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Since We are Cleaning House – Uncle Tommie Clarence Needs to Go as Well

The confirmation hearings on Clarence Thomas’ ascension to the Supreme Court featured what was probably the first nationwide coverage of sexual harassment in the workplace.

Uncle Tommie got a walk.

With the number of folks now losing their jobs and positions for acts like those of Thomas…Perhaps the ultimate test of whether the current flurry of sexual harassment punishments is a “fad” or something we will take seriously going forward is whether Thomas receives the same treatment. Whether he is punished or not has some rather serious implications relative to the Supreme Court’s already badly battered credibility.

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Clarence Thomas must resign

Utah Republican Orrin Hatch called “bullcrap” on Ohio Democrat Sherrod Brown last week. The Senate Finance Committee lion tore into Brown for “spewing” that the Republican tax plan to transfer a trillion dollars to the rich was in reality a Republican tax plan to transfer a trillion dollars to the rich.

I got my first dose of Hatch during the wall-to-wall coverage of the confirmation of Clarence Thomas, George H.W. Bush’s Supreme Court nominee. Hatch was the Republicans’ designated questioner of Anita Hill. She was called to testify because she’d told the FBI that Thomas had sexually harassed her 10 years earlier, when he was her boss at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Department of Education.

Sitting behind her were her mother, Erma (“who is going to be celebrating her 80th birthday”); her father, Albert; her sisters, Elreathea, Jo Ann, Coleen and Joyce; and her brother, Ray. No way she was going to lie to the committee, or to us, in front of them.

Hill testified that Thomas had repeatedly asked her out, and that she repeatedly refused. So he demeaned her. He told her someone had once “put a pubic hair” on his Coke can. He said porn star Long Dong Silver had nothing on him in the endowment department.

Hatch called her charges “contrived” and “sick.” He claimed she’d stolen them. The pubic hair, she’d taken from page 70 of “The Exorcist.” Long Dong Silver, she’d lifted from a Kansas sexual harassment case.

Hill agreed to a polygraph test, and passed. Thomas refused. He called the hearings a “high-tech lynching for uppity blacks.”

It was painful to watch Hatch slime Hill. Women who’d also been sexually harassed found in the hearings no reason to be less fearful of telling their stories. Nor, later, could they take comfort in how Bill Clinton’s accusers were reviled. Or Bill O’Reilly’s. Or Roger Ailes’s.

But something changed. The tipping point may have been Donald Trump bragging to Billy Bush about assaulting women. Sixteen of his victims had the courage to say he’d harassed or groped them.

I wouldn’t be surprised if Trump’s escape from accountability for that predation contributed to the decisions by Harvey Weinstein’s victims to talk on the record to Jodi Kantor and her New York Times colleagues and to Ronan Farrow at the New Yorker. Before long, more than 80 women attested to Weinstein’s assaults as far back as 1990.

Then nine women gave the Washington Post detailed accounts of Alabama Republican senatorial candidate Roy Moore’s history of pedophilia and abuse. They knew the blowback would be brutal. They did it anyway.

Still, Moore won’t quit. Why would he? Kay Ivey, Alabama’s Republican governor, says she’ll vote for him even though she believes his accusers. Better to elect a pedophile than a Democrat who’d vote against a Supreme Court nominee who’d overturn Roe v Wade.

Now Senator Al Franken is in the crosshairs. The Minnesota Democrat offered an apology to Leann Tweeden for “completely inappropriate” behavior in 2006, which she accepted, and he asked for an ethics investigation of the incident. Calls for his resignation illustrate the fallacy of false equivalence; they’re the witch-hunt Trump claimed had victimized him.

Hill was a thoroughly credible witness. Thomas has no stronger case for his innocence than do Trump, Moore or Weinstein. Pressed to defend Trump’s sexual improprieties, his press secretary said the American people “spoke very loud and clear when they elected this president.” No to put too fine a point on it, but she’s spewing bullcrap. Elections don’t decide culpability.

In the wake of the Hill/Thomas hearings, a record-breaking 117 women made it onto the federal ticket in the 1992 election. The 24 women elected to the House that year was the largest number in any single House election, and the three elected to the Senate tripled the number of women senators.

