VERY disturbing allegations about Rep. nominee for Senate, Roy Moore, and sexual encounters with underage girls

Moore–whose candidacy is disturbing for many other reasons as well–denies the accusations, made in the Washington Post (link here).

He claims it is just smear tactics by the WaPo and the Democrats.

Unfortunately for Moore (and the Republicans), the Post article names four separate accusers. No anonymous charges.

No one says they had coitus with Moore.

Three of the four say the encounters were only kissing. One says Moore provided alcohol, though she was underage.

The most overt sexual encounter was between 32-year-old Moore and 14-year-old Leigh Corfman:

Of the four women, the youngest at the time was Corfman, who is the only one who says she had sexual contact with Moore that went beyond kissing. She says they did not have intercourse.

In a written statement, Moore denied the allegations.

“These allegations are completely false and are a desperate political attack by the National Democrat Party and the Washington Post on this campaign,” Moore, now 70, said.

The campaign said in a subsequent statement that if the allegations were true they would have surfaced during his previous campaigns, adding “this garbage is the very definition of fake news.” –Washington Post

Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell (R-KY), said the obvious: Moore should step aside if the allegations are true. (The Hill)

Alabama laws complicate any effort to step aside.

It’s unclear whether the Alabama state party will stand by the nominee, but Alabama law bars any candidate from withdrawing their name within 76 days of an election. That could present a situation where Moore’s name is on the ballot but he cannot be certified the winner if he wins, according to Alabama state law.  –The Hill

The legal status of a write-in candidate is unclear, according to The Hill.

In short, this scandal involves

  • Serious allegations
  • Multiple named sources
  • Denial by Moore
  • No easy solutions for the Republicans, even if Moore withdraws

Comment: With such a thin majority in the Senate, the Republicans’ loss here would imperil their already-tottering legislative program.

Moore was a terrible candidate before this. Rude, crude, and utterly ignorant of policy issues, as I wrote about him after he won the Republican primary (link here). Of course, I knew nothing then about these disturbing allegations, which seem credible.

This story will move rapidly, I’m sure. It’s cannot sit where it is now, after the Post story. Others will investigate, and the pressure on Moore will be enormous.

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Swapping barcodes at Walmart, she gets a nice discount . . . from $1800 to $3.70

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Woman accused of swapping barcodes at Walmart paid only $3.70 for $1,800 worth of electronics

In place of the usual “Florida man” stories, this one begins:

A Florida woman was arrested on Monday after attempting to carry out one of the most interesting robberies we’ve ever seen.

Cheyenne Amber West, a 25-year-old mother from Fort Pierce, was charged with felony grand theft and felony shoplifting after said she rang up $1,824 worth of electronics for just $3.70 at a Walmart self-checkout, according to the TC Palm. (AOL News)

It’s a family story, too.

 

The suspect and her mom, Alicia West, allegedly picked up several high-priced items from the store’s electronics department, including video games and a laptop, and covered up the barcodes with stickers of merchandise from the store’s clearance department.  (AOL News)

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California NAACP knows how to stop the controversy over the National Anthem: Abolish it

The Sacramento Bee reports

When California lawmakers return to the Capitol in January, the state chapter of the NAACP will be seeking their support for a campaign to remove “The Star-Spangled Banner” as the national anthem.  –Sacramento Bee

Besides a resolution supporting Colin Kaepernick, the organization urged Congress to rescind what the NAACP called

one of the most racist, pro-slavery, anti-black songs in the American lexicon –NAACP of California

Comment: Given Congress’ busy agenda, it will be hard to squeeze in this fine legislation.

ZipDialog Roundup for Wednesday, November 8

Articles chosen with care. Your comments welcomed.
Linked articles in bold purple

◆ Democrats win big in off-year elections. The most important: a surprisingly large victory in the Virginia Governor’s race

Comment: NJ returning to a Democratic governor is not surprising. In Virginia, which is shifting from purple to a blue state because of the DC suburbs, the surprise is not Ralph Northam’s win but his 9-point margin over a good Republican candidate, Ed Gillespie.

Northam’s margin tells me Democrats are motivated, even after a divisive primary. Hillary won Virginia by 5 points. Down-ballot Democrats are also doing very well.

