The Widdershins

Deep_Impact_poster

E.L.E. (pronounced Ellie) was an anthropomorphic character from the movie Deep Impact.  At first in the movie, E.L.E. was supposed to be the politically earth-shattering mistress of the Treasury Secretary, but in reality it only turned out to be a meteor the size of Texas bearing down on the Earth.  So E.L.E. was an Extinction Level Event.

In the movie the meteor was blown into two pieces.  One was a smaller survivable chunk and the other section remained extinction level in size.  According to Reuters/Ipsos polling, that is the way voters see this election.  The difference is whether it is Trump or Hillary as the extinction level event. According to the polling, a majority of voters for both are voting solely to stop the other from being President.

Let me make sure I effectively communicate this insanity: To stop Hillary from being President, voters will vote for a mango-hued man who proposes to build a 2,000 mile $100 Billion wall, ban Muslims, promises to tear up international trade deals, cut taxes adding $9.5 Trillion to the deficit, allow nuclear technology to spread, blow up the international monetary system, withdraw from NATO, round-up 12 million people and summarily deport them.

The backbone of this E.L.E. cheering section are white men angered by the loosening of their stranglehold on the reins of power.  They are angered about their tax dollars being spent for “Those People”.  Their anger about women, people of color, and those whom they consider morally suspect having seats at the table is menacing and apocalyptic to their world.  Bring on the E.L.E.!  How could it get worse than having to share power?

Reuters Poll

I know what you are thinking – old Prolix is dealing in hyperbole and metaphorical overkill.  Ya think?  Look at the real life existence in pre-E.L.E. red states:

Red states all have significantly lower life expectancy than blue states, owing to much higher incidences of diabetes, obesity, stroke and heart disease.

Red states have much higher rates of uninsured citizens, death, food stamp recipients and Medicaid recipients.

The 10 poorest states in the nation are all red states and 97 of the 100 poorest counties are in red states.

The median income is much lower in red states than in blue states.

Red states have a higher percentage of population abusing drugs.

Of the 12 states with the highest murder rates, 10 are red states.

Of the top 10 states with the highest teenage pregnancy rates, nine are red states.

Of the top 15 states with the highest per capita execution rate, 13 are red states.

The incarceration rate is much higher in red states.

Property crimes rates are higher in red states than in blue states.

Divorce rates are significantly higher in red states.

Abstinence-only sex education is more prevalent in red states, which accounts for the fact that of the states with the highest teenage pregnancy rates, nine of the top ten are red states.

Deaths from firearms are higher in red states and red states export more firearms than blue states.

There are significantly more white supremacists hate groups in red states than in blue states.

The cynical, independent observer might characterize the citizens of red states as impoverished, poorly educated economic parasites with violent tendencies, poor health habits, drug and alcohol addiction issues, with criminal records, who shoot each other, cheat on their spouses, beat and impregnate their children before they get caught in the death chamber express.

So for those living in the topsy-turvy hell of a red state, allowing Donald Trump access to the nuclear launch codes isn’t really so much of an E.L.E. reach, especially when compared to electing Hillary Clinton, the most qualified individual to ever run for the office.

From where I’m sitting, if a democracy even contemplates such a hackney-eyed proposition, it may very well be a real Extinction Level Event.

 

I have a couple of hundred words left in my self-imposed 800 word limit.  Here are a few interesting articles:

Professor Krugman writes about false equivalencies and the white-washing, literally and figuratively, of Trump supporters in Truth and Trumpism.  He follows up with an article about the lack of hard thinking and Why I Haven’t Felt the Bern.

I always believe debunking myths, especially if they are widely held, is a good use of energy.  This economic article, The Economy is Rigged and Other Presidential Campaign Myths, is a good investment of time.

Trump now has 26 full-blown, four Pinocchio whoppers, which accounts for nearly 70 percent of Trump’s statements that have been fact checked.  You might say, “He’s YUGE when it comes to lying.”

The BernieBros should be checking the couch cushions for loose change because Sorry, Bernie fans. His health care plan is short $17,000,000,000,000.  

There’s a call to wake-up and smell the emails because even though Hillary Clinton is going to be exonerated on the email controversy. It won’t matter.

And I leave you with this explanation of the North Carolina gentlemen so concerned over privacy unless you have scary lady parts that just scream for transvaginal ultrasounds.  This stroke of .gif genius is from Ann Telnaes of The Washington Post.

NC Privacy

 

What’s on your mind?

Good Monday, all. I hope you had a great Mother’s Day / Kentucky Derby weekend.

Oh, it’s a delicious time for those of us who have long predicted that the Tea Party wackos would cause the collapse of the Republican Party. That time, I believe, is now upon us.

