Ticker Tape vs Sex Tape: Notes on the Town Brawl in St. Louis


Screen grab from CSPAN | CC BY 2.0


+ Forty years ago, Germaine Greer pretty much summed up this weekend’s filth-fest: “Is it too much to ask that women be spared the daily struggle for superhuman beauty in order to offer it to the caresses of a subhumanly ugly mate?”

+ How providential for Hillary that the Washington Post publishes the Trump the Lecher tapes on the same day Wikileaks dumps a damning email trove from the inbox of John Podesta that would have killed any other campaign.

+ Or perhaps it wasn’t so providential after all.

+ The Podesta emails reveal, among many other salacious matters, how the Clintons have perfected the art of seducing, coddling and manipulating the press to plant and “tee up” stories they want told, the way they want them told, when they want them told…

+ More conspiratorially, the emails also disclose fresh information on the Clintons’ role in the rise of Trump. Two months before Trump declared his candidacy, the Clinton team circulated a memo on the “strategic goal of elevating” Trump, as a kind of poison pill in the gut of the GOP. Trump was their preferred candidate and they worked frantically to help launch his campaign and fuel his ascent, knowing he would detonate prematurely like one of those SpaceX rockets.

+ This week HRC sends Al Gore out on the campaign trail as her personal envoy to millennials, despite three allegations against the former VP for sexual assault. Why no outrage from feminists or Nation magazine editors?

+ Josh and I interviewed Al Gore’s Portland accuser for a couple of hours. She sounded very credible to us.

+I thought it was now incumbent upon liberal minded people to believe the stories of victims of sexual assault? But apparently liberal politicians are exempt from this rule.

+ Indeed, liberals habitually dismiss these sorts of allegations against their own kind–JFK (worshipped as a national demi-god, even after his sexual relationship with a 19-year-old intern named Mimi Alford), Bill Clinton (sexual assault allegations by Paula Jones, Kathrine Willey and Juanita Brodderick), Joe Biden (who had a notorious reputation for “hitting on” senate staffers, including the wife of a longtime CounterPunch writer), Ted Kennedy, who killed one woman and was allegedly involved in a 3-way with another Democratic senator (and one-time presidential candidate), an encounter known among DC insiders as “the waitress sandwich.” All still viewed as Heroes by the Left.bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

+ When it comes to reprobate wingmen and sex procurers, Billy Bush is not nearly as imposing as the Arkansas State Troopers.

+ How much carbon has HRC burned in pursuit of $$ from Hollywood moguls, the men who run the industry that invented the “casting couch”?

+ Tim Kaine called the Iraq War a “noble cause” (in 2006!), call me sexist but I find this more offensive than Trump’s piggish priapic boasts. (Frank Green, “After Iraq, Afghan Trip, Kaine Says Morale Of Troops Is High,” Richmond Times Dispatch, 3/18/06)

+ I think it should be a prerequisite for every presidential candidate to appear on The Howard Stern Show at least once. Stern is the postmodern Freud, dredging up the demons lurking in our politicians’ subconscious for public dissection and ridicule. Keep plumbing the muck, Howard, a grateful nation tunes its lonely ears to you.

+A large part of the uproar over the Trump tapes is driven not by the fact that Trump’s comments are shocking but because they are so familiar. We’ve heard similar, perhaps even more rancid, things from our fathers, uncles, brothers, coaches, teachers, pastors, teammates, and friends. Perhaps we’ve even made similar comments ourselves. Now the public wants to project its own shame onto Trump. His humiliation serves as a kind catharsis for the nation’s own systemic sexism. Perhaps NOW will give him a medal one day for his “sacrifice”…

+ What if the Trump tape had been hacked and leaked by the Israelis or Saudis? Would HRC denounce as an attempt to manipulate US elections?

+ Does Melania have access to mini-Donald’s or creepy Eric’s gun cabinet? The NRA-types she’s been hanging with lately will have taught her to aim true…

+ So Pence cancelled his planned Sunday appearance with Trump. Just rewards for Trump picking a bigoted and moralizing Christian conservative as his running mate.

+ Trump has vowed not to resign. But what if Pence does? Will they have to adjust the ballast on Air Trump to accommodate the bulk freight of Chris Christie?

+ The GOP is just fine with Trump’s racist insults of blacks, Hispanics, Muslims, body-shaming of women, adultery, past allegations of sexual assault and rape. Finally draws the line at what, exactly? Profanity?

+ Racist GOP scumbags suddenly jumping like rats from the listing SS Trump. Is there no honor among sleaze?

