Thursday Reads: Total Meltdown


Good Morning!

Donald Trump continues to traumatize America. So far, eleven women have come forward to accuse the GOP presidential nominee of sexual harassment and/or sexual assault since he denial of predatory sexual behavior at the second presidential debate. Melissa McEwan at Shakesville provides a very good summary of the allegations so far.

Yesterday morning, I noted that four competitors in the Miss Teen USA pageant had alleged Donald Trump walked in on them while they were in various states of undress, which is also alleged to have done to Miss Universe and/or Miss USA contestants.

By the end of the day, there were at least seven more assault allegations against Trump.

Jessica Leeds says she was groped by Donald Trump on an airplane.

Jessica Leeds says she was groped by Donald Trump on an airplane.

The Trump campaign is denying these claims and questioning the timing of the stories. McEwan:

I will simply note, again, that the only reason these stories became “public decades later” is because the women he assaulted saw him lie during a presidential debate and refused to let him get away with it.

Leeds’ and Crooks’ stories are very much like those of Jill Harth and Temple Taggart, which were already public….

Trump has gotten away with this behavior for a very long time. There are certainly lots of women he has abused over many decades. And every member of the Republican Party who has supported this guy, and continues to support him, is abetting his continued abuse. The last thing he needs is more power.

And our choice is between a woman who used her position as Secretary of State to faciliate the prevention of sexual violence around the globe, or a man who is himself a sexual predator.

After a day filled with shocking stories about Trump’s disgusting behavior, People Magazine published a story by one of their own reporters late last night.

Natasha Stoynoff, People Magazine reporter

Natasha Stoynoff, People Magazine reporter

Physically Attacked by Donald Trump – a PEOPLE Writer’s Own Harrowing Story, by Natasha Stoynoff.

…in December 2005, around the time Trump had his now infamous conversation with Billy Bush, I traveled to Mar-a-Lago to interview the couple for a first-wedding-anniversary feature story.

Our photo team shot the Trumps on the lush grounds of their Florida estate, and I interviewed them about how happy their first year of marriage had been. When we took a break for the then-very-pregnant Melania to go upstairs and change wardrobe for more photos, Donald wanted to show me around the mansion. There was one “tremendous” room in particular, he said, that I just had to see.

We walked into that room alone, and Trump shut the door behind us. I turned around, and within seconds he was pushing me against the wall and forcing his tongue down my throat.

Now, I’m a tall, strapping girl who grew up wrestling two giant brothers. I even once sparred with Mike Tyson. It takes a lot to push me. But Trump is much bigger — a looming figure — and he was fast, taking me by surprise and throwing me off balance. I was stunned. And I was grateful when Trump’s longtime butler burst into the room a minute later, as I tried to unpin myself.

Rachel Crooks says Donald Trump kissed her on the lips without permission.

Rachel Crooks says Donald Trump kissed her on the lips without permission.

Trump then went on to tell Stoynoff:

“You know we’re going to have an affair, don’t you?” he declared, in the same confident tone he uses when he says he’s going to make America great again. “Have you ever been to Peter Luger’s for steaks? I’ll take you. We’re going to have an affair, I’m telling you.” He also referenced the infamous cover of the New York Post during his affair with Marla Maples.

“You remember,” he said. “‘Best Sex I Ever Had.’ ”

Read about Stoynoff’s reactions and the aftermath for her at People.

This morning Time Magazine unveiled its latest cover, an updating of the “meltdown” cover from August 22. (See both versions at the top of this post.) This week’s cover story: Inside Donald Trump’s Total Meltdown. The piece begins with a description of the remarkable decision by evangelical Christians to stick with Trump despite the Access Hollywood tape that came out last Friday, then moved on to how Trump has traumatized most Americans.

