Patterico's Pontifications

2/8/2018

And Now #MeToo Starts to Eat Its Own

Filed under: General — JVW @ 11:35 pm

[guest post by JVW]

Who would have expected this? Yeah, pretty much all of us:

[California] Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia, chair of the Legislative Women’s Caucus who has been at the forefront of the movement against sexual harassment in the state Capitol, has herself become the subject of allegations of sexual misconduct. The Bell Gardens Democrat said she would “participate fully” in an investigation.

Politico reported Thursday that two men said Garcia made improper advances toward them. One, a former legislative staffer, said Garcia groped his back and buttocks and attempted to grab his crotch during a legislative softball game in 2014.

I mean, in this day and age no one could have thought that sexual harassment was confined to only one sex, let alone only one political party. So now all the feminist groups that have been pushing the #MeeToo narrative and the idea that every victim must be believed have to walk the tightrope:

Garcia, one of the most outspoken legislators in the #MeToo movement, now finds herself facing criticism from colleagues. State Sen. Connie Leyva (D-Chino) called the allegations “very troubling.”

“I have consistently voiced my strong opinion that any legislator under investigation by either the Assembly or Senate should take an immediate leave of absence until the review is completed,” Leyva said in a statement. “As Vice Chair of the Women’s Caucus, I will be asking that the membership of the Caucus meet in the very near future to discuss the fate of Assemblymember Cristina Garcia as Women’s Caucus Chair.”

We Said Enough, the advocacy group that grew out of an open letter signed by more than 140 women—including Garcia—decrying the culture of harassment in California politics, said in a statement the organization was “concerned about these reports and they need to be investigated thoroughly, without delay.”

Of course, absent in the reactions of Senator Leyva and We Said Enough are the instant demands for Senator Garcia to resign her seat, but I guess her self-professed gender and her political affiliation provide her that minimal level of professional courtesy where she gets to try and ride out the storm. But my guess is that this isn’t the last female — or even progressive female — legislator to discover that you sometimes have to live under the same rules that you would establish for others.

– JVW

Collusion? FBI Informant Testifies That Russians Bragged Hillary’s Influence Would Seal Uranium One Deal

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 9:00 am

There is new information that Russian cash funneled to the Clintons helped secure a key deal for a corrupt Russian-owned nuclear company. Sara Carter:

An informant who spent years gathering information on the Russian energy and uranium market industry for the FBI, met staff members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, House Oversight, and House Intelligence Committees on Wednesday. He gave explosive testimony on his years as an undercover informant providing information to the FBI on Russian criminal networks operating in the United States. He also contends in his testimony, and written briefs, to the FBI that Russia attempted to hide its ongoing aid to help sustain Iran’s nuclear industry, at the time the Obama administration approved the sale of 20 percent of U.S. uranium mining rights to Russia.

The informant, William D. Campbell, is represented by that perennial TV talking head Victoria Toensing, who had this to say about his appearance yesterday:

Mr. Campbell testified for over four hours until he answered every question from three Congressional committees; the Senate Judiciary, House Oversight and House Intelligence committees.

He recounted numerous times that the Russians bragged that the Clintons’ influence in the Obama administration would ensure CIFIUS approval for Uranium One. And he was right.

A quick refresher is in order on the amounts of money we’re talking about here. Recall that the New York Times, piggybacking off Peter Schweizer’s then-upcoming book, reported in 2015 on the Russian cash money that went to Billary — not just their foundation, either, but directly into Billy Boy’s pocket:

As the Russians gradually assumed control of Uranium One in three separate transactions from 2009 to 2013, Canadian records show, a flow of cash made its way to the Clinton Foundation. Uranium One’s chairman used his family foundation to make four donations totaling $2.35 million. Those contributions were not publicly disclosed by the Clintons, despite an agreement Mrs. Clinton had struck with the Obama White House to publicly identify all donors. Other people with ties to the company made donations as well.

And shortly after the Russians announced their intention to acquire a majority stake in Uranium One, Mr. Clinton received $500,000 for a Moscow speech from a Russian investment bank with links to the Kremlin that was promoting Uranium One stock.

This is rank corruption. Hillary fans have defended the Uranium One deal by arguing that Hillary had little to nothing to do with the decision. It was made by a committee, they remind us — and the State Department was only one member. What’s more, there’s no proof of Hillary’s direct involvement, we are told. Well, Campbell’s testimony (as related by Toensing) shows that, from the Russians’ point of view, Hillary was anything but irrelevant to the process.

And guess who else felt that politics played a role? FBI agents. Remember that the deal was approved despite the fact that the major Russian players were under FBI investigation, and the fact that there existed (as the Hill put it in October) “substantial evidence that Russian nuclear industry officials were engaged in bribery, kickbacks, extortion and money laundering.” Campbell was furious about this, given what he had uncovered, and confronted his FBI handlers about it. Guess what they said? Forget it, Jake. It’s Swamptown:

“I was speechless and angry in October 2010 when CFIUS approved the Uranium One sale to Rosatom. I was deeply worried that TLI continued to transport sensitive uranium despite the fact that it had been compromised by the bribery scheme,” stated Campbell in his testimony to lawmakers. “I expressed these concerns repeatedly to my FBI handlers. The response I got was that “politics” was somehow involved. I remember one response I got from an agent when I asked how it was possible CFIUS would approve the Uranium One sale when the FBI could prove Rosatom was engaged in criminal conduct. His answer: “Ask your politics.”

