The Rush of Seeing Harvey Weinstein’s Perp Walk

One day in March of 2015, Weinstein invited the model Ambra Battilana Gutierrez to his office for a morning meeting

.. To see Weinstein turn himself in on Friday at the same precinct where Gutierrez made her report, in the same neighborhood where he caused so many women anguish and pain, was simply cathartic.

.. For all the handwringing about the mob power of #MeToo, the fact is that most men who have assaulted women will not face criminal charges for doing so.

.. Weinstein had spent time hiding out in Arizona.

.. the news elicited a response similar to the “galvanizing shock” produced in April, when Bill Cosby was found guilty of three counts of sexual assault.

.. is mouth alternated between a grimace and a smirk.

.. Entering the precinct, Weinstein was a spectacle of smugness, as if trying to project the posture of an intellectual dissident.

.. In his hands were three books, two of which have been identified. They were corny totems suggesting, respectively, artistic revolution and false persecution: Todd Purdum’s “Something Wonderful: Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Broadway Revolution,” and Richard Schickel’s biography of Elia Kazan, the Hollywood director who famously “named names” to the House Un-American Activities Committee, in 1952.

.. After he turned himself in, Weinstein was made to do a perp walk, the queasy practice meant to emasculate the suspect and flex the prosecutor’s power.

It is a public humiliation, a feast for the kinds of New York tabloids that Weinstein himself once manipulated so ruthlessly.

.. The books he walked in with had vanished. With his head hung low, Weinstein looked small, insignificant.

.. In the Manhattan Supreme Court, prosecutors charged him with two counts of rape and one count of a criminal sexual act.

.. He surrendered his passport and was released on bail

.. “Will the sight of Harvey Weinstein in handcuffs encourage more women to come forward/press charges?”

The other risk from Trump’s talks with North Korea

The fact is, establishing the outlines of a “grand bargain” has never been the hard part. Indeed, the George W. Bush administration negotiated a joint statement in 2005 containing some of the key elements. The hard part has always been nailing down the specifics and enforcing them. Trump and Kim would just leave that to their respective teams, a process that would inevitably involve years of motion with little movement, and ample opportunities for deadlock, breakdown and North Korean cheating.

..  Trump’s supporters, starting with Fox News, would rapturously applaud the outcome, without pausing to remember that they relentlessly attacked President Barack Obama for far more rigorous agreements. Trump’s critics would undoubtedly temper their opposition, because the alternative is catastrophic war. And while Bolton would hate this approach under a different president, he may like the politics of it for Trump for now — and figure that he can press for military action later.

But here’s the rub: There is a real risk that this kind of outcome would work much more to Pyongyang’s advantage than Washington’s.

.. Our partners would take their foot off the sanctions gas, even if our concessions were meant to come later. After a grand, but premature, Trump announcement that he has “solved” the North Korea nuclear issue, South Korea would naturally accelerate its engagement with the North, including its economic ties. China, fearing that U.S.-North Korean engagement would weaken its hand, would scramble (even more than it already has) to offer incentives to increase Beijing’s influence with Kim.

.. we might not even get the full benefits of a freeze on North Korea’s capability. We know North Korea has a history of promising big and then working in secret to advance its program.

.. And since the Trump administration has deliberately degraded our diplomatic capacity and nonproliferation expertise — and Trump won’t be paying attention to what happens after the cameras are turned off —  Pyongyang would enjoy an advantage in the period following a summit.

.. North Korea, in this scenario, would be implementing a new version of its old playbook: Make a series of promises in exchange for economic breathing room — and break them later. This could easily raise the risk of war in the medium term.

.. It’s an argument against approaching the summit with politics and pageantry in mind, rather than hardheaded practical concerns.

.. Congress should press Mike Pompeo during his confirmation hearing for secretary of state to acknowledge these risks and account for how he would intend to deal with them

.. Trump won’t be thinking about the risks, only about the political reward. It is up to the rest of us to hold him accountable to deal with the reality

Kim Jong Un won’t give up his nukes. Trump should meet with him, anyway.

If the president takes a careful approach, a meeting with North Korea’s leader could pay dividends.

