Senator Dianne Feinstein insists the matter is over so does Senator Chuck Schumer. They seem to think the American people work for them and not the other way around, that because they're friends with Joe Biden, no one can ask further questions about Tara Reade's allegation that he assaulted her. It doesn't work that way. Tyler Pager (BLOOMBERG NEWS) reports:
Democrat activists and women’s groups say they saw a familiar and distressing playbook unfolding when Joe Biden addressed the sexual assault allegation against him by denying them and largely moving on.
Now, they’re trying to convince Biden that if he doesn’t continue to address the issue head on, he risks depressing turnout of women voters, potentially giving a boost to US President Donald Trump. Their goal is to get the party’s presumptive presidential nominee to unequivocally show that his views and behaviour around women have changed since his rough questioning of Anita Hill during the Clarence Thomas Supreme Court confirmation hearings in 1991 and his history of inappropriate touching, both of which he has apologised for.
They say it’s not enough to just tout his work on the 1994 Violence Against Women Act and It’s On Us movement, an Obama-era project to fight sexual assault on college campuses. They are looking for more policy and personnel commitments beyond his promise to choose a female running mate.“That he has to be pressured every single time something in his past is brought up, a mistake that he’s made, a position that he’s taken, etc, is just a complete failure as it relates to leadership,” said Lucy Flores, a former Democrat state assemblywoman in Nevada who has accused Biden of touching her inappropriately.
“This isn’t to discount some of the good things that Joe Biden has done, and that’s part of his problem is that he tries to constantly use some of the good things that he has done as if it settles all of his debts in some way and it doesn’t,” she said, pointing out that she will still vote for him, but knows a number of women who say they do not think they can stomach it.
No, Joe can't gender wash. He doesn't have Gender Credit Capital that he gets to cash in when he's accused of being assaulted.
Ana Kasparian and John Iadarola take on Schumer and his nonsense in the video below.
Maybe Chuck Schumer needs to learn to just sit his useless ass down? At least he needs to learn to um-um-um-um speak.
Rosie O'Donnell. A number of e-mails note my 'silence' on Rosie. I believe Rosie just spoke yesterday. I was 'silent' on a so-called feminist who wrote a column for THE NEW YORK TIMES. I wasn't in the mood to deal with her nonsense.
Rosie. Like myself, Rosie has disliked Donald Trump for years and years. I am not surprised by her attitude (she feels Joe is the only alternative to Donald) and I feel it's completely consistent. I don't feel she's being a hypocrite. Do I wish that she had a different take? Absolutely. But she's her own person and I don't have a problem with her opinion or her expressing it.
I have a problem with stupidity and hypocrisy. I have a problem, therefore, with Moria Donegan's nonsense for THE ATLANTIC. Wait for the third paragraph and see if you don't agree:
Rank-and-file Biden supporters, along with the liberal and anti-Trump commentariat, have been much more aggressive in their attacks on Reade. They have smeared her as a quack or a plant; to discredit her, they have pointed to her support for Bernie Sanders in the Democratic primary and a weird, since-deleted Medium essay she wrote praising Vladimir Putin, although feminists have spent much of the past three years explaining that such non sequiturs do not diminish a woman’s testimony. Darkly, Reade has also been cast as suspicious because for a time she lived under another name—a step she took in response to a domestic-abuse situation. Reade has received death threats, in addition to the usual slew of disbelieving and cruel missives. Even journalists covering her story have come under fire. New York magazine’s Rebecca Traister received threatening texts after publishing a piece on Reade. When the MSNBC host Chris Hayes devoted a segment on his show to the allegations, activists on Twitter called for him to be fired.
This kind of vitriol is supposedly justified by the moral imperative of denying Donald Trump a second term. But the argument that Reade’s allegations must be refuted lest the country reelect Trump is undermined by Trump’s presidency in the first place: If an allegation of sexual assault by the candidate were enough to fatally harm a campaign, Trump would never have become president at all. Meanwhile, survivors are seeing members of the political party that is more amenable to women’s rights disbelieve a story of assault, and smear the accuser—as if #MeToo had never happened.
