Category Archives: MSM

Trump’s brass revealed as the gold plate rubs off

In our previous post, a compilation of Trumpisms from the London Review of Books, The Donald explained himself precisely in a mere nine words, seven of them — of which two have two syllables, the rest have one:

‘The beauty of me is that I’m very rich.’

The beauty of Donald Trump is one of class, an arrogant classy sort of class, characterized by his Wharton sense of branding — one given a gold-plated veneer [toilets included] and burned into his properties like a Texas cowboy used to brand his steers.

Through a combination of a primate predispositions and relentless programing [in both senses of the term], our inner ape’s attentiveness to hierachy and sex has been captivated by Trump’s relentless multimedia self presentation.

Trump’s voters are male, while women dominate the now-solidly leading Hillary half of the polls. For them, Trump is an exciting guy because they’re secretly both jealous and aroused by the shit he gets away with. He is correct in asserting that his only real attraction is the wealthy persona he’s crafted. But more than that, it’s a secret admiration.

And sufficiently ample women are drawn in by that same allure, ny the repitlian gaze and the sheer, unapologetic hubris of it all. Hell, the guy is rich, and some of it’s gotta rub off, right?

[And that’s not to say that nature dominates nurture; we’ve all seen lots of folks less susceptible to a purely reactionary mode, nor that we’re doomed to endless manipulation. We can gain control of the

But that golden luster is suddenly looking bit tarnished, the brass underneath revealed as the thing layer of gold plate is rubbed away.

The latest tarnish is sexual

First, from the Guardian:

A wave of claims about Donald Trump’s alleged sexual transgressions and inappropriate behaviour – in one case with a 10-year-old girl – has emerged, threatening the Republican presidential nominee’s already fragile campaign less than a month before election day.

Ever since video of the real estate mogul surfaced on Friday showing him bragging about how he could grab women’s genitals with impunity, more and more women have come forward to claim they were demeaned and touched inappropriately.

By late Wednesday evening the list of new allegations against Trump included:

  • two Miss USA contestants who claimed Trump deliberately walked in on them when they were naked in a dressing room.
  • two women who allege Trump groped or kissed them without consent – one in the first-class seat of an aircraft.
  • a claim by a woman that she was groped at a Trump event at his Mar-A-Lago estate in Florida.
  • a People magazine reporter who says Trump forced himself on her shortly before she was due to interview him and his wife in 2005.
  • an incident in which Trump appears to sexualize a 10-year-old girl.

An allegation in detail

From CBS News Digital:

As Republican nominee Donald Trump’s campaign tries to move past a recently released 2005 tape of his lewd remarks about women, more video of similar comments made by Trump is surfacing.

In an “Entertainment Tonight” Christmas feature in 1992, Trump looked at a group of young girls and said he would be dating one of them in ten years. At the time, Trump would have been 46 years old.

The video, released Wednesday evening, was shot at Trump Tower.

In the clip, Trump asks one of the girls if she’s “going up the escalator.” When the girl replies, “yeah,” Trump turns to the camera and says: “I am going to be dating her in 10 years. Can you believe it?”

It is not the first time Trump has made reference to his interest in dating much younger women.

In 2006, he made a similar comment about his own daughter, Ivanka Trump: “I’ve said that if Ivanka weren’t my daughter, perhaps I’d be dating her,” Trump said.

Hillary Clinton, the bankster’s and frackster’s BFF

We’ve characterized Campaign 2016 as a contest between the Despicable [Donald Trump] and the Deplorable [Hillary Clinton].

Events of recent days have done nothing to change our opinion and everything to confirm it, most notably the leaked Trump tape and the massive cache of Democratic Party and Clinton campaign emails handed over to Wikileaks.

Today’s we focus on the massive Clinton documents, confirmation that Trump’s got one thing exactly right: She really is Lying Hillary, campaigning as a candidate who favors strong financial regulation and opposes fracking, while privately telling industry folks she opposes the former and favors the latter.

From Democracy Now!:

Leaked Hillary Clinton Emails: Could Bernie Sanders Have Won Primary If Leak Occurred Earlier?

From the transcript:

LEE FANG: These emails are very interesting. They provide a window into Clinton and her experiences, certainly her speeches. I don’t believe that there are any huge bombshells, that this will change the course of the general election. Maybe if these emails came out earlier in the year, during the Democratic primary, that could have maybe changed history. But this won’t change the course of the general election.

That being said, the emails really show, including the transcripts, that Hillary Clinton is far more conservative, far more business-friendly, when she’s speaking with aides, when she’s giving speeches to these Wall Street banks. Also, the emails show that Clinton’s inner circle is filled with wealthy people, Wall Street types, Washington insiders, that are kind of part of a—what you might call a Washington bubble. They are very quick to attack and show a lot of contempt for anyone that they perceive on their political left, whether that’s activists or certain journalists. So, you know, these are interesting emails, but for folks who have followed Hillary Clinton’s tenure in government, they aren’t particularly surprising. They certainly fit a larger pattern.

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: And, Lee, they do reveal that, especially with Wall Street firms or commercial interests, that they expect to be able to be heard, given the money that they contribute. They also show, though, some of the major labor unions in the country also seeking to get heard because of their donations, as well, to the Clinton campaign, don’t they?

LEE FANG: Yeah, that’s right. You know, I think the Dodd-Frank comments are really interesting, the ones you just highlighted. You know, on the campaign trail, as she competed with Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton embraced Dodd-Frank, the big financial reform law passed by President Obama, called it a great law that she will defend. She was very proud of it. But, you know, speaking to bankers, she showed a contempt for the law. She sympathized with bankers who were opposed to this law, basically made the argument that it was only passed because of politics, that, you know, after the financial crisis of 2008, Democrats had to do something, and so they had to pass this. And she mentioned to Goldman Sachs in some of these paid speeches that she sees the financial sector, folks who work on Wall Street, that they know how to make the rules better than those in Washington. So it’s a stark contrast.

Graphic Representation: Debating considerations

Sunday’s presidential “debate” was the final nail in the coffin containing the corpse of American democracy, the reduction of discourse to carefully crafted sound bites designed not to inform and provoke serious thought but to inflame and trigger knee-jerk reactions.

On on side we saw the looming narcissist, grabbing attention by the power of his sneers and on the other the stiff, robotic technocrat.

If anything, Trump dominated the debate, in part by keeping his eye firmly on the cameras’ red lights and lumbering into its relentless gaze, hovering behind his opponent whenever it was her turn to speak.

Trump, the cartoonish, hulking media star best known for declaring “You’re fired!,” knows the medium well. But like all sociopaths, he is dazzled by the kleig and so self-assured that he overplays his hand to anyone with a skeptical eye.

Clinton, the epitome of the backroom dealer, is awkward in the public gaze, coming off as stiff when she relentlessly keeps to her script.

Part of the problem with the modern presidential debate is the format, shaped by medium in which they are conducted as candidates are forced to confine their answers to brief sound bites.

Consider, by contrast, the gold standard of American political debates, the seven 1856 confrontations between the consummate insider, between the diminutive [5’4″] Democratic incumbent Illinois Senator Stephen A. Douglas, and his challenger, the looming [6’5″] Republican challenger Abraham Lincoln [and the matter of stature is about the only resemblance between today’s opponents and those of 158 years ago].

While Douglas would go on to retain his senate seat, it was Lincoln who two years later defeated Douglas to win the White House.

The Lincoln-Douglas debates set the stage for the presidential race two years later, and election that sparked a civil war.

Those debates bore no resemblance to Sunday’s debacle.

Consider, first of all, the format:

Lincoln and Douglas agreed to debate in seven of the nine Illinois Congressional Districts; the seven where Douglas had not already spoken. In each debate either Douglas or Lincoln would open with an hour address. The other would then speak for an hour and a half. The first then had 30 minutes of rebuttal. In the seven debates, Douglas, as the incumbent, was allowed to go first four times.


On seven separate occasions voters got to hear each candidate speak for 90 minutes!

Candidates could develop their ideas in detail, giving the voters a deeper understanding of the issues, developing their platforms and revealing what they actually stood for and intended to implement during their terms of office.

Not so today, when each candidate speaks for about as long as a reasonably skilled person can hold her breath, a time limit about as long as a campaign television commercial.

How can democracy thrive under such conditions? A climate in which impressions carry more weight than ideas?

Enough said.

Now on with today’s Graphic Representations

And rarely, if ever, have we seen such unanimity in the world of editorial cartooning.

First, from the editorial cartoonist of the Washington Post, the first of two offerings employing a similar metaphor:

Tom Toles: Donald Trump is breaking some barriers, too


And the second falling image, via the Charlotte Observer:

Kevin Siers: Trump in free fall


UPDATE: One more image we just discovered from across the pond via the Independent:

Dave Brown: Hair-raising experience


From the Los Angeles Times:

David Horsey: Trump steers the presidential debate into the lurid side of politics


From the Lexington Herald Leader:

Joel Pett: The GOP and women


And from the Columbus Dispatch:

Nate Beeler: Defending Liberty


Similarly, from the Arizona Republic:

Steve Benson: Trump targets women in new campaign slogan


And from the Tulsa World:

