Friday, January 08, 2016

Cruising the Web

Germany's largest TV station is apologizing for not reporting the mass sexual assaults on women in Cologne on New Year's Eve.
Editors of the network’s nightly news show “Heute” (translated to “Today” in English) confessed to not covering the attacks despite knowing the magnitude and severity of the events. Leaked police documents also confirm authorities held back on reporting information to the public until the media broke the story Monday — four days after the attacks.

Authorities say the attacks were carried out by a known criminal gang of around 1,000 young men of north African or Middle Eastern decent. Both the media and police have been criticized for protecting the perpetrators because of their foreign background.
It is not enough to apologize. They should have to answer why they didn't run the story and if anyone from either the local or national government tried to keep them from reporting on the story. More than 100 women reported that they had been sexually assaulted and two said they had been raped.

The Guardian reports on a leaked police report in the German paper Bild that says that the police were well aware of what was happening in Cologne but couldn't do anything to get control of the situation.
“The officers on the ground couldn’t gain control of all of the events, attacks and crimes – there were simply too many at the same time for that to be possible,” a high-ranking officer wrote, describing the scene to which police arrived. “On the square outside were several thousand mostly male people of a migrant background who were firing all kinds of fireworks and throwing bottles into the crowd at random.

“Even the appearance of police officers on the scene … didn’t hold the masses back from their actions.” The report added that police who tried to clear the square faced a barrage of fireworks and bottles....

Evidence has emerged that similar attacks had taken place in a total of eight German cities. After Cologne, Hamburg appears to have been the worst affected. Out of 167 complaints of attacks filed with police - around two thirds of them described as sexual assault including two cases of rape - 100 relate to Cologne, and 53 to Hamburg.
The Telegraph reports on that leaked report with some more specifics that, if true, might provide the reason why the authorities have tried to keep this whole story quiet.
Some of those involved in a series of sexual assaults against women in the German city of Cologne on New Year’s Eve claimed to be Syrian refugees, according to a leaked police report.

The outbreak of violence was also far more serious than previously thought, and at one point senior police officers feared “there could have been fatalities”.

Two publications have released what they claim is an internal report by a senior officer who was at the scene.

If confirmed, the report could have far-reaching consequences for Angela Merkel’s government as it tries to deal with the aftermath of the assaults.

inisters have said there is no evidence asylum seekers were involved in the violence.

But the leaked police report, published in Bild newspaper and Spiegel, a news magazine, claims that one of those involved told officers: “I am Syrian. You have to treat me kindly. Mrs Merkel invited me.”

Another tore up his residence permit before the eyes of police, and told them: “You can’t do anything to me, I can get a new one tomorrow.”

A local newspaper reported that fifteen asylum-seekers from Syria and Afghanistan were briefly held by police on New Year's Eve in connection with the sex attacks but were released.

The Express newspaper quoted an unnamed police officer who said his squad had detained several people who had "only been in Germany for a few weeks".

"Of these people, 14 were from Syria and one was from Afghanistan. That's the truth. Although it hurts," he said.

It is not clear why the suspects were released but police officers have said they were overwhelmed on the night.

Police say they have identified 16 suspects from video recordings of the incidents. It is not known if the group includes any who were detained on New Year's Eve.
The German authorities have a lot of questions to answer. Why did they try to downplay or hide the story originally? Why were they so incapable of keeping order? What can they do in the future to protect people? Why are they having such troubles finding anyone responsible? The authorities don't seem to have much confidence that they can successfully prosecute anyone.
The federal interior minister, Thomas de Maizière, criticised police for “failing to do a proper job”, not least after they filed a report saying the night had “passed off peacefully”.

But the minister was slapped down by Cologne police leaders. While admitting the police had made operational mistakes, Rainer Wendt, head of the police trade union DPoIG, accused De Maizière of joint responsibility for what he called an insufficient police presence.

“De Maizière needs to ask where were the many federal police officers who should have been on the duty roster at Cologne station?” he told Hessischer Rundfunk radio. “For months they have been diverted to Bavaria,” he said, on border security duty linked to the refugee arrivals.

As police said they were questioning three men in connection with the events, but had made no arrests, Wendt warned that such attacks could easily happen again because those involved would have “little to fear” from the law as it was unlikely any of them would ever get caught.

“It is highly uncertain whether, in the case of the attacks in Cologne, we will see even a single prosecution,” he told the Passauer Neue Presse newspaper, citing a lack of police resources. He said that if perpetrators were not caught “they will feel completely encouraged to strike again in the shadow of their anonymity”.

Wendt said analysis of CCTV footage of the events on Thursday evening and early Friday morning was not likely to deliver concrete proof of an individual’s involvement in the attacks, due to the dark and the size of the crowds.
That should give people confidence, shouldn't it?

Andrew Stuttaford links to this BBC report on what Ralf Jaeger, the interior minister for North Rhine-Westphalia, said about his concerns that these crimes will be used by those who oppose Merkel's immigration policies.
Mr Jaeger also warned that anti-immigrant groups were trying to use the attacks to stir up hatred against refugees.

"What happens on the right-wing platforms and in chat rooms is at least as awful as the acts of those assaulting the women," he said. "This is poisoning the climate of our society." (Emphasis added)
Just think of the bull-headedness of that remark. He thinks that what some right-wingers say on the internet is "at least as awful" as assaulting over 100 women and reportedly raping two.

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Charles Krauthammer details how Obama is capitulating to Iran.
If you’re going to engage in a foreign policy capitulation, might as well do it when everyone is getting tanked and otherwise occupied. Say, New Year’s Eve.

Here’s the story. In October, Iran test-fires a nuclear-capable ballistic missile in brazen violation of Security Council resolutions prohibiting such launches. President Obama does nothing. One month later, Iran does it again. The administration makes a few gestures at the U.N. Then nothing. Then finally, on Dec. 30, the White House announces a few sanctions.

They are weak, aimed mostly at individuals and designed essentially for show. Amazingly, even that proves too much. By 10 p.m. that night, the administration caves. The White House sends out an email saying that sanctions are off — and the Iranian president orders the military to expedite the missile program.

Is there any red line left? First, the Syrian chemical weapons. Then the administration insistence that there would be no nuclear deal unless Iran accounted for its past nuclear activities. (It didn’t.) And unless Iran permitted inspection of its Parchin nuclear testing facility. (It was allowed self-inspection and declared itself clean.) And now, illegal ballistic missiles.

The premise of the nuclear deal was that it would constrain Iranian actions. It’s had precisely the opposite effect. It has deterred us from offering even the mildest pushback to any Iranian violations lest Iran walk away and leave Obama legacy-less.
The weakness of this administration on foreign policy are reaping the whirlwind today in China and Russia and the rest of the Middle East.
There is no price for defying Pax Americana — not even trivial sanctions on Iranian missile-enablers. Our enemies know it. Our allies see it — and sense they’re on their own, and may not survive.
And this is the deal for which the President wants to take a victory lap!

Ross Douthat tries to put forth his reasoning why Trump will not win the nomination. He makes the point that Trump has around a 30% ceiling in the states that have been polled most and in which the voters are paying the most attention. So, if he doesn't gain more than 30% in states, then he won't be winning enough delegates to win the nomination. Meanwhile, as the votes progress, Douthat is hypothesizing that other candidates will drop out, leaving evangelical supporters to coalesce around Ted Cruz and the more moderate-conservative vote will coalesce around someone, probably Rubio.
There is no credible scenario in which a consistent 30 percent of the vote will deliver the delegates required to be the Republican nominee. So for Trump to lose, he doesn’t actually have to collapse; he just has to fail to expand his support. And in the states where candidates are actually campaigning, voters are paying the most attention, and the polling screens for likely voters are tightening, he hasn’t expanded his support meaningfully since he first climbed into the lead.

Foolish pundit that I may be, I don’t think he will. Instead, I think that Ted Cruz will continue to consolidate evangelicals as Ben Carson fades, and someone (probably Marco Rubio) will eventually consolidate the moderate-conservative vote — which is currently splintered among five candidates in New Hampshire, but which if it were consolidated would very easily beat Trump’s total in that state.
This all sounds reasonable, but it would depend on all the other candidates dropping out. But I think a lot of candidates can run on fumes and won't necessarily drop out just because they did badly in Iowa and New Hampshire. And right now, that moderate chunk of candidates are pretty bunched-up together in New Hampshire. Sure, if Bush, Kasich, and Christie all dropped out, and Rubio got their support, Rubio would be sitting pretty. But who says they will drop out? If they keep in the race, and still get 5-10% of the vote in each state, it would be harder for Rubio to put together winning numbers. I do see more of a path for Ted Cruz who will probably do well in the Southern states.

