Kavanaugh Confirmation Standards of Nonsense

Okay, in case you have not already guessed, Marcy is away, mostly, for a couple of days. Even a prolific presence like her is entitled to that. So, you get me for today. Sorry!

Now, because I have been a little involved in trying to figure what is the “real standard of proof” for people in the shoes of, say, Susan Collins and Jeff Flake, I have been a tad predisposed this morning. But let us for now go back to Blasey Ford, Kavanaugh, Collins, Flake, Grassley and the “standard of proof”.

An executive branch nomination is NOT a criminal trial. Any talk about “presumed innocent” and “beyond a reasonable doubt” is asinine and duplicitous. There is no set standard for a nomination consideration, much less one for the Supreme Court. Senators, especially those on the screening Senate Judiciary Committee, get to make their own individual assessments. In a perverse kind of way, it is like impeachment’s “high crimes and misdemeanors”, it is easy for people to argue, but the net result is that it is whatever strikes Congress as being applicable.

Frankly, I think the argument over what Susan Collins’ standard was is kind of silly and diversionary. Collins stated on the record:

“This is not a criminal trial, and I do not believe that claims such as these need to be proved beyond a reasonable doubt. Nevertheless, fairness would dictate that the claims at least should meet a threshold of more likely than not as our standard.”

This is bullshit. As David Graham, again, pointed out:

Citing the lack of corroboration of Ford’s account as well as lacunas in Ford’s own recollection, Collins said she did not believe the “more likely than not” standard had been met.

Although she did not use the phrase, the standard that Collins offers appears to be the same as “the preponderance of the evidence,” which is the burden of proof required in civil trials—as opposed to the beyond-a-reasonable-doubt standard in criminal cases. This is also the standard that many colleges now use in evaluating sexual-violence claims under Title IX. Obama-era guidance required schools to use a preponderance-of-evidence standard, though the Trump Education Department has granted schools greater leeway, instructing that “findings of fact and conclusions should be reached by applying either a preponderance of the evidence standard or a clear and convincing evidence standard.”

So, what is the relevant standard? As propounded earlier, there is no set one in these circumstances. It certainly is not “beyond a reasonable doubt” as is in criminal trials. Anybody using that language, including most of the geriatric white geezers in the SJC, is lying.

“Clear and convincing evidence”? Nope, there is no precedent for that either. Preponderance of the evidence/more likely than not? Again, there is scant authority to establish that as a relevant standard. Bottom line is Susan Collins manufactured her own “standard” and then cynically applied it, all without any legitimate basis. And, maybe, that is the kind of intellectual malleability these SJC determinations engender, but, if so, people like Collins, and the journalists that cover her charade, should acknowledge it.

So, what is the real “standard”? Again, there is none I can find. But if the course and scope of “background investigations” conducted by the FBI at the behalf of an Article II Executive Branch request is any indication, it is far different than being duplicitously portrayed by both the White House and Senate Judiciary Republicans.

Here is a specialist in clearance and background investigation issues, Brad Moss:

Um, not totally true. It happens for high level national security operatives working for the NSC and related White House components. Those individuals have to hold TS/SCI access and often times can be subject to invasive polygraph screenings.

Actual vetting, not that Kushner BS.

Here is another, Kel McClanahan, of National Security Counselors:

The White House can’t order @FBI to just rummage through a random person’s life. They can definitely AUTHORIZE FBI to rummage through a person’s life who has agreed to be subjected to a background investigation.

If this is true, it was McGahn & not Trump who was playing games…

Yes. Exactly. And, as a Senator who was one of the maybe 115 American citizens able to actually read the “FBI Investigation” work product, for Susan Collins and Jeff Flake to blithely sign off on the limited, restricted and choked off nonsense, is beyond craven. It is straight up duplicitous. And the New York Times article is kind compared to the chicanery that was clearly afoot from Don McGahn, a close friend and Federalist Society gang member for decades with Brett Kavanaugh.

In short, it is NOT about the relative “standard of proof” used by Susan Collins. She used “more likely than not” standard (effectively a preponderance of evidence standard). When she said that was the standard, she was lying. It never has been, and never will be. That was manufactured bullshit.

People have also argued that the standard should have been “reasonable accusation” or “credible accusation”. And those are even lesser than than the preponderance/more likely than not” standard Collins artificially, self servingly and cynically utilized.

Is clearance on a Background Investigation warranted? Does anybody, including the high holy Brett Kavanaugh, have any god given right to have a clean BI and be elevated to the Supreme Court? Of course not (See Title 32 of the CFR), that is gibberish propounded by old white conservative and misogynistic demagogues, like Grassley, Hatch, Cornyn and Graham in the Senate Judiciary Committee. And it is pure rubbish.

And, so too is the manufactured “standard” Susan Collins magically announced in her drama queen dog and pony show yesterday that seemed to narcissistically go on forever.

The bottom line is that whether under Collins’ manufactured and elevated standard, or even lesser ones such as reasonable or credible allegations, Brett Kavanaugh was not fit for passage and subsequent confirmation.

As Mark J. Stern detailed in Slate, Susan Collins’ manifesto announced with all the drama of a royal wedding, was in incredible bad faith. Her “standard” was nonsense and nowhere close to any applicable standard. It was a joke.

But, even more so, under ANY standard Susan Collins could have cited, her “finding” thereunder was garbage. Even in criminal sex cases, not just occasionally, but often, finders of fact (usually juries), decisions come down to weighing the relative credibility of an accuser versus the accused. And, given the relentless series of outright lies Brett Kavanaugh stated under oath, there is no way that a sentient human could see his testimony as more credible than the measured, and admitting as to gaps, honesty of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford. And, again, credibility of witnesses is what criminal trials, much less less than even civil litigation burdens, as here, are decided by every day.

This is because there are usually zero other witnesses to such kidnapping, molestation and attempted rape cases as Dr. Christine Blasey Ford credibly alleged, but also because time and reticence of victims is often a factor. And, yet, cases are filed and determinations made on just such “he said/she said” allegations every day. The implication by Susan Collins, Chuck Grassley, the other wrinkled old entitled white men like Hatch in the SJC, not to mention their cynically hired criminal prosecutor, Rachel Mitchell, are complete baloney.

Somebody go ask Rachel Mitchell, and the sad old men that hired her before they fired her, how many times she has operated off of an accuser’s words. The answer will be a lie, because it happens all the time. And, yeah, that is enough to generate a full and meaningful “background investigation” despite the bullshit being proffered by the White House, Don McGahn and the SJC.

190 replies
    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      The right loves the “war” analogy because it puts them on their home turf.  Issues of war and physical survival also suspend thinking, which, too, puts them on their home turf.

      The media loves the “war” analogy because it’s good for viewership, and good for business.  It is a major disservice to their listeners, but their corporate owners care about controlling the narrative and increasing the bottom line.

      • Willis Warren says:

        I think they want it because they have more guns, to be honest.  They could win a shootout, they think, and put democrats under restrictions and never concede power.

        I’m part of groups on Facebook that openly espouse this.

        • JD12 says:

          My conservative friends on FB have been wetting themselves out of fear of violence from the left (I live in New England, so most aren’t gun owners). Wondering why that was, I took a gander at their groups. The posts were apocalyptic—they legitimately believe socialists are trying to take over the country and will turn to violence if they keep losing elections.

          Somehow the notion spread recently that the Kavanaugh protests have been violent but the media is covering it up. That’s one of the reasons conservatives were so outraged at the threats to his family. They dismissed the threats to Ford because they bizarrely believe the left has a monopoly on political violence in America.

          As an example of why the threats to Kavanaugh were dangerous, my friend brought up Rand Paul. I told him Paul was assaulted by his neighbor over a property dispute, not politics. So he mentions the shooting at the congressional baseball practice. I said yes, last year a GOP congressman got shot, but a few years ago it was Gabby Giffords. He accused me of arguing that Scalise deserved to get shot. He knows I oppose all violence so it appeared to be an attempt to conceal the fact that he hadn’t heard of Giffords before.

          He’s a smart person. We were in the gifted program together when we were in school and now he’s an engineer. The problem is he doesn’t read. Instead of articles he’s always sharing memes.

      • Peterr says:

        It’s not just about turf for the right. It also puffs up their sense of themselves. See “101st Fighting Keyboard Kommandos et al.”

  1. Erica says:

    I think Roe v Wade is done which leaves me to question, who would this effect the most? Why is life so important to Republicans, who are so quick to lock people up, shoot unarmed black men and create laws to protect officers, not want to pay or help with health coverage, not want to reduce proverty, do away with entitlement programs. They want to protect the fetus while in a woman’s womb but care very little after that. So why do Republicans claim to care? For the evangelical vote, mostly. Its seems they should be willing to say, if you don’t have this abortion, we will help with the cost of raising the child or we will give that dad some extensive help to be involved. They want to take away a woman’s choice but give her little help in doing otherwise. It’s feels like they believe, they aand their religion, gives them the right to tell you what you can and can not do with your womb, with your knees and whatever else THEY want to thrust into your life. People are getting tired of this and we have the young and restless, to help relieve and fught the old and entitled. A reckoning is coming!

    • Mary McCurnin says:

      Another problem with Roe v Wade being stripped away is the fact that women will die without access to abortions. Kavanaugh is the kind of person who believes all abortion is wrong even if the fetus is not viable and the woman becomes septic. The Republicans are murderers.

    • cwradio says:

      I’m wondering what Krappenuff is going to say to his daughters after he helps deep-six Roe v. Wade.

      Probably something like:

      “Now, girls, be careful not to wear your skirts too short, your lipstick a shade too red, or smile too broadly around boys. You don’t want them to be too attracted to you because boys will be boys and just can’t help themselves.

      So, if by some unlucky chance you cause some poor man to rape you, the only honorable thing to do is to marry him. Daddy loves you! Hugs N Kisses!”

  2. BillT says:

    The Dems. should have blasted the sham investigation as being pure bullshit when it was clear that k and Dr. Ford would not be interviewed.   What good is talking all night after the votes had been lined up?

    The Dems. still do not know how to be on the offensive or to win a fight when it really counts!

    • Rayne says:

      Assuming by “The Dems” you meant Democratic members of Congress, I’d like to suggest that you broaden your media consumption as well as follow Congressional Democrats’ Twitter accounts. If you’d read more widely and followed their feeds you’d have seen they have been protesting all along.

