Sunday Reads: Super Sensitive Shero. No. “Sending You Heartfelt Sympathy” Love! Dad and Mary!

Good Morning…

“My mask is controlconcealmentendurancemy mask is escapefrom myself.”- Mitsuye Yamada, “Masks of Woman”***This illustration was created for the Lisbon-based zine: Your Mouth is a Guillotine, for their Superheroine edition (issue 4).Read more about them here.Order zine here.

I love the blog that this image comes from….you can read about Ambiviatletly Yours here.

Anyway the artwork above is from this page: AMBIVALENTLY YOURS — “My mask is control concealment endurance my mask…

“My mask is control
concealment
endurance
my mask is escape
from my
self.”

Mitsuye Yamada, “Masks of Woman”

***This illustration was created for the Lisbon-based zine: Your Mouth is a Guillotine, for their Superheroine edition (issue 4).

Read more about them here.
Order zine here.

I could talk about the mask that people wear to escape….to use it as a form of control to endure the pain.

But I won’t.

There are many different kinds of masks that people use. They use mask to deceive or fool others, they can use them to manipulate and plan….they can also use the mask as an excuse, a shitty excuse for behavior that is unacceptable.

The things a woman or man can hide behind a mask, is sometimes not heroic. It is bitter, and distorted. Disturbed and outright disgusting.

There was no love lost between me and my mother in law…hell, she never wanted to be a part of my kids lives…what would you expect?

Seriously, the woman would drive up to New York twice a year from Florida. She’d pass by Woodstock Georgia which is only about 45 minutes to an hour away from Banjoville…I told her every time she made her journey northward in Spring and then again when Autumn dusk sent her scurrying back to Florida in the Fall…”Peggy, I will meet you at the interstate. With the kids. We can have lunch…dinner…just visit with the kids for a few minutes.” Her response was always the same.

“No. I won’t do that.”

That was it. No explanation. No nothing.

That was the way it was, same shit for years since 2003. (The last time she saw the kids.) Yet, all the time she would complain that she never saw my kids….and how she wished we could all get together.

Fast forward to this year. The kids and I tried to go down for a visit during Easter break…it was a quick emergency trip down to Florida because we were told she was not going to make it past June. The kids wanted to see her. We were not  actually going to stay with her…but we were planning on spending a couple hours visiting and then head back.

We start to pack and get ready to leave when we get a call from the Sister-in-Law. Nope. She doesn’t want us to come. No reason given. Come in May. It will give her something to look forward to.

May comes around. Nope.

June. It is a no go once again.

She doesn’t want the kids and I down there for a01c546099eb4a92c28ab1660856ed4ece14d9ef8e7 hour or two visit.  Finally, we settle on Memphis and I stopped thinking about that woman for a good 6 weeks.

Well, she passed away last week.

A box arrived a few days ago…a used beat up box, with new packing tape sealing up the inheritance.

0186ec84fc0cff0bbc6bf0f00282f794c081850bd8You could see where the beginning of the new tape had been used….this was the first box to be put together, if you could even call it that.

The box contained one photo album that was only a quarter filled. It originally belonged to my husband’s grandmother. It had some pictures of when we got married. Several pictures of Jake when he was a baby and only a couple of picture of Bebe when she was born. (In other words, the album ceased to be filled after the grandmother passed away.)

Oh yeah,the box also included some crumbled up newspaper, to keep that single…practically empty, photo album from getting tossed in such a large box.

Can you guess what crumbled up newspaper page it was? It was the obituaries. And what’s more….My mother in law’s obit was cut out.

01e265e019c0a4c859ceed2f5f90ff499f9940e736I am not kidding…..my sister in law sent the entire obituaries pages, purposely cutting out Dan’s mother’s obituary. It was not included in the box.

It get’s better.

Dan’s father sent a sympathy card.

 

019c88c3cc33ce611fc784d982fa8ad577119309bf

 

Who signs a sympathy card with exclamation points?

Look at it…there are two of them in there.

As for that obituary….

Margaret Elizabeth “Peggy” Walts entered into Heaven at the arms of the Lord, on Thursday, July 23, 2015, after a long courageous battle with pulmonary fibrosis, surrounded by family and her beloved dog, Bailey. She was born in Trenton, NJ, and resided in both New York and Florida. Peggy spent 40 years as a nurse, kindly caring for others in both nursing homes and hospices. She is survived by her loving companion of 30 years, Richard Dreimiller, of Port Charlotte; daughter, Cheryl (John) Myers, of Lansing, NY; son, Daniel (Jennifer) Walts, of Blairsville, GA; and grandchildren, Elizabeth, Jack, Henry, Jake and Brett. A Memorial Service will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, donations can be mailed to TideWell Hospice –

Surrounded by family and her beloved dog, Bailey?

A mask up to the very end. She didn’t want anything to do with her grandchildren. (My kids…the other grand kids were another story.)

As you can see, the entire week has been surreal.

It really disturbs me, I can’t let it go.

So today it is just links. My mind cannot process things correctly. I feel like one of those conspiracy blowhards, constantly coming up with bad scenarios….uh, wait….where was I. Sorry for the personal post, I left some details out, but let’s just say it can be summed up in one word. Creepy.

On to the day’s reads, in no particular order:

Be sure to look at Dakinikat’s post from yesterday.

Malaysia Airlines plane door washes up ashore – NY Daily News

47th Anniversary of Peanuts First African-American Character Franklin | Guardian Liberty Voice

Baltimore Prosecutor Won’t Cooperate With Homicide Panel – ABC News

Researcher Who Studied Cecil Talks About Impact of Lion’s Death

New charity hospital opens decade after Katrina | Tampa Bay Times

For volunteer cheerleaders at Special Olympics, their job is a serious labor of love

Spike in suicides at California women’s prison sparks investigation

Four dead, 65 sick in New York City Legionnaires’ disease outbreak

Bronx Legionnaires’ death toll reaches 4: officials – NY Daily News

UK apologises and grants visa to China artist Ai Weiwei – Al Jazeera English

Burma flood toll will increase as monsoon rains lash region, warns UN | World news | The Guardian

Man dies after Dallas jail scuffle

Addicting Info – Man Ends Up Dead Under A Pile Of Cops After He Ran Into Police Station For Help (VIDEO)

Addicting Info – Jimmy Carter: The U.S. ‘Is An Oligarchy With Unlimited Political Bribery’ (VIDEO)

Two links dealing with two of my favorite movies: Camille and The Third Man…

The Third Man review – a near-perfect work | Film | The Guardian

We Had Faces Then — favorite garbo film?

Manatees show up in North Carolina again as more ‘sea cows’ leave Florida | US news | The Guardian

A Nun Brilliantly Exposed “Pro-Life” Hypocrites With This Hard-Hitting Quote |

11 Greatest Sissies of the Screen | Matt Baume

Susie Madrak» Blog Archive » Orthodox Jew repeats Jerusalem Gay Pride stabbing attack

Huckabee Says He’ll Use FBI And Federal Troops To Stop Abortions | Crooks and Liars

Oh yeah, this….from the Dolce&Gabbana magazine website:

Saint of the day

Saint of the day

 

Give that a looksee, you are going to love it.

This last link is cool as hell:

Images of endangered species projected on Empire State Bldg. – NY Daily News

The extraordinary nature scenes were beamed across 33 floors of the iconic tower’s southern fac.

The moving images were generated by 40 stacked, 20,000-lumen projectors perched on the roof of a building opposite the skyscraper.

Treat this as an open thread….


Saturday Night Fixation Read

SuziThis is going to be a rather short post.  Last Saturday, BostonBoomer wrote about the New York Times and its seemingly endless need to write completely unhinged things about Hillary Clinton.  We’ve also written about MoDo before and her strange fixation on the former Secretary of State and presidential candidate.   Peter Daou and Tom Watson have completely dissected MoDo’s screeds in a must-read blog post.   I want to make sure y’all read it.  Daou traces the memes and name calling back to Karl Rove and has a rather complete list of misogynist adjectives frequently assigned to Hillary.

• POLARIZING
• CALCULATING
• SECRETIVE
• OVER AMBITIOUS
• WILL DO ANYTHING TO WIN
• DISINGENUOUS/INSINCERE
• MACHINE-LIKE/INHUMAN
• INEVITABLE/OVER-CONFIDENT
• OLD/OUT OF TOUCH
• DEFIANT/UNCARING

Just about any woman with grit, ambition, and a talent for assertiveness has worn those labels at one time or another.  Why on earth is Maureen Dowd and the NYT allowing Karl Rove to control their narratives on the former Secretary of State?  I’m always first in line to attribute the nonsense to the Dudebro culture where all white men with coveted college educations believe that only they can be the masters of the universe. See what you think.hillary-clinton-iron-throne

In The Great American Brainwash: Half a Billion Dollars to Turn the Public against Hillary, Peter explains how these memes work and where they originate:

From a revealing report on Karl Rove’s Crossroads:

An expensive and sophisticated effort is underway to test and refine the most potent lines of attack against Mrs. Clinton, and, ultimately, to persuade Americans that she does not deserve their votes. Republican groups are eager to begin building a powerful case against the woman they believe will be the Democratic nominee, and to infuse the public consciousness with those messages. The effort to vilify Mrs. Clinton could ultimately cost several hundred million dollars, given the variety and volume of political organizations involved.”

Crossroads’ goal is to indoctrinate the public with anti-Hillary narratives, to insert carefully tested negative memes into the public debate.

Voters need to understand that what they think they know about Hillary is often the result of sophisticated propaganda techniques, where tightly-crafted talking points are focus-grouped and deployed by shadowy GOP groups then magnified by the mainstream media and pundits.

This is the subtext to Maureen Dowd’s new, vicious attack against Hillary. Dowd’s words are chosen meticulously: they fit perfectly into the narratives and frames that have been developed for over two decades to smear Hillary. Each of these terms is taken from Dowd’s new op-ed – many are verbatim matches with our compendium of anti-Hillary memes:

“Acting all innocent, disingenuous, egregious transgressions, militant fans, craving a championship, surreptitious, wanting to win at all costs, calculating, history of subterfuge, crafty, sketchy value system, seamy, Faustian bargain, sheen of inevitability, robotic, queenly attitude, suspicious mind-set, unsavory.”

Delivering such excessive negativity in one piece is not opinion writing. It is not journalism. It is a personal vendetta aided and abetted by the New York Times, with the intention of spreading potent sexist frames crafted by conservative opposition researchers.

Dowd’s history of Hillary-bashing is notable:

Dowd has written more than 200 columns on Hillary, most of them negative. A detailed analysis by Oliver Willis and Hannah Groch-Begley published last summer found that “Dowd has repeatedly accused Clinton of being an enemy to or betraying feminism (35 columns, 18 percent of those studied), power-hungry (51 columns, 26 percent), unlikable (9 columns, 5 percent), or phony (34 columns, 17 percent). She’s also attacked the Clintons as a couple in 43 columns (22 percent), many of which included Dowd’s ham-handed attempts at psychoanalysis.”

The abuse continues. Just this past April, Dowd wrote that Hillary is a “granny” who “can’t figure out how to campaign as a woman” after she “scrubbed out the femininity, vulnerability, and heart” required to do so during her 2008 presidential run. Claiming Hillary is now trying to shift her image after she “saw the foolishness of acting like a masculine woman,” Dowd asserted that the candidate “always overcorrects,” and is now “basking in estrogen.” Dowd concluded, saying hopefully Hillary will “teach her Republican rivals…that bitch is still the new black” instead.

At #HillaryMen, we’ve dubbed this endless invective directed at Hillary in the media the “wall of words” and we’ve argued that it is the single biggest obstacle on her path to becoming America’s first woman president. Although Dowd is the master of anti-Hillary memes, she is hardly alone.

With that in mind, I have a lot of respect for the role Senator Bernie Sanders has played in the U.S. Senate even though he’s never been very influential or effective in getting anything passed. He at least is one notable voice from a point of view we rarely get to hear in this country.  I also admire that–unlike Donald Trump or Ralph Nader–Sanders has said he would never run as an independent to try to unrail any other Democratic nominee. However, the same group of dudebros from 2008 have been popping up trolling women supporters of Hillary.   There still seems to be an incredible discomfort among white male elites with the idea of a woman in charge.

On my side of the aisle, it’s all about Bernie. Well, Bernie vs. Hillary. And that’s where the rub is getting… rubbier.

I like Bernie; I’ve always liked Bernie. I’ve shared his memes and quotes over the years, I’ve appreciated his unvarnished views on issues of the economy and fiscal equity, and I believe he’s a passionate, powerful idealist who has a lot to say that bears hearing. I’m thrilled he’s running; I think he’s energized many on the left who’ve felt Hillary wasn’t left enough but didn’t have another candidate to support. He makes the Democratic ticket a true race, one that’s vibrant and competitive, and that’s a good thing.

The rub is in the way too many of his supporters are comporting themselves in their effort to promote the cause. I don’t mind the enthusiastic postings about big crowds, electrifying speeches, or hope-inducing polls. The ideas he’s touting, the kind of government he’s visualizing, the core principals of his platform are all admirable, and it’s easy to see why people are excited. That’s how it should go in campaigns, certainly at this point in the process. I don’t even mind the countless invitations I’ve received to join this “Bernie group” on Facebook, or come to that Bernie event in Hollywood. Invite away; I’m a big girl and I have no problem being gracious in my responses.

But lately I’m seeing too many threads on the topic turn into sadly-typical spitting contests, with those supporting Bernie flinging epithets at Hillary supporters, breathlessly listing all her purported transgressions and foibles, denigrating her accomplishments, insulting her personal decisions, and acting as though anyone who supports her is an idiot who doesn’t grasp the folly of their ways. I’ve had Bernie supporters get snarly with me, bait me to answer questions about why I might support Hillary, push me to defend her record, explain her business decisions, even parse her choice to stay with her husband. As a woman I find it appalling, but frankly, many of those most zealous on this topic are women… Hillary has always had the capacity to trip the wire with some on that side of the gender aisle!

feminstwellbehavedwomen1My moment came when I posted this and said wtf was he thinking on Facebook.  In 1972, I was a kid in high school working as a volunteer in the origination of what’s now one of the most successful rape crisis lines and centers in the country. I was like all of 16 and I can tell you that rape is a woman’s nightmare and one likely to happen.  It’s not a damned fantasy. Well, this was evidently a satire piece but hell, the immodest proposal of eating Irish Children was good satire because it was such an over the top unlikely scenario.  Being raped or held down against your will by men is something most of us will experience and by that time I’d been held down by upperclassmen and yelled at for not being humble like Jesus.  I just considered myself fortunate to not get the rape part of it but I have many many friends that have.  So, my question is what was he thinking then and what has he said now.   (RAPE TRIGGER FOR THAT LINK)

So, one of the responses I got was from a friend of a friend “Looks like the Hillary supporters are dredging for straws to grasp.”.  Uh,  we’ve got no straws to grasp. Being a self-proclaimed socialist in today’s USA is about all it takes to sink a candidate outside of a few states. I’m fine with him being in the race. It’ll make for interesting debates.

I also “like” being mansplained about a piece being a critique of entrenched gender roles.  My response was as follows.

No one thinks it’s his own sexual preferences nor was the critique of gender roles lost on me. It’s the idea of using a rape fantasy for a woman that’s appalling period. But the dudebros back then were as misogynist as they are today. I just want to read something explaining what on earth he was thinking back then. When you write satire you assign outrageous scenarios but you don’t make ever woman’s nightmare–and a likely one at that–a fantasy. I don’t think this will impact any election. It’s just appalling no matter when it was written and no matter by who

You can read more on the Bernie Swoon and the way the press is encouraging him to Hillary bash by reading this example at The Atlantic. They should debate and establish contrasts but there’s no need for anyone to be combative.

I just absolutely hate to think that we’re going to have to go through another one of these political seasons where we get dick-thwapped just because a woman wants to be president.  I especially don’t want to hear a rehash of all that Rove crap coming from the New York Times.  We’re going to be treated to the Republican Primary Debates shortly.  I hope they just stuck to trashing each other.  Otherwise, it’s going to be a long, stressful, misogynistic political season.

The original MoDO screed is here at today’s NYT where she compare’s Clinton to Tom Brady and says they have an attitude of “win at all costs” with a history of “subterfuge.” She even quotes a Wall Street Journal article. Wow, the NYT really needs to reassess their relationship with her if that’s the stuff she reads and cites.

Anyway,  you can consider this an open thread.  I slept late today and took a huge long nap this afternoon. I’m exhausted.


Friday Nite Lite: Not long enough…

Hey Y’all

It has been a hell of a time of late.

I still can’t get over how creepy the dynamic of some families can be when it comes to anything resembling emotional connections….or even regular contact. Creepy is not right, disturbing is actually more like it.

Anyway. Here are some funnies to get you through the night.

 

 

07/31/2015 Cartoon by Jimmy Margulies

Cartoon by Jimmy Margulies -

07/31/2015 Cartoon by Signe Wilkinson

Cartoon by Signe Wilkinson -

Bruce Plante Cartoon: Highway Roadkill: 07/31/2015 Cartoon by Bruce Plante

Cartoon by Bruce Plante - Bruce Plante Cartoon: Highway Roadkill

07/31/2015 Cartoon by MStreeter

Cartoon by MStreeter -

Trophy Hunter: 07/31/2015 Cartoon by Rob Rogers

Cartoon by Rob Rogers - Trophy Hunter

07/31/2015 Cartoon by Joe Heller

Cartoon by Joe Heller -

07/29/2015 Cartoon by Joe Heller

Cartoon by Joe Heller -

This is an open thread.


Friday Reads: Dog Days of Summer Edition

The ancient Greeks thought of the constellation Canis Major as a dog chasing Lepus, the hare. The star Sirius is the dog’s nose; the Greeks called it the “dog star.”  (National Geographic)

The ancient Greeks thought of the constellation Canis Major as a dog chasing Lepus, the hare. The star Sirius is the dog’s nose; the Greeks called it the “dog star.” (National Geographic)

Good Morning!!

We are in the midst of the dog days of summer–traditionally the hottest days of the year, which extend from about July 2 to August 11. I has been very hot all over the country for the past few weeks. Here in Boston, we have had a couple of weeks of temperatures around or above 90 degrees.

Why do we call them the “dog days?” It dates back to the Greeks and Romans and their beliefs about Sirius, the “dog star.” At National Geographic, Becky Little explains:

To the Greeks and Romans, the “dog days” occurred around the day when Sirius appeared to rise just before the sun, in late July. They referred to these days as the hottest time of the year, a period that could bring fever, or even catastrophe.

“If you go back even as far as Homer, The Iliad, it’s referring to Sirius as Orion’s dog rising, and it describes the star as being associated with war and disaster,” said Jay B. Holberg, author of Sirius: Brightest Diamond in the Night Sky and senior research scientist at the University of Arizona Lunar & Planetary Laboratory. “All throughout Greek and Roman literature, you found these things.”

The phrase “dog days” was translated from Latin to English about 500 years ago. Since then, it has taken on new meanings.

“Now people come up with other explanations for why they’re called the ‘dog days’ of summer, [like] this is when dogs can go crazy,” said Anne Curzan, an English professor at the University of Michigan.

“This is a very human tendency,” she said. When we don’t know the origin of a phrase, we come up with a plausible explanation.

“The meaning has been lost,” said Holberg, “but the phrase has lived on.”

Read more at the link.

dog-days2

About the heat wave, from The Weather Channel: West Coast Heat Wave Threatens All-Time Records; Northeast Hot, But Not Historic.

Summer heat is gripping opposite sides of the country into this weekend, including parts of the West and the Northeast.

The heat will help clinch one of the hottest Julys on record for some Northwest cities, and a few locations may challenge their all-time or monthly record highs on Friday. It’s also helped set a record for the most 90-degree days in a year in Seattle and has given Portland its hottest temperatures since 2009.

The Northeast heat will not be as extreme, but it will stick around into next week for some cities….

