The Widdershins

Archive for the ‘Open Thread’ Category

I don’t know about you, Shinners, but things are starting to feel a bit less scary from the COVID-19 perspective. I’ve started to relax a bit, not wearing my mask outside unless I’m about to go inside (in other words, I bring my mask on walks/hikes but don’t wear it by default). I had three social weekends in a row, where I saw vaccinated friends and family inside, without masks, and last night, I went to a movie! It was the first time since the world, as we knew it, ended in March of 2020.

Going to a movie in this day and age is different. There is hand sanitizer everywhere and social distancing is baked in. Theaters are at 50% capacity, seating is reserved, and there is a requirement for empty seats around each group of ticket holders. We wore masks inside except when we were eating popcorn, and it was a bit eerie and quiet. No one’s phone rang during the movie, and there were no commercials in the preview reel – just “thank you” messages from first the theater chain for coming back, and then from the stars of the movie.

Different.

The movie was “In the Heights,” a musical written by Lin-Manuel Miranda. Hubby and I, having lived in Manhattan for decades prior to moving out West, enjoyed it thoroughly. In fact, I cried during most of it because I was so happy to be there, watching a show! The singing and dancing were outstanding, the storyline was compelling and the music (even the hip-hop/rap bits) was excellent. I particularly enjoyed the group numbers, which were bursting with color and life – just what so many of us have been missing in this awful, lonely time.

If this dreadful year and half has taught me anything, it’s that we never know what’s going to happen, so it’s even more important to treasure the “bit of fun” you can have in this life. What have you been enjoying lately?

Here’s a clip from the film. Open thread, of course.

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!

It’s hard to imagine two attorneys who have been more harmful to the United States of America than Rudy “New York’s Nosferatu” Giuliani and Faux News’ Victoria Toensing. Between the two of them, they have helped Republicans perpetrate numerous and deadly crimes against this country.

Let’s start with Rudy. As we have talked about for years at TW, Rudy was THE CAUSE of the terrible fallout of the attack on the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. Countless first responders died on that day, and became ill and died later, because he moved the city’s Disaster Response Center out of Brooklyn and into the WTC. He, of course, did this because he wanted to be closer to his mistress when he was doing the serious business of Mayorin’. And since then, this goo-oozing sycophant has done nothing but dive head down into the muck of wingnuttery and just keep swimming. He’s been the mover and shaker behind so much evil:

The faux Hunter Biden story (now being used to justify his FBI-raided apartment)

The Big Lie that Drumpf won in 2021

Weird Hillary lies about 9/11

Corrupt Ukraine lobbying

Collusion with Russia in 2019 and 2020

Four Seasons Total Landscaping (okay, that one was just funny)

Yes, Rudy is a well-known and well-recognized goon for the Republican Crime Syndicate. But Victoria Toensing – she’s flown a bit more under the radar. Here are some of her (and her husband’s!) greatest hits. (Wonder what hubby’s up to these days?)

You might not know them well, but without Toensing and diGenova, the most outlandish theories might not have found their way into the ether. Toensing’s client and longtime friend John Solomon is the one who spread the rumor that Marie Yovanovitch, the former US ambassador to Ukraine, hated Trump; so-called “documentary evidence” of Joe Biden firing a Ukrainian prosecutor to protect his son had emerged in a case that both Toensing and diGenova are working on; and the couple have also alluded to the conspiracy theory that it was Ukraine — and not Russia — that meddled in the 2016 election by seeking to help Hillary Clinton. Often lording over the whole spectacle, in their telling, was Soros — the billionaire who has become a bogeyman for the right. (The line that he is seeking to run Ukraine, for one, could have come straight out of the mouth of Vladimir Putin.)

[snip]

Toensing and diGenova fortified their conservative bonafides throughout the Bush and Obama years, with Toensing particularly active. She penned op-eds in favor of the Patriot Act and in defense of the reporter who outed CIA agent Valerie Plame. She lobbied for the MEK, a violent fringe Iranian group, just as Giuliani has, as it sought to get off the US list of terrorist groups. She represented “whistleblowers” in the Benghazi hearings who accused Hillary Clinton, then secretary of state, of refusing to let them testify, as well as an informant who claimed to have information that Clinton had orchestrated the sale of part of Uranium One to a Russian company in exchange for donations to the Clinton Foundation (she didn’t). She picked up Erik Prince as a client and took part in numerous Judicial Watch panels devoted to the subject of Clinton’s missing emails. As the Trump era approached, both Toensing and diGenova found themselves more and more on Fox News, regulars on Sean Hannity (another Toensing and diGenova client) and Lou Dobbs.

I’ll tell you, I am absolutely over the moon that these two traitorous morons are finally getting investigated by the FBI, now overseen at DOJ by the brilliant and most importantly, honest, Merrick Garland. Now all the crimes they were committing in plain sight will be thoroughly investigated.

Let’s have the last Drumpf attorney who was investigated by the FBI, Michael Cohen, give the last word.

Open thread, as always.

Image courtesy of KTSP TV

Widdershins, something truly extraordinary happened yesterday. Derek Chauvin, the psychopathic cop who was caught on video killing a Black man in cold blood, was found guilty of second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. Across the country, but especially in Minneapolis, the celebration and relief were palpable. Even though the officer’s guilt was documented clearly for all the world to see, and was not questionable by any seeing human being, most people were cautious in their hopes for accountability.

After all, murdering police officers are so rarely convicted for their crimes.

Garrett said there are hundreds of instances where police use deadly force each year but despite the fatality, very few of those incidents result in an officer facing criminal charges.