+ I used to believe that the title of most ridiculous liberal columnist was a two-person race between between Thomas Friedman and Nicholas Kristof. But a third contender has suddenly emerged to challenge these two titans of tedium, the Nation’s National Editor John Nichols. This weekend Nichols, keyboarding from the secure confines of his Madison panic room, began firing off Tweets about the Trump fiasco, none more ludicrous than this one:

The “Party of Lincoln” cannot be the “Party of Trump.” Republicans who defend Trump at this point place partisanship ahead of principle.

Really, John? Principle? 

Why do Liberals like Nichols care about the “integrity” of the GOP or assume that it has had any for the last 150 years? The GOP hasn’t been the “party of Lincoln” since, well, Lincoln was assassinated.

Are we to assume that the GOP adhered to its principles during the graft-plagued administrations of Taft, Coolidge, and Hoover?

When “good” Republicans plotted a coup d’etat against FDR?

Did they stick firmly to their principles during the McCarthy era witch hunts? During the Nixon administration? Was it principled to firebomb Hanoi? Bomb Laos, Cambodia and the Brookings Institution? Break into the Watergate and the office of Daniel Ellsberg’s shrink?

Was Henry Kissinger a man of principle? Were they acting on high moral principles when the CIA overthrew Salvador Allende? Connived in the genocidal slaughter of East Timor?

Was the Iran/contra deal consecrated as an act of principle? How about Reagan’s new war on drugs? The busting of the PATCO strike? The glorious invasion of Grenada? The arming of the Contras and the Mujahideen?

Was the first Gulf War a moral war? How about the Iraq War? The PATRIOT Act? CIA renditions? Daisy-cutter bombs? Abu Ghraib? Enhanced interrogations, waterboarding and torture?

What are these “principles” of which you speak, Mr. Nichols?

+ Frankly, I don’t know if The Nation will be able to retain Nichols. If he keeps producing material this rich, the New York Times may well make him an offer he can’t refuse and we may soon find him grazing in the same stable with Friedman, Kristof and David Brooks.

+ As my friend Michael Donnelly was quick to point out, many of the high-profile Republicans who have heeded Nichols’s call to denounce Trump, mighty men of honor like Mitch McConnell, have played decisive roles in blocking the Violence Against Women Act and other bills aimed at redressing de facto and de jure sexism.

+ Of course liberals like Nichols, who want Trump to step (or be hoisted) aside for a politician of ironclad principle like Mike Pence, might wish to reconsider, given the fact that Pence has stubbornly refused to pardon Keith Cooper, an Elkhart, Indiana man who served 10 years in prison for a crime he didn’t commit. Even Cooper’s prosecutor urged Pence to pardon the innocent man. Pence refused. On principle.

+ Lost in the Trump the Lecher tape frenzy are the new details about how HRC & the Wall Street investors in her campaign are conspiring to rape the economy.

+ For starters, how about the revelation, largely unremarked upon, of Hillary’s stealth scheme to overhaul (that is, privatize and cut benefits) Social Security?

+ Then there’s the fealty she pledged to Wall Street, as disclosed in her Goldman speeches. Goldman didn’t pay all that money to listen to her feeble ideas on the economy. They paid for her to act on theirs. Here’s a direct link to an 80-page document prepared by Clinton campaign of “damaging” material from Hillary’s paid speeches.

+ Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook: “It’s a little troubling that Clinton Foundation meeting was held in Goldman Sachs HQ.” You think?

+ Bill Clinton made $375K from speeches to Keystone Pipeline related interests, while Hillary, at State, helped fine-tune the messaging. Ka-Ching! Sierra Club and The Nation endorse anyway!! Ka-Ching!!

+ Never mind the Wall St. talks / let’s print a Trump sex tape / I’ll salute the Stein campaign / and I hope somebody relates / I’m so Gored by the USA / But what can I do?

+Trump has now demonstrated that he has at least two important qualifications necessary to become President of the United States: raping and looting. War-making still to be determined.

+If, as the NYT and Nate Silver now assert, the election is now all over but for the shouting and Hillary is assured of total victory over Trump, then Bernie Sanders no longer needs to debase his movement by continuing to serve as the Huckster-in-Chief for her campaign. So why does he persist?

+ But the election may not be over. Trump will still get between 40-45% of the WOMEN’s vote and 60% of white males. It’s all about turnout in a basketful of “deplorable” states. I heard Liberal media types this weekend castigating Fox News for spending more time on Hurricane Matthew, a superstorm that has already killed nearly 1000 people, than airing endless repeats of the Trump tape, which only confirm what we already knew about him. But electorally, Matthew may prove more damaging to Clinton than the tapes to Trump, especially if the damage from the storm displaces many black voters in North Carolina and Florida.

