Contra Kavanaugh, Redux

[NB: CHECK THE BYLINE.]

I wanted to put this post up earlier for the purposes of an open thread to accompany today’s political theater — I mean, the next Kavanaugh hearing.

Unfortunately I have been too upset to touch my keyboard. It was Rachel Mitchell’s grilling of witness Dr. Ford, treating her like a criminal instead of a victim, which flipped my switch.

Oh I am wholly enraged now. Do NOT fuck with me today.

I can see all the women in my multiple social media timelines equally upset and angry, swaying back and forth between crying and raging at the Republican assholes seated as Senate Judiciary Committee members.

Even now Grassley is interrupting the hearing’s flow to insert his own testimony of the timeline to questioning Dr. Ford, thereby reducing the amount of time the Democratic members have to question Dr. Ford. It’s a filibuster and he can’t yet explain why he didn’t ask for an FBI investigation.

Absolutely enraging.

The nomination of Brett Kavanaugh and the subsequent abuse of Dr. Ford has been a gross unforced error on the part of the Republican Party and the Trump administration. The questionable election of admitted sexual abuser Trump encouraged the largest number of women ever to run for public office. The 116th Congress will be very different because of this ongoing pink wave, first seen in the streets the day of the 2017 Women’s March.

This hearing and everything that led up to it will trigger an avalanche, a tsunami.

Get your rage on, let it out here. Burn it down and salt the earth, pave the way for that massive wave to come.

“In exchange for fire we women
Were made, another fire, greater
Much harder to fight.”

“We are women: in some things, we hesitate.
But in others, no one can surpass our courage.”
— Euripides

Gods help Kavanaugh when he appears later today. Gaia may slip her axis if he and the GOP senators fuck up any more badly than they have with women.

UPDATE: Kavanaugh’s performance today proved he does not have the appropriate judicial temperament appropriate to his current job let alone the Supreme Court.

CALL YOUR SENATORS NOW and tell them to vote NO on Kavanaugh.

Congressional switchboard: (202) 224-3121

If their D.C. line is busy or their mailbox is full, try contacting your senators’ local office numbers. Time is of the essence given the Republicans are meeting this evening to tally votes.

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332 replies
  1. Desider says:

    It’s kind of fair – Republicans gave Kavanaugh a reach-around with what was supposed to be a “happy ending”.
    They probably though fucking Ford on the stand was equivalent.
    Of course, “what do women want?” They’re all so mysterious – you’d think they’d like all the attention…

    Hope this is enough to push Kavanaugh out, and get more voters out in November.
    Aren’t I the optimist.

  2. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Grassley is paranoid about the clock, stopping it whenever papers are shuffled to check an answer to Mitchell’s questions.  Let’s see if he reciprocates for the Democrats.

    Mitchell repeatedly questions Ford about how and why she sought advisers and lawyers.  I see it as a form of intimidation.  Instead of revealing agency and the process through which a citizen becomes aware and organized enough to raise a deeply personal and highly politically charged issue before a national audience, Mitchell seeks to cloud it.  That is a disservice to the public.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Don’t see how that would be a problem.  She’s handling herself with confidence, precision, aplomb, while being vulnerable.  She’s modeling the behavior she would encourage a victim of abuse to become able to adopt, without appearing judgmental or appearing to insist that s/he adopt it.

      • Trip says:

        She is the shield and sword of the GOP looking to discredit a victim. To quote horrible person, Meghan Kelly, she’s working up to a thousand little cuts. Obviously not fact finding.
        She is the anti-advocate.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        My bad.  I read Ford, not Mitchell.  Bmaz will know better, but I would say she won’t miss a beat, because her client is the state, not the individual.

    • Rayne says:

      Consider this may be the point of her appointment: sexual assault victims in Maricopa County, possibly Arizona at large, may feel discouraged if she’s involved in prosecution. Imagine how immigrant and non-white victims will feel if this white female prosecutor will treat one of her own kind like this.

  3. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Mitchell repeatedly seeks names of Ford advisers on various process issues, apparently seeking vulnerabilities.

    The polygraph discussion seems off, given that Grassley refused to interview the polygrapher or obtain the background documents s/he used in administering the polygraph.  The Dems did get the polygraph “report” admitted into the public record.

    The real Mitchell is coming out in her more aggressive body language.  (I should check with the Arizona dentist congresscritter: he’s better at reading that stuff.)

    • Rayne says:

      That line of inquiry into the polygraph was a failure. In spite of potential emotional upset by both her grandmother’s death and having to travel by air, Dr. Ford still passed a polygraph.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Agreed.  Mitchell’s polygraph questions, like all her others, are going nowhere.  The Republicans seems to have prepared for this about as well as team Trump prepared for their transition to government.  Whatever their goals for this hearing, they’re not gonna meet them.

      And to state the obvious. Lindsey Graham is a shit of the first water.  Claiming that his committee has been blind-sided by Ford and other criticisms of Kavanaugh, his hiding behind the, “these are decades old claims,” whine, is letting his desperation show.

      • BobCon says:

        I had expected the GOP side to be a lot less antagonistic. They needed to avoid being seen as being hostile to a victim or covering up for Kavanaugh, but that’s how it’s going.

        I can only assume they think they’ve got the votes and that all of the damage is done to their reputations already, so full steam ahead.

  4. Trip says:

    Prediction:
    Kavanaugh will arrive with a crown of thorns and the GOP will lay palms at his feet for a soft path. Butter will melt in his mouth.

    The Big Giant Brain will take to his godly twitter and pronounce innocence and resurrection. Amen.

  5. Fran of the North says:

    Dr. Ford and the other women who have come forward and identified themselves, along with those of you who have bared your souls here have my deepest sympathies and greatest admiration.

    If justice is served, Brett Kavanaugh will lose the vote tomorrow, but more importantly the rank hypocrisy of the GOP and their ‘Win at all costs’ (WAAC? strangely apropos, right?) strategy will be exposed to enough voters that a sea change is inevitable.

    It’s been a long time a coming, but I know a change is gonna come, yes it is.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Marcy catches this on twitter, which deserves repeating:

      “Can you tell us what you don’t forget about that night?”

      “The stairwell, the living room, the bed on the side of the room, the bathroom in close proximity, the uproarious laughter, and the multiple attempts to escape.”

      The uproarious laughter. The multiple attempts to escape.

      If the Goopers were not already off the deep end in their Trump mania, they would let Kavanaugh recover what’s left of his good name in as short and sweet a session as they can manage.  They would then tell Trump that Kavanaugh should withdraw his name and relieve them of the need to be an oversight committee.  Some of them might need to be re-elected this November.

      • harpie says:

        According to Kyle Griffin [I have not been able to listen, or watch, myself] , she said :

        Klobuchar asks Dr. Ford what she’ll never forget. // “The stairwell. The living room. The bedroom. The bed on the right side of the room … the bathroom in close proximity. The laughter. The uproarious laughter. And the multiple attempts to escape. And the final ability to do so.”

        Just reading that phrase let me breathe again.

        OVERTHROW THE ANCIENT PATRIARCHY!

  6. Trip says:

    They are lacing into her fear of flying. FFS, she’s a big liar because she didn’t fly to them for the polygraph. But wasn’t she attending a funeral?

  7. marksb says:

    Fear of flying: they make drugs for that, and if you’ve got your surfboard in the baggage hold, you can grit your teeth and think of those perfect waves when you land. Duh.

    Polygraph: I noted the near-panic attempt to question the inclusion of the report, “we already have” and “can I see the chart” (IIRC) and finally “without objection” when he couldn’t find a legit one.

  8. Silence Hand says:

    Blasey Ford is completely short-circuiting the pinging assaults by actually engaging with Mitchell and being collegial.  That, and her master class in neuropsychology is totally collapsing the prosecution.

    The Republican side had no clue she’d hold up like this.

    • BobCon says:

      The cynic in me thinks they looked at how much of an amazing job Anita Hill did when she testified, and how it didn’t seem to affect a single vote.

      I hope I’m wrong, but when I look at the bunch of losers on the GOP side, I’m not confident any will care.

  9. Kokuanani says:

    Question: when Kavanaugh comes up, will Mitchell continue to be the “Republican questioner,” or will the Repub Senators suddenly find their courage?

  10. Bobby Gladd says:

    Senator Klobuchar tweet:

    I got the polygraph test Dr. Ford took showing truthfulness about her account in the record. To quote a judge: “law enforcement agencies use polygraphs to test the credibility of witnesses” & the tests “serve law enforcement purposes.” That judge was Brett Kavanaugh in 2016 case.

  11. posaune says:

    Did Orin Hatch really say, “You are an attractive witness?”

    They really don’t get it  . . . at . . . . all.

  12. Kokuanani says:

    How does Grassley get away with being such an asshole?  Are there NO decent, thinking women in Iowa?

    And posaune, I think Hatch was describing Ford to someone else:  “she’s an attractive witness.”  Same sentiment, just not directed at her.

  13. earlofhuntingdon says:

    More Mitchell looking at people who might be related to Ford’s data trail. Straight intimidation, regardless of the velvet covering on the iron fist, because it’s not germane to her claims or to Kavanaugh’s alleged behavior.

  14. Doctor My Eyes says:

    I can hardly stand it. I keep thinking of the debate in which Gore looked smart, Bush idiotic, and Gore wiped the floor with Bush on question after question. America decided Gore was smug and they wanted to have a beer with Bush. I wonder what five seconds could be extracted from Dr. Ford’s testimony and twisted into nonsense. Honorable, civic-minded, intelligent people like Ford have become public enemy no. 1 for the GOP.

    Please, please, five more people take your inspiration from this brave woman and step forward today. Where is the one male eyewitness or participant with the guts to do it? They have to be out there. Please, one of you, tell the truth and take your medicine.

  15. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Mitchell seems not to know the First Rule of Holes: When you’re in one, stop digging.

    She continues to dig for names, background and communications information that are not germane, except later to impugn the witness – and to make others and their support networks think twice before coming forward or offering their support to victims of abuse.

    Glad to hear Ford’s lawyers are acting pro bono. Ford seems the perfect client for whom to do that.

    Marcy notes another important point, raised by Sen. Hirono: Mitchell is not asking Ford about the actual events involving Brett Kavanaugh.

  16. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Kamala Harris is wasting most of her five minutes. Poor strategy for a former prosecutor and state attorney general.

    Mitchell reverts to going after people data.

    Now challenging Ford that the recollections of others at the party do not agree with hers.  It hardly needs saying the Kavanaugh and Judge have obvious reasons to not recollect events the same way.

    Ford’s retort, regarding other girls at the party: nothing remarkable happened to them.  Zing.  It could also be a double entendre, in that abuse might have been more common than we want to believe.

    • Rayne says:

      I think the Dems don’t want to commit unforced errors and they’re giving Dr. Ford some breathing room from wall-to-wall questions. They don’t need more information; it’s up to the GOP to impeach the witness who has been very forthcoming and highly credible.

      I do hope her attorneys coached her that Dems wouldn’t press.

      • Frank Probst says:

        Ditto.  There really wasn’t anything that Kamala Harris needed to add.  She basically presenting the closing argument about how badly the GOP bungled this.  And I think everyone agrees that the GOP bungled this.

    • bmaz says:

      Earl, I completely agree. Harris made one good point re: the MCAO prosecutorial manual Mitchell is trained on. Other than that she might as well have waived her time instead of pontificating.

  17. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Michell is trying to lecture psychologist Dr. Ford, on interviewing techniques for victims of abuse.  WTF? Seems like pure time wasting.

    One goal of Mitchell might be to impugn Ford by implying that if she were abused, she should be seeking counseling in California, not attempting to interfere in DC in the political act of nominating a lawyer to sit on the Supreme Court, and sitting for questions in five-minute increments.

    Grassley attempts to add “sworn statements” helpful to Kavanaugh to the record.  Democrats point out that those statements were not subject to cross examination, and at least one witness refuses voluntarily to submit to questioning.  Grassley avoids the issue that he could subpoena those witnesses on agreement with the Democrats.  Just a shit show.

    Dr. Ford excused, Sen. Grassley wishes her well.  Dr. Ford apparently now travels with a security guard to keep her safe.  From whom, one might ask.

