Adopting the Pecksniffian pose!


Easy to stampede:
But first, a question:

Who the heck writes the headlines in the New York Times? We refer to the following headline, concerning the tax proposal which is currently getting buried by all the excitement concerning Roy Moore:

"Senate Plan Could Increase Taxes on Some Middle-Class Workers"

The Senate plan could increase taxes on some middle-class workers? That headline seems to suggest that it also might not!

In fact, the report which sits beneath that headline says something quite different:

"The Senate bill unveiled on Thursday would raise taxes on millions of middle-class families, according to a preliminary New York Times analysis...[The analysis] found that roughly one-quarter of families in the middle class would see their taxes increase in 2018."

That headline writer changed "would" to "could," a rather significant change. Similarly, he or she vastly downplayed a rather large number—"millions," as found in the rather striking phrase, "millions of middle-class families."

Many more people will see that headline than will read that report. Their understanding of that tax proposal will have been vastly doctored by what that headline says.

So it goes as we rational animals attempt or pretend to conduct a public discourse! Then too, there's the question we kept asking ourselves as the stars of cable news, shouting yay yay yay yay yay, discussed the story involving Roy Moore in lieu of those big boring tax hikes:

Have these people actually read the Washington Post's report?

We especially wondered about that when journalists referred to the "thirty sources" the Washington Post said it had. Also, when they referred to the accounts given, not by Leigh Corfman, who says that Moore molested her in 1979, but by the three additional women who described interactions with Moore.

Has Jake Tapper read the report? We asked that question yesterday afternoon as we watched his CNN program.

How about his panelists, Kirsten Powers and Mary Katharine Ham? Have they read the Post report? Based on various things they said, we also wondered about them.

As usual, though, the strangest factual claim came on Thursday night's Rachel Maddow Show. On Wednesday night, a question had popped into our heads:

At this point, does Maddow ever make a factual claim which hasn't been vastly embellished?

We asked that question on Wednesday night as she made an absurd factual statement while discussing gerrymandering in Virginia. One night later, on Thursday night, the cable star said this:
MADDOW (11/9/17): But that charity scandal is nothing compared to this 3000-word blockbuster in the Washington Post today reported by Stephanie McCrummen and Beth Reinhard and Alice Crites. They interviewed 30 sources, including four women who say they were teenagers as young as 14 when Roy Moore, then a man in his 30s, made aggressive sexual advances to them.
You'll note the mandatory citation of The Thirty, few of whom seem to have said anything especially relevant to the claim of molestation. Do any of our cable stars understand this fact?

On Thursday's program, Maddow had already played the Governor Bentley sex tape for perhaps the ten millionth time, wonderfully covering her eyes and pretending to be five years old. Around the country, liberal brain cells screamed in pain as they initially writhed, then keeled over and died.

Past traumatization of some unknown kind may lead to such behavior. But when she moved on to the Roy Moore case, we were struck by this absurd misstatement:

"Four women say they were teenagers...when Roy Moore, then a man in his 30s, made aggressive sexual advances to them."

Did Rachel Maddow actually read that Washington Post report? In that report, do four women actually "say that Moore made aggressive sexual advances to them?"

Well actually no, they don't! And how do we know that they don't say that? Simple:

"Because we can understand the English language. It's our mother tongue!"

Go ahead—read the final quarter of the Post report.
See what the three additional women say, then answer our award-winning questions:

At this point, does Maddow ever make a factual claim which isn't grossly embellished? Also, how many cable journalists actually read that report?

Please understand. We aren't saying that Corfman's account in wrong. In all honesty, though, we can't exactly swear that her account is right.

We do know that the three additional women didn't say "that Moore made aggressive sexual advances to them." Through what process does a former Rhodes scholar make such an inaccurate claim?

In part, we'd have to say this: errors of that type occur when the stars of stage and screen adopt the Pecksniffian pose. Maddow has been invested in that pose at least since 2009.

So, perhaps, are Scherer and Weigel, in this morning's Post. This passage strikes us as ridiculous and sad:
SCHERER AND WEIGEL (11/11/17): In the interview with Hannity, Moore recalled knowing two of the older women, Gloria Thacker Deason and Debbie Wesson Gibson, as well as their parents. “I knew her as a friend,” he said of Gibson, who has said Moore asked her on a date when she was 17, after speaking at her high school. “If we did go out on dates, then we did, but I do not remember that,” Moore said.

