Beverly Young Nelson, left, who has accused Alabama Republican Roy Moore of sexual misconduct, and her attorney Gloria Allred hold Nelson’s high school yearbook that Nelson claims was signed by Moore. Nelson now says she added notes to the inscription.
Beverly Young Nelson, who has accused Alabama GOP Senate nominee Roy Moore of sexual assaulting her decades ago when she was a teenager, admitted Friday to adding a notation to a high school yearbook inscription she claims Moore wrote in 1977. Moore, his allies and his attorney seized on the admission, pointing to it to argue that Nelson’s allegations of sexual misconduct against Moore are not true.
Nelson, one of several women who have accused Moore of sexual misconduct in recent weeks, alleged that Moore groped her and tried to force himself on her while in his car. At the time, Nelson said she was 16 and Moore was in his 30s. Her allegations against Moore were made alongside celebrity attorney Gloria Allred last month and she presented the yearbook inscription as proof she and Moore had known each other 40 years ago.
In an interview with ABC News Friday, Nelson reiterated that Moore signed the yearbook. The inscription says: “To a sweeter, more beautiful girl I could not say Merry Christmas. Christmas 1977. Love, Roy More, D.A. 12-22-77 Olde Hickory House.” Ole Hickory House was the restaurant Nelson worked at in Gadsden, Ala., where she said she met Moore in the 1970s.
“Beverly, he signed your yearbook,” Nelson was asked by ABC News’ Tom Llamas.
“He did sign it,” Nelson replied.
Llamas followed up with: “And you made some notes underneath.”
“Yes,” Nelson said.
ABC News did not ask Nelson specifically what notes she added.
Conservative media outlets and supporters of Moore quickly pounced on the admission as proof that Nelson was not being truthful.
Bryan Fischer, a host on the Christian-oriented American Family Radio tweeted:
— Bryan Fischer (@BryanJFischer) December 8, 2017
“Roy Moore accuser Beverly Young Nelson now admits she doctored the yearbook note. Ooops.”
Wayne Dupree, host of the Wayne Dupree Show tweeted: “Roy Moore Accuser Doctoring Yearbook Inscription This is one, Beverly Young Nelson won’t be able to take back. Will media report or overlook this one on Sunday talk shows??”
Roy Moore Accuser Admits Doctoring Yearbook Inscription
— 🎙Wayne Dupree (@WayneDupreeShow) December 8, 2017
Roy Moore himself tweeted Friday: “Now she herself admits to lying.”
Boyfriend at the time says she lied.
Employees of the restaurant say she lied.
Customers of the restaurant say she lied.
Her step son says she lied.
Now she herself admits to lying.
Let’s count how many national outlets will ignore the fact that she admits to lying. https://t.co/9D5OYCVORx
— Judge Roy Moore (@MooreSenate) December 8, 2017
During a press conference in Atlanta Friday afternoon, Nelson again appeared alongside Allred and doubled down on her accusations against Moore.
“I want everyone to know that I stand by my previous statement that Roy Moore sexually assaulted me,” Nelson said.
Allred said she retained forensic handwriting expert Arthur Anthony to examine the inscription by comparing Moore’s “known standard handwriting and signature to the entry in Beverly’s yearbook.”
She said her expert concluded the writing was prepared by Moore and called Anthony’s analysis “important evidence” that supports her client’s claims.
Allred added: “We did not ask the expert to examine the printing after the cursive writing and signature, because Beverly indicates that she added that to remind herself of who Roy Moore was and where and when Mr. Moore signed her yearbook.”
In a separate press conference late Friday afternoon in Montgomery, Ala., Moore’s attorney Phillip Jauregui referenced Nelson’s November 13 news conference where he said Allred and Nelson had said “everything written in that yearbook was written by Judge Moore.” He added: “Well, today it’s a different story, isn’t it?”
Jauregui said he has known Moore for more than 24 years and has never witnessed Moore acting “remotely inappropriate.”
“We hoped back then that when you have allegations that are 40 years old, that somehow, something can come out to prove that it’s not true. Well, guess what? It has,” Jauregui said.
Moore’s campaign has denied all of the sexual misconduct allegations, including Nelson’s. Moore also said the handwriting in Nelson’s yearbook was not his — adding that he was not the district attorney at the time, but the assistant district attorney.
