Is it about power? Or is it about Reproductive Succcess?

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That is the question.

Probably both, but the latest powerful male stepdown argues for the latter. Check it out.

Rep. Trent Franks, R-Ariz., is the third member of Congress to announce his resignation this week, saying that he had discussed surrogacy with two female subordinates.

“Given the nature of numerous allegations and reports across America in recent weeks, I want to first make one thing completely clear. I have absolutely never physically intimidated, coerced, or had, or attempted to have, any sexual contact with any member of my congressional staff,” Franks said in a statement. “However, I do want to take full and personal responsibility for the ways I have broached a topic that, unbeknownst to me until very recently, made certain individuals uncomfortable. And so, I want to shed light on how those conversations came about.”

Franks’ announcement that he would leave Congress at the end of January comes on the same day that Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., said he would step down and days after Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., resigned — both after allegations of sexual misconduct.

In his statement on Thursday, Franks detailed how he and his wife had “long struggled with infertility” and suffered three miscarriages. They had twins through a surrogate, but subsequent attempts to have another child by either adoption or another surrogate fell through.

Also, is it me or is this all progressing alphabetically?

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60 thoughts on “Is it about power? Or is it about Reproductive Succcess?

  1. It strikes me that there is a lot to this story he isn’t saying. “Talked about surrogacy” is a very vague comment.

    1. I see now. For some reason the link at the top did not appear (and still does not) on my phone, hence my first comment.

      Yeah, this guy’s a dick.

    1. I wonder if Trump is the architect of all this. He was at the Matt Lauer roast. Perhaps he knew Harvey Weinstein. Maybe he knew LeeAnn Tweeden from when she was a model.

  2. Nature and Nature’s God had been trying to tell the pity-party known as Trent Franks that he and his mate were not chosen for reproductive success. Unfortunately, being tone deaf, he did not pick up on the subtle messages that were being sung to him.

    Tone deaf, as are, it appears so much of the Trumpublican base. How much of the hurtful behavior of Republicans towards their fellow humans is due to is due to pathological lack of empathy or sensitivity, and how much is due to their taking pathological delight in the suffering of others?

    1. Let’s not forget that this is all mixed up with the very practical matter of eliminating anything that gets in the way of the already rich making more money and getting to keep nearly all of it. (Yes I know, sometimes some people besides the already rich make some money too but that is collateral to the main objective and not part of it.)

  3. Greg, Minnesota Public Radio has disappeared 50 years of Prairie Home Companion. I assume you are OK with this given your support of taking down all those statues.

  4. Not quite 50 years – the show started in 1974 (I had to look that up: I never listened to it). According to the stuff I looked at, the confusion comes from it being named after a different show named for some Prairie Home Cemetery.

    Not an equivalence. The monuments were to traitors to the United States — men who left the country to wage war against it and were responsible for the deaths of tens of thousands of US citizens.

    The name change and removal of the show probably had something to do with GK’s behavior, but it was done primarily because he owned the rights to the name.

  5. So now it appears that Trent may have done something along the lines of offering at least one subordinate $5,000,000 to be the surrogate mother for his wife’s fertilized embryo. As mentioned earlier, this is a new level of tone deafness among Republicans. Where to begin? It is actually a new realm of abuse in that it probes the depths of coercion of subordinates. “Hi. I want make you a special offer. I want you to let me put my special parasite in you , let it grow for nine months while you experience all the risks and emotional needs that pregnancy entails on your own, give birth to that parasite, now a living human being, then give that baby human being up to me, even though all your maternal hormones and emotions are going to want to keep that baby, but it will be mine, not yours, and you will be well compensated. Giving up a child for adoption is really no big deal. Nine months of your life and all the attendant risks are no big deal, especially in view of the massive compensation that I will give. ”

    And this won’t have any effect on our working relationship? Let’s play “Alien”! I will be the ugly monster that injects its fertilized embryo into you, never mind that you and your partner might have slightly different plans for your lives. I will after all give you lots of MONEY to compensate.

