Thanksgiving: Daily Bullshit, November 24-25, 2017

There is a new blog post, entitled, “Ummm, we need to talk. It’s about academic freedom.


Thanksgiving

My mother and I ate a vegan Thanksgiving meal on Tuesday and I went to Souley Vegan in Oakland on the day itself, but for at least some American Indians, it’s a “National Day of Mourning.”[1] I have previously commented on the holiday here, here, and here.

Savannah Maher, “For Many Native Americans, Fall Is The Least Wonderful Time Of The Year,” National Public Radio, November 23, 2017, https://www.npr.org/sections/codeswitch/2017/11/23/565437994/for-many-native-americans-fall-is-the-least-wonderful-time-of-the-year


James Comey

Even in defeat, Hillary Clinton remains a target for the right.[2] I realize it’s difficult to imagine an alternative outcome to last year’s election as anything but necessarily better than the train wreck that now occupies the White House, but try to imagine the scandals that would have ensued had she been elected. This is a woman who isn’t just dirty, who isn’t just an enabler for her husband’s sex crimes, but who wallows in the mud of neoconservatism and neoliberalism. And if the Democratic nominee last year indeed absolutely had to be a woman, it is surely an insult to the numerous other potential female candidates to posit that Clinton was the only possible choice. In truth, Clinton’s nomination was not about her being a woman but about her self-perception as entitled to the presidency and about her comfort with Wall Street. And it was never really about anything else.

Jonathan Easley, “Anger at Mueller burns hot on the right,” Hill, November 25, 2017, http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/361610-anger-at-mueller-burns-hot-on-the-right


  1. [1]Savannah Maher, “For Many Native Americans, Fall Is The Least Wonderful Time Of The Year,” National Public Radio, November 23, 2017, https://www.npr.org/sections/codeswitch/2017/11/23/565437994/for-many-native-americans-fall-is-the-least-wonderful-time-of-the-year
  2. [2]Jonathan Easley, “Anger at Mueller burns hot on the right,” Hill, November 25, 2017, http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/361610-anger-at-mueller-burns-hot-on-the-right

Robert Mugabe finally resigns: Daily Bullshit, November 20-22, 2017

Updates

  1. Originally published, November 21, 11:34 am.
  2. November 22, 11:11 am:

Zimbabwe

Gabriele Steinhauser and Bernard Mpofu, “Mugabe Resigns as Zimbabwe’s Leader After 37 Years, Parliament Speaker Says,” Wall Street Journal, November 21, 2017, https://www.wsj.com/articles/zimbabwe-launches-impeachment-process-against-mugabe-1511279070


Sexual harassment and assault

I’m trying to remember that because I opposed Hillary Clinton,[1] I’m the misogynist here. Last year, I quoted[2] Liza Featherstone:

Hillary Clinton’s mudslinging and slut-shaming campaigns against women who claimed to have had consensual sex with her husband are well documented. In his memoir, George Stephanopoulos, quotes Hillary Clinton as saying of one such woman [Connie Hamzy], “We have to destroy her story.” Hillary biographer Carl Bernstein describes Hillary directing an “aggressive, explicit” campaign to discredit Gennifer Flowers, an actress who said she had a long affair with Bill Clinton. She referred to Flowers as “trailer trash.” In a tough 2008 essay for Slate, Melinda Henneberger and Dahlia Lithwick wrote that Clinton “consistently relates to and protects and stands with the oppressors in the gender wars … she invariably sees [Bill] as the victim, preyed upon by a series of female aggressors.”[3]

And, as if “offenses ranging from groping to exposing his genitals to rape”[4] were ever okay, James Carville said, “There is no doubt the ground has shifted between that time and now. There’s no question this is a different environment, probably for the better.”[5]

But oh yes, I’m the misogynist.

Jewish Telegraphic Agency, “Sen. Al Franken accused of inappropriate behavior by a second woman,” November 20, 2017, https://www.jta.org/2017/11/20/news-opinion/politics/sen-al-franken-accused-of-inappropriate-behavior-by-a-second-woman


Open access journals

[W]e are getting fleeced. The major scientific publishers enjoy profit margins in excess of 30 percent. Such profits are stratospheric, well over the average for every business sector of the Fortune 500. Publishers are getting rich on the backs of underfunded academic libraries and the unpaid labor of academics who serve as editors, reviewers, and authors.[6]

Then there’s “open access,” meant to solve this problem. However, this “does not eradicate the paywall, but instead moves the cost burden in front of researchers themselves”[7]:

[O]pen access is clearly not freely open to the scholars who are required to pay exorbitant fees to publish their results, often out of their own pockets. Graduate students who wish to publish two open-access articles a year in the journals of their choice might need to use more than a quarter of their annual income to do so, if they don’t have large grants to cover the fees. One journal that is exclusively open access required graduate students to provide copies of personal bank statements in order to be considered for a fee reduction. That same journal also has denied fee reductions to students who don’t have external funding and who earn less than $20,000 a year.[8]

All this is one aspect of a malaise that prominently appears in the Chronicle of Higher Education and Inside Higher Ed. (Vitae is a project of the former.) It seems like everything is going wrong in academia, from the problem of adjuncts, to the neoliberal reduction of education to job training, to a renewed privileging of quantitative over qualitative inquiry, to arbitrarily delimited ‘disciplines,’ to violence stemming from national political polarization, to, here, publishing.

Andrew V. Suarez and Terry McGlynn, “The Fallacy of Open-Access Publication,” Vitae, November 17, 2017, https://chroniclevitae.com/news/1948-the-fallacy-of-open-access-publication


Unauthorized migration

We obviously do not know what Haitians will do as they lose temporary protected status.[9] I don’t see how one reaches a conclusion other than that the Trump administration is creating a new class of unauthorized migrants to scapegoat. And all I can say is that this antipathy toward the other is breathtaking and, to me, unfathomable.

Alicia A. Caldwell, “Judge Permanently Blocks Trump Order on Sanctuary Cities,” Wall Street Journal, November 20, 2017, https://www.wsj.com/articles/judge-permanently-blocks-trump-order-on-sanctuary-cities-1511234813

Alicia A. Caldwell and Arian Campo-Flores, “Trump Administration Ends Humanitarian Protections for Haitians,” Wall Street Journal, November 20, 2017, https://www.wsj.com/articles/trump-administration-ends-humanitarian-protections-for-haitians-1511229004


  1. [1]David Benfell, “Updated (again and again and again): Damnation by faint praise: Sanders claims to be more electable than Clinton,” Not Housebroken, March 6, 2016, https://disunitedstates.org/2016/03/06/damnation-by-faint-praise-sanders-claims-to-be-more-electable-than-clinton/
  2. [2]David Benfell, “Yes, Hillary Clinton must answer for Bill Clinton’s sexual assaults,” Not Housebroken, October 10, 2016, https://disunitedstates.org/2016/10/10/yes-hillary-clinton-must-answer-for-bill-clintons-sexual-assaults/
  3. [3]Liza Featherstone, “Hillary Clinton’s Faux Feminism,” Truthout, February 28, 2016, http://www.truth-out.org/opinion/item/35006-hillary-clinton-s-faux-feminism
  4. [4]Karen Tumulty and Katie Mettler, “Abuse allegations have revived scrutiny of Bill Clinton — and divided Democrats,” Washington Post, November 17, 2017, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/abuse-allegations-have-revived-scrutiny-of-bill-clinton–and-divided-democrats/2017/11/17/3d1711c8-cba4-11e7-b244-2d22ac912500_story.html
  5. [5]James Carville, quoted in Karen Tumulty and Katie Mettler, “Abuse allegations have revived scrutiny of Bill Clinton — and divided Democrats,” Washington Post, November 17, 2017, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/abuse-allegations-have-revived-scrutiny-of-bill-clinton–and-divided-democrats/2017/11/17/3d1711c8-cba4-11e7-b244-2d22ac912500_story.html
  6. [6]Andrew V. Suarez and Terry McGlynn, “The Fallacy of Open-Access Publication,” Vitae, November 17, 2017, https://chroniclevitae.com/news/1948-the-fallacy-of-open-access-publication
  7. [7]Andrew V. Suarez and Terry McGlynn, “The Fallacy of Open-Access Publication,” Vitae, November 17, 2017, https://chroniclevitae.com/news/1948-the-fallacy-of-open-access-publication
  8. [8]Andrew V. Suarez and Terry McGlynn, “The Fallacy of Open-Access Publication,” Vitae, November 17, 2017, https://chroniclevitae.com/news/1948-the-fallacy-of-open-access-publication
  9. [9]Alicia A. Caldwell and Arian Campo-Flores, “Trump Administration Ends Humanitarian Protections for Haitians,” Wall Street Journal, November 20, 2017, https://www.wsj.com/articles/trump-administration-ends-humanitarian-protections-for-haitians-1511229004

