Monthly Archives: November 2011

To protect and to serve — the 1 percent

Seattle activist Dorli Rainey, 84, reacts after being hit with pepper spray during an Occupy Seattle protest on Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2011 at Westlake Park in Seattle. Protesters gathered in the intersect

Associated Press photo

Treasonous taxpayer-funded thugs in Seattle — a.k.a. the cops — recently pepper-sprayed this tiny 84-year-old woman in the face.* Cops don’t deserve non-violence from the people they are paid to protect and to serve but instead brutalize. They deserve to be brutalized right back. It’s called karma.

If it wasn’t clear by now, it sure the hell is now: Law enforcement in the United States of America has been corrupted to serve the interests of the rich and the super-rich, and no longer serves the interests of the vast majority of the rest of us (the 99 percent, you might say).

Law enforcement has been bastardized from protecting and serving us, the people, to protecting and serving the 1 percent, to serving as the private security thugs for the rich and the super-rich. And to rub the fascistic salt in our wounds, we, the taxpayers (and the rich and the super-rich are tax evaders), pay for these thugs to oppress us for the rich and the super-rich.

(Similarly, trillions of our tax dollars go to their bogus wars for their war profiteering and their corporateering. The U.S. military also has been corrupted — it stopped being about national defense and started being about corporate expansion and bloated-beyond-belief, unnecessary military spending in the noble names of “national security” and “spreading democracy” and the like decades ago [and especially in the Middle East for at least the past decade].)

This is the deal: If you are part of the 1 percent, you most likely are a traitor to your fellow Americans, the 99 percent of the rest of us. You don’t become filthy rich because of hard work. You become filthy rich only by paying your workers much less than the value of their work — you get filthy rich off of others’ hard work — and by charging your customers much more than the value of the product or service that you provide (which, under capitalism, is just legalized thievery).

When you harm your fellow citizens in order to try to satiate your own insatiable fucking greed — such as by launching illegal, immoral, unjust and unprovoked wars on other nations for your war-profiteering and corporateering cronies based upon your bold-faced lies (that you later blame on “faulty intelligence”), or by being a Wall Street weasel knowingly bilking others out of their money for your own lust for obscene amounts of money, or by knowingly polluting the environment and contributing to global warming and medical conditions such as cancer — then you are a traitor.

There is nothing American about knowingly seriously harming other Americans for your own fucking selfish gain. If you commit treason, then you deserve to hang.

And if you support the 1 percent in their treason, such as being one of their thugs in law enforcement or in the U.S. military who fights their unjust battles against the people for their profits (including their war profiteering), then you are a traitor also.

Cops who brutalize people who peaceably are expressing their First Amendment rights deserve to be brutalized right back. There is no other way that bad, self-serving cops will learn that we, the people, vastly outnumber them and that they are accountable to us, and they don’t deserve that we, the victims of their treasonous violence, should turn the other cheek like a bunch of pussies.

Non-violence is bullshit. The 1 percent use violence against the 99 percent of us (at home and abroad) all the fucking time — only because the 1 percent are too pussified and too weak and too few to fight their own battles, they must recruit dipshits into the U.S. military and into law enforcement and brainwash these dipshits into believing that they really are doing anything more noble than serving the interests of the 1 percent.

The worst nightmare of the 1 percent that a good chunk of the 99 percent of us wake up and stop taking it.

You hear the traitors within the treasonous Repugnican Tea Party “leadership” in Washington talking about the specter of Americans turning against Americans — precisely because this is what they most fear: that we Americans whom they turned against long ago at long last will turn the table on their sorry, treasonous asses.

Class warfare? Real Americans (the vast majority of us) against “Americans” (the 1 percent and those who aid and abet their treason)? I say: Bring! It! On!

We’re long overdue for another civil war.

It probably is the only thing that will save what’s left of this nation.

*Reports The Associated Press:

Seattle — A downtown march and rally in support of the Occupy Wall Street movement turned briefly chaotic as police scattered a crowd of rowdy protesters — including a pregnant 19-year-old and an 84-year-old activist — with blasts of pepper spray.

Protest organizers denounced the use of force, saying that police indiscriminately sprayed the chemical irritant at peaceful protesters.

The Occupy Seattle movement released a written statement late Tuesday expressing support for “a 4-foot 10-inch, 84-year-old woman, a priest and a pregnant woman who as of this writing is still in the hospital.”

Dorli Rainey is an activist who has supported liberal causes in the Seattle area for decades. A photo showing Rainey being cared for by fellow activists in the immediate aftermath of the police incident appeared on news websites around the world.

Seattle police spokesman Jeff Kappel said he didn’t have specifics on the Rainey incident, but he said pepper spray is “is not age specific. No more dangerous to someone who is 10 or someone who is 80.”

He added, that if it were harmful, “we probably wouldn’t be using pepper spray if that was the case.” …

Pepper spray is no big deal? Then surely our treasonous cops won’t mind when we pepper-spray their treasonous asses right back!

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Herman Cain, the new Moses

Updated below (on Sunday, November 20, 2011)

The scandal engulfing US Republican presidential hopeful Herman Cain deepened Thursday

AFP photo

Shhhhh! God is telling him what to do next!

