On Squi and the 65-Lady Letter

This is an insight I owe entirely to a reader, BI.

There should be an explanation for why Christine Blasey Ford was (presumably) not invited to be on the 65-lady letter backing Brett Kavanaugh pulled together just as allegations of sexual assault became public.

In spite of the fact that it got entered into the record multiple times in Thursday’s hearing, it already had diminishing value as a measure of Kavanaugh’s character. After Ford’s identity was made public, some of the women who signed the letter grew reluctant to stand by their support publicly.

Five of the women who signed the letter declined to comment when reached by POLITICO following the public revelation of Ford’s identity.

Dozens of others either didn’t respond to POLITICO’s inquiries or could not be reached.

The AP reported that “more than a dozen” stood by the letter after Ford came forward, which is not 65.

More strikingly, one of the signers of the letter, Renate Schroeder Dolphin, upon realizing that she was mocked in the yearbooks of 14 boys, including Kavanaugh, spoke instead about how hurtful his circle of friends was.

This month, Renate Schroeder Dolphin joined 64 other women who, saying they knew Judge Kavanaugh during their high school years, signed a letter to the leaders of the Senate Judiciary Committee, which is weighing Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination. The letter stated that “he has behaved honorably and treated women with respect.”

When Ms. Dolphin signed the Sept. 14 letter, she wasn’t aware of the “Renate” yearbook references on the pages of Judge Kavanaugh and his football teammates.

“I learned about these yearbook pages only a few days ago,” Ms. Dolphin said in a statement to The New York Times. “I don’t know what ‘Renate Alumnus’ actually means. I can’t begin to comprehend what goes through the minds of 17-year-old boys who write such things, but the insinuation is horrible, hurtful and simply untrue. I pray their daughters are never treated this way. I will have no further comment.”

So the letter should not, now, be treated as a validating document.

That said, if Ford was not invited to be on the letter, then it is itself proof that the letter does not reflect the views of all the women who were spending time with Kavanaugh during the summer in question.

Having spoken to some folks who were in these circles at the time, I’m not at all suspicious of the explanation behind how the letter came together immediately after Ford’s allegations — but not her identity — were made public.

It started as a series of phone calls among old high-school friends and ended up embroiling 65 women in the firestorm over a sexual assault allegation that could shape the Supreme Court.

In a matter of hours, they all signed onto a letter rallying behind high court nominee and their high school friend Brett Kavanaugh as someone who “has always treated women with decency and respect.”

I don’t regularly use Facebook. I’m not even in close contact with friends from college (who remain a tight-knit network), much less either of my high schools. But for those who do remain close with friends from their youth, especially on Facebook, such a feat would be easy to do. The network that remains close would easily come up with 65 signers. (For what it’s worth, the one network from my youth where I could be relied on to pipe up this quickly includes at least two men I know raped women in the women in the network.)

But Ford presumably wasn’t invited to be on the letter.

There are several possible explanations why she wouldn’t be, but both discredit the letter itself.

The most plausible is that she simply doesn’t run in those circles anymore. She lives on the west coast, she suffered a trauma associated with this network, she found socializing generally more difficult in the years immediately after the assault, which would have been precisely the period when she might keep up those ties.

That’s all well and good, except testimony in Thursday’s hearing makes clear that — regardless of what happened between Kavanaugh and Ford — she is one of the women who might have insight on his behavior at the time. That’s because both Kavanaugh and Ford each spent a lot of time, individually and (at least according to Ford) together that summer with the guy Ed Whelan falsely accused of the assault, whom I’ll refer to only as Squi.

On 13 occasions, Kavanaugh refers to someone named “Squi” on his calendar. It’s the name that crops up the most. Kavanaugh and Squi, who played on the Georgetown Prep football team with him, went to a Washington Bullets game, to Squi’s house in Rehoboth, to see movies, to the beach. On July 1, Kavanaugh, Judge, PJ, Squi and two others go to “Timmy’s for skis” — an apparent reference to going to a friend’s house for beers (“brewskis”).


Ford explained. The shared connection to Kavanaugh was the person who Whelan suggested might be the real culprit.

“How long did you know this person?” Mitchell asked.

“Maybe for— a couple of months we socialized,” Ford replied. “But he also was a member of the same country club, and I knew his younger brother as well.” That was a couple of months prior to the alleged attack, Mitchell clarified.

Mitchell then asked Ford to explain the nature of her relationship with that person.

“He was somebody that, I will use the phrase ‘I went out with,’ ” Ford said, using air quotes. “I wouldn’t say ‘date.’ I would say ‘went out with’ for a few months. That was how we termed it at the time.”


Ford, in other words, claims that she had been going out with Squi for months before the alleged incident in the summer of 1982. Kavanaugh’s calendar from that year shows that he spent a lot of time with Squi as well. And Kavanaugh further alleges that he “may” have met Ford but that they “did not travel in the same social circle” and that “she was not a friend, not someone I knew.”

Ford went out with Squi (though earlier than the assault, it sounds like), and Kavanaugh spent tons of time with him. If you want to know how Kavanaugh and his buddies treated women that summer, you’d want to ask the women who were dating his buddies. But the letter signers apparently didn’t ask Ford.

Which means they asked a sample of women who remain close whether Kavanaugh treated women well, not the sample that might be best situated to attest to how he treated women that summer. (It’s also possible that Kavanaugh treated the girls from Georgetown Prep’s sister Catholic schools differently than they treated girls from other schools, though the letter includes women who attended both Catholic and non-Catholic schools.)

