Wednesday Reads: Rise Up RevComs

Cartoon by Pia Guerra

Watch the video from the hearing below:

Cartoons via Cagle:

So…earlier this week I got this tweet sent to me when I retweeted something from Rise Up 4 Abortion Rights:

So, I looked into it.

Then last night I found this video:

Here are some more things I found:

Some of the responses from Rise Up and RevComs:

As you can see, RevComs is using the Rise Up hashtag:

I find it interesting that they are highlighting this:

As well as this tweet from RevComs:

Ugh…

In other news:

Geez…this is an open thread.

All this pleading the Fifth has me thinking of this skit:


Gloomy and Doomy Friday Reads

Viktor Zaretsky, Easter still life, 1989. Ukrainian

Good Morning Sky Dancers!

I’m starting with the two hopeful headlines today since the rest are just depressing. I’m feeling blue and seeing red.  Who isn’t down with putting Orange Caligula in jail? Today, in The Guardian the headline reads “Likelihood of criminal charges against Trump rising, experts say. Some ex-prosecutors call on DoJ to accelerate investigation after House panel’s allegations Trump broke laws to overturn election.”

The likelihood of a criminal investigation and charges against Donald Trump are rising due to allegations by a House panel of a “criminal conspiracy” involving his aggressive drive to overturn the 2020 election results, coupled with a justice department (DoJ) inquiry of a “false electors” scheme Trump loyalists devised to block Joe Biden’s election.

Former federal prosecutors say evidence is mounting of criminal conduct by Trump that may yield charges against the ex- president for obstructing an official proceeding of Congress on 6 January or defrauding the US government, stemming from his weeks-long drive with top allies to thwart Biden’s election by pushing false claims of fraud.

A 2 March court filing by the House January 6 panel implicated Trump in a “criminal conspiracy” to block Congress from certifying Biden’s win, and Trump faces legal threats from justice department investigations under way into a “false electors” ploy, and seditious conspiracy charges filed against Oath Keepers who attacked the Capitol, say department veterans.

The filing by the House panel investigating the 6 January assault on the Capitol by a mob of pro-Trump supporters stated that it has “a good-faith basis for concluding that the president and members of his campaign engaged in a criminal conspiracy to defraud the United States”.

The panel’s hard-hitting findings about Trump’s criminal schemes were contained in a federal court filing involving top Trump lawyer John Eastman, who has fought on attorney client privilege grounds turning over a large cache of documents including emails sought by the committee.

Back in January, the deputy attorney general, Lisa Monaco, also revealed a criminal investigation was being launched into a far reaching scheme in seven states that Biden won which was reportedly overseen by Trump’s ex-lawyer Rudy Giuliani to replace legitimate electors with false ones pledged to Trump.

But the House panel’s blockbuster allegations that Trump broke laws to overturn the election have prompted some ex-prosecutors to call on the justice department to quickly accelerate its investigations to focus on the multiple avenues that Trump used to nullify the election results in tandem with top allies like Giuliani.

“The compelling evidence of criminal activity by Trump revealed by the committee in its recent 61-page court filing should spur DoJ to act expeditiously,” Paul Pelletier, a former acting chief of DoJ’s fraud section, told the Guardian.

“Given the gravity of the revelations, the department should consider a strike force or even a special counsel to coalesce sufficient resources to focus on these criminal attacks that strike at the heart of our democracy,” Pelletier added. “There is no time to waste now that the House committee has provided the clearest view yet into how Trump and his campaign apparently schemed to upend our democracy.”

‘Young guard’ VIKTOR IVANOVICH ZARETSKY

Additionally, NPR is reporting this: “New clues emerge about the money that might have helped fund the Jan. 6 insurrection”.  This is reported by Claudia Grisales.

The latest peek into questions around the money that might have helped fuel the attack arrived with the Republican National Committee suing to thwart a subpoena from the committee.

The filing reveals that the Democratic-led panel quietly subpoenaed an RNC vendor, San Francisco-based Salesforce, last month.

After the suit became public, the committee quickly defended the effort, saying it was looking into a new push led by former President Trump asking for donations after he lost his 2020 bid for re-election.

