The Widdershins

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Hi gang! How’s your anxiety level? Mine goes up and down, but I’ve pretty much learned to ride the wave. We’ve been seeing lots of talk from doctors and psychiatrists that their  patients are suffering from higher anxiety levels over the past couple of years. I was not really comforted by the ‘Anonymous’ op-ed assuring us ‘there are adults in the room’. Are they on meds? You’d have to be to hang out with that gang and not throw yourself out the window. I wonder if Anonymous is one of the two who went to Yale psychiatrist Brandy Lee last fall?

Two White House officials actually contacted me in late October, stating that Trump was “scaring” them, that he was “unraveling.”  Not wishing to confuse the role I chose, as an educator of the public, and a potential treatment role, I referred them to the local emergency room without inquiring much further.

That’s some pretty shitty advice if you ask me. I can just imagine walking into my local emergency room and telling them I need some Xanax because Trump is scaring me. (Although he does)

Anyway, my post is not really about Trump’s erratic behavior or anxiety in America (or the world for that matter). I just want to share some odd news pertaining to drugs. Maybe we all need this

HUGO — This town on Colorado’s Eastern Plains warned its residents not to drink, bathe in or cook with its tap water on Thursday because officials said multiple preliminary tests of the water came back positive for THC, the main psychoactive compound in marijuana.

Concerns about the water were first raised by a Hugo company using quick “field tests” to check employees for THC, Yowell said. The strip tests are similar in function to home pregnancy tests in that they return only two results: positive or negative.

Yowell said the company, which he did not name, had been getting inconsistent results and decided to test a vial of tap water, expecting it to be negative. Instead, the test came back positive, and the company called the authorities.

But wait! Not so fast – says the people with a lick of sense.

Peter Perrone, who owns Wheat Ridge cannabis testing facility Gobi Analytical, said cannabinoids such as THC or CBD “are in no way soluble in water.”

“There is zero possibility that there’s anything like THC in the Hugo water,” Perrone said.

What is with these field test kits? They obviously don’t work. How many people went to jail based on these faulty kits?

WILMINGTON, N.C. (AP) — A North Carolina sheriff’s office thought it made a huge drug bust, seizing 13 pounds of fentanyl worth $2 million on the street. The powder was found in a home along with other drugs and paraphernalia. A field test indicated it was the powerful opioid, justifying a host of charges against three suspects.

The sheriff’s office then sent the powder to a private lab, and the results arrived this week. New Hanover Sheriff’s Lt. Jerry Brewer tells WECT-TV that the powder seized in July includes no illicit ingredients, and is nothing more than “a combination of simple and complex carbohydrates.” In other words, sugar, worth about $8 at the grocery store.

Here is another where the state police (IOW taxpayers) paid dearly for their mistake. Poor guy lost his job, apartment and all his possessions over soap.

Pennsylvania State Police paid $195,000 to settle a New York man’s claims he was wrongly jailed for nearly a month after troopers using a field drug test mistook soap for cocaine, a court document obtained by The Morning Call shows.

A search of their rented Mercedes-Benz revealed two brick-size packages covered in clear plastic and red tape, according to the police report. Cruz, who was the driver, told the troopers they contained homemade soap for her sister, whom Cruz was traveling to visit in Florida, it says.

What really got me started on ‘drug news’ was this recent article. (my bold)

Police in the Long Island town of Coram, N.Y. are looking for the people responsible for putting up vending machines that appear to be crack pipes. Two of the small blue machines were found over the weekend and angry residents reported them to police, who then removed them. The machines have coin slots where would-be patrons insert $2 to get a pen-shaped device that has the items required to construct a pipe used to smoke crack cocaine.

“They were actually repurposed tampon dispensers”, said Jack Kreiger, Communications Director for the Town of Brookhaven, CNN reported.

Speaking of pipes… what do you do if you’re a pot shop clerk who is being robbed. Why, you grab your handy-dandy, trusty, big glass bong. (Don’t miss the teeny pooch at the beginning)

I found this amusing, except I’m surprised no one was killed.

