The Widdershins

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We are less than a week away from the midterms. November 6, 2018 will be a red-letter day for America. History will be written with that day as the dividing line. What America was before 11/6/18 and what it will become after. It is impossible to really know what will happen. Predicting the outcome is an exercise in futility. We thought we knew what would happen on 11/8/16 and the electorate disappointed. Will the Blue Wave of the special elections become a tsunami of the midterms? Or will it subside and resemble only a small tide? Nobody can predict. Will people actually leave their homes and vote? Who knows. There are still an extraordinary amount of people who don’t plan to vote. New Yorker just had an article about some young people who don’t plan to vote because reasons. There are voters who still don’t feel inspired by anyone. And there are voters who just don’t think it’s a big deal. Will these people vote when it counts? Who knows… We can hope that someone, a friend, will make them see the light on the issue.

There is also the question of Trump voters: will they vote? Some argue that believing that everything on the news is Fake News makes them ignorant of the imminent blue wave. That may be true… but it’s also true that Trump and the entire GOP – now openly, proudly a party of Nazis, racists, anti-Semites, homophobes – are using every dirty trick in the book to steal the election: everything from purging voter rolls to shutting down voting stations so people can’t vote to sending out wrong voting information to leaving Democratic candidates off the ballot. We’ve seen all these things play out in real time and it terrifies me to say that I’ve seen very little reaction from Democrats. ACLU does what it can to file lawsuits, but the Democratic party leaders are mostly silent, letting the candidates – the vast majority of whom are new at this – find their own way. In North Dakota Republicans – after saying Native Americans must have IDs with an address they don’t have on reservations – are now rejecting ballots because the color of the ink is “wrong.” Election is being openly stolen in Georgia and the Democratic party – and the media – are looking at it as helpless spectators.

And we also don’t know what will happen on November 7th. Whether Democrats manage to win anything or if Republicans hold on to all of their power. What will Trump do? I think we can safely assume that if Democrats win the House – Trump will try to declare the election invalid. He is already floating ideas of rigging by Democrats. We know the GOP will back Trump 100%. What will Democrats do when that happens? I am not hopeful. If Republicans hold on to all of their power – things will go off the rails in a different way. GOP and Trump will declare a mandate and I really think that will be our last election. I am sorry to be this negative. I just want to make sure we are all prepared for November 7th. Because I think November 7th is going to be very bad, no matter how the vote goes.

Do you think I’m off my rocker?

GOOD DAY WIDDERSHINS!
This post was written before the announcement concerning indictments from the Mueller Grand Jury  – will probably be a lot to talk about concerning that

From her comment the other day we know that MB is super busy with her job right now and that she may or may not be doing Monday posts.  I am going to run on the assumption that she won’t be writing any Monday posts so here’s one for this week.  I’m not sure how often I’ll be doing this because basically it’s just DYB and me trying to keep things going.  Nevertheless, here’s one for Halloween and spooky, Halloweenish songs, some of them you are probably familiar with.

(1) Werewolves of London ~ Warren Zevon

(2) Highway to Hell ~ AC/DC

(3) Thriller ~ Michael Jackson (short version)

(4) Monster Mash ~ Bobby Pickett

(5) Silly Symphonies ~ Skeleton Dance

(6) Night on Bald Mountain~Mussorgsky~Fantasia (full)

(7) Danse Macbre ~Camille Saint-Saëns

(8) In The Hall Of The Mountain King ~ Grieg-Animation

Okay!  That should get you into a nice Halloweenish mood for tomorrow Widdershins.  Please add some of your Halloween favorites below.

 

I thought this was interesting to watch.  From the folks who created it:

Dozens upon dozens upon dozens of pumpkins were cut, gutted, rotated, scraped, poked, slapped, and banged to make this stop-motion animation and the music that bring it to life. It took a few years – pumpkins rot, schedules get busy – but we loved discovering the methods that worked and the many that didn’t. Many pumpkins were photographed twice. First as a nicely lit, carving-free plate. Then again after carving our designs and removing the top or back so we could insert a light. The two were then composited together to remove the lighting equipment. We re-used pumpkins where we could (fronts and backs and sometimes sides) but that wasn’t always possible.

A reminder:  I won’t be doing a weekend post this coming weekend because LSU/Bama.  However I’m sure someone will be able to pick up the slack and keep everyone entertained.

 

 

 

 

 

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There was a moment during the previous Trumpcare vote, when John McCain made his dramatic entrance and gave the melodramatic thumbs down, when Democrats spontaneously burst into applause. And minority leader Chuck Schumer angrily waved for them to stop, which was almost like someone hit the “mute” button. Schumer must have known that Trumpcare was not yet dead and gloating was premature. Sure enough, Trumpcare is back. And it is actually closer to passing now than it was back then. Lisa Murkowski, who with Susan Collins so resolutely stood against it then, is wavering now. It is impossible to read McCain’s intentions. His maverickness has always been an illusion. Will he waver until the last moment and deal Trumpcare another deathblow so he can bask in the glow of public praise? Or will he do his usually hyper-partisan right-wing thing and do what he has always done: vote right along party lines? Who can tell.

There’s a moment in Hillary Clinton’s book “What Happened” where she mentions that at the inauguration McCain came up to her and hugged her, and had the same horrified expression on his face that she had. I’m sure this happened, but I’ve always been fascinated by how politicians can do and say such awful things to one another – and then talk about each other’s integrity. McCain’s behavior towards Clinton has been vile for many years. From Benghazi and emails through the entire campaign. And yet, Hillary considers him a friend. I know this sort of thing has been the gold standard for bipartisanship (fight during the day, share dinner and drinks at night), but when so much it at stake, how do politicians separate their personal feelings? How do they compartmentalize watching people do horrible things and go grab a smoke after? How does one continue to respect a man like John McCain?

Speaking of vile and no respect: Bernie. Yesterday socalannie posted a tweet from Sasha Stone, founder of the entertainment website awardsdaily.com.

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That’s a perspective on Sanders and his Revolution I hadn’t appreciated until Stone articulated it. And suddenly, so much of it makes sense. Bernie is the alien from “Aliens,” a parasite with acid for blood that latches on to a host because it can’t survive on its own, and then eats its way out through the chest cavity. It lays eggs (Bernie’s loyal minions like Nina Turner and Susan Sarandon), who do their own damage by killing their own hosts. And the cycle continues. Of course Sanders’ revolution is against Democrats. He and his believers have dedicated more time to attacking Democrats than Republicans and Trump. And they are doing it by infiltrating the party and are now eating their way out. Sadly the Democratic party is allowing it. Last week Sanders managed to bully a lot of leading Democrats, like Kirsten Gillibrand, Corey Booker and Kamala Harris into supporting his single payer plan, a plan each and everyone one of them knows has zero chance of passing. And a plan that they announced just as the newest version of Trumpcare, conceived by Lindsey Graham, began to dig its way out of the grave. Sanders convinced Democrats to take their eyes off the undead with the usual promises of magical unicorns. Even Bernie Bro Matty Yglesias tweeted that October 1 – the day after reconciliation of ACA repeal ends – would have been a better day to introduce single payer. Now it’s impossible to tell if ACA will survive. And no, contrary to what Bernie Bros maintain, death of ACA will not lead to single payer.

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On the plus side, NY Times’ Glenn Thrush announced he quit Twitter. Sayonara baby.

What’s your minds Widdershins? This is an open thread.

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Good morning Widdershins,

Hurricane Harvey has been a massive catastrophe. As I was writing this on Tuesday evening, a levee in a county south of Houston has breached. “NOTICE: The levee at Columbia Lakes has been breached!! GET OUT NOW!!!” Brazoria County said on Twitter on Tuesday morning. Many trillions of gallons of water have fallen. The entire Texas National Guard has been deployed. Meanwhile president Dump and his wife (wearing 4” heels) went to visit and Dump wondered at the size of the crowd assembled. “What a crowd, what a turnout,” he declared in Corpus Cristi. Meanwhile Glenn Thrush of the New York Times declared that Dump “used the dulcet, reassuring and uplifting language of prior presidents” when speaking of the disaster, in an article with the headline: “Harvey Gives Trump A Chance to Reclaim Power to Unify.” I assume that’s when Dump wasn’t wearing his $40 hats his company sells while making appearances in Texas. The New York Times has reached peak dumpster fire in their apologia and legitimization of Dump. Just a few days ago their reporters (you know the ones) were screaming on twitter that everything is Hillary’s fault. (I’m sure I’m wrong about it being peak. Bigger dumpster fires are yet to come.) The only person at the Times with any sense of decency is Paul Krugman who sent out a series of tweets pointing out the media screwed up. Sadly the political desk at the Times, headed by Dean Baquet, doesn’t listen to Krugman.

Speaking of Dean Baquet, read this remarkable article about Baquet, the media, Melania Trump’s plagiarized speech, and Meredith McIver, who took responsibility for stealing Michelle Obama’s words. Is McIver an actual person? Who knows! Even though the Times, among others, wrote glowingly about her, nobody seems to have met this woman in at least 10 years. And Baquet thinks the reporter who asked to confirm that someone at the Times actually has met this woman is a “moron.”

…we really don’t know if Meredith McIver is real, alive, and well, or not — she may very well be. But I know the explanations from Team Trump for what happened at the time were completely ridiculous — one involved Sean Spicer and a My Little Pony box (please, Google it); I know that other people searching for Meredith have received anonymous threats; I know that a phone conversation I had with Meredith’s alleged ex-boyfriend, Stephen Palitz, led to far more questions than answers; I know that fake social media accounts for Meredith popped up immediatley after she accepted blame…and suddenly and inexplicably began communicating in Russian before disappearing again.