      You might also take a good look across Twitter at large; you’d see quite a lot of vigorous protests, including nightly rallies in front of the White House to annoy the occupant.

      You, complaining here, is a shout into the echo chamber of people who have already expressed outrage.

    • bmaz says:

      Complete baloney. The “standard” used in confirming or rejecting executive branch nominees is an evergreen issue. Just because you may only be paying attention to this one does NOT mean it is not germane to a broad scope of them.

      What about Jared? What about Rob Porter? What about almost any nominee? You  honestly think this does not matter past Kavanaugh? That is simply absurd.

      • skua says:

        If Republican parents of young children find Collins’ standard being applied to applicants for positions to teach their young children, then I think they’ll see the true value of a “credible serious accusation” very quickly.

  3. Wm. Boyce says:

    Senator Collins is a dolt, and I hope her opponent in 2020 will unseat her and give the people of Maine better representation. Maine is a very poor state, w/a high percentage of elderly people. They will suffer because of her poor choice today.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Correct.  She’s not a dolt.  She’s Phi Beta Kappa, from a political family.  She has worked non-stop in politics her whole career, either on the Hill, in Massachusetts, or Maine.  She wanted this outcome.  She’s worked for this outcome.  She owns this outcome.

      If that means she loses her seat because she’s fought against the interests of too many average people, she’s bought that outcome, too.  But it won’t be easy.  Every $28 dollar contribution made by an average citizen will be matched by corporate donors and the well-heeled in Maine, New England, or anywhere the Koch network can be found.

      Her opponents will have to pound her with facts, argument, and pizzazz, not just money.  She’ll have all of that she needs to stay in office.

      • Peterr says:

        Between now and Nov 2020, I guarantee that Kavanaugh will have done something major that violates the picture Collins painted of his jurisprudence. Her comments about K’s view of US v Nixon were laughable, considering K thought SCOTUS should never have granted cert on the case in the first place. I predict her comments about how strongly K believes in precedent will not survive the current SCOTUS term.

        She laid out a lot of rope and fashioned her own noose in that 45 minute speech announcing her decision to vote to confirm K.

    • Gus says:

      I keep asking myself, why Collins? Why not any of the other 49 senators who actually voted yes? Why is she the one who gets to make this grand speech and carry it all on her shoulders? Then it dawns on me that this was her plan all along. Knife fighters, every last one of them!

  4. John Weatherford says:

    The effective result is that the strategy failed. This seems to be a repetitive problem with those who keep using this strategy. It has been said that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.

    • bmaz says:

      Did anybody incline that there was a great success by the Dems as to Kavanaugh? Can you point that out to us?

      You have been here for exactly two comments of carping and no substantive input. Even critics on this forum occasionally come up with something more than shallow bitching.

  5. Kai-Lee says:

    Likewise, “witnesses” should also be evaluated in the same fashion. Had this been done, there’s no way that Mark Judge’s version of events would be given any credence whatsoever.

  6. Grandma with a Memory says:

    I only caught a smidgen of Collins’ speech where she seemed to be waxing almost rapture about Kavanaugh.  I immediately had two reactions at once:  nausea at her fawning – and the sure knowledge that her “concern” about negative issues relating to Kavanaugh (sexual attack, habitual drunkenness, lying under oath) were all optics.

    I, too, hope her opponent in the 2020 primary/election gives her comeuppance.

  7. Spiny says:

    Collins & Flake were obviously using the sham investigation as a fig leaf- they don’t want to know the truth, they just want to make sure that they appear concerned about it on T.V.  Honestly, those two used exactly one of the allegations against rapey as almost a red hearing so they could ignore the other, equally valid reasons for rejecting him- all the other assault allegations, his history of heavy drinking, his repeated lies, his open partisanship, his money issues, and his disrespect to Senators.

    Of course, true to form, Collins did her song & dance on the Senate floor trying to gaslight us about who rapey really is- *clue* He’s not a moderate that’s going to uphold reproductive rights and the Democrats weren’t the ones displaying rank partisanship and violating all the norms of previous conformations. But the mask is off now and she doesn’t have any cover.

  8. Trip says:

    There were 2 credible witnesses, but only one was allowed to testify, so they could set up He said, she said narrative.

    Aside from those victims, his behavior in front of everyone’s eyes should have been disqualifying.
    His get even threat, especially. I mean, come on, they want us to disbelieve what we watched and heard with our own eyes and ears.

    • Trip says:

      Heidi Przybyla‏Verified account @HeidiPrzybyla

      “Lives have been altered. Not just Brett Kavanaugh’s. …I have also moved my family out of my house given threats that I have received this week.” “All that said, I know I did the right thing.” “I fear that you have ignored or been made to ignore pertinent evidence.”

      Heidi Przybyla‏Verified account @HeidiPrzybyla
      Heidi Przybyla Retweeted John Clune

      NEW: Ramirez statement: ‘The other students … chose to laugh and look the other way as sexual violence was perpetrated on me by (BK). As I watch many of the Senators speak & vote … I feel like I’m right back at Yale where half the room is laughing and looking the other way.’


      • skua says:

        Yes , CBF was invited to a show hearing that was, post facto, turned into a show trial by Mitchell.

        And then a show investigation was done.

        And now the show’s conviction finale has been performed.

        (Sequels are being prepared.)

  9. harpie says:

    As the vote is about to begin, something new from Carol Leonnig, et al:

    11:38 AM – 6 Oct 2018 EXCLUSIVE Chief Justice Roberts has received many misconduct complaints against Kavanaugh from a fellow judge based on Senate comments. In tense confirmation, he did not referr them to a judicial panel for further investigation. Me w @amarimow @thamburger

    Links to:

    D.C. Circuit sent complaints about Kavanaugh’s testimony to Chief Justice Roberts October 6 at 2:18 PM

    […] Roberts, an appointee of President George W. Bush, has for many years hired Kavanaugh clerks to work for him at the Supreme Court. Bush credits Kavanaugh in his book with helping him choose Roberts for the high court when Kavanaugh was a White House lawyer. […] 

  10. Ed Walker says:

    In the run-up to the election of 2016, Bmaz was screaming to the rooftops about the impact of a loss by HRC on SCOTUS. He was absolutely right, and this is the proof.

    Collins is an intellectually dishonest tool. There is no standard, and once again Bmaz is right to assert that even by her stupid standard, Kavanaugh is unfit.

    I think the question is whether the nominee’s opinions will be accepted by a majority. Kavanaugh doesn’t pass that test. His record of lying, cheating and sexual deviance means that the conservative majority on SCOTUS is officially a piece of intellectual shit.

    The worst part is that the very old Democratic leadership in Congress isn’t going to do anything to protect us. House Dems are led by a gerontocracy of people who say the stupidest things. Pelosi promises to bring back PAYGO and says that impeachment of Kavanaugh is off the table, just as she said impeachment of Geroge Bush and Dick Cheney for war crimes was off the table. There is no push-back from any incumbents. Joe Manchin votes to install the pig, giving Lisa Murkowski cover to vote no. These are not people who care about what’s left of our democracy. They are just another part of the problem.

    • phred says:

      I’m not sure that’s correct.  There is a group of House Dems planning to investigate Kavanaugh’s perjury before the SJC with an eye toward impeachment.  I’m not sure Pelosi will be able keep on a lid on it this time as she did for Bush.

      I’m also desperately hoping that the new Congress kicks Pelosi and Schumer to the curb.  Neither is up to the leadership we need from Dems now.

    • orionATL says:

      get off your “righteous progressive” high-horse, ed walker. you are failing to represent that politics is a lot more complicated than your simple vision would indicate.

      pelosi has been an excellent speaker, showing patience and wisdom with a very diverse caucus. she has a great deal of experience as speaker and several important accomplishments to show for it. it is no coincidence that she is a very accomplished, analytical POLITICIAN, not a blowhard reformer. it had to help that pelosi’s grew up in a political household; her father was thomas d’alessandro, a congressman and then mayor of baltimore.

      the attacks on pelosi’s character were begun by republicans (the republican congressional campaign committee) in april, 2017 in the campaign to replace georgia rep tom price in the house, only five months after their attacks on clinton’s character had had their desired effect. it is instructive how the “righteous progressives” ape the righteous rightwing.

      what democrats better understand about political strategy is that what seems so simple and easy to do before the house opens for business in january can dissolve into chaos in a few weeks without careful leadership. i would rank the first order of business dealing with the affordable care/medicaid issue for children in all states and the medical bankruptcy for seniors. wisely, i think, those touch heart and pocketbook, rather than any desire for vengence.

      protecting the special counsel, if it is still in business, or its work product, will be a high priority. in due time there can be an investigation of judicial appointments in the context of macvonnell’s obstruction of the normal senate process beginning way back with merrick garland. house v senate – that should be fun :))

      just for you, ed, here is paul krugman’s assessment of nancy pelosi’s tenure:


  11. Doctor My Eyes says:

    The issue at hand is not even Kavanaugh vs. Ford, it’s Kavanaugh vs the standard for being a SC Justice. Kavanaugh failed this standard ten ways from Sunday. Take any lie under oath, from 2006 or from last week. That is enough. Take the bar fight he instigated. Take his yearbook entries, even absent plenty of evidence suggesting his immature, anti-social attitudes translated into real life behavior.  Take his history as a highly partisan operative. Take the inadequate production of documents from his past. Take his rulings. Take his gambling and debt issues. Take his drinking. Take the descriptions of his behavior in college and in high school by contemporaries. Take his scarcely coherent speech and interview before the SJC in which his lack of commitment to fact-finding was described very well in a letter signed by over 2,00o law professors. Take that over 2,000 law professors rejected his nomination. Take that the ABA rejected his nomination, or at least called for a complete investigation.  On any of these grounds, he should have been passed over for the SC in favor of a more dignified nominee with more maturity, more integrity, and more of a judicial temperament. As soon as Ford proved herself to be more than a nut or a plant, he should have been disqualified on the mere basis of a question about his character in favor of someone for whom an accusation of rape was not forthcoming from a credible victim.

    An analogy might be choosing an O-ring for launch of a rocket with 8 people’s lives in the balance. From a production of line of, say, 200 O-rings, we would want to choose the most unflawed one available. One may have a microscopic blemish which almost surely would not affect its functionality, but this one would be rejected in favor of the one in which no blemish was detectable. It’s not about the fucking O-ring, it’s about making the rocket as safe as possible for the safety of the people whose lives depend on it. This isn’t about Kavanaugh, it’s about the SC, about nothing less than the law of the land.

    Unlike being found guilty of rape, there is no shame associated with not making it to the SC, to be nominated is an honor few receive. Whether or not Kavanaugh attempted to rape Ford is not even the issue when it comes to whether Kavanaugh should be confirmed.

    • orionATL says:

      your o-ring analogy is silly and wrong.

      as richard feynman demonstrated in the space shuttle challenger review meetings, dipping a piece of the o-ring material in a glass of water with ice cubes demonstrated that the material hardened at freezing. all and any o-rings of that msterial would fail at or below freezing.

      • skua says:

        There was no claim in the analogy that the materials used in the O ring were those used in the Challenger rocket.

        The analogy leaves open the possibility that it is another, or future, rocket on which 8 lives depend.

        • orionATL says:

          skua, your’s is a sophomoric attempt to defeat a criticism of a silly and ignorant argument from ol’doc, the blowhard refugee from daily kos. it’s just the sort of bird-brained argument one would expect from a skua – akkk, akkkk, akkk:

          doc says – “…An analogy might be choosing an O-ring for launch of a rocket with 8 people’s lives in the balance…”

          that was the challenger, bird-brain.

        • skua says:

          I can see how a mis-reading of the analogy leads to the view that it is specifically the Challenger O-ring that is being instanced.

          I make this sort of mistake fairly frequently. I saw some criticism of Swetnick based on peoples’ mis-readings of her accusation. Indeed it is often only a careful analysis that catches the lie that belies so many of Ingraham’s propaganda performances – that is if one can ignore her tone and context.

          Times are now obviously bad – the comprehension and communication levels that let this happen clearly need to be improved.

          • Doctor My Eyes says:

            Yeah. Even if I had referenced the Challenget specifically, claiming the analogy doesn’t work because of some of extraneous new piece of information about the O-rings . . . well, I hardly know how to respond it’s so thoroughly beside the point.

            Yes, tough times. The attention span of goldfish, literally, less and less reading, etc. I often think of a quote from Marcuse about “declining autonomy and comprehension.” I see this ongoing decline everywhere. It gives me the chills.

            Sorry to be insulting to Orion, I know we all misread at times. I think he/she is just still trying to make me out to be stupid because I was critical of Hillary.

            • orionATL says:

              doc –

              is this the way you dim-witted, blowhard refugees from the kos skua colony “discuss” issues?

              • Doctor My Eyes says:

                Yeah, that’s right “we” call people names when “we” disagree with them and tell other people what to do when they agree with someone we don’t like personally. Thanks for modeling an alternative.

                What do you hope to gain by belittling others who are disturbed by the Kavanaugh nomination? Does splintering the left seem like a winning strategy to you?

                Stop making things personal, let go the ad hominem, and focus on the real problems.

            • orionATL says:

              doc sez:

              “… I think he/she is just still trying to make me out to be stupid because I was critical of Hillary…”

              no, doc. i making you out to be stupid, because you are stupid.

              • Doctor My Eyes says:

                What gives? I almost never see such senseless childishness here, including from you. Why are you choosing to clutter an otherwise excellent discussion site with this crap? What the hell is going on with you? Let it go.

                • Rayne says:

                  I suggest you do the same. As I just told orionATL this thread is at 130 comments deep. New and relevant content needed at this depth, not internecine friction.

                • orionATL says:

                  your second rate commentary, including a particularly  pointless and  inaccurate analogy, which you then preceded to pretend was not inaccurate.

                  you flatter yourself. the clutter comes from your commentary.

                  and don’t try any of this deceitful, after-the-fact peacemaker crap. i’ve dealt with lots of verbal game-players like you.

              • Rayne says:

                Time out. Ease up on the ad hominem remarks. It’s time to move on wrt this subject because this thread is 130 comments deep right now. Users need to find content if they are committed to scrolling this far.

                • orionATL says:

                  comments posted after my 6:38 pm correction of an erronius doctor-my-eyes analogy needed to be brought up short. mine was a legitimate correction (of a faulty analogy reflecting poor thinking.) they weren’t; i did.

                  just watch these guys and see where it all leads. i can just about guarantee it will not be useful or informative commentary. they are hangers-on.

                • orionATL says:

                  on second thought, watch and see if quality doesn’t improve.

                  you coach different people different ways.

          • orionATL says:

            skua –

            the emptywheel weblog is not the right place to practice your gaslighting techniques, birdbrain.

    • Dunyazad says:

      Right on. The burden was on Kavanaugh to prove that he was not only qualified but an appropriate candidate to sit on the Supreme Court. He failed, for all the reasons you mentioned.

  12. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Your take-down of Susan Collins is spot on. Her framing of the standard for considering whether to approve a job offer for a public employee was false. She invented it, then misapplied it, and ignored inconvenient evidence along the way.

    Hers was a well-dressed demonstration of intellectual and political dishonesty. She cast away the interests of her constituents, while basking in the delight of her corporate patrons. What a performance.

  13. earlofhuntingdon says:

    When will his employers retire Chris Matthews and hire a real journalist?  His blather creates a mental vacuum wherever it can be heard.  Chuck Todd should be walked out the door with him.

  14. Wm. Boyce says:

    “Correct. She’s not a dolt. She’s Phi Beta Kappa, from a political family. She has worked non-stop in politics her whole career, either on the Hill, in Massachusetts, or Maine. She wanted this outcome. She’s worked for this outcome. She owns this outcome.”

    What I heard was a dolt speaking, if she really believes that people will eat it up. One poster talked about the coming reversal of Roe v. Wade. It will have major consequences in most of the country, as something like 12-17 states have laws ready to go to ban abortion the minute it happens. Here in CA, we’ll probably keep it, as the most likely cover for the Extreme Court will be to toss the decision back to the states for 50 individual choices. But all those Trumpian states will lose their rights, what’s left of them, before anyone else.

  15. Jenny says:

    As Anita Hill said, “It would have been more comfortable remain silent.”

    Women are silent no more.  What our country just experienced is a BIG shift.

    Yesterday, was the anniversary of the #MeToo movement.  Nadia Murad, survivor of sexual violence by the Islamic State and Dr. Denis Mukwege, gynecological surgeon from Congo were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for their campaigns against the use of rape as a weapon of war.  Yes! Individuals standing up and speak out against sexual abuse.  The rising of the collective consciousness in order to create change.

    This sums up for me what yesterday was about by Danielle Egnew, “This wasn’t about evidence and beer.  This wasn’t about political parties.  It was about choosing healing over hubris.  Yet we chose hubris.  Hubris won the battle yet it will lose the war.  We are about to change a nation.”

    Actually, We the People are experiencing changing a nation.  We are in the middle of the change.  Out of chaos comes creativity.  Creativity to take action.  Action to vote.  Action to speak up and speak out.  Action to help those in need.  Action to connect with community.  Action to make choices to build a better world for ALL.

  16. Erica says:

    Next move… now that he has been confirmed…We need Hillary Clinton to represent any major case before the SC or will be. If she is made an attorney on record, brett k would have to recuse giving the statements he made aganist the Clintons. Thoughts and legal expertise? Hillary Clinton, have or maybe the most powerful lawyer arguing before the Supreme Court. If she argues any case, Brett K would have to recuse. Thats why his Senate outburst was dumb on his behalf. Thoughts?

    • bmaz says:

      Um, no. First off, Hillary is not even close to being in form to so argue, and, secondly, the thought that Kavanaugh would mandatorily have to “recuse” is silly. If a SCOTUS Justice does not want to recuse, nobody, nor any rule, can force them to.

      • Dunyazad says:

        She wouldn’t have to argue; she could just be counsel of record, on the brief etc. It’s true that nothing could force Bart to recuse, and he probably wouldn’t, just because he’s an immature self-centered fratboy. But if he didn’t and ruled against the party represented by Hillary, it would be an embarrassing show of his true colors.

        It won’t happen, but it’s an interesting fantasy.

        • Desider says:

          I’m sorry, I think I must’ve had my head shoved into a barrel of motor oil while impacting my frontal lobes with the flywheel – did you just imply the Republicans would be worried or motivated by *EMBARRASSMENT*?
          “Pleaze don’ throw us in dat dair briar patch – dat would be sumtin’ awrful…”

          I like Hillary, but the great right-wing conspiracy machine will certainly get long long mileage out of any action or statement from her, including what BK already made up about Vince Foster. Did they worry that their Seth Rich or paedophile pizza stories were complete shit? Not in the slightest. Were they ashamed about putting Bill’s Pussy up front at the debate? quite the opposite.

  17. JD12 says:

    Great points, all of them. DiFi and Schumer could’ve used your help, they didn’t really fight the GOP’s framing of it enough.

    What I want to know, though, is why didn’t they focus on his lies? Everyone agrees that lies are disqualifying, and he told some that are easily provable. So easily provable that that’s why I thought he would lose the vote. It’s a simple message, it worked pretty well for Netanyahu in his Iran presentation. Bibi’s constituency will believe anything he says, but I can’t help but think a week of “Kavanaugh lied” speeches and tweets would’ve worked better than what they did.

    • JD12 says:

      I’ll never underestimate the GOP’s ability to circle the wagons and gaslight their way through ever again.

    • Marinela says:

      Dr. Ford and K testimonies are contradicting each other, it is not possible for both accounts to be true. One of them is false.

      He swore, if I recall, “to God”, that he didn’t assault Dr. Ford, and that Deb R. account is false.

      If he is telling the truth, then Dr. Ford cannot be telling the truth. I believe Dr. Ford, because she answered the questions, he didn’t, always dancing around the questions. For a sitting judge, it was really astonishing to see how evasive he was.

      He is also saying, American public is really dumb. They buy anything we sell.

      • skua says:

        “‘Billy, look, you just tell them and they believe it. That’s it: you just tell them and they believe. They just do.'”

        Attributed to Donald Trump by Billy Bush.

        I think Kavavaugh was probably coached in this technique in the days prior to the Senate Judiciary Hearing.