In the aftermath of Chauvin’s guilty verdict, Garrett believes there will continue to be a “rethinking” of how and when officers should be held civilly and criminally liable when they cause a death. The problem is that there is very little data available on deadly force used by police.

In police brutality cases, the question is whether the officer accused of misconduct acted “reasonably” and their behavior was necessary under the circumstances — but how “reasonable” is defined remains largely elusive.

“There are so few cases that tell us what reasonable is, and that’s why a conviction in the Derek Chauvin trial would set a standard for reasonable that we didn’t have before,” said Gloria Browne-Marshall, professor of constitutional law at John Jay College of Criminal Justice and civil rights attorney.

The Chauvin trial is a rare example of “zealous prosecution” in hundreds of years where prosecutors have failed to prosecute White people for crimes against Black people, Browne-Marshall said.

So the Chauvin trial turned out the way it should have, which is a rare victory for the forces of social justice. But not everyone felt that way. Some seemed to feel that Chauvin, as a white man, should have had the right to kill George Floyd however and whenever he wanted to. (No wonder the Republican House voted against Kamala’s anti-lynching law in 2019!) If you look over at Foxnews.com (don’t worry – I did it for you and I need disinfectant), you’ll see some normal-seeming headlines surrounded by batshittery: a straightforward description of the verdict is in the same space as accusations of “mob justice” from Candace Owens and Democratic extremism from some random Black guy in a MAGA hat. (I don’t know who he is, and my life is better for it.)

As so many have said, this is one very tiny step towards a better world, and it wouldn’t have happened if some very brave people didn’t record the murder on their phones. What will happen to the police officers who murdered a 15-year-old girl in Columbus on the same day the verdict was returned (yes this really f*cking happened)? What about Chauvin’s fellow officers who helped him – what will become of them when they are tried in August? Will the Senate be able to pass the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act now? (I predict no, not without reforming the filibuster!)

So many questions about what comes next…at least we’re asking them knowing George Floyd’s killer will be held accountable.

Ze thread, she is ouverte.

Interesting how we haven’t heard much about Governor Andrew Cuomo lately, isn’t it? Let’s check in on that scandal.

‘Strange and inappropriate’: Flood victim says Cuomo came onto her in her home

Sherry Vill said that after she was introduced to the New York governor in her home in 2017, he leaned over and kissed her cheeks in a “highly sexual manner” and told her, “That’s what Italians do.”

Uhhhhh….that IS WHAT ITALIANS DO! And French people, and Spanish people, and sometimes British people as well. There are other episodes of alleged over-enthusiastic kissing that Cuomo has admitted to and apologized for, and one woman says he groped her (although her story changes frequently). Overall it’s “meh” so far.

So that’s the Democratic side.

How are our Republican friends doing? Let’s check in with those paragons of virtue, all het up about how Cuomo needs to resign.

So there’s Matt Gaetz, who recently leaked that he might not run for re-election and was considering a job at Newsmax. This was news for a hot second, until it was revealed that he’s actually defending himself against charges that he’s committed statutory rape. And while being a sexual criminal seems to be one of the qualifications his future employer looks for, it tends to be at least mildly frowned-upon by Congress.

Sounding shaken, Gaetz told Axios that for weeks, he and his father been working with the FBI in the Northern District of Florida on the extortion case. Gaetz said his lawyers were informed by the Justice Department that, “I was not a target but a subject of an investigation regarding sexual conduct with women.” 

Asked what the charges could relate to, Gaetz said: “I have definitely, in my single days, provided for women I’ve dated. You know, I’ve paid for flights, for hotel rooms. I’ve been, you know, generous as a partner. I think someone is trying to make that look criminal when it is not.”

Oh, but it is, Matt. It’s called sex trafficking. And you’re in big trouble, because you’re linked to an even sleazier, more criminal Republican named Joel Greenberg.

The probe of Gaetz reportedly stemmed from the investigation of Greenberg, who faces a slew of charges including sex trafficking of a child. He is currently slated to stand trial in June.

The Times report noted that many details of the Gaetz probe remain unclear, including how the congressman allegedly met the girl. The encounters allegedly occurred about two years ago and the investigation began in the final months of the Trump administration under then-Attorney General William P. Barr, the report said.

What is even more horrifying is that Gaetz, Greenberg and Roger Stone were all photographed kibbitzing together in Florida. The common denominator between all these criminals is – you guessed it – The Former Guy. And The Former Guy was involved with Epstein, who was a known pedophile and sex trafficker.

Do we see a pattern here?

Here is a long list of Republican sexual criminals. The link goes to “Part 16” of 23. Of the 25 repugnant sociopaths listed in Part 16, about 50% were involved in pedophilia and/or sex trafficking. This seems like something someone should cover, don’tcha think? Maybe something someone should trace back to that inexplicable rise of Drumpf through the Republican Party and how people who were so very Never T suddenly became his bestest pals? (cough cough Lindsey Graham cough cough)

But you know, Cuomo kissed someone on the cheek.

Open thread as always.


Biden illustration: REBUILD WITH BIDEN

Nice picture of our gal

Madam Vice President

Our President

It’s here: QUARANTINE BINGO!

Wanna Be A Widdershin?

Send us a sample post at:

widdershinssubmissions at gmail dot com

Our Frontpagers

Blog Archive

August 2021
M T W T F S S
 1
2345678
9101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
3031  

Not done yet with you

Friggin Lizard people

You go gurl! h/t Adam Joseph

“The” Book

Only the *best* politicans bought by the NRA

Marching for their lives

Need Reminders?

IOW Dumb = Happy?

Dems are coming for ya