David Petraeus. An affair with his biographer.
The head of Lockheed Martin. Forced out for improper relationship with subordinate.
A former personal assistant of Waffle House's CEO accused him of forcing her to "perform sexual services," among other degrading acts, during her nine years of working for him, according to an Atlanta police report.
Some of my best friends are women. To quote them:
Arkansas's Sen. Sue Madison was featured in the reporting.
Arkansas State Senator Sue Madison (D-7th District) said she learned of multiple instances of poor treatment or abuse of students. Among them, a case of evangelical Christian host parents who verbally harassed a student, forced her to attend church services and told her she would go to hell because she wasn’t saved. In another case, a couple hosted a student to use the student as free childcare, and in another, a student was forced to work long hours on a chicken farm.
"I think the State Department is not doing nearly enough to oversee these programs," said Madison, who pushed a bill through the state legislature to give the state the power to oversee exchange organizations that place the students with host families.
The South Carolina Republican county committee that has required candidates to sign a pledge they never had premarital sex and that they'd never look at porn again has prompted a response from South Carolina Democratic chair Dick Harpootlian:
Since it is apparent porn and sex must be a big enough problem in the Republican Party to warrant a written pledge to avoid them, I would be very cautious about getting into a small space like a bathroom or a voting booth with a Republican.
With this state facing huge economic, employment and educational issues the state Republican Party is following the lead of Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum and are more worried about what goes on in the bedroom than the classroom.
If nothing else, Marianne Gingrich’s allegation, which the candidate has denied, provided an unexpected publicity bounce for advocates of open relationships, who have long been trying to paw their way out of the cultural margins.
“We could never afford this kind of a public-relations opportunity,” said Anita Wagner Illig, an organizer of the Polyamory Leadership Network, an online organization advocating nonmonogamous relationships. She was interviewed by the BBC and Washington’s ABC news affiliate after the statements by Marianne Gingrich, and traffic at ModernPoly.com, an advocacy Web site promoting open relationships, spiked nearly 30 percent in the weeks that followed.
The Internet has facilitated the practice, article says. Well. I don't know if I'm buying. Know any polyamory practitioners around Arkansas?
All of which raises this question: How many people are actually trying this? Even academics who study sexuality have no idea, since most practitioners remain in the closet, fearing bias, said Dr. Elisabeth Sheff, an assistant professor of sociology at Georgia State University and author of a forthcoming study on polyamory in America.
And good luck finding out from the subculture’s leadership, which is loosely organized at best, said Ms. Illig of the Polyamory Leadership Network. And no wonder, she added. “We don’t have much time for it with multiple partnerships to see to.”
Perhaps you've read about Minnnesota Sen. Amy Koch, the Republican majority leader, who recently gave up her leadership position because of an "inappropriate relationship" with a Senate staff member.
John Medeiros, who curates an LGBT reading series in Minneapolis, wrote an open letter to Koch, saying he is sorry gays and lesbians have destroyed the institution of marriage and contributing to her inevitable relationship with a subordinate staffer.
“These recent events have made it quite clear that our gay and lesbian tacts have gone too far, affecting even the most respectful of our society,” Medeiros wrote in the letter. He continues:
"We apologize that our selfish requests to marry those we love has cheapened and degraded traditional marriage so much that we caused you to stray from your own holy union for something more cheap and tawdry. And we are doubly remorseful in knowing that many will see this as a form of sexual harassment of a subordinate.
"It is now clear to us that if we were not so self-focused and myopic, we would have been able to see that the time you wasted diligently writing legislation that would forever seal the definition of marriage as being between one man and one woman, could have been more usefully spent reshaping the legal definition of “adultery.”
On a far more sober note, I'd encourage you to read a NY Time op-ed on why Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's call for support for gay rights around the world isn't an empty cultural flourish or even about gay marriage — it's about life and death in some African countries where, shamefully, nominal U.S. "Christians" have exported homophobia. Legislation still pends for the death penalty for homosexual acts in Uganda and other countries also discriminate in terrible ways.
Atlanta TV station today airing interview with a woman who's said she's had a 13-year affair with Herman Cain.
I think the statement from his lawyer is what is known as a non-denial denial. A classic of the genre, perhaps.
Mr. Cain has been informed today that your television station plans to broadcast a story this evening in which a female will make an accusation that she engaged in a 13-year long physical relationship with Mr. Cain. This is not an accusation of harassment in the workplace — this is not an accusation of an assault - which are subject matters of legitimate inquiry to a political candidate.
Rather, this appears to be an accusation of private, alleged consensual conduct between adults - a subject matter which is not a proper subject of inquiry by the media or the public. No individual, whether a private citizen, a candidate for public office or a public official, should be questioned about his or her private sexual life. The public's right to know and the media's right to report has boundaries and most certainly those boundaries end outside of one's bedroom door.