President Trump’s begins his biggest stop: Beijing

There are three major issues on the table: North Korea, China’s expansion in the South China Sea, and China’s asymmetrical trade relations with the US.

Comment: More on this stop as news emerges.

Texas Mass Killing: “Botched Air Force handling of Texas shooter’s criminal history may be ‘systemic’ issue” (Fox News)

The 2015 Department of Defense Inspector General report analyzed a sample of 1,102 convictions, including felonies, handled in the military court system and found the Navy, Air Force and Marines failed to send criminal history or fingerprint data to the FBI in about 30 percent of them. –Fox News

Ratcheting up the financial sanctions on Chinese banks doing business with North Korea (Reuters)

Senate Finance Committee votes unanimously on these sanctions, just as Pres. Trump lands in Beijing.

The U.S. Senate Banking Committee unanimously backed new sanctions targeting Chinese banks that do business with North Korea on Tuesday, just before President Donald Trump visits Beijing for the first time since taking office….

Washington so far has largely held off on imposing new sanctions against Chinese banks and companies doing business with North Korea, given fears of retaliation by Beijing and possibly far-reaching effects on the world economy.–Reuters

◆ Curiouser and Curiouser: Russian lawyer who met with Trump Jr also met with FusionGPS before and after the Trump Tower meeting (Fox News)

The story about Fusion GPS’s Glenn Simpson and Russian attorney, Natalia Veselnitskaya, comes from one of our best investigative reporters, Catherine Herridge.

The co-founder of Fusion GPS, the firm behind the unverified Trump dossier, met with a Russian lawyer before and after a key meeting she had last year with Trump’s son, Fox News has learned. The contacts shed new light on how closely tied the firm was to Russian interests, at a time when it was financing research to discredit then-candidate Donald Trump….

Simpson and Fusion GPS were hired by BakerHostetler, which represented Russian firm Prevezon through Veselnitskaya. –Catherine Herridge for Fox News

Comment: So, Fusion GPS was simultaneously working for this Russian firm and the Clinton campaign. That could be an innocent coincidence . . . or it could lead to some “synergies.”  So far, Fusion GPS has taken the 5th before Congressional investigative committees and fiercely resisted subpoenas for any records of their financial transactions.

“Oh, what a tangled web we weave . . . ”

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ZipDialog Roundup for Tuesday, November 7

Articles chosen with care. Your comments welcomed.
Linked articles in bold purple

◆ Trump in South Korea: What’s on the agenda? 

Comment: Mostly North Korea but also some trade issues. The goal is to get South Korea’s leftist president to side more closely with the US, less with China.

A separate ZipDialog post, with more analysis, is here.

Texas Church Massacre: what we know

From police reports, three basic facts are emerging:

  • The shooter was angry, uncontrolled, and mentally unstable
  • Several different bureaucracies knew about the problems–the US military, a mental institution from which he escaped, and local officials who knew about violence and cruelty
  • The bureaucracies did not inform each other, so none had a full picture of the lethal danger he posed.
    • Some of this information might have blocked gun purchases

Comment: As we learned after 9/11, you can’t connect the dots if bureaucracies don’t share information. In the 9/11 case, the failure was the predictable consequence of laws blocking such sharing between the FBI (focused on domestic crime prosecution) and the CIA/NSA (focused on foreign issues, not crime, and prohibited from domestic spying). Terrorists exploited those “stovepipes” by moving across borders.

In the Texas case, it was simply the military’s failure to enter info in shared databases. In the case of the shooter’s escape from a mental hospital, we don’t know why that information was not entered into shared databases, where it could have blocked gun purchases.

Even if the information is available, there is so much of it that local law enforcement may not be able to sort through it and use it effectively.

 Very tight governor’s race in today’s Virginia election:

UPDATE: Democrat Wins

The state has been trending Democratic for some years, fueled by population growth in the DC suburbs of Northern Virginia.

Hillary won the state by 5 points and Trump’s unpopularity in North Virginia is why he didn’t campaign for the Republican, the first Presidential no-show in half a century.

That’s why the Democrat tried to make it a “national” election while the Republican tried to make it “local.”

Beyond the usual impact on policy, the winner will influence Virginia’s redistricting after the 2020 Census.

Harvey Weinstein: Two developments

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Trump in South Korea: What Does the US Want?

◆ What’s on Trump’s Agenda in Seoul? 

Comment: Mostly North Korea but also some trade issues.

For the US and its strong ally, Japan, the problem is South Korea’s leftist president, Moon Jae-In.

He was soft on North Korea before the election, a long-held, principled position. He has been somewhat firmer since then because of Kim’s provocations.

The main problem, though, is that he wants much closer relations with Beijing and is willing to back away from the US to get that. Beijing is concerned about US anti-missile defense in South Korea and would be very concerned if the US returned nuclear weapons to the peninsula. South Korea’s Moon has essentially caved to Beijing’s demands.

China’s leaders will be taking the measure of Trump’s clout during his visit to Seoul. If he can get real strategic, security cooperation from Moon, China will be more inclined to cooperate with Trump’s initiatives. If not, not.

Xi and his advisers were doubtless pleased by Trump’s offer to negotiate with North Korea. So was Moon. But Trump, unlike Obama, believes in negotiating from a position of strength, not making “feel good” concessions without reciprocity. He won’t do anything that hints he is taking harsher actions off the table.

The key, then: The visit to Seoul is mostly about Beijing, and all the stops are about Pyongyang.

 

 

 

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How to Get Gorgeous Google “Street Views” on a Rocky, Remote Island

In the case of the beautiful Faroe Islands, in the cold waters north of Scotland, the tourist board came up with a brilliant idea.

Their marketing plan:

Strap Google Street View cameras on the sheep that graze the hillsides.

(Washington Post story here)

What they call “SheepView 360”(here’s the site)  has come up with beautiful “street views” like this:

KUDOS for brilliant marketing.

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ZipDialog Roundup for Monday, November 6

Articles chosen with care. Your comments welcomed.
Linked articles in bold purple

Trump in Asia: What Matters about the Trip (a comment)

The trip has three main goals, all important but in tension with each other

  • Contain or eliminate North Korean nuclear threat to US and US allies (depends on China’s cooperation)
  • Reduce China’s trade surplus with US, ideally by opening China’s domestic market to US exports
  • Deter an expanding Chinese threat in South China Sea (reinforce America’s partnership with nations surrounding China)

Trump is also likely to meet with Putin, with North Korea, Syria, and Iran as major topics

 Texas church shooting: A crazed, well-armed guy furious with his former in-laws, who worshipped at the church he attacked

That’s the report from local news outlets in the San Antonio area (KSAT in San Antonio)

Comment: Some commentators will stress his beliefs (“he was an atheist”). That is not what drove him. Anger and crazed impulsiveness, not ideology, are the drivers here.

 Mueller Leaking: NBC reports he has enough evidence to charge Mike Flynn, Trump’s former National Security Adviser

Special ZipDialog commentary here

Another college attack on free-speech: Vassar students smear Wm. Jacobson (of Legal Insurrection blog) because he supports free speech (USA Today)

Comment: Vassar, like so many small, elite colleges, is suffused with hard-left ideology.

They should call these schools “Illiberal Arts Colleges.”

Chicago nearing 600 homicides, most since 2003 (Chicago Tribune)

How bad is it? The city has instituted a new program to show people how to stop bleeding from gunshot wounds (Chicago Tribune)

Comment: N

Investigators suspect US journalists were paid to spread materials from the Clinton/FusionGPS/Russian Dossier (Washington Times)

In U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, Fusion GPS, the dossier’s financier via the Democratic Party and the Hillary Clinton campaign money, is fighting a House committee chairman’s bid to find out if the opposition research firm paid journalists.

In U.S. District Court in Florida, a self-described dossier victim wants a judge to order the news website BuzzFeed, which published the dossier in full, to disclose who gave it to them. –Washington Times

Comment: Fusion GPS is fighting so tenacious to prevent any disclosures of their receipts and expenditures, you can’t help but think they might have something to hide.

Pleading the 5th Amendment before Congress was also a hint.

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Hat Tip to

◆ Tim Favero for the Vassar, William Jacobson story