Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Megyn Kelly or Newt Gingrich: Who Won?

So did Kelly get the best of Gingrich or did Newt wipe the floor with Kelly as the Trumpsters claim?

I'm watching last night's "discussion" between Fox newscaster Megyn Kelly and that idiot Newt Gingrich.  After watching the whole video (in short clips just to make sure my breakfast stayed down), I remember why I don't watch Faux news and their disgusting "guests" like Newt Gingrich.

Screen shot of YouTube video found HERE.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Why I Think The Country Is Headed In The Wrong Direction

It's not the economy.  It's worse, much worse.

George Washington University recently released a poll which showed, among other things, that 63% of the people think the country is headed in the wrong direction.

While only 30 percent of those polled responded they think the nation is heading in the right direction, and 63 percent said it is on the wrong track, those two figures each swung 3 points in favor of a rosier outlook toward the future. 

Trump has also referred to the high number of people who think we are heading in the "wrong way" in several of his campaign rallies.

As a whole, people who leaned Democratic had a higher satisfaction rate than Republicans.  The percentage of people who think that the country
IS heading in the right direction has been fairly consistent, in many polls taken by disparate polling outfits, at around 30% for the past 3-4 years after we got over the worst of the recession.  

Now some of the "pundits" in the run up to this election believed that the Republicans had an advantage because so many people thought that the country was "headed in the wrong direction".  (That's also how Trump is interpreting this.)  That's what many thought in 2012 as well.  But I lean Democratic, and I ALSO think the country is headed in the wrong direction... but not for the reasons that the pundits think.

My frustration with the direction of the country..  

My frustration, or, some might say, pessimism, has nothing to do with jobs or the economy; I believe that the Democrats under Obama have done a great job pulling us off the cliff of a massive Depression and keeping the economy humming despite constant Republican obstruction.  I don't believe in trickle down crap; none of us should, so I don't think the repetitive Republican calls for lower taxes (that mostly help the rich) and fewer regulations (that mostly help employers at the expense of workers and the environment) have much to offer to any of us.  I do think that the success of Obama economics is evidenced by record breaking job openings and job growth, record breaking low levels of people filing for and claiming unemployment, record low numbers of people being fired from their jobs, and, finally, increases in average wages for "regular" workers and increases in the median family income that we have experienced in the past 2-3 years.

Of course, we could always do better concerning jobs, and the recovery hasn't hit all areas and all demographics equally, but that's not the issue here.

So.. why are we definitely heading in the wrong direction?

Here's my take on the "direction" of the country:  I am very distressed by the idiocy, the racism, the xenophobia, the reactionary regressivism that seems to have overtaken a big chunk of the population of this country as evidenced by the rise of the Tea Party, and, now, by the nomination of a creep like Donald Trump.

Trump should not have had any chance at the Republican nomination, not after that first debate, in which he argued with everybody including Megyn Kelly.  But every time he did something egregious, his numbers went up with Republican primary voters.  Based on those Republican primary voters, he actually DID secure the nomination... and he hasn't been that far away from Hillary Clinton in terms of gaining the White House.

What's wrong with the people of this country?  

The man mocked a disabled reporter, pretty much admitted to not paying any taxes; he conned people into signing up for his "university", he swindled suppliers and workers, he used bankruptcy as a business strategy.. on and on as Kurt Eichenwald itemizes in the latest Newsweek... and now we know his treatment of women has been disgusting.  And yet about 40% of voters will vote for the man.

If that doesn't show you that the country is moving in the wrong direction, I don't know what would.  People buy the crap that is dished out by Fox News, by rightie talk radio, and they don't have the capacity to look something up before they believe it.

Is there any way to reach at least some of these brainwashed Trump voters?  Not before the election; their minds are probably made up, but later?  Or will they continue to live in a parallel universe populated by lies from the rightie press.. and perhaps even TrumpTV?

But a man like Trump should never have 40% of the population of this country supporting him.  It shows that something is very rotten in these United States of America.

Some links...

Just a couple of articles trying to dissect the "wrong direction" sentiment:

From a September article at the Washington Post:  Why most think the country is on the wrong track despite positive economic indicators.  

Is the country moving in the right direction?
 Interesting article, a lot of explanations, but the various pundits don't really get at the reason that I personally feel the country is in the wrong direction.

Monday, October 17, 2016

CNN says the race is still close in 3 battleground states! Except...

"The race is still close in three battleground states!" CNN touts...

