The Widdershins

Archive for the ‘Republicans’ Category

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.

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.

So many shootings in our country, Widdershins. So very, very many. And up until now, thanks to the moral bankruptcy and death worship of the Rethuglican Party, we have done nothing about it.

“In addition to a moment of silence, I would like to ask for a moment of action,” said Senator Dick Durbin, Democrat of Illinois, and the chairman of the committee. “A moment of real caring. A moment when we don’t allow others to do what we need to do. Prayer leaders have their important place in this, but we are Senate leaders. What are we doing?”

Even before the recent shootings, Democrats had already begun advancing stricter gun control measures that face long odds in the 50-50 Senate. House Democrats passed two bills this month aimed at expanding and strengthening background checks for gun buyers, by applying them to all gun buyers and extending the time the F.B.I. has to vet those flagged by the national instant check system.

Let me just stress that universal background checks have the support of 84% of the American public. and an assault weapons ban had 67% support in 2019. So this is quite a lot of bipartisan support from our citizens. Yet because of Republican death cultists in Colorado, the assault weapons ban Boulder tried to impose was blocked ten days before the mass shooting.

The city of Boulder, Colo., barred assault weapons in 2018 as a way to prevent mass shootings like the one that killed 17 at a high school in Parkland., Fla., earlier that year.

But 10 days after that ban was blocked in court this month, the city was rocked by its own tragedy: Ten people were killed at a supermarket Monday after a gunman opened fire, law enforcement officials said.

In announcing the arrest Tuesday of the suspected 21-year-old gunman — who has been charged with 10 counts of murder in the first degree — investigators determined that the suspect had purchased a Ruger AR-556 pistol on March 16, according to the arrest affidavit.

Between the Republican death cultists who refuse to mandate masks and created a Covid-19 crisis of monstrous proportions, and the Republican death cultists who would rather see us slaughtered as we go to school, to houses of worship and to shop for food than to control access to weapons of mass destruction, we Americans have been in Republican crosshairs for decades. And all they do when innocents are murdered in cold blood by domestic terrorists is mouth the once-magic words, “thoughts and prayers.”

It’s a wonder any of us have survived. But we have, and we managed to take control of the government for a brief shining moment. I know we can do better.

We must do better.

Open thread as always.

Yesterday, the most dangerous man in America testified before the House. Drumpf’s (or Putin’s, or whomever’s) right-wing populist agenda is being magnified and empowered by his actions; Drumpf’s criminal money-laundering and grift are being protected thereby. During his testimony, he lied, he obfuscated, and he pretended he didn’t read Drumpf’s tweets. It was a disgusting, oily, arrogant performance by the most evil man ever to become Attorney General.

Here are a few highlights.

Rep. Jerry Nadler condemned him for delivering campaign video to Drumpf via the jackbooted thugs teargassing moms in Portland and invading other Democratic cities (like NYC! Stay safe DYB!).

Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee attacked Barr for not believing in systemic racism.

And here’s Rep. Eric Swalwell putting together a legal tour-de-force about the commutation of Roger Stone’s sentence, with a great explainer by Brian Tyler Cohen afterwards. Enjoy this – I don’t think Barr did.

After the latest horrific display of the Attorney General’s manifest unfitness to be hired by anyone more ethical than Better Call Saul, I personally have only one question:

When will this skid mark on the underwear of justice be dis-Barred?!

Tawk amongst yerselves!


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