The Widdershins

hope-tutu-2

Good Saturday and weekend to you Widdershins.  By the title I assume you have guessed what the theme will be for our weekend music on the blog.

that there is light despite all of the darkness

We are going to have to keep that in mind my peeps.  Every time we see an incident or thing happening that show how clueless this Prez-elect and his entourage are, we have to keep that in mind.  That whenhope-1024x320 the talking yam wants to bring into the White House a racist, bigoted, supporter of the alt-right, we have to keep that in mind.  That when he appoints as his national security adviser, a man who was in the pay of the Turkish government as a lobbyist, we have to keep that in mind.

So let’s take a look at some songs of hope.

web-page-separator-line(1) Rise Up ~ Andra Day

(2) When You Believe ~ Whitney Houston & Mariah Carey

hope-cupped-hands

(3) Titanium ~ David Guetta

(4) Skyscraper ~ Demi Lovato

(5) Long Promised Road ~ The Beach Boys

(6) The Show Must Go On ~ Queen

web-page-separator-lineOkay there’s a half-dozen to get y’all started.  There are tons and tons of these songs out there so I know you will find some to add in the comments.

hope-quotes14-e1401455990456

Open thread, obviously.

 

 

Three days of blog flu, where I verbally vomited over what the country has done to itself, is good therapy.  Thank you for tolerating my desperate search as I rummage about for traces of my sanity. dead-horse

Today’s offering is a preview of coming attractions from the orange Dim Kong Ill.  What can we expect?  We will get to that, but there is something I must share.  This is from Vox.  It is a visualization of the overarching, phony, spurious email issue that plagued Hillary’s campaign.

What it really represents, to me at least, is the unfairness of the double standard applied to Hillary.  Hillary ran a near perfect campaign.  She did run herself ragged and get pneumonia, but humans, even Hillary, get sick.  Her convention was spectacular.  The campaign was buttoned down with no leaks or typical derisive power plays.  Almost perfect.

Except there were those emails.  This fictitious, dummied-up issue was what lazy reporters used to shore-up their claims of “fairness”.  Each day there was some new issue to ding the Orangeloupe about, but it had to be “evened out”.  Balance was what the journalistic gods commanded.  Unfair as it was, the emails were the universal leveler.  There you have the reportorial fairness equation during the entire campaign.

By its repeated use, the email issue was seared into the brains of casual voters as a huge issue while a thousand “one-day stories” about some craziness orange Dim Kong Ill spluttered were forgotten.  This is what two years of front pages looked like:

trump-multi-chart

 

Now, this is what the email coverage looked like:

clinton-emails-led-sites

 

The painful truth is this:  Hillary was expected to be perfect.  Not just any perfect, but immaculately infallibly perfect to overcome what faced her.  And yet, she still won the popular vote.

My point is this – Hillary faced unrealistic expectations.  This isn’t endemic to politics, it is cultural, it is pervasive, and it is wrong.  Progress is slow.  In no small measure what Hillary endured has driven at least some reporters to search their miserable souls about fairness.  To the extent this soul-searching has occurred, it is but another example of Hillary moving the ball down the field to the day when we can legitimately say, “Madam President”.  For now, we will have to be satisfied with referring to Hillary as the “People’s President”.

By the way, it has been nine days and not a word about emails.  How has humanity survived?

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clownfish-anemone

The clownfish and the anemone are perfect symbiotic mates.  Fortuitously, the clownfish can live among the poisonous tendrils of the anemone since it is biologically immune to the toxin.  Predatory fish will get their little fishy bells rung by the sweet, sweet sting of the anemone.  What does the anemone get out of this hookup?  The anemone gets to eat the clownfish’s shit.

And there you have it my friends – the perfect analogy.  With der Drumpf as the “Clownfish” and the anemone being the press and by extension the public, it is a plotline right out of XXX Finding Fetishized Nemo.  Here’s the rub, Marlin was so darn cute in Finding Nemo, the clownfish swam straight to the endangered species listIs our future any brighter?

Bannon after a couch hack-a-thon with his Russian buds...