Mr. Cain has alerted his wife to this new accusation and discussed it with her. He has no obligation to discuss these types of accusations publicly with the media and he will not do so even if his principled position is viewed unfavorably by members of the media.
This should blow you away — and should silence all those thinking Joe Paterno is getting harsh treatment.
It's a newspaper column written in April — April! — mentioning sexual abuse allegations against former coach Jerry Sandusky, the curious circumstances about his departure from the Penn State staff, news of the ongoing grand jury and Paterno's appearance and more. Columnist Mark Madden referred to Sandusky as a "state secret," in football-controlled Central Pennsylvania.
It seems logical to ask: What did Paterno know, and when did he know it? What did Penn State's administration know, and when did they know it?
Best-case scenario: Charges are never brought, and Sandusky walks away with his reputation permanently scarred. The rumors, the jokes, the sideways glances - they won't ever stop. Paterno and Penn State do the great escape.
Worst-case scenario: Sandusky is charged. Then it seems reasonable to wonder: Did Penn State not make an issue of Sandusky's alleged behavior in 1998 in exchange for him walking away from the program at an age premature for most coaches? Did Penn State's considerable influence help get Sandusky off the hook?
Don't kid yourself. That could happen.
Written seven months ago. His closing line?
Plenty of questions remain yet unanswered. Potentially among them: What's more important, Penn State football or the welfare of a few kids?
The New York Times continues to report confidently, though without named sources, that Joe Paterno's days as Penn State football coach are soon to be over. With commentary such as this from the nation's most influential paper, it is hard to believe action won't be swift and complete and include the removal of the Penn State president, whose first response to news of sexual predation of children on his campus was to stand up for the men charged with lying about it.
The commentary draws parallels between Penn State's situation and that of the Catholic Church and its coverup of sexual abuse by priests.
The parallels are too striking to ignore. A suspected predator who exploits his position to take advantage of his young charges. The trusting colleagues who don’t want to believe it — and so don’t.
Even confronted with convincing proof, they choose to protect their institution’s reputation. In the face of a moral imperative to act, there is silence.
This was the dynamic that pervaded the Catholic clerical culture during its sexual abuse scandals, and it seems to have been no less pervasive at Penn State.
Where does Paterno fit in?
If Penn State was the Catholic Church, Paterno was the Holy See of Happy Valley. Unlike two other top university officials implicated in the scandal, he has not been charged with a crime. But he is almost certainly guilty of cowardice and hypocrisy.
UPDATE: Breaking News Twitter says Paterno will retire at the end of this season. Perhaps the Penn St. president could retire tomorrow.
Report on his statement here. In hindsight, he says, he wishes he had done more.
UPDATE II: Penn State president on his way out, too.
PS — What are the chances this episode will serve as a warning to other major universities to remember first responsibilities rather than reflexively protecting "The Program"?
The New York Times is reporting that Joe Paterno will soon be exiting the scene as the school's football coach. Quoting anonyous sources, the Times said, "Discussions about how to manage his departure have begun."
The school canceled a Paterno news conference today.
The sex scandal will do it. And should. But the school had been searching for ways to move the 84-year-old along. This wouldn't have been the first choice, I'm sure.
The Penn State athletic director went on leave and a university vice president will retire it was announced after an emergency Penn State Board of Trustees meeting over the the school's failure to report allegations of an assistant football coach sexually abusing children. The retired coach was charged Saturday and the A.D. and v.p. have been charged with perjury before the Grand Jury investigating the case.
New York Times report of the event says there was no discussion about the future of the Penn State president, who from the outset defended the two officials charged with perjury, or long-time football coach Joe Paterno. Paterno was told of one incident abuse and said he discharged his obligations properly by in turn reporting it to the athletic director. The accused coach continued after that to bring young children he allegedly abused to Penn State athletic facilities.
House cleaning needs to start at the top at Penn State.
I was surprised by the Democrat-Gazette's brief treatment of the explosive Penn State sex abuse scandal that broke yesterday. A retired influential assistant football coach was caught sodomizing a child in a Penn State locker room. Various people were informed, including Coach Joe Paterno, the athletic director and more. Nothing was done except to bar the coach from the locker room. Turns out the man had a history of suspicious incidents.
The coach has been arrested and the athletic director and a senior university official have been charged with perjury. The university president, unbelievably, is standing fully behind his men. (It is beyond argument that university officials made no report to police about their knowledge of an alleged sexual assault of a child.) Paterno so far has been given a pass. Hey, he told his superior, the athletic director. If nothing was done, not his fault.