God wanted Herman Cain to run for president, according to Herman Cain, according to The Associated Press, which recently reported:

Atlanta — Republican Herman Cain said God convinced him to enter the race for president, comparing himself to Moses: “‘You’ve got the
wrong man, Lord. Are you sure?'”

The Georgia business executive played up his faith Saturday after battling sexual harassment allegations for two weeks, trying to shift the conversation to religion, an issue vital to conservative Republicans, especially in the South.

In a speech Saturday to a national meeting of young Republicans, Cain said the Lord persuaded him after much prayer.

“That’s when I prayed and prayed and prayed. I’m a man of faith — I had to do a lot of praying for this one, more praying than I’ve ever done before in my life,” Cain said. “And when I finally realized that it was God saying that this is what I needed to do, I was like Moses. ‘You’ve got the wrong man, Lord. Are you sure?'”

Once he made the decision, Cain said, he did not look back. …

Because he would have turned into a pillar of salt, right?

Anyway, this reminds me of an editorial cartoon that I saw recently that tackles the question of what we’re supposed to do when God has two candidates in the same race. I mean, didn’t God tell Michele Bachmann that he want her to be president? According to the AP, Rick Perry’s wife Anita indicated that God gave her the message that her husband should run for president, so that’s at least two horses that Jehovah has in the race, from what I can tell.

If memory serves, the same ‘toon also points out that when the rest of us claim that God talks to us, we are deemed insane, but it’s OK for right-wing Repugnican Tea Party candidates to make such claims.

Not only does Herman Cain have God on his side, but he has his wife on his side. The Associated Press also reports recently:

Washington — Herman Cain’s wife says the claims of sexual harassment against the GOP presidential candidate don’t ring true because he “totally respects women.”

Gloria Cain told Fox News’ Greta Van Susteren: “I’m thinking he would have to have a split personality to do the things that were said [he did].” [Um, yeah, that might be it, actually…]

In an interview to be aired Monday during the show “On the Record,” Gloria Cain said she can’t believe the claims he harassed women when he led the National Restaurant Association in the 1990s.

“You hear the graphic allegations and we know that would have been something that’s totally disrespectful of her as a woman,” she said. “And I know the type of person he is. He totally respects women.” …

Four women have now accused Herman Cain of sexually harassing them when he led the National Restaurant Association. He has denied wrongdoing and has been trying to move forward in his presidential campaign. …

As Jon Stewart recently pointed out, a man who sexually harasses women at work usually doesn’t share this fact with his wife.

And it’s not like Gloria Cain would have any reason to lie to us, would she? Such as the chance at becoming First Lady?

And, in general, when do you get to use your spouse or other close relative as a character reference?

Oh, and Cain recently blamed Barack Obama for having ended NASA’s space shuttle program, even though it was George W. Bush who in 2004 decided to end the program. Like we can afford NASA anyway. (Let them eat space shuttle wreckage!)

Rachel Maddow’s theory that the Cain campaign is one big practical joke (maybe Ashton Kutcher secretly is Cain’s campaign manager) seems likelier and likelier with each passing news day.

P.S. I have to share this item, which I saw on Joe. My. God.:

Update (Sunday, November 20, 2011): Here is the editorial cartoon that I mentioned above:

Ted Rall

Check out more of Ted Rall’s stuff at rall.com.

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Clint Eastwood’s ‘J. Edgar’ is not your father’s gangster movie

Film review

Leonardo DiCaprio and Armie Hammer J. Edgar

Clyde Tolson (played by the Adonis Armie Hammer) and J. Edgar Hoover (played by Leonardo DiCaprio) have a lovers’ quarrel in Clint Eastwood’s “J. Edgar.”

Woe to the heterosexists who don’t bother to research the movies that they see who stumble into Clint Eastwood’s “J. Edgar” thinking that they’re going to see an action-packed gangsta movie (he-man Clint Eastwood is directing, after all) but who instead get “Brokeback Mountain” meets “Bonnie and Clyde” — in which “Bonnie” is the late long-time FBI director J. Edgar Hoover.

As others have noted, “J. Edgar” isn’t going to wholly please either side. The heterosexists don’t want the slightest flowery whiff of male homosexuality contaminating their gangster movies, as evidenced by the male homophobe behind me in the audience who twice uttered “faggot!” (and who once uttered “AIDS!”) during the movie and the female homophobe behind me who vocalized her disapproval during the scene in which a distraught J. Edgar Hoover dons his recently deceased mother’s dress.

And gay men like me are going to feel, as I do, that screenwriter Dustin Lance Black (who won an Oscar for his screenplay of “Milk”) and/or director Eastwood wussed out by having portrayed the very apparent real-life same-sex relationship between Hoover and his long-time “assistant” Clyde Tolson as essentially sexless.

No, I didn’t need a steamy sex scene, although I can’t say that I would have minded one; Armie Hammer, who plays Clyde Tolson in “J. Edgar” (and who played the “Winklevi” twins in “The Social Network”) is achingly beautiful, and much more handsome than was the real-life Tolson, just as the real-life J. Edgar never looked anything like Leonardo DiCaprio, even with all of that makeup piled atop his baby face.

But are we really to believe that although the real-life Hoover and Tolson were inseparable and never heterosexually married — and that although Tolson inherited Hoover’s estate after Hoover’s death and later was buried near Hoover — that the two of them never did more than hold hands and share just one (bloody, very conflicted) kiss?

“J. Edgar” apparently would have us believe so, and while many movies about gay characters have a closeted feel to them, this closeted feel can be artful if it is intentional and thus helps us to understand the characters and their sufferings better, but if this closeted feel is a result of the filmmakers’ own cowardice and/or discomfort with the material, then it diminishes the film, and this appears to be the case with “J. Edgar.”

“J. Edgar,” as others have noted, also tries to do too much. Hoover’s time as head of the FBI, which spanned from 1935 to 1972, can’t be captured in one film. Not that it has to be; “J. Edgar” is a fictionalized film, after all, not a documentary, but because “J. Edgar” portrays so many of the historical events during Hoover’s decades-long tenure at the FBI, it has lent itself to be criticized for what it leaves out — such as the “Lavender Scare” of the 1950s, which surely was relevant to the real-life Hoover and Tolson.

And because “J. Edgar” tries to capture so many historical events, the examination of Hoover’s psyche gets short shrift.

Judi Dench is good as Hoover’s mother, even if she is portrayed as a textbook case of the overbearing mother who lives through her son so that of course he turns out gay.

Perhaps the most memorable scene in the film is the one in which Hoover’s homophobic mother tells him the story of another young man who turned out to be gay and who killed himself, which was a good thing, in her eyes. Many of us gay men (my husband included) have been told by a homophobic parent that he or she could never accept a gay son, as Hoover is told by his mother in “J. Edgar,” so I expect that scene to resonate with millions of gay men.

Still, “J. Edgar” doesn’t go far enough with the examination of J. Edgar Hoover’s homosexuality. My guess is that that is a result of the combination of Dustin Lance Black’s upbringing as a Mormon, which, I surmise, keeps him on the “safe,” conservative side, and of the generation of Clint Eastwood (he’s 81 years old), who, while he reportedly is pro-gay, on other issues leans to the right (he reportedly can recall having voted for a Democrat only once, and that was former California Gov. Gray Davis in 1998), and who might be one of those individuals who is much more intellectually accepting of homosexuality (that is, in theory) than he is viscerally accepting of it (that is, in practice) — you know, the kind of person who says that he’s OK with gays as long as he doesn’t ever actually have to see two men kissing. (Thus, we could see Tolson and Hoover kiss in “J. Edgar” only if violence was involved. [The scene, by the way, is fairly reminiscent of a similar scene in “Brokeback Mountain” in which our two conflicted lovebirds who live in a homophobic place and time pummel each other.])

“J. Edgar” probably should have picked one path and stuck with it: the documentarian path or the psychoanalytical path. Hoover’s professional life alone was interesting enough to carry a film. It was because of Hoover’s gross abuse of power, including his notoriously illegal monitoring of prominent individuals, that directors of the FBI need the Senate’s approval to serve more than 10 years, indicates Wikipedia.

But also interesting are the psychological dynamics in which those who have something to hide — such as homosexuality in a society in which homosexuality is stigmatized — react to their inner conflict and their self-loathing by becoming anal retentive and relentless moralists who viciously attack others in order to ease their own self-hatred. We saw this not only in J. Edgar Hoover, but in Roy Cohn, the gay assistant to Sen. Joseph McCarthy, who isn’t portrayed in “J. Edgar.” (I’ve wondered about the sexual orientation of McCarthy, too, since he was an alcoholic who viciously attacked others and since he picked Cohn to be his assistant, but that’s purely conjecture on my part.)

If I had made “J. Edgar” and were focusing on Hoover’s personal life, I’d have left out all of the Lindbergh baby stuff and focused more on the relationship between Hoover and Tolson, and I especially would have focused on the “Lavender Scare,” which bizarrely gets no real mention in “J. Edgar.”

And I would have left out the scene in which Hoover tries on his dead mother’s dress. The account that the real-life Hoover was seen in a dress is dubious, and in any event, it wasn’t as it is portrayed in “J. Edgar,” and we gay men have enough problems as it is for Black and Eastwood to give homophobes the idea that all gay men like to wear women’s clothing (not that there is anything wrong with that; it’s just that it’s a tiresome stereotype, and Black’s screenplay shows keen gay sensibility except for this fairly unfortunate scene).

Still, despite its flaws — which include the fact that it tries to do too much and that Armie Hammer’s old-man makeup is bad (maybe there’s just no way to make such an Adonis look unattractive) — and despite the fact that it doesn’t belong in the pantheon that includes “Brokeback Mountain” and “Milk,” “J. Edgar” is worth seeing.

My grade: B

Update:I don’t think that I’ve been unfair here to Dustin Lance Black. In a recent interview with the Advocate, he remarked, “I grew up in a military family, which was also Mormon and conservative, so he [J. Edgar Hoover] was seen as a bit of a hero.” Again, Black’s conservative upbringing seems to have greatly colored his portrayal of Hoover in his screenplay. And of the historical Hoover and Clyde Tolson’s relationship, Black stated:

I don’t know how much sex they were having. I couldn’t anchor that in anything provable. I also didn’t need it for what I was trying to say. They may or may not have [had a sexual relationship], but frankly, I wouldn’t want to see it. What’s important to me is they were not straight. They were two gay guys, in my opinion.

