Here We Go Again: the Political Prop WifePosted: November 12, 2011 Filed under: U.S. Politics | Tags: David Vitter, Herman Cain, political wives, prostitutes, serial asshole, sexual harrassment 15 Comments
I was hoping that maybe this scandal would be different. When Anthony Wiener was caught in a series of mutually stupid sexting scandals, wife Huma Abedin stayed away from the role of adoring political prop wife. She let him handle the reporters and the public on his own. I admire Mark Sanford’s wife who has completely turned the stereotype of political prop wife on its head. After these kinds of public humiliations, the least you should be able to hang on to is your dignity and self respect. That’s far more important than staying in a marriage with a Lothario.
The worst and most shameful abuse of a wife of a politician had to be by David Vitter who got caught with his diapers down on a prostitute’s call list.
Looks like one more manipulative political husband just can’t resist trotting out his probably long suffering wife just one more time. Herman Cain may be getting some big donations from men in denial of their treatment of women, but his numbers with women voters–who know that men frequently overstep their boundaries–have dropped like an avalanche. So, he’s going to do the knee jerk damage control thing and trot out political man’s best friend, his prop wife. After enduring the Vitter presser, I’ve decided this is nothing less than domestic abuse. I still remember Eliot Spitzer’s wife blaming herself for his problem with call girls. What campaign manager thinks the public humiliation of a wife is good politics?
Introducing … Gloria Etchison Cain.
At long last, the political spouse who has kept the lowest profile of the campaign season is preparing to make a network debut. Mrs. Cain, who has been married to the former restaurant executive Herman Cain for 43 years, is expected to sit down this weekend with Greta Van Susteren of Fox News, for a segment that could air on Monday, according to a source familiar with the planning.
Mrs. Cain has, to date, not appeared on the campaign trail with her husband, and is said to prefer her home life in Atlanta, far away from the national spotlight. But since allegations of sexual harassment began to engulf the Cain campaign almost two weeks ago, it had been rumored that Mrs. Cain would eventually come to her husband’s defense on television.
Mr. Cain has been talking about his wife and family more of late, perhaps to offer a counterpoint to the multiple women who have come forward to accuse him of inappropriate behavior while he was chief of the National Restaurant Association in the 1990s.
While in New York City on Friday for a major fund-raising drive, Mr. Cain stopped at Fox News and was asked about his wife by the host Neil Cavuto. “What’s she saying to you?” he questioned.
Mr. Cain replied, “She’s saying to me that the family has your back. We’re not going to let them, you know, continue to … We are there.”
Worst example to date of making your humiliated wife act as your prop for the purposes of shoring up your hypocritical ass comes from selfish David Vitter.
Gotta admire the former Mrs. Stanford for leaving her bum of a husband and getting on with her life. She seems to be one of the few wronged political wives that didn’t accept her role as prop and pulled herself away from a man that obviously didn’t have her or her family’s best interests at heart. I can only imagine what Gloria Cain will be put through to prop up her husband’s stalled ambitions.
Saturday Late Morning LinksPosted: November 5, 2011 Filed under: morning reads, U.S. Politics | Tags: Clarence Thomas, crazy Republicans, Euro Debt Crisis, Herman Cain, National Restaurant Association, sexual harrassment 24 Comments
Good Morning! Here are a few news links to get you started on your weekend reading.
Ralph posted this FDL link in a comment last night last night, and I thought it deserved front page attention: Right-Wingers Horrified to Discover That Conservative Movement is Seriously Crazy
The complete implosion of the Secessionist on the national stage and the subsequent rise of the Pizza Guy has just been too much for some wingers to take. They’re looking at those polls showing the Pizza Guy still leading Willard, and wondering how the hell they came to be totally surrounded by crazy people.
The quotes from wingers are too funny. They’re almost as disturbed by their candidates as we are.
From Politico, more on the Cain sexual harassment situation:
Under Herman Cain, NRA launched sex harassment fight
In the wake of the televised 1991 Clarence Thomas Supreme Court confirmation hearings — and the widely publicized sexual harassment charges leveled against him by Anita Hill — American businesses had been hit by a wave of sexual harassment cases. And the restaurant industry, in particular, was hit especially hard.
Industry officials saw it coming — none other than Cain himself warned as long ago as 1991 that changes in federal law resulting from the hearings could cause problems for employers.
“This bill opens the door for opportunists who will use the legislation to make some money,” Cain, then CEO of Godfather’s Pizza, told Nation’s Restaurant News. “I’m certainly for civil rights, but I don’t know if this bill is fair because of what we’ll have to spend to defend ourselves in unwarranted cases.”
