Posts tagged with "New York Magazine"

Trump, Clinton ‘walk back’ friendships with Epstein in episode of Showtime’s ‘Our Cartoon President’

July 16, 2019

In a caustic cold open for the July 14 episode of the Showtime original series, “Our Cartoon President,” current and former U.S. Presidents Donald Trump and Bill Clinton, respectively, came together to deny that they did anything wrong when they partied and flew with the alleged pedophile Jeffrey Epstein, The Daily Beast reported on July 12.

Trump and President Bill Clinton each have had very little to say about their own connections to alleged sex trafficker and registered sex offender Jeffrey Epstein—except to say that neither one of them now has a friendship with the supposed billionaire financier and neither has flown recently on his plane, fittingly nicknamed the Lolita Express.

Which is not to say they have never boarded the jet. Both men acknowledge that they may have been passengers on Epstein’s infamous flights. “But so was [actor] Kevin Spacey,” Trump says.

“The only reason I was on that jet 26, I mean, four times, was it was the best deal on [travel app],” Clinton adds in the cartoon.

In the hastily assembled cold open clip from the latest episode, Trump begins by addressing the nation about his ties to Epstein. “Sure, I told New York Magazine in 2002 that Epstein is a ‘terrific guy,’” Trump says, citing a real quote. “But that was before I found out that I said, later in the same sentence, that ‘he likes beautiful women … on the younger side.”

Then, cartoon Bill Clinton joins him. “Hey, everybody it’s me, America’s cold sore,” he says. “Every few years I pop up to remind you of your bad choices in the ‘90s.”

“You know, Bill and I may disagree on health care and criminal justice,” Trump says—as Clinton chimes in with “barely”—“but we are unified against these all but undeniable accusations.”

“In the end, aren’t we all just Americans accused of the most ghastly crime imaginable?” Clinton asks before the two presidents embrace in solidarity.

“I can’t believe we almost let Hillary tear us apart,” Trump concludes.

Research contact: @CartoonPres

Trump on accusation of sexual assault: E. Jean Carroll is ‘totally lying’ and ‘not my type’

June 26, 2019

Talking to anchor Billy Bush on ‘Access Hollywood” in a decade-old videotape released by his political opponents in 2016, then-Presidential candidate Donald Trump said,” You know, I’m automatically attracted to beautiful [women]—I just start kissing them. It’s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don’t even wait. And when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything….Grab ’em by the pussy. You can do anything.”

And interestingly enough—faced with current accusations of sexual assault—the president does not bother to deny that he is capable of such an act.

Instead, as The Hill reported after an exclusive interview with the president, Trump said on June 24 that New York-based writer E. Jean Carroll was “totally lying” when she accused him of raping her more than two decades ago, adding that she is “not my type.”

“I’ll say it with great respect: Number one, she’s not my type. Number two, it never happened. It never happened, OK?” Trump told the Hill newspaper in an interview.

In an interview with CNN’s Anderson Cooper on Monday night, Carroll responded: “I love that I’m not his type. Don’t you love that you’re not his type?”

She pointed out that Trump has denied all the accusations from women who have accused him of sexual misconduct. “He denies, he turns it around, he threatens and he attacks,” Carroll said.

Carroll’s account of the alleged incident was detailed in an excerpt of her forthcoming book published June 21 in New York Magazine. The excerpt included a photo that identified Carroll, Trump, his then-wife, Ivana Trump, and Carroll’s then-husband, John Johnson, attending the same party around 1987.

Trump dismissed the photo on June 22, telling reporters, “Standing with my coat on in a line—give me a break—with my back to the camera. I have no idea who she is.”

Carroll, a longtime advice columnist for Elle magazine, alleged in her book that she ran into Trump at Bergdorf Goodman in New York City during fall 1995 or spring 1996. The two recognized each other and Trump asked her for advice on purchasing a gift for a woman, Carroll told The Hill.

After she suggested buying a handbag or a hat, Carroll said that Trump turned his attention to lingerie. The two joked that the other should try the clothing on before they eventually made their way to the dressing room, she said in her account.

Once inside, Trump allegedly lunged at her, pushed her against a wall and kissed her before pulling down her tights and raping her. Carroll wrote that she fought Trump off and then ran out of the dressing room. She said the alleged incident lasted no more than three minutes.

