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GOP Accepts $400,000 From Accused Rapist Steve Wynn

The Republican Party is happily accepting money from an accused rapist who calls Trump his “great friend.”

The Republican National Committee and the National Republican Senatorial Committee — two of the main groups that seek to get Republicans elected at the federal level — accepted $400,000 in campaign contributions from Steve Wynn, the disgraced casino magnate accused of sexual assault and rape by multiple women, Politico reported Friday.

The cash came from Steve Wynn, who was forced to resign from his role as finance chair at the RNC after the allegations about sexual assault and rape came out. Wynn was also forced to step down as chairman of his casino empire.

That’s because the allegations against Wynn are disturbing and graphic. He’s accused of forcing one employee at his Las Vegas casino to have sex — and ended up settling with the female accuser for $7.5 million, according to a report from the Wall Street Journal.

Another employee at his Las Vegas casino, a female massage therapist, said Wynn would expose himself during massages and once forced her to masturbate him to climax — something she felt pressured to do because he was her boss and she feared being fired for not accepting his demands.

The RNC faced pressure at the time the allegations were first made public to return the donations Wynn had made to the committee, but refused.

Now, however, they are accepting hundreds of thousands more from Wynn.

And the reasoning from RNC Chair Ronna McDaniel is about as mealy mouthed as it gets.

“While we must take any allegations like these seriously, everyone is entitled to the presumption of innocence and due process. Over the last year and a half, multiple investigations into the allegations against Steve Wynn have concluded. Throughout this entire process, Steve has repeatedly and unequivocally denied wrongdoing, and he has not been charged with or found guilty of any crimes,” McDaniel said in a statement to Politico. “At this point, there is no reason for refusing his support.”

Of course, this is the same McDaniel who went on a crusade against Democrats who accepted money from Harvey Weinstein, the film mogul who was also accused of sexual assault and rape. Like Wynn, Weinstein has also not been found guilty of the crimes he’s accused of committing.

Democrats, however, returned Weinstein’s cash.

Republicans accepting men accused of sexual assault and rape shouldn’t surprise anyone, however.

Trump is, after all, the leader of the GOP, and he’s been accused of sexual assault by nearly two dozen women, as well as openly admitted to grabbing women’s genitals without consent.

Last month, Wynn greeted Trump on the tarmac in Las Vegas when Trump flew there for a rally.

It’s no wonder women have fled the GOP. This is not a party that values or supports women.

Published with permission of The American Independent.

IMAGE: Donald Trump and Steve Wynn, right.

Is Bernie Sanders Behind The #MeToo Complaint Against Joe Biden?

There was always something fishy about the #MeToo complaint against Joe Biden. Putting hands on Lucy Flores’ shoulders and smooching the back of her head is in no way sexual. Even Flores admitted that.

Nonetheless, Flores gave a dramatic rendition of the distress it caused her. “I just froze,” she said. “I didn’t know what to do. Because again the only thing that you’re processing is that there is a very powerful man standing next to you … and you just don’t know how to respond.”

What doesn’t add up? Everything.

Flores was not a preadolescent nymph but rather the 2014 Democratic nominee for Nevada lieutenant governor. If a kiss on the back of her head made her freeze, how would she have responded to a genuine crisis, say, a terrorist attack? She was about to go on stage, so you’d think she had other things on her mind. Then-Vice President Biden was doing her an enormous favor bestowing his prestige on her candidacy. And if this bothered her so much, why did she wait five years to “come forward”?

The most plausible answer is that this stunt isn’t about Biden but about helping Bernie Sanders. Lo and behold, polls show Biden leading Sanders among Democratic voters — as Sanders faces his own accusations of disrespecting women.

Some backstory: When Flores lost the 2014 election by a landslide, establishment Democrats stopped promoting her. (Two years later, she lost a primary run for Congress.) In 2016, she joined the Sanders campaign, becoming a surrogate. She also joined the board of Our Revolution, an advocacy group backing Sanders.

Biden advisers share the hunch that the Sanders campaign is behind her charges, according to Mike Allen of Axios. And a former Sanders staffer, Tezlyn Figaro, just called Flores a “fraud” on Fox News.

We expect that, in the future, Biden will desist from getting so affectionate with women and will lose the grandfatherly touch. A politician should not do unto women that which he would not do unto men.

But let’s look at Sanders’ lamentable record on women. Women who worked on the 2016 campaign complain that they were made subservient to the boy geniuses. And there was that unforgettable moment when the Bernie bros hurled the C-word at Democratic women running the Nevada State Democratic Convention. Sanders responded to the use of that vilest of words against women with the mildest of hand slaps. Then he blamed both sides. (The official statement has been removed from his website.)

