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The only NCAA conference that will enter the new athletic year with both a New Year’s Six Six bowl game winner in football and a men’s basketball Final Four team concluded its annual meeting last week in Vail, Colo.

With her wild hair, peekaboo sweater and extraordinary claim that then-presidential candidate Joe Biden had sexually assaulted her, Tara Reade merited considerable skepticism. Any such accusation deserved a hearing, of course, but Reade was an obvious nutjob and Putin shill. Why did she have to be "believed" right off the bat?

Nonetheless, The New York Times opinion pages flogged this unlikely story to the point of imbecility — thus jeopardizing the candidacy of perhaps the only Democrat who could defeat Donald Trump in the 2020 election. The Times is not the only newspaper in America, but it was considered one of the more reliable sources back then. And it set much of the national conversation.

The writers repeated with utmost seriousness Reade's charge that "Biden pinned her against a wall, shoved his fingers up her skirt and digitally penetrated her." Biden completely denied the story. He was known at the time to affectionately nuzzle the backs of women's heads, but nothing in his long history suggested anything approaching violent behavior.

In a Times column titled, "Will Biden Play by the Rules?" Jennifer Senior wrote that, whatever the truth in this story, "It's going to be a fiery orange asterisk next to his name." After all, Reade's mother confirmed it.

In another Times essay, Elizabeth Bruenig cast some doubt on Reade's account but seemed to regard it as a reason to drop Biden as a presidential candidate. She speculated that "it will demoralize voters and place Mr. Biden at a disadvantage against Mr. Trump in the general election."

Left unsaid was that both Bruenig and her husband Matt Bruenig were prominent supporters of Bernie Sanders, then Biden's rival for the Democratic nomination. How interesting that the column's headline read "Democrats, It's Time to Consider a Plan B."

Another vertigo-inducing piece, by Linda Hirshman, was titled, "I believe Tara Reade. I'm Voting for Joe Biden Anyway."

A Times editorial called for opening Biden's then-closed Senate record for possible evidence of a sexual crime. Gobsmacked by that insane coverage, Biden asked the Senate secretary to do an extensive search for "any and all other documents in the records that relate to the allegation."

"This is a start," the editorial declared, "but it does not go far enough." Any serious inquiry had to include opening closed records from Biden's Senate career.

Then there was the piece by media writer Ben Smith, accusatorily titled "Why Won't TV News Book Tara Reade?"

Perhaps it was because her story was increasingly looking like 100% BS. Perhaps it was all the lies popping out of her biography. Perhaps it was her gushing over the magnificent virility of Vladimir Putin, his love of animals, his gentleness combined with strength.

It was no secret that Putin wanted the malleable Donald Trump as president. Biden was the strongest candidate to beat his boy.

The children at the left-wing site The Intercept were totally in the bag for Sanders. They thus found use for the Reade story and, who knows, may have actually believed it. Ryan Grim went to far as to call out The Times for treating questions about Reade's phony academic claims with inadequate sensitivity.

"The documents do make it clear" Grim wrote, "that the story Reade told of her graduation — that it was handled in a unique, private way due to her domestic violence-related legal name change — is consistent with the records in her file."

Fox News picked up on it all. Why wouldn't they?

Russian spy Maria Butina is now helping Reade obtain Russian citizenship. "When I got off the plane in Moscow," Reade said, "for the first time in a very long time I felt safe, and I felt heard, and I felt respected."


Follow Froma Harrop on Twitter @FromaHarrop. She can be reached at To find out more about Froma Harrop and read features by other Creators writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators webpage at


Last Updated: Wednesday, Jun 07, 2023 10:06:07 -0700

On paper, has there ever been a more qualified candidate for president than Mike Pence? Twelve years in the House of Representatives, four as governor of Indiana and four as vice president of the United States. No president in at least the last 30 years has come to office with that kind of resume.

Turkish President Recep Erdogan was just sworn in for a third term after 20 years in power. And apparently there’s nothing quite like an uncontested electoral victory guaranteeing another half-decade in power to rev up the backpedaling by the backstabbers.

