As a new year begins and Drumpf’s inauguration approaches a few interesting developments have enveloped us. Things that signal what is to come in the next 4 or 8 years (or forever, who knows.)
Remember when the Rockettes were told that they would have to perform at Drumpf’s inauguration, and then after a public backlash the management and the union (which is meant to protect them, but didn’t) said that participation wouldn’t be mandatory? It’s not over yet. While kicking for Drumpf at the inauguration may not be 100% mandatory (just, you know, strongly encouraged if you know what’s good for your dancing career), Marie Claire and Rolling Stone report that participation at the White House’s 4th of July celebrations will be obligatory. Madison Square Garden executive chairman James Dolan held a “private” meeting with the dancers, which was secretly recorded by one of the Rockettes.
One dancer said, “I mean, it just sounds like you’re asking us to be tolerant of intolerance.” He paused to consider his answer and said, “Yeah, in a way, I guess we are doing that. What other choices do we have? What else would you suggest?”
“I don’t believe it’s going to hurt the brand,” he said. “And nobody is more concerned about that than the guy sitting in this chair.”
Herr Dolan is very concerned about the brand, and that right there is everything you need to know about Mr. Dolan, ladies and gentlemen.
Then there’s the story of everybody least favorite Moe Joe Scarborough and his love affair with Trump. Joe – and Mika Brzetaedtaisdksnksy – spent New Year’s Eve with Drumpf at Mar-a-Lago. NY Times’ Maggie Haberman tweeted this seemingly innocuous tidbit and Joe had a full on meltdown. Why were Joe’s panties up in such a furious twist? Because some people think schmoozing like that is not appropriate for a journalist. Joe thinks everybody can go eat a bag of Dick Tracies. He says he’s just trying to secure an interview with Drumpf and wants Drumpf to feel comfortable. I don’t know why Joe thinks a politician must feel comfortable with the journalist. Washington Post’s media critic Margaret Sullivan doesn’t either.
Despite all the silliness that’s piling up here — and it is getting almost as tall as Trump Tower — there is a serious principle at hand. It’s this: There should be some distance between journalists and elected officials. If that doesn’t exist, independence and impartiality are sure to be questioned. And rightly so.
And in other media related news – everybody favorite blond right-winger Megyn Kelly has announced that she is leaving Faux News and is going to NBC. This may or may not be bad news for Faux. Her program is their 2nd highest rated, but I think her disappearance from the Faux roster won’t make a difference. The right-wingers hate her because they think she’s too liberal. So let’s not worry about Faux News. But this is quite the blow to NBC. Their interest is obviously monetary. Kelly has been gracing magazine covers, including Vanity Fair, for months. Because she occasionally asks a tough question of a right-wing politician, a question Hannity and O’Reilly wouldn’t ask – suggests to some on the Left that she is an impartial journalist. Many friends of mine have posted on Facebook how much they do like Kelly. Horseshit. Megyn Kelly is a right-wing nutjob. Just because the Right is now so far to the Right that it’s a dot to us doesn’t mean that she is that far off it. Problem for reasonable people is that the media and public embrace of Kelly legitimizes her Right-wing insanity, which includes declarations that Jesus and Santa Claus were most definitely white and that the Black Panthers are destroying America. Her arrival at NBC – which also gifts us the previously discussed Moe Scarborough and soon Greta Van Susteren – is certainly creating an odd Right-wing wing at the network. This isn’t good news folks.
Just a tiny bit (very tiny) of good news though. After House Rethuglicans met at night and in private and in secret to gut the Office of Congressional Ethics – a shitstorm hit the fan. After a public outcry and a media firestorm Rethuglicans backed off. Even Drumpf tweeted
a critique. But it’s important to note that Drumpf doesn’t object to gutting OCE. He wants to get rid of it. And he had Baghdad Conway on the boob tube bashing it. Drumpf doesn’t even object to how Rethuglicans tried to do it in secret in a late-night meeting without a single Democrat present. Drumpf only objected to the timing of their actions. So while they have backed off for now, we can expect them to do this again in the near future with full support from the White House.
