The Widdershins

Posts Tagged ‘activist Tuesday

Unfortunately, due to the corruption of the Drumpf Administration, we are being forced to sustain it.

Let’s not call honor it by calling it incompetence, okay? It’s 100% grift. Everything. It’s all about the Mango Moron and his cronies stealing taxpayer money from the US Treasury and shoveling it into each others’ pockets. It’s a Unified Theory of Republicans: Power, Lawlessness and Grift are their three evil masters.

Here’s an example: the testing disaster. Der Drumpfenfuhrer and his slavering sycophants didn’t want to do what every other Administration would do during a time of major emergency: nationalize the supply chain. This is because if they did that, they couldn’t make money on things like PPE and swabs. So instead of being a responsible government, those pieces of elephant dung decided to completely and totally f*ck up testing for the foreseeable future. Indeed, Drumpf is still pushing back on testing even after almost 100,000 deaths.

…Throughout the coronavirus outbreak — and as criticism of the amount of testing has proliferated — Trump has repeatedly questioned the need for a vast amount of tests and suggested that rising numbers are a liability for him rather than a necessary part of getting a handle on the problem.

The thing is, we were never meant to be socially distant for a long time. It’s a temporary solution at best, meant to flatten the curve and gain time for…you guessed it…testing.

If the Trump administration is serious about starting to reopen the country soon and wants to avoid a lot more people getting sick, they need to fix the testing problem — fast. Because right now, we’re staring down the potentially toxic mixture of relaxed social distancing and insufficient testing.

To end social distancing, as Vox’s Umair Irfan put it quite plainly: “Test millions. Test early. Test late. Test over and over. Test until the whole damn pandemic is over.”

The path forward is clear, according to Umair’s reporting:

Following through on this would require a massive increase in government funding, huge numbers of workers trained to administer the tests, and the coordination of raw materials, manufacturing, and delivery across the entire global economy. It’s a costly, brute-force approach. But it may be the only way out of the expensive and blunt measures already deployed to control the pandemic, from social distancing to shelter-in-place orders.

In a way, I don’t blame people who are tired of sheltering in place and want to take off the masks and be with others in a restaurant, or at a party. It’s not normal or natural to be away from people for so long. In fact, it can be actively harmful.

We need each other. Being isolated from other people can make our physical and mental health worse and can trigger anxiety and depression. Especially if you live alone, social distancing is hard on our bodies and our emotions.

So the problem we face right now is that our bodies and emotions are screaming for us to see each other without those hellatious masks – to hug and kiss each other, to party in a bar, to go on a trip. But because we don’t have testing and contact tracing, we can’t do it. And unless the grifters agree not to grift (FAT CHANCE), we won’t be able to do it for a long time.

I hope everyone hangs in there till we can. Here are some recommendations in the meantime:

  1. Avoid watching, reading, or listening to news reports that cause you to feel anxious or distressed. A near-constant stream of news is not calming. Seek out information from reliable sources like the Washington State Department of Health or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention just a couple times a day. Fact check what you see on social media. Spread good information.
  2. Stay connected with others and maintain your social networks. Go for a walk and wave to your neighbors from six feet away. Ask them if they are well and if they need anything.
  3. Introduce structure into your day. Structure and routine may be helpful for people with mental health vulnerabilities, especially during times of uncertainty. Even if you are working from home or if your life looks completely different right now, try to maintain familiar routines in daily life as much as possible. Maybe we’ll feel better if we shower, get dressed, and eat breakfast.

Virtual hugs, my Widdershins.

Tawk amongst yerselves.


#MeToo founder Tarana Burke

I really don’t see what is so hard about this. It’s not complicated, it’s Republican ratfcking that’s transparent as sh*t and old as the hills, and it has literally NOTHING to do with #MeToo.

These guys have been setting Democrats up with bullsh*t scandals about women since the 1990s. Was #MeToo around in the 1990s, Widdershins? No? Then how could the eleventy-millionth Republican ratfcking involving Democrats and women have ANYTHING to do with #MeToo?

