Tiresias Notes, or, My Life as a Woman

As noted in last week’s “In Defense of Kevin Spacey” — the post much judged by its title without actually reading it — we are in a witch hunt. Not a day goes by when at least one powerful male is accused and then suspended without benefit of so much as a response. As a final bit of dialogue in Robert Townsend’s Chinatown script states, “Forget it Jake. It’s Chinatown.”  So, I’m going to take this teachable moment to talk about serial killers, sexual abusers and mothers who people believe to be saints.

‘Taint necessarily so. Today’s news:

Charlie Rose fired by CBS over sexual harassment allegations
Stephen Battaglio / Los Angeles Times

—  Charlie Rose’s CBS News career came to an unceremonious end Tuesday when the network fired him over allegations of sexual harassment.  —  Charlie Rose’s CBS News career came to an unceremonious end Tuesday when the network fired him over allegations of sexual harassment.

Gee. Instead of suspending him pending investigation, they just went ahead and ‘executed’ him without benefit of any sort of process. And that, kiddies, is a witch hunt. Many will later regret the irrevocable actions, taken in haste and cowardice, that is leading to this outcome. Worse, these over-reactions will probably discredit the whole sexual harassment conversation/movement and, ironically, give cover to the very predators it was originally intended to uncover and discipline. But, forget it Jake. It’s Chinatown.

Instead of acting as judge, jury and executioner, or taking sides on any of the stories dominating the news today: Rose, Trump, Conyers, Moore, Franken, Weinstein (again) et al, let me tell you a story that has implications beyond the present. It is a story about people who you THOUGHT that you knew. Continue reading



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In Defense of Kevin Spacey


I am sick to death of witch hunts. More, I am sick to death of the fundamental abrogation of plain American principles that, while festering everywhere (note that NO legislation coming out of Congress has followed the usual order, hearings, statements, debate, amendments, etc. but instead comes from small cabals acting in a most UNdemocratic and non-transparent manner ending with “take it or leave it” in essence) most especially show up when the dread monster of sex shows up.

First, she may well be right:

 Fighting back tears, former Channel 5 anchor Heather Unruh told reporters on Wednesday that actor Kevin Spacey sexually assaulted her teenage son during an encounter last year at a Nantucket bar.
Well and good. If Spacey is guilty (the son filed a belated criminal complaint) then we have a justice system designed to find and punish that guilt, if beyond a reasonable doubt, and to exonerate if NOT. But American media and “public opinion” manages to turn any hint of sexual scandal into a hysterical witch hunt, and the consequences are, far from any lawful, sober result of an impartial system of justice, administered AS IF the accused were already guilty.

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Dear Posterity

Dear Posterity,

You, of course, knew that I was right all along about Guccifer 2.0.

Inside story: How Russians hacked the Democrats’ emails

—  WASHINGTON (AP) … [Guccifer 2.0] appeared particularly excited to hear on June 24 that his leaks had sparked a lawsuit against the DNC by disgruntled supporters of Clinton rival Bernie Sanders. “Can it influence the election in any how?” he asked a journalist with Russia’s Sputnik News, in uneven English.

Later that month Guccifer 2.0 began directing reporters to the newly launched DCLeaks site, which was also dribbling out stolen material on Democrats. When WikiLeaks joined the fray on July 22 with its own disclosures the leaks metastasized into a crisis, triggering intraparty feuding that forced the resignation of the DNC’s chairwoman and drew angry protests at the Democratic National Convention. Guccifer 2.0, WikiLeaks and DCLeaks ultimately published more than 150,000 emails stolen from more than a dozen Democrats, according to an AP count.

And, as I alleged in my July 23 “Disinformation and its Guzzlers”  DNC documents WERE altered in the disinformation campaign. You also know that no one paid any attention.

