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Flynn 'to testify' against Trump over contacts with Russia | Michael Flynn
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6 weeks ago by heyyouapp
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RT : There Is No Evidence of ‘Collusion’ in ’s Offense Statement via
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6 weeks ago by Flap
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NEWS via : Former national security advisor charged for making false statements to the FBI. He is…
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6 weeks ago by dalcrose
The myth of the male bumbler
"There's a reason for this plague of know-nothings: The bumbler's perpetual amazement exonerates him. Incompetence is less damaging than malice. And men — particularly powerful men — use that loophole like corporations use off-shore accounts. The bumbler takes one of our culture's most muscular myths — that men are clueless — and weaponizes it into an alibi.

Allow me to make a controversial proposition: Men are every bit as sneaky and calculating and venomous as women are widely suspected to be. And the bumbler — the very figure that shelters them from this ugly truth — is the best and hardest proof.

Breaking that alibi means dissecting that myth. The line on men has been that they're the only gender qualified to hold important jobs and too incompetent to be responsible for their conduct. Men are great but transparent, the story goes: What you see is what you get. They lack guile.

The "privilege" argument holds that this is partly true because men have never needed to deceive. This interesting Twitter thread by Holden Shearer has been making the rounds: "One of the oldest canards in low-denominator comedy is that women are inscrutable and men can't understand them. There's a reason for this and it ain't funny," he writes. The thread is right about the structural problems with lowbrow "women are so confusing!" comedy. "Women VERY frequently say one thing and mean another, display expressions or reactions that don't jibe with their feelings, and so on. But it's actually really easy to decode once you understand why it happens. It is survival behavior," Shearer writes.

But nested in that account is the assumption that the broad majority of men are not dissemblers. The majority are — you guessed it — bumblers! If you've noticed a tendency to treat girls — like the 14-year-old whom now-Senate candidate Roy Moore allegedly picked up at her custody hearing — as knowing adults and men in their 30s — like Trump foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos and Donald Trump, Jr. — as erring youngsters, large sons and "coffee boys," this is why. Our culture makes that script available. It's why Sessions is so often referred to as an "elf" instead of a gifted manipulator (here's a very clever analysis of his strategy, which weaponizes our tendency to read white men — even very old attorneys with a long history of maliciously undermining civil rights — as slow, meandering children who know not what they do.)

It's counterintuitive, I know. For decades now, the very idea of a duplicitous, calculating man has been so exceptional as to be almost monstrous; this is the domain of cult leaders, of con artists, of evil men like the husband in Gaslight. And while folks provisionally accept that there are men who "groom" children and "gaslight" women, the reluctance to attach that behavior to any real, flesh-and-blood man we know is extreme. Many people don't actually believe that normal men are capable of it.

Back when Dylan Farrow's allegations about Woody Allen were in the news, people quickly glommed onto Allen's exculpatory claim that Mia Farrow "brainwashed" her children into lying about him. It was fascinating, both because the claim was pretty evidence-free and because Woody Allen had blatantly and repeatedly admitted to manipulating and grooming Soon-Yi Previn. But, because Allen so skillfully deployed the script of the bumbler, everyone failed to see his behavior in those terms. Allen's portrayal of himself — he barely knows what he had for breakfast! — was just that effective. Never mind that he's so organized, ambitious, driven, confident, and purposeful that he successfully puts out a movie a year.

As the accusations of sexual misconduct roiling politics, publishing, and Hollywood continue to stack up, a few things are going to happen. The first stage of a phenomenon like this will always be to characterize the accused men as exceptions, as bad apples. #NotAllMen, the saying goes. But the second is that everyone is going to try to naturalize sexual harassment. If there are this many men doing these things, then surely this is just how men are! that argument will go. There's a corollary lurking underneath there: They can't help themselves. They're bumblers."



"Back when Dylan Farrow's allegations about Woody Allen were in the news, people quickly glommed onto Allen's exculpatory claim that Mia Farrow "brainwashed" her children into lying about him. It was fascinating, both because the claim was pretty evidence-free and because Woody Allen had blatantly and repeatedly admitted to manipulating and grooming Soon-Yi Previn. But, because Allen so skillfully deployed the script of the bumbler, everyone failed to see his behavior in those terms. Allen's portrayal of himself — he barely knows what he had for breakfast! — was just that effective. Never mind that he's so organized, ambitious, driven, confident, and purposeful that he successfully puts out a movie a year.

