Brett Kavanaugh Called John Yoo His “Magic Bullet”

And Bill Burck thinks American citizens should not know that fact before Kavanaugh gets a lifetime appointment.

143 replies
  1. Doctor My Eyes says:

    John Yoo should be in prison for crimes against humanity. If he were, the significance of this would be a lot more clear to a lot more people. Marjorie Cohn responding to the release of the 2014 Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Report:

    But the report gives OLC lawyers, including Deputy Assistant US Attorney General John Yoo (now a law professor at Berkeley) and Assistant Attorney General Jay Bybee (now a federal appellate court judge), free passes by failing to connect the dots leading to their criminal responsibility as war criminals.


    “The individuals responsible for the criminal conspiracy revealed in [the Senate] report must be brought to justice and must face criminal penalties commensurate with the gravity of their crimes,” according to Ben Emmerson, the UN Special Rapporteur on Counter Terrorism and Human Rights. And the UN’s CAT said the Obama administration has failed to investigate the commission of torture and punish those responsible, including “persons in positions of command and those who provided legal cover to torture.”

    Not looking back did not make the past magically disappear.

    Obama:  “Hopefully, we don’t do it again.”

      • Doctor My Eyes says:

        “Hopefully this won’t lead to the Russian mob controlling our country”, Obama might have said. I like Rayne’s word—occupied.

        I feel your anger, and I share it. Is Woo still at Berkeley, training young lawyers how to get away with shit. Like pretending torture can be legal. Quibbling how much organ failure weighs on the scale of right and wrong. It’s jus cogens, assholes, meaning any decent human instinctively knows in their heart that it’s wrong at its evil core.

      • Doctor My Eyes says:

        Seething here. Just imagine how damning that magic bullet quote would be were Yoo serving 10 to 20. Teeth grinding.

        • Rayne says:

          Calls to mind a short story I read once in Playboy mag, probably early 1980s; guy starts running into his former girlfriends in reverse chronological order and it leads to …her.

          Any time now we’re going to have Schlozman and Goodling pop up along with all manner of really ugly stuff we’ve buried. Gah. Although Yoo is pretty bad on his own.

        • bmaz says:

          Remember when we finally heard an interview with Schloz, and he sounded like he just walked off the Alvin and the Chipmunks set? Hilarious.

        • Rayne says:

          But still not hilarious enough to warrant production of a film or TV reenactment, thank gods. Or perhaps the public does need to see a movie about their rinky-dink corrupt practices, complete with Schlozmunk?

        • Desider says:

          Harlan Ellison – just died in June. Actually we only see the next to first girlfriend, which certifies that #1’s coming.
          I still like the tale of the somewhat pompous diminutive writer asking a bunny a the playmate house, “what’d you say to a little fuck?” To which she responds cheerfully, “Hello, little fuck!”

        • Rayne says:

          I read nearly everything Ellison wrote, don’t remember this one short being his. How odd. Now I wish I hadn’t loaned out my Ellison collection so I could track this down.

          Ellison became my best example of “all your favorites are problematic.” Loved his writing when I was young and naive but now that I know he was a misogynist asshole the bloom is off. Certainly made me look at A Boy and His Dog very differently. RIP sci-fi curmudgeon.

        • Desider says:

          Try that again – the *collection* is Shatterday, the story is “All the Birds Come Home to Roost”.
          Whether it holds up in 2018 is another question.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      No files Kyle, chief of staff to ‘Fredo, who resigned in a hurry over the BushCheney US Attorneys scandal.  He was also a former aide to hometown big shot Orrin Hatch and to John Ashcroft.  He left the DoJ with no consequences and landed a partnership at a cooperative law firm.

      • Doctor My Eyes says:

        How many a congressional subpoenas (subpoenae?) did those scofflaws ignore? We have not only to take Congress, we must insist they do what we sent them to do. Sunlight on the rot.

  2. punaise says:

    Our daughter just started at UC Berkeley Law. I’ll advise her to give a wide berth to “Professor Yu”, whose presence on the faculty is a stain on that great institution…

    • bmaz says:

      Punaise, that is outstanding! Erwin really does not do digital and online stuff, so he does not know bmaz or Emptywheel, even though he has given me quotes that were reproduced here several times. But he knows the guy behind bmaz, and Erwin is absolutely wonderful. Very approachable and friendly. Have your daughter introduce herself and chat Dean Chemerinsky up.

      • punaise says:

        “If it’s what you say, I love it, especially later in the summer.”

        (Sorry, couldn’t resist)

        Very kind, thx,. Offline suppose?

  3. orionATL says:

    d. kyle sampson, cited above in conversation with kavanaugh, is a mormon who began his political career in the office of senator orin hatch before moving on to the bush white house and working with white house counsel alberto gonzales before following gonzales to the doj. 

    sampson was a personnel guy. a specialist in picking party-loyal people for judicial or doj appointments. it was in that capacity that he was emailing kavanaugh about john yoo.
    it seems reasonable to view the trump administration supreme court appointments as being powered by a hidden dynamo of religious conservatism. this seems a taboo subject for public discussion.
    on the value of being able to see what religious conservatives in the bush white house and department of justice were doing back in 2001-2008, take a look at this LA Times article on the content of emails between the white house and the dept of justice regarding efforts by the white house and attorney general alberto gonzales’ chief of staff, d. kyle sampson (cited in the emails above), to fire eight u. s. attorneys and replace them with new attorneys highly loyal to the bush political agenda:

    “… WASHINGTON — Just weeks after President Bush was inaugurated for a second term in January 2005, his White House and the Justice Department had pretty much settled on a plan to “push out” some of the nation’s 93 U.S. attorneys.

    But which ones?

    D. Kyle Sampson, chief of staff to Atty. Gen. Alberto R. Gonzales, came up with a checklist. He rated each of the prosecutors with criteria that appeared to value political allegiance as much as job performance.
    He recommended retaining “strong U.S. attorneys who have … exhibited loyalty to the president and attorney general.” He suggested “removing weak U.S. attorneys who have … chafed against administration initiatives.”
    Those words are enshrined in some 150 pages of e-mails and other documents the White House turned over Tuesday to the Senate and House Judiciary committees. The panels are looking into allegations that the firings were motivated by political reasons rather than the prosecutors’ performance, as the Justice Department has said.

