Monday, May 04, 2020

Truest statement of the week

Storytelling is an essential part of the antirape movement, but it won’t end sexual violence. Solving a problem doesn’t necessitate that everyone knows the details. Survivors don’t need more awareness; we need a complete overhaul of society’s distribution of power. Prevention specialists emphasize that awareness alone is not enough to stop sexual violence; it must be coupled with education that deepens understanding of its roots causes and the norms, attitudes, and behaviors that enable it. The consequences of that gap are particularly evident in the recent reaction to former congressional staffer Tara Reade claiming that presumptive presidential nominee Joe Biden raped her in 1993. Much of the online discourse has been predictable: Some self-proclaimed Biden supporters immediately began attacking Reade, indulging in stereotypical retaliatory tactics. Others, like Milano, took a more subtle approach in their response: shedding their “believe women” rhetoric and calling for “due process” (without defining it), calling Biden a “good man” (whatever that means), and feigning concern about “destroying innocent men.”

-- Wagatwe Wanjuki, "Joe Biden Has Been Accused of Rape. Now What?" (BITCH).

Truest statement of the week II

But getting mad is not going to get Democrats out of their Biden fix. Only one thing can do that — pressuring Biden out of the race, and replacing him with someone else.
[. . .]
However, Biden still has not been officially nominated. The Democratic National Convention is not until August 17, and before then he could be pressured into dropping out. If Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, a critical mass of the rest of other Democratic elected officials, and all the various Democratic-aligned activists groups all said in unison that Biden was unfit to be president, and should drop out for the good of the party, he probably would withdraw. The primary rules regarding candidates who drop out are somewhat vague, saying that delegates cannot be "mandated" to vote for someone else, and "shall in all good conscience reflect the sentiments of those who elected them." But this would seem to allow Biden to instruct his delegates to support another candidate, and in 11 states there are specific rules for doing so. Realistically, no unclear legal technicalities are going to prevent someone else from getting the nomination if Biden refuses to take it.
Bernie Sanders would certainly be ruled out, despite the fact that he would have the second-most number of delegates. The entire point of the panicked scramble to endorse a clearly lousy candidate before Super Tuesday was to keep Sanders from winning. But it still could be somebody else — perhaps Washington Governor Jay Inslee, or California Governor Gavin Newsom, both of whom have handled the coronavirus pandemic relatively well (unlike New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, whose incompetent bungling created the worst outbreak in the world). Inslee or Newsom would not be my first choice, but at least they have no rape allegations against them and are in full possession of their faculties.

Or simpler still, as Alex Pareene suggests, Democrats could simply re-start the primary and see who wins. There would surely be some controversy, but most Democratic voters would wind up happier in the end.

-- Ryan Cooper, "The angst over Joe Biden's assault allegation has an easy resolution" (THE WEEK).

A note to our readers

Hey --

Early Monday morning. 

Let's thank all who participated this edition which includes Dallas and the following:

The Third Estate Sunday Review's Jim, Dona, Ty, Jess and Ava,
Rebecca of Sex and Politics and Screeds and Attitude,
Betty of Thomas Friedman Is a Great Man,
C.I. of The Common Ills and The Third Estate Sunday Review,
Kat of Kat's Korner (of The Common Ills),
Mike of Mikey Likes It!,
Elaine of Like Maria Said Paz),
Cedric of Cedric's Big Mix,
Ruth of Ruth's Report,
Wally of The Daily Jot,
Trina of Trina's Kitchen, 
Stan of Oh Boy It Never Ends,
Isaiah of The World Today Just Nuts,
and Ann of Ann's Mega Dub.

And what did we come up with?


-- Jim, Dona, Ty, Jess, Ava and C.I.

Editorial: There's no looking away

The Iraq War continues.  The deaths continue.  ISIS continues.

US troops remain on Iraqi soil.  US troops continue to die in Iraq.

What part of "the Iraq War has not ended" confuses some Americans?

The Iraqi people suffer.  The protests have dropped off -- they continue but they are smaller -- due to the coronavirus threat.  But if economists predicting hyperinflation for Iraq are correct, the large protests that began last fall will be even larger.

Too many Americans ignore what has happened in Iraq, what continues to take place.  Some of those idiots are rushing to praise Bully Boy Bush and reinvent him as someone worthy of praise.  Bully Boy Bush deserves only condemnation.

Chris Danko reviews that basics in five Tweets:

Right before the United States invaded Iraq, 65% of the country supported a secular government. During the occupation of Iraq the United States •Fired 500,000 Iraqi state workers •Attempted to privatize state companies •Turned reconstruction over to US companies 1/5

Local democracy was suppressed. Elected leaders were replaced with handpicked US candidates. Only 15,000 Iraqis were hired by US companies to rebuild their own country. After the first 6 months, a majority of Iraqis (70%) supported Islamic law as the basis of the state. 2/5

4 million Iraqis were forced to leave their homes. About half the population was left without clean drinking water. Less than 40% of children attended schools, in a country where the pre-war literacy rate was 89%. Not to mention over 150,000 civilian deaths. Abu Ghraib. 3/5

We imposed a new constitution on Iraq by force. The old constitution had been drafted in 1970 and was perfectly workable, it had just been ignored by Saddam Hussein. This is what Moqtada al-Sadr cited when he formed the Mahdi Army AFTER peaceful protests yielded no results 4/5

Rehabilitating George W. Bush or even comparing him favorably to the current president seems myopic. Nothing this president has done measures up to the devastation visited upon Iraq. Don't mistake this for Trump-praise (not destroying a country is a low bar to clear). 5/5

TV: HOLLYWOOD and the reasons behind it

NETFLIX has had many misfires but finally it has a must-watch.  This happens as Al Franken becomes the poster boy for every guy who thinks groping should be okay.


