Photo: Pavan Trikutam via Unsplash

Three URGENT Things: POTUS’ Alert Text, Facebonked, Kavanuh-uh

Let’s get right to it, no time for preamble (and don’t forget to check the byline above).

~ 3 ~

There will be an unblockable nationwide test of the Presidential Alert system on all cell phones today at 2:18 p.m. ET.

This infuriates me to no end, especially after Trump’s insulting bullshit at his fan club rally last night in which he denigrated assault survivor Dr. Blasey Ford. It’s as if he’s going to grab us all by the privates at the same time today without our consent.

Think about it: so much of your private personal life goes through your phone and now Trump’s FEMA has decided it will inject itself into your phone?

Lifehacker has a decent article suggesting some methods for mitigating or avoiding the text if not blocking it — you can read about it at this link.

Make sure you tell friends and family ASAP about this alert so they don’t freak out and aren’t in the middle of something important when this alert shows up.

Pity the poor residents of Hawaii, having to face this crap first thing this morning.

Time zone conversion for the alert:

Eastern: 2:18 p.m. ET
Central: 1:18 p.m. CT
Mountain: 12:18 p.m. MT
Pacific: 11:18 a.m. PT
Alaska: 10:18 a.m.
Hawaii: 08:18 a.m.

Check time conversion at this link. I’m going to shut my phone off at 2:00 p.m. ET and take an hour-long break.

~ 2 ~

The half-assed FBI investigation will likely be finished today; don’t expect to see the Swiss cheese-y results riddled with holes where testimony wasn’t collected. It’s unlikely the public will see this report.

This means McConnell will likely pursue a vote on cloture today to end debate in order for the full Senate to vote on Kavanaugh before the end of the week.

Which in turn means CALL YOUR SENATORS. Yes, even the steadfast Democrats who are unlikely to sway because their offices are being flooded with right-wing calls demanding their poor rich white frat boy judge be seated for a lifetime on the Supreme Court.

Screw that. Just MAKE THE CALLS.

Congressional switchboard: (202) 224-3121

Need a script for your call? @Celeste_pewter has them broken into four categories:

– The Democrats who have already said yes, and won’t flip no matter what.
– The red state Democrats.
– The potential GOP flips.
– The GOP senators who will vote yes, no matter what.

And a universal, all-senators script.

Pick the appropriate script and have at it. (Thanks, Celeste!)

HOOSIERS: Make a special effort to thank Joe Donnelly who came out last night as a NO on Kavanaugh. He is surely being pummeled today by Indiana’s finest red staters.

NORTH DAKOTANS: Heitkamp is down but within margin of error of her Republican opponent. Make sure you call so that she doesn’t feel pressure to backslide.

Trouble getting through switchboard or full mailbox? Try contacting your senators’ local offices. Look them up at:

Contacting Congress:

~ 1 ~

Facebook’s massive breach exposes what a bad, BAD idea it was to allow a Facebook login to become a universal login for other applications. Let’s not forget Facebook has also appropriated users’ phone numbers for advertising without users’ consent. It’s a security cataclysm and Facebook is once again flat-footed.


Never use the same password for more than one site.

Use a password manager.

Read up here about the problem.

What did I do? I gave up Facebook years ago when it was clear to me they were a security cesspool.

~ 0 ~

Now get going. Run!

Treat this as an open thread.

253 replies
  1. Willis Warren says:

    You can unlog all your sessions in facebook under “settings” and “privacy” there’s a tab for “current sessions”

    you’ll be surprised how many you have

  2. Geoff says:

    At 2:17, I suggest turning your phone off.

    (just in case you didnt bother to click the link which also suggested this.)

    Or didnt read down far enough to see that Rayne has chosen that avoidance method.

  3. Ollie says:

    On it!  re: BK

    Proudly!  I say to you all: I never, ever will own/use a cell phone.  I’m an old hippy and having a phone attached to oneself just feels like I’d invited Big Brother to ride around for full view of my life…NOT!!  The biggest price I pay is finding a fricking phone booth or a businesses phone.  hahaha

    Facebook.  I did FB for  2 days and tried deleting it several times.  I treat that place like it has the plague.  My god I sat those 2 days and watched everyone validate gossip, lol  Like who cares what time you used the bathroom?  AM.I.RIGHT?  Plus?  Did everyone forget that your brains are getting fried?  Any you all are paying for this and free information giveaway?  Yeah.  No.  I carried over my fear and loathing from the 60’s good. So on to the calls……..ty Marcy

  4. RWood says:

    I know the FEMA alert thing irks some, but as a former flight medic who has seen his share of disasters I think its a good thing. When it all goes to hell your cell phone may be your only means of communication and I can tell you you’ll want that alert when the time comes.

    Its just a test, not an app installing Big Brother. I despise Trump as much as the next person, but this is not automatically a bad thing just because he’s in office.

    • Rayne says:

      We already have an emergency alert system in place, both over broadcast and cable bandwidth and on cell phones. We don’t need a dedicated presidential one.

      What we do need are ongoing improvements to secure emergency communications systems for first responders.

      And in real emergencies, there’s no bloody cell service. The earthquake and tsunami in Indonesia showed what happens to cell towers quite graphically. A dedicated presidential alert system will do absolutely dick to help in those situations.

      • RWood says:

        Actually, cell service can be restored very quickly via portable units and balloons. As has been done in the aftermath of the last few hurricanes.

        The message is much like an Amber alert, only it has to do with national security. It has to go through FEMA. Its not for personal tweeting of propaganda from the oval office. Lets not blow this out of proportion or make it something its not please.

        • Rayne says:

          Remember the flawed Hawaii alert? I haven’t forgotten it. We are NOT ready for a nationwide alert. We need a regional or timezone alert first; even that will be flawed because of the portability of phone numbers.

          A nationwide, presidential alert does dick to improve communications when there are gaps due to system failures. Spend the time and money on developing emergency mesh networks.

          And while you believe this isn’t for personal tweeting from the Oval Office, this is still an occupied White House and a FEMA organization which has not acted effectively to save American lives. Nearly 3000 dead Puerto Ricans attest to this, as does the necessity of mass deployment of private, personal resources post-Florence. This POS nationwide, presidential alert does absolutely nothing to fix that; it offers some pathetic illusion FEMA is wholly effective.

          • RWood says:

            “Alert: The KYAG Nuclear Plant has suffered a catastrophic failure. All persons receiving this alert are advised to evacuate immediately.”

            Alert: The Simpson Fire has jumped the Snake River and is expected to reach McCall within the hour. Residence are advised to evacuate to the south.”

            Alert: The PYB Dam has failed. Flood waters will reach your area in less than thirty minutes. Evacuate immediately to higher ground.”

            Whats my beef? The people who label these alerts “Fake News” or ignore them because: Trump, end up being the ones I have to risk my ass to save the next day.

            Why would you NOT want to get that alert? Its a test, which is what you do to make the system better. Why would you not do that?

            You don’t have to listen to me, but I think your reasons for not participating in this are not just silly but dangerous. There’s nothing remotely political about this. I’ve never been asked who I voted for by someone I’ve taken to safety.

            Twenty years experience in said field, but what do I know?

            • bmaz says:

              Maybe two decades of experience in said field would lead you to respect truth and honesty, not idiotic Trump bullshit. But, as you say, “what do I know?”

            • Michael says:

              You’ll have to ‘splain how shutting off phones could interfere with the test. I have a strong feeling – based on more than two decades as an engineer in tech industries – that the test will look only at whether of not all of the repeaters in the US received the message and passed it along to phones. If that is the extent of the test then it is an incomplete test, i.e. necessary but not sufficient. Anything approaching a complete test would verify that X number of phones were jingled and f(X) number of those phones received it, though I;m not so sure the system has this capability.

            • Parse Lee says:


              Thank you very much for your two cents and for sharing your experience. It shows a side of the story I daresay most of us had not considered.

              I admit that I’ve hated these alerts since I started getting them a year or two ago. They sometimes are clearly not intended for the place I currently am with my phone–which makes them not so useful in general because I can’t tell if they are relevant. E.g., Why is my phone waking me up in the middle of the night to warn me that a child has been kidnapped near a highway it would take me 40 minutes to reach?

              But mostly they creep me out. And I think that they are already being abused/overused.

              That said, again, I see your points and appreciate your side of the story.

              {Not at all understanding why people are snapping (and threatening?! huh?) at you here, but annoyed me enough that this lurker since the days of EW @ FDL finally posted. And hope you come back despite the lukewarm welcome.}

              Hi RWood <wave>


            • Allison Holland says:

              its true peopled died because they didnt believe the news and rescuers lives were put in danger for no other reason than that those being rescued had been brainwashed by the far right and trump to not believe the real news.  we can only thank trump.  i wish he could be sued for libel and conspiracy against the truth.  i am sorry that as a responder you now have another hurdle which endangers your life. it makes me so angry.  and sad that you have so much risk added to the climate change problems. please be safe and know many are with you hoping for your safety.

            • Anne says:

              These are great messages for a localized alert system based on SMS (Short Message Service).  As a former systems engineer for telecommunications switching, I see no need whatsoever for sending a nationwide alert in a country bigger than Belgium. Or a state bigger than Delaware.  An alert to selected cell towers is more appropriate and would require IMO a few weeks of programming in each type of Mobile Exchange and more than that in the operations centers of each phone company.  And weeks of testing.  In fact, it has probably been implemented in some European countries (should be reading my technical magazines instead of this blog…).

              It is of no use to turn off your phone:  each phone company keeps undelivered SMS for a few days until it can deliver them.  The protocol is what we used to call “send and pray”:  SMS was designed (by the GSM) without any acknowledgement mechanism.  So nobody is keeping track of how many actually got delivered.

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          To use an analogy, an architect’s lovely detailed plans do not often reflect the as-built structure.

          That a policy calls for one thing says nothing about how any particular president executes them.

          • earlofhuntingdon says:

            Personal attacks always persuasive.  Cliches, too.

            This presidential version seems redundant, and a waste and misallocation of scarce resources.  Given this president’s ego and need to avoid fact checkers in the media, it is more likely a distraction and a runaround.

            Why would someone in New Mexico need to know about a tidal surge in South Florida, a tornado in Iowa, or a reactor failure in New Hampshire?

            As Rayne says, existing regional alert systems are essential.  They need to be improved and upgraded.  They should be able to roll from one region to the next for such things as advancing storms or radiation clouds.

            When we need an alert for the whole country, from the president, I’ll either already be on the ark or finishing my goodbye vodka.  Until then, I’ll wait for Vice to come out in theaters.

            • Doctor My Eyes says:

              Perhaps the emergency preparedness expert is correct.  What do I know? Otoh, why would I expect to see any functionality out of the WH on any issue other than enriching the boys in the club? I can’t help but take today’s emergency alert the same way I took Trump’s sudden burning desire to spend an hour and a half with the press followed by recent speeches.  He’s working on creating an illusion that there is a functioning government in place run by a leader who is engaged in making decisions and generally running things. The kind of President who appoints wonderful people to the SC for the good of us all. He is not that President.

              In short, I find it impossible to imagine Trump engaging in any behavior whose sole purpose is to help the country. I base this opinion not on partisanship but on a long public record.

              • earlofhuntingdon says:

                Your last paragraph captures it in a nutshell.

                Mr. Trump’s long, voluminous record shows no awareness, interest or empathy, no human understanding of the lives of one’s neighbors.  He defensively considers it an avoidable weakness to be exploited in others.

                His attitude reminds me of the First World War British generals who refused to give pilots parachutes – well-developed, owing to a century of ballooning – because they wanted to encourage them to bring the planes back.

                Pilots were cheap, silk was expensive, and planes were hard to come by.   The average life expectancy at the front of a First World War pilot was between three and ten weeks.  Newbies were lucky to survive the first twenty minutes of combat.

                • Doctor My Eyes says:

                  There is an excellent, stunning documentary about these pilots, which name I’ve been trying to remember for 2 years now.  Those who lasted long enough to become veterans eventually lived together and avoided getting to know the newbies–it was simply too painful.