After negotiating a deal with House Speaker Kevin McCarthy to avoid a catastrophic default on America’s debt, President Biden observed: “Now, this agreement represents a compromise, which means not everyone gets what they want. That’s the responsibility of governing.”

You have likely noticed numerous media advertisements and attorney solicitations involving Camp Lejeune’s contaminated drinking water that have blanketed eastern North Carolina. The issue behind these ads may affect you, your family, or someone you know and it is important to understand thei…


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Americans may not like political gridlock, but a new Associated Press analysis indicates that the closely divided Congress relatively accurately reflects the desires of voters. The AP used a statistical formula designed to detect political gerrymandering to analyze the outcome of the 2022 elections. The results show that Republicans won just one more seat than would have been expected based on the average share of the vote they received nationwide. That's essentially a political wash — and sharp contrast to the significant edge the GOP enjoyed the previous decade. The 2022 elections marked the first under new districts drawn based on the 2020 census.

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President Joe Biden signed an executive order aiming to bolster job opportunities for military and veteran spouses whose careers are often disrupted by their loved ones’ deployments. Biden used a visit to the recently renamed Fort Liberty in North Carolina to highlight the order. Less than 100 miles away at the state’s Republican Party convention on Friday evening,  GOP presidential contender, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, vowed to restore the former name of the base if voters elect him president. The president made no mention of renaming of the base that officially shed its former name Fort Bragg, which honored a Confederate general, last week.

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Former President Donald Trump is set to make his first public appearances since his federal indictment. He is speaking on Saturday to friendly Republican audiences in Georgia and North Carolina as he seeks to rally his supporters to his defense. Trump is expected to use state party conventions in the two states to amplify his assertions that he is the victim of a politically motivated prosecution by President Joe Biden’s Justice Department. His appearances will come a day after a 37-count felony indictment was unsealed accusing the president of willfully defying government demands to return documents he had taken and enlisting aides in his efforts to hide the records.

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More changes could be coming to voting districts in some states. The 2022 elections marked the first using new districts for Congress and state capitols that were drawn from updated census data. But they could be short-lived in some places. That's because court challenges could force some states to redraw districts again before the 2024 elections. The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday upheld a ruling that Alabama's congressional districts should be redrawn to enhance Black voting strength. That ruling also could lead to new House districts in Louisiana, and potentially Georgia. Some other places in line for new districts include New York, North Carolina and Ohio.

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Former North Carolina state Commerce Secretary Jim Fain has died at age 80. He was the state’s primary economic recruiter during Democratic Gov. Mike Easley’s eight years in office. Fain's son said Friday that his father died on Wednesday in Raleigh after a period of declining health. During his tenure he helped bring in companies from the pharmaceutical, financial services and aviation sectors to build in the state. Another Easley administration official credited Fain with helping create the state's chief financial incentives program still in use today, called the Job Development Investment Grant. A memorial service will be held next week.

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President Joe Biden has called the smoke from Canadian wildfires in the eastern U.S. “another stark reminder of the impacts of climate change” and has offered additional help to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Biden also has postponed a Pride Month celebration on the White House lawn set for Thursday night because of poor air quality in Washington. It will be held Saturday instead. It remains unclear when more than 12,000 Canadians displaced by the fires will be able to return home. There have been no reports of injuries or deaths, or damage to homes in Quebec, but no rain is expected until next week and temperatures are expected to rise.

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The Republican Party’s 2024 presidential field is all but set after a trio of new announcements this week. There are at least 10 high-profile Republican candidates officially seeking their party’s nomination. And with the announcement phase of the primary campaign largely over, several leading Republican contenders will gather in North Carolina this weekend to begin a more aggressive sorting period. It will be a long road to the GOP’s national convention in Milwaukee next summer and surprises are guaranteed. But as of now, most Republican White House hopefuls are looking up at former President Donald Trump, who is the undisputed front-runner in the crowded contest.

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Ben Crump has become a powerful figure in the movement seeking equality for Black Americans and justice for those killed by police. The Florida attorney has won multimillion-dollar settlements over the past decade for the families of Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd and Tyre Nichols. Veteran civil rights leader the Rev. Al Sharpton has called him “Black America’s Attorney General” because Crump takes cases others won’t touch. This week, he’s standing with the family of Ajike Owens, a Black woman fatally shot after going to the Ocala, Florida, apartment of her white neighbor. He called on the state attorney’s office to “zealously prosecute” the shooter.