Bannon after a couch hack-a-thon with his Russian buds…

If you look at the school of clownfish circling the West Wing, I sincerely doubt it.  By now you have heard and read about Steve Bannon, the new potentate of the Emirates of Trump.  He’s a dirty bird.  Oops, I’m mixing metaphors.  Well anyway, Bannon is an alt-right combo platter of Lee Atwater, G. Gordon Liddy, Karl Rove, with a side order of Joey Goebbels.  It is from Joey that Bannon got his mantra, “A lie told once remains a lie, but a lie told a thousand times becomes the truth.”  When you go through Goebbels’ quotes, Bannon seems to have been carved out of his arse.

There are those who are lighting their hair on fire about Bannon.  There are those who think he could be worseSaint Elizabeth and Friar Sanders can hoot and holler all they want, but it will only create more steely resolve in the King Clownfish – that’s the way he is wired.  More on that tomorrow.

Then you have Prince Rebus or whatever his name is as Chief of Staph Staff.  Give him some cheese and sit him in the corner.  He will be nothing more than an assistant’s assistant to make sure the phone is charged so the Clownfish can tweet himself to sleep at night.

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Scene:  A moderately seedy bar.  Low light.  If you could, it would smell of stale beer and old ashtrays.  A long bar of AA dropouts litter the place. p-dive-bar-96th-front

A man who has been over-served at some other establishment lumbers in the door.  He pours himself into a seat at the bar, pulls out a wad of cash, and begins the acquisition of respect and friendship one round at a time.

This stranger is quite loquacious.  He’s quite generous with his opinions and they are as free-flowing as the intellectualizing brown liquids.  The bar tab ensures plenty of deference.

As closing hour draws nigh, he offers everyone a ride back to his place to continue the fine evening.  Everyone is game.  For good measure, the bartender treats everyone to another round on the house.

No one asks the free-wheeling philosopher if he’s okay to drive because no one cares.  The AA dropouts don’t dare ask.  As they leave, the bartender pours everyone a shot for good measure to make sure no one backs out.

And off they go.  To what ends we aren’t sure.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

In the little vignette, the philosophizing drunk is, of course, the clamorous Yam.  The other bar clientele are the white voters, mostly men, who decided at the last moment to get drunk with him and go along for the ride.

Listening to drunks in bars is entertaining, just like listening to the outrageous claims of this rubber-skinned traffic cone has been.  So entertaining that no one really cared if what he was saying had an ounce of truth behind it.  In fact, climbing into a car with a drunk would be infinitely safer than trusting the future of mankind to a magic 8-ball dipped in gold leaf.  There are no airbags for thermonuclear devastation.

By the way, the bartender who plied the pickled livers with drinks?  His friends call him Vlad.

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captureGood Monday, all. This is not how I expected to be greeting you today. My heart is torn as I cycle endlessly amongst the various stages of grief. As a woman of action, though, my pain at the devastating death of my hope to finally see an incredible woman become the first female President of the United States, is quickly turning to a desire to fight back. And online, I have found many, many others who feel the same way.

Here’s what we can’t do: we can’t assume that half of America is racist and sexist and anti-LGBT and xenophobic. That leads to despair, and frankly, we can’t afford that. What happened was too important; what happened was multi-faceted, and needs much data before it’s disentangled. Leave cartoonish over-generalizations to the Trumpsters – we are smarter than that. We also don’t fall prey to the toxic memes the media generates to explain the inexplicable or the counter-intuitive.

I’ll have more thoughtful and detailed things to say once I get my head together. Until then, two points:

  1. Hillary won the popular vote – it’s looking like by a long shot. There are more of us than there are of them.
  2. The Republicans stole this election by suppressing the vote in swing states. Period, end of story. We can either accept that, or not. (I vote…NOT.)

The major thing I think we need to focus on, as we start figuring out how to move on and survive in this crazy reality show of a result, is to register our support for our fellow Americans. We want them to know that it doesn’t matter whom they love, how much melanin they have in their skin, what gender they may be, or what deity they worship.  We are still #strongertogether and #stillwithher, with the beautiful and forward-looking vision Our Girl made us believe in.

I am not going to accept that just because this carnival barker bamboozled his way into the Oval Office, this country is lost. It isn’t, because we won’t let it be.

