Stormy Daniels is a feminist hero

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And we owe it to her to give her the respect she deserves in her fight to break her silence

If American history has taught us one important lesson, it’s that sex scandals — in all their forms — can be more powerful than whispers of corruption when it comes to pushing a politician out of office.

By: Nicole Karlis/

While this isn’t always the case, it seems to be true more times than not. Blame it on the country’s puritanical roots, America’s obsession with private lives or the increasing intolerance for abusive men in positions of power. When one’s sex life becomes public knowledge, and it reflects poorly on that person’s character, it’s likely their days in office are numbered. This trend dates back centuries. As every Lin-Manuel Miranda fan knows, Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton had an affair while married. A journalist exposed him after he served in office, but he still had to issue a public apology, which reportedly harmed his reputation and future in politics. Then there’s Bill Clinton, who set a new standard of what the implications are when you lie about an affair under oath.


When news broke that adult film star Stephanie Clifford (whose stage name is Stormy Daniels) allegedly had an affair with President Donald Trump in 2006 while he was married to Melania Trump, gasps and glimmers of real hope arrived for many who are utterly exhausted by Trump’s misogyny, racism and bullying. Unlike the many would-be scandals that have followed Trump all the way into the Oval Office, Clifford has a real chance at thwarting Trump’s position of power.

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Smearing bodily fluids on roommates things – and avoiding a record – defines peak white privilege

The case of a relative handslap for a repugnant act by a former student illustrates how white privilege can work

By: Blue Telusma/ The Grio

This week 18-year-old Brianna Brochu learned white privilege has it’s perks, particularly when it comes to the criminal justice system.

Monday, the former University of Hartford student — who was notoriously accused of harassing her Black roommate by smearing bodily fluids on the girl’s backpack and tampering with other items – received a special form of probation that could allow her to avoid a criminal record.

Her former roommate, Chennel “Jazzy” Rowe, attended Brochu’s hearing in Superior Court in Hartford and told Judge Omar Williams that she did not oppose Brochu’s request for accelerated rehabilitation. Brochu will have to perform 200 hours of community service — including 50 at a literacy organization in Greater Hartford and 50 at a social services group. If she completes those requirements and stays out of trouble, the charges of breach of peace and criminal mischief will be dismissed after two years.


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Michael Steele’s Treatment at CPAC Is a Sad and Worrisome Omen for the GOP

Minority voters are watching how conservatives treat my old boss, the former RNC Chair.

By: Doug Heye-Daily Beast

The news that former RNC Chairman Michael Steele was criticized on the stage of the Conservative Political Action Committee should not have been a surprise. For 15 years, Steele has had his race used against him, with the bipartisan critics and the media often amplifying the notion that he has to be kept  in his “place.”

I know first hand, having worked on Michael Steele’s 2006 Senate race and at the Republican National Committee while Steele was chairman. But while I had come to expect it from his liberal opponents, I’m distressed to see the “conservative” movement echo these lines.

It began back in the 2002 Maryland Gubernatorial race, when Steele was candidate for lieutenant governor. The liberal editorial page of the Baltimore Sun questioned Steele’s credentials, saying he brought “little to the team but the color of his skin.” Four years later, the Sun was at it again, patronizingly terming Steele a “likable man and persuasive speaker” – articulate and clean, anyone?

Steny Hoyer, the House Minority Whip has called Steele “slavish”—for which he had to apologize— while Maryland State Senate President Mike Miller called Steele “Uncle Tom.” The Democratic National Committee, in a 37-page memo by Cornell Belcher sought to “turn Steele into a typical Republican candidate — as opposed to an African-American.”

When Steele ran, successfully, for RNC chair in 2009, the dirt continued to be thrown at him. In 2009, MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough declared that “Republicans are learning right now, that sometimes being black isn’t enough. They thought ‘we’re going to get a black guy to run our party.’”

Always outspoken, but also a former seminarian, Steele handled this with a characteristic mix of class and combativeness. But even as he was able to deal the slings and arrows coming his way, the comments raised serious questions about how much of the political universe views race.

