Starting in the US where Tara Reade, a former staffer of Joe Biden's, has accused him of assault. Katie Halper was the first to interview Tara in depth about the accusations for a broadcast. Others have followed, Below is from the interview Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzalez did for DEMOCRACY NOW!:
AMY GOODMAN: Can you give us the circumstances, how you ended up — what was the day, how you ended up alone with Joe Biden? Explain what happened that day.
TARA READE: I was approached by my supervisor. She handed me a gym bag and said, “Hurry, Joe wants this, so get it to him. He’ll meet you down towards the Capitol.” And I went down the stairs, and I don’t remember exactly where I was, because there’s connections between the Russell Building and all of that and the corridors, but we were in a semi-private location. It wasn’t a room. It wasn’t, you know, the Russell Office Building — I mean, in his office. It was down in the corridors. And I handed him the gym bag.
And then he — it was one, as I described, fluid moment. He was talking to me, and he said some things that I don’t recall. And I was up against the wall. And he — I remember the coldness of the wall. And I remember his hands underneath my blouse and underneath my skirt, and his fingers penetrating me as he was trying to kiss me and I was pulling away. And he pulled back, and he said, “Come on, man. I heard you liked me.” But he was angry. It was like a tight voice. And he tended to smile when he was angry. And he isn’t like the Uncle Joe like everybody talks about now. He was younger. He was my dad’s age at that time and very strong. And he looked insulted and angry. And I remember feeling like I had done something wrong when he said that statement. And then I was standing there when he said — he was still near me. He said — pointed his finger and said, “You’re nothing to me. You’re nothing.” And he walked away.
Yesterday, the voice of no one finally spoke. Aging hagtress Alyssa Milano spoke in defense of Joe Biden. I have noted her silence last week and this week. Last night an e-mail came into the public account saying that Alyssa was defending her friend and I'd do the same.
A) Joe Biden is not her friend. B) I would not do the same.
For years, US House Rep Bob Filner was someone I was close to. I respected him, I liked him (I still have love for Bob, I am sorry for the women he hurt and my heart breaks for them). When the media stopped whispering and began covering allegations that women were making against Bob, who had left the Congress and become the Mayor of San Diego? We covered it. This is from the July 29, 2013 snapshot:
Starting with Bob Filner. The former US House Representative didn't seek re-election in 2012, choosing instead to run in San Diego's mayoral race. He won. He is currently Mayor Bob Filner. How likely that is to last is probably best left to a betting pool.
I know Bob Filner. I like Bob Filner. Bob did many great things in Congress. He has done many strong things as Mayor. He may or may not be able to continue in that role. He stands accused of sexual harassment and misconduct for actions since he has been mayor.
Is he guilty of what he's currently accused? I have no idea. He's never been anything but friendly to me and I've never seen him harass anyone. That doesn't mean he's innocent, that does mean that's all I can speak to personally on the allegations.
I wouldn't be discussing this today were it not for Lila Garrett. On today's Connect the Dots with Lila Garrett (KPFK) she gave a sermon -- she's gotten so fond of those -- that was full of 'facts,' (She falsely claimed that Monica Lewinsky has never been able to get a job since the exposure of her sexual relationship with Bill Clinton -- there has been her tacky handbags, her time as a spokesperson for Jenny Craig, etc -- Lila wanted to slime Bill Clinton so facts got replaced with 'facts').
Bob Filner, she insisted, was "politically correct" (her term) because he's installed solar panels. And he was taking on big oil, she insisted. The allegations, which she accepted as true, were not about him as a politician, they were about his "personal behavior," she maintained.
To be really clear to Lila, a man or woman who harasses those working under him/her is not displaying "personal behavior." It is a crime (which Lila at least realized) but it's not "personal behavior" (which she did not realize).
She also saw harassment in some novel ways. It was, she explained, stemmed from an individual (man, she used repeatedly) feeling powerful and proud and so you want to celebrate and have the applause, she insisted, but it's not there and so you look to a woman, any woman, Lila insisted, and want to celebrate with her.
That's certainly a novel way to look at it. But the reality is that sexual harassment in the work place is generally about control and the inner psyche of the harasser is not 'I am so wonderful! Give me applause!' There are two major arguments regarding the profile of sexual harassers and Garrett's managed to avoid both while presenting an entirely new argument. (The psyche and feminist argument is that it's about power; the conservative argument -- which tries to use examples of early humans -- is that it's about selection and desire. Those have been the two dominant arguments society has had on the profile of the harasser.)
Lila goes on to conclude that Bob Filner must resign as mayor.
Lila Garrett broadcasts on KPFK. Where does she live?