Here is one thing I’m going to do. Join me in Washington, D.C. on Saturday, January 21. Let’s make it very, VERY clear that Drumpf is NOT OUR PRESIDENT.

More to come on this topic – here’s a great article that was linked last night in the comments. Meanwhile, this is an open thread.

Happy Weekend everyone. I’m filling in for Fredster today because I think we can all agree that if Fredster needs a break, Fredster gets a break! I know we usually do a music post on weekends, but I can’t think of a genre to suit the mood. I don’t think we want mellow and slow. (seems sad) If I hear cheery and up beat I just might throw something at the screen. So I thought I’d go with something else.

When I started bookmarking these links in September, planning this post for November, I had a completely different scenario of the future in mind. It’s neither here nor there for the post, but it’s certainly not for some outcomes. Please keep in mind my links are from September/October when the action was happening.

On Monday, November 14th, our  wonderful legislators will be back from their latest090808_congressional_recess month-long vacation to begin the “lame duck” session. So, let’s look back to where they left off when they adjourned at the end of September.

They did manage to pass a stop gap budget to prevent a government shutdown, at least until December 9th. Since they haven’t passed an actual, full-on budget since 1997, when Bill Clinton was President, I guess it’s the best we can hope for.

The biggest stickler was funds for Flint, MI. Nancy Pelosi insisted the Democrats would be willing to shut down the government if the Flint aid was not there. Mitch McConnell was adamant that the Flint aid be put into the Water Resources Development Act instead. The Dems had no problem with that. They just didn’t trust them as far as they could throw them to actually do it.

“It isn’t promised that it will be in there. It’s promised that it will be considered,” House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) told reporters Tuesday.

Pelosi said the bottom line for Democrats is that Flint funding needs to end up in one of the two bills by week’s end, and it doesn’t necessarily matter which one.

“We’re hoping to leverage it one way or another,” she said. “Our minority caucuses do not want to vote for a bill that does not have Flint in it.”

With House Republicans sounding so sketchy on including Flint funding in the WRDA, Democrats seem to have taken a firm line. “Put it in the CR, put it in the WRDA bill that’s in the House now ― not some promise that, ‘Oh well, we’ll pass the WRDA bill and maybe it will be in conference,’” House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) told reporters.

Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) was also skeptical of Ryan’s promises. “Why isn’t he making it happen? Why isn’t he helping us? We can’t trust the House,” she said in a Senate floor speech.

The Democrats stood their ground on this. It was obvious McConnell and Ryan had no intention of including Flint in the WRDA either. They believe it’s a state issue and not up to the Feds. After much rigamarole, bluster and threats, Flint was included in the WRDA and both bills passed. Flint was allotted $170 million. That seems like a measly amount to me considering their needs. (Zika funding got a cool billion) I’m fairly certain Flint will not see another dime, at least for the next four years. What do they care? It’s only real human lives we’re talking about.

The criminal justice reform bill (Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act) came within an inch of passing. They’ve been working on this for two years and it has HUGE bi-partisan support. It’s supported by Obama and Newt Gingrich. Koch Industries and the ACLU. Thedo-nothing-congress conservative group Freedom Works and the liberal group the Center for American Progress. It’s been a year since they held their big press conference.

“This is truly a landmark piece of legislation and is the biggest criminal-justice reform in a generation,” Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa said at the time, flanked by both Democrats and his fellow Republicans. “There are things in here that each of us like. There are items that each of us would rather do without. But this is how the process works here in Congress.”

They had the votes, they knew it would pass and that Obama was ready to sign. But, nooooo! I don’t care about their excuses. It’s not they didn’t have time, it’s not even dysfunction. It’s because they were heading home to face their base and looking to be reelected. Any vote, yes or no, before elections is based on saving their own hides. They left whining about getting it done in the lame-duck session. (bold is mine)

Advocates are looking to the Lame Duck, the session after Election Day before the end of the year, for action, hoping that a post-election environment will help the cause.

But Lame Duck will be difficult because the legislation still has to pass both the House and the Senate, a huge feat in a slow-moving process.

Funny how a couple of months and a Presidential election can completely flip things 180. I’m sure McTurtle’s “probably not” turned into a big “hell no” on November 9th. After all, Obama really wanted this and McConnell can’t have that.

