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The Steele Dossier and Misleading the FISA Court

One of the crucial questions that needs to be addressed after the release of the Nunes memo is to what extent was the highly misleading dossier used as a basis to secure a warrant to spy on Carter Page during the election? Former FBI director James Comey testifying before a congressional committee confirmed that the allegations contained in the dossier were salacious and unverified.

The issue with the release of the Nunes memo is to what extent did the FBI use the discredited dossier to obtain a warrant to spy on an American citizen and did they disclose to the FISA court that the document was paid for by the Clinton campaign with the express purpose to derail Trump’s candidacy. The idea the at the FBI met their obligations by characterizing the dossier as a “political document” does not rise to the level of required disclosure to make the statement made to the court not misleading.

When the Nunes memo was released, critics claimed that there was no evidence to support the contention that the court relied exclusively on the dossier; there may have been other sources of information used to support the request about which the public, currently is unaware.

The memo recently released by Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles Grassley answers some of the questions raised by the Nunes memo and goes even further with revelations that false information was fed to the Clinton campaign by the State Department through Sid Blumenthal as its intermediary. The Grassley/Graham memo is a far more damning document as is evidenced by the fact that Grassley has referred matters contained in the memo to the Justice Department for potential criminal prosecution. Additionally, the Grassley/Graham memo appears to answer the question how much did the FBI rely on the dossier as a basis for securing the warrant? The answer is a lot.

Even though questions remain unanswered concerning the FISA warrant, what is clear based on what we know is that the FBI either deliberately or unwittingly used a document they knew contained outright falsehoods to secure a warrant to spy on the Trump campaign. What is even more telling is the toxic mindset that infected the participants engaged in the surreptitious surveillance of an American citizen that was based on a document paid for by the opposing political party to subvert their opponent.

Victor Hanson interprets approaches the story of FBI and Obama Administration abuses of power from the perspective that these participants most likely believed that since Hillary would inevitably be the president, they earnestly believed that their derelictions of duty would not be punished, but rather rewarded by the Clinton Administration. How else does one explain the blatant disregard for the civil liberties of American citizens and that these civil rights should be shredded all in the name of insuring the election of one of the most corrupt politicians in history. Such machinations do not reflect well on those at the top of the FBI and it most assuredly does not portray Hillary Clinton in a flattering light.

Daniel Henniger of the Wall Street Journal seems to subscribe to Hanson’s theory of bureaucrats who expected no consequences for the abrogation of their solemn duties when he writes,

The Trump Panic of 2016-17 was the be­lief that the U.S. pres­i­dency had fallen into the hands of an un­ac­cept­able per­son—who had to be stopped, or re­sisted by any means. Henninger further notes, that because the Trump Panic suffused civil servants throughout Washington, ordinary protocols and professionalism went by the wayside.

Henniger concludes that, It explains a lot. It explains why the FBI agents would knowingly deceive the FISA court.

Be­cause of the Trump Panic, pro­fes­sional dis­ci­pline eroded. Ex­hibit A will al­ways be the Steele dossier. Spend 15 min­utes read­ing it, and you will rec­og­nize a text­book ex­am­ple of the Russ­ian Cold War art form of as­sem­bling pub­lished facts, decisions outside normal boundaries were considered justified.

It will be interesting to see if there is a special counsel appointed to examine the shocking and nefarious methods that an agency the American public has long revered, joined in a coordinated effort with others, including members of the former Obama Administration, to subvert constitutional safeguards for the express purpose of harming the Trump campaign and when that failed, to erode his presidency.

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Trump’s State of the Union Address

Last night, President Trump delivered one of the best and well received speeches of his brief political career. His tone during the duration of the state of the union was confident, assured and throughout, he used the unifying pronoun “we”, unlike the previous president who always spoke about matters of national importance in the first person. Although not explicitly stated, the message to Democrats was clear: the GOP won the election and it was Trump’s intention to implement those policy initiatives that he championed as a candidate.

Prior to the speech, liberal Democrats insisted that it was Trump, and Trump alone who was obligated to reach out to help bridge the partisan divide. This assertion is ludicrous. Why must it be Trump that bends, if only partially, to Democrats preferred policy positions?