    The documents offer an extraordinary look at political tactics within the Bush administration, and show the White House working closely with the Justice Department to justify the firings. The administration even adopted contingency plans for how to “quiet” anyone who complained. And it was the administration that gave the final go-ahead to fire eight prosecutors, all of them Bush appointees.
    The documents show that in one case, officials were eager to free up the prosecutor’s slot in Little Rock, Ark., so it could be filled by Timothy Griffin, a GOP operative close to White House political advisor Karl Rove, at all costs.
    “We should gum this to death,” Sampson e-mailed Monica Goodling, the Justice Department’s liaison to the White House. He said officials should talk up Griffin’s appointment and try to “forestall” any criticism from Capitol Hill. Just “run out the clock” on any objections, he said… ”
    monica goodling is a law school graduate of regent’s university, a religious university in virgina beach founded by christian broadcast network impressarion pat robertson.

    it should always be assumed that any republican administration is acutely aware of the republican party’s political history and is consciously employing tactics from earlier administrations. knowing the party’s past, especially in the realm of political tactics and trickery, is knowing its present and future.

    • orionATL says:

      for comparison, don mcgahn in the trump white house occupies a position with similar power to decide on who gets appointed to the judiciary as that of sampson and kavanaugh in the bush white, though the ranks are not precisely equivalent.

    • orionATL says:

      this article may make clearer to doubting minds that religious conservatives, in the form of the federalist society, have seized great power in appointments to federal courts, most particularly supreme court justices.

      it should not be too long before we are living in a nation the private behaviors of whose citizens are cirumscribed by conservative judicial priests whose appointments were inveigled by the federalist society and its republican enablers.

    • Doctor My Eyes says:

      It all comes rushing back, like an ebb tide of turds. “How did you select those to be fired?” was the question congress asked. “Where are your emails and notes?”

      “Emails? Notes?” Gonzales replied. Why, just scribbles on a scrap of paper. Kept it in my desk drawer. I wrote a snark dkos diary on it. His answers were actually funny. I’ll have to look it up when I get home.

    • Doctor My Eyes says:

      Ha.  Here it is. 5 million emails, including the ones about the fired AG’s, were “lost” by Gonzales. I wrote this when 14 of the lost emails were “found”. I swear I thought it was funny at the time.  Hardly anyone noticed.  It summarizes the ridiculous claims Gonzalez made by recreating the situation in imagined emails.  The AG emails start a little farther down.  I hope folks don’t mind if I post this.  It’s actually a pretty good record of the time, despite the sarcastic format.

      Here’s one recreation of a likely email that wasn’t turned over in response to a congressional subpoena:

      Sampson to Gonzales:  Here is a list of 8 US Attorneys, all of whom are wonderful people, I compiled, mysteriously enough, with no input from anyone, including me, for the purpose of pleasing the president by asking them to resign.  I do remember not being aware of anything you have said to me concerning this enterprise.

      And the upshot of the non-process for determining who to fire:

      Gonzales to US Attorneys:  It has come to my attention, through no discernible process, and at the agency of no one, for reasons which are not clear at this time, that the pleasure of the president would be better served by your resigning.  Be sure to brief your replacement fully as to any ongoing investigations, with respect to which we have no interest, or even awareness, regardless of how much damage they may inflict on the Republican Party.  While you are all wonderful people, and have performed admirably, your performance has failed to meet certain standards which have mainly to do with the pleasure of the president, but also something about immigration and capital punishment.  We will be glad to explain our reasons more fully to you if there is a Congressional investigation.

  4. Rapier says:

    Yoo was a magic bullet because he was non white, Harvard,  and married to the famous Peter Arnett’s daughter.  In other words would pass through any confirmation swiftly. Well I guess I should add that he would slavishly produce rulings that the most powerful Republicans wanted.  With one can guess absolute certainty that he was independent, and right.

    Kavanaugh is not nearly as naive.

  5. GKJames says:

    As the Kavanaugh chapter of the national shit-show goes on, I keep hearing echos of 2016 claims by (enough) Democrats — Sanders voters, in particular — that “there’s no difference between Trump and Clinton”.

      • orionATL says:

        yes. shallow.

        yes. worried about how they would be viewed by others in light of that relentless negative republican propaganda.

      • Doctor My Eyes says:

        I think you’re saying that people who generally share your views and didn’t vote for Clinton made that decision because they are shallow and because of Rep propaganda. If that is so, the sneering attitude enrages me. Many who were excited about Obama and were newly involved, and who were DEEP enough to see beyond his shallow rhetoric to the fact that he ignored his promises from the day he invited a homophobe to deliver the inauguration prayer, many of us grew weary of being insulted by smug mainstream Dems in lieu of serious discussion of our issues. Obama understood from the beginning that we were the ones he had to keep at bay. Speaking of propaganda, the “purist” meme was highly successful. Charges of racism deployed as needed. If you want to see purists, watch the zeal with which the Reps are pursuing their agenda. No incrementalism there. I and many engaged dedicated political types turned away from the Dems in disgust after being thoroughly shut out of power sharing in the most condescending way. Watching it all, watching my friends drop out of involvement one by one, I knew the Dems would miss our involvement, and I knew they would be too proud to woo us back with actual inclusion. I can promise one thing, I’ll never be insulted or shamed into voting Dem. You want my vote, you can respectfully address the things I care about. Don’t call me shallow and don’t call me purist because I won’t continue to support a party that sold me out. Try a little respect. Honestly, in the bleak landscape of current US politics, it’s hard to imagine where anyone can stand and feel arrogant, how anyone can be sure they have THE answer. Clinton? Again? Really?

        • Rayne says:

          Re-read the comment to which I responded. If you said “there’s no difference between Trump and Clinton,” yes, you were shallow.

          Clinton wouldn’t have nominated to a life-time SCOTUS seat a racist, misogynist, gay-hating, perjuring asshat with a skeevy financial history while operating with a GOP-majority Congress — unlike Trump.

          Now go have a tantrum someplace else.

    • Doctor My Eyes says:

      I like to think that a few of my comments in this post demonstrate that there’s plenty of blame to go around.  Of course, it’s always the progressive’s fault, even to democrats.  I worked my ass off to elect Obama and I gave a considerable amount of my money to various Dems running for Congress.  If they had done their job, then Kavanaugh having called Yoo his “magic bullet” would be extremely damaging. I have mentioned other ways that “looking forward not back” has led to the current disaster.  I have never said there’s no difference, but I have said that electing Dems just because they aren’t Reps is not the solution to our problems.  I would argue that the current situation indicates more that I am right than that it’s the Sanders voters’ fault that we’re in the predicament we’re in. In any case, had Clinton been elected, we would still be dealing with a highly corrupt government, one not true to the principles of the nation, and one in the hands of the neocons.  Am I now to celebrate that neocons are better than Russian mafia?  Is that what we’ve come to?

      This time around, we better keep their feet to the fire after we put them in.  Corporate Dems will be immediately looking for a way to cash in on the crisis for their own benefit to the detriment of the needs of the country. What a great opportunity it will be for them to attract the corporate cash their friends across the aisle have been enjoying!

        • Palli says:

          At risk of souring a new day: the political territory on the Left is wide.

