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A Rape on Campus: A Brutal Assault and Struggle for Justice at UVA

 By Sabrina Rubin Erdely

Jackie was just starting her freshman year at the University of Virginia when she was brutally assaulted by seven men at a frat party. When she tried to hold them accountable, a whole new kind of abuse began.Sipping from a plastic cup, Jackie grimaced, then discreetly spilled her spiked punch onto the sludgy fraternity-house floor. The University of Virginia freshman wasn't a drinker, but she didn't want to seem like a goody-goody at her very first frat party – and she especially wanted to impress her date, the handsome Phi Kappa Psi brother who'd brought her here. Jackie was sober but giddy with discovery as she looked around the room crammed with rowdy strangers guzzling beer and dancing to loud music. She smiled at her date, whom we'll call Drew, a good-looking junior – or in UVA parlance, a third-year – and he smiled enticingly back.

"Want to go upstairs, where it's quieter?" Drew shouted into her ear, and Jackie's heart quickened. She took his hand as he threaded them out of the crowded room and up a staircase.

Four weeks into UVA's 2012 school year, 18-year-old Jackie was crushing it at college. A chatty, straight-A achiever from a rural Virginia town, she'd initially been intimidated by UVA's aura of preppy success, where throngs of toned, tanned and overwhelmingly blond students fanned across a landscape of neoclassical brick buildings, hurrying to classes, clubs, sports, internships, part-time jobs, volunteer work and parties; Jackie's orientation leader had warned her that UVA students' schedules were so packed that "no one has time to date – people just hook up." But despite her reservations, Jackie had flung herself into campus life, attending events, joining clubs, making friends and, now, being asked on an actual date. She and Drew had met while working lifeguard shifts together at the university pool, and Jackie had been floored by Drew's invitation to dinner, followed by a "date function" at his fraternity, Phi Kappa Psi. The "upper tier" frat had a reputation of tremendous wealth, and its imposingly large house overlooked a vast manicured field, giving "Phi Psi" the undisputed best real estate along UVA's fraternity row known as Rugby Road. 

Jackie had taken three hours getting ready, straightening her long, dark, wavy hair. She'd congratulated herself on her choice of a tasteful red dress with a high neckline. Now, climbing the frat-house stairs with Drew, Jackie felt excited. Drew ushered Jackie into a bedroom, shutting the door behind them. The room was pitch-black inside. Jackie blindly turned toward Drew, uttering his name. At that same moment, she says, she detected movement in the room – and felt someone bump into her. Jackie began to scream.

"Shut up," she heard a man's voice say as a body barreled into her, tripping her backward and sending them both crashing through a low glass table. There was a heavy person on top of her, spreading open her thighs, and another person kneeling on her hair, hands pinning down her arms, sharp shards digging into her back, and excited male voices rising all around her. When yet another hand clamped over her mouth, Jackie bit it, and the hand became a fist that punched her in the face. The men surrounding her began to laugh. For a hopeful moment Jackie wondered if this wasn't some collegiate prank. Perhaps at any second someone would flick on the lights and they'd return to the party.

"Grab its motherfucking leg," she heard a voice say. And that's when Jackie knew she was going to be raped.

She remembers every moment of the next three hours of agony, during which, she says, seven men took turns raping her, while two more – her date, Drew, and another man – gave instruction and encouragement. She remembers how the spectators swigged beers, and how they called each other nicknames like Armpit and Blanket. She remembers the men's heft and their sour reek of alcohol mixed with the pungency of marijuana. Most of all, Jackie remembers the pain and the pounding that went on and on.

As the last man sank onto her, Jackie was startled to recognize him: He attended her tiny anthropology discussion group. He looked like he was going to cry or puke as he told the crowd he couldn't get it up. "Pussy!" the other men jeered. "What, she's not hot enough for you?" Then they egged him on: "Don't you want to be a brother?" "We all had to do it, so you do, too." Someone handed her classmate a beer bottle. Jackie stared at the young man, silently begging him not to go through with it. And as he shoved the bottle into her, Jackie fell into a stupor, mentally untethering from the brutal tableau, her mind leaving behind the bleeding body under assault on the floor.

When Jackie came to, she was alone. It was after 3 a.m. She painfully rose from the floor and ran shoeless from the room. She emerged to discover the Phi Psi party still surreally under way, but if anyone noticed the barefoot, disheveled girl hurrying down a side staircase, face beaten, dress spattered with blood, they said nothing. Disoriented, Jackie burst out a side door, realized she was lost, and dialed a friend, screaming, "Something bad happened. I need you to come and find me!" Minutes later, her three best friends on campus – two boys and a girl (whose names are changed) – arrived to find Jackie on a nearby street corner, shaking. "What did they do to you? What did they make you do?" Jackie recalls her friend Randall demanding. Jackie shook her head and began to cry. The group looked at one another in a panic. They all knew about Jackie's date; the Phi Kappa Psi house loomed behind them. "We have to get her to the hospital," Randall said.

 
SAS quad bike squads kill up to 8 jihadis each day

IS PICKED OFF IN GUERILLA-STYLE RAIDS: Using precision sniper rifles, machine guns and surprise tactics, the SAS take out their IS targets before disappearing back into the desert

SAS quad bike squads kill up to 8 jihadis each day

By Mark Nicol for The Mail on Sunday

SAS troops with sniper rifles and heavy machine guns have killed hundreds of Islamic State extremists in a series of deadly quad-bike ambushes inside Iraq, The Mail on Sunday can reveal.

Defence sources indicated last night that soldiers from the elite fighting unit have eliminated ‘up to eight terrorists per day’ in the daring raids, carried out during the past four weeks.

Until now, it had been acknowledged only that the SAS was operating in a reconnaissance role in Iraq and was not involved in combat. But The Mail on Sunday has learned that small groups of soldiers are being dropped into IS territory in RAF Chinook helicopters – to take on the enemy.

Targets are identified by drones operated either from an SAS base or by the soldiers themselves on the ground, who use smaller devices.

The troops are also equipped with quad bikes – four-wheeled all-terrain vehicles that can have machine guns bolted on to a frame. They then seek out IS units and attack the terrorists using the element of surprise and under the cover of darkness.

The missions have taken place on a near daily basis in the past four weeks and the SAS soldiers have expended so much ammunition that regimental quartermasters have been forced to order a full replenishment of stocks of machine-gun rounds and sniper bullets.

An SAS source said: ‘Our tactics are putting the fear of God into IS as they don’t know where we’re going to strike next and there’s frankly nothing they can do to stop us.

 
Obama salutes 'tumultuous life and career' of DC mayor Marion Barry

Marion Barry s

Obama salutes 'tumultuous life and career' of DC mayor Marion Barry

Martin Pengelly

Barack Obama led tributes on Sunday to the former Washington mayor Marion Barry, who has died at the age of 78. The president heralded Barry’s work as a civil-rights campaigner in “a storied, at times tumultuous life and career” and said he “earned the love and respect of countless Washingtonians”.

In a statement, Obama said: “Marion helped advance the cause of civil rights for all. During his decades in elected office in DC, he put in place historic programmes to lift working people out of poverty, expand opportunity, and begin to make real the promise of home rule.”

Barry, a Democrat, was mayor for three terms between 1979 and 1991, when he was sent to prison for six months after being filmed smoking crack cocaine. After his release, he returned to the city council; in 1995 he became mayor for a fourth time.

Having stepped down after a four-year term, in 2004 he returned to the council. He experienced further brushes with the law.

...............................

A DC councilmember, Anita Bonds, said Barry was “a political genius, community outreach expert, champion of the over-looked and the left-out while emphasizing the inclusion of everyone”; Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, the mayor of Baltimore, said he “was an outspoken voice for the voiceless”.