Of course, there’s a more nefarious possibility, the counterpart to the nefarious possibility that Ed Whelan targeted Squi precisely because he had learned who Ford was before her name became public and knew her connection to Kavanaugh went through Squi and knew that by falsely accusing Squi (who signed the male letter of support for Kavanaugh but has since gotten furious at being falsely accused of assault), he would discredit a key piece of evidence showing that Kavanaugh did travel in the same circles as Ford. That nefarious counterpart possibility is that enough women heard of the attempted rape at the time, knew which woman had been victimized, and so when calling around for supporters, avoided Ford.

The former is the more likely explanation: that the circle of women who — before knowing Ford’s identity, at least — were willing to make a show of a support for a powerful man who was about to become even more powerful, self-selected for those remain close to those who did have positive experiences with this crowd back in the day.

But if it is indeed true that Ford was not asked to sign, then it cannot be considered the proper sample to understand how Kavanaugh was treating women that summer.

121 replies
  1. flounder says:

    I’m interested in hearing who the yearbook editors were and what they have to say about Kavanaugh implying they were the authors of his “Animal House” yearbook entry (that I’ll note Kavanaugh later says isn’t really all that Animal House because it was some tame inside jokes about stuttering and being so conversant at ballgames that they didn’t even notice who won).

  2. Willis Warren says:

    In any reasonable interpretation of a democracy, this SCotUS pick would be done. November will test our democracy in more ways than one. I’m curious about how Kavanaugh will respond as a member when this all gets dragged out into the open by a democrat majority

    • orionATL says:

      yes, he would be.

      fairplay aside. reputation of and trust in the supreme court aside. kavanaugh’s family and career future aside.

      in any reasonable group of reasonably calculating politicians, kavanaugh would be done.

      but not to mcconnell, grassley and their knuckleheads. not to the knucklehead in chief, trump.

      this is political insanity. driven buffalo at their mass self-destruction best.

      what gives?

  3. Kevin says:

    When Mitchell asked about July 1st, Kavanaugh named the attendees unnecessarily. He asked if she wanted full names, she said to just tell her if “Judge” was Mark Judge. Then he named all of the attendees, outing Garrett as “Squi.” I really don’t think it’s unlikely that the Ed Whelan thing came from Kavanaugh.

    • Desider says:

      With Squi, PJ & Judge on the July 1, 1982 calendar entry for brewskis at Tim Gaudette’s (mom’s) flat, the whole thing has just blown up in their faces.
      Sheldon Whitehouse was speculating why the other girl’s name didn’t appear – FFS, she was a date, not a bro.
      I’m not sure why Kavanaugh didn’t just withdraw & hope he could keep his current judgeship. After next week, he’ll likely be so toxic he’ll have to resign that as well (presuming the GOP doesn’t hold its nose/cheer him with fanboy kisses & vote him in anyway

  4. Trype says:

    A few things are puzzling me, if Squi was there and he was her boyfriend, why did she walk home alone, did he wonder why she left? Why did he not go look for her when she was so long at the bathroom. Did she feel he somehow let her down. Was he aware, or perhaps suspect that something might be happening but peer pressure made him reluctant to intervene.

      • bmaz says:

        Her testimony is a matter of record. It has been portrayed accurately herein. Don’t “think” see the record.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Guilt is a constant companion.  Catholic guilt has a special adhesive quality that resists hand washing and attempts at making amends.

      Combine it with Bethesda/Chevy Chase, Ivy League bound arrogance, and toxic masculinity, and you have a Superfund site for boy-girl relations.  It’s not hard to imagine Kavanaugh as a bishop and would be cardinal whose resignation the pope would gladly accept.

    • Frank Probst says:

      I’m fairly certain that Blasey Ford has consistently stated that she didn’t remember how she got home.  It’s entirely possible that he drove her.

  5. ElsaM says:

    I’ve been very curious about “Squi.” If anyone would have noticed that Ford was upset or something just seemed off on that night, surely the boy she was “going out with” would have. And even if he didn’t remember anything about that particular evening, he spent a lot of time with Kavanaugh and Judge that summer, so certainly he could speak to how much they drank, how they treated girls, and their characters in general.

    • Trip says:

      Ford said she visited “Squi” in the hospital one time, but with no connection to this, any timeline. I suppose it’s possible he wasn’t there because he was sick or injured?

      @Marcy, where did you get the info that Squi was furious? I haven’t seen any articles specifically on him (with quotes)? Only one article I read had a blurb that mentioned he made his facebook acct private after the Whelan bit.

        • Trip says:

          You’re probably right, but I guess some people use calendars for plans (ahead of time) versus marking something on the calendar to remember an event that happened. If you are really a stickler for details, I imagine you’d cross out a person who didn’t go.

          It’s also possible that Squi was passed out drunk, but played no part in the alleged assault, however, he was drawn into the event as a scapegoat by Whelan, and Ford doesn’t want him victimized in that way.

  6. bluebird says:

    at Trype – I had same thought. Perhaps he hadn’t arrived yet, that he came later. Still, wouldn’t he wonder why she wasn’t there?

  7. Don Utter says:

    David Brock hung out with Kav and other republican attack dogs during the Clinton impeachment.

    I well recall his mea culpa book “Blinded by the Right” which laid out the republican funded effort to take down Clinton. Most recently, Brock was an attack dog himself in support of Hillary.

    But this statement about Kav and the others around Paul Starr is instructive as part of the republican led coup.

    MUST READ! David Brock on Brett Kavanaugh


    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Yes, excellent column by David Brock.  It illustrates something else besides Brett Kavanaugh’s lies: the Republican machinery behind every important judicial nomination.  It makes a mockery of the claim that these are non-political appointments.

      They are inherently political, as is illustrated by the scores of operatives that backstop each one: billionaire funders, elder statesmen, outside counsel, mid- and junior-level workers, researchers, oppo researchers, publicists, and dirty tricksters.

      Topics are not limited to the candidate’s talents and foibles.  They include detailed files on every Senator who might vote on the nomination, and everyone they can identify who might oppose or support it.  They strategize everything, especially how to attack and threaten to attack a Senator’s unrelated interests to get them to abstain or vote Yes on a nominee.  The process makes sausage making look like picking flowers.

      • Jenny says:

        Don Utter, thanks very much for the link.  Column is very insightful, up close & personal perspective. This was written September 7th.  Needs more exposure.

        Fortunately, David Brock birthed consciousness.

      • BobCon says:

        I’m OK with politics playing a significant role in nominations. It’s unavoidable, and as long as issues such as experience, intelligence and integrity are also in consideration, I can’t imagine the process without a fair dose of politics.

        But I’m deeply disturbed by coverage that trivializes the politics, writes off the background machinery, and in this case, tries to claim that the opposition to Kavanaugh is political, rather than based in valid concerns about his character. The man is deeply untrustworthy on many levels. Reporting which tries to reduce the fight to just politics, or which draws false equivalencies, is horrible.

  8. Dcom4 says:

    Fascinating article in Washington Post about July 1st. https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/details-in-kavanaughs-1982-calendar-entry-could-be-scrutinized-in-fbi-investigation/2018/09/28/d51fd764-c358-11e8-b338-a3289f6cb742_story.html

    According to the article, it looks like some of those July 1 attendees are starting to clam up when confronted by the Post.  Wouldn’t surprise me if a few start to roll on Kavanaugh.  Would love to here Marcy’s take on it.

    If Kavanaugh identified the house in his calendar where she was assaulted, FBI could easily compare Ford’s memory with it.  She remembered some pretty specific detail inside like the narrow staircase, location of the room, bathroom, etc.

    I’ve been particularly interested in his testimony after his statement, specifically the 1st few rounds from the prosecutor.   He looked very uncomfortable when answering questions.   He paused, studdered and didn’t quickly answer simple yes/no questions about his drinking.  Almost like he knew he was committing a felony in the moment.  And then Lindsey Graham swoops in to save him.

    I’m sure this is probably too conspiratorial,  but I can’t help but think Trump knew about this all along and chose Kavanaugh for the kompromat.  Kavanaugh said in his nomination speech, “No president has ever consulted more widely, or talked with more people from more backgrounds, to seek input about a Supreme Court nomination.” Can’t help but think he was telling the truth.   Is this story bigger than we realize?

  9. maybe ryan says:

    If the Whelan attack was made up from whole cloth, why no lawsuit thus far? Wouldn’t you be bitterly, rancidly fighting mad if a good friend from high school up and called you a rapist to draw attention away from their own sins? Whelan, the EPPC and the PR firm are all implicated. There’s a lot of money on the other side. There are lawyers who would take that on consignment just for the spectacular PR value.

    Why did Whelan go away muttering he still thinks it’s true, which would add an extra digit to the settlement, I’d think?

    Aren’t there really dozens of signs pointing to the idea that most of the Squi iceberg is still underwater and unseen?

    Squi is the North Atlantic of the Kavanaugh story, a danger zone that seemingly everyone wants to stay away from. Thus far, things enter the Squi triangle, but they never emerge. Rachel Mitchell went missing when she crossed into the zone. Ed Whelan may be on a lifeboat somewhere without a homing beacon, and Kavanaugh wouldn’t even send out a rescue party to look for him. Ford refuses to sail that part of the ocean. Squi himself has never surfaced.

    I want to call him Squi-queg, first mate of the SS Ford, and I’m hoping he’ll eventually cast his harpoon into the white whale Kavanaugh. But the runes predict no good.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Publicly attacking a Republican golden boy, even a tarnished one, risks exposing much unwashed linen.  His peers would make that stance woefully humiliating and expensive.  It’s one reason Dr. Ford deserves such acclaim.  But not everyone is made of such stern stuff, or has the confidence, money, and network to withstand the assault.

      • maybe ryan says:

        I concede the larger point that danger for Squi might lie that way regardless of his background.

        I do want to ask what peers you’re referring to?  Prep alums boys?  I can’t imagine they’re very happy about Whelan saying there was a rapist and it was Squi, unless some of them think it might have been.  Squi was a football player, Kav’s best friend, seems likely to have been popular.  When did he become so untouchable that a completely unfounded attack wouldn’t lead to a lot of anger on his behalf from Prep alums?

        I’d guess that either the Whelan gambit made a fair number of Prep alums very, very angry; or again, that there’s some portion of the story that is true.

        Another question – I wonder what Gorsuch has heard about all this through alumni back-channels, and what he thinks of it.

    • getouttahere says:

      On behalf of Whales, and especially Moby D, please refrain from describing kavanought as a white whale. There are endless other apt adjectives for that creep. (I will grant however, that k is about as white as they come.)

      • maybe ryan says:

        Hah.  I read it when I was 14.  What does Moby represent that I shouldn’t identify Kavanaugh that way?  Not that I will again. Just curious.

        • JackBird says:

          The whale is the ineffibility of God.

          The meandering quality of the book, that puts so many readers off, is Melville showing-not-telling how totally overwhelming it is for a modern person to establish a direct relationship with the divine.  The effort utterly destroys everyone but Ishmael and Queequeg; one through dumb luck, the other because he is not handicapped by modernity.

          • maybe ryan says:

            Might have been 16.  Definitely in high school.  Which is a funny mistake, given the context.

            And I’m not saying I understood much of it.  Just that I read it.  From what I remember, it might as well have been a travelogue/whaling documentary.

