Sexual Abuse at Fox News is Absolutely Gender Neutral

#SheToo!! Kimberly Guilfoyle, late of Fox News, current Don Jr. boo,  was pushed out because #SheToo engaged in some pretty awful abusive acts of a sexual nature.

Sources who spoke to HuffPost said Guilfoyle was emotionally abusive toward hair and makeup artists; regularly talked about sexual matters with an assistant who was uninterested in having those conversations; and showed colleagues pictures of male genitalia at work, often identifying whose genitalia she was showing them.

If you show people pictures of your male junk, you go.  If you show people pictures of other people’s male junk, you go.  I’m beginning to really feel bad about my junk here, apparently everybody thinks penises are just unatttractive and a firing offense around the office, even the circumcized ones! I think we can all agree that the uncircumcized ones are disgusting, sure!

Even if you make it a fun game, like Guess Whose Junk This Is, my understanding (from HR presentations I’ve had to run on my computer while chatting up attractive colleagues) is that it’s still a no go.  Too bad because a nice game can boost office morale as your bosses are being shown the door for screwing your female colleagues and paying them off to the tune of millions of dollars.  I remember doing a scavenger hunt in an office years ago, it was super fun.  If we had to find pictures of each others junk and identify them, a sure fire HOOT!

I must say I have more respect for people of any gender who show their own junk.  Showing pictures of other people’s junk invades their privacy.  It’s uncool.  Be cool and show people YOUR junk Kimberly!!

P.S. I do understand her abuse of the hair and makeup people.  Look at her, they’re not doing her any favors.  So harsh, like her pesonality.  Which they’re supposed to be softening, at least on the outside.  The female equivalent of an uncircumcized penis.

Bob Beckel Rejoins "The Five"

Her boyfriend in happier times.

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I swear to God those two boys should have been the sons of a minor Minnesota trucking magnate with mob ties that gets murdered  in the first season of Fargo.

 

Never Mind Trump’s Base Already, His Support is as Soft as His Head

Constant talk about his Republican base who just didn’t even need to take his advice to not believe what they read and hear (except from him), they’ve been doing that already for years.  Whether it’s Rush Limbaugh or Fox News or Breitbart, they’ve been deaf, dumb and blind to anything but the insane blatherings of right wing nutjobs forever.

But they do not matter!  Write that 100 times (Nixon said on his tapes to write that “The press is the enemy” 100 times.)

His high 30% to low 40% approval ratings are shallow polling.  Go deeper and his re-elect number dips to the low 30s and even lower!   A not insignificant segment of the minority who say they approve say they do not want him reelected.

The proviso with this is that while he suffers when you take away the Hillary figure to compare him against, there will be a Democrat in 2020 and yes, some of those that regret his election may come back to him in comparison to whatever Democrat is the nominee.  But 30% reelect is exceptionally soft.

And this is redounding to 2018 as well.  The Marist poll shows this.

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The poll indicated that 28 per cent of registered voters in Michigan, a state Mr Trump flipped from his Democrat rivals in the 2016 presidential election, said he deserved a second term…. In Minnesota, a state Mr Trump lost to Hillary Clinton by fewer than two percentage points in 2016, roughly 30 per cent of voters surveyed said the US leader deserved another go-around in the Oval Office… Thirty-one per cent of voters in Wisconsin are in favour of a second term for Mr Trump…

His under water national approval ratings are actually buoyed by the south and every really red state where he’s still very popular.  But in bluer and yes, purpler places where independents make the difference, he’s decidedly unpopular.  This rejection of his persistent dishonesty and asinine policies will help Democrats move district after district to a couple of points better performance than they would have.  This is likely just a continuation of the 20-30 point blue swing we’ve seen in special elections since Nov. 2016.

Trump’s even bigger betrayal than his full embrace of Putin’s proto-fascism is his Orwellian abandonment of those forgotten Midwestern working people.

Trump campaigned on “Make America Great Again” but he’s already pivoted to calling America great now.  And his 2020 campaign slogan is ‘Keep America Great”.  Now if you ask those unemployed or underemployed people who thought he was going to save their factories, their towns, their farms, etc. and have seen the status quo remain very quo, if not actually get worse, they’d be pretty puzzled to hear that America is already great.

During the campaign he derided the pretty good unemployment statistics from the Labor Dept. as fake news.  Now he claims to take credit because they’ve continued their 8 year trend towards full employment.  Most people not in his blinkered base see this.

They see the Chinese workers already making his reelection swag. How is this not  a bigger story for a president in a trade war??

Workers make flags for U.S. President Donald Trump's "Keep America Great!" 2020 re-election campaign at Jiahao flag factory in Fuyang

The people who gave him the benefit of the doubt are feeling betrayed.  They’ve heard the lies, seen things get worse, seen his dismal trade war and the shake down he’s proposing to pay them or their neighbors off.  It’s pretty reminiscent of Mafia tactics to create a problem with your trade war and then propose to step in and help like some two-bit leg breaker promising protection after smashing your windows.

 

The Lack of Civility is… a little amusing

I’ve been a sucky blogger lately, as if someone took a pickax to this blog, but no…

Seeing the antipathy out there to Trumpers leaves me uneasy… about giggling so much.

Cruella DeVos’ $40 Million Yacht Set Adrift by Bad People

A $40 million yacht owned by the family of Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos was set adrift by vandals at a dock in Ohio last weekend, causing thousands of dollars worth of damage to the vessel, according to the Toledo Blade.

The 163-foot yacht is one of 10 boats owned by the DeVos family, the Blade reported. Betsy DeVos is one of the Trump administration’s wealthiest officials, with an estimated net worth of around $1 billion, according to Forbes. Her father founded Prince Corporation, a successful automotive business, and her father-in-law co-founded Amway marketing company.

Having a yacht on the Ohio shore is an oxymoron, isn’t it?  I’d feel sorry for the DeVos-Princes except that I’m sure some of those massive boats are in more exotic locales… like Michigan.  It’s not like the vandals set the damn boat on fire leaving them with just 9  boats!!  Who with a cutting implement wouldn’t set a $40 million yacht owned by some of the worst people in the country adrift?

Someone took a pickax to Trump’s star in the Hollywood Walk of Sham Fame

Since the 2016 election, Trump’s star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame has been subject to spit, kisses, dog feces, selfies and urine. It’s been Sharpied, graffitied, walled in and sledge-hammered.

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You think they’d get the message already.  I mean the guy who cancelled Star Trek doesn’t even get treated this badly.

Sean Spicer is having trouble selling his books without being called “a garbage person” or being called out by a BBC interviewer for corrupting discourse all over the world.

But Maitlis did not let up, pointing to Spicer’s attempt to turn that particular incident into a joke, which he did while presenting the 2017 Emmy Awards after leaving the White House.

“It became a joke,” she said. “It became something that defined you … but it wasn’t a joke. It was the start of the most corrosive culture. You played with the truth. You led us down a dangerous path. You have corrupted discourse for the entire world by going along with these lies.”

Hey at least he can get served in most restaurants unlike his successor.  To think someone is trying to set this guy up with a TV show.   Who do they imagine would watch him?  I predict my colonoscopy will have more viewers than any show he hosts.

The Trumps and their minions are not popular.  They are in fact reviled because they are deplorable people.

I should be tut tutting the destruction of  property, if not rudeness.  But I can’t actually be bothered to give a shit.

America’s Disturbing Anti-Democratic Tendencies Were Lead by the Supreme Court

Not anything new here for people who have been paying attention, but Ezra Klein lays it out concisely – It’s the Supreme Court vs. Democracy.  Of course the Supreme Court is political, it always has been.  If the 5 conservative justices that have been taking us further down a road to a minority running roughshod over our supposed democracy are really following the “strict construction” of the Constitution,  then the Constitution is an ass.

Spoiler alert, they’re not “strict constructionists” or “originalists”.  Two total bullshit terms created by conservative think tanks to paper over their partisan hackery.  Everyone in the media should push back on those conservative conceits.

Even more frustrating is the press coverage of the naming of justices.  When interviewing conservatives who are applauding these ultra-right justices, ask them exactly what they’re applauding.  What rulings are you giddy over?  Taking limits off money in politics?  Creating limits on voting rights?  How does any perspective on the Constitution or American history guide that more money and fewer voters is a good thing?  Bush v. Gore was a bullshit, one time, unabashedly pure Red v. Blue ruling.  With Citizen’s United, Janus, the rulings allowing racial gerrymandering, etc., are you admitting it’s ALL Red v. Blue.

Do conservatives really want Roe gone?  Or Griswald, which granted a right to privacy and struck down laws prohibiting birth control (duh)?  Are they saying they really want Gilead?  What’s next after that, mandatory Church participation?  There’s nothing here defensible on any Constitutional grounds.  You would have to have completely ignored the writings of the Founding Father’s to promulgate a pro-religious construction.  This fight isn’t even Red v. Blue, it’s pure antedeluvian theocratic conservatism.  The GOP does not want this because Roe  gave them an issue and a rallying cry for 40 years.  You strike down the precedent of Roe and you further empower a women-led Democratic base that is already spitting mad.  So you go right ahead and be my guest.

The Court is a problem.  But it’s only exacerbating a growing anti-democratic trend that is natural to our growth patterns and the design of the Constitution.  The last two cycles it’s become pretty obvious that the Senate, like the Electoral College, has become an anti-democratic anachronism.

Demographers project American politics will become even less democratic in the coming years. By 2040, 70 percent of Americans are expected to be represented by a mere 30 senators, which means 30 percent of the population will control a 70-vote supermajority in the Senate.

The Supreme Court is meant to be insulated from democracy. It’s not meant to be a partisan tool for undermining democracy. What’s emerging now is a dangerous loop, in which Republicans barely holding onto power manage to keep control of the Supreme Court by any means necessary, and in return, the Supreme Court’s Republican appointees issue rulings to help their party cling to political power.

Wyoming has the same two votes in the Senate that California does.  And no matter how much you think about the more balanced representation in the House, that ludicrous Senate balance decides Supreme Court seats, the House does not.

The Founder’s were so focused on protecting minorities that they set up a system that could be exploited by unscrupulous partisans to create minority rule, clearly given the numbers today this scenario has taken place.  So you hear about different plans if Democrats can get control of the WH, House and Senate in order to level things.

  • Court packing plans sound pretty reasonable these days to overcome the 5-4 conservative majority.
  • Or plans to make D.C. or Puerto Rico states (with supposedly 2 more Dem Senators, each).  Lord knows those two paces have suffered without real representation for too long.
  • Or splitting California into 2 or more states (more Dems. likely, depending of course on the split).

It may seem fanciful, but the situation of a Democratic majority being stymied by the ideological rulings of a Republican minority will force hands to either modernize the Constitution or use the anachronisms and loop holes in their favor to avoid the tyranny of the minority.

We are reminded that we have precedent on democratic government taking action to reverse disastrously out of touch court decisions.

How Conservatives Weaponized The First Amendment

Adam Liptak in The NY Times noticed the funny trend the Supreme Court and the conservative legal establishment  has taken in recent years, using the First Amendment to comfort the comfortable and afflict the afflicted.

They took the extreme nonsensical views of the libertarian wing and cynically, mercinarilly used them to help their pals in commerce or allies in the culture wars.

The court’s five conservative members, citing the First Amendment, had just dealt public unions a devastating blow. The day before, the same majority had used the First Amendment to reject a California lawrequiring religiously oriented “crisis pregnancy centers” to provide women with information about abortion.

So if you set up a phony abortion advice storefront in order to deceive women with misinformation about abortion, deliberately keeping them from legitimate women’s health centers you are allowed to keep deceiving. It’s your right under the First Amendment. Madison would have challenged the 5 conservative justices to a duel to defend his honor.

If fire had a big bucks lobbyist these people would argue that yelling “fire” in a crowded theater was protected speech.

 

Republicans Have Been Chasing FDRs Ghost Since 1944. So Much For New Ideas.