Ezra Klein has his own scenario for how Trump will/can lose. He envisions something like what happened to Howard Dean who was leading until people suddenly decided that they didn't like him.
13) It's the Underpants Gnomes theory of Trump's loss. Step 1: Trump leads the polls for month after month. Step 2: ??? Step 3: He loses! Even if you think that's likely, it sounds a bit ridiculous when you say it aloud.

14) And yet, this kind of loss is common. Candidates lead, and then they don't. Eric Cantor is invincible, and then he's beaten by some unknown academic. Hillary Clinton is a juggernaut, and then she's beaten by Barack Obama. Howard Dean leads everywhere, and then he leads nowhere. Political analysis is a realm of post-hoc storytelling. Something unexpected or unpredictable happens, and then we explain why it was obviously going to happen all along.

15) But this is, I think, what will happen to Trump. He will lead until he doesn't. His fall will be quick, and it won't obey the apparent rules of his rise. If there is a reason for it, it will fundamentally be, "People get more pragmatic the closer they get to an actual vote." As much as Republicans tell pollsters they think Trump can win the general election, I am skeptical they will truly believe that come Election Day.
Klein still thinks that Trump has a good chance of winning and every prediction that pundits have made about Trump have been proven wrong. And one difference between Dean and Trump is that Trump will still have money to stay in the race. And he also has his own image to maintain that he isn't someone who drops out when things get tough. Will that be enough to make him stay in or will he want to withdraw so he doesn't get labeled as a Loser? Who knows? I like reading these various analyses, but I am at the point that I just can't believe any of them.

Anyone surprised to find out that the State Department has been covering up for Hillary Clinton about her private server and emails?
The U.S. State Department told a watchdog group in 2013 that it didn't have any information about former secretary Hillary Clinton's emails, even though 'dozens of senior officials' knew she was using a private server for all her electronic communications.

A report released Thursday by the agency's inspector general – a powerful and impartial internal investigator – described a cavalier culture about transparency inside Clinton's agency, saying that 177 requests for documents about Clinton are still 'pending' nearly three years after she left office.

The Freedom of Information Act requires federal agencies to respond to requests for information within 20 business days.

The botched FOIA request, filed in December 2012 just before Clinton left office, specifically asked whether or not Clinton used an email account other than one hosted at state.gov.
Incompetent and complicitous.

How amusing. Hillary Clinton's campaign was touting how she raised $37 million in the last quarter but now her campaign manager with the wonderful name of Robby Mook is writing supporters telling them that he is "nervous" because Bernie Sanders is running more ads than they are in Iowa and New Hampshire and they're running low on money.

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Randy Barnett writes on why Ted Cruz is a "natural born citizen." He makes his argument by generalizing from the fact that the phrase in the Constitution was based on a British concept and the fact that the children of the British sovereign were considered "natural born subjects" even if born abroad. From there he argues that, in the United States, the people are sovereign and, therefore, the offspring of citizens born outside the country are the American equivalents of the offspring of the sovereign. He also links to this essay written last year in the Harvard Law Review by two former Solicitor Generals, Neal Katyal, and Paul Clement. They argue that it is quite clear, from the intent of the Framers, that the phrase "natural born citizen" included the children of citizens born abroad.
No doubt informed by this longstanding tradition, just three years after the drafting of the Constitution, the First Congress established that children born abroad to U.S. citizens were U.S. citizens at birth, and explicitly recognized that such children were “natural born Citizens.” The Naturalization Act of 17908× provided that “the children of citizens of the United States, that may be born beyond sea, or out of the limits of the United States, shall be considered as natural born citizens: Provided, That the right of citizenship shall not descend to persons whose fathers have never been resident in the United States . . . .”9× The actions and understandings of the First Congress are particularly persuasive because so many of the Framers of the Constitution were also members of the First Congress. That is particularly true in this instance, as eight of the eleven members of the committee that proposed the natural born eligibility requirement to the Convention served in the First Congress and none objected to a definition of “natural born Citizen” that included persons born abroad to citizen parents.10×

The proviso in the Naturalization Act of 1790 underscores that while the concept of “natural born Citizen” has remained constant and plainly includes someone who is a citizen from birth by descent without the need to undergo naturalization proceedings, the details of which individuals born abroad to a citizen parent qualify as citizens from birth have changed. The pre-Revolution British statutes sometimes focused on paternity such that only children of citizen fathers were granted citizenship at birth.11× The Naturalization Act of 1790 expanded the class of citizens at birth to include children born abroad of citizen mothers as long as the father had at least been resident in the United States at some point. But Congress eliminated that differential treatment of citizen mothers and fathers before any of the potential candidates in the current presidential election were born. Thus, in the relevant time period, and subject to certain residency requirements, children born abroad of a citizen parent were citizens from the moment of birth, and thus are “natural born Citizens.”
This is all a nonsense issue that Trump introduced solely to cast a little shade on Cruz and distract his campaign. Shame on John McCain and White House spokesman Josh Earnest, Rand Paul and Nancy Pelosi for playing along with this is silliness.

I have another question which I haven't seen addressed. Ted Cruz has to be a citizen because he was sworn in as a U.S. Senator. According to Article One, Section 3, clause 3 of the Constitution, one of the requirements of being a Senator is to have been a citizen for at least nine years. As far as we know, Ted Cruz never went through a naturalization ceremony to become an American citizen so the presumption is that his birth to an American mother meant he was indeed a natural born citizen. He could not have been sworn in as a Senator otherwise. I wasn't in Texas when he was running in 2012 for the Senate, so I don't know if anyone brought the issue up at the time. But if there were doubts about his citizenship then, someone could and probably would have challenged his becoming a Senator. This is a trumped up issue (pun intended) simply because he's gaining in the polls against Trump. I have no idea that this will make any difference to anyone, but then I never understood the whole birther complaint against Obama either since he was born to an American mother wherever he was born. But given that Trump made a fool of himself as an Obama birther, why shouldn't he continue this foolishness trolling Cruz.

Andrew McCarthy laughs off Donald Trump's supposed concern that Cruz would be tied up in court if his citizenship were challenged.
The answer to that “problem” is: So what? Top government officials get sued all the time. It comes with the territory and has no impact on the performance of their duties. Indeed, dozens of lawsuits have been brought seeking to challenge President Obama’s eligibility. They have been litigated for years and have neither distracted him nor created public doubt about his legitimacy. In fact, most of them are peremptorily dismissed.

Yesterday I an argument that Ted Cruz had flipped on his opposition to ethanol. Jazz Shaw, who feels very strongly on the issue has also written a long post explaining why he was disappointed in Cruz, whom he supports, because he feels that Cruz has weakened his opposition to ethanol. One of my readers sent me this response by Patterico who argues that Shaw totally missed what Cruz has always said on ethanol.


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Guy Benson explains
why it shouldn't matter to any intelligent thinker that Obama teared up while making his announcement about gun control.
(2) Even if one concedes, as I do, that Obama's tears were authentic, so what? Emotionalism must not guide public policy. Here are some facts: Gun ownership is at an all-time high, while violent crime has fallen to multi-decade lows. As more Americans buy more guns, the country's murder rate has plummeted by half since 1993, with that trend continuing after the expiration of the so-called "assault weapons ban" in the mid-2000's. Multiple rigorous studies have shown that there is no correlation between a state's gun laws and gun ownership levels and its homicide rate. (Incidentally, "gun deaths" statistics include suicides, which account for a hefty majority gun-related deaths in the US. Relatedly, Japan has the highest suicide rate in the developed world. Guns are banned in Japan). Indeed, many jurisdictions with the loosest gun laws have exceptionally low crime rates, while jurisdictions with the most restrictive laws are awash in blood caused by gun violence. One key question is whether any of the steps announced by the president this week would have prevented the horrific mass shootings he and gun control advocates so often invoke to justify their policy preferences. According to an Associated Press fact check, the answer is 'no.' Allahpundit is right: This is largely about moral signaling to the media and the liberal base. (Links in original)
Benson then goes on to explain how miniscule Obama's actions were.
The most controversial element of Obama's plan is closing a "loophole" that doesn't exist -- gun show sales account for an infinitesimally tiny percentage of criminal gun purchases -- and vaguely expanding the definition of what constitutes a gun dealer, to whom background check requirements apply. This last point raises constitutional concerns, including questions about executive overreach. Constitutional scholar Jonathan Adler argues that this provision floats between meaninglessness and illegality. Expect court challenges.
And remember that the Democrats, who are so upset now about Congressional inaction, did nothing about gun control when they had complete control of Congress in 2009 and 2010. If Congress's inaction is reason for Obama to bypass the legislature to impose his own actions, what does that say about the Democrats' own inaction?


