Three Things: Kavanaughhh

It’s absolutely ridiculous Brett Kavanaugh was confirmed to the Supreme Court. It’s only more clear over time that he shouldn’t have been. Were Congress not under #MoscowMitch McConnell’s stranglehold as senate majority leader, Kavanaugh would be impeached — his lies alone are adequate reason.

~ ~ ~

We’re revisiting this dreadful wretch because The New York Times published an article this weekend about him.

[Screenshot: The New York Times]

The piece, written by Robin Pogrebin and Kate Kelly, contains new reported content validating Deborah Ramirez’s claim that the now-seated Supreme Court jurist Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her while she was a student at Yale.

Of course the NYT can’t publish this to the front page where it belongs; it filed it under ‘News Analysis’ as you can see in the screenshot above, in their Opinion section of the Sunday Review.

A report of sexual assault on a woman, validated by multiple witnesses, is just an opinion. Entertaining reading on a Sunday morning over coffee in bed.

What utter goddamn bullshit.

Of course the NYT can’t leave that insult on its own. They must further buff this turd by turning this reported piece about a man who has serially assaulted women and lied repeatedly into a diversity piece, making the focus about Ramirez fitting into an Ivy League school.

Ramirez fit in just fine. Yale, however, should answer why it allowed abusive liars like Kavanaugh roam its halls, undermining the scholarship of women around him. The headline on this story should have reflected this problem which is comparable to MIT’s Epstein problem.

Why have highly-ranked universities allowed predators anywhere near students for decades?

And then the pièce de résistance: the tweet promoting this “opinion” piece.

Whoever drafted this now-deleted tweet needs to be interviewed by NYT’s management. They should be worried about an employee who so easily characterizes a form of sexual assault as “harmless fun.” A tweeted apology will only gloss over a deeper problem.

That it made it onto Twitter and wasn’t removed until there was an outcry may explain why NYT has done such a crappy job covering Kavanaugh up to this piece. The paper could have done the legwork Pogrebin and Kelly did to validate Ramirez’s and other accusers’ claims but they didn’t. But NYT didn’t because it’s the kind of news organization which only sees a drunken frat boy’s sexual assaults as “harmless fun.”

~ ~ ~

And then the storm troopers came out to defend their poor little Kavanaugh now that the public has been reminded he’s serially assaulted women and lied repeatedly, meriting impeachment.

Last evening The Federalist’s Sean Davis attacked a witness who validated Ramirez’s claim.

Los Angeles Times’ Jackie Calmes rebutted this morning:

Following Davis, The Federalist’s MZHemingway came out to play character assassination:

Note the time — that’s 11:58 p.m. EDT *. What’s so important that The Federalist’s editors are tweeting on a Saturday evening after the NYT published an Opinion piece in the Sunday Review section?

One might wonder if this wrecking crew had a head’s up this piece might be published over the weekend; they published an article last week attacking Kavanaugh’s accuser Christine Blasey Ford.

Although a piece on/related to Kavanaugh in The Federalist isn’t much of a surprise; they’ve published 371 articles mentioning him or about him to date.


If they were paid by the piece they made some bank on Kavanaugh.

But The Federalist still does not publish information about its funding. The public can’t determine if there is a conflict of interest in whatever this conservative outlet produces on Kavanaugh and the jurist himself.

~ ~ ~

While partisan volleys over the NYT’s piece, witness bashing, and victim blaming continues, we still don’t know who paid off Kavanaugh’s massive credit card debt.

We have no idea if any case in front of this current Supreme Court has been decided to the benefit of whoever bought Kavanaugh.

We can’t trust Kavanaugh’s filings about his personal finances because he hasn’t the receipts and he’s lied repeatedly.

Kavanaugh needs to go for these reasons alone. But there is one more extremely important reason he needs to be removed from the SCOTUS.

He’s the single biggest reason current House Democrats cannot rely on bringing any of the unsatisfied subpoenas before the SCOTUS.

The unanimous Supreme Court decision in United States v. Nixon, 418 U.S. 683 (1974), by which Richard Nixon was forced comply with a Congressional subpoena to give up damning audio tapes, was the most critical point of the impeachment process against Nixon. The court said there was no “absolute, unqualified Presidential privilege of immunity from judicial process under all circumstances.”

In essence, the president is not above the law. They cannot withhold materials responsive to a subpoena because of a general interest in confidentiality.

Kavanaugh has said he believes United States v. Nixon was wrongly decided, however, in spite of a unanimous decision.

If he believes the SCOTUS can’t weigh in on a dispute between two co-equal branches, he’s allowing the president to run unchecked — above the law.