    • Michael says:

      State of NH requires a practicing clinical psychologist to retain a therapist (per a significant other). Assuming CA has that requirement, Ford has – and has had, for quite a while – professional help at her finger tips.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        That’s probably a common state requirement, and probably also applies to all clinical therapists: psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, et al.

        But I don’t believe that was what Mitchell was interested in.  I think she was doing oppo research on Ford’s network, and slyly intimidating anyone from joining it, and by extension, anyone else’s.  She behaved as if it came from a GOP questions wish list.

  18. NorskieFlamethrower says:

    This day may be referred to in historical recollections as the moment the entire rolling coup we have been experiencing since 2001 began to come apart. This is the hill that Putin ordered America’s political ruling class to die on and they aren’t doing it with much dignity. This seems to me to be a moment like December 8, 1941. A frightened, divided and confused country begins to wake up with anger and purpose. Namaste

  19. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Senators Cornyn and Graham tag team shoveling the agreed Republican focus-grouped memes.  Right out of the Roy Cohn handbook: never concede, always attack, vehemently claim victim status, attack again.  The Democrats are politicizing a Republican truth-seeking process, yada, yada, yada.  Desperate and unimpressive.

  20. Rayne says:

    Holy gods Lindsey Graham’s meltdown afterward was a request to end his career in the Senate. Completely unglued.

    I don’t know if I can listen to Kavanaugh after this, I am so, so angry right now. You know those old white men on the GOP side are going to offer fluffer after fluffer to this guy who made them look bad simply because he couldn’t offer a mea culpa for being a stupid, drunk teenage boy.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      I suspect Little Lindsey was trying to rally the Senate’s Republican troops, after this morning’s debacle and in anticipation of a close vote.

      Do we know if Rachel Mitchell will be sitting in for the GOP Senators during Kavanaugh’s questioning?

      • Rayne says:

        Or he may have been trying to keep the wolves away from his door — makes me wonder if he’s been threatened with some punishment if he doesn’t ensure delivery of this Supreme Court seat. His way of saying to his minders, “I did everything I could!”

        No idea if Mitchell sits in on Kavanaugh’s questioning. I imagine Harris, Booker, Klobuchar, Whitehouse with heads together preparing to take him apart.

    • Frank Probst says:

      The only thing I’m interested in about Kavanaugh’s testimony is whether or not he keeps his story straight from Monday.  And I don’t think it matters much at this point.

  21. Doctor My Eyes says:

    I’m thinking she is asking peripheral questions simply because she has to fill the time with anything other than talk of the actual incident.  Studies show that any kind of talk of the incident, even talk that downplays it or claims to prove it didn’t happen, will fix thoughts of the incident in viewers’ minds without accurate reference to whether or not the incident occurred.  In the end, people will do an unconscious calculus based simply on what they were exposed to more often, this will be questions concerning Dr. Ford’s integrity, and the incident will not be much in their minds and will seem much vaguer than images of Dr. Ford reaching out or confused about how to get home. Based on this unconscious process, people will think they reached a rational conclusion that there is a question of Dr. Ford’s integrity and that the incident seems unlikely.  The more anything having to do with Dr. Ford’s integrity is talked about, the more people will think there is a question of Dr. Ford’s integrity. The less the incident is discussed, the less real it will seem.  We humans aren’t as smart as we like to think. Luckily, some of us have enough empathy that we can feel the reality of Dr. Ford’s testimony in our bones.

  22. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Brett Kavanaugh (’87) joined Delta Kappa Epsilon, DKE, his sophomore year at Yale.

    George W. Bush (’68) joined DKE his sophomore year at Yale. He was the Yale chapter’s president his senior year, the year he was initiated into famed secret society, Skull & Bones, as a legacy.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        Better frat house – and they’re better at keeping secrets and meeting their, um, mutual obligations of fidelity.

    • orionATL says:

      wasn’t bush was an acknowledged alcoholic for the first 20 or so years of his adult life. at the least, one story was that he was banned from the white house by barbara for his drunken behavior in the presence of guests.

  23. orionATL says:

    i want to say something very obvious but important to consider which strongly supports the veracity of kavanaugh’s accusers.

    christine ford’s and deborah ramirez’ and julie swetnick’s testimony (and that of probable others too) rests on a very solid foundation. that foundation is kavanaugh’s repeated drunkenes. all the accusations against kavanaugh have this one thing in common accompanying sexual assault  –  the son-of-a-bitch was stumbling drunk.

    lending unambiguous support to that rock-solid foundation for believing claims of sexual assault on kavanaugh’s part is the comment by one of his his college roommate::

    “… James Roche, Kavanaugh’s roommate in Fall 1983, said in a statement posted on Twitter that they didn’t socialize together much, but would chat at night after Kavanaugh would return from outings with his friends.

    “It is from this experience that I concluded that although Brett was normally reserved, he was a notably heavy drinker, even by the standards of the time, and that he became aggressive and belligerent when he was very drunk,” Roche said…”
    (huff post 9/25/18)

    that’s it. there is little reason to doubt the women’s stories relative to the greater reason to doubt to kavanugh’s denials because each assault story has in commmon with the others that he was stone drunk.

    • J R in WV says:

      And there is a very good reason we are talking about attempted rape, rather than actual rape — being falling down drunk often prevents a man from achieving an erection, without which one cannot rape a woman sexually. He would have had to use an object, which isn’t unbelievable at all, given his obvious anger and rage at being questioned.

      Imagine  his emotional outburst at being impotent to complete his attempted rape! These women are actually lucky he didn’t kill some of them in that raging alcoholic anger. And there he is testifying before the U S Senate, in a rage because he has been accused of attempted rape!!

  24. klynn says:

    (Reposting here)
    Why did Mitchell even agree to do this for the GOP when, as she pointed out, the approach goes against professional guidelines for sexual assault victims? What is her political motivation? Why didn’t she recommend to Grassley to proceed as per her own professional guidelines? Who is paying for her to be there? Every question and point Mitchell made to Ford in the closing time actually applied to herself more and Ford less.

  25. Ollie/Bee and I sting says:

    Having remembered the Anita Hill trial, I thought this one was better as far as what we’ve got here. My thoughts are I was wondering if those ancient white men and their known control issues, seriously regretted their control over to Mitchell. They were reaping what they sowed.
    I thought Dr. Ford was extremely credible and I cried at the connection I had w/her. The smothering, the laughing at her, having to walk down that stairwell, into that room w/people, to have to reach the door all w/o falling over……….that’s what it’s like: snapshots. I used to describe it as we’ve always seen the video. Each moment but someday? The audio (feelings) someday out of nowhere, will line up w/that video and suddenly: you feel it all. The walls come down. The anger erupts. The hatred of self that I didn’t protect myself. This is stupid. I belonged to a group of women who had been violated. Two Doc’s (women) guided our group. One of the women, I’ll call her Susan, would show up w/black eyes. She went thru a dark time where she kept trying to comite suicide. We found out when she never returned: she had been being sexual abused by her fucking father her whole life. Even thru her marriage her dad would come over and have sex. It wasn’t until she caught him w/her 4 year old that reality hit. Her audio lined up w/her video and she went to the cops. Turned in her father. Then was admitted into a mental hospital for healing. My experience is her experience. Jenny’s is my experience. Susan’s experience is all of our experience.
    I’m so grateful for this Rayne. I think it’s going to be more difficult when that dickwad comes in. I KNOW how men act when faced w/their behavior.

    • Rayne says:

      I think we owe a massive debt to Anita Hill. The torment she went through showed the limits Congress has in questioning credible victims though clearly based on GOP behavior they will push these reset limits.

      I also can’t help wonder how much race helped Dr. Ford, not that she could do anything about it. Just makes how Hill was treated so much more obvious by comparison.

      • oldoilfieldhand says:

        and so much more unforgivable. The reason black women and men are portrayed as less human is it’s easier to overlook their treatment at the hands of colonizers and their overseers. It’s a hard rain gonna fall! Find your local NAACP branch and join tomorrow!

  26. Trip says:

    Kavanaugh looks like shit, and he came with the smug indignation. I’m out, I can’t take him. I will follow comments instead of watching the judicial version of a Trumpian approach.

    How dare Grassley bring up witnesses when he wouldn’t allow any?

    • Michael says:

      Are you referring to his “… no corroboration” bluster? Yeah, I came out of my chair at that.

      “Corroboration? To the attempted rape? Oh sure… I have a friend at hand at all times, in case, you know, a rape breaks out.”

  27. orionATL says:

    especially hopeful to me amidst this charade of justice played out by republicancongress.con has been the response of young students at yale law:

    “…Students and faculty members from Yale Law School packed the campus’s largest church on Tuesday for a hastily arranged town hall, where they spoke about the sexual assault allegations swirling around the Supreme Court nominee, Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh, a 1990 graduate of the school.
    That was after a campus sit-in that prompted the cancellation of many classes, and protests in Washington, D.C., where two of their colleagues were arrested, and a blistering email that a group of students sent out to their classmates and faculty that said that the Kavanaugh nomination had exposed “our entire school’s culture of legal elitism and fixation on proximity to power.”
    It was an abrupt shift on campus. In the days after Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination in June, … The school’s dean, Heather K. Gerken, called him “a longtime friend to many of us in the Yale Law School community.” Other professors praised him.
    Now, in the wake of recent troubling allegations linked to the school, the authors of the email said many students felt even more “alienated, disillusioned, and frustrated with the ambivalence and moral abdication of this institution, its faculty, and its administration.”… ”
    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/26/nyregion/yale-touted-kavanaugh-now-comes-a-moment-of-reckoning.html?

    “alienated, disillusioned, and frustrated with the ambivalence and moral abdication of this institution, its faculty, and its administration.”

    that about sums it up for many of us.

    good for them!

    • orionATL says:

      and a mormon women’s group makes demands on mormon reublican senators hatch, lee, flake, and crapo to suspend super-k’s nomination pending thorough investigation.

      https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/25/us/politics/kavanaugh-mormon-women.html

      and my wife returned from the mutual english-spanish teaching get with a neighnor, reporting in astonishment that her apolitical friend had the tv turned to a spanish language broadcast of the ford hearing. so they sat there and watched.

      this stuff is going deep.

  28. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Poor Brett is wery, wery angwy. His name has been totally and permanently destroyed.

    He’s attacking the Senate for substituting advice & consent with search & destroy. He’s worried about violence and against his family and violent e-mails being sent to his wife. (Never mind the much more vulnerable Dr. Ford.) This is all a calculated political hit. Revenge of the Clintons. This is a circus. I fear for the future. (Geeze, this guy has dredged up every Republican meme since Reagan left office.)

    You – his enemies – sowed the wind, the whole country will reap the whirlwind. (He should stop watching old films about famous monkey trials.)

    Roy Cohn 101: denial, angry attack, claim victim status, attack again. Roy has a lot to answer for. He didn’t stop generating victims when he left Joe McCarthy’s employ.

  29. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Brett is angwy about the coordinated effort to “destroy him,” that is, to refuse his job application for public employment.  He’s just fine with the even more coordinated effort to raise him to the Supreme Court.  That’s not politics.

    Brett, 53, is trying not to cry when talking about his parents, especially his mom, who encouraged him to be a lawyer.  Here comes the Eagle Scout spiel.  He’s taking this personally, when it’s strictly business.

    • Doctor My Eyes says:

      Much appreciated, EoH. I can’t watch. As with Trump’s “speech”, your inspired summaries tell the story. Keep it coming; it’s a public service. I won’t be laughing for a couple of days, but the caustic humor does take the edge off.

  30. koolmoe says:

    This guy…such a smarmy fella…gah.

    “Listen to the people around me!” “No issues over my career”
    yeah, like the ones withdrawing their names from your support and the additional allegations coming out now that Ford blazed the way.

    “No investigations revealed anything, no other allegations”

    Cause no one dare say anything at that time…schmucky

    and in sum “I deserve this”

    Screw you fella. I hope Dems do a great job rebutting all his claims and don’t grandstand – just straight, clear, cutting questions.

    Gah what a privileged dirtball.

    • Doctor My Eyes says:

      This one is becoming a regular feature: investigations revealed nothing. Reminds me of the guy who lost his phone on Elm Street but was looking for it on Main because that’s where the street lights are. His investigation found nothing.

    • koolmoe says:

      “have you ever been to a gathering like this”

      “No”

      How can a drinker, even a not blackout drinker, remember every ‘gathering’ they’ve been too back in HS? Just that immediate ‘No’ sure tells me its just reaction, not truth. Truth would be ‘maybe, I wouldn’t recall a small gathering from way back then’

  31. JD12 says:

    I think Kavanaugh just subconsciously confirmed Ford’s allegation.

    “we sit here today, some 36 years after the alleged event occurred,”

    Trump supposedly said he was weak in his Fox News interview, doesn’t it look like he’s going overboard with the anger now?

    • JD12 says:

      Now after denying being at “any such” party, “The witnesses who were there say it didn’t happen” under questioning by Booker.

  32. Rapier says:

    At least he isn’t going to have to do much to appear properly neutral, in the classic scales of justice mode, as a judge now. He’s going to revel in getting his revenge. Good luck Justice Roberts in saving the tattered remains of the Courts legitimacy.

  33. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Mrs. Kavanaugh is having trouble focusing on Brett’s delivery.

    EW is right, it’s hard to imagine this sweet guy as a violent drunk. Nope, not with all the pent up, Catholic guilt, that boys’ school repression, that big athlete’s sense of power. Nope.

    His delivery today is as wooden as Donald Trump’s. He keeps repeating that other people who supposedly were there deny knowing him or being at a party with him. But this committee refuses to hear those statements directly, which makes them inadmissible hearsay (since Brett and the Republicans insist that this is a trial).

    Brett is so thorough he’s taking time talking about Dr. Ford’s age, that she couldn’t drive, and didn’t live near the sites in question. I gotta tell you, taxi cabs and friends who can drive are a dime a dozen in upscale Chevy Chase and Bethesda.

    Crying again. Now his wife is paying attention. Has no one told Brett that the standard Hollywood advice is to make ’em laugh, not make ’em cry.

  34. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Sniff. Sniff. Drink of water.

    Brett contends the party in question must have been on a weekend, because high school seniors have summer jobs and don’t party or drink on weekday nights. (The ladies’ chorus behind him are much more serious today.)

    All this scheduling crap – hanging out, having some (illegal) beer with friends, talking about girls – lawn cutting, working, working out. Again, meeting up and having (illegal) beers. I don’t think that recitation helps him as much as he thinks it does.

    • Doctor My Eyes says:

      In reference to my previous comment, I’m glad he keeps talking about it, keeping it on people’s minds. All he had to do from the beginning is act surprised or puzzled and keep his mouth shut. Thank heaven’s his lifetime of lying about who he is rendered him unable to avoid feeding the flames.

  35. Pacific says:

    Raging Brett, tells us he is the victim here. He’s raging because his past sexual assaults are coming back to haunt him, and he is feeling so sad. What a piece of garbage. Oh, he is so upset that Dr. Ford came forward to tell the truth. He is whining and feeling oh so sorry for himself.

    He has the audacity to say he would have welcomed an FBI investigation, but I never heard him ask for it when Dr. Ford was begging for the same. Well, I say the Senate should give him the FBI investigation that he asked for, after the hearing is over and they can look at the other sexual assault claims that have been leveled against him and talk to his friend Judge.

    Dr. Ford’s truth came shining through. Dr. Ford confronted him with the truth and poor Brent, cannot deal with that, and he is angry. Get over it Brent. You lied about many things in the previous hearings, and you are lying now.

  36. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Friends for a lifetime. I have friends for a lifetime. Some of them are women, some of them are behind me today.

    Sometimes I had too many beers. I did not black out. I never sexually assaulted anyone. If every American who drank beer…. (My, he’s using all the hoary arguments.)

    Sniff. Cry. Drink water. Sniffle. My friends and I have cringed….

    The references to Renate were terms of affection. Nothing about it was about sex (she wasn’t a keg everyone drank from).

    No sex in high school or for many years after that. Proud of it. A matter of faith, respect and caution. (Let’s take a poll of his Yale classmates about that.)

    Crying. Tears. Sniffle. My women friends from college love me platonically.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      BK’s characterization of his desire for the celibate life does not fit my recollections of the 1980s.  It does not fit the combination of ambitious boy’s private school, Ivy League-bound, big guy athlete, and high school senior.

      That’s when you are at the top of your game and still feel invincible.  Add only child, wealthy suburb, and the hard drinking (I never passed out, but I fell asleep), which decimates restraint, and his story becomes incredible.  It’s possible, but it is not a credible.

  37. Shangela Merkel says:

    Character aside (and it isn’t), I’m not sure Judge Kavanaugh has the stability to serve as a Supreme Court Justice. This is bizarre.

  38. Pacific says:

    Truly pathetic sexual assaulter. But Brett says he can’t be one because he has a lot of women friends.

    Sorry Brett. You got away with it for years. Now you are called to account.

  39. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Friends.  Friends.  Hold onto them.  Love them.

    Friends, help me.  (I’m in too deep a hole to get out on my own.)  Next, he’ll be talking about the twelve steps.

    A man of the highest integrity.  Isn’t that how Trump and his whole White House described Rob Porter?

    A majority of my clerks have been women because they are underrepresented in the law.  He’s a feeder judge to the Supremes.  All four of his clerks now are women, hired in case he goes to the Supremes.  That is who I am.  That is who I was.

  40. earlofhuntingdon says:

    I love the law. I may never be able to teach again.

    I love coaching girls’ basketball. I may never be able to do that again. Thanks to what the Democrats “have unleashed”.

    I revere the Constitution. All hail, in praise of Trump for nominating me to the Supremes. Tears notwithstanding, he says nothing about what he would do to that Constitution.

    If a mere assertion of an allegation from 36 years ago can destroy a man’s life…. Well, no, if believed, they would deny you a seat on the Supreme Court, a job promotion.

    I am innocent of this charge. Brett is suddenly not the slightest bit teary.

    Astoundingly, Rachel Mitchell is still speaking on behalf of the elderly, white, male, Republican, lawyer Senators.

    • Peacerme says:

      He looks full of shame to me. Too much emotion. Dysregulation. Defensiveness. Also why is he worried about his coaching or teaching if he’s innocent?? I get the fear….but he’s way too worried about that. (Unless he’s guilty and afraid now people will know??) “I won’t be able to coach my daughters team?” Not unless…you are a registered sex offender?? Does he really imagine if he makes Supreme Court Justice people will pull their kids if he coaches? That makes no sense?? Unless in the back of your mind…you fear…they find the truth. That’s my 2 cents. He’s worrying about consequences that are not happening, unless he’s guilty.

      • JD12 says:

        He does look full of shame. I think he knows he’s not getting confirmed.

        I imagine Brett’s not a real bad guy, but did stupid things in the past. He has a wife and two daughers, he probably generally behaves himself. But he’s making the problem so much worse by not bowing out.

        He looks like he’s so close to asking “What difference at this point does it make?” How great would that be?

        • Trip says:

          It might have played differently if he had admitted he drank to excess in the past and didn’t remember shit, but that he has changed. Someone with that history might have some empathy on evaluating court cases, prisoners, etc., with the possibility of redemption, and the human condition, in general. But he insisted on presenting perfection, no mistakes.

  41. Avattoir says:

    Apparently, voting No on the Kavanaugh nom is the equivalent of outlawing beer.

    Apart from the really pathetic crybaby fake tears crap, this dude does not appear to be any good at law, given how he butchered the facts on what the others said to be at the gathering actually said and the value of their (or anyone’s) untested statements.

    I got the distinct impression that his main audience for this wretched performance is TOADUS. Not sure how that will work: ‘Mulay Mulay Mulay, crying like a bitch: I prefer men who DON’T cry.

  42. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Angwy, angwy, Bwett can’t control himself when responding to Feinstein’s softball question, why does he not want the FBI to investigate these claims.

    Good time to say that BK is an expert on moving judicial nominees through the Senate approval process. He did it for years for Bush, he followed it for Bush when he was Staff Sec’y. He did it himself for the three years it took to get his own nomination approved. He has been a federal appeals court judge in DC for a dozen years. He knows this shit inside and out. But he’s claiming victim status because of a ten day delay.

    He claims Feinstein is “interviewing” him, which is not the same

    BK; [Angrily] “The Swetnick thing is a joke, a farce.”
    DF: [Temping him] “Would you like to say more about it.”
    BK: “No.” [Escaped by a whisker.]

    • Rayne says:

      I am still laughing at that last bit. DF gave him enough rope to hang himself and he stopped just after he finished tying the knot but before he stuck his head in the noose — suddenly self-aware.

      I can’t believe this jackass actually raised his voice multiple times at Feinstein. Men are too emotional to be on the bench. LOL

      • Doctor My Eyes says:

        Ha.  That line did get a smile out of me.  Very funny, Rayne.  Thank you so much for all you have done and said around this.  You’ve been just great, the perfect tone, the perfect host. It is a relief to be where emotions are appropriate to the circumstances.  Thank you so very much.  Take good care of yourself. Decompression will be necessary, at least for me.

    • Trip says:

      He didn’t demand an FBI investigation. He said he’d go with whatever the committee wanted (knowing full well they have no intentions of starting an investigation).

  43. sand says:

    I want to share this, but I’m thinking that I tend to connect ideas without knowing if the connections will make sense to anyone else. I’m feeling a bit sad/lost, but this is what is stuck in my head today:

    I feel like our country is going through a metamorphosis. The old body is dying, and I’m wondering what we’ll become. I’m a perpetual optimist, so I found this about butterflies:

    – When they’ve outgrown their current skin, a hormone called ecdysone is released, instructing the larva to moult. After it moults about five times, the larva stops feeding, hangs upside down from a twig or leaf, and then either spins itself a silky cocoon or molts into a shiny chrysalis.

    The fact that they shed their skin five times made me think of this:

    – A naked man has few secrets, a flayed man none.

    When we peel off the skin, we see the ugliness underneath, and it’s painful . . .

    I’m hoping that today is a part of one of the last stages of the moulting process. We’re trying to shed racism, sexism, condoning abuse, covering up abuse, loyalty-over-integrity . . .

    I’m hoping that the pain means we’re making progress. Whoever is trying to defend the past or MAGA is just part of the old skin.

    Kavanaugh(t) is old skin. I think we’ll leave him behind.

    • Betsy says:

      No, there’s no redemptive future in store, no butterfly age ahead.  All that is in human history is keeping the flame alive, returning to the love of knowledge, liberality, Justice as best as can be within the constraints of each time and place. Each generation’s task is to pass the torch on undimmed to the next; this is not an eternal, or even a lasting, solution, but it is challenge enough.

      Final solutions are all illusory, or horrific.

  44. earlofhuntingdon says:

    BK: I like beer.  Sometimes I drink too many.
    RM: What do you consider too many beers?
    BK:I don’t know.  [Sure sign of at least incipient alcoholism.]
    RM: Have you ever passed out from drinking too many beers?
    BK: No, fell asleep….

    Mitchell goes through detailed list allowing BK to make serial denials, with one word, No.  Softball.  BK’s arms are crossed now.  Defensive.

    The Dems have a chance to bait this guy into a goddamned right I did moment.  DF drew him out, but BK reluctantly pulled back, realizing his exposure.  Recess.  Miller Time.

  45. Legonaut says:

    I’ve been lurking here for several months, marveling at the quality of reporting & levels of discourse exhibited by Marcy & the community of mods/commenters. Thank you all so much!

    Today, I feel moved to join the conversation by Dr. Ford’s testimony, as well as the testimonials of everyone with their own painful burdens borne for so long.

    My wife & I are of similar ages to Dr. Ford and Judge Kavanaugh; as a PhD research psychologist, Dr. Ford is what my wife wanted to be when I met her as an undergraduate. (Although I didn’t think so at the time, it turns out we were probably fortunate we didn’t get invited to those kinds of parties in high school.) All of this to say, ‘there but for the grace of…’.

    It would not surprise me in the least to find that Dr. Ford’s academic & career paths were significantly influenced by the experiences she’s so valiantly shared with us all, and her struggle to understand & cope with their impacts. Having watched from close adjacency, it’s not a path lightly chosen.

    Anyway, thanks again to everyone here for your courage sharing your stories!

  46. Shangela Merkel says:

    Current prediction is that these hearings will go down as the “I still like beer” hearings. Which is not to say that won’t be superseded by something else shortly.

    The contempt he shows for the process by not listening to and answering questions is breathtaking.

  47. koolmoe says:

    Mitchell: What do you consider to be too many beers?

    BK: I don’t know, whatever the chart says.
    HA! That’s cause ‘too many’ back when you’re chugging is a non-acceptable ’12 or more’ type answer…not the ‘2 or 3’ answer that’s on the chart.
    “whatever”
    Drunk

  48. End Call says:

    After the BK 1st quarter, I realize that the devil has come to collect on the teen bargain he made.  Another tRump who does a bad job denying his past.

  49. earlofhuntingdon says:

    I like Nicole Wallace, despite her past work for the GW Bush administration.  But the problem here is not a lack of bipartisanship.  The Senate rarely exhibits that.  The problem is not a both sides do it problem.  It is that the Republicans are ramming this through without even the level of investigation that took place in the Anita Hill/Clarence Thomas hearings.

    The Republicans want what they want.  Kavanaugh is just their spear carrier.  They don’t care who or what he is, only that he be loyal and not drop the spear.  The problem is the difference in view over what each party wants from a Supreme Court judge.

    That is about executive and corporate power, about keeping women and minorities of all kinds out of power, about a shrinking minority of white men of power keeping sole grasp of it.  At least some Democrats want less partisanship and more balance on the Supreme Court, especially for the replacement of Justice Kennedy.

  50. earlofhuntingdon says:

    BK is arguing with and loudly talking over Sen. Leahy. He must have had a drink or two over the break.

    Per BK, it’s Mark Judge who has the drinking problem.

  51. koolmoe says:

    Just the way this guy brags about how good a student he was…omg. Doesn’t answer the question, just bloviating about how great he was. Trumpian..

  52. Parker Dooley says:

    In 1983 (& since 1982) the drinking age in MD was 21, as also in CT when he was an undergrad. He was not of legal drinking age during the time of any of the alleged incidents in high school or for 2-3 years at Yale. As a federal judge, he should be aware of this.

      • Steve13209 says:

        I do not believe drinking age was grandfathered. I know people who were legal at 18, illegal at 20 and legal again at 21

        • Frank Probst says:

          It varied from state to state.  I think in Virginia, there was one point where the drinking age for beer was lower than the drinking age for other alcoholic beverages.

  53. earlofhuntingdon says:

    BK cannot answer a question. He’s explaining high school to an octogenarian.

    Grassley: We were fair to Dr. Ford, we’re going to be fair to Judge Kavanaugh.

    BK recounts his high school career in minute detail….Let me finish….
    Even Leahy tell BK he doesn’t have to filibuster to answer his question. Just answer it.
    Leahy: We got a filibuster but not an answer.

    Mitchell goes back to BK’s calendar. Fucking filler, nicknames and football workouts. Geebus.

    • Rayne says:

      I am absolutely aghast at his yelling at and over Senator Leahy. He’s as unhinged as Trump.

      I hope to hell Leahy goes after him by pursuing other legal methods apart from this hearing because this guy shouldn’t sit on a federal bench.

    • Trip says:

      He’s a hot mess. He shouldn’t even be a judge in his current position. How can he ask anyone in court, as a judge, to “just answer the question”?

      He really comes across as guilty.

  54. Tracy says:

    Belligerent! Aggressive! Unhinged!

    Not a good look.

    Totally been coached to be Donald Trump here – angry, aggressive. Just confirms things said about him.

    Obviously been over-coached to go the other way!

    Not so angry w Mitchell who’s handling him w kid gloves. With the dems he’s awful!!!! Totally for an audience of 1.

  55. starrn says:

    Lurker for the past few months here, first time comment (well, question):

    What do the Russians/Trump have on Graham?

    Thanks for the outstanding reporting, and the illuminating comments. I learn so much from all of you.

  56. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Grassley loudly annoyed about suggestion from Durbin that BK tell McGahn to have the president call out the FBI to investigate these charges (which would avoid the empty he said-she said ).

    BK: I welcome the committee’s direction.  Durbin: I want to know what you want.  BK; The FBI doesn’t reach conclusions, you know it’s a phony question.  BK: It’s up to the committee.  Durbin: Do you think that’s the best thing to do (FBI investigation)?  BK: Freezes.  Repeats talking points.  Losing steam.  Destroying my family, yada, yada, yada.

    Grassley tells Durbin to ask for his own FBI investigation.  (But it’s the committee that has to ask for it.)

    Little Lindsey asks his own questions.  He’s in full prosecutor mode now, asking his own witness leading questions.  He’s angrily denouncing Durbin now.  Lindsey is loosing it, the most unethical sham since I’ve been in politics.  (Guess he has a short memory.)  Theatrical anger, finger pointing, sneering, laments lack of fair process in process his party controls.  Lobs softball at BK, who fluffs it like the second baseman nobody wants on his team.

    Lindsey is hopping in his chair now.  His understanding is that if you lived a good life, people recognize it.  If not, people recognize that, too.  (Lindsey wants to substitute first impressions for federal investigations and congressional oversight.)  I hope the American people see through this charade.  (Lindsey’s behaving as if he were at a Southern states’s rights convention.)

    • Betsy says:

      The last time a South Carolinian in Congress behaved like that, he left a man almost dead on the chamber floor.  So glad Graham didn’t bring a cane.

  57. JimP says:

    The man is entirely obviously lying – and doing everything he can to resist an FBI investigation – which would prove he is lying.

    • Rayne says:

      I agree, he was trying very hard to walk a line between Check-it-out-I’m-telling-the-truth! and Anything-the-committee-wants. But he clearly needs to have the FBI crawl up his ass.

      p.s. You have two usernames now, please stick to one so community members get to know you. Thanks!

  58. earlofhunting says:

    Whitehouse, too, goes back to BK’s yearbook.  BK distracts with story about liking ketchup on spaghetti.  Whitehouse isn’t buying.  BK: I was at the top of my class in high school…. Geeze. He can’t remember anything but the talking points he’s had drilled into him.

    BK being argumentative with former prosecutor Whitehouse is going nowhere.

    BK says “Renate”, only to confirm its pronunciation.  Great friend of ours.  Media circus is unfair to her.  Her yearbook references had nothing to do with sex.

    Whitehouse: Devil’s triangle?  BK: Drinking game.  WH: How is it played?  BK: quarters.

    (This guy knows a lot of lore about drinking from a very early age.)

    • viget says:

      I’ve played my fair share of drinking games… never heard of “Devil’s Triangle.”  His description from this testimony sounds like a mashup between quarters and Beirut, or as some people call it, Pyramid or Beer Pong.  That is, it sounds totally made up.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        I see the urban dictionary reference, but BK was describing a drinking game. That implies, however, that the goal was to get drunk fast. The dictionary suggests a sexual purpose or component, as in strip poker.

        I vote for beer pong.  Devil’s triangle sounds like it requires less space and equipment: a quarter, a poker chip, or a tiddlywink, and three mugs of beer.  This is a guy who drank a lot very early in life, and behaves as if he still does.  That’s a helluva habit to break.

        • Rayne says:

          It’s a tough call, that’s for sure.

          Graham made me think of a quote by Carl Sandburg: “If the facts are against you, argue the law. If the law is against you, argue the facts. If the law and the facts are against you, pound the table and yell like hell.”

          Actually applies to both Kavanaugh and Graham — yelling like hell and pounding on the table.

          • JD12 says:

            Watching Graham, and Lee, Hatch, and Sasse afterwards, reminds me of  this essay I came across the other day where Monica Lewinsky mentions this theory that Republicans see the country as a family. That metaphor makes a lot of sense. Republicans are arguing that since this is bad for the Kavanaughs, it’s bad for the country. They also think as the majority they are the father, and they’re not happy that the Democratic wife has taken control of the situation.

            https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2018/02/monica-lewinsky-in-the-age-of-metoo#~o

            • Rayne says:

              Mirrors Lakoff’s ‘Strict Father/Nurturant Mother’ model. They’d better get ready for the Wrath of Mother Goddess which is none of the above.

  59. Rapier says:

    I’m sure BK will still be able to get attractive women to clerk for him. They are lining up now. Talk about conservatives bona fides. Pure gold.

  60. Ollie/Bee and I sting says:

    I told you!  I TOLD YOU!  Those old white idiots finally broke!  I knew they wouldn’t be able to get thru the hearing w/o speaking.  Giving all their power to Mitchell was going to set them off like a rocket.  Graham almost made me throw up.  What a fucking asshole.

  61. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Sen. Cornyn harkens back to the Army-McCarthy hearings: Have you no decency…. Cornyn’s referring to atrocious conduct by a drunken Republican Senator.

    Cornyn repeats Graham’s meme that “this is not a job interview”. Claims you would have to find BK a criminal in order not to vote for him. Geeze. I wonder if he and Lindsey coordinated this line?

    Cornyn yammers about fair process, spinning trial standards instead of job interview standards – explicitly acknowledging this is not a trial in anticipation of criticism of his and Graham’s ploy. BK is right to be angry…. Tries to shift burden of away from BK, the job applicant, back to criminal procedure. Repeats, this is not a trial, even while arguing that criminal procedure rules apply.

  62. greenwarrior says:

    Too much probing from Rachel Mitchell.

    (Rayne, it’s been years since I commented. My email has changed and I’m not sure what name I used at that point. I’ll stick with this name now.)

  63. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Klobuchar repeats that BK should ask the WH to have an FBI investigation. BK claims the SJC is doing the investigation, which he knows is a lie, as it is not investigating, merely interviewing a constricted list of witnesses. BK compliments K, distracting and wasting time.

    K needs to get more control of her witness. K interjects that her own dad is an alcoholic. Repeats quotes that BK was a frequent, mean drunk. BK refutes that. (Basically, I didn’t get along with my first Yale roommate, impugning his critic.) K, absurdly, asks BK if she can ask one more question. BK denies ever drinking so much he could not remember what happened the night before. BK tries to ask K whether she has a drinking problem.

    Grassley whines that any Senator could ask the president to start an FBI investigation. I mean whines, stating incorrect description of what FBI investigates. Quotes Biden from Thomas investigation. [FBi may not reach conclusion, but it does investigate facts and reputation.] Whitehouse tries to correct Grassley, who decides to take a break.

    • jdmckay says:

      BK (I thought) very defiantly shot back at Klobuchar asking if she ever experienced blackouts when she asked him the same.  Not much to respect wrt temperament AFAIC.  He’s done this several times.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Openly manipulative of her, whereas he was defensively aggressive with the men questioners.  Klochubar was unacceptably weak in her questioning. 

      The exchange highlighted his personality, which seems pretty clearly to be kiss up and shit down, with a very short fuse.  (Somebody told BK to apologize to K, which he just did.)

      • Trip says:

        I actually thought she was effective. And she gave him an out, which he failed to take. He demonstrated that he couldn’t even answer a respectful/gentle question without condescension. Further, he went on to whine about not getting along with the roommate. But that’s an adolescent’s answer. An adult, a good witness, just answers the damn question.

  64. earlofhuntingdon says:

    I agree that Little Lindsey wants to replace Jefferson Beauregard Sessions as Attorney General. Why anyone would want to work more closely with Trump is beyond me. What can he do there he can’t do in the Senate, given his seniority?

    There’s no objective reason the Republicans should be happy about Kavanaugh’s performance, as opposed to Lindsey’s delightful one.

    I am unimpressed that MSNBC thinks Graham’s outburst was genuine, although I am delighted that a guest on MSNBC agrees that Graham is hoping to replace Sessions. The network’s claim that we’re watching the “lions of the Senate at work” is puerile.

      • BobCon says:

        It’s possible he doesn’t want to give up his seat, it’s another favor he’s doing for Trump, for some reason. He’d more likely get approved when Sessions is out than a lot of potential nominees.

        Which would continue the mystery of why Graham is constantly carrying water for Trump.

  65. Trip says:

    People asked Kavanaugh questions gently, and he exploded. Hatch feels that’s unfair.
    It’s unfair to the American people that he won’t answer questions.

  66. Jan says:

    My takeaway (as a non-American) thus far: Kavanaugh is trying desperately to avoid his past – while – the alleged incident occurred in his past. Politicians are beneath contempt – on both sides. This a kangaroo court.
    I believe Dr. Ford.

  67. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Ornery Orrin is in high dudgeon about BK being fair to a fair man.  This is worse than Bork and Thomas, repeating the meme that this is “a national disgrace”, obviously a strategy and a roll-out by the boys in the back room.

