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?