Saturday, May 02, 2020

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:

Media screw-ups w/ Katie Halper: MSNBC finally confronts Biden over Tara Reade allegations

Krystal and Saagar analyze MSNBC's Joe Biden interview on Tara Reade allegations, with podcast host Katie Halper, who was the first to interview Reade and report her account weeks ago. About Rising:  Rising is a weekday morning show with bipartisan hosts that breaks the mold of morning TV by taking viewers inside the halls of Washington power like never before. The show leans into the day's political cycle with cutting edge analysis from DC insiders who can predict what is going to happen. It also sets the day's political agenda by breaking exclusive news with a team of scoop-driven reporters and demanding answers during interviews with the country's most important political newsmakers.  Follow Rising on social media: Website: Hill.TV Facebook: Instagram: @HillTVLive Twitter: @HillTVLive Follow Saagar Enjeti & Krystal Ball on social media: Twitter: @esaagar and @krystalball Instagram: @esaagar and @krystalmball

New Episode! Laboring For Justice: See No Stranger with Valarie Kaur

Laboring For Justice: See No Stranger

In a world that’s unraveling from climate disruption and gaping inequality, another climate crisis confronts us: the climate of hate and othering. Award-winning scholar and educator Valarie Kaur says to overcome racism and nationalism, we must not succumb to rage and grief. As someone who has spent much of her life challenging horrific injustices and intolerance, Kaur learned the lesson that historical nonviolent change-makers understood: social movements must be grounded in an ethic of love. She founded the Revolutionary Love Project, and has emerged as one of the most important voices of the American Sikh community, and a highly influential faith leader on the national stage.

We're happy to announce The Bioneers: Revolution From the Heart of Nature has earned a Bronze award from New York Festivals.
Click here to browse the full collection of programs, and subscribe to the podcast on your favorite platform — Apple PodcastsSpotifySoundcloudGoogle Podcasts, or Stitcher!
The Bioneers: Revolution From the Heart of Nature is an international, award-winning radio and podcast series. Free to everyone, this series offers listeners and 165 radio stations access to in-depth interviews with leading social innovators, scientists, and diverse grassroots leaders. Our programs cover a wide range of topics, including intelligence in nature, climate justice, gender equity, Indigenous knowledge, youth activism and more.

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ACLU Statement Calls for the Release of Pregnant People from Prisons and Jails

From the ACLU:

May 1, 2020
WASHINGTON — New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo issued an executive order today to release pregnant people who have less than six months in their sentence from New York prisons.

In response, the ACLU has put out a call for governors around the country, President Trump, and the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) to build on Cuomo’s decision and release all pregnant people from prisons and jails who have less than a year remaining on their sentence.

Data related to the incarceration of pregnant people is unreliable, but a recent study estimated that nearly 3,000 pregnant people are admitted to state and federal prisons each year, and 55,000 to jails.

Earlier this week, Andrea Circle Bear, 30 years old of South Dakota, became the first federally incarcerated woman to die from COVID-19 in a BOP facility in Fort Worth, Texas, just 28 days after giving birth. Andrea was serving a two-year sentence for a drug charge.

Cynthia Roseberry, deputy director of policy at the ACLU’s Justice Division, issued the following statement:

“Andrea Circle Bear’s death this week was a startling wakeup call that shows the true cost of the U.S. obsession with mass incarceration during the COVID-19 pandemic. For decades, women have been the fastest growing demographic in U.S. prisons and jails, resulting in the destruction of families and communities — disproportionately communities of color.

“The data clearly shows that mass incarceration poses a public health crisis that will cause more deaths in communities around this country. Governors around the country, President Trump, and BOP have the power to build on Gov.r Cuomo’s decision and release pregnant people in their custody who are due to be released in the next year. Doing so will mitigate the tragedy we’re facing and will benefit public health around the country.”

Paralyzed Veterans of America launches campaign to support high-risk veterans during COVID-19 crisis

Paralyzed Veterans of America issued the following:

WASHINGTON, April 17, 2020 -- Paralyzed Veterans of America is launching Stories from the Inside, a national awareness and support campaign, featuring long-time supporter Ben Affleck and paralyzed veterans sharing their fears and struggles from the confinement of their homes due to COVID-19. PVA is taking action during the crisis to ensure the nation's most catastrophically injured veterans have access to resources they need to survive.

With underlying health issues, paralyzed veterans, and all people with serious disabilities, are at the greatest risk for deadly repercussions should they contract COVID-19. Many in this vulnerable population use wheelchairs and rely on others for daily care and vital supplies. They remain trapped in their homes with growing concerns about exposure, limited supplies, increased anxiety, or depression. A trend that will continue for their foreseeable futures.