Rawlings-Blake added: “As we reflect on his life, many will surely focus on his struggles. However, even those struggles could not match his determination to serve the citizens of the District of Columbia and the love he received in return from those who lovingly referred to him as ‘mayor for life’.”

The academic and author Cornel West told CNN: “Marion Barry was my dear brother, a great freedom fighter … He had his flaws but he understood very much …[that] power concedes to nothing but demand. It never will, it never did, and he understood that, bless his soul.”

 
How to Make Your Loveless Marriage Work

How to Make Your Loveless Marriage Work

There's now a way that unhappy couples with kids can stay and go at the same time.

People are beginning to realize that they have the option to stay single or to get divorced without shame; they have the option to marry later or marry several times without shame. Now, couples are starting to see that they can renegotiate the terms of their marriage without shame.

 
Captain of San Diego-based warship relieved of duty

Capt. Wayne Brown

Captain of San Diego-based warship relieved of duty

The captain of one of the Navy's premiere warships has been relieved of command after an investigation found that he routinely used foul and abusive language toward crew members and engaged in inappropriate touching and questioning of women.

Capt. Wayne Brown was relieved as commander of the San Diego-based amphibious assault ship Boxer after an investigation concluded that he had "lost the respect, trust and confidence of his subordinates" because of his temper and his behavior toward female crew members that included touching and also asking them whether they were using birth control with their husbands or boyfriends, according to the investigative report.

Brown created a "hostile, offensive and intimidating work environment," according to the investigation that was undertaken after complaints from enlisted personnel and junior officers.

The recommendation to relieve him of command was endorsed by Rear Adm. Frank Ponds in late September.

Brown joined the Navy as an enlisted sailor in 1986 and became an officer in 1989. After being relieved, Brown was reassigned to a desk job in San Diego.

The report quotes one sailor - whose name and rank are redacted - saying that, "Capt. Brown's leadership style is caustic and intimidating and is something he would consider 'old school' or from the '80s."

The Boxer is designed to take combat Marines and heavy equipment to war zones. It deployed in support of the U.S. war in Iraq in 2003, 2004 and 2007. It also deployed to a humanitarian mission off Central and South America. Earlier this year it completed an eight-month deployment in the Western Pacific.

Brown was executive officer on the Boxer before becoming the commanding officer in June. He is the 12th commanding officer of a Navy ship to be relieved this year, according to the Navy Times.

The investigative report includes allegations that Brown put his hand on the back and hip of female sailors. Some incidents occurred aboard ship, some while the crew was on liberty in Bahrain and Subic Bay.

Brown was concerned about female sailors and junior officers using birth control because the ship had lost several crew members who became pregnant and could not deploy, the report says. But the women were unnerved by the questioning and thought it was inappropriate, according to the report.

Another incident involved Brown's alleged outburst after finding that a dance class and an academic skills class were scheduled aboard ship at the same time. He did not want to reschedule the dance class because he attended the class, the report says.

 
The anxieties of the GOP majority

House Speaker John Boehner, in a press conference held Nov. 21, 2014, responds to President Obama's decision to invoke execution action towards immigration reform.  (M. Scott Mahaskey/Politico)

The anxieties of the GOP majority

By Alex Isenstadt and Kyle Cheney

Even after a historic midterm win, Republican confusion over how to respond to Obama on immigration is evidence of a changing party.

It was a quiet meeting on the eve of a political explosion.

At 4 p.m. on Wednesday, 30 or so members of the 2012 GOP freshman class of the House of Representatives gathered in a conference room in the Capitol Visitor Center for what’s become a monthly conclave. For the junior representatives, this was a chance to get some face time with Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio). Everyone knew that the next evening, President Barack Obama planned to deliver an in-your-face rebuke to Boehner, who’d warned the president not to “play with matches” and act on his own to suspend deportation of millions of immigrants.

All of those gathered had reason to be angry: Here was the president pretending, absurdly, that he hadn’t just had his butt whipped in the midterms, and defying the biggest GOP House majority-to-come in more than 80 years. Almost exactly a year before, some in the room had been among the most vocal Republicans pushing for a government shutdown as a legislative strategy against Obama.

But now came a stern message from Boehner: The GOP shouldn’t take the bait this time. And as discussion moved around the table, there was little desire for another shutdown, even from the conservatives, over the president’s executive action on immigration. No one wanted to let Democrats off the mat and hand them a political win — especially not now, barely two weeks after the GOP’s historic midterm victory. “There was definitely a sense that they didn’t want to do that [the 2013 shutdown] again,” said an aide to one of the participants.

Outwardly, Republican rhetoric toward the president hasn’t softened much, especially since Obama’s speech Thursday night. The consistent meme is that he is behaving like an unconstitutional monarch.

“The president has taken actions that he himself has said are those of a ‘king’ or an ‘emperor’ — not an American president,” Boehner said in a statement the morning after the speech. “With this action, the president has chosen to deliberately sabotage any chance of enacting bipartisan reforms that he claims to seek. And, as I told the president yesterday, he’s damaging the presidency itself.”

What has changed is the underlying balance of power in the party and, perhaps, the terms of debate within the GOP over how to deal with the Democratic Party and its surprisingly aggressive leader. Obama might be behaving like a usurping monarch without a mandate, in the eyes of the newly powerful GOP, but no one is seriously threatening to impeach him — as Republicans have repeatedly done in past years. Nor, despite the angry rhetoric, does there seem to be a serious possibility of government shutdown.

Yes, outliers are still threatening actions that could lead to a stalemate a la 2013: Arizona Rep. Matt Salmon, voicing anger against the executive action in a way that typified many Southern and Western Republicans, called the move an “impeachable offense,” and earlier circulated a letter urging House Appropriations chairman Hal Rogers (R-Ky.) to defund any presidential effort to supply work permits or green cards to illegals — potentially prompting a veto and a shutdown. The more than 50 representatives who signed the Salmon letter included many of the same House members who adopted the strategy in 2013 that led to a shutdown then.

And yet Rogers and the House leadership, as well as a substantial portion of the Republican caucus, have made it clear they’re not ready to take that course again. “People are being very thoughtful about this,” said Tennessee Rep. Marsha Blackburn, who is widely seen as a rising star in tea party circles. “I’ve heard no one mention a shutdown except the press.”

Call it thoughtfulness — or call it confusion. All in all, the mild, somewhat subdued response to Obama’s immigration move is evidence that the uncompromising GOP insurgency that so paralyzed Washington in 2013 has lost some potency.

Even some of the House’s most conservative members have little appetite for a government shutdown, saying that while they’re determined to level sharp criticism against the president, they’re not thinking about going much further than that. According to the head of a national, GOP-aligned Republican group, party leaders strongly suspect that Obama is trying to goad conservatives into throwing a fit: “I think the president is counting on a Republican overreaction, where it really takes over the agenda of the new Congress. … I think this president is counting on an overreach.”

 
Immigration: Comparing Reagan and Obama

Immigration: Comparing Reagan and Obama

President Reagan signed a law making sweeping immigration changes. President Obama is taking executive action. What are the differences in their plans?

 
Six Ways Not to Think About Obama's Immigration Order

Six Ways Not to Think About Obama's Immigration Order

Garrett Epps

It's not a constitutional crisis—but it's not business as usual, either.

Senator Tom Coburn warns that President Barack Obama’s announcement of a new “deferred action” program for undocumented aliens may spark “instances of anarchy.” Senator Ted Cruz compares Obama to the Roman conspirator Catiline, quoting Cicero: “When is there to be an end of that unbridled audacity of yours, swaggering about as it does now?” Democratic lawmakers disagree—Senator Harry Reid called it “exactly right” and Senator Barbara Boxer called it “bold and constitutional action to bring people out of the shadows.”

Everyone agrees that the new policy is what Joe Biden might (while the mikes are live) call a big deal.  But they are not so clear on why.

2. As “legalizing” unlawful immigrants

Obama has not claimed to be bestowing “legal status” on anyone. The “deferred action” policy grants certain undocumented workers the possibility of working legally. There’s no path to citizenship, nor is it a permanent status. Those are Congress’s to bestow or withhold. Further, it does not give any alien a “right” to stay—each individual application for “deferred action” has to be decided by Citizenship and Immigration Services officers, who can reject it for if doing so would serve “an important federal interest.”

 
No Wonder Cosby's Keeping Quiet: He Could Still Be Prosecuted

No Wonder Cosby's Keeping Quiet: He Could Still Be Prosecuted

Rape is not as clear cut as conservatives or liberals suppose; laws on rape vary widely from state to state, and often reflect a dark legacy of racism and sexism.

As rape accusations swirl around one of America’s most beloved father figures, Bill Cosby, there are more questions than answers. First and foremost, of course, is whether he did it or not—and whether we’ll ever know for sure. Perhaps equally important are the many questions being asked about gender, race, and why some voices are listened to more than others.

But what about the legal consequences? Could Dr. Huxtable spend his last years in jail as a sex offender? Are there statutes of limitations for these crimes, which in some cases are alleged to have taken place decades ago?

And, especially in the context of 2014’s spate of sexual assault scandals on college campuses and in football leagues, where do Cosby’s alleged offenses fall within the often ambiguous laws regarding rape and sexual assault?

On both the left and the right, sexual assault seems simple. Yes means yes and no means no. Or, boys will be boys and only some rape is “really” rape. But the legal foundation beneath Cosby’s accusers is a quagmire of historical accident, and a tangle of dark historic ghosts.

Conservatives have already opined that the accusations are not of what Paul Ryan might call “forcible rape.” (CNN’s Don Lemon, no right winger, mansplained to one of Cosby’s accusers that there are “ways to not have oral sex.” Lemon later apologized. According to seven women who have come forward (sixteen have accused Cosby of sexual assault but not all have made the details public), Cosby’s alleged M.O. involves drugging his victims and then having sex with them. Odious but not quite the “classic” case of rape. Besides, some have already hinted, weren’t they asking for it by hanging out with him in the first place?

The trouble is, as all of these question marks suggest, that there is no “classic” case of rape. America’s laws regarding sexual assault are a complicated patchwork that varies from state to state.

First, contrary to some reports, not all of Cosby’s accusers claims are blocked by the statute of limitations. For example, the conduct alleged by Andrea Constand—who sued Cosby in 2005 for assault and battery, and in 2006 for defamation after Cosby’s representatives said she was just trying to extort money—took place in 2004. Pennsylvania, where the assault is alleged to have taken place, has a 12-year statute of limitations on sexual assault.

That means Cosby could still be charged.

 
Turmoil Over Immigration Status? California Has Lived It for Decades

Turmoil Over Immigration Status? California Has Lived It for Decades

LOS ANGELES — There may be no better place than California to measure the contradictions, crosswinds and confusion that come with trying to change immigration law.

For 30 years, California has been the epicenter of the churn of immigration — legal and not — in the nation. It was California where Pete Wilson, the Republican governor, championed in 1994 a voter initiative known as Proposition 187, which severely restricted services to immigrants here illegally. And it was California where just last year, Gov. Jerry Brown, a Democrat, held a celebratory, dignitary-filled signing of legislation permitting unauthorized workers to obtain driver’s licenses.

One-third of the immigrants in the country illegally live in California, which has a 125-mile border with Mexico, much of it guarded by long stretches of border fence. They work on farms in the Central Valley, in manufacturing jobs in Los Angeles, and as housekeepers and gardeners in Silicon Valley, alongside a steady stream of young legal immigrants who hold low-paying, high-skilled jobs in Northern California’s critical tech industry.

They come mostly from Mexico but also from Central America, the Philippines, South Korea and Japan. Commercial boulevards in the heart of Los Angeles are a riot of Korean-language signs, and in many neighborhoods in San Francisco the talk on the street is as likely to be in Spanish or Chinese as it is English.

 
How Indians and Chinese Study in U.S.
  • [BN-FR196_ilibra_E_20141121040058.jpg]

How Indians and Chinese Study in U.S.

By Eric Bellman

How the best and brightest from China and India choose their American degrees demonstrates the differing levels of development between the world’s only billion-person economies.

A record number of international students—close to 900,000 scholars–studied at U.S. colleges and universities last year and more than four out of ten of them were from India or China.

How the best and brightest from China and India choose their expensive American degrees demonstrates the differing levels of development between the world’s only billion-person economies.

Chinese students tend to choose undergraduate courses focused on business, while Indians opt for short graduate programs in more technical subjects like science and math.

 
For Some Fans, Accusations of Rape Crumble Bill Cosby’s Wholesome Image

For Some Fans, Accusations of Rape Crumble Bill Cosby’s Wholesome Image

As woman after woman has come forward to accuse Bill Cosby of sexual assault, there has been growing public revulsion, but also a nagging question: Did it have to be Cliff Huxtable?

He was America’s Dad, the star and co-creator of the most-watched show in America in an era when network television drew big enough audiences to shift the national conversation. Parents and children watched together, identified themselves in the struggles big and small of the characters. Mr. Cosby’s was an old-school obstetrician, the kindly type whom women trusted to guide them to motherhood.

It has made the rising drumbeat of allegations more shattering than typical celebrity misbehavior. Particularly for Americans who grew up with “The Cosby Show,” grasping the transformation of Mr. Cosby’s image from best-known father to accused serial abuser has produced the discomfort and struggle akin to coming to terms with the dark past of a family member.

“It’s another black male authority figure, one of those people who folks that don’t live on the edges of the country think of as a good black guy; they trust that guy,” said Mr. Osborne, who is black. “I felt a real deflation, not even the outrage I should have felt if the accusations are true.”

Mr. Cosby’s role in “I Spy” and as the patient interpreter on “Fat Albert” made him a breakthrough star, television’s Jackie Robinson. “The Cosby Show,” which ran on NBC from 1984 to 1992, helped build a bridge between blacks and whites; when Los Angeles erupted in riots after the acquittal of the police officers charged in the beating of Rodney G. King, Mr. Cosby took to the air to urge protesters to stay home and to watch the final episode of the show instead. When his son Ennis was murdered in 1997, it was absorbed by many as a family tragedy.

Some black scholars criticized “The Cosby Show” for too easily soothing white households into a sense that the struggle for civil rights was over. And many blacks resented Mr. Cosby’s later moralizing about personal responsibility.

Still, “Cosby” continued to define a certain kind of sweater and a certain kind of family — educated, accomplished, kookily and happily normal.

“He implanted so many positive images, moments, subliminal pictures of what African-Americans can be,” Mr. Osborne said. The portrayal struck him as false — the families he knew in Brooklyn did not live in well-appointed townhouses in the Heights; the Cosby children’s range of skin tones made it a strain to see them as siblings. Still, he recognized the accomplishment.

“There was a time when white people used to claim, ‘I watch “Cosby” ’ as their bona fides,” he said. “While we can look at it very cynically, there’s some good in that.”

 
Obama Returns to Vegas a Weaker President

Obama Returns to Vegas a Weaker President

By George E. Condon Jr.

In his second immigration speech at the same Nevada high school, the president faced a very different political reality.