    Was Franks the poster child for the RTL position that women are primarily baby generators, and their failure to fulfill this duty and carry a baby to term , even if raped , or unable to support a baby, or if the fetus is dead, makes them sinful, evil, unChristian, inhuman beings? I think so. Was he the poster child for Republican abuse of subordinates? He has a lot of competition from members of both parties, but he is definitely up there in a special creepy category all his own. Does he represent a return to Feudalism among Republicans? You betcha.

  6. I’m sure there are.

    The Handmaiden’s Tale should have been set in Alabama.
    Sweet Home Alabama…. where

    They Ignore, Pedophilia
    Where Judge Moore’s, all the rage!
    They Ignore Pedophilia
    Lord, he been coming on to girls half his age!

    In Birmingham they’ll vote the Senator, whoo, whoo, whoo
    Back woods preachers love him too,
    His accusers are just women, after all,
    A man’s word trumps a dozen women, that’s the truth!

  7. If Moore wins, it will be because of how a majority of Alabamans feel about abortion.

    If Moore loses, it will be because of the allegations of the women.

    That is my take on it anyway.

    Should be interesting tomorrow to see what happens.

  8. Allred made fake evidence? No, one women added a date to the line Moore wrote in her yearbook. She did not, as was falsely reported, add his signature.

    It won’t be abortion that gets Moore to win: it will be due to the core Republican base which
    – views abuse of women as unimportant when their people do it (Moore being the primary examples)
    – is royally pissed off that for 8 years the country had the audacity to allow a black man to use the front door of the White House, especially when that man was able to get the economy back on track and get employment levels back to the measure that was historically viewed as “full employment”. The fact that he also (stupidly) kept many of President Bush’s policies, and expanded many of them, didn’t keep them from calling him a leftist and wishing for his wife and daughters to be raped and killed
    – doesn’t like Moore’s opponent because he “put our people in jail — a reference to his successful prosecution of KKK members for murdering four young girls

    If Moore wins it will be because, in spite of the claims of valuing honesty and decency the current Republican base does nothing of the sort. If it was done by, or won’t benefit, well-off white men, it doesn’t count.

    Reagan identified the fact that racism, dishonesty, and bigotry worked well in politics. Trump and the current Republican leadership unleashed it full tilt during the Obama years, and are enjoying the results now.

  9. It certainly was interesting to see the whiplash change among the value free, free range Republicans. First they were all for supporting the accusers, supporting or at least hearing out the women who were accusing Moore. Great visuals there…..Republicans publicly proclaiming that the accounts of the women were “credible”. Then barely a week later, they have an epiphany and realize that respecting and trusting women and girls is not high on the Trumpian value system. In fact it is pretty close to the bottom, so far down below the value of winning as to be of zero consequence to their baby man leader. So they flip like griddlecakes. Opportunistic creeps.

    1. There is a great cartoon making the rounds. It shows the Republican elephant standing next to a little girl, and it has its trunk reaching under her dress. Describes them perfectly in this time.

    2. Dems very conveniently drop Al Franken who can be replaced by a Democrat to get to Moore. I don’t see them going after Menendez who would be replaced by someone appointed by Chris Christie. I guess it’s different if you pay the underage girls for sex, or if they are Dominican.

  10. So now, one of the contestants from one of Trump’s beauty pageants has stepped forward and said, on TV, that yes, Trump did wander into the dressing area before the pageant while women were dressing for the pageant, an area where men were not supposed to go, just like Trump said he did in his Howard Stern interview. Further, he would personally inspect each of bathing suited women in line like he was inspecting a hunk of meat, as if they were his property, close up and personal. Bloody fucking creep we have for a president. Trent Franks and Donald Trump both act like a couple of a couple of personality disordered creeps. They, and to various extents, other politicians, have violated lots of traditional cultural and common sense boundaries of civility and appropriateness having to deal with the opposite sex, simply for their own selfish ends, and Republican voters in particular seem to have difficulty picking up on these deficits in their candidates humanity. I suspect that it has to do with the wiring of the Republican amygdala, which is easily manipulated by demagogues spouting comforting irrational nonsense about various kinds of scary hell fire.