What is it with this phenomenon of de-sexing gay men, of stripping them of human sexuality? We don’t do that to heterosexual people! I can’t say that I would have wanted to watch the historical J. Edgar Hoover (who, again, was not an attractive man) getting it on with anyone, either, but was the only alternative to making “J. Edgar: The Gay Porn” making a film that portrays him as a celibate, frustrated closet case?

True, we cannot “anchor” the assertion that Tolson and Hoover had a sexual relationship “in anything provable” — we have only the very strong circumstantial evidence that they had a decades-long sexual relationship — yet the scene in which Hoover puts on his deceased mother’s dress very apparently was fabricated from whole cloth. Why was that liberty OK, but we couldn’t take the liberty of having the two of them ever do anything more than occasionally hold hands and share only one frustrated kiss? 

Critic Roger Ebert also apparently has jumped on the no-sex-for-gay-men bandwagon, proclaiming in his review of the film:

Eastwood’s film is firm in its refusal to cheapen and tarnish by inventing salacious scenes. I don’t get the impression from “J. Edgar” that Eastwood particularly respected Hoover, but I do believe he respected his unyielding public facade.

So to have made the two men sexually active human beings, I suppose, would have been “cheapening,” “tarnishing” and “salacious.” Since they were gay, much better to make them celibate! And apparently “[respecting Hoover’s] unyielding public facade” means going along with Hoover’s having been in the closet, because to do otherwise would have been “disrespectful.” (Fuck the truth!)

Ebert also notes in his review:

In my reading of the film, they were both repressed homosexuals, Hoover more than Tolson, but after love at first sight and a short but heady early courtship, they veered away from sex and began their lives as Longtime Companions. The rewards for arguably not being gay were too tempting for both men, who were wined and dined by Hollywood, Broadway, Washington and Wall Street. It was Hoover’s militant anti-gay position that served as their beard.

That reading of the film is correct, because indeed “J. Edgar” intended to keep the two lovers celibate, since gay sex is so dirty, you know, and while we can posit that Hoover was gay, we just can’t go so far as to assert that he ever actually had gay sex (ick!).

Again, the real film in the story of Hoover and Tolson’s relationship is the one indicated by Ebert’s assertion that “It was Hoover’s militant anti-gay position that served as their beard,” and I still find it rather stunning that the film glosses over the Lavender Scare of the 1950s. Joseph McCarthy and Roy Cohn should be in any film about the very-most-likely-gay relationship between Hoover and Tolson, it seems to me.

And speaking of McCarthy, I’m not the only one who has wondered about his sexual orientation. David K. Johnson, author of The Lavender Scare (The University of Chicago Press, 2004), notes (on page 3) that although McCarthy in early 1950 first raised the specter of Communists and gay men having “infiltrated” the U.S. government, McCarthy went on to pursue only the Communist angle, having “mysteriously recused himself” from the witch hunt against gay men. Johnson goes on:

A knowledgeable observer at the time suggested that [McCarthy] did not pursue the “homosexual angle” more aggressively because he was afraid of a boomerang. As an unmarried, middle-aged man, he was subject to gossip and rumor about his own sexuality.

I find the parallels between Hoover and Tolson and McCarthy and Cohn to be striking. Maybe Dustin Lance Black can redeem himself somewhat for his wussy “J. Edgar” screenplay and pen a movie with balls about Joseph McCarthy and his relationship with Roy Cohn, the latter of whom we know for sure was gay. I’ll even give Dustin a highly creative working title: “McCarthy.”

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Time to take out Mitt

Republican presidential candidate former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney speaks during a Republican Presidential Debate at Oakland University in Auburn Hills, Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2011.  (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

Associated Press photo

This man must never get his mitts on the White House.

Admission: I don’t watch the Repugnican Tea Party presidential debates. I tried to watch one of the early ones. Once. I could stomach only about 15 minutes of the bullshit (I can stand to hear the word “tax” only so many times). Plus, I’m not a Repugnican Tea Party dipshit. Better to be dead than to be a “tea party” dipshit.

So now, I just read about the bullshit that comes out of the debates and watch the clips of the lowlights.

Unsurprisingly, Rick Perry still performs like Porky Pig. He’s dead. He just doesn’t know it yet, apparently. He couldn’t remember the three pro-people federal government departments that as president he would eliminate. Wow. If eliminating these three departments truly were so fucking essential, couldn’t he remember all three of them?

But in recent polls of Repugnican Tea Party dipshits’ presidential favorite, Perry has been coming in behind even Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul, even before his Looney Tunes performance of last night. Perry is dead and Herman Cain is terminally ill.

Perry is dead and Herman Cain is terminally ill.

It’s not surprising that the wingnutty members of the debate audience in Michigan last night apparently love the sexual harassment of women or deny that it’s even possible for a “successful” businessman to sexually harass a woman. (Or, of course, the woman had it coming, because she is a slut, and/or she is just a gold digger. That, in a nutshell, is the wingnut narrative on sexual harassment.) In any event, these are patriarchs and pro-patriarchs who hate women.

As is Herman Cain, who during the debate jaw-droppingly referred to U.S. Rep. Nancy Pelosi as “Princess Nancy.” Because any woman who rises to the level of political power that Nancy Pelosi did — the nation’s first female speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives — must be denigrated. (Speaking of royalty, George W. Bush wasn’t even elected, but was coronated by the U.S. Supreme Court. Surely he was King George.)

The money shot of last night’s debate, in my book, was not Rick Perry’s Porky Pig impression, of which we’d already seen many. The money shot of the debate actually was Herman Cain’s assertion, “The American people deserve better than someone being tried in the court of public opinion based on unfounded accusations.”

If you’re someone who’s asleep and doesn’t really pay attention to the meaning of words, this type of bold-faced propaganda might actually work on you.

The fact of the matter is that every candidate for political office is “tried in the court of public opinion.” Candidates are elected to office based upon the voters’ opinions of the candidates. There is no way around this. Voters’ opinions might be wrong. A good candidate could be mistaken for a poor candidate and vice-versa. Easily.

But by framing it as though it were a criminal trial — and not a campaign for U.S. president — Cain was, as usual, playing the victim, and the misogynist members of the debate audience were aiding and abetting him.

Cain’s no fucking victim. If one or two women had accused him of sexual harassment, maybe. But four? Why would two female employees have been given settlements by the National Restaurant Association if they were 100 percent wrong? And the two women thus far who have gone public to report their sexual harassment at the hands of Cain could be sued for defamation if they were lying. So, if they are lying, as Cain alleges, then what he needs to do is to sue them for defamation. Of course that’s something that he will not do, because he doesn’t want the truth to come out in a court of law. He’s just going to continue to call the women liars and hope that that is enough. (For his misogynist supporters, it is; for those of us who will decide who will win the 2012 presidential election, it is not. Not by a long shot.)

So again, Rick Perry we could write off before last night’s debate, and Cain is dead too, whether he and his misogynist, wingnutty supporters wish to face that fact. Cain perhaps could win office in a red state where women are despised (including by patriarchy-loving, misogynist women, of which there unfortunately are many), but there’s no way in hell that he’ll ever make it to the White House.

Perry’s implosion has boosted Gingrich and Paul in the polls, but they both remain fringe candidates who have no shot at the 2012 Repugnican Tea Party presidential nomination.

Unless he dies or goes comatose, the 2012 Repugnican Tea Party presidential nomination will go to Mitt Romney.

So, as much fun as it has been to jump up and down on the political corpses of Cain and Perry, they are, after all, just corpses. Zombie Romney is still standing, and so now it’s time to focus on taking out him.

I, for one, would never vote for a Mormon. Especially not after the Mormon cult’s support of 2008’s Proposition Hate here in California. The documentary “8: The Mormon Proposition” gives a nice look behind the curtains in Salt Lake City. I don’t want the cabal of stupid old white men who control the Mormon cult influencing the nation through their plant in the White House.

It was an exaggeration to believe that the pope would call the shots were Catholic John F. Kennedy to be elected to the White House. The Catholic cult, after all, is worldwide and is based in Italy. The Mormon cult, however, is much smaller than is the Catholic cult and was made and is headquartered in the U.S.A. It’s much more likely that the Salt Lake City-based Mormon cult would attempt to influence U.S. policy with one of their own in the White House than it ever was that the pope would make JFK his puppet.

If you don’t have a problem with a Mormon president, that’s because (1) you are a Mormon yourself or (2) you know very little about the Mormon cult. Prop Hate entirely aside, I lived among Mormons in Arizona. I know way too much about them. I’d just as soon have the patriarchal, misogynist, homophobic, theocratic Taliban in control of the White House than the patriarchal, misognyist, homophobic, theocratic Mormon cult. (Sure, the Taliban might kill you with bombs, but the Mormons kill you with their faux kindness.)

Don’t get me wrong; because I detest the Repugnican Tea Partiers does not mean that I am big on President Hopey-Changey. I haven’t given him a fucking red cent toward his re-election and I intend not to. The only way that I would cast another vote for him in November 2012 would be if it looked like his Repugnican Tea Party opponent (Romney, very most likley) might actually win California’s electoral votes in our winner-takes-all system, but in a state as blue as California, that’s highly unlikely.

Even worse than another four years of hopelessness and statis under President Hopey-Changey, admittedly, would be another Repugnican in the White House. While I can’t sing President Hopey-Changey’s praises — which is entirely his fault, not mine — I can continue to point out, and I will, how disastrous another Repugnican in the White House would be.

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Voters soundly reject the wingnut agenda

“Elections May Signal a Pause in Conservative Trend,” the Los Angeles Times reports of yesterday’s elections throughout the nation in an odd-numbered election year.

“May Signal a Pause”?

No, I think it’s fair to conclude that the political pendulum already has swung back to the left.

(Admittedly, though, we’re such a flip-flopping nation — thanks mostly to the “independent”/“swing” voters — that although Barack Obama’s re-election chances lately have been looking better and better, it’s not inconceivable that Mitt Romney just might be the next Flip-Flopper in Chief.)

In 2008, a left-wing wave enabled “Hopey-Changey” Obama to win “swing” states that Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry couldn’t win in 2004. The 2010 mid-term elections, by contrast, brought us Repugnican John “Cry Me a River” Boehner as the new speaker of the U.S. House and governorships that flipped from Democrats to Repugnicans, such as with Wisconsin’s Scott “Dead Man” Walker and Ohio’s union-buster in chief, John Kasich. An emboldened Repugnican Tea Party in 2010 also enacted unconstitutional and un-American legislation against those who commit the heinous crime of breathing while brown-skinned (a.k.a. “illegals”).

Yesterday, Ohio voters shot down Kasich’s union-busting legislation that was even more draconian than was Walker & Co.’s. (Walker & Co. at least had had the sense to exempt cops and firefighters, because the [mostly-white-]male-dominated professions are far more important than are the female-dominated professions, such as teaching and nursing, you see.)

Mississippi voters yesterday voted down a draconian anti-abortion measure (again: Mississippi); Mainers repealed a Repugnican Tea Party state law that would have ended the state’s long-standing same-day voter registration (and which was part of the Repugnican Tea Party’s nationwide campaign to suppress Democratic-leaning voters); and in what to me might be the greatest victory yesterday for the left, the architect of Arizona’s illegal (unconstitutional) and immoral anti-immigration legislation, Repugnican Tea Party state Sen. Russell Pearce, a stupid white man who until now has been the president of the state’s Senate, was recalled and replaced with a moderate Repugnican. The L.A. Times notes that it was Arizona’s “first recall election of a sitting lawmaker.”

(Disclosure: I donated money toward Pearce’s removal from office, even though I live in California. [Unfortunately, I was born and raised in Arizona.] And I did so gladly. [I also, late in the game, gave a donation to the campaign to overturn the Repugnican Tea Party’s labor-busting legislation in Ohio.])

So: Even in a state that is as red as is Arizona, there was a consequence at the ballot box for the race-based hate campaign that Pearce and his ilk started, the campaign that literally cost the state dearly (because of the bad name that the Repugnican Tea Party racists gave the state throughout the world, making Arizona seen, correctly, as the South Africa of the U.S. Southwest — and the resultant boycotts of the state). Pearce’s head on a pike should serve as a warning sign to those who dare to follow in his pointy-white-hooded footsteps.

In Wisconsin, in reaction to Walker & Co.’s assault on public-sector labor unions, while Democrats were not able to wrest control of the state’s Senate from the Repugnican Tea Party, recall elections that were held in Wisconsin this past summer did cost two Repugnican Tea Party state senators their seats (and no Democratic lawmaker lost his or her seat in the state’s recall mania). The state’s Senate now is comprised of 17 Repugnican Tea Party members and 16 Democratic Party members.

I expect the Democrats to recapture the state’s Senate in the November 2012 elections — and I fully expect Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker to be recalled in 2012. (Wisconsinites can start the recall process against him in January 2012. I’ve given money toward that cause already, and I’m sure that I’ll give more, because the Repugnican Tea Party traitors need to continue pay the price for so stupidly and so treasonously having attacked the working class and the middle class.)

These off-year election victories — especially for labor (and thus for the middle class and the working class) and for those of us who despise the race-based persecution of brown-skinned “illegals” (and those incorrectly believed to be “illegals” because of the color of their skin) — bode ill for the Repugnican Tea Party brand in November 2012, as does Herman “Gropey-Feely” Cain’s ongoing crusade to soil the already soiled Repugnican Tea Party brand even further.

The cocky Repugnican Tea Partiers way overplayed their hand after their victories in the 2010 mid-term elections, and next year they’re going to continue to pay the price for their gross political miscalculations.

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Two of four of Herman Cain’s accusers now have gone public

They’re all liars, right?

Right…

Reports The New York Times this afternoon:

Karen Kraushaar, one of the two women who settled sexual harassment claims against Herman Cain with the National Restaurant Association, spoke publicly for the first time [today] about her allegations against him.

Moments later, a defiant Mr. Cain, who is seeking the Republican presidential nomination, once again declared her allegations to have been found “baseless” and repeated his claim that his only offense against her was to have made a gesture about her height.

Mr. Cain’s denials came in a nationally televised news conference in Scottsdale, Ariz., in which he railed against a “Democratic machine” even as Ms. Kraushaar joined Sharon Bialek, a Chicago woman, in publicly accusing Mr. Cain of inappropriate behavior.

Days after declaring that he was moving on from the brewing controversy, Mr. Cain waded back in with an emphatic plea for decency from his longtime lawyer, followed by a rambling defense of his own personal integrity and a condemnation of the media.

Anticipating calls for him to end his campaign, Mr. Cain declared: “That ain’t gonna happen, because I’m doing this for the American people and for the children and the grandchildren. And I will not be deterred by false, anonymous, incorrect accusations.”

Mr. Cain called the news conference to respond to Ms. Bialek’s allegations, made in a dramatic news conference in New York City [yesterday]. But it started just minutes after Ms. Kraushaar, one of his original accusers, finally began to speak publicly about her experiences with him.

Ms. Kraushaar, a spokeswoman at the Treasury Department, said in an interview that she was upset that her name had leaked into some press reports. But she said she had decided to speak out now that her identity was publicly known.

“When you are being sexually harassed in the workplace, you are extremely vulnerable,” she said. “You do whatever you can to quickly get yourself into a job someplace safe, and that is what I thought I had achieved when I left.”

Ms. Kraushaar had previously allowed her lawyer to challenge Mr. Cain’s denial that he had done anything wrong while at the helm of the restaurant association in the late 1990s. But after Ms. Bialek went public [yesterday] and several news organizations published Ms. Kraushaar’s name [today], she said she had decided to talk publicly — at least in a limited way.

She said she did not know whether or how she might tell more of her story, but had been warming “to the idea of a joint press conference where all of the women would be together with our attorneys and all of this evidence would be considered together.”

She said of Mr. Cain: “These allegations can be considered together as a body of evidence.”

Mr. Cain has denied all allegations of sexual harassment. The restaurant association confirmed that the group came to an agreement with a woman who had made sexual harassment allegations made against Mr. Cain and it was clear it was referring to Ms. Kraushaar.

“I reject all of those charges,” Mr. Cain said [this] afternoon about Ms. Bialek. “How can I defend charges when I don’t remember this person by name?” He added a few minutes later, “I don’t even know who this lady is.”

So many victims that he couldn’t possibly remember them all? Is that it?

And is Karen Kraushaar, as an employee of the Treasury Department, rich and prominent and untroubled enough that her allegations against Cain won’t be dismissed out of hand, like the Cain campaign has tried to do to Sharon Bialek?

Herman Cain is a stinking piece of shit. He is harming not only himself, but his entire party, by refusing to quit the presidential race. He is a motherfucking disgrace.

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The Anita Hilling of Sharon Bialek (or, there goes the women’s vote)

Sharon Bialek, a Chicago-area woman,waits to address a news conference at the Friars Club, Monday, Nov. 7, 2011, in New York.  Bialek accused Republican presidential contender Herman Cain of making an

Associated Press photo

The Herman Cain campaign today incredibly stupidly released a statement reading, “In stark contrast to Mr. Cain’s four decades spent climbing the corporate ladder rising to the level of CEO at multiple successful business enterprises, Ms. Bialek [pictured above] has taken a far different path,” which includes a “long and troubled history, from the courts to personal finances.” So the Cain campaign’s “argument” is that if you are rich and powerful and you are accused of sexual harassment by someone who has had personal and financial difficulties, then she must be lying because she’s not rich and powerful and you are. And the smearing of the (alleged) sexual harassment victim’s personal life, including her financial difficulty (which millions and millions of Americans have had), which has nothing to do with her allegations of sexual harassment — yeah, that makes you look good. 

We can see now why the first three reported apparent victims of sexual harassment at the hands of Repugnican Tea Party presidential candidate Herman Cain have not gone public with their stories. Look what the wingnuts are doing to the fourth apparent victim, Sharon Bialek, who went public yesterday.

The comments left on this Yahoo! News story are typical of the “arguments” that we are seeing coming from the wingnuts.

Among the nicer allegations in the comments are that Bialek has come forward only in order to make money from it. I’m not sure how, exactly, she would do that, and, until and unless there is any actual evidence to suggest otherwise, I take her at face value that she came forward in order to help stop the sexual harassment of women. Indeed, when we keep things such as child molestation or sexual harassment hush-hush, we only perpetuate them.

Then there are the (inevitable, I suppose) comparisons of Herman Cain to Bill Clinton, which is weird, because Herman Cain isn’t Bill Clinton and because these situations are different. No known serial sexual harasser ever became president in modern times, to my knowledge. (Known serial sexual harasser Arnold “Baby Daddy” Schwarzenegger was able to become governor of California, but the presidency is much bigger.) Bill Clinton did his thing with Monica Lewinsky in the Oral — er, Oval — Office later in his first term and early in his second term, according to Lewinsky, and while Clinton no doubt abused his power over an intern, it apparently was consensual. And the Repugnican-controlled U.S. Senate found that there was no cause to remove Clinton from office.

“Shes way to ugly to be harrased [sic]. Im calling this #$%$,” comments an individual with the username of “HotTeaPartier” whose avatar shows a white female holding a gun. Yes, the Sarah-Palin types are A-OK with sexual harassment. And with calling other women “ugly,” because all women should be physically attractive to and for men. Women exist for men’s sexual gratification. You betcha.

“Another Jennifer Flowers story. She would not be the first person to exchange sexual favors for a job,” chimes in a “TinaO,” another apparent Sarah-Palin type. So there is the comparison to Bill Clinton again, and there is a wholly unsubstantiated allegation that Bialek did “exchange sexual favors for a job” when, to our knowledge, Bialek refused Cain’s alleged quid-pro-quo sexual advances and never got any job in exchange for sexual favors.

With self- and other-loathing women tearing each other apart like this, who needs male chauvinist pigs?

“Why don’t these people start yelling when this stuff was supposed to of [sic] happened instead of years later?” asks “Legal My Foot.”

Um, because now Herman Cain isn’t just a comparatively small-time sexual harasser, but is running to be president of the United States of America?

Gee, do you think that that might be why, genius?

“Why is it that we can now just destroy a man’s reputation without doing anything but holding a press conference,” asks the question-mark-challenged “AllisonS,” adding, “I don’t understand how the media can allow people (be they men or women, but sadly it’s women) who can just make a claim and nothing is done to validate before a man’s career and whole being is destroyed. Why is this not handled at the time by the judicial system. I just don’t understand the motivation of these people.”

Well, um, Bialek is the fourth woman we know about who has alleged that Cain sexually harassed her in the 1990s when he was the head of the National Restaurant Association, not the first. The fourth. Please try to keep up, Allison.

How can a woman not empathize with how another woman who has been sexually harassed might feel about going public about it? Of course the harasser is going to deny it, and especially if the harasser is popular and/or prominent, the harasser’s supporters, facing cognitive dissonance about their beloved, are going to attack the accuser.

How many women want to go through that? Is this really that hard to understand? And as far as the judicial system is concerned, not only is it still disproportionately dominated by men (mostly white men), but since sexual harassment usually is not witnessed by a third party and all that the accused harasser would have to do in a court of law is lie, why would a woman even try to litigate a she-said-he-said case?

“BigDaddy” offers us his sage take: “Lets see she [Bialek] hasnt worked in 13 years [um, she’s a stay-at-home mom — it’s OK to actually raise your children], hires the best man hating lesbo attorney/political hack she could find [all strong, confident, successful women are “man-hating lesbos,” you see — except for Repugnican Tea Party women like Sarah Palin and Ann Coulter] and shows no real emotion about the alledged [sic] event….. [Of course, had Bialek cried or otherwise shown great emotion during the press conference, she would have been accused of acting.] After only waiting 15 years to bring it public……..That about right??????? Gloria get a life…..Im still voting for Herman Cain and you inspired me to give a donation to his election.”

Sure, there are plenty of sexual harassment deniers and even sexual harassment lovers and misogynists (male and female) who still support Herman Cain and who are giving him (even more) money in light of the news that four women have accused him of sexual harassment.

That’s fine.

Sexual harassment is no big deal to the Repugnican Tea Party traitors, but sexual harassment won’t play well in the November 2012 general election, if Cain makes it that far, which now is highly unlikely. (As “RON,” one of the minority of sane commenters puts it, “Cains political career is over. He just doesn’t know it yet,” and “One woman, maybe she’s not being fully truthful. two or three, they probably are. Four, We now have a serial sexual predator.” Yup.)

“If you don’t want the sex, dont get in the car!!!!” advises “Jim R,” more typical of the average commentator. “Fatty leatherfaced lady trying for money! Not by the hairs on your gobblin chinny chin,” chimes in some anonymous genius. (So Bialek is “ugly” and “fat,” which must mean that Herman Cain did not sexually harass her in 1997. Or something like that.)

“Wizardofhogs” observes: “This story can NEVER be proved… and yet the media runs with it because H.Cain is a republican. They wouldn’t write it if the dude was a demon-crat… fhucking media is ruining our country….”

Yes, as I indicated, sexual harassers usually do their deeds when there are no witnesses. So their victims should keep their mouths shut if there were no witnesses? Really? As far as the allegation that Cain is being picked on because he’s a Repugnican Tea Partier, I remember that the Monica Lewinsky sex scandal dominated the media for months and months, stoked by the Repugnicans who wanted to remove Bill Clinton from office over a consensual blow job. I mean, puhfuckinglease. And the corporately owned and controlled mass media love sex scandals, regardless of the party affiliation of those involved.

And there is that cognitive dissonance again: you like and support some person and then some unflattering truth or allegation about that person comes out, and so in order to try to preserve your attachment to that person, you blame the accuser(s) and/or the media.

It’s as pathetic as it is time-worn and predictable to blame the media.

We have this little thing called the First Amendment in this nation. That means that sometimes your sensibilities are going to be offended, and that people have the constitutional right to say and to report things you’d rather they not. Boo hoo hoo. Get over yourfuckingself.

“why aren’t sharpton and jackson defending cain against these unsubstaniated charges?” asks “Wildcrzy.” Um, maybe it’s because just because someone else is of your same gender and race, it doesn’t mean that he or she is your kindred? And because Sharpton and/or Jackson might believe that Cain is guilty as charged, and thus not worth defending?

Duh.

There also are, of course, many comments attacking attorney Gloria Allred (besides such allegations as that she’s a man-hating lesbian). You could call that an Allred herring — diverting the attention from Herman Cain to Gloria Allred. I’m not asserting that Allred is an angel. I don’t know her. But regardless of anything about Gloria Allred, Herman Cain either did or did not do what Sharon Bialek claims he did to her in 1997.

That the Repugnican Tea Party traitors don’t want to address that issue speaks volumes about them, and the way that Sharon Bialek has been treated demonstrates that as a nation, we haven’t grown up much, if any, since Anita Hill was burned at the stake in 1991 for having had the courage to have gone public about her sexual harassment by now-U.S. Supreme Court “Justice” Clarence Thomas.

The Repugnican Tea Party’s strategy of attacking women who have alleged sexual harassment is interesting. As the stupid white male demographic — the Repugnican Tea Party’s base (aside from millionaires and billionaires, whose numbers are few) — continues to shrink, you’d think that the party wouldn’t want to offend half of the American population* and those of us males who support them.

*Actually, the 2010 U.S. Census put females at 50.8 percent of the nation’s population.

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