Not in San Diego.
Nor do I. It is not my choice whether or not Filner resigns, I have no say in the matter. Only the people of San Diego can make that call. It's the same as with the NYC mayor's race. From the eighth Congressional district of California, I have no business endorsing any candidate in a race I can't vote in or calling for someone in a race I can't vote in to step down.
There have been e-mails noting the Filner scandal and insisting I have said nothing on it. There's no reason to say anything. An Iraq War veteran raped his daughter. That's a news story. It's not one I'm interested in covering. We cover feminist issues here and have covered rape and have covered sexual harassment and abuse. We will continue to do so. But we do not cover every single story.
As for ignoring it, July 12th, Rebecca posted "What the hell?" where she includes Bob's statement acknowledging something (what is being acknowledged in that statement is not clear to me). She then asks a series of questions and I provide my take in response. I note, as I have above, that this is matter (a) for the voters of San Diego and (if harassment occurred) for law enforcement (sexual harassment is a crime).
I like Bob. I will always praise his work on the House Veterans Affairs Committee. He deserves praise for that. I have never seen him exhibit the behavior he is currently accused of. I would hope that means it is not true, however, I am aware it may very well be true. As much as I like -- no, as much as I love Bob, it is not my job to run interference for him or to insist that he's innocent. I hope he is. I do not know he is. These are serious charges. Women who are making them have a right to be heard. I am certainly not interested in attacking these women or in smearing them.
Again, I hope Bob Filner is innocent and that this is an awful misunderstanding. But neither my hopes for Bob nor my love for him trump any suffering of someone he caused. If the accusations are true, he must suffer the consequences. If the accusations are true, it will be a horrible mark on his public record; however, it will not be his [only] legacy. His work for veterans will remain outstanding. That work will not make it 'okay' that he harassed women (if the charges are true). But they go to the fact that people can do very great things and also do very unethical and/or very criminal things. Heroes largely exist in children's comic books and on IMAX screens in the summer. Sometimes those that we make larger than life have the worst feet of clay. That's not to justify harassment, abuse or rape. It is to note that -- thinking of the sliming of two women that so many on the left (men and Naomi Wolf) took part in -- someone who has done something good can also be someone who's done something wrong or criminal.
Where in there do I slam any woman who had come forward against Bob? Where do I insist that they must be silent? I don't. Nor do I try to cast doubt on their assertions. I say that I hope it's not true, I say these are serious charges and that the women who are making them have a right to be heard.
Actress and activist Alyssa Milano sparked backlash on Twitter when she defended Democratic candidate Joe Biden despite the fact that his former staffer Tara Reade came forward with assault allegations.
Milano had previously received criticism for her silence regarding Biden’s harassment allegations, so she explained on a radio interview with Andy Cohen that she was skeptical that Reade’s statements were credible.
“I’ve been very vocal for Biden and my support for him and I did do my due diligence because part of it was that Times Up decided not to take the case, and so…I did my work, and I spoke to Times Up and I just don’t feel comfortable throwing away a decent man that I’ve known for 15 years in this time of complete chaos without there being a thorough investigation,” she told Cohen.
First off, is their whisper campaign going on? Times Up has no right to discuss with Alyssa or anyone else a case they do not represent. Tara spoke to them and now, according to Alyssa, Times Up is trashing Tara?
That's what hagtress is saying, "I spoke to Times Up and I just don't . . ."
Times Up has just violated every rule in the book. It is not their job to have conversations with Alyssa Milano about Tara Reade. They need to be sued. They need to lose all funding. And if they reform, they need to do without people like Anita Dunn who have helped predators like Harvey Weinstein.
Coming forward for any victim is difficult. To know that the organization that is supposed to help you is launching a smear campaign against you, a whisper campaign with Alyssa Milano?
That bitch needs to issue a public apology to Tara Reade right now.
I don't know that the conversations she claims happened actually did happen. But she is smearing Tara's name.
She does not know what happened, she was not there.
I love Bob to this day, but I did not try to silence women from telling their stories. I did not discredit them. I said their stories needed to be told.
That's how it is with Tara. She needs to tell her story and Joe Biden needs to be put on the record responding. And We The People can decide who we believe.
Joe's not a "decent man." And she doesn't know him. I knew Bob in every sense but the biblical one. And I didn't run interference for him. He resigned in disgrace with an admission which he later tried to weasel out of. I will praise him for his work on veterans issues, I will praise him for his youth activity in the Civil Rights era. But, yes, he harassed women. That's part of his legacy and that part is criminal. It saddens me to this day.
But it is not my job to play favorites when someone is accused of harassment or rape.
