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Old 04-30-2020, 05:07 PM   #341
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Caveat: I haven't made up my mind, will continue to keep up with it
As far as her veiw of Putin

Quote:
Originally Posted by womanfish View Post
I will post this separately because i don't think it is as important but
just of her being a very odd duck, there is the Russia/Putin thing.

Some of her experts about this subject in 2018 and 2019.

”President Putin has an alluring combination of strength with gentleness. His sensuous image projects his love for life, the embodiment of grace while facing adversity. It is evident that he loves his country, his people and his job.”
Reade continues,
“President Putin’s obvious reverence for women, children and animals, and his ability with sports is intoxicating to American women”
“President Putin scares the power elite in America because he is a compassionate, caring, visionary leader.”
“President Putin is beloved by Russia and he not going anywhere. Instead of being ensnared in the recent political intrigues (and America is trying hard to set that trap). President Putin is keeping a calm focus on his own country’s development and future, without America. To President Putin, I say keep your eyes to the beautiful future and maybe, just maybe America will come to see Russia as I do, with eyes of love. To all my Russian friends, happy holiday and Happy New Year.”

When the anti-Russia, anti-Putin propaganda starts up, personally, I shut down. I love Russia, I love my Russian relatives and friends. And like most women across the world, I like President Putin… a lot, his shirt on or shirt off.
Strength with gentliness ??!? Oh, hell no !
He's a cold-eyed KGB'r!
Sensual? Most women like him? Ewww. His riding a horse shirtless - projects a Russian Bear Domanence trope, and domineering patriarchy in general. Blerg!

Quote:
Originally Posted by mikal View Post
This is a great amount of detail and definitely provides a lot more clarity as to why it hasn't blown up. My personal hunch is that Biden is "old school" in certain ways. Like the teacher we all had in High School that wasn't a rapist, but would put his hands on a girl's shoulders. I do also think Biden is an affectionate guy. Like how he is around kids. I think he genuinely loves kids and that's how he shows it. I have a co-worker like that too. Great guy, super passionate, but sometimes creeps people out. But no one would actually think he's a rapist or capable of that.

PS. Sorry to hear about your own personal struggles with that.
I hope you're right!
I think you make some nuanced points. There can be a creepiness sure. I grew up in a quite affectionate family, and was comfortable with it. I had to learn restraint with a friend or two later on.
StilI I can understand that line can be fuzzy, very individual, etc. Esp the decades Biden grew up in with more patriarchal allowence, normative actions accepted.
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Old 04-30-2020, 05:15 PM   #342
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Originally Posted by Headache in a Suitcase View Post
We have former members who are big on the QAnon train.

It's frightening how many people see it as legitimate.
oh definitely, not disputing that. not to play armchair doctor too much here, but based on the story this particular person sounds like a paranoid schizophrenic who found something to latch onto, rather than it being a case of a person being radicalized by qanon.
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Old 04-30-2020, 05:25 PM   #343
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Originally Posted by DaveC View Post
this sounds more like extreme mental illness in the "if i kill the president jodie foster will fall in love with me" vein than anything actually to do with trump or biden.
Or Squeaky Fromme type devotion to a cult mentality.
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Old 04-30-2020, 06:08 PM   #344
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Biden will be on Morning Joe MSNBC tomorrow to address the sexual assault accusation.
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Old 04-30-2020, 08:56 PM   #345
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An interview with Noam Chomsky, in which he makes the case to vote for Biden (after thoroughly trashing him and Obama to be fair).

I thought that his discussion of theory was excellent and I'd recommend reading the entire piece (the rest of it has to do with his assertion that the US is a failed state and an analysis of Trump's presidency), but this in particular struck a tone...

Relevant excerpt:

Quote:
Many on the left feel, naturally, and with much justification, extremely uncomfortable about Joe Biden. In fact, we hear now from some quarters the same arguments we heard in 2016 about Hillary Clinton, which is to say that it would be unconscionable for progressives to accept the “lesser of two evils” principle. How can we understand the political and conceptual context of electoral choices made by progressives and the left in November 2020?

These questions are plainly important. They are a matter of intense discussion and often impassioned debate on the left, and plenty of invective. That makes them worth discussing. To be quite frank, I don’t see much other reason for discussing them. I’ve tried to explain in recent interviews, and judging by the reactions, have failed. So, I will repeat in more detail.

I’ve been around for a long time and can’t think of a candidate about whom I was not “extremely uncomfortable,” at least since FDR (and I was too young to have considered opinions then).

In Biden’s case it’s easy to think of reasons to be extremely uncomfortable We can begin with his participation in the destruction of Libya and Honduras, in Obama’s global assassination campaign, in breaking all records in deportation — and on from there. But while continuing with constant efforts to change that world, we have to take off a few minutes to each make our own choices on election day.

Let’s think through the two concepts that lie behind the question: “unconscionable” and “lesser of two evils principle.”

Let’s start with “unconscionable.” There are those — including close personal friends and long-time activists whom I greatly respect — who take the position that some actions are simply “unconscionable,” whatever the consequences. I will ignore this position. To me, frankly, it seems not worth discussing. In the moral domain, what matters is the predictable consequences of your actions, those you are well aware of but choose to ignore. No one cares if you feel your conscience is clear.

