Thursday, November 30, 2017

Cruising the Web

Wow, the news moves fast these days. Soon there will be enough fired media figures that they'll be able to start their own network of guys who were sexual harassers. They can call it PBC for Perv Broadcasting Company. Variety has the story on Matt Lauer that they've, apparently, been working on for weeks. Some of the details go way beyond creepy.
His office was in a secluded space, and he had a button under his desk that allowed him to lock his door from the inside without getting up. This afforded him the assurance of privacy. It allowed him to welcome female employees and initiate inappropriate contact while knowing nobody could walk in on him, according to two women who were sexually harassed by Lauer.
It sounds a bit %0 Shades of Grey. My question at first was who put that button in for him? But now it seems that a lot of NBC officials had such a remote lock for supposed security measures, not, as has been alleged, for locking a woman in and then having sex with her. More seem to have known about his predatory behavior.
Several women told Variety they complained to executives at the network about Lauer’s behavior, which fell on deaf ears given the lucrative advertising surrounding “Today.” NBC declined to comment. For most of Lauer’s tenure at “Today,” the morning news show was No. 1 in the ratings, and executives were eager to keep him happy....

Lauer’s conduct was not a secret among other employees at “Today,” numerous sources say. At least one of the anchors would gossip about stories she had heard, spreading them among the staff. “Management sucks there,” says a former reporter, who asked not to be identified, speaking about executives who previously worked at the show. “They protected the s— out of Matt Lauer.”

Some producers told Variety they were conflicted about what to do around Lauer. They worried that their careers would be sidelined if they didn’t return his advances. “There is such shame with Matt Lauer not liking you,” the former employee added.
We heard the same story about John Conyers and some of the others, including Bill O'Reilly. And NBC can't be trusted because their first memo on his firing said that this was "the first complaint about his behavior." If Variety's sources are right, that is not true. What a nasty environment when credible complaints are made and no one did anything about them. No one should be considered that valuable.

This tweet sums up the response of many as almost every day we hear of someone else being fired in the media who, it turns out, had a history of harassing women who worked for them.




John Conyers sounds totally unrepentant. But there is already another former staffer telling of how Conyers behaved to her.
A former staffer of U.S. Rep. John Conyers said the veteran lawmaker made unwanted sexual advances toward her, including inappropriate touching, adding to allegations by other unnamed former employees that have prompted a congressional investigation.

Deanna Maher, who worked for him from 1997 to 2005, told The Detroit News that the Detroit Democrat made unwanted advances toward her three times.

Maher is the second former Conyers staffer to go public with accusations about the veteran lawmaker. Conyers on Sunday stepped aside as the the top Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee amid a congressional ethics probe of sexual harassment allegations involving former staffers.

The first instance of harassment happened, Maher said, shortly after the congressman hired her in September 1997 during an event with the Congressional Black Caucus.

“I didn’t have a room, and he had me put in his hotel suite,” said Maher, 77, adding that she rejected his offer to share his room at the Grand Hyatt in Washington and have sex.

The other incidents with the now 88-year-old Conyers involved unwanted touching in a car in 1998 and another unwanted touching of her legs under her dress in 1999, she said.
His lawyer accused her of making it up because she stayed working for him.
Maher said her need for employment explains why she stayed on the job.

“I needed to earn a living, and I was 57. How many people are going to hire you at that age?” she said....

“I didn’t report the harassment because it was clear nobody wanted to take it seriously,” she said. “John Conyers is a powerful man in Washington, and nobody wanted to cross him.”

Former Detroit Free Press reporter Joel Thurtell said Monday that Maher told him about the alleged abuse at the time, but she didn’t want to go on the record.

“She told me about the sexual harassment claims, but at the time she didn’t feel confident she wouldn’t be hung out to dry and retaliated against,” said Thurtell, who left the Free Press in 2007 and runs a blog, “Joel on the Road.”
It seems credible to me that someone would stay silent in order to keep her job when she's 57 years old. Are the Democrats on the Hill going to support Conyers as he adopts an attack-the-woman strategy? Are younger House Democrats going to support continued support for Conyers?
Two Democratic congresswomen, New York Rep. Kathleen Rice and Washington Rep. Pramila Jayapal, have already called on Conyers to resign. Rice has criticized the ethics committee investigation as “not real” in regard to accountability. Their sharp response contrasted with Pelosi’s initial stance, which was to defend Conyers as “an icon.”

Democratic Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan demanded on Wednesday that the ethics committee finish the investigation this week, and said that Conyers should resign if true. Ryan said that he believes Conyers’ accusers....

Rep. Rice stormed out of a meeting with House Democrats early because she didn’t believe they weren’t serious about trying to address sexual harassment. “I don’t have time for meetings that aren’t real,” she told reporters.
Pelosi is really on the horns of a dilemma as she tries to decide how long she can keep supporting Conyers and hiding behind a hollow Ethics Committee investigation while some in her caucus criticize her for not doing enough and others want to delay any resolution of the matter.
Other Democratic leaders, meanwhile, want the party to pump the brakes on calls for Conyers to resign and are increasing pressure on Pelosi to slow the process down.

“I don’t know all the facts, I don’t know the specific allegations,” Sanchez told reporters on Wednesday, saying that she “can’t sit and judge a member and call for their resignation unless I’ve been party to hearing all of the evidence and hearing the defense of the evidence.”

Democratic New York Rep. Joseph Crowley echoed Sanchez’s position and, like Sanchez, declined to call on Conyers to resign.

“Calling for the resignation of someone doesn’t actually create the resignation,” Crowley said, adding that he would wait for the ethics committee’s investigation.
And then there is this defense from South Carolina's Jim Clyburn.
When asked about sexual harassment allegations against colleague Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.), Clyburn seemed to suggest elected officials should be held to a different standard than other public figures.

In a video posted on Twitter, the 77-year-old Clyburn is walking to an elevator with Congressional Black Caucus chairman Cedric Richmond (D-La.), when asked “Other men in other industries have faced similar accusations … and gotten out of the way, resign, stepped down, far faster than he has, right … Harvey Weinstein, Charlie Rose, Matt Lauer?”

Clyburn’s response, “Who elected them?”
Lovely. But he's also right. The media and Hollywood figures who have been accused have had employers or boards who could step in and fire them. With politicians, all we have are calls for them to resign. Otherwise, we have to wait and see if voters care.

Here's another bizarre comment from Clyburn.
A writer for The New York Times Magazine and National Geographic tweeted that Clyburn invoked the name of Susan Smith, South Carolina’s infamous child murderer, in his defense of Conyers.

“James Clyburn compared Conyers’ accusers to the child murderer Susan Smith, who initially claimed a black man had abducted her kids. Clyburn said, these are all white women who’ve made these charges against Conyers,” Robert Draper tweeted.

When asked if that comment was true, Draper said he verified it through two sources, adding “Clyburn has used the Susan Smith parallel more than once, to members & staffers.”
The Clyburn aides are denying that that was a comment about Conyers, but Draper is sticking to his reporting.

The irony is so rich that Nancy Pelosi asking for everyone to wait for due process instead of living up to her public position of supporting lack of due process for college students accused of sexual abuse.

Just imagine if a college had the same sort of slimy policy protecting those accused of sexual misbehavior as the Congress does.

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Allahpundit predicts how Republicans will use Clyburn's words if Roy Moore wins his race.
I wish I could huff and puff about that being an example of the liberal big-government mindset at work, in which the administrative ruling class exults in getting to play by special rules, but all he’s doing here is previewing the argument you’ll hear from 99 percent of conservative media next month if Roy Moore wins. “The people have spoken.” If the voters of a given jurisdiction are comfortable being represented by someone who’s been credibly accused of preying on women and/or girls, who is Nancy Pelosi or Mitch McConnell to tell them they’re not allowed to be? We just elected a president based on that logic, in fact. I’d be surprised if there’s any member of Congress, left or right, who holds a safe seat that doesn’t embrace Clyburn’s reasoning privately.

And the slimy Geraldo Rivera tweeted out this sympathy for his pal Matt Lauer.

I don't really call having a button to lock women in his office "flirty" behavior. Makes one wonder about Geraldo's behavior with women. Hmmm. Does Geraldo remember what has just recently come out about sexual behavior at Fox News? Allahpundit lists other weird hot takes that Geraldo has had on allegations of sexual misconduct.

David French has a great article
reminding us or informing those who didn't know what a fraud Elizabeth Warren has been for most of her professional life.
Warren is a bit of an academic grifter. She’s willing to fake her way to the top. When she came to Harvard Law School, she was — believe it or not — considered by some to be a “minority hire.” She listed herself as a minority on a legal directory reviewed by deans and hiring committees. The University of Pennsylvania “listed her as a minority faculty member,” and she was touted after her hire at Harvard Law School as, yes, the school’s “first woman of color.”

This was no small thing. At the time, elite universities were under immense pressure to diversify their faculties (as they still are). “More women” was one command. “More women of color” was the ideal. At Harvard the pressure was so intense that students occupied the administration building, and the open spaces of the school were often filled with screaming, chanting students. One of the law school’s leading black academics, a professor named Derek Bell, left the school to protest the lack of diversity on campus.
Of course, no one has been able to document that anyone on her family tree was a Native American. But her dishonesty doesn't stop there.
These facts would be bad enough, but the great Warren con doesn’t end there. Let’s take, for example, her signature work of academic scholarship. She made a name for herself in the pre-Obamacare years with a pair of studies claiming that medical bills were responsible for an extraordinary share of American bankruptcies. This research presented the Left with an ideal talking point. The American medical system wasn’t just broken, it was oppressing the little guy.

No doubt medical bills do drive some bankruptcies, but you wouldn’t know how many from Warren’s scholarship. As Megan McArdle points out in a detailed take-down in The Atlantic, Warren and her co-authors not only classified a “medical bankruptcy” as any bankruptcy that included at least $1,000 in medical debt (in her 2001 paper) or $5,000 (in her 2007 paper), their methodology was “quite explicitly designed to capture every case where medical bills, or medical loss of income, coexist with some other causal factor — but the medical issues are then always designated as causal in their discussion.”

Warren’s work even obscured the fact that medical bankruptcies fell dramatically between 2001 and 2007. McArdle noted, “This is, to put it mildly, sort of a problem for the thesis that exploding medical bills are shoving people into bankruptcy.”

McArdle’s conclusion was devastating:
Does this persistent tendency to choose odd metrics that inflate the case for some left wing cause matter? If Warren worked at a think tank, you’d say, “Ah, well, that’s the genre.” On the other hand, you’d also tend to regard her stuff with a rather beady eye. It’s unlikely to have been splashed across the headline of every newspaper in the United States. Her work gets so much attention because it comes from a Harvard professor. And this isn’t Harvard caliber material — not even Harvard undergraduate.

It’s a neat trick Warren’s accomplished. She’s likely leveraged her fictional Native American heritage into a plum spot at Harvard Law School. She leveraged her Harvard job to foist garbage scholarship on a gullible media. And now she has leveraged all of that into a plum Senate seat, from which a multimillionaire Ivy League professor has recast herself as progressive populist heroine.
Yes, it was despicable for Trump to call her Pocahontas in front of a ceremony to honor World War II Navaho code-talkers, but that is because it detracted and distracted from their heroism, not because it was an ethnic slur. Trump is too clueless to know that the insult about Warren is to call her "Fauxcahontas," but it isn't an ethnic slur to call a white woman who tried to manipulate her own professional advancement by calling herself a Native American. As Mollie Hemingway reminds us,
Warren claimed to be Native American despite there being no evidence of that claim being true. This false information was something she didn’t claim as a student, but began putting in her professional bios for a few years when law school faculties were hungry for minority faculty. Harvard University proudly proclaimed her as a minority female on the basis of information she provided. Her evidence is limited to claims other family members dispute of “folklore” and her paw-paw having “high cheekbones.” No, I’m not joking, she cited high cheekbones...

There is zero evidence that Warren is Cherokee, as she claimed for years. Cherokee genealogists say it’s not true. That’s why Trump calls her Pocahontas.

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Veronique de Rugy explains why the idea being put forth for the Senate tax bill of atax-hike trigger to go into effect if the predicted revenue from their bill doesn't work out is a terrible, stupid idea.
First, our debt problem is not a revenue problem: It’s a spending problem. To some important extent, it is also a growth problem. Tax increases and the uncertainty introduced by this trigger won’t address these problems. In fact, the trigger will hurt economic growth, and it will fail to address the explosive growth of spending on Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security. Raising taxes, if it successfully raises revenue, will only scratch the surface of what is needed to fill the gap between spending and revenue in the next two decades. Raising taxes would also be counter-productive if the reason for the below-projection revenues is that the country is in a recession. Oh and by the way, the prospect of a potential automatic tax hikes in the future could hinder business investments and excitement today and accelerate the move toward a slowdown.
She points to these other criticisms from the WSJ.
The trigger is a bad idea on the policy merits. No one knows when there might be another recession, during which tax receipts invariably fall. A trigger could then be a tax hike on Americans at a tough economic time. In that event, Congress would certainly override the trigger-tax increase as a political matter.

The extent of the potential trigger damage will depend on the fine print, and the priority ought to be preserving the business cuts that produce the most economic growth. Corporations won’t relocate to America at a 20% tax rate with a threat of a much higher rate in a couple years. In particular Republicans shouldn’t reverse course after making tough political choices to make the 20% rate and other business tax cuts permanent. They don’t want fear of a trigger to crimp the investment and growth that produces more revenue—and lower deficits—for Treasury.
And the WSJ has an interesting counter-proposal of a trigger.
The pony in this pile is that the budget forecasts rely on a lame 1.9% growth on average for the next decade. The GOP’s bill could restore growth to a 3% historical norm and gin up more than enough money to avoid the trigger. Perhaps the GOP should add a reverse trigger? If revenue exceeds projections, plow the cash into lowering the top marginal rate on individuals to 35%.
De Rugy has her own idea of another trigger.
Another excellent trigger would be to cut spending, all spending, across the board, if revenue projections fall short. That’s what true fiscal responsibility looks like. We could call it “The Spending Cut Trigger Toward Prosperity Act of 2017.” I like it!


David Harsanyi reports
on the actual grassroots lobbying that the New York Times has taken on to defeat the GOP tax bill.
Today, The New York Times editorial board took over the paper’s opinion Twitter account, which has around 650,000 followers, “to urge the Senate to reject a tax bill that hurts the middle class & the nation’s fiscal health.” By urging the Senate, it meant sending out the phone number of moderate Republican Sen. Susan Collins and imploring followers to call her. So, in others words, the board was indistinguishable from any of the well-funded partisan groups it whines about in editorials all the time.

Perhaps I’m forgetting instances of similar politicking, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen a major newspaper engage in the kind of partisan activism The New York Times is involved in right now—not even on an editorial page. The Times’ editorial board isn’t saying, “Boy, that Republican bill is going to kill children,” it’s imploring people on social media — most of whom don’t even subscribe to their paper or live in Maine — to inundate a senator with calls to sink a tax reform they dislike. (It worth pointing out that its hyperbolic contentions regarding the bill are generally untrue or misleading, but that’s another story.)

The average news consumer doesn’t care about the infrastructure of a news organization. When they see a media giant engaged in naked partisan campaigning, it confirms all their well-worn suspicions. You can grouse all day long about readers’ inability to comprehend the internal divide, but how could a Republican trust The New York Times’ coverage of a tax bill after watching the same paper not merely editorialize against it, but run an ad that could have come from any of the proxies of the Democratic Party?

Maybe this is just a more honest way to do business. The fact is, it’s highly unlikely that The New York Times cares about enticing conservatives anymore. Like many others, the Times’ board likely feels a moral obligation to act because they see everything Republicans engage in as an apocalyptic event. So, like political norms, journalistic ones fall every day on both sides.

What makes this kind of activism (which is likely to be ineffective, anyway) particularly hypocritical and distasteful, though, is that the Times has long argued in favor of empowering the government to shut down corporations — just like them — that engage in campaigning by overturning the First Amendment via Citizens United. This is worth remembering as the board turns into the equivalent of a super PAC.

John HInderaker adds
,
I’m not sure I have ever seen a newspaper engage in grass roots lobbying. Everyone has long known that the Times is a Democratic Party paper, but this is ridiculous. The Times has abandoned any pretense of doing journalism, and has nakedly joined the political fray on behalf of its party. Grass roots lobbying is regulated by the federal government and by most states; it would be interesting to know what the Times has done by way of legal compliance.

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Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Cruising the Web

If you pay attention to the law, this was no surprise.
In a victory for the Trump White House, a temporary restraining order to halt the president's pick for acting director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFBP), Mick Mulvaney, was denied by a judge Tuesday afternoon.

Judge Timothy Kelly ruled in favor of Trump in his effort to appoint White House budget director Mulvaney to lead the bureau, the nation's top financial watchdog agency.
Appointments for heads of agencies, even interim directors, are in the purview of the president, not an outgoing appointee. It was a ludicrous claim.

And now we learn this
.
Secret donors are financing the lawsuit against President Donald Trump and White House Budget Director Mick Mulvaney over who runs the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).

Deepak Gupta, the lead lawyer of a boutique law firm that launched its suit on behalf of CFPB acting director Leandra English, confirmed in a CNBC interview that English is not paying for his hourly fees, but rather unknown anonymous donors are.

Gupta refused to name who is funding the lawsuit, making it difficult to ascertain the motives, intentions, or any special interests of those underwriting the case.
How is it that someone who claims that she is the interim director of a government agency has anonymous donors paying for her challenge? Given that the agency oversees banks and businesses, there could be some conflict of interest involved with a secret donor. Probably there isn't one, but how would we know? It all sounds very iffy. But then this whole kerfuffle was fishy.

Jonathan Adler wrote earlier
about why he thought that the President's case would prevail.
However the district court rules on this initial filing, I expect that the administration’s position will ultimately prevail. Whichever side has the strongest statutory argument, the textual claims are close enough that I suspect broader separation-of-powers concerns will come into play and tilt the case in favor of the executive branch.

...I suspect that a majority of the court will feel uncomfortable with the CFPB’s novel structure (a structure already found unconstitutional by a three-judge panel of the D.C. Circuit in a case recently reheard by the en banc court).

This discomfort is only likely to be magnified by English’s central claim: that Cordray could place the vast powers of the CFPB in the hands of someone who was never named or confirmed by either the president or the Senate, and that there’s nothing (short of getting a new CFPB director confirmed) that the president can do about it. This would take agency independence to a new level. (It would also raise other constitutional questions relating to the validity of the English appointment and whether Trump could remove her that I suspect this court — and the chief justice in particular — would like to avoid.)