That sharp uptick didn’t persist. If you think that today’s 80% male Congress isn’t good enough, check out Project 100, which is working to elect 100 progressive women to Congress by 2020, the 100th anniversary of women’s right to vote. Full disclosure: my daughter is a co-founder. As her dad, and as the onetime speechwriter for the first presidential candidate to pick a woman as his running mate, you can imagine how proud of her I am. And how hopeful she and her young teammates make me feel.

 

 

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John Conyers and How Congress Covers Up Sexual Exploitation

If you saw my conversation with my board curmudgeon,  you would have seen I worked in the Halls of Congress for some years as part of my work for a computer manufacturer in my early career. So I am aware of the extent to which Congress excludes themselves from compliance with certain laws (like EEO) and covers up malfeasance.

If they are digging up Conyer’s dirt…

There is going to be hell on the Hill shortly – Because beside some of these guys, Conyers is a relative saint.

And Conyers ain’t no saint.

She Said A Powerful Congressman Harassed Her. Here’s Why You Didn’t Hear Her Story.

“When you make private settlements, it doesn’t warn the next woman or the next person going into that situation.”

Michigan Rep. John Conyers, a Democrat and the longest-serving member of the House of Representatives, settled a wrongful dismissal complaint in 2015 with a former employee who alleged she was fired because she would not “succumb to [his] sexual advances.”

Documents from the complaint obtained by BuzzFeed News include four signed affidavits, three of which are notarized, from former staff members who allege that Conyers, the ranking Democrat on the powerful House Judiciary Committee, repeatedly made sexual advances to female staff that included requests for sex acts, contacting and transporting other women with whom they believed Conyers was having affairs, caressing their hands sexually, and rubbing their legs and backs in public. Four people involved with the case verified the documents are authentic.

Conyers confirmed he made the settlement in a statement Tuesday afternoon, hours after this story was published, but said that he “vehemently denied” the claims of sexual harassment at the time and continues to do so.

And the documents also reveal the secret mechanism by which Congress has kept an unknown number of sexual harassment allegations secret: a grinding, closely held process that left the alleged victim feeling, she told BuzzFeed News, that she had no option other than to stay quiet and accept a settlement offered to her.

“I was basically blackballed. There was nowhere I could go,” she said in a phone interview. BuzzFeed News is withholding the woman’s name at her request because she said she fears retribution.

Last week the Washington Post reported that Congress’s Office of Compliance paid out $17 million for 264 settlements with federal employees over 20 years for various violations, including sexual harassment. The Conyers documents, however, give a glimpse into the inner workings of the office, which has for decades concealed episodes of sexual abuse by powerful political figures.

The woman who settled with Conyers launched the complaint with the Office of Compliance in 2014, alleging she was fired for refusing his sexual advances, and ended up facing a daunting process that ended with a confidentiality agreement in exchange for a settlement of more than $27,000. Her settlement, however, came from Conyers’ office budget rather than the designated fund for settlements.

Congress has no human resources department. Instead, congressional employees have 180 days to report a sexual harassment incident to the Office of Compliance, which then leads to a lengthy process that involves counseling and mediation, and requires the signing of a confidentiality agreement before a complaint can go forward.

After this an employee can choose to take the matter to federal district court, but another avenue is available: an administrative hearing, after which a negotiation and settlement may follow.

Some members of Congress have raised major concerns with the current system over the years, but the calls for an overhaul have grown louder in the post-Weinstein era. Members have argued that 90 days is too long to make a person continue working in the same environment with their harasser; that interns and fellows should be eligible to pursue complaints through this process; and that it is unfair for a victim to have to pay for legal representation while the office of the harasser is represented for free by the House’s counsel.

In this case, one of Conyers’ former employees was offered a settlement, in exchange for her silence, that would be paid out of Conyers’ taxpayer-funded office budget. His office would “rehire” the woman as a “temporary employee” despite her being directed not to come into the office or do any actual work, according to the document. The complainant would receive a total payment of $27,111.75 over the three months, after which point she would be removed from the payroll, according to the document.

The draft agreement viewed by BuzzFeed News was unsigned, but congressional employment records match the timing and amounts outlined in the document. The woman left the office and never went public with her story.

The process was “disgusting,” said Matthew Peterson, who worked as a law clerk representing the complainant, and who listed as a signatory to some of the documents.

“It is a designed cover-up,” said Peterson, who declined to discuss details of the case but agreed to characterize it in general terms. “You feel like they were betrayed by their government just for coming forward. It’s like being abused twice.”