Excuse me? Unwarranted cases?
NYT: Greek Leader Survives Vote, Bolstering Deal on Europe Debt
ATHENS — Prime Minister George Papandreou of Greece survived a crucial confidence vote in the Greek Parliament early on Saturday, a vote that signaled approval of the comprehensive deal reached by European leaders last week to stabilize the euro and to help Greece avoid defaulting on its debt.
Mr. Papandreou pledged to form a unity government with a broader consensus, regardless of whether he would lead it, and met with President Karolos Papoulias to explore the composition of a transitional government.
According to media reports, Mr. Papandreou told the Greek president that the country needed to forge a political consensus to prove it wanted to keep the euro. “In order to create this wider cooperation, we will start the necessary procedures and contacts soon,” Reuters quoted Mr. Papandreou as saying.
“My aim is to immediately create a government of cooperation,” Mr. Papandreou was quoted as saying. “A lack of consensus would worry our European partners about our country’s membership of the euro zone.”
According to the UK Guardian, Papandreau will soon be replaced with “his deputy and rival Evangelos Venizelos.”
Venizelos has won considerable respect among eurozone leaders for his handling of the crisis. It was he who forced Papandreou to abandon his destabilising plans for a referendum on the 27 October eurozone summit package that envisages a further €130bn (£112bn) bailout for Greece paid for largely by a 50% “haircut” for private creditors on their holdings of Greek debt. This was after the pair were given a humiliating dressing down by Germany’s Angela Merkel and France’s Nicolas Sarkozy before the G20 summit got under way in Cannes.
The finance minister, who was first to congratulate the premier on his pyrrhic victoryon Saturday, has been on the phone to reassure his eurozone colleagues, above all Wolfgang Schäuble of Germany, that Greece will meet the terms of the second bailout and be able to reach a deal on the fine details within a few weeks.
Bondholders marshalled by the International Institute for Finance are demanding political certainty in the country – as is the business community which has been pressing behind the scenes for a government of national salvation led by a non-political figure such as Loukas Papademos, former president of the European Central Bank.
Venizelos told Schäuble et al that he would turn up at Monday’s meeting of eurogroup finance ministers in Brussels armed with what his ministry called “the political guarantees which are necessary for the disbursement of the sixth tranche of €8bn”. This is the sum required before 15 December to save Greece from bankruptcy. Greek banks, which have almost €50bn exposure to state debt, need the package approved swiftly so they can rebuild their capital base.
WSJ on the death of Andy Rooney:
Andy Rooney was America’s bemused uncle, spouting homespun wisdom weekly at the end of “60 Minutes,” a soupcon of topical relief after the news magazine’s harder-hitting segments.
Peering at viewers through bushy eyebrows across his desk, Mr. Rooney might start out, seemingly at random, “Did you ever notice that…” and he was off, riffing on pencils, pies, parking places, whatever. Then he was done, slightly cranky revelations delivered in a neat three-minute package.
Mr. Rooney, who died Friday night at age 92, was a reporter and writer-producer for television for decades before landing in 1978 on “60 Minutes.” To his consternation, the show made him into a celebrity.
I was never a fan, but I’m sure many Americans will miss him.
Please post your recommended reads in the comments, and have a great Saturday!
Move on over Uncle Clarence Thomas …Posted: October 30, 2011 Filed under: just because | Tags: Clarence Thomas, ethically challenged, Herman Cain, Sexual harassment, sexual harrassment 37 Comments
An exclusive from Politico: Two women accused Herman Cain of inappropriate behavior
During Herman Cain’s tenure as the head of the National Restaurant Association in the 1990s, at least two female employees complained to colleagues and senior association officials about inappropriate behavior by Cain, ultimately leaving their jobs at the trade group, multiple sources confirm to POLITICO.
The women complained of sexually suggestive behavior by Cain that made them angry and uncomfortable, the sources said, and they signed agreements with the restaurant group that gave them financial payouts to leave the association. The agreements also included language that bars the women from talking about their departures.
In a series of comments over the past 10 days, Cain and his campaign repeatedly declined to respond directly about whether he ever faced allegations of sexual harassment at the restaurant association. They have also declined to address questions about specific reporting confirming that there were financial settlements in two cases in which women leveled complaints.POLITICO has confirmed the identities of the two female restaurant association employees who complained about Cain but, for privacy concerns, is not publishing their names.
You remember Clarence Thomas right? No wonder Cain calls him a ‘mentor’ and an influence!!
Virginia Thomas’ now-famous phone call to Anita Hill has had at least one consequence that she can’t have intended. It’s prompted a former paramour of her husband’s to dish salacious and troubling detailsabout the Supreme Court justice’s past to the Washington Post. And many of those details are in sync with accusations that emerged around Clarence Thomas’ contentious 1991 confirmation hearings.
“He was obsessed with porn,” Lillian McEwen, tells the paper. “He would talk about what he had seen in magazines and films, if there was something worth noting.”
McEwen also said that the conservative Thomas was constantly on the make at work. “He was always actively watching the women he worked with to see if they could be potential partners,” said McEwen. “It was a hobby of his.”
She added that he once told her he had asked a woman at work what her bra size was.
Missouri school district protects children from critically acclaimed books, but not from rape.Posted: August 16, 2011 Filed under: Surreality, Violence against women, Women's Rights | Tags: lawsuit, Missouri, rape, Republic School District, sexual assault, sexual harrassment, Springfield, Vern Minor 29 Comments
This is one of the most outrageous stories I have ever come across. Via Jezabel, the family of a girl in Springfield, Missouri has filed a lawsuit against the Republic School District, claiming the girl was harrassed, sexually assaulted, and raped by a male student on school property.
The suit, filed July 5, alleges when the girl — a special education student — told officials about the harassment, assault and rape that occurred during the 2008-09 school year, they told her they did not believe her. She recanted.
The suit also alleges that, without seeking her mother’s permission, school officials forced the girl to write a letter of apology to the boy and personally deliver it to him. She was then expelled for the rest of the 2008-2009 school year and referred to juvenile authorities for filing a false report.
The suit notes that school officials did not report the girl’s accusation to law enforcement officials, as they are mandated by law to do. Not only that, they apparently didn’t even read the girl’s psychological evaluation–in the school’s files–which described her as “conflict adverse, behaviorally passive” and likely to “forego her own needs and wishes to satisfy the request of others around so she can be accepted.”
In 2010, the girl was “allowed” to return to school, and the harrassment and assaults continued.
In February 2010, the boy allegedly forcibly raped the girl again, this time in the back of the school library. While school officials allegedly expressed skepticism of the girl, her mother took her to the Child Advocacy Center and an exam showed a sexual assault had occurred. DNA in semen found on the girl matched the DNA of the boy she accused, the suit says.
The boy was taken into custody in Juvenile Court and pleaded guilty to charges, the suit says. The specific charges are not stated in the suit.
So there is no question whatsoever that the second rape took place–in the school library! But the school district’s response to the suit claims that the girl’s accusations are “frivolous and have no basis in fact or law.” They further claim that the girl “failed to…protect herself,” and so whatever happened to her was her own fault.
Ironically, this is the same school district that recently banned Kurt Vonnegut’s brilliant novel Slaughterhouse Five and Sara Ockler’s Twenty Boy Summer from their school curricula and libraries. The books were banned by school board members all of whom except one had never read either book, but had been shocked by newspaper column by a Missouri State professor.
Wesley Scroggins, a business professor at Missouri State University, who also pioneered a movement to reshape middle school sex-education classes in Republic’s schools, wrote in a column last year that Vonnegut’s classic contained enough profanity to “make a sailor blush,” and warned that “Twenty Boy Summer” was similarly dangerous.
“In this book,” Scroggins wrote, “drunken teens also end up on the beach, where they use their condoms to have sex.”
Apparently books about consensual sex are wrong, but rapes that take place in the school library are just fine. And if a girl reports being raped, she’ll have to apologize to the boy who did it for speaking up.
This case is very reminiscent of the case of the cheerleader in Texas who was forced to pay damages because she refused to cheer for her rapist, a basketball player. It also reminds me of the case in Muncie, Indiana, in which a girl was raped on school property, and when she reported it, school administrators interrogated the girl and held her for hours in the principal’s office, refusing to report the crime to police.
What is it with school officials who refuse to protect girls from sexual harrassment and rape? The mother of the girl in Muncie is also suing the school system as well as the 16-year-old rapist’s family.
I hope both of these families are successful and that having the pay the settlements will force these school districts to get serious about sexual assault.
Meanwhile, Republic school superintendent Vern Minor should be fired immediately.
Thursday Reads: Allergies, French Attitude Adjustments, Neo-Nazi Homicide Update, and MorePosted: May 26, 2011 Filed under: Barack Obama, Foreign Affairs, Great Britain, morning reads, U.S. Politics, Violence against women, Women's Rights | Tags: allergies, Barack Obama, child abuse, Dominiqe Strauss-Kahn, France, gender differences, George Tron, global warming, Jeff Hall, juveniale crime, michelle obama, Neo-Nazis, Nicolas Sarkozy, pollen, Queen Elizabeth, rape, sexual harrassment, Shakespeare, tornadoes, weather 36 Comments
I’ve been saying for awhile now that my spring allergies this year are the worst I can remember. Apparently I haven’t been imagining things. From USA Today:
“Everyone always has a reason to think the current year is the worst year ever for allergies,” said Dr. David Rosenstreich, director of the allergy and immunology division at Montefiore Medical Center in New York City.
But this year those complaints really do have some merit, he added.
“It’s been a very unusual allergy season. I don’t know if it’s because of the very wet winter or that it’s been cold longer, but the pollen counts are much higher. This week, it’s been running about 6,000 grains a day, instead of the usual 1,500,” Rosenstreich said of his local area.
I knew it was really bad this year! The Chicago Tribune got the same story from different allergy experts.
“Allergy season came a bit sooner and faster, and that’s what took everyone by surprise,” said Dr. Sonali Majmudar, an allergist and immunologist based in Hoffman Estates, who said many of her patients report that they’ve never struggled with allergies before this season.
The choppy, indecisive early spring weather for which Chicago is known, with temperatures jumping between balmy and freezing every few days, might also be to blame, Majmudar said. When it warms up and cools down, pollination starts and stops and immune systems don’t know how to react, she said.
Also contributing: one of the rainiest Aprils on record. While that might be great for yard plants, it’s a big problem for people with allergies, said Dr. Joseph Leija.
That’s exactly how the weather has been here in the Boston area: cold one day, warm the next, then back to cold–and constant rain.
Leija, an allergist at Loyola University Health System’s Gottlieb Memorial Hospital in Melrose Park, also called this the most severe allergy season he has seen in years.
Tree allergy season, which usually begins to wane by early May, is still going strong this year, said Leija, who provides pollen counts for the Midwest to the National Allergy Bureau.
Well at least I know I’m not completely crazy (just partly). According this article in USA Today, allergies are “on the rise” and ragweed is mostly responsible. Want to know if your city is one of the worst for ragweed? Here’s a list of the top 30 cities.
2 Las Vegas
3 Kansas City
4 Riverside-San Bernardino
10 Washington, D.C. (tied)
10 Minneapolis/St. Paul (tied)
12 New York
16 St. Louis (tied)
16 Detroit (tied)
22 Los Angeles (tied)
22 San Antonio (tied)
26 San Diego
29 San Francisco
Weird. I always thought the southwest was good for allergy sufferers. And I can’t believe Indianapolis isn’t even on the list!
Researchers say the increase in allergies is related to climate change.
Apocalyptic images of global climate change include drought, rising sea levels, suffocating coral reefs and emaciated, drowning polar bears. But a new study points to some of the more immediate and mundane side effects of global warming: runny noses, itchy eyes and persistent coughs.
Researchers say allergies are on the rise, and it’s the result of warmer temperatures and happier allergens, like ragweed and mold.
It figures, doesn’t it? Another recent study found that men are more susceptible to allergies than women, which is the opposite of what many people have always assumed.
It appears that French women are becoming more cognizant of their rights to not be sexually harrassed. Now one of Sarkozy’s ministers has been accused of sexually harrassing and/or attacking two former employees.
French prosecutors have opened an inquiry into sexual harassment accusations leveled against a junior minister by two women, one of whom said the arrest of former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn on sex crime charges encouraged her to speak up.
The two women filed the complaints this week against George Tron, a minister in charge of the civil service in the center-right government of President Nicolas Sarkozy, according to their lawyer, Gilbert Collard.
Prosecutor Marie-Suzanne Le Queau told Reuters in response to a telephone query that a preliminary inquiry had been opened as a result of the accusations. “The inquiry will cover (suspected) counts of sexual assault and rape,” Le Queau said. All types of penetration can be classified as rape in France.
One of the women
said she was driven to break her silence after former IMF chief Strauss-Kahn was arrested and charged with attempted rape on the basis of the accusations of a New York hotel maid in a case that stunned France and the world.
“When I see that a little chambermaid is capable of taking on Dominique Strauss-Kahn, I tell myself I do not have the right to stay silent,”
I don’t care for the “little chambermaid” reference, but I applaud the general spirit of what this woman had to say.
The Washington Post reports that the French are “questioning attitudes” about the sexual behavior of powerful men
The criminal charges prompted the media to revisit little-reported incidents in which Strauss-Kahn was accused of sexual aggressiveness that appeared to cross the line into harassment. Women have come forward with their own stories of unwanted approaches that they felt powerless to do anything about….
Feminists say that, to succeed in France, women in politics, business and the media have to put up with “heavy flirting” bordering on harassment.
One political TV talk show panel titled “The Return of the Feminists” asked: “Are we all chambermaids?’”
Prominent journalist Helene Jouan said last week that as a young reporter she had to put up with politicians “knocking on my hotel-room door” and sending unwanted text messages. She said the behavior made her uncomfortable, but it was something that was not really talked about.
There is a similar article at Bloomberg.
The arrest in New York of former International Monetary Fund chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn on charges of attempted rape is forcing men to watch what they say and emboldening women to challenge the modern-day version of France’s “droit de cuissage,” a feudal practice giving masters the right to have sex with female servants. It’s prompting introspection in the media over whether its laissez-faire attitude toward private lives of those in power helps them act with impunity.
“Since power is often thought of as an aphrodisiac, there was a sort of acceptance of men’s excesses toward women,” said Rachel Mulot, a member of a feminist group called “La Barbe,” or The Beard, which on May 22 joined protests in Paris against the “dominant male.” The Strauss-Kahn case may serve as a trigger to help victims of sexual assaults to break the “taboo of rape” in France, she said.
I wanted to give you an update on the case of the 10-year-old boy who shot and killed his Neo-Nazi skinhead dad. I told you I thought it was highly likely that the father was abusing his kids. It turns out I was right. The guy was beating his wife too.
A 10-year-old boy charged with murdering his white supremacist father told investigators that he shot the man after growing tired of him hitting him and his stepmother, court documents showed on Wednesday.
In the hours after the shooting, the boy told investigators he thought Jeff Hall, 32, was cheating on his stepmother and that he might have to choose who to live with, according to a police declaration filed in Riverside County.
The blonde-haired boy from Southern California told investigators he went into his parents’ closet, pulled a revolver off a low shelf, went downstairs and aimed the gun at his father’s ear while he was asleep and shot him. He later hid the gun under his bed, according to court documents.
“It was right there on the shelf,” the boy told investigators, according to the police declaration filed Tuesday in support of an arrest warrant for his stepmother Krista McCary on nine felony charges of child endangerment and criminal storage of a gun.
Investigators also reported that the house was a pigsty and not a fit place to be raising five children, including a two-month old baby girl.
The tornado season is continuing in Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, and all over the midwest. Why are the tornadoes so bad this year? That’s the question this article in the Christian Science Monitor tries to answer.
Nearly 1,200 tornadoes have swarmed the United States this year, according to preliminary numbers from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Four of these storms have been rated at the highest tornado strength, an EF-5. The death toll from these tornadoes has likely topped 500, a number not seen since 1953.
But why has this year seen so many and such devastating twisters? Scientists point to several large-scale climate factors, some of which have been at work behind the scenes since winter. And at least some of the mind-boggling tornado numbers, believe it or not, can be chalked up to humans — there are more of us around to see them.
The article offers a number of explanations–too much information to excerpt, so read the whole thing if you’re interested.
I’m going to finish with a couple of Obama-family-related stories First, there’s a sex scandal roiling the private elementary school that Malia Obama attended.
The father of a 5-year-old Sidwell Friends School student has filed a $10 million suit against the school for allegedly allowing its staff psychologist to carry on an affair with his wife.
In court filings, Arthur Newmyer claims he and his daughter suffered “severe emotional distress” when then-school psychologist James Huntington carried on a lengthy affair with his wife, Tara Newmyer. Huntington was treating Newmyer’s daughter at the time, and the suit alleges that the girl was routinely present when he and Tara Newmyer would meet to spend time together.
Arthur Newmyer is accusing Sidwell of being aware of the affair and doing “nothing to stop it.”
Finally, as everyone who hasn’t been living under a rock knows, the Obamas are touring Europe right now. Afrocity posted this photo on Facebook. I think she probably did it to make fun of Michelle Obama, but I really loved it. I just can’t help but like Michelle. I even like her outfits. Go ahead and yell at me for it. I don’t mind. So here’s the photo
I just love that picture! That woman is a good sport and doesn’t take herself too seriously. I like that. If she were President instead of her husband, I think we’d probably be a lot better off, as you can see below: President Obama talks over “God Save the Queen” and quotes Shakespeare inappropriately. What an embarrassment!
So…. what are you reading and blogging about this morning?