A strong ridge of high pressure is building over the Northwest as the jet stream bulges northward to the Canadian border. This is allowing temperatures 5 to 20 degrees above average to take hold across parts of northern California, Oregon and Washington into the weekend, while also spreading to portions of Idaho and Montana.

It’s a fitting end to what will be one of the hottest Julys on record in parts of the Northwest. Seattle, Washington, and Astoria, Oregon, were both seeing their hottest July on record as of July 29, according to data from the Southeast Regional Climate Center. For Seattle, July 2015 could beat out August 1967 for the hottest month on record if the final average temperature for July exceeds 71.1 degrees.

July was the third warmest on record through July 29 in Portland, Oregon, and fourth warmest on record for Yakima, Washington.

High temperatures at or above 100 degrees are forecast for the Portland, Oregon, area through Friday, with middle to upper 90s expected this weekend. Portland hit 103 degrees on Thursday, which is the hottest temperature there since July 29, 2009. Even hotter temperatures are expected for the rest of the Willamette River Valley of western Oregon on Friday, which is under an excessive heat warning issued by the National Weather Service.

dog_days_summer

Wow! 100 degrees in Seattle? And on the East coast:

Wednesday was the hottest day so far in 2015 in New York City (96 degrees) and Albany, New York (95 degrees). Concord, New Hampshire, set a daily record high of 96 degrees, beating the old record for July 29 of 95 degrees set in 1949.

Highs will stay a handful of degrees above average for mainly eastern sections of the region into early next week.

For the most part, this heat in the Northeast will not be record breaking. However, the longevity of it will likely be greater than we’ve seen so far this summer in some cities. By early next week, some locations could meet the definition for a heat wave in the Northeast, which is generally defined in that region as three or more days in a row with temperatures at or above 90 degrees.

Temperatures in New England are beginning to moderate, and it will be only around 89-90 for the next few days. That will give some relief. I really feel for Luna out in Washington and Fannie in Idaho.

Speaking of Seattle, I came across this wonderful video of the city in 1955, posted on youtube by Jeff Alman, whose grandfather made it when on vacation in the city. The first part, which shows city streets and buildings, is the coolest, IMO. The rest is gorgeous views taken from a small plane.

Altman also posted his grandfather’s video of San Francisco in 1958.

My grandfather made color films many years ago, and they were of such high quality that my brother was able to edit them into a wonderful video that he shared with all of our relatives who appeared in them. Every time I watch it, the old images bring me to tears. What a treasure!

Seeing the scenes of Seattle made me think about how different my life might have been if my Dad had decided to take a job at a different university back in about 1958. He had offers from Seattle, Miami, and a couple of other places, but ultimately he chose the offer from Ball State in Muncie, Indiana. I’m not sure if my folks wanted to live in a smaller college town or if the money was better at Ball State.

Now for some news.

dog days3

There’s a big health story this morning: a new vaccine for the Ebola virus could make a huge difference, based on the results of a study that will appear in The Lancet. BBC News reports: Ebola vaccine is ‘potential game-changer.’

A vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus has led to 100% protection and could transform the way Ebola is tackled, preliminary results suggest….

Experts said the results were “remarkable”.

This trial centred on the VSV-EBOV vaccine, which was started by the Public Health Agency of Canada and then developed by the pharmaceutical company Merck.

It combined a fragment of the Ebola virus with another safer virus in order to train the immune system to beat Ebola.

A unique clinical trial took place in Guinea. When a patient was discovered, their friends, neighbours and family were vaccinated to create a “protective ring” of immunity.

This could be the breakthrough the world has been waiting for.

There is caution as the results are still preliminary, with more data coming in.

But officials at the WHO believe the effectiveness of the vaccine will end up being between 75% and 100%.

According to the BBC, other vaccines are also being tested. This could be very good news!

DogDays-wIcedCoffee

I’m sure you’ve heard about the agonizing death of Cecil the lion in Zimbabwe at the hands of Walter Palmer, a Minnesota Dentist who likes to kill big game with a bow and arrow.

The AP reports, via USA Today: Minn. dentist accused of poaching legendary lion.

HARARE, Zimbabwe – Zimbabwean police said Tuesday they are searching for an American who allegedly shot a well-known, protected lion with a crossbow in a killing that has outraged conservationists and others.

The American allegedly paid $50,000 to kill the lion named Cecil, Zimbabwean conservationists said. Authorities on Tuesday said two Zimbabwean men will appear in court for allegedly helping with the hunt. The American faces poaching charges, according to police spokeswoman Charity Charamba.

Walter James Palmer of Minnesota was identified on Tuesday by both the Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force and the Safari Operators Association of Zimbabwe as the American hunter, a name that police then confirmed.

“We arrested two people and now we are looking for Palmer in connection with the same case,” said Charamba.

dog-days-of-summer

Zimbabwe is seeking Palmer’s extradition, and the outrage on social media has been so extreme that Palmer was forced to close his dental practice. He has “apologized,” but that’s apparently not going to be enough to save his skin, and I say “Good!” Still you have to wonder why stories of human deaths don’t get as much attention. More recent headlines on this story:

Kevin Drum at Mother Jones: For a Week, Walter Palmer Is the Worst Human Being Ever in History.

Time: Cecil the Lion, Walter Palmer and the Psychology of Online Shaming.

Mediaite: The Hill Reports Lion Killer Donated to Romney; Twitter Asks Why That’s Relevant.

Boston Herald: Zimbabwean baffled by foreign concern for killed lion.

GossipCop: Betty White On Cecil The Lion Killer: “You Don’t Want To Hear The Things I Want To Do” Walter James Palmer.

Slate: Why Cecil Was Such an Important Lion.

Slate: How America Can Prosecute More Poachers Like the Alleged Lion Killer.

dog-summer-1

Obviously, as a New England Patriots fan, I’ve been following the Tom Brady/Deflategate story for a long time, and this morning I came across this in Wired: Even if Tom Brady Did Smash His Phone, It’d Make Zero Sense. It turns out that the NFL and Roger Goodell could easily get Brady’s text messages if they wanted to.

JUST HOW EASY is it to destroy your text messages? In the eyes of the NFL, it’s as simple as destroying your cellphone. But as anyone who has ever had their phone stolen can tell you, that’s not even remotely true.

This week, the NFL upheld the suspension of New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady for four games in the wake of accusations he was “generally aware” of the team’s deflation of footballs. The decision, authored by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, largely hinged on the revelation that Brady destroyed his cellphone shortly before meeting with league investigators. The league suggests this was to suppress evidence and obstruct the investigation. Brady insists he was just replacing a “broken Samsung phone with a new iPhone 6.”