    (We’re not talking about BK’s behavior in high school or college, we’re talking about his lies about that behavior today.)

    Orrin is testifying: BK was an immature high schooler.  So were we all [all, honorable men….]

    Orrin is rolling out again the lateness of the allegations about BK’s misconduct, which Cornyn and Lindsey performed earlier in the day.  Orrin is reading his script, without certainty but without much feeling.

  68. JimP says:

    This is way scary. He is screaming and yelling and lying- going full Trump. Now Hatch is doing the same.

    My bet is Collins votes no – Flake votes yes because is a real coward. The red state democrats vote yes because Trump has turned their electorate fascist – and we are in deep trouble.

  69. koolmoe says:

    I’m disappointed that none of the Dems are explicitly asking him from a judge’s perspective, if someone else was accused of all these issues, would it not raise character issues and would they not be cause for investigation? If this situation came up in your courtroom, how would you handle it…?

  70. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Coons: Have you ever gotten aggressive while drinking?

    BK: Basically no, but I don’t know what you mean by that.  [Another indication of abusive drinking.]  He’s aggressive, trying to take control from the questioner.  I guess the focus groups think that plays well to the base.

    Coons: Recounts description of problem drinking.

    BK: Defends by saying the commentator can’t remember any particular instance of BK’s overdrinking.  A non-denial denial.

    Coons: Aggressive frequent drunk

    BK: From freshman year roommate.  Redacted (?) portion of minutes tell you about why that roommate and I didn’t get along.

    BK is trying to control pace of oversight.  He doesn’t want to wait another week while the FBI investigates any of these issues.  Grassley yells again that that’s the Democrats fault.  (He must be weaing waders, because the bullshit is pretty deep.)

    Why does Grassley think a letter from 65 women, who didn’t go to school with BK, when school and sports, church and drinking, took up the entire day, is informed or persuasive?

    Lee: Delivering memes that BK does not control pace or direction of any oversight or investigation.  Blames delay on Democrats, especially for not disclosing Dr. Ford’s letter, so that FBI could investigate.  (Which the FBI would not have done without a request from the president.)  Repeats GOP claim that if the Dems want to know something, they need only ask BK, who’s right there.  Conveniently forgets that BK is conflicted and not an objective witness.

    Lee again quotes Biden, that FBI investigations do not reach a conclusion.  I guess the focus groups were busy during the break, as were the GOP Senators in handing out messaging assignments.

    Sasse repeats Coons talking points.

    • Greenhouse says:

      “What’s that smell in this room? Didn’t you notice it, Brett Brick? Didn’t you notice a powerful and obnoxious odor of mendacity in this room? There ain’t nothin’ more powerful than the odor of mendacity… You can smell it. It smells like death.” Big Daddy

  71. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Blumenthal: Core of why we’re here is credibility.

    BK [aggressively]: Core of why we’re here is claims from witness that have disproven by others there.

    Blumenthal asks about Renate:

    BK: Your question is false, unfortunate, you’re dragging her through the mud.  (He’s been told during the break to be even more aggressive.)  Then he mumbles, flailing, tired.

    B: Critiques BK’s opening statement, which was that this is all about political disagreements with Trump.

    BK interrupts B again, when B asks about BK falling out of a bus drunk at 4.45 am one day in law school.  BK refuses to let B finish his question.

    BK: Chomps on bit.  I know what happened.  Long story about getting drunk at a baseball game in Boston.  I know exactly what happened all that night.  Yada, yada, yada.

    Crapo yammers about problems with actually having FBI investigation, giving BK leading, softball questions, calming BK down and redirecting his anxiety.  Chewing up time, belaboring investigatory process, taking more time to do it than the SJC did actually investigating.  Accuses Dems of delay, delay, delay (ignoring that Tom was in the other House and went to jail some years ago).  Claims SJC has already done investigations Dems are asking for.  Blames the Dems, who suggested that that nice [mean] Dr. Ford was told what DC lawyer to use by a Democrat.  As has been said on twitter, Katz would have been the go to lawyer any informed adviser would have suggested to Ford.

    BK is demonstrating how mean a drunk he could be, given his behavior with Democratic Senators, who might control whether he gets on the Supremes or stays on the DC Circuit.  All the MSM says is that BK’s behavior is unprecedented, which means only that we’ll have to reset the rulebook, avoiding commenting on BK’s conduct of himself.

    Recess.

  72. Tracy says:

    Maya Wiley – if you have someone w an alleged violent crime against them, you don’t want to see him acting in an aggressive belligerent manner.

    Plus he came out and attacked a female here: Amy Klobuchar.

    Temperament is an important trait to consider, yes Masie!!!

  73. Trype says:

    “We’re here because they wanted to address charges that they thought were unfair, or activities, like sexual assault that is unfair, so I want to assure Sen. Durbin, regardless of what you say to Sen. Don McGahn (sic), we’re not suspending this hearing,” Grassley declared.

    Sexual assault isn’t just “unfair” ….
    Perhaps a very silly question, could rapists and the like try to use this minimizing language to bolster a defence? It’s shocking to watch and not fear long term repercussions. 

    https://www.rawstory.com/2018/09/stop-clock-democrat-calls-kavanaughs-bluff-investigation-gops-grassley-melts/

  74. earlofhuntingdon says:

    From EW’s twitter, by Tim Dickinson: “we’re seeing a 53 year old man facing a consequence for the first time.”

    No wonder Donald Trump likes him.  Consequences would be new to both of them.  (Always reminds me of the Ghandi quip, when asked what he thought of western civilization: it would be a good idea.)

  75. viget says:

    Wonder if the doubling down on aggression is meant for an audience of one — DJT?

    I am sure that the preznit did not like his initial opening blubbering contriteness… made him look weak.  He was probably told that during the first break.

  76. koolmoe says:

    Don’t just two republicans need to vote ‘no’?

    Collins and Murkowski HAVE to see through this guy, right?

    Flake would be icing, but at least Collins and Muskowski have to be not only disgusted with BK but with the Republican responses/ranting here. Ugh.

    • Anura says:

      Everyone in that room “sees through” it. For Republicans, that’s why they are voting for him. They are in full-on power grab mode and absolutely nothing else matters to them.

  77. Legonaut says:

    Sure would like to know how Ed Whelan got Dr Ford’s name (before WaPo published it) to look up her LinkedIn profile for his doppelgänger “theory”. WH denies leaking it. If true, would only leave K as source.

    Seems like someone has some ‘splainin’ to do…

  78. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Sen. Hirono:

    Credibility, character, and candor, are they considerations for putting you for life on the Supreme Court?  Yes.

    Is temperament also important?  Yes.  BK keeps dragging out testimonials to bolster his answers, as if his own were not credible enough.

    BK: I got into the toughest law school in the country – without favor [sic] – which explains how good and credible I am.  My academic record speaks for me – which means his behavior doesn’t.  Again with the testimonials and indirect answers.

    Tillis: Apologizes again for how hard this is on BK.  Complains about committee process and  Democratic delays.  [Are all these guys trying out for Sessions’s job, cause they’re all auditioning with the same script.]  (His yammering is giving BK a break and shutting him up, which must be another GOP team objective.)

    Tillis: We’re moving heaven and earth to get to the truth.  (I can see the Holy Water in BK’s pocket boiling away.)  Dems are evil, evil for preparing to respond to a replacement nominee for BK, by creating a website for it.  Filler, standard politic attack, keeping BK quiet.  Asks no questions.

  79. greenwarrior says:

    Cruz has a fantastic candidate running against him in Texas in Beto O’Rourke. We’re working hard in Texas to replace Cruz.

    • Rayne says:

      I hope Texans can boot Cruz for Beto. We need another senator who can catalyze change using better narrative — Beto has the skills for it.

  80. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Booker: Did you drink on week days?  (See above.)

    BK: Has trouble answering, meaning shit, yea, he drank on week days.

    Booker: Recounts BK denying he drank to excess.  Repeats BK’s statement that rehearing is a calculated political hit, but that BK has sympathy for Dr. Ford.  Do you wish Dr. Ford never came forward?  BK stumbles, can’t answer.

    BK keeps weakly trying to control Booker’s questioning, to no avail.

    Booker: Do you drink on week days?  (See above.)

    BK: Has trouble answering, meaning shit, yea, he drank on week days.

    Booker: Recounts BK denying he drank to excess.  Repeats BK’s statement that rehearing is a calculated political hit, but that BK has sympathy for Dr. Ford.  Do you wish Dr. Ford never came forward?  BK stumbles, can’t answer.

    BK keeps weakly trying to control Booker’s questioning, to no avail.

  81. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Tommy Cruz drew the short straw at the recess meeting, apologies again for poor, poor Sir Brett and family being dragged through the mud.  Hearing has focused on Dr. Ford, who deserved a full and fair hearing.  SJC treated her with respect, but the Dems have not treated BK with respect.

    Cruz: Long diatribe, tries to repeat the testimony in the manner of a closing argument, concluding that BK’s critics are wrong and BK is innocent of all charges.  Dem delay, Dem delay, Dem delay.  (I can see why Beto is beginning to lead in the polls.)  Hammers that Dem leak must be source for Ford letter being outed.  Ends with no questions, again resting BK and keeping him from opening his mouth.

    DF defends herself, she did not leak Ford’s letter.  Cornyn asks whether DF’s staff leaked the letter.  EW reminds us the story came from the WaPo’s reporting, not a leak [expletive deleted].

    Harris: Have you taken a polygraph.  BK: No.

    Harris: BK’s critics have asked for independent FBI investigation.  BK has declined to agree to it or ask for it.  Repeats Q to BK.  BK says he will do whatever SJC asks.  BK stumbles again.

    Harris: Compares smooth Gorsuch hearings with these, embarrassingly so for BK.  How do you reconcile that BK?  BK refers to his opening statement, which attacks Dems and lateness of charges against him.

    Harris: Can a man be friends with a women [without wanting sex].  A Friends sitcom question.  BK refers to the dozens of women who would say yes, but he doesn’t answer for himself.  He’s always doing that, seeking testimonial support instead of using his own answers.

    Harris: Did you watch Dr. Ford’s testimony.  BK: No.

    • Rayne says:

      Nope. He also deserves a LOT more scrutiny. Seen a lot recently surfaced about his earlier practice, that he was an attorney for the mob and that they may have constituted the bulk of his work.

  82. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Flake: Another short straw, apologizes to BK for the hard time he and his family have had.  He’s trying to be judicial, mediating between the partisans on his committee.

    Kennedy:   Another round of apologies.  Do you believe in God?  BK: Yes.  K: Right here in front of God and the country, look me in the eye, are Dr. Ford’s allegations true?  BK: “They are not accurate as to me.”  [Who talks like that?]

    K: Are Ms. Ramirez’s allegations true?  BK: No, it would have been the talk of campus.

    K: Are Ms. Swetnick’s allegations true?  BK: Not true.  [He’s getting better at following the Senator’s lead, but still refers to third party testimonials to back himself up, which means he doesn’t’ believe himself.]  K: Do you swear to God.  BK: I swear to God.

    The Trump base will like that closing, which might play well in Louisiana, but it’s filler in the Senate.

  83. Cynthia Perez says:

    Senator from Louisiana: Are Ms. Ramirez’s allegations true?

    Judge Kavanaugh: (shaking head up and down) No!

    • Rayne says:

      That came out of the blue. Don’t know why Kennedy introduced Ramirez into the hearing at all since the GOP refused to ask her to testify or to have her claim investigated by the FBI. It was really shitty.

  84. tinao says:

    The little squirmy worm is a black out drinker at times. And this circus was allowed to happen because president was once again broken in trumpiam times by not allowing the fbi to do the further back-round check. RUN SCARED DIPSHITS! Women are coming for your jobs!!!!!

  85. earlofhuntingdon says:

    This is only indirectly about a seat on the Supreme Court.  That’s just the path to the power, which is the goal.  Kavanaugh wants it, but he’s mistaken if he thinks he is anything but a courtier willing to carry his patrons’ water.  They are the ones controlling this, which is obvious in the rushed process at play in the Senate.  It is disagreements about how that plays out that will dictate how the Senate votes.

  86. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Dancing Lindsey’s performance was the most interesting, and the most cynical, performance of the day.  He must be kickin’ it up back in his office, with a big bourbon and branch water.

  87. Frank Probst says:

    Would it be rude if someone told him that he’d be much more sympathetic if he cried less and smiled more?

  88. Cynthia Perez says:

    My point is that he was nodding yes with his head while saying no with his mouth — very typical body language while lying.

  89. pseudonymous in nc says:

    The Dems mostly messed up once Graham went nuclear and the majority booted Susan Mitchell for getting too close to the truth. No questions on Whelan and any coordination, sucked into process arguments.

    He’s a brazen grudgeful liar, an angry drunk, and he’s probably going to get confirmed and prove Dr Blasey right about her being annihilated for nothing. White male privilege and power refined to its purest in rage and bullshit. And I think women will literally riot, and I will be joining them.

    • pseudonymous in nc says:

      I meant Rachel Mitchell. Who, I think, was showing some tells about who she believed when she got pulled from the hearing.

    • Frank Probst says:

      Didn’t watch, so take my opinion FWIW, but I think it would have been a mistake to bring up Ed Whelan.  Most people don’t really know about the details of that story (if they know about it at all), and Kavanaugh could have screamed “CONSPIRACY THEORY!!!” and just lied his ass off about it.  It was an unnecessary side route, I think.

  90. Jan says:

    Tracy says: September 27, 2018 at 5:45 pm
    He’s lying!!!! The response about the Devils Triangle was just a case in point. Total fabrication.

    Sorry Tracy, the Reply button isn’t working for me! Anyhow, yes, I agree his explanation of Devil’s Triangle is a lie. You aren’t the first to have sussed that out – Kavanaugh’s contemporaries are doing it via Twitter. As I’ve stated earlier, Kavanaugh was either desperately trying to avoid his past or if pressed, whitewashing his past – the past, when the attack on Dr. Ford occurred. I don’t believe him. He’s a liar.

  91. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Who can imagine an Associate Justice Brett Kavanaugh working collegially on a Supreme Court where, say, Dawn Johnsen was Chief Justice, supported by Sotomayor, Kagan, Ginsburg, and, oh, Marcy Wheeler and Bill Black, with only Alito and an aging Thomas on his side?  Petulance would out.  He would make Thomas look like Chris Rock.

    Or worse, a Chief Justice Kavanaugh with a six vote majority?  This guy ain’t no choir boy.

  92. Frank Probst says:

    I’m having the exact same head-scratching question that I had after Clarence Thomas. Why didn’t you watch her testimony? If you’re going to deny everything Blasey Ford said, shouldn’t you have at least listened to it first? If you’ve really been falsely accused, then you believe your accuser is either lying or is extremely confused about something real that happened. If it’s the second option, and you can figure out what specific event/time/person she’s talking about–either because you were there or because you heard about it–wouldn’t you want to do that?

  93. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Having done a little reading – the Internet is full of commentary – I’m convinced that Mr. Kavanaugh might not have been truthful with Democratic Senators this afternoon regarding the meaning of 1980s high school slang. Two examples:

    “Boof” apparently does not mean “flatulence”. “Fart” would seem a better word, anyway; flatulence seems like speaking Latin while playing strip poker. But boof seems to mean anal sex. It would be a more polite term for a teen in adult company, mind, a kind of inside baseball. And it would not require admitting that the word is shorthand for, say, butt fuck.

    “Devil’s triangle” Mr. Kavanaugh suggested was no more than a drinking game, like beer pong, but without the table, using a quarter or chip instead of a ball and paddle.

    The urban dictionary suggests, au contraire but with anachronistically dated references, that it refers to a menage a trois involving two men. That might be a religious or boys’ school variant, as men often fantasize about two women. DT might also refer to male orgasm in all three of a woman’s orifices. No idea whether points are given or taken away for any particular order.

    Who knows? The second meaning fits Kavanaugh’s 1990s obsession with the detailed geography of Bill Clinton’s orgasms with Ms. Lewinsky. Either way, not being the cunning linguist that James Bond is, I feel as if I’ve been through what my classics tutor would mispronounce as the Pubic Wars.

  94. Trip says:

    What completely escapes me:
    How did all of the lunacy and screaming turn out to be a win, in the GOP minds?
    Ford is still most credible. Did this move the needle on public opinion? Because in my mind, he’s even more of terrifying prospect than before. How in the world does this give cover to Flake, Collins and Murkowski? There was absolutely no rational response or cogent argument to Ford’s testimony and it’s clear Kavanaugh is afraid of an investigation.

    I don’t get it. What will they offer as excuses that are even remotely plausible for yes votes?

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      I think it’s the Republicans sticking to their game plan, regardless of facts.

      I think they’re convinced that this is a simple power play.  They think they have the votes.  At this point, they don’t care and can’t control what Kavanaugh says or does, as long as he remains loyal and true to his patrons.  Being a shit, a misogynist, or an abusive drinker, in their eyes, would just make him one of the Beltway Boys and make him more attractive to the Don.

      The question is whether Kavanaugh has embarrassed himself enough to put two GOP votes in peril.

      To repeat the comment about Lindsey Graham’s precious outburst, at this level, that sort of thing is most often not genuine emotion but political theater.  It was a change of strategy.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        The Republicans also know they might not have another Senate majority – or the chance of a Supreme Court appointment – for a decade.  This may be the only chance they have to take control of the Court for a generation.  They are pulling out all the stops in the organ.

        • Trip says:

          Well that’s the true motivation. But my point is nothing he said has provided cover for those who said they had to think about the vote. What’s the “plausible” pretext?

          • Michael says:

            Agree with EOH,

            One part of Michael Moore ‘s interview (Democracy Now) my blood run cold. I literally took off my glasses, kicked back and meditated on it. Moore said that Bannon told him Dems were already defeated but don’t know it; that though the battles have just begun, the end game is certain. Why?, asked Moore. Because, Bannon answered, our side, we go for the head wound while your side prefers pillow fights.

            Cons will stand and fight for what they believe (that’s fair) while Libs will not put their bodies on the line. Cons will grab whatever they can, while they can, and by whatever means: gerrymander; suppress voting; pack courts.

            I think we should believe this and act accordingly.

            • Rayne says:

              Democrats have been bringing knives to gun fights for too long. Was frustrating in the 2000s, even more so now.

              The one thing to keep in mind while anarchic white nationalist Bannon gets his ugly smug on about winning: time comes for him and all heels. The youth of this country are much more savvy and faster than the GenX and early Millennial generations.

              They are starved and they already know how to fight because the status quo’s been an existential threat to them since they first had to hide under their desks from gunfire.

        • pseudonymous in nc says:

          The GOP has decided that losing the House for two years is a price worth paying to pack the court and possibly add one or two Senate seats. I’m sure that there are a few House GOPers who know this and are making their plans for K Street. They’re also gambling on this being a fait accompli: that a victory here will be demoralising for Dems. And it will be demoralising if any Dem votes for Rapey Angry Drunk.

    • Frank Probst says:

      I keep harping on this:  Murkowski desperately needs to vote “No” on this guy, because he’s staunchly opposed by the Native Alaskan population and may very well end up destroying their way of life.  There are three Dems who voted “Yes” on Gorsuch, and they needed at least a fig leaf of political cover to vote for Kavanaugh.  As of this morning, they didn’t have it.  Now, they REALLY don’t have it.  The hope was to be able to be able to get to 52 (or more votes) with a few Dems and maybe the loss of Murkowski.  They almost certainly can’t do that now.  A party-line vote is 51-49.  (Thanks, Roy Moore!)  If Murkowski bails, it’s 50-50, with Pence presumably breaking the tie.  That situation simply cannot be allowed to happen, though, because it means that any one of the Senators who vote for this guy could also have stopped him, and that’s going to be brought up at EVERY controversial 5-4 decision.  They’re tied to this guy forever.  And there may be one or two other Republicans who have women in their families who tell them this is just beyond the pale.  You can find another anti-abortion nominee.  There are literally lists of them.  I think tomorrow’s vote is just for show.  But I don’t think McConnell has the votes yet, and everyone is going to wait to see how this plays out over the next few days before they make their final decision.  They have a week to let public opinion solidify, and I think they’re going to use all of it.

      • Eureka says:

        I read an article (? in recent months) that I can’t place about how the ordering of votes on close calls like this can change the outcome, by giving future non-party-line voters cover to safely vote with dissenters.  And it can go the other way, too, like one Senator can cya by voting with party, forcing later voters to be the ones to stick their necks out.

        It may be relevant to how this turns out.  Does anyone else recall this article?

        • Eureka says:

          I can’t find the article, but the RWNJ are talking about this very issue.  Wanting to force Heitkamp to vote early.  Quoting from the duckduckgo snippet, as I will neither click nor link to “the AR15 forum:”

          When the full Senate votes for the Kavanaugh nomination, how will they determine voting order? If I were in charge, I would put Heidi Heitkamp to the test early.

          The piece I’m looking for was interesting not just for the game theory on this, but the history of how it has played out with Collins Murkowski types and senior vs junior members.

          If a GOP vote peels away at the right time, it would seem to make all the difference in outcome.

  95. Doctor My Eyes says:

    Thanks everyone. Special thanks to EoH. Brilliant work-it’s clearly a gift.

    I’m assuming a rapist will be confirmed for the SC. And there he will rape the country. Based on that assumption, I’m calling today the worst day of my life, politically. The day Reagan almost ran the table was a dark one.  The day W “won” his first term, was worse.  The day W “won” his second term was close to unbearable.  All those days, especially the last one, the upset was leavened with rage.  Today I just feel so very sad.  I feel today I lost my country for good.  Rapists and psychopaths, corrupt bankers and criminal bosses–these are in charge of our country. Decent people like Dr. Ford aren’t safe here.  Sorry for the downer, but I think this appointment will be a game changer.

    I’ll be away staying away for a while now. Don’t miss me too much. Great work, everyone.  Keep at it.  I’m getting old for this shit.

  96. cwradio says:

    I finally caught some videos of the Krazy Kav Show. He sounds just like Ray Romano – poor Ray! “Everybody hates Kavie.”

    I’m pretty sure it was actually an episode of South Park.

    I’m waiting for Stan and Kyle to explain everything to us.

  97. orionATL says:

    has there ever been a character in the washington drama more deserving of the fate he has met than brett kavanaugh, he who labored with special prosecutor ken starr for years to find any means to destroy the reputation and political effectiveness of president clinton and first lady hillary clinton, beginning with kavanaugh’s initial assignment from starr to demonstrate that hillary clinton had vince foster murdered?

    “My name is democritus, and thy father’s son.

    The gods are just,
    and of our pleasant vices
    Make instruments to plague us.
    The dark and vicious place where he got thee
    Cost him his eyes.”

  98. Michael Keenan says:

    Hi Emptywheel. Apparently I am blocked from viewing and following your tweets. They were working for a few minutes then the block? A huge fan of yours. Can you let me know what is up.

  99. Wm. Boyce says:

    Nina Totenberg’s last comment at the close of today’s coverage, (she covered the Thomas-Hill hearings) was something to the effect of: “It looked like Clarence T. was done, and then he won the vote.” So she was reluctant to make a prediction.

    I wonder if much has changed and this is still only the beginning of a movement that is just getting rolling to empower women. It still comes down to the two women Republican senators, I can’t imagine any Democrats voting to confirm after today’s ugly theatre.

    • Frank Probst says:

      Clarence Thomas was a black man who gave a fairly good speech with thundering self-righteous anger.  The “high-tech lynching” line was brilliant, even if it didn’t make any sense.  Kavanaugh is an entitled white boy who threw a tantrum and should be disqualified for today’s behavior all by itself.  I think it’ll be close, either way, but I don’t think Kavanaugh held up nearly as well as Thomas did.
      (Of course, there’s a reason that I’m someone who comments on a blog, and she’s Nina Totenberg.  That being said, I don’t think we’re going to know much about the swing voters until Monday at the absolute earliest.  It’s still far too soon to tell which way the wind is blowing with the public.)

    • Anon says:

      Kavanauh’s performance was all about channelling and impressing one person, Donald Trump. Realistically there are only four people who can kill his chances to get on the court: his political patrons Donald Trump and Mitch McConnell, and the two “centrists” Lisa Murkowsky and Susan Collins.