We can’t trust the logic of a serial liar, ostensibly owned by some unknown party, with a habit of ignoring a lack of consent.

~ ~ ~

Treat this as an open thread.

(* I’m not sharing a link because I’m not driving traffic to any of The Federalist’s team. Attention = money and I’m not giving them any more than I have to.)

84 replies
  1. Rayne says:

    Kavanaugh is such a blight on SCOTUS, as bad or worse than Thomas, that I can’t even bring myself to use his picture on a front page.

    He is in so many ways what is wrong with the patriarchy: privileged and entitled, spoiled, corrupt, abusive, and too ready to protect others like him.

    • Savage Librarian says:

      I couldn’t agree more. I have lost 5 pounds so far this weekend because even bmaz misunderstood what I was saying. He thought it was about him. When, in fact, it was about me. Just like the Blind Men and the Elephant story where each of them believes the beast is defined by a different, separate part. I have more to say, if only I could find the heart. This is not about Dems or the GOP. This is about the human condition and whether we are able to invest in decency. The status quo needs a big overhaul. That is certain.

      • WCIslander says:

        I truly thank you for this honesty. I am a neighbor, from the other side of the border. I am quietly listening to the world’s problems, and I keep asking myself “What in the World is going on?”

        Every morning when I “wake up”, I ask myself “should I live or die now?”. Every night the question is “will I live or die now?”

        You are correct in your statement, “This is not about the Dems or the GOP.” ….

        I would like to add, “or about white or black; left or right, Christian/Muslim/Jewish/Swedish/African/Malefemaletransgender/bi/gay/native/non-native/vegan/puppy lover/unemployed/toothless/homeless/rich, poor, unknown…it is now globally about love vs evil.

      • Eureka says:

        Hi SL: did you ever read about the bees? See Rayne’s comment here* for link. In fact enjoy the whole page(s) from this time and our comments (if you wish).

        Best to you– E


    • Savage Librarian says:

      Thank you for all your caring and sharing, WCIslander, Tracy Lynn, Eureka, Rayne, and Anvil Leucippus. It’s greatly appreciated and very helpful.

      And it looks like things are generally taking a turn for the better. Democratic pollster and strategist Stanley Greenberg is predicting a blowout win for Democrats in 2020. It sounds like this might really happen!

    • Vid says:

      He needs to be impeached. If you can’t prove your innocence, that shows guilt right there. We’re a nation of laws after all. If he can’t be exonerated he needs to be impeached…just like Trump. The sooner Democrats get a chance to take over the branches of government, the sooner we can All live in a Utopian society…like Baltimore….or California..

  2. MissingGeorgeCarlin says:

    Kavanaugh is a disgrace that makes me sick. I told anybody who would listen before the 16′ election “Even if you hate HRC’s guts, we can’t allow the GOP to pick any more Supreme Court Justices….for all the obvious reasons.”

    Also, I’m so naive that I actually believed George W. Bush was the intellectual basement for US Presidents in my lifetime. Sure with the 47% of registered voters who couldn’t be bothered will get off their god damned lazy asses in 2020. And to the Jill Stein and Gary Johnson voters, thanks a lot!

    Last call for democracy….last call.

    [Welcome back to emptywheel. Please use the same username each time you comment so that community members get to know you. This is your second user name. Thanks. /~Rayne]

    • George says:

      He needs to be impeached. If you can’t prove your innocence, that shows guilt right there. We’re a nation of laws after all. If he can’t be exonerated he needs to be impeached…just like Trump. The sooner Democrats get a chance to take over the branches of government, the sooner we can All live in a Utopian society…like Baltimore….or California..

      • Rayne says:

        Welcome to emptywheel. Your opinion has been noted. Spamming comment threads with multiple variations of the same comment doesn’t fly here.

      • bmaz says:

        Ahem. Let me tag on to Rayne for a second. Not only is spamming our threads not permitted, you are full of shit. First, nobody ever need prove innocence lest they be deemed guilty. That is not what this country, nor this blog, stands for.

        And you give yourself away as a complete troll with the slander of Baltimore and California. Buh bye, you will not be back.

  3. Frank Probst says:

    I’m seeing a lot of people asking why this didn’t come up during the review that the FBI did right before the vote on Kavanaugh. (As far as I know, the report on this review has never been made public.) Am I totally misremembering this? I thought that it was abundantly clear at the time that Don McGahn was putting enormous constraints on who and what the FBI could investigate. If memory serves, they didn’t even interview Christine Blasey Ford. I don’t think we know of anyone that they DID interview during their investigation. It was also clear at the time that people were trying to contact the FBI with relevant information about other incidents, and the FBI was more or less ignoring their calls. It seemed pretty clear to me AT THE TIME that the FBI’s investigation was a sham, and that the person who was orchestrating it was McGahn. This was the fig leaf that the handful of “serious” GOP Senators (Ben Sasse immediately comes to mind.) used to justify voting in favor of Kavanaugh’s confirmation. That’s how he ended up being confirmed rather than having to withdraw.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Your recollection seems correct. Heidi Przybyla broke the story in Sept. 2018 that the White House had put blinders on the DoJ/FBI, heavily restricting how much of Kavanaugh’s past they were to look into. Their leadership agreed to it without a public whimper, when it should have elicited a threat of resignation or the real thing.

    • P J Evans says:

      The one-week “recheck” was even more limited: they weren’t allowed to talk to anyone they hadn’t already interviewed. None of the new information got checked.

    • Marinela says:

      But … they interviewed only the people that had good things to say about Bret K.
      This was the oddity of the investigation. Can the house find out who put the FBI stamp on this sham investigation? We know there are lots of Trump/GOP loyalists in the FBI now, but everybody keeps saying the FBI is independent. Maybe they were, and the issue is with how the investigation was defined in the first place, which means GOP had the fix in from the beginning. Which brings this question. Why an FBI investigation is allowed to be defined by Don McGain if there is obvious conflict of interest here? So many questions..

  4. OldTulsaDude says:

    “They should be worried about an employee who so easily characterizes a form of sexual assault as ‘harmless fun.’”

    We should be worried as a country how voters bought Trump’s “only locker room talk” as his excuse for claims of sexual assault.

    • BobCon says:

      This happened shortly after DC deputy editor Jonathan Weisman wrote the infamous tweet declaring John Lewis wasn’t a true Southerner.

      There is malignant institutional failure in wide swaths of the Times leadership. It echoes the clueless self assured myopia of British rulers in Kenya or Hapsburgs in the Balkans.

  5. P J Evans says:

    Over at Kos, this has gotten NYT dropped completely from the “Abbreviated Pundit Report” (their morning summary of opinion pieces). Even Krugman, who is sane, is out, because NYT has gone over to the GOP-T side full-time.

  6. earlofhuntingdon says:

    No witness is inherently credible. A witness is credible because of what she says, how she says it, and what she stands to gain or lose by saying it. Context is everything. Corroboration is important in formal settings, useful in others.

    Kavanaugh’s accusers were detailed, persuasive, and sincere. There were many of them, each a snapshot adding to a larger, clearer mosaic of Brett Kavanaugh. But the Senate, in a format designed not to get at the facts, chose to look at one pixel, rather than the whole image. Those women had much to lose and nothing to gain by testifying against an obviously crowned conservative prince. Like Anita Hill, they are still paying a price.

    Kavanaugh’s testimony, otoh, was fraudulent. His presentation was theatrical and insincere. His recollection was convenient and spotty. He aggressively jousted rather than answer important questions, a method usually intended to avoid inconvenient truths.

    Some of his answers were obvious lies, such as those about his excessive drinking and about the definition of school slang related to anal penetration. We still do not know who repaid his massive debts and in whose debt he now is because of it.

    Kavanaugh had much to gain by lying – a lifetime appointment to the Supremes – and nothing to lose. The equation virtually guarantees false testimony. The then Congress would never have impeached and tried him for lying to Congress, and taken away his Circuit Court appointment. Nor would the FBI have investigated him for it when it was told not to investigate his historical lies, a situation WH aides almost certainly told him about. His testimony was fraudulent.

    • P J Evans says:

      It’s the second time. Thomas was the first. And I strongly suspect that the other conservatives on that court also committed perjury that should have been called out at the time.

    • Lulymay says:

      Thank you for that, Earl. I think back to when he went full male eruption during the hearing, and noticed his wife sitting there with a look of absolute horror on her face. If anyone has that saved somewhere, have another view of it. My first thought was “she’s seen him lose control like that many times before and in private he’s gotten even more out of control”. I think she was worried he’d go full metal in his tantrum and show the world who he really is. To me, he came across as a very dangerous animal (perhaps because I’m female that I actually felt physically threatened even though I was in the safety of my own home). Perhaps I’m being over the top, but his outburst had a real impact on me.

      • P J Evans says:

        There’s also that face of his, all pinched up, that expresses absolute contempt for anyone he sees as “less than” – women, minorities, people who didn’t go to the “right” schools or don’t have the “right” opinions.