Moore’s legal team has called on Allred and Nelson to release the yearbook so the signature in question could be independently examined.
Beverly Young Nelson, one of several accusers of Alabama Republican Roy Moore, shows her high school yearbook she alleges was signed by Moore at a news conference last month.
Moore is running against Democrat Doug Jones in a special Senate election to replace Attorney General Jeff Sessions; voters go to the polls in Alabama on Tuesday.
The seat was held on temporarily by appointed Sen. Luther Strange, who Moore defeated in a special GOP primary in September.
President Trump officially endorsed Moore on Monday and will attend a campaign rally Friday night in Pensacola, Fla., about 20 miles from the Alabama border.
Equipment at the Custom Group in Woburn, Mass., includes automated robotic cutting tools.
Republicans call their tax bill the Tax Cut and Jobs Act. But critics say maybe it should have been named the Tax Cut and Robots Act.
That’s because it doesn’t create new tax incentives that specifically encourage companies to hire workers and create jobs, some employers and economists say. But it does expand incentives for companies to buy robots and machines that replace workers.
Republicans say that lowering taxes will boost the economy and spur job creation. But critics say that the tax legislation would create an imbalance favoring machines over workers.
“I think they really need to re-look at the name [of the bill] and add the missing component of the worker,” says Carl Pasciuto, president of Custom Group, a high tech manufacturing company in Woburn, Mass.
Carl Pasciuto, president of the Custom Group, says he needs well-trained workers more than he needs equipment.
His factory floor is full of machines that look kind of like enclosed ski gondolas. Inside them, oil is being sprayed on blocks of metal as automated robotic cutting tools zip around shaping the aluminum or steel into precision parts for nuclear submarines, jet planes, and a range of other applications.
There are many more machines here than actual workers. And under the emerging tax bill (there are two versions — one in the House, one in the Senate), companies would have incentives to buy more.
For one thing, they could write the full value of the equipment off their taxes right away.
Pasciuto says he’s definitely OK with that. “Absolutely. We’re always happy to get any break we can get,” he says.
But Pasciuto says he needs well-trained workers more than he needs equipment. “The equipment is readily available. The workforce isn’t,” he says.
The Custom Group creates precision parts for nuclear submarines, jet planes, and a range of other applications.
Pasciuto says he has positions that he can’t fill because he can’t find skilled workers. So he’s sometimes forced to buy machines to do the work.
But he says he already has a training facility at his factory. Pasciuto says he and other employers would definitely take advantage of a tax incentive to train workers and it would create more jobs.
“I think that the federal government really needs to look at what they put in the bill and even it out from an equipment side to a training side as well,” Pasciuto says.
And some labor economists agree. Daron Acemoglu is an economist at MIT who researches automation and robots and their impact on the labor market. He says automation is often a good thing. It can increase productivity and be an important part of keeping the U.S. economy competitive.
But, he says, “the problem is when you subsidize heavily the adoption of machines instead of people.”
Then you’re putting your thumb on the scale against workers, Acemoglu says.
He says the Republican tax bills would do that. And here’s how. Suppose a business could buy a machine to replace three workers, but there’s no great cost savings. “That means that machine is not a great machine,” Acemoglu says. “It’s fine, but it’s marginal.”
So if the tax policy was neutral, the business probably wouldn’t buy the machine and it would keep the workers employed. But Acemoglu says even the current law favors machines, and the Republican tax bills tip the scales even more. So if you buy the machine, you’ll get “a huge handout from the government,” he says.
Students enrolled in a training program gather around a computer controlled metal forming machine at the Custom Group. Pasciuto, the company’s president, says he and other companies would take advantage of a tax incentive to train more workers.
Like Pasciuto, Acemoglu would like to see incentives for hiring and training.
“To balance the scales it would be good to encourage firms to invest in their workers,” Acemoglu says. Germany “has invested much more in robots than we have,” he says. But it’s done it in a way “that still has kept employment growing in the manufacturing sector.”
Acemoglu says building hiring and training incentives into the tax bill could have helped push the U.S. more in that direction.
Gavin Ekins, a research economist with the conservative leaning Tax Foundation, says it’s OK that the scales are tipped toward machines. “In the long run it’s better for the economy,” he says.
Ekins says some machines kill jobs, but others create jobs. If you buy a backhoe, for example, people have to build it and someone has to drive it. And he says incentives for training programs would be great to have down the road if Congress would design effective ones and pass them into law.