Starting with NETFLIX, HOLLYWOOD is a huge improvement of Ryan Murphy's last NETFLIX series THE POLITICIAN.  With the earlier one, Jessica Lange delivered and the rest pretty much just smiled for the cameras.  This go round, Ryan has cast much better.  He's also written a much stronger and more involving storyline.

Let's start with that, the storyline.  This is one of those tributes to the MARVEL comic WHAT IF as HOLLYWOOD attempts to fantasize what might have happened if the first African-American actress to be nominated -- and to win -- an Academy Award for Best Actress had won in 1948 and what if, instead of Anne Heche and Ellen DeGeneres making news for attending the 1997 White House Correspondents dinner together being the 'public display' that got many talking, it had been a 1948 hand holding outside the Oscars -- and a kiss inside the ceremonies -- between actor Rock Hudson and screenwriter Archie Coleman?  In fact, what if long before Dawn Steel and Sherry Lansing ever reached pre-K, a woman, Avis Amberg, was running a film studio in Hollywood?

What if those things had happened in real life as they do in the series?  A lot of people would have had better lives, would have known of possibilities and had more options.  It would have been a better world.

More care appears to have been taken with casting this go round.  Only two roles are miscast -- and they are horribly miscast.  As Avis' husband Ace, Rob Reiner reminds everyone he's a director, not an actor.  He was never much of an actor to begin with, a one-trick pony.  Here, he nearly destroys every scene he is in.  David Corenswet plays aspiring actor Jack Castello and when Jack does his first screen test, he's yelling at the actress opposite him.  Those watching the test think it's some of the worst acting they've seen.  Did they not see Rob Reiner's scenes?  Rob does nothing but yell.  In fact, if this were a radio play, maybe it might work.  But it's not.  All Rob knows to do as an actor is yell and quicken the pace of his speech.  You never believe he's Ace, you always see Rob Reiner.

The other lousy performance comes from Mira Sorvino -- a woman who seems bound and determined to destroy her own career a second time  Here, she's supposed to be a successful film actress named Jeanne Crandall.  Mira's 52 and looks 59.  So sleeping with Ace or not, there's no way she'd be cast as the lead in a film if she wasn't a star.  But, here's the thing, poor Jeanne has never made the leap to star, she's never had that role that would carry her to stardom.  Do you believe that garbage?  No one else does, especially with Mira's performance.  A star commands attention.  Mira?  She plays Jeanne as a woman forever cowering, forever lowering her head -- when offered a role that should make her a star, she can't even project confidence then.  And when presenting at the Oscars, she's a horrible mess.  No one would be able to turn that into a star.  The looks are gone -- she agrees with Ace on that, after complaining about all the work being done to soften her looks on her new film -- and what's left is just a weak, little simp.  You wouldn't cast Jeanne as a background player, let alone as the star of the film.  And Mira's back to doing those weird voices -- you know, the thing helped destroy her career in the first place.

And with that, we're done with the negative portion of the critique.  Everyone else shines -- in all the roles, big and small.

Dylan McDermott, for example, has the supporting role of Ernie and he runs with it and brings it to life.  By the end of his story arc, he's moved you to tears more than once.  Patti LuPone can sing, everyone knew that.  She can also play a straight role (no singing) and does here as Avis.  This is a meaty role and one that a number of actresses probably wanted.  We can't picture anyone doing more with the role than Patti has.  This should be an Emmy nominated role for her.

Queen Latifah, Jim Parsons, David Corenswet, Darren Criss, Laura Harrier, Michelle Krusiec, Jake Picking, Jeremy Pope, Holland Taylor, Samara Weaving . . .  Everyone does an incredible job with their role and with bringing something new and real to the screen.

The seven episodes move far too quickly in retrospect because you wish there were more of them.

When will David Axelrod be over?  Apparently, he's a floater that the world just can't flush down.  Sadly.  Tara Reade has credibly accused Joe Biden of assault.  Along comes David last week to insist that Joe passed Barack Obama's vetting -- David wasn't part of the vetting process but finds it strange that Tara didn't go to those vetting Biden.  Is that not the stupidest thing you've ever heard?  How would anyone know who Barack had put in charge of vetting Joe Biden?  Second, she wasn't ready to come forward then and she's already noted several times that she supported Barack Obama.

More to the point, Barack's vetting team didn't do a very good job.  Forget Joe Biden, just look at Van Jones.  Van hails from our area.  We weren't surprised that he was forced out, we were just surprised that he was ever let in to begin with.