      I believe that he correctly read that McConell was all in for better or worse and Trump was wavering. And since emulation is the incincerest form of flattery he took that route. No doubt the performance scared the hell out of Lisa Murkowski and Susan Collins, it should, as should Kellyanne Conway’s claim that Trump was okay because “he wasn’t throwing things at the TV.”

      But they don’t rank as high in his hierarchy, at least not today.

  100. dilbert dogbert says:

    This committee would approve of Charles Manson if he were available and would deliver the correct votes on cases before the subprime court.

  101. Tracy says:

    Andrea Mitchell, it is NOT he said she said. Only to the extent that Repugs DID NOT ALLOW OTHER WITNESSES. There are a bunch of other witnesses whom if called would have SUNK his nomination.

    I am a bit annoyed w a lot of the coverage of the hearing bc of this. There is a broader pattern of behavior that we were not allowed to see bc so many other witnesses not called.

    • Frank Probst says:

      As infuriating as that is, it’s how this is going to be characterized.  The other way to look at it is just “He said.”.  He’s not someone who’s temperamentally fit to be on the Supreme Court.  If someone did this in a real job interview, you’d probably move on to the next candidate.  There’s a good chance you’d end the interview early.

      His other problem is his casual lying and his outright refusal to admit that he drank a lot in high school and college.  That’s something that a LOT of other people can comment on, and probably will in the coming days.  I think it might weigh a lot heavier on testimony after several days of former classmates coming forward.
      Blasey Ford, on the other hand, didn’t seem to have any baggage that she wasn’t owning up to.

        • Frank Probst says:

          The full Senate vote will probably be sometime next week.  That’s the one that matters.  And a week is an eternity in politics.  The dust still hasn’t settled from today, much less anything else that comes out by then.

          • Anon says:

            Yes, after this I can’t see his other accusers just giving up. They won’t be invited before the Senate of course, Grassley and McConell are not dumb enough to risk a repeat of this show under any circumstances, but they and their stories will only be more believable to many and less to some which was, of course, the point.

  102. orionATL says:

    the critical matter for citizens in the matter of the kavanaugh nomination is not whether super-k will be voted into the supreme court.

    the critical matter is that citizens who cared enough have seen kavanaugh’s chracter for what it is. they now know his reputation. he can never again disguise himself from us, even wearing that long, black robe.

    further, citizens have been able to watch a supposedly competent, fact-gathering senate committe (judiciary) stumble thru an extremely important matter in a bungling and intellectually dishonest manner. if is rare that senate committee deliberations get this much well-deserved public attention.

    infuriating as it was for its dishonesty, favoritism, and unfairness, it was a good day for political education.

    • Charles says:

      the critical matter for citizens in the matter of the kavanaugh nomination is not whether super-k will be voted into the supreme court.

      Um, no.

      What was the audience for this sham hearing?  A few million of us watched. True, we are the better-informed sort of citizens. But the most important thing for many of us was how easily-bullied and ineffectual the disorganized Democratic Senators  were. They failed to cede their time to one of their experienced prosecutors. They failed to call Kavanaugh on his repeated lies about Mark Judge’s statement and Leland Ingham Keyser’s statement. It seems that Kavanaugh even lied about whether he watched the hearings. These Democrats seemed as though did not understand the gravity of the moment.

      The many tens of millions who will be affected by having a radical right majority on the Court don’t have the slightest clue what happened. They’ll only find out as everything we treasure about America–from its national parks to its generally safe foods–vanishes bit by bit.  What matters to them, and to the rest of us, is whether Kavanaugh is voted onto the Supreme Court.

      I had held out hope that Avenatti might have had enough to file a criminal complaint before the vote, but reading what he presented, I don’t see it. More hat than cattle, I would say.

      They’re talking about a final vote on Saturday. We’ve done about what we can in this round to protect the republic. A prayer wouldn’t hurt. Miracles do still happen.

      • Tracy says:

        Right, he kept saying that 4 people at the party denied it, he said that dozens of times, which Dems NEEDED to call out every time.  They NEEDED to say: Judge’s short statement was not under oath, Kaiser had her lawyer “take care of it” so she could deal with health issues, as per Dr. Ford. It is unacceptable that this primary defense of his went unchallenged. THIS would have been the place to say “that’s the reason we call for an FBI investigation,” not every Dem repeating it every single time ad nauseum. Sure they hit that one home, but they needed to use that for other things, and after Durbin did it so effectively, they didn’t need to anymore.

        I mention 3 other things they should have done below. They were in over their heads with this belligerent GOP, not prepared for his level of animus.

        They ALSO ought to have called him out on his aggression: “I’m surprised to see this level of aggression in someone accused of a violent assault.”

        I mention below: they should have drilled into him on specifics to expose his lies: 1) urban dictionary definitionsof boof and Devil’s Triangle, 2) exposed his filibustering: “why are you trying to run out my time, do you have something to hide?” And “Why do you keep repeating stock phrases, are you afraid what you might say?” 3) should have coordinated strategy and mentionedFBI invest only briefly after Durban nailed him on it. I’ll add 4) get him to explain the July 1st date – challenge his idea that it ONLY could have happened on a weekend, that July 1st fits Dr. Ford’s description.

        Hapless.

      • orionATL says:

        yes. all those things could have been done, but to what avail in that crucible? others, analysts like ew, a making those points now.

        1. sometimes the best political strategy is to let the other side yell and shout. this is referred to as “not getting in their way when they are fukin’ themselves over”.

        2. further, the more noise the dems could have made, the less attention dr. ford’s testimony would have gotten todaay. there is never an unlimited amount of reporting time available for any political event. there is only a window of a certain width. by tommorrow there will be other noisy events.

        3. your questions could and should have been equally addressed to the republican majority of the committee.

        4. reflexively attacking the one party of the two dominant parties in our politics that actually cares about issues of harasment and assault seems foolish.

        5. my point was not about which party did (or didn’t) do what, my point was that yesterday was a very good day for political education in this country. there are a large number of citizens who saw how things work, perhaps for the first time in their lives.

        there are a number of suburban republican women citizens who need to quit wringing their hands and get off the fence about which party is good for this country and for their family’s wellbeing.

      • orionATL says:

        charles –

        “… A few million of us watched. True, we are the better-informed sort of citizens. But the most important thing for many of us was how easily-bullied and ineffectual the disorganized Democratic Senators  were…”

        that is just ideological crap, charles.

        1. many millions did watch. many of those, the majority i would guess, were not “the better informed citizens”, just very concerned citizens, concerned about mistreatment and injustice,

        2. if you were less blinkered by your prejudice you might consider that your anmosity toward elected democrats was NOT what was “most important”. that is a tell about you.

        i would guess what was on a great majority of watchers and readers was “how would dr. ford do?”

        the answer to their question, and their worry as women, was “she did exceptionally well. she stood up to the pressure. she was great.”

        that’s the big story charles – dr. ford,. it was never not about you and your biases.

        the big sub-story was the way the republican senators conducted the hearing, not, as you would have it, what some dem senators did not do that you thought with hinddsight they should have done.

        get your prescription checked.

        • Charles says:

          your anmosity toward elected democrats

          You have totally misread me, Orion. Almost the reverse is true. I have dedicated almost 25 years to preventing us from getting us to this point (Republicans control three branches of government and nearly two-thirds of the states; president is a dedicated authoritarian).

          Who and what I am is of little importance. But the tendency of Democrats to assume that their critics are their enemies is of supreme importance. Your best friends are those who speak truth both on your behalf and to you. And your enemies are those who attack your best friends, whether those who attack them think they are doing a good thing or not.

  103. Tracy Lynn says:

    To all who listened/watched this shit show and commented on it–you have my undying gratitude! I couldn’t bear to listen. I remember the way Anita Hill was treated by both Repubs and Dems and I had no desire to witness that type of character assassination this many years later. My only thought is that the Bay Area is worlds away from the Beltway and I hope that Dr. Ford can come back here and resume a somewhat normal life free from fear for her family.

  104. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Even the jaded millionaire politicians of the Senate should be afraid of putting someone as volatile as Brett Kavanaugh on the Supreme Court.

    Kavanaugh’s twelve years on the DC Circuit have not matured him, they just aged him.  The Trump administration’s conduct makes it a dead certainty that the Court will face monumental decisions it has never seen before.  Instead of a steady hand on the tiller, the ship of state’s rudder will be in the hands, in part, of another angry whining man-child.

  105. posaune says:

    Earl,   great job today — thank you so much for your reporting.    Kudos again and again.   And to everyone else here today — this is a real place, a real community.

    So smart, so informative, so caring.   Thank you.

  106. klynn says:

    Has anyone done a good analysis of the questions and responses that led to the unexpected break and tossing of Mitchell? It was a critical moment.

  107. Tracy Lynn says:

    CNN and another website (can’t remember the name) are reporting that the Wikipedia definition of Devils Triangle was being edited by a Congressional staffer as Kavanaugh was testifying about it. The new definition was more in line with what Kavy said it was.

  108. AndTheSlithyToves says:

    responding to bmaz @10:45 pm — oops! Did I make a Freudian slip in my Maidenform bra? :) You are correct. I meant to note his wife Laura, not his mother Barbara.

  109. Bruce Olsen says:

    Looking at Kavanaugh’s performance with the view that he’s an alcoholic (which he certainly is; it takes one to know one) you’ll see that this closely mirrors a failed intervention.

    Each time he was confronted with a fact (pick any example from the hearing) he responded with deflection or denial. Textbook.

    I believe he’s aware that he’s an alcoholic, though I’m not a therapist so I can’t be sure. But he faltered in too many answers and was a little too violently defensive for me to think he has his alcoholism deeply buried. I think he knows he is, and he was stubbing his toe on his own guilt.

    He doesn’t belong on the Court until he gets that shit worked out. And he likely never will.

    • AndTheSlithyToves says:

      Great minds think alike! (See below Bruce.) Also, Trump’s older brother–who was also his Father’s heir apparent and favorite–died of alcoholism, and Trump has assiduously kept away from drugs and drink. Just another run-of-the-mill sex addict.

    • JD12 says:

      He’s still in denial, most likely.

      He kept deflecting to academics or extracurricular activities or character references and was confused it wasn’t working like it had his entire life.

      For anyone with firsthand experience it’s so obvious he has a problem. His exchange with Klobuchar was quite revealing. You could tell she knows, but she showed a lot of compassion. At times his family looked pained when he talked about drinking. They’re probably hoping he gets confirmed and they can deal with it after.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        In this context, showing compassion is not part of Klobuchar’s job.  She knows BK has a serious drinking problem.  She grew up with the signs and the feelings.  She was remiss in not parrying his counter-attack more incisively and keeping the spotlight on the job applicant with a drinking problem.

  110. AndTheSlithyToves says:

    Just a final shout out to the color commentators and live tweeters for summing things up so well. I was stuck in airports for most of day until late this evening, and, having watched the “high-tech lynching” of the original Angry Sex Addict Clarence Thomas, I was much happier for not seeing today’s Angry Alcoholic. IMHO, Chapter 5 in AA’s Big Book nails it about some alcoholics:
    Big Book: Chapter 5 – How It Works
    … are constitutionally incapable of being honest with themselves. There are such unfortunates. They are not at fault they seem to have been born that way. They are naturally incapable of grasping and developing a manner of living which demands rigorous honesty. ….This was only a beginning though if one honestly and humbly made an effort, an effect–sometimes a very great one–was felt at once. Next we launched out on a course of vigorous action… We took stock honestly.

    Neither Kavanaugh nor Thomas are able to be honest with themselves or others. Shamelessness covering up shame. In Thomas’ case, he hates his blackness, hence himself, and tries to drown his self-hatred with porn and sexual abuse. Same thing with Kav–some sort of shame/inadequacy cover-up with the drinking and sexual bracado. If he’s a blackout drinker (and it sounds like he is) he’s not going to remember anything. Dr. Ford knows this. Apparently many of our esteemed Senators don’t.

  111. Charles says:

    Holy moly!  The head of the American Bar Association has called for the Kavanaugh vote to be held up until an FBI investigation can be conducted!

    I wonder if the effort I organized to hold them to account had a tiny role in that decision. I hope so. The Republicans have trampled every norm and every precedent of the Senate in the mad rush to confirm Kavanaugh. If the smell has gotten so high that the ABA has noticed it, maybe there is hope. If not of stopping the nomination, then of impeaching Kavanaugh later.

