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jcitybone

The only specific allegation admits that the complaining student did not know Morse’s position until after they hooked up

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2020/08/09/critics-warn-against-smear-campaign-creepy-victorian-moralizing-aimed-progressive

Alarm bells were sounded over the weekend following vaguely-worded accusations of “inappropriate” sexual behavior by Alex Morse—the openly gay and politically progressive Mayor of Holyoke, Massachusetts challenging powerful Democrat incumbent Congressman Richie Neal in the state’s primary next month—as critics condemned what appeared as a potentially unfounded smear campaign against the 31-year-old politician as well as a troubling example of “creepy Victorian moralizing” and shaming of consensual adult behavior for political gain.

First reported by The Daily Collegian, the student newspaper of the University of Massachusetts, the allegations came in the form of a letter from the UMass College Democrats chapter which alleged—citing numerous but unspecified “stories we have heard”—that Morse, as Mayor and a part-time instructor at UMass Amherst, had romantic contact and consensual sexual relations with college students, none younger than 18, in the local area.

The allegations, which came with a decision from the student organization that Morse—running on a platform that includes Medicare for All, the Green New Deal, and challenging corporate power—would no longer be invited by them to sponsored events, sparked national headlines in major state and national outlets (such as here, here, and here) nearly all of which treated the accusations as a potentially devastating scandal for the progressive candidate who is now vying to unseat Rep. Neal—one of the most powerful corporate-friendly Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives in a primary on September 1.

After it was pointed out that the UMass College Democrats have received large donations from the Richie Neal Campaign to support their activities, the group on Sunday, along with the College Democrats of Massachusetts, issued a statement which read in part: “To suggest that our decision to send the letter to Mayor Morse was a quid pro quo with Rep. Neal, his campaign, or anyone else is untrue, disingenuous, and harmful.”

Also in the letter, the groups make it clear that “those affected by Mayor Morse’s behavior” were directly involved in the writing of the initial letter, but that none are willing to come forward to publicly describe their interactions with Morse or exactly how they were made to “feel uncomfortable” by him.

With no specific accusation of sexual assault or misconduct in any of the reporting or the letter from the student organization—not even a stated violation of UMass policy which forbids consensual sexual activity between faculty and adult students only when a specific power dynamic exists, such as an active professor-student relationship—the hand-wringing over what Morse was alleged to have done was confounding to people like Ryan Grim, Washington bureau chief of The Intercept, who spent much of the weekend looking at the story, asking probing questions about the details, and offering observations.

Would be quite something if the groups backing Alex Morse took a stand here on behalf of free, consenting adults not in a subordinate role to do what they want with their lives,” Grim said on Saturday. “Not counting on it but we’ll see.”

In his response to the UMass College Democrats, Morse said that his powerful opponent, Congressman Neal, will likely “be eager to twist this into something it’s not to score political points, but I would caution him against indulging in old negative stereotypes about gay men. I will not apologize for living out of the closet, for going on dates, and having consensual conversations.”

polarbear4
polarbear4

here is a wonderful, short thread by stephanie kelton on how to fund social security. i hope more influencers realize that we can create new ways of thinking, new language around these subjects. and fund them forever.

https://threadreaderapp.com/thread/1292447582833303553.html

polarbear4
polarbear4

the first 2:

orlbucfan

That will be a very cold day in h3ll before melting zombie brain (Byedone) and his ilk support strengthening Social Security, etc. BO’s Grand Bargain, Catfood Commission, anyone?

jcitybone

https://www.salon.com/2020/08/10/here-we-go-again-trumps-bs-executive-orders-sucker-the-media-on-coronavirus-relief/

As Heather Digby Parton detailed on Monday morning, these “executive orders” are a joke — in fact, only one of the four documents Trump signed on Saturday even qualifies for that label — and are likely to get little, if any, aid flowing to people who need it. This was entirely predictable, as Trump, a longtime grifter who faked being a successful businessman on TV — has a storied habit of making big promises that he reneges on immediately.

But his fake-out worked pretty much as intended, and media sources dutifully ran headlines making it sound like Trump was pushing aid out to people, which he was not doing and never likely intended to do.

The Associated Press and Reuters — whose reporting is syndicated in local newspapers throughout the country — both went with headlines saying things like, “Trump signs coronavirus relief orders” and “Trump extends unemployment benefits, defers payroll tax,” without noting that three out of the four so-called orders are merely “memorandums” that will likely end up being toothless because of Trump’s legal overreach.

Trump announces executive actions to provide economic relief after stimulus talks broke down,” read a Politico headline.

“Sidestepping Congress, Trump Signs Executive Measures for Pandemic Relief,” claimed the New York Times.

“Trump signs 4 executive actions on coronavirus relief,” ABC News announced.

These kinds of headlines are misleading in two ways. First, they make the executive actions sound far more substantive than they actually are, making readers believe that help is coming when it’s either not coming at all or will be too insubstantial to make a real difference. As Scott Lemieux of Lawyers, Guns, and Money notes, these executive actions are “vaporware” and should have never been taken seriously by the press.

Even more important, is these headlines serve to obscure the most basic takeaway, which is that Trump’s actions are about denying people help, not extending it. Trump’s dog-and-pony show is an effort to distract attention from the fact that House Democrats have already passed a bill and Republicans are blocking it from becoming law. If the president seriously wanted to get relief to people, he could pressure the Republican-controlled Senate into voting on the bill Democrats have already passed, with a promise to sign it. Waving pieces of paper around in front of the cameras shouldn’t distract from that fact, and yet here we are.

Trump’s little circus trick only worked over the weekend because it built on another massive and widespread media failure, which is to falsely frame this impasse as a “both sides” story, instead of accurately reporting on the Republican responsibility for the failure to pass a coronavirus relief bill.

polarbear4
polarbear4

The silver lining is that we have enough time before the election for people to fully realize that the aid did not arrive.

orlbucfan

Three months is a long time for folks evicted from their homes, they and their families facing starvation. Plus, some places still get cold in the winter.🤬

polarbear4
polarbear4

totally.

polarbear4
polarbear4
polarbear4
polarbear4

orlbucfan

That’s all well and good, Reich, but the USPS needs to be funded, that Cheney-Dumbya Healthcare Funding Noose removed from its neck, and use it for rural banking.

jcitybone

Reich is for all that stuff, but in the meantime for this election, the post office is being hobbled by Trump.

humphrey

comment image?resize=807×807

orlbucfan

Fellow Progressive Birdies. 🙂 Check out this latest news from Anna Eskamani, the gal the Hubster and I are backing for FL House District 47:

https://www.orlandosentinel.com/politics/os-ne-eskamani-governor-primaries-20200810-mte2vgmj4betpctdzhxoasa5hm-story.html

Way cool as the young folk say. Yes, we are backing her if she runs for Governor in a few years. 🙂 🙂

OzoneTom
OzoneTom

On the subject of executive orders, here is something that I cross-posted at c99p:

Could a desperate President Trump order de-facto M4A?
h/t to u/clonal_antibody at reddit

Trump can give by executive order, everybody the right to enroll in the current Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B. The law already exists
..
All he has to do is to declare a Covid-19 environmental emergency, and anybody who is impacted by the environmental disaster can enroll in Medicare with the same obligations and benefits that those over 65 get.

The original law has to do with asbestos exposure, but President Trump has been known to stretch things and has often been allowed to.

polarbear4
polarbear4

india seems to sort of slide under our consciousness.

polarbear4
polarbear4