Except CNN completely omits the biggest thing about these three states: Hillary Clinton DOESN'T NEED ANY of those three states to win the Presidency. Trump needs ALL THREE. The three states are North Carolina, Ohio, and Nevada.

The Sad and the Glad.. 

O One of the saddest things about these latest polls is that Trump has NOT seemed to have lost much (if any) traction since all of the women came out and accused him of harassment and assault! Does that mean that the remaining Trump voters actually believe that Trump did not do any of this.. or do they think that a pattern of sexual assault is not important when choosing a President?  Who knows?  (68% of the people polled DO believe that Trump assaulted at least some of these women.) Honesty? You've got to be kidding me... 

Another sad thing is this finding from the CNN polls:  

And honesty continues to be a challenge for Clinton, she lags behind Trump when voters are asked who is more honest and trustworthy in all three states

Huh?  Are people really that oblivious to Politifact's honesty assessment? Or do they just not believe Politifact? Politifact shows that 73% out of Clinton's 270 rated statements are half true, mostly true, or just "true"; whereas only 29% out of Trump's 296 rated statements are half true, mostly true, or just "true".

Onto the three states...

As a whole, Hillary is ahead in North Carolina and Nevada; she and Trump are much closer in Ohio.

From the pollsters at Nate Silver's 538: The 4 most recent polls in North Carolina have Hillary up by 1, up 4, up 4, and up 1.

In Ohio, recent polls show her up 2, up 5, up 9. Trump is up in two polls by 1 and 4. Unfortunately, the most recent poll shows Trump up by 4.

In Nevada, the most recent polls show Clinton up 4, tied, up 6, up 2, up 6, and up 2.

It's possible that Trump has regained a little ground on Clinton over the past few days, as absurd as that seems, but we are looking at CNN polls.  CNN seemed to have under-sampled demographic groups that might have favored Hillary in  a few polls back in September.  I will link to that discussion as soon as I can find it.

The detail demographic breakdown provided at the CNN site is very interesting; married women in Ohio seem to support Trump by a fairly wide margin; married women in North Carolina and Nevada support Hillary.  In all states, unmarried women break for Hillary by a wide margin.


Sunday, October 16, 2016

Donald Trump Did Not Grope Me. He really didn't, but..

I am one of the women in the United States that was NOT groped by Donald Trump.  There, I've admitted it.  Donald Trump did NOT grope me.  But.....

Once upon a time I was a young woman.  I was riding buses, el trains, walking down the street by myself, taking cabs home with co-workers.  Men did try to touch me inappropriately.  Sometimes strangers, sometimes co-workers.  I was groped.

Are there any women out there who weren't groped by someone at some time?
Random man groping random woman

I want to make it clear that I have never been raped.

The groping that succeeded was all through clothes.  The unwanted kisses did not "land".  But Trump's bus braggadocio and the parade of women coming forward to claim that Donald Trump groped them or made unwanted physical advances brings back a lot of memories, unpleasant memories.

I did call the police on one man, a man who accosted me on a quiet suburban street just a few blocks from my home back in 1980 or 1981.  However, the police couldn't find that man.  He tried to kiss me, I pulled away, faced him, stared at him for a second, and he ran off.  I remember thinking that if he took one more step towards me I would throw my briefcase at him and scream.  But he took off.  This was during the days before cell phones; as I said, I called the cops when I got home just a few minutes later.  I had been walking down a proverbial quiet suburban tree-lined street on my way home from the train around 8 in the evening.  I was about 28 at the time.  

So.. why don't women come forward?  Why don't they tell people about these things for 20 or 30 or 40 years?  Well, embarrassment and self-blame are the biggest reasons.  You blame yourself for being in the position of getting groped.  You blame yourself for not leaving, not screaming, not running away in the first second; you blame yourself for being alone.. for being by yourself.

The man in the event I chronicled above started walking next to me and talking to me when I was about a block west of the train station.  At first he just walked next to me and tried to engage me in some kind of small talk.  I was pleasant, because women are supposed to be pleasant and I had no reason NOT to be pleasant.  It was only when he grabbed me and said "kiss me" that I pulled away from him.  How did I feel?  Mad AT MYSELF that I didn't walk away from this man when he first started walking next to me.  I should have ignored him or asked him to leave me alone.  The man was not a celebrity, so he had no excuse, as Donald Trump thinks he does, because he is a "star" and the woman WANTED to be grabbed and told to "kiss me."  I did not want that man to kiss me, touch me, or talk to me, for that matter.  

"Grab Them By Their Pussy"   

The first time I was groped I was 17.. a very innocent 17.  I was walking down the street in that same low-crime tree-lined suburb on the day back in 1969 when the US landed Apollo on the moon.  I had started walking with my sister and a friend.  I  can't remember why we were walking as we both had driver's licenses by that time, but we were walking towards our home a half mile south.  We were going to watch the moon landing at our house.

Somehow we got separated, perhaps, being teen-aged girls, we had a squabble.  I don't know.  But I was on one side of the street and my sister and the friend were walking on the other side of the street, about a block ahead.  It was still light as it was summer, perhaps 6 p.m.  A couple of young men that I didn't know were walking towards me.  I paid them no attention, but as they walked passed me, one of the young men grabbed my breast and then, yes, grabbed my pussy through my shorts.  I was absolutely and totally shocked and horrified.  I screamed, the boys ran off, and I ran up to catch up to the other girls.  I don't know if anybody knew who those boys were.

I honestly don't know if I told my parents.  If I didn't, it would be because I would be concerned that my parents wouldn't let me wander the streets by myself or with friends as we were used to doing.  Whenever anybody talks about the first moon landing, I remember that young man coming towards me on that beautiful summer evening on that quiet tree-lined street and grabbing my pussy.  It isn't a good memory.  If only I had stayed with the other girls....

Sharing a cab..

I could go on.  There was the boss's boss's boss with whom I shared a cab to the train station after some kind of office party.  I had barely ever talked to the man.. and he was married.  He grabbed me and tried to kiss me.  I just pushed him away.  I think he actually apologized and nothing was ever said about that again.

If you are stuck in the window seat...

The most difficult situations occur when the woman is sitting on the window seat in an el or a bus (or an airplane).  If you try to climb over the abuser, you invite MORE close contact.  Perhaps you can move away if there is room or if you have a coat or a purse that you can somehow maneuver between you and the abuser.

Sometimes, if you are really stuck (which happened to me once on a Chicago subway train--- when the train was stopped due to some kind of problem on the tracks ahead of us), you can say "Please let me out."  and other passengers will come to your assistance.  (That is what I did during that episode.. an episode involving an employee of a client for whom I was a consultant!)  Another passenger actually came to my defense when I got out of the seat and the creepy guy followed me to the exit when the train, after what seemed like an eternity, finally started moving.  The other passenger, a young man, said "Let her alone." 

I did report that man.  He was suspended from his union job. Many other women then came forward and described similar behavior.  But when he had a hearing about why he was being fired, I was the only woman willing to come forward to testify against him.  It was hard.  His attorneys hammered me for not leaving immediately.  I tried to explain that I was on the inside seat and climbing over him would have meant more unwanted contact.  The guy did wind up getting fired for sexual harassment.  Even the union couldn't help him. They were probably happy to get rid of him, as there had been other work place complaints about him not involving sexual harassment.      

"Like Many Women, I was ashamed and blamed myself."

One of the women who was allegedly abused by Trump, Natasha Stoynoff, wrote that “like many women, I was ashamed and blamed myself for his transgression. . . . I was afraid that a famous, powerful, wealthy man could and would discredit and destroy me.”  None of the creeps who groped me were famous, powerful, or wealthy.  But I was ashamed---and to some extent, I did blame myself..

Blame the Victim 

Trump has engaged in "blame the victim" talk when confronted with allegations from these various women.  We all heard him talk about managing unwanted contact on the bus with Billy Bush, but he has insisted that was "just talk".  After women came forward, he went into "blame the victim" mode.  The women were not attractive enough for him to grope, even though all of them looked attractive to me, including the 74 year old woman who was only in her mid 30's when Trump allegedly groped her.  (But, let's be honest, attractiveness has nothing to do with this.)

Today, Saturday, October 15th, Trump said something along the line of "She said she was sitting next to me for 15 minutes.  15 minutes?  Women here would only tolerate one second before... SLAP!"  Yeah, Trump supporters wouldn't tolerate sexual harassment; they are somehow superior to the women who did endure sexual harassment.  (I'm engaging in sarcasm here.)  Blame the victim.  Divide women who have been harassed from women who have not been harassed.  Make the women who have not had the kind of experiences that I had, the kind of experiences the alleged Trump victims had, feel superior to "victims".  