Other lawyers named as representing the accuser could not be reached for comment. The Office of Compliance did not confirm or deny that it had dealt with the case.

“Pursuant to the Congressional Accountability Act, the OOC cannot comment on whether matters have or have not been filed with the office,” Laura Cech, publications and outreach manager of the Office of Compliance, told BuzzFeed News in an email when asked to comment on this case.

Two staffers alleged in their signed affidavits that Conyers used congressional resources to fly in women they believed he was having affairs with. Another said she was tasked with driving women to and from Conyers’ apartment and hotel rooms.

Rep. Conyers did not admit fault as part of the settlement. His office did not respond to multiple requests for comment on Monday, but released a public statement on the matter Tuesday afternoon.

The documents were first provided to BuzzFeed News by Mike Cernovich, the men’s rights figure turned pro-Trump media activist who propagated a number of false conspiracy theories including the “Pizzagate” conspiracy. Cernovich said he gave the documents to BuzzFeed News for vetting and further reporting, and because he said if he published them himself, Democrats and congressional leaders would “try to discredit the story by attacking the messenger.” He provided them without conditions. BuzzFeed News independently confirmed the authenticity of the documents with four people directly involved with the case, including the accuser.

In her complaint, the former employee said Conyers repeatedly asked her for sexual favors and often asked her to join him in a hotel room. On one occasion, she alleges that Conyers asked her to work out of his room for the evening, but when she arrived the congressman started talking about his sexual desires. She alleged he then told her she needed to “touch it,” in reference to his penis, or find him a woman who would meet his sexual demands.

She alleged Conyers made her work nights, evenings, and holidays to keep him company.

In another incident, the former employee alleged the congressman insisted she stay in his room while they traveled together for a fundraising event. When she told him that she would not stay with him, she alleged he told her to “just cuddle up with me and caress me before you go.”

“Rep. Conyers strongly postulated that the performing of personal service or favors would be looked upon favorably and lead to salary increases or promotions,” the former employee said in the documents.

Three other staff members provided affidavits submitted to the Office Of Compliance that outlined a pattern of behavior from Conyers that included touching the woman in a sexual manner and growing angry when she brought her husband around.

One affidavit from a former female employee states that she was tasked with flying in women for the congressman. “One of my duties while working for Rep. Conyers was to keep a list of women that I assumed he was having affairs with and call them at his request and, if necessary, have them flown in using Congressional resources,” said her affidavit. (A second staffer alleged in an interview that Conyers used taxpayer resources to fly women to him.)

The employee said in her affidavit that Conyers also made sexual advances toward her: “I was driving the Congressman in my personal car and was resting my hand on the stick shift. Rep. Conyers reached over and began to caress my hand in a sexual manner.”

The woman said she told Conyers she was married and not interested in pursuing a sexual relationship, according to the affidavit. She said she was told many times by constituents that it was well-known that Conyers had sexual relationships with his staff, and said she and other female staffers felt this undermined their credibility.

“I am personally aware of several women who have experienced the same or similar sexual advances made towards them by Rep[.] John Conyers,” she said in her affidavit.

A male employee wrote that he witnessed Rep. Conyers rub the legs and other body parts of the complainant “in what appeared to be a sexual manner” and saw the congressman rub and touch other women “in an inappropriate manner.” The employee said he confronted Conyers about this behavior.

“Rep. Conyers said he needed to be ‘more careful’ because bad publicity would not be helpful as he runs for re-election. He ended the conversation with me by saying he would ‘work on’ his behavior,” the male staffer said in his affidavit.

The male employee said that in 2011 Conyers complained a female staffer was “too old” and said he wanted to let her go. The employee said he set up a meeting in December 2011 to discuss “mistreatment of staff and his misuse of federal resources.” The affidavit says that Conyers “agreed that he would work on making improvements as long as I worked directly with him and stopped writing memos and emails about concerns.”

Another female employee also attested that she witnessed Conyer’s advances, and said she was asked to transport women to him. “I was asked on multiple occasions to pick up women and bring them to Mr. Conyers[‘] apartment, hotel rooms, etc.”

BuzzFeed News reached out to several former Conyers staffers, all of whom did not want to speak on the record. One former staffer, who did not want to be named, said she was frustrated by the secretive complaint process.