  10. der says:

    In my thinking a plausible story goes this way: Dr. Blasey and Squi are “going out” starting the end of the school year and into June, she knows his brother and family as they go to the same country club, she spends her summer days at the country club, July 1st they are both there and Squi mentions a get together at Timmy’s (hard to pin down the address to his mom’s place, my records research indicates his parents owned a house near Rockville some miles away from the country club but they sold it prior to ’82), “Who will be there?” Blasey asks, “What time?” Maybe Leyland and she find a ride to Timmy’s (Leyland’s second husband from an interview some years ago indicated they were both partier’s early in their marriage), when they arrive Kavanaugh and Judge, who had started drinking earlier (not hard to get buzzed on an empty stomach), were drunk, Squi hadn’t shown up yet, after a beer Dr Blasey goes up to use the bathroom, Kavanaugh and his buddy drunkenly decide to “have some fun” and follow, the assault happens, Blasey escapes after waiting for them to no longer be a threat upstairs, she goes down and out immediately without explanation, later Squi arrives and maybe asks the partier’s where she was, he later asks why she left, Blasey, from the trauma, decides to cut ties with the group.

    I think Leyland knows more than what she is willing to tell, I think the others have suspicions or know what Kavanaugh and Judge tried to do. The “fffff…” stutter excuse is nonsense, why the boys got a laugh out of it is because they knew what he was meaning when he did it. Kamela Harris, after reading the linked Brock piece, is right, Kavanaugh is not a balls and strikes umpire candidate for the SC, he’s a political operative. I have hopes that the FBI and the Washington Post do the job they are capable of doing. Our Country deserves more from both parties.

    Meanwhile the planet burns.

    • maybe ryan says:

      Possible.  That would certainly leave Squi with a story to tell, and I hope he tells it.

      A number of things are problematic.  She said the house was near the country club.  11 miles is not nearby in the suburban imagination.  Timmy is not listed as present. It’s weird to think she went to Timmy’s and he wasn’t there.  Her polygraph does say “4 boys,” which leaves open the possibility in my mind that there was a 4th in addition to those she has named – Kav, Judge and PJ.  This is awkward to consider, since it implies that Ford has not been entirely forthcoming. But one can posit reasons she might hesitate, consistent with a woman who went through trauma.  Her story of 3 boys (ie “4 others” which include a girl, her friend Leland) was in the letter to Eshoo/Feinstein and told to the Post, but I don’t believe she testified to a particular number of boys, so it’s conceivable that she was obscuring someone to the Post/Eshoo without really lying.

      My only way to square it all is to consider the possibility that parts of Whelan’s story were accurate as fed to him by Kavanaugh.  That the party was at Squi’s house, right near Columbia.  Consider that Squi almost certainly had a car (Kav ssys he had no car, and several entries in the calendar show him going to the beach with Squi.)  Leland like Ford was too young to drive. It would be weird for them to hitch a ride with 3 strange boys from a place near Squi’s house to some distant spot in order to meet up with Squi.

      The easiest way to square it all is that people met at Squi’s, as Whelan asserted, before heading to Timmy’s.  That Squi was the 4th boy.  And that there is some reason she has tried very, very hard not to make any public mention of the 4th boy.  I posit some trauma between them that she doesn’t want to revisit.

      I do want to mention that I had already hinted at this theory here at EW, immediately after Whelan’s tweet-thread came out.  It has been interesting to see the alternate theory, that Squi was just a random classmate Whelan stumbled on, proven wildly wrong by Ford’s testimony and Kavanaugh’s calendar.

      Squi is clearly at the center of the Kav-Ford interaction.  Squi is Kav’s best friend is Ford’s boyfriend.  With nothing more than that basic idea, you would strongly expect Ford would mention him (to explain how she came to know Kav) and Kav would shy away.

      There must be some reason that the opposite happened – that Ford has struggled to keep him out of the story, both before and after the Whelan gambit.  And that Kavanaugh brought him into the public eye.  That’s very strange, and demands some extraordinary explanation.

      • Trip says:

        Maybe Squi was some kind of victim of the pack as well. Or Squi was with Kavanaugh during other exploits. I really hate to speculate, since this guy was thrust into the spotlight without any allegations whatsoever, as far as we know, before or after Kavanaugh was heard in the hearings. Did Kavanaugh actually call him his best friend? (I haven’t gone through the calendar). From the urban dictionary, the moniker “Squi” is pejorative. It’s like an unwanted hanger-on.

        • maybe ryan says:

          Kav hasn’t said anything about Squi.  But I’ve felt it’s fair to characterize a relationship where Kav hung out with him more than anyone else, and spent weekends at the beach with him at least 3 times, as best friends.

    • maybe ryan says:

      Post reporters talked to Prep classmates about Fffffff-Fourth of July, boof and devil’s triangle.  They wrote that boof and devil’s triangle mean what we all thought, and Kav was lying, but that Ffffff was indeed related to the kid’s funny way of talking.

      • viget says:

        I think the FFFF thing is true regarding Squi’s apparent stutter.  Go look at the mashable archive of Whelan’s tweet thread.  It has Squi’s yearbook page (which, btw, how did Whelan get?), and he even lists the FFFFF, but not in “I survived the FFFFFourth of July”, just as its own entry, like he’s acknowledging it’s a joke on himself.  He does list “Ann Daugherty, I survived the Fourth of July” though.

        My theory is that Squi was the beta male of the group, similar to what Avattoir posited in the last thread.  Having been that guy myself, I recognize the signs.  More popular guys hang out with you, because maybe one of them is a good friend of yours, and he really wants  to be a true member of the Alpha group, which I picture here to be Judge  et al.  Kavenaugh, however, seemed as though he hung out much more often with Squi, possibly because Squi and he were friends first, and also because Squi had access to a car, and most importantly, a beach house.  But he really wanted to be Judge.

