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    • CONTENT WARNING: While I won’t repeat details of the alleged incident, this discussion is on accusations that Vice President Biden committed a violent crime and the new evidence to corroborate the accusations. Please hit the back button if this is not a conversation you wish to read or take part in.

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      Yesterday, the below comments from the President’s son was released in response to evidence that Tara Reade’s mother called into the Larry King Live Show back in 1993 about her daughter’s problems with a “prominent senator.“


      While I doubt the genuine sincerity of Junior in making those comments, it isn’t hard to imagine that a similar tact will be used in Super PAC attack ads during the coming months.

      Right now, Biden is ahead in most of the polls. In fact, he is doing better than HRC was doing during the same point in the campaign four years ago.

      However, the new evidence is already making the news on Politico, The Daily Beast, and The Intercept. Plus it’s a top story on Fox News and other right wing outlets.

      The New York Times investigated the original accusation and found no credible evidence to support Ms. Reade’s claims. This is from April 12th.

      However, as we’ve seen in the 2016 Presidential election, accusations can damage a campaign more than proof of wrongdoing: remember James Comey’s 11th hour statement, or the conspiracy theory Pizzagate?

    • Not sure if you're only looking to debate IF he should drop out, I don't have an opinion on that yet as i'm not informed.

      Is there precedent for a presumptive nominee to drop out prior to the national convention?

      What would be the process for a new nominee and could new candidates present themselves? (Cuomo)

    • Prior to the 1960s, it was rare for there to even be a "presumed nominee."

      Until even more recently, primaries and caucuses were considered to be party based.

      In recent decades, primaries are seen by many as being the way that the general public selects the nominees.

      These two things have had a major impact on the perceived purpose of a party convention.

      In recent decades, the selection of the presidential nominee has been seen as being a formality and not the real purpose of the convention.

      I may be wrong but the last time that a party convention decided who the presidential nominee would be was (I think) the 1976 GOP convention when neither Reagan nor Ford had all the delegates necessary to win the nomination.

      Since 1976, the party conventions have been seen primarily as a showcase and a pep rally.

      Thus, if a presumed nominee was to "drop out" prior to a convention, it would create a situation which would disconcert the voting public, especially anyone who began voting after 1976. How that would affect the chances of the eventual nominess to be elected is anyone's guess.

      It is quite likely that one of the reasons that McGovern was trounced by Nixon in 1972 is because after the party convention the nominated vice-presidential resigned from the race at the request of McGovern.

    • I may be wrong but the last time that a party convention decided who the presidential nominee would be was (I think) the 1976 GOP convention when neither Reagan nor Ford had all the delegates necessary to win the nomination.

      Interesting... we know the eventual result but any interesting stories or insights from the process of the convention?

    • What would be the process for a new nominee and could new candidates present themselves? (Cuomo)

      If Biden dropped out, his delegates would be redistributed to those still in the race as of the convention.

      By suspending their campaigns, as opposed to dropping out, Buttigieg and Klobuchar can protect their delegates from being reallocated. The Democratic National Committee, however, disagrees with their campaigns: They’re out of the race. In June, Iowa’s delegates will be resorted to those candidates who are still in — Sanders, if he is. (Washington Post)

      What that means is that any candidate back in and on the ballot for the remaining primaries could earn the 1,991 delegates required for the nomination:

      3,979 total delegates

      1,097 earned by candidates (excludes Biden)

      ______

      2,882 delegates still available (includes Biden’s delegates that would be forfeited)

      Tulsi Gabbard or Bloomberg could theoretically earn the 1,991 delegates required if Biden dropped out.

    • If such allegations prove to be true, yes, Biden should drop out.

      There is no way to prove the allegations.

      There are three corroborating witnesses that Reade shared these allegations years before Biden announced his campaign bid last year. And there is the phone call to Larry King Live by her mother back in 1993, the same year that the incident is alleged to have occurred.

      There is also Joe Biden’s remarks on Christine Blasey Ford’s claims, which will be used against him by the media:

      While he thinks that Kavanaugh should be presumed innocent until proven guilty, he also believes that women "should be given the benefit of the doubt."

      "I hope they understand what courage it takes for someone to come forward and relive what they believe happened to them, and let them state it," Biden said. "Treat her with respect, ask tough questions, ask substantive questions … but don't go after the character assassination." (Business Insider)

      CNN is now reporting on the mother’s phone call. (source)

    • It gets hard when these allegations surface from so long ago. It doesn't mean the women aren't being truthful, but when things happen so long ago, it does become easier for people to not remember things as clearly and perhaps remember things being worse than they actually were. Or not as serious.

      A philosophy podcast I listened to described memories as decayed impressions. Experiences that have decayed in our minds. Obviously an experience that happened to us two days ago or two weeks ago is going to be more fresh and less "decayed" in our minds than something that happened 20 years ago or even longer. When you're going back to 1993, then yes, it's going to be really hard to prove the allegations. Which then raises the unfortunate question of should someone's political career end because of allegations that while incredibly serious cannot be proven? It's a tricky thing. Especially since we believe in the presumption of innocence to be a bedrock principle of our democracy.

      In cases like sexual assault, the presumption of innocence gets thrown out the window because everyone wants to side with the victim and show that they take sexual violence/assault seriously. Unfortunately, this can lead to people being damaged permanently by allegations that are untrue. It's a very thorny issue to say the least.

    • Including her mother’s phone call to Larry King Live in 1993, this is now the fifth corroborating witness that Ms. Reade shared her allegations long before Biden announced his Presidential bid in 2019.

      Now Reade's former neighbor Lynda LaCasse, a Biden supporter, tells Insider that Reade told her about the alleged assault in detail in 1995 or 1996: "This happened, and I know it did because I remember talking about it." (Source: Business Insider, April 27, 2020)

    • I find it strange that she was hired on in Dec 1992 and then left the job just eight months later. Perhaps she left because she was being mistreated?

      Or maybe she was unfit for the job for some reason and was let go, and to avoid embarrassment, she circulated a story of abuse among her family and friends knowing that personnel files are private, so a different truth would never come out. 🤷🏼‍♀️ It seems impossible to get to a definitive conclusion on this one. To me, Ms Reade’s accusations of mistreatment seem a bit more slippery than others... such as:

      “President Trump has been accused of sexualassault and misconduct by more than a dozen women, who have described a pattern of behavior that went far beyond the accusations against Mr. Biden. The president also directed illegal payments, including $130,000 to a pornographic film actress, Stormy Daniels, before the 2016 election to silence women about alleged affairs with Mr. Trump, according to federal prosecutors.

      Mr. Trump has even boasted about his mistreatment of women; in a 2005 recording, he described pushing himself on women and said he would “grab them by the pussy,” bragging that he could get away with “anything” because of his celebrity.”

    • I strongly suspect that the reason that her accusations did not gain traction are two fold.

      #1 When the event is alleged to have occurred. This was the same time period in which the accusations against Bill Clinton pertaining to the time period prior to his presidency were being publicly discussed. None of those accusations gained traction at that time.

      #2 Because the News Media in 1993 considered allegations against Donald Trump (with no corroborative evidence or witnesses) to be a minor story in comparison to many of the things which happened that year. In the first place, Donald Trump was not considered a "national" personality in 1993. In the second place, there were a lot of things which were considered national headline news that year.

    • I find it problematic that Reade’s account has become more and more salacious over the years.

      I also find it odd that Reade is angry that she isn’t gaining the same notoriety as Blasey-Ford. That’s weird. Think about how hard it was for B-F, and for Channel Miller, and for Annabella Sciorra, and for Andrea Constand for instance, to step forward and talk publicly about the assaults they experienced (and the many, many women who could not). Anita Hill could hardly bring herself to discuss the sexual harassment she experienced—and it wasn’t even assault. But Reade’s attitude is completely different. Why is that?

      I have seen disgruntled employees shift the blame for their dismissal and concoct a completely bizarre account of that dismissal in order to avoid blame. I have also known people who never could get enough attention. I wonder if a version of that is what’s happening here...

      It just seems like the pieces don’t add up. But I could be wrong...

    • Anita Hill could hardly bring herself to discuss the sexual harassment she experienced—and it wasn’t even assault. But Reade’s attitude is completely different. Why is that?

      Anita Hill testified in an era where there was no #MeToo movement: I can’t imagine how difficult it must have been for her to testify in that environment.

      Joe Biden admits that, as chair of the committee that Hill was testifying to, he allowed her to be harassed by the other senators: if Blasey-Ford was to be treated that way today, I don’t know if she would have had the courage to testify.

      Of course, if Joe Biden was the committee chair during Blasey-Ford’s testimony and had allowed harassment similar to what Hill received, Biden would be vilified.

      Reade, by contrast, has had the benefit of the support of the #MeToo movement.

      Well, actually she hasn’t.

      Time’s Up was established in the wake of the #MeToo movement to help survivors tell their stories.

      The public relations firm that works on behalf of the Time’s Up Legal Defense Fund is SKDKnickerbocker, whose managing director, Anita Dunn, is the top adviser to Biden’s presidential campaign.

       In February 2020, Reade learned from a new conversation with Time’s Up, which also involved Director Sharyn Tejani, that no assistance could be provided because the person she was accusing, Biden, was a candidate for federal office, and assisting a case against him could jeopardize the organization’s nonprofit status. (Source: The Intercept)

      Reade first spoke publicly about her allegations last year, in support of Lucy Flores. But then Reade went silent after being harassed for speaking out.