When asked about Deason’s claim that he provided her wine on dates when she was 18, Moore said: “In this county, it’s a dry county. We never would have had liquor.”

Alcohol sales began in Etowah County in 1972, years before the alleged encounter, and The Post confirmed that wine was for sale at the time at the pizzeria where Deason remembered Moore taking her when she was under the legal drinking age of 19.
Did Scherer and Weigel actually read the Post's original report? If they did, did they decide to con their readers with some slippery language?

We ask that because Deason doesn't say, in the original report, that Moore bought wine for her before she turned 19. (She only says he might have.) But then, note today's slippery construction! Scherer and Weigel don't say that Moore did that. They just convey that impression!

That said, are we really down to arguing about the offense of (possibly) buying someone wine in the last few months before she turned 19, thereby becoming wine-legal under the laws of her state? Granted, we love to adopt our Pecksiffian pose when the occasion permits. But have we really descended to the point where we take our pose that far?

Leigh Corfman has alleged a criminal act of molestation. We have no reason to doubt her account, though we can't truly swear that it's accurate.

That said, do we really want to say that a gentleman of 32 can't date someone who's 19? To be sure, it's a wonderful pose. Are we sure we want to adopt it?

We found ourselves thinking, just this morning, about the ways of the world. We thought of the Paul Simon song in which a father tells his 9-year-old son about the first time he saw the boy's mother.

The song, one of our favorites, is taken to be semi-autobiographical. In that reading, the song's "traveling salesman" would actually be a performer. This is the context in which the fictional first meeting occurred:
A long time ago, yeah, before you was born, dude
When I was still single and life was great
I held this job as a traveling salesman
It kept me moving from state to state

Well, I'm standing on the corner of Lafayette, state of Louisiana
Wondering where a city boy could go
To get a little conversation, drink a little red wine
Catch a little bit of those Cajun girls dancin' the Zydeco
Personally, we'd rather see Simon stay way from the word "girls." But how old do we think those Cajun girls were when this particular travelling salesman went to see them dancin' the Zydeco?

As we adopt our Pecksniffian pose, we may be ignoring an observable fact of life. For better or worse, for good or for ill, older men tend to be somewhat inclined to catch a little bit of those somewhat younger women.

Because we spent years in the comedy trade, we may have been positioned to see this familiar impulse in action. Perhaps the Pecksniffs simply don't know the way our world tends to work.

Catching the Cajun girls dancin' the Zydeco? In no way is that the same as molesting someone who is 14. In all honesty, though, neither is buying wine for someone who's 19.

Do men as old as 32 sometimes engage in such conduct? Pecksniffs, please! It happens every day of the week!

Just this morning, we were thinking about our own years as traveling salesmen. We never "dated" a teenager, we thought. But then we said, Uh-oh!

Wait a minute! We thought of Name Withheld, who we met at the long-lamented Gampy's when we were 39 and she was a wickedly funny 19.

Bill Scheft, who went on to be Letterman's head joke writer, once said that there's no place in all of Manhattan quite like Gampy's. The lively staff was always part of the deal. During the years in question, few comedians, at least few male comedians, came through Gampy's without noting the wit and vitality of Name Withheld, who was also, it must be said, quite beautiful, as judged by conventional norms.

At the time, she was also a somewhat stymied child of an ongoing, horrendous divorce, a bit as Corfman describes herself at the age of 14.

On our one "date," we went out to lunch to celebrate her 20th birthday. Comedian Jon Hayman was in town that weekend.

"Congratulations," he wryly told us. "She's no longer half your age!" Almost surely, we came back with an instant witty rejoinder. If memory serves, Wayne Cotter was appearing with Hayman that week.

Might we tell you something about things which occur in the world? For better or worse, for good or for ill, older man and younger women do in fact interact all the time. Also, this sometimes happens:

Sometimes, Person A and Person B may possibly like each other. Amazingly, that too can occur. Beautifully, Chekhov explores this remarkable fact in The Lady with The Lapdog. Also, Willa Cather, in My Antonia.

We never "dated" Name Withheld. Nor did we "date" the Hollins women, or the other Name Withheld at Gampy's, with whom we went out one time, for reasons we can't recall. We never dated Name Withheld from the Columbia Punchline, the most unforgettable person we ever met in the world of comedy, though we will guess that she was at least 21.

(More unforgettable than Leno, who was so funny that night in his hotel room in Fort Lauderdale, or Barr, who struck us as the brightest person we ever met in comedy during her week in Baltimore in 1985, before she massively hit? More unforgettable than the Poundstone of 1983, who wasn't yet known at all? More unforgettable than Name Withheld, the unforgettable fellow who went on to be Leno's head joke writer?

(Yes, she was even more unforgettable than them, with her angry attacks on "northern condescension" and her claim that she could tell what county you were from in South Carolina just by assessing your accent. Also, if we plan to be honest, because, judged by conventional norms, she was remarkably beautiful, which served to position the regional fury as a bit of a cultural mystery.)

We never "dated" those people, but trust us! For good or for ill, a whole lot of city boys go to catch a little bit of those Cajun girls dancin' the Zydeco! There's nothing automatically "wrong" with this conduct, until such time as there is, although the impulse is problematic all around the world.

Did Roy Moore molest a 14-year-old girl? We will guess that he probably did, but we can't say we're totally certain.

What makes us withhold our certainty? Pecksniff, please!

Remember how the professors stampeded in the Duke lacrosse case? Uh-oh! It was the prosecutor who ended up going to prison!

After that, remember how the professors stampeded in the UVa case? Uh-oh! Rolling Stone ended up paying millions of dollars to several of the people they had managed to slander.

Years before that, the milk carton crowd stampeded about the McMartin preschool case (and others). Innocent people spent years in prison. And how weird! We'd all been so instantly certain!

One final note about Moore, in the form of a guess:

Posing pundits are amazed that he would go out with women whose ages ranged from 17 to 19. They mock the fact that he (and they) said this was done with the permission of their mothers.

We've seen quite a few pundits who didn't seem to realize that this point was described in the original report. That said, we'll offer this:

This practice may have seemed a bit less strange in the Biblical realms of Alabama in 1979. Issues of age may have been calculated differently there. And by the way:

In the Post report, two of the mothers said they were thrilled that Moore was dating their daughters. To them, this dating apparently seemed quite normal. We've seen quite a few pundits who didn't quite seem to have read quite that far in the Post report.

The Pecksniffs have been blowing right past that. In part, it's because they've been adopting a pose. In part, it's because they didn't read the Post report.

Is it also because of the northern condescension concerning which a memorable staffer at the Punchline once so hotly complained? Meanwhile, imagine:

Imagine! Imagine that we can't defeat Roy Moore except by chasing this sex story down! As we've told you many times, our liberal approach has devolved to this:

We can't beat them at the polls, so we pray pray pray pray pray that we can get them locked up! Oh please please please please please please please! Please let us helpless liberals get The Others arrested!

The Pecksniffs have been stampeding this week. At the same time, it isn't entirely clear that they ever got around to reading the Post's report.

Molestation isn't OK. It is, and should be, a crime. That said, it's fairly clear that liberal elites have ignored harassment, assault, misogyny and molestation all over our liberal warrens for a great many years.

Molestation isn't OK, but neither is the dumbnification which comes to us in our liberal tents from the increasingly ludicrous Maddow on down. Neither is the need to stampede in somewhat selective ways. Imagine, though! We're so pitiful we know of no other way to defeat a clown like Roy Moore!

"Four women say...Moore, then a man in his 30s, made aggressive sexual advances to them?"

Maddow has a staff of twenty. Did anyone read that report?


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  2. So my earlier comment noting that you misstated the location of Gampy’s never posted.
    Gampy’s wasn’t in Manhattan, it was in Baltimore. It wasn’t a comedy club, it was a restaurant that was also a go to place for folks to grab late dinner after the bars closed.
    You gained nothing from embellishing your story. It would have been as salient if you hadn’t.
    My question is, “why?”

    1. I think he means that there was no place in Manhattan as good as Gampy's (in Baltimore). Confusing wording, to be sure.

    2. Indeed, if Bill Scheft had been referring to a place in Manhattan, he'd have said: "There's no other place in all of Manhattan quite like Gampy's."

  3. Somerby needs to rewatch "Coal Miner's Daughter" and look at the quality of marriage between Doolittle and Lynn in the first half of the film.

  4. Somerby is working overtime to excuse Moore. He takes a statement that he may have bought wine for a girl before she was 19 and rounds up to make her age the legal drinking age of 19, then asks what's wrong with that? The girls were NOT 19.
    When an older man thinks he loves a younger woman, if he truly cares about her, he will wait until she is old enough to "date." If he doesn't want to wait, he doesn't care about her as a person, and he is just exploiting her for his own sexual gratification. He isn't thinking about her. It is that simple. And there are laws because young girls, too young to buy wine and too young to dance in a bar, are too young to date older men. Normal men respect that despite feelings of attraction.
    Somerby raises their age to 19, legal nearly everywhere, but Moore didn't wait. Those four girls were not 19. He didn't give the girls the chance to grow up before putting them in the position of saying yes or no to sexual advances. And feeling a girl up over her underwear, the alleged abuse, is a sexual advance. Adults are prosecuted because they are expected to know better and to exercise restraint. Moore asked one girl for a date after he spoke at the high school where she was a student!
    Somerby fantasizes that those Zydeco girls are underage. They mostly aren't. And what's wrong with the wine? It is what older men feed to young women to reduce their resistance, to confuse them and make them more pliable, to impair their judgment so that they will say yes, to blur their judgment so that they won't find those old hairy bodies yucky, to make them relax and get fuzzy and not remember what happened, and so that they can be intimidated into accepting blame and not tell others what happened. The wine facilitates the crime.
    Thirty year old men prey on young girls because they won’t be "hip to their tricks." Young teens are easy to seduce because they are inexperienced. They can be intimidated and manipulated and "trained," the way pedophiles train their victims. Somerby needs to rewatch "Coal Miner's Daughter" and look at the quality of marriage between Doolittle and Lynn in the first half of the film. These older men are sexually inadequate because they either don't know how to relate to older women or they don’t want to treat a grown woman as a person, a human being. So they abuse a child instead. Some are bona fide pedophiles (regardless of the girl’s age) because they choose young looking girls who they can fantasize are younger than they actually are. They are pedophiles because they are sexually excited by children and they are soulless because they are not repulsed by what they are doing. It is ugly, illegal, and no amount of Zydeco tinged nostalgia makes this right.
    Moore needs to resign. Somerby needs to rethink his defense of Moore. I find his trip down memory lane sickening. A 14 year old girl is a child. A 17 year old teen is protected by law because her brain’s frontal lobes haven’t matured to the point where she can exercise good judgment about important life choices. An 18 year old is on the borderline but still below legal age in AL (as reported by Somerby). In other states, the legal age is 21. Activists are trying to get laws allowing child marriage repealed. These early marriages often happen because some 30 year old sleaze seduces a 14 year old and gets her pregnant, then the parents force her into marriage with him to avoid dishonor. The girl often quits school, she has increased health risks in delivering a child, she doesn’t know how to raise a child so the child is often abused too, and her future opportunities are severely limited. She cannot say no because she has no legal right to refuse. Most of those marriages result in divorce. This is truly child abuse.

    1. "Somerby is working overtime to excuse Moore. "

      Nonsense. If anything, the behavior of the MSNBC crowd today proves everything he's been saying for months about that crowd.

      I mean, who were they talking about today? Their own inner nightmares? It was TERRIFICALLY appalling.

  5. Having spent the morning at a lecture by a CPA regarding the tax bills, I may be able to explain Bob's point. The Senate bill unveiled on Thursday WOULD increase taxes for some (including moi). But, this week's terms are not final. The terms are continually changing. We don't know what the final Senate plan will be. So, the headline is correct, when it says the Senate Plan COULD raise taxes on some.

    1. By that measure, "[the plan] COULD increase leprosy worldwide" would have been just as fair.

      B's point [I believe]: It's a bogus [misleading] headline and so-called pros should know better.

    2. The media is once again failing completely to inform it's viewers of about the tax plan. TDH is right.

      Isn't it interesting that the supposed goal was to "simplify" our taxes, yet you need to attend a CPA lecture to figure out how you will be personally impacted by the plan. Especially if you are middle class with a family and itemize your deductions. I am certain this is intentional.

    3. You might be right, mm. I am enthusiastic about only one aspect of the plan, namely the steps that will promote general prosperity in the US: reduce corporate income tax, allow business to quickly write off new equipment, and reform international tax rules.