Nor can these survivors find comfort in the actions of Biden’s opponents, who have taken on the issue of sexual assault with conspicuously convenient timing, understanding the gravity of sexual violence just in time to use the suffering of survivors for their own ends.
What a stupid and idiotic piece of b.s.
As a feminist, I am glad anytime we get a conversation going about real issues. As a leftist, I am glad that the right is discussing rape allegations. If in a year, right commentators and outlets have dropped the issue, I won't be surprised. But I also realize that during the time this is being discussed, there will be people paying attention who will be moved by the issue and the discussion and will look at it differently. That's how the feminist movement succeeded in raising serious issues like rape, assault, battering. That's how we fought back to begin with against the people who insisted these were "personal problems" or the ones who tried to put them into 'spheres' and insisted these were not issues for the public sphere.
I don't trust someone who sneers at conversations about rape where the survivor is getting to tell her story. I'm not going to be a partisan.
Equally true, there are young adults and children paying attention who live in homes with parents who are to the right politically. The right outlets covering this are reaching the parents and some of the children. The conversation is one that needs to take place and I applaud any segment of the political spectrum that's covering the story.
People want answers, not silence. Here's a part of a letter to the editors of THE GAZETTE EXTRA:
We deserve answers from Joe Biden, and it’s time to stop silencing Tara Reade. It’s hypocritical that Wisconsin Democrats rushed to condemn Kavanaugh but have yet to even acknowledge Tara Reade.
Before Joe Biden is confirmed as the nominee, we need answers, and Tara Reade deserves to be heard. It’s up to the Democrat Party to complete a thorough and complete investigation into Biden’s past.
That's a paper in . . . Wisconsin. Wisconsin, a battle ground state.
But then if the DNC was actually interested in reaching voters, they wouldn't have gone with such a pathetic and uninspiring candidate. Paul Heideman (JACOBIN) reports on Joe's surrogates determination to attack segments of the left:
In the New York Times yesterday, Mitchell Abidor added his voice to the swelling chorus hectoring young leftists to support Joe Biden. Leaning on the bathetic open letter published by veterans of Students for a Democratic Society (SDS), Abidor chides the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) for not heeding their elders and endorsing a candidate whose career has been spent opposing everything they stand for.
Abidor’s letter is remarkable for the utter lack of effort it puts into making a single convincing argument. He scoffs at Daniel Finn’s argument in Jacobin that Donald Trump is no fascist, but he evidently doesn’t believe his reader requires any convincing on the point. (The irony involved in comparing Trump to fascists openly, in the pages of the country’s leading newspaper, is evidently lost on him.)
But Mr. Abidor’s op-ed isn’t actually about convincing socialists to vote for Joe Biden. Instead, it’s about reassuring liberals that socialists are bad and irresponsible.
Everyone knows that attacking leftists for abandoning decency will probably not convince them to vote for Biden. And if convincing people to vote for Biden is so important that it merits denouncing DSA in the New York Times for declining to do so, you’d think that such convincing is what Abidor would try to do. The fact that he himself declines to do so undermines his presentation of his position as the result of sober consideration, and DSA’s as driven by self-righteousness. Abidor attacks the Left for not wanting to elect Biden, but he himself cares more about attacking the Left than electing Biden.
Joe Biden is not up to being president and he's a joke. Michael Smith (LEGALIENATE) uses humor to get those points across:
Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden suffered a massive brain hemorrhage today as he practiced reciting the days of the week for upcoming debates with President Trump. Campaign staff members say it will not affect his work, and insist he has no plans to withdraw from the presidential contest, unless “something serious happens.”
“We’ve been through this before,” explained senior advisor Symone Slanders. “Joe will have a stroke or two before breakfast, but by mid-morning he’s his old self again, sniffing our hair and fondling the volunteers. It’s nothing to get upset about, and we frankly resent attempts by Donald Trump to politicize it.”
Reached for comment at Bethesda Naval Hospital where he was having a brain installed, Biden said, “old people are just as sharp as senile people,” and expressed gratitude for get-well calls from Dwight Eisenhower and Harry Truman.
Joe Biden is a joke and he's a joke with blood on his hands. Danny Sjursen (ANTIWAR.COM) notes:
Biden’s foreign policy has been one big series of gambles. In the past, he’s even framed it as such. Undoubtedly, few remember the time way back in Barack Obama’s first term, when Biden – assigned as the administration’s point-man on all things Iraq – predicted with absolute certainty that the Baghdad government would accede to the enduring presence of small numbers of American troops after the December 31, 2011 “end of combat operations.” In fact, the ever-folksy Biden told the New York Times he would bet his vice presidency that Iraq would extend this Status of Forces Agreement (SoFA). It didn’t. Nevertheless, Joe reneged on the wager and kept the number two spot in the land. Biden, like just about every establishment policymaker in both major parties, underestimated the independence and growing hostilityof the Shia strongman Nouri al-Maliki, whom the vice president himself helped install after the prime minister had lost an election.
Yet Biden’s Iraq War record goes far deeper. Sure, he voted for Bush’s initial invasion. Only that’s not the half of it. From his senior perch as chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, the future vice president quite literally sold the war to his more doubtful colleagues – twisting arms, making calls, and applying the classic Biden-charm – and to the American people writ large. Then, months after it was crystal clear that the invasion had been built on lies (no WMDs, no Saddam-Al Qaeda connection, etc.) – and by which point chaos and local resistance already reigned – Biden continued to defend the war and the “popular” president who orchestrated it. Biden didn’t just vote for aggression and mayhem in Iraq; he championed it.
Beyond Baghdad, Biden’s national security positions have also been abysmal. What’s more, based on his own published campaign vision, other than the discrete Iraq War vote itself, the presumptive Democratic nominee is unwilling to apologize for, or meaningfully alter, his past formulas for failure. It’s what Biden’s “vision” doesn’t mention that’s most troubling: Obama-destroyed Libya, his old boss’s floundering quagmire in Syria, any meaningful challenge to Israeli apartheid, or commitment to a full withdrawal of U.S. troops from Mideast disaster areas. Better yet, the word “drone” doesn’t appear once – so one assumes the terror bombing won’t abate under Biden. In the final analysis, Joe offers little more than the status quo from West Africa to Central Asia – an intolerable situation he himself crafted over decades as the Democrats’ leading foreign policy guru.
When it comes to war and peace, nominating Biden is like assigning the criminal with solving the crime.
Human Rights Watch issued the following this morning:
The Iraqi government and parliament should pass legislation to address key human rights shortcomings in Iraq’s legal system and take measures to minimize the risks Covid-19 poses to people in prison, Human Rights Watch said today. With the formation of Iraq’s government on May 7, 2020, parliament can now focus on legislative reform.
Human Rights Watch has identified four key areas to advance human rights in Iraq, around which previous governments and parliaments have drafted and reviewed legislative proposals but did not pass them. There are many areas for which legislative reform is needed to bring Iraqi law in line with international standards, but the bills already offered address legal representation, torture, enforced disappearance, and domestic violence.
“Iraq has entered a new phase, with fighting against the Islamic State (also known as ISIS) largely over,” said Belkis Wille, senior crisis and conflict researcher at Human Rights Watch. “The government should seize this opportunity to focus on protecting Iraqis’ basic rights and bringing Iraq’s laws in line with international standards.”
On March 29, 2018, before the May 2018 elections, the previous parliament completed an initial review of amendments to the Bar Association Law of 1965 that would guarantee defendants the right to have their lawyer in the room during an interrogation. Following this first reading, parliament members transmitted the amendments to the parliamentary legal committee for a second review. The bill carries no budgetary implications so is still pending before parliament and does not require further government action.