Because everyone is delving into Biden’s beliefs of decades ago, consider Bernie’s. In 1969, he opined that sexual maladjustment was linked to breast cancer. “You might very well be the cause of cancer,” he wrote with his trademark air of authority. Even back then, mainstream science rejected theories that psychological factors caused cancer.

Sanders also found fault with mothers unhappy that their 16-year-old daughters spent a night out with their boyfriends. “Are you concerned about HER happiness,” he wrote, “or about your ‘reputation’ in the community?” In this worldview, not putting out is an emblem of female repression.

Zoom to 2019. Sanders says he believes Lucy Flores, as do a number of other opportunistic Democrats. Thing is, we all believe Flores’ account of what Biden did. Videos show Biden hugging, kissing and rubbing shoulders of numerous women over the years.

What we can’t believe is Flores’ claim that she is bringing this up now to fix a grievous wrong done her — rather than an innocent gesture by a national politician who went out of his way to help her campaign. That Sanders and his people are fueling these petty attacks is something we can believe.

Follow Froma Harrop on Twitter @FromaHarrop. She can be reached at fharrop@gmail.com.To find out more about Froma Harrop and read features by other Creators writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators webpage at www.creators.com.

Did Biden Brag About Groping Women Or Pay Off Porn Stars? No? OK

 If you didn’t know Joe Biden was of Irish descent, you might think he was French, or Italian. The man exudes personal warmth. He touches people, leans in close, pats their shoulders, whispers in their ears, and plants unsolicited kisses. Upon women, that is.
To my knowledge, he doesn’t kiss men. That, he leaves to our Mediterranean brethren. But he hugs everybody.
I have a young dog rather like Biden. Aspen loves everybody and expects everybody to love him back. At the dog park, he races joyously up to total strangers, puts his paws on their shoulders—he’s a big boy, Aspen—and gives them sloppy kisses. Not everybody’s crazy about it, but unsolicited dog kisses come with the territory. Aspen is eighteen months old, still in the baseball glove-eating stage of life.
   
Joe Biden is 76, no longer a puppy. Indeed, I’m on record as saying he and Bernie Sanders are both too damned old to be president. Like Aspen, Biden too wants everybody to like him, and most do. Even Speaker Nancy Pelosi, in urging him to join “the straight-arm club,” of which she’s a member—“I just pretend you have a cold, and I have a cold”—adds that her grandchildren love him.
 
“He’s a very affectionate person,” Pelosi said. 
Not to Lucy Flores, however. Flores is the former Nevada state legislator and Bernie Sanders activist who wrote in The Cut accusing Biden of violating her by putting his hands on her shoulders and kissing the back of her head before she took the podium at a 2014 political rally. Flores was a candidate for Lt. Governor of Nevada, a race she lost badly.
“My brain couldn’t process what was happening,” she wrote. “I was embarrassed. I was shocked. I was confused. There is a Spanish saying, “tragame tierra,” it means, “earth, swallow me whole.”
So had the vice-president touched her impurely, as they used to ask in the confessional? No, he had not, Flores wrote. Then why are we talking about it at all? Because she felt diminished. “[H]e stopped treating me like a peer the moment he touched me. Even if his behavior wasn’t violent or sexual, it was demeaning and disrespectful.”
Flores later told Politico that she’d seen photos and videos of Biden behaving improperly. “When I started to see pictures of him behaving in the same way he did with me and with other women, it was very triggering,” she said. “I felt so much empathy for them…I had been in their shoes.”\
We’ll come back to the cant term “triggering.”
Biden emitted his sincerest non-apology apology. He confessed to being a very tactile politician, but added that “not once—never—did I believe I acted inappropriately. If it is suggested I did so, I will listen respectfully. But it was never my intention.”
What else could the man say?
Indeed, it appeared that Flores may have indulged in creative mind-reading. There’s a lot of that going around. After Stephanie Carter, the wife of former defense Secretary Ashton B. Carter, kept seeing photos and videos of herself being hugged by Biden, she wrote that contrary to speculation, “the Joe Biden in my picture is a close friend helping someone get through a big day, for which I will always be grateful.”
Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE) said that another photo of Biden smooching his 13 year-old daughter was entirely appropriate. “All three of my kids have known Joe their whole lives.” A twenty-something Washington Post columnist opined that Coons was raising his children wrong. 
Every Democratic woman I’ve spoken with agreed with Pelosi: hands off. But also with a Facebook friend who called Biden “an anachronism in this new age of paranoia. You can kiss the back of my head when I’m nervously taking deep breaths waiting to go on stage, Joe, and I’ll be nothing but grateful for the paternal vote of confidence. My father used to do the same thing when I was scared to dive off the high board.”
Which brings us back to “triggering,” and the Democrats’ growing image as the persnickety party; the party of busybodies, prigs and lifestyle commissars. The party that can’t keep its eye on the ball.
For that, I turn to CNN Republican commentator, Ana Navarro-Cárdenas. Biden should keep his hands to himself, she wrote. “But pls get back to me when +15 women say he sexually harassed them, or he boasts of grabbing a woman’s kitty-cat, or he pays hush-money to a stripper who reminds him of his daughter.
“I’ll wait.”
IMAGE: Vice President Joe Biden announces he will not seek the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination during an appearance with his wife Jill (R) in Rose Garden of the White House in Washington October 21, 2015. REUTERS/Carlos Barria 

