rights legislation repeatedly.

They still call themselves Republicans. They know they are part of a Nazi Party. They are scum. And I won’t be tricked into congratulating them or thinking there’s some redeemable part of the Party, just because I deeply wish there were two (or more!) legitimate choices to vote for in this country. There aren’t. There are Nazis, and then there are Democrats. That’s the choice.

There are no good Nazis, and there are no good Republicans.

Open thread as always…

Not that it ever is, but thanks to the events of this week, Der Drumpfenfuhrer and his hellspawn are in bigger legal trouble than they’ve ever been. The January 6th Committee now has all the documents Drumpf wanted to hide, and just from what we’ve seen so far, there are enough smoking guns to spark a four-alarm fire.

Just one of the more terrifying revelations was that Drumpf (likely with the assistance of Sidney Powell) drafted an Executive Order to seize voting machines to have the DNI “assess” them for 60 days, using his Big Lie as an excuse. The media is quick to state that the Order was never signed, although that doesn’t make me feel any better. Clearly the coup was firing on all cylinders and from every direction – the Executive Branch, Congress, the DOJ, the Supreme Court (Ginni Thomas), the DNI, state legislatures, and of course the violent insurrection on January 6th.

I’m sure we’ll find out a lot more about the protofascist, comprehensive attempts to install Drumpf and Rethugs in power forever as the public hearings come up. Co-Chairs Benny Thompson and Liz Cheney are considering holding them in prime time for maximum impact; they’re scheduled to start in March or April, and possibly to go throughout the summer. Sounds good to me.

But this is only the tip of this week’s iceberg. When you’re a crime lord presiding over a crime family that’s incredibly stupid and obvious about their criming, danger can come from anywhere. On Thursday, New York State Attorney General Tish James took legal action to subpoena testimony from the Mango Moron, whispering sex doll Ivanka and dumber-than-dirt Don Jr. (Eric already gave an interview in which he notoriously took the Fifth Amendment 500 times) about the Trump Org and its penchant for just a wee bit of bank, tax and insurance fraud.

“Donald Trump, Donald Trump, Jr., and Ivanka Trump have all been closely involved in the transactions in question, so we won’t tolerate their attempts to evade testifying in this investigation,” James wrote. “We will not be deterred in our efforts to continue this investigation, uncover the facts, and pursue justice, no matter how many roadblocks Mr. Trump and his family throw in our way. No one is above the law.”

Meanwhile, in Fulton County, Georgia, District Attorney Fani Willis requested a special grand jury to advance her investigation of IQ45’s election obstruction in that state. Lest we forget, this investigation would also pull in bootlicking blackmail victim Lindsey Graham.

Willis is also scrutinizing is a Nov. 2020 phone call between Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and the secretary of State, in which Graham asked him if he could toss out mail-in ballots in certain counties, according to Raffensberger. She’s also examining the sudden resignation of U.S. Attorney Byung Pak a day after an audio recording in which Trump called him a “never-Trumper” was made public.

Yes, that also happened this week.

Good Gawd, between all of that and Minema’s antics tanking Biden’s agenda, I am exhausted! Speaking of those two, here’s an interesting article I found making some suggestions about how Biden should hold them accountable for tanking filibuster reform and thus, the voting rights bills. What do you think – should he do it?

Open thread as always!

An empty-headed, cultist mess

…”in a single term, the Supreme Court could demolish pillars of the progressive movement. And as someone who has worked on every single one of these issues for decades, I see this as a make-or-break moment. If you care about the fairness of elections, the future of unions, racial disparities in universities, the rights of women, or the future of our planet, you should care about who wins the presidency and appoints the next Supreme Court justices.”

Hillary Clinton, March 28, 2016, Madison, Wisconsin

In a speech that was largely ignored, in a state where Hillary was said to not have campaigned, Our Girl laid out the consequences of a Drumpf victory to life in America. She did this repeatedly throughout her campaign, and when she was not ignored, was viciously attacked by BernieBots for it. They said she was trying to scare them into voting for her.

Well, here we are. But to be fair, the Court has been declining since the Obama years, when it gutted the Voting Rights Act in 2013, and in 2010, ruled that corporations were indeed people in Citizens United (a case against Hillary Clinton, which people often forget). There’s a question as to whether Hillary, had she won in the Electoral College, would have been able to nominate any Supreme Court Justices at all. After all, the Republicans had the Senate until 2020 – and McTurtle and other Senators stated that they would be happy to keep the Court at 4-4 till they got a Republican President to nominate justices that were more to their liking.

So the question is, with the Court now dominated by right-wing extremists willing to overturn settled law in the country to impose a theocratic nightmare on its citizens, how much power should we give this retrograde, anti-democratic institution?

As a country, we have been noticing how partisan and unreliable the Court has become. In October, the Court’s approval rating plummeted to 40%; and in another poll, around 35% of Americans (across the political spectrum) agreed with statements about either abolishing it altogether, or restricting it from ruling on certain issues.

I am not in favor of abolishing it or restricting it, as overall, we need that branch of the Federal Government to provide balance; but I do feel we should limit its malign influence on our daily lives by shoring up the rights of Americans in Congress. Democrats are working on this right now. Legislation to protect voting rights, end partisan gerrymandering and block elections from being overturned by state legislators has passed the House and is being worked on in the Senate. And, there is legislation in the House and Senate to protect women’s right to control their own reproductive destiny, removing Hyde from the federal budget to allow the federal government to subsidize women’s health for the first time since the 1970s.