Tara is not the person with power in this story. She had no power when the alleged events took place -- he had all the power, he was a US senator and her boss. She has no power today. He can bumble around saying nonsense and have it reported as pearls of wisdom. CNN, MSNBC, CBS, ABC, NBC, THE NEW YORK TIMES, THE LOS ANGELES TIMES, THE WASHINGTON POST, etc have refused to cover her words. She has no power.
The default position for any feminist is not to launch smears about her -- as Alyssa did -- or to offer a defense of Joe Biden. The default position for any feminist is to say, "These are serious charges, the media needs to be covering it, the alleged attacker needs to issue a public response."
Alyssa's a mental moron and everyone knows it. She should know it as well and grasp that she's not REMINGTON STEELE's Laura Holt and she lacks the ability or training to do an investigation.
All she's done is attacked a woman for bringing a charge of harassment against one of her male friends, that's all Alyssa's done. She's attacked her saying the woman isn't believable, she's attacked her by insisting that she (Alyssa) spoke with Times Up and that organization did not find her to be telling the truth.
That last part needs to be dealt with immediately. Ryan Grimm covered this for THE INTERCEPT and Times Up did not tell him that. Ryan should immediately pursue with the organization whether or not they have engaged in private conversations with Alyssa -- as she insists -- which have cast doubt and aspersions on Tara Reade.
There is nothing that guarantees Tara belief.
She does deserve to tell her story. She deserves to have this serious charge aired in the media.
We can then decide whether we believe her or not.
But until the corporate media covers this story, the position -- a feminist position -- is that she gets to tell her story.
She is claiming assault and Alyssa's calling her a liar. That's not a feminist position.
Alyssa is not a feminist and she's not a voice of anyone. She's a racist who has repeatedly stolen credit for the work done by African-American women (such as Tarana Burke), a racist who has engaged in cultural appropriation, a racist who misportrays Native Americans using stereotypes and then tries to profit from it. She's a dumb woman whose husband allegedly has a woman 20 years younger stashed away in a Century City condo. She's someone who can't get bit parts -- INSATIABLE was cancelled by NETFLIX -- she was a supporting player on that show, not the "star" that the media let her call herself. She's just trash, uneducated trash. I've shared before what Katherine Helmond told me -- and shared it here while Katherine was alive. She's a bored, rich housewife, with no real career who does things like brags about her two abortions to get attention. She'll do anything to get attention because her career ended in 2006 -- 14 years ago.
She made a really stupid mistake yesterday because she's a really stupid idiot.
Is Tara telling the truth? I have no idea. She deserves to be heard, but I have no idea.
What I do know is that this is now a major issue for women. Like most major issues, it will bubble for months. It will be like Anita Hill where certain men and their whores think they got away with it. But we won't let them. We will remember this moment. Alyssa stood on the wrong side and we won't forget it.
She came down on the wrong side and that will not be forgotten.
Juanita Broaddrick is someone who did not get to tell her story. Whatever else Katha Pollitt's complicated history includes, Katha, in real time, spoke to the need for Juanita to speak. She, Patricia Ireland and others deserve credit for that. Those who attacked Juanita are seen as frauds for good reason. And that's the fate that awaits Alyssa Milano.
By the way, here's what Juanita has to say about Alyssa:
We've noted several times that Rose McGowan is the real deal. Here's her reply to Alyssa's latest nonsense:
You are a fraud. This is about holding the media accountable. You go after Trump & Kavanaugh saying Believe Victims, you are a lie. You have always been a lie. The corrupt DNC is in on the smear job of Tara Reade, so are you. SHAME
Alyssa is a fraud. She refused to amplify the voice of Tara Reade despite pretending to care about survivors of assault. She then made it worse by publicly attacking the woman. She has smeared Tara and she has stated that private conversations Times Up had with her were whisper campaigns against Tara.
Repeating: Times Up needs to immediately answer as to whether or not they have engaged in conversations with Alyssa and whether or not they are privately smearing a woman who came to them for help.
Turning to Iraq, MEMO notes:
Iraq’s Prime Minister-designate Adnan Al-Zurfi announced on Saturday that he has formed his government ahead of the constitutional deadline of 17 April.
He also presented his proposed government programme to the Iraqi parliament.
According to Al-Zurfi, his cabinet is made up of “intellectuals from inside Iraq.” He added that he is now waiting for the parliament to schedule a date to debate his choice of cabinet colleagues.
He has not formed a government. He has put together potential candidates. To form a government, his proposed Cabinet must be voted on by the Parliament. That's why he's still prime minister-designate and not prime minister.
We'll also note this video of Erbil on coronavirus lockdown.
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