Notes and Comment Blog

Sad and rejected on the 66th floor

Oct 9th, 2016 9:50 am | By

Aww. The Times reports that Trump had nowhere to go Saturday afternoon. The mean kids told him he couldn’t come to the party after all, and he had nowhere else to go, so he had to sit home alone while everyone else had fun.

Mr. Trump was asked to stay away from a party gathering Saturday afternoon in Wisconsin, where Speaker Paul D. Ryan and other state luminaries took the stage, a striking rebuke that left the Republican nominee for president with no place to go on a Saturday 31 days before the election.

So he remained inside his enormous penthouse apartment on the 66th floor, and his corporate suite 40 stories below, for almost all of Friday and Saturday.


At times he was joined by his small circle of loyalists, who arrived to prepare him for Sunday night’s debate against Hillary Clinton but instead spent much of the time trying to figure out how to undo the damage wrought by the surfacing of an 11-year-old video recording on which he can be heard gleefully describing pushing himself on women and sexually assaulting them.

There you go. That’s how to report it – gleefully describing pushing himself on women and sexually assaulting them. Finally; thank you.

And there’s no way those fuckers can “undo” the “damage” that wrought, because it shows what Trump is: a callous greedy entitled pig of a man who likes to assault women he considers hot.

At other times, Mr. Trump retreated to Twitter, where he retweeted posts from an account that says it belongs to a woman who had long ago accused Bill Clinton of rape.

Mr. Trump called a few reporters but lacked his usual gusto.

And he kept returning to watching coverage on CNN, the cable outlet he derides as biased against him but still tunes in to most often, and becoming more upset as he saw Republican officials condemn him one by one.

Mr. Trump has been rattled by the release of the 2005 video recording, according to two people with direct knowledge of his mood who were granted anonymity to candidly describe the situation.

Yes, they have direct knowledge in the sense that they were in the room. They had to, to know he was veering between Twitter and CNN.

They urged him to be humble, and he thought he had been. I believe it. He has the self-awareness of a hammer.

To him, the criticism was an affirmation that “nothing he can say or do” would reduce the hostility directed his way, according to one of the people with knowledge of how he feels.

Jesus. One, welcome to politics, dude. Two, the hostility is rooted in Trump’s own behavior. Three, I can actually think of some things he could do to reduce the hostility a little, but he would never ever do them, because he’s a bad man. Four, did he think running for president would lead to universal love for him?

Inside the tower on Saturday, different plans of action were discussed. Mr. Trump and his advisers considered a joint television interview that he and Ms. Trump would give to a major network, an echo of the 1992 appearance by the Clintons on “60 Minutes” after Gennifer Flowers claimed that she had had an affair with Mr. Clinton.

They were talking away about it, despite Trump’s lack of enthusiasm, but then more happened.

Nancy O’Dell, the former “Access Hollywood” host whom Mr. Trump had lewdly described in the recording, issued a statement denouncing his comments. And then more tapes of Mr. Trump speaking crudely about women, this time on “The Howard Stern Show,” turned up on television.

That was the end of the interview idea.

Mr. Christie and Mr. Priebus told Mr. Trump that the situation with other Republicans was becoming dire. Other advisers assured Mr. Trump that attacking Mrs. Clinton over her husband’s behavior with women, and over reports that she had defended his behavior, would help rally Republicans again.

Yeah, go with that – attack the woman for what her husband did. That’s a good look. That will turn the whole thing around, I’m sure.

A long history with Trump

Oct 9th, 2016 9:25 am | By

Margaret Sullivan at the Washington Post wonders why NBC sat on the Trump tape for so long.

Why didn’t NBC News do the basic journalistic work of working through its own company’s archives on Trump months ago?

It may have to do with the split between the entertainment and the news divisions — both “The Apprentice” and “Access Hollywood” are products of NBC’s entertainment side, not its news side. NBC’s news reporters are often excellent — Katy Tur, for example, has covered the Trump campaign with admirable intelligence and assertiveness, and has taken a lot of flak from the campaign for doing so.

NBC’s entertainment division has had a long history with Trump because the network was the home of “The Apprentice,” which made him a reality-TV star. Separately, Trump did hundreds of interviews with NBC for “Access Hollywood.” That means there are two separate caches of Trump-on-tape that could yield news.

