The Widdershins

Posts Tagged ‘Open Thread

Widdershins, today I’m going to take a break from politics and share something I’ve been struggling with personally.

Last May, I got a call from a dear friend’s wife. I missed it because I was in a client meeting and figured hey, I can call her back. I did have a brief flash of “that’s odd that she’d call me on a Monday morning, I hope my friend is okay” but then dismissed that thought because he was 54 and in good health.

When I called her back, she said he had passed away the day before. We both started bawling uncontrollably. Apparently the family (my friend, his wife and their two kids, who are 16 and 13) were picnicking in the park near their how. My friend was laughing one minute, then suddenly grimaced, clutched his heart and fell over. He was just gone. They tried CPR and heart massage, but there was nothing they could do, and the EMTs pronounced him when they arrived.

A bit of history about my friend (let’s call him BC). I met him, along with many of my closest friends, in college, my freshman year. BC was in the companion dorm to mine, right across a big common area called the Lounge. So many parties, late night chats, trips. We were all thick as thieves. BC and I kept in touch pretty well – his brother was in NYC, so he stayed with me and my roommates once when I was in grad school. We spoke on the phone. I even visited him and his then-girlfriend (who became his wife) in Hawaii when I happened to be there.

But once BC moved to Southern California, we started losing touch. My family was almost all on the East Coast, and my brother was in NorCal. He and his wife were becoming parents and building a life out West. I was building my career and life with my husband. And every time we talked, it was always at least an hour and a half, so we had to plan it out pretty carefully as we got busier and busier.

Flash forward to the pandemic.

The first week after we went remote at work (week of March 16, 2020), I coordinated a Zoom call with my college friends. At first, for me it was a check-in call to make sure everyone was safe. I couldn’t stand the thought of not knowing how everyone was, and I could see that with Drumpf in charge we were going to have a terrible time of it. After we talked for a while, I suggested the call be every week. At first people thought that was excessive, but I convinced them to try it and if we wanted to adjust, we could adjust. It turned out to be our bastion of sanity and connection during those very dark days, and we’ve continued it to this day.

I mentioned BC a few times, and then eventually decided I would try to reach out. I found his email on LinkedIn and he responded right away. I told him about the call and invited him, and soon afterwards he started showing up regularly, with his wonderful wife and kids dropping in to say hi frequently. It was just as though we had never lost touch.

I’m so thankful for the timing of that outreach, because we all had several months of being with him before that dreadful May day. My husband said BC was the funniest guy he ever met. It was the way he thought about things – so logical to him, but mystifying to everyone else. The classic example: he decided to go to Hawaii because he was a waiter in Rochester, NY – why not be a waiter somewhere warm? No worries at all about logistics or career – he focused on what would make him physically and emotionally content. His boundless curiosity and desire to understand life from every angle made ambition beside the point.

The last conversation we had was with a couple of my other friends and BC. We spent 45 minutes helping him talk through a decision he wanted to make about his daughter’s education – he was trying to figure out what to tell her about whether to take a class she didn’t want to take. In the end I gave him the advice he took – tell her the risks of not taking the class (she might not get into the college she wanted) and let her decide. She would ultimately bear the consequences of the decision, so it was best to give her the grace to make it for herself.

Five days later, he was dead. And so began the agony of figuring out who was going to call whom to break the horrible news, including the Googling of another friend we had lost touch with and talking to him for 45 minutes about BC, and making plans about how to honor him at his Celebration of Life (coming up next weekend). The whole terrible, awful, unfair mess of it all. A middle-aged man in the prime of his life, cut down in the midst of joy. The pain of it is brutal and sly, the tears catching me unawares before a meeting or in quiet moments at the end of the day.

What I want to say about this is, if there’s someone you love whom you haven’t seen or spoken with in a long time, don’t wait to reach out. Life is short, random and unforgiving. Keep your dear ones close. You’ll never regret it.

This is an open thread.

This week was a revelatory one, wasn’t it? As the January 6th Select Committee sets its first hearing with law enforcement on July 27th, more and more scary-but-not-shocking details are coming out about the depth and comprehensiveness of Drumpf’s attempts to establish himself as the Dick-tator of the United States.

Here’s a story I read this morning quoting Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-MD, the extraordinary leader of Drumpf’s 2nd impeachment effort. Mr. Raskin is also a member of the Select Committee. The story contains some key nuggets about how Mike Pence’s refusal to do the Mango Moron’s bidding on 1/6 likely prevented the overturning of the election and imposition of martial law. And the way the Thugs would have done it, could have been inspired directly by “Veep.”

“All they wanted Pence to do was to rebuff the electors coming in from Arizona, Georgia, and Pennsylvania, lowering Biden’s total below 270, kicking the presidential contest into a contingent election,” Raskin said.