For now, activism to get the Democrats in the Senate to move forward on both of these core issues seems to be the way to go. Until we figure out how to balance out the Court again, either expanding it or impeaching justices like Thomas (who supported the 1/6 insurrection) and Kavanaugh (who has more skeletons in his closet than a freshman anatomy class) and replacing them with real Supremes, we need to make sure they can’t re-shape this country into a dystopian nightmare.

Open thread, as always.

I can hardly believe it, but it’s Thanksgiving next week, Widdershins! I hope you’re all going to take some time to relax. Two viruses – the pandemic and the Republican virus of vaccine and mask resistance – have cast a pall over holiday gatherings this year. The pandemic is the one affecting Thanksgiving for me. I am thankful that my family is all vaxxed, AND, that I am seeing my aunt and uncle from Baltimore for the first time since the Rona reared its ugly head. We’ll still need to get negative PCR tests before we can go inside my brother’s house for Turkey and Tofurkey Day (my sister-in-law is vegetarian), but it’s worth it to keep everyone safe and healthy.

Despite the wretched Rittenhouse verdict, we had a lot to be thankful for this week. President Biden signed the BIF and Speaker Pelosi got the Build Back Better bill signed in the House. Now, the bill goes to the Senate, but thanks to the reconciliation process, only Democrats need to vote for it. Despite Manchinema saying they’ll wait for the CBO report to say how they vote, the report is coming soon, and I don’t think they’ll make a lot of trouble after what happened in New Jersey and Virginia. Oh, and remember how McConnell insisted a couple of months ago that he would absolutely, totally, NOT vote yes on raising the debt ceiling on December 15? Looks like he and Chuck are talking about it now. Something tells me Chuck will get what he wants.

I hope you all will indulge me as I take a minute to marvel at what the Democrats have accomplished so far. The Party has had full control of the federal government only since February 3, 2021, when Schumer and McConnell agreed on power-sharing in the Senate. Given that metric, it’s been nine and a half months.

We have been so traumatized and terrified by the hostile maladministration of Rethugs that we are not used to any good news coming from government sources. I believe this trauma, in combination with our blatantly fascist media, are what’s preventing us from appreciating the revolutionary nature of this time in our political history. There has not been a truly significant investment in the 99% since the Affordable Care Act – and even that was weak sauce compared to what’s being passed now. I can only compare the current furious activity to the New Deal, without the racism of that legislation. And Democrats are doing it all with a majority of 1 vote – the revolutionary, first Black and Asian woman Vice President Kamala Harris. (PRESIDENT Kamala Harris for a few hours this week! Incredible!)

I have often said that the job of President of the United States is the hardest job in the world. 350 million souls, so many of them suffering due to social and economic inequality; and the rest of the world, looking to Biden for leadership, aid and partnership – with a few countries trying to destroy him and America from the inside. Imagine coming into that job after almost 27 years of Rethug destruction, plus a global pandemic that has been botched almost beyond repair, with a forever war to end in Afghanistan and an ongoing attempted coup added in for good measure!

Leaders talented enough to take on this job successfully need two traits in combination. One is, the ability to communicate a shared purpose that people can believe in; and the other is the ability to build the right team to drive it forward.

I think Pelosi and Schumer have been able to wrangle the Democrats into passing these historic bills not just because they too are very talented leaders (they certainly are!), but also because Biden has convinced Congressional Dems that his purpose is the right one. (This doesn’t count the Squad, of course, but they’re DINOs.) His purpose to me is quite simple: let’s join the 21st century so China and Russia don’t destroy us. He’s looking ahead strategically and seeing how many of our people are mired in poverty, illness and incarceration without access to the Internet, child care, education and healthcare. This state of the Union makes us less competitive on the world stage, holding us back from making progress on difficult problems like climate change and clean energy. Every initiative Biden has put forward has been consistent with this purpose; whether it’s the American Rescue Plan, which included an increased Child Tax Credit that has already cut child poverty by 50%; or the BIF, which includes billions for clean water and renewable energy; or the Build Back Better Act, which in its current form regulates the cost of child care, provides four weeks of paid parental and sick leave for all American workers, provides free universal pre-K for all 3 and 4-year-olds, and boosts Medicare and the Affordable Care Act, as well as containing $500 billion to address climate change. Women’s rights are far from forgotten – the latest annual budget proposal drops the Hyde Amendment for the first time since 1976, as well as the less-known Weldon Amendment that works in tandem with it, and includes historic amounts of funding for Title X and access to abortion. And let’s not forget the executive orders he’s signed to mandate vaccines in workplaces through OSHA, and block the Keystone XL pipeline and drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. For more details, this poster on Twitter always has receipts.

Biden’s ability to build a stellar team is on display all day, every day. From our marvelous VP Kamala Harris, who (despite getting the Hillary treatment from the media) is succeeding on multiple fronts, to his diverse and talented Cabinet, Chief of Staff and Press Secretary, all of his team are on point, on message and doing what needs to be done.

There is plenty of bad that’s going on in this world, but today, I’m thankful for what the Democrats have done for the American people. And today and every day, I’m thankful for all of you Widdershins who have kept me going through good times and bad, for lo, these many years.

Happy Thanksgiving all! Open thread as always.


Biden illustration: REBUILD WITH BIDEN

Nice picture of our gal

Madam Vice President

Our President

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