As the accusations of sexual misconduct roiling politics, publishing, and Hollywood continue to stack up, a few things are going to happen. The first stage of a phenomenon like this will always be to characterize the accused men as exceptions, as bad apples. #NotAllMen, the saying goes. But the second is that everyone is going to try to naturalize sexual harassment. If there are this many men doing these things, then surely this is just how men are! that argument will go. There's a corollary lurking underneath there: They can't help themselves. They're bumblers."
millicentsomer  ignorance  guile  gender  privilege  men  patriarchy  2017  louisck  mikepence  michaelflynn  elijahcummings  davebecky  jeffsessions  woodyallen  power  cluelessness  alibis  loopholes  malice  bumblers  georgepapadopoulos  donaldtrumpjr  roymoore  gaslighting  sexism  dylanfarrow  miafarrow  #notallmen  harveyweinstein  billo'reilly  brettratner  benjamingenocchio  sexualharrassment  myths  control  romanpolanski  oliverstone  donaldtrump  volkerschlöndorff  dustinhoffman  nancywells  jamestoback  rachelmcadams  rogerailes 
8 weeks ago by robertogreco
Is America a Failing State?
We don’t know what crimes may or may not have been committed — but we do see several patterns of behavior. All are deeply worrisome. Trump has repeatedly shown a reckless disregard for U.S. national security and national interests. He has shown a contempt for the law and for the American legal system. And when challenges to the legality of the behavior of his associates have arisen, Trump has repeatedly acted in ways that appear intended to prevent or impede the ability of those who would seek the truth.
¶¶
We have reached a moment of crisis in the history of American democracy. One has to go back to Richard Nixon’s Saturday Night Massacre to find an effort equivalent to the Slow Motion Massacre of Yates, Bharara, and Comey as they carried forward their investigative responsibilities.
¶¶
Trump is acting like a desperate man, not to mention a guilty one. That his team, in particular Kellyanne Conway, has gone on television to argue that somehow the Comey firing was okay because Trump is not personally under investigation is the defense of a narcissist who does not understand the responsibilities he has as president. It is lie after lie after deception after misstatement to protect their man. With every syllable they utter, they make him look more guilty.

This activity is not lost on the rest of the world. They see an America unlike any they can recall and a leader who is clearly not fit for office.
by:DavidRothkopf  from:ForeignPolicy  DonaldTrump  democracy  politics  geo:UnitedStates  treason  KellyanneConway  SallyYates  MichaelFlynn  RogerStone  JaredKushner  RichardNixon  VladimirPutin  JamesComey 
may 2017 by owenblacker
Why Is This Hate Different From All Other Hate?
This piece feels a little confused — it seems to be saying we should be worrying more about Islamophobia than anti-Semitism, while pointing out lots of chilling anti-Semitism. All under a headline about all aspects of fascist racism being equally worrying.

I agree with that last part, but the article doesn't feel like it's making that point terribly well.

"The various strands of renascent bigotry in Mr. Trump’s America are intertwined, and anti-Semitism is only part of the tapestry. Yet Americans, for good historical reasons, tend to have a particularly heightened sensitivity toward anti-Semitism. All 100 senators signed a letter calling on the Trump administration to take “swift action” against the anti-Semitic bomb threats. There has been no similar political urgency in demanding protection for other harassed minorities.

"The president and his associates mix anti-Semitic dog whistles with frank attacks on Muslims, immigrants and refugees. The paradox is that in today’s America, coded anti-Semitism is more of a political taboo than open Islamophobia. We spend a great deal of time and energy parsing the semiotics of Mr. Trump’s role in stoking anti-Jewish sentiment, while Muslims and immigrants can be defamed with impunity. The risk here is that we’ve been distracted by the anti-Semitism controversy from the ways in which other groups are being demonized as Jews once were."

"In the Trump administration’s conspiratorial nationalism, avowed anti-Semites hear their overarching narratives reflected back to them, their prejudices tacitly approved. Mr. Trump himself does not appear to harbor personal anti-Jewish animus: He has a beloved Jewish daughter and close Jewish advisers. Yet he and members of his circle have broken long-established social and political norms by mining the anti-Semitic far right for images and arguments."
by:MichelleGoldberg  from:TheNewYorkTimes  antisemitism  islamophobia  racism  fascism  DonaldTrump  SteveBannon  MichaelFlynn  SeanSpicer  LeonardDinnerstein  HopeHicks  SebastianGorka  Breitbart  geo:UnitedStates  politics 
april 2017 by owenblacker

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