Our Prolix is still feeling pretty awful so no posts from him.
I thought I would peruse the political cartoons to give us a laugh or two. Gawd only knows we’ll need it later on.
And speaking of chuckles:
So what’s on your minds today shinners?
Good Weekend Widdershins and Happy New Year!
Well here we are my friends…down to the last damn day before the New Year. Oh whoop-de-doo! Meanwhile, the Doomsday Clock continues its inexorable ticking down until the 20th of January. On the bright side that falls on a Friday and we know that the orange talking yam is not really a workaholic so perhaps we have a few extra days before the damage starts. But enough of that! Let’s enjoy what we can while we can.
To that end let’s do a musical event today just as if this was a normal, Widdershin Weekend. This weekend let’s take a look at some New Year’s Eve songs and concentrate on some happy, joyful things. I mean, things might not be as bad as we think they’re going to be n’cest pas? Okay, right. Well we’ll just kid ourselves and enjoy it for a day or two.
I have my selections below and hope that you will consider adding some of your own in the comments. C’mon…we can party hardy for a day or two!
(1) Celebration ~ Kool & the Gang
(2) Bringing In a Brand New Year ~ B B King
(3) Christmas Ain’t Christmas, New Year’s Ain’t New Year’s (without the one you love) The O’Jays
(4) Celtic New Year ~ Van Morrison
(5) ABBA ~ Happy New Year
(6) Ella Fitzgerald ~ What are you doing New Year’s Eve?
Okay Widdershins, put on those thinking caps and add some selections below! Now Fredster is going to be in and out from the blog because…football bowl games. However, that should not stop y’all from keeping the place jumpin’.
Does anyone else feel like we are living through The Rapture? The Chosen ones – David Bowie, George Michael, Carrie Fisher, etc., – are being carried off to a better place while the rest of us heathens stay behind to suffer Drumpf for all eternity. We can all agree 2016 has been literally the worst. I’m not sure saying goodbye to it will make anything better though. Just when you think things can’t get any worse – they can. Do we have any reason to think 2017 will be an improvement with Drumpf – aka. King Jesus – and Pence leading the way?
Over the last couple of weeks we’ve also had some bizarre murmurings about HRC’s loss from Obama and everyone’s apparently favorite uncle Joe Biden. (Nevermind that Biden is a gaffe machine who once said it was nice that Obama was so clean, among many other stunning pronouncements). Obama declared he definitely would have won if he ran against Trump (thanks Obama!) and Biden said Hillary never figured out how to run. This is from a guy who has run for President how many times and always dropped out with single digit support? Now Biden says he might run in 2020. Ok fantastic, good luck with that uncle Joe. With friends like these who needs friends? So how about Obama and Biden shut the hell up at this point? And while they’re at it, can they shut Bernie up too?
Speaking of Bernie, I’ve had it up the wazoo with Bernie and his Bros. We are still hearing them tell us how much we don’t understand the suffering of poor white men in the rust belt, and how we should not look down on them, and our condescension of their deplorableness is one big reason HRC lost the election (they don’t really care about the popular vote any more than Drumpf does.)
Ok look, this might sound harsh, but we don’t care about political correctness anymore, right? And these are tough guys, they’re men damn it, they can handle the truth. So here goes: I have no doubt poor white men in the rust belt are suffering. But whose fault is it? Whose freaking fault is it? Apparently it’s HRC’s fault, and my fault and all of your fault Widdershins. We just don’t take care of them enough. Boohoo poor babies. Wahwahwahwahwah. My coal job is gone and I can’t get black lung disease anymore! And “fixing” Obamacare might get rid of my black lung health insurance!
Ok, you know what? I’m done being blamed for that shit. The world evolves and people must evolve with it. Once upon a time everybody was a farmer. Then the Industrial Revolution came and people had to evolve and adapt. So they lost their farming jobs and moved to the big cities and started working in factories. Now we are living in a post-Industrial world, we are in a technological age. Maybe these poor white men in the rust belt could turn off NASCAR and crack open a damned book and learn something? Maybe go to a community college and get a degree in something instead of longing for the golden age of coal mines? It’s just a suggestion. Stop mocking the coastal elites who work long hours in offices and who went to college and got college degrees and massive student debts. I have a friend who works full time at Teach For America and goes full time to the New School. He has asked me for small loans to buy food a few times because his entire salary is spent on school and rent (with roommates.) These are the choices he made and I’ve never heard him blame anyone for them. He chose to go to school to get a masters while working full time and living in Brooklyn. So how about these poor white men in the rust belt stop whining and demanding things from everyone, blaming coastal elites for their troubles, while accepting no responsibilities for their own choices and actions. And how about Bernie Bros stop patronizing them and treating them like little children who are apparently so stupid that after a two year Presidential campaign HRC was somehow unable to connect with them. Excuse me, are they complete idiots who are incapable of critical thinking? Well, I tend to think “Yes, they are.” These are the people who year after year vote against their won self interests. In 2016 they voted for Drumpf. Seems pretty stupid to me. But Bernie/Bros tell us to stop condescending to them. Ok fine, let’s stop condescending to them, let’s treat them like adults with a few still living brain cells and hold them accountable for their own actions. Stop blaming everyone for these people’s stupidity and maybe spread out some blame for our current predicament to these people themselves? I mean, go ahead and blame HRC for her failures (I’ll assign one: it was obviously a mistake to spend time, money and resources trying to flip Georgia blue.) But stop blaming HRC for these poor suffering white men’s own failures as well as her own. I think we are all tired of being everybody’s whipping boys/girls, no? Take some responsibility for your actions folks in the rust belt and Bernie Bros who love them. You voted for Trump because you don’t like women, because you get bored by policy, you never looked at HRC’s plans for job creation in your regions, you only watched Faux News and read Breitbart for your breaking news, you thought e-mails were a really big deal. Own it. Hmmkay thanx bye.
What’s on your minds Widdershins? This is an open thread.
Good Boxing Day, all. I hope you had a mostly politics-free holiday. We managed to avoid it at the party we go to every year, which was good – I am pretty sure at least one of the attendees voted for Drumpf. (Ugh!!!)
And now, unfortunately, it’s time to return to the ever-scarier world that is being forced down our throats by an antiquated, racist electoral system that disenfranchised millions of voters, and a weak-willed incumbent President who is too afraid of appearing “partisan” to do anything to stop Drumpf’s takeover of our democracy. It’s a disgraceful end to his historic presidency. Tragically, he was even too afraid of seeming “partisan” to stop James Comey’s torpedoing of Hillary Clinton in the final days of the Worst Election Ever. I thought he was playing eleven-dimensional chess on Pluto, brogressives – could he not have foreseen that if Hillary did not win, his entire legacy, and indeed, our entire country as we know it, would not survive?
A slight digression here: I admit, I still don’t get the terror Obama evinces at being called “partisan.” This country has two political parties, the platforms of which are polar opposites to each other. If Americans didn’t want a Democrat in office, they wouldn’t have elected Barack Obama twice. But, instead of labeling all of the good things he did as the direct result of Democratic action and Democratic policies, Obama accrued all the glory to himself and his awesomeness. He never made the argument for Democrats versus Republicans; never made that clear case that Republicans want to trash the middle class, and their policies do so; and Democrats want to build up the middle class, and their policies do so.
Even my stepmother, who worked very hard to swing Virginia to Obama in 2008, is chastened at how empty Obama has left the Democratic bench and how eviscerated Democratic organizations are in the states. In 2012, he spent almost $1 billion of Democratic money to get himself elected, but the Senate and House were left very vulnerable indeed, and due to many factors, including throwing 5-6 million Democratic voters off the rolls, the gutting of the Voting Rights Act and unethical voting practices in states with Republican governors, we are now moving towards a one-party government – and it’s the really, really bad party. May I just pause for a moment and yell:
WE. TOLD. YOU. SO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
WELL WHAT ARE YOU DOING HERE ON CHRISTMAS EVE AND CHRISTMAS DAY?