Let’s turn to the lesser of two evils principle.

Throughout my lifetime of activism (almost 80 years), I’ve been familiar with two doctrines about voting. One is the official doctrine.

Official doctrine holds that politics consists of showing up every few years, pushing a lever, then going back to one’s private pursuits. Citizens are “spectators,” not “participants in action,” according to official doctrine. They can choose one or another member of the leadership class (“the responsible men”) but that’s the limit of popular participation. I happen to be quoting Walter Lippmann, a respected public intellectual of the 20th century (a Wilson-FDR-JFK liberal), in his “progressive essays in democracy,” but the ideas are representative of prevailing liberal opinion. They trace back to the framers of the Constitution. That’s why the “gold standard” in constitutional scholarship, a fine and illuminating study by Michael Klarman, is called “The Framers’ Coup” — a coup against the popular demand for democracy.

On the right, views are much harsher.

A second doctrine is the one that has always prevailed on the left, call it “left doctrine.” Politics consists in constant direct popular engagement in public affairs, including a wide variety of activism on many fronts. Occasionally an event comes up in the formal political arena called an “election.” For left activists, that requires spending a brief period assessing the options (a very brief period for legitimate activists, who’ve been following everything relevant closely). Then comes a decision as to whether it’s worthwhile to take a few minutes away from ongoing political work to push a lever in the quadrennial extravaganza. It’s at most a brief departure from political engagement.

That’s the doctrine that I’ve followed all my life, sometimes abstaining because the show didn’t seem to matter and there’s no point legitimizing the charade by participating, sometimes voting for a third party, sometimes voting for Jones if it’s important to block Smith. I’ve sometimes voted for a Republican, in years when the Republicans were still a bone fide political party and had a better candidate.

There are, of course, myriad other cases, but the general point of left doctrine seems clear.

In recent years, a third doctrine has made an appearance and is now consuming much debate on the left: the lesser of two evils principle. I’d never heard of it before, in a lifetime of intensive political engagement (in the left doctrine sense). And it seems quite strange to me. It obviously is quite different from left doctrine, the prevailing doctrine on the left. The intensive debate about it falls within official doctrine, with its laser-like focus on the elections.

My own feeling about the lesser of two evils principle, of course, is that we should reject it in favor of left doctrine. It has no merits that I can see, so I think we can put it aside, along with the often–fevered debate about it.

Let’s now consider the immediate case in hand. If the traditional left doctrine were applied to the current situation, it would require comparing Trump and his entourage with Biden and his, and asking whether there is a difference between them.

I personally think the difference is colossal. First and decisive, another four years of Trump and we’ll have approached or possibly passed tipping points on the path toward environmental catastrophe toward which Trump is racing, his “party” in tow, virtually isolated in the world, certainly in the political system here. Just as important, the arms control regime will be dismantled, sharply increasing the threat of terminal war. The severe threats that Trump has incited in the Middle East will have increased, if not exploded. The Doomsday Clock, already reduced to seconds under Trump, will probably be close to abandoned. The reactionary international led by the White House that Trump is establishing will be well solidified. At home, the judiciary will be so packed by ultra-right young judges that no progressive initiatives will be able to be implemented for a generation. By the wayside we’ll be observing other horrors, like children sent to concentration camps on the border, Black people murdered on a whim, etc.


An advocate of left doctrine will spend a few minutes reviewing the familiar facts, then take off another few minutes to push a lever, then go back to work.

I know of only one proposed counterargument. We have to put pressure on the Democratic establishment. To begin with, it’s not a counterargument. It simply reiterates the main thesis of left doctrine: constant pressure. The only remaining question is how to impose pressure. There are, basically, two proposals on the table. The first is left doctrine. The second is refusing to vote for Biden.

Let’s take a look at these.

First, left doctrine. We continue with what has been done, and has been very effective. One illustration is the Sanders campaign, which has been a remarkable success in shifting debate and policy choices to the left. The activism of the Sunrise Movement — aided by young congresswomen brought to office in the Sanders wave, notably Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez — has brought to the legislative agenda a Green New Deal, with the cooperation of liberal Democrat Ed Markey, senator from Massachusetts. Some version of a Green New Deal is essential for survival. There have also been significant shifts in other areas (health care, minimum wage, harsh repression in vulnerable communities, women’s rights, on and on). We can, in fact, see this in Biden’s program, which is well to the left of previous Democratic front-runners. That’s why Biden is supported against Trump by Sanders (who had a large role in bringing the shift about) and also by longtime labor activists like Lawrence Mishel and Jared Bernstein. It’s not my program, or yours, but we can hardly doubt that it is an improvement over what preceded.

Left doctrine efforts can work, as they often have before. We all know that that has been the main source of progress over the years, particularly when there were administrations susceptible to activist pressure.

It could be argued that political programs are just words. True, but irrelevant. Left doctrine efforts can keep Biden’s feet to the fire, as has often happened in the past. And there will be opportunities to go far beyond, an urgent necessity.

In contrast, we can be sure that a Trump administration will be rock solid in opposition.

The second approach is to refuse to vote for Biden in the hope that withholding the vote will convince the Democratic establishment to take us seriously down the road. I can’t honestly construct a plausible version of this view, and it would be unfair to try.