Lest we need reminding, the Republicans tried to accuse Bill Clinton of rape too. The woman’s name was Juanita Broaddrick. Despite the Republicans’ desperate desire to be rid of that pesky Bill, Juanita was not found to be credible – not even by Ken Starr, the guy who ended up impeaching Clinton for lying about a blow job. All the Broaddrick apologia out there (and there is quite a bit, sadly – mostly by Berners who want us to believe Tara Reade too cause #MeToo) tends to gloss over that fact as though it’s not important. But for those of us who were there, it’s screamingly obvious that if she were credible, Ken Starr would have added rape charges to the impeachment trial. They would have certainly fit under “high crimes and misdemeanors,” no? If Republicans could have attached “rapist” to him, they would have. He would have been removed by Republicans and Democrats alike.

#MeToo is not about believing all women no matter what, and especially not when their stories are not remotely credible. As a movement, it started as a conversation about women of color and how to help them survive sexual violence.

The ‘me too.’ movement was founded in 2006 to help survivors of sexual violence, particularly Black women and girls, and other young women of color from low wealth communities, find pathways to healing. Our vision from the beginning was to address both the dearth in resources for survivors of sexual violence and to build a community of advocates, driven by survivors, who will be at the forefront of creating solutions to interrupt sexual violence in their communities.

In less than six months, because of the viral #metoo hashtag, a vital conversation about sexual violence has been thrust into the national dialogue. What started as local grassroots work has expanded to reach a global community of survivors from all walks of life and helped to de-stigmatize the act of surviving by highlighting the breadth and impact of a sexual violence worldwide.

Our work continues to focus on helping those who need it to find entry points for individual healing and galvanizing a broad base of survivors to disrupt the systems that allow for the global proliferation of sexual violence.

Now what “entry point” did Tara Reade need to find? An interview with a known Berner and Putin apologist? Gurlll, please.

As a person who has been assaulted more than once (first time when I was five), I remember details. I don’t have to try hard. I remember what I was wearing and colors and scents and the horrible feelings that washed over me as it was happening. My story has never changed once since I first told it. That’s because…it’s true.

So don’t tell me because of some hash tag I have to believe liars. Tara Reade is a liar.

I believe Joe Biden.

Tawk amongst yerselves.







I don’t know about you all, but I am starting to really feel the grind of working from home, and then trying to relax at home at night. I see only my husband in real life, and as much as I adore Mr. MadamaB, it’s getting me down, Widdershins!

Ah, but I see people on my Zoom calls (so very, very many Zoom calls) at work, right? Unfortunately, that’s not great either. There’s evidence that the Zoom calls I am on at all hours of the day are exhausting, even more so than regular meetings – because my attention has to be so. very. focused, in unnatural ways.

…“Zoom fatigue” stems from how we process information over video. On a video call the only way to show we’re paying attention is to look at the camera. But, in real life, how often do you stand within three feet of a colleague and stare at their face? Probably never. This is because having to engage in a “constant gaze” makes us uncomfortable — and tired. In person, we are able to use our peripheral vision to glance out the window or look at others in the room. On a video call, because we are all sitting in different homes, if we turn to look out the window, we worry it might seem like we’re not paying attention. Not to mention, most of us are also staring at a small window of ourselves, making us hyper-aware of every wrinkle, expression, and how it might be interpreted. Without the visual breaks we need to refocus, our brains grow fatigued.

Oy vey ist mir!

As an extrovert, I draw my energy from people – real, live people – and not from a little box on a screen. I liken interacting with the images of my colleagues, friends and family to popcorn. It seems like food, and it tastes good at first, but somehow, you never get full.

But in a difficult time, we’re all taking things as they are. And frankly, I’m lucky to be alive to be complaining. So even though I know it’s not going to fill me up completely, I’d still love it if we could finally do that Widdershins conference call I’ve been talking about for a while.

So here’s a poll for you all – if you are interested in a Zoom call to chat amongst ourselves (video is not required!) this weekend, please do respond with your preferred date and time. If you don’t like the choices, please select the last choice and suggest a date/time in comments. Let’s make this happen!

In the meantime, tawk amongst yerselves about anything you’d like.


This is likely to be my least popular post ever, so I guess I’ll just dive in and say what I need to say.

I have come to realize that Joe Biden is the best man for the job of President in 2020.

Have I “evolved” on this topic, as the politicos say? You’re damn right. And it’s shocking even me. How could a 78-year-old white man be our Democratic nominee after our Hillary? Women deserve better. Kamala, Kirsten, Amy, Elizabeth – most of us favored one of the Democratic women running over Joe. Frankly, I was both pissed off and devastated that he even ran. He sucked up the oxygen from the women, didn’t he? And if you preferred one of the other men running – and there were quite a few good ones – well, he toppled them rather handily. I mean, what the hell, the guy is on the verge of death, I said! He’s two decades too old to be President. Every President ages 20 years in the Oval Office. That would make him 100 years old by the end of two terms!

And yet…

And yet.

In my opinion, Biden has every single characteristic he needs to attract the voters to beat Drumpf. And no other candidate has them all.

Light baggage. Biden’s baggage is light enough not to bother anyone. Compared to the corrupt sexual predator in the White House, “he’s too touchy-feely” doesn’t raise an eyebrow, especially after Biden’s apologies and acknowledgements. The fake Tara Reade story has failed to hold up under scrutiny – of course, since if Biden had been a rapist he would not have made it through the vetting required to Obama’s VP.  All the women running, of course, had heavy baggage: every one of them lacks that all-important scrap of flesh between their legs which screams “Presidential!” to white Americans. And if Hillary, who had exponentially more experience and credentials, couldn’t get enough turnout to overcome the ratfcking in 2016, these less-well-known, less-accomplished women (however fabulous) sure couldn’t do it in 2020.

Experience. By contrast with the reality-show baboon currently sh*tting on the Oval Office carpet, Joe Biden has deep federal experience. He was in the White House for 8 years and in Congress before that. He even has experience successfully dealing with a pandemic! The extent of the damage Drumpf has inflicted on our government is unknown, but no matter how deep and wide, it needs to be fixed by a President who can hit the ground running. Long-serving institutions have been shuttered or taken over by “acting” members of his crime family. Career public servants have been fired and not replaced, leaving a skills and knowledge gap in our federal bureaucracy which is having ripple effects we are only tangentially aware of. None of the other candidates running could credibly claim to be able to remedy this horrifying situation as quickly as Biden.

Honesty. By contrast with the Liar-in-Chief, Joe Biden is perceived as an honest, straight-talking man.  His personal story is true, and contains both tragedy and hope. His is a reputation that has survived over 50 years in public service. Of course, he hasn’t spent decades being attacked and smeared like Hillary – but then again, he’s got that scrap between his legs! It’s a “get out of jail free” card whose power is unquestioned by white people. And speaking of white people…

Skin color. Sorry y’all, but whoever is running for President against Drumpf needs to be white. If not, he won’t get Republican women and men to vote for him. From what I’ve seen, a lot of notable Republicans are already on board.

Humility. After so many years of a malignant, sociopathic narcissist at the head of our country, isn’t is refreshing to have a person with real humility running for President? A person who understands he has to fight for every vote, and is willing to do the work to get it? A person who understands the gravity of the job he would be doing, and who is humbly asking for it, rather than asserting his absolute authority every time he opens his cavernous, hamberder-filled piehole?

And finally…

Responsibility. Instead of a pretender who proudly states he doesn’t take responsibility for anything, even during an unprecedented disaster like the Coronavirus, we have Joe Biden, whose latest ad claims, quite rightly, that “the buck stops here.” That message is really going to resonate. When a President can’t take responsibility, tens of thousands of people die.

So there’s my case, Widdershins. Do with it what you will!

Tawk amongst yerselves.


It’s women who will be Drumpf’s final downfall.

The Mango Moron could never handle women who refused to fall into a faint when he stalked into a room, curls of hair from his merkin floating daintily around him. And now that he’s flunking the leadership test the coronavirus has presented, it’s women who are calling him out for doing so.

First, Hillary Clinton trounced him in 2016. (No way he won the electoral college legitimately.) He has been obsessed with her ever since. When the Democrats took the House in 2018, Nancy Pelosi became the next powerful women to foil the Narcissist-in-Chief. Remember all the way back in January of 2019, when this country was reeling from a shutdown – and it looked like the government was never going to re-open?

Pelosi beat him like a drum.

Flashback 40 days and Nancy Pelosi’s return to the speakership was a hard-won prize marred by Democratic grumbling.

After the midterm elections, 15 House Democrats signed a letter urging their colleagues not to support Pelosi for speaker: “We promised to change the status quo and we intend to deliver on that promise.” To recapture the gavel, Pelosi had to promise to be a “transitional” speaker, and many Democrats felt she only regained the role because there were no compelling alternatives.

t’s not that House Democrats dismissed Pelosi’s skills as a legislator, but what they needed was an answer to President Trump, and that didn’t seem like a role Pelosi was suited to play.

But in recent weeks, Speaker Pelosi proved a powerful foil to Trump, politically humiliating him in a way no other public figure has. Today, Trump buckled, agreeing to reopen the government in exchange for absolutely nothing, just days after he agreed to Pelosi’s demand to postpone the State of the Union.

How did she do it? She understands Drumpf, as so many women have always done.

Pelosi has long held that Trump is weak, easily confused, and easily baited. That informed her strategy. Along with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, she baited Trump into saying, while the cameras were rolling, “I will shut down the government. I am proud to shut down the government. I will take the mantle.” In interviews and meetings, she tweaked the president, calling the crisis “the Trump shutdown” to Trump’s face and suggesting the billionaire thought furloughed workers “could just ask their father for more money.” She was betting that Trump would overreact rather than turn her into the aggressor, and he did.

And that was just the first time she dominated him. There was, of course, the whole impeachment process, which the press seems to have forgotten as soon as the GOP acquitted him, but which We The People remember with deep gratitude.

So while so many men who should know better are are cowering and allowing themselves to be bullied into doing incredibly stupid things, women have decided they are not taking his sh*t anymore.

Case in point: female reporters, like Paula Reid.

Yesterday, the CBS reporter Paula Reid was determined to ask him about it at a White House press conference. “How do you close down the greatest economy in the history of the world when, on January 17, you have no cases [of Covid-19 in the US] and no deaths?” he replied. “On January 21, you have one case and no deaths. Think of that, we’re supposed to close down the country?”

In the exchange, the president highlights his decision to close US borders to China, and suggests that Democrats, in particular Joe Biden, accused him of xenophobia at the time.

But Reid was not convinced. “The argument is that you bought yourself some time. But what did you do with that time? You didn’t use it to prepare hospitals, you didn’t use it to ramp up testing. Right now, nearly 20 million are unemployed, tens of thousands of Americans are dead,” says Reid.

You want more? Okay, how about this? This article is from February and is really terrific; here are a few excerpts.

The most profound change in American politics today and in the years to come will result from a massive movement of women into the Democratic Party. As this realignment takes place Hillary Clinton may well go down in history as this century’s equivalent of Al Smith. Al Smith was the Democratic nominee for president in 1928 and the first Roman Catholic ever nominated by a major political party. Although he lost the election, his campaign presaged the movement of Catholics into the Democratic Party in 1932 when Franklin Roosevelt won the Democratic nomination and the presidency. Smith’s race was initially considered a failure, as was Hillary Clinton’s. But her defeat has set off a chain reaction likely to lead to a realignment of party coalitions and relative political strength in 2020 as sweeping as FDR’s victory in 1932.


The shocking defeat of Hillary Clinton at the hands of the overtly misogynistic Donald Trump put the existing trend into hyper-drive. It broke upon the national scene in cities across the country with previously unseen numbers starting with the Women’s March the day after Trump’s inauguration. Then it surprised almost everyone when it led to the election of a Democrat to the Senate in Alabama in a December 2017 special election. That result, which stemmed in significant degree from defections of Republican women in the state’s cities, suburbs and college campuses as well as a massive turnout of African-Americans, was quickly dismissed as an anomaly since the Republicans had nominated a sexual predator and pedophile as their candidate.

But no one could ignore the size and national impact the same shift had on the outcome of the midterm elections in November 2018. Exit polls that year showed women favored the Democratic candidate for Congress by 19 percentage points (59% to 40%), while men favored the Republican candidate by four points (51% to 47%). The resulting gender gap of 23 points was the widest one in the last twenty years.

I want to be clear here – I am not in any way disrespecting our wonderful Widdershin men, or any other men who are doing the right thing and standing up to Drumpf.

But damn, women are having a moment. And I am all the way here for it.

Tawk amongst yerselves!


My oh my. Looks like the Murdochs are gettin’ sued! And they’re preparing for a big fight. Apparently ousting Trish Regan for saying exactly what everyone else on the network said, miraculously didn’t cause people to think Fox News didn’t mislead and bamboozle the public into behaving dangerously. And although the first lawsuit didn’t seem to worry those malignant assholes, they do appear to be circling the wagons, gathering the troops, going to the mattresses, or whatever other hoary cliche you prefer.