With the communications director of CPAC declaring, from the stage this past week, that Steele was elected as RNC chair “because he’s a black guy,” it raises even more serious questions about how Trumpian tribalism has quickly become the rule of law within a large segment of the GOP.

This is terrible for our party.

While Republicans may see speaking to minority audiences as a low priority, they should realize that minorities are closely watching them. For African-Americans to see the man who is likely the most prominent African-American Republican on the airwaves, treated this way, is another sign of a Republican Party that is not interested in winning their votes. CPAC is an event I used to attend nearly annually but have not in several years. Over time, the conference has taken more and more of a tribal posture, seeking to cast out what it decides are “bad” conservatives in favor of “good” conservatives with a roster slouching towards the extreme. Last year it was Milo Yiannopoulos, who was ultimate disinvited from CPAC after sponsors balked. This year, it was Marion Le Pen of France’s National Front, whose politics are so controversial in her home country that French rocker Johnny Hallyday had the family banned from the funeral. Unlike Yiannopoulos, Le Pen was not disinvited. Instead, she was welcomed as a hero, if not the conquering one.

Of course, CPAC’s conquering hero is clearly Donald Trump. Just two years after canceling his 2016 speech under the threat of a walk out, Trump has become the belle of the ball, fully in control of an adoring audience all too happy to boo Senator John McCain and other Republicans who don’t sufficiently grovel to him.

Does anyone honestly believe that these comments would have been said about Steele had he been a Trump acolytes instead of a detractor? The obvious and honest answer is no. That may be fine if Trump is enjoying high popularity. But he is not. He is in a politically tenuous position—with low popularity ratings and an ever-encroaching Russia investigation—not the position of power.

All of which puts the GOP in precisely the position many believed the party was heading the day before Trump’s surprise election. It also means that whenever Trump is no longer president, the GOP will still be divided, with limited desire or effort to appeal to minorities, and no road map forward.

They will need—and should want—people like Michael Steele to help move beyond these kinds of moments and re-find their way.



Sex under the Capitol Dome: State Senator Tony Mendoza resigns



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The Me Too\We Said Enough movement is rocking the Golden Dome of California’s State Capitol. Last October a letter circulated by lobbyists, female lawmakers and legislative staff members and some political consultants cited a pervasive culture of harassment in the capitol.  Sexual harassment is common and sexual assaults have taken place in the Capitol.

While some staffers have come forward, many are still afraid to name to harassers as others experienced retaliation after filing formal complaints with the Legislature. 

Unlike state employees and your employer, legislative workers have no civil service protection.

Bills to provide them with whistle blower protection against retaliation has died in the Legislature four years in a row.

Under a new process instituted this year, the Assembly Rules Committee refers complaints deemed valid to an independent law firm — legislators say they believe that will speed the process of assisting victims.

Ten allegations of sexual harassment are pending before the Assembly, according to Speaker Anthony Rendon’s office.

A wave in the dome is in motion and slowly building strength.


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In November, Los Angeles Assemblyman Raul Bocanegra resigned after six women came forward with stories of aggressive attacks by Bocanegra dating back nearly 10 years.  In 2009, Bocanegra  had been disciplined by the Legislature following allegations that he had groped a fellow legislative staffer. In 2010, he forcibly kissed and groped a woman at the MIX Nightclub in Sacramento.


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A week later, Assemblyman Matt Dababneh representing Woodland Hills resigned. After Sacramento lobbyist Pamela Lopez came forward.   Lopez claimed in 2016, Democratic Assemblyman Matt Dababneh followed her into a bathroom in Las Vegas, masturbated in front of her and urged her to touch him.

Another woman, Jessica Yas Barker, alleged that Dababneh routinely spoke of his sexual exploits and made disparaging comments about women while she worked as his subordinate office from June 2009 until December 2010.  Dababneh said, both allegations are false.

In an interview Dababneh said,”My stepping down isn’t out of guilt or out of fear. It’s out of an idea that I think it’s time for me to move on to new opportunities”


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Allegations are growing for Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia from Bell Gardens.  Garcia is one of the faces of the #MeToo movement in government.  Garcia, who is currently on a voluntary unpaid leave of absence as the Assembly investigate the charges.

In 2014, Daniel Fierro told POLITICO as a 25-year-old staffer to Assemblyman Ian Calderon, he was groped by Garcia. He said she cornered him alone after the annual Assembly softball game in Sacramento as he attempted to clean up the dugout. Fierro, who said Garcia appeared inebriated, said she began stroking his back, then squeezed his buttocks and attempted to touch his crotch before he extricated himself and quickly left.

Fierro is not the only one claiming improper advances by Garcia. A prominent Sacramento lobbyist says she also accosted him in May 2017, when she cornered him, made a graphic sexual proposal, and tried to grab his crotch at a political fundraiser. He spoke to POLITICO on the condition of anonymity out of fear of reprisals.

The lobbyist, who represents a major industry association, said that Garcia appeared to have been drinking heavily at a fundraiser hosted by Governor Jerry Brown for state Senator Josh Newman at the de Veres bar in Sacramento. He said he was heading out the door in part to avoid the assemblywoman — who had been increasingly “flirtatious” and had called him on a few occasions before for late night drinks which he repeatedly declined.  She spotted him and said,“Where are you going?” the lobbyist said.

“She came back and was whispering real close and I could smell the booze and see she was pretty far gone,’’ he said. “She looked at me for a second and said, “I’ve set a goal for myself to fuck you.”

At that point, Garcia “stepped in front of me and reaches out and is grabbing for my crotch,’’ he said. That was “the line in the sand,” according to the lobbyist, and he stopped her. “I was four inches from her, eyeball to eyeball — and I said, ‘That ain’t gonna happen.’”

But his account of the groping incident was corroborated by another high profile political operative in Sacramento, who declined to be named for publication. She said at the time the lobbyist was both angered and “humiliated” by the encounter, and disturbed that his sexual rejection of Garcia could have implications for his industry.

Both she — and the lobbyist — believe it may already have.

The Cristina Garcia sexual-harassment scandal expanded when J. David Kernick then a field representative to Garcia,  engaged in a night of heavy drinking and urged about a half-dozen staffers to play spin the bottle, the game in which players end up kissing.

Garcia “was seemingly not critical of [Kernick’s] work until after he questioned the appropriateness of her suggestion that after a fundraiser at a whiskey bar that [he] sit on the floor of her hotel room and play spin the bottle,”

In  his complaint to the State Fair Housing and Employment. Kernick said that after “protesting this sexual harassment,” he was written up for insubordination and fired. Kernick said the write-up prevented him from finding another job in politics.




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Yesterday, Democratic State Senator Tony Mendoza representing Los Angeles resigned hours before a possible vote to expel him .

Senator Mendoza’s has denied the accusations made by six women and said the investigation was unfair, illegal and racially motivated.  He say’s he intends to sue.

The Attorneys conducting the investigation concluded that Senator Mendoza “more likely than not” engaged in behavior such as offering a 19-year-old intern alcohol in a hotel suite at a Democratic event, suggesting a young woman in a Senate fellowship take a vacation with him and rent a room in his house, and asking several women about their romantic lives.

The investigation found that Mendoza likely engaged in unwanted “flirtatious or sexually suggestive” behavior with six women, including four subordinates, a lobbyist and a young woman in a fellowship with another lawmaker.

He is the third California lawmaker to resign over sexual misconduct allegations since the #MeToo movement erupted nationally last fall, leading millions of women to share their experiences on social media.

The events surrounding the 46 year old married Senator sounds more like “Dynasty” than the Real Housewives.   

