The Widdershins

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…the rapid intensification of a storm caused by a sudden and significant drop in atmospheric pressure the development or intensification of a bomb cyclone

Merriam-Webster

What a week, Widdershins! Here in Northern California, we are expecting a huge rainstorm (aka “atmospheric river”) caused by bombogenesis, starting this evening and going into Sunday. In my area, it is supposed to drop 6.5 inches in that short amount of time, including cyclonic winds up to 70 miles per hour. We have flashlights, a generator and extra food and booze, so fingers and toes crossed we’ll be all right. While severe and potentially causing flash flooding, we are all grateful for this storm, as it is starting to make a dent in the deep and perilous drought we have been experiencing. After this weekend, we’ll still be about 15 inches under the expected rainfall for the season.

I feel like Drumpf and his goons have some bombogenesis coming their way as well. This week, the January 6th Commission found Steve Bannon in criminal contempt and referred his prosecution to the DOJ. This move has scared multiple other insurrection conspirators into cooperating with the Committee, including Jeffery Clark, the goon who was trying to force the DOJ into overturning the election by fiat. We will have to see what the DOJ does next – I am not one of those who thinks Garland should resign after 2.5 seconds in the DOJ, but I do think he should quickly decide to prosecute. This should not be a tough decision – the law is the law.

The House’s vote 229-202 vote Thursday to hold Bannon in contempt for defying its January 6 committees’ subpoenas sets in motion a court process that begins with prosecutors considering legal questions and building a case.

The DC US Attorney’s office received the referral via a courier Thursday night. It could decline to charge Bannon, charge him quickly, or use a grand jury to investigate and indict the longtime adviser to former President Donald Trump.

I’ll be watching both of these approaching storms with great interest. How’s the weather in your area, Shinners?

This is an open thread.

Rose-shaped galaxy (Hubble telescope)

Happy Weekend, Widdershins!

Biden’s economic strategy seems to be a banger. The jobs report says almost a million jobs were added in July. Of course Washington Post had this story as the 9th leading story of the day. Joe Manchin’s boat -where Lindsey Graham got Covid – was a bigger story than the economy adding almost a million jobs in a single month. The media continues to fail us.

Meghan McCain (did you know John McCain was her father????) has finally left The View. Whoopi Goldberg and Joy Behar must be breathing a sigh of relief. Except I can’t even imagine what conservative moron they will choose to replace her. Doesn’t it seem like each conservative co-host has been worse than the one before? I think they’ll pick Kaleyigh McNinny or whatever the hell her name was. One of Trump’s big blond press secretary liars.

And Jeopardy is heading off a cliff. Their lengthy search for a permanent replacement for Alex Trebek is nearing its end and the recently hired Executive Producer is looking to hire himself. Literally, no joke. Mike Richards, the executive in question, is nearing final negotiations to hire himself. He used to be an Executive Producer of The Price is Right and his tenure was rife with lawsuits of sexual harassment and discrimination against the models. So this is going to go splendidly if the network goes through with this disaster. The Jeopardy brand will be permanently damaged.

How was your week?

This is an open thread!

Happy Hump Day Widdershins!

We are approaching middle of March – and it’s hard to believe the insurrection was this year. So were Jewish Space Lasers. It’s remarkable how time can both fly and drag at the same time. Is there a word for that phenomenon?

Meanwhile the biggest story around is Major Biden. The poor rescue German Shepherd was in the news all day Tuesday. It was the lead story everywhere, journalists kept tweeting, several questions were asked of WH Press Secretary Jen Psaki who remarked at one point “Another dog question.” Although to be fair to the White House press corps, they also asked when the Bidens would be getting a cat. That’s hard-hitting journalism, it’s why we should be grateful to have the first amendment! At the end of the day the vicious mauling perpetrated by Major was a nip that did not break skin and the agent involved carried on with their duties without pause. But a Washington Post reporter, Annie Linskey, did ask Jen Psaki if Major would be euthanized. The answer was “Are you insane?” No that’s not what Jen Psaki said, but it’s what I would have said if I was WH Press Secretary.

The press is also really mad that Biden has not yet held a press conference since becoming POTUS. Remember they were obsessed with Hillary not having press conferences either. The fact is that Biden (as did Hillary) speaks to the press all the time and has given multiple sit-down interviews, plus a town hall on CNN. But the press doesn’t think the public asks important questions, like “Will Major be euthanized?” The press has their finger on the pulse of America and America must know about euthanizing Major. Also note that CNN and MSNBC have stopped carrying WH Press Briefings live. (Not enough lying by the Press Secretary, I guess. They carried every He-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named’s WH briefing live.)

Everyone widely agrees that the HBO series “Veep” was a remarkable accurate representation of an administration and DC. And I always remember that one of its least likable and most scummy characters was a reporter.

This is an open thread.

Happy Sunday Widdershins!

Another week down. And STILL MAGAts won’t admit Biden/Harris won the election fairly. This morning Steve Scalise was on ABC and he argued some states didn’t follow their election laws. That’s a lie, of course. But our media will continue to let Republicans spread it. There is also a fundraiser at Trump’s Florida hovel with all the usual Trump sucks-ups: Gaetz, Boebert, Lee. Oh and John Cornyn, Senator of Texas, instead of helping his state was golfing with Trump. Cruz, of course, was in Cancun. These are the Republican values. Oh and people in Texas are getting electricity bills for many thousands of dollars. Madness!

Anywho, I saw someone on Twitter ask an interesting question: what historical figure would have been great on twitter? Pithy and cutting comments tend to be the most popular on that platform. He suggested Dorothy Parker. I suggested Jane Austen and Mark Twain. BTW, Mark Twain hated Jane Austen’s books. He was an idiot.

This is an open thread.

Despite the pants-pooper-in-Chief’s increasingly desperate proclamations of victory and ever-more-ludicrous suits over ballots in non-existent counties in Michigan (really!), it looks like the inevitable is starting to sink in: Good won, evil lost. Even Billy Barr admits it. Soon, very soon, the country will be run by competent, caring, intelligent and experienced leaders who will make it their mission to start setting things right.

A large part of setting things right will, of course, be dealing with the enormous public health disaster Drumpf and his band of grifting monsters have unleashed upon us, as well as the massive toll it has taken on the American people, our incomes, our families, our housing situations and our collective physical and mental health. This Herculean task will certainly occupy much of the Democrats’ time. But I believe they can, as Nancy famously said, walk and chew gum at the same time. It is my fervent hope that there will be time for another task as well: the abnormalization of almost everything that has happened over the last four years.

We have been gaslit into accepting things we never should have had to accept. The media, as we have frequently discussed here at TW, has been complicit in the gaslighting, refusing to call out Drumpf’s lies until Covid-19 broke out. They have never collectively called for his resignation despite his being impeached for obstruction of justice and bribery and breaking every written and unwritten rule about Presidential conduct. By contrast, when Bill Clinton was unjustly impeached over lying about an affair he never should have been asked about, more than 100 newspapers demanded he resign.

The media camouflaged the unacceptable in discussions of process and meaningless horserace outcomes and bothsidesism to the nth degree. They shrugged their shoulders when Drumpf, Ivanka and Jared were all found to be using multiple unsecured communication methods (personal phones, emails and WhatsApp) to conduct White House business, yet #ButHerEmails was the worst national security scandal ever. They ignored the weird orb ceremony in Saudi Arabia and let Jared off the hook despite the obvious connection between his visit to MBS and the assassination of Jamal Khashoggi. They failed as a whole to pursue any of Drumpf’s numerous and obvious crimes before and after the 2016 election, and when a few journalists courageously uncovered one, the mainstream media let it drop with no follow-up and no consequences for him and his cronies. Hell, what happened in plain sight was mindboggling enough. Imagine if Hillary or Biden or Harris had a hair dye emergency on national TeeVee like Rudy and were caught with their hands down their pants in a ludicrous gotcha operation with known prankster Sacha Baron Cohen. Those pictures would be on the front pages of every newspaper in the country 24-7. Rudy got away with it, completely, as do all the Rethugs who have been enabling this proto-fascist regime since Day 1.

What the Biden-Harris Administration has to do is abnormalize the abnormal. Some of this, I believe, should be done with new laws. For example, I (like many I’m sure!) have been wondering how aggressively the Biden Administration will dig into the massive amount of criming that took place during the Mango Moron’s Reign of Error.  You know what Biden said about this?

“I will not do what this president does and use the Justice Department as my vehicle to insist that something happen,” Biden told Holt. “There are a number of investigations that I’ve read about that are at a state level — there’s nothing at all that I can or cannot do about that.”

Well how about that – he’s right! That’s abnormalization.

For decades now, Presidents have rarely spoken to their Attorney Generals because it was recognized that those conversations could be considered a conflict of interest. There was a wall between POTUS and the USAG that needed to stay there. We’ve seen the results when that wall is breached, and heaven forbid we get another Rethug President in four years – that person will feel free to breach it again, with even scarier results.

So abnormalization of the way Drumpf ran the Justice Department as his own private protection racket is one high priority item. While PE Biden is re-establishing the correct norms, I think this particular abnormalization is a good candidate for a new law as well – one establishing the absolute independence of the DOJ and making the political corruption of any of its departments or personnel a felony crime.

There are other abnormalizations that should be made into laws, in my opinion:

  1. Refusing a Congressional subpoena should be a crime punishable by at least a year in jail;
  2. Presidents should be prohibited by law from running a business, or profiting from their office during their terms;
  3. Candidates should be prohibited by law from running for President if they do not release their medical records and tax returns;
  4. Social media and any network using the public airwaves, should be prohibited from sharing false or misleading information, with each instance being heavily fined; and
  5. Speech that incites or promises violence (like the MAGAt death threats and calls for beheading) should be criminalized and punishable with jail time. There have already been attempted pipe bombings, shootings, murders, and a foiled kidnapping plot because of the hate-filled rhetoric embraced and promulgated by the wingnuts in this country.

Well, that’s my first pass at a list of abnormalizations I’d like to see. What about you?

Open thread as always.

 


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