Apparently, there is such a thing as a ‘legal’ nuclear strike: Daily Bullshit, November 19, 2017

North Korea

On the possibility that Donald Trump might order an ‘illegal’ nuclear strike (currently thought most likely against North Korea), Air Force General John Hyten, commander of U.S. Strategic Command, explains that “We’re not stupid people. We think about these things a lot.” And the product of all this deep thinking? “You could go to jail for the rest of your life.”[1] (Apparently, he undergoes annual training in the “the law of armed conflict,” which exists to rationalize inherently criminal acts.) The CBS News story[2] is the original here.

Jacqueline Thomsen, “Top nuclear commander: I wouldn’t carry out an ‘illegal’ nuclear strike order from Trump,” Hill, November 18, 2017, http://thehill.com/policy/defense/361033-top-nuclear-commander-i-wouldnt-carry-out-an-illegal-nuclear-strike-order-from

Kathryn Watson, “Top general says he would resist “illegal” nuke order from Trump,” CBS News, November 18, 2017, https://www.cbsnews.com/amp/news/u-s-strategic-command-gen-john-hyten-resist-illegal-nuke-order-from-trump/


Zimbabwe

The Wall Street Journal seems unduly gleeful about Mugabe’s departure. This just looks like a handover of power between a tyrant and his enablers.

Gabriele Steinhauser and Bernard Mpofu, “Zimbabwe’s Mugabe Says Nothing of Resigning, Defying Expectations,” Wall Street Journal, November 19, 2017, https://www.wsj.com/articles/zimbabwes-ruling-party-holds-talks-on-mugabes-future-1511088476


Robert Mugabe is deposed: Daily Bullshit, November 16-18, 2017

I had fallen behind and have only finally now caught up. A bunch of what appears here probably should have been updated into the last issue. But, look! It’s three days later. Time flies even when you aren’t having fun.


Updates

  1. Originally published, November 16, 12:58 pm.
  2. Now, only now, finally, caught up. November 16, 10:35 pm.
  3. November 17, 5:07 pm (not caught up):
    • In a specifically pragmatic and admittedly partisan argument that appropriately acknowledges my critical concerns, Kate Harding argues for excusing Al Franken’s one (but not more than one) transgression until the next election (under some fairly stringent conditions which I think Franken should consider).[1] Rod Dreher criticizes her partisanship as tribalist.[2] Pragmatism has let me down far too many times for me to prefer it to idealism, Harding is fairly explicit in choosing a utilitarian over a deontological ethical approach, and I remain deeply skeptical of differences between the two major parties, but Dreher’s argument relies, first, on a dubious—I’m not calling it false—equivalence between the cases of Roy Moore, whose alleged conduct was serial and, pretty much everyone agrees, vastly more egregious, and Franken. Dreher is cautious in his deployment of this equivalence so I’m not inclined to throw his argument out on these particular grounds. But Dreher also relies on a dubious equivalence between the Democratic and Republican Parties on women’s issues, which, first, coming from a traditionalist conservative, smacks loudly of hypocrisy; and second, ignores just about everything about the parties’ stances (not to be confused with actual performance) on these issues. Despite these shortcomings, Dreher makes a point that excusing Franken even temporarily is on a slippery slope to excusing Moore. I’m not sure he’s wrong and I’m not sure I would recommend accepting the risk that he might be right. (Sex panic)
  4. November 18, 11:34 am: It’s a morning for ‘rhetorical’ questions that are really stupid questions that we don’t want to just come out and say ‘yes’ to. (I’m once again caught up.)
    • “The uncomfortable question is whether Democrats then were guilty of the sin they accuse Republicans of committing now by continuing to support President Trump and Alabama GOP Senate nominee Roy Moore, despite allegations of sexual offenses. Were they also putting partisanship and their desire to hold on to power above the principles they claim to hold dear?” Sorry, that’s not a question. We’re talking about the Clintons and mainstream Democrats who answer every progressive initiative with appeals to the “politically possible” while adhering zealously to neoconservative and neoliberal values. They are about absolutely nothing else besides power. If you need further evidence, consider that “when Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D) — Hillary Clinton’s successor as senator from New York, a staunch backer of her presidential campaign and a talked-about presidential possibility — told the New York Times that by today’s standards, the “appropriate response” for Bill Clinton would have been to resign the presidency when his affair with White House intern Monica Lewinsky was revealed in 1998,”[3] longtime Hillary Clinton aide Philippe Reines labeled Gillibrand a “hypocrite” for having taken “the Clintons’ endorsements, money, and seat,”[4] which is not only to substitute an ad hominem for a substantive response but to highlight, as if it were a good thing, the Clintons’ power. (Sex panic)
    • I wonder about situations like the one now in Zimbabwe where a political leader is through, everyone knows he’s through, but he (usually, but not always, a man) hangs on nonetheless.[5] Does the man really imagine he can somehow rescue himself? And if he’s simply holding out for a deal (which often seems to be the case), Robert Mugabe is 93 years old. What, really, would a ‘deal’ look like for such an old man?
    • Is Donald Trump a hypocrite?[6] Give me a fucking break. (Sex panic)

Zimbabwe

I would not get too excited about the Army assuming power. Yes, everyone agrees that Robert Mugabe is evil. But it was the Army that kept him in power, even if it looks like—after all these decades—petty politics did him in.

Christopher Woolf, “How Robert Mugabe became Zimbabwe’s leader and clung on till now,” Public Radio International, November 15, 2017, https://www.pri.org/stories/2017-11-15/how-robert-mugabe-became-zimbabwe-s-leader-and-clung-till-now

Jan Raath, Harry Davies, and Aislinn Laing, “Tsvangirai urges Mugabe to step aside and allow elections,” Times, November 16, 2017, https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/news/mugabe-crushed-by-his-own-strongman-v0pm3wk6m

Deutsche Welle, “Zimbabwe latest: Robert Mugabe’s party leads calls for resignation,” November 17, 2017, http://www.dw.com/en/zimbabwe-latest-robert-mugabes-party-leads-calls-for-resignation/a-41430225


Sex panic

I hate to call this a sex panic. As I’ve said previously, I think most of these allegations are probably true,[7] and I accept that unacceptable behavior is ubiquitous, but this is spreading like wildfire, too fast for credibility. On the other hand, if it takes out the entire political class, that wouldn’t be such an entirely bad thing.

Jordain Carney and Rebecca Savransky, “McConnell: Roy Moore should step aside,” Hill, November 13, 2017, http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/360102-mcconnell-roy-moore-should-step-aside

Nell Gluckman and Brock Read, “Sexual Harassment and Assault in Higher Ed: What’s Happened Since Weinstein,” Chronicle of Higher Education, November 13, 2017, http://www.chronicle.com/article/Sexual-HarassmentAssault/241757

Avery Anapol, “Franken releases new statement, calls for ethics investigation of himself,” Hill, November 16, 2017, http://thehill.com/homenews/senate/360697-franken-releases-new-statement-calls-for-ethics-investigation-of-himself

Athena Jones, “New George H.W. Bush accuser says he groped her during 1992 re-election campaign,” Cable News Network, November 16, 2017, http://www.cnn.com/2017/11/16/politics/george-h-w-bush-accuser-1992/index.html

Judy Kurtz, “Celebs call for Franken’s resignation,” Hill, November 16, 2017, http://thehill.com/blogs/in-the-know/in-the-know/360690-celebs-call-for-resignation-jail-time-for-franken

Amber Phillips, “The six likeliest ways this whole Roy Moore saga could end, ranked,” Washington Post, November 16, 2017, https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2017/11/16/the-five-likeliest-ways-this-whole-roy-moore-saga-could-end-ranked/

John Whitesides, “Two more women accuse Senate candidate Moore of sexual misconduct,” Reuters, November 16, 2017, https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-congress-moore/two-more-women-accuse-senate-candidate-moore-of-sexual-misconduct-idUSKBN1DG03R

Rod Dreher, “The One Free Grope Rule Returns,” American Conservative, November 17, 2017, http://www.theamericanconservative.com/dreher/gloria-steinem-kate-harding-one-free-grope/

Kate Harding, “I’m a feminist. I study rape culture. And I don’t want Al Franken to resign,” Washington Post, November 17, 2017, https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/posteverything/wp/2017/11/17/im-a-feminist-i-study-rape-culture-and-i-dont-want-al-franken-to-resign/

