Thursday Reads: Everything Trump Touches Turns to Sh*t

Good Morning!!

Honestly, I’m not capable of writing much of anything this morning. The Republicans are now directly attacking Brett Kavanaugh’s accusers, Mitch McConnell is going to steamroller any objections to the fake FBI background check, and it looks like Susan Collins along with endangered Democrats Heidi Heitcamp and Joe Manchin will probably vote yes.

Trump has been “president” for less than two years and he has managed to destroy the presidency, the House and Senate, and now he may destroy any remaining credibility for the Supreme Court for decades to come. And he’s making me sick–physically, mentally, and spiritually. I promise I’m going to fight my way back from my current depressed state, but it’s going to take awhile.

 

 

The Washington Post: Adopting Trumpian strategy, Republicans level personal attacks against Kavanaugh accusers.

Republicans are aggressively challenging the credibility of Brett M. Kavanaugh’s initial accuser, a turnabout from days of treating Christine Blasey Ford gingerly after her emotional testimony alleging sexual assault decades ago.

Spearheaded by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), the blistering campaign to confirm Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court includes personal attacks on the women who have leveled claims against the judge, including the release Tuesday of a salacious statement that purports to describe the sex life of another accuser, Julie Swetnick.

The effort is shattering Senate norms at a critical moment for Kavanaugh, and it signals that the GOP is embracing the tactics of President Trump, who mocked Ford at a political rally Tuesday night days after calling her credible.

The strategy has drawn condemnation, and it has even raised questions about whether Republicans have violated a provision of the Violence Against Women Act by disclosing Swetnick’s purported sexual preferences.

But party leaders are undaunted, concluding that a scorched-earth strategy is the most effective way to defend Kavanaugh and rally enough support to confirm him to the nation’s highest court.

Greg Sargent at the WaPo seems to be asking if Republican Senators who where shocked shocked! at Trump’s attacks on Christine Blasey Ford will rush ahead to vote for Kavanaugh anyway: Trump’s disgusting attack on Christine Ford cannot be wished away.

When President Trump attacked Ford at a rally on Tuesday night, he did more than merely showcase his typically depraved and hateful nature. What Trump really did was inform the country in no uncertain terms that he will do all he can to ensure that the country does not — and cannot — heal its searing divisions over the Kavanaugh matter, after it is resolved.

Trump ridiculed the gaps in Ford’s memory: “How did you get home? I don’t remember. How did you get there? I don’t remember. Where is the place? I don’t remember.” Trump contrasted this mockery with an outpouring of sympathy, if he is capable of such a feeling, for Kavanaugh: “A man’s life is in tatters,” he said, adding: “Think of your husbands. Think of your sons.”

In this, Trump broke from the carefully crafted GOP strategy of refraining from questioning that the attack happened while suggesting it might have been carried out by someone else. Instead, Trump ridiculed the claim itself and insisted that the only true victim in this situation is Kavanaugh.

What Trump is really signaling here is that, if Kavanaugh is confirmed, he will continue to rub the faces of millions of women in excrement over it. Trump was doing precisely what that woman accused Flake of doing — telling women that their sexual assault claims “don’t matter” — and he was undertaking this provocation deliberately, using the bully pulpit of the presidency to do so.

Will Jeff Flake, Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski, Heidi Heitcamp, and Joe Manchin vote to ratify Trump’s cruel and repulsive attacks? If they do, women must rise up in anger and punish them.

 

 

Jane Mayer and Ronan Farrow at The New Yorker: The F.B.I. Probe Ignored Testimonies from Former Classmates of Kavanaugh.

Frustrated potential witnesses who have been unable to speak with the F.B.I agents conducting the investigation into sexual-assault allegations against Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh, have been resorting to sending statements, unsolicited, to the Bureau and to senators, in hopes that they would be seen before the inquiry concluded. On Monday, President Trump said that the Bureau should be able to interview “anybody they want within reason,” but the extent of the constraints placed on the investigating agents by the White House remained unclear. Late Wednesday night, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced that the F.B.I. probe was over and cleared the way for an important procedural vote on Kavanaugh’s nomination to take place on Friday. NBC News reported that dozens of people who said that they had information about Kavanaugh had contacted F.B.I. field offices, but agents had not been permitted to talk to many of them. Several people interested in speaking to the F.B.I. expressed exasperation in interviews with The New Yorker at what they perceived to be a lack of interest in their accounts.