        All that aside, though, it’s also possibly true that the FFFFFourth of July could be a 2nd level in-joke along the lines of what others were positing, and Squi wasn’t in on the joke.  Just so happens that the guy also had a stutter.

    • Frank Probst says:

      I’m repeating myself from the last thread, but I think that she’s intentionally avoiding the subject of Squi BECAUSE OF the Whelan tweets.  She doesn’t want to be an ass and say his name on national television.  It’s entirely possible that there’s more than that going on with Squi, but I think the main reason she hesitated is that the guy’s already been thrown under the bus, and she doesn’t want to make his life any worse than it already is.

  11. Don Utter says:

    Fascinating transcript from Senate Judiciary committee published on line

    I apologize if this has been noted before in the comments here, but I just found it and read about half way through it.

    The link was from a WAPO story “Brett Kavanaugh’s ‘breathless’ coverage, explained”


    “So, yes, a little “breathless.” But consider the source of that additional reporting. On Wednesday, the Senate Judiciary Committee itself — a panel controlled by Republicans eager to smooth Kavanaugh’s nomination — posted the transcript of a conference call in which Kavanaugh was interrogated about claims that had landed in the committee’s collective lap. Read the transcript here on the committee’s own website, posted for all to read. In the call, Kavanaugh is asked about an allegation presented to Gardner that Kavanaugh in 1998 had “shoved” a woman against a wall “very aggressively and sexually.” The letter was anonymous. Also mentioned on the call was an allegation from an unnamed Rhode Island man, relating to misconduct on a boat in 1985. The nominee forcefully denied both claims. “We’re dealing with an anonymous letter about an anonymous person and an anonymous friend,” said Kavanaugh on the call. “It’s ridiculous. Total twilight zone.” The latter accuser has since recanted.”

    The story contains a link to transcript of judiciary committee questions to Kav. Only this last year have I taken fiction seriously. You can read this as a novel of the fall of a drunk.


  12. Ronnie says:

    Has anyone else asked and answered how Ford could forget that the guy she dated was at the party? Was he? The calendar says he was, but she did not name him. Was he involved? Maybe she doesn’t want to name him? She says she doesnt remember how she got there and how she got home. Isnt it likely that he, the one who introduced her to the group and who she was closest to picked her up? How could she forget if he was there?

    • bmaz says:

      What a jackass misogynistic comment. Thanks for coming, don’t come back if that is the crap you have on offer. You make assumptions as to calendar and then belligerently and like a good little misogynist jerk, shit on the putative victim. Also, get out, and do not ever try to double post your horse manure here again.

  13. Kirk Tofte says:

    The Supreme Court has been GOP controlled since at least 2000 when Bush v Gore was decided. Will Kavanaugh or any other judge nominated by Trump be any worse than
    Justice Kennedy?
    Kennedy supported the majority in the Citizens United case. What S.C. opinion will ever be more partisan than that one? Finally, Kennedy worked hand in glove with the Trump administration to orchestrate his retirement and the setting of the timetable to approve his hand picked replacement.
    Was Kennedy really any better than Scalia, Thomas or Alito? I don’t think so.

  14. Willis Warren says:

    Something I’m working on right now: Facebook Fox affiliates are being bombarded with pro Kavanaugh posts that are highly suspect. I’m shocked at the volume, and I’ve been following this crap for two years. It’s as high as ever, over a story that isn’t necessarily mainstream. I’m not saying it’s russians, but…. it’s weird.

    • BobCon says:

      I think it’s fair to say there are and have been for a while plenty of networks of fake online participants, and I wouldn’t be surprised if there are more than being activated, possibly Russians but others as well. Not to mention the usual useful idiots.

      • skua says:

        Trump, in my interpretation, is now prioritizing using the Kavanaugh nomination to heighten motivating emotions in his base so as to maximize their voting turn-out. This suggests that him drawing it out may occur.

    • Taxidermist says:

      I don’t know if it’s a legit site since I learned of it only yesterday, but I’ve seen several articles in the last day that refer to the website Hamilton 68 (they track numbers of Russian influence and attempts of influence in our media) and pro-BK has been the #1 Russian attempt over the last few days.

    • Trip says:

      Facebook isn’t alone. Look at the comments on other sites, under articles. I looked after you mentioned it. There is an active smear campaign on Dr. Ford. Truly ugly stuff. So it’s the negative side of Kavanaugh support.

  15. Ray Buzz says:

    I think somebody is going to off themselves before this one is through. I don’t think we have seen the half of it.

  16. earlofhuntingdon says:

    A reminder, as Rayne might put it, to go out and make the Dems do, “what they want to do anyway.” (I dispute the Rooseveltian assertion that they want to do it, but agree they can be made to do it. That’s true of a handful of Republicans, too.) A quote from Bill Maher illustrates why that’s necessary:

    “The comedian Bill Maher is fond of saying that Democrats keep bringing a knife to a gunfight. “Republicans, they’re all claws and sharp teeth and fangs when they fight,” he told viewers earlier this year. “The Democrats? Their weapon of choice is adaptive coloration.””

    One might add that In Lindsey Graham’s hands, a hissy fit is a lethal weapon.


  17. Bri2k says:

    Apologies if this is a bit off-topic but I found it enlightening:


    Some people who sexually use or abuse children have high social status in a group – a star athlete, a musician, a boss or manager, a prominent member of a community, even an especially popular person – and become so confused (and ‘intoxicated’) by constant admiration or praise that they begin to think the rules are different for them.