    I will be delighted by a Jones victory today, but in the event that pedophile Moore wins, be aware that this battle is not the whole war, and that Moore would make a splendid dead albatross to tie about the neck of the Republican party for the next year. With a bow! Great time in this political cycle to have another stinking addle brained Neanderthal sexual predator as senator in your party! Nothing better than to have a pre-bronze age atavism drawing the fire of a female populous increasingly outraged by atrocious psychological and sexual abuses perpetrated by supposedly civilized men on women. Remember, all you assholes who whine about the horrible burden of political correctness, that the phrase is basically being used by louts as an excuse for inexcusable uncivil, cruel, sadistic, thoughtless, criminal and sexually predacious behavior, and that you are about to have that PC table rudely flipped over on your dumb heads. Can’t wait! Get popcorn, this is going to be good!

    1. > that Moore would make a splendid dead albatross to tie about the neck of the Republican party for the next year.

      Yes. It’s not clear which result works best for Democrats. I know Al Franken is rooting for Roy Moore. His ‘resignation’ was just to get some time to hope his situation blows over.

  11. Just in case you didn’t know what sort of people you align yourself with when you support Moore and the modern Republicans:

    The Nazi (admitted as such) at the core of that article made this comment:

    Ray was also elated by Moore telling the hosts of the radio show that getting rid of constitutional amendments after the tenth would “eliminate many problems” in the country. Eliminating these amendments, Ray notes, would, among other things, limit voting in America to an activity practiced only by white men.
    “No more women and n—–s voting!” Ray wrote. “No more misquoting Hitler!”

    Sums up the modern right perfectly.

    1. And Hillary was endorsed by the Communist Party, and before that Obama’s mentor was a card-carrying member of the Party.

  12. The CPUSA did not endorse HRC in 2016 — it isn’t clear where that lie started, but it was a lie.

    From the party leadership:

    The answer to your question is NO. In 2016 CPUSA did not have any candidates on the ballot, but nevertheless it does not issue endorsements of candidates of other parties. The Communist Party does, however, encourage all Americans to participate fully in the electoral process, voting and working with their unions and other community organizations in the pursuit of the goals of protecting the environment, union rights, immigrant rights, peace, raising the minimum wage, ending police abuse of African American, Indian and Latino Americans and other social justice issues that value people before profits and address the struggles of the 99%.

    They urged people to vote against Trump but did not specify how they should vote against him and did not state a preferred opponent.

    If you are referring to Davis (Obama’s “mentor”, which is a stretch) — the evidence doesn’t support the Communist membership either, despite the title of the debunked book. He got the attention of the Hoover FBI by
    – being a black community activist (‘radical’) for fighting for rights in Chicago
    – being involved with the Chicago Civil Liberties Committee, CIO unions and the National Committee to Combat Anti-Semitism
    – Writing for the Chicago Star, a paper with very strong pro-worker stands and an undeniably liberal position

    Remember that Eleanor Roosevelt was under FBI scrutiny for several of the same things: speaking out against Antisemitism and supporting workers’ rights primary among them. Vincent Price’s career was almost destroyed when he was put on a “grey list” (a precursor to black lists) because he spoke at fundraisers to raise money in support of the fight against Nazis in Spain before the U.S. government decided Nazis were bad.

    The notion that he was a life-long mentor of the young Obama is also bogus — his son didn’t realize his father had ever met Obama until after his father died.

    The “objections” in your most recent comment aren’t supported by any factual evidence.

    1. He was an Obama mentor. Obama mentions him in his book, and only takes him out of the audiobook when his ambitions went national instead of mayor of Chicago.