“I don’t think any allegations should be buried…and that’s for anyone, not just for this particular office, because it doesn’t really allow other people to see who these individuals are,” said the former staffer. “When you make private settlements, it doesn’t warn the next woman or the next person going into that situation.”

Another staffer said Conyers’ reputation made people fearful to speak out against him. Aside from being the longest-serving House member and the ranking member of a powerful committee, Conyers is a civil rights icon. He was lauded by Martin Luther King Jr. and is a founding member of the Congressional Black Caucus.

“Your story won’t do shit to him,” said the staffer. “He’s untouchable.”

In a statement to BuzzFeed News, House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi said she was not aware of the settlement.

“The current process includes the signing of non-disclosure agreements by the parties involved. Congresswoman Jackie Speier has introduced legislation that will provide much-needed transparency on these agreements and make other critical reforms,” Pelosi said in the statement. “I strongly support her efforts.”…

 

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ANOTHER White-Wing Child Molester

The daily roll call of white-wing and evangelical right caught molesting children…

Indiana Republican councilman under investigation on charges of molesting a 10-year-old girl

Republican Indianapolis city councilman Jeff Miller is reportedly under investigation for charges of child molestation, according to sources within the city police department.

Channel 8 WISH-TV said that multiple sources within the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department confirmed that Miller is facing charges.

The Indianapolis Business Journal obtained a police incident report from Oct. 20 listing the offense as “sex crime — child fondling” which took place at Miller’s home address.

The suspect is described as “a 50-year-old white male who is 5’11” and 160 pounds — all of which matches Miller,” said the Journal.

IMPD officer Sgt. Eli McAllister wrote in the report, “I learned that a ten-year-old child disclosed she had been molested.”

McAllister spoke to the Journal and said that the incident is under investigation but declined to say more or to confirm whether Miller is the suspect identified in the report.

“Honestly. I can’t comment on any ongoing, open investigations,” he said.

 

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Roy Moore’s Racist Lawyer

Alabama Republican Roy Moore’s racist lawyer –

 

 

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Women of Color Tell White Sisters – “What took you so long on Twitter!”

The feminist movement has a color line as well…

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Rose McGowan

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Leslie Jones

WOMEN OF COLOR HAVE BEEN COMPLAINING ABOUT TWITTER LONG BEFORE WHITE WOMEN

Thousands of women across Twitter boycotted the platform in solidarity with actress Rose McGowan on Friday, leaving many women of color with a troubling question: What took so long?

#WomenBoycottTwitter began trending Thursday night, when Twitter temporarily suspended McGowan’s account amid a string of tweets from the actress speaking out against her alleged rapist, Harvey Weinstein, and actor Ben Affleck, whom she told to “fuck off.” McGowan and other women argued the platform had been silencing a survivor of alleged sexual assault — so on Friday, women said they would abstain from Twitter.

But others, mostly women of color, asked where those women had been when Jemele Hill was suspended from ESPN for her tweets about President Donald Trump, or when alt-right provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos sicced his internet trolls on Leslie Jones.

“Calling white women allies to recognize conflict of #WomenBoycottTwitter for women of color who haven’t received support on similar issues,” director Ava DuVernay tweeted Thursday night.

“What happened with Rose McGowan being suspended was wrong,” writer and sociologist Eve Ewing added. “Unequivocally wrong. But if that’s what activated your awareness, I don’t especially trust you.”

Calling white women allies to recognize conflict of  for women of color who haven’t received support on similar issues.

Some women of color on the platform took advantage of an alternative to #WomenBoycottTwitter, using the hashtag #AmplifyWomen to uplift women and give their stories of sexual assault and trauma broader reach.

“As a queer WoC and a survivor of sexual assault, you’re not gonna shut me up,” wrote one Twitter user who used the hashtag. “You’re not gonna shut any of us up.”

Twitter did eventually restore McGowan’s account midday Thursday. The company claimed that it is “proud to empower and support the voices on our platform, especially those that speak truth to power.”

In the meantime, Twitter remains under fire for not suspending the account of President Donald Trump amid charges that he has violated the social media’s rules with his demeaning and insulting tweets.

Most recently, the president retweeted a GIF of him firing a golf ball at former rival Hillary Clinton, which some said advocated violence, a Twitter no-no.