      Do I believe Tara Reade?

      I have no clue either way. I think there’s merit to viewing her allegations through the lens you’ve provided, @lidja. And I haven’t even mentioned Dunn’s 2018 essay in which she gave high praise to Putin as a leader:

      “President Putin scares the power elite in America because he is a compassionate, caring, visionary leader. … To President Putin, I say keep your eyes to the beautiful future and maybe, just maybe America will come to see Russia as I do, with eyes of love. To all my Russian friends, happy holiday and Happy New Year.”

      Based on that essay, you could believe that she’s just a Russian troll trying to interfere with our elections.

      My point in starting this discussion, however, is that Biden’s innocence can be easily cast in doubt in the minds of voters.

      Anita Dunn, as a managing director of the Time’s Up public relations firm, used her power to squash Tara Reade’s request for assistance in order to protect Joe Biden. Or did she?

      Anita Dunn advised Harvey Weinstein on messaging of his assault allegations. And now Dunn is a senior advisor to the Biden campaign.

      Time’s Up claims they couldnt help Reade against a politician running for President because it would jeopardize their nonprofit status. Other legal opinions say this is untrue.

      Reade’s allegations were considered unsupported earlier this month after an investigation by The New Times. However, the President has poisoned trust in The New York Times with repeated claims that it is “Fake News.”

      Under those conditions, can Biden still build a campaign that gets him elected in November?

      Or does this cripple him to where he never gets anything more than lukewarm interest from supporters and apathetic non-interest from independents?

      If that’s the probable case, should Biden drop out and allow a stronger candidate to take his place: Harris, Warren, Sanders, Yang or Buttigieg, for example?

      It’s a reasonable question, imho, because there actually is time to pivot to a Plan B: a Harris-Yang ticket would draw in a lot more enthusiasm from supporters than is currently felt by Biden supporters (see below poll results from this week).

    • It will be very interesting to see who Biden names as his VP.

      I think what will be more interesting and consequential is if Governor Jessie Ventura decides to run for President as the Green Party’s candidate. He calls himself “socially liberal, fiscally conservative.” He’s a celebrity so could conceivably garner enough publicity to take more than 5% of the vote in November. Definitely a game changer when the difference between Biden and Trump in recent polls has been running at less than 5%.

    • The Biden campaign is now accused of lying about the conclusions of The New Times investigation into Tara Reade’s allegations.

      Biden’s campaign’s talking points say the Times story served as proof that Reade’s allegation “did not happen” — but the story did not conclude this.

      How is this different from when Donald Trump claimed that the Mueller Report exonerated him?

      The New York Times rebuke of the Biden campaign is below:

    • Saw an interesting and intelligent idea proposed today:

      Hire an independent legal team to sift through the Senate records that Biden has been unwilling to release and then have the independent counsel issue a report of their findings.

      Note: Reade claims that she filed a harassment charge with the Senate in 1993 but did not keep a copy of it.

    • It’s happening tomorrow morning.

      Former Vice President Joe Biden will appear on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" on Friday morning, where for the first time he will address allegations from a former staffer named Tara Reade who says he sexually assaulted her in 1993.

      The appearance from his home studio in Wilmington, Del., would allow Biden to deal with the issue in what could be a more favorable setting given the criticisms the show's hosts have regularly launched against President Trump. 

      Biden is conducting the interview on his own and will not be joined by his wife Jill Biden.

    • I wonder if the Biden campaign was aware of this prior to today’s interview. It suggests another obfuscation of the truth by his campaign, just days after their lie that The New York Times investigation had exonerated the Vice President.

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      From Business Insider reporter Nicole Einbinder.

      Joe Biden said that Tara Reade's complaint could only be at the National Archives, at what was then called the Office of Fair Employment Practices. But, a National Archives spokesperson told me that they do not hold records from that office.

      Instead, a Senate Historical Office staffer said the Fair Employment Practices records are governed by a Senate resolution mandating that "records containing personal privacy, information closed by statute, and records of executive nomination are closed for 50 years.“

      That staffer said that rules for filing a complaint to the Office of Fair Employment Practices were complicated and that it was possible that a staffer attempting to do so without proper guidance may not have taken the necessary steps to get an investigation started.

      According to congressional testimony from 1995, 479 people contacted the office between 1992 and 1995 seeking assistance. Of those, only 102 entered the office's five-step "dispute resolution" process, which included a formal complaint and hearing.

      If Reade's complaint was filed to the Office of Fair Employment Practices, the record will remain closed until 2043 — more than two decades from now.

      It's also important to note that Reade isn't just looking for the complaint. She has other reasons for wanting the University of Delaware to unseal the records: