05 25 2016
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  • On Tuesday, a judge ordered the 78-year-old Cosby to stand trial on sexual assault charges 
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  • The judge concluded Officer Edward Nero played little role in the arrest and wasn't responsible for the failure by police to buckle Gray in  
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  • Bill Cosby faces a preliminary hearing Tuesday to determine if his criminal sex-assault case in suburban Philadelphia goes to trial.Prosecutors had declined to charge the comedian-actor over the 2005 complaint, but arrested him in December after his explosive deposition in the woman's lawsuit became public. In the testimony given in that deposition, Cosby is grilled about giving drugs and alcohol to women before sex; making secret payments to ex-lovers; and hosting Andrea Constand at his home. They knew each other through Temple University, where he was a trustee and she managed the women's basketball team. Bill Cosby's wife refused to answer dozens of questions during a combative deposition in a defamation lawsuit filed by seven women who say the comedian branded them liars after they accused him of sexually assaulting them, according to a transcript released Friday. Camille Cosby was subjected to intense questioning by the women's lawyer, who repeatedly pressed her to say whether she believes her husband "acted with a lack of integrity" during their 52-year marriage. The lawyer also asked if her husband used his position and power "to manipulate young women." Camille Cosby didn't answer those questions and many others after her lawyer cited marital privilege, the legal protection given to communications between spouses. She repeatedly said she had "no opinion" when pressed on whether she viewed her husband's behavior as dishonest and a violation of their marriage vows. About 50 women have publicly accused Bill Cosby of forcing unwanted sexual contact on them decades ago. Cosby has denied the allegations. He faces a criminal case in Pennsylvania, where prosecutors have charged him with sexually violating a former Temple University employee, Andrea Constand. He has pleaded not guilty. Camille Cosby answered questions in the deposition Feb. 22 and again April 19 after her lawyers argued unsuccessfully to stop it. A judge ruled she would have to give a deposition but said she could refuse to answer questions about private communications between her and her husband. Camille Cosby's lawyer, Monique Pressley, repeatedly cited that privilege and advised her not to answer many questions asked by the women's lawyer, Joseph Cammarata. The exchanges between Cammarata and Cosby became testy at times, and she admonished him: "Don't lecture me. Just keep going with the questions." Using a transcript of a deposition Bill Cosby gave in a civil lawsuit filed by Constand in 2005 and a transcript of an interview she gave to Oprah Winfrey in 2000, Cammarata asked Camille Cosby about extramarital affairs her husband had. "Were you aware of your husband setting up trusts for the benefit of women that he had a sexual relationship with?" Cammarata asked. She didn't answer after her lawyer cited marital privilege. Cammarata asked her about Shawn Thompson, a woman who said Bill Cosby fathered her daughter, Autumn Jackson, in the 1970s. Jackson was convicted in 1997 of attempting to extort money from Bill Cosby to prevent her from telling a tabloid she's his daughter. He acknowledged he had an affair with her mother and had given her money. "Was it a big deal when this came up in the 1970s that your husband had — big deal to you that your husband had an extramarital affair and potentially had a daughter from that extramarital affair?" Cammarata asked. "It was a big deal then, yes," Camille Cosby replied. She said she had "no opinion" on whether her husband's admission he obtained quaaludes to give to women with whom he wanted to have sex violated their marriage vows. Her lawyer objected and instructed her not to answer when Cammarata asked her if she ever suspected she had been given any type of drug to alter her state of consciousness when she had sex with her husband. A spokesman for the Cosbys declined to comment on her deposition. The Cosbys have a home in Shelburne Falls, an hour's drive from Springfield, where the lawsuit, seeking unspecified damages, was filed. An attorney handling a separate lawsuit against Bill Cosby revealed Friday that Playboy magazine founder Hugh Hefner provided sworn testimony Wednesday. In the sexual battery lawsuit filed in Los Angeles, Judy Huth says Cosby forced her to perform a sex act on him at the Playboy Mansion around 1974, when she was 15. Bill Cosby's former lawyers have accused Huth of attempting to extort him before filing the case and have tried unsuccessfully to have it dismissed. Huth's attorney, Gloria Allred, said Hefner's testimony will remain under seal for now. Hefner also was named as a defendant in a case filed Monday by former model Chloe Goins, who accuses Bill Cosby of drugging and sexually abusing her at the Playboy Mansion in 2008.   The Associated Press generally doesn't identify people who say they're victims of sexual abuse, but the women accusing Cosby have come forward to tell their stories.___AP Entertainment Writer Anthony McCartney contributed to this report from Los Angeles.
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Give conservatives credit: They have a loud echo chamber.  It usually begins with a lie or, at best, a clever distortion, and the rest of the right-wing crowd are immediately off to the races. The most recent example is the assertion that President Obama made the economy worse.

That point was advanced in a Wall Street Journal column by Peggy Noonan, a former speechwriter for Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush and, briefly, George W. Bush. She is the author of 10 books, including When Character was King: A Story of Ronald Reagan and The Case Against Hillary Clinton.

In her attempt to make a case against Obama, Noonan wrote in the June 3 Wall Street Journal:

"Two years ago I wrote of Clare Booth Luce's observation that all presidents have a sentence: 'He fought to hold the union together and end slavery.' 'He brought America through economic collapse and a world war.' You didn't have to be told it was Lincoln or FDR. I said that Mr. Obama didn't understand his sentence. But Republicans think they know it.  "Four words: He made it worse.  "Obama inherited collapse, deficits and debt. He inherited a broken political culture. These things weren't his fault. But through his decisions, he made them all worse."

Fox, the network that likes to blame all bad things on Obama all the time, was quick to amplify what is certain to be a GOP campaign theme in 2012.

Conservative columnist Charles Krauthammer said during a June 7 Fox News' Special Report with Bret Baier, "…And I think you can argue strongly that the Obama administration made it worse.  In the midterm election last year, the idea that Republicans ran on was that he's a left liberal.  What they're going to run on in 2012 is he's at failure.  He tried all of this stuff.  He promised us we'd get improvement, and it hasn't worked.  It was a huge Keynesian experiment, and it hasn't panned out."   

Bill O'Reilly, host of The O'Reilly Factor on Fox, argued Peggy Noonan's point against resident liberal Alan Colmes [June 7].



O"REILLY: … For you to sit there and say the Obama administration has not made it worse --



COLMES: They made it better.



O'REILLY: -- is for you to just ignore the statistics.



Clearly, Bill O'Reilly is the one ignoring the statistics.

The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO), in a report issued last month on the effectiveness of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, noted that President Obama's economic stimulus plan had helped local and state governments by raising federal matching funds under Medicaid and increased funding for transportation projects.

The stimulus program also provided tax relief for individuals and businesses, increased business write-offs and helped people in need by extending and expanding unemployment benefits as well as increasing benefits under the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly known as the Food Stamps program.

According to the CBO, the stimulus program had the following effects in the first quarter of 2011:

·         Raised real (inflation-adjusted) gross domestic product (GDP) between 1.1 percent and 3.1 percent

·         Lowered the unemployment rate between 0.6 percentage points and 1.8 percentage points

·         Increased the number of people employed between 1.2 million and 3.4 million

·         Increased the number of full-time equivalent jobs by 1.6 million to 4.6 million compared with what would have happened otherwise



The Center on Policy and Budget Priorities, an independent think tank in Washington, D.C., noted that economic activity as measured by inflation-adjusted gross domestic product (GDP) was contracting when the financial stabilization bill known as the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act were enacted. Since then, however, the economy has grown for seven straight quarters.

Media Matters, the watchdog group, observed: "Economists also agreed that the stimulus was effective.  A March 2010 study in the Wall Street Journal found that 70 percent of economists surveyed said the stimulus 'boosted growth and mitigated job losses.' ABC News reported on February 18, 2010, that most of the economists on its panel thought the economy 'would be worse today without the big aid package.' And a February 2010 survey of 203 members of the National Association for Business Economics (NABE) found that 'eighty-three percent believe that GDP is currently higher than it would have been without the 2009 stimulus package."

Those are the statistics that Bill O'Reilly chooses to ignore.

None of this campaign to blame Obama for everything wrong in America should be surprising.  It is part of a pattern by conservatives:  Make up an outrageous lie – such as the President was not born in the United States and is therefore unqualified to hold office – keep repeating that lie over and over until a large segment of ill-informed people believe it and even when the lie is proven to be a lie, continue claiming it is the truth while you make up yet another lie.

Perhaps we should send O'Reilly and the folks at Fox News the lyrics to Sunshine Anderson's 'Heard it all Before:' "Heard it all before. All of ya lies…But your lies ain't working now."



George E. Curry, former editor-in-chief of Emerge magazine and the NNPA News Service, is a keynote speaker, moderator, and media coach. 

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