Stories from the Inside includes a plea from Affleck to viewers to join him in supporting Paralyzed Veterans of America. From financial assistance to purchase supplies and food, to urging lawmakers to prioritize veteran health care, benefits, and civil rights, PVA represents those who cannot advocate for themselves during this crisis.

"The specialized care required for someone with a spinal cord injury or disease is not always available in typical health facilities. It is crucial that we make sure the needs of paralyzed veterans, and all people with disabilities, are not forgotten during this pandemic," said David Zurfluh, national president of Paralyzed Veterans of America. "Through the generosity of donors, we can remain the front-line warriors for paralyzed veterans. Tasks that used to be a challenge, like going to the grocery store, are now practically impossible. They are going to need us for months ahead."

PVA national service officers work from within Department of Veterans Affairs Spinal Cord Injury and Disorder centers and they continue to work on the front line, ensuring these veterans are getting the care they need, processing benefits claims and advocating on behalf of paralyzed veterans and their caregivers.

PVA chapters across the country have enacted emergency relief programs and wellness efforts. "In this time of crisis, not all help is medically related," said Zurfluh. "Sometimes just having someone to ask, 'How are you?' can make the difference between feeling alone and afraid to knowing you're supported. I make calls every day and tell every member I speak to, 'You are not forgotten. We're here and we care about you.'"

To support the life-saving efforts of PVA during this crisis, or if you are a paralyzed veteran in need of assistance, visit for more information.

The Week: Michael Moore sparks green energy controversy; Witnesses confirm Tara Reade allegations

Planet of the Humans’ executive director Michael Moore responded to critics who accused the film of attacking climate change leaders and urging population control. Investigative reporter Rich McHugh shares details from his corroborating interviews with Biden sexual assault accuser Tara Reade’s former neighbor Lynda LaCasse, and Tara’s mentor after she left Biden’s Senate office, Lorraine Sanchez. Former National Co-chair for the Bernie Sanders Presidential Campaign Nina Turner reacts to New York's canceled primary and calls Jeff Weaver's super PAC the "antithesis" of the Sanders campaign's goal to get big money out of politics. Michael Moore, filmmakers respond to criticism of new bombshell environmental film Exclusive: Reporter discusses his Tara Reade bombshell, responds to accusations he's helping Trump Nina Turner REACTS to New York primary cancellation, denounces Sanders aide super PAC Watch Rising Here: Check out What America's Thinking Here: The Hill is the premier source for policy and political news. Like, share, and subscribe to HillTV on YouTube and be sure to click the bell to stay notified when we post new content. Head to for all the latest news from Washington. Follow The Hill and HillTV on Social Media:

Friday, May 01, 2020

Joe Biden Not Asked 2 Most Important Questions About Tara Reade and.... May Day!

[Video begins at 14:57 point.]

Why Joe Biden’s Denial of Tara Reade’s Sexual Assault Allegation Can’t Be Accepted

Status Coup's Jenn Dize reports on Joe Biden's interview on Morning Joe, where he denied Tara Reade's allegation of sexual assault but refused to allow the search and release of any University of Delaware-stored documents pertaining to Tara Reade. SUPPORT our investigative reporting GoFundMe if you can: SUPPORT Status Coup's INDEPENDENT IN-THE-FIELD reporting for as $5 bucks a month: HELP US DEFEAT THE SUPPRESSION OF INDEPENDENT MEDIA! Joining our email and text list will ENSURE you know when we're live: 1)JOIN Status Coup's Email List: 2)JOIN Status Coup's text alert list by texting 474747 and enter Coup **SUBSCRIBE to this YouTube channel, CLICK the bell, and CLICK ON ALL NOTIFICATIONS SOCIAL MEDIA 1)FOLLOW Status Coup on Twitter: 2)FOLLOW Status Coup on Instagram: 3)LIKE Status Coup on Facebook: 4)FOLLOW Status Coup on Twitch: Check out the Status Coup merchandise store! Please RATE Status Coup’s Podcast 5 Stars and leave a review!

Krystal Ball: Don't let establishment gaslight you into thinking Biden is our only choice

Krystal Ball discusses the partisan handling of Tara Reade and makes the case that the Democratic party doesn't have to move forward with Joe Biden as the presidential nominee. About Rising:  Rising is a weekday morning show with bipartisan hosts that breaks the mold of morning TV by taking viewers inside the halls of Washington power like never before. The show leans into the day's political cycle with cutting edge analysis from DC insiders who can predict what is going to happen. It also sets the day's political agenda by breaking exclusive news with a team of scoop-driven reporters and demanding answers during interviews with the country's most important political newsmakers.  Follow Rising on social media: Website: Hill.TV Facebook: Instagram: @HillTVLive Twitter: @HillTVLive Follow Saagar Enjeti & Krystal Ball on social media: Twitter: @esaagar and @krystalball Instagram: @esaagar and @krystalmball

Krystal and Saagar REACT LIVE: MSNBC presses Biden on allegation, misses the mark

Krystal and Saagar share their reactions to Joe Biden's interview on Morning Joe along with the statement he released denying Tara Reade's allegations. About Rising:  Rising is a weekday morning show with bipartisan hosts that breaks the mold of morning TV by taking viewers inside the halls of Washington power like never before. The show leans into the day's political cycle with cutting edge analysis from DC insiders who can predict what is going to happen. It also sets the day's political agenda by breaking exclusive news with a team of scoop-driven reporters and demanding answers during interviews with the country's most important political newsmakers.  Follow Rising on social media: Website: Hill.TV Facebook: Instagram: @HillTVLive Twitter: @HillTVLive Follow Saagar Enjeti & Krystal Ball on social media: Twitter: @esaagar and @krystalball Instagram: @esaagar and @krystalmball

#IbelieveTara #MoringJoe Joe Biden Didn't Fool Anyone in Morning Joe interview with Mika Brzezinski on Tara Reade Claims

Earlier this morning, Joe Biden went on MSNBC Show Morning Joe for an interview with Mika Brzezinski on the claims by Tara Reade against Biden. Ultimately Mika's calls of hypocrisy around Brett Kavanaugh and her calls to have the University of Delaware papers open rang true, but she did forget to mention recent news such as the 1993 Larry King Live recoring of Tara's Mother No one was fooled by Biden, even when not exhibiting cognitive decline or dementia. #IbelieveTara #MoringJoe Support me on Patreon: Support me on PayPal: For Christo Aivalis: Twitter: Facebook: Website: Twitch:

#DemocracyNow Tara Reade’s Ex-Neighbor on Biden Sexual Assault Allegation: I Believed Her Then & I Believe Her Now

Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden denied sexual assault allegations against him on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” on Friday, breaking his silence after weeks of mounting pressure to respond to claims put forward by former staffer Tara Reade, who says he sexually assaulted her in 1993. In a statement, Biden said, “I want to address allegations by a former staffer that I engaged in misconduct 27 years ago. They aren’t true. This never happened.” Tara Reade first came forward with her allegations in March, saying Biden pushed her up against a wall and digitally penetrated her. In a Democracy Now! broadcast exclusive, we speak with Reade’s former neighbor Lynda LaCasse, who says that Reade told her about the encounter and described it in detail in the 1990s. LaCasse is a lifelong Democrat and Biden supporter. She says of Tara Reade, “I believe her 100%.” We also speak with investigative journalist Rich McHugh, who first interviewed LaCasse for Business Insider. #DemocracyNow Democracy Now! is an independent global news hour that airs on nearly 1,400 TV and radio stations Monday through Friday. Watch our livestream 8-9AM ET: Please consider supporting independent media by making a donation to Democracy Now! today: FOLLOW DEMOCRACY NOW! ONLINE: YouTube: Facebook: Twitter: Instagram: SoundCloud: iTunes: Daily Email Digest:

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.


Turning to Iraq, Margaret Griffis (ANTIWAR.COM) looks at violence in Iraq for the month of April.  Among other things, she notes:

During April, at least 208 people were killed, and 185 were wounded. Last month, 128 people were killed, and 180 were wounded. The number of civilian casualties remained low, probably due to the coronavirus lockdowns. However, casualties among security personnel and militants ticked higher.
At least 20 civilians, 48 security members, and 98 militants were killed. Another 38 civilians, 103 security personnel, and three militants were wounded. At least two protesters were killed, and 34 were wounded despite quarantine orders.

Along the northern border, in the long-running conflict between the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (P.K.K) and Turkey, at least 33 PKK members of the were killed, and four more were wounded. Two Turkish soldiers were killed, and three more were wounded. Three Iraqi civilians and two Iranian civilians were also killed. These casualties all occurred within Iraqi territory. 

But remember, we're all supposed to believe that the war ended long ago.  And that all US troops came home.

The following sites updated: