The Widdershins

Posts Tagged ‘Rubio

Good morning Widdershins.  This is going to be a different kind of post.  I figure you can read about Brussels without me regurgitating articles.  You already know the results of the mountain primaries with Hillary winning Arizona and Bernie taking Utah and Idaho.

What I’m offering up today is a condensed version of an article from The Weekly Standard.  No, I am not possessed.  The article is Debriefing Mike Murphy:  Why the Right Failed to Rise.  In essence, it is an exit interview with Mike Murphy who captained the $118 Million Titanic, the “Right to Rise” Super Pac.

The reason I offer this up, shortened from its 7,600 words, is that it’s funny and remarkably honest.  It is similar to things liberals say about the clown bus that is the Republican primary.  All the words, except the headings are from the article.

How the article came to be:Mike Murphy

I (the author Matt Labash) have come to Right to Rise, Jeb Bush’s $118 million super-PAC, to watch Mike Murphy and his crew pack it in.  That donor loot helped buy Jeb all of four delegates before he dropped from the race, returning to a quiet life of low-energy contemplation.  Murphy bellows a greeting and introduces me around to his crew, saying, “He’s here to write my political obituary!”

How did Murphy get to L.A. and Hollywood:

Murphy, an inveterate film buff, moved to Los Angeles a decade ago to dabble in screenwriting, partly to escape politics — which he calls “the lowest rung of show business.”

The office décor:

There are pictures of Jeb, of course, beaming beatifically while surrounded by smiling multicultural children. The Department of Ungentlemanly Warfare has posted photos they’ve dug up of other candidates in compromising positions, such as Chris Christie inhaling ice cream while looking like he’s storing four bags of doughnuts under his shirt.

The primaries countdown clock is now permanently set to zero. And next to it hangs a large Donald Trump piñata that is fitted with real Marco Rubio ankle-boots, the metrosexual atrocities Rubio was caught wearing that look like something Deney Terrio would sport on an old episode of Dance Fever. In a box nearby are the severed heads of previous Trump piñatas.

On the future:

Surveying his decommissioned troops, the 53-year-old general sighs with mock-wistfulness: “These people all used to have great careers in politics. .  .  . Now we’re going to Kinko’s to print off some résumés. We understand there’s a job fair at Quiznos.”

On other Murphy clients:

Murphy played a major role in assisting three losing presidential candidates (McCain, Lamar! Alexander, and Jeb!). If you again notice a theme, it’s that his presidential candidates sometimes seem more excited about their first names than the electorate does.

On advice he would give Jeb! now:

Though Murphy’s tongue is usually on a hair-trigger, he stops and ponders this question for a beat. He then says he would’ve told Jeb, “What the f — were we thinking?”

On retiring from politics:Right to Rise Dollahs

Murphy’s been threatening to quit politics for good since at least the early aughts, hoping to find more reputable employment, “like opening a dog track — nicer class of people.”

Murphy’s nickname for this political season:

The Year of the Howling Moron

The one precondition to doing the interview:

Murphy laid down only one precondition: “That you put in this piece that The Weekly Standard has become a Rubio-Love Spank Mag — and Kristol can’t cut it!”

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Good morning Widdershins.

Last night was another delegate-rich evening on the road toward celebrating the inauguration of “Madam President” – our gal is over halfway there. It’s all about the delegates – not vanity, not messaging, not settling some 1960s dorm argument.  Just in case anyone dares overlook it, this is the first time in our history a woman with scary lady parts is the favored candidate to win a major party’s nomination – that my friends is the definition of progressive.


Trump Red

There are some things you never expect to say.  For me, thanking Donald Trump is one of them.  The Donald is a guy who was born in the 20th Century with good old-fashioned 18th Century values.  Those values have laid bare the GOP’s Grand Old Con.

Professor Yoda Krugman explains it this way:

The Trump phenomenon threatens the con the G.O.P. establishment has been playing on its own base. I’m talking about the bait and switch in which white voters are induced to hate big government by dog whistles about Those People, but actual policies are all about rewarding the donor class.

What Donald Trump has done is tell the base that it doesn’t have to accept the whole package. He promises to make America white again — surely everyone knows that’s the real slogan, right? — while simultaneously promising to protect Social Security and Medicare, and hinting at (though not actually proposing) higher taxes on the rich. Outraged establishment Republicans splutter that he’s not a real conservative, but neither, it turns out, are many of their own voters.

Shell gameKlandidate Trump has dared to utter heretofore unspeakable things like, “This country was lied into the Iraq War.”  Amazingly, it appears a third of Republican voters agree with him.  As surprising as it is to wild-eyed neocons, war-mongering interventionism isn’t the flavor of choice for these folks.  These GOP voters would rather spend trillions, not on foreign adventurism, but on infrastructure and the jobs they provide.

Jonathan Chait summed it up in an excellent piece in The New York Magazine. His terse truth:  The Republican Party isn’t racist, but it can’t win without racists.  Chait explains the most repugnant of codependent relationships, that of the GOP and a host of race-baiting segregationists, by saying:

The Republican Party has, for decades, been organized around a stable hierarchy of priorities, the highest of which is to reduce taxes for the wealthiest Americans, i.e., “job creators,” and loosen regulation of business.  Trump’s popularity suggests that maybe average Republicans aren’t maniacally obsessed with shrinking government after all.

What conservative intellectuals fail to acknowledge, in reality, William F. Buckley spent the civil-rights movement mocking Martin Luther King Jr. and defending white supremacy and spent the ’80s defending apartheid in South Africa. [Even the sainted Ronaldus Maximus vetoed anti-apartheid legislation and was overridden by a Republican Senate.]

Trump has also exposed another, equally deep insecurity among right-wing intellectuals: the fear that Fox Newstheir movement appeals to rubes. The conservative movement’s tightening grip over the Republican Party has coincided with its elevation of leaders incapable of explaining their policies cogently like Ronald Reagan, George W. Bush, and Sarah Palin.

The secret fear lying beneath Rubio’s accurate depiction of Trump as a “con artist” is that Republican voters are easy marks. The Republican Party is constructed as a machine: Into one end are fed the atavistic fears of the white working class as grist, and out the other end pops The Wall Street Journal editorial-page agenda as the finished product.

A perfect example of the Republican “con game” is tax policy.  Without mind-buckling precision, here’s the dime store window version.  The Bush tax cuts cost $1.5 Trillion over ten years, but now account for, along with the unpaid for wars, over one-half of the national deficit.  That is our benchmark for comparison.

bush-geddan-aWith all the savings going into the pockets of the very richest Americans and corporations, here are the costs of the various Republican tax plans.  Over ten years, Trump’s plan costs $9.5 Trillion or 6+ Dubyas.  Cruz’s plan costs $8.6 Trillion over the same period or 5+ Dubyas.  Rubio’s plan, the most frugal of the three, would only cost $6.8 Trillion over the next decade or over four times as much as the Dubya tax cuts.

Anyone who believes The Wall Street Journal’s “other end” poop is suffering from something much more pernicious than gullibility; this is not voodoo economics, this is anthrax-laced thermonuclear economics.  It is devastating to our economy and our way of life.  It is a devastation designed and delivered by those who just can’t quit the segregationist rubes who fear “Those Others,” who also just happen to be the very same ones who guarantee tax cuts to the wealthy.

Sorry, but it seems I’ve over-written about the GOP’s Grand Old Con.  I have several other subjects I’ll add tomorrow, but until then, take this conversation in any direction you might like to discuss.


Good afternoon Widdershins.

The one in heels is Marco Rubio. The one with the Larry Craig wide stance is Ted Cruz.

The one in heels is Marco Rubio. The one with the Larry Craig wide stance is Ted Cruz.

How about a debate?  Well, I have some good news for you.  Tonight, for your viewing pleasure and intellectual consternation, we have yet another Republican talking hootenanny.

The festivities begin at 9:00 pm Eastern tonight.  The business porn channel of the One Percent, a/k/a the Fox Business Network, will televise the jamboree.  It will be streaming at

Like successful bedbug eradication, there will only be seven of the remaining twelve candidates in the main event — Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Ben Carson, Chris Christie, Jeb! Bush, and John Kasich.  That is the order in which they qualified under the more stringent polling guidelines (never too late for some standards).

The undercard, beginning at 6:00 pm Eastern, will be Carly Fiorina, Mike Huckabee, and Rick Santorum.  Rand Paul is boycotting with “boy” being the operative word.

People were lined up early in S.C. for tonight's debate...

People were lined up early in S.C. for tonight’s debate…

People are saying this field of candidates resembles the end of any Tarantino movie where everyone is pointing a gun at everybody else.  There are likely to be two main battles – Trump v. Cruz, and everyone else v. Rubio.

The Trump v. Cruz intellectual fisticuffs will have the depth of a dime store mirror:

Trump:  Canadian bacon ain’t real bacon.

Cruz:  Why do you think they call New York the “Big Apple” – its values are no better than the original sin.

The everyone else v. Rubio bout promises to be more entertaining.  There’s the attack from the Trump stooge, Roger Stone, who says:  “Marco Rubio has never run anything. I’m not sure he could run a bath.”

There’s also the possibility of some sort of choral sing-along:  “These boots are made for flippin’ and that’s just what they’ll do. One of these days young Marco’s gonna flip, flop, flip on you.”

Just like the Republican candidates -- chasing the orange hair, err hare...

Just like the Republican candidates — chasing the orange hair, err hare…

All this frivolity will be coming to us from the Palmetto State.  It was the eighth state to ratify the Constitution and the very first state to ratify the Articles of the Confederacy.  What can I say, South Carolina is like that drunk fraternity rushee who signs a bunch of pledge cards – just a natural-born joiner.

South Carolina also has a Lake Strom Thurmond named after its racist, philandering senator of nearly fifty years.  It’s the only known domestic lake entirely comprised of whitewater.

We will be live blogging the debate tonight.  Please stop by and bring your tongue-sharpeners.  Leave your good manners and discretion at the door, it will be free-flowing snark all around.

See you around 9:00 pm Eastern.


Good morning Widdershins.

After a night of crazy fun listening to the caterwauling of the clowder of feral cats known as the Republican candidates, let’s take suggestions for last night’s best waste of our collective time.

Republican Group Picture

It could be Marco Rubio saying:

Welders make more money than philosophers.  We need more welders and less philosophers.

This was a great line by Rubio, the youngest video star from the Mario Brothers’ fame, but it’s totally off base.  According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median wage of welders is $37,420. The median wage for philosophy teachers is $63,630.  I can see why Republicans would rather have fewer philosophers — people who study laudable societal and personal goals of what we should strive to be.

Or it could be the statement that seems to be a favorite “fluffing statistic” at these debates.  It is always guaranteed to make conservatives have to sit five minutes longer until their nether tingling passes.  During the last debate Rubio used it, but last night Jeb! used it:

We have to recognize that small businesses right now, more of them are closing than are being set up.

This is stale statistic derived from a Brookings Institution report tracking data between 2008 and 2011.  More recent data shows the trend changing in 2012 and in the past two years, business starts began to exceed business deaths.

Or it might have been noted somnambulist, West Point could have gone, teenage friend stabbing, mother claw hammer hitting, pyramid barn expert, and former surgeon Ben Carson’s statement:Ben and Jebus-cropped

We also must recognize that it’s [Syria] a very complex place.  You know, the Chinese are there, as well as the Russians, and you have all kinds of factions there. 

Chinese in Syria?  Really?  Not according to any news report, not according to the military, and not according to the Chinese.  So if there are Chinese in Syria, count it as a remarkable dietary leap because Sweet and Sour Pork must have been reclassified as halal.

It might have even occurred during the kids’ table debate where Gov. Huckabuck said:

We’ve lost five million manufacturing jobs just since the year 2000.

Just like any snake oil salesman, Huckabuck gets the “tip of the fact” correct, but didn’t mention it was during the tenure of George W. Bush that almost 5 million manufacturing jobs were lost.  Since the darkest days of the Great Recession (another Dubya production) manufacturing has made a recovery under Obama.  

It goes without saying, if Hillary had made any of these mistakes, it would have occupied the news cycle for a week and spurred three Congressional inquiries.  Let’s not dwell on the negative though, what are your nominees for last night’s best lines?

Mess of CatsHere are my three in reverse order:

3.  Piyush Jindal telling Chris Christie he was going to give him a ribbon and a juice box.

2.  Mike Huckabuck admitting his wife Janet yells at him so he has to fire Janet Yellin.

And my number 1 was when Forrest Trump bragged about his relationship with Putin since they both appeared on 60 Minutes on the same night.  His brag was, “We were stablemates…”  This was my favorite of the evening because thoroughbred trainers often put jackasses in barns as stablemates.  I’ll let you decide which is which in this instance.

Share your favorite lines or take the conversation in an entirely different direction.  Your call.

Have a great Wednesday.



Friedrich Wilhelm Christian Karl Ferdinand von Humboldt was an 18th century Prussian philosopher and name trier-outer.  If there had been Angie’s List back then he would have been very busy since he was also a government functionary, a diplomat, and along with his brother the naturalist (meaning tree loving non-churcher) was the founder of Humboldt University of Berlin.  They were exceedingly “humble Humboldts” because the university wasn’t named after them until 1949 – go figure. Anticipation Rocky Horror

Wilhelm von Humboldt was also a noted linguist of his time.  He’s known for the postulate that language is a system which “makes infinite use of finite means”, meaning that an infinite number of sentences can be created using a finite number of grammatical rules.

Contemporary linguist Noam Chomsky drew heavily upon Humboldt’s work and is credited with the theory that we can potentially produce an infinite number of sentences.  With the advent of supercomputers we have discovered that is not strictly true.  For instance, in a language such as English with about 500,000 words, there are about 10570 possible sentences – a number greater than the atoms in the observable universe — while considerably more than a grocery cart full, not technically infinite.

By way of an example, here’s a sentence I never thought I’d utter in my lifetime:  Without waterboarding as an incentive, I eagerly quote from the ultra-conservative The Weekly Standard.

Republicans are in trouble. A significant bloc regards their congressional leaders as enemies.  A quarter or more of grassroots Republicans think Donald Trump should be president. And to make things worse, Hillary Clinton has a glide path to the Democratic presidential nomination in 2016.

Let’s examine the problems of Republicans one by one, starting with the rebellious faction in the House. It was dismissed as a band of “chuckleheads”…now there are roughly 40 members of the Freedom Caucus, and they have important allies in the conservative media.

The second problem is Donald Trump. He has thrilled many rank and file Republicans…the blue-collar, non-college wing of the Republican primary electorate has “consolidated” around him…meaning Trump, with a solid base, could win the Republican nomination—not likely, but possible.

The third problem was caused by Joe Biden. By declining to run, he left the Democratic race firmly in Hillary’s control. Biden leaves behind an abnormal primary campaign, with a Teflon frontrunner.

ConscienceThis quote comes from none other than Fred Barnes, one of the conservative pundit/activist/snake-oilers who went ashore in Alaska during a conservopaloosa cruise.  While shopping for moose turd jewelry, instead of finding les repères de poopie they found Caribou Barbie, became enthralled, and ultimately gave an unbelievable boost to Tina Fey’s career.  Mr. Barnes was quoted as saying, “I was struck with how smart Palin was.”  For the record, that’s another sentence I never thought I would see in print.

The pachyderm peanut crews are already pissed at Progressives over their electoral woes.  The RNC and Prince Priebus promised these problems were under control with an abbreviated debate schedule.  Oopsie they say — best laid plans of micey men or something like that.

Proving the recurring STD nature of the RNC folly, there’s another Republican debate tonight, so it’s a perfect time to play a game of “Who said?” matching up some of the craziest, “I never thought I’d hear that” quotes with the candidates who mouth-farted them.

Who said?

  1. Liberals are to blame for California’s drought.
  2. To an African-American legislator upset that his cabinet appointments lacked diversity: “I don’t need your people.”
  3. I will unilaterally execute any American who I believe is “thinking about joining al-Qaeda or ISIL”.
  4. Every United States senator should be just like notorious racist Jesse Helms.
  5. Women should not be allowed to serve in combat because of “the emotions that are involved”.
  6. We have to “phase out” Medicare.
  7. Someone should “take a bat out” on a 76-year-old widow.
  8. Homosexuality is a choice because people go into prison straight and come out gay.
  9. I don’t buy into the dystopian scenarios of self-aware robots enslaving mankind, but you don’t have to be a sci-fi conspiracy theorist to acknowledge that plenty of good, well-paying jobs are being taken over by machines.
  10. This president’s foreign policy would trust the Iranians. By doing so, he will take the Israelis and march them to the door of the oven.
  11. Some of the candidates, they went in and didn’t know the air conditioner didn’t work and sweated like dogs, and they didn’t know the room was too big because they didn’t have anybody there. How are they going to beat Isis?
  12. There is a secret plot to merge the United States with Mexico and Canada.

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For you city folk, there is a rural phenomenon where a dog will actually chase a car.  Crazy, I know, but it happens.  People have always tried to explain why dogs chase cars, but outside the thought bubbles of Snoopy no dogs have commented.  One thing I do know, catching a car by a car chasing dog leaves everyone scratching their heads.  What happens then?dog and car 2

This is the same conundrum facing Republicans these days.  They might be on the cusp of being “the dog what caught the car” on any number of issues.  Let’s review.

First and foremost, there’s the Supreme Court case of King v. Burwell where the ACA is on the chopping block courtesy of a simple legislative drafting error.  There’s Donald Trump’s “word salading” a run for the Republican presidential nomination.  Then there’s the winnowing down of the Republican field being outsourced to the Republican media operation of Fox News.  In addition, there’s the dissing of Pope Francis over his encyclical regarding climate change.  Add to that immigration, the environment, same-sex marriage, birth control, sex education, abortion, infrastructure spending, STEM education, or any number of other issues – take your pick – and the Grand Old Party is pre-diluvian in its positions and thinking.

If the Supreme Court violates the judicial keystone of upholding legislative deference to the executive branch in terms of implementing legislation, the resulting “major go-to-pieces” represented by the King case could go a long way in flipping both the House and the Senate.  Remarkably, two-thirds of those who stand to lose insurance subsidies live in Republican districts.

obamacare_worst_case scenarioThere are those on the Left who secretly hope the Supreme Court does get its conservative activism robes in a bunch and rule against Obamacare.  Polling suggests a majority of Americans want Congress to fix what is, in essence, little more than a grammatical error.

The resulting Republican stalemate over health care would be a Fort Sumter-esque first shot of an especially bloody civil war over what to do.  Ted Cruz and Rand Paul would be tripping over their respective high-heeled cowboy boots to filibuster any fix. Vulnerable Republicans would be caught with their “subsidies down”.  Mitch McConnell’s frustration would mean his world-class frown wouldn’t end until just below his kneecaps.

As for Donald Trump and his ongoing rant about his fellow candidates, the Republican Party has not a soul to blame, not a soul, but themselves.  It was all well and good to encourage “the Donald” as long as he was in search of a Kenyan birth certificate, but now his antics are being described as dangerous and delusional.  A trained seal knows from whence his fish comes and Trump’s same old tricks are golden when it comes to headline grabbing.Trump 2

Trump also knows the first commandment of political hucksterism, always attack upward.  His shots at Jeb! (to be read with emphasis), Rubio, and Walker are nothing but precursors of what his performance will be if he gets on a debate stage.  Now that will be must-see-teevee.

Speaking of the Republican debates, there is no better example of the dog catching the car.  With Fox being nothing more than the communications arm of the national Republican Party, Prince Priebus has deigned it acceptable for Fox and Roger Ailes to pick winners and losers in the GOP debate lottery.  Messaging and chronic indignation has always fostered a marriage of convenience between the GOP and Fox, but now the parenting skills of the “debate babies” are causing massive marital discord.

