We Should Take Women's Accusations Seriously. But Tara Reade's ...

A lawyer who represented Tara Reade, the woman who has accused Joe Biden of sexually assaulting her in 1993, announced Friday that Reade is no longer his firm's client.

The news came as California defense attorneys and a district attorney's office said they are reviewing past criminal cases in which Reade testified as an expert witness, following a CNN report that questioned her education credentials.
Doug Wigdor said the decision to no longer represent Reade was made on Wednesday, the day after CNN published an extensive investigation about Reade's background and past statements. In the report, CNN first revealed problems with Reade's claim that she received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Antioch University in Seattle; the school denied to CNN that she ever graduated from the university.
Wigdor had sent CNN a lengthy statement on Monday responding to numerous questions related to the story. However, Reade directly contacted CNN on Monday night to discuss the issue of her degree from Antioch, telling a CNN reporter that she had asked for and received permission from Wigdor to reach out directly.
 
"Our decision, made on May 20, is by no means a reflection on whether then-Senator Biden sexually assaulted Ms. Reade," Wigdor said in a statement. "We also believe that to a large extent Ms. Reade has been subjected to a double standard in terms of the media coverage she has received. Much of what has been written about Ms. Reade is not probative of whether then-Senator Biden sexually assaulted her, but rather is intended to victim-shame and attack her credibility on unrelated and irrelevant matters."
Wigdor said his firm wishes Reade well and hopes that she will be treated fairly.
On behalf of Reade, Maria Villena, a friend who handled media inquiries on Friday, told CNN Reade is "seeking new counsel with PR support," and that she does not wish to make a public statement at this time.
Reade "stands by her interview with Meghan (sic) Kelly," Villena said in an emailed statement.
The New York Times first reported news of Wigdor's decision.
Reade alleges that in 1993 when she was working as an aide in Biden's Senate office, the then-senator sexually assaulted her. Biden himself has vehemently denied Reade's allegation.
Wigdor, a prominent sexual harassment and assault lawyer, announced that his firm was representing Reade earlier this month. He has represented accusers of Harvey Weinstein, and was a vocal supporter of Christine Blasey Ford when she accused Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault. Wigdor supported President Donald Trump in the 2016 election.
Wigdor previously told CNN that Reade wasn't paying his law firm and that he didn't "anticipate ever getting paid for anything."
Wigdor is parting ways with Reade as many aspects of her background have come under scrutiny in light of her allegation against Biden.
On Monday, Reade had told CNN that she received a bachelor of arts degree from Antioch University in Seattle under the auspices of a "protected program," personally working with the former president of the school to ensure her identity was protected while she obtained credits for her degree. She also said that she was a visiting professor at the school, on and off for five years.
But a spokesperson for the university told CNN that Reade "attended but did not graduate from Antioch University" and that she was never a faculty member, but she did provide several hours of administrative work.
University officials confirmed with former university president Toni Murdoch that no special arrangements existed, university spokeswoman Karen Hamilton said.
An Antioch University official also told CNN that such a "protected program" does not exist and never has.
Reade graduated from Seattle University School of Law in 2004, gaining admission to the school through its Alternative Admission Program.
Two California lawyers said they are concerned over inconsistencies in her education credentials and that her testimony may have improperly influenced the outcomes of their trials.
"This could affect innocent people that got convicted," defense attorney William Pernik, law partner of Roland Soltesz who represented a defendant in a case where Reade testified as an expert witness, told CNN.
Reade participated in cases in Monterey County courts for "probably a decade or more" as a government witness on domestic violence, according to Monterey County Chief Assistant District Attorney Berkley Brannon. Reade had testified in a 2018 trial that she received a liberal arts degree with a focus on political science when she was asked questions about credentials presented on her resume, according to court documents.
Brannon said the district attorney's office is going through cases to determine when Reade testified as a domestic violence expert. Brannon said their office is also trying to determine whether Reade graduated from Antioch University.
"The first thing we need to do is we need to figure out whether she lied under oath in any of our cases, and so in order to know whether she lied under oath, we need to know whether she has that degree," Brannon told CNN.
Defense attorneys William Pernik and Roland Soltesz became concerned after CNN first reported about discrepancies in Reade's education background. CNN's report combined with a local profile of Reade as a domestic violence expert witness in Monterey County under the name Alexandra McCabe caused Soltesz and Pernik to realize that Reade may have misstated her credentials under oath, the attorneys told CNN.
Reade also told the court that she worked in domestic violence prevention for decades, starting off as a legislative assistant in Biden's office when he worked on the Violence Against Women Act, according to a trial transcript. Reade was a staff assistant in Biden's office, according to a congressional staff list at the time, which is a different position.
Reade told CNN that she did not misrepresent her credentials and that she does have a bachelor's degree.
    Soltesz told CNN he believes Reade's testimony significantly swayed the outcome of that 2018 trial in which his client received a life sentence for attempted murder, arson and armed robbery. He is now looking to reopen the case and considering additional action he can take to learn the true nature of Reade's credentials.
      
    CNN.COM

    Bernie Sanders endorses Joe Biden, they announce 'working groups ...

    Bernie Sanders said Tuesday that it would be “irresponsible” for his loyalists not to support Joe Biden, warning that progressives who “sit on their hands” in the months ahead would simply enable President Donald Trump’s reelection.

    And lest there be any question, the 78-year-old Vermont senator confirmed that “it’s probably a very fair assumption” that he would not run for president again. He added, with a laugh: “One can’t predict the future.”

    Sanders, who suspended his presidential bid last week, spoke at length about his decision to endorse Biden, his political future and the urgent need to unify the Democratic Party during an interview with The Associated Press. He railed against the Republican president but also offered pointed criticism at his own supporters who have so far resisted his vow to do whatever it takes to help Biden win the presidency.

    He seemed to distance himself from his campaign’s former national press secretary, Briahna Joy Gray, when asked about her recent statement on social media refusing to endorse Biden.

    “She is my former press secretary — not on the payroll,” Sanders noted. A spokesman later clarified that all campaign staffers were no longer on the payroll as of Tuesday, though they will get a severance check in May.

    Sanders said his supporters have a simple choice now that Biden has emerged as the presumptive nominee: “Do we be as active as we can in electing Joe Biden and doing everything we can to move Joe and his campaign in a more progressive direction? Or do we choose to sit it out and allow the most dangerous president in modern American history to get reelected?”

    He continued: “I believe that it’s irresponsible for anybody to say, ‘Well, I disagree with Joe Biden -- I disagree with Joe Biden! -- and therefore I’m not going to be involved.’”

    Sanders said he would not actively campaign or spend money on advertising in the primary contests that are still on the calendar in the coming months. But he still encouraged Democrats in those states to vote for him, hoping to amass as many delegates as possible for leverage to shape the party platform and the direction of Biden’s campaign.

    He also vowed to continue fighting for progressive priorities such as his signature “Medicare for All” as a senator, even though Biden has refused to embrace the government-backed single-payer health care system.

    “If people want to vote for me, we’d appreciate it,” Sanders said of the roughly 20 primary contests that remain where his name will appear on the ballot. He later added, “I think you’re going to see significant movement on the part of the Biden campaign into a more progressive direction on a whole lot of issues.”

    Sanders did not outline any specific plans to begin helping Biden in earnest, though he noted that he held dozens of rallies for former Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton four years ago and would be at least as active for Biden. In the short term, he said he’s essentially “incarcerated in his home” because of coronavirus social distancing guidelines and did not know when he would return to the campaign trail.

    Sanders brushed away questions about why he was willing to back Biden so much sooner than he did Clinton, whom he waited until June to endorse. He said recent conversations with former President Barack Obama did not influence his decision. It came down to simple math, he said.

    In 2016, Sanders said he had a mathematical path to the nomination all the way until the California primary, which was held on the last day of voting in June. That simply wasn’t the case this year.

    “What would be the sense of staying in, of spending a whole lot of money, of attacking the vice president, giving fodder for Trump -- what’s the sense of doing that when you can’t win?” he asked.

    “I will do everything I can to help elect Joe,” Sanders continued. “We had a contentious campaign. We disagree on issues. But my job now is to not only rally my supporters, but to do everything I can to bring the party together to see that (Trump) is not elected president.”

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    APNEWS.COM

    https://apnews.com/a1bfb62e37fe34e09ff123a58a1329fa

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    President Donald Trump has a love/hate relationship with polls, surveys and predictions. He loves the ones that paint him in a positive light, and, of course, he hates all those “fake” ones that don’t.

    He’s going to absolutely adore this one.

    According to Moody’s Analytics, Trump is headed toward another four years in the White House. And, if the numbers are right, it won’t even be close.

    In fact, his Electoral College victory could very well be wider than the 304-227 margin he enjoyed over Democratic rival Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election.

    Since 1980, Moody’s has managed to nail the outcome every time but once — like many, it didn’t see Trump coming.

    “In our post-mortem of the 2016 presidential election model,” the report said, “we determined that unexpected turnout patterns were one of the factors that contributed to the model’s first incorrect election prediction.” Here’s Moody’s track record, including a 2016 adjustment for the turnout variable:

    Will it return to its winning ways? The team takes into account how consumers feel about their finances, the performance of the stock market SPX, +0.18% and their job prospects. Essentially, today, they’re feeling pretty good.

    “Under the current Moody’s Analytics baseline economic outlook, which does not forecast any recession, the 2020 election looks like Trump’s to lose,” the authors wrote. “Democrats can still win if they are able to turn out the vote at record levels, but, under normal turnout conditions, the president is projected to win.”

    From the MarketWatch archives (August 2016): To professional economists, Trump isn’t even the second best candidate in the 2016 presidential election

    Moody’s uses three models to come up with its forecast. In each case, Trump gets at least 289 Electoral College votes.

    The “pocketbook” measure, which focus on how people feel about their money situation, is where Trump shines brightest, grabbing a whopping 351 electoral votes. “If voters were to vote primarily on the basis of their pocketbooks, the president would steamroll the competition,” the report said.

    The stock-market model gives him the slightest edge of 289-249, as investors continue to navigate a volatile investing landscape. Then there’s the unemployment model, which leans heavily in his favor at 332-206.

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    MARKETWATCH.COM

    https://www.marketwatch.com/story/trump-in-a-landslide-this-historically-accurate-model-predicts-exactly-that-2019-10-15?utm_source=zergnet.com&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=zergnet_4862423

    Opinion: Despite his harmful rhetoric toward Latinos, 1 in 4 are expected to vote for President Trump in 2020. I wondered why.

    It’s like chickens for Colonel Sanders. Why would any self-respecting Latino vote to re-elect President Donald Trump, arguably the most anti-Latino chief executive in U.S. history?

    That’s what my non-Latino friends want to know. I get that question all the time, often accompanied by a tilted head and a confused look.

    In the 2020 election, Trump seems likely to get between 25%-30% of the Latino vote. A recent poll by Telemundo found that 1 in 4 American Latinos would vote to re-elect him. 

    In 2016, according to exit polls, Trump got 28% of the Latino vote. He did better than Sen. Bob Dole, who got 21% of the Latino vote in 1996, and Sen. Mitt Romney, who got 27% in 2012.

    But he couldn’t match Sen. John McCain, who got 31% of the Latino vote in 2008, or President George W. Bush, who got 40% in 2004. Anything north of 30% is a decent showing for a Republican, and anything beyond 40% will make a GOP candidate virtually unbeatable. 

    Latino votes matter, and they're not a bloc.

    Hispanics make up nearly a third of Arizona's population. What do we know about them? Wochit

    Latino voters count for a lot. Three reasons:

    Latinos are now poised to be the largest racial or ethnic minority group to be eligible to vote in a presidential election, according to the Pew Research Center. 

    By 2020, an estimated 32 million Latinos will be eligible to vote, which is just slightly more than the 30 million voters who are African-Americans. According to Pew, Latinos are expected to be about 13.3% of the electorate in 2020.

    Here’s what you need to know about the Latino vote: there is no such thing. That is, Latinos aren’t monolithic and we don’t vote as a bloc. 

    Yet, Trump is likely to do better than expected with Latino voters.

    It’s not just because of a strong economy, low unemployment rates among Latinos, etc. It’s also because many Latinos are willing to look past Trump’s anti-Latino bigotry. After all, they tell themselves, the president is not talking about people like them.

    Trump keeps talking trash about us

    The problem is that, when it comes to Latinos, Trump can’t stop talking trash. As president, Trump: 

    Even as he campaigns for re-election, Trump still can’t seem to refrain from sticking his foot in this mouth when it comes to Latino voters. 

    Several weeks ago, when Trump traveled to New Mexico to court conservative Latinos, he doted on CNN commentator Steve Cortes, a pro-Trump immigrant from Colombia who the president declared “looks more like a WASP than I do.” Trump put Cortes on the spot, asking him, “Who do you like more, the country or the Hispanics?” Cortes answered “The country.”

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    Most of the Latinos who back Trump are not so buffoonish about their support. But they’re no less devoted to their guy.

    But some still support him. Here's why

    Latino voters in California make up a large percentage of the electorate in the newly minted Super Tuesday behemoth. USA TODAY

    As a Mexican-American Never Trumper, I wanted to understand these people. Besides, as a journalist who is trained to talk to strangers, the idea of Latinos who support Trump sounded plenty strange to me. 

    So, I went out and interviewed a couple dozen Latinos for Trump.

    What I found is that, in many cases, these folks are not really Latino at all. They’re “post-Latino.” They see themselves as Americans.

    They’re ambivalent about their heritage, relatives, ancestors. They don’t take offense when Trump insults Mexican immigrants because — even for Mexican-Americans — they see the people he’s talking about as another species. 

    Consider the views of Chris Salcedo, a conservative Mexican-American radio host in Texas who bills himself as a “liberty loving Latino.”

    “I’ve always resented the hell out of liberals, in the press and out of the press, who have said that I, because of my Latino surname, have anything in common with someone who is breaking into my country without our permission,” Salcedo told me. “When the president cracks down on illegal border crossings and human trafficking, I do not believe he’s attacking me — because I also want to stop those same things.”

    I get it. But I also recognize a familiar song when I hear one.

    Other ethnic groups know this one by heart. The Irish, Italians and Jews all have people in their community who don’t identify with their heritage or who think they’re better than others in their tribe, when they’re really just better off. These are the folks who were born on third base but tell themselves they hit a triple. 

    Now some Latinos have found their way to Trump. Good for them. But make no mistake. In a larger sense, they’re lost. 

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    AZCENTRAL.COM

    https://www.azcentral.com/story/opinion/op-ed/2019/12/01/latinos-will-vote-trump-what-hispanic-supporters-think/4320277002/

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