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Former U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson has left chaos in his wake after quitting Parliament and accusing fellow lawmakers of ousting him in a “witch hunt.” Johnson unexpectedly stepped down as a lawmaker late Friday. He had faced suspension from Parliament for misleading lawmakers about rule-breaking government parties during the pandemic. Johnson insists he never deliberately lied over “partygate.” His departure left the Conservative government absorbing the shock of yet another Johnson earthquake. The committee investigating Johnson said he had had “impugned the integrity” of the House of Commons with his attack. Meanwhile, a band of loyal supporters insisted Britain’s divisive ex-leader could still make a comeback.

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Former President Donald Trump is set to campaign in Georgia and North Carolina, making his first public appearances since his federal indictment on 37 counts of mishandling classified documents. Friendly audiences are expected to welcome Trump at the two state party conventions Saturday afternoon and evening. A campaign official described Trump’s mood as “defiant” Friday after the indictment was unsealed. Trump publicly has insisted he committed no wrongdoing and is likely to repeat that theme during Saturday’s appearances. Trump remains the front-runner for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination.

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Pope Francis' surgeon says the pontiff is following doctors' advice and he will skip Sunday's customary public blessing to allow him to better heal after abdominal surgery. The surgeon says that blood and imaging tests indicate the pontiff's recovery is proceeding in an “absolutely normal” manner. The surgeon also told reporters on Saturday at the Gemelli Polyclinic in Rome that Francis for now has to avoid extra exertion following hernia repair. The operation on Wednesday on the 86-year-old pontiff also removed painful scarring from previous surgeries. Vatican spokesman Matteo Bruni said the pope would recite the traditional Sunday noon prayer privately in his hospital room.

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A Florida organization is helping veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder and other mental and physical ailments get back into the civilian world. The Boca Raton-based Grey Team has worked with more than 700 veterans since its founding seven years ago. The center uses a 90-day program of exercise and high-tech machines to help the veterans. Co-founder Cary Reichbach says the center is performing magic. Several of his clients agree, saying they feel better mentally and physically. One 81-year-old Vietnam vet has gone from a walker to a cane and hopes to jog 3 miles soon. Yet one expert in veterans health is skeptical of the program's selective participant pool and high-tech machines.

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French judges have handed preliminary charges of attempted murder to a man suspected of stabbing four young children and two adults in a French Alps park. The suspect is a 31-year-old Syrian refugee with permanent residency in Sweden who has a 3-year-old daughter. His name was not released. The lead prosecutor said he was presented to investigating judges in the Alps town of Annecy on Saturday and handed the charges. He is in custody pending further investigation. Witnesses said he mentioned his daughter, wife and Jesus Christ during the attack. The prosecutor says the victims are no longer in life-threatening condition after Thursday’s stabbing.

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Several soldiers have been overcome by the heat as they turned out in woolen tunics and bearskin hats to salute Prince William. At least three guardsmen fainted during the military parade known as the Colonel’s Review. More 1,400 soldiers were reviewed by the heir to the throne, who is honorary Colonel of the Welsh Guards. The temperature in London on Saturday was due to hit 30 Celsius (86 Fahrenheit). Afterwards William tweeted that the troops had done “a really good job” in difficult conditions. Saturday's event was a rehearsal for Trooping the Colour, an annual military parade held each June to mark the monarch’s official birthday. King Charles III will oversee the ceremony on June 17.

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Hundreds of German Protestants attended a church service in Bavaria that was generated almost entirely by artificial intelligence. The service was created by ChatGPT and Jonas Simmerlein, a theologian and philosopher from the University of Vienna. It was one of hundreds of events at the convention of Protestants in the Bavarian towns of Nuernberg and Fuerth, and it draw such an immense interest that people formed a long queue outside the building an hour before it began. The ChatGPT chatbot, personified by different avatars on a huge screen above the altar, led the more than 300 people through 40 minutes of prayer, music, sermons and blessings.