Wednesday, December 06, 2017

Cruising the Web

Now that Donald Trump has endorsed Roy Moore, it's more than probably that he will win that Senate seat. Apparently, Alabamians just don't care about the allegations against him. And now he's reversed his original claims that he knew some of these women who have come forth but just didn't have inappropriate relations with them. Now he's saying that he never knew any of these women.
Roy Moore says he doesn’t know any of the women who claim he sought romantic encounters with them when they were minors and teens, but that's not what he said when they first came forward with their stories.

The Republican Alabama Senate candidate is definitely on record acknowledging his familiarity with at least two of his accusers.
This is what he said about two of the women on Hannity back on Nov. 10.
"As I recall [Deason] was 19 or older. I never provided intoxicating liquor to a minor. I seem to remember her as a good girl,” Moore said.

In reference to Gibson, Moore said, “I don't remember going out on dates. I knew her as a friend. If we did go out on dates then we did."
This is what he is saying now.
“Let me state once again: I do not know any of these women, did not date any of these women and have not engaged in any sexual misconduct with anyone,” he said on Nov. 29 during an event in Theodore, Ala. “This is not only odd that things like this occur. It's simply dirty politics."

His comments were made in reference to an anti-Moore campaign ad featuring all of the women who claim he sought relationships with them when they were very, very young.

Moore’s remarks that evening are reminiscent of when he said on Nov. 27 in reference to the sexual misconduct allegations, “The allegations are completely false. They are malicious.”

He also said at that time, “Specifically, I do not know any of these women.”
That denial led one of these women, Debbie Wesson Gibson, to talk to the Washington Post about their relationship and show what she has saved from that period in her life.
Debbie Wesson Gibson was in her attic hauling out boxes of Christmas decorations last week when she noticed a storage bin she said she had forgotten about. Inside was a scrapbook from her senior year of high school, and taped to a page titled “Those Who Inspire” was a graduation card.

“Happy graduation Debbie,” it read in slanted cursive handwriting. “I wanted to give you this card myself. I know that you’ll be a success in anything you do. Roy.”

The inscription, Gibson said, was written by Roy Moore, the Alabama Republican nominee for U.S. Senate who in recent days has repeatedly denied the accounts of five women who told The Washington Post that he pursued them when they were teenagers and he was an assistant district attorney in his 30s....

Gibson, who said that she publicly dated Moore when she was 17 and he was 34, a relationship she said she “wore like a badge of honor” until she began reevaluating it in light of the accounts of other women, and now, Moore’s own denials.

Shortly after the allegations first surfaced, Moore said in a radio interview with Sean Hannity that he did not know Corfman, but that he remembered Gibson as well as Gloria Thacker Deason, who had told The Post that she dated Moore when she was 18. He called each one “a good girl,” and said that he did not remember dating them.

But at two campaign events in recent days, Moore has backtracked.
That ticked her off. She didn't appreciate being called a liar.
Gibson said she remembers Moore handing the card to her at the Etowah High School graduation ceremony in Attalla, Ala., where Gibson grew up about 10 miles from Moore’s home. She remembers reading the inscription and writing below it: “Roy Moore inspires me because he is such a successful man himself. Also, he is about the only person I know of who seriously believes in me. I appreciate that. He’s got to be one of the nicest people I know.”

As she flipped through the scrapbook last week, Gibson said, she realized it contained other indications of her relationship with Moore, which she says began in March 1981, after he came to speak to her high school civics class.

On a page titled “commencement,” under “My own guests,” she had written “Roy S. Moore,” just above “mom” and “dad.”

On a page titled “remembrances,” she had listed her graduation gifts line by line, including “$10, card” from “Roy S. Moore,” and a check mark indicating she had sent a thank-you card.

On a page titled “the best times,” she had written: “Wednesday night, 3-4-81. Roy S. Moore and I went out for the first time. We went out to eat at Catfish Cabin in Albertville. I had a great time.” She had underlined “great” twice.
The Post has the pictures. See if you can believe that she has forged her own scrapbook or lied to her scrapbook when she was in 17 just in case she wanted to make allegations against Moore over 30 years ago.

If Moore does win, he will be seated. That was settled years ago in a case about Adam Clayton Powell Jr.. It seems to me that the optimal resolution of this ugly affair. Mitch McConnell has said that Moore would have to face a probe of the Senate Ethics if he's elected. Good. Let the committee investigate the allegations and vote to make a recommendation about the allegations. It would take two-thirds to expel him. Assuming that all the Democrats voted to expel him, there would need to be 19 Republicans who would have to vote to expel him. Maybe Republican senators would be too afraid of angering Trump supporters. But I would guess that McConnell would be pushing behind the scenes for getting rid of Moore. And a lot of Republicans will not be thrilled about being tarred with all the slime that adheres to Moore. You know the media will be asking every Republican about him and whatever wacky thing he says at any time. And if it comes down to a vote - do they really want to be voting in favor of this guy? Add in his objectionable statements about Muslims, as well as his belief that a state judge doesn't have to obey the orders of a federal court, and he's thoroughly repulsive. And they can expel him and Alabama can have a new election and most probably some other Republican than Moore or Lester Strange can get elected. It would be the right thing to do and it would benefit them politically also.

So John Conyers has announced his resignation and endorsed his son, JOhn Conyers III,....who may be opposed by his grand-nephew. Does Michigan really want this to be a hereditary seat for this corrupt and sleazy family. Remember that Conyers' wife just served time in prison for accepting bribes while serving on the Detroit City Council. Appropriately, she was accepting bribe in a "sludge-hauling" scandal. Aren't there any other Democratic politicians in this district?

And here are the rap stylings of John Conyer's desired successor.
John Conyers III., the son and appointed successor of John Conyers’ Jr., the disgraced Democratic politician who announced his resignation on Tuesday, is a former attempted rapper who bragged that his friends are drug dealers and his dad “is a f***ing player.”

The son’s brief rap career included lyrical gems such as “My n***as turn grams into grands” and “Ay f**k making a living bro, I’m trying to make history/So picture me letting the news nit-pick at me.”

The aspiring artist also rapped about some of the challenges he’s had to live through, such as when his mother, former Detroit councilwoman Monica Conyers, was sentenced to three years in jail for taking bribes, or when Conyers Jr. had to repay the U.S. Treasury for Conyers III’s misuse of a taxpayer-funded Cadillac Escalade.

Most of Conyers III’s brief rap career appears to have taken place between 2012 and 2013.

Conyers III raised eyebrows in 2010 when he described his father, who is now accused of being a sexual predator, as a “f***ing player” on Twitter.

“My dad is a f***ing player and reckless as hell! He just got at this doods wife super low-key,” the congressman’s son tweeted.
Such a charming addition to the family's political escutcheon.

THen there is Rep. Blake Farenthold whose sexual harassment of his communications director, Lauren Greene, was paid for by the taxpayer-funded Congressional slush fund. Politico has the story of what happened to Greene who just wanted to work in politics when she started as an intern on Capitol HIll in 2009. Then she encountered Farenthold and reported his sexual harassment.
Her family has had to support her financially. And Greene, now 30, has left D.C., with no illusions that she will ever work in politics again.

“It’s definitely turned my life upside down,” Greene said in her first interview since she made the accusations against Farenthold. “It’s been a tough road. Emotionally, it was tough. Professionally, it’s been hard to figure out next steps. And it’s definitely had an impact on my career.”

She later added: “I was told right away that I would be, quote-unquote, ‘blackballed’ if I came forward. … That’s exactly what happened.”

Greene, in a December 2014 lawsuit, accused Farenthold of gender discrimination, sexual harassment and creating a hostile work environment. She said he told another aide in the office that he had “sexual fantasies” and “wet dreams” about her — and that she could wear shirts that showed her nipples anytime she wanted.

Farenthold, a 55-year-old married lawmaker, denied the accusations. The two settled the case, with Greene receiving $84,000 from a congressional fund dedicated to resolving workplace disputes — though Greene and her lawyer, Les Alderman of Alderman Devorsetz & Hora PLLC, never confirmed those details.
Just imagine what would happen in a private company if there were similar allegations - she would get a lot more than $84,000. She should have been protected as a whistleblower; instead she has been told that she didn't get a job because of her accusations of harassment against Farenthold. I bet Farenthold will retire, as will Conyers, with their federal pensions intact while this woman couldn't find a job.

And then there is this guy who was once regarded as a rising star in the Democratic Party.
A first-term Democratic congressman accused of sexual harassment said that House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi knew about the allegations while he was running for office and supported him anyway, putting millions of dollars behind his 2016 congressional campaign.

During his campaign, Nevada Rep. Ruben Kihuen allegedly propositioned a female staffer for sex on multiple occasions and touched her thighs. The staffer resigned during Kuhen’s primary campaign as a result of his harassment, she told BuzzFeed.

Pelosi was quick to demand Kihuen’s resignation after the allegations became public, but she actually has known about the harassment allegations for a while, Kihuen told ABC News.

“I do find it interesting that the DCCC, Leader Pelosi and Chairman Ben Ray Lujan — they knew about these allegations last year,” he said. “They looked into them. They didn’t find anything, and they continued investing millions of dollars in my campaign. They went out there and campaigned for me.
Pelosi is denying this. So now we're going to be treated of a round of when did he/she/they know and when did he/she/they know it? for a lot of these allegations. Remember how that became the basis of the page scandal and took down Denny Hastert, before he was really taken down for his own sex scandal.

The New York Times has an article looking
in depth on how Harvey Weinstein had an elaborate and widespread web to protect him from allegations about his sexual misconduct. His company helped him and then there were the agents of young actresses who didn't protect their clients. He was able to intimidate the media to keep the story out of the press.

This is what extreme partisanship looks like these days
A Syracuse man is accused of threatening to kill a congressman and his family if he didn't support net neutrality, the U.S. Attorney's Office announced Wednesday. And he was able to use the Clintons to hide allegations. As the NYT writes, Bill and Hillary Clinton served as celebrity shields for Weinstein.
He created stars through his movies, but he also acquired famous friends through his other activities, including in the Democratic politics that dominate Hollywood.

Chief among them were Bill and Hillary Clinton. Over the years, Mr. Weinstein provided them with campaign cash and Hollywood star power, inviting Mrs. Clinton to glittery premieres and offering to send her films. After Mr. Clinton faced impeachment in the Monica Lewinsky scandal, he donated $10,000 to Mr. Clinton’s legal defense fund. Mr. Weinstein was a fund-raiser and informal adviser during Mrs. Clinton’s 2000 Senate campaign, a guest in her hotel suite when she won and a host of an A-list victory party. He was an early backer of both her presidential bids.

Mr. Weinstein’s political activity — he provided consistent support for Mr. Obama as well — boosted his image as a man with friends in high places and close ties to the country’s leading female politician. It is not clear if rumors of his record of sexual misconduct had ever reached them.

But two prominent women said they warned Mrs. Clinton’s team. In 2016, Lena Dunham, the writer and actress, said she was troubled by the producer’s visible presence during Mrs. Clinton’s presidential run, hosting fund-raisers and appearing at campaign events. She had heard stories, both directly and secondhand from other actresses, about disturbing encounters with him, she said. So in March last year, Ms. Dunham, a vocal Clinton supporter, said she warned the campaign.

“I just want you to let you know that Harvey’s a rapist and this is going to come out at some point,” Ms. Dunham said she told Kristina Schake, the campaign’s deputy communications director. She recalled adding, “I think it’s a really bad idea for him to host fund-raisers and be involved because it’s an open secret in Hollywood that he has a problem with sexual assault.”

Earlier, during the 2008 presidential race, Tina Brown, the magazine editor, said she cautioned a member of Mrs. Clinton’s inner circle about him. “I was hearing that Harvey’s sleaziness with women had escalated since I left Talk in 2002 and she was unwise to be so closely associated with him,” Ms. Brown said in an email.

Ms. Dunham said that Ms. Schake seemed surprised at her warning, and that Ms. Schake said she would tell Robby Mook, the campaign manager, Ms. Dunham recalled in an interview.
Clinton's campaign aides are deny that they were warned that he was a rapist and just can't find anyone who can remember Tina Brown warned them in 2008. How convenient. Gee, whom to believe - Robby Mook or Lena Dunham?

Patrick D. Angelo, 28, of Syracuse was arrested and charged by criminal complaint with interstate communication of a threat and threatening a federal official, authorities announced. The charges carry a maximum of 10 years in federal prison and a fine of $250,000.

According to the U.S. Attorney's Office, Angelo allegedly called the Washington, D.C., office of Congressman John Katko, R-Camillus, on Oct. 17 and left a threatening voicemail that included a death threat to Katko and his family if the congressman didn't support net neutrality.

Katko represents New York's 24th District, which includes all of Wayne County.
This is what happens when opponents of some policy indulge in hyperbolic accusations. If you think that ending net neutrality will mean the end of the internet if we dare to return to the state of the internet way back in ... 2015, then why shouldn't you threaten a congressman.

This story highlights the weaknesses in gun background checks.
Federal authorities sought to take back guns from thousands of people the background check system should have blocked from buying weapons because they had criminal records, mental health issues or other problems that would disqualify them.

A USA TODAY review found that the FBI issued more than 4,000 requests last year for agents from the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosives to retrieve guns from prohibited buyers.

It's the largest number of such retrieval requests in 10 years, according to FBI records – an especially striking statistic after revelations that a breakdown in the background check system allowed a troubled Air Force veteran to buy a rifle later used to kill 26 worshipers at a Texas church last month.

The FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) vets millions of gun purchase transactions every year. But the thousands of gun seizure requests highlight persistent problems in a system where analysts must complete background checks within three days of the proposed purchase. If the background check is not complete within the 72-hour time limit, federal law allows the sale to go forward. ATF agents are asked to take back the guns if the FBI later finds these sales should have been denied.
Maybe our focus should be on fixing this system.