But on Thursday, McConnell threw water on any hope of bringing it before the Senate in the lame duck session when lawmakers return after the election, chalking it up to disagreement in his caucus.

“We’ve got about three weeks back here after the election,” McConnell said, adding that his priorities are funding the government and an appropriations bill for medical research.

“With regard to the criminal justice issue, it’s very divisive in my conference,” McConnell said. “I’ve got very, very smart, capable people without regard to ideology who have different views on that issue. Whether we can take up something that controversial with that amount of limited time available, I doubt.”

Paul Ryan claims to be a proponent of the bill and yet… (bold is mine)

Sentencing reform is still one of Ryan’ priorities, though he failed to start considering the issue in September like he’d originally planned.

“We have more work to do to talk with our members about the merits of criminal justice reform,” Ryan said Thursday.“There are a lot of our members who just have not looked into this issue well enough and it’s those undecided members who have not formed opinions that we’re going to be communicating with in the weeks ahead.”

Paul, Paul, Paul. If you have members who don’t know enough about a bill that’s been floating around two years, please sit them down and speak to them as if they are 3rd graders. Then, tell us who they are so we can point and laugh.

Even though it would save us beaucoup bucks (80 billion a year) and the majority of the country wants it, that’s not important. McConnell has an Obama win to kill. If they can’t get this bill through this session for Obama to sign, it will never see the light of day, at least for the next four years with AG Giuliani. But, hey! It’s only real human lives at stake here!

The 911 bill, JASTA (Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act) would allow families of the victims of 9/11 to sue Saudi Arabia. That’s really extraordinary. I’m not sure how I feel about the bill itself, but I sure can’t blame the families for wanting to hold someone accountable for financing that operation. It seems like a pretty big challenge to sue Saudi billionaires, but I’m sure there is a passel of attorneys  lined up to give them a hand. (no offense to any lawyers who may be around *cough cough*)

Now, Obama had explained why this was a bad idea and when the bill got to his desk he vetoed as promised and released a three page statement saying why.

In a three-page statement explaining his decision, Obama said he has “deep sympathy for the families of the victims of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 (9/11), who have suffered grievously. I also have a deep appreciation of these families’ desire to pursue justice and am strongly committed to assisting them in their efforts.”

But, Obama believed the bill was misguided and argued it would open up US government personnel and service members to lawsuits overseas.

JASTA threatens to reduce the effectiveness of our response to indications that a foreign government has taken steps outside our borders to provide support for terrorism, by taking such matters out of the hands of national security and foreign policy professionals and placing them in the hands of private litigants and courts… Second, JASTA would upset longstanding international principles regarding sovereign immunity, putting in place rules that, if applied globally, could have serious implications for U.S. national interests.

Well, the Senators wanted to go home before their elections and brag to the voters how they “stood with the American people” so every single one, except Harry Reid, voted toVETO OVERRIDE override the veto. Was Harry the only one that read Obama’s statement? Before they even got out the door they started having regrets. Mitch McConnell, bless his little black heart, blamed it on Obama’s ‘failure to communicate’. Did he not read the damn three page statement?!

Even 28 lawmakers who had just helped to pass the first override of Obama’s presidency sent a letter to their own leaders Thursday saying maybe there should be changes.

So Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) leveled at least partial blame on Obama.

“That was a good example, it seems to me, of a failure to communicate early about the potential consequences of a piece of legislation,” McConnell told reporters before Congress got out of town until after the elections. “By the time everybody seemed to focus on some potential consequences of it, members had already basically taken a position.”

“I think it was just a ball dropped,” McConnell added. “I wish the president — I hate to blame everything on him, and I don’t — but it would have been helpful had he, uh, we had a discussion about this much earlier than last week.”

Paul Ryan, who didn’t even vote:

“I’d like to think that there’s a way we could fix [it] so that our service members do not have legal problems overseas, while still protecting the rights of the 9/11 victims,” said House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.), who backed the bill in public statements though he did not cast a vote during Wednesday’s override.