The Iraqi Constitution grants detainees the right to pick their own lawyer, or to ask to have one appointed by the government, who is allowed to be present throughout the investigative period. But detainees and lawyers have reported to Human Rights Watch for years that the authorities are not allowing lawyers to be present during interrogations. The amendments would require all facilities housing detainees and all courthouses to provide adequate space to allow for consultations with lawyers, including private rooms.
The amendments would require all authorities to allow lawyers to be present throughout judicial and investigative functions, to review all related documents, and to be alerted in advance about upcoming procedures in a case. It would prohibit interrogation of a suspect unless they are accompanied by a lawyer and nullify any interrogation in which that did not happen. The amendments include sanctions for authorities who interfere with lawyers’ rights and professional duties and order the authorities to inform the Bar Association if any criminal complaint is filed against a lawyer.
The parliamentary legal committee should support passage of the bill, Human Rights Watch said.
With the support of Heartland Alliance International, a human rights organization working in Iraq on detainees’ rights, a group of parliament members also prepared a draft Anti-Torture Bill in May 2017. The bill would require a judge to order a medical examination of any detainee alleging torture within 24 hours of learning of the allegation, which is often not occurring, Human Rights Watch said.
The bill also lays out the criminal sanctions for those who torture someone in their custody, calls on judges to dismiss all evidence gathered through torture and to dismiss the person who allegedly used torture from their role in the criminal case, and requires having a lawyer present for all detainees throughout the investigative period. Passage of this bill will help to address the extensive use of torture to extract confessions, Human Rights Watch said. The government should resubmit it to the parliament for review.
On May 14, 2020, Human Rights Watch sent a letter to the new government urging it to take steps to immediately further reduce the number of people of prisons, jails, and other places of detention in Iraq to prevent the spread of Covid-19. For years, Human Rights Watch has documented the acute overcrowding in Iraqi prisons in extremely unsanitary conditions. Media reports allege that authorities released 20,000 prisoners in April as a preventive measure, but they have not shared any information publicly on which detainees were selected for release and the criteria for selecting them.
Human Rights Watch has repeatedly asked Iraqi authorities over the past four years to share or make public the total number of people in Iraqi prisons. So far, authorities have refused to do so, making it impossible to assess whether the releases thus far have sufficiently reduced the acute overcrowding to enable social distancing.
An individual with knowledge of the situation inside Iraqi prisons told Human Rights Watch that he knew of at least one prison in Baghdad where prisoners and guards contracted Covid-19. Human Rights Watch was unable to verify this information.
In May 2017, Heartland Alliance International and a group of parliament members prepared the Bill for the Protection of People from Enforced Disappearance, which would make enforced disappearance a distinct crime under Iraqi law. The International Commission on Missing Persons, which has been working in partnership with the Iraqi government to help recover and identify the missing, estimates that the number of missing people in Iraq could range from 250,000 to 1 million. The International Committee of the Red Cross states that Iraq has the highest number of missing people in the world. Some of them are the subjects of enforced disappearances, including most recently some participants in the protest movement that began in October 2019.
Since 2014, Iraqi military and security forces have disappeared hundreds of people, mostly Sunni Arab men and boys, often during counterterrorism operations. The bill calls for appropriate restitution for victims of enforced disappearance and their families. The government should resubmit it to the parliament for review.
Prime Minister Mustafa al-Khadhimi committed on May 9 that the government would investigate the killings of over 600 protesters since October 2019. As part of the investigations, it should identify and make public the groups and security forces who engaged in or coordinated these killings and hold those responsible to account. It should compensate victims of all unlawful killings. Efforts are needed to locate demonstrators who were abducted and are still missing, with full accountability.
Finally, the government should make key amendments to an Anti-Domestic Violence bill and resubmit it to Parliament. The strengths of the draft bill, which has been pending before the previous parliament since 2015, include provisions for services for domestic violence survivors, shelters, protection orders, restraining orders and penalties for their breach, and the establishment of a cross-ministerial committee to combat domestic violence. Measures to combat domestic violence are all the more urgent in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“In recent years, security has dominated the legislative and governmental agenda in Iraq,” Wille said. “Under this new government, human rights should be the priority.”
The following sites updated: