Lazy Saturday Reads: Caturday and Kavanaugh

Good Afternoon!!

I’m getting a slow start today because I’ve been having stabbing pain in my right eye from falling asleep with my face in the pillow. I don’t know why this happens. It might be because I have surgically inserted lenses in my eyes. Anyway, that’s my excuse for being so late.

You’ve probably seen this by now, but when I read it last night everything about fell into place for me. Brett Kavanaugh is the culmination of the “vast right wing conspiracy” that Hillary Clinton warned us about so long ago.

NBC News: I knew Brett Kavanaugh during his years as a Republican operative. Don’t let him sit on the Supreme Court, by David Brock

Twenty years ago, when I was a conservative movement stalwart, I got to know Brett Kavanaugh both professionally and personally.

Brett actually makes a cameo appearance in my memoir of my time in the GOP, “Blinded By The Right.” I describe him at a party full of zealous young conservatives gathered to watch President Bill Clinton’s 1998 State of the Union address — just weeks after the story of his affair with a White House intern had broken. When the TV camera panned to Hillary Clinton, I saw Brett — at the time a key lieutenant of Ken Starr, the independent counsel investigating various Clinton scandals — mouth the word “bitch.”

But there’s a lot more to know about Kavanaugh than just his Pavlovian response to Hillary’s image. Brett and I were part of a close circle of cold, cynical and ambitious hard-right operatives being groomed by GOP elders for much bigger roles in politics, government and media.

Call it Kavanaugh’s cabal: There was his colleague on the Starr investigation, Alex Azar, now the Secretary of Health and Human Services. Mark Paoletta is now chief counsel to Vice President Mike Pence; House anti-Clinton gumshoe Barbara Comstock is now a Republican member of Congress. Future Fox News personalities Laura Ingraham and Tucker Carlson were there with Ann Coulter, now a best-selling author, and internet provocateur Matt Drudge.

Brock details how Kavanaugh became the “designated leaker” in the Starr investigation and how used his position to weaponize right wing conspiracy theories.

Another compatriot was George Conway (now Kellyanne’s husband), who led a secretive group of right-wing lawyers — we called them “the elves” — who worked behind the scenes directing the litigation team of Paula Jones, who had sued Clinton for sexual harassment. I knew then that information was flowing quietly from the Jones team via Conway to Starr’s office — and also that Conway’s go-to man was none other than Brett Kavanaugh.

That critical flow of inside information allowed Starr, in effect, to set a perjury trap for Clinton, laying the foundation for a crazed national political crisis and an unjust impeachment over a consensual affair.

Please read the rest if you haven’t already.

The New York Times Editorial Board weighs in on Kavanaugh: Confirmed: Brett Kavanaugh Can’t Be Trusted. A perfect nominee for a president with no clear relation to the truth.

In a more virtuous world, Judge Brett Kavanaugh would be deeply embarrassed by the manner in which he has arrived at the doorstep of a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court.

He was nominated by a president who undermines daily the nation’s democratic order and mocks the constitutional values that Judge Kavanaugh purports to hold dear.

Now he’s being rammed through his confirmation process with an unprecedented degree of secrecy and partisan maneuvering by Republican senators who, despite their overflowing praise for his legal acumen and sterling credentials, appear terrified for the American people to find out much of anything about him beyond his penchant for coaching girls’ basketball.

Perhaps most concerning, Judge Kavanaugh seems to have trouble remembering certain important facts about his years of service to Republican administrations. More than once this week, he testified in a way that appeared to directly contradict evidence in the record.

Read numerous examples of Kavanaugh’s mendacity at the link.

Kavanaugh received and used stolen Democratic emails when he worked in the Bush White House, and he’s not the least bit sorry. The Washington Post: Leahy says Kavanaugh was ‘not truthful’ about Democratic documents.

Sen. Patrick J. Leahy (D-Vt.) said Friday that Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh was “not truthful” when he denied knowing that he had received documents that Leahy said had been “stolen” from him and other Democrats.

Leahy said that emails disclosed during Kavanaugh’s nomination hearing this week buttress his case that Kavanaugh knew, or should have known, that he had received documents that Republican staffers took from a computer jointly shared with Democrats.

“There were numerous emails sent to him that made it very clear this was stolen information, including a draft letter from me,” Leahy said in an interview….

Leahy’s charge stems from an infamous episode between 2001 and 2003 when a Republican counsel on the Senate Judiciary Committee, Manuel Miranda, learned that Democrats on the panel had put documents on a computer server shared with Republicans. Miranda said in an interview that he read them to learn about the party’s strategy on judicial nominations coming before the committee.

At the time, Kavanaugh was associate counsel in the White House and was responsible for helping to vet judicial nominees who would appear before the Judiciary Committee.

As I’m sure you’ve heard, Kavanaugh lied about this affair in previous confirmation hearings.

Mother Jones: Five Times Brett Kavanaugh Appears to Have Lied to Congress While Under Oath.

Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh has made declarations under oath during his current and past confirmation hearings that are contradicted by documents from his time as a counsel to the president and staff secretary in the George W. Bush White House. Newly released documents have undermined Kavanaugh’s declarations to the Senate Judiciary Committee, contradictions that are drawing close scrutiny from many Democrats. Kavanaugh has denied making any misleading or false statements.

His role in accessing stolen documents: In 2002, a GOP aide on the Senate Judiciary Committee, Manuel Miranda, stole thousands of documents belonging to the committee’s Democratic staff. At the time, Kavanaugh was a White House lawyer working on judicial nominations, which included working alongside Miranda. In 2003, President Bush nominated Kavanaugh to his current position on the DC Circuit Court of Appeals and his confirmation hearing was held in 2004—though he was not confirmed until two years later. During his 2004 hearing, Kavanaugh denied ever receiving any of the documents Miranda stole. Asked if he “ever come across memos from internal files of any Democratic members given to you or provided to you in any way?” he replied, “No.” In 2006, also under oath, he again denied ever receiving stolen documents….

Warrantless wiretapping: At a 2006 confirmation hearing, Kavanaugh told Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) that he knew nothing of the NSA’s warrantless wiretapping program, launched under President George W. Bush, until the New York Times revealed it publicly in 2005. Kavanaugh insisted he’d heard “nothing at all” about the program before that, even though he was a senior administration aide. But a September 17, 2001 email provided to the New York Times this week shows that Kavanaugh was involved in at least initial discussions about the widespread surveillance of phones that characterized the NSA program….

Torture: During the same 2006 confirmation hearing, Kavanaugh told Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) that he “was not involved” in legal questions related to the detention of so-called enemy combatants. But Durbin said Thursday that records show that there are at least three recorded examples of Kavanaugh participating in discussions of Bush administration detainee policy. Kavanaugh stood by his prior answer.

Please read the rest of the examples and explanations at Mother Jones.

More interesting reads, links only:

Lisa Graves at Slate: I Wrote Some of the Stolen Memos That Brett Kavanaugh Lied to the Senate About. He should be impeached, not elevated.

Just Security: Judge Kavanaugh’s Testimony on His Constitutional View of Presidential Immunity is Misleading—and It Also Clinches the Case for Recusal.

Bloomberg: DNC Lawyers Raise Prospect That Papadopoulos’s U.K. Contact May Be Dead.

The Daily Beast: We Found the ‘Plaid Shirt Guy’ Who Trolled Trump’s Rally With Hilarious Faces.

The Atlantic: ‘The Separation Was So Long. My Son Has Changed So Much.’U.S. border guards took a 6-year-old Honduran boy from his mother, and ultimately returned a deeply traumatized child.

The New York Times: Trump Administration Discussed Coup Plans With Rebel Venezuelan Officers.

New York Review of Books: ‘Bless Nixon for Those Tapes’: An Interview with John Dean.

What stories have you been following?

37 Comments on “Lazy Saturday Reads: Caturday and Kavanaugh”

  1. bostonboomer says:

    Have a nice weekend, Sky Dancers!!

  2. Sweet Sue says:

    You too, BB. Thanks for a great post.

