Lazy Caturday ReadsPosted: June 22, 2019
The surrealistic cat paintings in this post are by Daniel Ryan.
Today’s top story has to be E. Jean Carroll’s credible allegation of rape by Donald Trump. An excerpt from Carroll’s latest book, What Do We Need Men For? A Modest Proposal, appeared at New York Magazine’s The Cut yesterday. A photo of Carroll in the coat dress she wore that day is on the magazine’s cover.
Hideous Men: Donald Trump assaulted me in a Bergdorf Goodman dressing room 23 years ago. But he’s not alone on the list of awful men in my life. Here’s the description of Trump’s attack, which followed a lighthearted flirtation in the lingerie department:
The moment the dressing-room door is closed, he lunges at me, pushes me against the wall, hitting my head quite badly, and puts his mouth against my lips. I am so shocked I shove him back and start laughing again. He seizes both my arms and pushes me up against the wall a second time, and, as I become aware of how large he is, he holds me against the wall with his shoulder and jams his hand under my coat dress and pulls down my tights.
I am astonished by what I’m about to write: I keep laughing. The next moment, still wearing correct business attire, shirt, tie, suit jacket, overcoat, he opens the overcoat, unzips his pants, and, forcing his fingers around my private area, thrusts his penis halfway — or completely, I’m not certain — inside me. It turns into a colossal struggle. I am wearing a pair of sturdy black patent-leather four-inch Barneys high heels, which puts my height around six-one, and I try to stomp his foot. I try to push him off with my one free hand — for some reason, I keep holding my purse with the other — and I finally get a knee up high enough to push him out and off and I turn, open the door, and run out of the dressing room.
The whole episode lasts no more than three minutes. I do not believe he ejaculates. I don’t remember if any person or attendant is now in the lingerie department. I don’t remember if I run for the elevator or if I take the slow ride down on the escalator. As soon as I land on the main floor, I run through the store and out the door — I don’t recall which door — and find myself outside on Fifth Avenue.
Carroll told two friends at the time, and New York Magazine confirmed they vividly recall her story.
I told two close friends. The first, a journalist, magazine writer, correspondent on the TV morning shows, author of many books, etc., begged me to go to the police.
“He raped you,” she kept repeating when I called her. “He raped you. Go to the police! I’ll go with you. We’ll go together.”
My second friend is also a journalist, a New York anchorwoman. She grew very quiet when I told her, then she grasped both my hands in her own and said, “Tell no one. Forget it! He has 200 lawyers. He’ll bury you.” (Two decades later, both still remember the incident clearly and confirmed their accounts to New York.)
Of course Trump denies the episode. From The Washington Post:
Trump vigorously denied the accusation, calling it “fake news.” He questioned why there was no video footage of the incident or witnesses in the store.
“I’ve never met this person in my life,” the president said in a statement. “She is trying to sell a new book — that should indicate her motivation. It should be sold in the fiction section.”
The New York magazine piece includes a photo provided by Carroll of what appears to be Trump pictured from behind, standing with his then-wife, Ivana, and Carroll’s then-husband, John Johnson, at what Carroll said was an NBC party around 1987.
Here’s the photo:
Carroll is not the first woman to accuse Trump of sexual assault, but hers is the first one to actually describe a violent rape. Surely that is an impeachable offense. Why is this horrible man still president?
The accusations include rape, a threat of rape, unwanted groping, being kissed without consent, and being walked in on naked. Here are the accusations made by women who have come forward publicly under their own names.
Click on the link to see a list of the accusers with brief descriptions of their allegations.
Molly Jong Fast at The Daily Beast: Yes, Trump Will Brush Off E. Jean Carroll’s Assault Allegation — but Women Will Remember.
The last line of advice columnist E. Jean Carroll’s story of sexual assault hits like a ton of bricks. “And whether it’s my age, the fact that I haven’t met anyone fascinating enough over the past couple of decades to feel ‘the sap rising,’ as Tom Wolfe put it, or if it’s the blot of the real-estate tycoon, I can’t say. But I have never had sex with anybody ever again.”
I know E. Jean—not well, but we’ve messaged each other, and my mother is friendly with her. And since I have lived my entire life in Manhattan, she’s not the only Donald Trump accuser I know. There’s another woman mentioned in the list of Trump’s accusers, Cathy Heller, the mother of my best friend from high school; and then there are other stories I’ve heard, anecdotally of course, from people who didn’t want to come forward: a touched breast, an aggressive kiss on the mouth.
Friday, New York magazine published an excerpt from Carroll’s forthcoming memoir, What Do We Need Men For. It’s a memoir structured as a list of men who’ve attacked her, this list she calls “the most hideous men list.” The men on this list are largely known for such allegations: Les Moonves, Roger Ailes, and Trump….