For those who've forgotten, let's go to POLITICO for Fred Barbash and Harry Siegel's September 6, 2009 report:

The White House, in an unusual pre-dawn announcement Sunday, said its “green jobs czar” Van Jones would resign after fierce criticism from Republicans about some of his statements and associations prior to joining the administration.
While the job itself is not that high-profile — special adviser on green jobs — Jones’ departure from the position is the first real scalp claimed by the Republican right, which stoked much of the criticism of Jones. 
Jones was under fire for his past affiliation with the 9/11 conspiracy “truthers” and for calling Republicans “a**holes” in a video before he was appointed to the Obama administration.
[. . .]
And in 2004 he allowed his name to be put on a letter requesting an investigation into whether the Bush administration allowed 9/11 to happen as a “pre-text to war.” Jones said Thursday he never believed in this so-called “Truther” movement, issued an apology for his past remarks, and said in a statement that his involvement with 9/11 conspiracy theories "does not reflect my views now or ever." 
[. . .]
 "Resigning was the right thing to do," said Dana Perino, former press secretary to President George W. Bush.
Perino, in a post at POLITICO Arena, said she was "curious how he made it that far into the administration when a Google search could have told you he believed that the Bush administration had allowed 9/11 to happen. It'd be like the Bush White House having a former Klansman or Holocaust denier in the West Wing."

We don't hold his involvement in the 9/11 movement against him.  But we were shocked, in real time, that it didn't appear to be a problem for the White House.  Forget GOOGLE, Dana Perino, this was all known to anyone in our area.

And, of course, there's Peter Orszag whose personal issues had even NPR talking.  There's the failed nominee -- rejected by Republicans and a few Democrats -- Debo Adegbile.  There are so many but we surely have to note Antonio Weiss -- the Treasury nominee that Senator Elizabeth Warren brought down.

Weren't they all vetted, David?

David really needs to go away.  He can take the hideous Kurt Eichenwald who took to TWITTER on Saturday to announce he had been raped -- yes, ugly men can get raped too -- and then use his new identity as The Most Important Rape Victim ever to argue that Tara Reade was lying.  (See "How lucky, as women, we are to finally have a man explain to us what rape's really like").

And this is what we're stuck with?  Sam Seder's nonsense below?

For those who've forgotten, Sam Seder allowed neoliberal Simon Rosenberg to get away with one talking point after another on THE MAJORITY REPORT when it was on AIR AMERICA RADIO.  Janeane Garofalo was off that night.  His co-host was the equally craven Bill Scher.  Days before, Rachel Maddow had stood up to Simon on air on UNFILTERED.  But Sam couldn't.  And he couldn't deal with the message board for the show being filled with people calling him out.

Were they right to call him out?  Sam's a failed comic and a failed actor.  On top of that, he's not very good at political analysis.

He's not the only one playing the 'poor' Al Franken card.  And everyone doing it loves to lie. Al-should-have-been-left-alone.  Oh, hell no.  Not only were the number of women coming forward mounting but there was the infamous picture.  More to the point, White Boy Sam, there's John Conyers.  A month before Al resigned, John had been forced to resign with far less proof. And once a legend was forced to resign, there was no way Al was going to be safe.  Once an African-American legend was forced out of Congress, there was no way funny-boy Al was going to stay.  (Al actually announced his 'intent' to resign two days after Conyers was forced out but he did not resign until a month later.)

Unlike John Conyers, Al supported the Iraq War -- he was part of a meeting in 2002 where he argued those in Congress should vote for it to avoid being defeated in the 2002 elections.  He went on to host  an insipid talk show where he attacked anyone -- Meg Ryan, moments after she was off the show -- for calling for US troops to leave Iraq.  Then he got into the Senate and did . . . nothing of value.  And Al had a long history at SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE -- Laraine Newman ignored it because she herself was always grabbing Al's ass and Jane Curtin ignored it because she hated John Belushi and her whole purpose in life today is taking down John Belushi (and praying no one ever digs into the trouble she made for Susan Saint James -- a story that would really harm her I'm-just-a-woman-who-supports-women pretense).

It's so typical of the male mind-set to present Al Franken as the victim.  Al was a sitting US Senator.  He had all the power.  Unlike Conyers, he was not about to be up for election (Al would be facing re-election this November if he had stayed in Congress).  Equally true, in 2019, another woman came forward.  Al's 'defense'?  He told THE NEW YORK TIMES he couldn't believe that he'd done things to make women uncomfortable.  Here's a tip for Al and his supporters like Sam -- groping women makes women uncomfortable.  Keep your hands to yourself.  People who can't understand that are the whole reason a show like HOLLYWOOD has to exist.

Ruth's Report on THE BLACKLIST


Ruth: Friday, more attacks were aimed at Tara Reade.  I ended up writing "Ken Olin is disgusting trash" very early in the day.  It was only later that I remembered a new episode of THE BLACKLIST was airing on NBC.  At that point, I e-mailed everyone asking if anybody needed someone to guest blog?  Ava and C.I. asked me if I just wanted to cover the episode, an important one as I had explained in the e-mail, at THIRD?  My answer?  Absolutely.

Friday's show was entitled "Brothers" and it was written by Sean Hennen.  The basic plotline? From WIKIPEDIA:

In flashbacks to 1995, Ressler's police officer father is set up by his corrupt partner Tommy Markin and murdered. Ressler, a troubled teen, learns the truth and confronts Markin, shooting and apparently killing him. His brother Robby cleans the crime scene and while burying Markin finds him still alive. This sets Ressler on a law enforcement path and the man he would become. In the present, the Ressler brothers dig up Markin because the field is to be developed, but their car with the body is stolen by the Albanian mob who Robby owes money too. In exchange for the body, the Albanians want Ressler to get them information on an undercover agent, but Ressler decides to come clean instead, Robby reveals that Markin survived the gunshot and Robby killed him to protect his brother. Ressler and Robby come clean to Liz who is reluctant to help her friend ruin his life; nonetheless, Liz helps Ressler and Robby take down the mobsters in a sting operation, but Markin's body disappears. Liz reveals that she got rid of the body to protect Ressler who is the one person in her chaotic life that Liz can count on.

Ressler is Donald Ressler.  I wrote about him on April 11th:

Let me jump to Agent Donald.  Diego Klattenhoff plays the character.  On this week's episode, he was again ignoring calls from his brother.  (If that was his brother.  There are times when Donald is not fully honest.)  But that is a detail that they give Donald and others but never give to Harold.  Donald always strikes me as too straight-laced. I am referring to the character here, not the actor.  There are moments when he actually appears to enjoy pain.  I often wonder if he needs to be the sub in some S&M relationship.  You sort of get the feeling that the only time he can lose control is when he is pain.  My granddaughter Tracey says Mr. Klattenhoff needs to recreate his briefs scene from MEAN GIRLS but as Agent Donald Ressler. 

He loves pain.  And he feels like he needs to be punished.

Friday, we found out why.  He has been carrying guilt for shooting a police officer, a friend of his father's, because the man killed his father.  He learned in this episode that he did not kill the man.  He shot him.  But the man was still alive when his older brother Robby was trying to clean up the scene of the crime.  Robby ended up killing him.

Does this mean that now he will no longer have the need to be punished?

I do not think so.  I think, first of all, it is too ingrained in him after all these years and, short of therapy, he is not going to change.  Secondly, he still shot the man.  He may also feel that he forced Robby to kill the man because Robby only killed the man to protect Donald.

The episode was important for Elizabeth as well.  She came to Ressler's rescue.  Why?  He wanted to know why and she responded that he is the only thing calm and the only thing she could count on in her life.  It gave a further deepening to their already strong friendship.

There were twists and turns and it did not do much of anything to advance the overall yearly storyline (Elizabeth's mother and Raymond battling one another).  It did, however, do a great deal to deepen the characterizations of Ressler and Elizabeth.

A whore named Whitmar (Ann, Ava and C.I.)

Good for Jake Tapper for asking whore and Governor Gretch The Wretch Whitmar about her hypocrisy.  Gretch The Wretch immediately wants you to know that she's read about Tara Reade.  Clearly not enough and she also doesn't listen very well -- Jake pointed out that Tara has more contemporaneous support than Dr. Christine Blasey Ford did.

Like many a whore, Gretch The Wretch only believed Blasey Ford because Blasey Ford was accusing an "enemy."  That's how it works with the fundamentally dishonest.  They can believe anything about a political enemy.  But even a valid charge against one of their own sends them into denial.

The losers?  Survivors everywhere.

Last December, Gretch The Wretch was insisting, "I see you, I hear you, I believe you.  I carry you in my heart every day, and I'll never stop fighting for you."

Not even six months later, she's attacking Tara Reade.  Why?  She's a whore.  She doesn't believe in supporting survivors, she only believes in politics.  She's a whore.

Call a whore a whore -- it's truth telling at its finest.

Whores are all over the place these days, rushing forward to try to stop Tara's story from getting out.  Some of the whores identify as survivors -- such as child pedophile Kurt Eichenwald.  They're whores.  Joe Biden goes on MSNBC to respond to charges that Tara's never been allowed to air herself on MSNBC, NBC, CBS, CNN or ABC.  And?  The whores come out to try to shut down the discussion.

That's what whores do, they serve the power structure, they try to railroad victims, they dishonor survivors.

Times up for Times Up?  Hopefully.  Fake asses whores shouldn't get funding.  Don't give that fake ass group a penny or a breath of support.  They are not about helping women.

Emily Zanotti (THE DAILY WIRE) writes:

Now, “Time’s Up” the organization developed from the #MeToo movement and charged with providing financial and legal assistance to women who accuse high-powered men of sexual harassment and assault has declined to provide that assitance to Reade. Instead, it’s CEO, Tina Tchen, praised Biden for his “transparency.”
Tchen, of course, worked alongside Biden as a senior advisor to the Obama administration. She’s been active in a number of causes since leaving the White House, including Time’s Up, and even, last year, acted as a go-between, delivering messages from the family of Jussie Smollett, who was then accused of staging his own hate crime in Chicago, and the Cook County State’s Attorney, urging prosecutors to drop the case against Smollett or refer it to the FBI.
Reade sought help from Tchen and Time’s Up but was refused, according to the Washington Free Beacon.

That's incorrect.  That implies that they refused her right away.  They did no such thing.  They strung her along because she wanted to go public.  They strung her along, leading her to believe that they were trying to help, when all they were really doing was attempting to prevent her from telling her story before Super Tuesday.  They were trying to help Joe Biden's campaign.  They need to be the target of a federal investigation for their actions.  They also need to immediately lose their tax free status.

There are whores like Will Bunch out there.  Will, for those who don't know, used every sexist trope in the world to take down Hillary Clinton in 2008.  Today?  He wants you to know that one woman's accusing Joe of assault versus all these women accusing Donald Trump.  And, he insists, "Here’s the deal: I am a feminist. And — based on what we know today -- going into the voting booth and choosing between Biden and his uncomfortable past versus Trump’s open misogyny and his string of sexual assault allegations is a no-brainer for me or anyone else who proudly wears that label."  No-brainer, that's pretty much all of your columns you disgusting pig.  And real feminists know that it's not a number's game.  You don't get a pass because you only assault once.  That's not how it works you human s**t stain.  Stop trying to act like you're a feminist, we do not forget the non-feminist way you repeatedly attacked Hillary Clinton.  You're a fake ass, Will, and you're a whore.

Trash like Will Bunch think they can tell you how to vote and what to prioritize.  Whores like Debra Messing think they can trash Tara Reade and spit out any lie and it'll be okay.  That's how we arrive at moments like the following:

A state legislator in New Hampshire resigned Saturday after he posted a tweet that dismissed sexual assault allegations against Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden as unlikely because of the way women’s bodies are constructed.
Rep. Richard Komi, a Manchester Democrat, tweeted that a woman’s anatomy would make it difficult to digitally penetrate her without “some cooperation from the female herself.” He said that was why he believed former Senate staffer Tara Reade’s allegations against Biden were false. He also accused Reade of “looking for attention.” Biden has denied the allegations.
The tweet, since deleted, prompted House Speaker Steve Shurtleff to call for Komi’s resignation late Friday over what he described as an “outrageous and offensive tweet about sexual assault and survivors of sexual assault.”

Hayley Miller (HUFFINGTON POST) reports:

Sexual violence experts bashed Komi’s comments as misguided and dangerous. Anthony Zenkus, the director of education for The Safe Center, an advocacy group for victims of sexual and domestic violence, bashed Komi’s tweet as “the definition of rape culture.”
“He was right to resign, but we do not accept his apology,” Zenkus tweeted Saturday. “Blaming a woman for her rape is an old trope. Many still believe this. His words were harmful and put women in danger.” 

Where is Joe Biden in all of this?  He wasn't going to question Tara's motives but here are his people attacking Tara and he has nothing to say about it?

Here's Joe with his buddy Richard Komi:

Richard Komi apologized to "anybody whose feelings may have been hurt" by his tweet dismissing Reade's sexual assault claim against Joe Biden.

And he's really not apologizing, by the way.  He's made his Tweets protected but noted on his profile that he's now a former state representative and that he is "Unrepentant" -- gotcha, message received.

As survivors, we are paying close attention to who we can count on and who we can't.  Fake asses and whores?  You're cancelled.  You're over.  We don't need you anymore

Tweet of the week

It's a tie.

Elizabeth Bruenig:

I think the cavalier dismissal of Tara Reade by putative supporters of women and victims is disturbing and risks real harm to progress won for victims of sexual assault. And I think Dems need to prepare a Biden plan B.

And Glenn Greenwald:

Bill Clinton has spoken in a prime-time slot at every Democratic National Convention since he left office, because what he did to multiple women isn’t considered remotely shameful for Dems, let alone disqualifying. That’s what you’re seeing in their treatment of Tara Reade now.

This edition's playlist



2) Sam Smith's THE THRILL OF IT ALL.

3) Dionne Warwick's SHE'S BACK.

4) Cat PowersWANDERER.

5) Harry Style's FINE LINE.

6) The Mamas and the Papas' THE PAPAS & THE MAMAS.


8) Cat Power's THE GREATEST.

9) Janet Jackson's UNBREAKABLE.


How lucky, as women, we are to finally have a man explain to us what rape's really like

Repost from THE COMMON ILLS:

How lucky, as women, we are to finally have a man explain to us what rape's really like

Rape can happen to anyone.  That's why I don't doubt Kurt Eichenwald's assertion today that he was raped in the 80s.  Rape is not about sex.  It's about power and it's about doing harm.  Anyone can be raped.  Yes, even a man as ugly as Kurt can be raped.

I also know that some men who are victimized go on to victimize others.  That would explain why Kurt was seeking contact with underage male prostitutes online.  Pedophiles are often grown men who were victims.

But what I don't accept is that Kurt is the voice of all rape survivors and that his reaction is the reaction that everyone must have if they were raped.

Sorry, Kurt, just as everyone doesn't have your fat body that somehow still has a flat, pancake ass, it's equally true that everyone who is raped doesn't remember the details that you did.

In fact, Kurt, this might be one of those times where a man and a woman experience things differently.

We get it, Kurt.  Because rape happened to you, a man, it suddenly became a real story to you.  But long before you were raped, women were dealing with it.  And women haven't needed you once, since time began, to explain rape to us.  Imagine that, a man's word wasn't needed, his judgment was neither requested nor called for.

I know that's a shocker to you, Kurt.

Poor Kurt.  He thought he could come out as a rape victim and that we'd all then allow him to attack Tara Reade.  Not happening.  Wouldn't happen, Kurt, even if you got honest about what you were really doing online with those boys.

It's equally true that if Kurt actually remembers decades of crying over his rape, he is a piece of human trash to attack Tara Reade.  Being raped, Kurt, doesn't give you rape-radar that allows you to know who else was raped and wasn't raped.

Kurt is trash.  Kurt was trash before he announced that he had been raped and he's still trash now.

At THE WEEK, Ryan Cooper offers:

As I have previously written, Reade's story about Biden is credible. It would never meet the courtroom standard of "beyond a reasonable doubt," but given that Reade is now known to have privately told at least five people what happened at the time or in the years following, it can't be dismissed out of hand. Biden has a track record of behaving creepily around women, and has a long history of ridiculous exaggeration and telling bald-faced lies. At bottom, it is quite similar to many other #MeToo stories.
The plain fact is that this accusation is going to dog Biden for the rest of the campaign. Trump has already started talking about it. The right-wing media will cover the story for purely political reasons. Fox News does not care about #MeToo, but the story damages Biden, demoralizes Democrats, and makes liberals look like egregious hypocrites. The sight of nearly every Democratic-aligned women's rights group queasily keeping silent about the story is simply delicious for the likes of Sean Hannity (though a few have started speaking out).
It's also hard to see how Biden could conclusively "address" the story, as some liberals have advocated. At bottom it is a case of he-said-she-said, and Biden does not have a record of scrupulous honesty.

Many mainstream and lefty journalists will continue to cover it. The Reade accusation is unquestionably news, and outside of the right-wing press, there is still a broad ethic of covering stories even if they are politically inconvenient. It is not always honored, but it's still there. As The Intercept's Ryan Grim writes, "I decided early in my career that I would never suppress a story if the only reason I were doing so was concern about its political implications. If you do that, you're no longer a journalist."
However, Biden still has not been officially nominated. The Democratic National Convention is not until August 17, and before then he could be pressured into dropping out. If Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, a critical mass of the rest of other Democratic elected officials, and all the various Democratic-aligned activists groups all said in unison that Biden was unfit to be president, and should drop out for the good of the party, he probably would withdraw. The primary rules regarding candidates who drop out are somewhat vague, saying that delegates cannot be "mandated" to vote for someone else, and "shall in all good conscience reflect the sentiments of those who elected them." But this would seem to allow Biden to instruct his delegates to support another candidate, and in 11 states there are specific rules for doing so. Realistically, no unclear legal technicalities are going to prevent someone else from getting the nomination if Biden refuses to take it.

In an effort to save Joe Biden, the ASSOCIATED PRESS today ran a story with a false headline.

CNN's MJ Lee Tweeted:

The AP's Tara Reade story headline appears to now been changed from “AP Exclusive: Harassment, assault absent in Biden complaint” to “Reade: ‘I didn’t use sexual harassment’ in Biden complaint”

And she Tweeted:

That clumsy initial headline appears to be the reason that we appear to have now entered the news cycle of: Tara Reade now says she didn't file a complaint about sexual harassment or assault.

Survivors of violence are watching and we are seeing what AP is doing.  This will not end pretty for the press.  They learned nothing from the gender quake of 1992 or from Hill-Thomas.

The following sites updated:

Joe Biden goes on MORNING JOE

Repost.  C.I. covered Joe Biden's appearance on MORNING JOE in Friday's Iraq snapshot:

Iraq snapshot

Friday, May 1, 2020.  Joe Biden speaks . . . unconvincingly.

Starting with this from Alexis McGill Johnson, Acting President of Planned Parenthood Action Fund:

“At Planned Parenthood Action Fund, we believe women. We know how important it is that survivors be supported and listened to – survivors of sexual violence not only seek care at Planned Parenthood health centers every day, they are also dedicated staff members and supporters.
“We believe that survivors should be heard, listened to, taken seriously, and treated with respect and dignity. 
“Saying we believe survivors doesn’t mean only when it’s politically convenient. This isn’t a fringe issue, it’s one that affects all of us. This crosses political party, race, gender, income level, and sexual orientation.
Any person seeking elected office — and especially the highest office in the land — needs to address allegations of sexual assault and harassment seriously, both as a systemic problem and with a sense of personal responsibility. We all have much work to do to make our country a safer place, free of sexual violence. 

“Vice President Biden must address this allegation directly. Our country is hungry for leadership on this issue. Now is the time to give it to them.”  

As GOOGLE notes, that was issued at 8:40 EST last night.  In other words, after the story broke that Joe Biden would be addressing the topic on this morning's MORNING JOE on MSNBC.  In other words, after they know Joe is going to address it in twelve or so hours, they can take a position that Joe should address it.  They can't pressure him before that.  They can't publicly call for him to do anything before that.

If Johnson had issued that call yesterday morning, it might mean something.  As it is, it was already known that Joe planned to address it this morning.  And, as it is, Tara's been trashed for about six weeks now while Planned Parenthood has never said a word.

MSNBC teased out the Joe interview like it was going to be the Gettysburg Declaration [Address] while at the same time trying to make it clear that MORNING JOE was a frat house.  Their on airs are also explaining, ahead of time, that Joe needs to explain (their word) "that it never happened" and say that he doesn't have anything to add and move on.  That's what passes for 'news.'

It's great that MSNBC is so impartial, right?  It's wonderful that this garbage passes for news.

Why did Joe choose MORNING JOE?  What other talk show has a host who had a dead intern turn up in his office and got to pretend like he didn't need to answer questions about it?

If you've assaulted a woman, Joe Scarborough is in your corner.

Leading up to the interview, Joe and Little Willie had to talk football because, well, of course they had to.  It's all one big locker room for those pigs.  They let Mika provide the skirt ("It's just gonna be you and me") to hide behind.