It really hasn't been that long since President Obama's last visit to Del Sol High School in Las Vegas. It was only 661 days ago that he launched the immigration push he hoped would give him the first big legislative victory of his second term. But to really measure how much political time has passed all you had to do was watch the president's return to the home of the Dragons on Friday and hear his adjusted assessment of the current immigration debate.

Though he ended his remarks with a rousing and emotional appeal that brought his audience to their feet, the Obama on display for most of the speech was a more somber and more reflective version of the president seen here on Jan. 29, 2013. That president enjoyed a 55 percent approval rating. That president was only eight days removed from a well-received Inaugural Address in which he singled out immigration, promising to "find a better way to welcome the striving, hopeful immigrants who still see America as a land of opportunity." And that president saw a bipartisan opening in Washington where, he said, "the differences are dwindling, where a broad consensus is emerging and where a call for action can now be heard coming from all across America."

That president drew chants of "Sí, se puede"—"Yes, we can!"—when he declared, "I'm here today because the time has come for commonsense, comprehensive immigration reform. The time is now. Now is the time. Now is the time. Now is the time."

But this president—the one who noted his much grayer hair—knows better. This president's ratings have dropped by more than 15 points. This president knows the differences are sharper than ever, the consensus has narrowed, and the call for action in the recent election was not for his type of comprehensive immigration reform.

If he had any doubts about how much things have changed, all Obama had to do Friday was glance to his right. There, seated along with other members of Congress, was Rep. Steve Horsford, just as he was at the last speech. But this year, a still-stunned Horsford is in his last days in office. Considered a rising Democratic star, he was upset 48 to 46 percent in this month's House election by a tea-party Republican, Cresent Hardy, who was widely considered too much on the fringe to ever appeal to this nominally Democratic district. Horsford, who would have been a vote for Obama's brand of immigration reform, was a victim of being seen as too close to the unpopular president.

 
3 More Women Just Accused Bill Cosby of Sexual Assault

3 More Women Just Accused Bill Cosby of Sexual Assault

By Nate Jones

The sexual assault allegations against Bill Cosby just keep coming, as three more women have added their names to the growing list of Cosby's alleged victims. All three say the comedian manipulated them into being alone with him, and then spiked their drinks.

Kristina Ruehli was a secretary at a Los Angeles talent agency in 1965 who accepted an invitation to a party at Cosby's house. She remembers arriving at the house to find no party in progress — just Cosby. He fixed her two bourbons, which knocked her out. "He must have slipped something into my drink," she tells Philadelphia magazine. "It's the only way to go lights-out like that." Ruehli says she woke up in a bedroom to find Cosby forcing her into performing oral sex. Once she was lucid, she says, she was able to push him away and run to a bathroom. She never saw him again.

Renita Chaney Hill was a teen actress on Cosby's Picture Pages in the early '80s. She says the comedian would often invite her to stay with him in his hotel rooms, then give her a drink. Eventually she realized she was being drugged. "I always thought it was odd that after I had this drink I would end up in my bed the next morning and I wouldn't remember anything," Hill tells CBS Pittsburgh. She says she's not sure if she was raped, but knows Cosby did something to her: "One time, I remember just before I passed out, I remember him kissing and touching me and I remember the taste of his cigar on his breath, and I didn't like it."

Model Angela Leslie contends that Cosby assaulted her in 1992 in his Las Vegas hotel room. Leslie tells the Daily News that Cosby poured her a drink — which she did not drink — told her to act "intoxicated," then got naked and forced her to masturbate him. "With his hand on top of mine, he had me massage his penis ... I wasn’t pulling back. I was in shock."

Ruehli was one of 13 anonymous women who agreed to testify against Cosby in Andrea Constand's 2005 lawsuit, while Hill says she was inspired to come forward after Cosby's lawyer trashed earlier accusers.

 
What Lonely People Seek from Facebook

What Lonely People Seek from Facebook

By Susan Krauss Whitbourne, Ph.D.

Critics of social media argue that people who spend time on Facebook become social introverts due to their reliance on virtual rather than face-to-face interactions. However, a closer look at the research reveals that loneliness is the cause, not the result, of heavy Facebook use.

 
How Bill Cosby Allegedly Silenced His Accusers

How Bill Cosby Allegedly Silenced His Accusers Through A Tabloid Smear Campaign

Andrea Costand’s complaint and civil case against Cosby in 2005 and 2006 alleges the comedian had an accuser’s sexual assault story killed in exchange for an exclusive interview.

Thus far, 18 women have alleged that Bill Cosby, the former puddin’ pop lovin’ patriarch on the revered sitcom The Cosby Show, sexually assaulted them between 1967 and 2004. Renewed interest in the case(s) was sparked last month, when stand-up comedian Hannibal Buress accused Cosby of being “a rapist” in a charged rant during his Philadelphia comedy set.

One of the most vocal of the alleged sexual assault victims is Andrea Constand, then 31, who claimed that Cosby drugged and sexually assaulted her at his Pennsylvania mansion in 2004. Constand, a Canadian, reported the incident to the Durham, Ontario, police department, but no criminal charges were field against Cosby. The comedian did, however, settle a civil suit filed by Constand out of court that sought compensation for “mental anguish,” “post-traumatic stress disorder,” and the “loss of enjoyment of life’s pleasures.”

Constand’s complaint, filed February 1, 2006, makes an interesting allegation: That Cosby granted an exclusive interview to The National Enquirer in 2005 in exchange for the publication killing a story they were planning on running of another woman coming out with her story of a sexual assault by Cosby.

According to the 2006 complaint filed by Constand against The National Enquirer and Cosby’s attorney, the inimitable Marty Singer, on February 21, 2005, Cosby deigned to grant an exclusive interview to The National Enquirer “knowing it would injure Plaintiff, and to deprive her of her good name, credit and reputation.” In said interview, Cosby allegedly conveyed “either directly or by implication” that Constand “asked Cosby for money” before going to the police, which in Cosby’s eyes, represented a “classic shakedown” attempt. Constand claimed that the accusation was patently false, and demanded $150,000 in damages from the tabloid and attorney.

“I’m not saying that what I did was wrong, but I apologize to my loving wife, who has stood by my side for all these years,” Cosby told The Enquirer. “Sometimes you try to help people and it backfires. People can soil you by taking advantage… I am not going to give in to people who try to exploit me because of my celebrity status."

 
Living With Cancer: Gravy Days

Living With Cancer: Gravy Days

By Susan Gubar

When I was diagnosed in November 2008, I began counting forward, assuming I would die by November 2013, at the latest. Prognosis for late-stage ovarian cancer is three to five years, even with state-of-the-art treatment. November, which happens to be the month of my birthday, became a memento mori: an annual observance of my projected end. A statistical approximation, the prognosis tolled in my ears like a death sentence.

Years after their diagnosis, many people observe their cancer-versaries: the annual recurrence of the date on which they learned the type and stage of their disease along with an estimate of how long they would likely live with treatment. It’s understandable to want to mark the moment, since this information can arrive like a thudding blow, a lightning bolt, a tornado, a crack opening in the earth beneath one’s feet. Or it can come as an icy chill, the blank numbness of disbelief since— not-knowing may seem preferable to believing and comprehending that life will never be the same as it was before. Or, oddly, it can arrive, as it did for me, with relief at finally comprehending what is wrong, followed by trepidation about what to do about it.

In any case, the shocking impact of a cancer diagnosis needs to be remembered. The date becomes a threshold: one door closes; another swings open. We wander between two worlds, one extinct and the other frightfully unpredictable. Because cancer undoubtedly existed in the body before its detection, the diagnosis date always feels belated and faintly fictive; however, it marks a disruptive discontinuity in consciousness. Its anniversary commemorates an end and a beginning — in this case a traumatic beginning.

