NFL Considering New Rule To Keep Players In The Locker Rooms During The National Anthem

AmericanFlag300px-National_Football_League_logo.svgMany fans are debating today whether to watch football in a long-standing American tradition (including in my house) on Thanksgiving or join the growing boycott of the National Football League over the continued national anthem protests.  Viewership and stadium attendance continues to drop around the country.  Recently we discussed how the NAACP proposed simply dropping the national anthem as a way to resolve the controversy — a position that some of us strongly objected to.  Now the NFL is proposing an equally bizarre solution: if you cannot get rid of the anthem, get rid of the players.  The NFL is working on a proposal to keep players in the locker room for the national anthem. No players, no protest.  It is an idea that President Donald Trump rejected for good reason.

 

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THE POLITICS OF BELIEVING: IN WASHINGTON AND HOLLYWOOD, ETHICS IS STRICTLY A MATTER OF TIMING

225px-Bill_ClintonJudge_Roy_MooreBelow is my column in the Hill newspaper on the ever-increasing list of politicians and celebrities accused of sexual assault or harassment.  The latest news cycle has brought more instances of strategic belief or non-belief.  When Clinton was accused in his first term, many of us wondered how Democrats would ever be able to regain their credibility on future sexual harassment cases. The solution is simple. You delay your believing until it no longer costs you politically or personally.

President Donald Trump indicated that it was better to elect Roy Moore over a liberal to guarantee a majority in the Senate.   Trump’s advisor KellyAnne Conway also made highly controversial comments that appeared to dismiss the allegations against Moore as less relevant than the loss of his vote on the tax bill.  It is one thing to say that you simply do not believe the allegations and quite another to want to secure this vote at any moral cost.  As I have previously stated, I found the allegations of these women (who are largely Republican, Trump voters with no partisan axe to grind) to be highly credible.  It is not enough to simply dismiss the allegations as “unproven” or (as noted by President Trump) denied by the accused.  Even if the statute of limitations had not run, there would be no time for a trial before the election.  Voters have to reach their own conclusions based on the credibility of women and their allegations.  That is what many voters (and President Trump) did in finding the accusers of Clinton credible despite Clinton’s denials.  Many struggle to ignore the large number of women alleging a pattern of abuse by Moore — accounts supported by an array of neighbors and former colleagues (including a police veteran who came forward yesterday to say that she was told to keep Moore away from teenage cheerleaders).  It is still an inconvenient time to believe alleged victims despite the different standard applied to Clinton’s controversies.

What is striking is that some do believe these women but still insist that the need to secure a GOP vote takes priority over the concerns that Moore is a possible pedophile or even a rapist.  These people are selling their ethics (and the ethics of Republican Party) quite cheaply.  It is not everyday that one is able to establish your specific price on ethics. In this case, it is a vote on a tax bill.  For others, there is no choice but to draw a line in the sand . . .with Moore on the other side.  Indeed, when so many politicians are standing on principle in Washington, you know that there is no real alternative.  If you find these women credible, there is no principled way to vote for Roy Moore. I find them quite credible.

Here is the column:

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“Don’t Stop”: Democrats Celebrate Bill Clinton’s 25th Election Anniversary As New Allegations Surface Of Sexual Assault and Harassment

download-1225px-Bill_ClintonYesterday, the Hill posted my column on the hypocritical responses by both Democrats and Republicans to sexual harassment and assault allegations against figures ranging from Harvey Weinstein to Al Franken to Roy Moore.  In the last 24 hours, CBS anchor Charlie Rose and Rep. John Conyers have been added to the list.  However, the most glaring disconnect in the response to such allegations remains Bill Clinton, who was just accused of additional incidents of sexual harassment and assault after his presidency.  Putting aside the veracity of such new claims (which remain based on anonymous sources), Clinton has a long and well-documented history of affairs and allegations ranging from sexual harassment to rape.  However, Democrats gathered in Little Rock, Arkansas to hold an adoring tribute to Clinton on the 25th anniversary of his election as president. The event, headed by James Carville, failed to mention a single allegation of his assaulting women even as Democratic politicians and commentators have begun to acknowledge that these women should have been believed and Clinton held more accountable.  Indeed, opening the Clinton fest with Fleetwood Mac’s “Don’t Stop” was rather ominous given the allegations of ongoing misconduct.

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RES IPSA HITS 33,000,000

Audience_Frontier_FiestaWe have hit another milestone today with over 33,000,000 views. We are also expected to reach 35,000 followers on Twitter.  That hardly makes us competition for the largest sites but it is still an impressive collection of people seeking a place for civil but passionate discourse on legal and policy issues  of our time (and perhaps a few wacky stories).  We often use these milestones to look at the current profile of the blog and its supporters around the world.

As always, I want to offer special thanks for our weekend contributors: Mike Appleton, Larry Rafferty, Darren Smith, Kimberly Dienes, and Cara Gallagher (particularly Darren who continues help up with periodic technical problems etc).

I particularly want to thank our regular commentators and readers.  We try to keep this blog as an open forum with as little interference or monitoring of the comments as possible.  Given our free speech orientation, we try not to delete comments and, for that reason, we are deeply appreciative of how most people avoid personal or offensive comments in debating these issues.  We have had to delete a handful of comments with personal attacks or profanity but the number remains quite low for a blog of this size.  The success of this blog is due to the fact that we offer something more than the all-too-common troll-driven, angry, and insulting commentary of the Internet.  Thank you for voluntarily assuming restraint over the tenor and content of your comments. Continue reading

The Yearbook Controversy: Gloria Allred Gives Moore The Issue That He Was So Desperately Seeking In Election

downloadI have been critical of the representation afforded by Gloria Allred and her daughter Lisa Bloom in past cases, including the rapid calling of press conferences at the height of news cycles.  Bloom has had public squabbles with clients including Harvey Weinstein and Kathy Griffin.  While media management is part of zealous representation, there are times when I am left uncertain as to the legal strategy behind press conferences.  In the case of Allred’s representation of Roy Moore accuser Beverly Nelson, the press conference has not only resulted in her being nationally ridiculed but she is now accused of falsifying Moore’s signature on a yearbook.  Allred’s defense of her client on the charge has been so anemic and uncertain that many have taken it as a concession.  As a result, Allred has given Moore just the issue to paint all of these women as liars and made the failure to turn over the yearbook the element of doubt that he was so desperately searching for in this scandal.  Just as I was critical of Moore’s counsel, this situation could not be worse for Allred’s client.  This was a predictable attack that Allred should have anticipated and had a response (other than we will turn over the yearbook in time) to blunt the attack on her client . . . better parading her in front of cameras.

 

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The Not So Goodman: Ohio Religious Right Legislator Resigns After Tryst With Man In Capitol Office

b62e592ba2199bfd88b51afdf13c49afWes Goodman  is the Republican state legislator for Ohio who ran on a religious right agenda of opposing LGBT rights and same sex marriage.  His career ended last week after the discovery of Goodman having sex with a man in his office.  Things that makes this legislator less of a good man is not his apparent homosexuality but his dishonesty and hypocrisy.  He is not only married to a woman but has been a leading voice against homosexuals.

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