The icing on the cake, as noted in Carter’s opening paragraph: during this whole time, Russia was helping Iran with its nucelar program.

Carter’s whole post makes for fascinating reading. I recommend reading it all. To be honest, I’d like to see more than the word of Victoria Toensing before I make any final pronouncements. But Carter’s post sends the signal that the last shoe has not yet dropped.

All of this is another reminder that one of the more corrupt individuals in American political history had a real shot at occupying the Oval Office. Unfortunately, the person who defeated her has built up his own track record of allowing foreign interests to put money into his pocket. Trump promised from the beginning that he would return foreign government payments to his hotel and other entities, but a year later there is no proof that he has — and it’s very unlikely he will provide said proof, since the Trump Organization is not even keeping track of that money. And rank partisanship has Hillary haters accepting this as inevitable and not remotely problematic. This means that no matter who won in 2016, a precedent was going to be set that foreign interests can bribe the President . . . and ultimately, there will be no accountability for it.

We had no good choice in 2016. Even with some policy upsides — and there have been plenty –we are reminded almost daily of the downsides of electing a cretin like Trump. Every so often, then, it’s helpful to be reminded as well that the alternative was a lifelong corruptocrat.

[Cross-posted at RedState and The Jury Talks Back.]

Baby With Down Syndrome Honored As “2018 Gerber Spokesbaby”

Filed under: General — Dana @ 7:42 am

[guest post by Dana]

Last year I wrote a post about Iceland’s heartbreaking efforts to successfully abort all babies identified as having Down syndrome. It is now a country that when three babies are born with Down syndrome in one year, it is considered “quite more than usual,” and counselors easily rationalize the disappearance of these children from the landscape of their society, saying:

“We don’t look at abortion as a murder. We look at it as a thing that we ended. We ended a possible life that may have had a huge complication… preventing suffering for the child and for the family. And I think that is more right than seeing it as a murder — that’s so black and white. Life isn’t black and white. Life is grey.”

Yesterday, a happy announcement was made about the celebration of a little fellow with Down syndrome here in the U.S. It was an announcement that would not be made in Iceland. Much to their shame:

Lucas Warren, the first child with Down syndrome to receive the honor of, essentially, America’s cutest baby. The 1-year-old from Dalton, Ga., was selected as “2018 Gerber Spokesbaby” from more than 140,000 photos submitted by parents.

His mother, Cortney Warren, entered Lucas in the contest when a relative mentioned that Gerber put out its annual call for adorable babies, she told “Today.” Warren posted a photo of Lucas sporting a polka dot bow tie and an open-mouthed grin on Instagram and tagged Gerber.

It was Lucas’s smile that won him the iconic contest, said Bill Partyka, chief executive and president of Gerber.

“Every year, we choose the baby who best exemplifies Gerber’s long-standing heritage of recognizing that every baby is a Gerber baby,” Partyka said. “This year, Lucas is the perfect fit.”

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Parents of children with Down syndrome were elated by the selection of Lucas:

“In a puddle of tears over here…my mama heart is so so thankful…when Bodie was born I believed a lie, that others would not value him as much as I do. But, today is a new day. It is such a beautiful, good day,” wrote samanthajob on Instagram.

Instagram user nicki_bloms wrote: “As a mama currently carrying a cutie with an extra chromosome this made my day!!! Thank you Gerber!! ”

What a wonderful moment this is for a special group of parents and their little ones who have been specifically targeted for death in other parts of the world. What a wonderful moment for life! Because, right here and right now any number of babies with Down syndrome are still welcomed into the open arms of their loving parents.

In my post about Iceland, I shared the story of a serendipitous encounter I had with a young man with Down syndrome:

A long while back, I was strolling through a Disney Store during my lunch hour, and a young man turned and hugged me. Out of the blue. This perfect stranger with a big smile on his face then told me he loved me. I was so startled that I just stood there confused. In a moment, an older couple rushed over and gently pulled the young man away. They apologized to me for their son’s burst of affection, and explained that their son was an “exceptional hugger”. Why, yes, I could see that! He loved everyone. Including lucky me. I had a pleasant conversation with the couple, and then said good-bye. I felt happy. It certainly wasn’t one of those Big Deal moments in life, but rather a small quiet one. It was the kind of moment that sneaks up on you, and you know something pure and sweet just shot through the universe, momentarily cutting through the misery, and you happen to be in the right place at the right time to catch that shot of love and tuck it away in your heart.

Every now and then, I pull out that memory just to recall the radiating happiness of that young man. I can still “feel” it. With the news of little Lucas Warren being honored by Gerber, I have the same sort of happiness flooding my heart. Because, as McNeil Cronin, father of a daughter with Down syndrome, said:

“Gerber made a loud statement, a powerful statement. It walks the walk of acceptance and inclusion in a really big and meaningful way.”

Hear, hear!

(Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.)

–Dana


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