I am writing to you because you know that I’ve been trying to fight this divorce of realities — quaintly termed “polarization” — in print since the early 1990s when I was a columnist for the Santa Fe Sun. I tried to warn about the neoconfederates. About the resurgent “Ayn Rand” Me-First! politics that was slowly infecting the Republican Party. I was old enough to remember William F. Buckley’s withering denunciation of Ayn Rand (and by extension the entire libertarian cult) and have since watched our society lose any sense of how government worked of how governance worked and how spelling worked. Continue reading


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The Last of The October Drawings

Happy Halloween!

More below the fold. Continue reading

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Dark Money Co-opts the IRS and No One Says A Word

This meme was mainstreamed by Rupert Murdoch

The comatose mainstream news media ignored the story yesterday, preferring instead to act as amanuenses to the GOP’s alt-Russia conspiracy lunacy (see my post “The GOPpelgänger Cometh“, and Jonathan Chait’s New York Magazine story of two days later, with essentially the same analysis).

Here’s a typical “report” on it:

Justice Department settles IRS lawsuits from 400 conservative groups claiming discrimination
Kevin Johnson / USA Today

WASHINGTON – Attorney General Jeff Sessions said Thursday that the Justice Department is settling class action lawsuits brought by more than 400 conservative groups who said they were “improperly” …

And here is the GOPaganda version:

Trump DOJ settles lawsuits over Tea Party targeting by Obama IRS
Brooke Singman / Fox News

The Trump administration, after years of litigation, has settled lawsuits with Tea Party and other conservative groups who say they were unfairly targeted by the IRS under the Obama administration.


“The IRS’s use of these criteria as a basis for heightened scrutiny was wrong and should never have occurred,” Sessions said in a statement Thursday. “It is improper for the IRS to single out groups for different treatment based on their names or ideological positions.” While the IRS did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment, court documents show that the agency did offer an apology….

And their trailing gaggle of GOPagandists can be seen here. But let me disabuse the uneducated. And let me NOT allow poisonous GOPaganda to be swallowed without a peep from our “watchdog” press.  Continue reading


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The GOPpelgänger Cometh

Grab your britches and hitch up your drawers, kiddies. Mister Trump’s Wild Ride to Toad Hall just found a new gear.

Clinton campaign, DNC paid for research that led to Russia dossier
Washington Post

The Hillary Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee helped fund research that resulted in a now-famous dossier containing allegations about Donald Trump’s connections to Russia and possible coordination between …

“helped fund”: remember that term. It is crucial to your interpretation of the story.

It was only a matter of time before the unholy covens of the Republican Echo Chamber came up with a GOPpelgänger argument to reflexively counter the “Russia” story. As the drowning scorpion said to the dying frog: I can’t help it; it’s my nature.  But who would have thought that they would come up with a narrative that may well rend this nation asunder.

Here’s the short of it: The Clintons (and, hazily Obama because he’s a Kenyan) and the FBI, led by hyper-liberal James Comey, were all in collusion to sell uranium to the Russians, to fund the evil Pee Pee Dossier, and to generally … cause the Republican’ts (sic) to, er … lose? Continue reading

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Is disgraced former Judge Roy Moore clue-challenged?

Another day, another dullard:

Senate Candidate Roy Moore Says NFL Protesters Are Breaking the Law

Nash Jenkins / TIME

—  Senate candidate Roy Moore believes that professional athletes who take a knee during the national anthem are breaking the law.  —  In an interview with TIME magazine, the Alabama Republican argued that NFL players …

Not only is he wrong, but he’s pretty much B-F Crazy™ to boot. His legal illiteracy is well-known, having been removed from the Supreme Court of Alabama bench TWICE for ignoring law that he didn’t like. Now he wants to MAKE laws. But this is the Year of the Incompetent® so who knows?

In an interview with TIME magazine, the Alabama Republican argued that NFL players and others who have protested police violence are violating a section of the U.S. code which outlines how people should conduct themselves when the anthem is played. (The code merely outlines proper etiquette, and there are no legal penalties outlined in the law.)

 “It’s against the law, you know that?” he said. “It was a act of Congress that every man stand and put their hand over their heart. That’s the law.”

Wrong. W.R.O.N.G. Ok? Continue reading


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