“In the event that no presidential candidate can reach 270 Electoral College votes, the next president is selected by the House of Representatives. This rare situation has not arisen since the 19th century [well…except on “Veep,” when an electoral college tie sent the election back to the House!].

“And there they wanted it because we vote not one member, one vote, but one state, one vote,” Raskin went on.

“And if they’d been able to do that, which would not have been really that much if you look at the different things Mike Pence did over the prior four years for Trump, they would have won it with 27 states to 22 for the Democrats and one tied.”

“And at that point, he probably would’ve followed the advice of Michael Flynn and imposed martial law and a state of siege, and this would’ve been the Reichstag moment,” he said.

Barring the martial law part, which is more speculative, it looks like Drumpf’s coup d’etat plan included elements that were similar to what happened on a TeeVee show about a corrupt politician doing anything and everything to claw her way to the White House and stay there. So on brand for TFG! And only Mike Pence stopped it from working.

I never thought I’d say this, but thank Goddess for Mike Pence. (Sorry, Beata!) Unlike in “Veep,” where the peaceful transfer of power was observed no matter how evil the candidate was, the US as we know it wouldn’t have survived the overturning of the election and the reinstatement of der Drumpfenfuhrer.

Brace yourselves for more of these revelations over the next several months, Shinners!

Open thread, as always.

Hello Widdershins! Thanks for bearing with me and DYB while we worked out our schedules so we can have fresh content every week. We both tend to get busy and it’s tough for either one of us to post during the week; so we are now going to alternate every weekend. This means we aren’t necessarily going to have a lazy weekend any more – we’ll just post what we feel. My guess is, we’ll still probably have Madge whether it’s a musical post or not!

I also wanted to share that Fredster is still working through his health challenges. I hope he will be back soon.

This was not a great week if you’re in MAGA World. Merrick Garland’s Justice Department is suing the state of Georgia for their restrictive voter laws meant to deprive (mostly Democratic) Americans of access to their franchise. Murdering racist psychopath and MAGA hero Derek Chauvin got at least 22.5 years in prison (more charges are pending). Rudy Giuliani’s law license has been suspended, with disbarment nearly a certainty. Bill Barr and others are spilling lots of dirt on how desperately Drumpf tried to make the former Justice Department overturn the election. Nancy Pelosi announced that she will create a select committee to investigate the insurrection of January 6th. And now, New York prosecutors are thisclose to pressing criminal charges against the Mango Moron’s eponymous organization.

New York prosecutors have given former President Trump‘s attorneys until Monday afternoon to provide an argument as to why the Trump Organization should not face criminal charges, The Washington Post reported.

Last week, it was reported that the Manhattan district attorney’s office was considering bringing criminal charges against the Trump Organization as a whole and against executive Allen WeisselbergThe New York Times reported that Trump’s attorneys had made an appeal to prosecutors from the district attorney’s office to not file charges against the company.

Two sources close to the matter told the Post that Trump Organization attorneys now have until Monday to make a case as to why the charges shouldn’t be filed.

Monday?! That’s tomorrow! But hey, I’m sure that uber-professional organization with its desirable clientele has great attorneys, right? Welllll…it turns out that one of them, Marc Mukasey, defended Eddie Gallagher, the Navy Seal who was accused of war crimes and court-martialed (another MAGA hero of course). Marc is the son of GWB’s Attorney General, Michael Mukasey. And to top it off, attorney Mukasey was a protege of one Rudolph Giuliani. You can’t make up how incestuous this world is.

Meanwhile, Drumpf’s other attorney, Alan Futerfas, was a defense attorney for the Colombo family in Noo Yawk, and was one of the first lawyers to jump on the Treason Train when the Muller probe began.

Without Bill Barr to aid and abet those attorneys, I’m guessing this latest development is the worst part of Drumpf’s Very Bad Week.

It couldn’t happen to a more deserving person.

Open thread, bien sur.

I’m suffering from both too much and not enough to say today, plus tons of life stuff to get to. So, Happy Father’s Day, happy Juneteenth and happy weekend!

Open thread.

Hello Shinners! I’m extra heads-down at work this week, but wanted to give you all some fresh thread to munch on.

Here are some stories that interested me this week:

The Arizona Audit: A Fricasseed Chicken Ate My Ballot

The Ford F150: Electric Biden Boogaloo

It’s up to you, Noo Yawk

Injustice for Andrew Brown Jr.

Fighting for Florida

Tawk amongst yerselves!


Biden illustration: REBUILD WITH BIDEN

Nice picture of our gal

Madam Vice President

Our President

It’s here: QUARANTINE BINGO!

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