To quote from Charles Pierce’s Holiday post:
It will do us all good, I think, to take a weekend off from the cares of a world that seems to be coming apart from its mind outwards. It will do us all good, I think, to take this particular holiday slowly as it comes around. Even the pagans needed some excuse to rejoice in the darkest time of the year, which is why Christians copped the notion in the first place, and this has been a year with more than its share of dark times, god knows. And there’s no telling what’s coming down out of the deep woods come the next turning of the calendar. But very likely it’s something we’ve never seen before, or at least that’s the way I’m betting.
Hope struggled harder against events than it ever has this year, at least as far as I can remember. Between the deaths of iconic figures from Muhammad Ali to Prince to Arnold Palmer to David Bowie and the storm of ominous portents that gathered thickly from every point in the sky almost from the moment the presidential campaign began, hope had a long push up a dirt road in 2016. It may never make it to the top, but we owe hope the honor of spending at least one weekend having faith in hope.
We are stronger together than when we are separate. Don’t let tRump and the Repubtards (that’s my new name for them since they like to call us libtards) break us apart.
As the horrific 2016 drags itself to a miserable close, and since the day the electors put You-Know-Who You-Know-Where, I’ve been trying to cheer myself up with more cheerful topics. Like assassinations. I kid, of course.
On Monday, as our country was committing ritual hara-kiri, a horrific assassination took place at an art gallery in Turkey. The Russian Ambassador to Turkey, Andrey Karlov, was shot as he delivered a speech, with an Associated Press photographer there to capture every horrific moment. These photos will probably win awards. Perhaps they should. The assassin, who was killed, was shouting “Remember Syria! Remember Aleppo!” Long-term fallout from these events are impossible to predict. Turkey is quickly transitioning from a Democracy into a dictatorship. Russia is a dictatorship. The USA is experimenting. And Europe is at a crossroads with England exiting stage Right. It’s unlikely the assassin’s
purported concern for Syria and Aleppo, which Russians have been annihilating, will get much sympathy from the public at large. In general it is a terrible idea to commit murder while feigning concern for anyone. A better route for this miserable man may have been a public suicide. Mohamed Bouazizi set himself on fire on December 17, 2010, starting uprisings and revolutions in Tunisia and then a wider Arab Spring.
Perhaps the most famous case to be made against all assassinations is the murder of Archduke Ferdinand of Austria in Serbia on June 28, 1914. Who thought the death of such a minor person would lead to the deadliest war up to then and millions of deaths.
Many great people fell to assassinations throughout history of the world. Abraham Lincoln, Mahatma Gandhi, JFK, Martin Luther King, Jr., Anna Politkovskaya. The list is long, dark and full of terror. I think we all agree that there are better ways to make political statements.
Foreheads of men have bled where no wounds were.
I am the enemy you killed, my friend.
I knew you in this dark; for so you frowned
Yesterday through me as you jabbed and killed.
I parried; but my hands were loath and cold.
Let us sleep now . . .”
Which brings me to a question: what do we do to make political statements in a post-Drumpf world? I ask for very practical reasons. Some of my friends and I really want to do something over the next 4 years. Besides donating to worthy causes that will combat You-Know-Who, what else can we do? We had a meeting last week and decided we will join some local long-standing organizations that fight for political change. But that seems sort of hollow. What ideas do you all have for us Widdershins? We are all in NYC. One of us an insufferable Bernie Bro. But we must learn to live with that – he did vote for HRC, though he is very angry that she wasn’t as perfect as Bernie. In any case, we discussed the presence of the vile Peter King as a Representative from NY. He’s an institution at this point and hails form the conservative Long Island. It would feel so so good to kick him out. We will definitely support whoever runs against him, but chances of unseating him are slim. What else do you all recommend? Locally and nationally.
This is an open thread. What’s on your minds?
Madonna singing “Imagine” at a HRC rally in Washington Square Park on November 7, 2016.