Deborah Ramirez, one of two women who have accused Kavanaugh of sexual abuse, said in an interview that she had been hopeful that her story would be investigated when two agents drove from Denver to Boulder, Colorado, last weekend to interview her at her lawyer’s office. But Ramirez said that she was troubled by what she perceived as a lack of willingness on the part of the Bureau to take steps to substantiate her claims. “I am very alarmed, first, that I was denied an F.B.I. investigation for five days, and then, when one was granted, that it was given on a short timeline and that the people who were key to corroborating my story have not been contacted,” Ramirez said. “I feel like I’m being silenced.”

 

 

Mayer and Farrow talked to a former classmate of Ramirez and Kavanaugh who corroborated her story.

Several former Yale students who claim to have information regarding the alleged incident with Ramirez or about Kavanaugh’s behavior at Yale said that they had not been contacted by the F.B.I. Kenneth G. Appold was a suitemate of Kavanaugh’s at the time of the alleged incident. He had previously spoken to The New Yorker about Ramirez on condition of anonymity, but he said that he is now willing to be identified because he believes that the F.B.I. must thoroughly investigate her allegation. Appold, who is the James Hastings Nichols Professor of Reformation History at Princeton Theological Seminary, said that he first heard about the alleged incident involving Kavanaugh and Ramirez either the night it occurred or a day or two later. Appold said that he was “one-hundred-per-cent certain” that he was told that Kavanaugh was the male student who exposed himself to Ramirez. He said that he never discussed the allegation with Ramirez, whom he said he barely knew in college. But he recalled details—which, he said, an eyewitness described to him at the time—that match Ramirez’s memory of what happened. “I can corroborate Debbie’s account,” he said in an interview. “I believe her, because it matches the same story I heard thirty-five years ago, although the two of us have never talked.”

Appold, who won two Fulbright Fellowships, and earned his Ph.D. in religious studies from Yale in 1994, also recalled telling his graduate-school roommate about the incident in 1989 or 1990. That roommate, Michael Wetstone, who is now an architect, confirmed Appold’s account and said, “it stood out in our minds because it was a shocking story of transgression.” Appold said that he initially asked to remain anonymous because he hoped to make contact first with the classmate who, to the best of his recollection, told him about the party and was an eyewitness to the incident. He said that he had not been able to get any response from that person, despite multiple attempts to do so. The New Yorker reached the classmate, but he said that he had no memory of the incident.

Please read the whole thing at the New Yorker.

 

 

The Washington Post: FBI background check of Kavanaugh appears to have been highly curtailed.

Slate: I Was Brett Kavanaugh’s College Roommate. He lied under oath about his drinking and terms in his yearbook, by James Roche.

In 1983, I was one of Brett Kavanaugh’s freshman roommates at Yale University. About two weeks ago I came forward to lend my support to my friend Deborah Ramirez, who says Brett sexually assaulted her at a party in a dorm suite. I did this because I believe Debbie.

Now the FBI is investigating this incident. I am willing to speak with them about my experiences at Yale with both Debbie and Brett. I would tell them this: Brett Kavanaugh stood up under oath and lied about his drinking and about the meaning of words in his yearbook. He did so baldly, without hesitation or reservation. In his words and his behavior, Judge Kavanaugh has shown contempt for the truth, for the process, for the rule of law, and for accountability. His willingness to lie to avoid embarrassment throws doubt on his denials about the larger questions of sexual assault. In contrast, I cannot remember ever having a reason to distrust anything, large or small, that I have heard from Debbie.

I did not want to come forward. When the New Yorker’s Ronan Farrow contacted me while researching a story about Debbie and Brett, I told him that I didn’t see the point. There is no way that Brett will face legal consequences after this much time. Either he will be confirmed or another conservative judge will be. There would be a high cost. I was raised in a Republican family. My mother, who has since passed away, was a Republican state representative in Connecticut. My father owns a MAGA hat. I have close friends who are very conservative. In recent years I have had disagreements over politics with some of these friends and family, but I care deeply about them. My involvement has and will come with personal, professional, and reputational damage.

Read Roche’s story at Slate.

 

 

More reads, links only:

Think Progress: White House confirms FBI’s Kavanaugh investigation only looked at what Republican senators wanted.

Electric Privacy Information Center (EPIC): National Archives Confirms Existence of Numerous Kavanaugh Records on Surveillance Programs

Buzzfeed: The Kavanaugh Situation Has Opened Up A Portal Into Everyone’s Memory.

Jonathan Chait: Republicans Have Decided to Ignore All of Brett Kavanaugh’s Lies.

Just Security: Here Are the 30 People the FBI Needs to Interview in its Kavanaugh Investigation.

 

 

That’s all I’ve got. What stories are you following?

