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GOP Presidential candidate Herman Cain describes himself as a victim of a "high-tech lynching" -- not a playboy chasing women on his staff, as four have claimed, most recently on Nov. 7. Cain’s “lynching” defense is modeled on the one his friend, Clarence Thomas, used so effectively in 1991 to deflect sexual harassment charges from Anita Hill and thereby win a lifetime appointment on the Supreme Court. Cain's ad has helped him raise $1.2 million in the past week, he told CNN, and buttressed his support among conservatives.
But Cain has a larger problem, aside from Sharon Bialek, a fourth accuser who just surfaced:
Clarence Thomas perjured himself when he used the slogan to defend himself in his 1991 Senate testimony, according to evidence that I've been writing about for the Justice Integrity Project. Thomas Must Resign, Says Former Judge, Lover is among my columns. Beyond the sex allegations, the parallels threaten to tarnish Cain with financial misconduct claims against Thomas -- who is the subject of a current effort to force his resignation, federal prosecution and impeachment for financial crimes relating to the kinds of billionaire backers who are now supporting Cain. Thus, Cain's efforts to save himself by playing the "lynching" race card has the unintended consequence of linking the friends and their financial backers at a bad time.
Forty-six House Democrats last month called for a House impeachment probe of Thomas. A week earlier, 20 of them had called for an FBI probe for false statement and bribery regarding more than $1.6 million in gifts and household salary that Thomas failed to report in recent years, as required by law. Most of the money went to his wife, Virginia, a longtime conservative policy advocate. She sought to parlay the Supreme Court's 5-4 Citizen's United decision into a big-time salary to use the new wide-open election laws that her husband helped create to void key financial restrictions on corporations and unions, thereby allowing them to reshape American politics.
On Oct. 25, a progressive group called Protect Our Elections posted an ad headlined, "Clarence and Virginia Thomas...Bought by Billionaires," and shown below.
The explanatory text for the ad begins:
Virginia, Harlan, Clarence and David have been having a good laugh at our expense. How much longer will we let this go on? America’s citizens have had it with people in power who violate the law. That includes Clarence Thomas who has used his position as a Supreme Court Justice to flout the law and enrich himself, his wife and their cronies through corrupt backroom deals with billionaires Harlan Crow, and Charles and David Koch.
Virginia Thomas obtained $500,000 in November 2009 from real estate mogul Harlan Crow, according to documents now public. The documents show that promptly after the Supreme Court announced its Citizens United decision in January 2010 she created Liberty Central, a 501 (c-4) organization that would pay her $495,000 in salary to lead a group that would help corporations perform effectively under the wide-open election system the court put in place nationally.
The Protect Our Elections group posted a 12-page, single-space summaryof false statement and bribery evidence against Clarence and Virginia Thomas, which it says it sent to the FBI in July as part of an ongoing dialogue with the FBI and members of Congress. Kevin Zeese, counsel for Protect Our Elections.org and an affiliated group, Accountability in Justice, says prosecuting Clarence Thomas should be the top priority for anyone concerned about ethics in government because Thomas is "corrupter No. 1" among all of the nation's high-level government officials in terms of documented evidence of crime. For months, Zeese has also been one of the main organizers preparing for an Occupy Wall Street offshoot now located at Freedom Plaza near the White House. He says the Freedom Plaza protests resulting in 19 arrests Oct. 15 at the Supreme Court are just the beginning of its campaign against Thomas and his court colleagues who fail to provide oversight against internal lawbreaking and corrupt rulings.
Kathleen Arberg, the court spokeswoman, told Huffington Post reporter Jennifer Bendery that the Thomas omissions on his disclosure forms were "inadvertent," as Bendery reported in Democrats Ramp Up Calls For Ethics Probe Of Clarence Thomas. Thomas declines comment, as does his friend and benefactor Crow, heir to the Trammell Crow real estate fortune and an active advocate for extreme right-wing causes and donations benefiting the Thomas family and legacy. But Politico reported Thomas to have told a February meeting of conservative supporters at Liberty University closed to the media that he and his wife will continue to fight for liberty despite attacks, as described here: Defiant Clarence Thomas fires back. Arberg, Thomas, Crow and the Koch brothers have failed to respond to my requests to them for comment.
New Evidence on the Thomas Porno Denial
Most recently, author and retired federal judge Lillian McEwen, herself a counsel for the Senate Judiciary Committee during the 1980s, told me that Thomas repeatedly described porno actor Long Dong Silver to her during their five years of dating in the early 1980s. This was the same porno star -- obscure, if not unknown in most circles -- that Hill swore typified the sex-related harassment that Thomas initiated with her. This was at a time when Thomas chaired the Reagan Administration’s Equal Opportunity Employment Commission overseeing sex and other job bias complaints throughout the nation. Also, Thomas supervised Hill and was dating McEwen.
During the Thomas confirmation hearing in 1991, Senate Judiciary Committee Republicans viciously attacked Hill. Democrats, including then-chairman Joe Biden, generally let their GOP colleagues pump up Thomas and denounce Hill. But Hill’s evidence on the pornography point has since been buttressed by McEwen on my radio show Sept. 22 and at the National Press Club Oct. 26, as well as by other witnesses that the Senate Judiciary Committee refused to call in person. I atended the 1991 hearings and have read 10 of relevant books, including a transcript of the hearnigs, the Thomas autobiography and David Brock's The Real Anita Hill, an attack book on Hill that the author has largely renounced as misguided.
Thomas denied Hill’s porno claims specifically and linked them closely to his overall piety and his race-based defense. But my reading of the evidence shows that he clearly perjured himself to win his lifetime Supreme Court appointment by a 52-48 Senate vote.
Furthermore, he has continued lying about the matter since, including in his 2007 best-selling autobiography, My Grandfather's Son. At the Press Club, McEwen, herself of mixed raced, said the book is a fraud in other respects, including the image of Thomas venerating his grandfather. She says Thomas refused her entreaties to visit his grandfather on his deathbed, but did adopt many times a viciously anti-black slogan inherited from his grandfather relying on the "N-word." She says in her own memoir, DC Unmasked and Undressed, that she decided to break up with Thomas after introducing him to sexual fantasies, the Plato's Retreat sex club and "threesomes" in the 1980s because of the strains induced by his ambitions to persuade evangelicals and other conservatives to support his career ambitions.
Therefore, Cain’s attempt to tie his credibility to that of Thomas should not be the end of the matter, even if a fourth woman had not stepped forward Nov. 7 to provide the most specific allegations yet of Cain misbehavior when he led the National Restaurant Association in the 1990s. Instead, the Cain race-based rhetoric should prompt more research on both Cain and Thomas to get to the bottom of scandal allegations once and for all.
They share a lot more common ground than their friendship, their roots in Georgia as black conservatives and a longstanding trail of sex harassment allegations now blighting each man's reputation with their religious base on the right. Each has been funded by billionaire conservatives and been accused of serving as front men for a rightist agenda of pounding down the middle class and poor under a veneer of phony religious piety, legal "originalism" and economic fairness.
I had a front row seat in covering Cain's Oct. 31 speech at the National Press Club just after the scandal broke, and tried to reflect in story his compelling personality, his denials and his oratorical gifts. In Cain Sells Vision, Denies Harassment, Sings Spiritual, I wrote, "GOP Presidential candidate Herman Cain Oct. 31 denied a claim of staff sexual harassment and outlined at a National Press Club lunch how he would revitalize the country with his tax plan. The former businessman and radio host finished his Q&A by singing a deep-voiced version of a spiritual."
That was a straight news story but this is analysis, based on new developments and outside research, excerpted from diverse sources below:
Cain, his cigarette-smoking campaign manager Mark Block and his chief economic advisor Rich Lowrie are all funded by the Koch brothers and their organizations. the Sunlight Foundation and New York writer Jane Mayer, among others, have described how the funding is not immediately apparent. This has special relevance to the presidential campaign because non-partisan economists say Cain’s signature 9-9-9 economic plan benefits the top 20% of wealthy Americans, such as the Koch brothers, while creating new economic hardships for others. Cain, Block and Lowrie are each closely associated with the Koch-funded Americans for Prosperity advocacy group that hosted Cain on Friday. That’s where Cain told the crowd, including David Koch, “I’m a Koch brother from another mother” as the conservative crowd roared approval.