 

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Another One Bites the Dust…Fox News Sexual Predation Epidemic

Damn! Did Faux News put in the Job Requirements a requirement for sexual predators? Seems like about the 50th senior Faux News cable manager who has gotten canned for not keeping his hands to himself.

“Fair and Balanced”?

How about “Freaky and Bullying”?

‘Making Money’ host Charles Payne suspended from Fox Business Network after harassment allegations

Making Money” host Charles Payne was suspended from Fox Business Network, a company spokeswoman said on Thursday.

The spokeswoman said Payne had been “suspended pending further investigation” and rotating sub-hosts would fill in on the Twenty-First Century Fox-owned cable network .

Payne did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Media reports from BuzzFeed and Variety surfaced earlier on Thursday attributing the suspension to allegations of harassment. http://bit.ly/2sSwgaH

The company did not immediately confirm whether Payne was suspended over the allegations.

Fox’s spokeswoman said in a statement: “We take issues of this nature extremely seriously and have a zero tolerance policy for any professional misconduct. This matter is being thoroughly investigated and we are taking all of the appropriate steps to reach a resolution in a timely manner.”

In June, Payne signed a multi-year contract to continue as host of “Making Money.”

 
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Posted by on July 7, 2017 in Faux News

 

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WSJ Reports Faux News to Terminate O’Reilly

The veritable Bill Cosby of the talking head world is about to lose his ride.

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Molester to Molester

WSJ: Fox News Prepping to Cut Ties With O’Reilly

According to a report in The Wall Street Journal Tuesday night, Fox News is preparing to cut ties with  Bill O’Reilly. The news came on the heels of a number of reports suggesting that O’Reilly’s days are numbered at the cable channel. According to an earlier report from CNN, representatives for Fox and O’Reilly have started conversations about an exit for the embattled host, who has been on vacation. Sources in O’Reilly’s camp denied that this was the case, according to CNN. However, the network’s parent company, 21st Century Fox will hold a board meeting Thursday in which O’Reilly is expected to be discussed. The Murdoch family, who control 21st Century Fox, is not commenting on the matter. The recent O’Reilly problems  stem from a New York Times report that detailed undisclosed settlement payments that O’Reilly, Fox News, and 21st Century Fox paid to women who accused O’Reilly of sexual harassment and verbal abuse.

The straw which appears to have broken this despicable camel’s back…

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Ailes Faux New Harem. If they were hiring them for their brains…Don’t you think there should be a little “diversity” in looks? Hair color?

New Accuser Says Bill O’Reilly Called Her ‘Hot Chocolate,’ Made ‘Animal Noises’

Lisa Bloom, a high-profile California feminist attorney, says she is now representing yet another woman who has phoned in a complaint of sexual and racial harassment against Bill O’Reilly to the Fox News hotline. Bloom says the new accuser is not after money. The woman, an African American who worked as a clerical worker in 2008 at Fox News, claims Bill O’Reilly engaged in a pattern of harassment that lasted for months including making animal noises at her, staring at her cleavage and calling her “hot chocolate.”

“Although she is very scared and wished to remain anonymous, she felt like she had to add her story and speak out,” Bloom said, adding that three people have backed up the woman’s story.

Bloom is also representing Wendy Walsh, who was a frequent Fox News guest. She claims that O’Reilly snowballed her chances of becoming a paid contributor when she refused to go to a hotel room with him after dinner. Bloom says Walsh raised the allegation for the first time in response to the NY Times reporter, and only first spoke publicly and notified the network via their hotline this April.

News first broke of the big O’Reilly scandal in The New York Times (which, by the way, we had an inkling was coming when LawNewz first published allegations from former anchor Juliet Huddy back in January). The newspaper confirmed that Fox News and O’Reilly had settled five separate claims of sexual harassment against the rating mega-star. Those claims do not include Walsh’s new allegations nor the anonymous woman.

A spokesperson for 21st Century Fox has declined to comment on the latest woman to come forward. However, a recent report says that both Murdoch sons have turned against Bill O’Reilly, and might even want him out of the network.

“It is outrageous that an allegation from an anonymous person about something that purportedly happened a decade ago is being treated as fact, especially when there is an obviously orchestrated campaign by activists and lawyers to destroy Mr. O’Reilly and enrich themselves through publicity driven donations,” Marc E. Kasowitz, an attorney for Bill O’Reilly told CNN.

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Posted by on April 19, 2017 in Faux News

 

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