The Widdershins

Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category

“The damage inflicted by President Trump’s naiveté, egotism, false equivalence, and sympathy for autocrats is difficult to calculate. But it is clear that the summit in Helsinki was a tragic mistake,” McCain said in a statement. “President Trump proved not only unable, but unwilling to stand up to Putin. He and Putin seemed to be speaking from the same script as the president made a conscious choice to defend a tyrant against the fair questions of a free press, and to grant Putin an uncontested platform to spew propaganda and lies to the world.”

Time Magazine, July 16, 2018

On August 25th, 2018, Senator John McCain passed away at the age of 81. Not only did he handle his fatal illness with characteristic bravery and flair, but he also survived long enough to ensure that his legacy was exactly what he wanted it to be. He helped save the ACA, along with Lisa Murkowski and Susan Collins, and as noted in the quote above, was quite vocal after the #TreasonSummit in Helsinki.

I have only voted for two Republicans in my life: Rudy Giuliani and John McCain. (I am sure you are all surprised that I voted for Giuliani…but you have no idea what a terrible mayor David Dinkins was, he had issues with Jewish people, and Giuliani was a lot more moderate back then. Sigh.) I regret my vote for one, but not for the other – I think McCain would have been a decent President, and Obama truly didn’t earn my vote in 2008, although he certainly got it in 2012 (after the 2010 wave swept all the moderates out of the GOP).

I do think that McCain is benefiting from a bit of wishful thinking in terms of his record. He did vote with Republicans quite a bit, supporting Drumpf about 83% of the time. However, the chart below shows that he truly was more independent than most.

While the nation mourns, we also wonder what will happen now with Arizona’s Senate seat. This article in FiveThirtyEight breaks the options down, and unfortunately, it looks like the Governor of Arizona is likely to pick someone a lot more Trumpy.

A new occupant of McCain’s seat is good news for McConnell, Trump and Republicans who want the party to largely follow the edicts of those two GOP leaders. McCain was largely absent from public life while he was receiving treatment for brain cancer, and during that time, the Senate was split 50-49 in favor of the GOP. That meant one Republican defection could kill any bill. With 51 active Republicans, one defection still left room for Vice President Mike Pence to cast a tie-breaking vote in favor of McConnell and the president. With 50, Pence’s vote isn’t enough as long as one Republican sides with the opposition.

With the addition of a reliable McConnell ally, the Senate’s partisan breakdown returns to 51-49, giving Republican leadership some breathing room. Retiring Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona, a Trump critic who occasionally bucks party leadership, will have less power to stall Senate GOP initiatives. That could help the party get more federal judges appointed, a big priority for Trump and McConnell. (I don’t think the return to full strength in the Senate will mean much for other issues, because the Republicans aren’t really trying to push through major initiatives before the midterms.)

Ack, I really hate reading that…but, this of course assumes that Drumpf will keep being President till 2020. I think that is a rather risky assumption; like DYB, I believe something has changed, as so many of the Trump insiders are making plea deals and being convicted of felonies. I also refuse to assume the Rethugs will keep the Senate. Look at Doug Jones in Alabama…who expected that?! Who really knows how many people will vote blue in November? I think we have not yet begun to show our strength.

Whatever happens next, nothing can take away from the fact that Senator John McCain was a brave and honorable man, and he accomplished a great deal in his long life of public service. I thank you, Senator, for helping save ACA and being a strong voice against #TrumpRussia. My heart goes out to your family, friends and colleagues in the Senate…the Democratic ones, anyway.

This is an open thread.

Advertisements

Blue Waves

Posted on: August 10, 2018

As I enter my 41st year on this planet I mostly regret that space travel isn’t possible yet. Nothingness.jpgBecause if it was I’d get the heck off this one. What a poopy show we are living through. While we know Hillary testified for 11 hours before Gowdy-Doody’s Benghazi panel, Dumpfuhrer has rejected Mueller’s latest request for testimony, via his attorney, serial adulterer and liar Ghouliani. Ghouliani also demanded that Mueller should end the investigation. Chances of that are on the low side. So Rethuglicans continue their diabolical plan to fire Mueller. Skippy Nunes revealed GOP’s plans in a private fund-raiser. (Politicians really need to stop being so candid in fundraisers…) In a tape leaked to Rachel Maddow, Nunes told the rich Rethuglican crowd that the reason they aren’t impeaching Rosenstein right now is that their priority is to confirm Kavanaugh; they can’t do both at the same time. Once Kavanaugh is confirmed, Rosenstein’s a goner. If Rosenstein’s a goner, so is Mueller. That’s GOP’s plan. Now we know and it makes the urgency to flip at least one house (the House) even greater. (In a fun tidbit, Adam Parkhomenko, the man who organizes the White House protests right now and who works for Hillary Clinton (as an aside within the aside, I’m surprised Parkhomenko’s connection to HRC hasn’t been blasting on every news channel and in every Dumpfuhrer tweet), anyway, Adam tweeted earlier today that he’s heard stories that there is something much bigger coming out soon about Nunes, bigger than these tapes. Something that will show that he is fully complicit in what’s happening with Trump. Adam did not expand on that and, to reiterate, it was something he heard about. Let us cross our fingers that it comes to pass…)

The one bright light on our horizon is that Hillary-backed candidates in special elections have been winning and Bernie’s have been losing. It also appears that in Michigan this past week the Democratic turnout was the highest ever. Maybe, just maybe, Democrats in Michigan have woken to the gravity of the situation and will also come out to vote in November. One interesting side-note to these last elections was the presence of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Alexandria won a primary in Queens against a powerful Democrat, which the Alt-Left embraced with special vigor. Certainly she deserves credit for taking on a powerful multi-term Democrat. (Though I have to note that I lived in Queens for almost 15 years and I never heard of this guy until he lost…) The media also embraced Alexandria with numerous glowing profiles. She was invited to many shows ocasio_cortez_msnbc.jpgand podcasts  to offer her thoughts on the Revolution (!) and Bernie (she was a Bernie delegate, though he did not endorse her candidacy). She was called the new face of the Democratic party. She felt emboldened enough to attack Tammy Duckworth. And then she decided that she was important enough to go to states like Michigan, Kansas and Missouri to endorse and campaign for candidates running in primaries. She joined Bernie Sanders on this tour of endorsements. Her face appeared on posters next to Bernie and, as an afterthought, the candidate they were endorsing. Each of those candidates were the “anti-establishment” candidates, but some in the Bernie tradition. White men, some of whom didn’t even live in the districts they were running in, one of whom was a Republican 4 years ago and proudly nearly voted for Jill Stein in 2016. These are the natural allies, of course, for Bernie and Alexandria. And then most of them lost. All of Hillary’s candidates won. Alexandria tweeted congratulations to some of the winners and praised some of her favorite losing candidates, but she pointedly did not congratulate Sharice Davids, the lesbian Native-American candidate who kicked Alexandria candidate’s ass. All the losing must have confused Alexandria because just days ago she was still leading the Revolution with Bernie against the establishment, and the media said she was the face of the Democratic party. As soon as Bernie and Alexandria failed to deliver results, the media made a sharp turn. “Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s movement fails to deliver any stunners,” read a CNN headline. “Socialist pin-up Ocasio-Cortez sees four candidates FAIL,” read The Daily Mail in the UK. Suddenly Alexandria was a loser. The media does that. Alexandria fell for their bait and switch, and they pinned the losses on her – not Bernie. She thought a few glowing profiles meant she could leave Queens and still find herself relevant in Missouri. She took a wrong turn off Queens Blvd, let me tell you. People in Missouri really don’t give a shit what a lady from Queens thinks. Frankly, they don’t care what a white man from Vermont thinks either. Bernie will never learn this; it remains to be seen if Ms. Ocasio-Cortez ever humbles herself enough to realize that winning a single primary against a candidate who doesn’t even campaign does not make you a queen-maker across state lines. It doesn’t even make her a queen-maker across borough lines. How much success do you think she’d have endorsing in Staten Island? I wonder how she will react as a freshman representative in the House. There really is a powerful hierarchy. From what we’ve seen from Ocasio-Cortez so far she’s not into that. It’s a risky strategy. Let’s see how it works out for her.

Well, as Hillary Clinton tweeted, now we know. Some of us have known for a while that Trump was an actual traitor. Not hyperbole traitor, but an actual one in the sense that hetrump-putin-summit-crisis-time-magazine-cover1.jpg literally committed (and continues to commit) treason against his own country. But many others are just waking up right now, in a post-Helsinki press conference world and saying: “Wait, whaaaaaaat?” Samantha Bee did a great skit on how shocked everyone is and while Republicans aren’t really shocked – GOP is complicit and they don’t actually care – the most galling part is where members of the media say they’re shocked. Motherfuckers have been reporting the wrong news for about 4 years now. It’s really too bad Hillary didn’t lay out her case for Trump’s treason in an email because maybe then they’d have read it.

I don’t think Trump intends to commit treason. I think he just wants to be rich and powerful. That’s why he accepted Putin’s help. To make money. But he’s so stupid it never occurred to him his actions were treasonous. Never crossed his mind. And when it was brought up, he doubled down – because Trump would never not do that. He would never admit he fucked up, never accept responsibility and try to fix it. No, his cover-up is now of gargantuan proportions. NYTimes reported late yesterday that Trump was shown raw intelligence before the inauguration showing that Putin himself gave the green light for the campaign to infiltrate US elections. This means Trump has been covering up his crime with full knowledge of what he was doing since before he was inaugurated. Trump hasn’t been stumbling about in ignorance. No, he knew exactly what Putin did and he continues to this day to deny it. Trump attacks the intelligence community and the FBI, never Putin. He still, to this day, has not said one bad thing about Putin. At the presser, when he was asked if there was anything he would fault Russia for he responded with a direct criticism of the US instead. “We have been foolish.” What does Putin have on Trump? I don’t think it’s just a pee tape, at least not in the way Steele described in his dossier. If it’s a sex tape of some kind, it’s more than just hookers peeing on a bed. It may be Trump being peed on in the bed. Or it’s money. There’s a reason for why Trump has not released his tax returns. What the bloody hell is in those tax returns that he prostrates himself before Putin in front of TV cameras?

One other important point on the news that Trump was briefed with raw intelligence on what Putin did. The intelligence included information from a source very close to Putin. This is significant because normally a newspaper would have been asked to leave out details like that because it would put people in harm’s way. The fact that the Times published that info suggests that they know the source is already burned (and likely dead.) And to that point, Trump was shown this information two weeks before he was inaugurated. On January 27 reports started coming in raising red flags on surprise purges in Putin’s inner circle. All those Russians dropping like flies we were tracking in 2017? That started after Trump was shown the raw intelligence. And it wouldn’t be the last time the Trumps betrayed intel like that. Remember all those Saudi purges, which likely came from intelligence given to them by Jared Kushner.

DiepX-2XcAEgR0X.jpg

Also, let me mention the list of evidence Bob Mueller says he will present in court in the government’s case against Paul Manafort. The list includes about 30 emails and text messages and memos Tad Devine sent Paul Manafort through 2014, just a few months before he became chief strategist for Bernie Sanders. These communications are presented as evidence of crimes being committed. Think about that!

f-manafort-a-20180704-870x541.jpg

Paul Manafort in the middle; Tad Devine to Manafort’s immediate right; and Konstantin Kilimnik – also under indictment by Mueller – is in the blue shirt on the left.

I wonder what new devilry Friday news dump will bring.

 

Good Wednesday Widdershins!

 

 

(NOTE:  It’s difficult as hell to write a post a few days ahead and attempt to have the topic be timely.  Ya just can’t keep up with this stuff)

Our madamab is once again traveling and as they say on the teevee “on assignment” so I’m stepping here to lend a hand.

In some of my online readings a few days ago I stumbled upon this piece in Politico which, as the saying goes, left me gobsmacked.  In essence the piece says that according to a poll conducted by Monmouth University, more than three fourths of the respondents contacted said they believe that the “major news outlets” report “fake news”.  Heavens-to-Betsy!  I am so sick of hearing that phrase fake news.

From the Politico piece concerning the poll respondents said:

they believe that major traditional television and newspaper media outlets report “fake news,” according to a Monmouth University poll released Monday, marking a sharp increase in distrust of those news organizations from a year ago, when 63 percent registered concerns about the spread of misinformation.

And further, of those folks:

31 percent said they believe those media outlets spread “fake news” regularly, and 46 percent said it happens occasionally.

