Do Not Let Me Hear Of The Wisdom Of Old Men

 

Donald Trump’s North Korea tweet was obvious enough that the instant responses to it included the word “dick-measuring” and the thought that he probably can’t find the button. It is becoming more and more obvious that he is indeed the WYSIWYG president. “There is no wizard behind the curtain — just an old, angry, obnoxiously ignorant man.”

The world is changing fast – away from the assumed preference for old white men. Even when their privilege was intact, within their value system they had a lot to be angry about. First, the physical decline. As we get older, it becomes more difficult to keep weight off, more difficult to maintain muscle tone. Joints begin to ache. Men’s sexual abilities decline starting at around age 20. There’s some cognitive decline; reflexes slow down.

Additionally, society keeps changing. People of color, women, people whose sexuality differs from cis-het all are being legitimated. Some are taking prominent jobs away from their rightful owners, those cis-het white men. Read more



Galloping Autocracy Report (Open Thread)

I was going to draft a post on some alarming developments that haven’t received the attention they deserve due to the furor over the “Fire and Fury” book, but this tweet pretty much sums it up:

To be clear, I’m not suggesting the would-be autocrats will succeed, just pointing out that they are trying. It is our job to stop them.

Also, Angry Black Lady is absolutely correct here:

I realize some folks are pissed off at Gillibrand for calling on Al Franken to resign. But if you read the article ABL calls out above and can’t recognize that it’s positively dripping with the exact same brand of sexism that tore Hillary Clinton down at every turn, I don’t know what to tell you.



The Mordor Exit

I didn’t think this was real at first, but apparently it is:

Y’all be careful over there!

In other news, Time recognized “The Silence Breakers” as its “Person of the Year” today, honoring a movement comprising mostly women who’ve refused to stay silent about sexual harassment, which has sent shock waves through entertainment, media and political power circles.

So, #MeToo is having a moment, but one of the NYT’s most notorious Beltway hacks put her own spin on it via a tweet about an article in her paper on Harvey Weinstein:

That seems to miss the point rather badly, so I’ll spell it out: Hillary Clinton aspired to a powerful office in an environment that was and is shot through with misogyny. The remarkable thing about the #MeToo movement is that it is revealing the scope of the abuse across industries and organizational charts.

The lesson we should take away from that isn’t “Whoa, how ironic that Hillary was dealing with human garbage at every turn!” It’s that it’s way past time to take out the fucking trash.

Anyhoo. Open thread.



Where in the World is Matt Lauer

Not at 30 Rock:

NBC News said Wednesday that it has fired Matt Lauer over “inappropriate sexual behavior,” making the “Today” show star the latest high-profile man to become embroiled in workplace harassment allegations.

In a staff memo, NBC News Chairman Andrew Lack said the network received “a detailed” complaint about Lauer Monday night. “It represented, after serious review, a clear violation of our company’s standards. As a result, we’ve decided to terminate his employment.”

Lack added: “While it is the first complaint about his behavior in the over twenty years he’s been at NBC News, we were also presented with reason to believe this may not have been an isolated incident.”

Lauer, 59, joined “Today” in 1994 as its news anchor. He became co-host of the morning program with Katie Couric in 1997 after Bryant Gumbel stepped down.

His current co-host, Savannah Guthrie, read Lack’s statement on the air on Wednesday’s program.

Still time for him to get residency in Alabama and primary Richard Shelby, I suppose. Just work on his bible thumping a bit.








And While We’re Fucking At It

If any fucking Republican says shit to you about Al Franken, just point to this:

Sexual misconduct by powerful men has all but taken over the news, with Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.), Rep. John Conyers Jr. (D-Mich.) and senatorial hopeful Roy Moore (R-Ala.) among the politicians on this growing list.

Trump vociferously has taken aim at accused Democrats, while apparently giving a pass to Republicans. Moreover, it was only a year ago that similar accusations against Trump dominated the headlines, with more than a dozen women accusing Trump of improper conduct or sexual assault. Many of the accusations surfaced after the release of a 2005 tape of Trump speaking graphically about kissing and groping women uninvited.

During the second presidential debate, Anderson Cooper asked then-candidate Trump point blank whether he had “actually kiss[ed] women without consent or grope[d] women without consent?” Trump asserted that “nobody has more respect for women” and Cooper pushed him, asking, “Have you ever done those things?” Trump denied that he had, responding: “No, I have not.”

The president has held this line, telling the New York Times, when asked the same question: “I don’t do it. I don’t do it.”

But it’s not as simple as that. Many of the women have produced witnesses who say they heard about these incidents when they happened — long before Trump’s political aspirations were known. Three have produced at least two witnesses.

That’s one of the things that makes this so maddening. The Repubicans never ever ever pay a fucking price for anything.








And Conyers

Another shoe drops:

Michigan Rep. John Conyers, a Democrat and the longest-serving member of the House of Representatives, settled a wrongful dismissal complaint in 2015 with a former employee who alleged she was fired because she would not “succumb to [his] sexual advances.”

Documents from the complaint obtained by BuzzFeed News include four signed affidavits, three of which are notarized, from former staff members who allege that Conyers, the ranking Democrat on the powerful House Judiciary Committee, repeatedly made sexual advances to female staff that included requests for sexual favors, contacting and transporting other women with whom they believed Conyers was having affairs, caressing their hands sexually, and rubbing their legs and backs in public. Four people involved with the case verified the documents are authentic.

We need to see all of them, and now.



He Has Reached Rock Bottom, And Has Started To Dig*

In case you had any question as to just how skeevy — more, how fundamentally grotesque — was and is Roy Moore, here’s his reasoning on why sodomizing a child does not constitute “forcible rape”:

The Alabama Supreme Court had the opportunity to hear the case of one Eric Lemont Higdon, a man accused and convicted of two sodomy charges due to sexual assault against a four-year-old at Mama’s Place Christian Academy in Clay, Alabama.

 

Higdon had been convicted of both sex with a child under twelve years old, statutory rape, and of “first-degree sodomy by forcible compulsion” which requires that the victim face a threat, overt or implied, of  “serious physical injury.” That second forcible rape charge was overturned on appeal, and the question that Moore and his fellow state supreme court justices faced was whether that appellate decision was correct.  Almost all of the court had no problem working that one out:

Eight of the nine justices on the panel found that the appeals court had erred. Their legal logic was such that a 17-year-old’s sexual assault of a four-year-old was enough to produce in the mind of the four-year-old, an “implied threat of serious physical injury.”  The decision was reversed and remanded and Higdon’s conviction was reinstated.

Who dissented? That godly man Moore, of course:

“Because there was no evidence in this case of an implied threat of serious physical injury…or of an implied threat of death, Higdon cannot be convicted of sodomy in the first degree “by forcible compulsion.”

Four Years Old.

No implication of serious physical injury when a seventeen year old assaults a pre-schooler.  I wanted to put that last more bluntly, but I can’t. My stomach turns itself into a Klein bottle when I try.

What kind of man do you have to be to conceive of the scene between that youth and that little child and see no threat?

Roy Moore is not who we thought he was.  He’s much, much worse — and anyone who rises to his defense shares in his stain.

*From this time-honored list of British military fitness reports.  My favorite has always been “I would not breed from this Officer” — which, according to my uncle, a career man in the Royal Artillery, was known to refer to a fellow from a Guards regiment.  Posh don’t mean smart.

Image:  Diego Velasquez, Las Meninas1656-7.

This picture is not, perhaps, precisely on point with this post, but it knows the chords and is, in any case, a simply magnificent painting.