    I don’t know if what Kavanaugh did meets the legal requirements for sexually abusing a child but this seems especially on-point to me in his case.

    • bmaz says:

      What???? So, “high status” sexual abusers occur in addition to, I presume, your argumentative conceit of “low status” abusers?

      And your point is what?? Jesus.

      • Bri2k says:

        Please forgive me this has brought up a lot of stuff for me and I didn’t mean to cause a problem. I found the status differential illuminating as Kavanaugh was a star athlete and a part of the social register and his victim was a typical suburban kid.

        I’m not sure how I was wrong in pointing this out and I’m sorry if it wasn’t helpful. Please accept my apology.

        • Rayne says:

          I think I know where you were trying to go — the ability to abuse with impunity becomes easier when culture provides authority and power. Some is institutional, like the church, and some is cultural, like the myriad of popular figures we’ve seen who’ve been able to get away with abuses for years, ex. Bill Cosby, Charlie Rose, Matt Lauer. Includes other areas of entertainment like sports. These structures within fields of society form strata divided by power, and the most powerful layer becomes the dominant, oppressive class in no small part because they are the unification of manhood and money.

          There was a good thread by Heather Moore in which she discussed the power dynamics of class:

          Heidi N Moore @moorehn

          Brett Kavanaugh, on the other hand, grew up destined for power. He gained all the Establishment bona fides. Republicans literally cannot see a man who went to Georgetown Prep as a rapist EVEN IF HE ACTUALLY COMMITTED RAPE. It’s entirely inconsistent with their worldview.

          9:15 AM – 30 Sep 2018


          She gets close to it, and why Bill Clinton was attacked by the Washington establishment — he was an outsider, “white trash.”

          • maybe ryan says:

            It’s all good – meant in good faith.  And yes, the impunity of the upper class is part of this.

            But as I continue to mull what may have happened, I think it’s worth steering away from the idea that Kavanaugh was from a different class than the other people involved.  For instance, Squi and Ford were both members of Columbia.  Squi’s family had a beach house.  All these families were paying for particularly expensive private schools despite living in places that offer some of the best public high schools in the country, as well as less expensive private schools.  All of these people were very well off, and there’s not anything to suggest the Kavanaugh family was any more well off than the Blaseys or Garretts.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      I think that is OT and off-base regarding anything that’s come out about Kavanaugh.  The sexual abuse discussed so far involved his peer group.  His problems relate to misogyny, hubris, alcohol abuse, unrestrained partisanship, and arrogance.

      Separately, looking at that list, would Kagan, Sotomayor or Gorsuch have been approved had they all the faults on that list? This.Is.Not.Normal.

  18. bmaz says:

    How exactly are speculative chatterboxes here in these comments as played so far, any better, or different, than Ed Whelan? Don’t get out over your “skis”.

    • maybe ryan says:

      Point taken here as well.  I had a small insight that may be meaningless.  I like to follow things out to see where they might lead, but “over my skis” is a good description, and I think this is too high profile a forum to be speculating that far off the path about a real person.  Better left to private conversations.

    • burt berman says:

      what I didn’t understand is why the dems didn’t pursue the Whelan issue with Kav.  While clearly Ford didn’t want to  discuss him as a matter of minimizing collateral damage to Squi., thought Dems would have taken sharpened knives to Kav over this.

  19. Nopants says:

    Any thoughts as to what the other SCOTUS judges think about the possibility of having to work with Kav if he’s seated?

    • burt berman says:

      They’ve got to be thinking about criminal and civil vulnerabilities which will render his term short-lived.

  20. Don Utter says:

    ACLU joins the opposition. Only fourth time in 100 years

    “ACLU breaks its own policy, comes out against Kavanaugh nomination

    “This is the fourth time in the ACLU’s 98-year history that the board of directors has voted to oppose a Supreme Court nominee.

    Herman said in a statement that the nonpartisan organization does not oppose Kavanaugh’s potential votes if he were to be appointed to the high court, “we oppose him in light of the credible allegations of sexual assault against him,” she wrote.”

  21. AitchD says:

    What do Catholics think of this?

    Senator Kennedy: (to Kavanaugh) Do you believe in God?
    Judge Kavanaugh: Yes.

    Senator Kennedy: Do you swear to God [it never happened]?
    Judge Kavanaugh: I swear to God [it never happened].

    • Bruce Olsen says:

      This might be a NYC-ism from my 1950s-60s youth, but anybody resorting to “I swear to God” was instantly suspect.

      Back then everyone read Hamlet…

      • cwradio says:

        “Do not swear an oath, either by heaven or by earth. Simply let your “Yes” be yes, and your “No”, no.”  (Matthew 5:34-35 ; 37)

        “Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.”  (Luke 6:27-28)

        “Why do you call me, “Lord”, and not do the things I say?”  Luke 6:46

        Kavie is not only unfit to be a judge, he’s a terrible example for an alleged “follower of Jesus”.

  22. Terrence says:

    I can’t remember where I read this, but it was within the last two weeks or so, and probably from of the following: Politico, HufPost, Daily Beast or AlterNet.
    A person who was/is a friend of Kavanaugh was searching the internet with Fords name as the search term several days before her name was publicly known. Thought it was telling at the time, but now with the intersection of Ford, “Squi ” and Kavanaugh it seems even more so.

  23. Badbisco says:

    Is it possible that This happened at Squi’s House? Whelan’s attempt to introduce a false mistaken identity defense may have ironically actually pinpointed the location, if the house layout details are correct and do line up with her memories.

    What if the plan was originally Timmy’s house but his parents end up not leaving. Squi offers up his place when he unexpectedly gets pulled out of town with his parents. Result would be Judge, Brett, Bernie, and Timmy (unknown fourth male attendee per Ford) at a house and they manage to get 2 girls over, one who was going out with Squi recently.