Do I believe these women?  Yes.  As a whole.  Because women try to be "nice", especially if they are with an employer, a prospective employer, a co-worker, or even someone who just starts talking to them while they are walking down the street.  Why does it take them so long to come forward?  Why do they only come forward after someone else comes forward?  First of all, look at what Trump has said about these women.  Also, several of them feel guilty about continued contact with Trump as they STILL thought that perhaps he would help them with a job or a business arrangement.. even after he demonstrated boorish, reprehensible behavior.

Why do they only come forward after someone else comes forward? 

The first one will give courage to the others, as I learned when I reported that guy for trying to kiss me and grope me on the El train.  Why do you need courage?  Well, you may be afraid of being raked over the coals .. or you may feel extremely guilty that you SOMEHOW got in a position when a creep could stick his hands up your skirt.

Well, one last story:

I was sitting in a window seat on an El train many years back when a young man sat next to me.  No big deal, the train was crowded, not many more seats.  The train pulled out of the station.  I felt a mild pressure on my thigh.  I assumed that I had accidentally bumped into the man, and I moved closer to the window.  Then another "pressure".  I moved even closer to the window.  Then a touch on my thigh, under my skirt, that I could not ignore.  I shoved my purse between me and the man sitting next to me and I got out at the next stop, taking the next train home.

I'll tell you what bothered me about that.  I didn't scream; I didn't report the guy to the CTA.  I should have gotten up, pointed to the man and said in a loud voice "This man is a pervert!  Get out of here!"  Or something like that.  But I didn't.  Perhaps the pervert immediately went to sit next to another woman, perhaps a younger woman, and his fingers started climbing.  Perhaps he got farther with her.

But I didn't report the guy; I didn't yell; I didn't scream.  I just left.  The guy was free to move on.  Just as the many women that Trump allegedly groped did not say or do anything, leaving a potential groper and sexual harasser to continue for years, for decades.

Donald Trump?

Enough is enough.  Donald Trump should not be elected President, not just because he is allegedly a groper, but because he is fundamentally unfit to be President.  Character, experience, policies; he's got none of that.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Ivanka Trump: Family Leave Champion? Uh, no...

A former Ivanka Trump employee talks about maternity leave. Family friendly?
Well, Ivanka went back to work ONE WEEK after having her first child!  Who needs family leave anyway? (snark)

Found on 
Facebook, posted by Facebook user Marissa Velez Kraxberger:

I have tried to abstain from writing anything amidst this terrifying political brawl that relates to my past employer, but when I recently saw a commercial with Ivanka and her father and their "maternity leave" policy I felt like I was going to be ill. 
When I first interviewed with Ivanka I was 2 months pregnant; she called to offer me a job, which I was at the time very excited about, and when I asked about maternity leave she said she would have to think about it, that at Trump they don't offer maternity leave and that she went back to work just a week after having her first child. 
I somehow was dumb enough to accept the job after agreeing upon having the discussion further down the road about how we would handle the time after my baby was born. Our team--the ones who created #WomenWhoWork and the ones who the hashtag really stood for--fought long and hard to get her to finally agree to 8 weeks paid maternity leave. 
I'm not writing this because I think Ivanka is a bad person. I can see how it might be possible to go back to work after having a baby when you have a lot of help at home.  I think she suffered by not staying home longer with her kids when she could have. I am however saying that if you truly support parenting and children then you actually have to support it fully... and that also means supporting maternity leave for adopted children and paternity leave as well. How can she claim that their maternity policy is a comprehensive solution for our country? 
The company and the #WomenWhoWork platform we created was meant to inspire and encourage women to work at all aspects of their lives and live the lives they wanted to live, but before our eyes she took the platform and made it all about herself... and now it's being dragged along side of this man who could potentially be the face of our country. A man who puts down women and makes lewd comments, a man who is an outspoken rascist, a man with no real vision for our future just scare tactics and threats. I'm not only saddened by the state of our nation, but mostly by the fact that our kids foundational years in school, where they learn about our nation's history, could be under the leadership of this man. 
Regarding #WomenWhoWork, I am still proud of the work that we did and the message we created. It is not about Ivanka, it is about all the women we know working hard everyday to live the life they want. Whether they are stay at home moms, business executives, teachers, entrepreneurs or students deciding on what their futures hold, know that #WomenWhoWork is about these women--all of you. 
We, as women, need to rise and have a voice against this man and all that he stands for.
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