Smart Ideas: How Not to Fight Sexual Harassment in Congress

A law enforcement officer walks by a crime scene Wednesday, a day after a driver mowed down people on a riverfront bike path near the World Trade Center in New York.
AP Photo/Mark Lennihan
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Nov. 2, 2017, 8 p.m.

Authorities jump to conclusions about lone wolves

Frederick W. Kagan, writing for the New York Post

Shortly after the terror attack in Manhattan, authorities announced that the attacker was a lone wolf and the attack was not part of a larger plot. This “is profoundly misleading.” Proving an attacker was part of a group can be easy—it’s much harder to prove he is not. If the attacker “conceals his connections, investigators initially find nothing” and “often erroneously say there were no connections.” Investigations to find connections takes weeks, “so, why do officials leap publicly to these conclusions?” One reason could be to calm fears of other attacks, which is understandable but dangerous. “Americans must change the way they understand the terrorist threat at home” because more people will be radicalized in the U.S. and conduct attacks from here. Though the attacks won’t be ordered or controlled by radical groups, they will be inspired by them. Rather than dismissing the attack as another lone wolf, let’s reevaluate our antiterrorism strategy.

Congressional Accountability Act is a misfire on sexual harassment

The Editors, writing for Los Angeles Times

The Congressional Accountability Act, meant to protect Hill employees and give them same rights as other workers in reporting sexual harassment, sets a bad example and raises the question whether Congress is even capable of improving the situation. The process itself for workers alleging harassment is broken: they “will have had to wait three months—at least—from the time of the incident before being allowed to lodge a formal complaint, all the while continuing to work in the same potentially hostile workplace.” This type of policy pushes those same people to look for new employment and is “at least partially to blame for allowing the culture of harassment to persist.”

Ivanka is more powerful than Melania

Deniz Cam, writing for Forbes

“Since its inception in 2004, this is the first time our annual directory of the women who matter most on the global stage does not include the wife of the U.S. president. It is also the only time a first daughter has found herself in the ranking: Ivanka Trump lands as the No. 19 Most Powerful Woman. … While it’s widely contested how much she has been able to tip her father’s policies to the left, she is one of the few women who are close to the highest office in the country.” Melania, on the other hand, “hasn’t completely stepped up to the challenge yet. The first lady trails powerful women who have trodden the White House like Laura Bush (who came on the list in 2004) and Michelle Obama (who came on in 2009). The expectations are high for the second immigrant first lady.”

Ivanka Trump, the daughter of President Trump, and first lady Melania Trump stand together before President Trump arrives to speak at Fort Myer in Arlington Va. on Aug. 21. AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster

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