                • earlofhuntingdon says:

                  Here’s one possibility of what you were looking for.  It’s from a 2010 article in the Daily Mail about a BBC documentary, Fighting the Red Baron, about Manfred von Richthofen and his 80 kills, and a recreation of vintage flying technology.

                  The pilot’s tools were an open cockpit with seat, stick and rudder controls, RPM and oil pressure gauges (a personal watch instead of a fuel gauge), a compass, a machine gun for the enemy, a pistol for the pilot – just in case.  Occasionally the machinery worked; often it didn’t.

                  Like all the other statistics for the First World War, these are chilling:  In 1917, the RAF was losing twelve aircraft and twenty aircrew a day.  The life expectancy for a new pilot at the front was 11 days, or 18 hours in the air.  Of the 14,000 RAF pilots lost in the First World War, half were killed in training, all 15 hours of it.

                  Four years after that documentary aired, a retired photographer found rare photographs of von Richthofen when he was looking for used garden tools at a jumble sale.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        Precisely.  As you say, we already have alert systems in place.  They need to be improved and their use restricted to legitimate emergencies.

        A dedicated presidential communications channel is redundant and a waste of resources.  It will always be used for political purposes.

        • Rayne says:

          The fact this nationwide alert is labeled “presidential” means it is inherently political.

          I would have much less of a problem with this alert had it simply been called a nationwide FEMA alert test message, though we are still not really ready for that.

          Here’s a Twitter thread by an emergency preparedness practitioner/researcher who sees the same problem I see.

          Except if there was any halo around the presidency, it’s utterly tarnished by Trump. Everything he does is transactional — what are we supposed to give in exchange for this absurd exercise in emergency response?

          ADD: Imagine this “presidential” had been sent during the Obama administration. I can’t wrap my head around the level of outrage this would have spawned among right-wingers, birthers, red staters. They would have seen such a message as wholly political — but nothing has changed except a straight white dude with a bad wig, an addiction to spray tan, and an unfortunate love of Russia occupying the White House.

          • RWood says:

            This system was started under Bush and then continued by Obama and, yes, Trump. Its been many years in the making and has had a lot of technical and business/government integration issues to overcome. But its something we need.

            My intention was not to stir the pot here. I disagree with your assessment of the Alert System Rayne, and since I have some experience with it I thought I would share. Does it have a bad title? Maybe, but I couldn’t care less what they call it, I only care if it works. I felt the need to say something.

            If opinions you don’t agree with are no longer welcome here I’ll just show myself out.

            BTW, that article I linked to was in part from people at the University of Arizona. Should I dismiss it based on where they live?

            • Rayne says:

              You don’t care for my assessment, I don’t care for yours. You say you’ve worked as a responder and I have worked on response teams responsible for emergency messaging, including development and testing of messaging systems.

              We’re simply going to agree to disagree.

              • maybe ryan says:

                But when everyone is like “TRUMP DMs IN MY PHONE?!” and RWood makes some mild points, BMaz replies saying his point of view is just Trump bulls**t; and RWood then points out that Bush and Obama did all the planning, and no one acknowledges his point, instead, like BMaz, saying he’s full of s**t, he looks pretty good, frankly.

                Full of shit and bullshit, because he defended an Obama program that happened to come to fruition under Trump?

                If this is a bad program, it’s a bad decision by professionals, not another reason to hate on Trump, of which there are already plenty.

                I like moderation.  And I like BMaz.  But I think it might be worth some work on his, ahem, judicial temperament.

                • Rayne says:

                  First, the Wireless Emergency Alert system became law under BUSH in 2006 (Warning, Alert, and Response Network (WARN) Act), not Obama. Had this presidential alert happened under Obama the right-wing in this country would have had a fucking meltdown.

                  Second, the reason it was called a presidential alert had everything to do with politics and nothing to do with emergency management professionals. The FCC voted this past January on improving the granularity of emergency alerts:

                  Technically, the wireless alert system is voluntary; telecom giants, including the four major U.S. carriers, participate by choice. And under Pai’s rules, companies that take part in the program would be required to deliver wireless alerts to everyone within a local government’s target area — with only a 0.1-mile overshoot. The requirement would enter effect on Nov. 30, 2019. (source)

                  This presidential alert did little to make progress toward that aim. If anything it demonstrated the system is fucked up long before it had done adequate prep work to provide a nationwide alert. (How nice for Putin, Xi, Kim, and other actors to know where they can make trouble without adequate immediate response.)

                  Three, WARN only says

                  Sec. 602 (b)(2)(E) CONSUMER CHOICE TECHNOLOGY.–Any Commercial mobile service licensee electing to transmit emergency alerts may offer subscribers the capability of preventing the subscriber’s device from receiving such alerts, or classes of such alerts, other than an alert issued by the President. Within 2 years after the Commission completes the proceeding under paragraph (1), the Commission shall examine the issue of whether a commercial service provider should continue to be permitted to offer its subscribers such capability. The Commission shall submit a report with its recommendations to the Committee on the Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate and the Committee on Energy and Commerce of the House of Representatives.

                  It doesn’t say anything about a mandatory requirement of an alert for the president or testing such an alert, especially BEFORE granular emergency alert message testing and alerts have been developed.

                  Plenty enough reason to get hot under the collar. Don’t like the moderation in this thread? Move to another.

            • Doctor My Eyes says:

              I appreciate the input from someone with experience as well as your ability to “use words” and remain civil.  I am suspicious but you could easily be correct.  I’ve stated by WAG above, but I’m willing to imagine someone using a cheeseburger to lure President Donald Trump into a room and asking him to push a button.

  5. Anura says:

    Doesn’t look like I can disable mine – like most settings on anything I use other than my PC these days, the free market in all of its wisdom has decided that I don’t want to change them. Phones are fucking assholes about notifications to begin with. You can’t even disable minor informational notifications like “you have WiFi calling turned on” without rooting your phone, because fuck you that’s why.

    • arbusto says:

      Yeah, I duckduckgo’d and googled last night.  Found my S7 settings didn’t match any tutorials.  Said fuck it.  Threw said phone across room.  It survived, sadly.  Turned off.  Turned on @ 11:30 pdt.  Got test buzzing on phone.

      Double Fuck

      • Anura says:

        On my LG G6, it’s under the regular messaging app. If you don’t use the regular messaging app, you have to open it, make it the default, go into the settings, and then find out that it doesn’t let you disable that alert.

        • arbusto says:

          Thank you.  Would have never found it.  As you kind of stated “…Do not attempt to adjust the picture. We are controlling transmission. If we wish to make it louder, we will bring up the volume. If we wish to make it softer, we will tune it to a whisper. We will control the horizontal. We will control the vertical. We can roll the image, make it flutter. We can change the focus to a soft blur or sharpen it to crystal clarity….”

          Outer Limits or Twilight zone of America

  6. orionATL says:

    in my amateur’s personal view, any time you concatenate (link together in any way) data in any system, you are inviting disasters, including theft (hacking) disasters. that’s why we are encouraged to take steps as simple as using a passport-type external hard drive to back up the (physically) linked photos on your machine’s harddrive, or to not use the same password over and over (we have a neat little red 4×6″ spiral notebook that is 2/3 full of passwords and their referants), or to not signing in to another site using facebook.

    imagine if you had financial or money transfer data connected to a facebook login – no don’t. the horror is too great.

    maybe it will change in the future, but facebok so far has shown itself to be little more than an attractive nuisance that makes money for its shareholders.

    • Trip says:

      I think it’s important to roll this out every time Zuckerberg finds a new way of screwing Facebook users, either intentionally or by negligence:

      Facebook CEO Admits To Calling Users ‘Dumb Fucks’

      Mark Zuckerberg admits in a New Yorker profile that he mocked early Facebook users for trusting him with their personal information.
      “They trust me — dumb fucks,” says Zuckerberg in one of the instant messages, first published by former Valleywag Nicholas Carlson at Silicon Alley Insider, and now confirmed by Zuckerberg himself in Jose Antonio Vargas’s New Yorker piece. Zuckerberg now tells Vargas, “I think I’ve grown and learned a lot” since those instant messages.

  7. Tracy says:

    Who knew democracy had to be so hard? I feel like it’s 1775!

    Well, here we are – I’m on the calls!!!

  8. klynn says:

    Just received this email from our child’s school:

    “The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), in coordination with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), will conduct a nationwide test of the Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) and Emergency Alert System (EAS) today at 2:18 p.m. due to ongoing response efforts to Hurricane Florence.” 

    Better be related to response efforts Hurricane Florence.

  9. orionATL says:

    as far as total system access and dead-man cellphone switches go, i thought many governors or mayors had this capability already.

    what is trump going to use his for, a nuclear attack warning?

    most likely, given who it is, it will be used for subtle propaganda – “hello nation, it’s your prez, i love you.” “hello nation. it’s the fourth of july, we’ve made america great again in just 2 1/2 yrs. “hello nation. don’t forget to vote this coming tuesday.”

  10. Thomas Paine says:

    Passwords.  Having worked in a secure environment almost my entire life, I find today’s Internet Password security protocols a total train wreck.  My advice, keep a completely standalone password “vault”.  There is a good one on my desk called “RecZone Password Safe”.  It is not connected to anything but a couple batteries and my fingertips.

    Also, change passwords OFTEN.  At least every 90 days.  Avoid using “fill-in” apps on your PC to remember passwords – if your PC is connected by Ethernet or Wi-Fi it can be hacked and exploited.  Don’t use words or numbers that correspond to anything.  Use common sense and uncommon words.  Profanity is fair game – nobody thinks you’ll use it in a password.

    • orionATL says:

      some “regular” android apps like email keep a log of fill-in passwords hidden somewhere from the user and does not make that collection available to user to delete some entries. the entire list always pops up, misspellings, give-away addresses, and all.

    • Michael says:

      “Profanity is fair game – nobody thinks you’ll use it in a password.”

      Nobody except anyone who seriously works at cracking passphrases, or has seem dumps of cracked passphrases. “Cuss” words are common. (Been there; done that. So I know.)

      Have a look at the ROCKYOU dump (admittedly an oldie). It is still available on the regular web (as opposed to the “Dark” web. Just about every naughty thing you’ve heard/read is there, and some passphrases contain several.

      (Hmmm…. I’m wondering if “boof” or “devil’s triangle” is in there.)

      • Michael says:

        One instance of “ratfucker” in the ROCKYOU passphrase dump. I must say, I was kinda surprised.

        Yep, “boof” is in there. And “boofing”, “boofman”, “boofme1”, “boofmydog1”.
        And 28 concatenations of “boof” and various numbers.

        No “devil’striangle”, “devilstriagle”, or “deviltriangle”. I don’t recommend using and of those in a passphrase however.

  11. sillybill says:

    I wonder if we can reply to the alert message? Probably silly of me, but I imagine millions hitting the reply button – KAVANOPE!!

  12. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Another liar, liar pants on fire performance from the lying Sarah Sanders. Her projection of Republican memes onto weak-kneed Democrats earns a starred award.

    Her lies are relentless. Rachel Mitchell is not a “Special Prosecutor,” her report was not unbiased. The undermining of the entire judicial branch is the work of her party, this nomination, and this nominee. Kavanaugh is applying for a job. He’s not being criminally prosecuted. The innocent until proven guilty and beyond a reasonable doubt standards do not apply.

    Trotting out Mustache Bolton and the evil Iranian Ayatollahs (we love the Iranian people, but we’ll starve them to get their leaders) is another piece of neoliberal distraction from a tsunami of troubles facing the president:

    Trump’s financial crimes, drawn from a “boring,” 14,000 word story based on old news clippings. In fact, it was the Don who brought his father into profitable deals, not his father bailing out the guy that turns to gold everything he touches.

    The nearly two-year investigation into his other crimes.

    His misogyny and his troubled wholly inappropriate judicial nomination.

  13. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Meanwhile, Missouri is down to a single abortion clinic in St. Louis.  Any doctor performing an abortion must have admitting privileges – at a nearby hospital – maximizing the power of local standards and peer pressure.  That’s thanks to the loss of an appeal to Eighth Circuit.  The relevant state law is still being appealed at the district court.

    Missouri is roughly 300 miles wide and 240 deep, about seventy thousand square miles.  How far will women in Missouri have to travel to that clinic in St. Louis?  About 260 miles from Kansas City, 217 miles from Springfield, 125 from Columbia, 240 from Independence, 300 from St. Joe, and 133 from the state capital, Jefferson City.  Expensive to get there, stay there, and return home; expensive to follow-up; and miles from home, family, and friends.

    Those are among the least of the problems women will face if Bart Kavanaough is elevated to the Supreme Court.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Very Catholic St. Louis, at that.

      Separately, to Rayne’s point, an article from Monica Hesse in the WaPo about the myriad of reasons that women and girls do not tell the men in their lives about their sexual assaults.  In brief, they are trying to protect them – because they think the men can’t handle it, which would make it harder for them to handle it – and to avoid extending the violence.

      Her punchline is that the men in the lives of these women and girls may not have heard these stories, but other women have.

  14. earlofhuntingdon says:

    The White House continues to hamstring the FBI in its “investigation” of Bart Kavanaugh. Who could have known the president would lie about taking the gloves off?

    FBI field offices, for example, refuse to accept Kavanaugh-related information from would be witnesses and informants. That would have to have come from on high, in this case, the White House.

    FBI director Chris Wray, like George W. Bush, went to Phillips Andover and Yale. Like Kavanaugh, he also went to YLS, graduating two years after Bart. I’m sure he’s going out of his way not to show professional courtesy to another alum and sitting appeals court judge. So restrictions must still be coming from el presidente, via McGahn, with the advice and consent of Lindsey and Chuck.

  15. Jenny says:

    Thanks Rayne.  The mocking last night made me angry.

    I am so tired of some men telling me that rape doesn’t count unless it is reported.  I am 65, I never reported the rape I experienced while attending college.

    I am tried of some men making hurtful & insensitive comments such as, “when will this be over or when will you be done with this?”  The lack of understand & compassion is astounding after all these years.

    I called Flake & Collins this morning. I felt both their responses were lame.

    The comments by the Abuser in Chief, vile.  He is pouring salt into old wounds.  All he wants to do is fight.  His excuse is he is a counter-puncher.  When he gets hit, he will hit 10 times harder.  Well, guess who else uses that excuse?  Every domestic abuser, murderer, child abuser, sexual abuser who feels like he has been disrespected.

    I will say it again, the bigger picture is about the patriarchal abuse system that has been exposed.  This is the unearthing of human consciousness exposing hidden wounds, injuries & injustices for me & other women for eons.  We have gone from a ground swell, to an earthquake & now a tsunami.

    More to be revealed …

    • klynn says:

      I still think Jane Mayer should post a phone number for leads and publish her follow-up on each lead.

    • Rayne says:

      The rage this Kavanaugh nomination and hearings has uncapped…I can’t find it, but I saw a tweet this morning that said Sen. Menendez (NJ-D) was up 11 points over his competitor because of Kavanaugh. He had been neck-and-neck only a few weeks ago. This is definitely going to affect the polls.

      I saw Connie Chung has come out and revealed her sexual assault from 50 years ago in sympathy with Dr. Ford. I’ve always admired Chung; now I admire her even more because she managed to muster her way past an utterly humiliating and disempowering experience.

      It’s terrible that so much pain has been torn open and yet we’ve been dragging this invisible burden with us for lifetimes; it’s time to unpack it and deal with it, hold the patriarchy to account.

    • Tracy says:

      Jenny – thanks for sharing part of your story! We’re with you, sister! I have had my own share of trauma, as have many others here, so I hear you!

    • Doctor My Eyes says:

      My gut sense tells me Trump’s mocking will be a disaster in the public mind. If there is a bridge too far, he just crossed it. I hate that rage = voting, but it does and it most definitely will.  Here’s hoping votes still count for something in a few weeks.

    • Doctor My Eyes says:

      There are several ways to look at our current crisis point: climate change, a shred of democracy left, the rule of law on trial.  One way of looking at it is that the absolute worst aspects of patriarchy, and that’s saying something, are strutting around acting invulnerable. We will see if that is so.

      This is the crisis point the Russians claim happens after many years of societal manipulation.  Six months of crisis, they say, then the new system is in place and the old system is gone.  My hope is that because US citizens have a very different history than Russians do our resistance to autocratic rule, on the habitual visceral level, will be much stronger than Russian operatives would be able to understand.  I hope.

      We are in crisis, folks.  It is appropriate that our emotions be strong and that our urge to act have an aspect of desperation.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Ouch!  Thanks for that.

      I note that the lawyer speaking for Donald Trump about the NYT’s series is a relativeliy recent hire who specializes in defamation litigation.  So his information about Trump’s taxes and finances from decades ago would, charitably, be second hand.  Absolutely reliable.  Absolutely.

      David Cay Johnston affirms the view that Bob Mueller undoubtedly has Donald Trump’s tax returns.  Not having them would be negligent, and Bob Mueller is not that.

  16. Taxidermist says:

    As advised in the post, I turned on airplane mode and powered off my phone to avoid the alert (thanks Rayne!) and it worked, however I was using an old phone on WiFi and the alert came to that phone. There hasn’t been a SIM card in it for around twelve months.

  17. Doctor My Eyes says:

    Calling it the Presidential Alert System is propaganda, the kind of propaganda I noticed beginning under W’s reign. The word “Motherland” stands out as especially egregious, bespeaking fascism or at least autocratic governance. These things do matter, whatever the worthiness or lack thereof of the system.

  18. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Sen. Flake temporizes when he claims that it’s hard to know how much drinking is too much.  Bullshit.  The research is easy to find and absorb.

    But we’re not talking about a close call here.  Kavanaugh and his buds drank early, long, and often.  They threw up and fell down.  Next day they couldn’t remember what they did.  That’s way over the limit.

    • Doctor My Eyes says:

      Inspector Flake still hasn’t detected a lie.  I do not think “lie” means what he thinks it means. “A lot of people would exaggerate their past or misrepresent behavior.  And I would be more than happy to grant each and every one of those people a seat on the SC.”

      I guess Gore’s “inventing the internet” wasn’t such a big deal after all, even if there had been no truth to the claim.

  19. harpie says:

    Marcy tweets: 
    10:25 AM – 3 Oct 2018 Someone explain to Mollie that when you draw comparisons between Clinton and Kavanaugh, Kavanaugh looks bad in both sides of the comparison.


    MZHemingway on Twitter, is the same Mollie, who is the author of the Federalist piece referenced in this tweet by Jon Swaine: 

    In 80s letter preemptively leaked to Federalist, Kavanaugh reportedly suggested to Beach Week friends that they “warn the neighbors that we’re loud, obnoxious drunks with prolific pukers among us”

  20. viget says:

    Hah! I just was on the phone talking at 2:18 pm, never got an alert. Also many of the phones in my department went off at different times.

    Sounds like there’s still some bugs to be worked out. Or maybe my phone is just smart.

  21. JD12 says:

    Serious question, what is Lindsey Graham talking about when he says Kavanaugh was treated “like crap”? And what does he mean by “despicable tactics”?

    As far as I can tell, the only thing Democrats might have done wrong was leak Ford’s allegation, but that’s if they even did. The Intercept and Feinstein’s staff both deny it.

    The questioning by the Democrats during the hearing was respectful and appropriate.

    Graham’s defensiveness is over the top—there’s something personal there—like he’s afraid what happened to BK could happen to him next.

    • JD12 says:

      Graham aside, I feel like the #MeToo movement was a reaction to Trump winning even after the Access Hollywood tape. Even if it wasn’t, it gained a lot of strength from it. The same thing ought to happen if Kavanaugh gets confirmed.

      • Rayne says:

        3-6 million women around the world wearing pink hats marching in the January cold might have been a hint at what was coming, hmm?

      • Jenny says:

        JD12 – Yes, the #MeToo movement was a reaction to the Groper in Chief.  He admitted to being a sexual abuser and bragging about it.  The Women’s March was massive around the world.  Those pink pussy hat were symbolic.  I have no doubt they will be worn again.

    • Rayne says:

      “treated like crap” = held accountable for his personal behavior

      “despicable tactics” = believing a female accuser and treating her like she’s credible, and asking for a thorough investigation.

      I suspect you are right that Graham doesn’t want to be held accountable nor thoroughly investigated. Something tells me we don’t have to worry about a female accuser, though.

      • JD12 says:

        Yes I agree. There have been quite a few Republicans like Lindsey before, it’s tough to keep those skeletons in the closet.

        • Rayne says:

          I’m really surprised someone hasn’t outed Graham — whatever he is — just so that it was off the table. Should have happened immediately after his last re-election, optimally. Makes me suspect there’s something worse.

          • earlofhuntingdon says:

            I suppose he might be protecting his network and past associations, at home and in DC.  But yes, taking whatever off the table would seem a pro-active thing to do, even for a southern GOP Senator.  But Lindsey is not much of a profile in courage.  Admission to anything but remaining a virile lifelong bachelor doesn’t fit the costumery of a demagogue.

  22. Tristero says:

    My phone was on, I had a good cell signal but received no alert.  I guess I’m on the “Enemies, Let “em Die” list

  23. harpie says:

    Senators write letters:

    1] via seungminkim

    2:35 PM – 3 Oct 2018 Yowza — Senate Dems say in new letter [to Grassley] that there is information in Kavanaugh’s past FBI background checks that involve either inappropriate sexual behavior or alcohol abuse (aides won’t elaborate which)

    with Ryan Goodman responding:

    2:39 PM – 3 Oct 2018 *Technically speaking, that letter and Senator Durbin’s tweet indicates it is one or the other—or both.

    2] Also via seungminkim

    12:22 PM – 3 Oct 2018 NEW — McConnell letter to Schumer shooting down Schumer’s request for an all senators briefing on Kavanaugh FBI report

    • harpie says:

      Food Fight! ‘

      Senate Judiciary Twitter responds:

      2:58 PM – 3 Oct 2018 Nothing in the tweet is inaccurate or misleading. The committee stands by its statement, which is completely truthful. More baseless innuendo and more false smears from Senate Democrats.

    • Rayne says:

      Huh. So basically now would be a really interesting time for a missile test from Asia.

      Jesus fucking Christ this administration is going to kill us all.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        Well, at least AT&T’s mobile customers would be blissfully ignorant until it was over.  I guess I’d better lay in a little more vodka.

    • Howamart says:

      I got 3 texts, several minutes apart. Must be a response to all the “resign!” emails I sent to last year–before they removed the link to send them messages (gee, I wonder why?)

      If this is a FEMA test, why is it titled a “Presidential message”? Ominous.

    • cat herder says:

      I’m trying hard to think up a hypothetical disaster scenario whereby it’s something so big that the entire country needs to know all at once, yet something small enough that individual actions can make a difference.

      A stealth comet spotted inbound with only 5 hours to impact, expected to turn the entire eastern half of the country into a giant crater? Should I evacuate? To where? Decamp to the bomb shelter? Doff a hardhat but otherwise go about normal business? If I’m on the west coast should I lay out fresh sheets in the guest room in case any survivors stagger through the door?

      If it’s something an average person could do something about then it’s by definition a regional issue and notifying everybody who isn’t in immediate danger is just pointless.

      p.s. Relatively up to date smartphone here, no special measures taken, got no alert. I wonder if they have any way to gauge the delivery rate?

      • Trip says:

        You hit the nail on the head. The only thing I can think of is a pandemic of swiftly moving highly contagious, infectious, fatal diseases, which I guess would be cause for a lock down? I would think in such a circumstance, that news media would probably get it out before hand.

      • Doctor My Eyes says:

        He’s my Senator.  I don’t get to call his office and pressure him, because he’s almost always on the right side already.

  24. harpie says:

    650 plus law professors write a letter:
    The Senate Should Not Confirm Kavanaugh.
    […] We regret that we feel compelled to write to you, our Senators, to provide our views that at the Senate hearings on Sept. 27, Judge Brett Kavanaugh displayed a lack of judicial temperament that would be disqualifying for any court, and certainly for elevation to the highest court of this land. […] We have differing views about the other qualifications of Judge Kavanaugh. But we are united, as professors of law and scholars of judicial institutions, in believing that he did not display the impartiality and judicial temperament requisite to sit on the highest court of our land.

    • orionATL says:

      might one call this a vote of “no confidence” in Judge?

      thanks, harpy, for this and related postings.

    • Doctor My Eyes says:

      I just want to say that, had Dr. Ford not found the courage to come forward, Kavanaugh would likely already be on the SC. The nation would not have seen his true colors, that letter would never have been written, previous declarations of support would not be being rescinded. Even if the Senate ignores the country and appoints him anyway, now at least the corrupt process will have been exposed.  We owe a lot to this woman, as well as to Stormy Daniels. I find it very fitting that it is women who have been instrumental in exposing Trump and Kavanaugh. Here’s to Dr. Blasey Ford.  May she know security and peace.  May we never forget what she did.

    • orionATL says:

      the national council of churches statement.

      wow! this is an amazingly strong, detailed statement from a group this large. how did they ever reach agreement?

      the statement includes issues that i have not seen mentioned anywhere else in the kavanaugh debate, issues that at the dark, cold heart of republican party’s philosophy of governing, anti-christian to the core:

      “…The group also pointed to what they called Kavanaugh’s “troubling” judicial and political record on some civil rights issues.

      “Judge Kavanaugh’s extensive judicial and political record is troubling with regard to issues of voting rights, racial and gender justice, health care, the rights of people with disabilities, and environmental protections,” they wrote. “This leads us to believe that he cannot be an impartial justice in cases that are sure to come before him at the Court.”

      The group later added to their statement, saying they are “deeply disturbed” by the assault allegations against Kavanaugh and calling for “a full and unhindered investigation of these accusations,” according to Religion News Service…”

    • Fran of the North says:

      I realize I’m a day late and a link short, but the link to the National Council of Churches statement (on their site) is reporting a ‘500 Internal Server Error.’

      I wonder if this is was due to the intentional activities of some unsavory types via Distributed Denial of Service aka DDOS.

      Of course, it could just be a co-inky-dink.

  25. Pajarito says:

    At the near daily pub visit, my usual friends talked about the the alert ‘test’, Some had received it others not (in same family). I did not receive it, though my phone, a smart one, was on, I think. I do have some limits set on data usage. The Canadian Pharmacy calls come through often, spoofing various area codes (I thought this was unlawful years ago….!). Perhaps FEMA should just contract with the Canadian Pharmacy folks, they are relentless!

  26. Anon says:

    I just read that the Kavanaugh report will be placed in a SCIF with mandatory limits on access. It is not just that they are locking it to leadership discretion or leaving it up to the judiciary they are putting it in a damned secure facility like nuclear codes and making senators ask nicely to see it.

    That is basically sending the middle finger to everyone.

    I guess the only question is, will this be enough of a fig leaf for Lisa Murkowski, Susan Collins, and Jeff Flake? Or rather is this plus whatever private threats/bribes have been offered enough?

    • JD12 says:

      I’ve believed the whole time he’s getting voted down, so it’s very possible this is confirmation bias.

      But Murkowski said she didn’t like Kavanaugh’s partisanship and was visibly annoyed with Trump’s mockery of Ford. She didn’t say anything positive about BK, just that she’s taking it all into consideration.

      Flake seems at least open to taking a stand. He said “We can’t have that on the court” at the Atlantic festival when asked about BK’s partisan attack on Dems.

      McConnell has given whiny floor speeches everyday this week, he wasn’t doing that before Kav’s nomination was in jeopardy.

      Maybe the limited scope and limited access of the FBI report is a way to protect BK’s privacy while he gets voted down on temperament. If they find proof of perjury or sexual assault he loses the job he has now. That could happen anyway, but Dems and the press would have to do the legwork. There could be a backroom deal for Dems to let him go quietly as long as he loses the vote.

      If I’m wrong it won’t be the first time. We’ll see when they start debate. If it’s 30 hours from midnight Saturday, he doesn’t have the votes.

      • Anon says:

        I agree Lisa Murkowski has been clearly annoyed from the get-go because Kavanaugh, moreso than many of the others on the list, is bad for her constituents. She has only gotten moreso as time went on. We shall see what materializes from that. She of all people probably faces equal risks either way.

        As to Flake he did say that but then when asked if that meant he was a no he sputtered “I didn’t say that” and then literally ran away meanwhile Susan Collins has has capitol police bar reporters from the hall near her office so I’m not sure I would bank on either of those two.

        I agree that Mitch McConnell is moving out in a way he did not before. Perhaps veteran politician that he is he recognizes that it is time to vote either way and that time is truly his enemy.

        I personally have given up guessing whether the votes are there or not. I certainly hope your read is right.

        • JD12 says:

          Yeah Flake goes back and forth. But he said it so matter-of-factly that I think it tipped his hand.

          He’s been going around doing interviews with Sen Coons all week. They’re kind of following the example McCain and Biden set, they’ve got the bipartisan dynamic and they’re from Arizona and Delaware. We’ll see but I think he’s going to do like McCain did with healthcare. In my mind Kavanaugh DQ’d himself, this decision should be easier.

    • Greenhouse says:

      Thanks Peacerme. Love this one:

      Never rent ground-floor apartments, and make sure you lock all your windows at night, even if it’s hot out. You never know if a woman is going to break into your bedroom to accuse you while you are asleep.

  27. Jan says:

    At the end of the day, women are being poorly used, again, and as political footballs.
    This entire debacle is to me at the end of the day, taking a clinical view as a female, and with the view to not fall into being a political football – a job interview for a lifetime appointment. I am now not a woman, or a man, I am an interviewer.
    From Kavanaugh’s opening remarks, Sept 4, 2018.
    “A good judge must be an umpire—a neutral and impartial arbiter who favors no litigant or policy.”
    “The Supreme Court must never be viewed as a partisan institution.”

    From Kavanaugh’s opening remarks, Sept. 27, 2018.
    “This whole two-week effort has been a calculated and orchestrated political hit fueled with apparent pent-up anger about President Trump and the 2016 election, fear that has been unfairly stoked about my judicial record, revenge on behalf of the Clintons, and millions of dollars in money from outside left-wing opposition groups. ”

    “All four witnesses who are alleged to be at the event said it didn’t happen…”

    Caught in another misleading statement. Those four witnesses said they do not recall. Not that it never happened.
    Not remembering isn’t the same as ‘it never happened’. A judge knows the difference.

    “I never attended a gathering like the one Dr. Ford describes in her allegation.”
    Yes you did, you attended such gatherings, examples are on your own calendar, and on weekdays too. You’ve even listed most of the people Dr. Ford remembers.
    Which makes the rest of your testimony on this subject misleading (to be kind).

    Seriously, Kavanaugh is full of shite to say the least. And he’s lying about these so-called trivial things, that the Republicans call ‘ a day in the life of a teen party animal and what else is new?’ Well if it’s all normal – then one has to ask, why is Kavanaugh lying?

    Lying. Disqualified.

    Disqualified, period.

  28. Schizophasia says:

    Thanks to all of you for the invigorating discourse. I had a *taxing* day working on late IRS extension filers doing their 2017 tax returns. I needed respite.
    After my 2 bowls of ice cream I came here to see if I’m the only crazed political junkie. Glad I am not alone.

    Today while all the cell phones around my office gave the annoying warning sound I realized my (perfectly functioning) iphone 6s did not receive the text. Nevertheless I practiced my old 1950’s Duck and Cover (as the tune played in my head.)
    Remember that one? That was when our lives were in Black and White.

    • Michael says:

      I do remember “duck and cover” and B&W TV. I was in nursery school when e got of first tele (Sears brand Silvertone). I watch John Cameron Swayze every evening before supper: “This is John Cameron Swayze and good evening to you”
      “Sit back, light up a Camel and be an eyewitness to the happenings that made history in the last twenty-four hours,” I was a news junkie, and still am.

      I have a sharp mental picture burned into my brain by the “duck and cover” security theatre: Seven year old, blond Suzy Hellman on elbows and shins beneath her desk, suddenly smiling at me. She had never even spoken to me though I was madly in love with her. Anyway…. our class did the exercise all of two times that fall, and never again.

  29. Willis Warren says:

    Also, lying to Congress is a crime and Kavanaugh could go to jail for that, right?  So we could have a Scotus in jail?  there’s multiple counts of contempt and perjury at stake?  are those stackable?

  30. Tom says:

    Just waking up Thursday morning to see that Senator Basse is urging Trump to withdraw Kanaugh’s nomination and select a woman instead.    Would be poetic justice if it turns out that the President’s idiotic and inflammatory comments at the Mississippi rally turn out to be just as instrumental in putting the kibosh on Kavanaugh as the judge’s own lack of qualifications.

  31. Tom says:

    … well, I guess that was back in June and doesn’t necessarily mean Sasse–not Basse–will vote no on Kavanaugh now.

  32. Trip says:

    Probably most people here have read this, @earl has mentioned it, and @harpie was linking to Matthew Miller’s twitter, but a good refresh:

    Why Wray and Rosenstein Won’t Protect the Kavanaugh Investigation From the Politicians

    …But we shouldn’t expect Wray and Rosenstein to stand up and push back against this political interference. For one, different rules apply to background checks than to independent investigations. Another reason might lie in shared history: These three men go back—way back—in their relationships and shared aspirations…In the George W. Bush administration, Kavanaugh and Wray went on to be political appointees and colleagues. Wray was a senior aide to the deputy attorney general, and Kavanaugh was in the White House Counsel’s office, where he would have worked closely with the Justice Department on nominations and other matters. Wray then became assistant attorney general for criminal, where he would often have intersected with the White House Counsel’s Office…Rosenstein did not attend Yale Law School—he went to Harvard, alas—but he also joined The Federalist Society there. He served alongside Kavanaugh on Ken Starr’s independent counsel team.

  33. earlofhuntingdon says:

    James Roche, one of Bart Kavanaugh’s freshman year roommates at Yale, published an essay last night in Slate. He’s direct and lucid, something Bart has not been of late.

    Kavanaugh strongly suggested during his testimony that Roche’s remembrances were not reliable, owing to some past conflict that Kavanaugh refused to publicly disclose.

    Roche explains that the tension involved a third roommate, not Kavanaugh, and that his clash with him has nothing to do with his recollections of Kavanaugh’s behavior.

    Roche finds Debbie Ramirez’s story credible and remembers Kavanaugh as “frequently, incoherently drunk,” and that he lied about it to Congress. He, too, wonders why these drinking and abuse allegations concerning Kavanaugh have not come out earlier.

    One reason, Roche suggests, is that in all the background checks on Kavanaugh, Roche was never interviewed. He assumed the FBI was not interested in Kavanaugh’s college days, or had written them off as not relevant to his post-law school behavior. “The FBI didn’t find Debbie’s story because they were not looking for it.”

    “To me it seems very simple. We are deciding if a man is suited to judge others. To hear with compassion and empathy the cases of the vulnerable. As a Supreme Court justice, he would be the last line of legal defense for people who need a champion with unimpeachable judgment. A man who lies effortlessly rather than taking responsibility for his own words and actions is not what we need.”

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        By the time of his first successful nomination to the federal courts, in 2006, Brett Kavanaugh was a made man and senior Republican operative:  Double Yaley, white shoe DC law firm partner, top aide to Ken Starr, with five and a half years in the White House, both as a White House counsel and as staff secretary to the president.