      • Voxxy says:

        If you watch the kids throughout the hearing, you’ll maybe notice their body language and the nervous actions (aside from being children and nervous because the whole world is watching). The way kavanaugh quite roughly patted his wife’s back and squeezed the nape of her neck so obviously but so seemingly purposefully. She looked anything but comfortable and it didn’t come across as just “natural loving playful interactions” some may be familiar with. I wouldn’t doubt they all had experienced his drunken moods and were possibly trying their best to do everything “right” for his hearing so they could maybe be spared the anger later. The kids look to their mom for constant guidance/help/approval/confirmation of their every action almost, more so than I feel other kids would. I guess I sort of felt the familiarity and the tension in a way that hit kind of close to home. Maybe I’m over reading it all.

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          My guess is that he’s a high-functioning addict.

          That performance is how he functions in front of a national televised spotlight, with an appointment to the Supreme Court on the line. Imagine how he operates at home, king of his castle, with everyone dependent on his moods. The arrangement breeds contempt, but largely as redirected contempt for himself.

          This is not a personality who should be judging others, and that’s before you get to the misogyny, arrogance, racism, and extreme conservatism. Yet a large number of the PTB chose him for the Supremes. The cynicism is breathtaking.

          • vicks says:

            Speaking from experience with one of these high functioning addicts.
            They are never a high functioning as they think.
            The clues are everywhere, but so are enablers.
            If Kavanaugh truly is a high functioning addict, the people that love him, need to intervene to save his life, others in his orbit need to step in because they love their country.

        • e.a.f. says:

          Noticed what you did. thought it might just be me, . All through the whole process the dynamics between the family members was so weird. Never could be my finger on it. Then when he was sworn in, the look on his daughter’s face, kids that age normally don’t have that look.

  7. AitchD says:

    I can’t prove it, but I have no doubt that the Dems won the House because of what voters witnessed during the Kavanaugh hearings. In his summation after the Senate’s confirmation, Schumer made it clear that the only remedy was to vote for Dems in 2018.

    Maybe this is what Pelosi has been knowingly waiting for. She knows the public will want to hear again about Ivy League sex and drunkenness. Plus, the new House might not have the chops for an impeachment inquiry of the POTUS, and now the young members can sink their teeth into uncomplicated issues, like lying to Congress and almost getting away with it.

  8. bloopie2 says:

    Can someone point me to a primer on procedure for House hearings? Do they have to be a big formal thing? Or can the House Dems on Committee X just get together and say, “On Tuesday at 10am we’re hearing from so-and so.” Does the opposition always have to have equal time to question? What I’m getting at is, there’s a year until election time stops work, and perhaps the House can hold 40 or so neat little hearings, each one teeing up one horrible POTUS offense—get everything on the record, in public. That would make great TV for Dems in November 2020. Or is the process not that easy? (I still think they should impeach POTUS, but just looking at this different path for helping the country by getting him out of the White House.)

        • BobCon says:

          I’m no expert in procedure, but I suspect one of the possible benefits of the full House voting on a motion authorizing an impeachment inquiry is that it could be wrapped up with new rules for Judiciary Committee impeachment hearings. That could allow for longer time limits for questioning, time carved out for questioning by counsels, and probably other things I’m not aware of.

          • bmaz says:

            It won’t pass the full House. Certainly not without Pelosi, and maybe not even with her. An HJC formal resolution (not that garbage one from last week), would almost surely suffice since it is the HJC that would be leading the formal inquiry, if there ever is one.

            • BobCon says:

              It would never get through the Rules Committee to get to the House floor without leadership pushing it, that’s for sure. And I agree that Pelosi isn’t going to stick her neck out.

              But one downside of doing a House Judiciary-only vote is that the Committee lacks the authority to change its hearings format in a signficant way (if I understand things correctly. Don’t sue me if I’m wrong….). That has to go before the full House.

              Meaning hearings will be stuck in current format which we all know and love unless the House votes to do something that involves meaningful questioning. It certainly seems as though Pelosi wants them to be merry go rounds designed for GOP soundbites rather than anything substantive.

              • Vicks says:

                On what planet will “politics” solve what is increasingly looking like a full blown crises?
                Some PATRIOT in Washington (thank you Rayne your question has been quite inspiring) or a whole bunch of us grass root PATRIOTS needs to stand up and call LEADER Pelosi out for being no better than any of the other Trump enablers.
                It’s horrifying to think of the actions against this country that have been allowed to occur because she is using her power to hold off her support and therefore the actions needed to stop the carnage.
                This problem will not be solved at the same level it was created.
                Time for the shift from politicians to PATRIOTS

              • bmaz says:

                I am with you up to the HJC can’t set its own rules part. They have plenty of flexibility to do so, even under the Taylor article you cited before. So, no, I do not think this has to “go before the full House”. As long as the HJC is fair and smart with their allocation of time and protocol, they would be fine. And that could also include honoring 5 minutes a member, to be distributed as the respective caucuses designate, followed by equal set periods for respective Caucus counsel to have further blocks on an equal basis.