Turning finally to your question, “How can we understand the political and conceptual context of electoral choices made by progressives and the left in November 2020?”

To me the answer seems clear. We should assess whether there is meaningful difference between the candidates, and also recognize that, for most of us, voting takes a few minutes. Then we go back to our real activist work.
https://truthout.org/articles/chomsk...-failed-state/
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Old 05-01-2020, 01:02 AM   #346
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Interesting read about republicans who have turned from Trump because of the Covid response.

On a side note, it just came to mind as I was reading this article -
I think the biggest factor that people aren't really letting sink in, is that 2016, much like this Democratic primary, was a result of a disdain for Clinton. And that spells major trouble for Trump.

Anyway, from Time Magazine.

https://time.com/5829244/trump-voters-coronavirus-2020/

Heidi and Dennis Hodges were proud to vote for President Donald Trump in 2016. “I liked his tough stance. I liked that he wasn’t a politician,” says Dennis, who runs a window-tinting company in Erie, Penn. “I supported him for three and a half years,” says Heidi, who manages the office of an auto service shop.

Then came the coronavirus crisis. For Dennis, the last straw was seeing Trump downplay the seriousness of COVID-19, even as troubling reports about the disease emerged from China. “Before the pandemic, Trump would have gotten my vote again,” he says. “Business was booming, the economy was good, it looked like everything was turned around.”

For Heidi, the stakes were personal: In March, her uncle had to visit the ER three times before he could get tested for COVID-19, she says. By the time he was finally admitted to the hospital on March 23, he was so sick he had to be put in a medically induced coma. He was on a ventilator for 28 days before his condition improved, she says. Trump “is sitting there touting that nobody has an issue with getting a test,” says Heidi. “And that’s not true.”

One of the defining questions of the 2020 election is how many Trump voters feel in November like Heidi and Dennis Hodges do now. Over the past four years, Trump has developed a Teflon mystique: no matter what he says or does, nothing seems to stick to him. Predicting that the latest outrage will finally sever his bond with supporters has been a mug’s game. And even as the coronavirus crisis escalated in March and April, there have been few signs that this is changing: 93% of self-described Republicans said during the first half of April that they approved of Trump’s performance, according to Gallup—up two points from a month prior.

Yet there is also little question that the pandemic has transformed the election. Two months ago, Trump was an incumbent president riding a strong economy and a massive cash advantage; today, he looks like an underdog in November. The RealClearPolitics polling average has former Vice President Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic nominee, leading Trump 48.3% to 42% nationally. Trump’s prospects aren’t any brighter right now when broken down by states that were key to his 2016 victory. According to Real Clear Politics polling averages, Biden leads Trump by 6.7 points in Pennsylvania, 5.5 in Michigan, and 2.7 points in Wisconsin. Biden is also leading Trump narrowly in Florida and Arizona.

“If you look at all the swing states, virtually all of them, he’s underwater,” says Douglas Schoen, a former pollster for President Bill Clinton and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. “This election is a referendum on Trump,” Schoen continues. “And so far from what we see over the last month, month and a half, he’s losing that referendum.”

The coronavirus pandemic has revealed that not every Trump voter is a loyalist. In a 2016 race between two historically unpopular candidates, some Trump voters made a choice for the candidate they disliked less, not the one they liked more. Trump lost the popular vote in 2016 but was lifted to victory in the Electoral College by about 80,000 votes cast in Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania.

Now his lackluster response to a global health crisis may cost him the support of some of those reluctant voters. Pamela Rodriguez, 60, is a retired teacher in Arizona who voted for Trump in 2016. The lifelong Republican says she first started to nurse doubts about the President when he mocked the late Arizona Senator John McCain. But Trump’s response to the coronavirus, she says, has sealed her departure from the GOP. “It’s really cemented that I don’t belong in this party any longer,” she says. She plans to vote for Biden, as well as Democratic Senate candidate Mark Kelly.

Even in red states, some voters who supported the President in 2016 but had since nursed doubts about his leadership say COVID-19 was their breaking point. “I just don’t think he’s done anything to protect us,” says Jami Cole, a 48-year old teacher in Oklahoma who supported Trump until the teachers’ walkouts in 2018. “I think the whole COVID thing has just sealed it.”

Keep up to date on the growing threat to global health by signing up for our daily coronavirus newsletter.

Cole and other disillusioned voters contacted for this piece are members of a private Facebook Group called “Former Trump Supporters,” where disappointed Trump voters gather to discuss their thoughts. The group was started by David Weissman, a 2016 Trump voter in Florida who now frequently tweets about his journey from Trump voter to liberal Democrat. Weissman started the group on April 20. Now there are roughly 1,500 members.

Trump’s response to coronavirus “was the final straw,” says Jessica Lavine Freeman, 48, who voted for Trump in Georgia in 2016 and now plans to support Biden. “If we had sat down and had this conversation in August of last year, I probably would have voted for Trump again.”

Brandon Hughes, a 32-year-old patient-access director at a Kentucky hospital, says he voted for Trump over Clinton partly because he figured “they’re both terrible choices.” He says he now feels a deep shame about that decision as he thinks about explaining Trump’s pandemic response to his six-year old daughter. “It’s a pandemic where over 50,000 people have died, and he shows no empathy, no remorse, no compassion—it’s all about ratings and opening up the economy as quickly as possible,” says Hughes. “I don’t think he’s capable of compassion and empathy. If he can’t show it during this, in what instance would he?”

As the Gallup polling reveals, these voters do not represent the majority of Trump’s backers, who have overwhelmingly stuck with him. “I don’t hold the President responsible for a virus that has killed people across our entire world,” says Sarah Hobson, a law firm owner from Canton, Ga., who voted for Trump in 2016 and plans to do so again. “I think he’s doing the best he can.”

Republican strategists note the pendulum could easily swing back in Trump’s direction before the election. “Three months ago we were all certain that this election was going to be about impeachment, and three months before that it was all going to be about the border wall,” says Brad Todd, a Republican strategist and co-author of The Great Revolt. But he sees signs of trouble in the polling of voters who dislike both candidates. In 2016, those voters picked Trump; in 2020, they favor Biden. “It is a warning sign” for Trump, Todd says.

For now, the Trump campaign and the Republican National Committee are focusing on 17 battlegrounds, including key swing states like Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Florida and harder targets like New Mexico and Colorado. “If we believed public polling, we wouldn’t have this conversation right now, because there wouldn’t be a re-elect,” Trump Victory spokesman Rick Gorka says when asked about the polling showing Biden leading in most swing states.

But even though the proportion of Trump voters who have grown disaffected is small, these voters could prove decisive, since Trump has failed to expand his support beyond his core base, notes presidential scholar Martha Joynt Kumar. “He likes to get to his base and he needs them,” says Kumar. “He needs them to be energized, because he got 46% of the popular vote [in 2016], and he needs to do better than that in order to win.”

The coronavirus crisis has highlighted the potential danger of that approach. “There’s a group of people who voted for him because he was the lesser of two evils who are now probably going to vote against him,” says Dennis Hodges. “I’m not for Biden, but he’s going to get my vote, and my family’s vote, just because of the inadequate response from top to bottom in every aspect of this pandemic.”
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Old 05-01-2020, 01:27 AM   #347
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A lot of similarities between this piece in USA Today and the one lengthy ramble that i posted on the Biden/Reade situation.

Worth reading the whole thing, as some further and more well written points are made.
Looking forward to hearing Biden address it. I think you can tell a lot when you see someone talk about it in person. You can usually tell if someone is full of shit (Trump, Kavanaugh)or being honest about something this personal.

https://www.usatoday.com/story/opini...mn/3046962001/


Why I'm skeptical about Reade's sexual assault claim against Biden: Ex-prosecutor
Michael J. Stern, Opinion columnist Published 6:37 p.m. ET April 29, 2020 | Updated 9:49 a.m. ET April 30, 2020


During 28 years as a state and federal prosecutor, I prosecuted a lot of sexual assault cases. The vast majority came early in my career, when I was a young attorney at a prosecutor’s office outside Detroit.

A year ago, Tara Reade accused former Vice President Joe Biden of touching her shoulder and neck in a way that made her uncomfortable, when she worked for him as a staff assistant in 1993. Then last month, Reade told an interviewer that Biden stuck his hand under her skirt and forcibly penetrated her with his fingers. Biden denies the allegation.

When women make allegations of sexual assault, my default response is to believe them. But as the news media have investigated Reade’s allegations, I’ve become increasingly skeptical. Here are some of the reasons why:

►Delayed reporting … twice. Reade waited 27 years to publicly report her allegation that Biden sexually assaulted her. I understand that victims of sexual assault often do not come forward immediately because recounting the most violent and degrading experience of their lives, to a bunch of strangers, is the proverbial insult to injury. That so many women were willing to wait in my dreary government office, as I ran to the restroom to pull myself together after listening to their stories, is a testament to their fortitude.


Even so, it is reasonable to consider a 27-year reporting delay when assessing the believability of any criminal allegation. More significant perhaps, is Reade’s decision to sit down with a newspaper last year and accuse Biden of touching her in a sexual way that made her uncomfortable — but neglect to mention her claim that he forcibly penetrated her with his fingers.

As a lawyer and victims’ rights advocate, Reade was better equipped than most to appreciate that dramatic changes in sexual assault allegations severely undercut an accuser’s credibility — especially when the change is from an uncomfortable shoulder touch to vaginal penetration.

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►Implausible explanation for changing story. When Reade went public with her sexual assault allegation in March, she said she wanted to do it in an interview with The Union newspaper in California last April. She said the reporter’s tone made her feel uncomfortable and "I just really got shut down” and didn't tell the whole story.

It is hard to believe a reporter would discourage this kind of scoop. Regardless, it's also hard to accept that it took Reade 12 months to find another reporter eager to break that bombshell story. This unlikely explanation damages her credibility.

►People who contradict Reade’s claim. After the alleged assault, Reade said she complained about Biden's harassment to Marianne Baker, Biden’s executive assistant, as well as to top aides Dennis Toner and Ted Kaufman. All three Biden staffers recently told The New York Times that she made no complaint to them.

And they did not offer the standard, noncommittal “I don’t remember any such complaint.” The denials were firm. “She did not come to me. If she had, I would have remembered her,” Kaufman said. Toner made a similar statement. And from Baker: “I never once witnessed, or heard of, or received, any reports of inappropriate conduct (by Biden), period." Baker said such a complaint, had Reade made it, "would have left a searing impression on me as a woman professional, and as a manager.”

►Missing formal complaint. Reade told The Times she filed a written complaint against Biden with the Senate personnel office. But The Times could not find any complaint. When The Times asked Reade for a copy of the complaint, she said she did not have it. Yet she maintained and provided a copy of her 1993 Senate employment records.

It is odd that Reade kept a copy of her employment records but did not keep a copy of a complaint documenting criminal conduct by a man whose improprieties changed “the trajectory” of her life. It’s equally odd The Times was unable to find a copy of the alleged Senate complaint.

►Memory lapse. Reade has said that she cannot remember the date, time or exact location of the alleged assault, except that it occurred in a “semiprivate” area in corridors connecting Senate buildings. After I left the Justice Department, I was appointed by the federal court in Los Angeles to represent indigent defendants. The first thing that comes to mind from my defense attorney perspective is that Reade’s amnesia about specifics makes it impossible for Biden to go through records and prove he could not have committed the assault, because he was somewhere else at the time.

For instance, if Reade alleged Biden assaulted her on the afternoon of June 3, 1993, Biden might be able to prove he was on the Senate floor or at the dentist. Her memory lapses could easily be perceived as bulletproofing a false allegation.

►The lie about losing her job. Reade told The Union that Biden wanted her to serve drinks at an event. After she refused, "she felt pushed out and left Biden's employ," the newspaper said last April. But Reade claimed this month in her Times interview that after she filed a sexual harassment complaint with the Senate personnel office, she faced retaliation and was fired by Biden’s chief of staff.

Leaving a job after refusing to serve drinks at a Biden fundraiser is vastly different than being fired as retaliation for filing a sexual harassment complaint with the Senate. The disparity raises questions about Reade’s credibility and account of events.

►Compliments for Biden. In the 1990s, Biden worked to pass the Violence Against Women Act. In 2017, on multiple occasions, Reade retweeted or “liked” praise for Biden and his work combating sexual assault. In the same year, Reade tweeted other compliments of Biden, including: “My old boss speaks truth. Listen.” It is bizarre that Reade would publicly laud Biden for combating the very thing she would later accuse him of doing to her.

►Rejecting Biden, embracing Sanders. By this January, Reade was all in for presidential candidate Bernie Sanders. Her unwavering support was accompanied by an unbridled attack on Biden. In an article on Medium, Reade referred to Biden as “the blue version of Trump.” Reade also pushed a Sanders/Elizabeth Warren ticket, while complaining that the Democratic National Committee was trying to “shove” Biden “down Democrat voters throats.”

Despite her effusive 2017 praise for Biden’s efforts on behalf of women, after pledging her support to Sanders, Reade turned on Biden and contradicted all she said before. She claimed that her decision to publicly accuse Biden of inappropriately touching her was due to “the hypocrisy that Biden is supposed to be the champion of women’s rights.”

►Love of Russia and Putin. During 2017 when Reade was praising Biden, she was condemning Russian leader Vladimir Putin’s efforts to hijack American democracy in the 2016 election. This changed in November 2018, when Reade trashed the United States as a country of “hypocrisy and imperialism” and “not a democracy at all but a corporate autocracy.”

Reade’s distaste for America closely tracked her new infatuation with Russia and Putin. She referred to Putin as a “genius” with an athletic prowess that “is intoxicating to American women.” Then there’s this gem: “President Putin has an alluring combination of strength with gentleness. His sensuous image projects his love for life, the embodiment of grace while facing adversity.”

In March 2019, Reade essentially dismissed the idea of Russian interference in the 2016 American presidential election as hype. She said she loved Russia and her Russian relatives — and "like most women across the world, I like President Putin … a lot, his shirt on or shirt off.” .

Pivoting again this month, Reade said that she “did not support Putin, and that her comments were pulled out of context from a novel she was writing,” according to The Times. The quotations above, however, are from political opinion pieces she published, and she did not offer any other "context" to The Times.

Reade's writings shed light on her political alliance with Sanders, who has a long history of ties to Russia and whose stump speech is focused largely on his position that American inequality is due to a corporate autocracy. But at a very minimum, Reade's wild shifts in political ideology and her sexual infatuation with a brutal dictator of a foreign adversary raise questions about her emotional stability.

►Suspect timing. For 27 years, Reade did not publicly accuse Biden of sexually assaulting her. But then Biden's string of March primary victories threw Sanders off his seemingly unstoppable path to the Democratic nomination. On March 25, as Sanders was pondering his political future, Reade finally went public with her claim. The confluence of Reade’s support of Sanders, distaste for the traditional American democracy epitomized by Biden, and the timing of her allegation should give pause to even the most strident Biden critics.

►The Larry King call. Last week, new "evidence" surfaced: a recorded call by an anonymous woman to CNN's "Larry King Live" show in 1993. Reade says the caller was her mother, who's now deceased. Assuming Reade is correct, her mother said: "I’m wondering what a staffer would do besides go to the press in Washington? My daughter has just left there after working for a prominent senator, and could not get through with her problems at all, and the only thing she could have done was go to the press, and she chose not to do it out of respect for him."