        That opens the possibility that the FBI made assumptions about his background and good behavior, based perhaps on the notion that having been filtered by so many elite institutions, he must be OK.  (Rob Porter might have benefited from the same dynamic.)

        If so, those assumptions would not have been warranted.  One can only hope that’s a lesson learned.  But this is Chinatown the Beltway.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Roche’s last sentence refers to Brett Kavanaugh.  It applies equally to Donald Trump, and to the self-abusing aides in his White House who speak for him.

      • Trip says:

        You assume that Huckster-b is self-abusing, when I think she enjoys her own bullshit and the cruelty that goes with it.

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          Still self-abuse, even if she enjoys flagellating the truth and public discourse in the process.  And let’s not forget Kellyanne.

          Separately, Turtleneck says all Senators will have “plenty of time” to review the additional investigative material on Brett Kavanaugh – so long as they personally traipse to a private room, find one of a limited number of copies, and read it through.  Uh, huh.  Plenty of time.

          • Doctor My Eyes says:

            I guess it’s neither here nor there, but I find myself getting annoyed at some conservative response to the natural result of what they have been supporting for decades. Conservatives have been insisting that government is of no use in exercising the will of the people in order to deal with matters of common concern. The only adequate motivation is money, so the private sector MUST take over tasks relating to the common good, even prisons. Conservatives have been busy politicizing the judiciary. Margaret Thatcher may have best summarized the “conservative” view when she said there is no society, only individuals and families. Well, we are seeing where this ideology leads, to completely selfish behavior with no concern for the good of society or even common decency. And yet, if only the SC nominee had been more dignified in his ideological selfishness and righteousness, if only he had lied more skillfully about taking society seriously, if only he had been better able to maintain a facade of respectability, then these same conservatives would be celebrating. Don’t get me wrong, it’s good to see that a lot of people have limits, that even decent people can be blind to the actual effect of their ideology, but I wish they could see more clearly that the entire edifice is being exposed for what it is rather than that one man came up short because he was just a little too bold, a little too direct, in his exploitation of others.

            Not a very useful comment, I guess. Just venting.

            • earlofhuntingdon says:

              To ask a silly question, why would private sector actors, motivated solely by profit-taking – which increases the cost of any good or service – be more capable of promoting, “the will of the people in order to deal with matters of common concern”?

              Asking for a friend.

              • Doctor My Eyes says:

                Such a difficult question. The full answer requires graphs and cost/benefit analyses by economists in big cities like Chicago. All you need to know is that it has to do with the magic hand and the marketplace and stuff like that. Adam Smith. Ayn Rand. Fucking liberals.

                I hope that clears things up.

                • earlofhuntingdon says:

                  I’ll pass that on to my friend.  That magic hand thing, I think he saw it once on stage in Vegas.

  34. Tracy says:

    My prediction is that he will not have the votes. The nation is simply too divided to continue on with him, the toll to women and survivors just horrific. The FBI report will go down for all time as a sham. History is watching what each of these senators does, and they know that. Whoever has political aspirations that include the need for women and moderate votes and independent votes: i.e. anyone contemplating a presidential run, anyone who relies on such votes for re-election to the senate, has to vote no. Flake, Collins, Murkowski, Caputo, I’m not saying these will all vote no but there may be others who do, too, who we aren’t considering – those w a spine or who foresee being affected in this way.

    R’s needed to proceed or be forced to cut bait by proceeding immediately to a vote bc they never could withdraw Kav, due to their base and the degraded bullying nature of their party in the Trump era. Grassley and McConnell, as w everything, have handled this incredibly badly. But right now they are looking at most of the country versus Trump’s base, and who votes w who on that.

    So I may be naive, but I think it’s unlikely that he gets the votes bc: 1) this investigation was a sham that did not include 40+ people, including KEY witnesses, that will never be able to be glossed over in the history books if he gets voted in, 2) Kav’s approval rating is -8 or -9, which includes some R’s and lots of I’s, 3) people who supported him have left him in droves, including conservatives like Yale Law endorsers, Ben Wittes, Mike Schmidt, etc.4) letter from law professors, 5) female protestors, 6) and how this all looks in our history, in this particular moment in our history, and for women and survivors. I think that some senators will be responsible enough to vote against.

    They still have time confirm another troll in the lame duck, but it would be political poison, for some of them, to vote for him. Collins, for instance, I am convinced could not get re-elected in 2020, also possibly Mukowski, and it would hurt Flake if he’s going for pres. Bc anyone going against Trump in 2020 from the GOP can only beat him if that person presents a clear alternative, who appeals to conservatives, independents and women.

    • Doctor My Eyes says:

      My prediction is that he will not have the votes. The nation is simply too divided to continue on with him

      Yes, if this were a national election, Kavanaugh would have zero chance. We are about to find out whether democracy is officially dead. You mention concern about reelection, which presupposes a democracy.  You mention public opinion and the opinions of specialists. Almost every intelligent person can see that Kavanaugh is unfit and much of the nation is saying, “This is not the kind of country we want.” I’m not at all sure if any of this translates into Kavanaugh’s not being confirmed.  And if he is confirmed, it will signal for me the death of democracy: the process itself shows flagrant disregard for due process, the rule of law, and the will of the people and more important the effect of his nomination will be to put an avowed autocrat on the Supreme Court. We are at a crisis point.

      • Trip says:

        Supposedly this fight for Kavanaugh is energizing the right for midterms.  The left is losing advantage. All of the screaming and hollering of aristocrat McConnell, Withering Magnolia and Inheritance Scam Boy is a method to stop the bleeding of possible future lost seats.

        • Tracy says:

          I agree w/ you both – @Doctor, we are at a crisis point. I see that Grassley is already saying ” the FBI couldn’t find anyone to corroborate the accounts” which is directly contradicted by Jane Mayer and Ronan Farrow’s piece today – they quote a classmate who heard about it at the time, has tried to contact the FBI – many others were in the same boat. But now we see the spin on it.

          @Trip – the bullying demeanor gins up the base, no doubt about it. But what are “conservatives” and suburban educated women saying? I think we needed more specific polling on Kav to suss out these different groups w/in the R-Party.

          The frustration for me is that the Dems are ALWAYS flatfooted. Had they followed the press reports on this all week, they’d have known that the WH was lying about “expanding the probe” – oh, they expanded it to an extra two people, who were probably sewn up by Kav and his team (we already had info his doing this w/ witnesses of the Ramirez event). None of them talked about the fact that there is a memo of text messages showing interference w/ witnesses, which should have always made the contacting of Kav’s friends as witnesses suspect.

          Dems were “waiting to see” what this probe produced. Well, now they are on the defensive, when they could have been on the offensive. They will be trying to counter a massive spin campaign by Trump/ Grassley/ McConnell, that the FBI did everything in their power to find corroborating witnesses, and found none. They are already behind.

          I’m pretty angry w/ Chris Coons, who should have spearheaded the fight for a real investigation, since he made the deal with Flake – he is STILL this morning waiting to see what’s in the report before going out, even though he’s surely heard from his colleagues by now.

          When will you learn: it’s harder to play defense than offense, guys.

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          For the base, Kavanaugh is a McGuffin.  It is responding to Trump.

          Trump is paying attention to them, courting them, teasing them, entertaining them, pretending that everything he does is for them and will help them.  As with everything else Trump, the reality is the polar opposite.

          He’s Father Coughlin with a combover and bank account.  The dynamic is strictly dysfunctional family.  It is what it is.  The Democrats ignore it at their peril.

  35. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Meanwhile, in the Pacific NW, Amazon workers are not celebrating their new $15/hr minimum wage. That’s because they fear that Amazon is working with the same pile of money, just spreading it around differently to brag about it.

    “Those [compensation] changes include getting rid of [a bonus program] …known as the “variable compensation program,” or VCP, which is based on a worker’s attendance and his facility’s production level, and eliminating a stock allotment program for certain employees.”

    One worker, for example, reported making $2000/yr in VCP. At $15/hr, replacing that income would mean working almost 17 more days, assuming it can be scheduled. Amazon, of course, claims that the changes will yield a net increase in total comp. Its employees aren’t so sure. One thing is: they won’t have enough money to shop at Whole Foods.

  36. Chum'sfriend says:

    The Russians have been working to co-opt the NRA since at least 1995.   When the militia movement was taking off, I could only think, “Somebody is preparing our society for civil war.”  Things slowed down during the Bush years, but the pressure for civilians to accumulate weapons of war,  massively accelerated during the years we had a black president.  And now we live in a radically divided society where one side is armed to the teeth.  Rightist websites have been pushing the meme of an organized violent ANTIFA resistance, that the left is out of control and needs to be put down.  This isn’t an empty threat.  Have you watched the videos produced by the NRA calling for citizens to prepare?   Videos with lots of sequences where armed citizens take aim with their rifles…

    Donald Trump’s election was the result of a long counterintelligence effort by Russia and China.  This is how wars between great powers are now conducted.  This is sixth generation warfare.  World War III began during the Sochi Olympics.  We’re several years into the process now.   Involved parties are playing for keeps.

    If Trump finds himself with his back to the wall he isn’t going gently into the twilight.  And now we’re testing a national alert system where the president can send a personal message out to the nation to mobilize his storm-troopers.  What will happen when Trump tells the nation, that now is the time for true patriots to take control of the situation?  There’s an awful lot of right wing nutcases who’ve been preparing for just this moment.  This situation couldn’t be more real.

    • Doctor My Eyes says:

      My first contact with this propaganda was also my first contact with Fox and Glen Beck.  At a layover in the Phoenix airport I was having a bite and the tv was blaring Beck.  He was recommending that people shoot censor takers, if I recall correctly.  In any case, it was something that caused shy me to yell out involuntarily, “That’s treason!” I made eye contact with a diner across from me and he nodded with a sly smile.  It was friendly, but I think he was saying, “You’re damn right it is and I think it’s funny and fun.”

      • Chum'sfriend says:

        Yes, we are at the point now where 30% of the population does not care that Russia is pushing it’s right wing nationalistic agenda upon our society…  Does not care that that Donald Trump is a career criminal mobster,  a cross between Mussolini and Caligula,  or that his election was illegitimate.  It’s all about the power.

    • Trip says:

      Bella Ciao ~sung by Tom Waits


      The Serbian Goran Bregovic does a nice job too

    • BobCon says:

      You’re right about the long campaign by the Russians, but co-opt is the wrong word. The NRA (as well as the evangelicals, the Netanyahu side of the American Jewish right, and the white supremicists) have been active partners in the courtship.

      This is not a covert effort by the Russians looking for dupes. The NRA has long seen that the US market for guns is limited. In the same way that they have been marketing little pink handguns to women becuse they fear saturation in the market for men, they have been looking for ways to open markets overseas. Outreach to Putin is a key part of that. They want his connections to foreign markets and his cash for lobbying, and the deals they are cutting are calculated transactions, not cooption.

      Dupes can turn when the con is revealed. These guys aren’t dupes.

  37. harpie says:

    1] 8:11 AM – 4 Oct 2018 Sen. Susan Collins, via @jeremyherb, after briefing on the FBI’s work: “It appears to be a very thorough investigation”
    2] 8:08 AM – 4 Oct 2018 [email protected] says she reviewed FBI report at 9am this morning and can’t talk about special details. // “I can talk about what’s not in it.” Reiterates that Blasey Ford wasn’t interviewed and any possible corroborating witnesses of 2nd accuser Ramirez story were not interviewed

    • Doctor My Eyes says:

      Where did Susan Collins ever get the reputation of being independent and reasonable?  This crap happens every time, people refer to her as a possible swing vote.  Can someone give me a single example when Collins voted against the GOP with a vote that meant something? One example? Why do people keep falling for this shit?

      • Trip says:

        She had her moments, but she may be turning hack like Graham.

        Collins has voted against President Trump more than any other Republican senator so far. While she has still voted with Trump’s position most of the time (85 percent), she’s the only GOP senator to vote with Trump less than 90 percent of the time so far. She was the lone Republican to vote against two of Trump’s Cabinet nominees (Betsy DeVos for secretary of education and Scott Pruitt for secretary of the EPA). And she was the only Republican to vote against the repeal of the stream protection rule for mining, even as some Democrats voted for it.

        • Doctor My Eyes says:

          Thanks, Trip. Very thorough answer.  You are following much more closely than I have. I’m such a cynic, though.  I’ll italicize one part of my challenge for emphasis: Can someone give me a single example when Collins voted against the GOP with a vote that meant something?

          It is my impression that Congresscritters regularly find cover by voting in a way that doesn’t hurt the party but that helps them fake it with their constituents.  Perhaps it was Matt Taibi who coined the phrase “designated villain” for those times when passage of a bill desired by some unholy powerful interest or other requires, for example, a Dem to cross over and bear the expected criticism until it passes and the next sap has to take his medicine. Back when I followed these things I thought I was seeing plenty of instances of these kinds of manipulation of votes to provide public cover. I would be interested if you know of any examples of Collins actually stopping something by being a key vote or by joining with others.

          My summary is, once I’ve seen someone do something such as Collins did today, calling the FBI investigation “thorough”, I know they lack integrity, they are liars, and I don’t take their words seriously after that. Any time I’ve been aware of that Collins was really needed and people spoke of her as a possible key vote, every single time she has disappointed.  As I say, I haven’t been following as closely the last 3 or 4 years.

    • harpie says:

      3] 8:28 AM – 4 Oct 2018
      FLAKE leaves briefing on the FBI supplemental background investigation saying he plans to go back and read more of the report, but says he saw “No additional corroborating Information.”
      4] 8:17 AM – 4 Oct 2018
      GRAHAM on Kavanaugh after reading report: “Why don’t we dunk him in the water and see if he floats?!” @LindseyGrahamSC

        • Doctor My Eyes says:

          I took DiFi to be saying that the report is incomplete.  The important thing is what is not in it. Sometimes the Dems can be exceedingly coy.

      • Doctor My Eyes says:

        A note on Inspector Flake, he who would detect a lie.  He said everything in Trump’s rant was factual.  I only watched part of it once, but as a sentient being with empathy, I noticed that Trump said something like “Was it upstairs?  Was it downstairs? I don’t know.” That is not even close to factual.  It is insulting mockery based on willful misrepresentation. Anyone who has watched with interest has a very clear image of where Dr. Ford was almost raped, at least in terms of whether it was upstairs or downstairs.  And now I’ve made myself teary thinking about the horror of the bullies who seem to have control of our government.

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          The presentation, the connotation conveyed by the words Trump used were abundantly false and deceitful.  Like pictures, those mean more than the words in isolation.

          That’s what makes Trump a liar, and that makes Kellyanne and Flake liars, too.

      • Trip says:

        “And if all others accepted the lie which the Party imposed—if all records told the same tale—then the lie passed into history and became truth. ‘Who controls the past’ ran the Party slogan, ‘controls the future: who controls the present controls the past.”

    • harpie says:

      Heidi Heitkamp is a NO and her donation website is apparently feeling the brunt of that decision:

      11:24 AM – 4 Oct 2018 Looks like @HeidiHeitkamp @SenatorHeitkamp’s campaign website is crashing, from all the traffic coming in, trying to donate to her!

  38. Nigel says:

    The direct testimony of James Roche, one of Kavanaugh’s college roommates, in last night’s Slate article, could hardly be more clear:
    ” I would tell them this: Brett Kavanaugh stood up under oath and lied about his drinking and about the meaning of words in his yearbook. He did so baldly, without hesitation or reservation…”

  39. harpie says:

    The other day I wrote this comment about “the laughter”:
    …and Maggie Haberman:

    5:11 PM – 2 Oct 2018 Trump now mocking Ford testimony at MS rally. Asks repeated questions, answers to laughter, “I don’t know,” over and over. 

    From the hearing:

     8:14 AM – 27 Sep 2018 Patrick Leahy asks what is most memorable about that night to Dr. Ford. // Dr. Ford: “Indelible in the hippocampus is the laughter. The uproarious laughter between the two and their having fun at my expense.” 

    Sarah Kendzior:

    5:46 PM – 2 Oct 2018 It’s also an attack designed to cause maximum pain to Ford. What traumatized her most? “The uproarious laughter” of Kavanaugh and Judge. So Trump makes a mockery of her. It’s pointed, sickening cruelty.

    The following is from this article:

    The F.B.I. Probe Ignored Testimonies from Former Classmates of Kavanaugh By Jane Mayer and Ronan Farrow October 3, 2018 

    [Anonymous High School classmate of Kavanaugh who submitted sworn statement to FBI and has not been contacted] described Kavanaugh as part of a clique of high-school athletes, most of whom were on the football team, who “routinely picked on” less physically fit or popular students. He said that he never witnessed Kavanaugh physically attacking another student, but he recalled him doing “nothing to stop the physical and verbal abuse.” Instead, he said, Kavanaugh “stood by and laughed at the victims.” Both Ford and Ramirez have said they remembered Kavanaugh laughing during their ordeals. “It was so wrenching for me when I heard Dr. Ford mention how they were laughing,” the Georgetown Prep classmate said, in a phone interview. “That really, really struck a chord. I can hear him laughing when someone was picked on right now.” […]

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Deliberately as cruel and humiliating as possible.  That’s Donald J. Trump.  It’s the kind of people he picks, and, judged by his immigration policies, the kind of government he leads.

    • harpie says:

      Charles Pierce captures how I’m feeling pretty well, here [from yesterday]:

      This Vicious Buffoon Is a Vessel for All the Worst Elements of the American Condition Donald Trump, American president*, disgraces his office once more. 

      […] And comes now this hopeless, vicious buffoon, and the audience of equally hopeless and vicious buffoons who laughed and cheered when he made sport of a woman whose lasting memory of the trauma she suffered is the laughter of the perpetrators. Now he comes, a man swathed in scandal, with no interest beyond what he can put in his pocket and what he can put over on a universe of suckers, and he does something like this while occupying an office that we gave him, and while endowed with a public trust that he dishonors every day he wakes up in the White House. // The scion of a multigenerational criminal enterprise, the parameters of which we are only now beginning to comprehend. A vessel for all the worst elements of the American condition. And a cheap, soulless bully besides. […]

      • harpie says:

        More from the vicious baboons: via Howard Koplowitz
        8:50 AM – 4 Oct 2018 Doug Jones, who indicated last week he would vote no on Kavanaugh, says says his female staff have been threatened by Kavanaugh supporters. // “I’ve had callers telling the young women that answer my phones that they hope they are sexually assaulted.” #alpolitics

  40. Mary McCurnin says:

    Maybe McCain held Lindsey in check all these years. Now Lindsey is expressing his real self – an asshole complete.

    • Rayne says:

      I suspect it’s easier for us to see what a total and complete fuckwit Graham really is now that everybody has cell phones with cameras, ubiquitous social media, and ready access to the internet at a scale we didn’t have 10 years ago.

      I mean no disrespect to my beloved gay friends when I say this, but Lindsey is a bottom and he’s short a steadying top. McCain may only have been his substitute for a firm hand.

      (I can imagine my gay BFF saying something right now rather off color about an asshole…)

  41. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Ali Velshi at MSNBC is normalizing this Kavanaugh investigation farce and using a straw man.  He understands why the FBI needed limits on its reopened investigation.  Gosh, they could have interviewed forty or more people.

    Velshi trots out a former asst FBI director who chimes in with the same thing.  The Bureau rightly pursued only a few people, only on the topic of sexual abuse, and only related to the names raised in congressional testimony.  Everything else is commentary, irrelevant, a waste of resources, and a political game.

    This is just flinging merde to see what sticks.  “Normalize and Prosper!”, the MSM’s standard Vulcan greeting.

    • Trip says:

      He changed his tune quickly. I guess MSNBC is kissing some ass now that they know he will be confirmed?

      • Doctor My Eyes says:

        It’s pretty stunning to watch the propaganda calmly, relentlessly convince enough people that what they saw, or what their smart friends saw, doesn’t exist. As the KGB defector said,  we won’t be able to see what is right in front of our eyes. Karl Rove: we create our own reality.

    • Jenny says:

      Trip and how can be forget Megyn Kelly’s quote about Santa:  For all you kids watching at home, Santa is just White … Just because it makes you feel uncomfortable doesn’t mean it has to change … Jesus was a white man too.

      This is when she took issue about a fictional character being adapted to fit the needs of children of all races.  Speaks volumes about her beliefs.  Ugh.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        Megyn Kelly may claim Jesus as white, but back in the day he was a Mediterranean peasant village Jew.  Trump and Miller would probably prohibit his entry.  He has no money or “marketable skills,” but for charisma and an almost Irish gift for the gab.  Were the Heimat Sicherheitsdienst to look at his egalitarian socialist blog posts, he’d never get a visa, let alone a green card.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        In the Netherlands, Santa Claus (Sinterklaas), has a helper known as Black Pete (Zwarte Piet).  He’s the guy who goes up and down the chimneys for Santa delivering gifts in midwinter.

        In his mid-19th century origin, Santa’s helper is a Dutch slave from a colonial possession, so he is most often portrayed in black face.  That rankles a lot of people nowadays, despite their attachment to their own memories from childhood.  The colonial and the slavery bits, but also the derision displayed in the minstrel show black face.

        The Dutch are wrestling with that inheritance, because Zwarte Piet is as ubiquitous during the long Christmas season as St. Nick.  It’s not easy questioning tradition and the memories we associate with it.  But Dutch municipalities, which control this sort of thing, have begun to require that Piet be portrayed as “sooty” from his work, but not as a black slave.

        Cultural and political diehards trot out familiar criticisms of change, such as “erasing history”.  But they are declining in favor of those who recognize the conflict (especially for their children) between the subjugated personality of the original Zwarte Piet and the generosity, cheer, and goodwill associated with the season and its personification, St. Nicholas.

        The American right’s manufactured “war on Christmas” is nothing more than an artifact of its culture war on behalf of the haves.  Because they have made the stakes so high, their resistance will be harder to dislodge.  But if it were easy, Bart could do it blind drunk.

      • Drew says:

        Not to quibble but Saint Nicholas of Myra (of whom Santa Claus is a latter day caricature) was certainly not northern European–he lived on the south coast of Asia Minor (central Turkey) in the late Roman Empire. So ethnicity? Not so clear, but definitely southern European, middle eastern or perhaps north African, but not resembling Meghan.

  42. Michael says:

    The network architecture built in Gamergate helped propel Trump to the presidency and fuel conspiracies like Pizzagate and QAnon. Now it’s backing Brett Kavanaugh. – Molly McKew

    It’s a lo-o-ong article, and she takes her time getting to Kavanu-uh. I grabbed it and made a PDF because I must read it again (and again, probably); I didn’t check out any of the MANY links.

    I’m thinking about the movie “No Country for Old Men” about now. Damn! I hated Sociology 101 (and it hated me), but I sure wish it had “clicked” for me.

    • Doctor My Eyes says:

      That’s an amazing, frightening article.  You didn’t mention that Judge figures into the article as a purveyor of misogynistic attitudes concerning the importance of men being big, big strong men and not letting femi-nazis take away their rights.  I simplify because I don’t know how to abbreviate these absurd fantasies which, according to the article, have a lot of currency among the alt-right stooges.

  43. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Adam Serwer of the Atlantic:

    “The lesson of the Trump era, since his nomination for president, has been that Republicans will pay no political price for the shattering of rules or norms, or for disregarding common decency, because the Democrats are unwilling or unable to extract one. As long as this is the case, Republicans have no reason to respect any of those things. If Republicans pay a price for confirming Kavanaugh, it will only be because the American electorate has had enough.”

    • Rayne says:

      Brett’s smirking revenge. Jesus Christ, these GOP assholes think Fight Club was a manual instead of a dark comedy about rudderless privileged white men.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      I can’t say enough about yesterday’s column from Serwer: The Cruelty is the Point.