    • oldoilfieldhand says:

      Who are you kidding? The only way to impeach Kavanaugh, even for cause, regardless if from the DC Court of Appeals or SCOTUS, is if the Dems take the House and Senate.

      It will require a wide margin to win because Republicans have shown three times that close votes can be manipulated, in 2000, 2004 and 2016. Was it Stalin who said (paraphrasing here) It’s not who votes that counts, it’s who counts the votes? So, who is counting the votes? Whose donors and supporters control the most of the software, voting machines and counting processes? Who removes voters from voter rolls under the guise of protecting the vote? Who is removed from the voting rolls? Democrats and Independents can save this country, but the Blue Wave will have to be a Tsunami to make up for the zero sum Republican Win-At-All-Cost tactics. Tell everyone you know to vote Democratic or pack your bug-out bag.

  112. Kick the darkness says:

    I truly appreciate reading all the comments and tweets from the EW crowd today.  I also thought Erin Gloria Ryan’s sum up in the Daily Beast was on the money.  I don’t have anything really to add I guess.  Just a bleak day that must be exorcised in some sort of way.  I thought, especially as the day wore on, the true character of the principles in this shit show were clearly revealed and put on trial.  Most, in my opinion, were found wanting.

    The exception, of course, was Dr. Ford herself.  If, of all those characters today, you had to choose one as an emergency alternative pick up for your kid from school, who would you choose?  The other impression I had of Dr. Ford was that of an accomplished and poised person-a professional.  That doesn’t have a bearing on her testimony per se, just that was my sense of who she was. If this was a job interview, and these were the two candidates, give the job to Ford.

    K was found wanting big time.  Sure, maybe he was acting a coached and practiced part to impress Trump, but the snap exchange with Klobacher seems unlikely to have been premeditated by staffers.  So that’s pretty much, at the root, who he is.  And this is the guy who’s very likely to get a lifetime appointment to the supreme court.  A sniveling little piece of entitlement and over-achievement.  And a liar.  It’s difficult to countenance any other realistic interpretation.

    But of course the R senators were not satisfied with letting K make out to be the only victim.  No, they, clearly, were victims too.  Graham in particular managed to make it all about himself and  find his personal RWA trigger point all at the same time.  Faux anger as a “break glass if necessary” way to redirect a hearing from a nominee who was veering out of control? Maybe.  But, if so, the cynicism makes his conduct especially damning.  Clear the lot of them. We need to move on, but where is there to go and how are we to get there?

    Trump is just the catalyst for the degeneration we are seeing.   The equilibrium point is the same plus or minus Trump.  He’s just pushing us there faster, lowering the activation energy.  Anyway, not helpful, sorry.

  113. DJ says:

    After watching the television interview with his wife, and now his juvenile antics at the hearing, it moves from speculation to concern for me.

    It is my judgement that it is likely Kavanaugh is abusive in some manner at home.

  114. Nigel says:

    https://thehill.com/blogs/floor-action/senate/408889-jones-to-vote-against-kavanagh
    >Red-state Democratic Sen. Doug Jones (Ala.) announced Thursday night that he will oppose Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court nomination.

    “Dr. Ford was credible and courageous and I am concerned about the message our vote will be sending to our sons and daughters, as well as victims of sexual assault. I will be voting no,” Jones said in a statement.

    He added that the process for Kavanaugh’s nomination “has been flawed from the beginning and incomplete at the end.”… <

  115. Tracy says:

    Up at 3 am for the second night in a row… stress… my nervous system may not survive the Trump years!

    A few notes from above:

    Ollie, Peacerme, thanks for your stories!

    Doctor my eyes – don’t go, we look forward to your comments! Community is important in these times.

    Trip – horrifying to hear about Manchin. What a loser. Why wasn’t he primaried from the left? WV is the state of the teacher strike FFS!!!! If anywhere you have an “excuse” to uphold a credible female – since in politics you obviously still need one – is a state with a bunch of pissed off teachers and union people.

    I think that the Dems screwed up. 1- They did not nail him down on urban dictionary definitions. 2- Weren’t effective in calling out his filabuster. 3- Should have coordinated strategy more so that each senator hit on a different area – Durbin on FBI was perfect, no more needed than that, could’ve used their time on other lines of inquiry. Esp bc there is NO WAY GOP WILL EVER GO FOR FBI INVESTIGATION. It would have been good to use more time nailing him in a provable lie – Collins said lying was a killer for her. He lied about so many things, they needed to drill down.

    Saying that – I know that Dems don’t have power to call for FBI invest themselves, which IS TOTALLY NEEDED AND ABSURD WE HAVENT HAD ONE YET. In that respect if each senator had just said : for the record I want to say it’s a disgrace that you won’t call for FBI investigation to get to the truth if you really feel you’re innocent, the American people deserve that, you and Dr Ford deserve that, now for my questions….

    K was unexpectedly on the attack, caught them off guard. And Dems are softer than Repugs, it’s a major difference in the 2 parties, and I think a good thing. They are mean and hard, we are nice and soft, and that’s the way it is.

    I thought the Repub display was DISGRACEFUL. My main takeaway from today: THIS IS THE PARTY AND VALUES OF DJT. IT HAS CORRUPTED EVERY BRANCH THOROUGHLY.

    This is why I’m up at 3!!

  116. Tom says:

    Perhaps someone has already made this point but I wonder if Kavanaugh deliberately avoided watching Dr. Ford’s testimony in the morning so as to avoid having to answer any probing questions about it in the afternoon. All in all, “Blustering” Brett/”Kegger” Kavanaugh overplayed the “I-must-be-innocent-’cause-look-how-angry-I-am” routine. He should have known what to expect from the hearing but still presented himself as defensive and petulant rather then calm and controlled. Not really the judicious temperament you would expect from a person in his situation and certainly not showing grace under pressure the way that Dr. Ford did in the morning session.

  117. Trip says:

    Just reiterating points made by people here, and some critical thinkers I watched into the late hours:

    Dr Ford, during her segment, had proven when she initially contacted gov’t, while Kavanaugh was still on the short list among others, so how could she be part of a vast Democratic party conspiracy to take him down in the last 2 weeks? She must have been prescient beyond the average human scale, to know Kavanaugh would be selected, before he was. “I see red people” (specific nominee)?

    The hollering and stomping about “No corroboration”, and “Conspiracy!!” while Republicans would not remotely allow the chance for corroboration to happen, by barring witness testimony and FBI background investigations, is gaslighting at its most extreme. Further, they outright lied about the circumstances of witnesses. One example among others: Judge’s attorney sent a letter, not Judge. They only rectified that AFTER the hearing by having Judge sign a letter himself, rather than the initial which was only the attorney’s account. Not much risk of perjury when you hadn’t signed, but then did when the coast was clear that you couldn’t be questioned.

    Kavanaugh very obviously lied about the intent of words and statements in his yearbook, while GOP staffers were caught contemporaneously changing definitions of those words on Wikipedia. Sure, we can say that adolescent humans aren’t fully developed, we can’t judge a person completely by childhood and that it was a long time ago, but why not just admit that, instead of rewriting history (both the GOP, and Kavanaugh UNDER OATH)?

    The GOP and Kavanaugh are staunchly against any FBI investigation delving into witnesses, Kavanaugh and Dr Ford herself, while she advocates for it. Why would a judge, one who may be appointed to a lifetime position on SCOTUS of all people, want to come to shallow conclusions, without material facts? Why would Dr Ford, after being ripped to shreds, be willing to have additional scrutiny? (rhetorical)

    The subterfuge the GOP used for the party tantrum is so thin it’s transparent, meanwhile CNN, with talking heads like Borger, and MSNBC with Mitchell who basically called these hearings a “draw”, by making it a “She said, He said” narrative, is beyond appalling and another round of the consequences of access (bothsides-ism) journalism for the citizenry. They own this bullshit as much as the actors in this absurd political theater. They are giving bullshit pretext to vote yes, based on their own agendas to keep getting insider info. THAT is a national disgrace.

    I apologize for so much writing, but I really NEEDED to get this off my chest.

    • Tracy says:

      Trip – I hear ya on all of this – and also to exorcise my feelings on this page!

      To the both-sides-ing point – while I NEVER watch Chris Cuomo (both-sides-ist extraordinaire), I saw a great clip of him calling out the GOP: “What the hell is Graham angry about?” and explaining the shocking, sham politics of what should be an incredible moment for women (and assault victims) in our country – worth watching on a depressing morning:

    • orionATL says:

      trip –

      if you had not said it so well i was going to have to say something similar. for all the disturbing, infuriating behavior in yesterday’s intended, but failed, roasting of dr. ford, nothing was so important to the nation’s political discourse than recognition of the profound, repeated dishonesty and dissembling in the speeech of republican senators – gaslighting in the extreme indeed.

      from snake grassley’s response to feinstein’s early question about why ramirez was not also present (“we’ll get to that at some later time”) to graham’s projection of republican hold-up of merrick garland (“y’all just want to keep this s.c. position open until 2020”), the republican dishonesty was breathtaking in its brazenness.

      nor does this brief summary cover 1) ignoring important facts relevant to ford’s claim, and
      2) kavanaugh’s lawyerly skills put to stern test allowing him to repeatedly dissemble about his own behavior.

      lots of political education to be had in this remarkable and widely watched spectacle.

      “a national disgrace”, indeed. how ironic that the perpetrators of that disgrace gave it its fitting name.

      tx.

  118. Curveball says:

    I am surprised to see little note in the newsosophere of a stunning detail in Dr. Blasey’s testimony. She and her husband went to couples therapy because they were quibbling over a significant aspect of remodeling their home. She wanted two entrances on the front of the structure because she suffers from sex-assault survivor’s claustrophobia. She got her wish and says the house looks odd. Indeed.

  119. chum'sfriend says:

    From Kavanaugh’s calendar entries, it appears the sexual assault of Christine Blasey Ford likely took place on the week-night of Thursday July 1, 1982.

    “Go to Timmy’s for skis w/Judge, Tom, PJU, Bernie, Squi.”

    ” I missed this before, but I was just looking at Kavanaugh’s calendar, and I noticed that he’s hanging out on July 1, among a few other people, with “PJ” and “Judge.”

    Pretty amazing coincidence that Ford, before she saw the calendars, said PJ and Mark Judge were there. pic.twitter.com/8lXwiROHiO
    — Matt Fuller (@MEPFuller) September 27, 2018″

    https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2018/09/brett-kavanaughs-calendar-for-july-1-1982-go-to-timmys-for-skis-with-judge.html

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Just to repeat the obvious, in that era, “skis” is short for brewskis: beer.  Pretty confident drinkers for that age, quite a few of them, quite a habit, one that’s hard to break.

      Not much evidence that he’s broken it.  To the contrary, his puffy anger and repeated lies, his unwillingness to acknowledge an amount of beer that was too much, says he hasn’t.  A culture of lawlessness or just a disregard for the intelligence and athletic gifts they inherited?  Or that blind teenage belief in their own limitless immortality?

  120. Pete says:

    This may or may not be a nit wrt to the legal drinking age in MD – probably is. The legal hard liquor drinking age seems to have been 21 in the 1980s – probably before and still to this day. It changed from 18 to 21 on 1 Jul 1982. There was an attempt to provide a grandfathered age exemption based on birthdate but it’s not clear to me that made it in.

    Kavanaugh states he legally drank beer in that time frame. Maybe it was all legal maybe it wasn’t. Undoubtably in my mind he consumed hard liquor too – illegally. Frankly so did at times but never belonged to a frequent party club. It only matters IMHO in the context of his drinking history as put forth by the accusers.

    Kavanaugh reminded me a bit of Trump and/or he was prepped in Trump’s image/likeness. Someone on Twitter mentioned lying about the small stuff for image as crushing one’s credibility. I think Blumenthal was trying to get there with his Latin lesson but got run over by Kavanaugh’s belligerence.

    Here is a ref and even though it is Wikipedia there are links to NHTSA etc.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/U.S._history_of_alcohol_minimum_purchase_age_by_state

  121. yogarhythms says:

    Rayne, et al,

    BK is sycophantic Palace Cheerlead reference “this confirmation process is National Disgrace” quote from SC Confirmation Nominee BK 27SEP18 SJC hearing.

    OT please consider the following new phrase to end prayer; (not amen), (not aher), Athem including all in our prayers for healing.

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