MONDAY, AUGUST 3 This week of war—on women, on black Americans, on circus-goers—kicked off with the war on women, as today the US Senate voted on whether or not to deny government funding to the nonprofit reproductive health organization Planned Parenthood, following the release of videos showing Planned Parenthood reps crassly discussing the (legal) facts of fetal tissue donation. Immediately before today's vote, Senator Elizabeth Warren excoriated the push to gut PP. "I simply cannot believe that in the year 2015, the United States Senate would be spending its time trying to defund women's health-care centers," said Warren during her seven-minute address. "The Republican scheme to defund Planned Parenthood is not some sort of surprised response to a highly edited video. Nope, the Republican vote to defund Planned Parenthood is just one more piece of a deliberate, methodical, orchestrated right-wing attack on women's rights." Happy finale: The measure failed. "The Senate voted 53–46, falling seven votes short of the 60 needed to pass the bill," reported NBC.
TUESDAY, AUGUST 4 In worse news, the week continued in New Hampshire, where the combination of severe weather and a circus added up to intergenerational tragedy. As NBC reported, the shit went down yesterday at the Lancaster Fairgrounds about 90 miles north of Concord, where the Walker Brothers International Circus had pitched its big-top tent to put on a show despite forecasts warning of severe storms. Sometime during yesterday's circus performance, the fairgrounds were hit by 60 mile per hour winds, which caused the big-top tent to collapse and kill two people: 41-year-old Robert Young and his 6-year-old daughter Annabelle. As for the circus, ignoring weather warnings isn't its only fuckup: "At a news conference Tuesday morning, state fire marshal Bill Degnan said Walker Brothers International did not have the proper 'place of assembly' permit to hold the show and were investigating whether they are criminally culpable," reported NBC.
WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 5 In much better news, today brought the week's obligatory Bill Cosby update, and holy crap it's a good one. The engine behind today's developments: Judy Huth, the 56-year-old woman who claims Cosby gave her liquor and sexually assaulted her in the 1970s when she was 15 years old. Last December, Huth recounted her story to the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office, which, thanks to a long-expired statute of limitations, declined to bring criminal charges against Cosby. So Huth took herself to civil court to personally sue Cosby for the alleged attack. Cosby responded by countersuing Huth, whom he alleges is a liar and an extortionist. Which brings us to today, when a Los Angeles County Superior Court judge took up the issue of Huth's civil suit and ruled that Cosby must submit himself for a deposition in the case, answering questions under oath about Huth's claims of sexual assault. As readers may recall, the last time Cosby was deposed in a sexual-assault case, in 2005, he casually revealed under oath that he regularly gave heavy sedatives to women he hoped to bone. When the deposition was made public this year, Cosby's last few supporters changed their tunes from "Innocent until proven guilty!" to "Sorry it took me so long to believe all those women." God knows what the 78-year-old Cosby will reveal during his next deposition, which is scheduled for October 9. This gives Cosby's wife, business manager, and conspirator Camille roughly seven weeks to convince her husband to off himself. The Cosby Munchausen-by-proxy suicide watch starts now.
THURSDAY, AUGUST 6 In lighter news, the week continued with the first GOP presidential debate of the 2015–2016 election season, hosted by Fox News and dominated by Donald Trump, the Republican front-runner who began by drawing boos with his refusal to swear off a third-party run should he fail to gain the nomination of the GOP, and stormed into what looks to be a campaign-defining argument with moderator Megyn Kelly. Addressing Trump before a viewing audience of 24 million people, Kelly said, "You've called women you don't like fat pigs, dogs, slobs, and disgusting animals... You once told a contestant on Celebrity Apprentice it would be a pretty picture to see her on her knees. Does that sound to you like the temperament of a man we should elect as president, and how will you answer the charge from Hillary Clinton, who was [sic] likely to be the Democratic nominee, that you are part of the war on women?" Trump's response to this "attack" by Kelly will devour the next few days of American culture. Today's portion involved Trump blasting political correctness as the nation's greatest problem and implying Kelly deserved worse treatment than he's given her. Elsewhere on the debate stage, Chris Christie twice lied about being appointed US attorney by President George W. Bush "one day before 9/11" (his appointment began in 2002, as anyone with a search engine can confirm), Mike Huckabee held forth on his plan to tax pimps and prostitutes, and Jeb Bush stood around silently wishing he'd been born into another family. Meanwhile, the seven GOP candidates who failed to qualify for the official debate took the stage at the pre-prime-time "kids' table" debate, where Rick Perry carried on his legacy of verbal idiocy by referencing "Ronald Raven" and Rick Santorum held forth in a manner that turned his previous 1 percent support among Republican voters into 0 percent support.
FRIDAY, AUGUST 7 In stupider news, the week continued with the giant shitstorm generated by the aforementioned clash between Donald Trump and Megyn Kelly, with Trump taking to Twitter to bash Kelly and the Fox network before airing his grievances to CNN. Addressing the alleged attack from Kelly, Trump said, "You could see there was blood coming out of her eyes. Blood coming out of her wherever." The blowback to Trump's ugly old-school sexism was fierce and immediate, with even Trump's GOP peers—who've typically remained silently complicit in his bigotry and have their own problems with misogyny—denouncing his menstrual allusion as beyond the pale. This weekend, the historically unapologetic Trump will be scared into his first lame-ass backtrack, appearing on Sunday's Meet the Press to claim his words were being deliberately misconstrued by jealous rivals and that "only a deviant" would imagine the phrase "blood coming from wherever" might have anything to do with menstruation. Dear Mr. Trump: Your belief that acknowledging menstruation equals deviancy tells us everything we need to know. Fun fact: Trump's shitty sexism only increased his lead in the polls. America!
SATURDAY, AUGUST 8 The week continued in Seattle, where today Vermont senator and Democratic Socialist presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders appeared at a rally at Westlake Park, which was conceived to celebrate the 80th anniversary of Social Security and the achievements of other anti-poverty programs, but wound up being shut down by a pair of #BlackLivesMatter activists who seized the microphone, denounced the crowd as "white supremacist liberal[s]," and demanded four-and-a-half minutes of silence in honor of the four-and-a-half hours the slain-by-cops corpse of Michael Brown lay on a Ferguson street. With the activist-hijackers refusing to leave the stage, the rally was abruptly canceled. Later tonight, Sanders appeared before 15,000 supporters at the University of Washington and delivered some of the words he was unable to at Westlake: "Too many young lives are being destroyed by the so-called war on drugs. Too many lives are being destroyed by our system of incarceration... No president will fight harder to end the stain of racism and reform our criminal justice system. Period."
SUNDAY, AUGUST 9 Speaking of the stain of racism and the need to reform our criminal-justice system, the week ended in Ferguson, Missouri, where today brought a day of remembrance for Michael Brown, an alleged jaywalking shoplifter fatally shot by police one year ago. Awfully and fittingly, the day resulted in what should be history-altering chaos, with gun battles between demonstrators and police, a state of emergency declared in the region, and the arrest of dozen of protesters, including Dr. Cornel West. It's all still going on as we type this. See you next week.
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