      Only the president and his allies, his supporters, and their anointed are entitled to the rights and protections of the law, and if necessary, immunity from it. The rest of us are entitled only to cruelty, by their whim. This is how the powerful have ever kept the powerless divided and in their place, and enriched themselves in the process….

      Trump’s only true skill is the con; his only fundamental belief is that the United States is the birthright of straight, white, Christian men, and his only real, authentic pleasure is in cruelty. It is that cruelty, and the delight it brings them, that binds his most ardent supporters to him….[T]hey will let him get away with anything, no matter what it costs them.

      • posaune says:

        Makes me wonder about his relationship with Melanie, and how he exerts his power (i.e. cruelty) over her:   “I’m the citizen –you’re the immigrant.”   Makes me think that having the immigrant wife is a power trip for the Don.   (no wonder he ditched Marla Maples.)   (or, conversely and this is off the deep end:   was Ivana his handler back in the day?)

  44. earlofhuntingdon says:

    I had an instructor in college. I forget her name, but not a lecture she gave on civil liberties in America. 

    We discussed their origins, who opposed them and why, and who would most reliably defend them.  The class trotted out the usual suspects: legislatures, lawyers and the courts, movers of public opinion.  The answers were prim, sedate, grade-oriented.  They would have earned a high score on the Obamometer.

    Our instructor listened, equally prim, and nodded.  She nodded and listened. Then she sat on her desk, surveyed the room, and said, “Good. But you left out one thing:  Taking to the streets.”

    She explained with quotes from the Enlightenment and the American Revolution.  Finding her rhythm, she veered from the received texts.  She added voices from the suffragette and labor movements, from Einstein, Gandhi, and Lumumba, from the civil rights and social justice movement, and from King’s Riverside Church speech.

    In her measured scholarly voice, she noted that nothing so concentrates the mind of an elected official – or an unelected private one – as a few people meeting on a street corner, exchanging views, and repeating their voices together.  Meeting and repeating.  As often as necessary.  Until they were heard.

    That reads a little like Clarence from It’s a Wonderful Life.  Here, bells do nothing but ring.  And it’s more expensive and painful than one brief imagining of what life would be like without us.  But it works.

  45. viget says:

    The link below is a fascinating take on how the GRU is trying to influence Americans’ beliefs.  I found it today whilst googling “russian hacking influencers”, as earlier on NPR I was listening to Fresh Air discuss the history of how Facebook has monetized our personal data.

    Tying this back into the election, I find it fascinating that polls could have moved so swiftly towards energized republican support in the wake of the BK controversy…  what if there is an unholy alliance between election data stolen from DNC/RNC/Cambridge Analytica servers, and GRU-derived ad content and prominent social influencers  in micronetworks in targeted areas of the country?

    Meaning the GRU used the campaign data to find the people who were likely to vote a certain way, and then cross-referenced that list with Facebook-provided data about user networks (i.e. the number of “shares” of content an “influencer” has among their networks), and then precisely targeted those influencers on Facebook with GRU-created propaganda they’d be likely to share with their friends, thereby amplifying the message.

    Moreover, it would explain why there have been so many hacks, but not much financial ruin… they don’t want your money, they want your data.  Or sometimes your identity.  And they can also identify you on other networks as well as find out all of your contacts.

    I am concerned that the real reason people like Flake or Collins or Murkowski would vote yes on BK, is that polling data showing a “Republican surge”.  Which is likely wholly manufactured by this amplification game on Facebook, etc.

    If that’s true, we are in trouble… we really need the media to keep pushing back on Trump.  I feel like the NYT piece was the first salvo in this information war.

    Here’s the link:

    • Rayne says:

      … what if there is an unholy alliance between election data stolen from DNC/RNC/Cambridge Analytica servers, and GRU-derived ad content and prominent social influencers in micronetworks in targeted areas of the country? …

      I think Molly McKew’s ‘information terrorist’ piece does a little better job at reaching the scope of data collected via social media and the role of specific influencers, but she doesn’t address the data harvesting and analysis process necessary to the influencers creating a fresh shitstorm.

      And both the TIME and McKew’s WIRED piece miss Fox’s relationship to this mess, along with Sinclair in local television markets. They act both to legitimize the bullshit identified as triggering content based on social media analysis (ex: racism, Islamophobia, sexism) by airing it so that it is conferred authority that authoritarian personalities need. They also act as a force multiplier, amplifying the same bullshit so that it is picked up and pushed by trolls+bots.

      At local level these Fox franchises/Sinclair-owned news outlets perceived as authoritative voices can ramp up or suppress voter turnout.

      The attack is also coming from inside the house.

    • JD12 says:

      I’m suspicious of the Equifax hack as well. Not that I have proof or anything, just a lot of questions, most of which came after Mulvaney shut down the probe.

      At first glance, the hack occurred after the 2016 election; however, it happened in “mid-May”, right around the time of Mueller’s appointment. If their data were to be discovered in RNC or GRU hands, they need an excuse for how that happened.

  46. Tracy says:

    Heitkamp took the heroic road. We really need more heroes these days. Most people seem just self-interested. We need more people looking out for others and caring about the collective.

    I’m going to give to her campaign!

    Even if it’s a foregone conclusion now w Kav, we have to win the Senate, and keep going till we get the 2/3 needed to impeach his ass. It’s fine, we have 35 years.

    We won’t forget what you did and what you said, Bart! We won’t forget this sham investigation! We won’t forget the atrocious, belittling, marginalizing treatment of Christine Blasey Ford, Deborah Ramirez, and Julie Swetnick! We are coming for you – justice will be served!

    • Valley girl says:

      Tracy, could you please explain why you think that Heitkamp is such a hero by announcing that she will vote “no”  on Kavanaugh?  She’s a D senator, according to her site & google.  Has she intimated before that she will vote yes?  If so, that’s no Dem. I don’t understand your logic.

      • Trip says:

        Doing the right thing should not be seen as heroic, but our standards have been beaten into the ground.

        • Valley girl says:

          Trip–“Our standards”?  You may include yourself in “our standards” but I have not lost mine.

          • Trip says:

            “Our” meaning the US government, the president and the MSM. You completely misinterpreted my point. If you scroll up, you will see how I commented on Dems who vote “yes”. Also, you must have never read any prior comments I’ve written to come to such a conclusion.

          • Doctor My Eyes says:

            Yeah, I had the same reaction.  I had to go look it up to be sure she’s a Democrat.  Holy cripes, a fucking maniacal, hate-filled, alcoholic likely rapist is up for the SC , a man who could not have demonstrated more definitively on national television that he has the exact opposite of a judicial temperament, and we’re so cornered that we celebrate a DEMOFUCKINGCRAT announcing a no vote?!!! Yikes.

            • Rayne says:

              Easy there. Have you guys looked at the demographics and the economics of North Dakota? It’s a lot like Montana and West Virginia and Indiana. These are conservative states and they field conservative candidates; their states rely heavily on agriculture and fossil fuel industries (hello, Koch money).

              By they I mean the Democrats of North Dakota. Heitkamp is who stepped forward and ran for office, like Manchin and Tester and Donnelly in their respective states. I’ve said this before, written a series about Democratic activism, in which I made the point we get leadership by default. Who else is willing to run in North Dakota who will do the work necessary, raise enough money, rally the Democratic base, AND appeal to a majority of voters in that fairly conservative state? If there’s somebody else willing and able to do all that they could have successfully primaried Heitkamp.

              But no. This is the hand non-North Dakotans have to work with, the democratically-elected (little d) Democrat. Or don’t we Democrats respect democracy any longer?

              What we should be doing is helping bolster the ND Democratic Party by ensuring they have solid messaging to drive the state to the left. We should be helping them build a better candidate pipeline. We should be pounding on goddamn Chuck Schumer to do a better job of helping the existing incumbent run a little more to the left. And we should be finding ways to subvert the overwhelmingly right-wing media in North Dakota to push ND audience left.

              We also should be doing more to completely tank the fossil fuel economy. Have we forgotten the DAPL crisis already? Or Trump’s campaigning on clean coal? We can’t compete readily in states which rely heavily on fossil fuels unless we have cratered demand for oil, gas, and coal, and ensured development of better alternative fuel industries in those states.

              Next: discuss what happens if we lose North Dakota and we remain at less than 50 Democratic senators after mid-terms.

              • Doctor My Eyes says:

                Just to be clear, I have no argument with any of that.  I’m certainly not criticizing Heitkamp for doing her job and making a sensible decision. My starting point is that anyone who is able to vote for this toxic human being to be on the SC is a failure as a US citizen. Good for her, and I’m glad, but the fact that this is celebrated underlines just how much trouble we’re in. You argue at length for sensible things that must be done. If that means celebrating no-brainer decisions by Dems, then so be it. Have at it.

                • Rayne says:

                  Our problem is that we don’t have 60-70 Democratic senators representing a country which is that blue. We wouldn’t have to worry about 2-4 swing votes if Democrats weren’t so heavily gerrymandered and suppressed. 68% of America lives in urban blue cities but only have 30 senators representing them.

                  I worry that the average person doesn’t make the connection between what suppression has/is doing to their representation even in rural areas. Heitkamp in particular has likely lost votes through no fault of her own thanks to the 8th Circuit ruling this week siding with a conservative state government that voters must have a street address in order to vote. This dramatically affects Native American voters in her state because many don’t live on streets; they collect their mail at post office boxes. This could affect nearly 7% of North Dakota residents and amounts to a poll tax.

                  Which explains why Heitkamp was fighting with her better angels. Losing the state by ignoring ND voters who approve of Kavanaugh means losing representation for those underrepresented voters.

                  • Tracy says:

                    Wow, I did not even know that about the Native Americans in ND.

                    Rayne, you have summarized the issues at hand very well.

                    IMO, Heitkamp very likely has just thrown away her seat by voting down Kav. Even if she hasn’t, it’s so much on the line for her right now, that the question she had to face in making her decision was: should I vote “no” and do the right thing, and also lose my seat. That’s the kind of courage it takes to stand up and do the right thing for a red-state D-Senator.

                    She had a really wonderful interview in her hometown basically saying: I just could not, in good conscience – “with my life experience” – vote for Kavanaugh. Her brother said – she may very well lose her seat, but she will be able to wake up in the morning and look herself in eye.

                    So I respect her voting with her conscience in the end. I agree, we shouldn’t overly elevate what should be an easy choice. But it’s not really so easy, in fact it’s kind of torturous. You have to think: this is someone’s career, she may have higher aspirations, she’s making a decision that will likely truncate all of that. Her future may look totally different for her in Nov if she makes a very hard choice today.

                    Also, her blue seat is essential for Dems, too – Lawrence O’Donnell was saying on his show tonight that the most important thing for Schumer, lets say, is that each senator do what he/ she needs to to keep that seat. But Heitkamp went beyond that.

                    I also think that every single senator ought to do the right thing and vote “no” on Kavanaugh – why do we always focus on the ones in the middle? – but there’s politics, and money, involved, and you just can’t expect it – yet we don’t badger the solid “yes” voters.

                    Joe Manchin I find abhorrent right now, but if he comes out and votes “no” I will say the same for him – he did the heroic thing by putting his seat on the line. If everyone were doing the right thing, they’d all vote “no” – we just have to be realistic about where these red state Dems are, and support them when they put country, and morality, before self-interest.

                    But I agree – no false idols!!

    • harpie says:

      This is a good article about Heitkamp’s vote:

      Heidi Heitkamp Stood Up To Male Supremacy   Irin Carmon 10/4/18 7:06 P.M.

      […] That the Kavanaugh vote may well go along party lines means Heitkamp is unlikely to win the same hosannas of bipartisanship bestowed upon Jeff Flake in the past week. Nonetheless, it required real courage, and the explanation she gave for her refusal was striking. As Senate Republicans have been shamelessly portraying Brett Kavanaugh as the victim of a Jim Crow-era lynch mob, and as Trump declares it “a very scary time for young men in America,” Heitkamp, a white woman under enormous political pressure in a right-leaning state, chose to make clear who she believes the real victims are. […] 

      • Tracy says:

        Yeah, I thought she did good in the end. She could have saved my heart by deciding earlier, for sure. But she did the right thing after all. I really felt she identified with the victims and she couldn’t have forgiven herself if she’d voted “yes.” That’s all you can ask for, really. Thanks for this!

  47. Jenny says:

    The old order is crumbling. Hatch just told some women to “grow up.” This is the old boys club being confronted by women speaking out against sexual abuse, judgement and intimidation. Well, no more protecting themselves behind a wall of privilege – they are exposed.

    Exploitation, injustices and inequalities of all kinds will not be tolerated by the masses as “status quo.” This is one of the most important shifts of our time.

    As for Senator Heitkamp, good for her voting her conscience. She said, “When I listened to Dr. Ford testify, I heard the voices of women I have known throughout my life who have similar stories of sexual assault and abuse.”

    Voices of sisterhood survivors silent no more. Let your voice be heard – VOTE!

    • Rayne says:

      The automatic response to Hatch that comes to mind is RETIRE NOW, DINOSAUR but that won’t happen. I will be SO glad when he is gone. I really can’t say the old white men of the senate are uniformly bad — Leahy has been phenomenal, for example. But when they identify as conservatives they are utterly repulsive.

      • Tracy says:

        On Brian Williams tonight he said that the SJC GOP members came out – all male, the average age amongst them is like 69 years old or something – and these people are deciding who should be on OUR SUPREME COURT?

        The patriarchy still has such a strong grasp – but it’s a combination of that, and that we have Donald Trump – Barack Obama would have withdrawn this nomination IMMEDIATELY at the first whiff of trouble.

        It takes one pussy-grabber to defend another pussy-grabber.

  48. Doctor My Eyes says:

    [Sorry, no edit tools]
    I’ve been thinking a lot about that Wired article linked upthread:

    The subject matter–basically steroid-level ratfucking on social media a la QAnon, Gamergate and others–is unfamiliar to me so I can’t address the details very well, but I would like to highlight a couple of things for anyone who hasn’t read it. One very coincidental thing reported is the involvement of Mark Judge. Small world, huh? Take that in conjunction with the fact that, according to the author, Kavanaugh’s unhinged performance at his hearing was full of dog whistles for the alt-right ratfuckers.

    Here’s an excerpt about Judge:

    “Judge has weighed in on just about everything: holding forth about the need to “make Playboy great again” (masculinity), advising women on “graciously turning a man down” (toxic feminism), and expounding on how Melania Trump is an archetype feminine woman raised outside the “leftist orthodoxy.” He has quibbled over the definition of sexual misconduct by asking whether Wonder Woman was raped, and, on Acculturated, explored other “double standards” applied to what he sees as the increased liberation of women causing the oppression and depression of men. And don’t forget about the need for unrestrained “male passion.”

    “In short, Judge was a generator of content for the alt-right machine, using his high school bad-boy, “real man” credentials as a springboard to comment on the whole suite of social issues that the alt-right feels is eating away at our Americanness.”

    And here is a bit about Kavanaugh:

    “And then, when it was his turn to testify, Kavanaugh himself deployed this narrative by referencing and implying conspiracies in his red-faced attacks on the Democratic members of the Senate Judiciary Committee. While he would not say directly that Blasey Ford was lying, he alleged the left was “willing to do anything … to blow me up,” including “false last-minute smears” “calculated and orchestrated” against him as “revenge on behalf of the Clintons.”

    “In the course of his angry self-defense, Kavanaugh stamped a lot of bingo squares: attempted rape allegations as a political tool, false allegations, Clinton, secret conspiracies. By going out and taking the big swing, he elicited a powerful emotional response in his defense—an activated response from a hardened base. #ConfirmKavanaugh was trending—with support of far-right and Russian-linked accounts—after the hearing.”

    My main thought is always of Russia. Roger Stone figures prominently in the piece. My assumption is that Russia is pulling the strings. Rayne asked us, “Why Kavanaugh?” Well, because he and his buddy are hooked into the alt-right echo machine, which I assume is Russia manipulated. In any case, it seems those two assholes are spiking the national punch in order to work their evil on a larger canvas.

  49. NorskieFlamethrower says:

    Just deleted my Facebook account and I don’t feel any different, is that normal? I expected to at least suffer some little twinge of regret or anxiety but nothin’. Wait a sec…hmmm, I just realized that if I don’t have an account I won’t get any Facebook “notifications” and anything I get from Facebook comes from somewhere else anyway. WOW, free at last!

  50. Eureka says:

    @ Tracy upthread 1035p,1202p re Coons: The only way Coons can play this right now is calm, nonplussed, matter-of-fact, else he’d be jeopardizing any remaining potential of a Flake conversion late in the fourth. Otherwise, Flake cannot appear reasonable and (still) conservative if he were to join the bellicose libs.

    Relatedly, I think elected Dems have been generally avoiding certain public postures for tactical reasons, relying on e.g. Avenatti to fill that discourse space.

    Back to the Kav issue, it still may come down to the order of votes, as I’d thought earlier.

    • Eureka says:

      Add:  It’s not helpful that the press has shifted gears already.

      There is a saying:  don’t give up five minutes before the miracle.  Redone:  don’t thwart the outcome over which you still have power, dear fickle broadcasters.

      • Tracy says:

        Hi, Eureka, and thanks for your message! It’s a fair point, and I had my rant about Coons and now I can imagine that he’s doing everything he can to work behind the scenes with his co-conspirator, Jeff Flake, to show him what a sham this was.

        One thing I wish the media was doing was playing Flake’s words back on a loop: “the has to be a real investigation…the FBI should be able to interview who they want…it shouldn’t just be there to give us cover.” I hope Coons is reminding him of this. We have a good inside track there, anyway.

        On the MSM – busy day so I didn’t get to see much, but Brian Williams was on message – really great about the sham investigation, so were his panelists, ex-FBI on there – all saying: their hands were definitely tied by someone. The WH says it was the Senate – the Senate says they gave FBI full reign. Someone is lying like a rug.

        • Eureka says:

          Well, I was trying to be positive, lol, as it was one of the few non-negative things as I had seen today.  Also good that Heitkamp came out as a firm No.

          I am just catching up on the pm shows and you are right, MSM are doing a much more present job of covering this as a live issue rather than settled matter, as it had seemed during the evening hours.  Maddow replayed Blasey Ford’s testimony, which I thought was right en pointe.

    • bmaz says:

      Avenatti is a skilled trial attorney. He was before he hit the national stage with Stormy Daniels. But, at this point, anybody, much less Congressional Dems, “relying on Avenatti” is foolish. He and his sthicht is not the answer.

      • Eureka says:

        I agree as to now and on important issues in the run up to the election.  I was speaking there (before pivoting back to Kav topic) of a broader time course over the last several months, and about tone.  I do think his pugilistic public dance with 45 has helped take some ugly space off the hands of Congressional Dems in ways that have helped run down the clock and leave them, necessarily, more dignified.  Like we may want them to beat the ratfuckers, but not become them.  Else why would we want to elect them, hold them in esteem?

        To be clear, I am not advocating passivity- more talking about tone.  And of course I don’t know if that tactically works well in the end.  But it made sense to me.

        • Eureka says:

          ADD:  (going back to my original intention about filling the discourse space):  …leaving them not only more dignified, but viable as candidates, period.  Historically, anyone who pops up in antithesis to trump gets whack-a-moled by the multi-media machinery, sure, but is also necessary for 45’s shtick.  (Only because he will drone,) better that he drones on about Hillary and the past rather than, say, Elizabeth Warren and the future*.  The later date he/they turn attention to specific targets, the better.

          *Yes, I know he has recurrently grotesquely derided Warren.  How much worse would it already be if there was no Avenatti figure?  The lesson from HRC is that this does effect votes at some scale.

          • Eureka says:

            Related: Oliver Willis of Shareblue Media wrote a piece on his blog breaking down how 45 is using the story-lining techniques of “pro” wrestling.  Besides 45’s history as a ‘performer’ there, he of course hired Linda McMahon to head the SBA.

            This is what the rallies are all about.  Why does he apropos of nothing but propaganda constantly cite and alternate loves of and competitive skills versus Kim and Putin besides talking up his American ‘enemies?’

            I found Willis’ breakdown of specific roles, etc., helpful:

            How Pro Wrestling Ate American Politics (And The World) – Oliver Willis

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      No, Mr. Kavanaugh, you were there for a job interview.  You were there as a supplicant for public employment, to be one of the nine most important and powerful judges in America.

      You were there for the Senate to evaluate your character and fitness for the job.  You demonstrated that you are belligerent even when sober, that you are a skillful and practiced liar, willing to say anything and attack anyone to get what you think you are entitled to.

      A fraction of your record preceded you, much more remained hidden.  But it was enough to demonstrate your fealty to wealth and power, and your disdain for those without them.  Your affinity is with those who can do you a good turn, not for those to whom you owe impartiality, reason, and good judgment.  You are unfit for the office you hold and for the office you seek.

      • Trip says:

        Pay no attention to how I acted and what I said. You’ll have to trust me, against your own eyes and ears, as I make my case in another Murdoch-owned, Trump apologist, highly-partisan publication. Because I am independent like that. /s

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        In keeping with the era of Mr. Kavanaugh’s greatest troubles, “Gag me with a spoon.”

        His focus-grouped pastiche could have been assembled from any number of his CVs and self-love letters, confirmation notices, and grade school speeches.  His claims of victimhood do not sit well with the mom, dad, and apple pie tone he hopes to convey.

        Had a woman lawyer, aspiring to a senior federal judgeship, published it, she would be laughed off the scene as unfit to hold a PTA meeting.

        • Anon says:


          For him however the letter serves two key purposes. First it gives an act of contrition that will allow any family values person who wants to believe him to do so and to tune out any awful liberal who continues to point out his temper tantrum.

          (note however he doesn’t specifically say what if anything he apologizes for nor is he really clear on how he is different. In many ways it reads like the typical nonpology of the guy you really shouldn’t invite to parties, or a corporation).

          The second thing that it does is give Jeff Flake cover to swallow his criticism of Kavanaugh’s behavior and vote for him because that is what he is being told to do by his donors.

          The fig leaves keep piling up.

    • JD12 says:

      It grinds my gears how he keeps using his family to lay a guilt trip on everyone. It’s pathetic, really. I think most of this is on him. He could’ve removed his name from consideration and gone to rehab.

    • Tracy says:

      I will never read this drivel. This is a rapist. He is not entitled to this seat. Let it go, Kav – it’s NOT your seat that you were born to!

  51. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Donald Trump – king of the empty gesture – “says he would do ‘very well’ in a boxing match” with judo master, karate master, and special forces-trained Vladimir Putin.

    Obese and unfit, the Don has to wrestle the box holding his Big Mac. During the Vietnam war, his five deferments kept him out of it. Vladimir Putin trains continually, to maintain the mythology and the reality of his legendary toughness. Putin would have him on the mat, broken and bloodied, in a New York minute.

    Reality is irrelevant for Mr. Trump. His lies and the remains of his father’s fortune are meant to protect him from it. The rest of the world is not so lucky.

  52. Peacerme says:

    The fact that the evil one has direct communication to each and every one of us scares the hell out of me. Any messages, lies, miscommunication, direct to our phones. It truly is frightening.

  53. klynn says:

    Oh Bret, let me edit your piece…

    “…you were there due to sexual assault.”

    Some wise words you have not learned to date which your op-ed demostrates that you still need to learn:

    “When you are explaining, you are loosing.”

    You clearly do not give a damn for the rule of law.

  54. cwradio says:

    I’m expecting to get an “emergency” Presidential Message from the Rapist-in-Chief if Krappenuff doesn’t get confirmed.

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