+ Speaking of Matthew, how long before Hurricane Hillary descends on Haiti once again to afflict yet more misery on the island nation’s les miserables in the name of reconstruction?

+ Trump’s core supporters don’t seem too ruffled by their champion’s vulgar badinage. A CBS poll in Ohio has shown that 91% of Trump voters haven’t altered their views about the mogul.

+ Note from Julian Assange: “We have published 1% of the #PodestaEmails so far. Additional publications will proceed throughout the election period.” Tick tock, tick tock.

+ Remember when the same liberals, now feigning outrage over Trump, dismissed the Clinton scandals (including rape allegations) as being “just about sex?”

+ MoveOn.org originated as a movement to “get beyond” the Clinton scandals. “Censor and move on” was their rallying cry. Now they are one of the biggest purveyors of Trump trash, forsaking substantive issues such as war, trade, transparency, torture, death penalty, climate change, et al., which might prove problematic for HRC.

+ Rape and sex assault allegations against Trump are nothing new, starting with claims made by his ex-wife Ivana. Media did nothing to investigate. Why? Making too much $$ off of those Trump ratings?

+ NBC was to Trump what Fox News was to Ailes. Both corporations enabled and then covered up systemic sexual harassment of their women employees to protect their moneymakers. NBC News knew about the existence of the Access Hollywood tapes (same network), knew what was on them and chose not to disclose them until after they were leaked to the Washington Post.

+ Henry Kissinger said pretty much the same thing as Trump about the impunity of  “stars” for their unwanted sexual advances on women, only Henry put it in the anodyne syntax of Kissingerian diplomacy when he described his own inexplicable sexual exploits by saying: “Power is the ultimate aphrodisiac.” HRC, naturally, is now courting Kissinger’s advice, favor and support.

+ As for crudities of this sort there are so many examples from the mouth of Bill Clinton that they could fill a Gazetteer of Filth.  According to friends, Bubba just can’t stop bragging about his sexual conquests (I used that word advisedly). Here’s a relatively tame slur, as reported by Jeffrey Toobin in his book A Vast Conspiracy: “Gennifer Flowers could suck a tennis ball through a garden hose.”

+ Meanwhile, the lives of 10s of millions of women will be flattened by the policies concocted by HRC, Goldman Sachs and Wall Street and Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders will be on the road signing her praises for the next three weeks.

+Tonight’s debate will be moderated by Anderson Cooper (Net worth: $100 million) and the impoverished Martha Raddatz (Net worth: $17 million). Apparently Jerry Springer had another engagement. No word on whether the chairs will be nailed to the floor.

+ Trump warmed up for the evening’s face-off by holding a press conference with three women who have accused Bill Clinton of sexual assault: Juanita Broaddrick, Paula Jones, and Kathleen Willey, as well as Kathy Shelton, who was 12-years old when raped by a man later defended at trial by Hillary Clinton.

Trump invited Broaddrick, Willey and Jones to be his personal guests tonight at the debate. I wonder if Paula Jones rebuked Trump for his crude joke about her in 1992, when he told Howard Stern it was “too bad she didn’t run faster from Bill Clinton.”

No word on whether they will be seated next to Melania. Stay classy, Donald.

+ It turns out the accusers are sitting right in front of Sen. Dick Durbin, the Illinois Democrat, who pretends not to notice.

+ Big media pre-debate question: Will Bill Clinton shake Melania’s hand? Of course, he’s Bill Clinton! Though he appeared to linger a little longer on Ivanka’s hand, perhaps wondering, for just a moment, if he had the same privilege that her father had granted Howard Stern to call her “a piece of ass.

+ No handshake between the opponents. Grim smiles. Hillary’s like the Grim Reaper’s. Trump’s merely grim.

+ Hillary seems to argue that mudslinging in the campaign is more disturbing to children than blood-strewn craters left by drone strikes.

+ Trump sounds like he’s on ludes. Depressed, deflated, doomed.

+ First Trump sniff. No apology.

+ Hillary says she never questioned the fitness of previous Republican presidents. That explains a lot.

+ HRC wants the world to know America is great because we are good. They already know we are good at bombing…

+ Trump’s initial assault on Bill Clinton was pretty weak. If you’re going to poke the tiger you’d better kill it. Those were soft, garbled, glancing blows. Hillary is handing him his head on his own golden platter.

Trump wants a new special prosecutor to look into Hillary’s emails. After Ken Starr got fired from Baylor for whitewashing sexual assaults on campus by football players, he’s probably looking for a new gig.

+ Hillary says people should “fat-check” Trump in real time! No wonder her website finally got some traffic.

+ Quaaludes appear to be wearing off. Old Trump re-emerging.

+ Trump calls for HRC to be jailed, then turns on Cooper and Radditz, snapping “Why don’t you ask about the emails, Cooper? Great, it’s one-on-three.”

+ Trump sniffing so badly now he may need a coke break, per the “diagnosis” of Dr. Howard Dean.

+ Apparently, Hillary doesn’t know that ObamaCare still gives your health care over to the insurance companies.

+ Neither candidate made the slightest bit of sense in talking about health care. Trump was so befuddled he accused Hillary of backing single payer, one of the night’s great howlers.

+ Trump has started dropping standard Republican code words like Block Grant randomly into each paragraph in an attempt to redeem himself with the American Enterprise Institute crowd.

+ Hillary talks about how much she loves Muslims, when they behave. Otherwise, she’ll drone them without regrets.

+ Hillary says we are not at war with Islam. We are at war in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Somalia, Pakistan’s border regions, covertly in Iran…Muslims can judge for themselves.

+ Trump to Hillary: “You gave Iran $450 million in cash. That’s enough money to fill this room.” But still $450 million less than his tax write off.

+ Carl G. Estabrook: “‘When people fly into our country…’ First 9-11 reference?”

+ More and more, Hillary Clinton reminds me of Tony Blair in a pantsuit.

+ When Russia bombs, only children die. When America bombs, children run away, hide and are never heard from again.

+ Clinton gives two-faced answer about being a two-faced politician. Blames Lincoln. Then blames Putin!

+ Trump makes a rational statement about desiring a normalized working relationship with Russia. Is immediately condemned by liberals as a tool of Putin.  Expect drone strike soon.

+ If Doctor Dean’s assessment is correct, then Trump should start injecting himself. His sinuses are shot. (For video instructions see Clive Owen in “The Knick.”)

+ After 10 brain-numbing minutes on the tax code, the TV audience is now scrambling to open safety-caps on their Quaalude bottles .

Aleppo? Aleppo? Aleppo? Why isn’t Gary Johnson here to clarify!

+ Hillary ready to go to war with Russia in Syria. Duck and cover.

+ Johnson said that “Hillary was going to pull that trigger.” She just confirmed it.

+ Bonus points to Trump for stomping on Pence’s neocon fire-breathing on Syria. “I didn’t talk to him and he’s wrong.”

+  Hillary publicly calls for assassination of Baghdadi. She really wants this guy’s head on a stake. Kill Chain foreign policy.

+ We’ve heard about the photos of the children bombed by Assad, where are the photos of the children bombed by Obama/Clinton? The children starved to death by her husband and Madeliene Albright in Iraq?

+ What about the child immigrants from Central America deported by Hillary? Or the children now cowering under the violent new regime in Honduras by US backed coup?

+ Hillary says she is very proud of her relationship with George W. Bush. Of course, she is. But what about Billy?

+ Queen of Fracking gives “two-(or maybe three) faced” answer on energy and climate, keeps nattering on about “bridge fuels”. Bridge to the Inferno.

+ Only a man of Trump’s narcissism and hubris could have made it through tonight. That and the coke.

+ After 100s killed this weekend by US-backed Saudi airstrikes, not one question about Yemen. Another journalistic failure by Syria-obsessed press, especially Martha “Aleppo Aleppo” Raddatz.

+ Best analysis of debate is on Fox News, as Republicans contort themselves over how to react. Liberals rarely feel contorted, except in hot yoga.

+ The Liberal commentariat is horrified by Trump’s threat to investigate and jail HRC. If only Obama had appointed a special prosecutor to investigate & jail Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and Co. for torture, domestic surveillance and the Iraq War.

Of course, if Bush had been sent to prison for crimes against the US Constitution, he and Obama wouldn’t have had such a jolly time together during the opening of African-American Museum. Prez’s have to watch each other’s backs–after all, most of them do belong in prison.

+  The aversion against prosecuting government officials for their crimes is one reason why cops can kill with impunity and Chelsea Manning rots in jail.

+ So who won? Hard to say. I figure Trump scored at least a draw just by walking out of the building alive, instead of being torn apart by Maenads (his just fate) like Pentheus in Euripides’ “The Bacchae.”

+ I don’t want either of these two answering the call at 3 AM.

Jeffrey St. Clair is editor of CounterPunch. His most recent book is An Orgy of Thieves: Neoliberalism and Its Discontents (with Alexander Cockburn). He can be reached at: sitka@comcast.net or on Twitter @JeffreyStClair3