                More importantly, and I constantly feel like I am beating my head against wall on this…Opening a formal impeachment inquiry is about gathering evidence. It is an investigative tool, NOT the be all and end all of the impeachment process. It is about winning in court challenges NOT about the format of some potential future hearings.

                I have no idea in the world why this is hard for people to understand, other than that the press has propagated Pelosi and Hoyer’s lie, and still are.

                So, “by my understanding”, no, things are nowhere near as simple and dire as you lay out. Positive steps can be taken in just the HJC without a full floor vote. Let HJC take them without leaving their heads up Pelosi and Hoyer’s posteriors.

                • Rugger9 says:

                  What about blowing off Schiff’s request in a pretty clear-cut obstruction in direct violation of the law?

                  Do you think that will move the House “leadership”?

                  • Vicks says:

                    If I understand everything correctly, what Schiff has described is that information labeled a threat to our national security and underlined URGENT is being illegally with held from the department in charge of overseeing the situation.
                    “Your going to have to make me” is an appalling response to any legal demand for information and our lawmakers following the democratic process when responding to this bullying unfortunately makes them look like weaklings
                    These people has sworn an oath to protect.
                    Unless there is something untrue about my take on this, If Schiff let’s this get dumped into the process along with the others it’s over.
                    My hope is the wording of Schiff’s letter indicates he knows exactly what is at stake here as well

                • BobCon says:

                  I agree that it’s about the inquiry and the exposure of evidence and I don’t get why the Democrats are not confident that there is a solid case waiting to be made.

                  I think the advantage of opening up the hearing structure is solid. Nadler’s measure keeps the total time to the five minutes per member, and I’ve read elsewhere that’s a standing House limit. It’s true that members can yield time to another, but that still effectively limits the Democrats to two hours. Also, questioning by staff attorneys is limited by House rules to one hour divided equally by party, and that’s really short. More time can be negotiated with the agreement of the ranking GOP member, but I suspect that won’t happen.

                  Benghazi was a select committee with special rules for longer questioning, and I think the Democrats need to ask themselves whether they need to work out their own structure here too. I also anticipate that the GOP will be doing whatever it can to disrupt the hearings, and it may be necessary for the chair to get special powers to keep things on track.

                  I would like Nadler to press ahead with what he has in the mean time. But it sure would have been nice if this issue had been sorted out many months ago — like many things, I fear Pelosi will find events moving faster than she wants and the Democrats are forced to pull off a rush job of expanding the committee’s authorization at an inconvenient time.

  9. Jockobadger says:

    Sitting here watching my beloved Seahawks. I read the NYT piece, then Raynes’ wonderful takedown. Nice work Rayne. Thank you.

    What the hell has happened to my country? 10 yrs ago I would’ve said that none of this is possible – a complete fiction that couldn’t pass muster with any producer in the business. Laughable – but it’s not. J.H.F.C.

  10. Wm. Boyce says:

    I too read the piece, and it seemed more a retrospective on the Kavanaugh hearing with some new information from Ms. Ramirez. News and opinion both are published in the Review section and I didn’t see anything wrong with this, as it serves as a reminder about the total whitewash of this abuser of women. (No pun intended.)

  11. orionATL says:

    re bobcon @1:47pm


    the nytimes does valuable reporting on many important stories, but…

    as an institution, it’s long history demonstrates that it has no heart, no soul, and no courage.

  12. Frank Probst says:

    Looks like the Dem candidates for President are calling for impeachment. The Senate won’t remove him from office, but I think impeachment hearings in the House would be totally appropriate, anyway. I think Josh Marshall at TPM nails it here: The alleged assaults were decades ago, but the lying was last year, and it was clear to almost anyone watching the hearings that Kavanaugh was lying about things as simple as his yearbook entries. Start with Renate Dolphin. She was the woman that many of the men were referring to when each claimed to be a “Renate alumnus”. Ask her if she knew about the “joke” back then (She says she didn’t.), and ask her about what she thinks it means now. Then start hauling in all of the men who claimed to be a “Renate alumnus” and ask THEM what it meant, along with all of the other references in the yearbook. There is no privilege that Trump can exert here. Kavanaugh will likely resign after the first few witnesses. If he doesn’t, I’m fine with dragging a bunch of Georgetown Prep alumni through the mud to just keep hammering on the point that Kavanaugh is a liar. Then run through his claims about his drinking. Kavanaugh lied to the Senate Judiciary Committee over and over and over. He didn’t say, “I don’t recall.” He just plain lied. Last year. That’s disqualifying. (They should also bring out the fact that the FBI “investigation” of Kavanaugh was bullshit, but that line of questioning could potentially be stonewalled.)