Karen Tumulty and Katie Mettler, “Abuse allegations have revived scrutiny of Bill Clinton — and divided Democrats,” Washington Post, November 17, 2017, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/abuse-allegations-have-revived-scrutiny-of-bill-clinton–and-divided-democrats/2017/11/17/3d1711c8-cba4-11e7-b244-2d22ac912500_story.html

David Remnick, “The Weinstein Moment and the Trump Presidency,” New Yorker, November 20, 2017, https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2017/11/20/the-weinstein-moment-and-the-trump-presidency


Hillary Clinton

Olivia Beavers and John Solomon, “Sessions weighs second special counsel to probe Clinton-related matters,” Hill, November 13, 2017, http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/360219-sessions-considering-appointing-second-special-counsel-to-probe


Obamacare

Alexander Bolton, Peter Sullivan, and Naomi Jagoda, “Senate GOP tax bill will include repeal of ObamaCare mandate,” Hill, November 14, 2017, http://thehill.com/homenews/senate/360327-thune-senate-tax-bill-will-include-repeal-of-obamacare-mandate


For-profit ‘schools’

Michael Vasquez, “Inside the Scramble to Save Ashford U.,” Chronicle of Higher Education, November 10, 2017, http://www.chronicle.com/article/Inside-the-Scramble-to-Save/241747


Muslim ban

Lawrence Hurley, “Appeals court lets Trump travel ban go partially into effect,” Reuters, November 13, 2017, https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-immigration-ruling/u-s-court-lets-trump-travel-ban-go-partially-into-effect-idUSKBN1DD272


Brexit

I think we’re in Theresa May’s ‘denial’ phase, where she does not see what everyone else sees, that she is through. In her defense, however, I suspect a few will note that she’s survived defeats before and, possibly, lasted longer than anyone could have been expected to under these circumstances.

Anushka Asthana, “Parliament to have ‘take-it-or-leave-it’ vote on final Brexit deal, Davis says,” Guardian, November 13, 2017, https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2017/nov/13/parliament-to-have-final-say-on-brexit-deal-david-davis-announces

Dan Roberts, Lisa O’Carroll, and Kate Connolly, “EU business leaders tell PM: agree Brexit deal or face collapse in confidence,” Guardian, November 13, 2017, https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2017/nov/13/eu-business-leaders-tell-pm-agree-brexit-deal-or-face-collapse-in-confidence


Palestine

Wait, you might protest, you didn’t even know there was a peace plan. You have no idea what the substance of this plan is. And, ummmm, you would be right.

Yes, just simply right. There is no plan and I’ve not heard of any new substantive proposals. It’s to be negotiated (by whom, precisely, under what conditions?). Israel will retain the right to veto it. But Mahmoud Abbas is to accept a Trump administration plan regardless. Even though such a plan seems highly likely to be biased in favor of Israel.[8]

So now, smart guy, you tell me: What concern for Palestinian justice are the Saudis exhibiting here? And what interests are the Saudis pursuing? Ick.

Richard Spencer and Anshel Pfeffer, “Saudi prince orders Palestinian president to accept Jared Kushner’s peace plan,” Times, November 14, 2017, https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/world/saudi-prince-orders-palestinian-president-to-accept-jared-kushners-peace-plan-xjdts8338


Uber

Jacky Wong, “SoftBank’s Uber Deal Shows Doubts About Ride-Hailing,” Wall Street Journal, November 13, 2017, https://www.wsj.com/articles/softbanks-uber-deal-shows-doubts-about-ride-hailing-1510570476


  1. [1]Kate Harding, “I’m a feminist. I study rape culture. And I don’t want Al Franken to resign,” Washington Post, November 17, 2017, https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/posteverything/wp/2017/11/17/im-a-feminist-i-study-rape-culture-and-i-dont-want-al-franken-to-resign/
  2. [2]Rod Dreher, “The One Free Grope Rule Returns,” American Conservative, November 17, 2017, http://www.theamericanconservative.com/dreher/gloria-steinem-kate-harding-one-free-grope/
  3. [3]Karen Tumulty and Katie Mettler, “Abuse allegations have revived scrutiny of Bill Clinton — and divided Democrats,” Washington Post, November 17, 2017, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/abuse-allegations-have-revived-scrutiny-of-bill-clinton–and-divided-democrats/2017/11/17/3d1711c8-cba4-11e7-b244-2d22ac912500_story.html
  4. [4]Philippe Reines, quoted in Karen Tumulty and Katie Mettler, “Abuse allegations have revived scrutiny of Bill Clinton — and divided Democrats,” Washington Post, November 17, 2017, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/abuse-allegations-have-revived-scrutiny-of-bill-clinton–and-divided-democrats/2017/11/17/3d1711c8-cba4-11e7-b244-2d22ac912500_story.html
  5. [5]Deutsche Welle, “Zimbabwe latest: Robert Mugabe’s party leads calls for resignation,” November 17, 2017, http://www.dw.com/en/zimbabwe-latest-robert-mugabes-party-leads-calls-for-resignation/a-41430225
  6. [6]Jonathan Easley, “Trump risks hypocrisy charges with Franken attack,” Hill, November 18, 2017, http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/360984-trump-risks-hypocrisy-charges-with-franken-attack
  7. [7]David Benfell, “Affirmative consent is still a better idea,” Not Housebroken, November 12, 2017, https://disunitedstates.org/2017/11/12/affirmative-consent-is-still-a-better-idea/
  8. [8]Richard Spencer and Anshel Pfeffer, “Saudi prince orders Palestinian president to accept Jared Kushner’s peace plan,” Times, November 14, 2017, https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/world/saudi-prince-orders-palestinian-president-to-accept-jared-kushners-peace-plan-xjdts8338

Affirmative consent is still a better idea: Daily Bullshit, November 12-13, 2017

Updates

  1. Originally published, November 12, 1:18 pm.
  2. November 13, 12:15 pm:
    • Add state legislatures and universities to the list of locales where powerful men abuse even powerful women.[1] That includes California.[2] (Sexual harassment and worse)
    • Fingers are pointing at Michael Gove and Boris Johnson, who, in a leaked letter to Theresa May, “complained of ‘insufficient energy’ on Brexit in some parts of the government and insisted any transition period must end in June 2021” as a critical Brexit bill is considered by Parliament and talks seem to be stumbling.[3]
    • In the Wall Street Journal (I’m highlighting that to acknowledge editorial bias), Cleta Mitchell and Hans von Spakovsky (who appear to be writing as guest columnists) suggest that the Clinton campaign may have violated campaign finance law in usurping the Democratic National Committee.[4] (Democrats)

Sexual harassment and worse

I comment on this in a new blog entry, “Affirmative consent is still a better idea.”

Alexei Koseff, “California Capitol averages three sexual harassment investigations per year,” Sacramento Bee, November 9, 2017, http://www.sacbee.com/news/politics-government/capitol-alert/article179394116.html

Stephanie McCrummen, Beth Reinhard, and Alice Crites, “Woman says Roy Moore initiated sexual encounter when she was 14, he was 32,” Washington Post,
November 9, 2017, https://www.washingtonpost.com/investigations/woman-says-roy-moore-initiated-sexual-encounter-when-she-was-14-he-was-32/2017/11/09/1f495878-c293-11e7-afe9-4f60b5a6c4a0_story.html

Stephanie Akin, “Congress Took Three Decades to Come This Far, Sexual Harassment Victim Says,” Congressional Quarterly Roll Call, November 11,
2017, https://www.rollcall.com/news/congress-took-three-decades-come-far-sexual-harassment-victim-says

Katherine Mangan, “2 Women Say Stanford Professors Raped Them Years Ago,” Chronicle of Higher Education, November 11, 2017, http://www.chronicle.com/article/2-Women-Say-Stanford/241749

Taryn Luna, “Senate leader Kevin de León announces new complaint policy, moves out of his house,” Sacramento Bee, November 12, 2017, http://www.sacbee.com/news/politics-government/capitol-alert/article184293838.html

Joanna Walters, “George Takei responds to accusation he sexually assaulted a young actor,” Guardian, November 12, 2017, https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/nov/11/george-takei-responds-to-accusation-he-sexually-assaulted-a-young-actor


Brexit

I’m wondering if it can be a real negotiation unless all parties are deeply concerned that they might fail to reach a deal. It seems we may have reached that point.[5] The question for me is whether we’re really past that point and all the shrieking is warranted.

Some contextual notes are important here. First, in Britain, newspapers are not expected to be and make no pretense of being impartial. The Times (which, along with the Wall Street Journal and the Daily Mail, is owned by Rupert Murdoch) is relatively conservative and would be expected to support Theresa May unless larger party interests are at stake. Similarly, though the Guardian tends to oppose neoconservative and neoliberal policy, it tends to align with the anti-Jeremy Corbyn Labour faction which makes similar arguments on electability to the mainstream (I’m liking Sarah Palin’s “lamestream” here) Democrats as they embrace neoconservative and neoliberal policy. So it is significant that the Times, which typically depicts Corbyn as a crank wearing a Maoist-style cap in its editorial cartoons, publishes an op-ed by Corbyn and it is unsurprising that the Guardian did not (I don’t know the backstory here or if Corbyn even approached the Guardian). And if Corbyn comes out of all this as prime minister, the Guardian will have a whole lot of egg on its face.

Reuters, “Forty Conservative MPs ready to oust May – Sunday Times,” November 11, 2017, http://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-britain-politics/forty-conservative-mps-ready-to-oust-may-sunday-times-idUKKBN1DB0UA

Jeremy Corbyn, “Halt the Brexit uncertainty, Mrs May, or go now and let Labour sort it out,” Times, November 12, 2017, https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/comment/halt-the-brexit-uncertainty-mrs-may-or-go-now-and-let-labour-sort-it-out-bk3qkjsc6

Toby Helm, “May faces defeat by MPs demanding meaningful vote on final Brexit deal,” Guardian, November 12, 2017, https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2017/nov/11/theresa-may-faces-defeat-mp-demanding-vote-on-brexit-deal

Caroline Wheeler and Bojan Pancevski, “Tory turmoil as 40 MPs say May must go,” Times, November 12, 2017, https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/news/tory-turmoil-as-40-mps-say-may-must-go-kkg3w6l89

Rajeev Syal and Jon Henley, “UK government tensions rise after leak of Johnson-Gove letter to May,” Guardian, November 13, 2017, https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2017/nov/12/uk-government-tensions-rise-after-leak-of-letter-to-prime-minister


Democrats

The purpose of joint fundraising committees is to allow more than one entity to collaborate in raising money and share in the costs. Each participant is subject to federal contribution limits. When the party itself is a participant, its committee (in this case the [Democratic National Committee]) normally handles accounting and financial controls. Not here. The Hillary Victory Fund was controlled by the Clinton campaign, with a campaign employee as treasurer and the fund’s bank account established at the Clinton campaign’s bank. According to Federal Election Commission reports, the Hillary Victory Fund has raised more than $526 million.

The DNC asserted its “neutrality” by also entering into a joint fundraising committee with the Sanders campaign. It raised a total of $1,000. And the Bernie Victory Committee treasurer was the DNC’s designee.[6]

Cleta Mitchell and Hans von Spakovsky, “Hillary Clinton, the DNC and the Law,” Wall Street Journal, November 12, 2017, https://www.wsj.com/articles/hillary-clinton-the-dnc-and-the-law-1510521378


Democrats may be setting themselves up for another electoral wipe-out: Daily Bullshit, November 11, 2017

Sexual assault

Associated Press, “Weinstein’s impact: List of men accused of sexual misconduct,” Times of Israel, November 11, 2017, https://www.timesofisrael.com/weinsteins-impact-list-of-men-accused-of-sexual-misconduct/


Democrats

David Von Drehle, “Democrats, cut the cheer,” Washington Post, November 10, 2017, https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/democrats-cut-the-cheer/2017/11/10/05c3ef24-c655-11e7-afe9-4f60b5a6c4a0_story.html

Los Angeles Times, “A year after the election and Trump’s opponents still haven’t figured out why they lost,” November 7, 2017, http://www.latimes.com/opinion/editorials/la-ed-election-anniversary-20171107-story.html


Hillary Clinton

Max Greenwood, “Judge dismisses lawsuits over Clinton emails,” Hill, November 10, 2017, http://thehill.com/homenews/news/359824-judge-dismisses-lawsuits-pushing-state-dept-to-continue-search-for-clinton


The Right scapegoats people of color and the poor. The Left scapegoats white men. Daily Bullshit, November 10, 2017

Democrats

I respond to Charles Blow’s column in a new blog entry, “Human lives and rights are only important when Charles Blow says they are.”

Charles M. Blow, “Resistance, for the Win!” New York Times, November 9 2017, https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/09/opinion/resistance-trump-virginia-republicans.html

Amie Parnes, “Despite wins, Dems face an identity crisis,”Hill, November 9, 2017, http://thehill.com/homenews/campaign/359527-despite-wins-dems-face-an-identity-crisis


Uber

Sam Schechner, “Uber Suffers Setback as U.K. Court Rules Its Drivers Should Have Workers’ Rights,” Wall Street Journal, November 10, 2017, https://www.wsj.com/articles/uber-loses-appeal-against-u-k-ruling-on-drivers-rights-1510313218


The frontier between ‘low-level lechery’ and predation: Daily Bullshit, November 4, 2017

Sexual harassment

Cathy Young poses a question that really has a couple of layers: First, and most obviously, she asks how we decide what level of misbehavior deserves what consequences. But also, she’s questioning what she calls a “moral panic” in which 1) any “flirting in the workplace IS HARASSMENT,”[1]but where, she writes, “[e]xcept in college, nearly every man I have ever dated was either a co-worker or, once I switched entirely to free-lancing, someone I met through work,” and 2) “current discourse on sexual harassment not only conflates predation with ‘low-level lechery’ but generally reduces women to sexual innocents who must be shielded not only from sexual advances but from bawdy jokes.”[2]

Cathy Young, “Is ‘Weinsteining’ getting out of hand?” Los Angeles Times, November 1, 2017, http://www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-oe-young-weinsteining-goes-too-far-20171101-story.html


  1. [1]Cine Sister [pseud.], quoted in Cathy Young, “Is ‘Weinsteining’ getting out of hand?” Los Angeles Times, November 1, 2017, http://www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-oe-young-weinsteining-goes-too-far-20171101-story.html
  2. [2]Cathy Young, “Is ‘Weinsteining’ getting out of hand?” Los Angeles Times, November 1, 2017, http://www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-oe-young-weinsteining-goes-too-far-20171101-story.html

Interim Democratic National Chair confirms 2016 primary contest was rigged: Daily Bullshit, November 3, 2017

Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton’s campaign had taken over the Democratic National Committee long before she won the nomination. And Bernie Sanders knew, but possibly only after Donna Brazile unraveled the mess.[1]

Donna Brazile, “Inside Hillary Clinton’s Secret Takeover of the DNC,” Politico, November 2, 2017, https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2017/11/02/clinton-brazile-hacks-2016-215774


  1. [1]Donna Brazile, “Inside Hillary Clinton’s Secret Takeover of the DNC,” Politico, November 2, 2017, https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2017/11/02/clinton-brazile-hacks-2016-215774

The not-so-few “bad apples” in sexual harassment: Daily Bullshit, November 2, 2017

Catalonia

Deutsche Welle, “Spain seeks arrest warrant for deposed Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont,” November 2, 2017, http://www.dw.com/en/spain-seeks-arrest-warrant-for-deposed-catalan-leader-carles-puigdemont/a-41202052


Sexual harassment

I believe Anita Hill, who accused then Supreme Court-nominee Clarence Thomas, but I think Jane Mayer would have done better to have more fully explored the numerous allegations that have been made recently in a much longer piece. As is, the article doesn’t quite live up to the headline.

Not all of these accusers are “powerful women” and we are, in fact, seeing accusations made against a great many men. It’s possible to speculate that they are overcoming what Hill points to because they have essentially piggybacked their accusations on top of those against Harvey Weinstein, Donald Trump, Uber, the military, universities, Bill Clinton, and the list, I’m sure, goes on. These women are catching a moment, a moment that I think Mayer mostly overlooks but maybe the headline writer didn’t, and a moment I think is very important, in which, if we as a society do the right thing (we probably won’t), we will reflect on how we treat women generally.

What’s emerging here is that we are not, any more than we are with cops shooting Blacks, dealing with a few bad apples. This is a cultural problem and not just because it so often turns a blind eye to these accusations but because women are continuously at risk of sexual harassment and worse from a great many men. I won’t say “all men,” but I will say that this risk is ubiquitous.

Jane Mayer, “Anita Hill on Weinstein, Trump, and a Watershed Moment for Sexual-Harassment Accusations,” New Yorker, November 1, 2017, https://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/anita-hill-on-weinstein-trump-and-a-watershed-moment-for-sexual-harassment-accusations