          Political power plays have consequences…in this case, trump

          There are those on our shared Left who state:

          Sanders “wouldn’t have nominated to a life-time SCOTUS seat a racist, misogynist, gay-hating, perjuring asshat with a skeevy financial history while operating with a GOP-majority Congress — unlike Trump.”

          Enough said.

        • Doctor My Eyes says:

          Thanks, Palli. It’s good to have the support. It doesn’t take much to get me very agitated, taking me back to the valiant fight a few of us fought to get people to pressure Obama to do what we sent him to do. I was called a racist and worse for me efforts.  We persisted as long as we could stand it.  I’m not going back to that territory again. It’s incredible to me, in this day and age of rampant corruption and unholy money politics that anyone thinks they’ve found a place to stand from which to sneer at others who are doing what they can to pull this country out of the fire, operating of course by our own best lights. Too many years of insults, word-twisting, and condescension.  Meanwhile, I did not have one meaningful conversation with an Obama apologist about, to take one example, drones.

          I’m no big fan of Sanders. I live in Vermont. When I saw him live I saw immediately that, above all, he’s another politician.  More benign than most, but a politician. Anyway, I’m not doing this again.  I’m going to try to stop commenting here. It’s bad for the health.  They deserve the Democratic Party they have.

        • bmaz says:

          Who the hell are the “they” you refer to.? Actual voters that exercise their plebiscite in a way that is not to your liking? Job one is to get control of all three branches from the Republicans. If that is via Ocasio-Cortes, that’s great. If it requires a vote for a horrid blue dog like Kyrsten Sinema, so be it. I really do not understand holy political purity trolls.

          And if you think a Clinton Administration would be just as bad as the living hell of Trump, you are flat out insane. The courts alone would make all the difference in the world, not that you can probably see that with your ostrich head stuck well into the sand.

        • Doctor My Eyes says:

          “They” are the arrogant, sneering Democrats who marginalize the left, who avoid arguing policy and facts by willful misreading of words, ignore substantive argument in favor of petty nitpicks, treat anyone with a different view as an idiot, and reliably fall to insults and condescension: shallow, purity, troll, tantrum, ostrich, etc. I haven’t seen anyone here even come close to saying Clinton would be the same as Trump. It’s easy to be right when arguing with straw men.  I once spent a lot of time trying to get somewhere this way.  I know it’s futile. It doesn’t matter that I’ve said more than once that I’ll be working hard to elect Dems this cycle, and I’ll be hoping against hope that while keeping the military industrial banking complex intact, they will manage to keep the Russian mob out. It doesn’t matter what I say. Good luck with your Democratic Party.

          Thanks for the important work that is done here.

        • bmaz says:

          It is NOT “my Democratic Party”, it is our party. And if you want to talk about the proverbial “straw men” I’d suggest you take good look at your own arguments here. And reflect on that.

          And somebody here did indeed effectively say Clinton is as bad as Trump, and that person is you. Skating backwards is hard I guess.

        • Doctor My Eyes says:

          I never came close to saying Clinton is as bad as Trump. This is the second time you’ve insisted I said things I didn’t.  Last time you block quoted the exact words you were misconstruing.  You’re welcome to do so again, if you’d like me to correct your misreading.  And if I did say that inadvertently or in a fit of psychosis, then I was wrong.  The only point that matters is that I don’t believe that and I never have.  What I did say, and I’ll admit to indulging in a bit of hyperbole, is that the Overton Window seems to have moved such that now the choice I’m supposed to accept as the only sensible possibility is between a neocon and the Russian mob. Sure, I choose the neocon. Great.

          Just to be clear in signing off, I got very upset seeing John Yoo’s name in association with Kavanaugh, remembering the Dem’s not pursuing war crimes when we gave them the WH and the Congress. Actually, they had a legal obligation to do so.  I also remembered the condescending, sneering, taunting way I and others were treated when we attempted to argue the point on line.  This post by EW presents a prime example of how the failure of the Dems to do what I and others fought vociferously for has helped lead to our current situation.  So, seeing in this very post, a couple of sneering remarks about Sanders voters–well, it sent me over the edge, complete with flashback to those painful arguments.  There is a reason people looked elsewhere than Hillary, and the reasons are neither shallow nor the result of Republican propaganda.  The reasons have to do with Dem behavior.  I am not alone in how I feel–there are a significant number of us, and the Dem party felt our absence last election.  In this situation, of all situations, I am in no mood to tolerate arrogant blame of the very people who tried so hard to get the Dems to do the right thing when people like Kavanaugh could have been exposed.  It’s really all too much to bear.  Of course, my passionate advocacy is then called a “tantrum”.  Ugh.  Other than that, I could care less about the nyah nyah nitpicky bs.  I will leave you with the advice that I think the attitude I am revealing here is a big problem for the Dem Party. There are a lot of us, we are good patriots and we would like to be involved in politics.  Ridiculing us and blaming us for the mistakes of the party is no way to regain our trust. In fact, extremely polarizing, disrespectful argument creates the perfect environment for Russian bots to create political chaos.

        • orionATL says:

          doc –

          “…” They” are the arrogant, sneering Democrats who marginalize the left, who avoid arguing policy and facts by willful misreading of words, ignore substantive argument in favor of petty nitpicks, treat anyone with a different view as an idiot, and reliably fall to insults and condescension: shallow, purity, troll, tantrum,.. ”

          this is as beautiful a job of projection to others as trump or trump supporter could do.

          do you not have any self-awareness? your invidious comment disparaging clinton was just the sort of comment you are now projecting to other democrats – a great majority of whom voted for clinton, and will be voting in droves against trump in november.

          do you want a functioning, effective democratic party or are you another of the sanctimonius psuedo-dems who would be happy to fail, so long as you can ride your little hobby horse and blame others?

        • Doctor My Eyes says:

          I do appreciate the continuing, apparently good-faith efforts to communicate. For this reason, to attempt to respond in like kind, I will try to reply.

          The kinds of responses I have gotten in this attempted discussion, responses which ask me whether I have any awareness (yes, I am quite aware), responses which put in my mouth that I think there is no difference between Clinton and Trump, responses which assume all sorts of insulting things about me–these kinds of responses are precisely the kinds of responses so many of us got back in 2009 forward when we tried to argue for Obama and Congress to take action against war criminals.  I’m not sure how to get through that I’m not a hothead, I’m not an idiot, I’m not destructive by nature, not to brag but I understand the nature of projection better than most, and I do have something to say which is worthy of discussion.  My quite well-informed perceptions are that Clinton is little better than a neocon, certainly wrt foreign policy.  That’s what I think.  We could argue the point, but right now that’s what I think.  I well understand that I could be wrong. I understand that you could be wrong.  I understand that you could agree with me on this point and still feel strongly that Clinton deserves your vote.  I understand that there are many ways to look at things in this house of mirrors, and that there are many bases from which to make choices.  I don’t need lecturing on any of that. I happen to feel this way about Clinton.  I explained to bmaz above the essence of what I would like to convey here, in this thread, in this post, a post that got me highly exercised, dealing as it does with horrific war crimes committed in my name and subsequent refusal by the Dems to come to terms with such. I believe Clinton would have been equally unlikely to have carried out her legal duty to deal with war crimes.  I devoted a significant part of my life to the issue, I made myself read upsetting things, I wrote what I could, I argued what I could.  The sort of glib, dismissive back and forth that even the current conversation represents is highly inappropriate to the serious issues we face.  I can’t judge how much my high emotion has contributed to that, but I do know it is the way of online discourse, to our great detriment. I’m sorry for any way in which I contributed to the emotion. I know that I am primed to expect upsetting discussions after being subjected to the highly effective interference the Obama gang ran on dkos.  This place seems more civilized, certainly more intelligent.  I apologize for the extent to which I brought on emotion which mitigates against clear thinking.  Still, I feel I have tried to say things here that it would be important for people like you to try to hear clearly and understand. The Dem party needs to deal with the fallout from the Obama years, and do so by going beyond indulgent insults to people like me and to Sanders voters.  I think this is very important.

          I do need to stop now.  I can hardly explain how upsetting this is for me, seeing what is happening to my country and feeling there is so little I can do about it.  Thanks again for continuing in dialog. All the best.

        • bmaz says:

          Good grief. So:

          I can hardly explain how upsetting this is for me”

          That is great. Also, please learn to use paragraph breaks. Jeebus.

        • holdingsteady says:

          Doctor My Eyes

          I would miss you if you stop commenting, and thank you for your campaign work.   I think of this discussion as an ‘internecine squabble’ which is painful but can also be productive. I’m listening and understanding your point of view. We now have the DNC reducing superdelegate power, that’s because of your efforts.

          I wanted Hillary in 2008 very badly.  As an older voter, I felt it was painful and unfair to see her called names and maligned in both of her runs, having appreciated her intellect, hard work and courage for decades.

          You didn’t say that she would be as bad as Trump.  Seeing Bernie engaging young voters (like my daughter) in 2016 was super inspiring and I did witness the disdain for young people for their so called ‘naivety’ from the Democratic Party leaders rather than welcoming and listening.

          We are in a bad place, but it’s certainly valid to discuss the past, to determine ‘what happened’.  At the same time we can focus on the midterms.  Go Beto!

          I hope this helps.

        • orionATL says:

          tell me, doc.

          who goes around repeatedly referring to millions of fellow democrats by the political pejoratives “neocons” and “neo-liberals”?

          would you happen to know any of these types, o great keeper of the party’s moral rectitude?

      • orionATL says:

        doctor my eyes writes :

        “…   In any case, had Clinton been elected, we would still be dealing with a highly corrupt government, one not true to the principles of the nation, and one in the hands of the neocons…”

        you’d have to be a severe ideologue and a genuine fool to believe that a clinton government would be” highly corrupt”, “not true to the principles of the nation”, and “in the hands of neocons”.

        clinton’s child care initiative alone would have meant billions of dollars into the pockets of the less well-off in this nation, and allowed for freedom of movement in jobs for women. you need to go crawl back and celebrate our current disaster with your clinton-hating compadres.

        a person who would write this would not know what a real “neocon” was if it bit him/her in the ass. if, however, you really want to know what a living, breathing neocon really is check out “the project for the new american century”.

    • punaise says:

      I believe you are referring to “enhanced punctuation”.

      In French, a question mark is called a point d’imterrogation, so there’s that.

      • Valley girl says:

        Brilliant, M. Thumbtack.  I almost wrote M. Bedbug, because before now, I had been thinking it  = punaise de lit.  But my grasp of French is growing only slowly.

    • orionATL says:


      you mean kavanaugh’s “why….” followed by 54 question marks?

      that’s just how a real gentleman like kavanaugh says WTF.

      by contrast, being a republican party fixer is nothing to be ashamed of.

  6. Naomi says:

    unpleasant review of names…
    unpleasant times…
    and in Bush’s re-election campaign, the first time I saw reporters allowed seating only in “the pen”

    • orionATL says:

      wow. that is a most very interesting bit of history.

      i did not know “the pen” for the press was a republican campaign idea prior to trump. but i am not at all surprised to learn that was the case. monkey see, monkey do.

  7. orionATL says:

    there is nothing at all to remember proudly about the leadership of general george armstrong custer. thru happenstance and  fawning press attention alone custer secured a reputation for leadership he did not earn, and did not deserve.

    the brutal reality of war caught up with his extraordinarily poor leadership at the battle of the little big horn river. his vain glory, the lack of trust in him by his officers, and his foolish tactical decisions got himself and his entire force of 750 cavalry killed to a man. 

    no brains, no leadership, no glory.

    the epitomy of  “quid me vexit” before its time. 

  8. Rusharuse says:

    Baby faced Brett he so cute, like Beaver Cleaver at 50 or Ron Howard (pre male-pattern) or mature age Macaulay Kunkster(?) or that cheeky kid who says “what you talkin bout Willis”. Cute lil Bretty boy, ‘merican as apple pie. Ya jus wanna hug him, doncha?

  9. Bri2k says:

    I’m especially enamored of Kavanaugh’s “you can’t tell it’s a rug – really!” toupee.

    This man is a fraud all the way down starting at his roots.

  10. Trip says:

    From yesterday’s twitter:
    southpaw‏ @nycsouthpaw
    “Apologies to all for … growing aggressive after blowing yet another game of dice” “Reminders to everyone to be very very vigilant w/r/t confidentiality on all issues and all fronts, including with spouses.”

    So I take it no one asked Kraps Kavanaugh about his debt “from baseball tickets” and how that huge amount was miraculously covered after his nomination?

    Always in a hurry, I never stop to worry,
    Don’t you see the time flashin’ by?
    Honey, got no money,
    I’m all sixes and sevens and nines.
    Say now, baby, I’m the rank outsider,
    You can be my partner in crime.
    But baby, I can’t stay,
    You got to roll me and call me the tumblin’,
    Roll me and call me the tumblin’ dice.
    Oh, my, my, my, I’m the lone crap shooter,
    Playin’ the field ev’ry night.
    Baby, can’t stay,
    You got to roll me and call me the tumblin’ (dice),
    Roll me and call me the tumblin’ (Got to roll me.) dice.
    Got to roll me. Got to roll me.
    The (GOP) House wins, we lose.

    • pseudonymous in nc says:

      I’ve gambled down in Washington

      And I’ve gambled up in Maine

      I’m going down into Georgia

      To knock down my last game

      I’m a gamblin’ man, man, man

      I’m a gamblin’ man.

    • Trip says:

      I don’t think John Dean was an effective speaker. He meant well, but didn’t quite nail it. He didn’t forcefully demonstrate the import and urgency, IMO.