And then there are the evangelicals who seem completely committed to Trumpism despite the cost or the evidence that the Almighty might not be besties with the thrice-married adulterer. During a Jan. 1 interview with the Washington Post, Trump supporter and Liberty University president Jerry Falwell, Jr., answered the question, “Is there anything President Trump could do that would endanger that support from you or other evangelical leaders?” with one word. The word was “no.”[….]
But if the 2018 midterms have taught us anything, it’s that women remember. We may never see the president impeached and removed from office but we can remove him ourselves on Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020, when we women go to the polls and show Republican politicians that character does in fact matter and that we believe women.
Read the whole thing at The Daily Beast.
In other news, another big story broke last night when a federal judge unsealed texts that were exchanged between Paul Manafort and Sean Hannity while Manafort was under investigation and on trial.
Paul Manafort had a sympathetic media ally in Sean Hannity as federal investigators closed in and ultimately prosecuted the former Trump campaign chairman for a series of financial crimes and witness tampering, according to hundreds of text messages released Friday.
The exchanges — which a federal judge ordered unsealed and placed onto the public court docket — cover a period starting around the FBI’s summertime 2017 raid on Manafort’s Northern Virginia home and extending through the late spring of 2018, when the longtime GOP operative was gearing up for back-to-back criminal trials.
Along the way, the Fox News host and Manafort engaged in many rapid-fire conversations discussing everything from Manafort’s criminal cases to Hannity’s on-air commentary that frequently targeted special counsel Robert Mueller and his prosecutors.
As news broke of the FBI raid on Manafort’s home, for example, Hannity wrote, “Please know you are in my prayers.” Manafort quickly replied, “Thank you. I need them. I feel so violated.”
Later in the day, Hannity wrote Manafort he was upset that “there are so many obvious crimes that are NOT being investigated” and added at the end of his message, “If you just ever want to talk, grab dinner, vent, strategize -whatever, I am here. I know this is very hard. Stand tall and strong.”
Hannity offered Manafort an ear on many more occasions, both to talk in private but also to appear on his primetime program to defend himself. They also frequently discussed what Hannity had just covered on air.
Read the rest at Politico.
I really hope this story will mark the end of Pete Buttigieg’s ridiculous run for president.
The South Bend Tribune: Marchers confront Pete Buttigieg, police chief with frustrations after South Bend shooting.
One by one, people at the “Justice for South Bend” rally Friday night confronted Mayor Pete Buttigieg and Police Chief Scott Ruszkowski, calling for everything from firing police officers to requiring more training programs for the city’s police force.
As the 150 or so demonstrators circled in, the event billed as a march actually spent its first 40 minutes in a tense discussion in front of police headquarters on West Sample Street, featuring shouts, expletives and raw emotions.
The rally was another gathering this week in the wake of Sunday’s shooting of Eric Logan, 54, by Sgt. Ryan O’Neill in the parking lot of the Central High Apartments. While responding to a call for someone breaking into vehicles, O’Neill confronted Logan, who reportedly had a knife. O’Neill shot Logan when he went toward the police officer, officials have said.
“I’m mad because my brother died,” Tyree Bonds, brother of Eric, said in the middle of the loud, intense dialogue. “People are getting tired of you letting your officers do whatever they want to do.”
Shirley Newbill, Eric’s mother, asked Buttigieg and the city to act on her son’s death.
“I have been here all my life, and you have not done a damn thing about me or my son or none of these people out here,” she said. “It’s time for you to do something.”
At one point, a woman at the rally told Buttigieg,” You’re running for president and you want black people to vote for you? That’s not going to happen.”
More at the link.
More on the confrontation from The New York Times:
Once he arrived at the protest on a charter flight, around 6:30 p.m., healing was far from the minds of most in the crowd, a mix of bereaved relatives of the dead man, Eric Logan, family members of others injured or killed in police encounters and masked protesters in black waving signs reading, “Who do you call when police murder?”
“You’re running for president and you want black people to vote for you? That’s not going to happen,” a woman shouted.
“Ma’am, I’m not asking for your vote,” Mr. Buttigieg said.
Really? If he doesn’t want votes from black people he’s going to go down in flames. And good riddance!
A few more stories to check out, links only:
Jeffrey Toobin at The New Yorker: Clarence Thomas’s Astonishing Opinion on a Racist Mississippi Prosecutor. (Even Brett Kavanaugh disagreed with him!)
Masha Gessan at The New Yorker: The Unimaginable Reality of American Concentration Camps.
William D. Cohan at Vanity Fair: “There’s a Lot of Zombie Companies Out There”: Will Trump Bully Jerome Powell into Blowing Up the Economy?
What else is happening? What stories have you been following?