Maybe the people in News just don’t talk to the people in Entertainment. Clearly they should have.

One troubling factor is that “Access Hollywood’s” segment on Trump’s horrifyingly lewd RAPEY comments — despite their stunning news value — was not scheduled to appear immediately, a spokeswoman confirmed. That only changed when news of The Post’s imminent article forced producers’ hands; they aired it Friday night, after all.

Why this material was left in the hands of an entertainment show, and not the news division, was something I couldn’t get an answer to on Saturday. And when would it have run? Since the segment wasn’t scheduled for Friday, the earliest possibility on the entertainment magazine show would have been Monday.

After the debate – the only debate moderated by a woman, Sullivan points out.

ay Rosen of New York University told me Saturday that it shouldn’t have taken very long to make the video public.

Because it was NBC’s own recording, there should have been no question about authenticity, and, as he put it, “the tape is the story.” Reaction from the campaign was the only thing left to do. “That’s an hour,” as he put it.

What’s more, NBC’s Billy Bush — a former co-host of “Access Hollywood” and now a co-host of its “Today” show, which is on the news side of NBC — knew about it for 11 years but apparently didn’t see it as newsworthy.

Or didn’t see it as something he wanted to point out to people, given all his sycophantic laughter on that tape, and his nasty “Don’t you want to give him a hug?” when he and Trump left the trailer.

There is significant public interest in knowing the answers to these questions. NBC owes it to the American electorate to answer them clearly.

Without adequate answers from the top, made publicly, it may not be unreasonable to conclude that one of the nation’s largest news companies simply wasn’t doing its job.

Does the tape shed a flattering light on NBC? No it does not.

Drop the L word

Oct 9th, 2016 8:19 am | By

The news media have had enough time now to grasp that the issue is not that Trump’s remarks were “lewd.” It’s that they were contemptuous, hostile, dehumanizing, and that they boasted of sexual assault.

The BBC for instance.

More senior Republicans have withdrawn support for US presidential candidate Donald Trump after his obscene remarks about women became public.

“Obscene” is not the issue. Pee po belly bum drawers.

One of the Republican support-withdrawers says it when the BBC couldn’t manage to:

New Hampshire Senator Kelly Ayotte said in a statement: “I cannot and will not support a candidate for president who brags about degrading and assaulting women,” she said.

There. It doesn’t take many words. It’s not that he said “pussy,” it’s that he said “you [meaning men, or rather himself] can grab their pussy.” It’s that he said you can assault them and get away with it. The obscene word isn’t “pussy,” it’s “grab.”

You know what a 10 is?

Oct 8th, 2016 2:41 pm | By

CNN has been looking through Trump’s many appearances on the radio show of “shock jock” (i.e. flaming asshole) Howard Stern.

In more than one interview with Stern, Trump took part in conversations about Ivanka Trump’s appearance, including one about the size of her breasts.

In an October 2006 interview, Stern remarks that Ivanka “looks more voluptuous than ever,” and asked if she had gotten breast implants. Trump is willing to engage in the discussion about his own daughter, telling Stern that she did not get implants.

“She’s actually always been very voluptuous,” Trump responds. “She’s tall, she’s almost 6 feet tall and she’s been, she’s an amazing beauty.”

She’s a fine fine hamburger.

In another interview, from September 2004, Stern asks Trump if he can call Ivanka “a piece of ass,” to which Trump responds in the affirmative.

“My daughter is beautiful, Ivanka,” says Trump.

“By the way, your daughter,” says Stern.

“She’s beautiful,” responds Trump.

“Can I say this? A piece of ass,” Stern responds.

“Yeah,” says Trump.

Fine hamburger.

In his interviews with Stern, Trump discussed leaving women after a certain age and dating younger women.

In a 2002 appearance, Trump calls 30 “a perfect age.”

“Until she’s 35,” a co-host interjects.

“What is it at 35? It’s called check-out time,” Trump responds.

Hamburger overcooked.

They graded women. (I wonder if they ever graded themselves. Hahaha no I don’t; of course they didn’t. The eater grades the hamburger, the hamburger doesn’t grade the eater.)

“She’s hot, she’s hot though right?,” Stern asked Trump of [Elin] Nordegren, after Trump said he’s talked to [Tiger] Woods since his sex scandal broke in the news.