      The complexity may not be intentional. I go with Hanlan's razor ("Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity")

      The final bill (if it ever passes) will be a lot more complex than what's currently on the table.
      Special provisions will be added to win over specific votes of Senators or Congressmen.

    4. The complexity conceals the mendacity. How about that golf course tax exemption?
      Our tax deductions are eliminated, but not Trump's:

    5. The text of the bills is available online, so anyone can read them. The problem is that our tax system is complicated, predicting economic outcomes is difficult, and "experts" often fall into partisan camps with opposing predictions. Also, the Republicans are doing their trademark rushing through this process, so average citizens (and even the media) don't have time to make their own assessments of the thing.
      Is there an objective site online that provides insight into this kind of thing? I certainly wouldn't expect it from cable news in general, cause it's boring and hard.

    6. Since the Republicans are rushing this through, they obviously know what the outcome will be -- it is just us in the dark. You can tell whether this will benefit you or not by how quickly they are rushing. No tax expertise needed.

    7. AnonymousNovember 12, 2017 at 12:32 PM -- I agree that rushing bills through Congress is objectionable. But, it's not a Republican trademark. Remember how the Affordable Care Act was passed with nobody even knowing what the bill said. Recall Nancy Pelosi's famous statement that we had to pass the bill to find out what was in it.

    8. @ 4:01 -
      Yes, it is.
      Yes, it is.
      No, you're wrong.
      No, the statement was taken out of context.

    9. AnonymousNovember 12, 2017 at 6:53 PM -- the context doesn't really change the meaning of what Pelosi said. Her full sentence was
      We have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it, away from the fog of the controversy.

      Note that even including context, she is acknowledging that we didn't know what was in the ACA bill and she is still asking that the bill be passed in order to find out what's in it.

      And, that's what happened. Nobody in Congress really knew what was in the ACA law, nor did the public nor did the media. Only after it became law did we gradually learn of all its provisions.

    10. Hoo boy, how many times has this been rehashed? Here's fuller context of her speech:
      “You’ve heard about the controversies, the process about the bill…but I don’t know if you’ve heard that it is legislation for the future – not just about health care for America, but about a healthier America,” she told the National Association of Counties annual legislative conference, which has drawn about 2,000 local officials to Washington. “But we have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it – away from the fog of the controversy.”

      During a 20-minute speech, she touted benefits she thinks will be tangible to the audience’s employers. She said there’s support for public health infrastructure and investments in community health centers that will reduce uncompensated care that hospitals now need to deliver.

      “You know as well as anyone that our current system is unsustainable,” said Pelosi (D-Calif.). “The final health care legislation, which will soon be passed by the Congress, will deliver successful reforms at the local level.”

    11. Yes, Comrade DinC is literally claiming that the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, in a speech in which she was enthusiastically describing the ACA, was actually confessing publicly that she didn't know what was in the bill.

      This is why republican political leaders do what they do. They know their marks are too stupid to think for themselves.

      Most importantly, the contents of the Affordable Care Act had been publicly available and publicly debated for months, when Pelosi made her remarks in March 2010. The bill, in its original form, was passed by the House of Representatives in October 2009, and in the Senate that December. Although the bill was unusually long (the act runs to 906 pages in the legislative record, with many more pages of regulations) its contents had been subjected to intensive debate and scrutiny in both houses of Congress.

      Here is what Nancy Pelosi said that day, in full context.

      Imagine an economy where people could follow their aspirations, where they could be entrepreneurial, where they could take risks professionally because personally their families [sic] health care needs are being met. Where they could be self-employed or start a business, not be job-locked in a job because they have health care there, and if they went out on their own it would be unaffordable to them, but especially true, if someone has a child with a pre-existing condition. So when we pass our bill, never again will people be denied coverage because they have a pre-existing condition.

      We have to do this in partnership, and I wanted to bring [you] up to date on where we see it from here. The final health care legislation that will soon be passed by Congress will deliver successful reform at the local level. It will offer paid for investments that will improve health care services and coverage for millions more Americans. It will make significant investments in innovation, prevention, wellness and offer robust support for public health infrastructure. It will dramatically expand investments into community health centers. That means a dramatic expansion in the number of patients community health centers can see and ultimately healthier communities. Our bill will significantly reduce uncompensated care for hospitals.