Cain has denied both sexual and financial wrongdoing, as indicated in the columns cited below. This is congruent with the Thomas denial of Hill's claims in 1991. Thomas described his outrage that she could suggest such things as his enjoyment of pornography, dirty talk and other sexual harassment -- and that senators would entertain such discussions. He said:
This is a circus. It's a national disgrace. And from my standpoint, as a black American, it is a high-tech lynching for uppity blacks who in any way deign to think for themselves, to do for themselves, to have different ideas, and it is a message that unless you kowtow to an old order, this is what will happen to you. You will be lynched, destroyed, caricatured by a committee of the U.S. Senate rather than hung from a tree.
McEwen, his former lover, has a different view, portrayed in her book, her speech last month and in a series of exclusive interviews with me: “The mask he has worn for so long has slipped during the past 20 years to reveal dishonesty, greed, and abuse of the public trust,” she told me. “Fueled by self-hatred and resentment, Justice Thomas has allowed himself to be purchased.”
Thomas has ignored requests for comment aside from occasional and largely oblique denials of irregularities.
McEwen’s lecture was be the first time she provides a view on the justice’s overall fitness to serve based on her varied experiences with him and as part of Washington's legal community. The retired judge at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission earlier this year published a blunt memoir, DC Unmasked and Undressed. In a powerful narrative style that largely avoids politics and policy, it recounts her search for happiness in law and romance after a harsh childhood with cruel parents in then-segregated Washington, DC. She says she decided to break up with Thomas before his current marriage in 1987, his second.
The Senate committee chaired by Joe Biden failed to call witnesses who could have supported Hill publicly. The conservative group Citizens United had mounted a television ad campaign backing Thomas and targeting Biden and two other prominent Senate Democrats for what it called their past scandals.
The campaign,devised by Citizens United founder Floyd Brown following his 1988 successes with the notorious "Willie Horton" presidential ads, ridiculed Biden and his colleagues Ted Kennedy and Alan Cranston, with a headline, "Who Will Judge the Judge?" McEwen was by then a former counsel to the committee while Biden was chairman. She says Biden and others on staff knew during the confirmation battle that she had dated Thomas during the years he supervised Hill at the EEOC and Department of Education.
McEwen has a unique perspective as not only a companion of Thomas for what she describes as five of his formative years in Washington, but also as a former federal prosecutor, defense litigator and law professor.
“He transformed himself,” she says more generally, “from a self-pitying alcoholic into a campaigner who gave speeches for Republican candidates and causes all over the United States. His reward would be a seat on the Supreme Court.” But, in her words, “He had turned into a bully, a religious hypocrite, and a very angry man as a result of the masks that he had to wear in order to please the Republican conservatives and evangelicals who would support his nomination.”
When McEwen first spoke up most of my readers valued her contribution at long last to share insights about the nation's most controversial and arguably important Supreme Court battle in history. But a few suggested to me and in reader comments that there's no long any point to hear about whether Thomas perjured himself. McEwen herself says the Judiciary Committee loses jurisdiction if a nominee successfully lies to get a job.
But Cain, in seeking to rescue his own reputation, thus reopens the focus not simply on demonstrable fraud by Thomas but on the whole web of their mutual and troubling relationships.
And for those who has suggested that this inquiry is unfair because Cain and Thomas are black? Virginia Thomas isn't, and neither are the Koch Brothers and Harlan Crow. But even if they were this should be the start of what almost everyone claims they want -- unmasking all the big-time fraudsters in Washington, without fear or favor. The stakes are that high.
Until April 5, 2013 the 1984 American science fiction-horror film, directed by John Carpenter could be streamed or downloaded from a number of websites. They Live (Full movie)" was in the playlist below created by Buddy Huggins.
These days you can’t swing a cat or open your mailbox without being hit by a flood of emails about the memorials, tributes, condolences, and donation sites for the victims of these tragedies that the conspiracy theorists say were created -- not right after the event, but right before the event.
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