Taping #MeToo Mouths At Harvard

It was inevitable that the #MeToo movement, started with valid anger at sexual harassment, would open the door to bizarre accusations. It’s just surprising to see it go off the deep end at Harvard University, where rational thinking tied to principle is supposed to be a requirement for admission.

Do note that the student group hounding law school Dean Ronald S. Sullivan to resign is described as “small but vocal.” Dozens of law faculty have backed him. And many at Harvard no doubt find the histrionics deeply embarrassing.

But it’s amazing how far the aggrieved ones have gotten. They should know that they are a source of wonderment mainly because they are so obviously ignorant of the legal system and they’re supposed to be smart.

The rap against Sullivan is that he joined the team of lawyers defending Harvey Weinstein, the Hollywood producer facing multiple charges of sexual harassment and worse. In the American judicial system, every defendant deserves legal representation. Ted Bundy and Timothy McVeigh had lawyers, none of whom approved of the client’s gruesome crimes. The legal aid movement rests on the belief that poor people have a right to adequate legal representation, whether they are innocent or not.

In a teaching moment, Sullivan tried to gently explain. “Lawyers are not an extension of their clients,” he said. Representing a client “doesn’t mean I’m supporting anything the client may have done.”

Sullivan is also African-American, which shouldn’t matter but seems to here. Some foes have weaponized race against him. In a public letter, the Association of Black Harvard Women wrote, “You have failed us.”

In cases where emotions overcome facts, the poorly armed resort to self-dramatization. Some #MeTooers put tape over their mouths. Get it? They’re not allowed to speak, which should come as a great surprise to their audiences.

Danu Mudannayake, a student, wrote in a petition, “Do you really want to one day accept your diploma from someone who … believes it is OK to defend such a prominent figure at the center of the #MeToo movement?” Why not? By the way, no one has to go to Harvard.

Some of the Harvard grown-ups are so lacking in courage that you almost feel sorry for them. Harvard College Dean Rakesh Khurana put in a good word for the right to skilled representation — but then called for a study of how students at Winthrop House, where Sullivan is a faculty dean, regard the law professor’s role in the Weinstein case. He called it a “climate review.” Uh-oh.

In a similar vein, another faculty dean, Diana L. Eck, said that everyone has the right to a strenuous defense but, on the other hand, Sullivan’s work is “fracturing that sense of community.” As if everyone in the community has to agree.

On campus, Sullivan’s picture is being paired with that of Roland Fryer, a renowned Harvard economist who is also African-American. Fryer is being dragged over the coals amid charges of sexual harassment. Why didn’t they add a portrait of the Marquis de Sade?

Fryer’s main crime seems to have been telling off-color jokes. Students in his teaching lab laughed at them, but, you see, that just showed the “power dynamics” between Fryer and the others. Of possible relevance, none of the women claims that Fryer made a pass at her or asked for sex.

You don’t really know what to make of all this. For the students, it’s kind of late in the game to develop a sense of humor. And for the administrators, well, their mouths have two sides, so why not talk out of both of them? That gives you plausible deniability at whatever party you attend.

So looking forward to the climate review.

Follow Froma Harrop on Twitter @FromaHarrop. She can be reached at fharrop@gmail.com.To find out more about Froma Harrop and read features by other Creators writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators webpage at www.creators.com.

IMAGE: A statue of John Harvard looks over Harvard Yard at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts January 20, 2015. REUTERS/Brian Snyder