If bringing the country together is the most pressing issue for these pundits, they should then answer the following question: is it not incumbent upon the party that lost the election to seek common ground? Do out-of-touch beltway commentators who argue the Trump-must-bring-the-country-together point strenuously recall the words of Barack Obama to House Minority Leader Paul Ryan during a “bipartisan” discussion on health care? “I won,” Obama curtly reminded Ryan.

Trump’s introduction of his guests in the gallery was masterful. Few in the chamber could have found reasons not to applaud the accomplishments of each of these courageous and selfless individuals.

For those who pleaded for a call to unity, Trump used our flag and the occasion of rising for the national anthem as two examples of symbolism that have always been viewed as indicative of our belief that we are, in the end, one nation.

The national anthem is one of the symbols whose purpose is to acknowledge and celebrate our unity. A national sporting event such as the Super Bowl offers a wonderful opportunity to do just that. Because of the context in which Trump’s state of the union comments about patriotism and unity were made, even though they may have knelt during the regular season, any player who refuses to stand for the national anthem at the Super Bowl is going to look small, petty and partisan.

And the Democrats? The Congressional Black Caucus couldn’t stand, or at least remain seated and applaud, at the news that Black Unemployment is at an all time low? Democrats disgraced themselves during the speech by pouting and refusing to applaud at unobjectionable and politically innocuous passages of the speech.

Trump’s comments on immigration were perfectly consistent with the policies he said he would implement when he was running for president. As a gesture of good faith, he offered the Democrats an enormous concession — amnesty for nearly two million Dreamers, up from the previous benchmark of approximately 700,000. Trump’s new proposal raised the ire of many conservative immigration restrictionists. What was the reaction of the Democrats when this issue was presented during the speech? More sitting on their hands.

Over the past several weeks, the Democrats extreme position on immigration has been revealed to voters. They have no longer made it a secret that illegal immigrants are now a necessary component of their coalition.

They recently demonstrated to the American people that they are willing to shut down the federal government on behalf of a small number of illegal immigrants. The line in the speech that “all Americans are Dreamers”, was inserted to remind voters of this fact. The Democratic Party continues to lurch leftward on this issue and will continue to do so until they fall off the cliff.

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Democrats Lose Shutdown Showdown

The shutdown strategy of the Democrats backfired when Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer after three days, caved to Republicans and received nothing in return for Democrats precious DREAMERS. Some progressive commentators, who followed the usual script that Democrats always win government shutdown battles, badly misread public sentiment on the issue and now have egg on their face.

Schumer read the polling data over the weekend and it was clear that the Democrats strategy of closing the government to protect a class of illegal immigrants who were granted privileged status through Obama’s unconstitutional executive order, wasn’t selling well with the American public. In short, despite all the bravado by Schumer, the Democrats were willing to hold up pay for military personnel in order to protect illegal aliens — a disastrous political miscalculation.

No doubt Schumer thought that with the media in their pocket on this issue, Republicans would be blamed and Mitch McConnell would cry “Uncle.” In the end, it was Schumer and the Democrats who were humiliated.

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It was laughable to hear retiring Senator Jeff Flake proclaim that his give-away-the-store DACA proposal was the only game in town. Although, Flake insisted that the Democrats were negotiating in good faith, he obviously was not on the same page as the president or the majority of GOP Senators who want to enact an immigration policy that benefits existing citizens, does not grant amnesty and ends the inexplicable policy of chain migration.

The “good faith” Democrats to whom Flake was referring offered Trump nothing. They wanted amnesty for those covered by DACA and in return they offered Trump nothing: no end to chain migration, no wall. Is this what Flake calls “good faith” negotiating?

As Paul Mirengoff at PowerLine notes,

The deal Graham helped write and then took to Trump lurched to the left in every significant particular. For example, it included litigation land mines for the border wall. It retained the Diversity Lottery under a different name. It provided work permits for the parents of the DACA population.

When he viewed this insulting proposal, understandably Trump expressed his strong disapproval.

It is beginning to look as if the Democrats have no interest in a DACA resolution. After his meeting with Trump, Senator Dick Durbin took Trump’s comments completely out of context by leaked to the press that Trump had used disparaging words to describe some countries that the United States accepts many immigrants randomly. As Mollie Hemingway in The Federalist observes,

The media weren’t interested in understanding the context of the remarks, just pushing the narrative that if you disparage certain countries you are obviously racist and all virtuous and well-meaning people in politics are disgusted by it.

What this entire episode reveals is that on the issue of immigration, there is still a wide gap within the Republican Party between establishment Republicans, like Graham, McCain and Flake, who favor amnesty in exchange for weak promises of border enforcement and the rank and file. Fortunately when Graham approached Trump with his DACA capitulation proposal, sensible conservative immigration advocates Senator Tom Cotton and Representative Bob Goodlatte were both present in the room.

What Republicans like Flake fail to understand is that the Democratic Party has abandoned the white working class in flyover country. Illegal immigrants are the new preferred constituency for the Democratic Party. This was made manifestly clear during their convention in 2016 when they paraded illegal immigrants on the stage as rock stars to wild cheers. Hillary’s infamous “deplorables” comments further underscored Democrats future political strategy.

As demonstrated by his willingness to play the role of useful idiot for the Democrats, there is a reason Flake is not running for reelection. His views on immigration are diametrically opposed to those of his constituents.

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The attorney for James Damore, the software engineer who was fired from Google for having the audacity to question some of the sacred tenets of political correctness, has filed a class action suit against the company.

From a legal perspective, there seems to be enough documentary evidence already disclosed that demonstrates the company not only discriminated against conservatives, but also supported an environment where those who didn’t subscribe to the diversity group-think so prevalent in the company, would have their careers ruined by other employees who found such views offensive.

Here is an email provided by Damore from a manager addressed to “hostile voices” indicative of the monolithic mindset at Google enforced by certain employees who act as commissars of political correctness:

I will never, ever hire/transfer you onto my team. Ever. I don’t care if you are perfect fit or technically excellent or whatever.

I will actively not work with you, even to the point where your team or product is impacted by this decision. I’ll communicate why to your manager if it comes up.

You’re being blacklisted by people at companies outside of Google. You might not have been aware of this, but people know, people talk. There are always social consequences.

What the email noted above indicates is that management encourages an environment where the retribution for those who deviate from the proscribed religion of diversity is swift and unforgiving. It is hard to see how intentionally shaming and ostracizing dissenters from the company’s catechism of diversity is any different than the Puritan practice of putting wayward sinners in the stockade for humiliation in the public square.

From a legal and public relations standpoint the case is explosive for Google and its attorneys undoubtedly will advise the company to settle the case quickly. Google will not want the lawsuit to progress to the discovery phase of litigation. Once more documents are produced, Google is going to be exposed as a monolithic swamp of political correctness run amok. As Megan McCardle notes,

… even if a court ultimately vindicates its corporate culture. The company’s internal systems, featuring an immense array of internal employee communications, will be ripped open to scrutiny. If I were a Google executive, I wouldn’t want to bet that employees haven’t said much worse things in emails and on message boards than those featured in the lawsuit. Things that are plainly, inarguably, expensively illegal.

Here’s the bad news for Google in terms of the prospects for settlement: Damore’s career already has probably been irreparably damaged. He may want to bring the case to trial in light of the immense damage public revelations and disclosures from the litigation would cause Google.

It is hard to imagine how management that is so rigid in its ideology can be sufficiently nimble or creative to foster the long term health of the company. The left-wing politically based group-think imposed on employees reflects poorly on those charged with implementing the company’s strategic mission. No business can thrive with a philosophy that encourages conformity and penalizes divergent views.

Any sane board of directors or institutional shareholders would realize that the inevitable ramifications of advancing this malignant practice as part of the corporate culture ultimately, will adversely impact the business operations of the company.

Senior managers first duty is to enhance shareholder value, not encourage or proselytize a politically motivated jihad of diversity and political correctness.

This lawsuit is not only going to bring a microscope to the destructive, oppressive and authoritarian working environment that exists at Google, but it also is going to bring a long overdue examination of the entire progressive philosophy of diversity and inclusion that is a fundamental underpinning of modern day liberalism and enshrined in the Democratic Party.

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In a remarkable incident on Thursday, Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer (Md.) blasted fellow Democrat Nancy Pelosi when she called him a “White Guy” while he was participating in the DACA immigration negotiations.

Here is how Pelosi described Hoyer and four other members of a bipartisan group involved in DACA discussions,

“The five white guys I call them, you know,” Pelosi said, referring to five bipartisan lawmakers, including Hoyer, leading efforts to salvage the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. All five of the lawmakers are white.

“Are they going to open a hamburger stand next or what?” she said, referring to the popular fast food restaurant “Five Guys.”

Hoyer pushed back against the remarks.

“That comment is offensive. I am committed to ensuring DREAMers are protected and I will welcome everyone to the table who wants to get this done,” he told Politico in a statement, using the nickname referring to recipients of the DACA program.

Unlike Republicans, Democrats rarely criticize each other in public, so this spat between two congressional leaders of the party is truly unusual.

Fro democrats, the test of whether an activity, pursuit or policy is noble, virtuous or just is judged y whether or not it advances the goals of “diversity” and “inclusion.” Since whites are not “of color”, there is no room for them in the Democrats “coalition of the ascendant.” This was made manifestly clear during the election and Hoyer was certainly aware of his party’s of the white working classes.

Academic leftists have been concocting and proselytizing social theories about the menacing nature of whiteness for the past several years. Indeed one law professor recently went so far as to claim that friendship with white people is impossible and to be avoided at all costs. Not one member of the Democratic Party criticized these remarks. In light of the acceptance of such intellectual drivel by the party, there is no rational reason why Hoyer, after all these years, would take umbrage now at being deprecated as a “white” man.

One would have thought this would have been accepted and acknowledged by Hoyer by virtue of his leadership opposition in the party. Pelosi was only expressing the views of the Democratic Party, which is why Hoyer’s reaction was so incongruous.

Hoyer’s unusual response raises a question: where has he been the past ten years? He is a little late coming to the party. It has now become de rigueur, accepted and encouraged within the Democratic Party as well as among liberal commentators to disparage and mock white men, solely for their “whiteness.”

Could Hoyer’s peculiar reaction signal that some Democrats are finally awaking from their dogmatic slumber and realizing the whole diversity and multicultural movements have gone too far and now have come back to devour its own?

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Can you imagine the faces of Kirsten Gillibrand and Kamala Harris after Oprah’s Golden Globe address and all the media hoopla about her presidential demeanor that followed immediately thereafter? They both probably needed to be resuscitated. After all the recent political grandstanding in which Harris and Gillibrand have engaged in anticipation for a 2020 run, it must have been disheartening to see their personal political aspirations, in an instant, vaporized by their own party’s TV star.

The Democratic Party no longer has a coherent or inspiring political philosophy that is rational or based on any moral principles. That’s because in the political sphere, today’s Democrats don’t think, they emote. As such, Oprah and today’s Democratic Party are a match made in heaven. Oprah would be the perfect vehicle for expressing the current intellectual shallowness of the party.

Since the Democratic Party is now indelibly wedded to Hollywood, it is only fitting that the party’s next nominee should be a stage magician who is adept at manipulating and channeling the emotions of the public. For a party whose philosophical foundation is now based entirely on a tribal-like obsession with racial and gender identity politics, Oprah is manna from heaven, a veritable double header: she is black and a woman. Too bad for her potential primary rivals. In the game of identity politics baseball, the teams haven’t even gathered in the stadium and Oprah already has hit a double. Although she has expressed no interest, should she decide to take the plunge, the Democratic presidential nomination would be hers for the asking.

I weep for you Kirsten. Don’t even think about it Uncle Joe. Sorry Kamala, even though you hit two key Democratic Party identity politics buttons, Oprah has upped the ante. She is a billionaire and a consummate media insider. Yes Senator Warren, after laughing at the reality TV star candidacy of Donald Trump, your party would have no compunction nominating its own entertainment mogul.

The irony here for prospective Democratic candidates is delicious. Live by the identity politics sword, die by the identity politics sword.

The Democratic 2020 primary is going to be high entertainment worthy of the big screen. Let’s call the upcoming movie, Gone With the Identity Politics Wind, starring Oprah Winfrey. Kirsten Gillibrand and Kamala Harris will have supporting roles, but there will be no doubt as to who the real star is.

My advice to those Democrats who would challenge Oprah if she decides to run? Bon Chance. Save your time and money, because you don’t stand a chance. Hollywood has already expressed its preference and since the entertainment capital is one of your party’s most important constituencies, you are already going to be swimming upstream before the contest even begins.

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Politico recently published another one of its puff-piece articles in their series of rising Democratic Party stars, who are, in the opinion of Politico, viable contenders for their party’s 2020 presidential nomination because they are all women. Why you might ask, are no men on the list? Because, according to Politico, 2020 is going to be the year of the woman (no Republican women need apply). The Democratic Party will then enjoy the, ” karmic justice of defeating Trump with shards from a glass ceiling.”  The latest in this identity politics prognostication, is a glowing hagiography of Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, by David Freedlander, that praises her past “leadership” on issues of sexual harassment in the workplace.

The first question raised by any article that contends Gillibrand is going to be a 21st century Joan of Arc against sexual harassment in the workplace is, where has she been for the past twenty years concerning the depravities and sexual misconduct of Bill Clinton? David Freedlander addresses those who questioned Gillibrand’s johnny-come-lately- newfound concern for moral turpitude among one of the icons of the Democratic Party and he then peremptorily dismisses the issue as if it were insignificant,

The answer is that Gillibarnd the blowback was immediate. “Over 20 yrs you took the Clintons endorsement, money and seat. Hypocrite,” wrote Philippe Reines, a longtime Clinton confidant, on Twitter. “Interesting strategy for 2020 primaries. Best of luck.”

The first half of the tweet was predictable, a Clinton loyalist biting back at a perceived threat to the family. But the second half was telling.

Does Freedlander believe that Gillibrand would be vulnerable or pay any political price for her double standard and hypocrisy? Hardly,

The world is paying attention to Gillibrand in a new way. At least since the day after Donald Trump’s inauguration, when Gillibrand thrilled the crowd at the Women’s March, jabbing the air with her finger and telling them, “This is the moment of the beginning of the revival of the women’s movement. This is the moment you will remember when women stood strong and stood firm and said never again. This is the moment that you are going to be heard!” The 51-year-old Gillibrand has come to represent a rising generation of Democratic leaders, one who came of age in an era when equality of the sexes was something almost taken for granted. And the buzz about her presidential ambitions has only grown.

For years, the issues that Gillibrand has made her name on—aid for 9/11 workers, ending “don’t ask don’t tell” in the military, transgender rights—were important but distinct, touching on segments of American life that most people never interact with. And now, at a moment when the cover has been ripped off toxic workplaces from Hollywood to Wall Street, Gillibrand is finding that the rest of the world has caught up with her crusades.

The problem for Gillibrand is that her cynical posture concerning Bill Clinton is so galling, that it will not be easily shed.

As I note in my book Election 2016: How Donald Trump and the Deplorables Won and Made Political History, it was Trump who deftly hoisted Hillary on her own war on women petard in the election and forced the Democrats and the media to have their reckoning with Bill Clinton,

The fatal flaw in Hillary’s war on women strategy was its tenuous assumption that somehow voters would be either too stupid, or simply too disinterested (perhaps due to her historic candidacy) to hold the Clintons to the same standards of conduct that she was attempting to apply exclusively to Trump.

The idea that Hillary could make Trump alone the object of obloquy when the subject was mistreatment of women was breathtakingly audacious and hypocritical. Only one assured that the media was in her pocket would dare to be so presumptuous.

Gillibrand’s position during the election was no different than Hillary’s,

The reality was that while occupying the highest office in the land, Hillary’s husband defiled the sanctity of the Oval Office by having sex with a 22 year old intern. Yet, here she was, without shame, earnestly pleading to voters that Trump should be disqualified from the presidency because he had made boorish comments captured on tape. Did Clinton truly believe voters were that stupid or forgetful?

Similarly, does Gillibrand seriously believe her party’s primary voters will not pierce her veil of insincerity and ultimately find her sudden change of heart was motivated by nothing other than naked political ambition? Any opponent of Gillibrand’s in the democratic primaries would be able to make mincemeat out of her rapid conversion after Hillary’s loss. Glowing praise from journalists such as Freedlander isn’t going to change this fact.

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Why isn’t Mitt Romney Tweeting about Al Franken?

If you want to know one of the reasons a reality TV star clobbered the establishment candidates in the Republican primaries, look no further than this quintessential useful idiot moment of former GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney. Yesterday, Romney sent out the following tweet:

Roy Moore in the US Senate would be a stain on the GOP and on the nation. Leigh Corfman and other victims are courageous heroes. No vote, no majority is worth losing our honor, our integrity.

The question on most every non-establishment republican’s mind is why isn’t Romney assailing the lecherous conduct of Democratic Senator Al Franken and Democratic Congressman John Conyers? It appears that Romney is content to save his harsh criticism only for members of his own party. Even if one can understand why he could never support Trump, many conservatives wonder, is it asking too much for Romney to assail the Democrats, when warranted, on occasion?

Why didn’t Romney ever address the disgraceful history of the media in conjunction with feminists and the entire Democratic Party when they dismissed outright serious allegations of misconduct, including rape, made against Bill Clinton? The reality was that while occupying the highest office in the land, Hillary’s husband defiled the sanctity of the Oval Office by having sex with a 22 year old intern. Yet, during the election, she shamelessly argued to voters that Trump should be disqualified from the presidency because he had made boorish comments captured on tape. Even though he found Trump beyond the pale, couldn’t Romney have at least levied a charge against Hillary’s galling hypocrisy during the election?

What does Romney hope to gain for the Republican Party by his long-term see no evil stance when it comes to criticizing members of the opposition? Romney an other never-trumpets of his ilk is clueless concerning the nature of the modern day Democratic Party and its political tactics.

Romney’s persistent silence in the face of deviant behavior of Democrats is deafening and is indicative of establishment republicans not equal to the task of opposing the 21st century Democratic Party.

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Sexual Predators Are Giving Men a Bad Name

Oh, Oh. Another man in the broadcast news business behaving very badly has been exposed. CBS dropped the hammer on long-time anchor and reporter Charlie Rose, after several women came forward alleging sexual harassment. Some of the details are rather revolting: A graduate of the Harvey Weinstein school of perversion, Rose was alleged to have paraded around naked, in front of work colleagues.

CBS had moved quickly Monday to suspend Rose, 75, after the Washington Post reported that day that eight women said they were subjected to inappropriate behavior while working with him. The story said Rose made unwanted sexual advances, appeared nude in their presence or groped them. His PBS talk show also was halted and there was no immediate update on the long-term status of the program.

Glenn Thrush of the New York Times and now the venerable Charlie Rose. Each new passing day seems to bring a torrent of accusations of sexual misconduct across the spectrum of professions and occupations. One theory of why rich and powerful men engage in despicable acts is that former president Bill Clinton and his Democratic supporters were responsible for defining deviancy down in terms of what constitutes moral turpitude and depravity. Perhaps some sexual predators reasoned If Clinton, as president of the United States, managed to get reelected after the Monica Lewinsky scandal and survived unscathed by the allegations of sexual assault by others including a very credible accusation of rape, why wouldn’t other men in positions of power think they could escape scrutiny?

Many of Clinton’s supporters, particularly prominent feminists, were prepared to look the other way because his position on abortion mirrored their own.This was the modus operandi for years of Harvey “Four C’s”* Weinstein.

What was one of the first comments Weinstein made immediately after his depredations were made public? He promised that after his stint in rehab, he was going to go after the NRA! As if his misconduct was to be excused or ignored, like Clinton’s, because he was a champion of policies favored by liberals.

In the meantime, miscreants who are being exposed daily are giving men a bad name. Perhaps one explanation for their deviant behavior is that evolution has seemingly passed these homo sapiens by. In their relations and interactions with female co-workers, many are behaving no better than Cro Magnon man.  Although this unfairly gives cave men a bad name.

*corpulent casting couch creep

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