She asked him at the start "would you please go on the record" and he pretended to.  Not since Ronald Reagan hid behind "to the best of my recollection" has anyone repeatedly offered supposedly firm statements repeatedly couched in "that I'm aware of" and similar wording.

At one point, he offered, "No, it is not true.  I am saying unequivocally it never, ever happened and it didn't."  Moments later?  "I don't remember any type of complaint that she may have made, it was 27 years ago. . . . And the fact is that I don't remember."

Which is it?  It unequivocally never happened or to the best of your memory and recall -- your memory and recall -- that you don't believe it happened?  He was so reliant on weasel words that Mika wondered "are you preparing us for a complaint" to emerge?  No he insisted.  And "I-I-I-I'm not worried about it at all."  I-I-I-I?  That speech pattern in that reply would indicate otherwise.

At another point, Mika asked if he had reached out to Tara Reade?  He snapped, "No, I have not reached out to her.  It was 27 years ago, this never happened."

Mika noted the belief that an assault claim Tara may have filed could be in his papers stored at the University of Delaware.  Joe rejected that insisting that the a complaint would only be in the national archives.

Mika falsely claimed NYT had conducted a thorough investigation.  No, they didn't.  It was Rich McHugh who broke the news on two women coming forward who remember Tara telling them of the assault in the 90s.  It was Ryan Grimm who reported on the call Tara's mother made in 1993 to LARRY KING LIVE.  There is so much that NYT did not cover.  Mika brought up Big Stacey Abrams but failed to note that Stacey was using the campaign's written talking points -- which BUZZFEED published earlier this week.  Mika failed to note that Big Stacey also insisted that NYT cleared Joe which even the paper has called a lie.

Joe replied, "To the best of my knowledge, there have been no complaints made against me."

To the best of my knowledge.  That's interesting phrasing.

Mika asked if anyone has signed an NDA?  Joe replied, "There's no NDA signed -- I've never asked anyone to sign an NDA."  He later added, "Period. None."

As he got more short tempered it was hilarious to watch Mika start crouching.  She hunched over to plead with him.   Joe just got more bellicose, "First of all, let's get this straight."

He also insisted he wasn't going to attack Tara and "I'm not going to question this."  He immediately then declared,  "I don't know why after 27 years this is being raised."

He growled, "I'm not suggesting she had no right to come forward" but that's exactly what you're saying.

He insisted, "These claims are not true.  There's no corroborative -- they're not true."

He stopped on corroborative evidence.  He didn't finish that.  And he didn't finish it because there is corroborative evidence.  That's what her brother, her friend she told when it happened, that's what they're offering.  That's what the two women who came forward this week to say Tara told them in the 90s are offering.  That's what the video of the phone call Tara's mother made in 1993 is.

No woman in a he-said/she-said has ever had this much to offer.

"There's so many inconsistencies in what has been said in this case," he insisted.

Yes, but most of those inconsistencies are coming out of the mouth of Big Stacey.

"I'm not aware" was a phrase Joe invoked often along with "to the best of my knowledge."  These are weasel words.

Mika asked about the records at the University of Delaware and he pretended to be confused.  Why can't he call for those records to be released?  Why can't he ask that they be searched for any reference to Tara?

Joe Biden: I don't understand the point you're trying to make.

I loved the long silence during this discussion by the way, as both waited to see who would blink first.

 Joe Biden: Who-who does that search?

Mika: The University of Delaware?

While insisting that nothing at the University would support Tara, Joe refused to release those reports or to allow anyone to search them.

Winding down, Mika asked, "If you could speak directly to Tara Reade about her claims," what would you say?

What would he say to Tara?  "This never happened.  I don't know what's motivating her."

That's what he would say.

It was unconvincing and he came off guilty repeatedly.

Jon Allsop (CJR) offers this on the interview:

This morning, we finally heard from Biden, when he appeared on MSNBC’s Morning Joe. To set him up, Mika Brzezinski, the cohost, outlined Reade’s allegation and addressed critiques that the press had botched coverage of it. She focused on the criticism that the immediate, vociferous coverage of assault claims against Brett Kavanaugh, when he was nominated to the Supreme Court, was evidence of a double standard, compared to the recent reporting on Biden. Brzezinski then played a lengthy reel of the show’s hosts insisting, in past episodes, that Kavanaugh was denied due process by the media. “We were strong on this,” she said afterward. “And honestly, very few others were.” Brzezinski also spent several minutes recounting, in detail, the many sexual-misconduct allegations against Trump.
Shortly before coming on, Biden released a statement strongly refuting Reade’s allegation. “This never happened,” he said. He appeared on air shortly after 8am Eastern. “Did you sexually assault Tara Reade?,” Brzezinski asked. Biden reiterated his strong denial. Brzezinski then asked Biden whether any other staffer had ever complained about his behavior, and whether any such complaint had been hidden by a nondisclosure agreement. Biden said no on both counts. Brzezinski also pressed him repeatedly on remarks he made, during the Kavanaugh hearings, that women’s voices should be taken seriously. “Women have a right to be heard, and the press should rigorously investigate,” he replied. “Why is it real for Dr. Ford and not for Tara Reade?” Brzezinski asked, referring to Christine Blasey Ford, a survivor of one of Kavanaugh’s alleged attacks. Biden said that he wouldn’t question an accuser’s motives, but that the facts were on his side. When Brzezinski pushed him on what the facts were—and where they might be found—he spoke over her, then apologized. “The truth matters,” Biden said.
What about Reade’s side of the story? We can now expect to hear from her on TV soon; BuzzFeed’s Rosie Gray and Ruby Cramer reported yesterday that she’s been contacted by every major network. As far as Reade is concerned, though, the damage is already done. “I used to think that a Republican talking point was to call the mainstream media biased. So I used to think, Oh, that’s just a talking point for them,” Reade told BuzzFeed. “But now I’m living it [in] real time, and I see it—like, I see it for what it is.”

The appearance comes as many start to find some sort of voice.  There was Planned Parenthood noted above.  Daniel Villarreal (NEWSWEEK) notes:

Representative Hakeem Jeffries of New York, chairman of the House Democratic Caucus, said in a Wednesday radio interview that he believes Tara Reade's 1993 sexual assault allegation against presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden should be "investigated seriously" and that he thinks Biden will have to directly address the matter.
Reade, who was a former aide for Biden when he served as Delaware's senator during the 1990s, claimed that he pushed her against a wall and penetrated her with his fingers in 1993. She has also filed a criminal complaint with the Washington Metropolitan Police Department over the matter.
"It's got to be taken seriously because this is a serious allegation raised by a serious individual and needs to be investigated seriously. We've probably got to hear from him [Biden] at some point directly," Jeffries said Wednesday on WNYC when asked about Reade's allegations.

Another latecomer to the party?  The editorial board of THE LOS ANGELES TIMES who offered this yesterday evening:

Unpleasant as it must be, the former vice president must be willing to answer questions about Reade’s accusations posed by reporters or members of the public. (He is expected to speak about the allegations in a television interview on Friday.)
More important, his campaign should commission an independent investigation of Reade’s allegations by a lawyer or law firm without clear partisan leanings. Investigators should be given access to papers from his career that Biden donated to the University of Delaware, a potential source that journalists haven’t been allowed to inspect. And their report should be made public. It’s not guaranteed that such an investigation will resolve the contradictions, but it could dispel suspicions that important documents were being concealed.

The message of the #MeToo movement was that an accusation of sexual impropriety by a powerful man should be taken seriously — including by the subject of the complaint. Even as he protests his innocence, Biden needs to honor that principle.

Related, Chris Hayes is being attacked for covering the Tara Reade Story.  Branko Marcetic (JACOBIAN) reports:

After being studiously ignored for weeks, Tara Reade’s sexual assault allegation against presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden is finally breaking through in earnest into mainstream news coverage. On cable news, her accusation got one of its most extended and sympathetic airings last night thanks to MSNBC anchor Chris Hayes’s brave decision to cover it.
“There have been moments I think for many of us, all of us, where we have heard about accusations against someone that we find ourselves desperately wanting not to believe,” he said, opening the segment.
But part of the difficult lesson of the MeToo era is not that every accusation is true and everything should be believed on its face, but that you do have to fight yourself when you feel that impulse. You have to do that in order to take seriously what is being alleged and what the evidence is and to evaluate it. And that is the case with the accusation by a woman named Tara Reade against Joe Biden.
Hayes’s treatment wasn’t exhaustive. He left out that two people close to Reade had told reporters who broke her story that they recalled her telling them about it at the time; he didn’t mention the phone call her mother made to Larry King Live at the time about unnamed problems her daughter was having in a senator’s office; and he mentioned that Reade’s official paper complaint can’t be located, but didn’t explain that one potential location — Biden’s senatorial papers — will be locked to the public for years by the University of Delaware. (The Washington Post and others have called on Biden to release them).
Nonetheless, Hayes informed MSNBC viewers about a pivotal new development in the case: that Reade’s former neighbor, a Biden supporter, has come forward to say Reade told her about the allegation in the mid-1990s. 

Hayes invited on journalist Rebecca Traister, the author of an important new piece on what the allegations mean, who affirmed the story’s rising credibility and called on Biden himself to personally address it. And he pushed viewers to move past their own unconscious biases and to take the story seriously. The segment is worth watching — though as MSNBC mystifyingly hasn’t put clips of it up on either its official website or YouTube channel and a transcript isn’t yet available, you’ll have to do so in pieces.

Why was this brave? After all, this is Hayes’s job. And if anything, coverage of Reade is still falling short of the woefully underplayed accusation last year against Trump by columnist E. Jean Carroll, who was quickly personally invited onto MSNBC then CNN in the days after her allegation went public. (At the time, Carroll’s allegation had the same level of corroboration as Reade’s; it now has far less. Reade has only appeared on TV on Hill.TV’s Rising and on Democracy Now!).

We'll note this from DEMOCRACY NOW! today -- this interview aired this morning.

Tara Reade's former neighbor says she clearly remembers Reade telling her about an alleged sexual assault by Joe Biden. "We were talking about violence, because I had experienced violence myself," says Lynda LaCasse. "She started telling me about Joe Biden and what he had done."
Full screen
1:23 / 1:24



That video was from the Tweet.  Here's the video clip from YOUTUBE.

Click here for it at the DEMOCRACY NOW! website and here for Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzalez' interview with Tara Reade.


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