  3. Sweet Sue says:

    The Starr investigation leaked like a sieve. The Democrats should haul Jackie Judd, formerly, of ABC news, up to Capitol Hill and ask her just who told her about the “stained, blue dress.”

  4. NW Luna says:

    I love the cat pictures! I especially like the tree library.

    • NW Luna says:

      The one with reading on the toilet — or in the litterbox — I’ve never understand why anyone would want to do that. Yuck, reading in a smelly little room. Why sit on the toilet that long unless you like the smell of your own shit? And if you’re constipated, that can be treated.

  5. NW Luna says:

    Brett Kavanaugh is the culmination of the “vast right wing conspiracy” that Hillary Clinton warned us about so long ago.

    No wonder he looks so slimy.

    • dakinikat says:

      He seems to have less connection with the truth than Trump does too.

    • dakinikat says:

    • dakinikat says:

      Okay, this is what I’ve sent to my two horrid senators. It really makes my head spin that no one person in the republican part cares about a judge who lies under oath.

      “Hi from one of your constituents! We know Brett Kavanaugh has lied multiple times under oath. That should be disqualifying and a reason to impeach him from his current position. That’s not politics. If a judge cannot follow the rule of law he should not be on the bench. You can put everything else aside and realize a judge with a history of impeachable offenses has no business being on the Supreme Court.”

      • Catscatscats says:

        Excellent message to your Senators, Dak. It’s a shame that your “horrid” senators (i have one of those here in PA) will undoubtedly send you a Stepford form letter response. I hope voters wake up to the fact that many elected officials don’t give a flying f*** about the desires and welfare of their constituents.

  6. NW Luna says:

    That Bloomberg article is, ah, interesting.

    …all the defendants in the case have been served with the complaint, “with the exception of Mifsud (who is missing and may be deceased).” The lawyers didn’t elaborate.


    Putin has long arms.

  7. bostonboomer says:

    Another article on Plaid Shirt Guy from the Billings, Montana paper.

    #plaidshirtguy at Trump rally is … a Billings high schooler

    Linfesty said he also had a picture taken by the Trump campaign before the rally while he was wearing the DSA rose and posing with the president. He has not seen the picture since, he said Friday. As a joke, he also gave a copy of the “Communist Manifesto” wrapped with an “Art of the Deal” cover to Secret Service in hopes of having the president sign it. Agents did not grant his request, and the president didn’t sign the book, he said.

    They were told they had to look enthusiastic and keep clapping. Those rallies are completely fake.

  8. NW Luna says:

    Take a look at the “separate judicial ethics complaint” to be submitted to the DC Circuit for — get this — Merrick Garland to review. tries not to laugh

  9. bostonboomer says:

    • NW Luna says:

      “quirky billionaire”

      Wait a minute — that’s 7 billion in back taxes? So far “Trump … has been remarkably restrained regarding the IRS.” Gods, I hope he’s removed from office before he breaks the IRS. 7 billion could pay for clean water in Flint, Puerto Rican recovery, hurricane damage in the South, healthcare for everyone for the rest of their lives. Kill the rich.

    • quixote says:

      That, if I remember right, is the 7 billion the Dumpian tax cut handed back to Mercer.

      So we now know the answer to the title’s question: Will he get payback? Why, yes. Yes, he will.

      • NW Luna says:

        The story talks about back taxes owed rather than current and future tax scam cut savings, if I read it correctly. Mercer gave Drumpf immense contributions before Drumpf stole the presidency so yes, of course he’ll get something back for his bribes.

        “Quirky” I’d say malevolent instead.

        • quixote says:

          If I remember right, big if, the way that tax law is written tailored, for Mercer specifically his $7billion tax liability evaporated.

          Plus all the future benefits, of course.

          (I don’t get these money people. After the first $100,000,000 or so, what can you *do* with all those extra zeroes on your balance sheet that you sold the world out for? How many castles can you sleep in at once? How many buckets of caviar can you eat? They need some kind of therapy.)

        • bostonboomer says:

          Mercer took over Trump’s campaign by putting Steve Bannon and Kellyanne Conway in charge and letting them use Cambridge Analytica data.

  10. NW Luna says:

    For Caturday.

  11. bostonboomer says: