2020 Political Thread (7 Viewers)


Evan

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I've extensively looked into Tara Reade's allegations and Tara Reade herself. I don't find her allegations to be credible, and I don't believe her background and history do anything but undermine her story and credibility.

I had been planning to write in a 3rd Party for President as I did in 2016. Now that Justin Amash has announced his exploratory committee, my current plan is to vote for Amash if he's on the ballot. If he's not, I will either write him in or another suitable candidate -- assuming he does commit to running and has a legitimate campaign. I just wanted to directly address my current political intentions lest anyone believe I have some intention of propping up Joe Biden with my thoughts vis-a-vis Tara Reade.

People can go back and find my old posts, but I was also extremely skeptical of the allegations made toward Brett Kavanaugh. I never wavered in my belief that Blasey Ford's allegations lacked corroboration and credibility, and I feel similarly about the allegations that Tara Reade has made. I also think that political animus and bias are the underlying motivation for both sets of allegations.

There's a lot of fair criticism out there about Joe Biden, including his handsy nature and inability to conceive of personal space and personal boundaries, but I consider him to be a decent yet flawed individual just like Brett Kavanaugh.

It's unfortunate that sexual assault allegations have become such a common political tool, but sex scandals have always been part and parcel of America's political environment. Some may see the "believe all women" atmosphere that Joe Biden himself has condoned as being just desserts for someone like Biden, but I think that's far too cynical for me.

Finally, although I agree that media has a liberal bias that is often centered around protecting Democrats, I don't think that's the primary reason why the media has been more hesitant to cover the allegations that Reade has made against Biden.

There are two reasons I believe the media has been slow to cover or amplify Tara Reade's allegations, and neither have to do with Tara Reade's credibility. Her credibility is an entirely separate issue, which has also played a significant role in how the media has approached this, but didn't really become a focal point until the story grew much larger.

The first reason the media was slow to cover the story, in contrast to Kavanaugh or Roy Moore, is because Biden has been a national player for DECADES. He was just VP for 8 years, and has been a prominent national figure for most of my adult life. Members of the media hear juicy gossip and rumors all the time about celebrities, politicians, and other well-known figures. While much of it is rumor or lacks legs, whenever there's accusations that involve sex or sexual assault -- it stands out. I could list the cases, but we've all seen at least a dozen of them play out over the past few years. And what do those cases tell us...almost without exception? People knew. Or, at the very least, had heard pointed rumors and off-the-record accusations about someone. Thus, when an accuser decides to go public, part of how quickly the story gains legs is predicated on the rumblings that have surrounded that person previously. This may change, but as it stands today, I haven't heard anyone mention similar rumors or gossip about Biden.

If people want to believe the media are so in the tank for Biden, and loathe Trump so much that they would ignore an earth-shattering story that matches things they've previously heard for years -- well, I can't stop you from believing that. However, there is ample evidence that the media is willing to cover whatever sells ads and gets eyeballs. They've even relished turning on members of their own profession (or their competitors) knowing how juicy those stories are once they hit the wire.

I realize a good number of people like to point to Jeffrey Epstein as an exception, but there was plenty of media coverage of Epstein. The Miami Herald even went out on a limb to cover it. What held outlets back were things like Epstein's massive fortune and litigious nature, and the fact that many key documents and witness testimonies were under court seal or controlled by NDAs that people were not willing to break. It's a new world these days -- no one is getting away with the NDA trick anymore, especially if they're on the level of a Biden, an Epstein, or a Harvey Weinstein.

This goes to the very psyche of how the media sees themselves. They see themselves as gatekeepers, the well-connected and well-informed, and the holders of all knowledge that Americans should care about and be informed about. A major story like Reade's allegations shakes the very foundation of their own psyche and belief system. How could we have known this guy for DECADES and not have gotten this scoop? How did this get past us?

The psychology of the media is such that if they didn't previously have knowledge about a story, hadn't heard the rumblings/rumors of someone's major character flaw/illicit activities, etc then they are SHOCKED and SKEPTICAL that it could be true. Because they're the gatekeepers! They're the ones with dozens of sources that pass on all the juicy DC political gossip and "internal concerns" about a politician's behavior, character, activities, etc.

The second reason the media have been slow to cover this story tied back to number 1, but is is a separate reason unto itself. The media likes stories that last. They want a gift that keeps on giving. It makes their job easier. They crave and seek out stories in which they know there is another shoe likely/about to drop. It's why outlets frequently try to get multiple accusers on record before publishing allegations against a major public figure. Obviously multiple accusers tend to add credibility to a story, but multiple accusers also make it so that OTHER accusers (perhaps ones with more recent accounts or accounts backed up by substantial documentation/evidence) are more likely to gain the confidence needed to come forward. Solitary accusers aren't particularly newsworthy or compelling, even if it is against someone like Joe Biden, unless they have a smoking gun -- something that Tara Reade clearly lacks.

Reasons 2 tied back into reason 1 because the media is WELL-AWARE whether or not there are other accusers waiting in the wings. They also know whether there have been rumors or gossip about Biden doing similar things previously. Even if Reade was the only current accuser willing to go on record, if there was chatter and gossip over the years that matched her account, media outlets would've slapped their own mothers to get access to the tell Reade's story first.

In my mind, it is actually quite significant and rather compelling that the media has been extremely cautious, deliberate, and slow in how they have approached the Biden story. I have no doubt that liberal bias and partisanship in the media also influence coverage, but I don't think that's what has driven coverage decisions in the Tara Reade case.

I've worked with reporters on stories before as a source -- they dig, dive, and go full speed ahead if they think someone is bringing them a credible story. Editors make the call on coverage decisions. Editors also frequently liason with other outlets when dealing with big stories like this when the allegations are already out there. No one is worried about being scooped when the allegations have already been made public. But, they are worried about being played as fools, getting sued, or ending out on a limb as the sole outlet that ran a story.

In short, I believe there are a number of good reasons why the media has slow-walked the Biden story, and I don't think political bias is anywhere near the Top 10 reasons why. Furthermore, I don't find Reade's allegations to be credible, I don't find Reade herself to be a credible person, and I also am extremely skeptical anytime there is a single solitary accusation (that lacks hard evidence) when someone has been in the public eye as long as someone like Joe Biden has been.

I may end up being completely wrong. I still believe Brett Kavanaugh was innocent of sexually assaulting Blasey Ford. I am a skeptic by nature. The politics of a situation like this don't matter much to me and truthfully have very little influence on how I view these types of situations.

I'll be happy to discuss why I don't find Reade credible in a different post, but the crux of it is that her story has changed significantly in a short amount of time, her attitude towards Joe Biden *AND* her personal political philosophy changed suddenly, and she has a history of changing very specific details about her life's story and background details without explanation or acknowledgement. As a skeptic, those kinds of things stick out to me as being characteristic of someone who might be a serial fabulist or outright fabricator. I remain willing to change my opinion, if a convincing explanation for the red flags I have observed is given, but thus far I haven't seen any.
 

Mike S

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I'm honestly not interested in fairness. Pelosi & Co. have made their bed and now it is time to sleep in it. If Reade said it, it happened. I have to believe her and I am a bad person if I don't.
 

Kory

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I’m evaluating the accusations by the standard Biden established. Here is what he said:

"For a woman to come forward in the glaring lights of focus, nationally, you've got to start off with the presumption that at least the essence of what she's talking about is real.”

I’m presuming Tara is telling the truth. U of Delaware is keeping the workplace harassment filing under wraps...is that not public record since it involved a U.S. Senator?

 
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Kory

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The Larry King video of Reade’s mother was really damning to me. This backed up Reade’s claim that she had told people about what Biden did to her as did her neighbor who came forward and said she spoke to him/her about being assaulted.

This is as simple unsealing Congressional records. This needs to be properly investigated as Biden said all claims of sexual assault must be done.

 

Evan

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I'm honestly not interested in fairness. Pelosi & Co. have made their bed and now it is time to sleep in it. If Reade said it, it happened. I have to believe her and I am a bad person if I don't.
This is the same argument Democrats make for why they believe packing SCOTUS would be justified. Likewise for eliminating the filibuster. McConnell made his bed by blocking Garland and by tweaking Senate rules to give disproportionate power to a slim majority.

"The other side said/did X therfore Y is justified if our side does it."

It's the same reason so many in the GOP were comfortable with Trump no matter the dozens of allegations of sexual impropriety against him. Bill Clinton was a sexual predator and moral scumbag therefore why should it matter that Trump is the same?