Every once in a while, someone accidently tells the truth.(bold is mine)

“I share Senator Corker’s frustration on JASTA,” Senate Foreign Relations Committee ranking member Ben Cardin (D-Md.) said, referring to the bill by its acronym. But he faulted “circumstances that neither he nor I could control, nor could the administration control – and that is the timing of JASTA required us to take the veto override before the recess.”

Boy, they sure have a whole lot of ‘fixing’ to do in the lame duck session. I don’t know how they will accomplish that since McTurtle says he only has time for the budget and medical research. (whatever that means) Do these guys have a single clue of what they’re doing?

Please feel free to post any music you like. I know Leonard Cohen is on a lot of people’s minds this week. And let’s hear your latest thoughts and share some linky goodness! Open thread.

 

Folks, tumbling through the stages of grief I find myself smack-dab in the middle of a state fair, prize-winning depression.  I slid right through shock, denial, and anger.  Spent no time with bargaining because there’s nothing with which to bargain.  And I’ll never go into “Hope” unless I find myself, for some inexplicable reason, sightseeing in Arkansas. black-swan

Wherever you are on this spectrum, don’t rush.  When you get to depression, look to the left and I’ll be the sad troll in the corner repeatedly mumbling, “Why?”  That is the question consuming me.

We can parse and cipher the demographic data.  We can point our fingers at the pollsters, but they were just reporting numbers.  Polls don’t vote.  We can fret and fume, but the plot line is relatively simple.  White folks without college degrees, particularly men, turned out in record numbers.  Support for Hillary from poor folks making under $30,000, and support from minorities fell dramatically from Obama’s 2012 numbers.  That’s the story.

Polling was within the margin of error as to the popular vote.  Hillary is winning the popular vote. For Democrats, that’s six times in the last seven elections.

Individual state polling was faulty.  Even wringing the “noise” out of the studies by polling aggregation didn’t sound an alarm.  Statistical regression analyses didn’t isolate the aggression of white, disaffected middle class males.

The most concise answer is this:  Pollsters missed the weighting formula because they didn’t take into account the increase in disaffected white guys who crawled out from under their rocks to vote for the Orangeloupe and people wasting their votes on a protest vote for a pothead and a funkdafied nutzoid.

It’s just that simple.

women-for-trumpWhat fascinates me is why people of color would vote for someone who turned “dog whistles” into a bullhorn?   Why did white women, by 10%, vote for an admitted sexual predator?  Why did 27% of Latinos vote for the Xenophobe-Elect?  Why did 23% of Millennials vote for a climate change denier who will have them in designer Fallujah-wear before the calendar turns to an even-numbered year?  One-quarter of the Yam’s voters said he was NOT qualified to be President.

For people of color, I hope you enjoy a federal “stop and frisk program” administered by Attorney General Nosferatu Giuliani.  For ladies, get used to a “Race Bannon-looking” mother-clucker poking around your lady parts at the Gyno-Garage – that is if you can find one after Pence outlaws them.  For Latinos, Skyping with family members is easy and fun.  For Millennials, the dry desert air does wonders for the complexion.  For those who voted for someone even though they believed he was unqualified to occupy the most powerful office on the planet, no need to call ahead, your place in hell is reserved.  And by the way, don’t expect to get a thank you from the top one-tenth of one-percent for their tax cuts. Enjoy the Trump Administration.

Perhaps, just perhaps, I’m not quite through the anger stage.

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Our 2016 Ticket!

Our girl is gonna shine

Busted: Glass ceiling

Compare the Candidates!

Hillary Clinton

    • 9years, First Lady of Arkansas

    •8 years, First Lady of the United States

    •8 years, U.S. Senator

    •4 years, U.S. Secretary of State

Donald Trump

    •At least 15 failed businesses

    •Owns casinos that have filed for
    bankruptcy no less than 4 times

    •0 years in public service

HRC bumper sticker

Picture says it all

What happens when Trump speaks

Sad truth

Yes you can!

www.womencanstoptrump.com/

What happens when you have softballed a candidate in the primaries and get called on it

She’s thinking “Less than 2 weeks I have to keep seeing that face”

Yeah I can make it

The team we’re on

Okay peeps you know what we have to do

Women’s March on Washington!

Right-click the pic for more info

Tell Schumer no accommodating Trump

Sign the petition to Schumer

Yeah, just give him a chance