Make the facts the same, but migrate them to any public school district in America. Do you think you'd need ear plugs for the shrieks of outrage? Do you think there'd be a broad call for accountability, loss of job at least, for every single person in the know who stayed silent as the predator continued to work in a program for needy children?
Mike Wise of the Washington Post isn't silent.
In Warped Sports World, the don’t-ask, don’t-tell, sweep-it-clean behavior is rationalized as loyalty, having your coach’s or teammate’s back, moving on from the problem. It’s seen as a noble quality, putting the team’s needs — the university’s needs — before your own.
Certainly it can be argued that Paterno and Penn State would have been irrevocably hurt if these allegations had surfaced in a police report almost 10 years ago; a program whose legendary defensive coordinator was accused of being a pedophile would lose recruits and, by association, money and prestige. Who wouldn’t want that to go away?
But more unconscionable, if true: putting loyalty to the many, the program, in front of the victimization of even the one, a child.
Not outraged yet? Read the grand jury report.
Who is Kinder? He's lieutenant governor Missouri. He also appears to be kinky. Or was before he found religion. Ask Kinder about this next time Darr brings him to town.
Missouri Lt. Gov Peter Kinder (R) has spoken out about the allegations that he long frequented a strip club and sort-of stalked a stripper who worked there, admitting that he used to go to the strip club in question but maintaining that it was years ago. "I came to realize that this is not consistent with my upbringing. I'm a Christian," he said.
... Kinder's comments were in response to allegations from former Penthouse model Tammy Chapman, who claims Kinder was a frequent customer when she was an "entertainer" at said club in Illinois.
She told the River-Front Times earlier this month that sixteen years ago Kinder had repeatedly tried to sleep with her while she was working there, and would shower her with gifts when he made his multiple weekly trips to the club. But, Chapman claims, she cut off contact after a while. "He became very aggressive with me," she says. "I couldn't tolerate what he was making me do."
Chapman claims that she saw Kinder again last winter when he came into Verlin's Bar & Grill, a St. Louis bar that boasts the slogan "every night's a pantless party," where she worked at the time. According to Chapman, Kinder recognized her and suggested she move into his condo. She then took a picture of her and Kinder, which she gave to the Times.
At first, Kinder denied the allegations — and claimed it was part of a conspiracy by Missouri's Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon. "Like most people I am not proud of every place I have been but this woman's bizarre story is not true," Kinder said in a statement last week. "The Democrats have tried to use these tactics against me in the past and they have failed. Jay Nixon may want to make up false stories about the past, but I, like most Missourians, remain focused on the issues that are important to Missourians like jobs and education."
Another congressman apparently is soon to be gone in a sex scandal. CNN reports that Democratic Rep. David Wu of Oregon will resign from the House after being accused of making unwanted sexual advances toward a fund-raiser's daughter, reportedly 18 at the time.
Interesting report on the non-jury trial in Fayetteville of a doctor, Bryan Abernathy, accused of threatening a woman if she didn't have sex with him during an office visit. The 40/29 report indicates the sole misdemeanor threat charge was dismissed by the judge after some sure-to-be-debated testimony. The 28-year-old woman took a tape recorder into the doctor's office and said she found bedding on an x-ray table when she met with the doctor alone.
In the recording, the woman tells the doctor she is nervous, and he offers her a beer. He also suggests they get naked to relax and offers to perform oral sex on her.The woman told the prosecutor she has been Abernathy's patient since she was 16. In the recording, Abernathy tells her he has found her attractive for 10 years. He also threatens to kill her if she tells anyone.
The defense? A she-asked-for-it suggestion from Abernathy's lawyer, W.H. Taylor, who asked the woman how she dressed to visit the doctor after a divorce.
"Did you ever wear what was commonly called your push up bra?" Taylor said. " Did you ever go to the doctor's office in a miniskirt with your buttcheeks showing?"
In acquitting Abernathy, Judge Randall Wright, sitting on special assignment because judges in Washington County wouldn't hear the case, said he didn't think a real threat had been made and that Abernathy was joking.
Abernathy's license was suspended by the state Medical Board after his arrest in 2010, but the Board website shows him on revoked/stayed status, as of June 13. That means his license will not be revoked as long as he meets conditions set by the Board. Presumably, no happy hours in the examination room. 40/29 had reported earliera police account that other women had accused Abernathy of offering prescription drugs in return for sexual favors. UPDATE: A Medical Board spokesman said Abernathy was in a five-year probationary period including therapy programs and working a limited amount in a group setting and would not return to clinical practice until a lengthy list of conditions were met.
Pick your favorite outlet: Everybody is reporting that U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner has told friends he's stepping down from Congress. Good call.
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