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So how would Lee Atwater have taken on Trump? Ed Rogers has some fun imagining the campaign the strategist who got George H.W. Bush elected in 1988 would have conducted a campaign against Trump. He would have gone full-bore negative. There is plenty of material and, as Rogers points out, there has been very little negative advertising conducted against Trump.
I can very easily picture an Atwater-inspired ad where he would concoct an image of an even puffier Trump with even funnier hair, laughing in the face of widows and orphans of construction workers who lost their jobs and the small-business owners who have suffered because of Trump bankruptcies. The Trump character sits laughing next to an exotic caricature of his third wife in a fur coat in a gaudy suite of a Trump Hotel in New York. You get the idea. Atwater would get everybody’s attention.

And this would just be the beginning. To keep up the fun, Atwater would be liberal in using Trump’s own words against him — from his insults of women to his cluelessness about the nuclear triad. And yes, Atwater would delight in painting Trump as a racist. The ads would be vicious, and paid, cartoonish characters would start showing up at Trump rallies hoping for an ugly overreaction. The goal would be to rattle Trump and make his campaign a farce. And Atwater would not blink. Once he started, he wouldn’t stop.
I think the idea of ridiculing Trump would be a good choice. Insults Trump is used to; ridicule might be more dangerous to a guy who is running on his aura. However, while this is an entertaining fantasy, no candidate is going to run such ads. Even if the ads did hurt Trump, such an effort would also hurt the candidate running them. Trump would attack back as would his devoted followers. The candidate would look like a dirty campaigner which would turn more people off. Jeb Bush has run such ads and has a rather lame billboard ad saying "Donald Trump is unhinged" and this doesn't seem to have done a bit of good. And, in a multi-person race, voters could well turn against Trump, but wouldn't turn toward this fantasy brave attacker. Such attacks might only work if the race were down to two candidates such as when Bush was running against Dukakis. Such attack ads might be more likely coming from from a Super PAC that was unassociated with any candidate. Of course, then it would look like the GOP "establishment" taking on Trump and that might make his supporters more loyal. It's a quandary. They might need someone to run such ads, but no one wants to be the one to do it.

By coincidence Henry Scanlon, the founder and CEO of Comstock Images and a writer, has an essay in The Federalist advising Republicans to attack Trump on his nasty personal history.
Donald Trump isn’t going anywhere until someone attacks him personally, in a way so sharp-edged and relentless that the deflecting, dismissing, obfuscating and trivializing techniques that have so far served him improbably well stop working. It will require nothing less than a full-frontal assault on the Trump mythos, who he purports to be, the whole Trump mystique.

It will involve aggregating and dishing up every backroom deal, every tenant harassed, every questionable tax favor from a compliant politician, the eminent domain actions, all the bankruptcies, the racial discrimination charges, the bogus university, the pyramid scheme, the blustering and the posturing, the mob coziness, the unending go-to bullying stance, the taking credit, highlighting every community run roughshod over, even the cheating at golf, the immaturity, and the tax dodges masquerading as charitable contributions—all of it doggedly and, as must be the case with Trump, fearlessly.(Links tp such stories in original)

Engaging in this process may not be pleasant or ennobling to contemplate, but once commenced it will chip away, chunk by chunk, and the moment Trump comes to believe that the vaunted Trump brand could be susceptible to being recast as an optical illusion, whether fairly so or not—and, truth be told, there’s reason to think it might be that, at least in some part—his instinct will be to protect it, and to do so he will find a graceful but speedy exit, slip-sliding off the stage like Bob Hope waving to the troops after a United Service Organizations roadshow, and that will be that.

It will be necessary to weather an initial tsunami of retaliation consisting of the kinds of accusations that have worked for him in the past: You don’t get it because you’re not a tycoon. You’re the entrenched establishment with an agenda to protect and therefore unworthy of an audience. My net worth says everything you need to know about me. The usual. The counter punches will be even more nakedly personal than the ones leveled at him, because, well, it’s what he does.

....His opponents will highlight not the breadth of his capabilities, but their narrowness, his success in one particular slice of the business sphere. They will focus not on his agility or creativity, but on the formulaic nature of what he does, learned at his father’s knee, and how reliant it is on the cooperation of complicit politicians who cough up the taxpayer-funded abatements and financial guarantees that make it all work.

They will not allow him to brush off bankruptcy as a benign “tool,” pointing out that he used it as a weapon to fend off legitimate creditors who, in order to avoid being screwed completely are bullied into agreeing to be screwed somewhat less than completely.

Single-mindedly deployed, and persistently, no matter how energetic the attempt to derail it, with not even the slightest nod to fair play, the uncomfortable question will be clear and persistent: Why should Trump’s undeniable earning power—in one particular segment of the business world that leans mightily on a long list of rather troubling techniques and behaviors—be an indicator that he has the broader abilities required and the moral and ethical bone marrow to warrant serious consideration for the most powerful, important—and potentially dangerous—executive position on the planet?
Don't assume that people know this history. I was just talking yesterday with a few former students who are now in college and a couple of them admitted that they were impressed by his business background and thought that that was maybe what the country needed. They didn't know anything about how he made his money - just that he was rich.

Scanlon's point is that the Republicans better expose Trump because we know the Democrats would do so if he were the nominee. Think of how they worked to destroy Romney's business reputation with much less to work with. Republican primary and caucus voters should know this information so they can decide if such a vulnerable candidate if worth risking. Attacking Trump's policy positions hasn't worked yet so now it's time to attack his biography. Let him see if it is worth it to him to have his brand tarnished. Ridicule is a more effective tool now than criticizing his proposed policies or his flip flops from Democratic Party supporter to GOP candidate. Do Republicans want to wait to have Hillary being the one to bring all this to light? We know she and her allies will do so.

The only question is who would take this task on. I still think it has to be some unaffiliated Super PAC since no candidate will risk it and the party itself is too worried about his threat to run as an independent if he's not treated nice.

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While we worry whether or not North Korea just detonated a hydrogen bomb, let's remember that Bill Clinton wanted to give a speech in North Korea while his wife was Secretary of State. Jim Geraghty writes,
For three administrations, our North Korea policies failed to do much to contain the threat or mitigate the regime’s behavior. For all of the presidential candidates but one, the question of North Korea is entirely future-based; almost none of them had any position of responsibility for dealing with the rogue regime or setting policy regarding the dangers.

But for Hillary Clinton, the question is not how would you handle North Korea but how did you handle it? The simple and unnerving answer is she chose to ignore it.
She put the whole issue on the back burner. Geraghty links to what Michael Hirsh wrote in 2013,
Other pressing issues, such as North Korea’s nuclear program, she simply put off. Her policy of “strategic patience” with North Korea, under which Washington refused to offer any new incentives to Pyongyang in the hopes of restarting nuclear disarmament talks, did not work. The problem festered for four years, and as soon as Clinton left office, the North Korean leader Kim Jong Un greeted her successor with yet another nuclear test.
And her husband who was suckered into giving $4 billion in aid to North Korea in exchange for their promise to stop working on a nuclear bomb. Does that sound familiar? It's equivalent to what Obama is doing with Iran. And their promises will be as trustworthy as North Korea's. Geraghty reminds us that the State Department's ethics office turned down five requests that Bill made to give speeches in North Korea, China, and the Republic of Congo and then concludes,
Bill Clinton doesn’t look across the Demilitarized Zone and see a threat; he sees cash.

This is how rape allegations work on college campuses these days.
A new lawsuit against the University of Findlay accuses the school of expelling students after rape allegations from a student who had bragged about sleeping with them.

Justin Brown and Alphonso Baity are both former student-athletes at the University of Findlay, a small private college in Ohio. Both of them were expelled after a female student, identified only as “M.K.”, accused them of raping her in September 2014.

But in their lawsuit, Brown and Baity say there are many witnesses who said their sexual encounter with M.K. was consensual, and that further evidence came from the accuser herself.

“M.K. boasted about having voluntary and consensual sexual relations with Plaintiffs,” the suit says. “M.K. professed to be very proud of the prior evening’s events. She was not upset in the slightest. Indeed, M.K. never mentioned any alleged sexual assault or rape to any of her female friends and acquaintances, or to her Resident Assistant.”

Ten days later, though, M.K. allegedly changed her tune, and filed a sexual assault claim with the university. At that point, Findlay began what the lawsuit calls a “sham” investigation lasting less than a day.

Brown and Baity’s lawsuit adds a new wrinkle to the many lawsuits accusing schools of improperly expelling students accused of rape. While several lawsuits have accused administrators of being biased against men and against defendants, Brown and Baity, who are black, also accuse the school of being racially biased and favoring their white accuser.

After the allegation was filed, the lawsuit says, school officials questioned Brown and Baity, but without describing the specific accusations against them (M.K. was never interviewed at all). They refused to interview the men’s black housemates, though, allegedly because they assumed they would defend their friends. Instead, officials only questioned white women who were present the night in question. Even these women disputed M.K.’s version of events, and the lawsuit says they were punished for doing so, with one losing her work-study job and the other being threatened with expulsion.

Despite the lack of supporting evidence, the lawsuit says Findlay made the immediate decision to expel Brown and Baity, without holding a hearing. Not only that, but the school sent a campus-wide email specifically identifying them and saying they had been expelled for sexual assault, which led to the publication of news stories naming the men. One of those news stories supports the men’s claim they were expelled very quickly, without a hearing.
Ashe Schow has more details of how the supposed victim bragged to her friends about her sexual encounter as a consensual act. She asserts that this is the most stunning and incredible recitation of facts in a lawsuit by accused students against a university that she's ever read. The university's supposed investigation was very quick - two days - and they didn't interview exculpatory witnesses and didn't keep the notes that the investigators took about their interviews with the witnesses they did talk to. They only interviewed the two white women who were present, but not the black witnesses. Those white witnesses corroborated the version of the accused and the university even threatened one of those female witnesses with expulsion. They only interviewed key witnesses after they expelled the two accused young men.
Another friend of M.K. who had heard her boasting sent an email to the university after the final expulsion letters were sent. This friend told the university that M.K. had bragged about the consensual sexual activity. Two days later — and now a week after the accused students had first been expelled and forced off campus — the university interviewed this friend of M.K. The friend again said that M.K. had bragged about the evening and that everything had been consensual.

The same day this friend was interviewed, one of the other African-American roommates who had been present but not interviewed previously, was finally interviewed by the university. He, too, corroborated the accused students' version of events. He also mentioned to the university that videos of the night in question existed, but the university never attempted to locate these videos.
If the two young men win, and it sounds like they have the evidence to back them up, I hope that the university has to pay out a huge settlement. They would deserve it and it would send a shiver of warning to other universities to turn such accusations over to the police who would have to follow the rules of due process to protect both the accused and victim. Two young men shouldn't have their lives up-ended just because some female regrets her actions sleeping with them. Rather than prospective female students worrying about a culture of rape on campus, prospective male students need to worry about a culture of evidence-free persecutions that will destroy their lives and future prospects. Apparently, "yes means yes" is not enough these days and we now have an environment that "no ten days later after bragging about engaging consensual sex means no."

1 comment:

elbogz said...

I think Donald Trump is crazy like a fox. Almost every single day the first words out of the morning show host is "Donald Trump". Good, bad, crazy, right, wrong......it does matter what follows. Every show, every day is about Donald Trump. He is taking all the oxygen out of the race for the other candidates. Like today in your blog (which I truly enjoy) ....Jeb Bush? NO. Chris Christie? NO...It's Donald Trump, Donald Trump, Donald Trump. It's along the lines of how Rush Limbaugh got so famous...."Say what you want, just spell my name correctly"