  13. So now the grand orange unindicted co-conspirator is trying to shut slame Kirsten Gillibrand to get her to stop criticizing him. Good luck with that, fuck face. Gillebrand set up a blindingly obvious trap for him to walk into and he strode right into it like the big dumb ox that he is. As I mentioned earlier, both Franks and Trump show such blatant disregard for conventional boundaries of civility and decency that they could easily be suspected of having some really serious personality disorders. Meanwhile, this humorous “cartoon” of a “young” Trump missing a putt is a useful description of how Trump appears to most of us everyday.

  14. So now the grand orange unindicted co-conspirator is trying to shut slame Kirsten Gillibrand to get her to stop criticizing him. Good luck with that, fuck face. Gillebrand set up a blindingly obvious trap for him to walk into and he strode right into it like the big dumb ox that he is. As I mentioned earlier, both Franks and Trump show such blatant disregard for conventional boundaries of civility and decency that they could easily be suspected of having some really serious personality disorders.

    1. Accusation of slut-shaming means you are calling the woman a slut and blaming the person for denigrating her for it. Elizabeth Warren did it because she sees Gillibrand as a rival in 2020. What’s your excuse?

  15. His card number was 47544. That’s what card-carrying member means.

    no mike, no card was found. That is fake. And not a mentor, despite your claims.

  16. Accusation of slut-shaming means you are calling the woman a slut and blaming the person for denigrating her for it.


    1. It’s what slut-shaming means. If you accuse Donald Trump of slut-shaming, then you are attacking him for criticizing Gillibrand’s promiscuity.
      For example, you accused me of doing it to Tweeden. You did not claim that Tweeden wasn’t a Playboy model. You said this detail is irrelevant.

    2. It’s what slut-shaming means. If you accuse Donald Trump of slut-shaming, then you are attacking him for criticizing Gillibrand’s promiscuity.

      Ok — that doesn’t mean I’m calling someone a slut: I think you had a word out of place in your first comment.

      Yes, he should be attacked for that — her personal behavior is not his business as long as there is no evidence she is assaulting anyone and everything is consensual.

      For example, you accused me of doing it to Tweeden. You did not claim that Tweeden wasn’t a Playboy model. You said this detail is irrelevant.

      It is irrelevant — it is no more relevant to a person’s character than being left handed.

    3. It’s what slut-shaming means. If you accuse Donald Trump of slut-shaming, then you are attacking him for criticizing Gillibrand’s promiscuity.

      I think your definition is too narrow. An angry person going for a slut-shaming attack may well go for a double punch:
      – first claiming its target is a slut
      – and then criticize her for being one.

      Your definition would be better anyway if you added “implied” before “promiscuity”.
      One key point from feminists about slut-shaming is that the part about the target acting slutty is very often in the eye of the beholder. Double standards*, guilty before proven innocent, and all that.

      * seriously, reproaching a politician to be “begging” for funds? Isn’t it part of the job?

  17. October 7, 2016. 3:30 PM Obama administration releases shocking announcement that Russia was meddling in the US election.
    October 7, 2016. 4:00 PM Access Hollywood tapes released. At this point, the Trump campaign should have been completely cooked. Done. Finished. Toasted. Steamed. Over. Burnt. But then….
    October 7, 2016. 4:30 PM Russian co-conspirator Wikileaks begins releasing the torrent of emails from the Podesta server, a torrent that will last through the rest of the campaign. It consists of embarassing stolen private correspondence that fits perfectly into the fake narrative that Russia had been pushing over the internet.

    I think one of the biggest lessons here is that releasing the embarassing but relatively benign Podesta emails continually, over time, had more of an effect than two individual blockbusting news releases that should have ended the Trump campaign.

    Another lesson is that a well controlled malleable minority was a bigger threat to democracy then had hithertofor been realized. They could be influenced far more through a continuous controlled irritating drip than through two massive shocks in tandem, especially if the drip lands on Troll-preprepared minds.

    Another lesson is how well timed all of this was, and how Wikileaks was primed and ready to start their release at the perfect time.

    1. I had no idea these three stories were released on the same day. That is interesting.

      I am surprised that hackers cannot hack wikileaks and let us know where the emails they released came from. Wikileaks claims it was not Russia, but it would be interesting to figure out how the emails got from the DNC to Wikileaks.