  24. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Another aspect of Brett Kavanaugh that came out in the hearings and in post-hearing commentary is the priority Kavanaugh places on impressing others. Notably, that includes the most influential person in the room and other guys. Women are the objects through which he sometimes does that.

    He needed to impress on the guys that he was one of them. Being the big guy jock, a two-sport letterman, and the smartest guy in his class wasn’t enough. He needed heavy drinking bouts to prove his manhood. That he was one of the guys was probably the most honest part of Kavanaugh’s testimony.

    That’s usually a sign the guy himself doesn’t believe it. And that requires repeatedly “proving” it, sometimes through real or reputed sex acts. Those relegate the girl to the status of furniture, the broken pottery, the scenery in a male play. In that, he is very much like Donald Trump.

    The other aspect revealed by his testimony is his need to impress the influential: In school, that’s the adults. Brett played the good choirboy student-athlete, the dutiful son who responsibly delayed “sex” until after college. Hence, the cover slang in his diary to hide the drinking and sex “play”.

    His repeated insistence that he was first in his class is part of that. It’s supposed to excuse his casual improprieties. After all, it got him into Yale and Yale Law. There, he sought out the FedSoc rep, already a key to his future.

    He used him to get his four clerkships, trading up from one appellate judge to a better one, a feeder judge for the Supremes. He sought out Ken Starr when Rehnquist turned him down, and finally landed his clerkship with Kennedy. He followed Starr to his law firm, the Clinton investigation, and back to his law firm and his partnership (for his political partisanship, not client development or billable hours).

    Starr’s investigation made Kavanaugh a made man among the ranks of Republican operatives. He parlayed that into a slot in the BushCheney campaign and a job in their White House. The rest is history.

    But as Faulkner said, “The past is never dead. It’s not even past.” These remain among Kavanaugh’s adult traits. He didn’t leave them behind in high school or college. He needs to impress so as to belong. He needs to repay that acceptance with loyalty and without restraint – because it might be taken away. We can be sure the FedSoc has noted and is relying on that, and will call his marker when need be.

    • punaise says:

      This is spot on. For some reason it reminds me of a (much more benign) example: the classic restaurant scene in Mrs. Doubtfire where Robin Williams is alternating between two personae: the manly-man matching downed whiskeys with the TV boss he is courting, and the prim English nanny role at the family table across the venue. Unlike the current situation, hilarity ensues.

    • maybe ryan says:

      I dunno.  If someone said I was an alcoholic in my teens and 20’s, I might well suggest my academic success as an argument against that idea.  I’m not sure that reflects my need to impress the influential.

      The conversation for me would move on to “well, what went wrong after your academic success?  :-)

      Anyway, I think that’s a fairly natural response to the allegation, regardless of whether the allegation is true or false and despite the obvious counterargument that there are functioning alcoholics who succeed despite having a problem.

  25. Frank Probst says:

    I’ve said this before, but I think it’s worth repeating. Someone (Politico, maybe) needs to post a picture of the “65 women” letter, and then put green checkmarks next to the women who still stand by that letter, red strikethrough lines through the names of the women who have said that they don’t, and question marks over the remaining ones. There should be a way for the signers to clarify their positions as the week goes on. The “65 women” chose to sign that letter. My understanding is that at least some of them had no idea that a sexual assault allegation was about to drop. I think it’s pretty reasonable to ask all of them if they still stand by the statements that they attached their names to.

    • Rayne says:

      Pictures are inappropriate. We don’t need to know what they look like. We also don’t need their addresses. We only need them on the record where they stand on the letter ~now~ after the hearing.

      Let’s not make this a witch hunt; these women are already victimized by past association they can’t control.

      While we’re at it, I’d like to know why more of Kavanaugh’s male high school friends haven’t been treated the same way — asked to sign a letter attesting to his character. Why is that?

      • Frank Probst says:

        Apologies.  I mean a picture of the actual letter itself, NOT pictures of the signers.  If there are things like addresses and phone numbers on there, those should be blurred out (even if they’re easily available elsewhere).  I don’t want anyone doxxed.  But Politico is obviously trying to get in touch with all of them.  I think it’s fair to show exactly what they’ve been able to determine.

  26. Frank Probst says:

    General observation:  Kavanaugh’s appearance at the Senate Judiciary Committee meeting doesn’t look like it’s aging well to me.  Drudge has a picture of a sour-looking Kavanaugh above his main headline right now, and almost all of the clips that I’ve seen from the meeting have been of Kavanaugh.  I’ve seen very little of Blasey Ford.  The exchange with Senator Klobuchar in particular seems to be getting a lot of play, and it doesn’t make Kavanaugh look good.

    What have other people thought of the media coverage so far?

    • JD12 says:

      Kavanaugh was an absolute mess, no reasonable person who sees it can say otherwise. I’m surprised Trump liked it. You’d think he would like judges who weren’t criers.

      My conservative friends haven’t even talking about Kavanaugh, they’re giving high fives over Lyndsey Graham. It’s pretty crazy. And they all think Dems are trying to steal the seat, though if Kav just withdrew they could easily confirm another conservative by the end of January. They might get dinged in the midterms, but so what? I’m pretty sure that’s all Dems thought would happen.

  27. JD12 says:

    I’ve always found the July 7 New York Times article “McConnell Tries To Nudge Trump Toward Two Supreme Court Options” to be remarkable. While Kavanaugh’s record was a concern, leaking to the Times isn’t trying to “nudge Trump,” it’s pulling the alarm. Maybe McConnell simply wanted it known it wasn’t his fault if things got sideways. But I think he was trying to change Trump’s mind by hinting at bad press, the same way Bannon did with the Morning Joe comment about the transition.