This time, however, might be very different from the Rich case. During a Sunday appearance on MSNBC, my colleague Gabriel Sherman said Fox insiders had expressed “real concern…that their early downplaying of the coronavirus actually exposes Fox News to potential legal action by viewers who maybe were misled and actually have died from this.” He went on to say that while the Murdochs are “privately taking coronavirus seriously”—Rupert Murdoch quietly cancelled his 89th birthday party on March 11—top hosts like Regan and Sean Hannity were actively “telling viewers that it’s a hoax…If it actually winds up being proved that people died because of it, this is a new terrain in terms of Fox being possibly held liable for their actions.”


A [similar] poll from YouGov and The Economist conducted in mid-March showed that, compared to consumers of other types of news media, Fox News viewers are the least likely to express concern about coronavirus. That poll was cited in a disapprobation letter cowritten by Todd Gitlin, a Columbia Journalism School professor, addressed to Murdoch and his son, Fox Corporation CEO Lachlan Murdoch. The letter has now been cosigned by over 100 professors, including from top journalism programs at Northwestern, UC Berkeley, and Columbia. “The misinformation that reaches the Fox News audience is a danger to public health. Indeed, it is not an overstatement to say that your misreporting endangers your own viewers—and not only them, for in a pandemic, individual behavior affects significant numbers of other people as well,” states the letter, enumerating misleading coverage.

This is a very interesting development, isn’t it? It’s been a very long time since there has been any accountability for those hatemongering sh*tbirds. But when you’re actually misleading people into dying, and killing other people too – now that could be a bit hard to defend in court.

It couldn’t happen to a nicer bunch of guys.

Tawk amongst yerselves!


Courtesy of Pittsburgh Magazine

As DYB said on Saturday, everything is terrible. But if we elect the right people in November, we may finally get some action on issues the U.S. has recently been lagging behind on – even when Democrats were entirely in charge from 2008-2010.

My complaints as a liberal with regard to elected Democrats in those days:

  1. Our actions on climate change were not aggressive enough – even the Paris Accords were weak sauce given the state of emergency.
  2. We failed to address economic and social justice with the urgency they required. Indeed, under Obama, economic inequality soared, and deportation and cruelty towards immigrants grew. (As we know, the main differences between Hillary and Obama were domestic issues, not foreign policy issues.)

The problem I always had with Obama was that he did not differentiate, policy-wise, between Republicans and Democrats. His messaging was great for campaigning, but not for governing. “We’re all one” doesn’t win the liberal arguments that government solutions are required for complex problems  like the environment; taxation to solve those problems can be reasonably accomplished without pain to the middle and lower classes; and that economic justice and social justice are intertwined.

There are many things we can do to drive these three liberal messages home. The coronavirus, as horrific as it is, may provide an opportunity to do so.

“A crisis like this brings to people’s minds that maybe the risk we’ve been talking about with climate change is not so far fetched; that actually all these extreme weather episodes of the last five years add up to something,” he says. “So we may see an expectation that government should respond accordingly.”

That, says Barbara Buchner, is one reason why efforts at rebuilding in the wake of the pandemic must take into account longer-term strategies, and incorporate sustainability at their core.

“Obviously the first priority here must be to protect the public health,” Buchner says. But there is no greater second priority than using this crisis to really accelerate the low-carbon transition that is already ongoing, because climate change is threatening our very civilization.”

Buchner believes that any economic stimulus plan ought to be geared not only to jump-start the global economy but to invest further in post-hydrocarbon infrastructure.

“This in turn will create new economic opportunities and also address a set of challenges—including making businesses more sustainable,” she says. “I think ultimately the real question is: do we lock ourselves into the use of fossil fuels in our infrastructure choices today, or do we instead use this crisis as a moment to accelerate the transition that is already on its way?”

In my heart, I truly do understand where some people who vote for Bernie Sanders are coming from – but it’s what they choose to do about it that makes me crazy. Why would they waste their passion on a destructive, do-nothing old crank like Bernie? And why don’t they understand that, as imperfect as the Democrats are, they get us further than Republicans, who hurtle us into fascism and war, and tank the economy,!!!?!?!?!?!

Whatever happens, one thing is clear: we must, MUST vote blue all the way down the ballot in November. A true draining of the swamp is needed before any forward progress can be made.

Open thread, bien sur. (Oldie but goodie below…)

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May 2020

Kellyanne Conway’s new job

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That moment when *your* pussy gets grabbed

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Time till the Grifter in Chief is Gone

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Only the *best* politicans bought by the NRA

Marching for their lives

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Manafort’s Jail Photo

Indeed who?

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Simply Put


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