As the 2016 campaign moved into its final weeks, Trump had put the whole country on the rack alongside the Christian conservatives, stretching the sinews of American politics to the breaking point. While some voters were tugged toward the wincing sophistry of the conference call, a larger number pulled disgustedly into the ranks of #nevertrump. The candidate himself was consumed by petty grudges. The furor over the leaked recording seemed to liberate him. Free of the “shackles”–his own tweeted word–Trump reduced his campaign to a primal grunt.

It sounded, at times, like the last gasp of the angry white man. Trump threatened to throw his opponent in jail, bragged of avoiding income taxes and peddled an empty conspiracy theory about undocumented immigrants’ being given voter-registration cards. He insisted he was right to stoke the racial tensions of New York City during the Central Park jogger drama in the 1990s, refusing to accept the DNA proof that he had the case wrong. He promoted a fiction that Muslim friends of the San Bernardino, Calif., terrorists knew their plans but failed to alert authorities, and he injected a crude Russian propaganda effort into one of his rallies without a care about its inaccuracy. Another tape (it wasn’t easy keeping track) caught him agreeing as a radio shock jock labeled his daughter Ivanka “a piece of ass.” Having congratulated himself for keeping the first presidential debate slightly above the muck, in Round 2 he plunged into the wallow, deflecting attention from his own vulgarity by saddling Clinton with the alleged sexual sins of her husband and trying to seat Bill Clinton’s accusers in the front row.

Jill Harth accused Donald Trump of attempted rape.

Jill Harth accused Donald Trump of attempted rape.

Trump once said on the campaign trail that he would approve of torture as President, “even if it doesn’t work.” With four weeks left to Election Day, he seemed to be testing the proposition on the public. Unshackled, he flirted with unhinged and erased the emollient line between a campaign aimed at the base and one intended to debase.

Read the rest at the link above.

Naturally, Trump himself has been busy tweeting this morning.

For the record, the New York Times’s May 2016 story about Trump’s repulsive behavior toward women has not been discredited.

For me, one of the most fascinating thing about the information that has been coming out about Trump since last Friday is observing men in the media beginning to understand the extent of the sexual aggression most women experience constantly in the workplace, on the street, and in private. Women have seen who and what Trump is all along. The real question is will men continue to keep their new awareness, or will it just fade away after the election?

Bob Dylan, winner of the 2016 Nobel Prize in literature

Bob Dylan, winner of the 2016 Nobel Prize in literature

In other news, Bob Dylan has been awarded the Nobel Prize for literature. The Washington Post: ‘Poetry for the ear’: Bob Dylan wins Nobel Prize in literature.

Bob Dylan was awarded the Nobel Prize in literature on Thursday for work that the Swedish Academy described as “having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition.”

He is the first American to win the prize since Toni Morrison in 1993, and a groundbreaking choice by the Nobel committee to select the first literature laureate whose career has primarily been as a musician.

Although long rumored as a contender for the prize, Dylan was far down the list of predicted winners, which included such renown writers as Haruki Murakami and Ngugi wa Thiong’o.

This is the second year in a row that the academy has turned away from fiction writers for the literature prize. And it’s possibly the first year that the prize has gone to someone who is primarily a musician, not a writer.

The next few weeks are going to be awful to watch, but at least we can be pretty confident that in January 2017 Hillary Clinton will be sworn in as the first woman President of the United States.

What stories are you following today?

49 Comments on “Thursday Reads: Total Meltdown”

  1. bostonboomer says:

    Man almost dies because flight crew didn’t believe a Black woman is doctor

  2. Pat Johnson says:

    Years,ago when I began to work at the hospital I found myself alone in an elevator with one of the physicians. As we ascended upwards we exchanged a few innocuous comments but he then lunged toward me, pinned me up against the wall, and proceeded to shove his tongue into my mouth. I was,stunned by his behavior but was saved as the elevator finally came to a,stop.

    I was,a married woman at that time, a mother of 4, just returning to the workforce after a long absence. I was truthfully unsure of myself and questioned what I had done to encourage this unwanted advance.

    When I returned to the office I mentioned the encounter with another work employee who laughed. “You just met Dr. Hands On. He does this all the time. Ask the nurses who play dodge and weave whenever he shows up.”

    He was a doctor. A man regarded as powerful in that role. Making a complaint could cost you your job. You would more than likely be ridiculed for mentioning it. This was before the Anita Hill/Clarence Thomas hearing when sexual assault was an uncommon phrase.

    This doctor got away with this behavior for years. Women were advised of his lecherous behavior but they were on their own. I felt guilty that there must have been something in my own behavior that prompted him to force his unwanted attention.

    These women lived with the knowledge that to step forward then could easily lead to the destruction of their lies. Men in power have that ability to do so.

    These women will be shunned, shredded, and demeaned for their efforts to expose this pig but I applaud their efforts to show the world exactly who he is.

    • bostonboomer says:

      That’s terrible, Pat. I think most women have had experiences like this, and we will be the ones–along with African Americans, Latinos, and other minority groups–to save the world from Donald Trump. Any men who don’t acknowlege how bad this kind of behavior is are disgusting to me.

      • Fannie says:

        Yes, if I had a dollar for every time I was mistreated by males, in all aspects of society. That applies to the number of times I felt like I couldn’t turn to anyone to help. I told my friends, but it was suppose to be “normal”, when in fact it created fear, and like other women, I didn’t know how to stop it.

        That is why women have been silent. Even when others saw it, and experienced it, we had a way of sweeping it under the carpet like it was our fault.

    • ANonOMouse says:

      I had a very bad experience 40+ years ago with my boss who was also a very powerful man. We had nowhere to go for help because the behavior of these men was known and tolerated. I’m sorry you had to go through that.

  3. Ron4Hills says:


  4. Jslat says:

    This is not as horrific a story as Pat’s but was my FIRST experience with men behaving badly and getting away with it. In the 1960s I took a summer job as a waitress in a small beach town famiky style restaurant. On my first day, an older male customer began to fondle my derriere as I was delivering lunch to his table. I slapped his hand away and was fired because of that!

    • Pat Johnson says:

      That is disgusting.and they question why women do not immediately speak out.

    • Jslat says:

      I was told that I had disrespected the customer. My complaint about what he had done was dismissed as “I should grow up and learn to deal with it.”

    • ANonOMouse says:

      I hope young women take notice of the stories of their mothers and friends and understand that we cannot allow a Trump Presidency. I’m sorry that you were abused in that way Jslat.

      • Jslat says:

        We women have put up with enough, haven’t we? As my granddaughter says, T-rump is a “scary man” (even an 8 yr old can recognize his soul without her knowing all the things we know about him.)
        We feel the disgust, pain and shame those women who are coming forward have to deal with. We will defend them as loudly as we can!

  5. Pat Johnson says:

    Michelle is giving a fantastic speech in MY about sex abuse.

  6. dakinikat says:

    Michelle Obama is tearing it up …

    Mother of Daughters

    Check out @CNNPolitics’s Tweet:

    • Enheduanna says:

      Yes! Music to my ears.

      BTW – that bedroom furniture is pretty tacky IMO. That type of stuff belongs in a museum – or maybe as a one-off conversation piece.

  7. Pat Johnson says:

    How any woman can support Trump is mind boggling.

  8. Pat Johnson says:

    Does this man actually believe his own lies or is he that delusional?

    Either way he is a serious danger to the world. The man is crazy!

  9. Jslat says:

    Lou Dobbs tweeted address of Jessica Leeds…the 74 yr old who was interviewed by NYT about her encounter with <T-rump. Unbelievable!!!

  10. MsMass says:

    Jail for Trump! Maybe he’d like to be groped against his will.

  11. janicen says:

    Michelle Obama’s speech was amazing. I dare Trump to go after her in any way, shape or form. I am so burnt out over this election. I’m just glad that this is all coming to a head. It’s horrible, it’s painful, but it has to come out. Women have been enduring this type of abuse all of my life and it’s about time it’s been front and center of our national dialogue.