Monday Reads: Sex, Lies, and Republicans

Good Morning Sky Dancers! 

Republicans continue to act as though the US is not a constitutional Republic run by rule of law. They scheme to find end runs around everything.  The Kavanaugh appointment continues to amaze as a small group of radical religionists, gun fetishists, and greedy wealthy people drive the party to further extremes.  The worst thing is our system is actually set up to give over representation to states that resemble little more than outback territories, making them equal to states with much larger populations and economies.  We continue to subsidize the Republican base and their rapacious lifestyle choices.

In keeping with making a toothless show of oversight and justice, the week-long Kavanaugh investigation appears to be an effort to minimize the chance of actually getting to the bottom of things.  From The New Yorker today comes this bit of information about the constraints placed on the FBI by Trump regimist groupies.

As the F.B.I. began its investigation this weekend into allegations of sexual misconduct by Brett Kavanaugh, President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, several people who hope to contribute information about him to the F.B.I. said that they were unable to make contact with agents. President Trumphas promised to give the F.B.I. “free rein” in its probe, but the Times reported on Saturday that the White House had asked the F.B.I. to question only four witnesses. In the course of the next day, confusion spread about whom the F.B.I. would be interviewing, and Senate Democrats demanded that the White House provide the Senate Judiciary Committee with a copy of the written directive that it had sent to the F.B.I. regarding the investigation.

With a one-week deadline looming over the investigation, some who say they have information relevant to the F.B.I.’s probe are suspicious that the investigation will amount to what one of Kavanaugh’s former Yale classmates called a “whitewash.” Roberta Kaplan, an attorney representing one potential witness, Elizabeth Rasor, a former girlfriend of Kavanaugh’s high-school friend Mark Judge, said her client “has repeatedly made clear to the Senate Judiciary Committee and to the F.B.I. that she would like the opportunity to speak to them.” But, Kaplan said, “We’ve received no substantive response.”

Christine Blasey Ford has accused Judge of being an accessory to Kavanaugh’s alleged sexual assault on her, in 1982, when they were all in high school. Kavanaugh has vehemently denied any role in the assault, and Judge, through his attorney, Barbara Van Gelder, also has denied any recollection of it. Kaplan said that early this past week she began reaching out to the F.B.I. and to the Senate Judiciary Committee on Rasor’s behalf. “She feels a sense of civic duty to tell what she knows,” Kaplan said. “But the only response we’ve gotten are e-mails saying that our e-mails have been ‘received.’ ” At one point, she said, an F.B.I. official suggested she try calling an 800-number telephone tip line.

Debra Katz, the lead attorney for Ford, said that her client, too, had been willing to coöperate with the F.B.I.’s investigation, but as of Sunday the F.B.I. had not contacted her, despite Ford’s central role in the controversy. “We’ve tried repeatedly to speak with the F.B.I, but heard nothing back,” Katz said.

Meanwhile, some Kavanaugh school mates have taken to speaking to the press. It is likely the press finds more than the FBI which may be the one good thing from this brief respite from the Republican ramrod seeking a quick vote.  Yale class mate Chad Luddington provided a statement to the NYT documenting Kavanaugh’s ongoing love affair (aka heavy drinking) with beer. We could tell from that display on Thursday that this judge appears to be a raging alcoholic red nose and pink chinks included.

In recent days I have become deeply troubled by what has been a blatant mischaracterization by Brett himself of his drinking at Yale. When I watched Brett and his wife being interviewed on Fox News on Monday, and when I watched Brett deliver his testimony under oath to the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday, I cringed. For the fact is, at Yale, and I can speak to no other times, Brett was a frequent drinker, and a heavy drinker. I know, because, especially in our first two years of college, I often drank with him. On many occasions I heard Brett slur his words and saw him staggering from alcohol consumption, not all of which was beer. When Brett got drunk, he was often belligerent and aggressive. On one of the last occasions I purposely socialized with Brett, I witnessed him respond to a semi-hostile remark, not by defusing the situation, but by throwing his beer in the man’s face and starting a fight that ended with one of our mutual friends in jail.

I do not believe that the heavy drinking or even loutish behavior of an 18- or even 21-year-old should condemn a person for the rest of his life. I would be a hypocrite to think so. However, I have direct and repeated knowledge about his drinking and his disposition while drunk. And I do believe that Brett’s actions as a 53-year-old federal judge matter. If he lied about his past actions on national television, and more especially while speaking under oath in front of the United States Senate, I believe those lies should have consequences. It is truth that is at stake, and I believe that the ability to speak the truth, even when it does not reflect well upon oneself, is a paramount quality we seek in our nation’s most powerful judges.

I believe a know a bit of where the O’Kavanaugh behavior comes from having two parents each with a parent that lived with the absolute, utterly horrid fallout of drunken Irish fathers.  One of them was murdered walking home from the bar and my grandmother was left to raise her two younger sisters.  The other just up and left his family leaving my grandfather to quit school in 8th grade to work for the railroad laying track to take care of his mother and two sisters. You grow up with the stories and the hand me down trauma.

Kavanaugh appears to be a bit more than your drunk on the holidays uncle than he pretends to be.  Just the horrific attack on Senator Klobucher–the daughter of a long term recovering alcoholic–was enough to trigger any one raised around alcoholics certainly.  That I can only imagine with horror.

Klobucher told CNN on Sunday she was “stunned” by his behavior.  His lying and vicious verbal attacks were enough to make the Blarney stone blush.

On Sunday, Klobuchar explained the idea behind her line of questioning.

“One idea here is that he simply was drinking more than he was saying over this time period and that he didn’t remember what happened, and so I was just simply trying to get at that and really couching it in the fact that I had alcoholism in my own family,” she told Tapper.

Klobuchar said Kavanaugh’s denial of ever forgetting something after a night of drinking doesn’t add up.

“It doesn’t quite make sense to me, because, first of all, you have these other people from parts of his life who have said that he was belligerent when he was drunk and other things.”

Luddington is now expected to tell the FBI about Kavanuagh’s “violent drunken behavior” per NBC.  I wonder if any of this explains the look on the face of Kavanaugh’s wife. It’s fixed and not supportive looking at all. She has the look of some inner terror.

Kavanaugh has been caught in yet another whopper. He tried to sound as if his entry to Yale was of his own making.  Kavanaugh, in fact, was a legacy.  The man has serious issues with how he has presented himself to people and how he views himself. From Newsweek:

Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh said underoath that he had “no connections” to Yale prior to attending, arguing that hard work and ambition were the sole factors leading him to study at the prestigious institution of higher education.

However, that statement is verifiably untrue. In fact, Kavanaugh would be classified as a legacy student, because his grandfather Everett Edward Kavanaugh also attended Yale as an undergraduate student, The Intercept reported on Saturday, sharing an image of a 1928 yearbook.

“I have no connections there. I got there by busting my tail,” Kavanaugh, who currently serves as a federal judge, said while testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee last week.

Lying under oath should be disqualifying on its own merit.  And, it should bring in to question everything Kavanaugh has testified about.  From the link above at Current Affairs:

In this case, when we examine the testimony of Brett Kavanaugh and Christine Blasey Ford honestly, impartially, and carefully, it is impossible to escape the following conclusions:

  1. Brett Kavanaugh is lying.
  2. There is no good reason to believe that Christine Blasey Ford is lying. This does not mean that she is definitely telling the truth, but that there is nothing in what Kavanaugh said that in any way discredits her account.

I want to show you, clearly and definitively, how Brett Kavanaugh has lied to you and lied to the Senate. I cannot prove that he committed sexual assault when he was 17, and I hesitate to draw conclusions about what happened for a few minutes in a house in Maryland in the summer of 1982. But I can prove quite easily that Kavanaugh’s teary-eyed “good, innocent man indignant at being wrongfully accused” schtick was a facade. What may have looked like a strong defense was in fact a very, very weak and implausible one.

Let’s begin with Kavanaugh’s denial.

Here is what he says: “I never attended a gathering like the one Dr. Ford describes in her allegation.”

And here is the gathering as Ford describes it:

After a day of diving at the club, I attended a small gathering at a house in the Bethesda area. There were four boys I remember specifically being there: Brett Kavanaugh, Mark Judge, a boy named P.J., and one other boy whose name I cannot recall. I also remember my friend Leland attending. I do not remember all of the details of how that gathering came together, but like many that summer, it was almost surely a spur-of-the-moment gathering… People were drinking beer in a small living room/family room-type area on the first floor of the house.

Kavanaugh says that he never attended any event like this. Like what, though? He never attended a small gathering in Bethesda where people were drinking beer? Kavanaugh submitted his own calendars from the summer of 1982 into evidence for the Senate. As he said himself, “the calendars show a few weekday gatherings at friends’ houses after a workout or just to meet up and have some beers.” He says that he never attended a gathering like this, but that’s obviously false, because the type of gathering he says he did attend is exactly the kind she describes.

Coverage of Ford’s allegations has often implied that the “party” at which she alleges she was assaulted was a kind of large Bacchanalian house party. This is a crucial part of Kavanaugh’s “calendar” defense: If there had been a big party, lots of people would have been there, it would probably have been on his summer calendar under “PAR-TAY!” It would have been notable, and since nobody seems to remember it and he even wrote far less significant events on his calendar, Ford must be misremembering.