I figured that my longevity would land squarely within the range of the projected statistical odds, unlike Stephen Jay Gould. In his 1985 landmark essay “The Median Isn’t the Message,” Mr. Gould described his response to a diagnosis of abdominal mesothelioma, an incurable disease “with a median mortality of only eight months after discovery.” An evolutionary biologist, he set out to use his knowledge of statistics to counter the widespread anxiety of cancer patients about their chances of surviving. He based his redefinition of what the median means on an assumption shared by evolutionary biologists, namely “that variation itself is nature’s only irreducible essence.”

The median isn’t the message because the variation is; it trumps the median in significance. Mr. Gould placed himself amid the variations, in part because his disease had been detected at a relatively early stage, and noted that graphs of the distribution of variations were “right-skewed.” The right-skewed long tail extended out for years beyond the eight-month median. “I saw no reason why I shouldn’t be in that small tail, and I breathed a very long sigh of relief.” Happily, he turned out to be right and lived for 17 years after the publication of his essay.

 
How Darren Wilson became a ghost

Tensions remain high in Ferguson, Mo. (Jahi Chikwendiu/Post)

How Darren Wilson became a ghost

Chico Harlan

In the months since he fatally shot unarmed teen Michael Brown, the Ferguson, Mo., police officer has been someone that almost everybody has an opinion on and almost nobody has seen.

One morning late last month, a St. Louis courtroom filled up with prosecutors, lawyers and press who wondered if they’d catch a glimpse of a vanished man.

The man, police officer Darren Wilson, hadn’t been seen in public since Aug. 9, when he shot and killed an unarmed black teenager and found himself in a wave of national fury. But here, at this unrelated preliminary hearing, Wilson had incentive to appear. He’d been asked to to provide testimony against an alleged low-level drug dealer — somebody he’d wrestled to the ground and handcuffed 20 months earlier, in an arrest that won him a Ferguson city commendation. Now Wilson just had to recount the story to a judge.

The courtroom players took their places for just one in a series of rapid-fire hearings. A few minutes passed. The judge called the defense attorney and prosecutor into whispering range, and soon it became clear: Wilson wasn’t going to show, his absence emblematic of a remarkable period in which the central character of an explosive national story has gone totally dark. Judge Mary Schroeder then dismissed the drug case for what she called a “failure to prosecute.”

“The defendant and I, we walked out the door, said, ‘Thank you, Jesus,’ and shook hands,” said Nick Zotos, attorney for the defendant, Christopher Brooks. “You could not make that case without [Wilson].”

For 3 1/2 months, Wilson has been the officer that almost everybody has an opinion on and almost nobody knows. With a grand jury set to determine as soon as this weekend whether the shooting was justified, the 28-year-old white officer hasn’t given a public account of what transpired before Michael Brown’s death. Neither have his attorneys. Both his lead attorneys have ignored multiple requests for comment.

Experts and lawyers familiar with other racially charged cases emphasize that Wilson has no obligation to speak publicly — and even doing so might not change many opinions after the volatile protests that followed Brown’s death. What makes Wilson’s case notable, they said, is the completeness of the information void: Wilson left no traces on social media. His police chief says they haven’t spoken since the aftermath of the shooting. Even at pro-Wilson rallies, most who show up say they’re simply showing support for police officers and due process. Nobody in Wilson’s far-flung family has spoken on his behalf.

“If anything is going to be said, it will come straight from him,” said Wilson’s sister, Kara Sosko.

Wilson is believed to be in police protection, having left his suburban ranch-style brick home, where the blinds are drawn and leaves collect in the front yard. He is on paid leave, but Ferguson Police Chief Thomas Jackson said this week that Wilson is unlikely to return to the job, regardless of whether he is indicted.

CNN has reported that Wilson may be negotiating his resignation.

It’s unclear to what extent Wilson’s safety would be in jeopardy if he appeared in public, but one longtime acquaintance, speaking on the condition of anonymity, rattled off a series of online threats put out against the officer, including a$5,000 bounty posted on Twitter by a self-described urban militia group. The acquaintance said Wilson faced such backlash that there seemed to be little public desire to hear about other key aspects of his life: why he became a policeman, how he interacted with black people, what he’s been thinking about since the shooting.

 
Bureaucratic nightmare?

Immigration Services officer Doug Kranz speaks with an Israeli immigrant before a naturalization ceremony. | Getty

Bureaucratic nightmare?

The troubled immigration system braces for the onslaught of 5 million applications.

President Barack Obama has gone and said it, but can he actually do it?

The political debate over Obama’s unilateral immigration actions is obscuring the more basic question of whether the federal government is actually up to the task of handling a flood of applications from as many as 5 million undocumented immigrants seeking quasi-legal status.

Among the potential problems: the agency that handles immigration paperwork may have to double its capacity for applications very quickly; critics say the potential for fraud increases with a high volume of immigrants in a short amount of time; the wait time for all kinds of immigration approvals could dramatically increase.

Administration officials are acutely aware of the dangers posed by failing to carry through on the promises Obama outlined in his speeches Thursday and Friday. Throughout the process of planning for the new immigration moves, White House aides and other officials have been intent on avoiding the kind of logistical and practical execution problems that made the roll-out of Healthcare.gov such a debacle.

The new immigration effort is a similar high-wire act that needs to be carried out without legislative or financial help from Congress. And it involves two agencies with checkered reputations among immigrant rights advocates: U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services and Immigration and Customs Enforcement. USCIS will have up to six months to get ready to accept applications, but will be pressured to process those requests quickly and could be tempted to cut corners.

 
The End of China’s Economic Miracle?

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The End of China’s Economic Miracle?

Essay: Debt and corruption are hobbling the Asian giant, Bob Davis writes.

On a trip to China in 2009, I climbed to the top of a 13-story pagoda in the industrial hub of Changzhou, not far from Shanghai, and scanned the surroundings. Construction cranes stretched across the smoggy horizon, which looked yellow in the sun. My son Daniel, who was teaching English at a local university, told me, “Yellow is the color of development.”

During my time in Beijing as a Journal reporter covering China’s economy, starting in 2011, China became the world’s No. 1 trader, surpassing the U.S., and the world’s No. 2 economy, topping Japan. Economists say it is just a matter of time until China’s GDP becomes the world’s largest.

This period also has seen China’s Communist Party name a powerful new general secretary, Xi Jinping , who pronounced himself a reformer, issued a 60-point plan to remake China’s economy and launched a campaign to cleanse the party of corruption. The purge, his admirers told me, would frighten bureaucrats, local politicians and executives of state-owned mega companies—the Holy Trinity of vested interests—into supporting Mr. Xi’s changes.

So why, on leaving China at the end of a nearly four-year assignment, am I pessimistic about the country’s economic future? When I arrived, China’s GDP was growing at nearly 10% a year, as it had been for almost 30 years—a feat unmatched in modern economic history. But growth is now decelerating toward 7%. Western business people and international economists in China warn that the government’s GDP statistics are accurate only as an indication of direction, and the direction of the Chinese economy is plainly downward. The big questions are how far and how fast.

My own reporting suggests that we are witnessing the end of the Chinese economic miracle. We are seeing just how much of China’s success depended on a debt-powered housing bubble and corruption-laced spending. The construction crane isn’t necessarily a symbol of economic vitality; it can also be a symbol of an economy run amok.

Most of the Chinese cities I visited are ringed by vast, empty apartment complexes whose outlines are visible at night only by the blinking lights on their top floors. I was particularly aware of this on trips to the so-called third- and fourth-tier cities—the 200 or so cities with populations ranging from 500,000 to several million, which Westerners rarely visit but which account for 70% of China’s residential property sales.

From my hotel window in the northeastern Chinese city of Yingkou, for example, I could see empty apartment buildings stretching for miles, with just a handful of cars driving by. It made me think of the aftermath of a neutron-bomb detonation—the structures left standing but no people in sight.

The situation has become so bad in Handan, a steel center about 300 miles south of Beijing, that a middle-aged investor, fearing that a local developer wouldn’t be able to make his promised interest payments, threatened to commit suicide in dramatic fashion last summer. After hearing similar stories of desperation, city officials reminded residents that it is illegal to jump off the tops of buildings, local investors said. Handan officials didn’t respond to requests for comment.

For the past 20 years, real estate has been a major driver of Chinese economic growth. In the late 1990s, the party finally allowed urban Chinese to own their own homes, and the economy soared. People poured their life savings into real estate. Related industries like steel, glass and home electronics grew until real estate accounted for one-fourth of China’s GDP, maybe more.

Debt paid for the boom, including borrowing by governments, developers and all manner of industries. This summer, the International Monetary Fund noted that over the past 50 years, only four countries have experienced as rapid a buildup of debt as China during the past five years. All four—Brazil, Ireland, Spain and Sweden—faced banking crises within three years of their supercharged credit growth.

China followed Japan and South Korea in using exports to pull itself out of poverty. But China’s immense scale has now become a limitation. As the world’s largest exporter, how much more growth can it count on from trade with the U.S. and especially Europe? Shift the economy toward innovation? That is the mantra of every advanced economy, but China’s rivals have a big advantage: Their societies encourage free thought and idiosyncratic beliefs.

 
Automation Makes Us Dumb

Computers are taking over the kinds of knowledge work long considered the preserve of well-educated, well-trained professionals.

Automation Makes Us Dumb

Human intelligence is withering as computers do more, but there’s a solution.

 
Half of Americans Think Climate Change Is a Sign of the Apocalypse

Half of Americans Think Climate Change Is a Sign of the Apocalypse

What a new report on theology and global warming means for public policy

By Emma Green

Snowmageddon, snowpocalypse, snowzilla, just snow. Superstorm Sandy, receding shorelines, and more. Hurricanes Isaac, Ivan, and Irene, with cousins Rammasun, Bopha, and Haiyan.

The parade of geological changes and extreme weather events around the world since 2011 has been stunning. Perhaps that's part of why, as the Public Religion Research Institute reported on Friday, "The number of Americans who believe
that natural disasters are evidence of the apocalypse has increased somewhat over the past couple years."

As of 2014, it's estimated that nearly half of Americans—49 percent—say natural disasters are a sign of "the end times," as described in the Bible. That's up from an estimated 44 percent in 2011.

This belief is more prevalent in some religious communities than others. White evangelical Protestants, for example, are more likely than any other group to believe that natural disasters are a sign of the end times, and they're least likely to assign some of the blame to climate change (participants were allowed to select both options if they wanted). Black Protestants were close behind white evangelicals in terms of apprehending the apocalypse, but they were also the group most likely to believe in climate change, too. Predictably, the religiously unaffiliated were the least likely to believe superstorms are apocalyptic—but even so, a third of that group said they see signs of the end times in the weather.

 
Why We Can’t Quit Calling Presidents ‘Kings’

Why We Can’t Quit Calling Presidents ‘Kings’

Tearing up the Constitution? Certainly sounds like something people would accuse a king of doing.

Here they come, those accusations. The president thinks hes a king.

With a stroke of a pen, by signing an executive action on immigration reform, the president has done far more than give millions of immigrants a reason to sleep easier. He has given thousands of constitutional scholars a migraine, and dozens of Republican congressmen an excuse—summed up most succinctly, perhaps, by the obviously pre-scripted (but nonetheless well-delivered) line from Rep. Steve King of Iowa: “I fear what he has done is torn Article One out of the Constitution, put it into his own pocket and said ‘I’m now the legislative branch, too.’”

Tearing up the Constitution? Putting the rest of it in his pocket? Wow, certainly sounds like something a king would do, when he’s not busy slicing it up with Valyrian steel. A crowning achievement, to be sure.

The president himself invited this Game of Comparisons a year ago, when he was asked about executive action on immigration and he reminded the world, “The problem is that I’m the president of the United States. I’m not the emperor of the United States.” Hear that, Dreamers? Pushing through immigration reform is something he simply cannot do.

 
In Alabama Town, Obama Immigration Move Brings Hope and Sneers

In Alabama Town, Obama Immigration Move Brings Hope and Sneers

ALBERTVILLE, Ala. — Residents here have long grown accustomed to the bright flourish of Hispanic flavor that has come to define their otherwise traditional Southern downtown: The bustle of La Popular, the supermarket stocked with coconut and mango, across from the sober white steeple of the First Baptist Church. The restaurant called El Sol King Pollo, with its tripe tacos and menudo, across Main Street from the Paisley Patch Boutique, with its gingham backpacks and monogrammed gifts for children.

The wave of Latinos hit this small North Alabama town in the 1990s. Many were undocumented immigrants willing to kill and cut fowl on the lines of the region’s plentiful chicken plants.

Eventually Albertville, a city of 21,000, settled into its new reality, whether people liked it or not. And many have not.

“It’s been contentious at times, because it’s brought a lot of the unknown,” said Elizabeth Summers, managing editor of The Sand Mountain Reporter, a local paper. “And people don’t deal well with the unknown.”

Like those in cities and towns across the country, people in Albertville Friday were trying to make sense of what will change and what will not after President Obama announced his executive action extending protections from deportation to millions of undocumented immigrants.

For the group of early-bird regulars having breakfast at the local McDonald’s, the news was expected and unwelcome.

Joey Hartline, a local contractor, called Mr. Obama’s action an act of “domestic terrorism.”

“He needs to be arrested and tried for treason,” he said.

Others are already daring to hope. A few hours later at El Sol King Pollo — just before a lunch rush that would see the restaurant fill to capacity with white customers — Maria Garcia, a waitress, said that she hoped that Mr. Obama’s action would change her neighbors’ opinions about people like her.

“A lot of people don’t like us because we’re illegal,” said Ms. Garcia, 29. “But now we can emerge from the shadows, we can go into the streets without fear.”

White people, she said, often say that people like her do not pay taxes. No more.

“Now we will pay like any other person,” she said, adding: “It’s going to change this place a lot.”

The most important element of Mr. Obama’s action, announced Thursday night, will give temporary protection to immigrants like Ms. Garcia, who have lived in the country for five years, and whose children are United States citizens or lawful permanent residents (they must also prove that they have not committed serious crimes).

 ...............................

For the Latinos of Albertville, it marks a dramatic turnaround from 2011, when state legislators passed one of the nation’s toughest laws targeting illegal immigrants.

The goal, a sponsor said at the time, was to “make their lives difficult and they will deport themselves.” In Albertville, many Latino families vanished.

But the federal courts eventually rolled back many aspects of the law, and soon the immigrants were back, it seemed, in full force.

Those unable to lay low enough found themselves paying steep fines for driving without a license. Or worse.

“It has been the saddest thing for so many people who were here, and in every other way following the laws,” said Alejandro Silvestre, 36, a Guatemalan-born father of three and an owner of a strip-mall cellphone shop. “But they got grabbed and sent back to Guatemala or Mexico and their families stayed here. Sometimes their kids were raised by others. For me, thank God, that has never happened. But one is always thinking of that.”

Mr. Silvestre is among those who are hoping their lives will be transformed by Mr. Obama’s action. On Thursday evening, just before the president’s speech, he imagined the places in the United States he may soon visit without fear of being deported. “This is a great country,” he said, “but what does it matter if we are unable to travel and enjoy it?”

Other Hispanics were more skeptical. “Pura mentira” — pure lies, said José Perez, 37, a construction worker from Oaxaca, Mexico, on Thursday night. “It’s just going to be nice words. I doubt it’s going to change anything.”

.....................................

Terry Chandler, a retired insurance agent, was sitting in the McDonald’s Friday morning with Mr. Hartline and a group of white and mostly older men.

A number of them said they were proud and respectful of the immigrants who elected to go through the legal and time-tested process of naturalization. But Mr. Obama’s action, they said, felt like a cheat.

Mr. Chandler said that the undocumented immigrants had been stressing the local health and school systems here without paying their way. It pained him that they were now being rewarded.

“It’s wrong,” piped in Julian Campbell, 80. “What about the people who come here and done it right?”

Elsewhere, opposition to the order was more visceral.

“Well, hell yeah, a big majority of them’s dirty,” said Kyle Davis, a former state trooper, perched on a folding chair in an auto supply shop. He was asked what effect the action might have on Albertville.

“It’s not going to get any better,” he said. “That’s pretty simple.”

But others had a more complex view. “I’m mixed about it,” said Jeff Richards, 50, a project manager at Carmon Construction. Mr. Richards said that he had a good friend who was undocumented, and a hard worker. “I’d probably have him in a supervisory role if he were legal, but I can’t,” he said.

Mr. Richards did not know if his friend would be eligible to stay in the country under Mr. Obama’s plan. But he said he wondered whether there were enough jobs to support all of the immigrants who will now enter the legitimate job market.

It was one reason to worry. But Alvaro Jaramillo on Friday only wanted to talk about the reasons to hope.

A 50-year-old waiter from nearby Guntersville, Ala., he figures he will be covered under the new amnesty. Once he knows he is shielded from deportation, he said, he plans to apply for a small-business loan and open his own restaurant.

“People will see it will be good for the country,” he said. “This will allow us to enter normal life along with them. And the economy will grow.”

 
What Is Courage Made Of?

What Is Courage Made Of?

By Neel Burton, M.D.

The psychology and philosophy of courage.

It seems like an easy question, until, that is, we start to give it just a little bit of thought.

 
What Obama's Immigration Action Does

What Obama's Immigration Action Does

Who will be helped by the president's plan, and who will not?

By Russell Berman

The broad executive action on immigration that President Obama announced on Thursday night could shield nearly half of the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants now believed to be in the U.S. from deportation.

But the move is much bigger than that.

The president is also directing the government to fundamentally reshape its priorities for enforcing immigration laws by focusing more intensely on removing criminals rather than families, overhauling immigration courts, and making changes to the high-skilled visa system.

Under the plan, the bulk of the estimated 5 million people who could be protected from deportation would be parents of U.S. citizens or green card holders who have lived in the country for more than five years. According to an analysis by the Migration Policy Institute, as many as 3.7 million undocumented immigrants could fall into this category; beginning next spring, they could register with the government, undergo a background check, start paying taxes, and gain protected status for up to three years.

Another 290,000 immigrants who were brought to the U.S. illegally as children would also be newly protected under an expansion of Obama's original Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. The administration is eliminating the age cutoff for DACA, which had been open only to people under 31, and it is allowing immigrants to apply if they have lived in the U.S. since 2010, not 2007 as before. The changes will increase the number of people eligible for that program to about 1.5 million, according to MPI. The White House says another 1 million immigrants would be newly protected from deportation under the other reforms in the president's directive. The policy institute estimates that the total number of undocumented immigrants now in the U.S. is 11.4 million people.

 
Legal but Still Poor: The Economic Consequences of Amnesty

Legal but Still Poor: The Economic Consequences of Amnesty

Expanding amnesty to undocumented immigrants without creating new jobs is a recipe for keeping new Americans poor and dependent on social services.

With his questionably Constitutional move to protect America’s vast undocumented population, President Obama has provided at least five million immigrants, and likely many more, with new hope for the future. But at the same time, his economic policies, and those of the progressive wing of the Democratic Party, may guarantee that many of these newly legalized Americans will face huge obstacles trying to move up in a society creating too few opportunities already for its own citizens, much less millions of the largely ill-educated and unskilled newcomers.

Democratic Party operatives, and their media allies, no doubt see in the legalization move a step not only to address legitimate human needs, but their own political future. With the bulk of the country’s white population migrating rapidly to the GOP, arguably the best insurance for the Democrats is to accelerate the racial polarization of the electorate. It might be good politics but we need to ask: what is the fate awaiting these new, and prospective, Americans?

In previous waves of immigration, particularly during the early 20th Century, there were clear benefits for both newcomers and the economy. A nation rapidly industrializing needed labor, including the relatively unskilled, and, with the help of the New Deal and the growth of unions, many of these newcomers (including my own maternal grandparents) achieved a standard of living, which, if hardly affluent, was at least comfortable and moderately secure.

Demand for labor remained strong during the big immigrant wave of the 1980s until the Great Recession. The country was building houses at a rapid clip, which required a large amount of immigrant labor. Service industries, particularly before the onset of digital systems, such as ipads for ordering, that replace human staff in fast-food restaurants, tend to hotels and provide personal services, although often at low wages.

More recently, this wave of undocumented migration has diminished, as economic prospects, particularly for the low-skilled, have weakened. Yet the undocumented population remains upwards eleven million. Largely unskilled and undereducated, roughly half of adults 25 to 64 in this population have less than a high-school education compared to only 8 percent of the native born. Barely ten percent have any college, one third the national rate.

 
Russia, China plan war games, arms sales. Could alliance be in the cards?

Russia, China plan war games, arms sales. Could alliance be in the cards?

By Fred Weir

With Russia alienated by the West and China eager to buy high-end weaponry, a joint military pact – though still a long way off – looks increasingly seductive to both.

 Russia and China are planning to hold large-scale joint naval drills in the Mediterranean and Pacific next year, as deepening economic and political cooperation appear to be driving the two giants to at least discuss the idea of forming a military bloc.

Both countries are rapidly jacking up their military spending and modernizing their forces. China is set to spend an unprecedented $132 billion of defense this year. Meanwhile, Russia is in the midst of a sweeping five-year $700-billion rearmament program, and has lately begun restoring Soviet-era bomber patrols across much of the West's airspace. Russian officials say the upcoming naval drills are designed to demonstrate that Russian and Chinese fleets can operate together in bodies of water half a world apart.

It's still a far cry from the "NATO of the East" that some analysts have been predicting for years. But economic relations between them have taken a quantum leap, with two massive energy deals totaling almost $1 trillion signed in the past few months alone. As Russia digs in for what's beginning to look like a long-term standoff with the West, and China worries about protecting its back amid growing territorial disputes with US allies on its southern and eastern flanks, Russian officials are for the first time suggesting a permanent security alliance as a desirable goal.

Military cooperation between Russia and China has "visibly expanded and gained a systemic character" recently, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu told journalists during a visit to Beijing this week.  Both sides are increasingly concerned "over US attempts to strengthen its military and political clout in the Asia-Pacific region," he said. Hence, "we believe that the main goal of pooling our efforts is to shape a collective regional security system."

Should it ever be created, such a bloc would dominate the Eurasian landmass, with naval bases from the Baltic, to the Arctic, to the Pacific, to the South China Sea. A union between Russia's cutting-edge weaponry and China's vast population and industrial base might spawn an armed juggernaut that could eventually rival NATO.

 
Blake Griffin soars for monster one-handed alley oop slam

CP3 sets up Blake Griffin for one-handed alley oop

 
Rape allegations hurt Bill Cosby but sail past Bill Clinton

Recent rape allegations against actor-comedian Bill Cosby have affected his career.