As a prosecutor, this would not make me happy. Given that the call was anonymous, Reade’s mother should have felt comfortable relaying the worst version of events. When trying to obtain someone’s assistance, people typically do not downplay the seriousness of an incident. They exaggerate it. That Reade’s mother said nothing about her daughter being sexually assaulted would lead many reasonable people to conclude that sexual assault was not the problem that prompted the call to King.

Reade’s mother also said her daughter did not go to the press with her problem “out of respect” for the senator. I’ve never met a woman who stayed silent out of “respect” for the man who sexually assaulted her. And it is inconceivable that a mother would learn of her daughter’s sexual assault and suggest that respect for the assailant is what stands between a life of painful silence and justice.

The "out of respect" explanation sounds more like an office squabble with staff that resulted in leaving the job. Indeed, in last year's interview with The Washington Post, Reade laid the blame on Biden’s staff for “bullying” her. She also said, “I want to emphasize: It’s not him. It’s the people around him.”

►Statements to others. Reade’s brother, Collin Moulton, told The Post recently that he remembers Reade telling him Biden inappropriately touched her neck and shoulders. He said nothing about a sexual assault until a few days later, when he texted The Post that he remembered Reade saying Biden put his hand "under her clothes.”

That Reade’s brother neglected to remember the most important part of her allegation initially could lead people to believe he recounted his Post interview to Reade, was told he left out the most important part, and texted it to The Post to avoid a discussion about why he failed to mention it in the first place.

In interviews with The Times, one friend of Reade’s said Reade told her she was sexually assaulted by Biden. Another friend said Reade told her that Biden touched her inappropriately. Both friends insisted that The Times maintain their anonymity.

On Monday, Business Insider published an interview with a friend of Reade’s who said that in 1995 or 1996, Reade told her she was assaulted by Biden. Insider called this friend, Lynda LaCasse, the “first person to independently corroborate, in detail and on the record, that Reade had told others about her assault allegations contemporaneously.”

But Reade alleged she was assaulted in 1993. Telling a friend two or three years later is not contemporaneous. Legal references to a contemporaneous recounting typically refer to hours or days — the point being that facts are still fresh in a person's mind and the statement is more likely to be accurate.

The Insider also quoted a colleague of Reade’s in the mid-1990s, Lorraine Sanchez, who said Reade told her she had been sexually harassed by a former boss. Reade did not mention Biden by name and did not provide details of the alleged harassment.

In prior interviews, Reade gave what appeared be an exhaustive list of people she told of the alleged assault. Neither of the women who talked to Business Insider were on that list.

The problem with statements from friends is that the information they recount is only as good as the information given to them. Let’s say Reade left her job because she was angry about being asked to serve drinks or because she was fired for a legitimate reason. If she tried to save face by telling friends that she left because she was sexually assaulted, that’s all her friends would know and all they could repeat.

Prior statements made by a sexual assault victim can carry some weight, but only if the accuser is credible. In Reade’s case, the statements coming from her friends are only of value if people believe Reade can be relied on to tell the truth, regardless of the light in which it paints her.

►Lack of other sexual assault allegations. Last year, several women claimed that Biden made them uncomfortable with things like a shoulder touch or a hug. (I wrote a column critical of one such allegation by Lucy Flores.) The Times and Post found no allegation of sexual assault against Biden except Reade's.

It is possible that in his 77 years, Biden committed one sexual assault and it was against Reade. But in my experience, men who commit a sexual assault are accused more than once ... like Donald Trump, who has had more than a dozen allegations of sexual assault leveled against him and who was recorded bragging about grabbing women’s genitalia.

►What remains. There are no third-party eyewitnesses or videos to support Tara Reade’s allegation that she was assaulted by Joe Biden. No one but Reade and Biden know whether an assault occurred. This is typical of sexual assault allegations. Jurors, in this case the voting public, have to consider the facts and circumstances to assess whether Reade’s allegation is credible. To do that, they have to determine whether Reade herself is believable.

I’ve dreaded writing this piece because I do not want it to be used as a guidebook to dismantling legitimate allegations of sexual assault. But not every claim of sexual assault is legitimate. During almost three decades as a prosecutor, I can remember dismissing two cases because I felt the defendant had not committed the charged crime. One of those cases was a rape charge.

The facts of that case made me question the credibility of the woman who claimed she was raped. In the end, she acknowledged that she fabricated the allegation after her boyfriend caught her with a man with whom she was having an affair.

I know that “Believe Women” is the mantra of the new decade. It is a response to a century of ignoring and excusing men’s sexual assaults against women. But men and women alike should not be forced to blindly accept every allegation of sexual assault for fear of being labeled a misogynist or enabler.

We can support the #MeToo movement and not support allegations of sexual assault that do not ring true. If these two positions cannot coexist, the movement is no more than a hit squad. That’s not how I see the #MeToo movement. It’s too important, for too many victims of sexual assault and their allies, to be no more than that.