      You’ve heard about the controversies within the bill, the process about the bill, one or the other. But I don’t know if you have heard that it is legislation for the future, not just about health care for America, but about a healthier America, where preventive care is not something that you have to pay a deductible for or out of pocket. Prevention, prevention, prevention–it’s about diet, not diabetes. It’s going to be very, very exciting.

      But we have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it, way from the fog of the controversy.

    12. You got it, mm. Reread your entire quote and what was provided by Anon. There's virtually nothing about how the ACA will actually function. Instead, there's a list of alleged benefits and of groups supporting the ACA. But, nothing in this quote would indicate that Pelosi understood how the law would function.

      BTW I seem to have a vague memory of the New York Times providing an analysis of ACA only after it was passed.

    13. This much is true.

      David in Cal: “BTW I seem to have a vague memory....”

    14. Give it up David, you have learned nothing from reading Bob Somerby all these years.

      "We have to pass the bill

      so that you can find out what is in it, away from the fog of the controversy."

      David, you jackass, "we" is referring to the Congress.
      "you" is referring to the public.

      There is nothing in that statement to indicate that the "we" she was referring to did not know what was in the bill.

      It is interesting how the quote is truncated and edited to mean the opposite of what she was saying. That's how your lying team plays. I'm sure you remember how VP Al Gore once said he invented the internet also.

      But, nothing in this quote would indicate that Pelosi understood how the law would function.

      This was a 20 minute speech you jackass. She wasn't there to outline every nit and tit of the bill, she was giving a general view of what the bill was aiming to accomplish, you dishonest jackass.

  6. Thank you Bob for speaking sense about this Moore hysteria.

    You're the only one-- which of course will subject you to endless harassment.

    I've been really appalled today by the behavior of the MSNBC crowd, especially on Joy Reid. Her complete mangling/ridicule of the "Mary as lifelong virgin" nonsense was the least of it. Such self-righteous inanity, and from ALL of them.

    1. What are you and Somerby worried about? Moore will win anyway, with or without MSNBC.

      To paraphrase Robert Towne, "Forget it Bob/Anon@719, it's Alabama."

    2. This headline supports Anon's prediction:

      Alabama ABC Affiliate Can’t Find One Voter Who Believes WaPo Report About Roy Moore in Man-on-the-Street Segment

    3. Hell, if it ain't on goddang Fox Nooz it ain't goddang true. Goddang it.

    4. Trolling with Breitbart.


    5. 10:54,
      Yet the media will still make believe there is a connection between "Christianity' and "morality".

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  8. "Leigh Corfman has alleged a criminal act of molestation. We have no reason to doubt her account"
    As far as Moore goes, that should be it...full stop. The propriety of a 32 year old dating a 19 year old is really quite secondary to the question of whether that same 32 year old molested a 14 year old. People are discussing Moore's habit of dating (or trying to date) teenage girls as a piece of data that might further corroborate Corfman's claim. These types of cases often are the "he said/she said" variety, so any supporting information might be important. No one is judging Moore solely for dating teenagers. (Surely Somerby realizes this?)

    Note this:
    "Wendy Miller says she was 14 and working as a Santa’s helper at the Gadsden Mall when Moore first approached her, and 16 when he asked her on dates, which her mother forbade."
    He did like them young.
    Is that how a "gentleman" (to use Somerby's term) of 32 behaves?
    Was his behavior "gruesome", to use Somerby's description of Harvey Weinstein?

    Then there's this:
    "It was common knowledge that Roy dated high school girls, everyone we knew thought it was weird," former deputy district attorney Teresa Jones told CNN in comments aired Saturday. "We wondered why someone his age would hang out at high school football games and the mall ... but you really wouldn't say anything to someone like that."

    So, there was the feeling that his behavior might have been inappropriate.

    Here's Somerby again:
    "That said, are we really down to arguing about the offense of (possibly) buying someone wine in the last few months before she turned 19, thereby becoming wine-legal under the laws of her state? "

    First of all, we're not "down to arguing" this. Remember the molestation of a 14 year old? Secondly, why don't you try this defense: "But your honor, she was only 6 months away from being legal."

    Finally: one might argue that Moore, the great moral judger of others, might just merit the description of "Pecksniffian" himself.