      It might have been Russia – but what if it was not! Either way, inquiring minds want to know.

    2. Mostly benign. I think what happened was because it was e-mails, people just linked all stories about it to Hillary’s e-mail server. Same with the hack of DNC e-mails. Trump amplified it by talking every chance he had about how they stole it from Bernie. Made it as hard as he could for 47% of the party’s primary voters to support Hillary.

    3. I think one of the biggest lessons here is that releasing the embarassing but relatively benign Podesta emails continually, over time, had more of an effect than two individual blockbusting news releases that should have ended the Trump campaign.

      You can also add the constant barrage of lies about HRC that started in the 90s: that she was fired from the Watergate investigation, all the deaths of opponents she was responsible for, the fake allegations of her responsibility for Benghazi, etc., etc., etc.. Decades of constant, repeated, and baseless lies about her paid off.

  18. Just came home from this year’s first Christmas party to find that Doug Jones had won over Roy Moore. Hallelujah. This event gives one a lot of hope that Murka can survive another year. Thank God that the women of Murka are getting a voice, otherwise we might have another dim witted Neanderthal in the Senate. There are too many there already.

    My guess is that the women of Alabama on average realized the Roy Moore was a messed up individual who did not deserve to be their senator. Amen.

    How will the baby man react in his next tweet? Who cares. He belongs in some sort of gated facility with a lot of psychologists on the staff . Why do we have to listen to and read his childish trash? Let’s hope that his tweets are soon available only in archival records. Amen.

    1. I am both surprised and delighted that Moore was shown the door. It’s a victory for decency, and it’s a kick in the backside for Trump.

      History will record that Trump endorsed an alleged and likely-provable child molester, and in so doing he failed to secure his senator. He can add that to his growing list of failure in a presidency characterised by constant failure and destruction of social cohesion.

      The tax bill is suddenly looking very interesting…

    2. The thing that staggers me is that some counties voted for Moore to the tune of 70% and more.

      It’s unfathomable to me that in some areas the density of people who ignore moral decency purely for political purposes would reach such high levels. It says something about the structure of such communities that people would sell their souls to this extent.

    3. The tax bill is suddenly looking very interesting…

      I just found out that Alabama is likely to not certify the election result this week (as they could, if desired) and that it likely won’t be certified until next year. This is intended to keep Jones from having a vote on the tax legislation – it’s hard to imagine a more cynical and self-serving abrogation of duty to electors than this.

  19. So how are the conservatives going to spin this? Trump’s tweet on the Jones victory is very very uncharacteristic. “Congratulations to Doug Jones on a hard fought victory. The write-in votes played a very big factor, but a win is a win. The people of Alabama are great, and the Republicans will have another shot at this seat in a very short period of time. It never ends!”

    Two scenarios I can think of here. One is that somebody in Trump’s family or on his staff kept an apoplectic Trump from accessing his Twitter this morning and instead, substituted something most definitely not in the style of D.J.Trump. Another scenario is that Trump actually is quite experienced at losing and went into that tiny little small part of his mind that knows how to act like a civilized adult.


  20. Whilst doing some reading on Stephen Bannon, I found that this ex-Trump advisor is a big fan of the works of Julius Evola. Evola was an Italian fascist writer who worked for the Sicherheitsdienst des Reichsführers-SS , the intelligence branch of the SS, during WWII. Interestingly enough, this Nazi group helped wrest control from the legitimate German government by blaming the Reichstag fire on the communists. Evola apparently wanted to reinstate “the caste system and aristocracy” in Europe. And Bannon loves his work.

    Having people like Trump and Bannon in the White House clearly indicates that we have a problem with fascism in our country.

    1. We’ve known for some time that Bannon (and Breitbart in general) is a fan of Nazi ideas (and white supremacy, racism, etc.) There have always been scum like that floating around.

      The problem is that the modern right was so hurt by having a black man, someone from the group they view as inferior, show himself capable of running the country, speaking well, and getting the ship of state back on track during his time in office that they are willing to accept the statements and philosophies of a movement many of their own fathers and grandfathers fought and gave their lives for.

      Showing people like the currently in power Republicans that their opinion that the only decent people are well off white men is despicable really pissed them off, and they’re working hard to punish the country for it.

    1. That comment does seem to qualify as a content-free sound bite. Sounds good, no-calories, makes no sense, distracts from more important things. Reich wingers defend Bannon almost as much and irrationally as they defend Trump.

      This would be a good time to look into why some people are more susceptible to sociopaths and their woo than others. It looks like about a third of the country have this particular susceptibility. Dangerous numbers.

  21. It looks like Bannon went to a religious military prep school before college. That sounds like a pretty good place to pick up fascist tendencies. So this man, warped and twisted as a teenager, has become a barely camoflauged nazi, an authoritarian who treats women with contempt, but also a tortured individual who wants to lash out at the existing establishment, and , presumably, create a new authoritarian government to fit his perverted view. He has been rewarded time and again for destructive behavior, and he has been clever enough to go through his later life unrestrained by the authority of norms and convention. And make no mistake, someone who loves the works of Julius Evola is no friend of democracy.

  22. Omarosa Manigault. Touched a third rail of some sort. Went arcing (electrically and geometrically) out of the White House. Wants to write a tell all. My advice? Stay away from small planes. Watch your back. Get a body guard. Get a bunch of body guards.

    1. She’s not an important player at all. By all accounts she didn’t have a job and was simply kept around for some reason nobody understood. The fact that she wasn’t allowed to let her little hissy fit get her to complain to the president shows how insignificant she was.

      Her write a tell-all? Have you heard her try to speak? A book without any words having more than two syllables wouldn’t sell.

  23. I would pay to hear her story. Even with small words. But I would not pay much.

    Trump probably thinks he can get away with abusing her by firing her and then merely waving his magic little Donald wand and calling any of her upcoming claims fake news. But on the other hand, she might just have the ability to spring a critical leak in his little boat.

    Also, there is the hormonal aspect. When a male baboon is bested in a fight, their testosterone level typically plummets, and one way that they will try to restore their testosterone level is by beating up a lesser baboon. In view of the public humiliation Trump received in the Moore battle, he had a real need to get a T boost. And he is a baboon. So Omarosa had to go.

    Plus, firing a black woman is probably real red meat to his base.

    Also, we don’t know what she might have overheard in the scheming room when Steve Miller and the boys tried to pull the Alabama senate seat out of the roaring inferno that that contest became. Something made her uncomfortable and it sounds like some highly inappropriate and embarassing racism might have reared its nasty little head in there.

    Its fun to speculate. Good time to get some popcorn going.

  24. Now that they are in power, the GOP is finding it harder and harder to keep up the façade that they are anything other than stooges of the super-rich and their core voting base has become a haven for the bigoted (women, blacks, immigrants, you name ’em, they’re against ’em), neo-Confederates, faschists, and those who have problems with environmental protection, inconvenient science, separation of church and state, and governmental attempts to help anyone but them.

    Eventually we may get to a point where they alienate enough people in a memorable enough way that they remember it all the way to a series of election times. Or not. Distractions can be made to order these days.

    1. Ever read about the attempted Morgan/DuPont coup d’etat against
      FDR in the 1930’s? The super rich botched that one by mistakenly thinking that a famous war hero would join their cause. He instead turned them in. They learned a lesson or two there I guess….notice how Trump belittles the war hero John McCain? Odd coincidence I guess.

      I expect that Trump may try to do something particularly heinous, even for him, in the near future, as the intelligence agencies and the walls of the White House close in on him. His life long cavorting with Eastern Europeans is just a little too weird for my taste, and his ability to rally loyalists to his cause is reason to keep your eyes open. It is like he is the Ghost of king George, come back to reinstall a monarchy in Murka.

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