    • Christenson says:

      *Hold my beer!* Kavanaugh is/was a drunken fratboy, nothing more, and his confirmation hearings made it quite obvious.

      • Eureka says:

        LOL, as in ‘Papa was a– ‘?

        Adding: part of his deal is that he gets to go to NC on Fridays to continue coaching his sons’ team. I should not speak aloud that I have taken a bet with myself as to whether he would be called to full time duty and “No More Friday Night Lights for You!” might come… (Wentz has been moving & looking great lately, in general, excepting this turf* that’s taking down half of offense).

        *exaggerating as to cause, but that is my worry re domes

  13. Ruthie says:

    I’d put the chances of Kavanaugh resigning at about… zero. That entitled POS, in common with many of his fellow conservatives, has no sense of shame – as evidenced by his egregious lying and histrionics in the confirmation hearings. No, he’ll defiantly cling to his seat on the court unless/until he’s dragged out.

      • Rugger9 says:

        However, Ruthie’s point is still valid. The man has no shame, and I doubt he will care if his wife does. With no shame, there is no leverage (see Individual – 1) on conduct.

  14. joejim says:

    I completely passed by the “new analysis” article the first day it was out, because the title read like a lifestyle bit about preppies. It is an amazingly quirky and perverse piece of framing not just in the headline but throughout the writing. Like an editor insisted that the conclusion of a year of investigative reporting needed to be parsed in “cultural” terms, but why? To give a context to pushing genitals in a young woman’s face, because the reader isn’t capable of doing that themselves? Or more likely, to let the fact that Ramirez has a life of her own, and isn’t utterly destroyed, serve as testimony to the harmlessness of that miserable man? In any event the cumulative effect sure feels like they regretted having to publish the updated information about Kavanaugh or the fact that the FBI didn’t investigate or report leads.

    [Welcome back to emptywheel. Please use the same username each time you comment so that community members get to know you. This is your fifth user name. Thanks. /~Rayne]

    • Rayne says:

      I think your assessment is very close to mine. The presentation by NYT feels like minimization of the crime by burial away from front page, suppression of the assault (the offhand this-assault-was-already-reported without a more distinct acknowledgment of validation by witnesses), and marginalization of the victim (she didn’t belong — Jesus Christ).

      • OldTulsaDude says:

        And now the WaPo is reporting that Sen. Coons wrote to the FBI about this claim but the FBI appears to have stonewalled it. I guess it is too much in this age to believe our institutions can be non-partisan.

  15. Stephen says:

    As I understand it, the NYT piece was basically a lightly edited excerpt from a book, so I guess the authors of said book wanted to adopt a broad “cultural” perspective rather than restricting themselves to an investigative piece.

    But that isn’t why I’m posting. I’m puzzled by all the hoohaw about how these are new revelations. The Debbie Ramirez accusations, and the fact that several classmates concurred with her version of events, were reported in the weeks leading up to the (rushed) confirmation hearings, and it was known that the FBI was not interviewing any of them (even though they have a field office in town!). The story should have been much bigger at the time, and ought to have been pushed by the Dems on the committee. Maybe it’s just because I live in New Haven and got some scuttlebutt from “friends of friends” who knew of the incident when they were all Yale students, but it seemed like this was being unaccountably swept under some old rug. (BTW Those who were fellow students at said school that year all believe Ms. Ramirez.)

    We also heard nothing much about the time when he was involved in a drunken altercation with a local in a well-known dive bar, though that too was reported at the time. In itself not a big deal, maybe, but as part of a pattern…

  16. Badger Robert says:

    So Kavanaugh proves that Catcher in the Rye was based on well known factual patterns?
    And now we know why Epstein’s victims played it safe and mostly stayed quiet.

  17. Tom Marney says:

    Kavanaugh wasn’t on the first shortlists for the Supreme Court. I’ve read some fairly persuasive accounts of what he brought to the table in addition to the obvious. Still, I can’t help the feeling that his one truly unique attribute was that he was likely to be credibly accused of some form of debauchery, whether sexual, chemical, or financial… thereby allowing his confirmation hearings to turn- – or to be turned- – into exactly the kind of clusterfuck that they ended up being. The objectives would’ve been to make the crazies a bit crazier and to debase the governing process. Mission accomplished on both.

    I don’t see how they could’ve known about Christine Blasey-Ford, let alone felt certain that she’d come forward. But they knew about other stuff, and it was enough.

    IMO the most important aspect of what happened is what the White House, not Kavanaugh, got away with. And while it’s certainly true in an abstract sense that Kavanaugh should be impeached, hearing that from Democratic presidential candidates made me feel uneasy, like we’re falling for their shit again.

  18. coriolis says:

    Anyone else surprised by the line of questioning at Kavanaugh’s hearing coming from his own defence? She appeared to establish that he was at the party (as marked on his calendar) and then promptly vanished. Was it some kind of legal strategy non-lawyers don’t know about?
    How could someone have asked him that, without him knowing it was coming?

  19. Zinsky says:

    What is it about conservatives and sexual deviance? Trump is a soulless, sociopathic serial rapist. Kavanaugh too. Kavanaugh joins Clarence (Uncle Tom) Thomas, another unqualified sexual deviant on the bench. Larry Craig, Jerry Falwell Jr., every last one of the hard-right conservatives exhibit abnormal sexual behavior. Coincidence? Features or bugs?

      • Rayne says:

        Hastert is the one conservative man named between your comment and Zinky’s who might genuinely be called ‘deviant’. His pedophilia was both deviant and illegal.

        Yet another conservative male figurehead who was a hypocritical scofflaw.

    • Rayne says:

      You’re using a very broad brush when you lump the behaviors of the men you’ve named under the label “deviant.”

      de•vi•ant (American Heritage Dictionary)
      adj. Differing from a norm or from the accepted standards of a society.
      n. One that differs from a norm, especially a person whose behavior and attitudes differ from accepted social standards.

      deviant (Collins English Dictionary)
      adj (Sociology) deviating, as from what is considered acceptable behaviour
      n (Sociology) a person whose behaviour, esp sexual behaviour, deviates from what is considered to be acceptable

      Larry Craig solicited gay sex in a public space – illegal but not deviant. Let’s not shame gay sex here, only public solicitation.

      Clarence Thomas sexually harassed Anita Hill – illegal under Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, but not deviant. Half the Fortune 500 would collapse if every sexual harasser was removed from their post. In one recent survey 81% of women and 43% of men reported having been sexually harassed, making harassment the norm, not deviant.

      Allegations against Trump are illegal but not deviant – just check a police blotter for the number of sexual assaults reported. Ditto for Kavanaugh; ask campus police across the country about the frequency of this kind of behavior.

      Jerry Falwell Jr. hasn’t been charged with any illegal act that I know of as yet; his self-dealing at Liberty University is still under investigation, a lawsuit related to investment fraud is still under way; either may prove out as financial corruption. Allegations regarding sex with a ‘pool boy’ between Falwell and/or Falwell’s wife may only indicate bisexual proclivities along with a group sex kink; bisexuality isn’t illegal, and group sex is a kink not considered a norm but not exactly deviant.

      (Note: I am not comfortable with kink shaming any activity between consenting adults which is legal and conducted in private. Neither the public or the government have any compelling interest in private, legal, consensual behavior.)

      Three things unify the persons you mentioned: they’re men, they identify as conservative, and they have an apparent disregard for the law (this must still be proven in Falwell’s case).

      Better to ask why so many conservative male figureheads are such hypocritical scofflaws.

      • bmaz says:

        Yeah. It cracks me up that anybody would think of Larry “Happy Leg” Craig, but not Hastert. And I don’t think this one comment is isolated in that regard.

      • Zinsky says:

        I think your point about these men being hypocrites goes without saying. I just don’t know too many guys who solicit sex with strangers in public restrooms, have three way sex between their wives and pool boys half their age or have extramarital sex with porn stars and Playboy bunnies, but maybe you run with a different crowd than I do. Denny Hastert is another case that makes my point.

        • P J Evans says:

          Or have wives who look like their daughter, and talk about their daughter as if she were a potential mistress for him. If he’s a deviant in any way, that would be it.

        • Rayne says:

          Hey. Re-read my comment. I never said I run with a crowd of people who do illegal things. I know people who drive over the speed limit and take mulligans on the golf course — that’s my crowd.

          I also have excellent friends and family who are LGTBQ+ whom I like and love. There’s nothing illegal about them or my affection for them.

          Soliciting sex in public spaces outside portions of Nevada is illegal and I don’t know personally anyone who does this. I’m not going to be naive and ignorant to the fact it happens, though.

          I don’t know anyone who has group sex, but it doesn’t bother me as long as it’s done safely between consenting adults. It may be more common than I know personally and I’m neither a prude nor a hypocrite about the personal right to privacy.

          I’m also not ageist, Mr. Judgmental-about-‘half-their-age’ so long as the parties are not minors; again, there’s a personal right to privacy no matter one’s age so long as sexual partners are consenting adults.

          Extramarital sex isn’t illegal in all but 14 states; some of these states are trying to change such laws after the SCOTUS decision in Lawrence v. Texas. IMO, extramarital sex is a breach of a private social contract between two people *if* their contract rules out such conduct. If you don’t respect a personal right privacy that’s on you and puts you at odds with many other issues we write about here in which we advocate for personal privacy protections (like data privacy and freedom from a surveillance state).

          The problem Trump has with “porn stars and Playboy bunnies” is his 1) hypocrisy about marriage and family values; 2) his generally crappy attitude toward women, treating them as fungibles; 3) his disrespect for personal autonomy and consent; 4) his disrespect for campaign finance laws manifest in the way he bribed women to stay silent about consensual sex; 5) his scoffing at laws about bribery and rape.

          What happened inside Trump’s marriages so long as laws were obeyed is none of our fucking business; it’s between him and the wives with whom he’s entered private social contracts. Trump like the rest of the country is entitled to personal privacy. He’s just not entitled to fuck with our elections through bribery and harassment, defrauding the public from informed consent about his qualifications as a candidate.

          Your personal opinion about sex work is exposed by delineating “porn stars and Playboy bunnies” as somehow different in a negative way from Trump’s +20 known victims of sexual assault. Rethink for whom and what you’re advocating when you’re complaining about (hypocritical male) conservatives.

          And Hastert is just plain indefensible.

      • Savage Librarian says:

        Definitions and norms. Hmm. I wonder how they relate to opinions. Could it be that people cannot agree on what “Differing from a norm or from the accepted standards of a society” means, for example? Especially the “accepted” and “standards” parts. Those seem pretty fluid in the course of history.

        Then there is the word animal. As opposed to plant and mineral. Of course, we know where we fit in. But, for me, there is the challenge of my psyche intervening. Somehow, it feels like people are different or separate from “animals.” I wonder if this is the norm, the accepted standard. Certainly, it is not illegal to think this.

        But our psyches do inform us. Immensely. The physicality of our senses bring us worlds of woe and joy. They also enable us to survive through fight and/or flight. Sometimes that flight is through dissociative behavior. Humans excel at that, especially in the body politic.

        Here is a poem I wrote decades ago which may, or may not, relate to our predicament. I would be the first to admit that it doesn’t measure up. But, the aim was to merely plant a seed. Maybe it doesn’t matter when, or even if, it ever takes root.

        Psyche and Sinew

        Fantasy and fact collide,
        Myth and truth glide together,
        Memory drifts and soars
        In circles of metaphors.

        Pretending to outline
        Elusive and enchanted things,
        The paradox of dual defined
        Pinion pining clips our beings.

        And, to bmaz, I sincerely feel bad about our communication failure. My reaction was definitely visceral. Our perspectives may have been similar to the differences between someone whose harm the norms have traditionally ignored and someone who empathizes with someone who is harmed.

        • Rayne says:

          The law is to some extent the outline of norm. Ostensibly informed by constituents, enough legislators agreed that something is outside acceptable, implementing law at that agreed-upon limit.

          The problem is that the law has been too often written by white Christian men to serve their narrow definition of acceptability.

          • sanford sklansky says:

            You seemed have said that the authors of the book validated Ramriez. I don’t believe they talked to her and if they did she has said she doesn’t remember.

            • bmaz says:

              Uh, no, that is garbage. It was a second victim the book claimed does not remember, NOT Ramirez.

              And, let’s be crystal clear, that second woman has made no statement whatsoever herself, much less one on any record.

              That Fox News talking point comes from unidentified supposed “friends” of hers, and is well beyond hearsay. Don’t pull that junk here, we actually know the facts.

  20. e.a.f. says:

    it would be better for the U.S.A. if K. were removed from the Supreme court. given some one paid off his debts, one does have to wonder, who “owns” him. Is that why he was actually appointed, some one who was compromised. Having watched the hearings and Ms. Ford’s testimony, it made me wonder if the Republicans on the committee and in the senate were paid off. Its beyond me how some one who had so much said about him regarding sexual assault could even have their nomination continue. dumb donni likes to refer to other countries as “shit holes”. In my opinion he’s turning the supreme court into a shit hole. .

    We have Clarence Thomas and the allegations of Anita Hill, now we have this piece of shit. omg Perhaps it might be better to impeach K. Trump and Moscow mitch can be taken care of during an election and removed from office.

    These news papers are corporations whose main business is to make money and to ensure their fellow/sororial corporations continue to do well. They want to ensure the status quo is maintained and that includes the old boys will be boys routine. For a major paper to suggest or any one employed by them that sexual assault is anything but sexual assault, spells a real decline in the country.

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