‘Yeah, she’s fine,” said Trump.

“You don’t think she’s that hot?,” Stern asked.

“It depends by what standard,” Trump replied. “What standard are you judging?”

“I have a very high standard,” added Trump. “Howard knows, because he got me in a lot of trouble once, he went over a list of 15 supermodels. You remember the list of supermodels. And he’d ask me, ‘how was she?’ How was she?’ And I was married at the time, you know this was not a good question to be asking.”

“I think she’s good,” Trump added of Nordegren’s attractiveness.

“No, I’d say she’s a solid nine, solid nine yeah,” Trump said, when asked how he’d rate her.

When Stern suggested to him he should do a show where he just rates women, Trump said, “That may be the best idea of all I would say I’m the all-time judge, don’t forget, I own the Miss Universe pageant.”

“Mr. Trump I’m asking you directly, is her ass too big?” Stern asked.

“No,” Trump replied.

“Body perfect?” Stern asked.

“Very nice,” responded Trump.

“She’s very nice, is she a 10, you know what a 10 is?” Trump asked.

It’s whatever you say it is, Mr Trump. You’re the judge. Women are just so much meat.


Oct 8th, 2016 2:27 pm | By

McCain has dumped Trump.

John McCain has withdrawn his endorsement of Donald Trump. Notably, McCain explains his decision not by criticizing the language or tone the Trump used in the Washington Post video, but by citing the conduct Trump was describing. McCain does not shy away from calling that conduct “sexual assault.” Here’s McCain’s full statement, which also mentions Trump’s attacks on Judge Curiel, the Khan family, and the Central Park Five:

Tic Tic repudiates Trump

Oct 8th, 2016 2:18 pm | By

Alice Dreger tweets:

I think this @nytimes reader is right. Same reason GOP guys mention daughters in denunciations; we are valuable cows.

Ron Howard:

Trumps says “Anyone who knows me knows these words don’t reflect who I am,” Sorry but I know people who do know him – it is exactly who he is.

Bina Shah:

You can’t even tell Trump, “How would you like it if someone talked about your daughter like that” – because he has already.

Saladin Ahmed:

remember that this is the sack of shit insisting we can’t let immigrant men in because they’ll assault women

Tic Tac:

Tic Tac respects all women. We find the recent statements and behavior completely inappropriate and unacceptable.


Also in Trump

Oct 8th, 2016 12:11 pm | By

Trump is belching out so much evil we can’t keep up. There was also the fact that he made a point of telling CNN that the Central Park 5 were too so guilty.

Wading into a racially-charged case from his past, Donald Trump indicated that the “Central Park Five” were guilty, despite [the fact that they were] officially exonerated by DNA evidence decades after a notorious 1989 rape case.

“They admitted they were guilty,” Trump said to CNN in a statement.

“The police doing the original investigation say they were guilty. The fact that that case was settled with so much evidence against them is outrageous. And the woman, so badly injured, will never be the same.”

The five men were convicted as teenagers after implicating each other under intense questioning over a brutal sexual assault on a jogger that dominated the tabloids. Defenders said they were coerced into confessing and all five were later cleared by DNA evidence and a separate confession in 2002 from another criminal who took credit for the assault.

New York paid them $41 million in compensation.

Trump took out a full-page ad at the time of the crime calling for New York to reinstate the death penalty in response.

The case was notable for its racial politics: Four of the Central Park Five were black and one was Latino while the victim was a white banker.

He’s a terrible man.


Oct 8th, 2016 11:49 am | By

Jonah Goldberg on Twitter:

Annoying responses: 1) All men talk like this (nope) 2) This is an aberration for Trump (nope) 3) No one could have predicted this (nope).

Matthew Yglesias:

It’s too bad for GOP elected officials that there was literally no way they could have known before today that Trump was a gross misogynist.

Ariel Edwards-Levy:

I’m calling for a total and complete shutdown of Donald Trump interacting with women until we can figure out what is going on.

Jonathan Chait:

I am working on a pet theory that Donald Trump is an extremely bad person.

Will Rahn:

BUSH COMPOUND, DECEMBER 2015 — JEB: We must stop Trump. Any ideas?

GWB: Nope

GHWB: Sorry no

BILLY: Nope, no idea, nothing, zilch, zero


A power structure on which he knowingly capitalizes

Oct 8th, 2016 11:17 am | By

James Hamblin at the Atlantic points out that “graphic” sex talk is a good thing. That’s not what Trump was doing.

The thing about the Republican’s words isn’t that they’re explicit or graphic. It’s that they’re misogynistic, coercive, abusive, and dehumanizing. And as my colleague David Graham notes, illegal: The candidate is describing forcing himself on women, bragging that they’re disinclined to object because of a power structure on which he knowingly capitalizes.

Framing this as lewd, even extremely so, is a reminder of the frequent reluctance to name sexual assault. Explicit conversations are a different thing, a part of life central to mature sexuality.

Precisely. Mutual (in other words consensual) sex talk is a very different thing from what Trump was doing. He was talking about women the way he would talk about a hamburger if he hadn’t eaten in hours. Mutuality had nothing to do with it. The woman is a thing, with legs that make him shout “Whoa! Whoa!” and a mouth he’ll just start kissing and a pussy he can grab. He’s the one who grabs, and she’s the thing who is grabbed.

Like Trump, ever more Americans seem to feel that masculinity (as they understand it, narrowly defined) is threatened. It’s threatened specifically by “PC culture,” often used as a sweeping indictment of any attempt at decency. My colleague Molly Ball spoke to some of these men recently at a Trump rally in Pennsylvania, men with chin-strap beards and novelty t-shirts calling Hillary Clinton a bitch because “it’s funny.”

Some guy on Facebook yesterday posted about Trump’s rapey blurts, but he prefaced what he said with “Sorry, ladies, but this is how men talk.” No it isn’t. It’s how a lot of men talk, but it’s not how men in general talk. We don’t have to normalize it and we certainly don’t have to put up with it.

Not fit

Oct 8th, 2016 9:55 am | By

The Guardian has a big collection. A yuuuuje collection.

Donald Trump’s apology for the latest in a string of controversial comments about women came as no surprise to the political strategist and fellow Republican Ana Navarro. “He is not fit to be the president, he is not fit to be the Republican nominee, he is not fit to be called a man,” Navarro said on CNN. “How many times does he get away with saying something misogynistic before we call him a misogynist? How many times does he get away with saying something sexist before we acknowledge that he is a sexist? It is time to condemn the man.”

But what about free speech? Heterogeneity of opinion? Vigorous dissent? Isn’t Trump just part of the rich pageant of democracy?

Certainly not in my view, but there are a lot of people who talk about that kind of thing without explaining how they draw the line.

Nadia Khomami goes through the familiar examples, then gets to some less familiar ones.

Trump has regularly targeted Arianna Huffington, the editor and co-founder of the Huffington Post, as being “unattractive both inside and out”. When the New York Times columnist Gail Collins wrote about rumours of his bankruptcy, he sent her a copy of her own article with her picture circled and “the face of a dog!” written across it. More recently, when his campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, was charged with battery for yanking Michelle Fields’ arm as she tried to ask questions, Trump was quick to accuse the reporter of changing her story.

He has also maintained a brutal verbal campaign against comedian Rosie O’Donnell. In 2006, during an appearance on Entertainment Tonight, Trump said she was “disgusting, both inside and out. If you take a look at her, she’s a slob. How does she even get on television? If I were running The View, I’d fire Rosie. I’d look her right in that fat, ugly face of hers and say, ‘Rosie, you’re fired.’ We’re all a little chubby but Rosie’s just worse than most of us”.

The verbal assault did not stop there, as he continued to attack her personal life and offend the LGBT community at the same time: “Rosie’s a person who’s very lucky to have her girlfriend. And she better be careful or I’ll send one of my friends over to pick up her girlfriend. Why would she stay with Rosie if she had another choice?” he said.

As I’ve mentioned all too often…he’s indistinguishable from those vulgar people who live on Twitter and type insults all day.

Verbal indiscretions aside, perhaps what many fear most is the more serious allegations about Trump’s conduct towards women. Jill Harth, a woman at the centre of sexual assault allegations against the billionaire, spoke for the first time in July about her personal experience with him. The makeup artist has accused Trump in a lawsuit of cornering and groping her in his daughter’s bedroom. She told the Guardian that she stood by her charges, which her lawyers described in the lawsuit as “attempted ‘rape’”.