The New Deal sure changed things. Between the Progressive Era (roughly 1890-1920) and The New Deal (1932-1944) so much of what made the 1800s brutal and downright unAmerican, for anybody who didn’t own a railroad, was elevated to civilized standards. Poverty alleviated, sickness treated, playing fields leveled, fairness lauded as a virtue to be aspired to by government, not just Boy Scouts. A radical idea that saved capitalism in America.

But did capitalists appreciate that? Do they ever? From the start there were corporate Republicans who hated it and vowed a multi-generational jihad to take out the improvements and erase The New Deal. They countered The Wagner Act with Taft-Hartley as soon as they could.

Since the 1930s, when then president Franklin Delano Roosevelt promised to break the hold of moneyed men on the government and broker “a new deal for the American people”, a cabal of reactionaries resolved to destroy the new government Democrats created.

Last week’s Janus Decision was just another in a series of conservative Supreme Court decisions taking a sledge hammer to the crumbling foundation of The New Deal. Read Professor Cox Richardson from The Guardian.

 

Maybe if Dems had Been a Little Less Civil About a Stolen Supreme Court Seat We Wouldn’t be in Such a Sorry State

We’re debating civility in the media because a few people who are deliberately malfeasant in their taxpayer funded jobs each day got some push back from pissed off people.  Children have been kidnapped in our names, by our government, but it’s poor form to disrupt a Trumper’s meal or call them out for their lies in public.  It’s just politics.

No it’s not.  I said that we were in a cold civil war years ago.  Now I’m seeing those words in print on the intertubes on a regular basis.  People were being way too civil then, really doing nothing in the face of the wrecking of the Constitution, the more than unsportsmanlike accretion of advantage.

In a corollary debate on civility I heard two Republicans, who are anti-Trump, deride Democrats for calling George W. Bush, Mitt Romney and John McCain “Nazis” and “indecent”.  Well, I’m not sure I recall Romney and McCain being called ‘Nazis”.  I do recall some people being angry about the very indecent actions of George W. Bush in Florida in 2000, Iraq in 2002 and Louisiana in 2005, politicizing the U.S. Attorneys Office, etc.  These Republicans were blaming the actions of the deplorables in part on that purported (and supposedly inappropriate) name calling.  Well, that’s some bullshit there.

George W. Bush was not a decent person.  Or if he was, he let the rampantly indecent around him like Karl Rove and Dick Cheney have too much say in how his decency would be exploited for indecent purposes.  At the very least.

The indecent and thuggish actions of Republicans to ignore norms did not actually start with Trump.  They didn’t even start with McConnell’s theft of a Supreme Court seat that is paying off for them in diamond encrusted spades now.  It didn’t even start in 2000 with the unleashing of every rat fucking dirty trickster in the GOP Rolodex to ensure a Bush presidency, voting notwithstanding. The Tea Party was not decent.  The toxic gerrymandering that ensued was not decent.  The rolling over of norms all over the country in order to disenfranchise votes was not decent.

But I digress.  In a series of 5-4 votes our esteemed Supreme Court has approved toxic gerrymandering, Trump’s travel ban, and supported phony anti-choice “crisis pregnancy centers”.  One doesn’t need a fevered imagination to know that Justice Merrick Garland would have flipped that tally to 5-4 against those and other historically ridiculous decisions.  We know the Supreme Court is not really a court and the justices are not judges and the body is intensely political.  Which is why making sure those robes only go to people who truly do read and respect the Constitution and precedent, rather than rationalize ideological or party first rulings, is kind of an important thing.

We could have used some people screaming outside Mitch McConnell’s house in 2016.  Maybe a restaurant owner or two denying him a meal.  Some civil disobedience in his offices and marches in front of the Capitol, along with some uncivil language from elected Democrats might have been appropriate then.

We can’t turn back the clock to undo the injustices of a supine Democratic Party bringing a proverbial butter knife to a nuclear war, but we can sure toughen up now and make the correct argument that civility, like respect is earned.

If you shit on people, shit on norms, shit on democracy, you might get some push back from angry people.  And no one should apologize for that.