The Widdershins

Posts Tagged ‘The Supreme Court

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Dr. Christine Blasey Ford

I must confess that watching the Christine Blasey Ford and Brett Kavanaugh testimonies left me feeling hopeless. I don’t know if I’ve felt this depressed since election night and inauguration. What we saw was such a horrific display of partisanship from Republicans, such naked thirst for power, such terrifying absence of decency, that I don’t know if we can ever truly recover from where we are now. And, frankly, the weak performance of Democrats against Kavanaugh revealed that we don’t have strong leadership. Yes, there may be flashes of it here and there, but in the second half of the day Democrats surrendered all control to Republicans. Lindsey Graham goes on a full frontal attack on Democrats and their only response was Cory Booker calling Graham his friend. Every Republican attacked Diane Feinstein. And Democrats remained silent. Democrats kept hammering on about the FBI investigation: important yes, but the point was made already and repeatedly, and anyone who mentioned it after Dick Durbin drew blood by getting Kavanaugh to fall speechless on the subject was wasting time. They let so many things fall through the cracks because they harped on that single issue. They also kept quoting Kavanaugh’s former roommate who said he saw Kavanaugh get very drunk many times: yes, we heard it and Kavanaugh dismissed that story pretty easily. Yet they kept returning to it Kavanaugh swatted them away just as easily each time. It was a waste of time.

Democrats should have pursued Rachel Mitchell’s questions about the July 1st party on Kavanaugh’s calendar – which perfectly matches Dr. Ford’s description of the party where she was assaulted, including the guest list and the timeframe where she ran into Mike Judge in a grocery store approximately 6 weeks later. The Republican prosecutor seemed to accidentally stumble on the actual date of the party where Ford was attacked! She had Kavanaugh read the first and last names of all his friends who were going to attend this party. The names match everyone Ford names, including the man Kavanaugh’s friends tried to pin the assault on (but who denied any involvement in a letter to the judiciary committee.) The date of the party – July 1st – also matches Ford’s story that she ran into Mike Judge in a grocery store approximately 6 weeks later. But because she wasn’t sure when the party was, knowing when Judge worked in the store would help. Well, Mike Judge wrote in his book that worked in that grocery store in August of that year. It matches perfectly the time-frame Ford laid out. A party Kavanaugh attended, the guest list of friends that matches Ford’s list of those present, and the 6 weeks before seeing the eye-witness in a store. Rachel Mitchell – intentionally or not (probably not) – laid this out for Democrats. Democrats did nothing with this information. As soon as Mitchell asked these questions about the July 1st party, Grassley called for a recess. They returned and Graham went for the Democrats’ jugular. Mitchell was not heard from again. Every Republican after that went for the same jugular. And Democrats did nothing. They didn’t fight back, they did not pursue the line of questioning that quite literally may reveal the date – on Kavanaugh’s own calendar – of the party where Ford was assaulted.  The hearings ended as a disaster for Democrats.

Christine Blasey Ford’s testimony was astonishing. With strength and courage she arrived to tell the truth. And she did. What was striking about her answers is that she didn’t try to be right. She knew there were gaps in her story, she willingly acknowledged the limitations of memory. Contrast this with every Kavanaugh testimony: in his desire to be right and perfect, Kavanaugh lies. He lies easily and repeatedly. Republicans don’t care that Kavanaugh has committed perjury numerous times already. But we know that he has. And we know that Dr. Ford has not. This extraordinary woman has upended her entire life – the persecution of Dr. Ford will continue forever – because she wanted to do what is right. She faced the lions and went in. She did it for all of us. She said that her greatest fear is that she would do all this, put her family and herself through hell and it would not matter. She is probably right, that Kavanaugh will still be appointed to the Supreme Court. But her testimony matters. It matters to countless women and men who have been abused and who have been too afraid to speak up. People who have blamed themselves for the attacks. Christine Blasey Ford showed us that sometimes we must do what is right, even when we know it may not make the difference we seek in the moment. Dr. Ford and her courage do not exist in a vacuum. She has already changed the lives of countless victims of sexual abuse. May she take some comfort in that. And may we all hope to have that kind of courage.

“Even the smallest person can change the course of the future.” – J.R.R. Tolkien


Bush-Quotes-nginIt must be nice.

I mean you can screw up the nation big time then spend the rest of your days with a box of paints without a care in the world, living the life of a king!

This is the guy who messed up royally. He gave us two unfunded wars and Dick Cheney. What could go wrong?

Approximately 4,000 dead soldiers, thousands maimed for life, an Iraqi population who to this day bear the brunt of the carnage, and so much debt that we are slowly sinking into the decimation of the American Dream.

The Right Wing Supreme Court “gave” us George W. Bush and he paid us in kind. A stupid, pampered clown whose dimwitted approach to leadership sent the nation on a trajectory that will take generations to heal. Having placed his administration into the hands of Cheney, Rumsfeld and Rove, he spent much of his time at “the ranch” clearing brush as these three went about the business of gutting the Constitution and ignoring the laws of the land.

And because they were lucky enough to be succeeded by another hapless wonder who decided to “turn the page” (and a blind eye!) to their deeds, they have escaped any form of accountability for having done so.

It must be nice.

We can’t say we weren’t warned. He ran on the proposition of cutting taxes on the wealthy during his campaign. His billionaire friends benefited mightily over the last decade or so while the rest of us have been tasked with doing with less in favor of protecting “his base” from further revenues. As services are cut and pink slips handed out, this fool is sitting at his easel creating “art”.

Declaring war on a nation that had no involvement with the 9/11 attack, then “ginning up” data to make it so, this “patriot” enjoys the life of leisure as the rest of us bear the uncertainty of what else we may lose in the battle for “austerity” that resulted from his 8 year tenure of lies.

It must be nice.

I have yet to see or hear one member of that cabal who confesses any remorse. No such thing as “guilt” from this crowd. Cheney still maintains that he “would do it again” even in the face of the destruction left behind. Bush himself could not care less.

Those miserable 8 years were the culmination of power gone wrong. Power in the hands of those who failed to consider the consequences of mendacious decisions that left this nation in tatters.  Power “given” to this fool and his cohorts who will never be forced to answer for their actions.

It must be nice to live without a conscience as you stand before an easel having nothing more pressing than choosing the right color for the latest painting while the rest of the world bleeds on.

So that the Health Care Bill you create won’t be in the hands of f*cktards like this guy.

It appears from this week’s discussions at the Supremely Conservative Court, that Obama’s Health Whatever Bill is soon to be either overturned, or eviscerated to the point that it can’t pay for the few enhancements it actually offers. The Huffington Post reports:

“Shock and awe” best describes the reaction of legislators and commentators upon hearing the Supreme Court’s closing day of arguments on the constitutionality of Obama’s health care legislation. Democrats as well as the beltway media had assumed the bill was safe, thinking that the legislation fit firmly under the Congressional power of the Interstate Commerce Clause and that justices would be wary of repercussions of single-handedly dismantling the most expansive social legislation since the creation of Medicare.

How wrong they were. From the same justices that brought you Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission (the decision that ruled that corporations, like individuals, are protected by the first amendment, which resulted in the unleashing of a wave of super PACS in this year’s elections) and Bush v. Gore, now comes the very real possibility of the end of health care reform.


Reporters, commentators and Democratic legislators were stunned by the Court’s turn. CNN’s Jeffrey Toobin called today “a train wreck for the Obama administration.” Toobin said, “this morning was unbelievable. It was like a given that they’re throwing out the mandate. Anthony Kennedy was like, ‘Well, when we throw out the mandate…’ — Do you know what a huge deal that is?” Although shaken, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid warned that we couldn’t draw any conclusions yet, saying that justices ask lots of questions in many different directions, but that doesn’t mean they’ve made up their minds.

The logistical problem is that if the Court strikes down the mandate, the rest of the law may unravel for financial reasons. Obama’s new citizen protections, such a requirement that insurance companies cover people with pre-existing conditions, a ban on charging more for those with complicated health problems and the removal of insurance payout caps on medical services, are all supported by the insurance premiums of new people entering the market through the mandate.

You have to wonder if these Beltway Bozos ever read anything they don’t already agree with, or listen to their Republican colleagues during those long, LONG sessions in the House and Senate. “Obamacare” has been in their sights since 2010 (the Tea Party won many seats because of its promise to overturn the hated “socialist” bill), and they all seemed pretty confident that their friends on the Supreme Court would grant their desires. Were the Democrats truly so naive that they thought people like Scalia would actually consider the bill on its merits? Or are they just mugging for the cameras? Either way, it’s a truly pitiful sight to see the way both Parties have made a horrible joke out of such an incredibly important issue.

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We spend lots of time here discussing issues, personalities, and current events.  The blog offers a place to ruminate and fulminate over a lot of the bilge we wade through each day, most of it inspired by total and complete assholes who rule over our lives.

 Much of what we post contains mountains of “snark” that stands as a testament that we are still – at least relatively speaking – sane in the face of obstacles that continue to pile up at our feet.

But I want to be serious here for a minute to lay out my own personal concerns in this present atmosphere of unrest and disappointment. This is how I am reacting and I don’t expect others to embrace the same.

What I fear most of all is the takeover of our government by the Republican Party.  I fear these people and what they stand for because their agenda seems to have found purchase in some quarters and I know in my heart and mind they will inflict the same damage nationwide if given just half the chance.

For the past few decades we have seen some state legislatures overturn measures of protection for women, most resolutely in the area of healthcare and freedom of choice. Little by little some states have managed to override federal law that protects the privacy of women by demonizing, threatening, stalking, and in some cases opening her medical procedures to public view. Women are losing ground in these areas and it is being done through the efforts of both men and women who feel compelled to foist their beliefs upon others through the law.

Sen. Jim Demint has stated openly that he would call for a ban on single couples living together if they are public employees. He would also wish to restrict the rights of gays to hold public paying positions and deny them the right to adopt children.  He is also on record as opposing the overturn of DADT and is supportive of making the banning of gay marriage a constitutional issue.  Jim Demint is considered a leader in the Tea Party.  He is also a very dangerous person.

The GOP platform currently being written in time for the 2012 presidential convention will contain much of that same language.  The overthrow of Roe v Wade, a call for states rights, and  commitment to overturn same sex marriage.  There is a hint that they wish to include “Christian nation” in their platform but should that not happen there will be many speakers throughout who will more than likely refer to that phrase and be greeted with applause.

The Supreme Court at present has several justices whose age and infirmities may require their resignation. Should this fall into the hands of a GOP president the chances are that the next appointments will more than likely reflect the same social conservatism that is rampant among the candidates and party officials.  This would bring to an end any form of liberal leaning justices for at least another generation. Bearing witness to the “legal” mindset of Scalia, Thomas, Alioto, and Roberts, having one or two more like them ruling from the highest court in the land would be a serious error.  This is the same court that has declared corporations as having the same rights as an individual.

We are also in the midst of a “religious revival” of sorts.  Where once one’s brand of faith was a personal issue it has now become something to “wear on one’s sleeve” without fear of raising the argument for the separation of church and state.  Some wish to incorporate biblical law into the laws of government itself by declaring “god’s will” in their decision making. This would mute the separation of church and state and could easily lead to the outright overturning of the entire Constitution itself.

The Republican Party would strip away the safeguards that have been put in place over the decades. They seem to be focused solely on the idea of privatization and the elimination of any safety nets that have served this nation for over 70 years.  This drastic overhaul would guarantee the rise of poverty, death and crime.  But they blindly move on, pushing this theme ever onward.

The GOP has no use for the EPA and would gladly ensure that all regulations placed on every industry be deregulated in favor of special interests.  As these safeguards disappear we will be at the mercy of corporations whose only concern is their bottom line.  The absurdity of these proposals has yet to be clearly defined but the GOP is undettered to put an end to any oversight that would interfere with harmful business ventures.

I see us sinking further under the yoke of Wall Street and the greedy bastards who thrust us into this mess.  Accountability has disappeared along with a sense of integrity in the business community.  Few seem bothered by the extent of the huge division that exists between the 1% and the rest of us 99%’s who are the backbone of this nation as history attests.  But history no longer seems to have a place at the current table setting.  Most of these “future leaders” don’t appear to have ever read a book.

The GOP and those who shill on their behalf scare me.  What I see and hear are people who would have difficulty competing with an average high school student but infused with a sense of religious zealotry that borders on psychotic. A focus that is primarily in favor of protecting the rich while abandoning the poor along the way. It’s become a one way conversation with people who have never faced adversity and are unwilling to listen to yours.

For me who grew up with the idea that America stood for something, the fear that plagues me now is more real than ever.  We are no longer being served by those who pledged to do so.   The loss of liberty, freedom, and the pursuit of happiness could be replaced by authoritarianism, theocracy, and corporatism.  We are in the stranglehold of people who stand for something else. 

That “something else” has become my boogeyman.

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