Michael J. Stern, a member of USA TODAY's Board of Contributors, was a federal prosecutor for 25 years in Detroit and Los Angeles.
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Old 05-01-2020, 02:23 AM   #348
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i wonder if the days where two career politicians with decades-long records that they can pit against each other is over.

the last time that happened was 16 years ago and one of the candidates was promptly and effectively swiftboated, and almost every campaign in america has been looking for an angle like that ever since. it seems like having political experience is a liability now rather than an asset, and it's weird and concerning.
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Old 05-01-2020, 03:16 AM   #349
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He says he now feels a deep shame about that decision as he thinks about explaining Trump’s pandemic response to his six-year old daughter. “It’s a pandemic where over 50,000 people have died, and he shows no empathy, no remorse, no compassion—it’s all about ratings and opening up the economy as quickly as possible,” says Hughes. “I don’t think he’s capable of compassion and empathy. If he can’t show it during this, in what instance would he?”
This comment has me scratching my head, 'cause...I mean...he already had numerous examples before this pandemic that indicated he wasn't capable of compassion and empathy. The whole "kids in cages" thing. The tone deaf responses he showed when touring sites of natural disasters, like the numerous hurricanes and wildfires we've had in recent years. His mocking of a disabled reporter during the 2016 campaign, and his racist comments about Mexicans, both before and during his presidency. The fact he spent seven years harassing Obama about his birth certificate. His "fine people on both sides" remarks after Charlottesville. How'd that father feel about having to explain to his daughter his support of a guy who did and said all of that stuff pre-pandemic?

Oh, but wait, many of those instances involved minorities being affected, so I guess his lack of compassion and empathy wasn't as important a concern then, huh? I guess his narcissism and cruelty had to affect his supporters directly in order for them to finally get a clue and give a shit.

Believe me, I am all for seeing Trump lose as many followers as possible, thus further weakening his chances at re-election, and a late wake up call is better than nothing at all. But to see people in that article acting like they're just now realizing how selfish and self-absorbed Trump is is hilarious and maddening in equal measure. Welcome to the real world where the rest of us have been these past four years, guys.
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Old 05-01-2020, 08:16 AM   #350
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US Politics XXII: Idk About You, But This Is Thread 22

Watching Mika grill Biden over this allegation and potential D hypocrisy on this subject, ie CBF. She’s going at him hard, and he’s doing fine. But it’s uncomfortable.

Let’s hope that every single allegation against Donald Trump is given the same amount of time.
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Old 05-01-2020, 08:22 AM   #351
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Watching Mika grille Biden over this allegation and potential D hypocrisy on this subject, ie CBF. She’s going at him hard, and he’s doing fine. But it’s uncomfortable.

Let’s hope that every single allegation against Donald Trump is given the same amount of time.
It's an impossible situation. Utterly impossible.

It was inevitable that Believe All Women would be weaponized against the left.

I really can't believe we're doing this all over again.

But her emails is dead. Welcome to but his papers.
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Old 05-01-2020, 08:36 AM   #352
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It's an impossible situation. Utterly impossible.

It was inevitable that Believe All Women would be weaponized against the left.

I really can't believe we're doing this all over again.

But her emails is dead. Welcome to but his papers.


I literally didn’t understand why she kept asking about the U Del papers. Like, he kept saying, no personnel complaints would be there. They aren’t filed there. Why would we look there because that is not where things like that are filed. And she’s like, so why don’t we look there?

What she’s doing is trying to remove any doubt of softballing this interview because she and Joe despise Trump so much. This is how the “fake news” is actually conservative, because in responding to the charges from the right of liberal bias, because journalists care what people think about them, there’s a wild overcorrection and equivocation.
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Old 05-01-2020, 08:45 AM   #353
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Let us also remember that Trump threatened to sue every woman who made an allegation against him back in 2016.
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Old 05-01-2020, 08:48 AM   #354
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Let’s hope that every single allegation against Donald Trump is given the same amount of time.
Yarite.

These people won't even say "Trump lied" it's all "misstates/misrepresents the truth", makes a "factually inaccurate statement" (or 20,000?), "distorts the facts" and so on.
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Old 05-01-2020, 09:00 AM   #355
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Trump is good for the media. These people act all disgusted but they have to, they don’t work for Fox

Now we’ve got another 6 months of the far right and left wanting to know where the letters are.

I thought Joe did fine. And Obama would have done his fucking homework before supporting the guy.

Hell the GOP would have dug this shit up well before Burisma.

Do i think Joe touched her shoulders and/or neck? Yes.

Do i think he sexually assaulted her ? I don’t think so. Possible? Of course. If he did then it appears as though it was a one time deal since no one else has bothered to come forward with similar accusations

Where Trump has 20 women jump forward immediately.

Joe is denying it. Even if he admitted to it, apologized, owned it, and vowed to atone I’d be OK with him still on the ticket.

There’s a lot of growth to be had in 26 years.

And again he’s denying it happened. His word has to mean something too.
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Old 05-01-2020, 09:25 AM   #356
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Interesting that this became a sexual assault allegation after the pro Russia comments. You wouldn't think....
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Old 05-01-2020, 10:21 AM   #357
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I really can't believe we're doing this all over again.

But her emails is dead. Welcome to but his papers.


https://twitter.com/GOP/status/1255976856077156353


by 5 pm biden's delaware papers will be where you can find out about tara reade, burisma and the kennedy assassination
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Old 05-01-2020, 10:30 AM   #358
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Well all I can say about the Morning Joe interview, is that IMO, it was a disgraceful.