Shortly after Trump announced his bid for president it emerged that his first wife, Ivana, had alleged in testimony during their divorce that he had raped her in 1989. When the allegation resurfaced in the Daily Beast, a lawyer and aide to Trump told a reporter that the claim was moot because “you cannot rape your spouse”. In a statement issued through Trump’s lawyers, Ivana later said she did not want “rape” to be “interpreted in a literal or criminal sense”.

The shame of a nation.

Zero respect for people’s lives, rights, and property

Oct 8th, 2016 9:39 am | By

Robby Soave at Reason says Trump is no libertarian but a self-entitled authoritarian.

“You know I’m automatically attracted to beautiful [women]—I just start kissing them,” Trump toldAccess Hollywood‘s Billy Bush, according to an audio tape leaked to The Washington Post on Friday. “It’s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don’t even wait. And when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything. Grab them by the pussy. You can do anything.”

Emphasis mine, because, well, you can’t do that. Grabbing an unsuspecting and unwilling person’s genitals is a criminal act of sexual assault under any definition of sexual assault. Trump is evidently proud of the fact that he wielded his wealth and star power as a weapon to help him abuse women—to kiss and grope them without their permission. This is violence, full stop.

Trump has a lot of company though in thinking it’s just something guys get to do, because they want to – it’s just hijinks, it’s boys will be boys, it’s “copping a feel.” It’s normalized.

Some people might be tempted to write off Trump’s comments to Bush as empty boasts. They would be utter fools to do so. The New York Times, in fact, has just run an interview with a woman who says she was given the Trump treatment by the reality TV star. This is not an isolated incident: there is ample evidence that Trump has physically harmed women. And he has now admitted on tape that he feels license to mistreat them.

To be absolutely clear: there is nothing ambiguous about Trump’s stated (and demonstrated) approach to women: it’s battery, at a minimum.

And, even though it’s looking more unlikely every hour, it’s still possible that he could be elected president of the US. It’s disgraceful. It’s truly disgraceful that none of this stopped him until (perhaps) now.

Some months ago, I described Trump as the least libertarian Republican presidential candidate in decades—in no small part because he displays zero respect for people’s lives, rights, and property. His treatment of women is only the most obviously disturbing manifestation of the philosophy of brutishness and authoritarianism that characterizes his entire worldview.

No man whose overriding ideology is that he gets to do whatever he wants—to whomever he wants—should be president.

That’s an aspect of libertarianism I can respect.

H/t Helen Dale

From astonished to apoplectic

Oct 8th, 2016 8:57 am | By

Trump stayed up late last night to do an “apology” video which briskly morphed into an attack on Bill Clinton, who isn’t running for president. (This is, though, one of many reasons I detest this new idea that relatives of former presidents have an inside track to the office. I have never thought it was a good idea for Hillary Clinton to leverage her husband’s stint as president into her shot at it.) I haven’t watched it yet…and don’t look forward to it.

CNN sums up the current state of play.

House Speaker Paul Ryan, saying he was “sickened” by Trump’s comments, announced Friday night that the GOP presidential nominee would no longer attend a Republican event in Wisconsin at which the two were slated to appear on Saturday. Multiple sources told CNN that Trump was asked not to come by Ryan, and one source said the message was delivered via intermediaries.

“Dear Donald – please just stay away. Paul.”

Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus condemned Trump’s remark in a briefly, tersely-worded statement.
“No woman should ever be described in these terms or talked about in this manner. Ever,” Priebus wrote.
Journalists covering a Toledo, Ohio, campaign stop by Pence were ushered out of a restaurant soon after the story broke. The press was supposed to cover Pence looking at a wall of signed hot dogs, including one by Trump, but were later told they couldn’t record the moment.

Everyone was too busy throwing up to deal with the journalists.

Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman, a Republican who recently said he would vote for Trump,called for Trump to drop out of the race.
Utah Gov. Gary Herbert, who over the summer had said he would vote for Trump, withdrew his support Friday night. So did House Oversight Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz, a Utah Republican.
Even Terry Gainer, a former US Senate sergeant at arms who rarely makes political comments, emailed CNN to say, “It is not just woman who should shun Trump. Any gentleman, every husband, each father of a daughter, bother of a sister and sons must be outraged.
“How do I explain this to my granddaughters? If only a Republican leader would stand and exhibit a profile in courage.”