But he says there wasn’t time to devise good incentives for training workers in this legislation.
Ekins does agree with Acemoglu on one thing. The House version of the bill would drastically raise taxes on many graduate students and workers who get free tuition.
And he says in an economy that needs a better-skilled workforce, “taxing the benefit of getting a free education — this is something that really shouldn’t be taxed.”
Ekins hopes the Senate version wins out on that point.
Don Lowry’s con unfolded very slowly over two decades. When it was finally exposed, some of the victims defended the people who had been fooling them. They preferred to believe the lie.
Authenticity is a trait we all prize. We all want the real thing – whether that thing is a designer purse, or a loving relationship.
But the two stories you’ll hear today raise profound questions about authenticity and nature of human belief: If you believe something is real, if you can fall in love with someone or stand in awe of a painting, is it possible that it doesn’t actually matter whether the object of your affection is fake?
Later we’ll explore the art of forgery, with a tale of a painter who tricks the world’s greatest art experts into believing they are looking at masterpieces.
Hidden Brain is hosted by Shankar Vedantam and produced by Maggie Penman, Jennifer Schmidt, Rhaina Cohen, Parth Shah, and Renee Klahr. Our supervising producer is Tara Boyle. You can also follow us on Twitter @hiddenbrain, and listen for Hidden Brain stories each week on your local public radio station.
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U.S. goalkeeper Hope Solo during the quarterfinal match against Sweden at the 2016 Rio Olympics, the last match in which she played. Solo announced Thursday she is running for the U.S. Soccer presidency.
Evaristo Sa/AFP/Getty Images
Evaristo Sa/AFP/Getty Images
Hope Solo, the goalkeeper who was a key part of winning U.S. teams at the Olympics and World Cup, has announced her candidacy to be the next president of U.S. Soccer.
“What we have lost in America is belief in our system, in our coaches, in our talent pool, and in the governance of US Soccer,” Solo wrote in an extensive Facebook post on Thursday. “We now must refocus our goals and come together as a soccer community to bring about the changes we desire.”
Current U.S. Soccer President Sunil Gulati declared Monday that he would not seek re-election, flinging the race wide open.
In her post, Solo tells the story of her own decades-long experience in the U.S. soccer program, whose women’s national team has often been the best in the world while the men have made only intermittent progress.
“I was just a kid from a lower-middle class family in Richland, WA,” she writes. “My parents gave me a great life but they had no choice but to say ‘no’ time and time again to the outrageous expenses that we would incur with every team, every tournament, and every camp. I was the best player in the state, but I couldn’t afford gas money to drive across the mountains to play in tournaments, stay two nights in the hotel and eat out.”
The cost of youth soccer is often pointed to as one reason why the U.S. men’s team has not become an international power, despite the United States’ wealth, large population and success in other sports.
Solo laid out a platform of four core principles: creating a winning culture, equal pay and opportunities for women, addressing “pay to play” and lack of diversity in youth soccer, and bringing transparency to U.S. Soccer governance.
She is one of at least nine candidates. The first seven to declare were all men, including current Vice President Carlos Cordeiro and two former players who are now TV commentators, Kyle Martino and Eric Wynalda.
Solo is the second woman to throw her hat in the ring this week, after Kathy Carter announced her intention to run. Carter, a former NCAA goalkeeper, has been the president of Soccer United Marketing, which is both the marketing arm of Major League Soccer and holds the marketing rights for U.S. Soccer and the Mexican national team, The New York Times explains.
Candidates for the job must secure three nominations from members of the organization or its board. Solo’s spokesperson toldSports Illustrated that she had secured the necessary nominations ahead of Tuesday’s deadline to be an official candidate in the February election.
Solo is recovering from shoulder surgery and hasn’t announced her retirement, SI reports, but she hasn’t played in a game since the U.S. team’s loss to Sweden at the 2016 Rio Olympics. She called the Swedes “cowards” after the loss and was subsequently suspended from the team and had her national team contract terminated. She’s also had brushes with the law in recent years, including a domestic violence case from 2014 and an incident in which her husband was arrested on suspicion of DUI while driving a team van in which she was the passenger. He later pleaded no contest.
The race marks a watershed moment for U.S. Soccer. Gulati has been the head of the governing body for 12 years, overseeing a period of growth “in revenues, registrations, opportunities for women, governance and international stature,” according to ESPN.
But his tenure as president was upset when the men’s team lost to Trinidad and Tobago in October, which SI‘s Grant Wahl called “the most surreal and embarrassing night in US soccer history.” The loss means that the team failed to qualify for next summer’s World Cup.
“[T]he loss to Trinidad was painful, regrettable and led to a lot of strong emotions,” Gulati told ESPN. “And to be honest, I think at this point, that’s overshadowed a lot of other things that are important. So fair or not, I accept that and think it’s time for a new person.”
The outgoing president told ESPN on Monday that he had met with seven of those who have declared their candidacies.
“I think several of them would be in for a pretty big shock about what the job is — it’s not just about national teams,” Gulati said. “It’s about 4 million registered players, referees, medical safety, grass-roots stuff. It feels like that stuff gets ignored sometimes.”
House Speaker Paul Ryan administers the House oath of office to Rep. Blake Farenthold, R-Texas, during a mock ceremony in January. Farenthold reached a private 2015 settlement for $84,000 with his former communications director over sexual harassment allegations.
Jose Luis Magana/AP
Jose Luis Magana/AP
Party leaders played a pivotal role in forcing the resignations of three members of Congress within three days this week, and their work might not be done yet.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., were instrumental in the respective resignations of Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., and Rep. Trent Franks, R-Ariz. (Franks announced his resignation was effective Friday after he said his wife was admitted to the hospital.)
Two additional congressmen, one Republican and one Democrat, also face allegations of sexual harassment and growing calls to resign, but so far they are resisting those calls.
Rep. Blake Farenthold, R-Texas, reached a private 2015 settlement for $84,000 with his former communications director over sexual harassment allegations. Politicofirst reported on the details of the previously private settlement, including that it was paid for by taxpayers. Farenthold denies any wrongdoing, but announced this week that he would reimburse the Treasury out of pocket.
The House Ethics Committee announced late Thursday that it was reviving its inquiry into the allegations, citing more information that has been disclosed and a willingness from Farenthold and his former aide to participate in an investigation.
Only two of Farenthold’s colleagues, GOP Reps. Barbara Comstock of Virginia and Mia Love of Utah, have so far called for him to resign. The speaker has not called on Farenthold to go but the renewed ethics investigation could affect Republicans’ calculations.
Democratic leaders have been swift to condemn Rep. Ruben Kihuen, D-Nev., and call for his resignation of allegations first reported by BuzzFeed that he sexually harassed a woman who worked on his 2016 campaign and quit over his behavior. Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Ben Ray Lujan and Pelosi quickly called for him to resign over the allegations, but Kihuen is pushing back.
“I do find it interesting that the DCCC, Leader [Nancy] Pelosi and Chairman Ben Ray Lujan, they knew about these allegations last year,” Kihuen told ABC News. “They looked into them. They didn’t find anything, and they continued investing millions of dollars in my campaign. They went out there and campaigned for me.”
Pelosi and Lujan deny that they knew or that any investigation occurred.
There is no clear standard for forced resignations, and there are simmering frustrations among conservatives and liberals alike that lawmakers are being tossed overboard without any conclusive evidence to prove that what they did was wrong. It’s further complicated by the argument that some politicians have made — most notably with President Trump in the case of Alabama Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore — that ultimately the voters should get to decide their fates.
Capitol Hill has for years been intolerant to lawmakers accused of any kind of sexually charged bad behavior. Already this year, Pennsylvania Republican Rep. Tim Murphy, a social conservative, resigned over extramarital affairs and allegations that he wanted a mistress to have an abortion.
While the knee-jerk urge of Congress is to purge lawmakers over sexual impropriety, there is also a long history of lawmakers who have weathered the allegations, won re-election and left on their own terms.
For instance, Sen. David Vitter, R-La., admitted to using prostitutes in 2007. He refused to resign and won re-election three years later. He retired on his own terms in 2017. Tennessee Rep. Scott DesJarlais weathered allegations over extramarital affairs and pressuring a woman to have an abortion. He has won re-election three times.
Whether or not Farenthold and Kihuen can withstand growing pressure to bow out is an open question on Capitol Hill, and with no clear metric for when a lawmaker should resign, there is fresh pressures on party leaders to be the ones who set the standard.