    • koolmoe says:

      I agree completely. While the assault on Dr. Ford is plainly the most grievous issue, it was the most difficult to prove, and plainly the White House and Republicans were going to prevent any meaningful progress. I wish the focus, newsbites, commentary, etc. had been just as strong on the substantive lies. The MSM did bring those up but not nearly as often or as strongly as they did the assault charges. That’s my biggest issue with BK, he’s smarmy, likely a predator (or was), a heavy drinker, seems volatile and quick to lose composure, and certainly holds far-right positions that are upsetting…But overall, he’s a LIAR.

  18. orionATL says:

    there are a couple of what i would call background issues about the mcconnell republicans putting kavanaugh’s on the supreme court. these background issues (non-sex, non-drinking) are what i would call political fairness, or moral, issues. they could be heavily amplified with the right education campaign, but probably won’t be.

    the republicans are running a “kavanaugh on the cross” campaign – this good man’s reputation was ruined by dastardly dems. take that caterwauling keening away from them by putting a totally different fairness argument in its place. never go tit-for-tat with their argument, that’s just fighting the tar baby:

    1) the republican senators who voted for kavanaugh represent states with only 44% of the u.s. population. the president who nominated kavanaugh lost the popular vote by nearly 3 million votes. kavanaugh is supported by only ~40% of the population:


    2) another fairness/moral issue. let’s get back to the beginning of the kavanaugh nomination and hearing process and recall that republican senators abetted by president trump withheld from democratic senators a great preponderance (+90%?) of documents to which they were entitled, documents illustrating the intensely partisan nature of kavanaugh’s work in the bush-cheney whitehouse:


    3) another fairness issue. complaints about kavanaugh’s conduct as a legal college, that he was a highly contentious and unyielding partisan, and as a judge (from harpie above) have been ignored:


  19. Marinela Selseth says:

    Disappointed that Susan Collins voted yes for K., but the other GOP senators are getting a free pass it seems.
    When the majority of the American public is against the K. nomination, how come none of the other GOP senators is willing to listen to their constituents, except for Lisa M.?
    Seems the GOP senators are only listening to their donors, not constituents.
    Joe M. listened to his constituents and he had to vote yes, despite donor’s warnings.

    Even assuming these GOP senators are going to be voted out (big if), it’s going to be too little too late.
    This supreme court is going to affect the law of the land for many years.

    I think I am not alone that the public would like to see the WH directives as part of the supplemental FBI investigation.
    Looks to me the people FBI was allowed to investigate, were people that K. itself may have couched.

    And the fact they want to confirm K. in such a big rush.
    Something else is happening in the background.

  20. Erica says:

    So Hillary couldn’t make an argument aganist Roe v Wade? That sounds silly! And its not mandatory for any Judge to recuse themselves. It’s the judiciary code of ethics. Chief Justice Roberts could refer the matter for judical review. To think it is impossible or implausible is silly!

  21. Tracy says:

    @Marinela, I agree – after finding out that Brett had contacted people related to Ramirez in order to craft a narrative, it seemed clear he’d have done the same w his HS and College buds who were “allowed” – gee golly, look at that – to be interviewed. The FBI must have been instructed not to contact ANYONE aside from people who they KNEW would back up Kav – thus 40+ people left out in the cold. Infuriating!

  22. Tracy says:

    MSM says that this Kav situation has increased likelihood of Senate being retained by R’s after midterms. I totally disagree. First of all, Cook Political Report, which many people use as a gauge, has not changed THAT much since pre-Kav. They’ve moved TX from “lean R” to “toss up,” even. The other “toss up” races, aside from that, are the same as before. OK, so NB has moved from likely R to solid R, who cares, that’s predictable and no loss anyway.

    And I believe that the energy in the end WILL be more on the Dem side, bc we have grievances that we want to redress through the electoral process. I’m not sure that if you’ve just been given a great gift and everything seems hunky dorey you’re as motivated to turn out as when there’s something you are in a panic to change, as we all are over here.

    But also, to stop He Who Shall Not Be Named, we need to relegate him to Minority Leader position. I hope that this huge court debacle has alerted people to the fact that the only way to get SC justices is to be in the presidency and majority in the Senate.

    • Rayne says:

      The same MSM that obsessed so much on HRC’s emails that they missed our country was being hijacked by foreign influence? Bah. I’m not listening to a bloody thing they say about trends — they don’t even realize THEY are being manipulated to game turn out.

      The Kavanaugh debacle has gifted the Democratic Party with plenty of campaign material. We need to focus and use it, concentrate on GOTV. Push for leads beyond MOE in every race.

    • orionATL says:

      i think you are right and i hope you are. the sense of unfairness and of justice not served will remain deep in hearts of those opposed kavanaugh and who understand that at any point pres trump had several choices possible other than kavanaugh. trump and mcconnell deliberately forced kava augh on the nation to exhibit their resolve and toughness to a male-dominated republican party.

      the question seems to be, once these white guys can feel they’ve won, do they have any particularly strong incentive to vote compared to those who feel they and the nation were wronged? i doubt it. i see a lot of determined voter registration where i live – 800,000 new registrations this year in the state. they’re not all about kavanaugh for sure, but you can see that discussion of him lights a fire in a lot of eyes.

      • Kai-Lee says:

        Don’t worry about Trump’s ability to rile up his base by capitalizing on their misplaced anger. He’ll say, “aren’t we tired of being told by the PC-types?”, “you don’t want to end all the good we’ve done”, and “the Dems can’t be trusted with power!” It helps that he doesn’t suffer a single pang of nausea over his mendacity and hypocrisyt. He will set the dogs on protesters, and like McConnell et al, do anything to hold on to power. If Kavanaugh and his colleagues weigh in favour of Gamble, and later, Trump, with respect to state/fed charges and pardons, and unlimited executive power, AND if the Russians continue, with Repub assistance, to screw with elections, the US is truly scuppered. Very dangerous times.

        • Tracy says:

          Ya, b/c as things are already starting to return to “status quo” on the surface of things, the ones who support the status quo will have no animus to move forward, while the ones who want to challenge it will be the ones with the deep, underlying pain and grievance that will motivate us to the polls.

          In the Cook Political Report, I see that there are net even losses and gains on both sides in the polls, contrary to what the MSM would have us believe. Another moment of their chasing the shiny object in lieu of the deeper, but harder to penetrate, real story. Another moment of their complicity in helping the red side “own the libs.”

          For those interested: TX has moved from Lean R to Toss Up, while NE has moved from Likely R to Solid R. For D-seats that we are defending, WV-Manchin and OH-Sherrod Brown moved into better positions (from Toss Up to Lean D, and from Lean D to Likely D, respectively), while MT-Tester and NJ-Menendez moved into worse ones (from Likely D to Toss up, and Likely D to Lean D, respectively).

          I saw a retweet on Marcy’s feed a few days ago saying that D support of Menendez was probably one of the worst decisions D’s have made this cycle, and I’d agree. But anyway, we just have to get out there and support, support, support – especially for our red state pals, and really it behooves us to reward those who voted against Kav since they made themselves even more vulnerable by doing so.

          FYI: the pick-up seats that really need our help are: Jackie Rosen in NV, Krysten Sinema in AZ, Beto O’Rourke in TX, Phil Bredeson in TN (I know he said he supported Kav, but if you want to help him win the seat….). The seats we need to defend the most are: Heidi Heitkamp in ND, Bill Nelson in FL, Joe Donnelly in IN, Claire McCaskill in MO, and Jon Tester in MT. These are ALL ranked “toss up” as of Oct 4th.

  23. Marinela says:

    I found Willie Nelson song ‘Vote ‘Em Out’ really upbeat in this depressing political environment. It can work for republican voters as well when they realize they were lied to.

  24. Dunyazad says:

    Thanks for posting this. I am so tired of the silly meme that anyone with evidence against a Supreme Court nominee has to meet a “burden of proof.” The only burden in the Supreme Court confirmation process is the burden on the nominee to show that he is not only qualified to serve on the Supreme Court, but has the appropriate character and integrity to do so. Kavanaugh failed to meet this standard by any stretch of the imagination.

    The same argument was made during the Senate vote on Clarence Thomas. The Republican talking point was that Anita Hill hadn’t met her burden to prove her allegations. It pains and frustrates me that Republicans are able to get away with the same mantra.

  25. holdingsteady says:

    Thanks bmaz, you’re the best! I appreciate your expertise regarding standards for the confirmation process being undefined and misrepresented by Collins, she really lost me there regarding the more likely than not statement, sounded nonsensical to me. And the link to Mark Joseph Stern on slate – excellent. Watching Collins dissembling/spinning/gaslighting on Cspan was disheartening to say the least, protestors interrupting her at the beginning notwithstanding. (Thanks to the protestors, inspiring!)

  26. darms says:

    Again, what was the point of the last 3 weeks’ kabuki? To ‘own the libs’? To distract w/a shiny object? To grind our noses into our powerlessness once again? I don’t get it, if what they want is hate & anger they will get that in spades but if they want a ‘united states’ I have two words for the r’s. If you or someone would explain their long-term goals & what they hope to gain w/this crap I’d be grateful or is it solely to put a Karl Rove Jr. on the Supremes? Do they really truly think they will hold this kind of power forever? I am a very long time lurker (pre-FDL days) & (very) occasional commentator so please take this request seriously. Thanks

  27. earlofhuntingdon says:

    The last three weeks were pretty good for motivating the Trumpian base of left behinds. It was a good distraction from the criminal probes into Donald Trump, his close associates, and his campaign. It was decent distraction from the fact that Trump can do little but rant like a demagogue at campaign rallies, feast on MacDonald’s burgers, and follow the GOP/billionaire lead. And it probably raised a lot of GOP money, from billionaire and poor donor alike.

    Trump’s vaunted leadership, on the other hand, like his fearsome ability to make money, is a complete fabrication. But he did send the Dems into a tizzy and prevent them from paying attention to anything else for nearly a month. Susie Collins got her 45 minutes of fame, and Lindsey got to throw a prime time hissy fit.

    Now, if the GOP had the votes in the can to appoint Brett Kavanaugh, then that’s a good haul that cost them nothing.

  28. darms says:

    I get that. But if that’s all they got, they might have sold out too cheap. It takes consensus of the people in order to govern…

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      We don’t know enough about what “they” sold out for to know that it is “too cheap” a price.

