Month: October 2020

  • Trump should face harassment allegations under oath

    first_imgThen last week, something changed. Three of Trump’s previous accusers reiterated their allegations against him.A group of more than 50 Democratic congresswomen requested that the House take up an investigation into Trump’s conduct.Eight senators have called on the president to resign over the accusations and seconded the demand for a congressional investigation.Of those, Trump focused his ire on New York U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, whom he implied had traded sex for campaign donations.A congressional probe of the allegations against the president remains highly unlikely, at least while both the Senate and House remain under Republican control.But in theory, such an investigation could make a valuable — even crucial — contribution to the ongoing reckoning. Categories: Editorial, OpinionFor months, the national reckoning with sexual harassment and assault orbited President Donald Trump as if around a black hole — intimately connected to a man who nevertheless remained untouched by it. Truth and reconciliation commissions are about storytelling.The goal is to give perpetrators immunity to encourage them to shed light on past crimes, but also to provide victims with a space in which to speak and be heard.Commissions are about emotion, too: Ideally, they allow people on all sides of a conflict to work through their sorrow and resentment in order to heal.It’s impossible to isolate any one cause of the post-Harvey Weinstein wave.But a great deal of it may come from the rage of American women who have been, unknowingly perhaps, waiting for something to give since Trump’s election.The rawness and catharsis of this moment are bound up with year-old frustration over a country that didn’t find the would-be president’s disrespect for women disqualifying.A real reckoning with harassment and assault requires not only figuring out how to prevent misconduct in the future but also coming to terms with Trump.  Ideally, Congress would focus that investigation on how the epidemic of sexual harassment and assault limits opportunity in the workplace, and it would address the allegations against Trump as part of that investigation.Jessica Leeds, Samantha Holvey and Rachel Crooks, who came together last week at a news conference to return their accusations of the president to the public eye, have all said they would be willing to testify before Congress.Trump should also be given the chance to speak under oath about his interactions with these women and the authenticity of the “Access Hollywood” tape, which he apparently has questioned.There is an important avenue for congressional inquiry here.As New York magazine’s Rebecca Traister writes, the current crisis is not just about sex but also about sexual misconduct toward women at work: both women’s vulnerability to harassment in the workplace and the economic and professional vulnerabilities that result from that harassment.This is a sex-discrimination problem — and Congress should hear from experts as to how to address this pervasive gender inequity. Trump’s behavior is an example.Like many of the powerful men recently exposed as predatory, much of his alleged behavior took place while the women who accuse him were at work or seeking professional guidance.Now, as president, he is the nation’s most powerful at-will employer.center_img Such hearings on workplace harassment could produce concrete benefits in the form of legislative solutions to systems that stack the deck against victims, such as nondisclosure agreements written into employment contracts.But while pointing to Trump as a test case might be politically satisfying, the end goal of that piece of it is less clear.What comes after the investigation?The behavior the president is accused of, especially because voters were aware of the allegations before the election, probably does not constitute an impeachable offense.The answer is that we should think of the hearing as justification in itself, something akin to a truth and reconciliation commission.In societies rebuilding after devastating conflict— notably post-genocide Rwanda and post-apartheid South Africa – such commissions have encouraged both victims and perpetrators to share their experiences and work toward the truth of what took place.It’s an alternative model of justice focused on healing a wounded community rather than punishing the guilty. Congress almost certainly can’t compel the president to testify if he refuses.And even if Trump appeared, he has shown little indication of a capacity for emotional honesty or remorse.The real value of such hearings would come from listening to the stories of the women who have accused him — women whom he has branded as liars and frauds — giving them a chance to speak and be heard apart from his alleged abuse. Testimony under oath before a bipartisan committee would be an anchor to the truth.For that same reason, it would be a step toward rebuilding a world splintered both by the damage of assault and by the presidential attack not just on truth, but on women’s stories.Quinta Jurecic is an associate editor for the Lawfare blog and a member of The Washington Post’s editorial board.More from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?EDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesEDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationEDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristslast_img read more

  • Three Wise Women a better alternative

    first_imgIn recognition of women finding their voices and the holiday season, I submit this thought:Three Wise Women would have asked directions, arrived on time, helped deliver the baby, cleaned the stable, made a casserole, brought practical gifts and there would be peace on Earth.Suzanne SchuffertScotiaMore from The Daily Gazette:Schenectady teens accused of Scotia auto theft, chase; Ended in Clifton Park crash, Saratoga Sheriff…EDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusEDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?EDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homes Categories: Letters to the Editor, Opinionlast_img

  • Trump undermining FBI to save his skin

    first_imgCategories: Letters to the Editor, OpinionThere are times when all I can say is “You just can’t make it up.” Such is apropos to the release of a wholly partisan GOP memo which charges that the FBI and Department of Justice, both past and present, deceived the FISA court and unscrupulously surveilled a Trump campaign aide, not once, but repeatedly.What appears obvious is the chair of the GOP-led House Intelligence Committee, Devin Nunes, cherry-picked selective classified intelligence information to demean the work of our intelligence people in a manner intended to undercut the Mueller investigation.Shockingly, Nunes, abetted by the White House, released this report despite warnings of FBI Director Wray, who said the memo paints a false narrative of bureau activities. Specifically, Wray, a Trump appointee, said “the FBI has grave concerns about material omissions of fact that fundamentally impact the memo’s accuracy.” Over the weekend, Nunes promised more memos. If I read this all correctly, Trump, who seems to aspire to be an autocrat and who has accomplices in Congress, is pulling out all stops to undermine the Mueller investigation. He is willing to mortgage the credibility and reputation of the FBI and the entire intelligence community to save his own skin.As reported in the New York Times, Peter Baker, who has covered the Trump/Russian connection since the campaign, stated that “Trump’s war on the nation’s law enforcement apparatus is unlike anything America has seen in modern times.”I’m uncertain how dangerous this is for our democracy. But, I continue to retain confidence that Special Counsel Mueller, a man of unquestioned integrity, will get to the bottom of this. I’m not confident, however, that our Congress will step up and carry out its constitutional duty.Robert K. CorlissSchenectadyMore from The Daily Gazette:Schenectady department heads: Budget cutbacks would further stress already-stretched departmentsSchenectady High School senior class leaders look to salvage sense of normalcyMotorcyclist injured in Thursday afternoon Schenectady crashSchenectady man dies following Cutler Street dirt bike crashSchenectady, Saratoga casinos say reopening has gone well; revenue down 30%last_img read more

