Stormy Monday Reads

Good Afternoon Sky Dancers!

It’s a beautiful day here in New Orleans but today in the news it’s all Stormy, all the time. I’m going to try to sort it out and ignore the sordid details which seem to include that he only got one Mercy Fuck out of her because he probably couldn’t even attract a cloud of hungry mosquitoes. Oh, and that the interview implied she had pix.

In this case, when the Wall Street Journal revealed the details of the contract on January 12, 2018, that information stopped being confidential.

So why not just say that? Why not cite the WSJ report, say the information is no longer confidential, and that’s that? Why seek a declaratory judgment voiding the agreement based on a flimsy theory that Avenatti must know is risky at best?

The answer may be in the agreement itself, because it has some unusual provisions in it.

First, it’s chiefly concerned with “certain still images and/or text messages.” Yes, later in the agreement, the “confidential information” at issue is expansively defined, to include absolutely anything, tangible or intangible, that Daniels might know about Trump, including, of course, whether she spanked him with a magazine or not.

But far more ink is spilled discussing what Daniels is supposed to do with those texts and images: give copies to Cohen and destroy the originals.

Now the strategy starts to make sense. This dispute isn’t about the affair: it’s about those pictures or texts. As viewers of Daniels’ 60 Minutes interview surely noticed, the only question Daniels refused to answer was about whether she’s got more evidence of the affair. Avenatti suggested the answer is yes: he tweeted a photo of a DVD inside a safe.

Stormy Weather (1943)
Directed by Andrew L. Stone
Shown from left: Cab Calloway, Lena Horne

Oh, wait, that’s kinda sorta salacious while the interview itself was kind of a yawner.  This link from The Cut via BB explains why that’s a good strategy.

In fact, Stormy was entirely credible in every way. Calm, clear-eyed, and direct, she telegraphed competence and clarity of purpose. She answered questions quickly and without hesitation, never averting her gaze, lowering her eyes, or even pausing. Her words were simple and devoid of rhetorical flourishes. When asked, for example, whether she understood the $130,000 she’d accepted was “hush money,” Daniels’s firm “yes” flew from her mouth nearly before Cooper could finish his question. She offered this kind of swift, emphatic, and monosyllabic response several times.

Everything about this interview screamed legitimacy. 60 Minutes is the 50-year-old doyenne of broadcast journalism, a network show watched by grandparents and Trump supporters (and apparently even Trump himself). This was Stormy’s chance to take her case to the widest American public, to clear her name and tell her truth, even at the risk of being penalized for breaching her non-disclosure agreement (and possibly even at risk to her personal safety).

This quest for legitimacy made for dull television. For primetime, Stormy toned down her makeup (false lashes but no visible shadow, pink not red lips), and buttoned up her shirt (although admittedly, the buttons were straining). But she also muted her personality, showing far less of the brash and witty side we’ve seen in other interviews and on her Twitter feed. The sharp-tongued woman with the off-color sense of humor all but disappeared last night. (It returned briefly when, proving she’d not sold her story, she quipped to Cooper, “I don’t have a million dollars. You didn’t even buy me breakfast.”).

And while she still owns her adult-film career proudly, Daniels showed a more vulnerable side when detailing how she’d felt obliged to have sex with Trump — unprotected! — even though she felt disinclined, simply because she’d gone alone to his hotel suite. Her explanation for this conjured a retrograde notion of women’s sexual obligations to men and even a whiff of self-abnegation: “I had it coming for making a bad decision … I just heard the voice in my head, ‘Well, you put yourself in a bad situation … so you deserve this.’”

Stormy’s story is one more narrative related to Trump and his continual philandering, cheating, and womanizing. Yet, his base of White Supremacist Christofascists stick with him.  Why?

Why are white Christians sticking so closely to President Trump, despite these claims of sexual indiscretions? And why are religious individuals and groups that previously decried sexual impropriety among political leaders suddenly willing to give Trump a “mulligan” on his infidelity?

Our new study points to a different answer than others have offered. Voters’ religious tenets aren’t what is behind Trump support; rather, it’s Christian nationalism — their view of the United States as a fundamentally Christian nation.

The system is clearly rigged in their favor.  As long as they hang out in backwater states, they get more representation than the rest of us.

Donald Trump lost the popular vote by nearly 3 million votes, yet he still got to be president. The 49 senators in the Democratic caucus represent nearly 40 million more people than the 51 senators in the Republican caucus.

And this last problem is likely to get much worse. According to Baruch College’s David Birdsell, by 2040 “about 70% of Americans are expected to live in the 15 largest states.” As a result, 70 percent of Americans “will have only 30 senators representing them, while the remaining 30% of Americans will have 70 senators representing them.”

Moreover, if the parties continue to sort into diverse, urban Democrats and homogeneous, more rural Republicans, the GOP won’t just gain a lock on the Senate. They could potentially ensure that no Democrat is ever confirmed to the federal bench again.

In 2016, when Senate Republicans successfully blocked Chief Judge Merrick Garland’s nomination to the Supreme Court, the 46 Democrats in the Senate represented 20 million more people than the 54 Republicans. In 2017, when Neil Gorsuch was confirmed to occupy this seat, the 45 senators who opposed his confirmation represented more than 25 million more people than the senators who supported him.

The United States, in other words, is barreling toward a future where a younger, multicultural, more urbanized majority is ruled by an aging, white, rural minority. That’s a recipe for civil unrest, or even a secession crisis.

Well, if you thought a Stormy day was great!  Just wait until you get a Summer one!!!

Yes.  Pretty Soon, it will be Summer time.

“Summer Zervos is one of many women who has been subjected to unwanted sexual touching by Donald J. Trump.”

So begins the defamation lawsuit filed by Zervos, a restaurant owner and former contestant on The Apprentice, who says Trump sexually assaulted her in 2007 and then called her a liar when she spoke out about it in 2016.

Zervos’s case centers on a disturbing account of sexual assault, an important distinction from two other high-profile legal cases involving women and Trump. Adult film actress Stormy Daniels and former Playboy model Karen McDougal (who is suing the company that publishes the National Enquirer) say they had consensual affairs with Trump.

Zervos scored a victory recently when a New York Supreme Court judge ruled that her suit could go forward, rejecting the Trump team’s argument that a sitting president can’t be sued in state court. “No one is above the law,” the judge responded. Trump’s lawyers have announced they will appeal the decision.

The potential implications of the Zervos case are huge. When Paula Jones sued Bill Clinton for sexual harassment 20 years ago, the Supreme Court set the precedent that a sitting president can’t push off a federal case until after he leaves office. Clinton’s perjury in a deposition in that case ultimately led to his impeachment.



I’ve had a long few days so I’m calling it a short post. Let us know what’s on your reading and blogging list today! Enjoy two brilliant singers and genius music!!!