 .. But less than a day after the announcement, there were already conflicting statements on what obstacles would have to be overcome to make the meeting happen. And the key deal points of any potential breakthrough .. haven’t changed in years: We want them to abandon nuclear weapons; they want us to pull our troops out of South Korea.
 .. If he goes through with this, though, the president must treat it as the first step in a painstaking diplomatic project, not a self-aggrandizing photo op.
.. In just over a year as president, Trump has taken us, and our South Korean allies, on a diplomatic roller-coaster ride: from the president’s August “fire and fury” remark, to his October “Little Rocket Man” tweet, to February’s announcement of new sanctions, to Thursday night’s bang-bang North Korean offer (delivered by South Korean envoys) and Trump’s acceptance.
.. He’d have us believe that he’s been playing 3-D chess all along, making moves no one else could even conceive of. But North Korean leaders have always craved the prestige that would come along with a bilateral face-to-face between their leader and an American president
.. the president has to avoid derailing the process with inflammatory statements and premature chest-thumping, something he hasn’t always resisted. He needs a serious, experienced negotiating team that includes experts outside his inner circle. Trump fancies himself a negotiator nonpareil. But from firsthand experience, we can tell him that North Korea’s negotiators are well briefed and highly attuned. If you use a wrong word in a verbal exchange, negotiations can take a major detour. Caution is essential at every step.
.. “There is a saying in my country: it takes 100 hacks to take down a tree.” The North Koreans negotiate with patience and deliberation, something Trump must take into account.
.. If he doesn’t want to end up looking like Kim outmaneuvered him, Trump must be prepared to slowly and carefully hammer out a realistic strategy with realistic aims, such as an eventual long-term agreement with strong verification standards and oversight. Before he can do that, here’s what he should consider:
.. First, he needs to come up with some new carrots and sticks. He’s used sanctions as a stick, and he’s already given up the best carrot he had: the promise of a meeting, head of state to head of state.

.. Sarah Huckabee Sanders stated Friday that Trump has made “zero concessions,” but agreeing to meet is a concession. Unless he plans to up the ante by inviting Kim out to Mar-a-Lago for golf in the spring, the president will need a new giveaway that he can dangle in front of Kim... Second, Trump must understand that the North Koreans are not offering to denuclearize. They see their weapons capability as the only thing standing between them and regime change. They’re offering to halt their nuclear and missile programs, but not to disarm their existing arsenal — that’s been their position for years now, and Trump’s goal of reversing the Iran deal has only hardened North Korea’s stanceWe can’t even trust an agreement the Americans have already signed, so giving up all our nukes wouldn’t be prudent.

.. Third, Trump must also be clear that what the North Koreans still want, as part of any deal, is the withdrawal of our roughly 38,000 troops from the Korean Peninsula.

.. The deal that’s on the table now, and has been for a while, is: that

  • the North Koreans will halt their nuclear and missile programs and would allow implementation of a verification regime. In return,
  • the United States would withdraw some military assets, ease economic restrictions and sign a treaty declaring a formal end to the war

..  in exchange for an increased flow of resources — food, fuel, technology — to North Korea from South Korea, China and Japan.

.. Trump routinely shoots from the hip. With the North Koreans, that’s a bad idea. He needs to be serious, worry more about what this means for American security and worry less about making himself look good.

Fraudulence of the Fiscal Hawks

In 2011, House Republicans, led by Paul Ryan, issued a report full of dire warnings about the dangers of budget deficits.

.. Citing the horrors of big deficits, Republicans refused to raise the federal debt ceiling

.. How big were these horrifying deficits? In the 2012 fiscal year the federal deficit was $1.09 trillion. Much of this deficit, however, was a direct result of a depressed economy

.. If anything, we should be using this time of relatively full employment to pay down debt, or at least reduce it relative to G.D.P.

.. They are providing more stimulus to an economy with 4 percent unemployment than they were willing to allow an economy with 8 percent unemployment.

.. Republicans weren’t just vehemently opposed to fiscal stimulus; they were also vehemently opposed to monetary stimulus. Basically, they were against anything that might help the economy on President Obama’s watch.

.. imposing austerity in a depressed economy, then running up the deficit when we’re already near full employment