It was a fun story for a few minutes and there was some mild hoopla surrounding the idea of a frenzied Brady destroying his cellphone. Problem is, even if he had … so what? This isn’t The Wire, and snapping a cellphone in half and tossing it in the gutter wouldn’t be enough to erase Brady’s history anyway. The digital trail our phones leave behind long outlive the physical device itself, and the league could have potentially tracked down the information in a number of ways—which is why the whole story was utterly ridiculous. Regardless, here is exactly why it wouldn’t matter if Tom Brady smashed his cellphone….

Once upon a time, it was hard to recover text messages without actually having the phone they were sent to. However, Google and Apple’s efforts to sync data across multiple devices has made text message retrieval significantly easier.

As Brady was on a Samsung during the “deflategate” scandal, he was most likely using an Android device. Not only do most modern Android devices use Google Hangouts as their primary text messaging app, Google makes the process of deleting those messages inconvenient and difficult. Android’s Hangouts has a setting to delete old text messages, but the feature only does so as disk space fills up. Unlike the iPhone, which can automatically delete messages that are older than a set period of time, Android gives the user no control over how long to preserve messages.

Roger Goodell is such a pathetic liar!

More News, links only

dog-days-of-summer (1)

Newsweek: Exclusive: Inside the Mysterious ‘Death’ of Taliban Leader Mullah Omar.

CNN is still obsessed with the missing plane story: Increasing confidence plane wreckage is from MH370, Australian official says.

Hillary Clinton.com: Letter to the New York Times’ Dean Baquet.

Washington Post: Clinton knocks Bush’s ‘Right to Rise’ pitch in National Urban League speech.

The Hill: Sanders vows no third-party run in 2016.

New York Times: Jewish Arsonists Suspected in Arson Attack that Killed Palestinian Toddler.

Newsweek: Indiana Clears Planned Parenthood in Fetal Tissue Investigation.

KGNS TV: Primordial soup of compounds found on comet.

Treehugger: New wolf species discovered in Africa.

What else is happening? Please post your thoughts and links in the comment thread and have a wonderful weekend! 


Thursday Reads: The Most Vile, Repugnant People In the World …

new-jesusGood Afternoon!

Religion-based bullies are always the worst of the worst when it comes to meanness because they have that extra self-righteousness about them that infers they can never be wrong even when everything they say and do pretty much violates every tenant you’ve ever come to understand about their religion.  This behavior is as old as religions themselves.  I mean, who really are better bullies than any of the gods?  The Greek gods excelled at it.  The Abrahamic god not only has corned the market but has followers that basically travel from land to land and culture to culture just to act out on hapless indigenous people.

My first real experience happened in high school in the choir room when two upper class boys decided I needed a lesson in the humility they believe was shown by Jesus.  Of course this was just old fashioned misogyny which is really one of the oldest tricks in the bullying books written by those following the entire Iron Age myth of the Abrahamic god.  Believe me, I was traumatized by being held down for a period of time and shouted at on the choir risers about basically being an uppity woman who really needs to understand what jeebus wants her to do.  Women aren’t allowed to be too talented, too smart, too pretty, and not passive enough.  I’ve really just started talking about this craziness around 40 odd years after the fact. I had no idea what to make of it or do about it as a teenage girl who had to deal with these guys daily.

When any one asks me what one thing I would eliminate in the world if I could I answer quite quickly.  It would be religion.

My second experience was, of course, my lesson in what neighbors are really about when I ran for office as a pro-choice Republican. Nothing, believe me nothing stands up to what fetus festishists can do. Lying and bullying are rituals for them. The day I started getting messages on the answering machine telling me where my small children had been and what abortion “procedure” they’d perform on them was the day I decided I wanted to leave that state and NEVER go back.  I’d stack the lot of these Fetus Fetishists up against ISIS.  They’re actually worse because most of them have the benefit of an education, a job, and life in a first world country. We are resplendent in religious bullies these days.  From Bibi Netanyahu, to Mike Huckabee, Bobby Jindal, Rick Santorum and just about every dude in the Government of Saudi Arabia.  I could probably just spend a post of thousands of words listing them all.

So, I’m going to start with a story out of Alabama where a prisoner has been basically bullied into carrying a pregnancy to term.  It starts out with the State seeking to 6ita2vend the parental rights of the pregnant woman. These multiple attempts confusing fried chicken with scrambled eggs always concern me.

The state of Alabama is petitioning a court to strip a pregnant prisoner of parental rights in order to prevent her from obtaining an abortion.

Lauderdale County District Attorney Chris Connolly said Wednesday the woman won’t have legal standing to seek an abortion if a court takes away her parental rights.

The woman has already asked a federal judge to order the county to let her have an abortion. A ruling is expected Friday. Her lawyer says any decision by a federal judge would trump any decision by the court in Lauderdale County.

The head of the Alabama State Bar Association’s family law section calls the state’s request “absurd.”

The woman has now dropped her bid to get an abortion.  I have no doubt that she was coerced into serving as an incubator.

An Alabama prisoner who went to federal court seeking an abortion filed a court document Wednesday saying she’d changed her mind and wanted to give birth, after the state had sought to prevent her from undergoing the procedure.

The sworn statement, filed on behalf of a woman identified only as Jane Doe, didn’t say whether the state’s action resulted in the change of heart. In the document, the woman said she made the decision on her own without any “undue influence, duress, or threat of harm.”

“After much consideration and counsel, I … have decided that I no longer desire to pursue an abortion procedure and intend to carry the unborn child to full term and birth,” she said in the statement.

The document was filed by Maurice McCaney, an attorney appointed to represent the woman in juvenile court, where the state had petitioned court authorities to strip the pregnant prisoner of parental rights in order to prevent her from obtaining an abortion.

McCaney didn’t immediately return a message seeking comment. Neither did Randall Marshall, an American Civil Liberties Union lawyer who represented the woman in the federal lawsuit seeking an abortion.

The Lauderdale County prisoner had originally filed a federal lawsuit last week against a local sheriff, seeking a court order that would clear the way for an abortion. A federal judge had said he would rule by Friday on her request.

In the meantime, the state had sought to terminate her parental rights over the unborn child.

Lauderdale County District Attorney Chris Connolly recently said the prisoner in question would be stripped of her legal standing to seek an abortion if the court took away her parental rights. Connolly said via email that he filed the request on the state’s behalf.

The woman, who filed suit July 20 against Sheriff Rick Singleton, said in the earlier court documents that she was unable to obtain an abortion before going to jail, and denying her one violates her constitutional rights. Court papers do not say why the woman is in custody or provide any personal information about her, but Connolly said she is an adult. A court-appointed attorney was named to act as guardian for the fetus.

The woman, who is in her first trimester of pregnancy, had at the time urged a federal judge to order the county to let her leave jail to have an abortion that she planned to pay for privately. Her ACLU attorney, Marshall, had said a federal court ruling in favor of the woman would trump an attempt by the state to stop her from having the procedure.

This amounts to forced servitude. But of course, who argued more briskly for the rights of southerners to own slaves but the same group of religious fanatics.  These are the same yahoos that are threatening to shut down the government–yet again–over funding of Planned Parenthood.  The basis is the highly deceptive video put out showing the process of fetal tissue donation has triggered the outrage in the ignorant again. The worst outcry is, of course, the old dudes who are insisting the gawd told them to run for President of the world’s oldest secular democracy.

Calling next week’s Senate roll call to defund Planned Parenthood a “legislative show vote,” GOP firebrand Ted Cruz said Republicans should do everything they can to eliminate federal money for the group — even if it means a government shutdown fight this fall.

He’s not alone. On Wednesday afternoon, 18 House Republicans told leadership that they “cannot and will not support any funding resolution … that contains any funding for Planned Parenthood.” Meanwhile, GOP social conservatives like Sens. James Lankford of Oklahoma and Jeff Sessions of Alabama said they’d consider supporting an effort to attach a spending rider that would eliminate Planned Parenthood’s $528 million in annual government funding to must-pass spending legislation this fall.

It’s a potentially ominous sign for GOP leaders desperate to avoid another shutdown debacle. While Cruz may be radioactive in the Senate GOP conference after calling his leader a liar, his analysis of next week’s vote has merit: With Democrats vowing to block the measure, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) won’t be able to get the 60 votes he needs to advance the bill next week, a result that likely won’t satisfy a conservative base itching for confrontation over abortion.

In a Wednesday interview, Cruz said the GOP should go as hard as it can to block funding for Planned Parenthood, including the same strategy he tried to use to defund Obamacare in 2013: force the issue by blocking funding in a government spending bill that must pass by Sept. 30.

Asked whether he would support such a maneuver again, Cruz replied: “I would support any and all legislative efforts to defund Planned Parenthood. We do not need a legislative show-vote.”

On the other side of the Capitol, Rep. Mick Mulvaney (R-S.C.) said dozens of House Republicans will back his effort to oppose any spending bill — whether a continuing resolution stopgap or longer-term funding package — that includes any money for Planned Parenthood.

“This is one of those line-in-the-sand type of issues,” Mulvaney said Wednesday. “Every time we say we don’t want to spend money on something, the answer is it will provoke a shutdown.”

Mitch McConnell is already in the process of setting the vote date. He’s actually fast tracked the vote.

anti-christian-bigotryCecile Richards took to the Op-Ed pages of WAPO to call these freaks out.

The most recent attacks in this decades-long campaign represent a new low.

These extremists created a fake business, made apparently misleadingcorporate filings and then used false government identifications to gain access to Planned Parenthood’s medical and research staff with the agenda of secretly filming without consent — then heavily edited the footage to make false and absurd assertions about our standards and services. They spent three years doing everything they could — not to uncover wrongdoing, but rather to create it. They failed.

While predictably these videos do not show anything illegal on Planned Parenthood’s part, medical and scientific conversations can be upsetting to hear, and I immediately apologized for the tone that was used, which did not reflect the compassion that people have come to know and expect from Planned Parenthood.

While our opponents have been working to create scandal and panic where none exists, doctors and nurses at Planned Parenthood health centers have continued to provide care to thousands of women, men and young people every day — contraception, cancer screenings, testing and treatment for sexually transmitted infections (STIs), and safe and legal abortion.

Control of women is central to the dictums of oppressive religions and a way of justifying violence and violations of women’s autonomy and humanity.  Patriarchal religions–throwbacks to the Iron Age–still support some of the worst inhumane practices imaginable all over the world.  The United States is no exception.

Last month, 13-year-old Izabel Laxamana put on a sports bra and some leggings, took a picture, and sent it to a boy at school. Soon, administrators at Tacoma, Washington’s Giaudrone Middle School, where Izzy was poised to finish her seventh-grade year, heard about the picture. Izzy’s parents were called. As Tacoma police would later report to the News Tribune, the Laxamanas expressed concern that their daughter had been sending selfies of any kind. They had warned her against using social media. If she disobeyed, they had told her, they’d cut off her hair.

Back at home, Izzy’s father, Jeff, made good on the threat. On May 27, he cut her hair to her shoulders, leaving just one long strand untouched. Then, he started filming. His camera panned from Izzy’s downcast face to the heap of glossy black strands at her feet. “The consequences of getting messed up. Man, you lost all that beautiful hair,” her father said. “Was it worth it?”

“No,” Izzy replied softly.

The next morning at school, staff members helped weave Izzy’s hair into a French braid in an attempt to hide the damage. But a new humiliating social media artifact—her father’s video—was now being passed from phone to phone. School administrators heard about that, too. This time, they called child protective services. School counselors were dispatched to aid Izzy. The next day, just before school let out, Izzy wrote eight notes on her iPod to family and friends, passed the device to a friend, headed to a bridge over the highway that separated the school from the mall, and jumped. She died in the hospital the next day.

Women and children are still subjected to laws and legal treatment that assign them chattel status.  This happens with the explicit consent of many religions and danishcartoon_0religious. Granted, not all religious people and their practice of beliefs fall under this purview. But, when one of two governing parties falls under the sway of a cult, it’s women and children who pay the price.  Think about this again.  The State of Alabama argued that their right to crawl inside the body of a woman in the first trimester of a pregnancy and run around a constitutional right happened just this month. The Republicans in Congress have been on a jihad against what stands as the sole provider of women’s health services in many states.  They’re not defunding abortions.  They did that with the Hyde amendment.  What they want to defund is access cancer screenings, birth control and basic health care.

I can’t even start in on the impact this nonsense has had on every GLBT American whose lives are riddled with religious bullying continually.

Here’s an example today from Israel that’s pretty vile. Six people were stabbed by an Orthodox Jewish man during a gay pride parade.

A homosexual-hating Orthodox Jew stabbed six marchers Thursday at Jerusalem’s annual gay pride parade before he was wrestled to the ground.

Yishai Schlissel, who had recently been released from prison for stabbing several people at a gay pride parade in 2005, attacked without warning as the marchers were going through the Jewish side of the divided city, police spokeswoman Luba Samri said.

Dressed in a dark suit, Schlissel stabbed several people in the back as cheers turned to screams and blood spattered on the street.

“I saw an ultra-Orthodox youth stabbing everyone in his way,” witness Shai Aviyor told Israel’s Channel 2 television. “We heard people screaming, everyone ran for cover, and there were bloodied people on the ground.”

While medics rushed in to take care of the wounded, police officers on horseback corralled the bearded suspect before he could do more harm, Samri said.

That’s the problem. Every day I read yet another instance where some one insists their pet superstition should rule the rest of us AND there’s an entire major political party just willing to let them have at the rest of us in this country.  One of the strangest things I always here when people start Muslim bashing is the question of where are the “moderate” Muslims? Why aren’t they condemning these radicals?  Well, the same could be said of the moderates practicing any religion. Standing up to the folks who use religious beliefs to bully and hurt other people is as much the duty of a believer as it is to the victims of those believers.

The State of Alabama probably won its case by letting this woman known that her life was theirs one way or another so she might as well give up her constitutional rights and act like a good little sperm vessel.

What’s on your reading and blogging list today?


Wednesday Reads: Like the Dormouse said, feed your head …

opalized woodGood Morning!

It’s been a horrible few weeks and I’m in for some things that are interesting and will feed my brain for a change.  For example, That’s a  beautiful piece of opalized wood providing those rainbow colors and it’s selling for around $7000 if you’ve just gotta have it.

I’m not sure you’ve read how the excavations at Jamestown have been going recently but they’ve found some interesting graves.  (Yeah, you know me and my thing for old graves.)   They’ve discovered four bodies and one very odd box.

When his friends buried Capt. Gabriel Archer here about 1609, they dug his grave inside a church, lowered his coffin into the ground and placed a sealed silver box on the lid.

This English outpost was then a desperate place. The “starving time,” they called it. Scores had died of hunger and disease. Survivors were walking skeletons, besieged by Indians, and reduced to eating snakes, dogs and one another.

The tiny, hexagonal box, etched with the letter “M,” contained seven bone fragments and a small lead vial, and it probably was an object of veneration, 20150727_JAMESTOWN_imagecherished as disaster closed in on the colony.

On Tuesday, more than 400 years after the mysterious box was buried, Jamestown Rediscovery and the Smithsonian Institution announced that archaeologists have found it, as well as the graves of Archer and three other VIPs.

“It’s the most remarkable archaeology discovery of recent years,” said James Horn, president of Jamestown Rediscovery, which made the find. “It’s a huge deal.”

Boys in the BoatSo, my brother-in-law is retiring on his next birthday and my sister has a great gift idea.  She’s getting him a Kindle and asking us to tell her what book we’d like to load up there for him.  I’m torn between 1Q84 by Haruki Marukami, A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy O’Toole, and Fooled by Randomness by Nassem Nicholas Taleb.  I had to ask what others are offering up too.  Doctor Daughter and Doctor Son-in-Law wanted all the Game of Thrones books.  Youngest Daughter chose Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn.  The book that was offered up the most times was The Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown.  So, now I’ve decided I have to read those last two.  What book would you offer up for a newly retired guy with a lot of time on his hands?

I just learned about the group of unlikely working class boys from Washington that beat all kinds of uppity crusty rowers and the NAZIs to win the 1936 Olympic Rowing medal.

On the morning of Aug. 14, many people in Seattle woke up excited to catch the regatta’s final event live on CBS. Those listeners had a vested interest in the race. The United States team, a crew from the University of Washington, came very close to missing the trip to Berlin. Immediately following the Huskies’ victory in the Olympic trials, the team was informed by the U.S. Olympic Committee that it needed to come up with $5,000 to pay its way to Berlin. Seeing an opening, Henry Penn Burke—chairman of the Olympic Rowing Committee and a University of Pennsylvania alum—offered to send his beloved Quakers in place of the Huskies. The sports editors of Seattle’s top two newspapers, outraged on behalf of the local heroes, enlisted newsboys to solicit donations while hawking papers. With American Legion posts and Chambers of Commerce throughout the state chipping in, enough money was collected in three days to send the team to Berlin. As a consequence of the funding drive, remembered Gordon Adam, who rowed in the three-seat, “people in the city felt that they were stockholders in the operation.”

The Washington crew had been rowing together for less than five months prior to the Olympics. Coach Al Ulbrickson had originally named a different group of rowers as the varsity at the start of the college season. The second boat, made up of strong but inexperienced oarsmen, knew they rowed faster than the first string and was angered by the slight. After the varsity shoved off the dock for their first practice, the angry eight carried their boat to the water silently. “We were standing about a little bit after we put the oars in the oarlock,” Moch explained to me the year before he died. “Somebody said, ‘You know this thing is going to fly.’ ”

The teammates soon devised a mantra. Quietly, they would repeat the letters L-G-B. When asked the meaning, they would explain it stood for “Let’s get better.” What it really meant was “Let’s go to Berlin.”

You can read more about the rowing team and the 1936 Olympics which is best known for Jessie Owens’ amazing performance.

Hillary Clinton has taken a stand against Big Oil and the Koch Brothers in Iowa.  Go Hillary!!HIllary

Hillary Clinton vowed to take away big oil’s subsidies and use the money for clean energy while campaigning in Iowa.

During a speech in Des Moines, Iowa, Clinton laid out her vision for combating climate change by encouraging clean energy technology.

In the process, she dropped a bomb on the Koch brothers:

We will make America the world’s clean energy superpower.

We will develop and deploy the clean energy technologies of the future. Transform our grid to give Americans more control over the energy they produce and consume. And yes, I will defend President Obama’s Clean Power Plant—Clean Power Plan against attacks from Republicans and their corporate backers.

We’ll launch a Clean Energy Challenge that supports and partners with states, cities, and rural communities that are ready to lead on clean energy.

We’ll stop the giveaways to big oil companies and extend, instead, tax incentives for clean energy, while making them more cost-effective for both taxpayers and producers.

We’ll support—and improve—the Renewable Fuel Standard that has been such a success for Iowa and much of rural America.

 

bloomcounty

The happiest news I’ve had for awhile is the return of Bloom County. 

Fans of the well-loved comic strip Bloom County are celebrating this morning, after cartoonist Berkeley Breathed issued the first panels of his satirical strip in decades.

Breathed won a Pulitzer Prize for his work on Bloom County back in 1987; two years later, he quit producing it. On Sunday, he posted a photo of himself to Facebook in which he sat in front of a computer screen with an empty cartoon template titledBloom County 2015.

“A return after 25 years. Feels like going home,” he wrote.

And on Monday, one of Breathed’s central characters, Opus, awoke from his long slumber with a question:

“That was some nap!! How long was I out, Milo?”

“25 years.”

Breathed released the new strip via Facebook. The most popular comment on his post seems to sum up many fans’ response: “And suddenly the world is back in alignment. Thank you Sir.”

Yes.  Thank you Sir.  I’ll have another.

So, this is a totally open thread because I’m probably having another challenging day while you’re reading this.  What’s on your reading and blogging list today?


Tuesday Disgusting Behavior Open Thread

061915coletoon

Good Afternoon!!

This blog is just barely limping along. JJ is dealing with family issues, Dak is trying to help a friend who is in fear of her life from an abusive husband, and I’m dealing with urgent dental problems. And would you believe I still have itching on my arms and neck? It doesn’t make it easier that the news is filled with just plain horrible, awful, disgusting stuff these days. So here’s a really disgusting open thread.

Yesterday it was Bill Cosby the serial rapist. Today it’s Donald Trump and marital rape. You’ve probably already read or at least heard about the article by Tim Mak and Brandy Zadrozny at The Daily Beast yesterday about the time Ivana Trump accused her husband Donald of raping her.

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Ex-Wife: Donald Trump Made Me Feel ‘Violated’ During Sex.

Ivana Trump’s assertion of “rape” came in a deposition—part of the early ’90s divorce case between the Trumps, and revealed in the 1993 book Lost Tycoon: The Many Lives of Donald J. Trump.

The book, by former Texas Monthly and Newsweek reporter Harry Hurt III, described a harrowing scene. After a painful scalp reduction surgery to remove a bald spot, Donald Trump confronted his then-wife, who had previously used the same plastic surgeon.

“Your fucking doctor has ruined me!” Trump cried.

What followed was a “violent assault,” according to Lost Tycoon. Donald held back Ivana’s arms and began to pull out fistfuls of hair from her scalp, as if to mirror the pain he felt from his own operation. He tore off her clothes and unzipped his pants.

“Then he jams his penis inside her for the first time in more than sixteen months. Ivana is terrified… It is a violent assault,” Hurt writes. “According to versions she repeats to some of her closest confidantes, ‘he raped me.’”

Ivana ran to another room, locked herself in and cried all night. The next day Trump asked her coldly about her torn out hair, “Does it hurt?”

Clown runs for prez

When the Daily Beast writers contacted Trump’s “special counsel” Michael Cohen, he was outraged and threatening.

Michael Cohen, special counsel at The Trump Organization, defended his boss, saying, “You’re talking about the frontrunner for the GOP, presidential candidate, as well as a private individual who never raped anybody. And, of course, understand that by the very definition, you can’t rape your spouse.”

“It is true,” Cohen added. “You cannot rape your spouse. And there’s very clear case law.”

Obviously, that is false. New York state criminalized marital rape in 1984, before the incident described in the Ivana’s deposition. Marital rape is now a crime in all 50 states. Cohen then threatened the writers.

“I will make sure that you and I meet one day while we’re in the courthouse. And I will take you for every penny you still don’t have. And I will come after your Daily Beast and everybody else that you possibly know,” Cohen said. “So I’m warning you, tread very fucking lightly, because what I’m going to do to you is going to be fucking disgusting. You understand me?”

“You write a story that has Mr. Trump’s name in it, with the word ‘rape,’ and I’m going to mess your life up… for as long as you’re on this frickin’ planet… you’re going to have judgments against you, so much money, you’ll never know how to get out from underneath it,” he added.

Of course Ivana is now denying that what happened was rape, but from the description she gave a the time it certainly was a violent sexual assault in which she was held down and raped. Of course Ivan was forced to sign an agreement that prevents her from ever saying anything negative about her ex-husband or their marriage, so she can’t really be honest about what she thinks of the incident anyway.

AnderN20150712_low

There’s much more to the story. Go read the whole sorry thing at The Daily Beast if you haven’t already.

This is what the Republican Party has done to this country. This repulsive buffoon Donald Trump is leading the race for the GOP presidential nomination, and the rest of the clown car aren’t much better.

In a response to the Daily Beast Story, the Trump campaign told Business Insider:

A representative for Trump, who is now a front-runner in many polls of the Republican primary, provided a statement to Business Insider that said the incident was “old news and it never happened.” The person also said Ivana Trump made up the “rape” allegation as part of an effort to “exploit” Trump during their divorce proceedings in the early ’90s.

“This is an event that has been widely reported on in the past — it is old news and it never happened,” the Trump representative said. “It is a standard lawyer technique, which was used to exploit more money from Mr. Trump especially since he had an ironclad prenuptial agreement.”

Today Trump lawyer Michael Cohen tried–and failed–to clean up the mess he made yesterday.

CKS0HEHWIAEP-in

From The Huffington Post: Donald Trump’s Lawyer Apologizes For ‘Inarticulate Comment’ About Spousal Rape.

“As an attorney, husband and father there are many injustices that offend me but nothing more than charges of rape or racism,” Cohen said in a statement to CNN. “They hit me at my core. Rarely am I surprised by the press, but the gall of this particular reporter to make such a reprehensible and false allegation against Mr. Trump truly stunned me. In my moment of shock and anger, I made an inarticulate comment — which I do not believe — and which I apologize for entirely.”

Cohen had some choice words for The Daily Beast, saying he planned to “come after” the publication.

“So I’m warning you, tread very f—ing lightly, because what I’m going to do to you is going to be f—ing disgusting. You understand me?” Cohen said, according to CNN.

OK, so now you’re threatening reporters for doing their job. Ever hear of the first amendment? But I guess this is how things are handled in Trump World. I don’t think it will work much longer in the world of politics. At least I hope not.

Jon-Stewart-reacts-to-Donald-Trumps-possible-2016-run-on-May-28-2015.-YouTube-800x430

And for the record, from Think Progress: Memo To Donald Trump: Here’s What The Law Actually Says About Raping Your Spouse.

Cohen’s claim that sex between spouses cannot legally be rape was once true, although it is rooted in a definition of marriage that our society abandoned decades ago. Under the English common law, which still shapes much of American law, a woman became little more than her husband’s property when she said “I do” at the altar. As Sir William Blackstone wrote in a widely cited explanation of the common law rule of marriage, “[t]he very being or legal existence of the woman is suspended during the marriage, or at least is incorporated and consolidated into that of the husband; under whose wing, protection and cover, she performs everything.”

Under this traditional definition of marriage, a wife’s financial identity was subsumed into her husband’s. Though she could retain title over real estate, such land was managed and controlled by her husband. The husband actually gained legal ownership of his wife’s remaining property.

Significantly, the common law also held wives to be sexually subservient to their husbands. A husband “cannot be guilty of a rape committed by himself upon his lawful wife,” Sir Matthew Hale wrote in a 1736 treatise on the common law. “[B]y their mutual matrimonial consent and contract the wife hath given herself up in this kind unto her husband,” Hale added, and this consent was something “she cannot retract.”

This vision of the wife as a kind of sexual property continued until surprisingly recently in the United States. The 1962 draft of the Model Penal Code, a proposed set of criminal laws drafted by legal scholars seeking to encourage uniform laws throughout the states, provided that the crime of rape could only occur when a “male . . . has sexual intercourse with a female not his wife.” Nebraska, the first state to abolish the marital rape exemption, did not do so until 1976.

After Nebraska took this step, however, the remaining states followed fairly quickly. In 1993, North Carolina became the last state to repeal the old rule holding that a husband could not rape their wife.

So . . . what do you think? Again, this is an open thread.