    1. Inappropriate's not illegal. And as Bob points out, it wasn't unusual then. Even the moms approved.

      I grew up in Southern California. Many teenage Hispanic girls had much, much older boyfriends.

      Deal with it, Pecksniffs.

    2. Molesting a 14 year old is the main issue. And that was and is illegal. Why can't you understand that? Even your friend "Bob" doesn't dispute that claim. Do you?

    3. 16 was the age of consent; the WaPo article details that what Moore was alleged to have done with that 14-year-old constituted the felony of second-degree sexual assault under Alabama state law.

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  10. Roy Moore just realized that shoe of judgement of others, really feels unjust when it's on his foot. Tough break that he's being held to standards he likes to impose. We have the perfect response to Roy Moore: "Tough shit, hypocrite!"

    1. Has more spoken out against premarital sex? Or dating younger girls.

      If so, you're right. If not, you're not. I' m not aware of him doing so.

      There's dozens of reasons to be against Moore. But this is a sanctimonious pile-on. Pecksniffs a great comparison-- wish I'd thought of it!

    2. Has Moore spoken out against premarital sex? Or dating younger girls?

      If so, you're right. If not, you're not. I' m not aware of him doing so.

      There's dozens of reasons to be against Moore. But this is a sanctimonious pile-on. Pecksniffs a great comparison-- wish I'd thought of it!

    3. This is a reaction to Somerby’s blatant attempt to normalize Moore’s deviant behavior.

    4. "There's dozens of reasons to be against Moore."
      He's a Republican. That's good enough for me.

    5. Anon @ 1:51pm: Unfortunately, that's counterweighted by all the Republicans for whom that's reason enough to be for him. So the other reasons are needed to break the merely partisan logjam.

  11. "The Senate bill unveiled on Thursday would raise taxes on millions of middle-class families, according to a preliminary New York Times analysis"

    Preliminary New York Times analysis is not a divine prophecy, you know. The headline seems perfectly adequate, and in fact quite in accordance with your usual strict standards.

    I'm afraid you're not being very consistent here, Bob.

  12. Being 33 and dating an 18 year old is exciting. Having her jump on my lap and ask if she could call me Daddy was almost too exciting. 32 years later it is still exciting. Same woman, my wife now, not a new one.

    1. She won't think its wonderful when she is changing your diapers and calling you granddad while still a young woman. But all that matters is how YOU feel.

    2. I'll bet you said "hell no" when she asked if she could go to college. "Who's gonna cook my breakfast?" And then you said "No wife of mine is gonna work." So when you die at the end of your good life and she has 30-40 more years to live, she won't have any interests, no skills, and insufficient knowledge to handle her own finances. She may try to make her kids her life, but they have lives of their own. If she is fortunate, she'll marry again -- this time someone her own age. I guess that will be a happy ending to your sweet story.

    3. It is really exciting being a father at age 50 or 60. Your kid calls you daddy but everyone else assumes you are the grandfather. And just when they are growing up, graduating from school and starting their lives, you die, so you don't get to see how they turn out. None of the rewards of seeing them start their own families and prosper in their careers.

      But hey, it is so exciting being with that younger girl. Who cares if you're more likely to have kids with autism because of your aging sperm at fatherhood. It's still worth it. But you know how it is -- your young wife is coming into her own in womandhood, her sexual needs are increasing just when you can't get it up any more. But that's what those little blue pills are for. But it is sad when she isn't as enthusiastic about sex with her "daddy" any more. She still looks great when you have all those wrinkles and gut. So romantic. But who cares how SHE feels?

    4. You people are the reason why Dems keep losing. Your cliches are also very tired.

    5. @ 317 - concern troll's concern is noted.

  13. There are a myriad of things that I don't think should be illegal but are disqualifying for serving in elective office. Moore dating teenagers while age 32 is one of them. Aside from the molestation of the 14 year old, the rest of his conduct isn't illegal. But it still is disqualifying for elective office.

    1. These fall under the heading of character and values.

    2. They fall under unproven allegations.

      As Bob asked too, has anyone actually READ the Post article? It's a lot less conclusive than the MSNBC crowd appears to think.

    3. He'll be elected and it's not disqualifying. THis hubbub will probably end up helping him, prick.

    4. He admitted on Hannity that he dated teens while in his 30's, he literally said he did that "with the permission of their mothers". I wouldn't hire this man to teach high school or middle school and I wouldn't vote for him for any elected office.

