The Widdershins

Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category

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In light of You-Know-Who’s election to the White House we have witnessed an unprecedented increase in Democrats registering to run for office. This is true particularly of women. Enraged by how Dump and the media treated Hillary Clinton, women are ready to fight back. One of the brightest stars of those already running was Kim Weaver for Iowa 4th Congressional District. That’s the seat currently held by one of the most vile people in America, racist/misogynistic/homophobic scum-pig Steve King. The district covers 39 counties, including Ames, Fort Dodge and Sioux City. Weaver’s campaign was getting a lot of attention on social media. Then suddenly, on June 3rd, Weaver dropped out of the race. This was a surprising development. But Weaver’s announcement was more shocking still.

Over the last several weeks, I have been evaluating personal circumstances along with the political climate regarding this campaign. After much deliberation, I have determined that the best decision for me is to withdraw my candidacy for the U.S. House race in Iowa’s 4th Congressional District.

One consideration has been raised again by recent events at my home. Beginning during my 2016 campaign, I have received very alarming acts of intimidation, including death threats. While some may say enduring threats are just a part of running for office, my personal safety has increasingly become a concern.

But there is actually more to Weaver dropping out of the campaign than death threats. As reported by Shareblue writer Matthew Chapman on Twitter, Weaver also revealed that Republicans conspired to punish her as a civil servant. Weaver works at the Iowa Office of Long-Term Care Ombudsman, an agency that investigates problems in nursing homes. This year the Iowa General Assembly cut funding to this agency. Weaver’s supervisor relayed a message to her from a state legislator that the cuts were intended to punish her for challenging King. This placed the agency and its other employees in danger.

The Republican has become the mob, but without an honor code. They feel untouchable. And let’s face it, they have been. McConnell has bullied Democrats into obedience for 8 years. As we learn more and more about Russian hacking of our elections (the newest documents leaked to The Intercept raise the stakes significantly… I won’t link to The Intercept just like I won’t link to Breitbart), but as we learn more and more about how much Russia did to steal the election for Trump, we must remember that one of the things that stopped Obama from announcing what they already knew in the summer of 2016 was Mitch McConnell telling him to keep his mouth shut. And Obama kept his mouth shut. This is the sort of behavior that inspires Iowa legislature to punish anyone having the gall to run against Steve fucking King. When and how will this stop?

As a side note, after Weaver announced she was leaving the race, she received a phone call from Hillary Clinton. Weaver tweeted: “She was very sweet and wanted me to know she was thinking about me.”

On an unrelated note, Newsweek reports that last year Bernie Sanders made $1,000,000.  We already know he owns 3 homes and Jane Sanders is under FBI investigation for shenanigans at Burlington College. These are the socialists from Vermont who were 2016 election’s original sin. I don’t think any of us have problems with Bernie making money. We just have a problem with Sanders being hypocrite who doesn’t want anyone else to make money.

Do you know who else makes money – as a special speaker? Cornell West. That paragon 1000wof… I don’t even know. What the hell is he a paragon of? He certainly thought Hillary was corrupt for giving speeches and he didn’t want Obama making any money speaking post-White House either. And here’s Dr. West, making money…speaking.  West earned $25,000 to speak at Coastal Carolina University. One might argue that $25,000 pales in comparison to what Clinton and Obama earned. But one would also argue that Dr. West is a far less significant figure than either Clinton or Obama. And the real kicker to West’s speaking fees is…

The records obtained by the newspaper revealed something about CCU’s priciest orator: West did not want the public to know how much he was paid for his Sept. 16 keynote address.

[…]

The speaking contract included a confidentiality clause.

And there you have it folks. The honorable Bernie Sanders and Dr. Cornell West, mere mortals who like new things; just like everyone else after all.

After the May 22nd attack on young women leaving Ariana Grande’s concert in Manchester, Grande vowed to hold a benefit concert for the families impacted by the attack. On June 4th she did (before the concert she visited survivors of the blast in hospitals.) She managed to convince several of her friends who were available to sing with her. Katy Perry, Justin Bieber, Coldplay, Black Eyed Peas, Pharrell Williams, and others. There was a roughness to the concert, obviously not a lot of rehearsal took place. But that made it all the more real. Here Grande sings with Miley Cyrus a cover of Crowded House’s “Don’t Dream It’s Over.”

Happy Hump Day Widdershins!

I believe we at TW are in a state of flux or something like that.  Is it due to something astrological?  Perhaps.  Maybe something to do with Mercury retrograde or perhaps Pluto doing the same.  Honestly, I have no idea.  I do good to check my horoscope on a daily basis.  But what I do have are some articles and pieces that I came across on the internet that I’ll share with you.

We tend not to do current events type posts here at TW but these are some items that have been in the news lately and so I’ll pass them along with a few thoughts of mine to go with them.

The Golden Boy of New York Real Estate is in for a rude awakening

We’re going to see soon how much that Harvard education (courtesy of dad’s $2.5 million donation to Harvard?) will help him now that he’s going to be under the microscope with the F.B.I.

Perhaps Jared Kushner really believed that his New York real estate skills set him up to bring peace to the Middle East, solve the opioid crisis, run a government Swat team of business experts and protect his father-in-law from disloyal White House advisers. And that he could do it all while observing the Sabbath and reserving enough time for family ski vacations with Ivanka and their three children.

We know these folks had no idea of what they were walking in to when they started getting appointed to areas of government where they had no previous knowledge or experience.  And the idea that they were clueless was evident when Jared’s sister went to China to hawk investor visas to buy into a Kushner real estate development and thought nothing of mentioning her brother’s association with Trump.

Let’s put the most charitable interpretation possible on the facts that have emerged about Kushner.

The bizarre suggestion to use the Russian communications system to secretly link the Trump transition team and the Kremlin could have come from Michael Flynn, the star-crossed former national security adviser who was also at the meeting.

Kushner, in his naivete about government, may also not have remembered that Barack Obama was still president and in charge of all negotiations with Russia. And it was an innocent oversight that Kushner failed to mention his talk with Kislyak on his government security clearance form.

Once again Flynn rears his ugly head with something involving the Russians.

Again from The Guardian:

Whether it is an appearance under oath on Capitol Hill or the inevitable FBI interview, every sentence Kushner utters will bring with it possible legal jeopardy.

[snip]

Kushner may have once thought that he established his tough-guy credentials when he stared down angry creditors and impatient bankers over his ill-timed 2007 purchase of a $1.8bn Fifth Avenue office building. But the worst thing that can happen to an over-leveraged real estate investor (as Trump himself knows well) is bankruptcy. When the FBI and special prosecutor Robert Mueller get involved, the penalties can theoretically involve steel bars locking behind you.

Yep, Jared is about to find out what it really means to play with the big boys.  And he really, really should be familiar with the consequences after what happened with his father .

Can they (the Trump clan) really be that clueless?

Yes, it appears they can be.  Memorial Day is a day to honor those members of the military who died for our country.  For Ivanka it’s an excuse to make champagne popsicles.

I’ve had enough of them already.

With six you get eggroll arrested

Now this…this really takes some nerve (I wanted to use another word).

So you are going to Sava’s, a restaurant in Ann Arbor Michigan.  The food there must be really, really good because a cadre of ICE agents went there, had breakfast, and then arrested three of the workers employed there!  As they say, I shit you not.

In the first 100 days of the Trump administration, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement office arrested more than 40,000 people suspected of being in the country illegally, nearly a 40% increase from the same period of time last year. They are acting on President Trump’s Executive Orders to crack down on illegal immigration — but some critics believe their methods occasionally go too far.

This week, ICE arrested three employees at Sava’s, a restaurant in Ann Arbor, MI, after learning of their immigration status. Restaurant owner Sava Lelcaj says the officers ate breakfast at the restaurant before they stopped, questioned, and eventually charged the staffers.
Since they were working, I wonder if the ICE agents charged their meals on a government credit card?  Also, I wonder if they tipped?
Said an ICE spokesman when asked about the arrests:
When asked directly about whether or not the ICE officers ate food served by the illegal immigrants before arresting them, spokesperson Lou Martinez would not comment. Instead, he sent a statement to Delish: “Aliens who illegally enter the United States and those who overstay or otherwise violate the terms of their visas have violated our nation’s laws and can pose a threat to national security and public safety. Aliens in violation of the immigration laws are subject to immigration arrest, detention, and placement in removal proceedings.” (bolding/italics mine)
I simply cannot believe that three restaurant workers are a threat to national security.  Public safety?  Well just check the damned health dept. inspections to see if the place passed or had any deficiencies.

Finally I’ll leave you with Randy Rainbow’s latest:

Okay that’s all I have.  What’s on your minds today Widdershins?

 

 

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As I have written many times, often writing posts in the Trump-age feels like an exercise in futility because by the time they are posted they are already out of date. I fear this post will be the same… so we must stay on top of latest news via the comments!

What we know: FBI Director James Comey has been fired by Donald Trump, his Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, with Rosenstein writing the explanation. (Rosenstein had previously been viewed as an honest man. He was confirmed just a few weeks ago to the Justice Deparment with a 94-6 vote in the Senate. But as Philippe Reines pointed out, if Rosenstein was an honest man he would have answered Trump and Sessions’ demand that Comey be fired with: “No, I refuse.” Instead, he wrote his own epitaph as a coward.) The administrations explanation for firing Comey is: it’s Hillary’s fault. Also, her e-mails.

I cannot defend the Director’s handling of the conclusion of the investigation of Secretary Clinton’s emails, and I do not understand his refusal to accept the nearly universal judgment that he was mistaken. Almost everyone agrees that the Director made serious mistakes; it is one of the few issues that unites people of diverse perspectives.

It is not the function of the director to make such an announcement. At most, the director should have said the FBI had completed its investigation and presented its findings to federal prosecutors. The director now defends his decision by asserting that he believed Attorney General Loretta Lynch had a conflict. But the FBI director is never empowered to supplant federal prosecutors and assume command of the Justice Department.

This is, of course, laughable on its face and no one can take this explanation seriously except maybe Fox News, which suddenly shows great concern for how Comey treated poor Hillary Clinton. Even Roger Stone (!) expressed regret: “What Comey did to Hillary was disgraceful. I’m glad Trump fired him over it,” he said to Alex Pfeiffer. We know, of course, the firing had nothing to do with Clinton. It is about the FBI’s investigation of Trump campaign’s collusion with Russia to steal the 2016 Presidential election.

Comey

James Comey has been an enigma for a long time. His press conference announcing that his agency would not recommend charges against Clinton over use of a private e-mail server, while blasting her in such a public manner, seemed inexplicable. Some stories later suggested Comey wanted to reveal information about Russian interference in our election in the summer of 2016, but was stopped by Obama. Then Comey refused to sign on to other agencies’ announcement of this info in the Fall of 2016 because it was too close to the election and he didn’t wish to interfere. But his Letter just days before the election, announcing discovery of new e-mails on the computer of Clinton’s aide Huma Abedin’s husband, did precisely what he claimed earlier he didn’t wish to do: he changed the outcome of an election. What a bizarre story arc for a man who once rushed to the hospital bed of Attorney General John Ashcroft to stop the Bush/Cheney administration from spying on Americans. None of it made sense. Until last week when Comey testified before the Senate. Finally the fog lifted.

I could see two doors and they were both actions. One was labeled speak, the other was labeled conceal. Because here’s how I thought about it, I’m not trying to talk you into this, but I want you to know my thinking. Having repeatedly told this Congress, we are done and there’s nothing there, there’s no case there, there’s no case there, to restart in a hugely significant way, potentially finding the emails that would reflect on her intent from the beginning and not speak about it would require an active concealment, in my view.

And so I stared at speak and conceal. Speak would be really bad. There’s an election in 11 days, Lordy, that would be really bad. Concealing in my view would be catastrophic, not just to the FBI, but well beyond. And honestly, as between really bad and catastrophic, I said to my team we got to walk into the world of really bad.

In the end, this long term public servant fell for the oldest tragic flaw, the one Greeks wrote plays about: Hubris. Comey just thinks of himself as the last honest man in America. Our own Prolix has written a few times that Comey isn’t corrupt, he is Righteous and his own belief in his Righteousness is where things can get murky. It’s true that his Righteousness is why I think ultimately he could have been trusted with the FBI investigation into Trump/Russia. But his zealotry came with unintended – even by him – consequences: the election of Donald Trump as President. In an honest desire to be seen as non-partisan Comey managed to ruin the reputation of his favorite agency. With his fear of being taken to task by Republicans, who would smear him and the FBI if he did not tell them about the Abedin e-mails, Comey compromised himself as an honest broker of truth. He misassigned the concepts of “bad” and “catastrophic.” He thought not telling Congress about the e-mails would be catastrophic. In fact, not telling Republicans and becoming the target of their wrath would have been bad. Affecting the outcome of a Presidential election was catastrophic.

-Joy Reid Sally Yates comment

(There were also the grave issues that in his testimony to the Senate Comey gave inaccurate information about Abedin’s e-mails, falsely claiming “tens and thousands” of messages had been sent by her to her husband’s computer. It took 6 days, and prodding from ProPublica and Washington Post, for the FBI to issue a correction. The same day Comey was fired. Trump had his bodyguard Keith Schiller deliver the firing letter to the FBI headquarters, but they didn’t realize Comey was not in the office. Comey was delivering a speech and learned he was fired when the news popped up on the screen behind him.)

-COmey fired Petri

This brings us to the present. What does Comey’s firing mean in the larger scheme of things? Many Clinton aides have expressed concern, not joy, at the developments. That Clinton aides, who dislike Comey as much as anyone, are concerned about the firing speaks volumes about the Clinton candidacy and the people who supported her. We are more concerned about the Republic than petty revenge. Because what does Comey’s firing mean for the Russia/Trump investigation and the future of the Republic? It is impossible to know just yet. Some high profile Republicans, like Lindsey Graham and Susan Collins, have lined up behind Trump. Collins told Judy Woodruff: “Well, the president didn’t fire the entire FBI.” Graham said: “I believe a fresh start will serve the FBI and the nation well.” This is worrisome because it shows a continued support for the insupportable Trump, his administration and his policies. The good news is that some others Republicans have expressed concerns. (And not just the Nixon Library tweeting an objection to people calling Trump’s behavior “Nixonian.”)

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John McCain tweeted that “Removal of Director Comey only confirms need for select cmte to investigate #Russia’s interference in 2016 election.” Tea Partier Justin Amash tweeted: “My staff and I are reviewing legislation to establish an independent commission on Russia. The second paragraph of this letter is bizarre.” Republican Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr, who heads the Senate investigation into Trump/Russia, wrote:

I am troubled by the timing and reasoning of Director Comey’s termination. I have found Director Comey to be a public servant of the highest order, and his dismissal further confuses an already difficult investigation by the Committee. In my interactions with the Director and with the Bureau under his leadership, he and the FBI have always been straightforward with our Committee.  Director Comey has been more forthcoming with information than any FBI Director I can recall in my tenure on the congressional intelligence committees. His dismissal, I believe, is a loss for the Bureau and the nation.

Other notable Republicans who have expressed concern about Comey’s firing are James Lankford of Oklahoma, Bob Corker of Tennessee, Mark Sanford of South Carolina, and Senate Judiciary Committee member Ben Sasse of Nebraska.

I think we are at a cross-roads. What happens next is what history books will say about all of us. Will the firing of Comey bring about Trump’s downfall? Or will Republicans close ranks and save him, kill the investigation… and damn us all to a banana republic?

-History joke

The caption reads: History Repeats Itself – The Robber Barons Of the Middle Ages And The Robber Barons of Today

And there is a bigger copy of the image here

** so said Gordon Gekko in Wall Street

 

Good Tuesday Widdershins!

So have you ever heard that phrase or one similar that goes something like “I know a friend of a friend of…the police chief, the Mayor…” or someone else that implies the person knows the high muckety-mucks and that relationship can help…you.  That’s a pretty good description of an event that was held at the Ritz Carlton in Beijing this past weekend. The event was sponsored by the Kushner crime uh family.

The shindig was an “investment opportunity” for wealthy Chinese citizens to plunk a cool half million dollars into a Kushner luxury apartment complex in Jersey.  And it has the additional sweetener that by plunking down said $500k you can also apply for what’s known as an investor visa.   That program is called the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Process.  I might refer to it as “grease the skids on getting entrance to the U.S.”.

And of course it was all on the up and up.  Of course.  And we know it was on the up and up because it included Nicole Kushner Meyer, Jared’s sister.  And of course she was introduced just that way, as Jared’s sister.  And these people knew exactly who Jared Kushner is; the son-in-law of the President of the United States.

The tagline on a brochure for the event: “Invest $500,000 and immigrate to the United States.”

Over several hours of slide shows and presentations, representatives from the Kushner family business urged Chinese citizens gathered at a Ritz-Carlton hotel to consider investing hundreds of thousands of dollars in a New Jersey luxury apartment complex that would help them secure what’s known as an investor visa.

The potential investors were advised to invest sooner rather than later in case visa rules change under the Trump administration. “Invest early, and you will invest under the old rules,” one speaker said.  [me – I wonder if they ran that line past Col. Cornpone and Steve Bannon?  Those two might now want any of these yellow people getting into ‘Merica.]

Gawd, do these people, any of them, have any shame or is it all about the almighty dollar, regardless of what it looks like.

The event underscores the extent to which Kushner’s private business interests have the potential to collide with his powerful role as a top official in his father-in-law’s White House, particularly when it comes to China, where Kushner has become a crucial diplomatic channel between Beijing and the new administration.

While Kushner has reported divesting from elements of the family business, including the specific project that his sister pitched in Beijing, the session Saturday demonstrated that the company is perceived as enjoying close ties to the Trump administration. Ethics laws prohibit government officials from profiting personally from their public-sector work.

Divest, my backside.  The family will be holding Jared’s share for after he leaves government, ya know…after the impeachment.

Still, it’s the image of what this implies.

Watchdogs and ethics experts on Saturday criticized the Beijing event as an attempt to cash in on Kushner’s newfound proximity to power.

“It’s incredibly stupid and highly inappropriate,” said Richard Painter, the former chief White House ethics lawyer in President George W. Bush’s administration, who has become a vocal critic of the Trump administration. “They clearly imply that the Kushners are going to make sure you get your visa. . . . They’re [Chinese applicants] not going to take a chance. Of course they’re going to want to invest.”

And this particular type of visa has become very popular with the Chinese, especially as a way to get their money out of China.

Also, it has become a source of getting dubious investment dollars without really following through on what it was designed for.

The program was launched with the goal of securing investment and creating jobs. But instead, in recent years, many real estate developers have used the program as a source of cheap financing by using foreign investors, especially from China, for flashy projects in Manhattan and other city centers.

A Government Accountability Office report in 2015 found the EB-5 program carried a high risk of fraud, was rife with counterfeit documentation and had “no reliable method to verify the source of the funds of petitioners.”

In other words, a way to finance Trump and Kushner investments and real estate.

 

There’s much more at the link, so check it out when you can.

Lastly, real life issues came up with Prolix so I took today’s post.  I apologize for such an un-Prolix type of post.  It will make us appreciate all the more, the real deal when he has time to post again.  Of course this is an open thread.

 

 

82_Damage_Control

Many people in the media continue to scream that the Democratic Party establishment needs to be purged. I think the media needs to be purged. Get the old, tainted blood out, replace with something new. The media’s behavior during the 2016 election was a catastrophe. The e-mails, the server, the speeches. Trump as an unhinged, uninformed, potentially treasonous idiot? They ain’t got time for that.

The recent release of that book, “Fucked” by Fucktard and Fuckface (again, I may have misspelled their names), was supposed to humiliate the Clinton campaign by publishing unsubstantiated gossip about infighting and incompetence. The pundits took the book one step further: they loudly declared it wasn’t so much the campaign, but Hillary Clinton herself who is solely responsible for everything. The blowback to these claims on the cyber has been pretty severe. The likes of Glenn Thrush, Maggie Haberman, Chris Cillizza, etc. etc., received enormous pushback from social media posters, getting Haberman down into the dirt with repeated defensive responses. If you feel compelled to respond that many times to strangers on the internet, something ain’t right.

Many of the “facts” presented in the book have also been also been challenged by members of the Clinton campaign. Things as obvious as the book’s claim that the Clinton campaign did no polling in the final two weeks of the election. Several former HFA staffers said that was patently false. If the writers couldn’t check something so simple, what else didn’t they bother checking? The book has mostly vanished from view within just a few days; the writers have been forced to hawk it to willing listeners on Fox. SAD.

In another example of insanity, Glenn Thrush, in response to news that Breitbart wants White House press credentials, declared on Twitter the following:

-Thrus on Breitbart

Yes, you read that right. Thrush just declared Breitbart a “legit news outlet.” I wonder which of the following Breitbart headlines Thrush thinks are “legit news.”

Breitbart Headlines

And then there were the Twitter events of Monday, April 24. It started with a Tweet from Matty Yglesias of Vox, a Bernie Bros with Clinton Derangement Syndrome. Yglesias has attacked Chelsea Clinton many times previously (on March 18 he tweeted: “Stop trying to make Chelsea happen”), so this random comment wasn’t in and of itself unusual.

Yglesias original

Chelsea Clinton responded to Yglesias that, in fact, she was not running for any office. If you thought that would be the end of that, you are woefully mistaken. What followed was an hours long orgy of several mainstream media (male) pundits and journalists attacking Chelsea Clinton. Chris Cillizza of CNN and Aaron Blake of WaPo jumped in. Josh Barro accused ex-Clinton staffers who came to Chelsea’s defense of working for her. Nick Merrill, who was Hillary’s press secretary, responded: “1) Because we know Chelsea, and find that your rants bear no resemblance to reality. 2) Because you’re really annoying and it grates on us.” Ben Jacobs of The Guardian got into an argument with Neera Tanden, who told him to knock it off. “You’re better than this,” Tanden wrote. “Nope, I’m not” Jacobs responded. Chelsea again reiterated she wasn’t running for any office, which – she noted – apparently had to be stated twice in one day. The pundits continued their assault. Byron Tau of Wall Street Journal led the attacks with comments like: “Chelsea Clinton, a scion of a wealthy and powerful political family, is cooperating on friendly profiles and launching a book tour.” (Someone pointed out that Tau’s Wall Street Journal is owned by Rupert Murdoch and his scions (male) and they try and do influence politics across the globe.) Tau then exchanged cutesy messages with Politico’s Marc Caputo about how funny accusations of misogyny were. Chelsea responded again:

“Goodness gracious! I’ve no plans. How much clearer can I be (since you ask for clarity)*

*Apparently twice a day reminder was optimistic.”

Late in the evening I collected screen captures of the various messages directed at Clinton and, tagging all the reporters, tweeted: “Tonight @AaronBlake @ByronTau @CillizzaCNN @jbarro @mattyglesias @Bencjacobs @MarcACaputo engaged in rape fantasy orgy after a woman said NO.” This prompted Caputo to add me to his “Assholes” list. I must say, that and Glenn Greenwald blocking me have so far been my two greatest twitter accomplishments.

About 12 hours after the Great Chelsea Clinton War of April 2017, Ivanka Trump went to Germany as a Trump representative at a women’s conference. There she shared a stage with, among others, Angela Merkel. When Trump said that her father was a great champion of women’s rights, the women in the audience hissed and booed. Chris Cillizza wrote a lengthy article decrying such attacks on Ivanka.

You can hate Donald Trump’s views on and treatment of women – and lots of people do! But, to expect Ivanka Trump to publicly condemn her father or his record on women’s issues is a bridge too far. It’s impossible for us to know what Ivanka Trump does (or doesn’t do) to influence her father’s views behind the scenes. And, because of that – and the fact that she is his daughter! – booing her for defending her dad is poor form.

Sarah Lerner, a feminist writer, noted: “Ivanka reinforces white male dominance & Chelsea challenges it. That’s why these dudes go after the latter.” She also wrote a brilliant summary of how the media treats Chelsea vs. Ivanka. A Tale of Two First Daughters.

In our current political climate, where there is a distinct possibility that our president may be beholden to a foreign power, it is almost unfathomable that Chelsea Clinton would appear more threatening than Ivanka Trump, a corrupt accomplice to her father’s fascist, grifting regime. But when one (former) president’s daughter actively challenges white male dominance while the other upholds it, the result is altogether unsurprising: Tear down the former at all costs, let the latter pass go and collect $200.

-Ivanka boss

Cunning Con

Posted on: March 15, 2017

Conway caricature

There was an article this week that talked about how you can surveil someone through their phones, through their—certainly through their television sets, any number of different ways. And microwaves that turn into cameras, et cetera. So we know that that is just a fact of modern life.

It’s not. But so said Kellyanne Conway, Donald Trump’s senior advisor with an office on the 2nd floor of the White House (because he doesn’t like stairs), and the first woman to run a winning Presidential campaign. She is also the person who invented the phrase “alternative facts” and the Bowling Green Massacre. (Also fun fact: Conway’s husband, George T. Conway III, is a litigation partner at law firm Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz, whose previous notable alumni include Glenn Greenwald.)

Conway’s rise to power and fame has been long and steady. She first gained prominence as a right-wing blond pundit in the 1990s, along with Laura Ingraham and Barbara Olson. Over the years she has worked for Newt Gingrich and Todd “Legitimate Rape” Aikin. In 2016 she endorsed Ted Cruz for President and campaigned for him and against Donald Trump. Her numerous media appearances blasting Trump blasted her into election year stratosphere, so much so that when Cruz folded his wings, Conway was brought to the Trump campaign by the very scary Mercer family. (Mercers are just like the Kochs, but 100% more evil. They own Breitbart, among many other notable acts of devilry.) Once at the helm of Trump’s campaign, Conway really began to shine. Her dizzying feats of triangulation, circular talk and topic avoidance, became an Olympic sport. And it’s really not too crazy to say that she is a yuge reason Trump managed to “win.” She helped humanize him. Somehow, for a very long time, people managed to see Conway as a human herself, even SNL (where she is played by Kate McKinnon) always portrayed her as a good person stuck in an impossible situation working for an awful man, but not knowing how to stop him. (Same fantasies still exist about Ivanka Trump and Melania, contrary to all existing evidence.) That is patent nonsense, of course. Conway knew exactly what she was doing and helped give the world Trump. She is not a victim.

giphy

But everything that goes up must come down. And Conway is on her way down. Her TV appearances have dwindled because nobody wants to book her. She was temporary banned from CNN. She has been permanently (?) banned from Morning Schmoe. Shep Smith on Fox openly mocks her. (“…senior adviser Kellyanne Conway — who we don’t quote much anymore because, well, history”). Each time she gives a major interview she invents a crazy story (Bowling Green Massacre and spying microwaves are most notable over the past few weeks.) She also got a fair amount of… shall we call it “alternative feedback” to a photo of her sitting on the couch in the Oval Office with her feet up while surrounded by a large group of black men. Granted, she was prepping to take a photograph and that was one way to do it. (One way, not the only way). But when you combine all the nonsense, Conway really does seem to be coming undone and unhinged.

Conway microwave

In a February piece in the New York Times, Erin Gloria Ryan, summarized her growing dislike for Conway, which to her centers on Conway’s faux feminism.

Once she took the reins of Donald Trump’s campaign, though, she went from smooth to slippery. She’d hammer Hillary Clinton for talking too much about gender and duck behind her femininity in the face of legitimate criticism. If she succeeded, it was because she was Kellyanne. If she failed, it was because she was a woman.

As Kellyanne’s once-forceful cable news denials have disintegrated into whimpers, I can’t say I feel anything for her at all. I don’t mind when people point out how tired she looks. I simply cannot dredge up any sympathy for a person who has acknowledged the structural problems most women face only when she is personally facing them, or used them as derailing tactics when she’s losing an argument. I can’t mourn the downfall of a fair-weather feminist, a woman who has used her power to hurt other women.

Ms. Conway made her bed. And now it’s time for her to get some sleep.

 

In different, lighter and more empowering news: it took 188 years for Fanny Mendelssohn to get some recognition she deserves, but better late than never. Fanny was the older sister of Felix Mendelssohn, one of the great Romantic composers, who – among many great works of music – gave us the Wedding March. In 1829 he is said to have written a piano sonata. The manuscript, which was discovered in the 20th century, was autographed “F Mendelssohn” and the assumption was that it was Felix’s. But in 2010 a Duke graduate student proved that “F” was Fanny, not Felix, and last week the work was finally performed with Fanny’s name attached as composer. We actually know that Fanny composed over 460 pieces of music. It was unusual for women to openly composer and publish, so Felix arranged to have a handful of her works published under his name. In 1842, when visiting Queen Victoria at Buckingham Palace, the Queen told Felix that she intended to sing one of his songs for him. Felix confessed that the song was actually composed by his sister. Fanny died in 1847 and is buried in Berlin.

monopoly-guy

I got nuthin’

Good Sunday Widdershins!

Happy Sunday to you Widdershins.  Alas, I believe the muse has left me.  She has flown the coop.  Said adios.  She left no farewell note nor a forwarding address.  SAD!

After umpteen “light” posts I believe I have gone through the gamut, when considering politics and since November the election of the Orange one.  I have done music or movie posts on:

  • Outrage – done that
  • Rage – been there
  • Anger – way too much
  • Vengeance – is nice to think about but not too often
  • Revenge – See vengence
  • And so forth

I feel as if I’ve gone to the well and it’s a duster this time.  Sooo, I’ve gathered a collection of political cartoons for us to take a gander at and perhaps get a sad chuckle at them.  Enjoy.***

***  I saw this statement in a Charles Pierce article and maybe I’m getting there too:

At some point, I guess, you just have to walk away. Not forever, and not for long. But, sooner or later, you have to arrange one morning where you wake up and deliberately decide not to find out how the country has lost its mind overnight. I’m getting to that point, I have to tell you

 

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And lastly:

separator-lineAnd that’s about all I’ve got folks.  I am hoping that I get that forwarding info from the Muse and we can get together by next weekend.

Of course this is a totally open thread.

 


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Our 2016 Ticket!

Our girl is gonna shine

Busted: Glass ceiling

HRC bumper sticker

She’s thinking “Less than 2 weeks I have to keep seeing that face”

Yeah I can make it

The team we’re on

Women’s March on Washington!

Right-click the pic for more info

Kellyanne Conway’s new job

So similar

Take the kids to work? NO!

3 turds control fate of healthcare for millions

That moment when *your* pussy gets grabbed