    What are the chances McConnell knew something like this was going to come up?

    The reason I ask is that Ford testified that she called her Congressional representative and texted The Washington Post on July 6, the day before the Times article. Is there any way McConnell would have caught wind of that? Democrats didn’t share specifics, I don’t think, but could they have asked around. Or cold WaPo start asking around? We also know from BK’s history with the stolen emails that they do their own counterintelligence. I don’t know, but McConnell letting that leak seems like a pretty big deal.

    • BobCon says:

      My read on McC’s warnings is that it was never a secret in DC that Kavanaugh was a sloppy, vicious drinker at risk of impeachment for lying under oath. He may well have anticipated that this was going to be an ongoing problem, even if he could keep his side in line long enough to get the nomination approved.

      • JD12 says:

        Ah, that makes sense.

        If Trump listened to MM, none of this would’ve happened. It’s an unforced error on Trump. It’s asinine that folks like Graham are leading half the country to believe this is the new normal.

    • Anon says:

      McConnell may have known without being privvy to anything. Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the circuit court did not go entirely smoothly and in that he told lies about his role in the Bush White House that were bound to come out eventually. Perhaps he was just being his usual prudent self.

  28. Kay Klingman says:

    I can’t link to any posts (or register to post) but several people above have mentioned that Dr. Ford was reluctant to mention “Squi’s” name. I watched every minute of her testimony Thursday, and I can vouch that she addressed this. When asked his name, she told the prosecutor that because he recently had been written about in such negative and untruthful terms she didn’t feel comfortable using his name at the hearing.She didn’t mention Whelan’s name, but it was clear she was referring to his slanderous (or is it libelous? I get them mixed up) and ridiculous charges.

    Someone else mentioned that someone had searched for her on the internet prior to her name being revealed. Ed Whelan searched Ford’s name on LinkedIn a few hours after her name was given to the White House and before it was released publicly. Dr. Ford called her lawyer, also before her name was released publicly, to say someone was searching her name. It was reported, and I believe verified, that Don McGahn gave Whelan her name. I think I read this on WaPo but I’m not sure. I will try to find the story and bring it back here.

    If I were able to choose a nym it probably would be Nitpicky…

  29. jf-fl says:

    “But if it is indeed true that Ford was not asked to sign, then it cannot be considered the proper sample to understand how Kavanaugh was treating women that summer.”

    They’re obviously trying to cook the investigation for BK, but also this statement is wrong. They sampled large #s of women… the question isn’t how he was treating women this summer, it’s one woman.

    I do find the whole Whelan thing incredibly strange and perplexed that it was not addressed during testimony. Of course the format was sort of setup to be haphazard and use the senators narcissism to insulate any sort of investigative momenteum (that could last more than 5min anyhow).

    Hopefully the FBI or the press can investigate this more. From what I understand, the July 1 calendar event at Tim’s house only has one bathroom and doesn’t match descriptives Dr ford gave. This isn’t being focused on in the press, I presume reporters are also looking into this in more detail than random folks using trullio.

    I was disturbed by some of the judge’s comments during the confirmation hearing. However it is their right to vote in somebody and while Dr ford is credible, I can see the perspective that they want at least some hard cooroboration of the events. And yes BK is a liar and a partisian and probably isn’t good for the country, but it hasn’t been shown convincely that he sexually abused women.

    I may simply stop reading your supreme court posts as they’re not as well researched or thoughtful as your russia ones. I’m read for them to wrap up supreme court and move onto the next horrible norm shattering event.

    • bmaz says:

      Hahaha, you write this diatribe and then claim that “our” Supreme Court work is “not well researched or thoughtful”?? Stop and take a good look in the mirror.

  30. Wm. Boyce says:

    I too, hope that the FBI investigation blows up in the Repugs’ faces. They may try to limit it, but pros have a way of doing their job well.

    • Mulder says:

      This from Comey’s op ed piece in the NY Times today. “Significance drives memory. They also know that little lies point to bigger lies. They know that obvious lies by the nominee about the meaning of words in a yearbook are a flashing signal to dig deeper.” My emphasis.

      I’m reupping my comments on other posts the significance of the July 1, 1982, calendar entry starring Squi, PJ, Judge etc. It was the day that MD drinking age went to 21. BK was going to be legal in February ’83 halfway thru his senior year.

      His brewski buddies were likely in a similar position. But the law change meant BK and the boys wouldn’t be the guys who were legally buying those hundred kegs and being toastmasters at parties. They would continue to operate as second teir drinkers relying on older friends, fake ids.

      That’s why he specifically wrote that it was brewskis with the boys on that day. Was the gathering that Dr. Ford attended a “pre-gaming” gathering? She said their “parties” were typically later than she was allowed to be out. Or maybe just Devil’s Triangle “practice” for the FFFFFourth of July?

      Regardless, if the FBI is allowed to ask about this, memories should be sharp but if not closely held. Here’s hoping there is enough room for the investigation to get to those big lies.

  31. Silence Hand says:

    OK, dammit, for some reason I’m not getting editing tools for the above post thus can’t delete it. My apologies. In response to an earlier thread, I’m mainly struck that Blasey Ford does not mention Squi present at the pivotal gathering. If she and he were “going out” around that time, I imagine his presence would be notable. To be clear, I find her description of events credible, and am working from an assumption that they are accurate. Put another way, I want to understand this and am not “concern trolling” in any way.

  32. Manqueman says:

    So. Long before she was outed, Team Kavanaugh knew of the Ford accusation — and the only source of that was Kavanaugh.

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