Friday, December 15, 2017

#MeToo Caught Up With Itself Today... In Kansas


Pelosi's closeted DCCC chair demands purity, but not due process

Yesterday, repulsive Texas sex predator, Blake Farenthold, finally felt enough pressure-- both from his district and from his congressional colleagues-- to raise the white flag and announce his retirement from Congress. Obviously, he should resign at once, the way Trent Franks was forced to do last week. Ryan and NRCC chair Steve Stivers repeatedly told Farenthold to resign. Pig man still insists he's not guilty; his excuse: "I'd never served in office before. I had no idea how to run a congressional office. And as a result, I allowed a workplace culture to take root in my office that was too permissive and decidedly unprofessional. I understand fully that this issue has become a political distraction and I would be forced to engage in a monthlong campaign for personal vindication. Quite simply, my constituents deserve better... Therefore I'm announcing my decision not to run for re-election... It accommodated destructive gossip, offhand comments, off-color jokes and behavior that in general was less than professional. And I allowed the personal stress of the job to manifest itself in angry outbursts and too often a failure to treat people with the respect they deserved. That was wrong." Too bad he didn't wear his ducky pjs when he made this pathetic video, a classic case of denial and typical patriarchal, conservative misleading:

Next up: Wyoming's Secretary of State-- and, until today, a probably candidate for governor-- Republican Ed Murray, sexually assaulted a young female intern, Tatiana Maxwell, in his law office.
Maxwell said in a Facebook post Monday that she was working at Dray, Madison and Thomson during the summer after she graduated from high school in Cheyenne. She said Murray was five years older than her and had taken a job at the firm after recently graduating from law school.

“He was older, handsome and from an old Cheyenne family but I didn’t really know him,” she wrote.

According to Maxwell, Murray invited her to meet him at the office after working hours and said she sat with him in the reception area of the law office. She recalled there being Domino’s pizza and beer.

She said that Murray put his hands on her and attempted to kiss her but that she resisted, told him she was a virgin and stopped him from taking off her pants.

“Ed wrestled me down to the carpet in front of the receptionist desk, opened his pants, lifted up my blouse and ejaculated on my stomach,” Maxwell wrote. “I was disgusted and horrified.”
Murray (R-Denial): "This baseless claim about an encounter from thirty-five years ago is unequivocally false. There is no basis to this falsehood whatsoever and it is deeply hurtful to me and to my family, as well as to everyone I serve." (Maybe we'll find his body on a bridge tomorrow after he blows out his brains.)

And that brings us to one of the worst stories of Thermidorian Reaction yet-- the DCCC's conservative corporate recruit to run against Republican Kevin Yoder, Andrea Ramsey. KS-03 (all of the Kansas part of Kansas City plus all of suburban Johnson and Wyandotte counties and part of rural Miami County) is a swingy district that Trump lost to Hillary 47.2% to 46.0%. The DCCC ran one of their terrible GOP-lite candidates, Jay Sidie, and he lost in a rout. He's running again, but the DCCC found another Republican-lite corporate shill instead, Andrea Ramsey. Maybe-- just maybe-- the DCCC should have been paying attention when Bernie won every district in Kansas, including KS-03, where he beat Hillary 62.1% to 37.9%. Maybe that indicates what Kansans what in their candidates. Maybe? And EMILY's List candidate Andrea Ramsey isn't that. No worries, though. She withdrew from the race today after a Kansas City Star reporter asked her about accusations in a 2005 lawsuit that she sexually harassed and retaliated against a male subordinate who said he had rejected her advances. Her statement sounds uncomfortably like Farenthold's: "In its rush to claim the high ground in our roiling national conversation about harassment, the Democratic Party has implemented a zero tolerance standard. For me, that means a vindictive, terminated employee’s false allegations are enough for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) to decide not to support our promising campaign. We are in a national moment where rough justice stands in place of careful analysis, nuance and due process."
Multiple sources with knowledge of the case told The Star that the man reached a settlement with LabOne, the company where Ramsey was executive vice president of human resources. Court documents show that the man, Gary Funkhouser, and LabOne agreed to dismiss the case permanently after mediation in 2006. 
...The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, which has not endorsed anyone in the race, said in a statement that members and candidates must all be held to the highest standard.

“If anyone is guilty of sexual harassment or sexual assault, that person should not hold public office,” said committee spokeswoman Meredith Kelly.

Emily’s List said in a statement on Friday that the group supported Ramsey’s decision to drop out of the race and wished her well.
Happy to see her out of the race-- but not over these probably bullshit accusations. I don't care that the DCCC is driving Ruben Kihuen out of Congress-- because he disappointed me politically... but this lynch mob mentality is the completely wrong way to go about this. And now there are widespread rumors inside the Beltway that the Washington Post is about to drop a story about accusations against between 30 and 40 members of Congress-- of both parties-- and that there was a prostitution ring being run out of the Capitol Grille. Sounds more plausible than a child prostitution ring run out of the basement of a pizzeria. No one gains from any of this but the Koch brothers and Bannon, who want to destroy everyone's faith in government and democracy. Great job, Kirsten Gillibrand; you will never be president.

UPDATE: State Senator Tony Mendoza

Tony's an old friend who has been a stalwart progressive in Sacramento, one of the best. Now he stands accused of inappropriate behavior towards 3 women and the Senate president, Kevin De León, once Mendoza's roommate, has asked him to take a leave of absence while the allegations are being investigated. Mendoza has demurred. My instinct is to believe the accusers, especially because there are 3 of them and because I know the culture in Sacramento has been fast and loose. But I detest the lynch mob mentality that is sweeping the country and I agree with Mendoza that he is entitled to due process. Eventually every straight male politician-- as well as gays and even some women!-- will be accused. People should start standing up for due process. Below is a letter I got from Tony Mendoza yesterday; I haven't discussed the accusations with him but his letter sounds reasonable:
I am very disappointed that certain Senate Rules Committee members are apparently asking me to take a leave of absence or resign before any investigation has even begun and without giving me an opportunity to defend myself. This is contrary to the very concept of due process which is a pillar of our American system of fairness and judicial prudence. These actions bypass any process in a rush to judgment.

The Senate Rules Committee made a public commitment to a new, open, transparent and fair process which would be independent of the Senate. I have welcomed the Committee's decision. However, I am disappointed with the statements and it leaves me concerned about the independence, transparency and fairness of the new process.

I have been diligent in adhering to the rules of the Senate and in following direction from the Senate Rules Committee in refraining from making any comments on the allegations against me.

I have noted that my adherence to Senate rules and the Senate Rules Committee's directive has put me in an untenable situation where I am unable to respond to various media reports without any opportunity to defend myself. This has been very unfair and unjust to me and my constituents.

I was not appointed to the position I hold but was elected by the voters in my District. I am grateful to the voters in my District and thank them for their trust and their continued support. The Senate owes them an opportunity to hear the truth. I assure them that I will vigorously defend myself to clear my name.

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At 7:06 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Interesting to see that the DINO-Whigs don't discriminate in favor of women! But now that the token female has been sacrificed, I don't expect to see another.

The sad thing about this "lynch mob mentality" is that I can see it dividing the nation along sexual lines, making this nation very reminiscent of Saudi Arabia at its worst. This should make the Bronze-Age religionists very happy.


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