But Ford has been clear: She is not talking about a big event. She is talking about a few friends and acquaintances hanging around drinking some beer in a living room:

It was not really a party like the news has made it sound. It was not. It was just a gathering that I assumed was going to lead to a party later on that those boys would attend, because they tended to have parties later at night than I was allowed to stay out. So it was kind of a pre-gathering.

It’s impossible to believe Kavanaugh when he says he never attended any event “like the one Dr. Ford describes.” It was a very typical low-key high school event, and it would have been shocking if Kavanaugh never attended such a thing. Indeed, he admits it himself.

You can read the rest at the link. It is a long and compelling argument.

So,this drama continues as well as the Trump/Rosenstein meeting.  I can’t imagine what we’ll hear and see by Friday. I only know what’s at stake and this makes me extremely anxious.

What’s on your reading and blogging list today?


49 Comments on “Monday Reads: Sex, Lies, and Republicans”

  1. dakinikat says:

    Kavanaugh Battle Expands Historic Gender Gap Before Election
    By Sahil Kapur and John McCormick

    The GOP’s troubles with women are likely to hurt the party most in the battle for the House, where Democrats need to flip at least 23 Republican-held seats to gain a majority. Many of the most competitive races are in suburban districts which have large numbers of college-educated women, a group with relatively high turnout. Of the more than 250 women on congressional ballots in November, more than three-quarters of them are running as Democrats.

    “The problem for the GOP is twofold: one, the advantage cuts disproportionately in favor of Dems, and two, the drop-off is particularly acute among educated women in the metro suburbs where their members are most vulnerable,” said Liam Donovan, a former operative for the Senate Republican campaign arm who’s now a lobbyist.

    The Senate is a more complicated picture. The main battlegrounds are in Republican-leaning states such as West Virginia and Arizona, where recent polling by the Republican firm Public Opinion Strategies found that a majority of voters — including women — want Kavanaugh to be confirmed.

    Some Republicans have argued that because Kavanaugh’s nomination to the court is a motivating issue for the party’s voters, the way Democrats have fought it will energize the party’s base.

    Support Falls
    But Kavanaugh already was facing tepid public support. After Ford went public with her allegations, Kavanaugh’s support fell by 18 points among Republican women, dipping just under 50 percent and pushing overall approval for the nomination under water, a Politico/Morning Consult poll found. Among independent women, 23 percent said he should be confirmed while 36 percent said he should not.

    Kavanaugh’s prospects remain uncertain even apart from the allegations, as questions swirl about his broad views on executive power and whether he’d be the fifth vote to overturn or weaken the Roe v. Wade abortion rights ruling. A CBS News poll released Monday found that 37 percent of Americans believe he shouldn’t be confirmed — compared to 35 percent who say he should — an outcome driven by a 6-point margin of opposition among women.

    “This is just gasoline on a fire that was already burning,” said Stephanie Schriock, the president of Emily’s List, a group dedicated to electing Democratic women who favor abortion rights. “You are going to have more voters and more volunteers and women saying they are going to make a statement this time.”

    Polls over the past month have shown Democrats with a consistent lead over Republicans when voters are asked which party they prefer in the midterms. Much of that is driven by female voters strongly backing Democrats, while men are more narrowly divided between the two parties.

    • NW Luna says:

      “…. Many of the most competitive [House] races are in suburban districts which have large numbers of college-educated women…”

      The group which saw through Trump and voted for HRC in 2016. Hope the Rs are shaking in their oxfords.

      • dakinikat says:

        Them seem willing to sacrifice a lot for the supreme court and tax cuts. Ryan just snuck more tax cuts through the house and we’re heading to third world nation status on the amount of deficit we’re running now in a time when none of this does anything but spur inflation.

    • RonStill4Hills says:

      I saw some female Rump supporters interviewed about Kavanaugh and they said, “So he groped some women, who didn’t gripe women in highschool. It’s no big deal.”

      It is not about believing or disbelieving the accusers. They do not care. Saying F-U to liberals “trumps”all other concerns.

      The devastation visited on working class rural whites, especially women is going to be biblical in the scope of its “reaping what you sow.”

      • dakinikat says:

        I think they’re only motivated by hurting others and they’ll find a way of blaming those same others for their suffering.

      • Enheduanna says:

        Conflating attempted rape with groping – even as bad as uninvited groping is – is deeply disingenuous, willfully ignorant, and yes – cruel.

        Did the interviewer follow-up and ask them if attempted rape was no big deal? Never-mind – that’s rhetorical. We all know the answer.

  2. bostonboomer says:

  3. Pat Johnson says:

    Dr. Ford is a 53 yr old woman who just decided to throw herself into the public eye, invite death threats, flee her home, and sit before a male dominated committee for no reason whatsoever to deny Judge Frat Boy his place on the SC? Really?

    She named Mark Judge as the other frat boy who was in the room who has been in hiding to avoid testifying. Why does this not make sense? Of course he needs to be put under oath. So should Kavanaugh.

    I am sickened by all of this. The GOP is more then willing to vote this unhinged partisan onto the court without thoroughly examining his background. This is a travesty for the nation.

    I’ve got a feeling this nomination will succeed. By limiting the investigation the GOP senators have a loophole to use in their ability to go ahead with a “yes” vote.

    This man is a liar. We have seen this through his testimony. But they will push, shove, and drag his ass across the line regardless.

  4. Old Guy says:

    Graham is an embarrassment to South Carolina, the Southeast, the senate, the United States and to everyone else.

    Limits on the FBI investigations are ridiculous . They should be allowed to investigate any potential misleading comments he made or charges made against him. Very disappointing.

  5. NW Luna says:

    • quixote says:

      Dear God. I know they mean well. But … that first item … “stay hydrated” …. While outside the last branch of government clinging to life is shredded, and fuel standards are dumped because climate change will be so bad a few more greenhouse gases won’t even be noticeable.

      • NW Luna says:

        It’s so inane that they start with that. I get irritated every time I hear or read the “hydrated” BS. The idiotic myth that we need 6-8 glasses of water a day was a phrase taken out of context. The original statement finished with by explaining that most of the water needed can be obtained from a regular diet thanks to the the liquid in most foods. And we’ve known that for several decades.

  6. NW Luna says:

    • NW Luna says:

      Those Canadians don’t have to pay for Republican tax scams, Trump’s golfing, or for-profit health “care.”

      • quixote says:

        Or an enormous, Congressional pork military that can’t even take care of its veterans adequately.

        • NW Luna says:

          A VA system which has excess management deadwood while not hiring enough clinicians who actually take care of patients. Or to replace those who are retiring early because with Trump in office they want to get the hell out. Or pay them on par with private employers who will hire clinicians at 30% higher salary. Oh, and while paying $$$ to send veterans to outside providers, in for-profit organizations, who often send the veterans right back saying they’re too complicated to take care of.

  7. bostonboomer says:

    Julie Swetnick was interviewed yesterday by NBC’s Kate Snow. I don’t know when the interview will air.

  8. bostonboomer says:

  9. bostonboomer says:

    • dakinikat says:

      I guess some one asked Susan Collins about it but it was mostly Dems that forced this? Mitch was on the floor of the Senate complaining about the original Ford letter getting leaked to the press before the Republicans could see it. He’s complaining that the Dems are playing politics and unfairly again.

  10. dakinikat says:

  11. NW Luna says:

  12. NW Luna says:

  13. dakinikat says:

    • dakinikat says:

      I’m hearing that Kavanaugh et al tried to round up the witness pool prior to her information coming out. Would that be witness tampering?

      • dakinikat says:

        PROOF: The FBI has text messages that show Kavanaugh was in touch with Ramirez’s mutual friends to go on the record to support him. Kavanaugh said under oath that he first learned of Ramirez’s allegations “in the New Yorker story.” “Berchem says, in her memo, that Kavanaugh ‘and/or’ his friends ‘may have initiated an anticipatory narrative’ as early as July to ‘conceal or discredit’ Ramirez.”

        NEW: Texts between friends of Kavanaugh, “suggest that the nominee was personally talking with former classmates about Ramirez’s story in advance of the New Yorker article that made her allegation public.”

        “The texts also demonstrate that Kavanaugh and Ramirez were more socially connected than previously understood and that Ramirez was uncomfortable around Kavanaugh when they saw each other at a wedding 10 years after they graduated.”

      • Sweet Sue says:

        Witness tampering from a federal judge?

    • dakinikat says:

      NBC News: Text messages between two friends of Brett Kavanaugh “suggest that the nominee was personally talking with former classmates about [Deborah] Ramirez’s story in advance of the New Yorker article that made her allegation public.”

  14. dakinikat says:

    I’ve died and gone to musician heaven.

  15. dakinikat says:

  16. dakinikat says:

    • NW Luna says:

      Just a renamed NAFTA, except pissing off Canada and Mexico. Pretty soon no country will want a deal with the US (except Russia and a few other autocracies).

  17. NW Luna says:

    Indonesian earthquake and tsunami — at least 1,200 people dead. Horrible. No coordinated humanitarian response yet.