Many Republican Women Have Second Thoughts About Donald Trump – By Emma Court and  Colleen McCain Nelson Sept. 22, 2015 7:10 p.m. ET

GOP front-runner loses ground in polls after his comments about Carly Fiorina and Megyn Kelly

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump works a crowd in Dallas on Sept. 14. His standing with women has slipped since then.

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump works a crowd in Dallas on Sept. 14. His standing with women has slipped since then. Photo: Mike Stone/Reuters

GREENVILLE, S.C.—When Ruth Silver was watching last week’s Republican debate in her Wantagh, N.Y., living room, she was so impressed with Carly Fiorina’s “class and poise, I wanted to stand up and applaud.”

Ms. Silver, 71 years old, said the former Hewlett-Packard executive’s performance was so strong she began rethinking her support for celebrity businessman Donald Trump.

For now, Ms. Silver is sticking with Mr. Trump but she is part of a shrinking pool: Female voters’ support for the first-time candidate dropped 12 percentage points among likely GOP voters after last week’s CNN debate, according to a CNN/ORC poll conducted Sept. 17-19. The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 3%.

That decline in support helped drive down Mr. Trump’s standing in the primary field. Although still the front-runner, his backing tumbled by eight percentage points, to 24% from 32% in a CNN/ORC poll conducted Sept. 4-8. Of those who tuned in to watch the debate, 31% of the likely GOP voters said he did the worst job—the highest percentage of any candidate.


Republican front-runner Donald Trump on Thursday declined to refute a questioner who declared that Muslims are a “problem” in America and reiterated the long-debunked rumor that President Barack Obama is a Muslim.

The Trump campaign didn’t respond to requests for comment on Tuesday.

The second debate, which covered both foreign and domestic issues, marked the first flagging of Mr. Trump’s support among GOP voters, an opening that Ms. Fiorina gained from as she shot up to second in the poll at 15%. She also emerged as the clear debate winner, as 52% of likely GOP voters said she did the best job, the poll found.

Mr. Trump took the debate stage after Rolling Stone published disparaging remarks he made in an interview about Fiorina: “Look at that face! Would anyone vote for that? Can you imagine that, the face of our next president?!,” Mr. Trump told the magazine.

In interviews, the celebrity businessman said his comments were misunderstood and he was referring to her persona, not her facial features. Asked about that explanation during the debate, Ms. Fiorina’s rebuttal brought down the house. “I think women all over this country heard very clearly what [Donald] Trump said,” she said.

Mr. Trump’s exchanges with Ms. Fiorina came just weeks after he said Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly had “blood coming out of her whatever” when she asked him tough questions in the first GOP debate, a comment that some interpreted as a reference to her menstrual cycle. Mr. Trump said his remarks were being misinterpreted, and that he wasn’t referring to her cycle.

“I cherish women,” Mr. Trump said on CNN in August. “I want to help women. I’m going to be able to do things for women that no other candidate would be able to do, and it’s very important to me.”

Yet, the personal nature of his remarks are driving away some potential backers and giving even some of his loyalists pause. Mr. Trump’s recent remarks about high-profile women also could hamper a general-election candidacy. In the 2012 election, exit polls showed that 53% of the voters were women, outnumbering their male counterparts.

“I do think he’s a sexist. Absolutely,” said Katie Packer Gage, a Republican strategist who isn’t working for a presidential candidate. “When you talk about the way a woman behaves in the context of their menstrual cycles, it reduces them to something, and suggests they don’t have control of themselves or their emotions.”

Mr. Trump’s financial acumen could be an asset in the White House, said Wanda Owens of Walhalla, S.C., but she has concerns about his ability to handle foreign affairs and his comments about women.

“He’s kind of brutal toward women,” said Ms. Owens, who supports Ben Carson, a retired neurosurgeon and another political newcomer. She added that she questions whether women would be appointed to top positions in a Trump administration.

Mr. Trump’s female backers say they aren’t offended because his blunt rhetoric is just part of his tell-it-like-it-is style.

Joan Belfield in Sayville, N.Y., said the Fiorina comment was “thoughtless,” a “stupid thing to say,” yet she still leans towards Mr. Trump. Is Mr. Trump sexist? Ms. Belfield said no. “He says that about men, too.”

Joyce Kaufman, the host of a popular radio show based in South Florida, also sees the candidate as an equal-opportunity name-caller. “If we want to play with the boys, then we have to play with the boys,” Ms. Kaufman said.

But “wavering” Trump supporter Leeann Frazier of Brownwood, Texas, said she is more concerned about Mr. Trump’s ability to “tone it back” than any specific remarks he has made.

“I don’t take his statements personally as a woman. I don’t think he means that. He just speaks off the cuff, and he’s always been one to go for shock factor and say what he thinks,” Ms. Frazier said.

Write to Colleen McCain Nelson at

Senate GOP starts fast-track on bill to block Planned Parenthood funding – By Jordain Carney September 21, 2015, 08:17 pm

Senate Republicans on Monday night started the Senate’s fast-track process on legislation that would block federal funding for Planned Parenthood.

Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.) began the process, known as Rule 14, that will allow the legislation to skip over the Senate’s committee process and go straight to the Senate floor where it can be brought up for a vote. The Senate will likely complete the process on Tuesday.

The legislation, which passed the House last week by a 241-187 vote, would place a one-year freeze on federal funding for the organization giving lawmakers more time to investigate claims of wrongdoing by Planned Parenthood made in a string of controversial videos.

Senate Republicans also started the fast-track process on a House-passed bill that would tighten restrictions on abortion doctors who violate infant protections.

The proposals come as Republican leadership is under pressure to cut off federal funding for Planned Parenthood ahead of an end-of-the-month deadline to pass a government spending bill.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has pledged to not let the government shutdown, and called his party’s push to defund Planned Parenthood as part of a spending bill an “exercise in futility.”

But Congress’ path to keeping the government open remains unclear with only a handful of days left before the deadline.

Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), the Senate’s No. 2 Republican, told reporters that the Senate could take the lead on a funding bill, but added that “I don’t think it’s been finally decided.”

The Land of No Men: Inside Kenya’s Women-Only Village – Vice News Published on Sep 9, 2015

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Where the foothills of Mount Kenya merge into the desert, the people of Samburu have maintained a strict patriarchy for over 500 years in northern Kenya. That is, until 25 years ago, when Rebecca Lolosoli founded Umoja village as a safe haven for the region’s women. Umoja, which means “unity” in Swahili, is quite literally a no man’s land, and the matriarchal refuge is now home to the Samburu women who no longer want to suffer abuses, like genital mutilation and forced marriages, at the hands of men.

Throughout the years, it has also empowered other women in the districts surrounding Samburu to start their own men-excluding villages. Broadly visited Umoja and the villages it inspired to meet with the women who were fed up with living in a violent patriarchy.

Serena Williams beats sister Venus to make US Open 2015 semi-finals – Kevin Mitchell at Flushing Meadows Tuesday 8 September 2015 22.15 EDT

Serena and Venus Williams

The woman policing the gangway that leads down to the media seats on Arthur Ashe glanced at a stadium TV screen, and whispered, “I like Venus.”

It wasn’t “like” as in the American sporting argot, “think she will win”, more an expression of admiration bordering on sympathy for the older Williams sister (justified, as it happens), who was expected to be marmalised by Serena, the champion who had out-titled her over their careers 69-46, who had won 15 of their 26 matches and who was reaching for a quarter-final win that would propel her to within two victories of history.

And so the predicted result transpired, unexpectedly, in three sets.

Obstructing Serena’s route to the final and coronation as the first woman to sweep all four majors in a calendar year since Steffi Graf in 1988 is a player she has beaten all four times they have met, Roberta Vinci. The Italian has won just 22 games in those matches.

That has slaughter written all over it.

So did this quarter-final, which lasted an hour and 38 minutes and which Serena won 6-2, 1-6, 6-3.

It is not disrespecting Venus – who has won more easily in this tournament than has Serena – to point out the disparity in spoils and consistent dominance stretching back several years. She is in pretty respectable company trailing her sister in every statistic known to nerds. In slams, Serena now leads 9-5, including four on the spin in recent majors.

But, if you dismiss as absurd the notion that collusion between two sisters whose bond is unbreakable, there remains the dilemma of culling half-heartedness from conviction. There was little evidence of the former, much of the latter, by both players. Yet it was a strangely antiseptic affair.

No description could match watching the contest unfold live, but the numbers tell the story. There were a remarkable 126 rallies of four shots or fewer and only three that lasted longer than nine strokes. The paradox was they were so good they made it look bad, not a fight but an exchange of brilliant winners, 35 by Serena, 24 from Venus, with a combined unforced error count of only 37. As executions go, it was quick and clean.

Never the less, in the first set, fans looked this way and that around the stadium, fiddling with their phones, peeping up at the jumbo screens to see if they’d made it on to the roaming shoot of the stands, and wondering when it might be cool to maybe slip away. Not many did.

At times this was like kissing your sister – except they are sisters. The longest rally of the match arrived at 30-love to Venus in the third game of the second set after 44 minutes of tennis they could market as a lullaby video. It lasted all of 13 shots, and it wasn’t all that. Venus won it, by the way, holding to love, but everyone shifting in their seats knew it was not going to change the course of the match, and, of course, it didn’t.

Even when Serena dropped serve (breaking her run of 18 holds in a row) with a double fault (a second serve into the net at 68mph) to fall 1-3 behind, it was hard to detect in the champion a shred of anxiety.

A third double fault handed Venus the gift of serving out the second set at 5-1 after a little under an hour. She had three set points, and Serena was plunged into her 11th three-setter of the season when she banged the third into the net.

And still inevitability hung heavy in the air.

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I had to be high to work at Hooters: Boobs, binge eating and men’s wandering hands – SARAH KASBEER MONDAY, SEP 7, 2015 04:30 PM PDT

My curves brought me nothing but trouble, so I decided to cash in. How bad could Hooters be? Turns out: Really bad

I had to be high to work at Hooters: Boobs, binge eating and men's wandering hands

(Credit: Reuters/Joshua Lott/Photo treatment by Salon)

In high school, I prided myself on the ability to roll a joint while also driving stick. The cops caught on my senior year, slapping me with a possession charge and a $1,200 fine, a small fortune to a teenager who could barely scrounge $2.75 from the family change drawer for a pack of Camel Lights.

“You’re paying me back for this,” my mother told me. “Every last cent.”

That was going to be a problem: I’d blown off my previous occupation as a lifeguard in favor of a pot habit, which was basically free when you dated the dealers. Every job application I filled out seemed to present the same problem: “Have you ever been convicted of a crime other than a traffic violation?” I didn’t have the balls to sell drugs, nor the dancing skills to swing around a pole without landing in someone’s lap (at least not in an good way). I knew of one place—and one place only—that would look straight past my pot addiction and direct its gaze elsewhere: Hooters.


The story of how I got a job at Hooters actually starts when I was about 10 years old. I wore a training bra in fifth grade, and like all training bras, mine got snapped. Before then, I was a miniature athlete. I played soccer, collected enough first-place swimming ribbons to fill a cork board, and even perfected a back flip off the high dive. But in adolescence, I noticed my rectangular-shaped body morphing into more of an oval. Participating in sports that required a Speedo induced more anxiety than endorphins.

The more I began to dislike my body, the more I punished myself with the guilt of overeating. In the mid-’90s, packaged food was the name of my game: Pop Tarts, Chips Ahoy, Cinnamon Toast Crunch. By 15, I was 20 pounds overweight and would do anything to gain acceptance. That included sneaking out to meet boys and drink beer. My parents caught me one night when my radio alarm clock blasted Bon Jovi at 2 a.m., revealing the bloated pillow dummy I’d carefully staged before slipping out the side window. As punishment, they forced me to get a job at McDonald’s in order to impart some moral lesson that I never quite learned. Instead I felt humiliated, swishing around in polyester pants and a maroon visor as I doled out free fries to upperclassmen.


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For The First Time, Women Will Graduate From Army’s Rigorous Ranger School – LUCY PERKINS AUGUST 17, 2015 8:32 PM ET

A woman participates in the final phase of U.S. Army Ranger training, taking place in the hot humid swamps of the Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., earlier this year. For the first time, two women completed the training, the military announced Monday.

A woman participates in the final phase of U.S. Army Ranger training, taking place in the hot humid swamps of the Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., earlier this year. For the first time, two women completed the training, the military announced Monday. Scott Brooks/MAI/Landov

Two women have completed the Army’s tough Ranger School, officials say. Both are in their 20s and are lieutenants.

NPR’s Tom Bowman reports that the women, whose names haven’t been released, attended West Point and will graduate with the rest of their Ranger class on Friday.

The Pentagon has not decided whether they will be approved for ground combat.

“They’ll now wear the Ranger tab on their uniforms,” Tom says. “A coveted award among infantry soldiers.”

Secretary of the Army John M. McHugh congratulated all the new Rangers in a press release:

“Each Ranger School graduate has shown the physical and mental toughness to successfully lead organizations at any level. This course has proven that every Soldier, regardless of gender, can achieve his or her full potential. We owe Soldiers the opportunity to serve successfully in any position where they are qualified and capable, and we continue to look for ways to select, train, and retain the best Soldiers to meet our Nation’s needs.”

The Ranger course began in 1950. The Army says that around 40 percent of male soldiers in Ranger School graduate.

The Army announced its decision allowing women to participate in Ranger training in January. After the announcement, we reported that:

“Gen. Ray Odierno, the Army chief of staff, has previously said Army leaders will monitor the pilot program.

” ‘We’re just going to let the statistics speak for themselves as we go through this,’ he said, in response to a question from a soldier at a virtual town hall-style meeting on Jan. 6. ‘The main thing I’m focused on is the standards remain the same.’

“He added: ‘We don’t know if it’s five people graduate, or 100 people graduate, or no one graduates. This is just a pilot to gain information for us to understand where we are, and then we’ll take that data and make a determination on how we want to move forward.’ ”

Tom describes the two-month Ranger training as grueling. It begins in Fort Benning, Ga., where soldiers train in the mountains, and ends in the swamps of Florida. The program admitted women as “part of an effort by Pentagon leaders to determine whether women can be assigned to ground combat units in both the Army and the Marine Corps.”

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