And staffers, too.

Reactions from GOP staffers and advisers to Trump ranged from astonished to apoplectic.
A close adviser to Trump told CNN the story is “flat out appalling” and at this point, they can’t even begin to guess whether Trump can come back from this.

“This should have never happened. I wish it had never happened. I think I know that men talk this way sometimes, but it’s nothing I would ever want to hear or condone or approve of,” the adviser said. “My reaction is — it’s appalling. It’s just flat out appalling.”

The adviser also said Trump’s apology does not go far enough.

“Doing anything other than to say it was a grievous error and he apologizes would be a mistake,” the adviser said. “I would take it a step further and own to the words as being offensive — not ‘if.'”

The adviser, clearly exasperated, added: “Another day in Trump world … I hate it.”

So do we, and boy do we not want to live in it for four years.

Of course the staffers and advisers could always quit.

The H word

Oct 8th, 2016 8:43 am | By

Another man sighs wearily as he opens the laptop to explain why Elena Ferrante has no right to anonymity or privacy, this time in Prospect.

The hysterical reaction in some quarters to Ferrante’s so-called “doxxing” is producing more heat than light. Books are largely read by a culturally elite group, the same people who commission think pieces, invest their cultural capital with importance. Journalists writing about this phenomenon fuel it, and to be honest, as we condemn the article that caused this mess, we are also profiting from it.

The “hysterical” reaction. Wouldn’t you think men who write words as a profession could learn to stop calling women “hysterical”? Ok he’s calling the reaction “hysterical,” not Ferrante herself…but that’s on the literal level, and in fact he’s associating her with “hysteria” and that’s what readers will get from his use of the word. It’s a casual, deniable sexist slur, right at the beginning of his piece dismissing Ferrante’s stated wishes. I’m getting tired of men dismissing women’s stated wishes.

Ferrante has a right to privacy, as enshrined in the European Convention on Human Rights. There is no doubt that Claudio Gatti’s article was an intrusion, but other articles have strayed into similar territory. Ferrante, we now strongly suspect, is a public figure making millions from marketing an invented identity, and it is naive to think she would escape scrutiny.

That’s a really extraordinarily entitled thing to say. It’s a sublimated “you can grab her pussy.” Her books have sold well, and he calls that “making millions from marketing an invented identity.” She made whatever money she made from writing novels! How is it his business to claim she made it from “marketing an invented identity” and that that justifies trying to expose her identity without her consent?

Rob Sharp wrote this article for Prospect. Does that mean we all get to break down his door and camp out in his living room?

This is who he is

Oct 7th, 2016 5:51 pm | By

Ashley Judd on Twitter:


But we’re not choosing a Sunday school teacher

Oct 7th, 2016 5:39 pm | By

The Guardian has a live updating page on Trump’s contemptuous rapey remarks about women. An hour ago they posted what Corey Lewandowski had to say:

Even Corey Lewandowski, Trump’s former campaign manager and one of the staunchest supporters of the businessman, has refused to defend the comments.

“Look, I think what this comes down to, and this is not a surprise, is clearly this is not how women should be spoken about. But we’re not choosing a Sunday school teacher.

“And I want to be very clear about this, what we know about Donald Trump this was 12 years ago, this audio tape, and does not reflect or bring to mind the Donald Trump that I’ve spent 18 months with traveling. I’ve never heard anything like this out of him.

“And so, let me say, We’re appointing a leader, we’re electing a leader. We’re not electing a Sunday school teacher.”

It’s not a matter of “Sunday school teacher” you sexist piece of shit. It’s a matter of a man who has contempt for half of the population. We’re not some afterthought, like the dill pickle vote.

Sadowski.ying rapey Trump is not a Sunday school teacher is itself misogynist. What does Sunday school teacher suggest? A prissy prim “sex negative” woman, probably one too old and ugly for Trump to want to grab her pussy.

So fuck off, Corey Lewandowski.