      Who says “they” want to govern?  They want to dominate.  If they govern along the way, it’s happenstance, except in furtherance of a corporatist, no-tax, no-regulation, no-cost-to-making-money agenda.

      Governance means doing something with government, the collective, temporary will of the majority, to further the interests of the American people.  This GOP has amply demonstrated such things are not on its agenda. 

      For the GOP, in fact, doing anything for the average American empowers its opponents, a mistake they would consider deeply wrong.

      • harpie says:

        Who says “they” want to govern?  They want to dominate.


        Rape is not about sex, it’s about power.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        The stunning number of GOP commentators joining the chorus chanting, “Women are behind Brett,” “They shouldn’t worry their pretty little heads…” and “They should remain a little bit quiet about Susie [or else…],” testifies to the right’s resurgent will to dominate. 

        They have decided now is their time.  Kavanaugh is just another surfer at that beach party, riding that wave, or rather, riding the wake behind their big boat.

        The members of this cohort all want to be Robber Barons, and to take the country back to 1890.  White men were men then.  Women, sheep, and minorities kept quiet, taxes were paid only in Europe, legislative bribery was the norm, and gubmint subsidized stealing assets and making money from Injuns, public lands, labor, and the general public.

        That they think this early Reagan era message will sell, and sell big, is startling.  But then so is the resurgent global right.  Its adherents wear slightly different makeup in the the US than the do in Britain, Brazil, Hungary, the Philippines, Russia or Venezuela.  But they all seem intent on achieving the same end: erasing history so that they can repeat it.

  29. Mark says:

    The left threw everything it had at Kavanaugh and the russia loving GOP and failed, this sends them the signal that they are now in fact all powerful and will embolden them to ever more public displays of corruption and lawlessness. And, I fear there will be no political solution since the 2016 elections were tampered with and now they have every lever of US government in their hands, 2018 will be a democrat’s exercise in futility. No matter the size of that blue tsunami it will crash against an iron wall of fascist greed, IF IT HAPPENS AT ALL!

    I am not being dramatic when I say I honestly believe that democracy in the USA has been on life support since 2016 and today Mitch McConnell pulled the plug. The break up of the USA is now inevitable.

    • bmaz says:

      Meh, things may be pretty bleak today, but the country is resilient and younger generations are coming. There is a LOT of damage being done, but with enough work, and younger blood, it can be undone over time.

      • cat herder says:

        All they need now is a Reichstag fire. Look at the past month and honestly ask yourself: Do you trust them not to do the worst?

    • P J Evans says:

      The left threw everything it had at Kavanaugh and the russia loving GOP and failed,

      In what universe? They were ignored. The media certainly were more interested in the he said/she said version; it’s easier for them to “report” when they don’t have to actually dig into anything. The Ds in Congress were mostly listening – Manchin is from a very red state, so we’ve quit expecting much from him. The more active voters noticed, though, and they’re not going to forgive the Rs. (And many people at dKos are activists, even if they’re too far too the left for some of the commenters here, though the really far left left dKos after they couldn’t get traction with their Sanders-fawning.)

  30. John Forde says:

    BK testified that the first he heard of CBF’s sexual allegations against him was when they were published.
    Around the web today I read that there may have been earlier efforts to coach witnesses and there may be a paper trail connecting BK those efforts. If this is established it could be grounds for a fairly subjective and hard to prove charge of witness tampering. But would it not also expose BK to a much easier to prove charge of perjury? He did know of the allegations earlier and lied about it.
    And who could bring those charges? Would it have to be a USA?

  31. Marinela says:

    Why the media calling her speech historical? How exactly?

    Susan C. speech had the conservative talking points. She probably doesn’t believe the merits of the speech she made. For example, the narrative that Dr. Ford lawyer didn’t tell her that the committee was willing to come and see her, and so many other ridiculous claims.

    Now that they are being disproved, how is she going to view her decision? It just makes her speech more demagoguery.

    I think it was a mistake for her to include the GOP talking points as explanation for her decision. Did she even make an effort to at least understand the narratives she was advancing?

    There are just two explanations:

    (1) Either she is incompetent and/or unable to draw conclusions from facts, especially when she was able to evaluate data from the incomplete FBI investigation


    (2) She is complicit with the GOP talking points to mislead the public

    Also, why the democrats didn’t put together a 45 minutes / large speech to summarize all the issues with the K nomination? Democrats are the opposition party, they should act like it.

    I would say, more stuff is going to come up after this nomination, and this explains why the rush to  nominate. (To be clear, I have no real information, just a hunch.) Then, GOP can campaign by telling the base they need to hold the House and Senate to protect K from impeachment.


  32. Mitch Neher says:

    John Forde said, “If this is established it could be grounds for a fairly subjective and hard to prove charge of witness tampering.”

    I strongly suspect that Ed Whelan and the infamous swift-boat firm Creative Response Concepts effectively intimidated Chris Garrett with the prospect of losing his job as a teacher. Unfortunately, that effort appears to be legally permissible–unless someone can trace the laundered provenance for Whelan’s information back to Kavanaugh.

    Meanwhile, the sworn statements under penalty of felony from Mark Judge, P J Smyth and even Leland Keyser appear to have been a legally permissible way to prevent those witnesses from changing their statements when interviewed by the FBI. Those statements were made prior to Dr. Christine Blasey Ford’s testimony before the SJC.

    Given that Mark Judge’s published account of his and Kavanaugh’s circle of prep school friends is credible–albeit, without naming names–it follows that the whole lot of them are vulnerable to blackmail. They couldn’t corroborate Dr. Blasey Ford’s allegation without exposing themselves to retaliatory disclosures from Kavanaugh’s backers.

  33. Omali says:

    My reply function didn’t work, but this is in reply to JD12, above.

    I wondered, too, why the lies weren’t pounded. Flake and Coons appeared on the tv machine together and said very plainly that if he had lied, his nomination was finished.

  34. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Does anyone doubt that famed calm, neutral arbiter Brett Kavanaugh will find a suitable opportunity for the payback he explicitly promised the Judiciary Committee?

    • harpie says:

      Steve Vladeck, 7:22 AM – 8 Oct 2018:

      Someone born on the day that the war in Afghanistan began is now old enough to join the U.S. military and die in the war in Afghanistan, and all under a statute (the 2001 #AUMF) that Congress has not amended _once_ in the intervening 17 years, abdicating its constitutional role.

  35. harpie says:

    Julia Davis:

    #Russia’s state TV: // The #Kavanaugh confirmation ensured that the GOP will now control all three branches of the government.” // The segment is entitled: “Kavanaugh is confirmed. Trump says that Soros is behind the protests against his appointment.” ©️ /

  36. Marinela says:

    The supplemental FBI investigation should’ve exposed all of these behind the scenes activities. Not sure why the FBI failed here.
    The explanation so far is the FBI scope, the FBI was limited on the investigation it did.

    Could it be another explanation? That the FBI is becoming political.
    It is terrifying, but this is exactly what Comey wanted to prevent.
    It seems that many FBI agents are fired because they are holding different political views, see Peter S., or they retire, or forced out.

    All this in preparation for the Mueller probe conclusion. The democrats cannot really complain too much about the supplemental FBI being political hack, if they need to accept the Mueller probe conclusions.

    Institutions are failing one by one. GOP establishment is behind Trump, no checks from house and senate, supreme court is becoming political, even main stream media is starting to normalize Trump, the so called Trump resistance is not that effective in my opinion.

  37. harpie says:

    bmaz tweets:

    Uh, gosh you high holy federal judges, you know what really “advance your knowledge of the legal system”? // Getting your asses out of the ivory towers and judges’ chambers and actually practicing in it. Try that for five years before lecturing me. 

    Steph Stradley responds:

    Aside from that good point, affording to clerk after law school expenses is kinda a big roadblock to some of us.

    and here is Matt Karp responding to There’s Nowhere for Justice Kavanaugh to Go But Right at Bloomberg

    8:33 AM – 7 Oct 2018 This is probably right — but maybe it’s time to rethink the assumption that paying court to the personalities & ambitions of 9 judicial aristocrats, in the style of Versailles or King’s Landing, is a normal way for democracy to work

    • orionATL says:

      bust that harvard and yale lock on the us supreme court! ban those schools from appointments for 15 years :)

      there are lots of fine legal thinkers in this country that didn’t go to big-money tuition schools and thereby latch on to coattails for an old-boys ride up the career ladder. get a few grads with the right combination from arizona, michigan, texas, n.carolina, oregon for god’s sake.

      pick some elected politicians. how about arizona’s sandra day o’cconor, an excellent, wise justice with extensive state legislator experience, or california’s earl warren, certainly the greatest chief justice of the last century, and a 3-time gov of california. you know that political experience doesn’t hurt.

      read erwin cherminsky’s critique of the supreme court as an institution that has repeatedly failed the american people by being way behind the people’s sensitivities and great expectations for this american nation:



      • orionATL says:

        the job of the supreme court is not primarily to interpret law. it is to see that the fundamental set of laws that guide the nation change to meet the changing circumstances of the nation and do so fairly for every citizen.

  38. AitchD says:

    Before Saturday’s final vote, Minority Leader Schumer addressed voters instead of the Senate, suggesting that whoever wants investigations that would lead to impeachments have to vote for Democrats next month. Seems the party has a pretty good campaign issue.

  39. Tracy says:

    If anyone needs a pick-me-up, check out Beto O’Rourke’s Twitter feed. He is rocking auditoriums, stadiums – he’s busy on a college tour this week – perfect timing for jazzing up young people to vote this cycle. They are going mad for him!

    Plus, his speeches are v inspiring (he spoke about the devastating SC result – inspiring people to take matters into their own hands by getting out to vote).

    • Marinela says:

      ‘Vote them out’ Willie

      I hope the young people will vote this time around. MSM said they don’t typically. We shall see.

  40. Tracy says:

    Jenny, if you see this, I wonder if you could please re-post Christine Blasey Ford’s information so that I can mail her a letter? (I failed to write it down before and now it’s a few posts back). Might be a nice way for others to feel like they are doing something positive in these dark days. Thx!

    • Jenny says:

      Hi Tracy.  Yes, great idea.  I sent a card to support her.  Here is the address:

      Dr. Christine Blasey Ford

      Palo Alto University

      1791 Arastradero Road

      Palo, Alto, CA  94304

  41. Marinela says:

    But they had a good campaign issue before all this mess.

    The economy is not that great as it is portraited in the news.
    The stock market is up, but it benefits the top. I suspect the stock market bubble to burst soon. The rise is artificial due to the one time companies money repatriation from overseas, that went to company’s stock buy backs.
    The companies are piling up inventories because of the trade wars, so this is also artificially improving the economic numbers.

    Regarding employment, speaking from personal experience.
    I am unable to find work, even when apparently the unemployment is low.
    Resigned last year for personal reasons, so I am not going to be included in the unemployment numbers as I don’t collect unemployment.
    After interviews, I am told they went with somebody else, then shortly after, they advertise the position again.
    Something strange is happening. As if the companies are trying to prove they cannot fill openings. Big scam.

    Surprised that nobody is discussing some aspects of this phenomenon, MSM, democrats?

    Democrats need some good economic advisers to look into this and explain it to the American public.
    Forget about Trump tweets, the best things to do about the tweets is to ignore him.

  42. Marinela says:

    Tracy, I would be interested writing a letter to Dr. Ford as well.

    Thanks for the great idea. Let me know the info.

  43. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Digby highlights this superb oped in the NYT by Emma Gonzales, a survivor of the Marjorie Stoneman Douglas school shooting.

    Digby justly derides the editor’s attempt to infantilize Gonzalez. S/he does it through a derisive title:  A Young Activist’s Advice: Vote, Shave Your Head, and Cry When You Need To. The editor sounds like an over-40 white guy who was delighted at the Senate’s confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh, and wants to have him and a few girls over for a keg.

    The title castigates Gonzalez for doing what every writer is supposed to do: write about what they know.  The title tries to replace that with the status quo.

    The title belittles Gonzalez – a survivor of a horrific school shooting – for being an “activist”. That must still be code for dirty hippy. The command to vote is made to seem naive, as if it were not fundamental to change. 

    Shave your head doesn’t ask Kavanaugh or Trump to shave theirs.  It makes fun of non-traditional women who do.  Cry when you need to is written with a Trumpian insensitivity – as if the current epidemic of toxic male masculinity was not inherently dangerous, as it has always been.

    Emma Gonzalez is writing about something important.  Having just graduated, she is talking to her peers, to the thousands of young people who’ve shared her experience or something like it, and to the millions of people who know them or fear that might soon have that same experience.

    All for the want of rational gun control.  She is fighting that it is banned in practice because it might interfere with making a buck, and because screaming about the end of civilization, should government restrict who can own a weapon, is always good for raising a few bucks or a few votes .

    It feels like I’m back at the vigil, in the hot Florida sun, with volunteers handing out water bottles to replenish what the sun and sadness had taken away. Looking for friends and finding them, hugging them, saying, “I love you.” Looking for friends and not finding them.
    Everything we’ve done and everything we will do is for them. It’s for ourselves. It’s for every person who has gone through anything similar to this, for every person who hasn’t yet, for every person who never will.

  44. Tracy says:

    @Marinela, they are talking about how those numbers are deceiving bc only the top percentages are benefitting, are definitely talking about the increasing wealth and income gap. All Democratic Socialists would be talking about this but I have heard many others, too, take Elizabeth Warren and Cory Booker.

    As for unemployment, my understanding is that the number only includes people actively looking for jobs who can’t find one, not those who have given up trying, this is far from a realistic depiction of the state of affairs.

    • Marinela says:

      I believe they go by the number of people that collect unemployment. I resigned, so I was never included.

      They will know in a year when I file tax returns, no income, but the unemployment is not going to be adjusted.

      There are so many other bad economic indicators, the dollar value, high gas prices, inflation is lurking, …

  45. Tracy says:

    Julie Swetnick has written a personal statement posted on Avenatti’s twitter feed. Please take a moment to read this; while ALL of the women who came forward despite incredible personal peril we’re treated SHAMEFULLY and EGREGIOUSLY, none were more so than Julie Swetnick. She made some very serious and sensitive claims, and I believe her about her experience. She was never treated with respect and fairness by the media, and certainly not by the SJC GOP and WH, and not by Susan Collins. Not also by Chris Coons, apparently, who is the last one who should be righteous nor pointing fingers, when he failed to ensure that the “gentlemans’ agreement” bt himself and Flake was properly met. It’s infuriating that he’d be out there disrespecting an alleged victim of the most horrific sexual assault.

    Anyway, she has made a statement, in her own words, and I hope that people will read it so that she can receive the empathy that she deserves. Regardless of who her lawyer was and how he handled things, (which IMO, I don’t think was his finest moment, as he failed to appreciate the gravity and impact of not only the claims and how they’d be perceived, but also the sensitivity of the moment we are in versus his very aggressive style), she did not deserve this blanket dismissal, skepticism and slut shaming.

    Ironically, in Susan Collins’ speech, out of one side of her mouth she said that the “gang rape” claims were “outlandish” (which if you look at a cultural pattern that has emerged, they are not and deserved investigation, regardless), insinuating that this was ALL a smear campaign, and out of the other side she clearly said “ALL allegations of sexual assault are important, and all deserve to be heard.” Unless they come in a package and from a messenger who is inconvenient and objectionable, I guess. The hypocrisy! You can’t have it both ways. Shame!

    • Marinela says:

      What legal path for Avenatti and Julie S. moving forward?

      Without a legal path, it is going to fade and GOP will capitalize on this aspect.

        • Marinela says:

          Unless another women comes public to corroborate Julie’s account.

          She said it happened to others.

          • bmaz says:

            Sorry, there still would be no legal path. There is no crime that is chargeable, there is no civil suit that is viable.

          • Tracy says:

            Marinela, actually, Avenatti some time ago posted another sworn statement from someone (name redacted) who corroborated Kav’s aggression towards women that she also observed at parties.

            Also, in the statement by Swetnick just the other day, or perhaps it was Avenatti, they state that there are 6 corroborating witnesses. I hope that if Dems win the House they will pursue an investigation of these claims, at the least.

            Also, Bmaz is the lawyer so go w/ what he says – but Swetnick also does not know specifically if Kav attacked her b/c she was disoriented (by something put in her drink, she believes), so she could not file something criminally against him, anyway.

            The strongest part of her statement, IMO, as regards Kav, is her seeing him behave in a degrading way towards women, with sexual violence and demeaning language, generally and specifically towards women. Also, her statement that he was at a lot of these parties and in the vicinity of where she believes the alcohol was passed out and rapes were happening could show a pattern of behavior, more than being a direct criminal allegation of his being one of the perps who gang raped her (she doesn’t know).

            • Marinela says:

              I agree that investigation makes sense, impeachment it is going to be harder.

              But the investigation results would need to be made public, either way, and not a sham investigation like the supplemental background FBI investigation.

              Then the next question would be, what mechanisms for outing a justice from SCOTUS, besides impeachment? Like ethics violation, lying to senate, at the job interview?

    • Marinela says:

      Bmaz, I see what you mean about no legal path.

      But, hypnotically, in the context of impeaching K, Julie account could be brought up if it can be corroborated. Just thinking out laud.

      Wandering what Avenatti is thinking as his representation of Julie S.?

      • Tracy says:

        If Dems win the House, and they do an investigation of all of this, which I think they should in order to get to the facts, they could look into her allegation and her corroborating witnesses. Whether it’d lead to their pursuing impeachment, I tend to think that they need to wait till we have 67 seats in the Senate, but that’s also a real worry b/c of the way the electoral map is going for the Senate – becoming even less representative as we go along.

        • Marinela says:

          I didn’t see the replays, until now when I went back.

          And this thread is getting big, so much information, good information, but is easy to miss a reply comment.

          If the impeachment doesn’t get pursued, at least an investigation by a democratic house seems reasonable, at least it exposes him and shows he is a liar, which is important that is exposed.

          Some justice ethics should force him to resign then.

          But I’am afraid a K investigation will be labeled by GOP as democrats witch hunt.

          • Tracy says:

            Oh they will absolutely slam it, like they do everything that threatens to disrespect their authori-tay. Doesn’t mean we should be cowed, however – this is just their playbook!

  46. harpie says:

    Three things related to other items I’ve posted today:

    1] Requiem for the Supreme Court Garrett Epps 10/7/18 

    Through the 20th century, the court stood as an independent arbiter of the rule of law. It is a unifying, national institution no longer. […] But that idea began to fray. Opinion-writer politesse would require me to say or imply that the decay in the courts standing was the fault of “both sides,” or of both “right and left.” // But I cannot. It simply is not true. // One party made the Supreme Court a partisan issue. […]

    2] Requiem for a Remedy  Sabin Willett April, 2011

    […] Three years ago, Boumediene came down like a lion at the end of the term.Great, but short-lived, was the joy in our camp, for the D.C. Circuit soon outflanked its master. It out-hustled the High Court and picked its decision apart, skirmish by skirmish.Some thought the conceit extravagant when our brief called Boumediene a trophy hanging in the library, impressive but lifeless.I wonder, now, if we understated things. […] [hypothetical “President Trump”- in 2011] I’m from Massachusetts.I’ve been a guest of the D.C. Circuit.As an outsider, it always seemed to me that the special culture of scholarship down there might also be the court’s Achilles’ heel.Every judge has a gold-plated resume, ran the law review and clerked for at least a middling deity.In such heady company, one might forget that judicial review is not about brilliant opinions. Remedy is the guts of the judicial power.The rest is book reports. […]

    3] The D.C. Circuit After Boumediene  Vladeck, Stephen (11/7/2011)

    p. 1456] Instead, as I hope to show in the pages that follow, the most troubling aspects of the court’s post-Boumediene jurisprudence can all be traced to some combination of four jurists, in particular: the aforementioned Judges Kavanaugh, Randolph and Silberman, along with Judge Janice Rogers Brown. Whether the rest of the D.C. Circuit is reaching the correct results in other cases is beyond the ambit of this Essay; for present purposes, my central conclusion is that, in their opinions and their rhetoric, these four jurists are effectively fighting a rear-guard action while their colleagues coalesce around substantive and procedural rules that are materially consistent with what little guidance the Supreme Court has provided in these cases—and, as importantly, that have the general endorsement of virtually all of the district judges and the executive branch. […]

    • harpie says:

      Adding to 3]

      1488] In contrast, on the “merits” of the detainee cases, the analysis and the holdings reflect a profound tension with both Boumediene and Hamdi, and a fundamental unwillingness by the D.C. Circuit—especially Judges Brown, Kavanaugh, Randolph, and Silberman—to take seriously the implications of the Supreme Court’s analysis in either case.
      1489] More generally, though, perhaps the larger point to take away is how the more troubling analyses vis-à-vis Hamdi and Boumediene invariably originate with some combination of the same four jurists. Sometimes, they have been joined by others; sometimes, they have concurred separately. But the decisions that have raised the sharpest tensions with the Supreme Court’s jurisprudence have tended to come in cases in which the panel included two members of this quartet.

  47. Jenny says:

    This morning in the interview on Face the Nation Collins said, “I don’t think most of us had any idea how pervasive the problem of sexual assault is. Sexual harassment, yes we knew that. But sexual assault.” https://www.cbsnews.com/news/transcript-sen-susan-collins-on-face-the-nation-october-7-2018/

    Really? She could use some major schooling. Sexual assault has been pervasive for centuries. Every 98 seconds an American is sexually assaulted; 1 out of 6 American women has been a victim of sexual assault; 1 out of 10 rape victims are male. I called her office to share the stats to start her education on the topic.

    In her speech she confirmed male power and privilege. She validated male victim-hood for her party. She brought it home for the old white boys club. She chose hubris over healing.

    The lack of understand and compassion about survivors of sexual assault from the GOP is deplorable. They are more interested in power rather than improving people’s lives.

    VOTE!!! I will vote for equality, justice and freedom. I will vote against misogyny, racism, bigotry and greed.

    • Rayne says:

      Collins is utterly full of shit. Her constituents need to get up in her grill and ask her what the patriarchy did to her over their little luncheon — did they remove her brain? Is she a Stepford Wife? A pod person?

      Because there has been testimony and evidence provided to the Senate numerous times while she has been in office about violence against women including the incidence of rape. She HAS been schooled, REPEATEDLY. Every time the VAWA has come up for a vote.

      Like testimony offered THIS FUCKING MARCH when a rape survivor testified there are 25 million rape survivors in the U.S. https://www.judiciary.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/03-20-18%20Nguyen%20Testimony.pdf — and there are more assault survivors in addition to those who survived rape.

      Was Collins on crack or meth or what that she is so goddamned clueless about the incidence of rape in this country?

      • Jenny says:

        Rayne, good point about the VAWA which I believe, comes up for renewal in December.

        I will go with Stepford Wife, drinking too many beers and chugging the orange Kool-Aid.

      • posaune says:

        Collins makes me sicker than the old white guys.   Absolutely sick to my stomach.   She even looks like she has no soul — a frozen face, white with makeup.  She must be completely numb inside to sell the little soul she had left for a mess of pottage.    She’s a character right out of Dickens:  soul-less, cruel, cold and creepy.

        • Tracy says:

          I can’t believe she sold ALL women and victims down the river! It was really disgusting! But won’t be forgotten.

  48. hester says:

    For those wanting to help Dr. Ford. There are 2 ways:
    (1) a GoFundMe page, created for the benefit of her and her family (they’ve had to move 4 times since this started)… Link: https://www.gofundme.com/help-christine-blasey-ford
    Plus she has a nice 3 paragraph note thanking people who are helping:

    (2) Mail her your thoughts, etc. Suggestion is to do it with a post card b/c of all the threats, letters are likely to be more suspect. Address:
    Dr. Christine Blasey Ford
    c/o Palo Alto University
    1791 Arastradero Road
    Palo Alto, CA 94304

  49. P J Evans says:

    ‘Any talk about “presumed innocent” and “beyond a reasonable doubt” is asinine and duplicitous.’

    People kept trying those over at Kos, and kept being told that it was a job interview, not a trial.
    When did so many people forget their grade-school-level civics?

    • Valley girl says:

      PJ, saw your name, and mostly wanted to say hello!  Alas, going to LA public schools, no class in civics.  I admit I didn’t see the Kos comments, as that is a site I don’t read.  But it doesn’t take a class in civics to know that Kavanaugh is not suited for anything other than…better not expand on that.  Basic human decency, which he has not.  If I’ve misinterpreted your comment, apologies. VG

    • JD12 says:

      In criminal justice they say it’s better to let ten guilty people go free than it is for one innocent person to go to jail. Freedom is a right, while a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court is not. Public faith in the Supreme Court is of utmost importance. Most people, if not blinded by political bias, think you should err towards not putting sex criminals on the bench.

      It’s extremely unlikely Kavanaugh is innocent by whatever standard you choose. To start with, false accusations are less then 10% of all allegations. You’re starting with a >90% he did it. Add the other accusations and it gets even higher. Then add the fact that the vast majority of false accusers are high school/college age, and they come up with the allegations to get out of trouble. False accusers don’t jump into the national spotlight and lie under oath to the US Senate.

      And the allegations are not uncorroborated either, GOP is playing games. They know corroboration doesn’t mean smoking gun. Corroboration means to support. BK’s calendar included a party that matched Ford’s description, that’s corroboration. Mark Judge’s ex-gf said he told her about a gang bang—that’s corroboration. And a lot of BK’s behavior shows consciousness of guilt, that’s corroboration.

      If you look at the evidence, it’s highly unlikely Kav is innocent. GOP just knew they could vote him through so they circled the wagons and gaslighted the public.

        • Tom says:

          Nevertheless, it will be interesting to see if there is an increase in the number of defendants in domestic violence cases using “The Kavanaugh Defence” — “It wasn’t me, Your Honour, it must have been someone who looked like me, just like what happened to Judge Kavanaugh!” Senator Collins and others may have given this line of argument some false legitimacy.

          • bmaz says:

            Yeah. Those defenses have been being used forever. Did the Kavanaugh Show give a new angle on it? Maybe! I still remember when CSI came out. Immediately stated making the jury think that every case ought have those standards. Hint: Basically none do.

            So, yes, it could be a thing, though prosecutors will, and rightfully so, fight it.

        • Tracy says:

          I wish that Dems had brought up this fact in the hearings as a counter. They were flat-footed in pushing back against the “must have been someone else” defense – also the idea that 4 people said the event “didn’t happen” – no, they said they didn’t remember it. Lots of points where Dems could have countered w/ the facts but they let quite a few points slide.

    • Marinela says:

      P J Evans, JD12, BMAZ, your comments make a lot of sense to me,

      FBI, even with limited scope, apparently cleared K. Don’t understand this.

  50. Marinela says:

    I’ve heard rumblings about Trump getting the opportunity to fill two more supreme court justices, especially if he gets re-elected.

    The implication was they were talking about these old judges, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer.

    Just realized something frightening. While there is some talk that democrats should be packing the courts if they win (they would need to win senate and presidency), could it be that GOP is actually planning to pack the courts while Trump is in power, assuming the GOP holds the senate?

  51. orionATL says:

    jennifer ruben is a washington post columnist. her writing is particularly clear and direct. though listed as conservative, she has been particularly unsparing of donald trump as president, and of the republican party’s roll-over-and-play-dead like a dog, response to trump’s ceaseless demagogery.

    rubin writes angrily and produces one of the best columns i have read about the republican leadership’s dismissal of women as citizens having value and standing to have their concerns and grievances heard:

    “…The Republican Party no longer bothers to conceal … its disdain for the rule of law or its views on women. Indeed, these things now define a party that survives by inflaming white male resentment. Without women to kick around, how would they get … their guys to the polls?

    Women with this ordeal seared into the hippocampus of their brains will vote in November. Women are expected to forget or move on? I don’t think so…”

    shorter: there will be hell to pay in november. i’m with her.


    • Peacerme says:

      “The Susan’s” will only experience the continued dismissal and invalidation as if….because it is powerful (read: controls her behavior and choices) it is truth. The scary thing is that authoritarianism creates a disconnect between a person and their true feelings. (And therefore their ability to find truth.)

      Authoritarianism or Power and control, forces the traumatized individual to disconnect from self to keep the authority happy. Many people grew up this way. This is done to survive because the authority uses fear, guilt and shame to persuade. This is so painful that the MOST invalidated and traumatized divorce their own feelings to follow the leader. To avoid pain. They please the authority and divorce any conflictual feelings in an act of self preservation and complete invalidation. And the power and control leader forces people to keep having to make this choices until they finally surrender. The damage continues over time. This message reinforces to the Susan Collins’ of the world that their opinion is unimportant. Their feelings don’t matter. Many people believe this is effective. Fighting is futile. “The Susan’s” have to divorce from reality even further to go forward. This is a serious part of the game. It damages us as we go. It weakens us. It disconnects us further from the truth if we choose the path of least resistance. They are the abused children who put their abuser on a pedastal and do everything he asks. The children who do this sell their souls to survive. And trust me, this leader will groom. Power and control uses reward as well to control and create allegiance.

      I am working with such a client now. Super talented specialist in the medical field. Ivy League education. Highest regard in field. This person was horribly abused by a drunk and violent step father. The sibling who fought back ended up an addict with brain damage. But sober today.

      My client loves Trump. Married an abuser, doesn’t know who he is, and lives in a constant seeking of approval and perfection to stay safe. He has no idea what he wants for dinner or how to be happy. But loves Trump. It makes perfect sense. For him, this feels like home. The path is clear. Trust the leader and do whatever they ask and do it perfectly.

      In my humble opinion, Dems need to focus on accuracy and speak truth to power, loudly, consistently and constantly without using power and control. When we use power and control it draws attention away from the message. Right now the drug of the masses is “power and control.” The most damaged will follow because they buy the idea that their opinion is not as important as Trump. And the circular mind fucking comes from this fact:  Right now Trump is more powerful than the laws of this nation. He’s about to get a listing from Facebook on all citizens that opposed him or attacked him on fb. The kernel of truth is that his behavior can be felt by all of us. We feel it. But his power is not linked to truth. His power is linked to the degree that we feel moved by him. Some of us survive by divorcing ourselves. The rest of us fight. We need A counter balance to power and control. Civil disobedience. Martin Luther King Jr. Knew the counter balance to power and control. So did Jesus. (Never forget that the potential cost is death).

      And trust me it’s not this centrist bullshit the Dems have been using. Unfortunately centrist positions of compromise (unless connected to truth) often cause the same invalidation and disconnect but on a perceived slightly smaller level. (i.e…Obamacare).

      MLK Jr did it exactly the way we need to do it. Stop attacking and start showing the American people the truth. The commitment needs to be to truth. Not the fight. Trump will always win the fight because he will go lower than we will. We need to be ready to pay for our commitment to truth. He will make us pay for not following him. He is further divorced from truth than we are. Asymmetrical warfare. Passive resistance. We need to make news as often as he does. But we need to present the truth loud and clear.

      Hence why this site is sacred. (Even though I am one of those damaged souls that lets my emotions control my thought all too often).

      Historically what is the most effective way to fight power and control? Groups. Large numbers. Make news. Speak facts. Don’t back down. Hoping we don’t have to choose truth over our lives.

      Every time he beats us, controls us, he wins. Somehow we need to influence him. When we do, he is the one who looks weak.

      The point I am trying to get across is that he gets more and more powerful as he cannot be stopped or controlled. He is damaging brains as he goes. As long as it continues and we are unable to hold him accountable his damaging behavior creates more followers not less!! We need our rule of law to be stronger than him. Our only hope is that “we the people” can be stronger than he is.

      • Tracy says:

        The truth will prevail, and we need to keep speaking truth to power.

        All of those activists, they put their hearts on the line, and they showed people like Susan Collins that sexual assault is really prevalent. Those activists changed hearts and minds over these days. Maybe not the votes they needed to get, but they provided an example of courage and fearlessness to speak truth to power. We are bending towards justice w/ every demonstration.

  52. Wm. Boyce says:

    I’ve been unable to post comments on threads here, perhaps they are closed after a certain time.
    I hope that activists (are you there?) are aware that it’s not just abortion rights that these right-wing fascistic Catholic activists are after. It is effective contraception itself that they would like to ban as well.
    I heard an interview on NPR w/a woman who heads a “women’s health care” network, which has no contraception services other than the “rhythm method.” She hopes to supplant Planned Parenthood, and has legislative support.
    So welcome to the 19th century, or a lot before that – that’s where these people would delight in taking us.

  53. Anon says:

    Your reasoning could equally apply to Flake who articulated his issue in advance, Flake lying. But then accepted a secret report that appeared to show the opposite, as acceptable while ignoring many many other examples to the contrary.

  54. Jan says:

    Kavanaugh from the get go was out to play questions from Senators – too cute, misleading, obviously not comfortable in his own skin – like an act. He went on Fox, an obviously partisan outlet, to paint a self-portrait, which was by any measure, an act.  A couple of weeks later, he ranted like a tinfoil hat partisan – from a prepared statement – which is akin to a script, well thought out beforehand, maybe days beforehand.  But he played it like candid emotion.  A day or two after that he apologized in an op-ed for being “emotional” – about the words he read from a prepared statement. ?  Looking for an Oscar is he?

  55. x174 says:


    i like your query.

    the minimal standard that any high-ranking judge–let alone supreme court justice–should be evaluated by is his/her respect for the truth. on this count alone, k should have been disqualified.

    his contemptuous, feverish partisan hectoring and whining should have had him forcefully removed from the senate building. kicked to the curb like the foul creature that he is.

    instead, his vile incivility and spite-filled mendacity will  permanently soil the high court

  56. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Meanwhile, Rod Rosenstein will be incarcerated on Air Force One for two hours, with a president bound for Mar-a-Lago for another “working” holiday.

    My guess is that Rod will consider it more work and less of a holiday, especially if the Don makes him walk home unemployed.  (Trump was apoplectic after Comey flew home on his FBI plane after the Don fired him.)

  57. earlofhuntingdon says:

    The Don continues his tortured relationship with the English language.  Brett Kavanaugh applied for the most elite job American government has on offer.  It requires more expertise, judgment, and restraint than does the presidency.

    His application for public employment included volunteering for an FBI background check (hit-and-miss) and a less than thorough job interview by the Senate.  The latter was so far from enhanced interrogation, torture – the real stuff that Kavanaugh advocated for – as to be laughable, even by Trumpian standards.

    Neither Kavanaugh’s experience nor his family’s was inappropriate.  Any difficulty they had was a flyspeck on the sleeves of a White House intern’s blue dress.  Any discomfort – long delayed – was a function of Mr. Kavanaugh’s own conduct.  Unless Lindsey Graham’s theatrical hissy fit made you (and a million other Americans) uncomfortable.

    The discomfort and dislocation will come when the newly energized Supreme Court starts issuing its series of 5-4 decisions with all the logic, consistency, and partisan intent of Bush v. Gore.

  58. Trip says:

    OF COURSE, McConnell was involved, because he is an evil dirtbag:
    southpaw‏ @nycsouthpaw

    southpaw Retweeted CBS News
    “The parameters of the FBI investigation were determined in my office Friday a week ago”
    southpaw added,

    CBS NewsVerified account @CBSNews
    Sen. McConnell says after Dr. Ford’s testimony, he spoke to @POTUS and “we both agreed she was very credible. My suggestion was that this is halftime…I think after Judge Kavanaugh’s testimony, everybody felt better about him & our abilities to prevail.”

  59. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Heaping criticism on Susan Collins is not “sexist”, as this article claims.  It is an accurate critique of her politics.

    Collins set herself up as a swing vote, a supposed centrist who could hear and give full consideration to both sides in a difficult debate.  She claimed to be sitting on the fence until, at the last theatrical moment, she announced her difficult, heartfelt decision.  She luxuriated in that role.  She no doubt won for Maine, or herself, whatever was on offer at the GOP auction for “Yes” votes on Kavanaugh.

    It seems apparent now that her vote was never in doubt, but that making it appear so was splendid theater that energized the base for next month’s election.  Mitch McConnell admits that energy would never have been there for the weeks of drama and self-proclaimed Republican victimhood surrounding the vote for Brett.

    Yes, there were dozens of other votes for Kavanaugh.  All but one or two of them were never in doubt.  Ms. Collins claims that her vote was.  But her dishonest and disingenuous final Senate speech and her similar post-nomination talk show spiel makes clear that was not true.  Her vote was a cynical calculation.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Collins vote fits with Trump’s attempt to “level” a losing playing field by smearing the most credible witness against Kavanaugh.

      And in another new first for the Peter Principle, Faux Noise has hired former Trump confidante Hope Hicks as its executive vice president and chief communications officer.

      Will she be wearing a pith helmet to work, too, given how Faux Noise has become a colony in the Trump empire?  Or, should we pay attention to what she does and not who she used to work for?

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        Hope Hicks is a 29-year old with some seven years of experience, all of it working for the Trumps, individually, their so-called organization, or their dysfunctional White House (seven months).  She has apparently been unemployed for about six months, a significant hurdle to reemployment for most corporate employers.

        I realize that the Don learns all he knows from watching Sean Hannity.  I realize that witness tampering payback takes all forms, even for the daughter of a top Madison Avenue PR man.

        But it’s not clear how Ms. Hicks has the resources a normal organization would demand of its principal spokesperson and now executive vice president.

    • Rayne says:

      Grrr…unlike the GOP men who cast a vote for a lying, partisan hack who is accused of several sexual assaults, Collins knew exactly what the issues were for women. The majority of people who have a problem with her shitty sell-out politics do so because they know she knows.

      Sexist my well-curved ass.

  60. harpie says:

    Today, from The New Yorker’s Dexter Filkins:

    Was There a Connection Between a Russian Bank and the Trump Campaign? A team of computer scientists sifted through records of unusual Web traffic in search of answers.  

    Franklin Foer:  4:58 AM – 8 Oct 2018

    Dexter Filkins does a meticulous job revisiting the Trump/Alfa Bank server connection–and lands at about the same conclusion I did a few years back: This wasn’t random. / […] / Dean Baquet didn’t run the Times story on the subject–and he slammed my piece on Alfa to @ErikWemple . But he now says, “It felt like there was something there.” / 

    Jed Shugerman:

    1. The Trump/Alfa Bank server connection during the campaign wasn’t random. // 2. Trump and the GOP just appointed Brian Benczkowski, a lawyer who worked for Alfa Bank, to lead the DOJ’s criminal division, and he refuses to recuse himself. // What the hell is going on here? […] 6. OK, after you read these pieces, ask yourself: // Of all the top lawyers in America, why did Trump nominate a lawyer with NO prosecution experience to run the Crim division of DOJ – and coincidentally had worked for Alfa Bank? And won’t recuse himself?

    • harpie says:

      Also, today, Rosenstein took a ride on AF1 with Trump to Fla.

      twitter GeoffRBennett/status/1049309667300663296 7:44 AM – 8 Oct 2018

      NEWS: @realDonaldTrump on the South Lawn tells @kwelkernbc he has no plans to fire Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein. Says the two are going to be talking on Air Force One as they travel to Florida. Says he has a “good relationship” with him 

  61. Tracy says:

    Ari Melber singing from my hymn book – even though Repugs are saying that they’ve gotten a bump from the Kav hearings, Ari cited stats that do not bear this out.

    So beware the GOP propaganda – we are still in great position for a blue wave – just everyone has to get out and vote, and convince others to do the same, knock doors, phone bank, etc.

  62. dg says:

    At the end of the day, it is clear the Republican majority in the Senate judiciary was never going to allow a serious investigation into the #Kavanaugh, Ford incident or for that matter all three women who lodged complaints against Kavanaugh.

    What was striking to me in the hearings was because of the combative nature of the hearing we actually got to see who Brett Kavanaugh actually is. The curtains were pulled back on this son of the American elite and it wasn’t pretty. It’s clear Kavanaugh is of mediocre intellect to be generous. The American people have always been sold a bill of goods that the people at the highest rung of American society were, in fact, the best and the brightest.

    Kavanaugh forever dispelled this notion. Whenever I now hear him being referred to as a scholar I can’t help but think of my friends from the “tony set” tell me about their child’s acceptance in their school’s gifted program. For a country whose majority can’t tell you who the current Vice President is, the bar seems rather low. Perhaps it’s something else, but I digress. From the moment Kavanaugh was born he was on the fast track to a very high profile position be it in the corporate world or with the government.

    His successful nomination was never about merit, that much is clear and America is very much the loser for this.

Comments are closed.