I think one of the principal things people forget about "well, I'm just playing by their rules" arguments is that the other side will return to power one day. And, if that's the argument most of their partisan opponents have been using, they'll deploy the same logic to justify all the things that they want to do.

The GOP is at an extreme electoral disadvantage in the future because of demographics. They'll be no argument left to use against Democrats' encroachment on the Constitution or their power grabs if people decide right/wrong and fairness no longer matter. It also seems indistinguishable from the logic many Trump supporters use to defend Trump's power grabs and ridiculous behavior. It's why opposing Trump and the logic used to elect him and enable has always been so important.

Executive orders banning assault rifles or all semi-automatic firearms, eliminating religious tax exemptions, forcing churches to perform same sex marriage ceremonies, etc are all things I see coming in the next decade under a progressive Democratic President, and the newly packed Dem Supreme Court will uphold the Constitutionality of those orders.

I don't think the growth of that kind of mentality ends well for anyone.
 

Evan

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The Larry King video of Reade’s mother was really damning to me. This backed up Reade’s claim that she had told people about what Biden did to her as did her neighbor who came forward and said she spoke to him/her about being assaulted.

This is as simple unsealing Congressional records. This needs to be properly investigated as Biden said all claims of sexual assault must be done.

Not following your conclusion here. Here's the transcript of what Reade's mother said on Larry King Live:

KING: San Luis Obispo, California, hello.

CALLER: Yes, hello. I’m wondering what a staffer would do besides go to the press in Washington? My daughter has just left there, after working for a prominent senator, and could not get through with her problems at all, and the only thing she could have done was go to the press, and she chose not to do it out of respect for him.

KING: In other words, she had a story to tell but, out of respect for the person she worked for, she didn’t tell it?

CALLER: That’s true.

Now, let's add in what Reade told the Washington Post last year when they interviewed her:

In The Post interview last year, she laid more blame with Biden's staff for “bullying” her than with Biden.

“This is what I want to emphasize: It’s not him. It’s the people around him who keep covering for him,” Reade said, adding later, “For instance, he should have known what was happening to me. . . . Looking back now, that’s my criticism. Maybe he could have been a little more in touch with his own staff.”

How would Biden more in touch with his staff have somehow addressed a supposed sexual assault by Biden? That doesn't make sense at all. It does make sense if her complaint was about "bullying" or other workplace issue as it comports with the idea that "its not him" and that Reade's primary criticism is that Biden "could have been a little more in touch with his own staff."

Take the direct quote from Reade's mother:

"could not get through with her problems at all, and the only thing she could have done was go to the press, and she chose not to do it out of respect for him."

Why would Reade respect Biden for sexually assaulting her? Reade's mother says that Reade "could not get through with her problems" which sounds like she couldn't get through to Biden/office management about staff bullying or workplace problems. Why would Reade say: "he should have known what was happening to me" That makes even less sense in the context of the problem being due to Biden himself. Wouldn't someone referencing an assault by an individual say "he knows what he did" or "he should remember what he did to me" ???

Why would Reade say that Biden should've known what was happening to her if he's the alleged source of her problem? If someone physically assaults you, unless they are sleepwalking, whacked out on drugs, or drunk -- they *KNOW* what they did to you.

Anyway, that's just one such example in which Reade's comments don't actually match the evidence that is supposed to corroborate her allegations of sexual assault. There's also the history of Reade outright changing the details of her account and completely contradicting her previous statements to the media as well as contradicting her own blogging and essays.

Here is example 2: https://www.theunion.com/opinion/columns/alexandra-tara-reade-a-girl-walks-into-the-senate/

This is an essay written by Tara Reade in April of 2019 recounting her time in Washington DC and working in Biden's office.

Here's the first glaring contradiction:

"But this is not a story about sexual misconduct; it is a story about abuse of power. It is a story about when a member of Congress allows staff to threaten or belittle or bully on their behalf unchecked to maintain power rather than modify the behavior."

Again, we see the references that Reade makes to being upset with Biden's staff and we also see an explicit denial that sexual misconduct occurred. In fact, Reade specifically describes what she says Biden actually did: "Sen. Biden would touch me on the shoulder or hold his hand on my shoulder running his index finger up my neck during a meeting."

Remember the Washington Post interview that Reade granted in 2019? Here's more of what she told WaPo: "In interviews with The Post last year, Reade said that Biden had touched her neck and shoulders but did not mention the alleged assault or suggest there was more to the story. She faulted his staff, calling Biden “a male of his time, a very powerful senator, and he had people around saying it was okay.”

In neither instance, not in her own essay or in her interviews with the Post, did Reade mention Biden digitally penetrating her or anything even remotely approaching a sexual assault. In fact, she EXPLICITLY denies sexual misconduct in her own essay. And, in both her essay and in the WaPo interviews, she complains of staff bullying and other problems with Biden's staff because she says they didn't take her complaints seriously.

Here's the final example of Reade significantly changing her story or outright contradicting herself. It's actually the most compelling example, in my opinion, because there's no justifiable explanation that can explain such a discrepancy. Remember Reade's 2019 essay from above? Let's look at how she describes her trip to Washington DC as she starts her new job in Joe Biden's office: "I was beyond excited, I packed up my Nissan and cats, told my boyfriend goodbye and headed alone on the cross country drive to Washington D.C."

Ten years earlier, Reade wrote a blog post (now archived here) that gives a materially different description of her move to DC to work for Biden. Here's what Reade had to say back then: "As the plane descended into Washington D. C., my Siamese cat, Cleo, meowed loudly from under my seat. Cleo had been through all my many moves, men, and a couple of Los Angeles earthquakes. As the lights of Washington D.C. reflected through the plane’s windows, the excitement of my new job as a Senate staffer lay ahead of me.

In one account, Reade drives alone cross country in her Nissan from California to Washington DC. This was a pretty significant event in her life involving a new job and a very long drive alone. Anyone who's ever made a similar drive knows how memorable such a trip would be. The only consistent detail between the two accounts was that Reade moved to DC and that her cat made the trip with her.

Ironically, the cat provides for an interesting reminder that such a discrepancy isn't just an accidental slip of the tongue. The cat is literally MEOWING under her seat on the plane in her blog post back in 2009. That's an extremely vivid detail. Should we believe 2009 Tara Reade? Or 2019 Tara Reade? Or 2020 Tara Reade? How do you misremember such a vivid portrait of a cat MEOWING under your seat while your plane while descends into DC and instead turn it into a 2600 mile solo trip in your Nissan?

Either Ms. Reade has a poor memory, or she's someone who likes to tell a good story and has zero qualms about substituting material details in her story. Like, say, a Boeing jet suddenly becoming a Nissan automobile, or unwanted touching of the neck/shoulders suddenly becoming the forced digital penetration of one's genitals and a full-fledged sexual assault. A common mistake, I'm sure. Happens all the time. I was just telling my wife last week that I couldn't remember if I flew on a plane the first time I went to Colombia back in 2005, or if Juan Valdez guided me on his donkey through the Andes. See what I mean? Such an easy mistake to make.

Like I said previously, there's ample evidence that Tara Reade's story lack credibility. If people want to ignore the red flags because they WANT to believe Biden committed a sexual assault then that's fine. Just remember that millions of Democrats did the same thing during the Kavanaugh saga because they WANTED it to be true. Evidence be damned.
 

gangstonc

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Russia always finds a way into the convo when Trump is involved.

Who is going to be the first person to put E Jean Carroll in the same room as Tara Reade for an interview?
 

ghost

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Not sure exactly where this belongs but I thought I would put it in this thread.... shared by a friend on FB... the Truth
"Today's white privilege is knowing my son can run in any neighborhood without fear of being identified as a thief, hunted by men in a truck with guns, and ignored by the justice system. #AhmaudArbery"
 

Jacob

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This is why nobody believes anything anymore. This edit by Jimmy Kimmel is getting spread all around social media today, implying that Pence was delivering empty boxes to a nursing home as a publicity stunt.

Sure, it's all for the cameras, and I think stuff like this by politicians is dumb, but what his video edit implies is not at all what happened.

Here's a tweet with the edited clip in it.


And here's a link to the non edited C-SPAN video, where you can clearly see that Pence makes a joke about the remaining empty boxes.

 

JayF

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I have waited a couple of days to think about read up on the transcripts released by Adam Schiff and the investigation of Trump and Russian Collusion.



James Clapper DNI stated this “And, as it turned out, one of the judgments in the Intelligence Community assessment was that we didn't see any evidence of actual manipulation of voter ta11ies. That's not to say -- nor did we attempt to make a pronouncement about what impact any of the Russian I 13 I interference activity, as we reported out on the 6th of January, had on individual voter decisions. We could not make a judgment about that.”



Then further James Clapper refuted himself in the following:



DR. WENSTRUP: -- to be able to establish that, and that seems like a far stretch. So are you aware of any evidence that the vote outcome of the 2016 Presidential election was manipulated through cyber means?



MR. CLAPPER: NO.



DR. WENSTRUP: Was President Putin successful in his effort to undermine the credibility of the electoral process, in your opinion?



MR. CLAPPER: I believe -- I believe he absolutely was.





Wait what. How do you make two very different statements to a similar question? Mr. Clapper perjured himself here. Yet is he in jail. Nope



It gets better.



DR. WENSTRUP: And that's part of why we’re here, because this is important to all Americans that the process is one to be trusted. 5o, based on the administration’s public statements and actions, is it fair to conclude that the Russian hacking of U.S. political entities, which began in July of 2AL5, became a higher priority for the Intelligence Community after the election?



MR. CLAPPER: No, I wouldn't say that. What I would say is -- I think this perhaps gets to your question -- is there has been a certain amount of ambient involvement by the Russians, which goes back to the 60s, when they have monitored and in various ways tried to influence the outcome of the election.



So this goes back to the 60’s now. So if it has been going on that Long, How did President Trump have anything to do with this? If that is the case, why wasn’t every president from 1960 today impeached for Russian Meddling in our elections?



Dr. Wenstrup goes on further to say this beautiful nugget here: “So, in my opinion, they succeeded no matter who wins, and I'd be curious to get your opinion on their tactics.”



To which Mr. Clapper agrees.



Would they have impeached a President Hillary Clinton then?





And then this nugget from the DNI Mr. Clapper himself who Adam Schiff had to be trying to keep quiet.



MR. CLAPPER: Well, no it's not. I never saw any direct empirical evidence that the Trump campaign or someone in it was plotting/conspiring with the Russians to meddle with the election.



Can someone say no evidence no collusion? How is it still that CNN, CBS, MSNBC, NBC, and ABC among others still are trying to deny this. They still won’t cover this aspect of the Transcript of Mr. Clapper.



Fox News is basically the only news organization to call for Adam Schiff to resign, and the fact that Adam Schiff flat out lied on National Television, given this statement from the DNI, just boggles my mind. Adam Schiff should resign tomorrow.



I haven’t gone through some of the other transcripts, but man this was a doozy and I will be spending the next week combing them for similar data. Shame on you Democrats for trying to take away the presidency from the rightly elected.
 

gangstonc

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Clapper didn’t perjure himself. He understands russia didn’t hack our voting system and change votes. They used tactics to convince people to vote for trump. Clapper was truthful.

i don’t follow how Schiff lied. There’s not a quote by him that I can see in your post. I remember Schiff saying there was circumstantial evidence of collusion, which there was.
The trump campaign was smart enough to use WhatsApp.
 

JayF

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Clapper didn’t perjure himself. He understands russia didn’t hack our voting system and change votes. They used tactics to convince people to vote for trump. Clapper was truthful.

i don’t follow how Schiff lied. There’s not a quote by him that I can see in your post.
The quote is not in my post. He said on multiple TV interviews.

You gangstonc have been so adamant that Trump was guilty of Russian Collusion. Read my entire post. It wouldn't have matter who won. But if Clinton had won, you wouldn't have heard a word of any of this.
 

gangstonc

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The quote is not in my post. He said on multiple TV interviews.

You gangstonc have been so adamant that Trump was guilty of Russian Collusion. Read my entire post. It wouldn't have matter who won. But if Clinton had won, you wouldn't have heard a word of any of this.
I still believe trump was guilty of Russian collusion. I read the Mueller report. I know there wasn’t empirical evidence. Some never existed, some was destroyed.
If Clinton had won, I bet we would have heard about it because it would have happened again. Of course, I don’t think Clinton would have survived the presidency without being impeached.

I’ve only seen Schiff say there was circumstantial evidence. Not empirical. I could be wrong though.
 

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