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91 Comments on “Thursday Reads: Everything Trump Touches Turns to Sh*t”

  1. bostonboomer says:

    Courage, Sky Dancers!

    • dakinikat says:

      Mitch McConnell is on the Senate floor pontificating about how the bad women are lying and the fine man should be voted in because he’s qualified.

      This is the worst example of ramrodding something completely unacceptable through because you likely can intimidate a bare majority to do so.

      I never EVER thought I’d see a day like this in my country.

      I hope there are a few honorable republicans left but I really think there’s not a one.

      • bostonboomer says:

        I never had faith in any of the Republicans. The saddest part of this to me is that Trump has successfully completed his campaign to discredit the FBI.

  2. Riverbird says:

    Thank you for the cartoons and the quotes. I’m not fit for anything today except watching season 7 of American Horror Story on Netflix.

  3. Old Guy says:

    K can always be impeached and removed from the bench later on. But not likely to happen.
    CNN posted a story this morning on an interview with James Roche one of K’s freshman roommates. He said K was lying under oath but he could not get the FBI to talk to him.

    • bostonboomer says:

      There’s an article by Roche in my post if you want to check it out.

    • NW Luna says:

      Yes, much harder to impeach and remove from bench a SCOTUS judge than to not get them confirmed in the first place, unless the Dems win both houses. With voting suppression and hacking I’m not confident that will happen.

  4. bostonboomer says:

  5. dakinikat says:

    Trump continues to find the most unfit people for jobs and Mitch McConnell continues to ram them through the once esteemed senate with arcane power grabs. I’ve really lost my faith in all of this. Every one but the Senate Republicans and their base of religious fanatics and racists saw how unfit this man is for any judicial position a week ago. He’s a serial prevaricator on both big and large things, a biased and conspiracy driven political operative, and a rage filled self entitled drunk. They’ll wind up impeaching his ass in a few years for lying under oath in front of the senate and the both bodies of government will be the worst for it.

    • Enheduanna says:

      GOPers know he’s not fit – it does not matter to them. I don’t know what they’re afraid of and not sure I want to know.

      Whether he’s confirmed or not – BK is ruined. He needs to be careful about eating in public restaurants because people aren’t afraid of shunning his ilk anymore.

      • Gregory P says:

        I don’t think the GOP is afraid of anything except maybe Putin. They are corrupt. Kavanaugh is corrupt. It’s a match made in heaven. They could have chosen any honest conservative for the post. They didn’t want one of those. They wanted this guy. They want him for a reason. But if they really are all afraid of Putin then its all over for our country. A bunch of cowardly traitors willing to do anything to stay alive or obtain and keep power. With leadership like this our country doesn’t stand a chance.

  6. renxkyoko says:

    This is just so depressing. My gut feeling is, he will be confirmed. These people are beyond shameless.

    • dakinikat says:

      It’s terribly depressing. This is going to kill civil rights, worker rights, women’s rights for generations to come. It’s a power grab by extremist religionists and rich white men.

  7. NW Luna says:

    Bringing this up — I mistakenly posted this on yesterday’s thread. Looks like progress is 1% per year.

    • Gregory P says:

      I am not sure that we have made any progress. Anita Hill was 100% truthful but got raked over the coals. Thomas had committed the crime of sexual harassment which has since been more fully defined and accepted. Kavanaugh is highly likely a serial rapist, an alcoholic, a perjurer and someone who is so thoroughly corrupt that he has no redeeming value. Huge friggin’ difference in my opinion. I never thought that Thomas should have ever been put on the court. Was adamant against him but I can understand how some liked him. Now, by putting Kavanaugh on the court we will have t of the most radical, partisan and corrupt justices to ever serve in Roberts, Thomas, Alito, Gorsuch and Kavanaugh. If you were to write a fictitional book 30 years ago about all that has happened it would never have been published as it would have been considered absurd and impossible.

  8. NW Luna says:

  9. dakinikat says:

    It looks like Flake and Collins are a yes. What a fucking sham.

    • dakinikat says:

      “Senators Jeff Flake of Arizona and Susan Collins of Maine did not say that they will vote for Judge Kavanaugh, President Trump’s second Supreme Court nominee. But after a closed-door briefing in which Republicans were told that no witnesses corroborated the accounts of Judge Kavanaugh’s main accusers, both made positive remarks. A yes vote from both would secure Judge Kavanaugh’s seat on the highest court in the land.”

      • NW Luna says:

        …no witnesses corroborated the accounts of Judge Kavanaugh’s main accusers

        …Because they didn’t talk to any witnesses.