Three of Mendoza’s aids were fired after meeting with  the Senate Rules Committee staff and detailed allegations that Mendoza engaged in a pattern of inappropriate behavior with his district director Ava Perez.
Multiple sources told The Sacramento Bee that Mendoza,  invited the young woman back to his place to review resumes, including hers, on the night of a party at the Mix Nightclub Downtown. The woman, Ana Perez worked as a fellow in his office through a prestigious Sacramento State program that places graduates in legislative offices for 11 months
At least two of his aides complained about the way Mendoza’s district director, Perez treated them. One questioned why she was even working for the Senate given her felony record for lying to a grand jury to cover up campaign finance fraud in Commerce, sources said.
Mendoza has repeatedly denied firing the aids for complaining.  As for Perez and her criminal background, he believes in second chances.  As for the outstead aids, they are silenced by confidentially agreements.  Its not uncommon for aids to sign such agreements.

I’m leaving, but not QUIETLY!

In a Richard Nixon-esk exit.   Mendoza went after the leader of the Senate and former roomate  Kevin de Leon in his resignation letter.

“Its clean that de Leon will not rest until he has my head on a platter to convince the MeeToo movement of his sincerity in supporting the cause.

He wrote, that he wasn’t able to see the evidence against him and was ordered to remain silent about the allegations. He said he couldn’t get a fair hearing with so many of his fellow Democrats running for higher office and thinking about their own political futures.   He called the Senate’s process farcical and  “more likely than not” was a low standard of proof that didn’t merit a penalty as high as expulsion.
He said, he might run for his seat in the fall



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Hear the stories, plan your defense,see the letter Click on the link below




Students Plan Protests, Washington March, to Demand Gun Control After Mass Shooting



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PARKLAND, Fla. (Reuters) – Stunned by the deadliest high school shooting in U.S. history, students mobilized across the country on Sunday to organize rallies and a national walkout in support of stronger gun laws, challenging politicians they say have failed to protect them.

Students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, where a former student is accused of murdering 17 people on Wednesday using an assault-style rifle, joined others on social media to plan the events, including a Washington march.

“I felt like it was our time to take a stand,” said Lane Murdock, 15, of Connecticut. “We’re the ones in these schools, we’re the ones who are having shooters come into our classrooms and our spaces.”

Murdock, who lives 20 miles (32 km) from Sandy Hook Elementary School where 20 children and six adults were shot to death five years ago, drew more than 50,000 signatures on an online petition on Sunday calling on students to walk out of their high schools on April 20.


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FOOD FIGHT! Why thousands of people join a massive food fight in this Italian town each year

Why thousands of people join a massive food fight in this Italian town each year
Ivrea’s Battle of the Oranges is one of Italy’s most famous and messiest carnivals. Photo: Miguel Medina/AFP

Italy is home to many spectacular spring carnivals, from masks and extravagant costumes in Venice to political satire in Viareggio. But one of the most unusual festivals takes place in a small town in northwestern Italy, where thousands gather each February to wage war… with oranges.


The three-day food fight in Ivrea, Piedmont has taken place each year since 1808, making 2018 the carnival’s 210th edition.

Huge crowds descend on the city for the Battle of the Oranges, a messy fight believed to commemorate a revolt against the monarchy. The festivities kicked off on Sunday and continue until Tuesday, February 13th, the day before Ash Wednesday and the Christian festival of Lent.

According to legend, a 12th century rebellion began after a baron visited a peasant girl on the eve of her wedding, hoping to exercise the right medieval lords supposedly had to have sex with any women from the lower classes.

But the girl fought back, beheading the baron and marching around the town with his head, an action which sparked a peasant uprising.

These days, the battle is recreated using fruit, and festival-goers or ‘aranceri’ (orange-throwers) are divided into teams. Those on foot represent the commoners, split into nine teams with different emblems. Others, portraying the Napoleonic troops who used to rule the town, fight back from horse-drawn carts.

Participants in this year’s carnival. Photo: Miguel Medina/AFP

People dressed up as the Mugnaia (‘miller’s daughter’, the peasant girl who started the revolt), also called Violetta, and Napoleonic officers parade through the streets. Violetta hands out sweets and other small trinkets to those who have come to watch.

Huge stacks of crates filled with the citrus fruits line the streets to supply the participants with ammunition, while the carts are stocked with oranges too.