A few months ago, Arthur Sulzberger, publisher of the NYTimes, fired the paper’s public editor. The public editor was originally hired after the paper’s disastrous coverage leading up to the Iraq War. Now Sulzberger declared the role was no longer necessary because the public would keep his reporters honest. On Tuesday evening Peter Daou, a former Clinton staffer who is very vocal in his defense of Clinton on twitter, announced he has now been blocked by 3 major Times reporters, including Thrush and Haberman. How does one keep reporters honest – when reporters block you?

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What’s on your minds Widdershins? This is an open thread.

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Don’t blink anyone! You might miss a major development from the White House. The Drumpfster Fire Shit Show is showing no signs of slowing down. No amount of Russian hooker urine can extinguish it. It’s the Chernobyl and the Fukushima meltdowns combined and the fallout will span the globe. Although not if you ask a Republican. Everyone is just great if you ask a Republican! Everything is going according to plan…

In a matter of a day Drumpf held an emergency situation room meeting in the middle of a dining room and fired/accepted resignation/encouraged retirement of a man named Flynn. First, the Mar-al-Lago disaster. Picture it: Drumpf, Japanese Prime Minister Abe, wives 16708703_10154983688274761_4762941159713180703_nand friends, are having a wonderful $20,000 (give or take) dinner surrounded by dozens of their closest friends/donors. When suddenly news arrives that North Korea (which would within the next 24 hours assassinate the rightful heir to their throne by two female assassins who poisoned him with a dart in the middle of a Malaysian airport!!!!), anyway, before a 007/Jason Bourne assassination of a perceived rival and brother, North Korea’s demented leader launched a missile towards Japan. So naturally, Drumpf and PM Abe go into full Presidential mode by hunkering down at their dinner table, cell phone flash lights activated, figuring out how to respond. Their dozens of closest friends/donors are witnessing this, taking photos, posting to facebook. Because an international crises as reality television is where we are right now. This is all perfectly normal! All the Republicans think so! HRC’s e-mail server: bad. Classified documents about a rogue/crazy country that may start a nuclear war disseminated and discussed in a crowded room: good. Nobody wanted to miss the entrée. When you paid thousands of dollars for access, you better get a good show.

Oh, and let’s not forget Rick. Rick is The Man. Rick carries a briefcase with him that contains the nuclear codes. Rick is posing for photos with guests. Rick is The Man!

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And then, if you can believe our lives, that wasn’t even the craziest thing that’s happened all week. The crazies thing that’s happened all week (writing this on Tue night) is we are finally getting real evidence of Russia setting up a Kremlin satellite office in Washington DC. I won’t go into the Michael “Lock Her Up!” Flynn details because we are watching this shit develop in real time. But as of now, Rethuglicans still don’t think there’s any reason to investigate anything. Paul Ryan, McTurtle, Chaffetz, all say there’s nothing to see here and let’s move on. Rand Paul says it’d be crazy for Republicans to investigate other Republicans. And it’s hard to argue with his logic! Give this for Rand Paul: he’s not lying. He’s not pretending that there are any principles at stake. It’s all about party loyalty. Which was an interesting thing I realized when I was talking to a Republican friend on Monday. She doesn’t really care about Trump one way or the other. She just cares that a Republican is in power. She detested “Barry.” She thinks McTurtle “is a pussy” who allowed Barry to get away with everything. Hillary is the biggest criminal ever. So there we are. For many people who still support Drumpf, it’s really just about Republicans being in charge.

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And Mike Pence is being built up as the victim in all this. Supposedly Pence had no idea Flynn had spoken to the Russians about lifting the sanctions. LOL. Is this just the beginning of setting up Pence as a man of principle who would make a great POTUS-46? And do you know who else is the victim in all this? Michael Flynn if you believe this nonsense.

In any case, so far HRC’s only comment on this topic was a re-Tweet of a comment by Philippe Reines.

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I get a feeling that the only person who might be enjoying all this insanity is HRC and maybe Obama.

I also think that considering Hillary Clinton’s vast criminal network and the trail of murdered bodies she has left behind over the decades, Michael Flynn is lucky to still be alive.

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In the meantime, do not unbuckle your seatbelts. There is a lot more of whatever this is to come. Even as I write this CNN says they have names of Trump campaign officials who spoke to the Russians, but not releasing names yet because they are waiting for comment from the White House. And Drumpf’s staff, which includes a former contestant from his show, getting into a physical altercation with a reporter. Or maybe not. Apparently a secret recording was made but it may have been edited before being played for some journalists. This is our life, welcome.

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I leave you with a song I’ve been listening to for a couple of weeks, since I’ve discovered this remarkable young singer. Troye Sivan is 21 year old South African/Australian and this song, “Heaven,” is a balm for the soul. He wrote it about the pain and joy of coming out as gay, for all the people who have done it before him and for those who will do it in the future. “Without losing a piece of me, how do I get to heaven? … So if I’m losing a piece of me, maybe I don’t want heaven.”

 

 


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Friggin Lizard people

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