  11. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Booty Rudy says Trump will never answer Bob Mueller’s questions.

    Booty Rudy says it’s an open question whether Trump will answer Bob Mueller’s questions.

    Booty Rudy is playing White Rabbit and inviting us down the rabbit hole.  Political comedy is where you go when you have the world’s most self-destructive client, when the law is against you, and the facts are worse.

    We really shouldn’t be paying attention to him anymore.  And if he’s working for free, I’ll eat my hat.  Paul Manafort said that, too.

    • Trip says:

      For some reason you made me think of this:


      Stop your fooling around (ah-ah-ah)
      Time you straighten right out (ah-ah-ah)
      Better think of your future (ah-ah-ah)
      Else you’ll wind up in jail (ah-ah-ah)

      A message to you, Rudy
      A message to you

      Stop your messing around (ah-ah-ah)
      Better think of your future (ah-ah-ah)
      Time you straighten right out (ah-ah-ah)
      Creating problems in town (ah-ah-ah)

      A message to you, Rudy
      A message to you, Rudy
      Oh, it’s a message to you, Rudy
      Yeah, it’s a message to you, Rudy

    • SpaceLifeForm says:

      They were always fishing for info. There is zero evidence that Mueller ever had any questions, and as I have always said, Mueller never wanted to talk to potus anyway.

      It appears that the WH Braintrust (ha), has abandoned that ploy.

      Maybe because they think that Kavanaugh will be confirmed, and then the Star Chamber will be in place.

  12. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Kavanaugh’s comment that contraceptives are “abortion inducing” illustrates superbly who Kavanaugh listens to in private – and how little he knows about women.

    That’s a little startling for a guy born in 1965, but it is in line with his prurient adolescent interest in how, where, how many times, and in what locations Bill Clinton had an orgasm with Monica Lewinsky.  That might show his lack of maturity.  More likely, it shows his cynicism, ruthlessness, and ambition, his willingness to do and say anything that will promote his patrons’ interests.

    Kavanaugh’s advisers are factually incorrect about contraception.  But they have skillfully misdescribed it in the most dog whistly way possible – associating it falsely with the Right’s misogynistic bugaboo: ABORTION.  That demolishes Kavanaugh’s and the GOP’s false claim that choosing a Supreme Court Justice is not a political act.  It, the Court, and its work are supremely political.

    Kavanaugh ascribes to the Reagan era view – a throwback to the vehemently conformist 1950s – that wumin should remain barefoot, pregnant and in the kitchen.  And yet, this guy’s mother was a high school teacher, prosecutor, and state court judge.  Brett must have learned in school that mummy was doing it all wrong, and that his responsibility was to set her and the world straight.

    Brett is speaking in code, if not in tongues, in his spoiled only child way.  If his parents were good Catholics, too, does that mean that, like Alfred Hitchcock but unlike most American Catholics, they had sex only once?

  13. harpie says:

    11 minutes ago I read: 7:43 AM – 7 Sep 2018

    Ted Olson is up now, supporting Kavanaugh’s nomination, saying “he possesses and consistently has exemplified the qualities I have described” as being key to being a good Supreme Court justice.

    6 minutes ago, I read: Ari Berman:

    Kavanaugh worked on 2000 Florida recount for George W Bush. That election led to new wave of voter disenfranchisement by GOP, which Kavanaugh supported as judge 

    Linking to: How the 2000 Election in Florida Led to a New Wave of Voter Disenfranchisement // A botched voter purge prevented thousands from voting—and empowered a new generation of voting-rights critics. [The Nation] 

    […] [John] Roberts edited legal briefs, including the Bush campaign’s 50-page submission to the Supreme Court, and ­prepared Theodore Olson, a former assistant attorney general under Reagan, for oral arguments. […] 

    • harpie says:

      Recently in the news:
      Majority-black Georgia county fires consultant who wants to close two-thirds of its polling places 8/23/18  [WaPo] 
      [quote] […] Michael Malone, who had been hired by the county last spring to run elections after the elections supervisor quit […] Malone also raised suspicion because he was on a list of consultants recommended by the secretary of state’s office. He made a campaign contribution to Brian Kemp, the Republican nominee for governor, who also is secretary of state and the Georgia’s top elections official. Malone also said at a meeting with angry Randolph County residents that Kemp had told him to look for opportunities to consolidate polling places around the state, but he later walked back the comment. // Kemp is facing a competitive and closely watched race with Stacey Abrams, a former Democratic leader of the state House, who is aiming to become the country’s first black female governor. […] [end quote]

    • harpie says:

      9/6/18 Hillary Clinton thread:

      Today’s reason to call your senators and urge them to #StopKavanaugh: Kavanaugh would help kill the Voting Rights Act and uphold voter suppression laws that make it harder for voters of color to cast ballots. […]

      The Court gutted the Voting Rights Act in 2013 by ruling that states with a history of suppression no longer needed federal approval to change their voting laws. Kavanaugh’s record indicates he would help a new majority kill the VRA entirely and approve even more suppression. […]

    • Trip says:

      What a charmer, and he lived to 87 (in the 1860s, that’s pretty damned old). Figures it was Andrew Jackson. Freedom for the wealthy white man rings a bell. Sigh.

    • posaune says:

      I always shiver when I see images of the St. Louis Fed Courthouse, looking over the Mississippi, and its legacy leading to Ferguson.    Ugh.

    • Worried says:

      OK, we wandered off subject (Kavanaugh) here.

      But the name John Yoo is a hot button for many people, including me, and takes us back to a time where our Country’s policies deviated from many of our personal beliefs (as well as our perception of the Constitution and our morals).

      I think Doctor My Eyes statements that many people considered Mr Obama’s policy of “look forward, not behind” wrong is correct.  Nobody was held accountable (even to possibly be fond innocent after a trial).

      I think his comment that many people did not believe Mr Obama had the authority to be the judge and jury and decide who would be killed by someone sitting in a chair in Nevada by a drone is correct

      I don’t think it is uncommon to feel that Mrs Clinton’s foreign policy views tended toward the neocon approach.

      His opinions are not way out of the mainstream, and they are just that, opinions.

      I’ve followed this site since inception, learning a lot and commenting infrequently.

      A simple answer to Doctor My Eyes would have been “that’s your opinion, I don’t agree”; instead there were essentially personal attacks using curse words and the terms ad homien and troll, etc. We are all trying to sort this situation together with reasoning and the help of Marcy’s investigative (and logic) talents.

      You guys can do better.

      If you want to try to fit me into some category; I voted for Mr Obama in ‘08, 3rd party in ‘12 mainly because of the drone inference of unlimited power, and Mrs Clinton in ‘16

      • Rayne says:

        Thanks so much for the lecture. May I suggest checking the archives of this site’s work and the names of its contributors before using the editorial “we”?