Bruce Plante: Trump in the locker room


Back to the locker room again, this time from the Baton Rouge Advocate:

Walt Handelsman: “Locker Room Talk”


Next up, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the first of three offerings on a parallel theme:

Mike Luckovich: Presidential grab


From the Chattanooga Times Free Press, the second:

Clay Bennett: Respect


For our penultimate cartoon, the Philadelphia Daily News weighs in:

Signe Wilkinson: A GOP power grab


Finally, from the Washington Post again:

Ann Telnaes: The Donald nose whereof he speaks


We close with another image, this one painted by Caravaggio, and telling the story from Greek mythology of Narcissus, a man so enamored of self love that when he gazed into his own reflection in a lake he pined away and died from unrequited love.

Remind you of anyone?:


Headline of the day II: Hoisted on his own petard

Dubya’s cousin hits a political iceberg.

From the New York Times:

‘Today’ Host Billy Bush Is Suspended Over Trump Video

The executive in charge of the network’s morning show said NBC was “deeply troubled” by the video of Mr. Bush and Donald J. Trump speaking graphically and lewdly about women.

Headline of the day: Just call him a grope addict

From the New York Times:

Trump Bragged About Groping Women: ‘They Let You Do It’

  • Donald J. Trump was caught on tape bragging in vulgar terms about making sexual advances toward a married woman, and aggressively kissing and groping others.
  • House Speaker Paul D. Ryan said he was “sickened” by the comments and disinvited Mr. Trump from a joint event on Saturday.

Trump was captured by a live mic in conversation with then-Access Hollywood and current Today co-host Billy Bush, cousin of Dubya and nephew of George H.W. Bush during preparations for a Trump guest appearance on Days of Our Lives.

Here’s the unredacted tape via The Daily Conversation:

Donald Trump Caught On Tape: I Grab Women “By The Pu**y”

Program notes:

A “hot mic” catches Donald J. Trump bragging in vulgar terms about making sexual advances toward a married woman, aggressively kissing and groping other women, and boasting that “when you’re a star they let you do it.”

The remarkable recording, obtained by The Washington Post, was made in 2005. Trump, the 2016 Republican presidential nominee, was captured on an open microphone that he apparently did not know was recording his conversation with Billy Bush, then the host of “Access Hollywood,” with whom he was sitting on a bus.

And, just for the record, that’s sexual battery he’s bragging about.

At least it would be in California, according to Sex. 243.4 (e) (1) of the California Penal Code:

Any person who touches an intimate part of another person,
if the touching is against the will of the person touched, and is
for the specific purpose of sexual arousal, sexual gratification, or
sexual abuse, is guilty of misdemeanor sexual battery. . .

Headline of the day: Proofreader needed

A screencap from the London Daily Mail, proof that proofreaders are still needed in the newspaper world, online and otherwise:




And why wasn’t the dude busted for terrorism given that sarin is one of the most lethal poison gases?

Or maybe they meant Saran Wrap, an entirely different critter altogether. . .


Blood on the newsroom floor. . .a building lost

This time it’s the newsroom itself that’s the latest victim of the ongoing radical downsizing of the American mainstream media.

From the Los Angeles Times:

The Los Angeles Times building in downtown Los Angeles has sold to a Canadian developer, paving the way for the redevelopment of a historic property the paper has called home since 1935, according to a person familiar with the deal who was not authorized to discuss it publicly.

Onni Group of Vancouver has explored plans to turn the property at 202 W. 1st St. into a collection of creative offices and retail and residential units.

The Times reported in June that Onni had signed an agreement to buy the building, but the deal with Tribune Media officially closed Monday night, the source said.

Tribune Media in Chicago declined to comment. An executive at Onni Group did not return messages seeking comment.

Terms of the sale were not available.

The Times building is an icon of Art Deco architecture, designed by Gordon Kauffman and opened in 1935.

Perhaps the building’s most impressive feature is it’s lobby, a testimony to the sense of exuberant power that once marked America’s leading metropolitan papers.

The Los Angeles Times building lobby, a testimony to the global ambitions of the paper's global ambitions under the reign of its founders. Via Wikipedia.

The Los Angeles Times building lobby, a testimony to the global ambitions of the paper’s global ambitions under the reign of its founders. Via Wikipedia.

The newspaper has been diminished in recent years, most notably under the brief reign of Sam Zell [previously], the self-styled “grave dancer,” and one of America’s most ruthless landlords.

Zell gutted the paper’s pension fund, money he looted to bankroll his takeover, a short, brief reign marked by mass layoffs and reportorial rage.

The sale of the building  trend across the country, as headquarters buildings are sold off to buttress faltering bottom lines.