Some Republican senators are taking heat for voting against an amendment that would allow employees of military contractors to sue their employers if they are raped at work — and they want the Democratic senator who wrote the amendment to help them fight off the bad publicity.
In October, 30 Republicans voted against Sen. Al Franken’s amendment to a defense appropriations bill that would de-fund contractors who prevent their employees from suing if they are raped by co-workers. Since then, those Republicans have faced outrage for what critics say amounts to support for rape.
A Web site called RepublicansForRape mocks the thirty senators as “legislators who were brave enough to stand up in defense of rape.” Louisiana Sen. David Vitter took heat recently for walking away from a woman who was questioning him about his vote against the amendment.
Now, some of those GOP senators want Sen. Franken (D-MN) to come to their rescue.
An article at Politico reports, “Republicans argue that Franken should make it clear that GOP senators don’t support assault or rape — especially since the amendment deals only with civil claims, making it possible for alleged rapists to be prosecuted criminally.”
“I think it would be helpful for Sen. Franken to come forward and say, ‘I’m not suggesting that anybody who votes for my amendment is indifferent to crimes against women or anybody else,’” Politico quoted Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) as saying. “What’s going on politically with the amendment Sen. Franken can’t control, but I think it would be helpful for him personally to just let the rest of us know that’s the views of others — not him.”
Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) accused Franken of exploiting the story of Jamie Leigh Jones — a former KBR employee who says she was locked in a container in Iraq after alleging she was raped by co-workers — to further his political agenda.
“Trying to tap into the natural sympathy that we have for this victim of this rape, and use that as a justification to frankly misrepresent and embarrass his colleagues, I don’t think it’s a very constructive thing,” Cornyn told Politico.
But Politico notes that Franken’s spokespeople have come to his defense, saying that Franken hasn’t been exploiting the Republican senators’ opposition to the anti-rape amendment.
“Despite attacks on Republicans by liberal commentators like Rachel Maddow and Keith Olbermann and on blogs such as Daily Kos, Franken never appeared on any of the shows or on the blogs to make a partisan argument about the matter, saying that the senator turned down entreaties to do so,” Politico reports. “Also, [Franken’s aides] point to the 10 Republicans who voted for the amendment as proof that it wasn’t a partisan measure.”
Trump and GOP ‘obviously’ rushed Amy Coney Barrett onto Supreme Court to ‘steal this election: Morning Joe
MSNBC's Joe Scarborough called on newly confirmed Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett to recuse herself from any election-related cases.
The "Morning Joe" host agreed with panelist John Heilemann, who said President Donald Trump and his Republican allies have made clear they're willing to lie, cheat and steal to maintain their hold on the White House and the U.S. Senate.
"I think in these closing days it's easy for us all to forget that they would start to treat this like a normal campaign with a normal president who treats the process with respect," Heilemann said. "This is a president who has telegraphed his desire to try to steal this election for the last six months, and now as we're starting to see these long lines, these various questions about the Supreme Court intervening in the Wisconsin case, the court fights happening, particularly in those three Great Lakes, Midwest states."
Experts: Justice Kavanaugh’s ‘sloppy’ opinion is an embarrassing mess riddled with errors
Just about the time the Senate was voting 52-48 to confirm Amy Coney Barrett to become the ninth justice on the Supreme Court, the court itself released a decision Monday night on an election case centered on Wisconsin, a key swing state.
By a 5-3 ruling, the conservative majority upheld a decision blocking a district court from extending the state's deadline for accepting mail-in ballots. Because of the court's decision, Wisconsin voters' mail-in ballots won't count unless they arrive at the election office by Election Day itself, Nov. 3, even if they're postmarked before that day. That means anyone mailing in a ballot in Wisconsin who hasn't done so already should try to find alternatives to mailing in their ballots if they're not confident the postal service, which has recently faced longer delays than normal, will deliver it on time. Some election offices will accept ballots delivered in person, and some set up official drop boxes where voters can deposit their ballots without having to rely on the postal service at all. (Wisconsin voters can find more information here.)
‘Doesn’t that make me smart?’ Trump frantically spins NYT report on his disastrous Chicago hotel
President Donald Trump on Wednesday tried to spin the latest New York Times story about his tax payments by claiming that a disastrous hotel development in Chicago made him "smart."
The Times reported on Tuesday night that "Trump defaulted on his loans, sued his bank, got much of the debt forgiven" for a Chicago hotel project that proved to be vastly less profitable than he had once projected.
Trump, however, said that building an unprofitable hotel and then weaseling his way out of paying debts on it was actually a savvy business manuever.
"As a developer long ago, and continuing to this day, the politicians ran Chicago into the ground," the president wrote on Twitter. "I was able to make an appropriately great deal with the numerous lenders on a large and very beautiful tower. Doesn’t that make me a smart guy rather than a bad guy?"