I was sitting down to blog last night after dinner when all the house’s various white-noise sounds — refrigerator, ceiling fans — went silent and the internet stopped working, and whaddaya know, we’re having a power outage.
It wasn’t a widespread one, but it meant no blogging, no HBO, limited phone use to preserve battery life. I took the opportunity to go to bed at 10 p.m. — not really; I always go to bed at 10 — after reading until the light was all the way gone. Primitive things, these “books,” but oddly calming at bedtime.
And all was well and I was sweetly slumbering until 11, when the power came back on and my neighbor, who I suspect had been drinking earlier, bellowed THE POWER’S BACK ON while standing in his driveway, more or less directly under my bedroom window, and then I was wide awake until 1 a.m. and that, my friends, is how what started as a pleasant Little House on the Prairie Sunday night turned into a drag-ass Monday.
Why not sleep in? you may be thinking. Can’t do that. I’m signed up to do an open-water swim in about five weeks, and it’s time to put the hammer down, training-wise, and Monday is a swim day, so that’s what I did. Anyway, it’s summer outdoor swimming, and you don’t skip that just because you didn’t sleep well. Here’s the view from the pool deck at 6:21 a.m.:
I’ve been reading about the Jeffrey Epstein case, and have decided I don’t care if Bill Clinton gets his pecker caught in a mousetrap on this one — if he was a part of this, he richly deserves it. A friend posted this New York magazine piece from 2002, and I read it this afternoon. Epstein is close to Leslie Wexner, Columbus’ richest scion and the first billionaire I ever interviewed, maybe the only one, although at the time, he was merely a $600-millionaire. Reader, I cannot lie: I liked him and totally swallowed the story he was peddling, about how he emerged from a haze of work and empire building to become a money-slinging mover/shaker in the early ’80s. It may well be true, I don’t know, but anyone associated with Epstein is suspect by association. Anyway, this passage brought me up short:
“Before Epstein came along in 1988, the financial preparations and groundwork for the New Albany development [a wealthy exurb Wexner conjured out of farmland east of the city] were a total mess,” says Bob Fitrakis, a Columbus-based investigative journalist who has written extensively on Wexner and his finances. “Epstein cleaned everything up, as well as serving Wexner in other capacities – such as facilitating visits to Wexner’s home of the crew from Cats and organizing a Tony Randall song-and-dance show put on in Columbus.” Wexner declines to talk about his relationship with Epstein, but it is clearly one that continues to this day.
I really need to know more about this Tony Randall song-and-dance show, and I’m disappointed no editor asked that question.
I saw a booking photo of Epstein today. Despite (according to NYMag) “an hour and fifteen minutes every day doing advanced yoga with his personal instructor, who travels with him wherever he goes,” he looked quite slope-shouldered. No swimmer, he!
OK, then, with this measly update we start the week.
Dorothy said on July 8, 2019 at 7:41 pm
Rachel Maddow covered the Epstein story months ago and I’ve been wondering when it was going to blow wide open. The tenacity of the reporter who kept writing about it for the Miami Herald (Julie K. Brown) is a thing of beauty. I hope this is another brick in the slowly growing wall of Things That Could Bury The Asshole President.
alex said on July 8, 2019 at 8:33 pm
If Epstein cops a plea deal by turning in others, I’m optimistic that Trump — one of the few people who has ever publicly acknowledged Epstein’s proclivities, and with a seeming endorsement of them no less — will get his comeuppance.
Clinton has already issued a denial, automatically giving rise to speculation about his guilt, because of course we’ve been there done that. Will the Tweetstormer-in-Chief be able to resist going there? His tweets always give away his most embarrassing preoccupations, so these next few days be on the lookout. Here’s betting he’s probably much less concerned about Russian pee tapes than he is about Virgin Island tween tapes. Of course there could be Russian pedophilia tapes too, and those will suddenly surface if this bag of shit blows open.
Suzanne said on July 8, 2019 at 9:17 pm
Italy’s own Trump, Silvio Berlusconi, was finally brought down after numerous scandals by being caught with an underage “prostitute”. A girl can hope the same will happen here.
Sherri said on July 8, 2019 at 10:06 pm
Whether or not they engaged in criminal activity, I’m all for shunning from polite society anyone who was palling around him. None of this has been a secret.
And that includes Graydon Carter, who killed all references to the women in a Vanity Fair piece, and Alan Acosta, Alan Dershowitz, and Ken Starr, responsible for the sweetheart deal Epstein got in Florida.
Suzanne said on July 8, 2019 at 10:12 pm
The Epstein thing is reminiscent of the James Levine or Harvey Weinstein debacles. An open secret that was widely known but Few tried to do anything about.
LAMary said on July 8, 2019 at 11:57 pm
Ken Starr is creepy.
Pam said on July 9, 2019 at 6:52 am
I saw this whole thing played out in an episode of Law & Order. I think it was the regular Law & Order, not the SVU version. It was many years ago.
Connie said on July 9, 2019 at 8:15 am
Bassett, we started out in Lake Cadillac. We took the channel through (under the road!) into Lake Mitchell, then made a right. The beach is right there, and while it is still State Park it is not very accessible from land.
In all my months of the news making me depressed, well the Epstein thing DOES NOT make me depressed.
susan said on July 9, 2019 at 9:45 am
Connie- In all my months of the news making me depressed, well the Epstein thing DOES NOT make me depressed.
Except you just know all the g-d perps are gonna walk. Because they’re very rich white people. The justice-system is run by RWP. They are all connected. This $hi† will soon evaporate as some other outrage emerges from the manure-pile steam.
Jeff Borden said on July 9, 2019 at 9:59 am
Fear not, Susan. Once in awhile, even rich old white guys go too far. When prosecutors start flashing up the cache of photos of early teen Lolitas and some of the troubled young women who were preyed upon by Epstein and his buddies offer their tearful testimony, it will be hard not to convict. This should have happened in Florida, but as we all know, Alex Acosta helped grease a deal that allowed Epstein to commute from a county jail to his office for 12 hours per day, six days per week. It was the secrecy in which that deal was forged that stands to claim a few notable legal eagles. If the Epstein case takes down assholes like Alan Dershowitz and Ken Starr, who were party to the plea deal, it will be a beautiful thing.
susan said on July 9, 2019 at 10:19 am
jeff b – I just have no faith in that positive scenario, based on outcomes of previous big bombs. If one is over 30, one has seen this crap before. And with FatNixon greasing wheels of justice with his minions…nope. I wish I were as optimistic as you! I would love to see all of them go down for a l-o-o-o-onnnggg long time.
Sherri said on July 9, 2019 at 11:25 am
I believe Epstein will spend the rest of his miserable life in prison. I don’t believe anyone else will go down. Maybe Ghislaine Maxwell, accused of procuring girls for him. But no other powerful men.
Jakash said on July 9, 2019 at 12:48 pm
I agree with Susan and Sherri, though I’d like to have the enthusiasm of some of the others on here. I can see Epstein himself paying a price, but I’ve been assured by the Twitterati that too many other things around Il Douche would “blow up”, which never have, to anticipate Rumpelthinskin getting nailed this time, either. I’d be happy to be wrong about that.
As for “I don’t care if Bill Clinton gets his pecker caught in a mousetrap on this one” —
“Hands up, Democrats. How many people are actually thinking ‘mustn’t investigate crimes that could implicate Donald Trump and Alan Dershowitz at the risk of implicating Bill Clinton?’ Because conservative twitter thinks that’s what you’re thinking.”
A Twitpoll: “Mustn’t besmirch Big Dog. 1%
Under the bus, Bill. 99%”
“…he looked quite slope-shouldered.” So, at long last, shoulder-shaming is the last refuge of harmless figure denigration? Tough break for me — not a swimmer, either, and I don’t doubt folks can tell. ; )
Scout said on July 9, 2019 at 12:55 pm
I hope all the skeevey paedophile rapists involved in this shite go down with Epstein. But even if he’s the only one who gets locked up, I hope it is well past when his buddy, the Hair Furor, can pardon him.
I love that picture, Nancy. It is so tranquil, it calms me just looking at it. I’ll bet the setting makes it easy to show up for a training swim, even with a lack of sleep.
Bitter Scribe said on July 9, 2019 at 3:14 pm
I can’t help thinking that Clinton was smarter than Trump—smart enough not to get sexual with underage girls.
And if he wasn’t, as Nancy and the others here said, fuck him.
Julie Robinson said on July 9, 2019 at 3:41 pm
Ugh, ugh, ugh. Lock them all up and throw away the keys. When I think of all the lives ruined from abuse, I feel no pity for the abusers and enablers.
On a brighter note, I don’t have enough superlatives for Moulin Rouge and feel blessed to have seen it last year in Boston and now in New York. But this city has so many stairs! The knee is not happy.
Deborah said on July 9, 2019 at 5:10 pm
Today was a fabulous day in the S of F. We did make it to Sault today, the lavender capital of France. It was a beautiful drive up to a mountainous area. Had a delicious lunch there at the restaurant we tried to go to yesterday. We found out what our navigator problems were caused by yesterday. There are two restaurants with the same name which we didn’t know, the one we wanted to go to is 50 KM away and the other one is 240 KM away in the opposite direction. When the name of the restaurant was entered, the wrong one registered and it kept trying to lead us there, wasting our time and energy, getting us all discombobulated. I took a bunch of photos of lavender fields around Sault which I hope to put on FB in the near future. The scent was amazing, it was rainy which heightens the smell, it was glorious.
The food here has been glorious except for that unfortunate last minute, emergency lunch yesterday at the sad, greasy chicken place. The wine has been great too.
Dexter Friend said on July 9, 2019 at 5:17 pm
So many names of men who rode Epstein’s jet called “The Lolita Express” with Epstein… I have heard many, and the centerpiece of all the photos is always Woody Allen…of course it is. Trump’s earlier comment praising Epstein for Epstein’s eye for “very young women” is sickening. No proof available, but I can just imagine Trump right in the middle of the pile. No matter to Trump, he who ran away from the entire McDougal-Daniels-Bush-Avenatti story so quickly, as if skating away, which he did; he skated, he skated away. If the photo trove in NYC reveals a shot of Trump naked with an underage girl, he’ll say it’s fake news, McConnell will say it’s time to move on, and the base just forgets it. Trump is going to be a hard nut to crack in 2020. He has that goddam base, plus Pooty-Poot pulling strings.
Suzanne said on July 9, 2019 at 7:06 pm
Yep, Dexter. That’s what I imagine happening. By which I mean what will happen is nothing. Trump train will keep on a goin’
Sherri said on July 9, 2019 at 8:27 pm
To all the Dems in Congress calling for Acosta to resign: you can do something about this. Impeach the fucker. It will be good practice.
beb said on July 9, 2019 at 8:44 pm
Naturally Trump is now downplaying his relationship with Epstein but for once he might be telling the truth. Trump said he had a falling out with Epstein about 15 years ago. Thus may well have been when Trump banned Epstein from Mar-a-Lago. The rumor is that Trump threw him out for trying to recruit an underage girl at the resort.
whether or not Trump availed himself with some of Epstein’s underage protitutes, he certainly recognized the danger of recruiting minors at his resort.
Acosta should be fire as well as debarred for that original plea deal.
Gretchen said on July 10, 2019 at 12:18 am
I hope you will write more about outdoor swimming. I am a Detroiter, now living on the dry plains of Kansas. Every time you write about going down to the lake to swim I think that’s the life I’m supposed to be living.
LAMary said on July 10, 2019 at 12:20 am
Another NY Mag thing is “What Laura Lippman Can’t Live Without” in the Strategist section. Last week it was Sutton Foster, many time Tony winner, who had a selection of things I also own. Not the earplugs or the white noise machine, but every single other thing. Amazing. That never happens. Usually these people like three hundred dollar socks or something.
Snarkworth said on July 10, 2019 at 11:41 am
Beb, I wonder about that Mar-a-Lago story. I would think a resort populated by rich, elderly conservatives would offer slim pickings when it comes to exploitable teenage girls.
beb said on July 10, 2019 at 12:34 pm
Snarkworth makes a good point — that Mar-a-Lago is not a place where young girls naturally roam about. This morning I read this account from Slate: “28 Women Reportedly Sent to Mar-a-Lago in 1992 for VIP Party of Two—Trump and Jeffrey Epstein”
At the bottom of the article is a telling comment: “Houraney told Trump that he had “pretty much had to ban Jeff from my events” but said “Trump didn’t care about that.”” This suggests that Epstein’s pedophilia was pretty well known. The article also suggests that Trump was involved.
The story of the man who killed a black youth because his playing rap music gets worse and worse. Despite being made afraid by the rap music, he followed the youth into a convenience store before attacking him. A reasonable person would have removed himself from a situation that made him afraid. So it’s hard to call any of this self-defense.
Suzanne said on July 10, 2019 at 12:43 pm
Of course Epstein’s predilection for teens was well known. He’s rich, though, and helps others be rich. Morals are not in the mix.
It’s like James Levine. I have a relative who is in the classical music world. She told me years ago that the word on the musical street was that Levine liked the boys a little too much. Open secret that no one did a thing about.
Sherri said on July 10, 2019 at 1:22 pm
Does Epstein really help others be rich? As many have pointed out, the source of Epstein’s wealth is really unclear. He was hired to teach at the Dalton School despite not having a college degree, left there to go to Bear Stearns, left there in an insider trading scandal and started his own fund. Beyond Wexner, none of his clients are known. He purportedly only handles billionaires, going back to a time when there weren’t that many billionaires. Nobody ever talks about the incredible returns they get with Epstein, but I guess the returns must be amazing for him to become a billionaire himself on 2 and 20 of other people’s money.
Deborah said on July 10, 2019 at 1:27 pm
This afternoon in the So. of F, we went to Lacoste which was where the Marquis de Sade was from, which reminded me of Jeffrey Epstein. De Sade wasn’t just into S&M he was into everything, young girls, young boys, you name it, he was wealthy and he got others to obtain his victims for him and he provided his victims for others to use. We didn’t go to Lacoste because of de Sade but that was an interesting (if vile) side note. Lacoste is a very interesting place, Pierre Cardin bank rolled its restoration at some point. The views of the surrounding landscape from the grounds of the chateau where de Sade lived are stunning.
This morning we went to Roussillion, another beautiful village from which you can view the surrounding countryside. We had another fabulous lunch there. So much good food all around, especially at the place we’re staying, we have dinner every night here, the owner’s son is the chef, I can’t even describe how fabulous the meals have been, fresh and creative as well as incredibly delicious.
Julie Robinson said on July 10, 2019 at 2:57 pm
Our high school did the show Marat/Sade, wonder if that would happen now. People used to be more tolerant.
We saw Dear Evan Hansen last night and it was also wonderful. The current lead is only 17.
A little shopping today and found some great stuff in linen; almost impossible to find at home.
Come From Away tonight.
Deborah said on July 10, 2019 at 4:49 pm
My conservative Lutheran College in Nebraska did Marat/Sade (The Persecution and Assassination of Jean-Paul Marat as Performed by the Inmates of the Asylum of Charenton Under the Direction of the Marquis de Sade) my freshman or sophomore year. Imagine that.
Suzanne said on July 10, 2019 at 5:23 pm
Oh my, Deborah! That would never ever be allowed now!!
Dexter Friend said on July 10, 2019 at 5:25 pm
Jennifer Araoz’s revelations to Savannah Guthrie today were just stunning…Google it. Epstein is accused, graphically. Also today, George Houraney, the procurer of beauty contestants is in the news: he sent TWENTY-EIGHT young women who were famous for their figures in bikinis down to Trump…AND Epstein , and only Trump and Epstein, “partied” with them . 28 to 2. It is beyond comprehension…but wait! Mar-a- Lago, that wonderful bastion of civility and relaxation…remember the tapes showing all the Trump-loving women drinking and screaming for Trump on holiday parties? Well, today it was reported that Epstein had recruiters there all the time…if the women fit Epstein’s wish-list, they’d be offered a wad of benfranklins to come satisfy Epstein’s freakon. Also…Epstein had paid recruiters of young, young girls all over the entire globe! Think about that for a second. Even in Slovenia. Say…do you suppose? Nah! But then…was Melania pimped out to Trump by Epstein’s stable of recruiters? Huh? What’s that ya sayin’?