Rape allegations hurt Bill Cosby but sail past Bill Clinton

By Joan Vennochi

Bill Cosby’s career as a beloved comedian is in shambles in the wake of decades-old accusations of rape and sexual assault. In the past week alone — as more and more women come forward with allegations — NBC has called off a proposed new Cosby comedy, Netflix has canceled a 77th Cosby birthday celebration, and the cable network TV Land has pulled reruns of “The Cosby Show.

Yet, amid this media uproar, Bill Clinton’s career as revered statesman soars.

Clinton — who has himself faced down a number of accusations of sexual assault and harassment over the past quarter-century — has spent the week courting an admiring press at the 10th anniversary celebration of his presidential library.

During festivities in Little Rock, Ark. last weekend, Clinton confided his bucket list to Politico’s Mike Allen. Among his wishes: “I would like to ride a horse across the Gobi Desert to the place where people think Genghis Khan is buried in Mongolia.” The former president also urged the current one not to act like a lame-duck even if he is one: “I never bought this whole lame-duck deal. I just didn’t. I think it’s a mind-set.”

The “taboo subject” in Little Rock, reported the Washington Post, was Hillary Clinton’s shadow campaign — not some musty, old sexual assault allegations against her husband.

Media hunts down Bill Cosby, celebrates Bill Clinton,”observed Breitbart.com, offering up thumbnail reminders of those now decades-old incidents involving the ex-president:

Juanita Broaddrick, a Clinton campaign volunteer from the early Arkansas days, accused Clinton in 1998 of raping her when he was attorney general. Clinton eventually settled a sexual harassment lawsuit filed in 1994 by Paula Jones, relating to incidents she said happened when he was governor of Arkansas and she was a low-level state employee. Kathleen Willey, a White House volunteer who worked on Clinton’s 1992 campaign, accused him of groping her in the White House in 1993.

Then, of course, there was Clinton’s affair with Monica Lewinsky. While consensual, the details showcased the huge power differential between a president and a White House intern, and the deniability Clinton believed it gave him. “I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky,” he famously declared.

Power — who has it, who doesn’t, and how it can for years insulate the holder of it — is the common thread between Cosby, Clinton, and their accusers. Asked why she didn’t go to police, one of Cosby’s accusers said she didn’t think anyone would take the word of a 19-year-old woman over a celebrity father figure like Cosby. As she put it, “Mr. America; Mr. Jello, as I called him.”

If Cosby is paying the price today for long-ago alleged transgressions, you can argue that Clinton paid a price for his at the height of his power; his political enemies made sure of that. Yet, as my colleague Jeff Jacoby has — along with other conservative commentators — pointed out over the years, liberals and feminists ardently defend Clinton, arguing that his public policies were more important than his personal principles. Meanwhile, the Clinton spin machine did its best to portray his accusers as “nuts or sluts,” employing the classic defense lawyer strategy against women who dare to hold men accountable for their actions.

Lewinsky, who has been trying to rehabilitate herself, is still a punch line. But Clinton needs no redemption. His favorability ratings are high, and according to national polling, he and George H.W. Bush are the most popular living ex-presidents. Unlike Obama, Democrats want Clinton on the campaign trail.

In fact, the former president is so well-regarded, it feels petty to even bring up those tawdry accusations from the past.

The right will argue it’s all about ideology. Liberals like Clinton get a break that conservatives do not. According to Breitbart.com, race also factors in. There is more sympathy for a white southerner like Clinton than a black comic like Cosby.

Maybe we expect more from a sitcom fantasy figure like Cosby’s Dr. Huxtable than we do from real-life politicians.

Or maybe, while Bill is off the hook, Hillary isn’t. The next two years will certainly tell us whether his long-ago activities are the shadow campaign issue for his wife.

 
No, Reagan Did Not Offer An Amnesty By Lawless Executive Order

No, Reagan Did Not Offer An Amnesty By Lawless Executive Order

No, Reagan Did Not Offer An Amnesty By Lawless Executive Order

By Gabriel Malor

Today is the big day, and the Progressive media is in full spin to mitigate the anger Americans are expressing about President Obama’s decision to offer legal status to millions of people who broke the law. That spin has taken many forms, including the novel arguments that the executive branch is empowered to act whenever the legislative branch declines and that the executive branch’s enforcement discretion includes the affirmative grant of benefits not otherwise authorized by law. Most recently, however, Progressive columnists have settled on an old favorite tactic: justify Democratic misbehavior by claiming (falsely, as you will see) that a Republican did it first.

Democrats across print, web, and cable media have been repeating the claim that Obama is doing nothing more than what Presidents Reagan and Bush 41 did first. They point to executive actions taken in 1987 and 1989 that deferred the removal of certain aliens. But, as usual for Progressive commentators, they elide the crucial facts that distinguish those actions from Obama’s. The sign that you’re being swindled isn’t so much what the con artist tells you, but what he does not tell you. What the Progressive commentariat is not telling you is that the Reagan and Bush immigration orders looked nothing like Obama’s creation of a new, open-ended form of immigration relief.

Legally, illegal immigration is dealt with in two steps. First, the Department of Homeland Security (in Reagan and Bush 41′s time, the Immigration and Naturalization Service, or INS) has to show that an alien is removable (deportable, in Reagan and Bush 41′s lingo) from the United States. Then the alien gets a chance to show that they are eligible for some form of relief from removal or deportation. Ordinarily, those forms of relief are created by Congress. There is asylum and adjustment and cancellation of removal, and so on and so forth, all set down in statute by Congress over the decades (more than a century in the case of certain waivers) in an overlapping mess of eligibilities and disqualifiers and discretionary decisions.

With some regularity, however, the existing forms of immigration relief have been overtaken by circumstances. When that has happened, Congress steps in. In 1986, faced with a large and growing population of illegal aliens, Congress created a new, time-limited form of immigration relief for certain aliens who, among other things, had to have come to the United States more than six years previously. This is the much ballyhooed Reagan amnesty. It was, unfortunately, riddled with fraud in its execution, the uncovering of which is still roiling the immigrant community. But even setting that aside it left President Reagan with a moral dilemma. Congress’ amnesty was large—just shy of 3 million people—and it had the unanticipated effect of splitting up freshly-legalized parents from their illegally-present minor children who did not qualify for relief.

So Reagan, seeing this family unity problem that Congress had not anticipated or addressed when it granted amnesty to millions of parents, issued an executive order to defer the removal of children of the people who had applied for immigration amnesty under Congress’ new law. He allowed those children to remain in the United States while their parents’ applications for amnesty were pending. A few years later, Bush 41 extended this bit of administrative grace to these same children plus certain spouses of the aliens who had actually been granted immigration amnesty under Congress’ new law.

Congress, though it had desired to grant amnesty, had not considered and not included the spouses and children. Importantly, nor had it excluded them. So Presidents Reagan and Bush 41 filled that statutory gap. “What do we do with spouses and children?” INS asked. “Well,” the executive branch leaders said, “defer their deportation. Decline to exercise your lawful authority for the particular cases that are related to those Congress has offered amnesty.”

These Reagan and Bush 41 executive actions were obviously different than what Obama is doing now. They were trying to implement a complicated amnesty that Congress had already passed. Congress’ action was a form of immigration relief that obviously fit within our constitutional system. Moreover, Congress left a gap when it came to immediate family members, including minor children, of individuals who qualified for the amnesty. Presidents Reagan and Bush 41 forbore from deporting people in that select group.

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Obama is clearly contravening both ordinary practice and the wishes of Congress—as expressed in statute—by declaring an amnesty himself. This is nothing like Reagan’s or Bush’s attempts to implement Congress’ amnesty

 
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