        • Gregory P says:

          We have NO business ever lecturing another country about human rights, rule of law, sham elections, etc. Our country is now a wholly owned subsidiary of corrupt wealthy people including the Russian dictator.

  10. Enheduanna says:

    Susie Madrak has a link to a very powerful Twitter post by Muckraker. Check it out:

    http://susiemadrak.com/2018/10/04/do-as-i-say-not-as-i-do-3/

  11. NW Luna says:

    Can she please bring her army over here?

  12. Pat Johnson says:

    I never had a doubt that Murkowski, Flake and Collins would manage to “shimmy” onboard with this nomination.

    Flake sees himself as a future POTUS contender. What better way then to burnish your creds by “pretending” to seek more information but knowing full well you will vote “yes” when the time comes. He wants it both ways. A “moderate voice” who “stood up” to the powers that be while voting to confirm this unfit nominee for the sake of the party. A total joke.

    The Dems are hamstrung. They know full well the obscenity that is about to occur. The end of Roe v Wade. The end to same sex marriage. The end to environmental protection. The end to pre existing healthcare needs. The end to unionization. The end to the separation of church and state. The end to voting rights. The end to the rule of law. It’s all there waiting for the axe to drop eliminating the civil rights of us all. We will be fully owned by the oligarchs of this nation which will signal the end of democracy.

    This is the result of an apathetic public that saw a mere 36% of the voting electorate bother to vote. We are told of Russian interference that may have made the difference that gave 70,000 votes to the most unqualified nominee in history to ever attain this high office. That is the number that put the electoral college in play in 2016.

    It is sickening to be living through this time. Children taken from parents trying to escape death and destruction from chaotic countries. Black athletes being condemned for speaking out against police abuse. Voters being denied the right to exercise their votes. Women being ridiculed for having been abused. The sick and the elderly having their benefits cut. A political party refusing to address the insanity of the current POTUS as he tramples and destroys the country we claim to love.

    Where and when does it end? Will Mueller provide the rope? Will reason overcome the insanity in November? Will we survive this assault on our psyches? Can we look forward again or is this the new normal?

    I wish I knew. I don’t.

  13. NW Luna says:

  14. NW Luna says:

    Meanwhile …

  15. NW Luna says:

    Wow, now up to 1,700 signers.

  16. bostonboomer says:

    Heidi Heitcamp says she will vote no. I salute her courage.

    • quixote says:

      I know what you mean and I agree, but in the real world “No” on appointing a criminal to the Supreme Court doesn’t take courage. Voting “Yes” takes craven corruption.

      • Gregory P says:

        That is exactly how I see it.

      • bostonboomer says:

        Maybe I shouldn’t think that, although she chose a principled vote over her own political advancement. I always knew she would vote no. She is solid pro-choice and she specifically supported Dr. Ford. I’m sorry if my giving her a little credit is seen as troublesome. I thought she was courageous not just in the decision but how she announced it.

        • bostonboomer says:

          • bostonboomer says:

            Another good thing about Heitcamp’s decision is that now Joe Manchin must decide if he wants to be the one Democrat who puts Kavanaugh over the top. Heitcamp may have brought two no votes.

          • bostonboomer says:

            Interesting. Barbara Boxer also had the nerve to call Heidi Heitcamp courageous, so at least I’m in good company in my foolishness.

        • quixote says:

          I’m not saying it’s foolish or wrong! As I say, in this corrupt, upside-down world we’re in, she *is* courageous. But at the same time, it shouldn’t be like that. :great big sad face:

    • NW Luna says:

      She’ll probably lose re-election over this, apparently. She’s going out with a clear conscience.

    • Riverbird says:

      I sent her a donation even though it doesn’t look good for her. My late father was a North Dakota farmer, a lifelong Democrat who would be disgusted by North Dakota politics today.

    • Sweet Sue says:

      So do I. She’s probably kissing her Senate seat goodbye but retaining her soul.

  17. dakinikat says:

  18. bostonboomer says:

  19. dakinikat says:

    • dakinikat says:

      According to Democratic sources, committee Democrats have concluded that the White House believed that a Kavanaugh interview would be too risky. During the hearing last week on Ford’s allegations, Kavanaugh frequently dodged questions from Democratic senators, who each were limited to five-minutes of time. He filibustered, he sidestepped queries, and he was often combative. And during the Republicans’ allotted time for questioning, Rachel Mitchell, the Arizona prosecutor retained by the committee GOPers, was not given the chance to pose many queries to Kavanaugh. Though the committee Republicans—all men—relied on Mitchell to question Ford, when it was Kavanaugh’s turn at the witness table, they essentially shoved Mitchell aside in order to issue grandstanding speeches defending Kavanaugh and assailing the Democrats. (See Lindsey Graham.)

      Kavanaugh, that is, did not undergo a true and professional grilling. An FBI interview would have been a much different experience. “When you’re in front of the FBI, you cannot refuse to answer questions, you cannot attack the agents, you cannot change the subject,” a Democratic member of the committee says. “The White House did not want Kavanaugh in such a situation. And if he said anything to the FBI that could prove false, he could end up in a lot of trouble.”

    • Riverbird says:

      I think making the FBI look bad is a bonus for the White House.

  20. dakinikat says:

    • Enheduanna says:

      This is always how I felt when I saw my 80+ year-old mother watching Fox News and programs such as Nancy Grace. The venom and hate coming from those shows is palpable. My mother is addicted to that feeling of superiority she gets when she sees the vicious malice directed toward people on those shows. There is nothing uplifting or charitable about those shows or that network. It’s a mindset. Mother considers herself a good Christian and does not see the sanctimonious nature of her judgments on others.

      • dakinikat says:

        The descriptions of male bonding over hating others really strikes a note with me.

        • quixote says:

          I’m going to repeat my pet peeve, bear with me. The cruelty, the pleasure in humiliation, has nothing to do with maleness or sex. It’s the underbelly of every caste system.

          White supremacists dump on blacks or Jews because it’s a mark of their higher caste. Aristocrats sniff about peasants ignorant of the right fork to use because it’s a way to mark ingroup and outgroup. High castes always hold death and torture in reserve if ridicule isn’t enough to keep the lower orders in their place.

          That’s what this “male” bonding BS is. The maleness is only a caste marker, the flag saying you were born into the right group. But what they do has nothing to do being male.

          I think it’s really important to remember that. It all has nothing to do with sex. It’s about caste. And the solution is the same as with all the old castes: equality. Not some kind of re-education for the “high born.”

    • dakinikat says:

      The Trump era is such a whirlwind of cruelty that it can be hard to keep track. This week alone, the news broke that the Trump administration was seeking to ethnically cleanse more than 193,000 American children of immigrants whose temporary protected status had been revoked by the administration, that the Department of Homeland Security had lied about creating a database of children that would make it possible to unite them with the families the Trump administration had arbitrarily destroyed, that the White House was considering a blanket ban on visas for Chinese students, and that it would deny visas to the same-sex partners of foreign officials. At a rally in Mississippi, a crowd of Trump supporters cheered as the president mocked Christine Blasey Ford, the psychology professor who has said that Brett Kavanaugh, whom Trump has nominated to a lifetime appointment on the Supreme Court, attempted to rape her when she was a teenager. “Lock her up!” they shouted.

    • RonStill4Hills says:

      The only thing worse that non-whites is Friends to non-whites.

      Why was Hills the most demonized political figure in modern times?

      She was a white woman with genuine affection for people outside her race and class.

  21. dakinikat says:

    • Joanelle says:

      I had hope, how disappointing. I know that some of these people were good, decent folks with the ability to think clearly and see what is happening to our country. What’s happened to them?

  22. dakinikat says:

    Kavanaugh disqualified himself, retired Supreme Court Justice Stevens tells Florida crowd
    In Boca Raton, the former Justice John Paul Stevens said Kavanaugh’s ‘performance in the hearings changed my mind.’

    http://www.tampabay.com/florida-politics/buzz/2018/10/04/kavanaugh-disqualified-himself-retired-supreme-court-justice-stevens-tells-florida-crowd/

  23. NW Luna says:

  24. NW Luna says:

  25. bostonboomer says:

    One more point about Heidi Heitcamp before I shut up. If you take the time to read the article at The Cut that I posted above, you’ll see that Heitcamp fought like hell to have Native American women be protected by the Violence Against Women Act.

    Goodnight all.

  26. roofingbird says:

    Are you all still paying to be ad free? When I received your email today it had three flashing ads at the bottom presented by “Powerinbox”. I don’t see them on your page because I’m still linked into WordPress. However, I’m guessing others are. They were innocuous, but you know how that can creep.

  27. NW Luna says:

  28. NW Luna says:

    What Ron was saying up above:

  29. RonStill4Hills says:

    Death march for Democracy underway. One step closer to self pardons and pardons for state crimes.

  30. Sweet Sue says:

    Well, it looks like it’s another Law and Order SVU marathon day for me. Much more cheerful than what’s going on in Washington. God help us.