Explaining why she didn’t come forward until now, Carroll wrote about the retribution and dismissal she expected to receive and called herself “a coward.”

Carroll denied that politics played any role in her decision to speak out. “I’m barely political. I can’t name you the candidates who are running right now,” she told CNN. “I’m not organized . . . I’m just fed up.”

President Trump and accusations of sexual misconduct: the complete list

She plans to continue speaking out about the alleged assault by Trump, she told The Hill. “We have to hold him accountable — not only him but a lot of guys,” she said.

Research contact: @thehill

Reminder: August 12 is ‘National Middle Child Day’

August 12, 2018

If you didn’t know that National Middle Child Day is on August 12, chances are that the child who is second in birth order among your progeny will not be surprised. In fact, in families of five and more, it is not just folklore that the middle children tend to “slip between the cracks”—because attention continually is demanded by and directed to the oldest and youngest siblings in the household.

However, in recent years, there have been fewer children who are betwixt and between. In fact, researchers recently have pondered whether middle children have become an “endangered species,” according to a report by New York Magazine. Demographics show that, in the past few decades, nearly two-thirds of women have reacted to time and money crunches by having fewer offspring. Most women now have just one or two children—i.e., an oldest, a youngest, but no middle.

Yet new data on the number of children that Americans perceive as “ideal”—at least in theory, if not in practice—suggest that middle-child families could be making a comeback: Roughly four-in-ten U.S. adults (41%) think families of three or more children are ideal, a share rivaling that of around two decades ago, according to findings of a Gallup poll released on July 6.

When it comes to the number of children that U.S. women actually are having during their lifetime, it’s still much more common for women at the end of their childbearing years to have had one or two kids, rather than three or more, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data. In 2016, about six-in-ten U.S. mothers ages 40 to 44 (62%) had given birth to one or two children, while just 38% had three or more. That’s roughly the inverse of 1976, when about two-thirds of mothers in this age range (65%) had three or more kids and 35% had one or two.

A sharp decrease in the share of mothers with four or more children has played a role in the long-term decline in larger families, according to the Census Bureau data. But, despite the dramatic decline of the four-child-plus family over the past few decades, the share of Americans who dream of four or more children as the ideal number is actually ticking upward.

In 2007, 9% of Americans said the ideal number of children is four or more, according to Gallup. That share grew following the Great Recession and now stands at 15%. In fact, since 2007, the increase in the average number of children Americans see as ideal is mainly due to a rise in the share of adults who think four or more kids is the ideal family size.

Among the factors affecting birth numbers is education: On average, the more education a mother has, the fewer children she will have in her lifetime, as previous Pew Research Center reports have shown. In combined data for 2014 and 2016, 46% of mothers ages 40 to 44 with a high school diploma or less had given birth to three or more children. By comparison, among mothers in the same age group with a postgraduate degree, 28% had given birth to three or more kids.

But the educational “gap” in fertility has somewhat narrowed in the past two decades, driven by declining childlessness and a rise in larger families among highly educated moms. The share of mothers ages 40 to 44 with at least a master’s degree and three or more children increased from two decades ago, as the share with just one child declined.

According to previous research by the Center, highly educated women are the only group with a declining share of one-child families and a rise in families of three or more.

When it comes to ideal family size, highly educated adults are again less likely to say having three or more children is ideal, according to Gallup. Among those with a postgraduate degree, 36% believe three or more kids are ideal, compared with 46% of those with no college education. However, since 2011, the share of Americans who see families of three or more children as ideal has risen among all levels of education.

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Shoplifting: The five-finger discount

August 2, 2018

There are about 27 million shoplifters in the United States today. That equates to one out of every 11 people, according to the National Association for Shoplifting Prevention (NASP). And many are caught in the act: In fact, 10 million people have been “caught red-handed” during the past five years.

Interestingly enough, shoplifters don’t necessary take what they need. They take what they want. The National Retail Federation reports that the most frequently stolen items include chewing gum, the painkiller Advil, the weight-loss drug Alli, cell phones, the allergy drug Claritin, the hair growth product Rogaine, Red Bull energy drinks, Dyson vacuums, Bumble and Bumble hair-care products, Cover Girl cosmetics, Crest Whitestrips, and deodorant.

Whom are the shoplifters among us? In 2004, the University of Florida found that  middle-aged adults between the ages of 35 and 54 shoplift more than children and teens—and that, contrary to most of our assumptions, it is men (not women) who are the most light-fingered. However, many shoplifters steal their first item—usually for a thrill—in their teens.

What’s more, a 2008 Columbia University study of more than 40,000 Americans covered by New York Magazine found that it’s not the indigent who are doing the most thieving. “Shoplifting . . . was more common among those with higher education and income, suggesting that financial considerations are unlikely to be the main motivator,” the researchers concluded.

But, motivated they are. The NASP says that shoplifters bring home about $13 billion worth of goods nationwide on an annual basis. And yet they cannot be stopped. A National Retail Security survey  conducted in 2017 found that retail inventory continues to shrink—and that 36.5% of that lost merchandise is due to shoplifting, while 30% is attributed to internal theft.

Indeed, since the 1970s, retailers have used cameras, security guards, sensor tags, shopping carts with wheels that lock when pushed out of parking lots and chips that track products from the factory into your home. But shoplifters—whether working in teams to bolt out the door with luxury items, searching for discarded receipts to steal matching merchandise, sneaking wares into aluminum-lined “booster bags” that deactivate sensors, or smuggling high-ticket items into packaging for lower-priced items —keep stealing.

For a July 7 story, The Washington Post interviewed about 100 shoplifters. Many talked about the crime as though it were an illness. “I have been good but am struggling with it every day,” one said. “It is an addiction like everything else.”

However, according to the American Psychiatric Association’s diagnostic manual, fewer than 5% of self-identified shoplifters have kleptomania. Meanwhile, the Columbia researchers concluded that “a lifetime history of shoplifting was common.”

If shoplifting, like alcoholism or ADHD, is a disease, the cure has yet to be found. Talk therapy, according to a 2004 study of patients with kleptomania, does not help people stop stealing. Pharmaceuticals such as Lexapro, which reduces depression and anxiety, have not been shown to affect shoplifters. Naltrexone, a drug used to treat alcoholism, seems to suppress the urge to steal in some people, but a study completed in 2009 by researchers at the University of Minnesota included only 25 patients.

Finally, while the vast majority of shoplifters are non-professionals, about 3% steal solely for resale or profit as a business, NASP says. .These include drug addicts who steal to feed their habit, hardened professionals who steal as a lifestyle; and international shoplifting gangs who steal for profit as a business.

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With release of top-security memo, Devin Nunes could be plotting his own downfall

February 5, 2018

Devin Nunes (R-22nd District, California), the 44-year-old chairman of the House Intelligence Committee—and the prime mover behind a memo released on February 2 that alleged misconduct by the Department of Justice and Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation—is going out on a political limb that may not support his arguments or his career.

Those are the findings of a Public Policy Polling canvass of 560 voters in the district, conducted on behalf of Nunes’s Democratic challenger Andrew Janz. Indeed, the poll indicated that voters are ready for a Democratic candidate in 2018—with 45% supporting a change in representation, in the wake of Nunes’s partisan actions.

At first glance, New York Magazine reported on February 1, you would assume that Nunes’s path to reelection would be practically unimpeded. Not only did he win his last election with 68% of the vote, but Republicans have a 43/33 registration advantage in the 22nd District, centered in the Republican-trending parts of Fresno and Tulare Counties.

However, the magazine said, “Nunes’s increasingly bizarre behavior is giving unlikely oxygen to … Janz, who created something of a buzz in December by erecting billboards showing the incumbent on a child leash (along with the president) held by Russia’s President Vladimir Putin.”

Not only has Nunes skirted the strict instructions of the DOJ to distribute top-secret information broadly, but, according to the ranking member of his committee, Adam Schiff (D-28th District, California), he altered his classified memo before sharing it with the White House.

The memo is meant to drive a Republican-led movement in Congress that would accept nothing less than a purge of federal law enforcement officials in order to eliminate what Nunes characterizes as anti-Trump bias.

In a story in the Daily Kos, Janz said, “This poll shows what I knew to be true when I announced last April: Devin Nunes is vulnerable for a challenge this year due to his ethical missteps and complete dedication to protecting the president instead of serving the people of the Valley. I’m more determined than ever to retire him in 2018.

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