  • Mexican migrant caravan is a distraction

    first_imgDespite the move, very few of those migrants are likely to be granted asylum. Many or most will be detained and ultimately deported.It’s easy to lose track of the facts amid the administration’s anti-immigration rhetoric.There’s the exaggerated talk about so-called sanctuary cities (in which immigrant criminals are prosecuted and punished as they are anywhere else); catch-and-release (the policy by which some migrants are allowed to live legally in the United States as they pursue asylum claims); and, yes, the wall, the president’s crowd-pleasing panacea.Nonetheless, the fact remains that illegal entry, as measured by Border Patrol apprehensions along the southwest border, remains near its lowest point in decades, despite a recent surge.Take this March as an example.Apprehensions along the Mexican border more than doubled from a year earlier, when they plummeted following Trump’s inauguration.But they remained less than half the level of a decade ago and an even smaller fraction compared with the years before that. In court papers filed last week, a Mexican woman referred to as “Ms. G.” said her 6-year-old daughter, who is blind, and 4-year-old son had been removed from her shortly after they entered the country at the beginning of March.A Honduran mother identified as Miran said U.S. agents took away her toddler son when they entered the country in February.In both cases, mothers and their children were detained in separate facilities even after presenting birth certificates.In Miran’s case, after a preliminary finding that she faced “credible fear” of returning to her home country.The two remain separated.Tearing apart families is a despicable means of deterrence that will traumatize children and do far more to tarnish America’s image than a couple of hundred migrants waving flags at the border.More from The Daily Gazette:Foss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?EDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsEDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusEDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationEDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homes The United States has a legitimate interest in border security and in deterring Central American and Mexican migrants from making the risky trip north.It is also legally obligated, under international and U.S. laws, to accept asylum seekers fleeing upheaval and threats in their home countries.It’s fair to warn migrants of the risks they face from human traffickers and other criminals along the northward trek.It’s fair to warn them about their long odds in gaining asylum once they’ve been admitted to the United States.It’s fair to judge asylum seekers on the merits of their circumstances and to deport those whose claims don’t measure up.It’s fair to beef up border security, as successive presidents have done since Sept. 11, 2001.Increasingly, though, the Trump administration has gone further by separating migrant parents and their children.center_img Categories: Editorial, OpinionThe following editorial appeared in The Washington Post:Dramatic images of about 200 Central Americans who arrived Sunday at the Mexican frontier near San Diego after traveling north in a caravan through Mexico are fodder for President Donald Trump’s crusade to frighten Americans into thinking that borders are broken and immigration is out of control.On Tuesday, U.S. officials allowed a second group of about 14 asylum seekers across the border, where their fate will be determined by immigration officials and the courts.last_img read more

  • Warwickshire

    first_imgTo access this article REGISTER NOWWould you like print copies, app and digital replica access too? SUBSCRIBE for as little as £5 per week. Would you like to read more?Register for free to finish this article.Sign up now for the following benefits:Four FREE articles of your choice per monthBreaking news, comment and analysis from industry experts as it happensChoose from our portfolio of email newsletterslast_img

  • Don’t freeze your assets

    first_imgWould you like to read more?Register for free to finish this article.Sign up now for the following benefits:Four FREE articles of your choice per monthBreaking news, comment and analysis from industry experts as it happensChoose from our portfolio of email newsletters To access this article REGISTER NOWWould you like print copies, app and digital replica access too? SUBSCRIBE for as little as £5 per week.last_img

  • Stormin’ Norman pulls no punches

    first_imgTo access this article REGISTER NOWWould you like print copies, app and digital replica access too? SUBSCRIBE for as little as £5 per week. Would you like to read more?Register for free to finish this article.Sign up now for the following benefits:Four FREE articles of your choice per monthBreaking news, comment and analysis from industry experts as it happensChoose from our portfolio of email newsletterslast_img

  • Baldry’s blueprint

    first_imgTo access this article REGISTER NOWWould you like print copies, app and digital replica access too? SUBSCRIBE for as little as £5 per week. Would you like to read more?Register for free to finish this article.Sign up now for the following benefits:Four FREE articles of your choice per monthBreaking news, comment and analysis from industry experts as it happensChoose from our portfolio of email newsletterslast_img

  • Passing the pollution buck

    first_imgWould you like to read more?Register for free to finish this article.Sign up now for the following benefits:Four FREE articles of your choice per monthBreaking news, comment and analysis from industry experts as it happensChoose from our portfolio of email newsletters To access this article REGISTER NOWWould you like print copies, app and digital replica access too? SUBSCRIBE for as little as £5 per week.last_img

  • Lend Lease axed from Hampshire scheme

    first_imgTo access this article REGISTER NOWWould you like print copies, app and digital replica access too? SUBSCRIBE for as little as £5 per week. Would you like to read more?Register for free to finish this article.Sign up now for the following benefits:Four FREE articles of your choice per monthBreaking news, comment and analysis from industry experts as it happensChoose from our portfolio of email newsletterslast_img