A group of undercover Detroit police posing as drug dealers tried to arrest another group of undercover police posing as drug buyers in a mishap that resulted in a brawl between more than two dozen armed officers.

“This is probably one of the most embarrassing things I’ve seen in this department,” Detroit Police Chief James Craig said Monday, according to the Detroit Free Press.

Idiots. There’s video of the ‘brawl’ at the link.

I’ve got a couple more, but I think I’ll put them in the comments. I’m extra lazy right now – anxiety level low but could change at any time! Open thread, of course.

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The #MeToo movement blasted the door off Hollywood like a tsunami. The first villain to go down was Harvey Weinstein, the notoriously vicious and deranged producer who produced some extraordinary films. In his wake many others have fallen, some perhaps unfairly (Al Franken is still hotly debated on Twitter.) The last couple of weeks saw the fall of 2 big CBS figures: the president of the network Les Moonves and the 60 Minutes’ chief Jeff Fager.

After Ronan Farrow’s article in The New Yorker discussed allegations against Fager, CBS journalist Jericka Duncan, preparing a report on the story, contacted Fager for comment. Fager wrote back via text:

If you repeat these false accusations without any of your own reporting to back them up, you will be responsible for harming me. Be careful. There are people who lost their jobs trying to harm me and if you pass on these damaging claims without your own reporting to back them up that will become a serious problem.

Once head of CBS News learned of this message, Fager was fired.

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Former CBS president Les Moonves

The bigger fall at CBS, however, was its very president, Les Moonves. Moonves has been accused of not just harassment, but assault, forcing women to perform oral sex on him. And, of course, he ruined many careers. Moonves (who is married to CBS host Julie Chen) carried a vendetta against Janet Jackson because of the “wardrobe malfunction” at the Super Bowl, and ordered MTV and VH1, as well as Viacom owned radio stations, to stop playing Jackson’s music. The “disappearance” of Janet from much of the music scene over the past decade is now being largely attributed to this. Before Jackson, Moonves set his sights on Linda Bloodworth-Thomason, the creator of the hit show Designing Women. Bloodworth-Thomason wrote a searing article in The Hollywood Reporter describing her relationship with Moonves and how he ruined her career. One story is that high on the success of Designing Women, she wrote a pilot for a new series (actually she wrote many pilots, all of which Moonves rejected, including one with Bette Middler) and arranged a reading of the script with big names, including Ileana Douglas. At the reading, Moonves sat across from Bloodworth-Thomason and just stared at her:

Having been voted most popular in high school, I felt confident that I would be able to charm him. I was wrong. He sat and stared at me throughout the entire reading with eyes that were stunningly cold, as in, “You are so dead.” I had not experienced such a menacing look since Charles Manson tried to stare me down on a daily basis when I was a young reporter covering that trial. As soon as the pilot was completed, Moonves informed me that it would not be picked up. I was at the pinnacle of my career. I would not work again for seven years.

When Bloodworth-Thomason finally left CBS after Moonves rejected all of her writing, his last words to her were “Go fuck yourself.”

Remember too that Les Moonves said this about Donald Trump in 2016:

It may not be good for America, but it’s damn good for CBS… Man, who would have expected the ride we’re all having right now? … The money’s rolling in and this is fun… I’ve never seen anything like this, and this going to be a very good year for us. Sorry. It’s a terrible thing to say. But, bring it on, Donald. Keep going.

CBS Board of Directors – all men – tried their darnedest to save Les. Arnold Kopelson, who once upon a time won an Oscar for producing Platoon, said in a board meeting: “I don’t care if 30 more women come forward and allege this kind of stuff. Les is our leader and it wouldn’t change my opinion of him.” Another member fo the board, William Cohen (yes, Bill Clinton’s Defense Secretary in the 1990s) said: “We are going to stay in this meeting until midnight if we need to until we get an agreement that we stand 100 percent behind our CEO, and there will be no change in his status.” These are the type of men who protect other men’s perversions. They are why people like Moonves and Weinstein, and there are so many others, have thrived and will continue to thrive.

One other note on Arnold Kopelson: after Kathy Griffin’s debacle with the fake Trump head, Kopelson wrote Griffin a letter telling her how to get her career back. It’s one of the most shocking things I’ve read in a long time. He thinks he’s being helpful, but…

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Mr. Kopelson is no longer a member of the board of directors of CBS, incidentally.

Margaret Sullivan of Washington Post (and a former public editor of the NY Times, a position that paper got rid of) wrote a powerful column discussing the fact that the damage done by men like Moonves – and Mark Halperin and Charlie Rose – is incalculable. They have shaped our culture’s view of women for decades.

What if Mark Halperin, for instance, had not been a network commentator during the 2016 presidential campaign? (James Wolcott of Vanity Fair aptly described him as “a political kingmaker and narrative shaper” and “the most influential” of the men who were felled by sexual-misconduct allegations last year.)

What if Bill O’Reilly of Fox News hadn’t been the biggest cable TV star in the nation when a woman had a major-party presidential nomination for the first time?

[…]

A media figure doesn’t have to show up for a business meeting in an open bathrobe to do harm, though that strange practice has turned out to be something of a leitmotif.

He can help frame the coverage of a candidate’s supposedly disqualifying flaws. He can squelch a writer’s promising work. He can threaten an underling’s job if she doesn’t stay in line and remember who really runs the show around here.

All these little moments add up, though we’ll never know their full cost. Only that it’s very, very high.

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Brett Kavanaugh will be confirmed to be the 5th ultra-conservative judge on SCOTUS. That is 99.9999% guaranteed. Even though in newly leaked/released emails he dismissed the idea that Roe v. Wade was “settled law” – something Susan Collins said would determine her final vote. Well, today Susan Collins said she wasn’t worried about Kavanaugh’s private emails on the subject and she doesn’t see any contradiction in what Kavanaugh writes and what Collins claims she believes. Susan Collins is the latest fraud being pushed on the American public: that of a moderate Republican the media runs to every time there is a close vote. It was McCain until he fell ill. Every reporter rushed with baited breath to McCain to know how he would vote on a close-vote. Now they do it with Collins. Even though nothing in McCain’s voting history – and nothing in Collins’ – suggests that they are anything but right-wing ideologues. Susan Collins will fold and vote straight down the party line every time. Her “resistance” to the repeal of the ACA was performance art. She learned it from McCain. She then voted for the tax cut knowing it gutted the ACA. But her first vote was brilliant marketing, like McCain’s “maverick.” Now people keep hoping that Susan Collins votes Nay on Kavanaugh. Folks, Susan Collins approved Kavanaugh before Trump announced him. It’s one reason Trump announced and McConnell is rushing the nomination through. Because they know it’s in the bag.

The only solution going forward – assuming Democrats ever control Congress again – is trying to remove Kavanaugh from the court. A SCOTUS judge has ever been impeached and removed. But there’s a process that allows it. Let us hope Democrats try – if they ever have anything close to the numbers they need. Or at least let us hope they try to change the number of justices on the court and stack it with liberals. Republicans must be taught a lesson that their treachery – literally, treachery – will be punished. I fear that Democrats don’t have the guts for that though… Which only means Republicans will never stop playing dirty. I think that Michelle Obama’s “we go high” sentiment is sweet, but it’s outdated. It ignores history that taking the high road is for losers. We must burn the road down and kick Republicans into hell.

 

 

Happy Sunday Widdershins!

Let us put aside that rabid orange turd. Let us hear music that makes you happy. What songs give you joy? What tunes make you smile? What rhythms makes you tap your foot.

This is an open thread!

This is Madonna’s happiest and most perfect love song. Video directed by Herb Ritts.

The Hump

Posted on: August 23, 2018

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Wednesdays are known as hump-days. Those dreadful days we suffer through between the terrible Mondays and much-anticipated Fridays. Something about the past few days has felt like a hump of the Dump presidency. We’ve been making our way to the top of the mountain – is it downhill from here? Of course, it is impossible to really tell. I certainly can’t predict anything; I have been wrong before. But with Manafort’s 8 guilty verdicts (or 10 mistrial verdicts, as Faux News and The Federalist like to point out) and Michael Cohen’s guilty pleas – and, more importantly, saying that the candidate for office told him to commit crimes, thus making Trump an unindicted co-conspirator – something feels different today. It’s not the actions of McConnell and Ryan. They are both trying to say as little as possible. Ryan’s office released a statement that they’re aware of Cohen’s plea, but need to see more information (LOL). So that hasn’t changed. Though the NY Times articles on how people in Ohio diners feel about these developments is still a few days away, I think we can safely assume they don’t care about any of it and Trump’s base remains very much intact. Orrin Hatch just told Jake Tapper that “I think [Trump] has changed a lot of his life once he was elected. I think Trump is a much better person today than he was then.” So Republicans in Congress won’t change their tune.

But something changed in how Democrats in Congress speak about Dump. Many have come out very strongly, directly and explicitly accusing Trump and his administration of being a “criminal enterprise.” Nancy Pelosi tweeted very direct attacks on Republicans in general and I don’t think I’ve ever seen that kind of language from her or most other Democrats. “The gross #CultureOfCorruption runs deep among Republicans in Washington,” – Pelosi tweeted. And then: “Michael Cohen. Michael Flynn. Paul Manafort. Chris Collins. Duncan Hunter. Vern Buchanan. Scott Pruitt and the Trump Administration. The Republican Party looks like a criminal enterprise.” This kind of directness has always been Republicans’ ammo and Democrats have largely tried being polite. We know how that’s worked out for us. It seems that Pelosi – and others – have finally smelled blood in the water and, thankfully, are not letting good blood go to waste.

Several people have now explicitly called Trump an illegitimate President. Democratic Senators have also now come out and said they will not even consider Kavenaugh for SCOTUS because Trump is an unindicted criminal and should not be allowed to appoint a SCOTUS judge. This is also different. Kamala Harris: “President Trump is an unindicted co-conspirator to a federal crime to influence an election for the office he now holds. He should not be allowed to name a Supreme Court Justice without resolving this accusation first.”

So something is different. Do you feel it? Or am I being too optimistic?

This is an open thread.

I know I’m preaching to the choir here, but honestly. Is there no end to the inspissated stupidity of the Dump’s dumps? (Don’t answer that.)

I was reading an article about it in The Guardian and ran into a whole bedlam of bullshit triggers. (There is so much bullshit now that we need a collective noun for it. A bedlam of bullshit.)

In no particular order, the things that smacked my gob:

Space Operations Force – an “elite group of war fighters specializing in the domain of space”

“War fighters”? “War fighters”? As opposed to what? Peace fighters? War nurses? They’ll be doing everything from consoles in Nebraska. Maybe they’re trying to stop us from thinking “video game players”? The sentence could have just said an “elite group of fighters” but noooo. Idiots.

Under the heading of Why Do We Need It:

The White House points to galactic threats from US adversaries, particularly Russia and China

Galactic? Wow. I had no idea the Russkies and the Chinese were that far ahead. They probably already have InterGalactic War Treaties with the Pod People of Zorg! Arm the (space) torpedoes! Space Farce ahead!

Does it already exist?

No! of course not. NORAD just tracks Santa. Jeebus. Try to keep up.

As to how it would be paid for? Hahahahaha. You sillies. Congress will whistle up the required billions. Duh. I’m sure there are still some kids or old people who have health insurance that’s being wasted on them.

Finally, the Guardian article politely asks:

Is it a Trump campaign tactic?

Hysterical laughter. Why would anyone think that? Major technology programs are always started with logo competitions and sales of Big Boy undershorts.

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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.


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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

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