It is not exactly clear why oranges are the fruit of choice, and in previous decades, beans or apples were used instead. Each year, hundreds of thousands of kilograms of oranges are imported from Sicily to the northwestern town.

Spectators can choose to wear a red hat to mark themselves as a bystander (donning the hat also means you cannot throw any oranges yourself) or stay safe from flying pulp by sheltering behind the nets which are put up to protect Ivrea’s buildings.

Other rituals include a large bonfire, again symbolic of the revolt but also of the arrival of spring, as well as the musical and theatrical performances common to many Italian carnivals.

Superbowl 52 Justin Timberlake “Doomed from the Start”

Justin Timberlake had nothing to say at the Super Bowl and wouldn't stop saying it

 There are many blacks who gave Justin Timberlake as pass   (He was allowed to emulate the black culture/music) without question.   He had a very rare card that allowed him to appropriate black music and culture.

In 2004, he was one half of the firestorm at Superbowl 38, where he removed Janet Jackson’s costume exposing her breast.  By all accounts Timberlake distanced himself from Jackson, leaving her to take the blame for the wardrobe malfunction. Nipplegate damaged Janet Jackson career and left Justin Timberlake’s unscathed.    Leaving many in the black community calling for his card.

Years have passed and Justin Timberlake hung on to his card.  Welcomed at black events like the BET (Black Entertainment Television) Awards where he would support issues that affect black people at the event.   However, beyond the awards he was absent.

Timberlake owes much of his success to the black community who welcomed him.  Today he’s finding himself locked outside in the cold.

In an ideal world his appearance at the Superbowl would have boosted sales for his newest and worst reviewed album of his career “Man of the Woods” that dropped last Friday.

Chris Edwards of the Washington Post said: Timberlake tries to make the world forget about his dud album, and about that alleged purple hologram and — oh, right — about the last time he performed at the Super Bowl, way back in 2004 when he sang, “Bet I’ll have you naked by the end of this song,” then proceeded to rip away a significant portion of Janet Jackson’s stage costume, exposing her right breast to 90 million unsuspecting television viewers. In the months of pearl-clutching that followed, Timberlake’s career went boffo while the rest of the industry encouraged Ms. Jackson to convalesce in the void — a stark and enduring example of how our culture allows some artists (white/men) to get away with any old thing, while others (black/women) are swiftly silenced for stepping out of bounds.

Mikael Wood of the Los Angeles Times said : Anyone who admires the skill required to get moving parts to move together could see something in this presentation to commend. But this was music, not civil engineering. And there was simply nothing to enjoy about Timberlake’s show beyond its careful planning. The performance lacked soul, meaning, humor; it had no message, nor was it taking any stand — soft, hard or otherwise.

The singing wasn’t even that memorable, and this was after Pink’s shaky (if valiant) stab at the national anthem, which she did while she said she was suffering from the flu.

Before you get going, allow me to stop you: I don’t need every Super Bowl halftime gig to explode like the one in 2016 did, when Beyoncé showed up with a small army of dancers in Black Panther-style berets to do “Formation,” the radical black-pride anthem she’d released one day before. Yet Timberlake wasn’t forsaking politics in order to provide joy, as Bruno Mars did a few years ago. Or as Coldplay did in 2016. (If you forgot, which you probably did, it was technically Coldplay’s Super Bowl show that Beyoncé crashed.)

Or, indeed, as Janet Jackson might have if Timberlake had invited that always-vibrant performer back this year as a means of rectifying the damage her career took after the 2004 incident — even as Timberlake went on to ever greater success. No, joy was in short supply Sunday.  This was a show about the dull reality of entrenched power: predictable, witless, a waste of the attention with which we all rewarded it. (

Like has album, last night Superbowl’s performance was largely panned. On Twitter there were calls for Bruno Mars and he was accused of lip syncing and controversy about his shirt.

At the end of the day, there were people who hoped for vindication or acknowledgement of  Janet Jackson by Justin Timberlake.   Yes, she has been banned from appearing on the Superbowl,  but what if?   What would it have done for Justin?  Unfortunately, that act requires courage and integrity.