Even if one believes that English has the better of the textual argument, it is anything but a slam dunk. For this reason, I suspect the broader separation-of-powers concerns would push the court to conclude that the president’s authority under the VRA [Vacancies REform Act] remains intact. It’s one thing to argue that the president cannot remove the CFPB’s director except for cause. It’s quite another to maintain that the CFPB director can leave office and name his or her own successor.

Charles C. W. Cooke has a hilarious thread on Twitter comparing the divisions at the CFPB to the Glorious Revolution and subsequent Jacobite rebellions in English history.








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The Seattle Times has a fascinating look at what cities are offering Amazon in order to win Amazon's second planned headquarters. There are a total of 238 offers. Danny Westneat, a columnist at The Seattle Times, has looked through the 30 proposals that are public. Some of the proposals go overboard in what they're willing to offer the company.
Example: Chicago has offered to let Amazon pocket $1.32 billion in income taxes paid by its own workers. This is truly perverse. Called a personal income-tax diversion, the workers must still pay the full taxes, but instead of the state getting the money to use for schools, roads or whatever, Amazon would get to keep it all instead.

“The result is that workers are, in effect, paying taxes to their boss,” says a report on the practice from Good Jobs First, a think tank critical of many corporate subsidies.
Color me shocked that Chicago would make such a shady offer that would effectively set up a two-tiered system for taxpayers: those who work for Amazon and everyone else. And is it even legal to turn over tax money to a private business?

Other offers promise free land and to hold off on property taxes or to just give Amazon a bunch of money if they'll come. But other proposals aren't so normal.
But the most far-reaching offer is from Fresno, California. That city of half a million isn’t offering any tax breaks. Instead it has a novel plan to give Amazon special authority over how the company’s taxes are spent.

Fresno promises to funnel 85 percent of all taxes and fees generated by Amazon into a special fund. That money would be overseen by a board, half made up of Amazon officers, half from the city. They’re supposed to spend the money on housing, roads and parks in and around Amazon.

The proposal shows a park with a sign: “This park brought to you by Amazon,” with the company’s smiling arrow corporate logo.
Think of that - a private company controlling how tax money would be spent. It sounds very suspect to me.
Is it even legal to give a company direct sway over civic spending like that?

When asked about it, Fresno’s economic-development director threw the public interest under the bus.

“Rather than the money disappearing into a civic black hole, Amazon would have a say on where it will go,” he told the Los Angeles Times. “Not for the fire department on the fringe of town, but to enhance their own investment in Fresno.”

You poor fools out on the fringe of town. All this time you’ve been paying your taxes, thinking it was for the broader public good. Suckers.

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Oz Katerji reminds us of the leftist intellectuals who made excuses to deny tales of genocide in Bosnia and now are doing the same thing in Syria. You might remember this cover of TIME from 1992.
The man in the picture, Fikret Alic, became a symbol of the atrocities that the Bosnian Serbs were perpetuating against non-Serbs in Bosnia. However, a writer for a far-left magazine, LM (Living Marxism) accused the picture has phony that had "fooled the world" because it wasn't a concentration camp, but a "collection center for refugees" and that people could leave anytime they wished. The British ITN TV News company that had taken the picture sued for libel and won a big award.
However this was not the end of the story. The reporters involved in the fraudulent LM article refused to back down, and they were defended by high profile individuals such as celebrated left-wing academic Noam Chomsky.

In a 2006 interview, Chomsky reiterated the claim: "It was a refugee camp, I mean, people could leave if they wanted," and in 2011 condemned the libel case against LM, in an email exchange in which he also said that referring to Srebrenica as an act of genocide "cheapens the word."

A book published by Edward Herman and David Peterson called The Politics of Genocide, which claims Serb forces "incontestably had not killed any but 'Bosnian Muslim men of military age'" carries a foreword by Chomsky and an endorsement by Australian journalist John Pilger.

Wednesday, the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia concluded that genocide was committed in Srebrenica, and that it had been orchestrated by Ratko Mladic, the Bosnian Serb general.

But nobody should be expecting any retractions or apologies from Chomsky or Pilger, men for whom genocide denial has become a point of pride.

Today, Chomsky, Pilger and a slew of other notable left-wing academics, journalists and bloggers are applying this same war-crimes revisionism to the war in Syria.
Seymour Hersh is one of those peddling theories that Assad's regime is not responsible for a sarin gass massacre earlier this year.
While Postol’s theories gets even the most basic facts about the attack wrong and were clearly nothing more than a series of desperate attempts to poke holes in the growing body of evidence collected about the attack, Hersh relies on testimony from one unnamed source that cites the existence of a mysterious rebel munitions depot that Hersh was unable to provide a location for.

These arguments were not only demonstrably false, but lacked any credibility to begin with. However, that didn’t stop the glowing endorsements from Chomsky and Pilger.
Why would these guys think that there is something to gain in doubting tales of genocide? And why does anyone listen to Chomsky any more?

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John Podhoretz analyzes why Nancy Pelosi violated her supposed believe-the-woman position on allegations of sexual harassment against John Conyers.
Pelosi was sending a message to her Democratic colleagues on Capitol Hill that when the going gets tough, she’s going to stand with them. We have no idea where the sex-and-power scandal is heading and how many people in Washington are going to be affected by it — especially if you add to it this mysterious payoff system that has already doled out a reported $17 million in settlement money.

Pelosi wanted her members to know she’d defend them even against the indefensible. She has a real shot at regaining the leadership position in the House after the 2018 election, and she’s electioneering to ensure she’ll secure the 218-plus votes necessary to be chosen speaker if Democrats win the majority.
However, as Podhoretz points out using the House Bank scandal that helped the GOP take the House in 1994, she's running a real risk here.
If Joe Sixpack has been sending hard-earned dollars to Washington so that John Conyers can get off (in both senses of the term, I’m sorry to say), he has a right to know about it, know who’s made use of that money and be told why this was considered acceptable. Since it’s almost certainly not, this may go hard on House leaders in both parties.

There’s a precedent here. In 1991, reporters revealed that congressmen had been making obscene use of a facility called the House Bank to secure no-interest loans in the form of cashed checks that wouldn’t bounce no matter how little money was in the congressman’s account.
For a long time, the House Bank scandal was the subject of eye-rolling scorn inside the Beltway — there had been no public money involved, and who cared, really. But it proved an undeniable boon to Republicans in the 1994 midterm election that gave the GOP control of the House for the first time in four decades.

So Pelosi had better take care here. If the slush fund becomes a potent symbol of the diseases generated in the Washington swamp, Pelosi will be in greater danger from it than Paul Ryan, who only became speaker in 2015. She joined the House leadership in 2002.

Conyers isn't the only Democrat accused of sexual harassment that Pelosi has defended or accusations against whom Pelosi has ignored. For all the glorification of Pelosi as such a powerful woman fighting for women, none of that matters when it's a member of her party accused of being a sexual creep. For example:
Former Democratic representative Eric Massa of New York. In 2010, the married Massa resigned amid a sordid sexual-harassment scandal involving young, low-paid male staffers he allegedly lured to his Capitol Hill playhouse for “tickle fights.” Turned out that Pelosi’s office had been informed months before, by a staffer of former Democratic Representative Barney Frank (Mass.), of Massa’s predatory and harassing behavior with multiple congressional employees. Massa’s former deputy chief of staff and legislative director also contacted leading Democrats on the House Ethics Committee. Former House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D., Md.) also knew of Massa’s misconduct. But Pelosi said and did nothing until allegations went public. A toothless House Ethics Committee investigation went nowhere.

“I have a job to do and not to be the receiver of rumors,” she deflected icily.
What about protecting the staff who work in the House? She just doesn't seem so interested in protecting them.
Former Democratic representative David Wu of Oregon. The seven-term liberal congressman had a longstanding history of alcoholism and sexual skeeviness that broke into the public eye when his own staffers revolted against their drunk-texting, Tigger-costume-wearing boss and pressured him to seek psychiatric help. House Democratic leaders, desperate to keep one of their own in office, ignored the pleas. Only after The Oregonian newspaper published allegations by a teenage girl who had complained for months to apathetic Capitol Hill offices of an “unwanted sexual encounter” with Wu did Pelosi make a show of calling for a House Ethics Committee investigation — which went, you guessed it, nowhere.
So the worker bees on Capitol Hill can complain all they want about sexual predations by House members, but Nancy doesn't care until it all becomes public and harms the caucus.

Matthew Walther writes at The Week about the real scandal here
- the taxpayer-provided hush money fund for congressional harassment. As he writes, the country might be sharply divided on partisan grounds, but everyone should agree that this is outrageous and the names should be released and that we shouldn't be using taxpayer funds to pay for their misbehavior.
Itis difficult to think of any information whose disclosure would be more in the public interest than the knowledge that Rep. Blueblazer McEntrepreneurship or Sen. Wokeman Goldflake or trusted members of their respective entourages harassed or even assaulted women. How it ever came to pass that such cases were not made immediately available to the public is one of those extraordinary mysteries that only Washington could produce.

This is not an argument against compensating victims (though as it happens I think we are due for a serious discussion about the benefits of a system that allows those with money to paper over accusations again and again, obscuring what should be an obvious pattern) but against the absurd idea that elected officials are like employees of a major corporation, one with certain responsibilities to employees that ultimately fall upon shareholders. Today's elected officials are not stolid Ciceronian statesmen in a constitutional republic; they are professional fundraisers, people who glad-hand and beg for a living. They have plenty of money, and like the rest of us, they should be responsible for paying for their own crimes. Even if it's not sitting there in the campaign coffers, surely their paymasters on Wall Street can be counted on. Sexual harassment in Congress is an open secret. Surely for the donor class the spiritual and emotional well-being of a few score women have long been regarded as the price of securing tax cuts or seeing their preferred financial regulations passed.
I think that public disgust is going to force a bipartisan bill to make the names public and change the system. Anyone who votes against such a bill will be accused of having something to hide. If no one truly knows which congressmen have made use of the fund, each party will be voting blind in the hopes that there are more from the other party. Well, let's know who they were and throw them all out.



Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Cruising the Web

This whole story about the dueling directors of the Consumer Protection Financial Bureau is so bizarre. The foundation of the controversy is who has the authority to appoint the replacement for the previous chief, Richard Cordray. When he stepped down, he appointed his former chief of staff, Leandra English, to replace him until a new director is nominated by the President and approved by the Senate. Somehow, he thinks that he, as a bureaucrat, can appoint his own interim replacement. The President named Mick Mulvaney to be the acting director. He's controversial since he's on the record opposing the agency.

It seems pretty clear, from my layman's view, that the President has the better argument here. And the top lawyer at the agency agrees.
The top lawyer for the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has concluded that President Donald Trump has the authority to name its acting director, three sources familiar with the matter said on Sunday, rejecting an effort by her former boss at the agency to name his immediate successor.

The office of CFPB General Counsel Mary McLeod has prepared a memo concurring with the opinion of the U.S. Justice Department that Trump has the power to appoint his budget chief, Mick Mulvaney, as temporary leader of the federal watchdog agency, according to the sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
English has now filed suit asking for a temporary restraining order to prevent Mulvaney from being the acting judge. A new appointee by Trump, U.S. District Judge Timothy Kelly, is going to be hearing the case.

Both Mulvaney and English both sent out emails claiming to be the leader and telling workers to ignore the other.. Imagine working there and trying to figure out whose orders to follow.

Remember that this is all about an interim position, not even the permanent director.

This reminds me of the Western Schism in the Catholic Church in the late 14th and early 15th centuries in which there were three men claiming to be the true pope. At one point Urban VI in Rome and Clement VII in Avignon excommunicated each other and made appointments for cardinals. Ordinary people had to worry whether their own country was under excommunication if their ruler supported one of the popes instead of the others.

UPDATE: Great minds think alike. William McGurn makes the same comparison today in the WSJ.
Once upon a time, the world had two popes. Today we have two acting directors of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

In 1378, two men each claimed the papacy. One was Urban VI, an Italian who was elected by cardinals in Rome. The other was Clement VII, who was elected by French cardinals and reigned from Avignon—where a succession of French popes had lived for most of that century.

Monday morning, Americans awoke to similar competing claims for who the real acting director of the CFPB is. Mick Mulvaney says he is the true acting director because he was appointed by President Donald Trump. Leandra English, a CFPB executive, says she is the true acting director because former Director Richard Cordray anointed her such on his way out. Unlike the 14th century, when pope and antipope held court in different countries, Mr. Mulvaney and Ms. English are not only in the same city—Washington—but claim the same physical office.

It’s not over. And as so often happens when progressives overreach so publicly, the likeliest winner will be President Trump.

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What was going on at the FBI that they failed to tell American officials that their personal email accounts were being targeted by Russian hackers?
The FBI failed to notify scores of U.S. officials that Russian hackers were trying to break into their personal Gmail accounts despite having evidence for at least a year that the targets were in the Kremlin’s crosshairs, The Associated Press has found.

Nearly 80 interviews with Americans targeted by Fancy Bear, a Russian government-aligned cyberespionage group, turned up only two cases in which the FBI had provided a heads-up. Even senior policymakers discovered they were targets only when the AP told them, a situation some described as bizarre and dispiriting.

“It’s utterly confounding,” said Philip Reiner, a former senior director at the National Security Council, who was notified by the AP that he was targeted in 2015. “You’ve got to tell your people. You’ve got to protect your people.”

The FBI declined to discuss its investigation into Fancy Bear’s spying campaign, but did provide a statement that said in part: “The FBI routinely notifies individuals and organizations of potential threat information.”

Three people familiar with the matter — including a current and a former government official — said the FBI has known for more than a year the details of Fancy Bear’s attempts to break into Gmail inboxes. A senior FBI official, who was not authorized to publicly discuss the hacking operation because of its sensitivity, declined to comment on when it received the target list, but said that the bureau was overwhelmed by the sheer number of attempted hacks.
The Associated Press investigated this story to find out if people had been informed of these hacking attempts.
The Secureworks list comprises 19,000 lines of targeting data . Going through it, the AP identified more than 500 U.S.-based people or groups and reached out to more than 190 of them, interviewing nearly 80 about their experiences.

Many were long-retired, but about one-quarter were still in government or held security clearances at the time they were targeted. Only two told the AP they learned of the hacking attempts on their personal Gmail accounts from the FBI. A few more were contacted by the FBI after their emails were published in the torrent of leaks that coursed through last year’s electoral contest. But to this day, some leak victims have not heard from the bureau at all.

Charles Sowell, who previously worked as a senior administrator in the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and was targeted by Fancy Bear two years ago, said there was no reason the FBI couldn’t do the same work the AP did.

“It’s absolutely not OK for them to use an excuse that there’s too much data,” Sowell said. “Would that hold water if there were a serial killer investigation, and people were calling in tips left and right, and they were holding up their hands and saying, ‘It’s too much’? That’s ridiculous.”
The fact that the FBI couldn't cope with warning individuals, but AP could. It doesn't give us confidence in the nation's cybersecurity protections.

Ronald Rubin explains why the CFPB is such a terrible creation that has morphed (or maybe that was its actual purpose when it was created) into a tool of the Democratic Party.
Since 2010, Republicans have argued that the CFPB’s unique structure — an independent agency whose single director the president can fire only for cause, with guaranteed funding through Federal Reserve Bank profits rather than the congressional appropriation process — is a recipe for government abuse, if not unconstitutional. Cordray proved them right.

Warren built a political battleship, and Cordray deployed it. The bureau’s powerful media division dictated policy to its regulatory professionals and relentlessly exaggerated the agency’s achievements in daily press releases and social-media posts. Political operatives used the CFPB’s super-independence to stonewall congressional subpoenas and hide unethical investigation tactics, internal discrimination problems, and other inconvenient facts. Republican critics were dismissed as Wall Street sycophants.

Meanwhile, millions of dollars were diverted from the CFPB to Democratic allies. From 2014 to 2017, the bureau paid $11 million a year to rent office space in an Obama fundraiser’s building. The Dodd-Frank Act allowed the CFPB to send the civil money penalties collected in its enforcement actions to a trustee of its choice, who, after taking a healthy cut, distributed the funds to ostensible victims in unrelated matters. The maneuver both enriched Democratic trustees and transformed fines extracted from defenseless businesses based on their deep pockets rather than actual consumer harm into “over $12 billion in damages returned to 29 million injured consumers.” To spread such propaganda, the bureau paid over $43 million to GMMB, the liberal advocacy group that created ads for the Obama and Hillary Clinton presidential campaigns.

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Josh Blackman explains
why this whole CFPB controversy over who is the acting director is a "tempest in a teapot," but still is all of a piece with Richard Cordray's suspect tenure as director.
Make no mistake: The person derided in conservative circles as King Richard has precipitated a constitutional clash for no purpose other than to resist President Trump’s agenda. Thankfully, this conflict will be short-lived, because the English Queen’s reign will come to brisk end once the Senate confirms a new CFPB director. But that this is happening at all — that Cordray asserts the power to block the president from naming an acting director — underscores the fact that this all-powerful bureau, which operates outside of our separation of powers, is a legal aberration. At bottom, Cordray is merely delaying the inevitable: Sooner or later, the CFPB will be restored to our constitutional order, under the executive’s supervision.

Cordray’s tenure began as it has ended: with a slight of the Constitution. In 2012, following the enactment of Dodd-Frank and the creation of the CFPB, Republicans filibustered Cordray’s nomination as the inaugural director. Undeterred, President Obama purported to appoint Cordray, as well as several members of the National Labor Relation Board (NLRB), during a 72-hour “recess” of the Senate. “I refuse to take no for an answer,” he said. But in 2014, the Supreme Court unanimously told him no. All nine Justices ruled that the NLRB appointments were unconstitutional, and that a three-day break was too short to trigger the president’s powers to make recess appointments. The same reasoning applied equally to Cordray’s own tenure, though it was not challenged in the case. When even Justice Ginsburg agrees that his appointment violated the separation of powers, the director’s tenure could begin on only the flimsiest footing.

Eventually, Senate Republicans confirmed Cordray as part of a pact to keep the filibuster on the table. (This rapprochement was short-lived, as Senator Harry Reid would soon thereafter trigger the nuclear option.) Once installed in his office, with a five-year term ahead of him, Cordray issued a perfunctory statement concluding that all of his previous actions during his illegal tenure were “legally authorized and entirely proper,” but adding that “to avoid any possible uncertainty . . . I hereby affirm and ratify any and all actions I took during that period.” In other words, pay no attention to my illegal tenure. Early on, it was apparent that this emperor had no clothes; over time, Cordray would unilaterally expand his fledgling agency’s authority to regulate large swaths of the economy, with zero accountability to the executive branch.
Blackman goes on to provide the history of the president's power to appoint heads of commissions that are then independent and can't be removed compared to individual agency heads who serve at the president's discretion. The Supreme Court has allowed these independent commissioners to serve independently because they serve as members of commissions.
Enter the CFPB. Following the financial crisis of the late 2000s, President Obama and congressional Democrats sought to make a truly independent agency to protect consumers and financial markets. As a matter of policy, we can debate how laudable that goal is. As a constitutional matter, however, the CFPB is neither fish nor fowl: It is headed by a single director who can be removed only for malfeasance. Traditionally, if a single person heads an agency, that person is removable at will, while members of commissions are removable only for cause. The CFPB is a freak hybrid that combines both attributes in a single, powerful position. “No independent agency exercising substantial executive authority,” Judge Kavanaugh noted, “has ever been headed by a single person. Until now.”
Its structure is now being decided by the D.C. Circuit Court because the Trump Justice Department reversed from the Obama administration position on whether or not the director could be fired by the President. And now that there is a court case over who should be interim director, the person appointed by the President or the one appointed by the retiring director. And then it will all be moot once Trump makes his formal nomination and that person is approved by the Senate, which will happen because Harry Reid got rid of the filibuster.

Here's a victory for Seattle citizens.
Seattle’s graduated income tax failed its first legal challenge after King County Superior Court judge John R. Ruhl found it to be unconstitutional under state law.

“Today’s ruling is a victory for all taxpayers in Seattle and throughout the state, and for everyone who values the rule of law,” said Brian T. Hodges, a senior attorney with Pacific Legal Foundation who represents several Seattle residents in challenging the tax. “The court performed a service for all taxpayers, and all property owners, by defeating the city’s strategy to undermine their rights.”

Signed by then-mayor Ed Murray in July, the ordinance imposed a tax on the income of wealthy residents of the city of Seattle, despite a provision in the Washington state constitution specifically mandating that taxes must be uniform on the same class of property. It was on this basis that Hodges and other groups challenged the ordinance.

In its defense, the city of Seattle argued the tax isn’t an income but an excise tax, on the privilege of receiving revenue in Seattle or choosing to live there. Ruhl did not concur, pointing out that the city itself has labelled the ordinance as an “income tax” outside the court.
You know, constitutions actually mean something.

David French explains what Nancy Pelosi doesn't understand about due process when she tried to wiggle out of condemning John Conyers after there have been several credible allegations of sexual misconduct against him and even settled an complaint against him. Contrast her refusal to say she believes Conyers' accusers or to condemn him with her fury that Betsy DeVos restored due process to allegations against college students of sexual misconduct.
Last month Nancy Pelosi took her star turn as House Democratic Leader at an event unveiling the so-called Title IX Protection Act, an effort to codify in federal statutes Obama-era guidance on adjudicating sexual-assault cases in higher education. This Obama guidance famously resulted in the creation of a national network of campus kangaroo courts that systematically and comprehensively denied male students the most basic due-process protections in the face of serious charges of misconduct.

Campus after campus — responding to the Obama administration’s dictates — set up tribunals that denied male students access to the evidence against them, denied them the opportunity to fully and fairly cross-examine accusers, placed them in double jeopardy, and often created definitions of “sexual assault” or “sexual misconduct” that were utterly at odds with prevailing law. Dozens of federal judges from across the political spectrum have ruled against these college processes, sometimes finding not only that they strip accused students of their constitutional rights, but also that they’re so biased that they potentially represent a form of gender discrimination against male students.
Yet Pelosi went on Meet the PRess to babble about how we should wait for Conyers to undergo some sort of due process in the House Ethics Committee. Oh, and Conyers is an icon.
That sound you hear is the legion of non-iconic, vulnerable college students (who at many schools are disproportionately black) wondering why due process strengthens Congress but not the campus. In reality, however, the hypocrisy is even deeper than you think. Members of Congress enjoy due-process protections so extensive and so biased against accusers that if they were applied to student accusers at college, they’d be considered a civil-rights violation.

An accuser has 180 days to bring her complaint to Congress’s Office of Compliance and then is subject to 30 days of mandatory counseling. She then has 15 days to decide whether to mediate the case. If she doesn’t mediate, the case is closed. If she does mediate, the member is provided legal counsel at taxpayer expense while the accuser has to foot the bill for her own lawyer. If mediation fails, the accuser then has 30 days to file her lawsuit. It’s an extraordinary system, one that should shock the conscience of American citizens who face completely different rules in their own workplaces.
It is a scandal that members of Congress devised this system to protect themselves in a way that no business would get away with. And we're not talking about criminal prosecutions that would actually involve due process. We're talking about political judgments.
None of this should be hard. Due process applies when the government attempts to deprive a person of life, liberty, or property. Thus, when the government initiates an effort to deprive a person of a liberty or property interest (such as a college education), then the requirements of fair notice and a fair hearing lock into place. When voters are weighing candidates — or when politicians are deciding whether to publicly call for the resignation of a colleague or the withdrawal of a candidate — then due process is irrelevant. They make their judgment on a case-by-case basis weighing the available evidence and information. Pelosi, by contrast, is seeking to strip due process from young, non-iconic men when their liberty interests are at stake while at the same time rigorously and wrongly applying due process to her mere opinion about Conyers’s political fate.

At this moment our nation’s political establishment faces a stern test. Can it apply to itself the same standards it punitively imposes on the rest of America? Can it defend the Constitution while maintaining high standards for personal conduct? Nancy Pelosi is failing her test. Will anyone pass?

Kate Pavlich reminds us of Pelosi's history of supporting accused sexual predators...if they're Democrats: Conyers, Bill Clinton, and Bob Filner who was the Chairman of the Veterans Affairs Committee.
During his time as Chairman of the Veterans Affairs Committee, Filner sexually harassed female veterans who were victims of rape during their time in the military. He knew about their vulnerable positions and took advantage of them. He offered them "help" in return for dinner dates.
Filner's record as an advocate for veterans, and female veterans in particular, make the latest developments in the charges of sexual harassment against him that much more deplorable.

Three more women this week -- two survivors of military sexual assault and a nurse who cared for a female veteran -- came forward with allegations that they were sexually harassed by the San Diego mayor and former 10-term congressman.

Nurse Michelle Tyler on Tuesday charged that she approached Filner in June to ask for assistance dealing with the Veterans Affairs Department on behalf of her patient Katherine Ragazzino, an Iraq war veteran. Filner "made it very clear to me that his expectation was that his help for Katherine depended on my willingness to go to dinner with him, spend personal time with him and be seen in public with him," Tyler said, with high-profile attorney Gloria Allred at her side.

Two other women, meanwhile -- Air Force veteran Eldonna Fernandez and Army veteran Gerri Tindley -- also came forward with stories of unwanted advances from Filner. Both Fernandez and Tindley are survivors of sexual assault in the military and members of the National Women's Veterans Association of America (NWVAA) in San Diego. The NWVAA's president Tara Jones told CNN that she's spoken to seven or eight women in the organization who had uncomfortable encounters with Filner.

"He went to dinners, asked women out to dinners, grabbed breasts, buttocks. The full gamut. Everything that is complete violation of what we stand for," Jones said. "He's a sexual predator. And he used this organization for his own personal agenda."
That's extremely disgusting behavior, but Nancy Pelosi was not in "believe the woman" mode for Filner when he was part of her party's caucus in the House.
"What goes on in San Diego is up to the people of San Diego. I'm not here to make any judgements," Pelosi said at the time and after Filner admitted to wrongdoing, again ignoring his known behavior in Congress.

And now we learn about another Congressman's settlement using taxpayer money to hide what a yucky boss he has been.
Rep. Raul M. Grijalva quietly arranged a “severance package” in 2015 for one of his top staffers who threatened a lawsuit claiming the Arizona Democrat was frequently drunk and created a hostile workplace environment, revealing yet another way that lawmakers can use taxpayer dollars to hide their misbehavior on Capitol Hill.

While the Office of Compliance has been the focus of outrage on Capitol Hill for hush-money payouts in sexual harassment cases, the Grijalva payout points to another office that lawmakers can use to sweep accusations under the rug with taxpayer-funded settlements negotiated by the House Employment Counsel, which acts as the attorney for all House offices.

The employment counsel negotiated a deal for taxpayers to give $48,395 — five additional months’ salary — to the female aide, who left her job after three months. She didn’t pursue the hostile workplace complaint further.

The arrangement appears to run contrary to House rules that constrain severance packages, and it caught the eye of watchdogs who were already demanding answers about payouts in the wake of harassment complaints.
I predict that the use of this fund to pay off staffers for any sort of harassment or discrimination claims will be like the House Post Office and House Bank scandals tarring everyone who used it. Eventually, more names will come out and the stories will be told. And their election challengers whether in primaries or in the general election will be inundating voters with that message about the special treatment the members received using taxpayer money to hide what any other person would have to face in the public. Even if the names aren't made public, reporters will ask every member if they've used the fund. But there are proposals in Congress to make the names public. Anyone who votes against that will be painted as someone who has something to hide. Since it was passed in 1995, Newt Gingrich should have to answer as to why he allowed this fund to be created. Everyone who has served as Speaker, including Ryan and Pelosi need to answer for this.

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And this is why we aren't going to bridge the partisan divide any time soon.
New York Times Op-Ed columnist Charles Blow has no time for any of his “friends” who might support Donald Trump.

The Gray Lady’s most vocal member of The Resistance drew a line in the sand over Thanksgiving weekend, announcing on Twitter that he could not continue a friendship with anyone who still was with the president.

“If u support Trump, we don’t have anything to talk abt & we can’t be friends. This isn’t abt parties or ideology; This is abt right & wrong,” he tweeted.

If Denzel Washington says this, is it still a racist statement?
Denzel Washington stressed the importance of having a positive father figure in the home while speaking recently about the mass incarceration of black males.

The Oscar-winning actor told a reporter for The Grio during a special advanced screening in New York of his film “Roman J. Israel, Esq.” that positive change in the black community “starts in the home.”

“If the father is not in the home, the boy will find a father in the streets,” he said. “I saw it in my generation and every generation before me, and every one since.”

“If the streets raise you, then the judge becomes your mother and prison becomes your home,” he added.

According to The New York Daily News, Mr. Washington expanded on his answer when pressed by reporters, saying, “It starts with how you raise your children. If a young man doesn’t have a father figure, he’ll go find a father figure.
“So, you know, I can’t blame the system,” he said. “It’s unfortunate that we make such easy work for them.”

Oh, what a loss for... no one, actually.
Keith Olbermann, the anti-Trump video blogger, announced on Monday that he is retiring from political commentary.
Iowahawk responds.



James O'Keefe's organization Project Veritas has been caught trying to use an undercover sting against the Washington Post in order to get them to publish a fake story about Roy Moore. Instead, the Post figured out that the story was phony and exposed O'Keefe's group for trying to insert a #FakeNews accusation against Moore that then, presumably, could be exposed to discredit the Post's original story about Moore and teenagers. Cheers to the Post for not falling for the planted fake story because they actually did reportorial due diligence. And shame on Project Veritas for trying this stunt and now tarnishing all their other stories.
O’Keefe’s most recent fail is an attempt to help alleged child molester Roy Moore by tarnishing the Washington Post. O’Keefe recruited a fake source, who attempted to lure the Post into reporting her false accusations and “admitting” on camera that their reporting would affect the outcome of the election.

The scam collapsed for a number of reasons. His fake source provided a flimsy cover story with odd details — she claimed to have only spent a few summers in Alabama, but provided a cell phone with an Alabama area code. The supposed place of employment that she provided did not have any person by that name working there. A search of her name turned up a social-media post in which she explained that she was going to “work in the conservative media movement to combat the lies and deceipt [sic] of the liberal MSM.”

If you’ve ever watched a spy movie, you’ll probably recall that the spies never get caught because they left a social-media post under their real name declaring “I’m enrolling in espionage school to become a spy!”

Another reason O’Keefe’s plot collapsed again is because it is premised on a ludicrously false worldview. The Washington Post does not, in fact, publish unverified accusations just because they’re against Republicans. His various attempts to prove rampant voter fraud have failed in part because voter fraud is not rampant.

Monday, November 27, 2017

Cruising the Web

So did Nancy Pelosi go on TV yesterday with the express purpose of easing consciences in Alabama about voting for Roy Moore? If that had been her goal, she did a pretty good job of giving those voters an excuse to draw a moral equivalence between how the Democrats are treating John Conyers and excusing accusations against Roy Moore. She must have known that she would get questions on John Conyers and yet she delivered a sputtering defense of him on Meet the Press. She was all ready to turn the subject of sexual harassment back on Trump and that it's "wonderful" that women are coming forward and saying that there should be "zero tolerance" of sexual harassment in the workplace. But that shouldn't have applied to Bill Clinton because it was a question of impeachment. As if there were some other procedure to be used against a sitting president and, besides, he wasn't impeached for having an affair but for lying about it under oath and trying to obstruct justice as he answered a civil suit of sexual harassment against him. And when Chuck Todd reminds her of the accusations against Clinton, she's ready go "move on."
REP. NANCY PELOSI:

No, but we're talking about a child molester. This is--

CHUCK TODD:

Okay, but--

REP. NANCY PELOSI:

We're talking about a child molester.

CHUCK TODD:

But President Clinton was accused of being a sexual predator.

REP. NANCY PELOSI:

Well--

CHUCK TODD:

And of even rape at one point, by one accuser.

REP. NANCY PELOSI:

Why don't we talk, instead, about how we go forward. Nobody is proud of President Clinton's behavior at the time. But he was being impeached--
And besides, let's talk about Trump. Let's go forward and talk about Roy Moore. But not John Conyers, because, apparently, she just wasn't prepared to discuss that. And this is where she got herself all tied up in partisan excuse-making about why Conyers should be given due process and Roy Moore and Trump shouldn't.
REP. NANCY PELOSI:

Let's go forward. Let's talk about, okay, let's learn from past decisions and go forward.

CHUCK TODD:

So define zero tolerance. You said there’s now a zero tolerance.

REP. NANCY PELOSI:

Yes.

CHUCK TODD:

John Conyers. What does that mean for him? Right now. In or out?

REP. NANCY PELOSI:

We are strengthened by due process. Just because someone is accused -- and was it one accusation? Is it two? I think there has to be -- John Conyers is an icon in our country. He has done a great deal to protect women -- Violence Against Women Act, which the left -- right-wing -- is now quoting me as praising him for his work on that, and he did great work on that. But the fact is, as John reviews his case, which he knows, which I don’t, I believe he will do the right thing.

CHUCK TODD:

Why don’t you?

REP. NANCY PELOSI:

Excuse me. May I finish my sentence?

CHUCK TODD:

Sure, sure.

REP. NANCY PELOSI:

That he will do the right thing.

CHUCK TODD:

And is the right thing what? Resign?

REP. NANCY PELOSI:

He will do the right thing in terms of what he knows about his situation. That he’s entitled to due process. But women are entitled to due process as well.

CHUCK TODD:

But he took advantage of a situation where he had a - the rules of Congress and I know you guys want to change these rules, but he got to hide his settlement, he got to - his accusers had to go through all sorts of craziness, so why is he entitled to new due process in this case?

REP. NANCY PELOSI:

No, I I - we are talking about what we have heard. I’ve asked the Ethics Committee to review that. He has said he’d be open - he will cooperate with any review.

CHUCK TODD:

Do you believe the accusers?

REP. NANCY PELOSI:

Excuse me?

CHUCK TODD:

Do you believe John Conyers’ accusers?

REP. NANCY PELOSI:

I don’t know who they are. Do you? They have not really come forward. And that gets to --

CHUCK TODD:

So you don’t know if you believe the accusations?

REP. NANCY PELOSI:

Well, that’s for the Ethics Committee to review. But I believe he understands what is at stake here and he will do the right thing. But all of these non-disclosure agreements have to go. By the way, some of them are there to protect the victim because they didn’t want some of it to be public. But that’s over. In other words, if the victim wants to be private, she can be -- he or she can be.

CHUCK TODD:

I guess it goes back to what is this line? What is a fireable offense? You say it’s zero tolerance.

REP. NANCY PELOSI:

Yes.

CHUCK TODD:

But zero tolerance -- what does that mean if you’re saying John Conyers, who already had due process, gets to stay right now.

REP. NANCY PELOSI:

As I said, we’ve asked for the Ethics Committee to review that. He, I believe, will do the right thing. It’s about going forward.

CHUCK TODD:

Where are you on Senator Franken?

REP. NANCY PELOSI:

Well, same thing. I don't think that you can equate Senator Franken with Roy Moore. It's two different things. So, you know, let's have some discernment.

CHUCK TODD:

So you would accept an apology right now from Al Franken if there's no other accusers, or if all we know are what we know?

REP. NANCY PELOSI:

Well, also, his accusers have to accept an apology. The victims have some say in all of this, as well. And that has happened in the past. People have accepted an apology, as is coming forth now that I see in the press. But we didn't know, because there was a nondisclosure agreement to protect the victim. Sometimes they didn't want to be public. Sometimes they did. So now they will have their choice.

But this is about going forward. And when we go forward, we will address all of that. But we also have to address it for every person, every workplace in the country, not just in the Congress of the United States. And that's very important. And a good deal of that would be done by the Judiciary Committee.

CHUCK TODD:

Okay.

REP. NANCY PELOSI:

And I know that John would take that into consideration.

CHUCK TODD:

You have one member has already, Gregory Meeks has already called for him to be withdrawn as ranking member.

REP. NANCY PELOSI:

No.

CHUCK TODD:

Isn't that something in your power? Can't you decide that he should be suspended on ranking member on Judiciary, of all committees for him to be ranking on?

REP. NANCY PELOSI:

You have to remember that this all happened during the Thanksgiving break. When we come together at the beginning of this week, I think John will do the right thing.

CHUCK TODD:

You're not going to unilaterally make this decision?

REP. NANCY PELOSI:

I'm not sharing that with you right now. But what I am saying is this is a big distraction, and it's very, very important. Do you know that the beginning of the Women's Movement, Elizabeth Cady Stanton lived in Seneca Falls. And she would hear down below examples of family domestic violence. And that was one of the motivators for her to advance the cause of women.

CHUCK TODD:

Right.

REP. NANCY PELOSI:

So this is as old as-- well, it's old as civilization, probably.

CHUCK TODD:

Right.

But in terms of our history, in terms of the women's movement, one of the motivators. Now, 100 years after her fight for the right of women to vote, we will clear the deck on this. But I am here to talk about something also transformative in our society, and that is this tax bill that the Republicans have put forth.
Please, Chuck Todd, let her get her talking points out. Don't force her to be consistent about how she wants due process and doesn't know who Conyers' accusers are and doesn't know yet whether to believe them even though he used taxpayer funds to pay them off, but believes all of Roy Moore's accusers.

So now we know that, for Pelosi, accusations of sexual misconduct should be decided on a partisan basis. Democrats deserve due process from the toothless Ethics Committee and the benefit of the doubt, but accusations against Republicans should all be believed. Why shouldn't Republicans listen to that and decide that they'll give the partisan benefit of the doubt to a Republican?

And she calls John Conyers an "icon." What has he done except be in the House since the 1960s? So that means that Pelose can't say whether she believes the accusers. But....Elizabeth Cady Stanton....

And the silly thing is that Conyers could resign and he'd be replaced by another liberal Democrat. We all know that. But she can't bring herself to cut him loose.

As Allahpundit writes,
Faced with credible allegations against a much less powerful Democrat than Clinton in Conyers, one who’s waaaaaay past the age at which he should have retired and who’s been accused of having lost some of his mental capacity, the leader of the caucus whiffs on demanding that he step down. And worse than that, she cites his “icon” status as a point in his favor. Clinton, Conyers, and basically every male member of the Kennedy family, living or dead, would smile at that. It may be the single creepiest thing she’s ever said in public life.

And, as Neontaster points out on Twitter, Pelose wasn't as interested in due process when Betsy DeVos determined that accused students on campus should get due process.

When Nancy Pelosi says that she doesn't know who his accusers are, she's ignoring that a well-respected Washington lawyer, Melanie Sloan, has detailed his bizarre behavior from the 1990s when she was the Democratic counsel on the House Judiciary Committee. Is that a woman she believes or is she just pretending Sloan doesn't exist?
A lawyer who formerly worked for U.S. Rep. John Conyers, D-Detroit, and later ran an ethics watchdog group in the nation’s capital confirmed for the Free Press on Thursday that Conyers verbally abused her, criticized her appearance and once showed up to a meeting in his underwear.

Melanie Sloan, a well-known Washington lawyer who for three years in the 1990s worked as Democratic counsel on the House Judiciary Committee, where Conyers remains the ranking Democrat, told the Detroit Free Press that Conyers constantly berated her, screaming at her and firing her and then rehiring her several times.

She said he criticized her for not wearing stockings on at least one occasion. On another, she said he ordered her backstage from a committee field hearing on crime she had organized in New York City to babysit one of his children. Sloan made clear that she did not feel she had ever been sexually harassed, but that she felt “mistreated by this guy.”


“I’m no shrinking violet,” said Sloan, who went on to become the executive director for the watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington and later to open Triumph Strategy, a public affairs firm specializing in crisis response. “His constant stream of abuse was difficult to handle and it was certainly damaging to my self-respect and self-esteem.”

“It made me increasingly anxious and depressed about going to work every day. And there was no way to fix it. There was no mechanism I could use, no person I could go to,” she said.

Sloan said that she approached several people, including committee staff, a reporter, and a high-ranking member of then-House Democratic Leader Richard Gephardt’s staff about Conyers’ behavior but was told nothing could be done. She also said that on occasion she had been described to someone as “mentally unstable” for making the claims.
Other staffers told CNN back in 2006 how Conyers would make them babysit his children. Timothy Meads links to the CNN interview.
DREW GRIFFIN, CNN INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Sydney Rooks says she had no idea , when she signed up as legal counsel for her boss, she would also be baby-sitting her boss' children, a lawyer required to baby-sit.

SYDNEY ROOKS, FORMER LEGAL ADVISER TO CONGRESSMAN JOHN CONYERS: Several times, he just brought them into my office and said: "Rooks, they're your responsibility for right now. I will be back later."

GRIFFIN (on camera): And how long was later?

ROOKS: Later could be a few minutes. Later could be hours. Later could be frantically calling around, trying to find him, because it was now 8:00 or 9:00, or later in the evening, and not knowing what to do with the children....

ROOKS: No. It was -- it was common. It was ubiquitous. And it wasn't just me. OK? I was the tutor, primarily, but I wasn't the only person who got stuck with the kids for the day. I wasn't the only person who had to take the boys to the bathroom, change a diaper, or anything like that.

We would also take them to doctors' appointments, other things, too. If they had to go, they had to go. Somebody had to take them. And there was no reimbursement for gasoline or anything like that.
And she wasn't the only one.
GRIFFIN (voice-over): For Deanna Maher, later turned out to be weeks. She says she was actually told to move into her boss' house, this house in Detroit, and be the live-in nanny while he was gone and his wife was away at school.

DEANNA MAHER, FORMER DEPUTY CHIEF OF STAFF FOR CONGRESSMAN JOHN CONYERS: He handed me the keys to his car and his house and said, "Take care of my child, Carl (ph), and everything" -- make sure, in other words, I had to stay at the house and take care of him. And that was for several weeks.

GRIFFIN: She says he left her, never telling her when he would be back, certainly, not that the baby-sitting gig would last six weeks.
And this behavior humiliated the women.
GRIFFIN: Did you feel like a servant, like a house servant?

ROOKS: Many times, I frankly did, yes.
And they all knew that a House Ethics investigation was useless.
"Melanie Sloan, who once worked for Congressman John Conyers on his Capitol Hill staff, thinks she knows why. She now heads the liberal watchdog group, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, a group that mostly criticizes Republicans, but in the case of ethics, she says, neither conservatives nor liberals on Capitol Hill are held accountable.
MELANIE SLOAN, CITIZENS FOR RESPONSIBILITY: That's right. That's because there is an ethics truce. Both parties will deny this, by the way, but there is, in fact, a truce that's been in existence since 1998. And under the terms of that truce, nobody will file a complaint against a member of the other party.

GRIFFIN: The truce, among Democrats and Republicans, Sloan says, is a gentleman's agreement. I won't report you, if you don't report me. Still, according to Sydney Rooks, who was John Conyers' legal adviser after all, the rules as written are very clear, a congressman can't treat his staff as personal servants nor should taxpayers be paying for a congressman's chauffeurs, personal babysitters and errand runners."
And that is the solution that Pelosi is leaning on now. Having Conyers resign as ranking member of the Judiciary Committee is insufficient. These accusations of misusing staff for his personal business have been public for 11 years. That should have been sufficient to get him out of Congress back then, but his party protected him.

Unfortunately, both sides now are guilty of closing their eyes on their principles so that they can protect one of their own. It just is all public now and neither party can claim the high moral ground. Basically, they're all, except for a few, really quite repulsive in how they put a vote above the principles they claim to believe in.

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One thing we should all be thankful for is that, despite the wishes of so many on the left, we aren't living in a socialist society.

Even in Russia which should have a better memory of the horrors of communism, the memory seems to have forgotten their own history. A poll earlier this year revealed that the person regarded by Russians as "the most outstanding person" in world history was Josef Stalin, followed closely Vladimir Putin tied with the great Russian poet, Alexander Pushkin. Lenin comes next. Even Brezhnev got 8% of the votes, edging out Einstein at 7%. Such a result seems incomprehensible.

There really wasn't a moment when Russians confronted the history of what happened under communism so that there could be some sort of reckoning. So individual stories such as what happened to the Rybicki family when there was a knock on the door and they were arrested.
The Rybickis were never informed of charges against them, evidence of wrongdoing, a sentence, or their destination. Witold, his parents, and four of his siblings were taken from their home to a train station, where they were loaded into a cattle car about 15 meters long by five meters wide along with about 40 other people. The car was completely bare otherwise, with just a hole in the middle of the floor for a toilet.

For nearly a month, the train traversed Eastern Europe and Russia toward Siberia, not allowing anyone outside of the cramped, filthy cars except for a short period on Saturdays. Every morning, soldiers delivered four gallons of water and one of soup for the entire car of 40 people.

The prisoners finally disembarked in a city called Tomsk. From there, they walked two days through the Siberian taiga (forest) in the dead of winter to a set of barracks with small, barren rooms built specifically for Poles. This was part of the Soviet gulag system, a chain of forced-labor camps and settlements where tens of millions of prisoners were punished and “reeducated” by the state through grueling physical labor in harsh conditions.

This account of life under Soviet rule is not an extreme outlier, but indicative of how the communist regime treated its own people.
These are the stories that should be told. It's hard to get one's mind around numbers such as the 100 million people who lost their lives under communism. So perhaps people can get a better grasp on the horrors of communism if they hear the individual tales. Read the rest of what happened to the Rybicki family. The stories of what happened in the gulags should arouse the same horror that we feel for stories of the Holocaust.
As Solzhenitsyn wrote, “[It’s impossible] for Western authors…to describe the perturbation of a human soul placed in a cell filled to twenty times its capacity and with no latrine bucket, where prisoners are taken out to the toilet only once a day.”

Solzhenitsyn’s stories about NVKD officers coercing confessions from innocent prisoners by crushing their testicles underneath the officer’s jackboot are ghastly to even try imagining. So too the mass executions carried out by binding, gagging, and burying prisoners alive, because it was more efficient than shooting them first. However, it is difficult to fully comprehend for Westerners who have not experienced immense and continuous physical pain. Thus, it is also worth considering the damage done to the human soul beyond the gulags.

“The USSR was one big camp,” cites Solzhenitsyn of one of its victims. Totalitarian repression in the USSR was not consigned to the war years or the gulags or the Stalin years. It lasted straight through from 1917 to 1991
What admirers of Marxism don't acknowledge that eliminating private property and the bourgeoisie leads inevitably to the end of rights and mass murder.
But it turned out that people do not relinquish their hard-earned property, nation, culture, beliefs, family, and God easily. By clinging to these things, people revealed themselves as class enemies of the proletariat and had to be eliminated.

Martin Latsis, the head of the Ukrainian secret police, wrote in a communist newspaper in 1918, “We are not fighting against single individuals. We are exterminating the bourgeoisie as a class.” Communism is truly the ultimate collectivist ideology. Your membership and devotion to class, so to speak, determines your worth. In this way, communist ideology sets the predicate to discard individuals en masse for the sake of the collective.


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Anne Applebaum's new book, Red Famine, about how Stalin purposely starved the Ukrainians into submission.
As she notes at the beginning of the book, “The Soviet Union’s disastrous decision to force peasants to give up their land and join collective farms; the eviction of “kulaks,” the wealthier peasants, from their homes; the chaos that followed”—these policies were “all ultimately the responsibility of Joseph Stalin, the General Secretary of the Soviet Communist Party.”

Moreover, they were—along with the persecution of intellectuals and officials who had even the flimsiest connection to Ukrainian nationalism—part of a systematic assault not just on Ukraine, but on the very idea of Ukraine....

People crawled into wheat fields to eat ears of wheat before dropping dead. They died from hunger in the act of eating. Children collapsed and died during lessons. A mother took the bread from her offspring to feed her husband (she could, she said, always have more kids, but she could only ever have one husband). A couple put their children in a deep hole and left them there, in order not to watch them die. A father strangled his own children rather than watch them perish from hunger. Communities that had once been kind and welcoming became mistrustful and violent; lynch mobs tortured people. And in the end, most horrifically of all, people began to eat each other.
That's the Stalin that far too many Russians still admire.


Bob Dietderich explains why
we shouldn't be misled by European socialism into changing our view of socialism. That is the model of socialism that American leftists are pushing. They're ignoring the horrors of what communism has wrought over the past century and pretending that all they want is "nice socialism" as we see in European. But they don't look beneath the nice stories of all the social welfare to see what else happens in these economies as well as the burden of taxes on just about everything. And small businesses also have large taxes to pay. And that tax burden falls more and more on the middle class. He uses his home city of Vienna as an example of the "huge hidden costs of socialist amenities." It's a lovely city with lots to enjoy.
For instance, what they don’t tell you about the public transportation is that if you want to drive in Austria and many other “soft socialist” countries, prepare to pay more than $1,000 for your license. Your car will also be taxed annually, and it will be significantly more if you dare drive a diesel-fueled engine or a gas guzzler.

Free education? Well, kinda, but you’ll pay for it in taxes, overcrowded lecture halls, and nowhere near the same quality we get in the United States. That’s if the state allows you to attend, of course. You’ll be told by government at the age of 12 whether you’re smart enough to attend. After that, you’re either on the college track, or off to vocational school.

Free health care? This one I never experienced because I was fortunate enough to use my American private insurance in Austria. For those who have private insurance, be prepared to be treated like royalty. No line is too big for a private insured patient to skip.

Ask someone who works in pharmaceutical industry, and they’ll admit that if you have cancer or some other life-threatening disease, best get yourself a plane ticket stateside. The quality of doctors and the access to the newest medicine is far better in the United States, where insurers are willing to pay more.

Still want to go to church? Be prepared for empty pews and the church tax. Religious residents pay an annual church tax in Austria, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Iceland, Italy, Sweden, and many other countries.

Want to own a TV? Or a radio? Be prepared for a tax collector showing up at your door each year demanding you to tell him how many TVs and radios you own. This is common throughout the European continent.

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Matthew Continetti pays tribute
to the North Korean soldier whose last name, Oh, is all we know about him, who fled across the DMZ a couple of weeks ago and survived being hit five times by North Korean soldiers firing at him.
Many did not—many do not—make it. They die imprisoned, like the Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo, or do not survive the crossing, like Peter Fetcher, murdered by the Border Troops of the German Democratic Republic at the age of 18.

And there are millions more still who, having been born and raised in democratic capitalist societies, do not fully recognize or appreciate the novelty and blessing of their lives. The story of Oh is not only a reminder that the call of freedom persists. It is a rebuke to those who ignore freedom's song.

For it has become fashionable, on both left and right, to downplay or ignore or deprecate the idea of freedom, to blame individualism, self-determination, and choice for inequality, pollution, corruption, immorality, decline, and other tragic aspects of the human condition. The fact that all of these pathologies flourish in autocratic, socialist, and communist societies as well as in our own seemingly escapes the notice of the intellectual critics of freedom.
Continetti is exactly right that we in the West don't appreciate our freedoms and how rare it is even in today's world.
We may be comfortable, affluent, secure, and self-involved, but dangers to freedom remain. The world's most populous nation, and soon to be largest economy, is governed by a communist dictatorship whose ruler idolizes the butcher Mao Zedong. Its allies include: a Stalinist hereditary monarchy with nuclear weapons; a gigantic autocratic mafia state fomenting discord around the globe; and a terrorism-supporting theocracy. A global movement of religious fanatics conspires to kill innocents and impose fundamentalist law. In our own hemisphere the Communist dictatorship of Cuba shows no signs of political or true economic liberalization while the socialist government of Venezuela has turned its people into mendicants.

At home, the freedoms of speech and religion are under attack, the bureaucracy and judiciary resist attempts to hold them accountable to the people, the right to life is contested, personal freedom is endangered by the rise in violent crime, the national symbols of flag and anthem are denounced, and one of the authors of American liberty is defaced on the very grounds of the university he created. Might these phenomena be connected to the cynical degradation of the idea of freedom, to the mass forgetting of and assault upon our national patrimony and heritage?






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This sounds like a story from The Onion. Eminem is upset that President Trump has ignored him on Twitter.
Rapper Eminem criticized President Trump again in a new interview published Tuesday, this time expressing his anger that Trump has yet to respond to an anti-Trump song the rapper performed at the 2017 BET awards.

In an interview with Shade 45, Eminem's channel on Sirius XM radio, the rapper said that he "can't stand" Trump and is furious that Trump has ignored the rapper's viral video slamming the president and his supporters.

"I was and still am extremely angry,” Eminem told the hosts. "I can’t stand that motherf---er."

He added that he expected to hear from Trump after the initial video was released in October at the BET awards. The track was Eminem's second effort to criticize the president after his release of "Campaign Speech," another diss track, last year.

"I feel like he’s not paying attention to me," the Detroit rapper said Tuesday. "I was kind of waiting for him to say something and for some reason, he didn’t say anything.”

In the BET video, Eminem calls the president a “kamikaze that will probably cause a nuclear holocaust” and accused Trump of getting "his rocks off” on racism.
Eminem must be one of the few celebrities whom the President hasn't gotten around to tweeting about. Maybe Trump doesn't consider Eminem a prominent enough celebrity to tweet about.

It's so funny that 'Morning Joe' got called out for pretaping their post-Thanksgiving banter.
Friday’s program had all the earmarks of a typical “Morning Joe” and few viewers seemed to notice that it wasn’t happening in real time. MSNBC offered no announcement or statement to viewers that it was a taped program. The only indirect clue was at the bottom of the screen: The “Live” graphic that normally appears was removed.

The rest was cooked up to appear as if it was happening in real time.

Brzezinski opened the program by saying, “Day after Thanksgiving! Hoo! I’m stuffed.”

The second segment picked up the after-holiday theme.

“I always cook the turkey with the guts in it!” Brzezinski said.

“Joe didn’t notice. He ate the bag,” quipped co-host Willie Geist, pretending Scarborough had consumed Brzezinski’s theoretical turkey.

“It was good!” Scarborough said. He added, “Well, you know, the game made up for it . . .”

Scarborough then turned to Rick Tyler, an MSNBC contributor who was Sen. Ted Cruz’s campaign spokesman. “How was your Thanksgiving?” he asked.

“Very successful,” responded Tyler. “Although the conversations were interesting.”

“I bet!” said Brzezinski.

The panel then swung into a discussion of the pedophile controversy surrounding Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore.

The illusion that the discussion was live was fostered by the news crawl at the bottom of the screen, which was added over the taped discussion, and a clock showing the time in various time zones.

The hosts never got around to talking about Friday morning’s biggest story, the deadly terrorist attack on a mosque in Egypt — because it hadn’t happened yet when they taped. The crawl mentioned it.

An MSNBC spokeswoman declined to comment. But an executive confirmed that the program wasn’t live. “There was no intention to trick viewers,” she said. “Would it have helped if there was a disclaimer” referencing it as a delayed broadcast? “Maybe. But that’s not typically done.”

This is just so perfect - a Celebrity Perv Apology Generator.
Here are some examples of the apologies it generated. It might be difficult to tell the difference between the actual apologies some celebrities have issued after being accused and these satires.
As someone who grew up in a different era, harassment is completely unacceptable — especially when people find out about it. It was a very long time ago, and of course now I realize my behavior was wrong. In conclusion, I’m not saying the victim is a “liar,” I’m just saying “she’s not telling the truth about the thing that happened because maybe it didn’t even happen.”

As a male feminist, my actions do not align with my values, nor represent who I am as a person. At the time I believed that my sociopathic manipulation of the 22-year-old in my office was consensual, and of course now I realize my behavior was wrong. In conclusion, I will wait 2-3 years before reappearing in film and TV and just sort of hope you all forget about this.

Here is a sports figure doing charity right. I really like that he was helping the kids figure out how to budget their money and that his mission was to help them appreciate what their parents have to do. And he went to the store with them instead of just handing over a check. Well done, Jarrett Allen.