As Prolix said on Friday, Donald Trump is winning because of the racism, stupid. His positions on most issues amount to a sound byte, some word salad and a statement about how wonderful he is. You know, like this:

Baier: About Russia, you were asked yesterday if you’ve ever spoken to Vladmir Putin, and you said, “I don’t want to say.”

Trump: Yeah, I have no comment on that. No comment.

Baier: But one of the things people like about you is that you answer any question.

Trump: Yeah but I don’t want to comment because — Let’s assume I did. Perhaps it was personal. You know, I don’t want to hurt his confidence. But I know Russia well. I had a major event in Russia two or three years ago — Miss Universe contest, which was a big, big, incredible event. An incredible success. I got to meet a lot of people, and you know what? They want to be friendly with the United States. Wouldn’t it be nice if we actually got along with somebody?

Even Dubya, not the most articulate man on his best day, is having trouble with that one.

So no, the fact that Trump isn’t a “real conservative” (whatever the f*ck that is supposed to mean) doesn’t bother the Tea Partiers one bit. They just like the fact that he’s white, rich, male and makes them feel like they don’t have to think about the scary changes that are happening in this mean old world. OMG, a woman is running for President! OMG, people with brown skin are taking over the country! OMG, teh gayzzz are marrying each other!!! Can’t someone PLEEEEEZ tell me I can go back to the fake 50’s in my head, when everyone was white, straight and Christian, and June Cleaver vacuumed the living room in pearls, an apron and pumps????

Anyway, I won’t rehash all the ground that Prolix covered so well. I will, however, posit the question: WWRD (What Will Republicans Do), now that “Stop Trump” is DeFunct, and Reince Priebus (a name only a white supremacist sans spell check could love) has declared the Orange Baboon the Party’s presumptive nominee?

Since they’re Republicans, they’re looking to Daddy to save them. Some have settled on Nebraska Senator Ben Sasse. For some reason, people think he’s got something going for him, because he called for a third-party challenger to Trump and Clinton. Wow, what a great idea, Benny! There’s this guy, Ross Perot, who could be your campaign manager. I hear he’s great with the flip charts and the graphs and such. He, like you, also thought balancing the budget was super-de-dooper important!

Peter Beinart of The Atlantic is not so impressed with the Sassy Mr. Sasse.

Kudos to Nebraska Senator Ben Sasse for reaffirming in a widely discussedopen letter” that he won’t support Donald Trump. I just wish the letter weren’t so self-righteously dumb.

[snip]

Sasse goes onto say that “neither political party works” and that both are “enough of a mess that I believe they will come apart.” That’s untrue. Sasse’s GOP is indeed in trouble, both because it’s on the wrong side of the country’s biggest demographic changes and because it’s on the verge of a nominating a man who many party elders despise. But the Democratic Party has rarely been stronger and more united. For all the talk about the divisions between Clinton and Bernie Sanders, 86 percent of Sanders supporters say they’ll support Clinton in the fall. By contrast, only 70 percent of Republicans who voted against Trump in the primaries say they’ll back him. According to an April Pew Research Center poll, 88 percent of Democrats view their party favorably compared to only 68 percent of Republicans. Among Americans as a whole, the Democratic Party’s approval rating exceeds the GOP’s by 12 points.

Oh yes, the Republican Party is truly imploding. A Trump nomination seemed impossible to me just a few months ago…it seems inevitable now. And with him at the head of the Party, can a Democratic landslide be far behind? Heh. Heh. Heh.

I know it’s early – and I can already hear Trump fans pointing that out in no uncertain terms – but the polls are plentiful. And they speak volumes about the nature of the race in store. One thing they say loud and clear is that Donald Trump is as unliked as any nominee from any party in our lifetimes. His unfavorables are enormous (high 60’s by some accounts) and his message resonates with a vocal and passionate few.

Unfortunately for his White House aspirations, you can’t get elected with the support of 40% of the electorate – no matter how enthusiastically they cast their vote. And we see that truth in striking display in the latest state and national polls. In poll after poll, Hillary is beating Trump soundly on the national stage and even winning in states that should be Republican. The current EP Poll Average has her up 10.5 points. That’s well into landslide territory.

Will the race tighten up once we get past the conventions? Perhaps. But head-to-head battles aside, Donald Trump has a lot of fences to mend if he hopes to earn the vote of a majority of Americans. Judging from his persona, such an about face seems highly unlikely to me.

Uh, yes. And if this “Face the Nation” interview with John Dickerson is any indication of how she’s going to attack Trump, I think he should start running for Canada now, because that 10.5% could be just the beginning.

CLINTON: Well, he doesn’t have a view. He has a slogan. And he needs to be really pressed on that.

When he says climate change is a Chinese hoax, what does that mean? Has he ever talked to a scientist, or is he just again assuming a slogan? When he says women should be punished for having abortions, what does that mean, and how would he go about that, or rounding up 11 million, 12 million people, which he again repeated, which would entail the most comprehensive police and military action inside our borders that is imaginable?

And you combine that with a lot of what he’s said about foreign policy and then recently economic policy, when he said he’d renegotiate the national debt. Maybe he just doesn’t understand that running our government is not the same as making real estate deals, that putting the full faith and credit of the United States of America at risk would be a horrible outcome.

And it would raise interest rates. It would wipe away savings. It would cause a financial global meltdown. People need to be pressing him. And I don’t think people get, especially in the media, at least so far, into other than just the response, which then is not followed up on.

Buckle up, Widdershins. I hear the sound of Nero’s fiddle!

This is an open thread.

 

Mothers-Day-9

A good Saturday and weekend to you Widdershins!

I thought that for a change of pace this weekend we might look at some movies and more specifically some movies about moms since Sunday is Mother’s Day.  A number of choices came to my mind almost immediately and with the help of the google machine a few other interesting choices popped up.  Sometimes the portrayals of moms in the movies weren’t the best and sometimes the movie moms had some bratty or problem-children to deal with.  Below are some of my choices.  Please share your choices in the comments.

line-divider

(1) Steel Magnolias – 1989  Yeah this one’s almost a given.

(2) I Remember Mama – 1948 – Irene Dunn  This is a lovely little movie that you should catch whenever you can

(3) Mask – 1985 Cher and Eric Stoltz Cher plays unconventional Mom Rusty

(4) Terms of Endearment – 1983 Shirley MacLaine and Debra Winger
(I used to call this one Terms of Endurance
because of Aurora)

(5)  Mildred Pierce – 1945  Good Joan Crawford

(6)  Mommie Dearest – 1981  Bad/mean Joan Crawford

(7) White Heat – 1949 James Cagney   Remember what I said about problem children?

Okay, those are my selections.  Please add any clips you wish below.  And a Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there.  Oh!  And have a mint julep when you watch the Kentucky Derby today!

Trump Debate

Last Tuesday was quite a day.  Morning broke with Trump implicating Ted Cruz’s father in the Kennedy assassination.  It seems Trump unearthed information from where the Warren Commission never thought to look – the front page of The National Enquirer.

We then witnessed Ted Cruz perform an auto-splenectomy on live television.  During a fifteen minute conniption fit, he sputtered and spewed.  Spleenless, he found it too difficult to go on and he quit the race, but not before almost sending his wife, Heidi, to the mat for a nine-count.  Not once, but twice.

Then we saw John Kasich and his electroshock coiffure quit.  Usually when someone bows out in front of their supporters, there are cries and whimpering of, “No, don’t, oh, no, no.”  Sadly, for Kasich there were crickets – mute crickets – mute crickets wrapped in sound-dampeners.  It was almost as if people were thinking, “Well this took long enough!”

Left standing was Trump in all his orange-hued glory.  The Grand Old Party suddenly became the “Party of Trump” or “PoT”.  How did the Republicans go to PoT?  What went wrong?

There are theories aplenty about the Trump plague.  There are the unsurprising and completely expected “surprising things Trump has revealed about America.”

There is the craziness of the “Trump nihilism” of:  Burn it all down!  Burn it to hell because I don’t have an 85 inch teevee, an Uzi, and ringside WWE season tickets.

Trump Laughing StockWe are hearing about the things the Trumpeters believe.  For instance, 40% believe Obama is hiding something about his past.  Fifty-two percent believe vaccines cause autism.  As expected, 29% believe global warming is a myth.  As any good mainlining Fox News junkies would, a full 50% believe Hillary knew about the Benghazi attack beforehand and chose to do nothing.  Finally, and I find this ghastly, 21% of Trump supporters believe the Newtown massacre was faked.

Let that last one sink in for a moment.  One-fifth of Trump diehards believe twenty beautiful first graders are forever taken and hidden from their aggrieved and inconsolable families as part of a grand scheme to increase gun control.

We have heard from everyone and their dog that Trump’s ascension leaves the Republican Party in an identity crisis.  Such long-suffering punditry has the same erudite insightfulness as predicting the sun to set in the west.

But then I ran upon a chart.  It didn’t get much play, but it’s a chart, in my opinion, explaining Trump’s one-third of the Republican Party.  Here it is:

Trump Poll

When asked, “Is discrimination against whites as big a problem as discrimination against blacks and other minorities,” sixty-eight percent of Tea Partiers and sixty-four percent of all Republicans say, “I agree with that statement.”  Neither Independents nor Democrats join in this bizzarity.Trump Hate

For a pollster, this is a “worldview” question.  It suggests how respondents view their place in the world.  It is how Trump supporters view their world.  It also explains a large part of the PoT primary.

Instead of a typical political message of helping others, Trump’s success is grounded in a promise of “hurting them” – “hurting the others” whoever “they” might be.  Accordingly, anger and fear are self-confirming emotions never leading to self-awareness or discovery.  Trump is undeniably the quintessential leader for such followers.  Racism, like water, always finds its own level.

What’s on your mind today?

 

Friends, this is no ordinary Wednesday.

Today, we have a world premier for your viewing pleasure.

It has been laboriously produced, written, and directed by none other than our own Fredster. Without the slightest fear of contradiction, his brainchild captures the innermost thoughts and dreams of Comrade Sanders.

Expect this to be an early favorite at Cannes.  Remember, you saw it here first. Without further adieu, here’s the world premier of:

 Springtime for Bernie

 

Good morning, all. I hope you had a lovely weekend with lots of Happy Happy, Joy Joy.

As for our friend #TheBernout, I think he may have had a few too many of those psychotropic mushrooms behind his cabin in the Vermont woods, because he seems to have lost any concept of how elections actually are supposed to work. He’s so far out on the fantasy limb, he could drop into a Dungeons and Dragons game without much of a leap.

His latest foray into the land of Make Believe is to claim that Hillary will not have enough pledged delegates to get to the magic number, so it’s going to be a contested convention.

In a news conference from Washington, D.C., on Sunday, the Vermont senator urged superdelegates from states where he has won the majority of the vote to reconsider their support.”It is virtually impossible for Secretary Clinton to reach the majority of convention delegates by June 14 with pledged delegates alone,” he said.

“She will need superdelegates to take her over the top. The convention will be a contested contest,” he said.

Ummmmm….no.

Just because she will “need superdelegates to take her over the top,” that doesn’t mean that the convention will be contested. To contest the convention, you would need to make a really strong argument to overrule the will of the pledged delegates, the superdelegates, and, most importantly, the voters. Hillary Clinton has demonstrated an overwhelming strength in all three of these areas, leading in the popular vote count by three million votes.

Still, #TheBernout must have some reason to think that he can come back far enough to erode her overwhelming lead, right? Other than the fact that she’s only a wimminz? Why yes, yes he does!

He said he has won state after state after a strong majority of younger people have voted for him, noting he hopes to win Indiana in next week’s primary. His campaign has sparked energy and excitement, he said, which will translate to a large voter turnout in November.

Sanders then detailed the delegate math, saying that to win the majority of pledged delegates, he needs 65 percent of the remaining delegates in the upcoming contests.

“There are 10 states remaining where we are going to be vigorously competing, plus the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and Guam,” he said.

“We believe that we are in a very strong position to win many of these remaining contests and we have an excellent chance to win in California, the state with far and away the most delegates.”

He admitted that the road ahead is a “tough road to climb,” but not an “impossible road to climb.”

Again…no.

Sanders is trailing in the polls in every major upcoming contest, including California. Here’s how it’s looking according to 538:

  1. Indiana (Tomorrow!) – Clinton predicted to win by 7 points.
  2. California (June 7) – Clinton predicted to win by almost 10 points.
  3. New Jersey (June 7) – Clinton predicted to win by almost 10 points.

None of the other contests Sanders mentions have enough delegates to matter. (But but but…GUAM!!!)

Read the rest of this entry »

musical notes3

A good and happy weekend to you Widdershins!

Well this week was certainly one for the books.  Hillary won four, count em, four primaries this Tuesday with the jewel being her win in Pennsylvania and its yuge number of delegates.  Sanders won Guam uh Rhode Island.  Now I’m not dissin’ on Rhode Island.  It’s just…Rhode Island.  Herr Drumpf made a clean sweep of all five primaries which I would say does make him the odds on favorite for the Republican nomination, although the Cruzer is not going quietly into that night.

However, let’s concentrate on the good news this week.  So many of us have had not-so-great starts to 2016 that we need to concentrate on the good news of the week and our girl being the presumptive nominee for the Democratic nomination.  I suggest we post some songs that make us feel happy, joyful, lighthearted.  Here are my contributions and y’all feel free to add yours in the comments.

Happy-happy Joy-joy

divider-doodle line(1) Holly Dolly – Dolly Song (yes I know it’s silly)
musical notes4

(2) Another Holly Dolly – Don’t Worry Be Happy

(3) Wild Cub – Thunder Clatter  (just liked it because it was up tempo)

musical peace sign(4) Judy Garland – Get Happy (what can I say?  Get Happy!!)

(5) Big Yellow Taxi – Joni Mitchell

(6) Happy Days Are Here Again – Barbra Streisand

Musical arrows.

Well okay!  Those are my happy, upbeat song choices.  Please add yours in the comments below and let’s enjoy the weekend.

Stop Fast Track and the TPP!

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