35 thoughts on “News/Politics 3-21-17

  1. Debra, Last night you said Russell Moore made a “false allegation” that Trump committed sexual assaults. A few thoughts:

    1. Moore made his charge after Trump confessed to sexual assaults in the most lurid language.
    2. On this blog (immediately after the airing of Trump’s confession) DJ commented that if the confession was true, there should be female victims who would confirm that Trump had sexually assaulted them.
    3. Sure enough, over the next few days and weeks, between 10-15 women confirmed that Trump had assaulted them and gave details.
    4. Even as Hillary had savaged Bill Clinton’s victims, Trump then verbally condemned and threatened the women who confirmed the accuracy of his own confession.

    I understand people who voted for Trump because he was “Our” sexual predator or because of the Supreme Court. However, when Trumpkins believe the crazy “tapp” allegations (which have been denied by virtually everyone in government and confirmed by no credible source) and don’t believe Trump’s corroborated sexual assault confession, rational people are going to conclude that they are members of a cult.

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  2. Fox News has pulled Napolitano off the air.

    I always liked the guy. Unfortunately, Fox News reporters and commentators are now like the parents of a toddler. Anything they say may be repeated without verification in an inappropriate setting or (in the case of Sweden and Tucker’s show) publicly misinterpreted by the orange child in the White House.

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  3. Ricky, Trump’s comments were crass, but not sexual assault. Period. It is impossible to know if any of those women who subsequently came forward were simply fighting a highly charged political fight or not, and given the behavior of like minded women on the National Mall, I’m not inclined to credit the claims without substantial evidence. As far as I know, no one pressed charges or had real charges to press. However, if you are aware that this is currently being adjudicated or was adjudicated and he was found guilty, I would be glad to have a link and reconsider.

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  4. Debra, Trump’s comments weren’t sexual assaults. His sexual assaults, as described by his own confession and confirmed by his victims, were the sexual assaults.

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  5. Unlike with Clinton, the victims did not originate the story. Trump accused himself of multiple sexual assaults! The poor victims just confirmed that for once, Trump was telling the truth.

    Bill Clinton hasn’t been convicted of sexual assault, but we all know he committed them even though he, unlike Trump, did not give a taped confession.

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  6. Your statement is demonstrably false, Ricky, and anyone who has taken the trouble to listen to the tapes knows it. Are there even any civil cases from these women? That would not be proof, but it would at least be *something* to indicate that the claims were not merely the political ploys they appear to be?

    Clinton’s accusers are still around and apparently telling the same story they told 20 years ago back in Arkansas. But Clinton is not the issue here is it…

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  7. No. He didn’t claim to do anything without consent. He obviously saw himself as a rock star surrounded by groupies, and in his circle, he probably was.

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  8. Deb, I’ve heard what Trump said. What he boasted of doing is sexual assault, which in its definition includes groping without consent. The way he worded it sounded as if he did it without consent, making it sexual assault. He was the one boasting in that way, nobody forced him to say it. Frankly, I wouldn’t be surprised if he actually did do it. Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks, and Trump has long been very crass when talking about attractive women.

    Here is the thing, I can think of quite a few prominent men, among them Bill Gothard, the former head of IBLP/ATI, who received similar accusations – Gothard was accused of repeatedly groping or sexually touching young teen girls, with whom he was known (I witnessed his preference) to surround himself at his training centres; a former pupil of his program, Josh Duggar was also accused of, and admitted to, groping. Gothard was removed from the head of IBLP, an organization with a long history of covering up sexual abuse allegation – among them, Josh Duggar’s assaults. The Duggar’s show, ’19 Kids and Counting’ was removed from TLC. In these accusation, multiple women came forward with allegations, these allegations have not been proven (how can one prove it, when there is no remaining physical evidence or eye witnesses of the abuse), yet the number of the accusations indicated that there was grounds for concern. Bill Cosby is another example of how sheer numbers can serve as evidence. There was recently a popular radio host on our national broadcaster who lost his job, after multiple women accused him of sexual assault, even though those accusation could not be proven in court. But, when multiple accusations rise against Trump, they are quickly dismissed as all a conspiracy, or people trying to get their 20 minutes of fame, or the women’s character themselves are attacked. Nothing has changed in politics since Bill Clinton’s day.

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  9. Debra, I really didn’t have to take the trouble to listen to the tape. Thanks to your hero, I and every schoolchild in America got to listen to Trump’s obscene confession every 30 minutes on TV and radio for about a seven day period.

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  10. Deb, there is a certain power dynamic which comes from being in positions of power, which may make it hard for those under you to say no. Nurses have lost their licenses for engaging in sexual relationships with clients, even though the client initially consented, because it is recognized that the nurse is in a position of power over a client and thus the argument that the client gave consent is invalid – the consent can not be assumed to have been freely given, because the client was not on an equal footing with the nurse. Employers have a similar kind of power over employees, and it is increasingly recognized that a boss who engages in a sexual relationship with his secretary may indeed be subtly coercing her. Perhaps the women around Trump may not have said no, but they may have felt that they had little choice in the matter.

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  11. Debra, Keeping in mind the DOJ definition of sexual assault and your contention that the assaults were consensual, is there a place on the tape where Trump says, “I like to approach women and say, ‘May I grab you by the …?’

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  12. From the DOJ site, I see that 45% of women have been sexually assaulted, and 22% of men. So over 25% of the entire population has been sexually assaulted. That’s an epidemic.

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  13. Deb, exactly, it is a serious and pervasive issue, and has long been so. It is only recently that much of what goes on behind closed doors is being brought into the open – I know of women my mother’s age who endured sexual abuse and/or sexual assault, but were too afraid to come forward with their stories; they only told them to people they could trust, such as my mother. That women, and men, are now gaining that courage is a good thing. It is something the church, who too long has turned a blind eye to abuse in their own midst, should be helping victims do “Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them” (Ephesians 5:11). That is why it is encouraging when a man like Bill Cosby, despite his popularity, gets ostracized for what he is accused of doing. That is why it is discouraging when a man like Trump can boast of such behaviour, and still be elected President. Yes, I know, there were other motivations for those who voted for him, and I do not judge them as having actively supported a predator. However, I would be easier in my mind if I saw his supporters being honest about just what kind of man he is. A bad man who is surrounded by people who clearly see his faults and won’t let him get away with them will do less damage than a bad man who is surrounded by sycophants in whose eyes he can do wrong.

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  14. Or those numbers, like the college “sexual assault” numbers the last DoJ came up with, are total BS.

    B. Final answer.

    Must be a slow news day if you 3 are back to that nonsense. And that’s what it was then, and now.

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  15. Ricky,

    Sure Ricky, because men have never been known to embellish stories about their sexual conquests, right? 🙄

    No criminal charges were ever filed. Not once.

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  16. The Real, no criminal charges were filed against Bill Gothard, but those who knew him and knew the women involved, while it couldn’t be proved in court, saw reason to believe the accusations. Remember, it took years for Sandusky to be brought to trial, and his crimes involved full rape. The cover up happens all the time.I ask again, with something like groping, short of eye witnesses, how can it be proven in a court? Unless several women saying that the perpetrator did the same thing to each one of them counts as multiple witnesses.

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  17. AJ @4:55. I was in locker rooms with folks a lot tougher than Mr. Private School Donald Trump. I never heard such language from 17 or 22 year old Texans. I really can’t speak for New Yorkers. Is that really the way 59 year old New York males speak?

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  18. Roscuro, I think sexual assault and rape are probably under-reported, and more prevalent than we’d like to think. We don’t want to be complicit in criminal or immoral activity—even if it’s the President’s. But I don’t think we are. Each is responsible for our own deeds, and no one gets away with anything in the end. But *if* he is guilty of sexual assault, then he got away with it—for now.

    Of course, he has already been tried and found guilty by his detractors. But it has not escaped my notice that the people who continue to degrade him for comments or actions made a decade ago, are not doing so because it has any direct bearing on his current activities. There is zero reason to believe that he is sexually assaulting anyone now or even being unfaithful to his wife. The degrading comments are being referenced simply because some people hate his politics. It’s what people do when they lack real arguments—we spew. It’s human nature. But if he governs well this time, I will vote for him to get a second term.

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  19. Deb, the current conversation began after you brought up Russell Moore’s use of the term sexual assault. I thought Moore spent a little too much time upon Trump during the election, and was getting a bit off track, but I did understand why he criticized Trump so harshly in that area. Moore, as a representative of the religious community, would have felt the need to help distance the church from seeming to endorse such boasting. Moore has since commended Trump’s administration when he thinks they have done something right, and criticized it thoughtfully when he thinks they are off track.
    It is important to give due respect and honour one’s leaders, as that is repeatedly instructed in the Bible. However, respect doesn’t preclude criticism when they are in the wrong. Recall that Christ, who did not get involved in politics, called Herod a fox, which was an apt description of the man, and refused to humour him when he demanded a miracle. So, criticism of Trump’s character, which even if the tape had never come to light is still filled with a long record of immoral womanizing, isn’t lack of respect for his office.

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  20. Debra, My opposition to Trump’s admitted sexual assaults have nothing to do with his politics. If Ted Cruz or Bobby Jindal had bragged about committing sexual assaults, I would think they were just as unfit to hold office as Trump or Clinton.

    There are two separate issues: 1.political positions and 2. personal character and fitness for office issues.

    1. You and I disagree on many political issues. I understand you like Trump’s position on most issues, especially protectionism and immigration. I have thus far been pleasantly surprised by Trump’s appointments and his budget and may be pleasantly surprised by his political actions as a whole.

    2. Then there are the character issues. In that area none of the NeverTrumpers have been surprised at all. From the phone fights with Australia, the constant lying, the baseless “tapp” and “voter fraud” charges, the Twitter wars with Nordstrom and Snoop Dogg, and a score of other issues, Trump has been just what we expected: a spoiled, rich, out-of-control childlike imbecile. Such a person brags about committing sexual assaults at age 59. I see no evidence he has matured or changed at all.

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  21. The economics of newspapers and other media is changing. Nevertheless, journalists will look back on this as a Golden Age like the Watergate times. Ordinarily, one might have to work for days or even weeks to prove White House deception. In this Administration all you have to do is watch televised hearings and follow Trump on Twitter.

    https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.washingtonpost.com/amphtml/news/fact-checker/wp/2017/03/20/president-trumps-terrible-horrible-no-good-very-bad-twitter-day/

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  22. Debra, part of my problem with the Trump issue is conservatives’ hypocrisy. When it was Bill Clinton, it was seen as a disqualifying character issue, but with Trump many “conservatives” roll their eyes and see it as petty. If it wasn’t petty for their guy, it isn’t petty for “our” guy. (I put “our” in quotes, because the womanizing issue is part of the reason I refused to vote for Trump. I said it was disqualifying when it was Clinton, and I wasn’t going to be a hypocrite on that one.)

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  23. Bad storm has taken our electricity out. Maybe that’s God’s way of telling me to shut up. Guess I will take that to heart and sign off for the night. Peace to all. :–)

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  24. Cheryl, You are right about the hypocrisy issue. It is going to be a long, long time before whatever remains of the “religious right” can make “character” an issue again.

    I can remember in 1980 when conservative pastors started being active in politics. It made me nervous then and it still makes me nervous. When a pastor gets active…

    HRW, This post was interrupted by a message on Twitter from my son. It seems one of the Toronto Raptors (ex-Thunder forward Serge Ibaka) got in a fight on the ESPN Game of the Night. He managed to hit the Bulls center in the ear. You Canadians are very violent.

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  25. Its late so I’ll be short. Obviously, Trump is a sexual predator who uses his wealth to prey on women and teen girls.

    One of the important parts of middle school health curriculum is the nature of consent. Its more than the absence of a No. It must be an affirmative response. Furthermore, consent cannot be given if there is a power imbalance ie teacher, boss, Miss Teen pagent owner etc. Here is a video I like to show.

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  26. Ricky, we like our violence contained in a certain area…a sports field is perfect. Additionally, Raptor fans and players are convinced referees and the league are biased against them. Hence they may no longer be waiting for fouls to be called and are policing the games themselves, hockey style.

    A few years back at the world baseball classic, mexico and canada were involved in a bench clearing brawl. It was not a typical baseball fight but more like a hockey brawl. If you want to.play rough, you might as well go all in.

    Liked by 1 person

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