    5. I dated a 16 year old when I was 24. I really liked her. She's dead now. Car accident. My wife is 15 years older than me. Crazy goddamned world.

    6. 24 isn't 32 but frankly I still have a problem with anyone who is over 21 dating anyone under 18. We treat 21 year olds radically different from those under 18 for good reason. It isn't the age difference it is the maturity difference. If a 22 year old wants to date a 37 year old and the 37 year old wants to date that 22 year old great. But if a 31 year old wants to date a sophomore or junior in high school, not just no, but Hell no am I going to trust that person's judgement.

    7. There is a world of difference between two adults forming a relationship with a 15 year difference between them and an adult “dating” a child. Liking a 16 year old is as easy as liking a puppy. Let kids be kids and give them space to grow up.

    8. Young women offer a special energy. It's a natural part of life. You would be bending over backwards to rationalize a way to defend him if he was a Democrat

    9. And there is nothing you would love more than to bang a 32 year old woman if you were a 16-year-old boy so please, get off your high horse.

  14. “If we did go out on dates, then we did, but I do not remember that,” Moore said."

    You seem to have no issues with this.

  15. It's impossible to disprove this sort of charge. Breitbart today reports
    Speaking by phone to Breitbart News on Saturday, Corfman’s mother, Nancy Wells, 71, says that her daughter did not have a phone in her bedroom during the period that Moore is reported to have allegedly called Corfman – purportedly on Corfman’s bedroom phone – to arrange at least one encounter.

    Now, I won't trust this report until Nancy Wells statement is reported on some reliable news site. But, even if it is widely reported, that doesn't prove Corfman is mis-remembering. She merely has to say that her story is accurate, except for this unimportant detail.

    1. What does “purportedly on Corfman’s bedroom phone” mean? Teens drag the landline into their bedroom, bath, or a closet to have privacy. “Purportedly” sounds like they never said she had her own phone.

      The credibility of her claim doesn’t rest on this but in contemporary corroboration from people she talked to at the time, existence of other young girls he dated, knowledge of his coworkers and his own admissions about the slightly older girls, whose stories about what he did are similar. Plus, he is behaving like a guilty man.

    2. Fucking Breitbart again. You are a jackass.

  16. "liberal elites have ignored harassment, assault, misogyny and molestation all over our liberal warrens"

    I assume Somerby disapproves of these things? ...(crickets?)

    Sexual misdeeds cross party lines. Any fool knows that. But who do you think has brought us to this watershed moment in our culture, where sexual harassment is finally being outed? It's the liberal side of the political spectrum, led by liberal women. And who broke the Weinstein story? Some "foppish" liberal rag or other.

    Should Roy Moore's (alleged) molestation of a 14-year old be stricken from the record because Harvey Weinstein's (alleged) misdeeds went unreported for a long time? Is that the "logic" Somerby is trying to promote?

    Somerby blames liberals for not being perfect and invalidates any liberal criticism of conservatives for that reason. That certainly gives conservatives great cover. But wasn't it the Republicans who impeached a president over sex? They and the Moral Majority were shocked! shocked! ...What Pecksniffs.

  17. "We can't beat them at the polls, so we pray pray pray pray pray that we can get them locked up! Oh please please please please please please please! Please let us helpless liberals get The Others arrested!"

    Earth to Somerby: the statute of limitations ran out on Moore. He can't be arrested.

    Earth to Somerby: The only president to be impeached in our lifetime was Bill Clinton, thanks to the, um, let me think,...those original Pecksniffs, the Republicans.

    Earth to Somerby: who exactly are "the liberals" trying to lock up? Where did I hear "lock her up?" Sounds familiar, but I just can't place it.

    And way to ignore the recent victories in Virginia. ("We can't beat them at the polls")

    Somerby is a real piece
    He sounds like a little kid with his hands in his ears yelling "Nyah-Nyah-Nyah."

    Is this even analysis?

    It's deeply offensive. And stupid.

    1. Somerby is acting like a true Trump Defender, for all his professed liberalism. Instead of saying 'We liberals', he should say 'We Trumptards' from now on.

  18. Women's liberation is maybe three generations old. It's always going to feel out of place until it doesn't. We're living in the dark ages.

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