Oct 7th, 2016 5:31 pm | By

Tomorrow’s Daily News:


Oct 7th, 2016 4:55 pm | By

Emily Crockett at Vox on Trump and rape culture.

The Washington Post’s headline describes Trump’s comments as “extremely lewd.” But they’re a lot worse than that.

This may or may not actually be typical “locker room banter” for some men. But one thing is clear: It’s an explicit description of sexual assault.

Whether or not Trump is bragging for effect or machismo, he is saying that he thinks it’s no big deal to grab or kiss a woman in a sexual manner — either by moving too fast for her to consent or resist or by exploiting his power until “they let you do it.”

It is sexual assault to “just start kissing” a woman, much less “grab” her “pussy,” and not “even wait” — in other words, to act without warning or consent.

It is sexual assault to exploit your power over a woman for the purpose of sexual favors.

This isn’t a joke. This isn’t even just a much worse version of the usual sleaze or insults that we’re used to on Trump and women. This is serious.

It is, but so are insults. Insults aren’t “a joke” either. Trump isn’t just joshing around when he calls one woman a fat pig or talks about another bleeding from her wherever. He’s expressing contempt and hatred, to a vast audience. That shit is serious. Hatred and contempt are contagious. We’re already saturated with hatred and contempt for women; Trump’s adding to it is no joke and no trivia.

It’s serious because this kind of cavalier treatment of sexual assault is the definition of rape culture. When men see sexual assault as a punchline, or even something to brag about, they take it less seriously when they see or hear about it happening, and they take women less seriously who talk about it.

Yes, and hatred and contempt play into that too.

“Grab them by the pussy,” Trump says.

Oct 7th, 2016 3:00 pm | By

Le tout Facebook is talking about the Washington Post’s new story about Trump.

They got possession of a video that has Trump talking on a hot microphone.

The video captures Trump talking with Billy Bush of “Access Hollywood” on a bus with Access Hollywood written across the side. They were arriving on the set of “Days of Our Lives” to tape a segment about Trump’s upcoming cameo on the soap opera.

I recommend playing the video to get the full flavor – the laughter, the boasting, the time someone says “it’s good” and you’re not sure if “it” is a woman or not.

The tape obtained by the Post includes audio of Bush and Trump’s conversation inside the bus, as well as audio and video once they emerge from it to begin shooting the segment.

In that audio, Trump discusses a failed attempt to seduce a woman, whose full name is not given in the video.

“I moved on her and I failed. I’ll admit it,” Trump is heard saying. It was unclear when the events he was describing took place. The tape was recorded several months after he married his third wife, Melania.

“Whoa,” another voice said.

“I did try and fuck her. She was married,” Trump says.

Trump continues: “And I moved on her very heavily. In fact, I took her out furniture shopping. She wanted to get some furniture. I said, ‘I’ll show you where they have some nice furniture.’”

“I moved on her like a bitch, but I couldn’t get there. And she was married,” Trump says. “Then all of a sudden I see her, she’s now got the big phony tits and everything. She’s totally changed her look.”

Then, apparently, they spot Arianne Zucker outside, the actress who is waiting to escort them into the soap opera set.

“Your girl’s hot as shit, in the purple,” says Bush, who’s now a co-host of NBC’s “Today” show.

“Whoa!” Trump says. “Whoa!”

 The transcript doesn’t convey the full frat house effect of Trump’s exclamations.

“I’ve gotta use some tic tacs, just in case I start kissing her,” Trump says.“You know I’m automatically attracted to beautiful — I just start kissing them. It’s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don’t even wait.”

Coarse laughter from Bush.

“And when you’re a star they let you do it,” Trump says. “You can do anything.”

“Whatever you want,” says another voice, apparently Bush’s.

“Grab them by the pussy,” Trump says. “You can do anything.”

But there’s no one who has more respect for women than he does.

Denis Mukwege

Oct 7th, 2016 12:30 pm | By

NPR reports: a doctor in DR Congo who treats rape survivors is a contender for the Nobel Peace Prize.


That is the number of rape survivors treated by Dr. Denis Mukwege and his associates at Panzi Hospital between 1999 and 2015. Some 35,000 of those survivors, who range in age from toddlers to seniors, suffered complex gynecological injuries, inflicted by members of rebel groups and the Congolese military.