        • Worried says:


          I’ve been around here a long time; long enough to have thanked Mary Beth Perdue on her home  newspaper’s memorial page for her logic and compassion.

          I’m not a lawyer, nor a computer expert.

          If my sin is to have trouble with this site’s interface and/or forget a pseudonym, then I plead guilty.

          You, on the other hand…………..

          I’ll refrain.

        • bmaz says:

          You do whatever you want. The sanctimonious lectures from people that have not poured their souls into this site over all the years is sometimes hard to take. In fairness, the first comment I can find by you here was, indeed, a remembrance of Mary on Christmas Eve several years ago. Thank you for that and remembering her. We miss her dearly too.

        • Worried says:

          Don’t recall commenting on Mary here, or what my “sock puppet” pseudonym was.

          I do recall visiting her memorial site and expressing my sympathy and thanks to her family so that they would get a feel for how widely appreciated and missed she was.

          She came across as a very gentle soul

        • bmaz says:

          December 24, 2014 as to your Mary comment. You appeared as recently as July 19 of this year as “Rob”. Perhaps that just slipped your mind. And your “this is a tuff site” garbage is just pure unadulterated whiny garbage.

  14. Palli says:

    Go right ahead, you two lawyers. Bully away, while some of us review the Torture Tape & Timeline here, to remind ourselves about the kind of US actions another commentor feels so deeply about.

    • orionATL says:

      palli –

      in the first place no bullying is going on here at all. responding to a comment with a comment is not bullying.

      in the second place there is no reason to expect that moderators are forbidden from saying their piece.

      in the third place not all those you whine about are lawyers.

      fourth, but most important, accusing moderators of bullying when they are merrly commenting in opposition to a view you hold is an obvious form of intellectual dishonesty employed to gain an advantage.

      knock of the whining and fight it out. your complaint reminds me of those rightwing trolls thst love to whine about ad hominem comments.

      you got something substantive to say?

      • Palli says:

        1. Bully behavior is seldom self-perceived in the process of bullying. Particularily when the target stands up to the bully without adopting the same tactic.

        2. I did not forbid anything. You both said and continue to say your peace, I merely suggested a more fruitful use of time & emotion for other readers.

        3. Aren’t you a lawyer? Moderator Bmaz is a lawyer. I spoke of you two. “Whine” is your word. I will not dignify it with comment. (It should go without saying, I appreciate the legal expertise of both of you or I wouldn’t be on the site.)

        4. Who commented on-let alone opposed-what I said?  (In essence:  Many voters on the Left know that HRC is not the only American politician who would not nominate a kavanaugh-type judge for SCOTUS. But I used Sen Sanders name, apparently, a red flag during a discussion about the terror of trump times.)

        In terms of intellectual advantage, I hold no interest nor delusion that I have or could gain any intellectual advantage here. You are sure of it. So what? I have the advantage of my expertise, but it is usually unnecessary on this site. You feel it is unnecessary here, I didn’t.

        Knock off the whining. While this spirited response reminds me of those rightwing trolls that love to whine about ad hominem comments, I’ll continue reading your more substantive thoughts orionATL. Feel free to discount mine, after all, a common threat doesn’t need all hands on deck.

        Degrading nicknames are a bully tactic


        • orionATL says:

          palli –

          your whining about bullying is just as dishonest at 7:45pm as it was at 3:24pm. you sound like some doofus that watched too much daytime teevee when that was the topic of the day. try getting your head out of, ahem…, the tube.

          have you got any more actual, factual information to support your intial argument?

          anything else to support the argument you and your pal docmyeyes were running smearing secretary clinton?

          or is trying to smear your critics the best you can do, as in like this charge of “coward” from your pal docmyeyes :

          “… DoctorMyEyes says:

          September 7, 2018 at 2:44 pm

          No “reply” button.
          Go fuck yourself.



          September 7, 2018 at 6:53 pm

          Nice. Thanks! Be seeing you now…”

          as for whether i am a lawyer? i am not. nor am i a moderator here.
          in fact i have been ticked by the moderators here at emptywberl, including bmaz and rayne, more times than you’ e ever written words here.

          i just happen to despise your kind of intellectual dishonesty which shows up in trolls as well as you two.

    • bmaz says:

      Dear “Palli”, if you and “Doctor My Eyes” want to pull shit with me, you are very much barking up the wrong tree. First off, if DME is any competent lawyer, I have seen no evidence of that.

      Secondly if you want to ignorantly pull out the “golly I am concerned about torture” card, you are so very much in the wrong place.

      Here is something I wrote damn near ten years ago. And there was plenty before and after that, not just by me but this blog.

      You want to whine at me about coverage and consideration of torture? Seriously, don’t be a joke. Not here. Not in service of a troll like DME.

      By the way, the man who wrote and performed “Doctor My Eyes” beat the living hell out of his then girlfriend Daryl Hannah.

        • Palli says:

          How the hell did this escalate?

          I did not forbid anything. Why would I? To Orion and bmaz, you continue to say your peace, I merely suggested a fruitful use of time and emotion RIGHT HERE ON EMPTYWHEEL.COM for other readers.

          Bmaz, I read years ago and much more of what you and others on emptywheel (and elsewhere) wrote about Torture.. (You don’t know me but I know a lot because of you.) Condemn me, for using the quickest citations index on this site to highlight the long-standing emphasis on American Torture. Americans now torture. Despite your writing and everyone else who screamed bloody murder. My tortured WWll POW father died knowing his America was forever changed. Don’t pull this shit with me either.

        • bmaz says:

          Oh good grief. After all these years, you cannot find a way to manually respond to people like thousands of other commenters have done here over the years? You poor dear you.

          Were there not enough wine and roses for you and your newfound friend “Doctor My Eyes”, who has a name celebrating a man who beat the living crap out of his then girlfriend? Pardon me if I am less than impressed with this line of argument.

        • Worried says:

          WOW! Have another beer!

          If we had to refrain from referencing songs because of the behavior of the author, singer, or group involved…….

          I guess we would have to figure out variations of You Light Up My Life

          Please get real and lighten up.

        • bmaz says:

          What in the hell are you talking about??

          Oh, hi “Worried”, you are by our records, a sock puppet troll that is sometimes “Worried” and sometimes “Rob”. Whoever you are, that sock puppet crap will not work here.

        • Worried says:

          I am a graduate of the United States Naval Academy. I served in the Submarine Force. I swore an allegiance to uphold and defend the US Constitution multiple times.

          And, to think, #9 was one of my favorites in APBA (though he never hit a homer in the bottom of the 9th for me……)

          How dare you arbitrarily call people names, for no reason!!!!

          You should be ashamed.

        • bmaz says:

          Well, that is swell. I am a human being and an American citizen. Are you alleging you are a better one?

          What are you even talking about?

          And “how dare you” roll into this blog, engage in patent sock puppetry and bullshit and then deign to take umbrage?


        • Worried says:

          Bill Mazeroski, second baseman Pittsburgh Pirates 1956-72, hit , now called “walk-off”, home run bottom of the ninth, game 7, October 13, 1960 to win baseball’s World Series.

          Yogi Berra watched……

          I misinterpreted my fellow colleague’s username

        • Palli says:

          wtf? “Manually?” I responded. Twice. I made an error. I corrected it. I chose to not write in anger.

          Commenting & replying on the internet is quite separate from friendship-new or old-for me.

          Reading has no pre-requisite to research nom de plumes. And I care not a twit being ridiculed about ignorance of 70s white popular music culture. Or care if my experience is impressive to you or not.

        • bmaz says:

          Great, so you are going to stick with the the Doctor My Eyes troll who honors a singer who beat the crap out of his girlfriend?

          Nice. So long and thanks for all the fish.

        • Worried says:

          Responding to #9 at 10:44;

          You need to read and try to understand comments before you respond.

          All of your questions are answered there if you took the time.

          But, no, you have to attack. Perhaps that’s is the lawyer’s way

          I live with my wife of 35 years in California. We have a pet Siamese cat. We are no better than anyone else.

          We are “worried” about the current assault on the Constitution.

          It is against your nature (my conclusion) but please review my previous comments.

          I am concerned, so, like to stay on topic (not withstanding this Kavanaugh/John Yoo diversion).

          I am a normal citizen and read this site religiously (I have donated in the past).

          I try my best to understand what Marcy presents and try to reach some conclusion based upon her analysis.

          I, comment infrequently, until now when I have to confront you.

          I am a normal person, sometimes having issues with web site interfaces, trying my best to contribute when I think I have a proper input.

          Calling me a “troll”, or “sock puppet” is something I can’t figure out.

        • orionATL says:

          oh dear me, at just before 9 palli wrung her delicate hands and wondered how did it come to this –

          “.. Palli says:
          September 7, 2018 at 8:43 pm

          How the hell did this escalate?

          I did not forbid anything. Why would I? To Orion and bmaz, you continue to say your peace, I merely suggested a fruitful use of time and emotion RIGHT HERE ON EMPTYWHEEL.COM for other readers….

          actually, dope, things had settled down until you decided to toss a molotov cocktail cited below around 3:30 in the afternoon.

          only this time your were smearing fellow commentors rather than clinton. and away we went on round two.

          “… Palli says:

          September 7, 2018 at 3:24 pm

          Go right ahead, you two lawyers. Bully away, while some of us review the Torture Tape & Timeline here, to remind ourselves about the kind of US actions another commentor feels so deeply about…”

          but you know what, palli, a great discussion went right on here at this post at the emptywheel without yours or doctormyeyes participation.

          we had that discussion, which is still going on, by routing it around your ideological boorishness, just as if the two of you were two wrecks in the road.

          it has been a good two-day discussion. you missed it. good riddance.

  15. orionATL says:

    paul krugman makes another  of his thoughtful summaries of a major political controversy:

    what krugman does not say, that i consider likely, is that the republican party’s behavior, not only in tolerating and enabling trump’s personal business corruption and his campaign conspiracy with russia, his mistreating of immigrants of all statuses, his severely damaging the economy thru his blunderbuss tariff policies; but as well in the party’s own behavior in the supreme court nomination game which will lead to greater destruction of individual privacy, in destroying the affordable care act and damaging medicaid, and in passing an enormous tax-break bill that clearly favors the rich may destroy the party as an effective political force for years.

    • Rayne says:

      Zombie party. The problem I see is that the zombies won’t give up easily. There will be casualties of many kinds before they finally give up their undead existence. It’d be faster if the NeverTrumps formed a separatist party to fragment the GOP’s voting bloc.

      • orionATL says:

        yes, sadly i’m afraid your assesment is more realistic. even as i was writing this i had thoughts of the ads republicans would be running to draw attention away from their late unpleasantness – theme? the past never happened.

        but a guy can dream, right :)

        • Rayne says:

          The demographics are going to do it within 10 years, maybe less, depending on sustained activism of Millennial and younger voters who are far less white than now-retiring Boomers. Increasing mortality rates among older whites due to alcohol and drug abuse aren’t helping GOP’s core demographic.

          The more the GOP digs into their xenophobic authoritarianism, the faster the denouement will come. There will be bumps along the way; can’t rule out a burst of Nazism which will try to crush non-whites. Anybody paying attention can see people like Steven Miller and Jeff Sessions in places where they could make that happen just as they pulled off the Muslim travel ban and the zero tolerance policy at the border, combined with Trump’s gross negligence toward minority communities like all of Puerto Rico.

          Pit people like Chrissy Teigen and Alyssa Milano against dudes like Steven Miller and Rob Porter, though, and you can see it’s only a matter of time.

          Per aspera ad astra

  16. holdingsteady says:

    Above, I didn’t mean naivety, but naivete.
    Thanks to all for the heartfelt comments on a bleak day.
    I enjoy Amy Klobuchar very much, any comments by lawyers here on her questioning? I caught one segment where she asked about a judicial opinion of BK’s relating to foreign interference being used to defend the Russians, if I’ve got that at all right.
    Ugh about Ben Sasse, what an arrogant and childish SOB. I’m hopeful to see a schoolhouse rock parody of him.

  17. Rusharuse says:

    “The letter”
    (Joe Cocker-Mad dogs and Englishmen)
    Anyway, On CNN the Attorney who disclosed “deep throat” identity just named John Huntsman as the anon op-eder.

  18. holdingsteady says:

    What a bad day. I tried to mediate a little bit above with Doctor My Eyes and wish the discussion had gone better.

    I had no idea Jackson Browne had been married to Darryl Hannah, let alone that he was an abuser, too bad she didn’t have her Hattori-Hanzo sword yet (just kidding, I know that movie is problematic especially when I heard that Uma Thurman was hurt during the filming). There was a headline lately that Darryl got married to Neil Young. I am a Darryl Hannah fan.

  19. orionATL says:

    brought to my attention by a very interested party who does not habitually visit weblogs, works her butt off registering voters,  is canvasing this sunday for a local democrat to take a state senate seat away from an obnoxious republican this fall, and who would not even think of using pejoratives to describe those other democrats like herself on whom her team is working to get out and VOTE THIS TIME:

    lying during his senate confirmation hearings for a judgeship? ah now, would our brett do something like this?

    if so, would this grounds for a future house impeachment aand senate trial?

    Lisa Graves writes:

    “…Much of Washington has spent the week focusing on whether Judge Brett Kavanaugh should be confirmed to the Supreme Court. After the revelations of his confirmation hearings, the better question is whether he should be impeached from the federal judiciary. 

    I do not raise that question lightly, but I am certain it must be raised

    Newly released emails show that while he was working to move through President George W. Bush’s judicial nominees in the early 2000s, Kavanaugh received confidential memos, letters, and talking points of Democratic staffers stolen by GOP Senate aide Manuel Miranda. That includes research and talking points Miranda stole from the Senate server after I had written them for the Senate Judiciary Committee as the chief counsel for nominations for the minority…. ”

    spoiler alert – kavanaugh lied to members of the judiciary committee as part of his 2004 and 2006 hearings for a judgeship.

  20. GKJames says:

    @Worried, Sep 7, 6:53pm

    No question that Obama’s “look forward, not behind” — both with respect to torture and the financial system meltdown — as well as his due-process-free executions were tough to swallow for people who believe that law matters. But as rationale to vote against (or just not for) Clinton it misses the political realities that Obama was dealing with the moment he was inaugurated, one of which was the explicit GOP objective to make the new administration a failure. As a new guy on the scene, with no political base in Washington (cf. LBJ), it might have been emotionally satisfying to pursue the guilty but, in terms of cost/benefit analysis related to the expenditure of what little political capital there was, would probably have been a disaster. And that’s assuming that guilt would in fact have been found; don’t forget that half the country still believes (a) it wasn’t torture; and (b) if it was, it was justified.

    More generally, the belief on the part of many liberals that Clinton was as odious/dangerous/corrupt etc. as Trump so as to not present much of a choice tells me that (i) they weren’t looking closely enough; and (ii) the belief betrays a childlike perception of the democratic process, as if it really were a choice between good (MY guy) and bad (the other guy), rather than between a turd and a less steaming one. There were many policy-related matters on which to disagree with Obama and Clinton, but none of them would (or should) cause the reasonable person make the perfect the enemy of the good.

    But that’s what happened. And here we are on the verge of elevating a perjurer and political hack — whose legal acumen (like that of Yoo and Gorsuch and etc.) apparently ends at, The president can do what he wants — to a lifetime sinecure.

    • Worried says:


      To the keepers of this site, please don’t refer to John Yoo again.

      I used to be an infrequent contributor, now I’m somehow embroiled with the tuff guy(s) and gal(s) here.

      I agree with you GK

      My post was my attempt to understand/explain Doctor My Eyes (sorry, that is his reprehensible pseudonym) discussion as a set of opinions that are relatively mainstream to those of us who have lived in this century.

      He was being belittled by the tuff guy(s); which I thought (think) was unfair.

      Yes, we have had to make some tough decisions at the voting booth this century. Politicians are constrained by their environment, certainly.

      But watching an abdication of our moral code, and not be able to do anything about it, is tough.

      • Rayne says:

        Do not tell the “keepers of this site” what to write. With regard to John Yoo in particular, this site’s expertise includes a portion of Yoo’s work history. If you have a problem with this, this may not be the site for you.

        You are not a contributor at this site as you do not have a byline. You are a commenter; regular, sustained commenters are community members. (Also not to be confused with donors who fund this site.)

        • Worried says:

          My bad

          It was a light comment, because his name caused me to become embroiled with you guy(s) and gal(s)

          A more more trite comment would have been, “Please don’t bring up John Yoo again unless we are discussing how long his parole period should be”

          oops, sorry to use the “we” term……..

          This is a tuff site, now very short on empathy or humor.

          I have contributed in the past (have an email from Marcy thanking me)

        • Sandor says:

          A tuff site … short on empathy and humor.

          Yes. I’m worried, ’tis so.

          “No doubt, but you are the people and wisdom shall die with you.”

          Job 12:2

        • Rayne says:

          You mean you are a donor and we appreciate our donors who keep the bandwidth open and the lights on. Donations, however, don’t buy a right to dictate how contributors write.

        • Sandor says:

          And how contributors write will dictate whether readers make a donation.

          “But I have understanding as well as you; I am not inferior to you: yes, who knows not such things as these?”

          Job 12:3

        • Rayne says:

          We write content driven by our values, not to solicit money. Donations come based on what we write, not the other way around. You’ll note we have no advertising here; we are not beholden to any corporation nor do we want our readers and commenters to be “harvested” by outside interests. This approach has worked for us for more than 10 years.

          Let’s move back on this thread’s topic which is Bret Kavanaugh and John Yoo.

    • Rayne says:

      More generally, the belief on the part of many liberals that Clinton was as odious/dangerous/corrupt etc. as Trump so as to not present much of a choice…

      I don’t think we have fully reckoned with the damage +20 years of right-wing propaganda via Fox News and talk radio has done to American’s perceptions. Nor have we fully assessed the impact Russian disinfo ops using micro-targeting via social media has done in addition to its audience.

      I talked with my young adult children facing their first presidential vote and asked them to question their perception — they didn’t have a positive one about Clinton but they couldn’t tell me why or where they had acquired their perception or express any specific issues which concerned them. It’s insidious because we never had Fox on in my household; they may have acquired what they knew from social media exposure but they couldn’t be sure. If this is what happened to the youngest voters, what happened to the older voters who had the full breadth of exposure to Fox and talk radio like Rush Limbaugh for +20 years?

      We are doing nothing to address this even as Tucker Carlson, with the third most popular cable news show, foments white nationalist resentment; we have internalized the sacredness of speech to the point where we can’t see propaganda for what it is. Propaganda can be deadly — it led to the deaths of a million Rwandans in 1994 thanks to incitement via radio. We need to prod liberals to think more deeply about their own biases which may have been subtly inculcated without their awareness or lose all to their sleepwalking choices.

  21. Rayne says:

    OrionATL — you attempted to post an oversized comment. I know you mean well by your effort to pinpoint the origin of the problem but it’s far too much material for a single comment. Please keep in mind many users read this site on cellphones; brevity is better, excess length becomes a form of DDoS.

    As for the others who have complained about the post or the content in this thread: move on to a new topic.

    • orionATL says:

      thanks for the explanation, rayne. that helps immensely.

      i was angry it did not post. but i understood why. it was insanely long and detailed.

      the first (amateur) press release i ever did was llke that. i don’t think a single reporter ever got past page 2. moral: never ever assume the rest of the world cares about an issue like you (and your little local group) do.

      anyhoo, i realize now, as i have at other times before, that writing up but not posting was a good thing.

      i cooled off by reading trip’s info about rightwing chtistians and the russian gov and then about nixon cheating in an election conspiring with foreign govs. the republicans never do any new crooked thing, they just copy what’s in their playbooks from previous elections.

      after i cooled off and went away i came back to it hours later because the sense of being treated unfairly was too strong. i was able to take a few salient points and say what i had to say.

      the poison has been extracted. i’m at peace with the world. honestly.

      well, ok for the next few minutes anyway. :)


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