Mika put on her serious face and instead of actually listening to the answers she got, kept asking the same questions over and over, in essence, making it seem as though the question was not answered just seconds earlier.

This my friends is why we are where we are in politics in general.

Being good, is punished. Being transparent is punished. So what do we get? We get a president who is a deeply bad person. We get a president who offers zero transparency. And how is he treated on Morning Joe and other media? Well, he doesn't go on to these shows to even answer questions. He just makes statements at rallies and on Fox News about how horrible anyone is that would question him or accuse him of anything. He says they are scum and that he will sue them. He releases nothing, he doesn't offer explanation, he doesn't offer records to be opened up.
And what does the media do? They move on. They say, oh well. That's "concerning" and they do nothing.

The more transparent Clinton was, the more the media demanded yet more transparency of things. It has led to one side that tries to do the right thing being smeared and hounded with no answer being enough. And one side realizing that if they just do horrible things and don't talk about it, then they win.

And the one thing that Biden didn't say, that he absolutely should have said, is that this notion that Biden and other Democrats with CBF, just said, You have to believe her. Is complete bullshit.
THEY were the ones calling for a complete and thorough FBI investigation with questioning of as many witnesses as possible to get to the truth! This is the exactly what Biden is doing now. Begin with believing the person coming forward, and then investigate it and find out the truth. Republicans were the ones calling for no investigation, and putting ridiculous limits on it.

But again, Mika this morning conveniently seems to put aside those obvious facts because the narrative of Democrats being hypocritical is SO much more juicy.

Biden was straight-forward, didn't waver, refuses to say one bad word about Reade, and has called for his Senate office records to be released. This is the exact thing he should do, and the exact opposite of Trump. Yet guess who is hurt more.

Remember the rape allegation a year or two ago against Trump? You know the third rape accusation that was made public? I think it made the news for about a day. No questions asked, no investigation done. Just a regular Tuesday for the media and their actions with Trump.
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Old 05-01-2020, 10:35 AM   #359
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i wonder if the days where two career politicians with decades-long records that they can pit against each other is over.

the last time that happened was 16 years ago and one of the candidates was promptly and effectively swiftboated, and almost every campaign in america has been looking for an angle like that ever since. it seems like having political experience is a liability now rather than an asset, and it's weird and concerning.


I’m definitely not concerned that having political experience can be a liability.

I’m concerned that not having any experience is considered valid. I’m definitely in favor of the Reagans and whatever, who came from the outside world doing something else, and did their time at another level.

I don’t think having a system where every candidate comes fresh out of college and on the campaign trail as a staffer until they eventually get elected to public office is a healthy system *at all*. It’s why politicians aren’t relatable, *at all*.
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Old 05-01-2020, 10:45 AM   #360
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Well all I can say about the Morning Joe interview, is that IMO, it was a disgraceful.



Mika put on her serious face and instead of actually listening to the answers she got, kept asking the same questions over and over, in essence, making it seem as though the question was not answered just seconds earlier.



This my friends is why we are where we are in politics in general.



Being good, is punished. Being transparent is punished. So what do we get? We get a president who is a deeply bad person. We get a president who offers zero transparency. And how is he treated on Morning Joe and other media? Well, he doesn't go on to these shows to even answer questions. He just makes statements at rallies and on Fox News about how horrible anyone is that would question him or accuse him of anything. He says they are scum and that he will sue them. He releases nothing, he doesn't offer explanation, he doesn't offer records to be opened up.

And what does the media do? They move on. They say, oh well. That's "concerning" and they do nothing.



The more transparent Clinton was, the more the media demanded yet more transparency of things. It has led to one side that tries to do the right thing being smeared and hounded with no answer being enough. And one side realizing that if they just do horrible things and don't talk about it, then they win.



And the one thing that Biden didn't say, that he absolutely should have said, is that this notion that Biden and other Democrats with CBF, just said, You have to believe her. Is complete bullshit.

THEY were the ones calling for a complete and thorough FBI investigation with questioning of as many witnesses as possible to get to the truth! This is the exactly what Biden is doing now. Begin with believing the person coming forward, and then investigate it and find out the truth. Republicans were the ones calling for no investigation, and putting ridiculous limits on it.



But again, Mika this morning conveniently seems to put aside those obvious facts because the narrative of Democrats being hypocritical is SO much more juicy.



Biden was straight-forward, didn't waver, refuses to say one bad word about Reade, and has called for his Senate office records to be released. This is the exact thing he should do, and the exact opposite of Trump. Yet guess who is hurt more.



Remember the rape allegation a year or two ago against Trump? You know the third rape accusation that was made public? I think it made the news for about a day. No questions asked, no investigation done. Just a regular Tuesday for the media and their actions with Trump.


The same thing happened to Warren. Had she stuck with slogans versus detail, who knows ? Tho the media basically erased her from November 19 till she dropped.

Imagine having her as the nominee right now. I’m not thrilled about her age but she’s shown to be overly competent. Witty, emphatic, and would be the exact person we want handing this fucking mess.

I have confidence Joe can delegate.
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