Monday's HOT MIC
Eric Schneiderman, New York’s attorney general, has long been a liberal Democratic champion of women’s rights, and recently he has become an outspoken figure in the #MeToo movement against sexual harassment. As New York State’s highest-ranking law-enforcement officer, Schneiderman, who is sixty-three, has used his authority to take legal action against the disgraced film mogul Harvey Weinstein, and to demand greater compensation for the victims of Weinstein’s alleged sexual crimes. Last month, when the Times and this magazine were awarded a joint Pulitzer Prize for coverage of sexual harassment, Schneiderman issued a congratulatory tweet, praising “the brave women and men who spoke up about the sexual harassment they had endured at the hands of powerful men.” Without these women, he noted, “there would not be the critical national reckoning under way.”
Now Schneiderman is facing a reckoning of his own. As his prominence as a voice against sexual misconduct has risen, so, too, has the distress of four women with whom he has had romantic relationships or encounters. They accuse Schneiderman of having subjected them to nonconsensual physical violence. All have been reluctant to speak out, fearing reprisal. But two of the women, Michelle Manning Barish and Tanya Selvaratnam, have talked to The New Yorker on the record, because they feel that doing so could protect other women. They allege that he repeatedly hit them, often after drinking, frequently in bed and never with their consent.
Actually, I’m betting that it’s “to the dismay” of all Democrats. Mitch McConnell has set up another half-dozen confirmations this week, and says he will keep the Senate in session long enough to fill as many slots as he can by the end of the year. They will have lots and lots of opportunities to vent their dismay, but little chance of doing anything about it.
I've been playing the political game far too long to still hope for a politician who makes me happy most of the time. These days, being good at one or two important things suit me just fine. Every time someone from the "PRINCIPLES!" crowd has a fit because Trump did something crass, I think about getting the courts at least tilting away from being controlled by activist leftist judges who get a thrill when they can become the solo voice of the people. If he keeps packing the courts I can overlook a lot of other things. And I do mean a lot.
Also, Wolf Blitzer looks sadder every day that Trump is still in office, and that's very satisfying to me as well.
Keywords: "likely" and "over time":
This sums it up quite nicely:
Your P.M. Political Palate Cleanser.
I've made myself a note to try to end each blogging day with something completely apolitical and undeniably lovely.
This morning I stumbled across this 1962 clip from the Kraft Music Hall show, in which Perry Como hosts Stan Getz and Charlie Byrd performing the Bossa Nova standard, "Desafinado."
The Antonio Carlos Jobim-penned song was the breakout hit from Getz & Byrd's "Jazz Samba" album, which became an instant classic. It belongs in everyone's music collection -- yes, even yours. The only two things wrong with the album are that it wasn't a double album and that I didn't discover it until I was in my late 20s.
"Desafinado" has one of those melodies which talented jazz artists can play with almost endlessly -- and Getz & Byrd were endlessly talented. You're in for a treat with this live performance, perhaps especially if you're already familiar with the album version.
Almost as much fun is, following "Desafinado," watching the hopelessly square (or at least that was always his stage persona) Como noodling around with the guys on one of his older hits.
Anyway, maybe talk about this at the dinner table tonight, instead of that outrageous thing you saw on Facebook or that even more outrageous thing you saw on Twitter.
One More Thing...
How I stumbled on this clip is one of those things which makes the Internet such an amazing tool.
When I was writing earlier about John McCain, I was reminded of something some other musician had said about Stan Getz. You might not know but Getz was not the most stable, fun-to-be-around guy. He had ego issues, drug issues, and serious mood swing issues. So much so, that one of Getz's contemporary sax players, Zoot Sims, referred to him as "a nice bunch of guys."
Googling for that quote, I found it in a 2013 Dangerous Minds post concerning Getz's 1954 drug arrest. The author of the piece, Paul Gallagher, was kind enough to include today's video. Since the Kraft show happened years later and had nothing to do with Getz's arrest, I assume Gallagher included it for no other reason than he'd stumbled across it himself. The video itself was posted to YouTube by somebody calling themselves "lstash," who seems to specialize in 1950s and '60s TV musical broadcasts. How he obtains his clips from the Age Before VCRs, I have no idea. If you're interested, here's his YouTube page.
The result of all this is that a guy with a passion for old TV got stumbled upon by a guy with a love for jazz, who got stumbled upon by a guy trying to recover from an ugly day of politics.
Ain't the internet grand?
This one is behind the Wall Street Journal's paywall, but I'll quote enough to give you a solid gist:
Wild swings in aluminum prices have jolted buyers and sellers of the metal, threatening profits of companies that make everything from jets to beer cans.
Last month, the U.S. sanctioned a big Russian aluminum producer, curtailing supplies. In some cases, buyers delayed shipments or canceled orders. Others have left shipments of the metal they received untouched, fearful of falling afoul of Washington’s restrictions.
Aluminum executives say they can’t remember anything as jolting to the industry. Jeff Henderson, president of the Aluminum Extruders Council, which represents aluminum-product makers, says he was flooded with calls in the first few days following the announcement of the sanctions on April 6.
“The aftereffects were complete shock and awe to the industry,” Mr. Henderson said.
The price for aluminum deliveries in three months’ time has hit a more than six-year high. During April, prices also swung over their widest monthly range since at least 1997, the oldest data available, according to an analysis by WSJ Market Data Group.
The volatility in aluminum threatens to squeeze profit margins of large companies that use the metal, at a time when higher fuel prices are already worrying manufacturers. The unpredictable aluminum prices also have contributed to worries over higher inflation, giving the Federal Reserve a freer hand to raise borrowing costs, which could become an added challenge for some companies. Trade tensions between Washington and much of the rest of the world are also a big, new worry.
Cutting off trade like this is when we do to ourselves in peacetime what our enemies would try to do to us in wartime.