Mukwege, who for the past several years has been considered a strong candidate for the Nobel Peace Prize, began his career as a gynecologist wanting to help the women of the Democratic Republic of Congo, his homeland.

When he opened Panzi Hospital in 1999, he envisioned it as means to improve the maternal mortality rates in Bukavu, the capital of Eastern Congo, where about 1 in 100 women died during childbirth. “But our first patient did not come to deliver a baby,” the 61-year-old gynecologist explained in a speech he gave on Thursday accepting the Seoul Peace Prize in Korea. “She had been raped with extreme violence.”

While Mukwege was known in international circles for years — he has collected many humanitarian awards — popular knowledge of his work has come through The Man Who Mends Women: The Wrath of Hippocrates, an award-winning documentary that was shown this year at the Africa Diaspora International Film Festival.

The film, by Thierry Michel and Colette Braeckman, focuses on issues of physical healing and justice. It also paints a stark picture of the landscape around Bukavu and Panzi Hospital, visiting villages and jungles where the afterlife of the Second Congo War still rages.

The film, which was banned by the government of the DRC, raises the voices of the Congolese women, who often have no place in the international dialogue. Their words help convey the depth of the trauma. They also reveal the depth of humanity and care in the doctor’s work. “I felt love for him and myself again,” one woman says in a scene.

Have the trailer:


Not “woke” or “with it” or one of the cool kids

Oct 7th, 2016 11:38 am | By

Bruce is wondering what’s taking the bus so long.

[I]t’s not as if I haven’t made comments that should rile these people. Yet, I’ve been left alone. People haven’t got the message that I’m persona non grata. Allow me to make a few more inflammatory comments that I regard as true, in one convenient place so as to incriminate myself. As I’m not trying to convince anyone, but rather trying to get them to condemn me, I’m not going to put too much effort into justifying myself.


Not all oppression is based on identity. Do you think the oppression suffered by pigs entails their identity as porcine? An organism doesn’t need to be self-regarding in order to be oppressed – it doesn’t require an ego, just nerve endings and oppressive surroundings. Oppression can be and often is arbitrary and indifferent to people’s inner states. Sure, the likes of fascists can and do attempt to author the identities of the people they oppress, and it’s even possible to harmfully foist an identity on another inadvertently, but while often relevant, identity isn’t anecessary criteria of oppression. The humans who oppress pigs aren’t trying to get the pigs to identify as tasty, they’re just trying to eat them, and indifferently going about a lot of cruelty in the process.

If you’re a Vegan because of the way the dairy industry handles bobby calves, but you embrace the sex industry despite its involvement in human trafficking, you’ve got one hell of a blind spot. I can’t believe how often I’ve seen Vegans failing to generalize this kind of analysis, all while managing to be condescending to people who do. (Disclosure: I don’t eat meat or dairy).

That’s a small selection. They’re all that good.

Normally I wouldn’t be so ‘splainy, but for quite some time now I’ve been waiting for the bus I’m supposed to have been thrown under and it still hasn’t arrived. I belong under that bus. I’ve said The Things.

So go ahead and call me a “TERF” or a “whorephobe” or a “shitlord”, just don’t address me personally if that’s your take; I don’t owe you that. Shun me if that’s the case. Add me to your block-lists. Unfriend or unfollow me on social media. Dis-approve of my person. Don’t put me on your Christmas list. I’m not “woke” or “with it” or one of the cool kids, and I don’t care to be. I will insist though, if you’re going to consider me at all, that you give me the same degree of smear you’d give to women for writing what I have. I’m rather over this particular form of special treatment I seem to be getting.

Have you noticed that? That it’s women who get thrown under that bus while men are mostly ignored? Funny, isn’t it. It’s almost as if the whole thing is absolutely riddled with misogyny, and people are positively vibrating with excitement at having a gold-plated pretext for shitting on women again.

If on the other hand, you think any of what I’ve written above is even defensible, but you still treat claims of “TERF” status, “whorephobia” and crypto-right-wingedness as self-evident, semantically obvious and unchallengeably evil, well, you may want to consider the possibility of contradictions in your political view, or that there are definitions of “TERF”, “whorephobe” and “right-wing” in circulation that  you don’t actually agree with. I’ll leave dealing with that up to you.

We’ll wait.