When you are likely to have twenty candidates and try to limit the debate to only ten candidates, you have just as many candidates off stage as on the stage (that is the extent of my mathematical skills).  Such an arrangement fosters plenty of sound bites for the disgruntled.  If you can’t organize a debate, how on earth are you going to organize the dismantling of the federal government while at the same time increasing defense spending and reducing taxes?

dog drivingThen there’s the problem of resolving the differences between the encyclicals of Pope Francis and the Brothers Koch.  The Pope sees climate change as real and the Brothers Koch have declared it whimsically imaginary.  The difference between the two schools of thought is punctuated by about a billion dollars in Koch contributions siphoned through a web of front organizations.

Trouble is:  More and more people, particularly those declaring an affinity toward religiosity, believe as does the Pope – we should be good stewards of our planet.  This presents a particular problem for those demonstrating a proclivity for sucking on the tailpipe of the Koch political machine.  You can’t exactly proclaim moral superiority when your morals are dictated by choosing the Brothers Koch as your ethical higher power.

We could go further in our metaphorical analysis, but there is no need.  Just like an angry dog, the “Party of No” has forgotten that just exhibiting unfocused anger leads not to a logical conclusion, but to general confusion. dog biting car

Just like a tantrum throwing two-year old, the anger of the Tea Party and the ultra-conservative base has fostered no sensible Republican policy alternatives short of pants wetting.  There’s something karmic about promoting calculated inaction resulting in unneeded suffering and then that inaction resulting in self-inflicted pain. Just ask any car chasing dog – all you get when you are successful is a sore, flat head.

I hope your Friday is a good one and I’ll be back tomorrow with a cavalcade of the ridiculous for your perusal.  Take the conversation in any direction you may desire.




It is the beginning of the New Year and not too early to consider who and when the batch of GOP candidates for president will come out of the woodwork to dazzle the crowds with the news of their intentions to unseat the present occupant and “restore dignity” once again to the Oval Office. The same loss of “dignity” that seems to disappear each and every time a Democrat is sworn in I might add.

Obama was never my choice and up to now, has offered me little by way of enthusiasm to beat the drum on his behalf since from what I have witnessed so far, he has been nothing more than an extension of the Bush policies that have plunged us into the dire circumstances we now find ourselves striving to remove. But I will suggest that if the economy begins to improve, and the unemployment rate begins to fall, he may have a better argument to make in 2012 than just laughing and pointing at the oppositional slate the GOP manages to put forth as an alternative.

Because just looking at the proposed slate that is waiting in the wings is enough to invite the question: with a nation of 300 million people is this the best that we can come up with? Really?

A group who has done little beyond opposing every single policy that has been proposed and whose idea of cutting the budget is through tax cuts for the wealthy no matter the price to be paid in the outcome? A group that has declared that the separation of church and state a “fallacy” and continues to interpret the meaning of the Constitution as something to ignore and rewrite?

Some in this erstwhile pantheon of contenders have blamed the unemployed for their predictment, labeling them as “lazy” and content to milk the system for all its worth while laying back and enjoying the fruits of the government without a care in the world. They are distrustful of regulations and see them as an impediment to business. They view climate change as a hoax. They regard women’s place in society as secondary to the concerns of the unborn as they champion wars that invite nothing but death and destruction and offer that premise as“bringing democracy” to the world. They mock science and adhere to the belief that “creationism” should be taught in schools thus ensuring a setback to education and placing us in the same league as the Taliban.

They promise and predict an end to social safety nets and a desire to “privatize” even the most basic and long successful of government programs which will guarantee putting most of us at risk in the long run. Some of them have even separated the “true Americans” from the rest of us while seeking to protect the richest of all who sacrifice nothing and gain the most.

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Blog Archive

January 2019
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Kellyanne Conway’s new job

Take the kids to work? NO!

That moment when *your* pussy gets grabbed

You go gurl! h/t Adam Joseph

“The” Book

Nice picture of our gal

Time till the Grifter in Chief is Gone

Hopefully soonerJanuary 21st, 2021
24 months to go.

Mueller Time!

Wise Words from Paul Ryan


Only the *best* politicans bought by the NRA

Marching for their lives

Perfect Picture

Rudy: oh shit the pee tape IS real!

Need Reminders?

Never too early to shop for Christmas

“Look this way”

Manafort’s Jail Photo

Indeed who?

Trump spam

IOW Dumb = Happy?

Simply Put


Awrite! Here’s your damned wall