“Ever since Watergate, one of the central adages in… congressional investigations of presidential wrongdoing has been follow the money,” said Norm Eisen, a former House lawyer in Trump’s first impeachment case. “The 1/6 committee investigation has been sweeping in all of its dimensions, and this is no exception.”

The committee’s Feb. 23 subpoena of Salesforce emphasized its interest in the company’s hosting of Trump emails asking for new donations that included false claims of election fraud.

It’s part of a central question the panel hopes to answer: Did Trump find new ways to keep the money coming in after his loss by shifting from a presidential campaign to a “Stop the Steal” effort?

“I think the level of grift that was involved with the Trump campaign and people close to the former president, how the January Six efforts were for many of them, this is what they were doing to make money,” said California Democratic Rep. Pete Aguilar, a member of the Jan. 6 panel. “We are looking into that.”

The committee’s investigators are broken down into highly skilled teams with core areas of focus, including one that’s on the money.

Aguilar says each team has been making “significant progress,” with regular presentations to the full committee on its findings. Each has been charged with devising a strategy for depositions and hearings.

“The committee has not tipped its hand of everything they have,” Eisen said. “They dedicated significant resources to the money trails. And I’m certain that in the hearings and in the final report, there’s going to be much more evidence revealed.”

This spring, the committee hopes to hold its first hearings illustrating the findings so far and issue an interim report by the summer with a final report this fall.

Spring Has Come, Victor Zaretsky, 1988

Let’s hope the arms of justice are getting ready to throttle the Trump Family Crime Syndicate.  Lock him up!

What’s really making me see red these days is the relentless media chatter about inflation and how it will blow back on the Democratic Party come November.  There really are a bunch of clueless people reporting on the economy. Every time I read one of these articles I scream.  I usually admire Catherine Rampell but this headline is just clickbait: Opinion: Americans are unhappy with the economy. Many on the left don’t want to hear it.”  It’s on the Op-Ed page of The Washington Post.

I’ve spent hours this week being mansplained and dogmasplained things that are just are not true and the media is not helping by actually elucidating the situation. We had a demand shock, now the economy is growing gangbusters and that and a few other things that are market-oriented have created inflation.  It’s not really anything you can nail on to the folks on the fiscal side of economic policy.  This is the Fed’s bailiwick. It should cool down within 6 months but the Russian Invasion of Ukraine has created a lot of uncertainty. All bets are off on predictions of economic factors when they are based on history and theory and can’t predict the number of black swans we’ve had recently which include the invasion, Covid-19, and 4 years of an insane, criminal US President.

Inflation is spiking, and Democrats — who, rightly or wrongly, are poised to take the blame this November — appear to be in denial about it.

Consumer prices rose 7.9 percent in February from a year earlier, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Thursday. This was, yet again, the fastest pace of price growth in four decades. The increases were broad-based, affecting food, fuel, airfares, shelter, and more. Meanwhile, worker paychecks fell further behind, as overall inflation outpaced average wage growth.

These data were collected largely before the Russia-related run-up in global energy prices. Which suggests that next month’s overall inflation reading could be worse.

Given these trends, Americans are unhappy with the economy. But many on the left don’t want to hear it.

In recent months, many Democrats and their allies have approached the (political) problem of inflation by either denying any serious issue exists; or acknowledging it exists but demagoguing about its cause.

Some lefty politicians and commentators have argued that inflation is not that big of a deal. Americans have been tricked into thinking things are bad mostly because the media (and/or Republicanskeep telling them things are bad, this argument goes. Articles such as this one, drawing attention to inflation, are to blame.

I actually agree that much of the economic coverage has fallen short. For example: Contrary to recent headlines, gas prices aren’t really at all-time highs, at least not when adjusted for the changing value of the dollar. And there has been much more emphasis on soaring prices (bad news, boo) than on dwindling unemployment (good news, yay!).

Yet, it’s delusional to think that ordinary people wouldn’t care much about inflation if only the media stopped discussing it. People notice when they pay more for groceries, rent, gasoline, pet food, diapers. It is painful. It is unsettling. And inflation affects a broader swath of people than does a change in the unemployment rate, so more people are going to complain.

Viktor Zaretsky: By the Lake (1978)

Rampell wrote this last December “Every time I think the inflation discourse can’t get dumber, I’m proven wrong.”   I completely agree with that assertion.

Corporate greed. The cancellation of an oil pipeline that didn’t yet exist. A secret plot to cancel Halloween.

Every time I think the inflation discourse can’t get dumber, I’m proven wrong.

To be fair: The forces behind inflation, like many economic problems, are complicated. Economists can’t fully explain what determines current pricing behavior and inflation expectations in the real world, much less precisely predict where prices will land in a few months. New waves in the pandemic aren’t helping, either.

Most inflation predictions that top forecasters made in the spring turned out to be much too low. Elite academic economists, when surveyed about the risks of prolonged inflation, candidly acknowledge a lot of uncertainty.

All of which means there’s a lot of room for reasonable error on this issue, even among experts. But lately partisan factions have concocted new, unreasonable sources of error, too. Some of this rhetoric has been impressively creative; it’s basically like inflation fan fiction.

We economists really don’t assign pejorative terms to the actions of economic agents but I can tell you, huge oligopolies are going to take advantage of the situation and get whatever they can out of it. Let’s look at this.

There are three factors driving oil prices right now.  None can be controlled by a President.  First, the bounceback in demand due to increased driving now that Covid-19 shutdowns have slowed down and people are going back to work and school. Second, the uncertainty around the Russian invasion of Ukraine since Russia is an OPEC member.  Third, Oil companies are using the run-up to do what profit and bonus loving companies always can do when there are few producers (oligopoly) and no real ability for a government to regulate a world market.

There are lots of leases and permits out there for any US oil company to Drill Baby Drill. Biden has even increased their availability.  They are not exercising them. They’re happy with the high prices coming back.  Or, as Jen eloquently put it to Dumbo Doucy:

I suppose I shouldn’t mention here that I think he’s just a sub looking for the right Dom but he asks these stupid questions over and over.

And look to my tweet for what they are doing which is exactly what the Trump tax cuts and the Bush tax cuts incented them to do.  You make more money doing Wall Street tricks than you do when you actually do your business.  Nowhere is this more true than any extraction business.

Girls Victor Ivanovich Zaretsky, 1962

From the Financial Times: “Big Oil on course for near-record $38bn in share buybacks.  Seven majors set for supercharged stock purchasing on top of estimated $50bn of dividends”  This is all going on while Biden is scrambling to find any OPEC member that will release the gushers and opening the country’s reserves.  Read on and pay particular attention to what I highlighted.

Western energy majors are on course to buy back shares at near-record levels this year as soaring oil and gas prices enable them to deliver bumper profits and boost returns for investors. The seven supermajors — including BP, Shell, ExxonMobil and Chevron — are poised to return $38bn to shareholders through buyback programmes this year, according to data from Bernstein Research. Investment bank RBC Capital Markets put the total figure higher, at $41bn. That would be almost double the $21bn in buybacks completed in 2014 — when oil last traded above $100 a barrel — and the biggest total since 2008. The plans underscored the strength of companies that are reaping the rewards of a resurgence in energy demand as pandemic lockdown restrictions are rolled back. Gas prices are at record levels and oil is trading at a seven-year high of more than $90 a barrel, resulting in big profits for the supermajor group rounded out by TotalEnergies, Eni and Equinor.

Banks including Goldman Sachs expect Brent crude to trade at more than $100 this year, with some predicting that if Russia invades Ukraine it will trigger a sharper spike in energy costs.

Biraj Borkhataria at RBC Capital Markets said: “The sector is in the best shape it’s been in for a long time. Now the question is the duration of the cycle.” The underperformance of the companies’ shares during the pandemic meant that management teams felt their shares were undervalued and that buybacks were cheap, he added

Shell is set to lead the pack in 2022, buying back more than $12bn of its own shares, according to RBC and Bernstein. At least $8.5bn of those buybacks will be completed in the first half of the year, Shell said this month, including $5.5bn from the sale of its assets in the US Permian basin.

Chevron bought back shares worth $1.4bn in 2021 and has said it will spend $3bn to $5bn on buybacks this year.

If you were a CEO sitting on top of stock bonuses, etc what on earth would you do given “The sector is in the best shape it’s been in for a long time.”  They’re rational actors after all.  And wtf can President Biden do about any of this?  The entire energy sector is in great shape.  What incentives do they have to change?

So, that’s an explanation you can tell folks if you need to. The biggest thing that would bring prices down would be for Putin to stop his madness in Ukraine and the entire free world is working on that.

But, for some reason, Americans think they’re entitled to low gas prices and need large vehicles.  They forget the last cycles that have been recurrent since the 70s which basically all point back to OPEC which is a cartel that colludes to keep prices high until someone cheats and it falls apart and prices go down. That’s economics 101 stuff. I know this because I was in Economics 101 when the first Opec oil embargo hit. I even had a chance to listen to a panel of top Economists talk about it and got brave enough to ask a question.

Anyway, the Twitter round-up on Ukraine shows the world is trying to get to Putin.

EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said on Friday that Ukraine is “part of the European family” and that a fourth package of sanctions for Russia is coming along with a plan to wean the EU off Russian fuel sources by 2027. US President Joe Biden also announced plans to revoke Russia’s “most favored nation” trade status and ban key Russian goods like seafood, vodka and diamonds. Meanwhile, explosions were reported on Friday in Lutsk, near the Polish border, in Dnipro, a major stronghold in central-eastern Ukraine, and in Ivano-Frankivsk, in the south-west, Ukrainian authorities say.

So long Beluga caviar and Stolichnaya Vodka rich Americans!  Suck it up for Ukraine while the rest of us worry about gas and energy prices. And then there’s this piece of good news that sends me back to the research role in monetary and trade unions.

Okay, I hope I wasn’t too gloomy or doomy for you. I generously sprinkled the work of Ukrainian artist Viktor Zaretsky to break up the rest.

What’s on your reading and blogging list today?

Anyway, move over Trudeau and Macron, there’s a new guy in town!!


Sunday Super Thread

Good morning…

Just a few cartoons…

So today is Super Bowl Sunday…and I wanted to remember the best halftime performance ever…

And just a few links:

Hollywood legends…we have lost four over the last few weeks.

Christopher Plummer

Hal Holbrook

Cicely Tyson

Cloris Leachman

Keep well, and stay safe.

And just a little shoutout to my hometown team…go Bucs!


Wednesday Reads: Screw those virtual hugs.

 

Take your virtual hugs and fuck off….

 

I think that social media is turning everyone into anti-social assholes.

I went to a Christmas party this holiday season…it was a small party, when I got there I gave the people hugs. Why? Well…because it was fucking Christmas…and because I am an affectionate person and…being Latin, it is part of our DNA…you hug people you care about, especially if it is a fucking Christmas party.

Dammit, I could feel the animosity…

 

It seems as if the Facebook society has given people the excuse to become pseudo-Zuckerburgs.  By that, I mean…adopting an emotionally inept attitude, lacking any sentimental bonds or real human connection that is not some kind of fake fucking virtual “like” or “love” emoji.  In other words, behaving like a robotic asshole.

It is all bullshit….so damn sick of those “No Touch” memes:

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Welcome to a world where the only acceptable hug…is the virtual one you get over the fucking social network.

 

Here is my reply, via emoji:

 #🖕🏻🖕🏼🖕🏽🖕🏾🖕🏿

 

 

Sorry for the rant…

Now the cartoons:

2019..fingers crossed: 01/01/2019 Cartoon by Deb Milbrath

Cartoon by Deb Milbrath - 2019..fingers crossed

The hangover: 01/01/2019 Cartoon by Adam Zyglis

Cartoon by Adam Zyglis - The hangover

 

12/30 Mike Luckovich: Happy New Year

01/01/2019 Cartoon by Charlie Daniel

Cartoon by Charlie Daniel -

Clay Bennett editorial cartoon: 01/01/2019 Cartoon by Clay Bennett

Cartoon by Clay Bennett - Clay Bennett editorial cartoon

New Year Baby: 12/31/2018 Cartoon by Paul Fell

Cartoon by Paul Fell - New Year Baby

01/01/2019 Cartoon by MStreeter

Cartoon by MStreeter -

Bruce Plante Cartoon: Happy New Year?: 01/01/2019 Cartoon by Bruce Plante

Cartoon by Bruce Plante - Bruce Plante Cartoon: Happy New Year?

2019 eve: 12/31/2018 Cartoon by Deb Milbrath

Cartoon by Deb Milbrath - 2019 eve

WINDFALL: 12/30/2018 Cartoon by Deb Milbrath

Cartoon by Deb Milbrath - WINDFALL

And with that…I turn it over to you.

This is an open thread.


Monday Reads: #MeToo v Brett Kavanaugh #Be Silent No More!

Good Morning Sky Dancers!

When preppy smug Brett Kavanaugh’s accuser unmasked herself in WAPO yesterday I knew exactly what this Monday Post would explore.  There were inklings of all kinds of moral lapses and weirdness in Kavanaugh’s binders full of boys will be boys.

He had a lascivious obsession with the details of the Lewinsky/Clinton affair. He worked for predator Judge Alexis Kozinski but managed to see or hear nothing. He belonged to an all boy social club known informally as “Tit and Clit” because that was evidently all it was about.  He was an infamous heavy drinker and rumors swirled about possible gambling addictions and odd debt and financial transactions.  Additionally, it’s pretty clear he’s lied before several senate committees under oath.

We were supposed to be distracted by the cute kids he coaches and his indefatigable list of 65 high school women that magically appeared to vouch for his activities.  But, women every where are beginning to learn the Truth will set you Free.  Listen, I knew the Jesuit prep school culture in Omaha during my high school years.  Those guys had some of the girls schools labelled the source of Madonnas and potential wives and other ones the girls were whores and prey. I was repeatedly warned by Catholic school girl friends to make sure you were never alone with a group of them. I can’t imagine it was anything but the same situation on steroids in those exclusive DC suburbs. This could be stuff I witnessed ten years earlier. I’m tempted to ask my daughters if those same prep schoolers still behave like this. I have a feeling they do.

Judge, a classmate of Kavanaugh’s at the all-male Georgetown Prep the time of the alleged assault, tells stories in his 1997 memoir, Wasted: Tales of a GenX Drunk, of binge drinking at teen parties and trying to “hook up” with girls.

It was at one such gathering, Ford told the Post, that Kavanaugh and Judge, both drunk, shoved her into a bedroom. She said that Kavanaugh locked the door, pushed her onto a bed, fumbled with her clothing, held her down and attempted to force himself on her. Ford said she managed to escape when Judge jumped on top of both of them. Kavanaugh has “categorically” denied the accusations.

Judge recalls in his book how his life changed when he first got drunk at the age of 14 and later battled alcoholism.

His “immersion” into alcohol began the end of his sophomore year during a typical annual “beach week,” when Catholic high school students headed to the shore after school was out. “Now I had an opportunity to make some headway [with girls]. Most of the time everyone, including the girls, was drunk. If you could breathe and walk at the same time, you could hook up,” he wrote.

His drinking became so extreme that he had blackout episodes, and woke up on the floor of a restaurant bathroom with no memory of how he got there. Once “I had the first beer, I found it impossible to stop until I was completely annihilated,” he wrote.

And that’st the deal, I wonder if we can ever get rid of this culture of raising young men to be predators. But back to the cad at hand.  I put this up on the thread yesterday but I’m giving it my full attention now because, well, THIS!!!  Professor of constitutional law at the University of Baltimore and writer for the Atlantic wrote this yesterday: “The Subtext of Kavanaugh’s Nomination Bursts Into the Open. A sexual-assault allegation against President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee brings the fight over gender and power to the fore.”

The gendered subtext of this moment is, not to put too fine a point on it, war—war to the knife—over the future of women’s autonomy in American society. Shall women control their own reproduction, their health care, their contraception, their legal protection at work against discrimination and harassment, or shall we move backward to the chimera of past American greatness, when the role of women was—supposedly for biological reasons—subordinate to that of men?

That theme became became apparent even before the 2016 election, when candidate Donald Trump promised to pick judges who would “automatically” overturn Roe v. Wade. The candidate was by his own admission a serial sexual harasser. On live national television, he then stalked, insulted, and physically menaced his female opponent—and he said, in an unguarded moment, that in his post-Roe future, women who choose abortion will face “some form of punishment.”

In context, Trump promised to restore the old system of dominion—by lawmakers, husbands, pastors, institutions, and judges—over women’s reproduction. Arguably that platform propelled Trump into the White House: Many evangelical Christian voters chose to overlook Trump’s flagrant sexual immorality, his overt contempt for the basics of faith, because they believed he would end abortion forever.

It’s also why Trump is going all in on the nominee. Kavanaugh’s got the same MOs as Trump.  They’re freaking soul mates.  Both are entitle dicks who hate women and feel they have the right to take and do whatever they want and to say whatever they want, and to freaking make decisions over “lesser beings” like people from shithole countries and women. Trump sees conspiracies when people actually try to hold any of them all to account for immoral, terrible behavior. They’re alllowed in their mind’s eye.

In the hours after a 51-year-old California professor came forward to publicly allege that Judge Brett Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her while they were in high school, the White House signaled no interest in slowing Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court nomination.

Instead, the president’s team and his allies on and off the Hill began to mount a vigorous defense against the accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, questioning why she had identified herself only now, and framing Kavanaugh’s alleged behavior as almost commonplace in nature.

A senior White House official told The Daily Beast that, as of Sunday evening, things are still “full steam ahead” for Kavanaugh. On Friday afternoon, a different White House official confirmed that President Trump had been made aware of the earlier reports involving the Kavanaugh sexual-misconduct allegation—reports that did not name the accuser.

The president has told those close to him in recent days that he believes there is a “conspiracy” or organized effort by Democrats to smear Kavanaugh and try to derail the nomination of a “good man.” One Trump confidant said Sunday that they “can’t imagine that” Ford coming forward will change the president’s position, and that it will far more likely cause Trump to dig in and attack those going after Kavanaugh.

The response from Team Trump rang all too familiar for women who have come forward in the past to allege that they had been targeted by prominent male officials. And for veterans of Clarence Thomas’ nomination for the Supreme Court seat some three decades ago, the echoes were even more profound. The extent to which lessons have been learned from that episode —and what specific lessons they are—could very well determine Kavanaugh’s fate in the coming days.

I’ve been mad about stuff like this for a very long time and I’ve never cooled down over it.  I will never, EVER vote for Joe Biden because ANITA HILL.  And you want a story? I was assaulted in the choir room in my high school by 2 hyperchristians.  I felt fortunate I didn’t get raped.  I just finally started talking about it 3 years ago.  I’m finally talking about what my exhusband did to me when I was 36 and both my kids’ godparents saw the bruises as did my parents and his mother.  My oldest daughter’s godparents even asked me if it was okay they talk to him at her wedding because they knew what he did to me. Just about every victim of abuse has to think long and hard about coming forward.  My friend in college was raped in the University of Nebraska Library Stacks.  She thought she had no options because she had smoked a joint prior to going to study.  At the time, the laws let her sexual history and all kinds of crap come forward. It was and still is a torturous process for victims no matter how long  SVU has been on TV.

And she was 15 and he was 17.

And his behavior was not the normal high school boy stupidity. Read the details.  Dr. Christine Blasey Ford has a posse and it includes me because I know what it’s like.  I know it includes most of his here including many men.

A group of women who went to Christine Blasey Ford’s high school are circulating a letter to show support for the woman who has alleged that Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh tried to sexually assault her while they were in high school.

“We believe Dr. Blasey Ford and are grateful that she came forward to tell her story,” says a draft letter from alumnae of Holton-Arms, a private girls school in Bethesda, Maryland. “It demands a thorough and independent investigation before the Senate can reasonably vote on Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to a lifetime seat on the nation’s highest court.”

The women also say that what Ford is alleging “is all too consistent with stories we heard and lived while attending Holton. Many of us are survivors ourselves.”

The letter is a boost of support for Ford, who has been thrust into the political spotlight and had her credibility questioned by going up against Kavanaugh and the White House. The signatories span decades at the school, both before, during and after Ford attended.

More than 200 women had signed the letter as of late Monday morning, said Sarah Burgess, a member of the class of 2005. Burgess said she and some of her schoolmates wrote the letter because hearing Ford’s story felt “personal.”

“I know that in the coming days, her story will be scrutinized, and she will be accused of lying,” Burgess said in an email. “However, I grew up hearing stories like hers, and believe her completely.”

Politico had this to say this morning: “Why God Is Laughing at Brett Kavanaugh”.

It is on this point that the cosmos may be having a laugh not just at Kavanaugh’s expense but at many other people’s. After decades of competitive moralizing and situational ethics—in which every accuser in due course becomes the accused, and anyone riding a high horse can expect to be bucked off—even the concept of fairness in American politics seemingly is defunct.

Three decades of remorseless ideological and cultural combat—over Robert Bork, over Clarence Thomas and Anita Hill, over Bill Clinton and Newt Gingrich, over Bush v. Gore, and, at last and above all, over Donald Trump—have made the question virtually irrelevant.

Fairness is rooted in the idea of principles, precedent, proportionality. Few people in American life witnessed at closer range than Kavanaugh the modern reality that when things really matter—in the way that the balance of the Supreme Court matters—all these fine notions matter less than the cold, hard exercise of power.

So here was Kavanaugh—who spent his early 30s as a Ken Starr warrior pursuing Bill Clinton for the political and legal implications of his most intimate moral failings—now in his early 50s facing a political crisis over disturbingly vivid, passionately contested, decades-old allegations about Kavanaugh’s own possible moral failings.

Few prosecutors, it seems likely, would ever open an assault case—36 years later—on the basis of Christine Blasey Ford’s account of being pinned down on a bed by a drunken Kavanaugh, then 17, and being aggressively groped until a friend of his physically jumped in.

But few prosecutors in the 1990s would have pursued an extensive criminal investigation over perjury into a middle-aged man’s lies about adultery if that person had not been President Bill Clinton. In his zeal at the time, Kavanaugh, like Starr, may have worked himself into a belief that this was about sacred principles of law, but to many others—and ultimately to a clear majority of the country—it was obvious that the case was fundamentally about political power.

Kavanaugh’s fate, too, now depends on precisely the same thing: Do the allegations change the calculation for the perhaps half-a-dozen senators—including Republicans Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska—whose minds were not already made up by earlier political calculations?

With the benefit of hindsight, Kavanaugh later concluded presidents should be shielded from criminal investigations of the sort he helped wage against Clinton. At the time, however, he was filled with righteous indignation. “It is our job,” he wrote colleagues in Starr’s office in an email, “to make his pattern of revolting behavior clear—piece by painful piece.”

Can Kavanaugh and his supporters really be surprised that opponents of his nomination will feel similarly righteous in wanting to examine allegations against him piece by piece?

Both Judge* Kavanaugh and Professor Ford are willing to testify.

Democrats say the vote should be delayed so that the committee can hear Dr. Blasey — a move Republicans have said is a stalling tactic. Judge Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearings have drawn raucous protests and partisan fights, even before Dr. Blasey’s allegations became public.

Dr. Blasey was willing to testify before Congress, Debra Katz, a lawyer, said on Monday about her client, who has been referred to in news accounts as Ms. Ford but goes by Dr. Blasey professionally.

“We hope that this hearing is fair and not another weaponized attack on a woman who has come forward with allegations of sexual misconduct against a powerful man,” Ms. Katz told The New York Times.

There was no indication early Monday that the Judiciary Committee had requested such testimony or that the panel planned to delay the vote.

A key Republican on the committee, however, Senator Jeff Flake of Arizona, told Politico that he was “not comfortable voting yes” on Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination until he learned more about Dr. Blasey’s account. Mr. Flake’s objection could force a delay for the committee, which has 11 Republicans and 10 Democrats.

Senate Republicans have also expected they could win the support of some Democrats who face tough re-election campaigns in states Mr. Trump won in 2016. One such Democrat, Senator Joe Donnelly of Indiana, said on Monday that the allegations against Judge Kavanaugh were “serious and merit further review.”

This week is going to be a wild and bumpy ride.  We’re about to see if the recent women’s marches and the incredible removals of powerful men in charge of media and entertainment interests as well as holding political positions has sunk in enough to to make Anita Hill proud of us all.

This was the one thing I always wanted to protect my daughters from and it pains me to think the girls and women today are still not believed and the men are still waved off with the “boys will be boys” mentality.

He was 17 and she was 15.  She was afraid her parents would find out where she’d been.  She was afraid of all kinds of things that would happen and are happening now that she spoke out.

We should be on her posse just as I will always be on Anita Hill’s posse.  I believe them both.

What’s on your reading and blogging list today?  This is still an open thread so share everything!