Monday, October 27, 2014

Last Call For Jian Gone-meshi

Over the weekend, CBC radio host Jian Ghomeshi of the culture and interview show Q was suspended on Friday over allegations of sexual assault, then outright fired yesterday when those allegations grew to encompass reports of assault by four different women. Ghomeshi is suing the CBC over this, and the story just keeps getting worse.  Kevin Donovan and Jesse Brown in the Toronto Star:

CBC star Jian Ghomeshi has been fired over “information” the public broadcaster recently received that it says “precludes” it from continuing to employ the 47-year-old host of the popular Q radio show.

Shortly after CBC announced Ghomeshi was out the door on Sunday, Ghomeshi released news that he was launching a $50-million lawsuit claiming “breach of confidence and bad faith” by his employer of almost 14 years. He later followed that up with a Facebook posting saying he has been the target of “harassment, vengeance and demonization.”

Over the past few months the Star has approached Ghomeshi with allegations from three young women, all about 20 years his junior, who say he was physically violent to them without their consent during sexual encounters or in the lead-up to sexual encounters. Ghomeshi, through his lawyer, has said he “does not engage in non-consensual role play or sex and any suggestion of the contrary is defamatory.”

In his Facebook posting Sunday evening, Ghomeshi wrote in an emotional statement that he has “done nothing wrong.” He said it is not unusual for him to engage in “adventurous forms of sex that included role-play, dominance and submission.” However, he said it has always been consensual.

Ghomeshi’s statement said that he has been open with the CBC about the allegations. He said the CBC’s decision to fire him came after he voluntarily showed evidence late last week that everything he has done was consensual. Ghomeshi blames a woman he describes as an ex-girlfriend for spreading lies about him and orchestrating a campaign with other women to “smear” him.

The three women interviewed by the Star allege that Ghomeshi physically attacked them on dates without consent. They allege he struck them with a closed fist or open hand; bit them; choked them until they almost passed out; covered their nose and mouth so that they had difficulty breathing; and that they were verbally abused during and after sex.

A fourth woman, who worked at CBC, said Ghomeshi told her at work: “I want to hate f--- you.”

“I have always been interested in a variety of activities in the bedroom but I only participate in sexual practices that are mutually agreed upon, consensual, and exciting for both partners,” Ghomeshi said in his posting.

Q was big enough to get on a number of public radio stations here in the US, including the ones here in the Cincy area.  I've listened to the show on a number of occasions and liked Ghomeshi's interview style, and he's talked to everyone from Barbara Streisand to Robert Plant to John Malkovich to, yes, even Julian Assange.  Ghomeshi himself is former frontman for Moxy Fruvious and he's come a long way from there to being the Canadian equivalent of Oprah.

The allegations open up a lot of questions for Ghomeshi that he says he is trying to answer, but attacking the women making these allegations against him is pretty despicable.  It's one thing if the guy is James Spader's character in Secretary, but if he assaulted or abused his partners, then yeah, he's going to have bigger problems than losing his radio show real fast.

More at Gawker, who intimates that the other shoe is going to drop on Ghomeshi story very soon.

Blue Texas Will Depend On White Urban Voters

That's the conclusion of John Judis at TNR, who figures that any Democrat running for state office or for President will have to get at least 30% of the white, non-Hispanic vote to win in the Lone Star State.  The question is how to do that, and the answer is Texas's cities.

In Texas, white voters have blended the anti-government ethos of the West and the deep South. Many Texas white voters began changing their party allegiance from Democrat to Republican after 1980 without changing their ideology. But Texans’ bedrock conservatism among whites has been mitigated by in-migration from less Republican states and by the development of what Ruy Teixeira and I called “ideopolises”—large metro areas dominated by professionals who produce ideas. By garnering support in the Dallas, Austin, San Antonio, Houston, and El Paso metro areas, the Democrats might be able to get the 30 percent or more of the vote they need in presidential elections, and eventually the 35 percent they need in state elections
In these metro areas, Texas Democrats can attract the same white voters who boosted Democrat hopes in states like Virginia and North Carolina: younger voters, who came of age after the Reagan-Bush era, professionals, and women. Davis’s candidacy has probably helped among these voters. In a late September poll that showed Davis behind Abbott by fourteen points, she still had an edge among women and voters 18 to 44, while getting trounced among male and older voters. (In the same poll, Davis only get 50 percent of Hispanic vote.) Mustafa Tameez, a Houston Democratic consultant, says that the Texas state legislature’s lurch to the right, which spawned Davis’s candidacy, will win over many of these voters. “The urban vote and women are the key to Democrats winning Texas,” Tameez says. 
Texas Democrats’ ability to win over white voters will also depend on what happens to the national party. Obama remains deeply unpopular in Texas—identified with whatever failures white Texans ascribe to the federal government. There were no exit polls in the 2012 election, but Nate Cohn has estimated that Obama only got 20 percent of the white vote. Whites need to feel comfortable voting for a candidate identified with the national party. Tameez and other Democrats believe that Hillary Clinton, who defeated Obama in the 2008 Texas primary, will fare far better among the state’s Anglos than Obama did. But even if they nominate a candidate more palatable to urban whites, the Democrats may have to wait until 2020 to have a good shot at winning Texas in a presidential vote.

So yes, Hillary may have a chance in Texas if she can get 30% of the white vote and 70% of the Latino vote, if Latino turnout is 50%.  If those numbers go up, it becomes a lot easier.  It is possible for Democrats to turn Texas blue, but in the short term that means getting the white vote in the state, something Obama could never do.

So yes, Democrats are going to go after more white voters than Latino ones, simply because white voters actually vote.

There's a lesson here.

The GOP's Great White Dope

Well, you knew at some point the Republican Party was going to try to inflict another Bush upon us, and it looks like the attempt will be made in 2016 with Jebby.

Will another member of the Bush family dynasty make a run for the White House? In an interview in College Station, Texas, this week, George P. Bush told ABC News’ Jonathan Karl he thinks his father, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, will “more than likely” run for president in 2016.

“I think it’s actually, I think it’s more than likely that he’s giving this a serious thought in moving forward,” George P. Bush told Karl aboard his campaign bus in College Station, Texas.

“More than likely that he'll run?” Karl asked.

That he'll run,” Bush said. “If you had asked me a few years back, I would've said it was less likely.”

Bush said his family will support his father “a hundred percent” should he decide to launch a bid for the White House.

Jeb's other son, Jeb Jr., also agrees.

“No question,” Jeb Jr. said in an interview, “people are getting fired up about it — donors and people who have been around the political process for a while, people he’s known in Tallahassee when he was governor. The family, we’re geared up either way.” Most important, he added, his mother, Columba, the prospective candidate’s politics-averse wife, has given her assent.

Everything old is new again.  The prospect of Jeb vs. Hillary, Clinton vs. Bush, has our Village Elders practically peeing themselves with excitement, surely.

America on the other hand is going to be doing a lot of eye-rolling and nose-holding over the next two years.

Looks like I'm going to get some more use out of that Unfinished Bush Business tag.


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