And guess what?  It’s not just the Trumpsters and Repubs who believe this about fake news.  From Monmouth:

The belief that major media outlets disseminate fake news at least occasionally has increased among every partisan group over the past year, including Republicans (89% up from 79% in

2017), independents (82% up from 66%), and Democrats (61% up from 43%). In addition to the fact that a clear majority of Democrats now believe that traditional media outlets report fake news at least occasionally, the poll also finds that a majority of Republicans (53%) feel this happens on a regular basis (up from 37% in 2017).

I also found this information from Monmouth interesting:

Attention has also focused on the role of social media platforms in the propagation of fake news. Nearly 9-in-10 Americans (87%) believe that outside groups are trying to plant fake news stories on social media sites like Facebook and YouTube. More than two-thirds (71%) say this is a serious problem – including 81% of Republicans, 69% of independents, and 67% of Democrats.

I found that number of Repubs interesting since we all know now that a good bit of that fake news was generated to benefit the Repubs and the talking yam in particular.  So I wonder if those Repubs who were polled know that yes there’s fake news because their supporters, backers and dark money sources were responsible for it?  Perhaps not and it’s just typical Republican paranoia because the Monmouth piece also said:

[Note: the interviews for this poll were conducted prior to recent stories about Cambridge Analytica’s data mining of Facebook user profiles, which, while not directly a “fake news” issue, is related to the topic.]

So there’s that, I guess.

But further, what the hell even is “fake news”?  Margaret Sullivan from Wapo attempts to answer that.

“When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said in a rather scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.”

“The question is,” said Alice, “whether you can make words mean so many different things.”

“The question is,” said Humpty Dumpty, “which is to be master — that’s all.”

Sullivan contends (and I agree with her) that the original idea of “fake news” has been twisted and turned around from its original meaning.

I’ve been arguing for more than a year that the term should be shunned because its original meaning — that is, fabricated stories intended to fool you — has been so purposely blurred and tainted.

Sullivan explains the difference (and btw, I think that some of the “fake news” stories can also fall into the category of clickbait ).

Are we talking about factual journalism that a politician doesn’t like (for example, The Washington Post’s reporting on the sexual misconduct of former Alabama judge Roy Moore, which his wife labeled “fake news”)? Or about flat-out lies such as “the pope has endorsed Donald Trump” that circulated on social media during the presidential campaign?

Altogether, this poll is not good news for the Fourth Estate.  Let’s face it, the number of folks out there who fall into the category of Republican and paranoid is large.  As the image at the top says, ignorance can be educated and crazy (paranoid) medicated, but that damned stupid…nope ya can’t fix that.

Open thread of course and also what’s on your minds today?

About the video below:  Just because there’s a sign that reads “live music” doesn’t necessarily mean live music = good music. 

 

 

Good (?) Sunday/Monday Widdershins

So this post won’t be a light-hearted affair.  Rather, I’ll be sharing some sad songs, songs about death and loss.

We saw a tragic incident in FL Wednesday of this week when seventeen young people had their lives snuffed out by a “loner” or a guy who “acted weird”.  Nikolas Cruz had been receiving counseling or some other form of mental health treatment but stopped going to the appointments.  We’ll never know if this could have been averted had he continued his appointments.  One thing we do know is that it’s time for another ban on any and all assault weapons.  We simply do not need to have AR15s or AK47s on the street.

(1) Modest Mouse~Ocean Breathes Salty

(2) Eric Clapton~Tears In Heaven

(3) Frank Turner~Long Live The Queen

(4) Warren Zevon~Keep Me In Your Heart

(5) Radiohead~Videotape

(6) The Beatles~Let It Be

(7) Mozart Requiem~Lacrimosa

 

Requiescat in pace

Open thread.

 

Good Sunday and Monday Widdershins!

Saturday January 20th 2018 showed us that the Women’s March of 2017 was not just a one shot deal of protest mainly against Donald J. tRump.  Once again women turned out by the hundreds of thousands in New York, Los Angeles, Oklahoma and even across the globe in Canada, the UK, Japan, Italy and other countries. Further, on the 21st of January there was a huge rally in Las Vegas with the theme of Power to the Polls with the goal of registering one million new voters ahead of the mid-term elections in November.

Also, the #metoo movement is staying strong, with the latest news concerning Las Vegas mogul Steve Wynn being accused of sexual harassment of dozens of women. Despite Wynn’s denials the story must have legs because Wynn has resigned as RNC Finance Chair.

So with these successes in mind, let’s take a look once again at songs dealing with womens empowerment.  While we’ve visited this type of songs before, it’s always great to take a look at them again.

(1) Beyoncé~Run the World (girls)

(2) Demi Lovato~Confident

(3) Aretha Franklin~R-e-s-p-e-c-t

(4) Meghan Trainor~NO

(5) Joan Jett~Bad Reputation

(6) Lady Gaga~Born This Way

(7) Reba McEntire~I’m A Survivor

So there ya go Widdershins – seven songs about surviving and empowering.  I know that you will have others that you’ll add in the comments below.  Open thread of course.

 

Hand-over-the-catnip-and-nobody-gets-hurt.jpg

Good morning Widdershins,

2017 is quickly approaching its end. Remember when in 2016 we were all really upset because all the celebrities were dying? Well, I wish we could go back to 2016 again. To hell with the celebrities. But alas, suffer forward we must. What fresh hell 2018 will bring, only time will tell.

Over the past couple of days a few interesting developments. After I’m not sure what number accusation of groping, Al Franken is likely to announce his resignation from the Senate today. Already several of his Democratic colleagues (including Kristen Gillibrand, Kamala Harris, Claire McCaskill and Chuck Schumer) have called for him to step aside.  (Somewhere Jeff Sessions is ironing his sheets and doing a square dance.) This comes on the heels of John Conyers being forced to resign. Now, the charges against Conyers and Franken are not the same. (And Conyers appears to be more senile than your average Senator to boot.) Conyers finally said he’ll leave, but he’s not happy and he’s endorsed a family member to take his place. That’s not how that’s supposed to work, but we are living in the age of Trump where Ivanka and Jared are senior White House advisors, so why not let someone from the Conyers family take over?

Problem is Conyers is not leaving quietly. The Congressional Black Caucus is angry too. They think Conyers was treated differently. Certainly as a Democrat he has. Blake Fahrenthold is still in Congress. And Trump is in the White House. And Roy Moore will probably end up in the Senate. But Conyers must go. And now so does Franken. At this point I’m still not convinced Franken should be forced to resign. (There’s also the case of the NJ Senator Bob Menendez, who was on trial for corruption… That’s a whole other kettle of fish.) Main part of my hesitation for any Democrat to resign is…it achieves nothing except make some Democrats feel good about themselves. And that’s fine: principles, higher ground, moral superiority, blah blah. Republicans don’t care. None of this matters to them. They have managed to change the narrative from Roy Moore to Franken and Conyers. Democrats are leaving, Republicans are going in. Nothing matters. Do Democrats need to stop acting morally superior? I think there’s a case to be made for that. Enough with playing by the rules! Bring a bazooka to a knife fight! Alas…plastic utensils to a nuclear war it is. And Republicans will win every fight because they just don’t care.

In a media madness moment, consider this:Screen Shot 2017-12-06 at 11.39.30 PM.png

Chozick is a New York Times reporter. She covered Hillary’s campaign and she is now writing a book. (Of course she is. The list of people who have made money off of the Clintons is long and deplorable.) The article spends an obscene (so normal by NY Times standards) amount of time talking about Hillary Clinton. So Chozick is highlighting how Harvey Weinstein is Hillary’s fault. When people called Chozick out on this, she came back with: “Who said it was Hillary’s fault? More like a stunning # of men accused of bad behavior.” Sure sure Amy. While trying to point out how many bad men there are she naturally could only express herself via Hillary. The Clinton Derangement Syndrome is as strong as it ever was in the NY Times. I am glad to no longer have a subscription.


Keep Up

Atrocities Documented:

What the F*ck Just Happened?!

Victories Won:

Your Victories Against Drumpf!

Wanna Be A Widdershin?

Send us a sample post at:

widdershinssubmissions at gmail dot com

Our Frontpagers

I’m ready. Are you?

Blog Archive

September 2018
M T W T F S S
« Aug    
 12
3456789
10111213141516
17181920212223
24252627282930

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
2.3 years 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

Advertisements