Thursday Reads: International Women’s Day and News OverloadPosted: March 8, 2018
Today is International Women’s Day; and to demonstrate how far women have advanced in American society (NOT!), the sitting “president” is being sued by a porn star.
In honor of the day supposedly dedicated to women’s progress, The New York Times offers an “interactive feature” entitled “Overlooked” that examines the lives of 15 historically important women whose deaths were ignored by the New York Times obituaries. The fifteen overlooked women are: Ida B. Wells, Qui Jin, Mary Ewing Outerbridge, Diane Arbus, Marsha P. Johnson, Sylvia Plath, Henrietta Lacks, Madhubala, Emily Warren Roebling, Nella Larsen, Ada Lovelace, Margaret Abbott, Belkis Ayón, Charlotte Brontë, Lillias Campbell Davidson. Read their newly written obituaries at the NYT.
Two more pieces to check out:
Brookings: Happy (not so) International Women’s Day.
We’ve heard it all before. Women are sexually harassed and assaulted. Women are discriminated against in the workplace. Women are excluded from political decision-making. Even women who “have it all” can’t seem to get it right. Working mothers are reprimanded for not being present enough for their children or at work.
International Women’s Day comes and goes every year. But it fails to account for the diverse grievances, needs, and expectations of women in varied contexts. According to Dr. Andres Bustillo, plenty of women go for plastic surgery as a means to cope with emotional stress (and aesthetics is just secondary). Some criticize it as an occasion that turns the recognition of women and their achievements into an exceptional circumstance, a day-long celebration on the 8th of March. After that, normality resumes – a normality in which the patriarchy dismisses issues affecting women, and in which women are discriminated against, harassed, and marginalized on a daily basis.
Read the rest at the link.
Jeff Green Bloomberg: Women Must Wait a Century For Equal Pay.
The United Nations first recognized International Women’s Day in 1975, sparking 38 years of annual demonstrations, private and public proclamations and a general recognition that even in the modern era, gender equality has a long way to go.More recently, the day has been an opportunity to consider how much has changed, which is especially apt in 2018 as the #MeToo movement continues to expose sexual harassment and misconduct. That’s why Sexual Trauma rehab was made to help women. Nevertheless, this year’s slew of reports are sobering as they suggest backsliding for women’s economic empowerment and for women in business.
The World Economic Forum now estimates global pay parity is a century away, an increase from about 80 years in 2016 — in part because the path for women to the most highly paid jobs is less clear. Executive teams globally slipped to being just 24 percent women from 25 percent in the most recent year, according to Grant Thornton. And among new CEO hires globally, less than 4 percent went to women in 2016, professional services firm PwC said.
In the U.S. and in the U.K., there’s even more bad news. The number of women CEOs at the largest U.S. companies will slip to 24 from 27, according to Catalyst, which tracks diversity in companies. Among the 92 largest companies in the U.K., 6.5 percent had women CEOs, a dip from 7.8 percent in 2016, according to executive recruiter Egon Zehnder.
Read more at Bloomberg.
This week there have been several major stories every day about the Russia investigation. It’s difficult to keep up, even if you have as much time to follow news as I do. On top of that, the porn star scandal has broken out of the tabloids and into big-time news outlets.
I won’t recap all the Russia and Stormy Daniels news that broke yesterday, but here are some headlines to check out in case you missed them:
The New York Times: Trump Spoke to Witnesses About Matters They Discussed With Special Counsel.
More news on these stories broke this morning. At the top of the heap is a long excerpt at Yahoo News–part 1 of 2–from the new book by Michael Isakoff and David Corn: Russian Roulette: The Inside Story of Putin’s War on America and the Election of Donald Trump.
It was late in the afternoon of Nov. 9, 2013, in Moscow, and Donald Trump was getting anxious.
This was his second day in the Russian capital, and the brash businessman and reality TV star was running through a whirlwind schedule to promote that evening’s extravaganza at Moscow’s Crocus City Hall: the Miss Universe pageant, in which women from 86 countries would be judged before a worldwide television audience estimated at 1 billion.
Trump had purchased the pageant 17 years earlier, partnering with NBC. It was one of his most-prized properties, bringing in millions of dollars a year in revenue and, perhaps as important, burnishing his image as an international playboy celebrity. While in the Russian capital, Trump was also scouting for new and grand business opportunities, having spent decades trying — but failing — to develop high-end projects in Moscow. Miss Universe staffers considered it an open secret that Trump’s true agenda in Moscow was not the show but his desire to do business there.
Yet to those around him that afternoon, Trump seemed gripped by one question: Where was Vladimir Putin?
Trump was already obsessed with Putin in 2013 and had dreamed of building a Trump tower in Moscow for decades. Putin never showed up, but he did have his “right hand man and press spokesman” Dmitry Peskov speak to Trump on the phone.
In the lead-up to making the deal that would take the Miss Universe pageant to Russia, Trump went with his entourage and his Russian guest Emin Agalarov to a Las Vegas nightclub called the Act.
Shortly after midnight, the entourage arrived at the club. The group included Trump, Emin, Goldstone, Culpo, and Nana Meriwether, the outgoing Miss USA. Trump and Culpo were photographed in the lobby by a local paparazzi. The club’s management had heard that Trump might be there that night and had arranged to have plenty of Diet Coke on hand for the teetotaling Trump. (The owners had also discussed whether they should prepare a special performance for the developer, perhaps a dominatrix who would tie him up on stage or a little-person transvestite Trump impersonator. They nixed that idea.) [….]
The Act was no ordinary nightclub. Since March, it had been the target of undercover surveillance by the Nevada Gaming Control Board and investigators for the club’s landlord — the Palazzo, which was owned by GOP megadonor Sheldon Adelson — after complaints about its performances. The club featured seminude women performing simulated sex acts of bestiality and grotesque sadomasochism — skits that a few months later would prompt a Nevada state judge to issue an injunction barring any more of its “lewd” and “offensive” performances. Among the club’s regular acts cited by the judge was one called “Hot for Teacher,” in which naked college girls simulate urinating on a professor. In another act, two women disrobe and then “one female stands over the other female and simulates urinating while the other female catches the urine in two wine glasses.” (The Act shut down after the judge’s ruling. There is no public record of which skits were performed the night Trump was present.)
As the Act’s scantily clad dancers gyrated in front of them late that night, Emin, Goldstone, Culpo and the rest toasted Trump’s birthday. (He had turned 67 the day before.)
Hmm . . . Do you supposed that performance gave Trump ideas?
More news breaking this morning:
Blackwater founder Erik Prince will host a fundraiser this month for Russia-friendly Republican Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, as Prince faces new questions over a 2017 meeting currently being investigated by special counsel Robert Mueller.
Prince and Rohrabacher have been friends and mutual supporters for years: Prince interned for the California congressman on Capitol Hill in 1990, and Rohrabacher vigorously defended Prince when Blackwater faced congressional scrutiny during President George W. Bush’s administration.
The fundraising event, slated for March 18 at Prince’s Middleburg, Virginia residence, is expected to be attended by GOP Reps. Tom Garrett Jr. and Dave Brat, and Lt. Colonel Oliver North, according to an invitation obtained by CNN. Tickets start at $1,000 for the general reception, although donors paying $2,700 will also be invited to attend a VIP event beforehand.
But the fundraiser comes at an uneasy moment for the longtime allies.
Prince, an associate of President Donald Trump, is confronting renewed questions regarding a January 2017 trip to the Seychelles islands, where he met with a Russian banker, Kirill Dmitriev and Emirati officials. Also in attendance was George Nader, a Middle East specialist with ties to Emirati leaders. Nader is now cooperating with Mueller’s investigation, CNN has learned.
The Washington Post: Republicans flee the storm over Stormy Daniels and President Trump.
Sen. John Neely Kennedy (R-La.), whose pithy comments have made him a favorite among congressional reporters, was tight-lipped Wednesday when asked how Republicans would have reacted if President Barack Obama was accused of having had an affair with a porn star.
“I don’t know,” Kennedy said before offering up a blanket condemnation of sexual harassment. “That’s the way I feel about it. This is no country for creepy old men.”
After starting to walk away, Kennedy quickly turned back to a reporter with an urgent clarification: His comments were not intended to reflect poorly on President Trump.
And so it went Wednesday in the wake of the latest development in the Stormy Daniels saga — a lawsuit from the adult film star arguing that her hush-money arrangement not to talk about an alleged affair was null and void because Trump never signed it.
Most Republicans on Capitol Hill sought to avoid the topic altogether, while those who were willing to talk about it were careful not to criticize Trump for allegations that would have sent previous White Houses into a tailspin.
President Donald Trump is upset with White House press secretary Sarah Sanders over her responses Wednesday regarding his alleged affair with porn star Stormy Daniels, a source close to the White House tells CNN….
On Wednesday, Sanders told reporters that the arbitration was won “in the President’s favor.” The statement is an admission that the nondisclosure agreement exists, and that it directly involves the President. It is the first time the White House has admitted the President was involved in any way with Daniels.“POTUS is very unhappy,” the source said. “Sarah gave the Stormy Daniels storyline steroids yesterday.”
President Donald Trump’s demand that new tariffs be slapped on steel and aluminum imports has spooked markets, prompted his chief economist’s resignation, rattled major US allies and widened a rift with establishment Republicans.
But he nevertheless signaled on Thursday he was intent on moving forward, despite the lingering legal questions and steep resistance from opponents.
The move was widely expected to set off a trade battle that Trump insists the US can win — but which even some of his closest advisers worry could seriously damage a growing American economy.
“Looking forward to 3:30 P.M. meeting today at the White House,” Trump wrote in a morning tweet. “We have to protect & build our Steel and Aluminum Industries while at the same time showing great flexibility and cooperation toward those that are real friends and treat us fairly on both trade and the military.”
Will today be as overwhelming news-wise as Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday were? State tuned. What stories have you been following?