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Virginity Is Not Morality

Virginity Is Not Morality

I don’t know what will happen to Brett Kavanaugh over the next few days. The Supreme Court nominee continues to vigorously deny accusations that he sexually assaulted one woman and exposed himself to another while he was in high school and college. It’s possible that he could be confirmed to the court as early as the end of this week. The senators in charge of his confirmation do not seem inclined to investigate the allegations with any vigor and I…

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We Can All Do Better

We Can All Do Better

I believe Christine Blasey Ford I was a teenager in the 1980s. Back then, girls were taught to fight off the advances of boys. Boys were taught to advance. Boys seemed to believe that it was their right to try and have sex with girls. They didn’t pursue this by having conversations or by building intimacy; they pursued sex by wearing you down, by pressing against you, by grabbing and groping, by begging and even crying. No one talked about…

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The Joy of Happy Valley

The Joy of Happy Valley

When my husband travels, I often dive into a new series to pass the time in the evenings. He’s taken two extended trips this year, which was just enough for me to get through both seasons of Happy Valley on Netflix. If you haven’t seen Happy Valley, you should watch it. In Happy Valley, middle-aged women are portrayed by actual middle-aged women. This should not be remarkable, but it is. Of course, it’s British; American television would never stand for so…

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Notes From a Dumb Southerner

Notes From a Dumb Southerner

Apparently the current president called his attorney general a “dumb southerner” and made fun of his accent. This is one of many ugly incidents reported in Bob Woodward’s forthcoming book Fear. Look, I don’t like Jeff Sessions. He is a racist, sexist, homophobic, and self-righteous little man. But “dumb southerner” is an insult too far. One of Trump’s most annoying verbal habits is that he slings broad insults rather than specific ones. Calling Sessions a “dumb southerner” implies that all (or most)…

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That’s a Deal Breaker

That’s a Deal Breaker

When my husband does something for which he feels he must apologize, I often reassure him by saying, “Don’t worry, that’s not a deal breaker.” My husband, being a good and considerate person, often apologizes for things I wouldn’t even notice. Because of this, I sometimes shout “NOT A DEAL BREAKER!” before he has a chance to apologize. I’m charming like that. This week I read the news about Rep. Duncan Hunter’s indictment for misusing campaign finance funds. I have…

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This is Not a Good Guy

This is Not a Good Guy

Paul Manafort is not the best people. Yesterday, as news came down about Manafort’s eight felony convictions, the president kept insisting that Manafort is really “a good guy.” He isn’t. Good guys don’t hide their money in overseas bank accounts in an effort to defraud the federal government. Good guys don’t lie about their assets to get bank loans. Good guys don’t drape themselves in python and ostrich. Truly they do not. Manafort was convicted primarily of fraud. He lied…

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Trump is Talking About Himself

Trump is Talking About Himself

Trump can’t shut up about ‘collusion’. First it was “no collusion” and now he insists “collusion is not a crime.” I’ll bet he uses the word ‘collusion’ several dozen times a day in both public forums and private conversations. That’s not normal. Trump and his ever more unhinged lawyer Rudy Giuliani are correct: collusion is not a crime. It is, however, the perfect means to commit a number of crimes. People with actual legal expertise have enumerated the many, many…

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The Grand Old (Russian) Party

The Grand Old (Russian) Party

Donald Trump would never have been elected president without the influence of Russia. The Russians may not have changed votes at the ballot box, but they definitely changed voters’ minds. They engaged in a campaign to dupe Americans (and, boy, are we dupable!) into believing that a man with no experience, numerous business failures, and an inability to string together a coherent sentence was a better choice for the Republican nomination than all the other more mainstream candidates. Then, of…

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All the World’s a Stage

All the World’s a Stage

Did you see the president’s press conference on Tuesday? The one where he tried to convince us that he isn’t treasonous, but only careless with language? It was an absurd piece of political theater and it was punctuated by a dramatic, mid-monologue plunge into darkness. I don’t know who’s directing this show, but he or she has a wicked sense of humor. Look at cast member Maria Butina, indicted this week on suspicion of being a Russian spy. Butina charmed…

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