Paulie Manafort Flips, Bada Bing Bada Boom
September 14, 2018 2:16 PM   Subscribe

Trump Campaign Manager and convicted felon Paul Manafort will plead guilty to avoid a second trial and has agreed to cooperate with federal investigators (CNBC). In an unusually lengthy superseding criminal information document (PDF), the Special Counsel's office charges him on two counts: conspiracy against the United States from 2006 to 2017, with Rick Gates and GRU operative Konstantin Kilimnik (FARA conspiracy), and conspiracy to obstruct justice (witness tampering). In a 17-page cooperation agreement, Manafort promises to give interviews and briefings to the Special Counsel, turn over documents, and testify in other proceedings—and he has waived right to have lawyers representing him present at any interviews. In exchange, the agreement calls for a 10-year cap on Manafort's prison sentence and for concurrent time served for his separate Virginia and Washington cases (Politico). Manafort will also give up $46 million in criminal and civil forfeitures, making his plea deal effectively pardon proof. From the courthouse, CNN reports: “He's not smiling at all. He's glum and quietly responding, 'yes, your honor'”

• Brett Kavanaugh's Supreme Court nomination is running into difficulties, as The New Yorker's Ronan Farrow and Jane Mayer uncover a sexual-assault allegation against him while in high school, stirring tension among Democrats in Congress. Meanwhile, Kavanaugh contradicts White House account of credit card debt, raising more questions, Luppe Luppen (@nycsouthpaw) writes for Yahoo. The Senate Judiciary Committee has now delayed the vote on Kavanaugh's confirmation to September 20th (CBS).

• Bob Woodward's runaway bestseller Fear: Trump in the White House (MeFi Fanfare Discussion) continues to receive praise for its "devastating reported account of the Trump Presidency" (The New Yorker) that "shows the administration is broken, and yet what comes next could be even worse" (The Atlantic). Slate's Isaac Chotiner cautions, "Fear will make plain to the last optimist that, just as Republicans in Congress are unlikely to save us, neither are the relative grown-ups in the Trump administration." And Woodward tells CBS, "People who work for him are worried ... that he will sign things or give orders that threaten the national security or the financial security of the country, or of the world. […] [P]eople better wake up to what's going on."

• In a political storm Trump began by tweeting about a baseless conspiracy to inflate the death toll in Puerto Rico (Washington Post)—in itself an impeachable offense, argues Slate's Jamelle Bouie—Trump calls San Juan's mayor "totally incompetent" and his administration's emergency response 'a tremendous success' and 'one of the best.' GOP campaign operative Ed Rollins, back Trump on Puerto Rico death toll estimates: "The reality is the Democrats are playing to Puerto Ricans who have moved to this country, moved to Florida, politics, and they're not for us anyways. So, at the end of the day here, the president is accurate." In the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, 2,341 Americans in Puerto Rico have applied for funeral assistance: FEMA approved 75.

In Other Headlines:

• Days before a hurricane hits the East Coast, the Department of Homeland Security shifts $10,000,000 from FEMA disaster relief to ICE detention camps—and an additional $169 million from other programs to them (NBC).

• New Yorker, Jonathan Blizter, The Case for Reuniting “Ineligible” Families Separated at the Border: "The truth is, up to now I’ve been strong,[...] but I’m scared to close my eyes. I don’t want to fall asleep, because when I do I dream about the moment they took him from me. I dream about how it felt to hold him." Detention of Migrant Children Has Skyrocketed to Highest Levels Ever (NYT)

• Buzzfeed scored a scoop about Trump-Putin go-between Aras Agalarov: A Series of Suspicious Money Transfers Followed The Trump Tower Meeting "Investigators are focused on two bursts of banking activity — one shortly after the June 2016 meeting, the other immediately after the presidential election."

• Trump signed an order yesterday to punish foreign meddlers in US votes (BBC), but White House order on election meddling has no teeth, officials say (Daily Beast)

• Politico, Van Jackson, Is the Left Ready to Handle National Security? "Any number of true-blue progressives could defeat Trump in 2020. The problem: They don’t have a foreign policy."

• The Investigative Fund, Adam Federman, How Far Will Trump Go to Loosen Offshore Drilling Rules?, in which post-Deepwater Horizon safety reforms are targeted for cancellation.

• NYT, Matthew Desmond, Americans Want to Believe Jobs Are the Solution to Poverty. They’re Not. "U.S. unemployment is down and jobs are going unfilled. But for people without much education, the real question is: Do those jobs pay enough to live on?"

• Trump Cabinet Corruption Watch: Trump’s FEMA chief Brock Long is under investigation over use of official cars (Politico); and former EPA head Scott Pruitt is in talks to consult for Kentucky coal-mining tycoon and major Republican donor Joseph W. Craft III. (NYT)

• Russia media monitor Julia Davis checks in on the US Energy Secretary's visit to Moscow: “Meanwhile in #Russia: Rick Perry says the U.S. does not want to impose the #sanctions and indicates they are not imminent. Perry: "Russian Energy Minister] Alexander Novak and I both agree that getting to that point where sanctions would be engaged is not where we want to go."”

Today is Day 602 of the Trump Administration—yesterday Trump made his official 5,000th false statement/misleading claim/lie (Washington Post)—and there are 52 left until midterm elections. You can check your voter registration status on Vote.org and learn more at USA.gov.


As always, please consider MeFi chat for hot-takes and live-blogging breaking news, the current MetaTalk venting thread for catharsis and sympathizing, and funding the site if you're able. Also, for the sake of the ever-helpful mods, please keep in mind the MetaTalk on expectations about U.S. political discussion on MetaFilter. (Many thanks to Zachlipton and box for collaborating on this FPP's draft on the MeFi wiki.)
posted by Doktor Zed (2119 comments total) 139 users marked this as a favorite
 
Is that hope I feel?
posted by mazola at 2:22 PM on September 14 [5 favorites]


Is that hope I feel?

Until we see results, best to assume it's just gas.
posted by Rust Moranis at 2:26 PM on September 14 [193 favorites]


Trump’s team put out an initial statement that said: “the President did nothing wrong and Manafort will tell the truth.”
Minutes later, they put out a new statement that said: “the President did nothing wrong.”
posted by growabrain at 2:26 PM on September 14 [56 favorites]


BTW, if you're like me and you're having trouble keeping track of who The Best People are and which crimes they've been charged with, pled guilty to, and been convicted of, along with which ones are cooperating with the investigation, WaPo has you covered.
posted by tonycpsu at 2:28 PM on September 14 [24 favorites]


Hope is a necessary preparatory step on the road to crushing disappointment. Best to get it out of the way and move on to the exciting new horrors that lie in wait for us.
posted by Grangousier at 2:29 PM on September 14 [14 favorites]


I don't know about Trump's supporters, but I'm getting tired of winning. Shouldn't have to win this much.
posted by Abehammerb Lincoln at 2:30 PM on September 14 [3 favorites]


god, that one thread of braindead repubs tweeting their snotty mocking takes on the kavanaugh high school allegations before they actually knew what the allegations WERE was incredibly fucking ugly.
posted by poffin boffin at 2:30 PM on September 14 [23 favorites]


ABC (the Australian site broadcaster) also has an excellent podcast series Russia, If You're Listening, which gives a great overview focused largely on individual players. I suppose it may be geo-blocked, but I hope not.
posted by GeckoDundee at 2:31 PM on September 14 [6 favorites]


That Vote.org link actually puts you on a mailing list (and signs you up to receive texts if you include your cell number). Further down the same page are links to official state-run lookup websites so you can avoid that sign-up process.
posted by hippybear at 2:33 PM on September 14 [3 favorites]




I suppose it may be geo-blocked, but I hope not

Nope, it works fine for me in the US.
posted by BungaDunga at 2:34 PM on September 14 [1 favorite]


Skripal Poisoning Update: Skripal Poisoning Suspect’s Passport Data Shows Link to Security Services

TLDR: The 'tourists' names and identities are most probably fake and created for use by Russian security services.
posted by PenDevil at 2:38 PM on September 14 [15 favorites]


"Any number of true-blue progressives could defeat Trump in 2020. The problem: They don’t have a foreign policy."

Okay, assuming for a moment that's true: Are elections won or lost based on foreign policy? Does America care about foreign policy beyond how it might impact them personally? Finally, do the Republicans have a coherent foreign policy.

I would say Democrats have 101 problems, but foreign policy isn't one of them.*

* And to be clear, I'm not exactly happy about a bunch of foreign policy decisions democrats have made, particularly in regards for military 'adventurism'. That being said, Obama's engaging Iran and Cuba are some of the most significant foreign policy win's America has had in a long time.
posted by el io at 2:38 PM on September 14 [32 favorites]


As Josh Marshall points out, perhaps the most significant aspect of Manafort's "full cooperation" agreement is that throughout these ten or so days of leaks that a plea agreement was being negotiated, these leaks all indicated that it would require no cooperation.

This didn't make much sense from Mueller's point of view, but it was plausible that Manafort was avoiding another trial in the anticipation of a pardon and therefore Mueller's team was foregoing the trouble of another trial that would merely be undermined by one. And, indeed, Trump has been singing Manafort's praises as a man who "won't flip".

Then in the last couple of days, Giuliani mentioned there was a joint defense cooperation agreement between Trump and Manafort's counsel -- thus, via the defense information sharing, Manafort refusing to cooperate with Mueller, and an expected pardon, all signs pointed to the best possible outcome for Trump.

It was all disinformation.

What should have been a big clue was that Mueller's team doesn't leak. All such (mis) information had to be leaked by his people. Which has never before happened. Yet, Trump and his team were confident. They were played, and made to be fools. Meanwhile Trump’s been praising Manafort in public, on Twitter, repeatedly.

In addition to all the compelling arguments that between Manafort and Cohen, Mueller now knows (or will know) where all the bodies are buried, it also is the most profound example yet of how Trump and his lawyers are bumbling idiots while Mueller and his team are, from Trump’s perspective, the black-suited horsemen of the fucking apocalypse.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 2:38 PM on September 14 [183 favorites]


god, that one thread of braindead repubs tweeting their snotty mocking takes on the kavanaugh high school allegations before they actually knew what the allegations WERE was incredibly fucking ugly.

Link?
posted by rocket88 at 2:41 PM on September 14 [2 favorites]


If this is not the death of the Republican party then it's the death of the American experiment. The demonstrable level of corruption, up to and including giving foreign powers access to our electoral process, is enough to throw people in jail for decades. In a different time they'd be hanged.

That isn't what's going to happen. What's going to happen is that a few Trump campaign officials will do a few months in minimum security behind Manafort's "cooperation" and he'll get a pardon. What on earth would make you think this could be otherwise?

That hope you're feeling is so unfamiliar to me that I can't come up with a metaphor.
posted by East14thTaco at 2:41 PM on September 14 [16 favorites]


So. Manafort pled to two crimes that carry a maximum sentence of 10 years, but also admitted to facts that would justify a sentence of about twice that long. He's got a lot of cooperating to do if he wants to take another free breath. And the list of fish bigger than him who he could give up is pretty short...
posted by Zonker at 2:45 PM on September 14 [6 favorites]


A brief comment on 'leaks'. Washington historically has used 'leaks' as 'trial balloons' to see how the public reacts to ideas that are being considered internally. Historically many/most 'leaks' weren't unauthorized, they were strategic. Trump's White House is entirely different - his leaks are backstabby and often self-serving, they aren't trial balloons, and I don't think Trump is feigning his rage at the amount of leaks in his administration.

Part of the reason Trump's white house is so leaky is that no one (other than perhaps his children) are loyal to him. It's fair, he isn't actually loyal to anyone himself. Some folks are loyal to some of the ideas they think they can get executed (immigration crackdown, anti-Muslim executive orders, tax cuts for the rich, conservatives on the supreme court, etc), but none are actually loyal to Trump himself. I think this is rather historical, it's hard to point to an administration that has had so few true believers in the POTUS. It's why there can be (and apparently is) a 'resistance' within the White House.
posted by el io at 2:46 PM on September 14 [23 favorites]


If this is not the death of the Republican party then it's the death of the American experiment.

To be fair, when the American Republic ends (who knows when), historians will trace it back to either the Patriot Act, or the policy of containment of communism leading to the permanent establishment of the military industrial complex.
posted by Groundhog Week at 2:47 PM on September 14 [77 favorites]


Obama calculated that it would be better to get healthcare to more people than to try to prosecute Bush and cronies for war & financial crimes. And maybe he was right? The ACA's been a huge boon to my family. But I guess he didn't figure on American Democracy totally coming apart. If he'd secured democracy first, at the height of the recession... but wait, all those racists would still be with us, slavering for revenge. We were fucked no matter what.
posted by rikschell at 2:48 PM on September 14 [18 favorites]


One of the things I find fascinating (and please, I need those; they keep me from screaming) is the idea that Mueller's team not leaking is exotic. (Not as discussed here; I mean there are actual news articles about this.) Mueller's team is not "amazingly tight-lipped;" they're acting like real lawyers with an active case. You don't talk to the media - nor your drinking buddies, nor your spouse, if you can avoid it - about what's going on with an active case.

This is not even Lawsuits 101. This is part of the career-interest questionnaires: "Do you want to be a lawyer? Maybe you can! Are you good with language; can you understand the details of complex systems; can you keep your mouth shut?"

That 45 has managed to surround himself with people with legal training who are incapable of not talking is mind-boggling.
posted by ErisLordFreedom at 2:49 PM on September 14 [128 favorites]


That Politico foreign policy article is wholly detestable to me.

It literally wants us to thank neoliberalism, and argues that the Left just needs to come around to imperialism. It's the only way, after all.

The Democrats, insofar as they are the left, do have foreign policy. It's just indistinguishable from the Republican policy, from what I can see.
posted by AnhydrousLove at 2:50 PM on September 14 [28 favorites]


If this is not the death of the Republican party then it's the death of the American experiment.

It's not either/or.
posted by Rust Moranis at 2:51 PM on September 14 [8 favorites]


The linked to venting thread is locked due to hitting the time limit. This is the current venting thread, which I assume locks next week.
posted by ZeusHumms at 2:52 PM on September 14 [3 favorites]


[Fixed the venting link; carry on.]
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 2:57 PM on September 14 [6 favorites]


He's supposed to be the greatest deal maker of all time, right? These wiseguys are making these deals and dodging a life of porridge followed by a pauper's grave. Must start him thinking, maybe if I flip on Putin. Someone has already said don't hope, but hoping Donald is that stupid isn't reaching for the stars.
posted by adept256 at 2:59 PM on September 14 [2 favorites]


maybe if I flip on Putin

Putin would put him in the ground. Never forget that this man is a tremendous coward.
posted by Abehammerb Lincoln at 3:01 PM on September 14 [4 favorites]


ABC (the Australian site broadcaster) also has an excellent podcast series Russia, If You're Listening, which gives a great overview focused largely on individual players.

Can confirm this is a great podcast! Gives moderately deep dives on all the major players.
posted by triggerfinger at 3:02 PM on September 14 [1 favorite]


I’ve been reading Russian Roulette and it has really been helpful to bring all of the tornado of this into focus. It’s really easy to read and follow.

As far as I can tell, the majority of the stuff I’ve heard about it but the book puts it in a narrative and provides context.

I highly recommend it.
posted by sio42 at 3:10 PM on September 14 [5 favorites]


The problem with him flipping on Putin isn't whether he'd be motivated to do so, but who he'd flip to. He'll need to be facing an Democratic Senate before there's anyone with the authority to threaten him with unpleasant consequences if he doesn't cooperate.

He would happily flip on Putin - he's not actually capable of considering a threat that's not right in front of him, and the danger of "actually go to prison" would have him handing over whatever dirt he can remember. But right now, Putin is giving him something (whether that's "keeping the kompromat buried" or "approval from a high-status despot"), and nobody else has a counter-offer that's worth anything to him; "sustainable future for America" is not one of his goals.
posted by ErisLordFreedom at 3:20 PM on September 14 [3 favorites]


A canvassing update from an R+14 district: the campaign of Stephany Rose Spaulding for Colorado CD-5 is reaching out to unaffiliated voters and some Rs. This is the first time I've done this; previous canvass efforts with other campaigns have been directed at turning out D voters. A couple of the Republicans on my list today were home (two different houses) and although they both said they intend to vote for the incumbent Doug Lamborn, they also thanked me and my canvass partner for being out and for the work we're doing. It was weird. Last week the couple of Republicans I contacted shut their doors in my face without the thanks. Maybe it's just a more polite neighborhood, maybe it doesn't mean anything, but I noticed it.
posted by danielleh at 3:21 PM on September 14 [29 favorites]


This is not even Lawsuits 101. This is part of the career-interest questionnaires: "Do you want to be a lawyer? Maybe you can! Are you good with language; can you understand the details of complex systems; can you keep your mouth shut?"

I guess the closest point of comparison that people think about is the Starr investigation, which definitely talked to reporters.
posted by BungaDunga at 3:22 PM on September 14 [5 favorites]


Did Manafort plead to anything about the Trump Tower meeting? Isn't the meeting a conspiracy to accept a thing of value from foreign nationals?

Or would that be something they could charge Manafort with, but didn't, and they can still charge the other participants?
posted by kirkaracha at 3:25 PM on September 14 [1 favorite]


"A couple of the Republicans on my list today were home (two different houses) and although they both said they intend to vote for the incumbent Doug Lamborn, they also thanked me and my canvass partner for being out and for the work we're doing. It was weird. Last week the couple of Republicans I contacted shut their doors in my face without the thanks. Maybe it's just a more polite neighborhood, maybe it doesn't mean anything, but I noticed it."

My experience was that older people (who grew up in a time with more comity) are more likely to thank you for canvassing and being involved, even if they're on the opposite side of politics from you. They'll often sign your nominating positions even if they don't like your guy. Sometimes they like to argue with you a little bit about the major politics of the day, and then chuckle and compliment you on being well-informed (albeit, to their minds, wrong).
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 3:27 PM on September 14 [37 favorites]


The word on the street in DC is apparently that Kavanaugh has a gambling problem, fwiw. Definitely be interested to know who paid his debts off, particularly keeping in mind the circumstances around Kennedy's retirement.
posted by fshgrl at 3:28 PM on September 14 [65 favorites]


Did Manafort plead to anything about the Trump Tower meeting? Isn't the meeting a conspiracy to accept a thing of value from foreign nationals?

Or would that be something they could charge Manafort with, but didn't, and they can still charge the other participants?


I would say that -- as long as Manafort rolls over on the others in either the illegal meeting with the Russian criminals or the internal strategy meeting prior to the illegal meetings with Russian criminals -- he's played his part.

Donald Jr. and Kushner were the meeting participants. Rumor is that Trump was in on the strategy meeting.

So now we just have to assume that Mueller knows everything that happened in Manafort's presence, and it's time to move on up the ladder to the next targets.
posted by mikelieman at 3:30 PM on September 14 [6 favorites]


The hope I feel is completely from the Mueller team. The despair I feel is from what congress won't do with Mueller's report.

Unless there is a broad uprising in the country - which I hope there will be.
posted by bluesky43 at 3:57 PM on September 14 [10 favorites]


"I would say that -- as long as Manafort rolls over on the others in either the illegal meeting with the Russian criminals or the internal strategy meeting prior to the illegal meetings with Russian criminals -- he's played his part."

I think Manafort's cooperation is more significant than that.

It's guesswork, but there is boatload of circumstancial evidence and surmise that Manafort's role in this with regard to probable Trump collusion is extensive, long-standing, and as the most senior, direct liason between Russian intelligence people (mostly via Putin's oligarchic cronies) and Trump and his senior advisors. His extensive involvement begins with his gratis(!) assumption of the role of Trump Campaign Manager.

There had to be numerous other contacts between the Russians and Trump and Manafort's likely role was both to facilitate this and to shape Trump's policies in Russia's favor -- he did this because he was in dire straits financially, vulnerable to pressure, has extensive GOP connections, and precisely the kind of person able to handle Trump.

Trump has been frantic about Manafort's prosecution -- he's been alternately distancing, ingratiating, antagonistic to the prosecutors, and even more unwisely voluble in public than he already prodigiously is. Guiliani has spoken frequently about Manafort.

There are a number of people who have played key roles in different events at different times, but with regard to collusion, Manafort really tied the room together.

Flynn will be the other pillar in the collusion and conspiracy case against Trump.

The obstruction of justice case will be Cohen and anyone else they get as they turn the screws. But obstruction, while the most airtight legal case, is not most important politically (sadly). It's any longstanding conspiracy with Russian agents against US interests that will torpedo Trump, in combination with the triggered self-destructive meltdown.

Manafort's full cooperation about anything and everything (as stipulated in the plea agreement) is a huge disaster for Trump. Expect even more erratic and self-destructive behavior from Trump shortly.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 4:00 PM on September 14 [20 favorites]


Link?

oh nooo, i thought it was in the post already, as a link near a twitter handle was greyed out as already visited by me, but alas it is not. it's about 12h back on my tl but i will have a look.
posted by poffin boffin at 4:01 PM on September 14


“TURN TURN CURSE SPIT,” bellowed Death, a bony finger trembling in the direction of the door.
posted by EarBucket at 4:01 PM on September 14 [25 favorites]


That politico link fills me with rage. What the heck? There is no other progressive besides Bernie Sanders - who clearly did not have a foreign policy which was achingly apparent in the debates - who can be an all around candidate? And why the hell do progressives have to have a foreign policy when the country (excuse me the electoral college) elected a fucking moron?

I mean the midterm elections - which are barely out of the news - have shown the viability of a lot of progressive candidates and I expect to see the influence of those candidates expand. I just hope the Democratic Party doesn't get in the way.
posted by bluesky43 at 4:02 PM on September 14 [14 favorites]


The word on the street in DC is apparently that Kavanaugh has a gambling problem

Then why the fuck hasn't that been leaked? C'mon, guys, we need All The Ammo.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 4:02 PM on September 14 [18 favorites]


TPM, FEMA To Test ‘Presidential Alert’ System Next Week
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) next week will test the Emergency Alert System, which allows the President to address Americans via text message in the event of a national emergency.

The test alert, which will be sent at 2:18 p.m. ET on Sept. 20, will note that it’s a test of the system. At that time, all cell phone within the range of a cell tower will receive the message.

Basically, this is a reminder that in the event of a national emergency, President Trump will be able to reach all of us via text message.
You can read more about the test here (it's been planned for some time, not a Trump thing specifically), which will apparently be quite loud and annoying, and hope that the President does not realize he could use this functionality to deliver nationwide covfefe alerts when the urge strikes him.
posted by zachlipton at 4:21 PM on September 14 [44 favorites]


What was it that allowed Mueller to secure the cooperation of Manafort just before the second trial that wasn't present before the first trial? When and how did the leverage shift that caused Manafort to flip this time around?
posted by scottatdrake at 4:22 PM on September 14 [2 favorites]


Basically, this is a reminder that in the event of a national emergency, President Trump will be able to reach all of us via text message.

Way to ignore the glaringly obvious question, TPM.

Will we be able to text him back?
posted by Mayor West at 4:23 PM on September 14 [33 favorites]


The word on the street in DC is apparently that Kavanaugh has a gambling problem

Then why the fuck hasn't that been leaked? C'mon, guys, we need All The Ammo.


No leaking needed:

Democrat asks whether Brett Kavanaugh suffered from 'gambling addiction' in light of high credit card debt (Chris Sommerfeldt for NY Daily News, Sept. 11, 2018)
A Democratic senator is rolling the dice with an unusual line of questioning for President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee.

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) posed a number of gambling-related questions in a form (PDF) issued to Brett Kavanaugh Tuesday that brings attention to his unusually high personal debt and past references to playing craps.

“Have you ever sought treatment for a gambling addiction?” reads one of the questions.

Kavanaugh, who was tapped by Trump to succeed outgoing Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, reported in 2016 that he was between $60,000 and $200,000 in debt because of bank and credit card loans. He reported the same figure in 2006.

The White House said in July that the debts related to baseball tickets Kavanaugh bought for friends who later reimbursed him.

The debts raised eyebrows at the time but didn’t come up during Kavanaugh’s combative confirmation hearings last week, which Whitehouse says he is now trying to rectify.

el io: A brief comment on 'leaks'.

A good summary of the 4 reasons people leak materials, which I posted in a long-thread what feels like centuries ago: Leaks can be good, but they can also be tools. Jonah Goldberg, senior editor at the National Review, talked on NPR about four kinds of leaks that could be happening now (February 3, 2017, audio + transcript)
  1. a lot of vengeful leaking against pro-administration rivals as people vie for Trump's ear
  2. "permanent-government, high-level, public-servant bureaucrats and that kind of stuff - policymakers" are acting against the Napoleon-like invasion of Trump's forces
  3. one of the ways that Trump's team gets information or arguments into the president's head is by going through the media, because that matters more to him than his staff (!!)
  4. some of these things are done intentionally because they want a certain storyline to get out (!!!)
And Goldberg wrapped up with a really good observation: "there is a problem ... half lies are more persuasive than whole lies, that a partial truth can really mislead people."
posted by filthy light thief at 4:25 PM on September 14 [19 favorites]


Then why the fuck hasn't that been leaked? C'mon, guys, we need All The Ammo.

Its been in the news quite a bit but he has denied it. He's also denied the baseball ticket thing, at least as explained by the WH. Without looking at his credit card statements there is no way to know what is true.
posted by fshgrl at 4:26 PM on September 14 [1 favorite]


Lodestar was used by Shakespeare. Midsummernight's Dream. I think I always associated it with a romantic attachment as in, "You are my lodestar," however I recognize it simply means lead star and so can all sorts of non-romantic meanings.

If you take a look at the 65 Women for Kavanaugh letter I think you'll probably see a lot of political ties. For example Virginia Hume, daughter of Brit Hume, is a former deputy press secretary of the RNC in her own right, plus author and talking head. Hard to know if this is merely done out of pure friendship or is another partisan weapon aimed at the Democrats who dare to suggest that Kavanaugh might not be the wonderful Car Pool Dad they have been painting him as. Between this, the unexplained debts, the stolen emails, and all those unreleased documents that date back to his days serving George Bush, there should be a slow down on this nomination process so that he gets thoroughly vetted, so that Senators can do their Constitutional duty and advise and consent. Of course McConnell is eyeballing the odds of losing the Senate majority and I think he will do anything to get this wrapped up.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 4:27 PM on September 14 [13 favorites]


What was it that allowed Mueller to secure the cooperation of Manafort just before the second trial that wasn't present before the first trial? When and how did the leverage shift that caused Manafort to flip this time around?

That would be 8 felony convictions in the bag. Manafort was hoping for a MAGAhead hung jury or a pardon before he got convicted.
posted by Justinian at 4:28 PM on September 14 [6 favorites]


@maggieNYT: John Dowd emails other lawyers involved in the Trump case and says of Manafort, “PM has no info on President or campaign.”

It, er, strains credulity to suggest that the campaign chairman lacks any information concerning both the candidate and the campaign.
posted by zachlipton at 4:29 PM on September 14 [69 favorites]


Marcy Wheeler, emptywheel.net: The Objection That Made Mueller’s Case

In which during Manafort EDVA trial, his lawyer's question to Rick Gates if the special counsel's office asked him about his time on Trump's campaign was overruled. Wheeler argues that had this legal manoeuvre succeeded, Manafort's trial would have publicly tipped off Team Trump as to what Gates's plea testimony had imparted to the Special Counsel about the Trump campaign, which might have added urgency to Manafort's negotiations for a pardon from Trump. Instead, he had to settle for @realDonaldTrump later tweeting "I feel very badly for Paul Manafort and his wonderful family. “Justice” took a 12 year old tax case, among other things, applied tremendous pressure on him and, unlike Michael Cohen, he refused to “break” - make up stories in order to get a “deal.” Such respect for a brave man!"

And Wheeler's been arguing for a while now that Mueller has been methodically working his way up the Trump campaign's hierarchy toward formal charges of conspiracy against them over Russian interference.
posted by Doktor Zed at 4:31 PM on September 14 [26 favorites]


Do bear in mind, as legal channels make it increasingly clearly that President Trump has been playing one-dimensional chess this whole time, that it's possible that the Kremlin is also not pursuing a great joined-up strategy but simply attacking the west at our every weak point, which at this point means mostly the far right because they're the most credulous.

I think one-dimensional chess is leapfrog
posted by Wrinkled Stumpskin at 4:37 PM on September 14 [67 favorites]




Now that Mueller has turned a profit, maybe we can propose a judicial branch budget that pays for itself with white collar crime investigations. Seems pretty efficient. We can revisit the old funding sources if and when we ever run out of more Manaforts.
posted by p3t3 at 4:38 PM on September 14 [67 favorites]


"And why the hell do progressives have to have a foreign policy when the country (excuse me the electoral college) elected a fucking moron?"

I haven't read the Politico article because I'm sure it will infuriate me, but this is an "inside the Beltway" slash "pundit class" thing.

I understand it because it's a viewpoint I shared for many years and, indeed, still think has a kernel of truth.

But basically it's not so much the entrenched neoliberal interventionist Washington status quo (although it is that), but a deeper prejudice arising from the postwar years that foreign policy is what the "adults" care about. I believe I subscribed to Foreign Policy during the nineties for awhile. You know, because I'm Very Serious.

Foreign Policy remains very important to me. But my views on all this are much more complicated than they once were -- I sort of feel that from an actual policy perspective, the GOP's domestic policy is facile (but very real and damaging), while the Democratic Party's foreign policy is usually an incoherent afterthought. Both are pretty appalling from a policy wonk perspective.

But it doesn't matter. Politically, substantive policy is either irrelevant or even counterproductive. Anyone who thinks that a lack of a strong, coherent, elaborated foreign policy will hurt Democrats politically is way too far up DC's ass. What matters is posturing. It's the appearance of knowing how to deal with the rest of the world. Thus, Trump's "MAGA, I'm the Master of The Deal" appeal. Similarly, the left doesn't need domestic policy that is actually deeply-considered and elaborated, just an appealing set of slogans.

This is the political reality. But there's a huge industry of wonk types and centrist Very Important Pundits who actually think they're the ones guiding the ship. Asserting that the Democrats are politically weak because they lack a real foreign policy is self-serving and self-deluding and perennially fatuous.

I imagine that Politico and these folk are arguing that immigration and fear of terrorism et cetera indicate how important "foreign policy" actually is to the American voter. No, it's simply chauvinism and xenophobia, which have as much to do with international relations as arachnophobia has to arachnology.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 4:43 PM on September 14 [57 favorites]


Trump's Double Secret Inner Circle - The cabinet members Bob Woodward didn't talk to. By Graydon Carter. Via Blort
posted by growabrain at 4:59 PM on September 14 [13 favorites]


Everyone is talking about Manafort getting 10 years, but reading the actual plea agreement with Manafort's signature here, it looks like the prosecution recommendation is 210 to 262 months -- that is, 17 to 22 years.

This is from the Sentencing Guildlines Analysis. Maybe there is something I missed where they agreed to depart from the guidelines, but I don't see it in the plea agreement.
posted by JackFlash at 5:29 PM on September 14 [3 favorites]


The White House said in July that the debts related to baseball tickets Kavanaugh bought for friends who later reimbursed him.

$60,000 - $200,000??? Those aren’t tickets. Those are seats in the dugout.
Baseball tickets, my butt. Maybe those are baseball “tickets” in the Pete Rose sense.
posted by Thorzdad at 5:33 PM on September 14 [21 favorites]


I'm trying to get the dirt relationships together. So far I have:

Manafort is how we get Don Jr, Jared Kushner, Mike Pence, Rex Tillerson

Gates would get Mnuchin

Erik Prince gets Wilbur Ross

Carter Page gets Sessions and Miller
posted by fluttering hellfire at 5:33 PM on September 14 [8 favorites]


Politico: Alleged Russian Spy Butina Tried To Score Trump Meeting a Year Before Government Claimed—The early outreach illustrates Mariia Butina's intent to cultivate Trump months before most were taking him seriously.
In July 2015, a young Russian gun rights activist now alleged to be a Kremlin covert agent was trying to meet Donald Trump, nearly a year earlier than prosecutors have publicly claimed.

The suspected spy, Mariia Butina, routed the previously undisclosed request through her friend and longtime Republican political operative, Paul Erickson, who reached out to Trump campaign official Sam Nunberg, Nunberg told POLITICO. Erickson described Butina as a Russian involved with the National Rifle Association, according to Nunberg, who was one of a handful of people tapped by Trump to start up his campaign at the time. When Butina wasn’t able to meet with Trump, she showed up at a campaign event several days later to ask Trump a question about Russian sanctions during the Q&A session.
ABC: Alleged Russian Agent Maria Butina Was Paid to Pursue Access to Vladimir Putin for TV Show
Maria Butina, the alleged Russian agent who stands accused of developing a covert influence operation in the United States, boasted of connections to high-ranking Kremlin officials and was even paid to pursue access to Russian President Vladimir Putin for a television show, ABC News has learned.

Dozens of pages of email correspondence between August 2015 and November 2016, obtained exclusively by ABC News, reveal Butina’s hand in a pair of potentially explosive projects: appearing to arrange a meeting for a delegation of high-ranking members of the National Rifle Association with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, and working with the Outdoor Channel to develop a television show highlighting Putin’s “love of the outdoors” that would feature the Russian President himself.
The bottom line is that the Outdoor Channel underwrote a Russian espionage agent to the tune of $20,000 over four months.
posted by Doktor Zed at 5:34 PM on September 14 [37 favorites]


This is from the Sentencing Guildlines Analysis. Maybe there is something I missed where they agreed to depart from the guidelines, but I don't see it in the plea agreement.

They'll ask the judge to consider going lower than the guidelines which they can as long as the assistance Manafort provides is "substantial".
posted by Definitely Not Sean Spicer at 5:39 PM on September 14 [2 favorites]


If you take a look at the 65 Women for Kavanaugh letter I think you'll probably see a lot of political ties. For example Virginia Hume, daughter of Brit Hume, is a former deputy press secretary of the RNC in her own right, plus author and talking head.

Virginia Hume has addressed that: In a group of 65 graduates of D.C. area schools, it would be odd not to find someone related to or working as a journalist or politician. It is entirely unremarkable. This is a company town.

She's right. She doesn't say where she went to school other than an all-girls school in Bethesda, so my guess is Stone Ridge. Their notable alumnae include Cokie Roberts (the daughter of an ambassador and congresswoman and a congressman), Andrea Koppel, a Kennedy, and a Shriver. Look at the list of notable alumni at Georgetown Prep and you'll find two Kennedys and two Shrivers, for example. These prep schools are where the rich, well-connected, influential people in the DC area send their children; some of them will grow up to be in politics.

I'm not defending Kavanaugh or Virginia Hume, it's just that the letter is meaningless regardless of the motivations of the 65 who signed it.
posted by peeedro at 5:40 PM on September 14 [10 favorites]


WSJ, Peter Nicholas, Trump Faults Former Lawyer for Writing Book, Says It May Violate Attorney-Client Privilege
President Trump on Friday disputed one of his longtime lawyer’s criticisms of his behavior and questioned whether a forthcoming book by Jay Goldberg runs afoul of lawyer-client privilege.

In a telephone interview, Mr. Trump suggested that Mr. Goldberg is unhappy that he wasn’t tapped for a White House role.

Mr. Trump cited economic gains, rising consumer confidence and a strengthening military as proof of a successful tenure and said, “I’ve had nothing but victories, so it’s sad that somebody you can’t take to Washington for obvious reasons wants to write a book.” He added: “We’re hitting new records every day.”

Mr. Goldberg represented Mr. Trump in divorce cases involving two ex-wives, Ivana Trump and Marla Maples. His memoir, “The Courtroom Is My Theater,” is due to be released in December.

Mr. Trump questioned whether it is appropriate for Mr. Goldberg to write about a client. “There’s lawyer-client privilege here. You can’t do that,” he said.
Which, ok then, but why is Trump spending his time calling up the Wall Street Journal to whine about his former lawyer's book, which comes out in December? That seems like an exceptionally poor use of time.
posted by zachlipton at 5:45 PM on September 14 [10 favorites]


Skripal Poisoning Suspect’s Passport Data Shows Link to Security Services

This seems like less than great tradecraft from the implacable espionage-masters:

@aleph_one
They found at least two more. They where from the two passport numbers between the passport numbers of these knuckleheads.
posted by Artw at 5:53 PM on September 14 [15 favorites]


Now that Mueller has turned a profit, maybe we can propose a judicial branch budget that pays for itself with white collar crime investigations. Seems pretty efficient.

I'm behind the sentiment here, but that kind of conflict of interest in prosecution is not good public policy. Too much like parking violation quota requirements.
posted by StickyCarpet at 5:59 PM on September 14 [9 favorites]


“Fuck rich people, and they’re commiting real crimes ” actually seems like a pretty strong differentiating factor to me there, FWIW.
posted by Artw at 6:02 PM on September 14 [19 favorites]


Guiliani to HuffPost:
“I can guarantee you he has no information harmful to the president,” he told HuffPost late Friday, adding that he knows precisely what Manafort can offer Mueller. “I know because we have a joint defense agreement. He’s not going to lie to make them happy.”

“This has nothing to do with the president, nothing to do with obstruction, nothing to do with anything that they were charged to go after,” Giuliani added. “They’re obviously winding down.”
Obviously.
posted by pjenks at 6:19 PM on September 14 [23 favorites]


He's got a lot of cooperating to do if he wants to take another free breath. And the list of fish bigger than him who he could give up is pretty short...
------
Manafort is how we get Don Jr, Jared Kushner, Mike Pence, Rex Tillerson


And while I am not daring to hope, if anyone gives up the real prize, it's Manafort + Cohen.

Gosh, what do you think Jared and DonToo are doing tonight? [cackling wildly] Shabbat shalom and have a swell weekend, guys! because you are so boned it's not funny.

Wait, I lied. It's fucking hilarious. Not to mention that anytime there's a family dinner now, Trump's just going to be glaring at the two of them all beady-eyed, wondering which one will be first to betray him. This is so yummy I may not even require cake.
posted by FelliniBlank at 6:19 PM on September 14 [12 favorites]


Following up on the news (from the last thread) that the Central Council of the Tlingit & Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska sent a letter to (Alaska) Senator Lisa Murkowski expressing opposition to the Kavanaugh nomination, the Alaska Federation of Natives have also sent Sen. Murkowski a message communicating their opposition to his confirmation.
Alaska's largest Native organization said Wednesday it "strongly" opposes the appointment of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, calling his views on Indian policy erroneous and a threat to unique policies and laws governing Alaska Native institutions.

The Alaska Federation of Natives announcement potentially adds pressure to Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, who has not said whether she supports the appointment and who in 2010 benefited from the group's endorsement in her uphill write-in victory against Joe Miller. Groups opposed to Kavanaugh's appointment have pressed Murkowski to vote against him.

"AFN strongly urges the U.S. Senate to vote against Judge Kavanaugh," the organization said. "The documents that have been released so far in relation to his nomination demonstrate how troubling his confirmation would be for Native peoples, particularly Alaska Natives and Native Hawaiians."
It may still not be enough to get Murkowski to vote no, but this represents fairly significant pressure by Alaska standards. Time to redouble my efforts to get my neighbors to weigh in, I guess.
posted by Nerd of the North at 6:20 PM on September 14 [75 favorites]


“Fuck rich people, and they’re commiting real crimes ” actually seems like a pretty strong differentiating factor to me there, FWIW.

I, too, strongly sympathise with the sentiment, but don't think it's a good idea in practice. I think it's possible to accept that our countries (a) should be doing much more to prosecute wealthy white collar criminals, and (b) should seize the proceeds of their crimes, while still strongly resisting (c) that it's a good idea to promote the notion that law enforcement should support itself via seizure.

It seems to me that sending out the message that prosecutors are chasing white collar criminals for their money would be pretty much the biggest fucking gimme imaginable to the right and the criminals in the financial services industry. Doing it wouldn't really fuck the rich, instead it would hand them an excuse to resist, criticise and undermine every single investigation into their foetid shitpiles of corruption for the rest of time.
posted by howfar at 6:21 PM on September 14 [23 favorites]


The Politico foreign policy article doesn’t particularly upset me, though I could certainly spend a bunch of time nitpicking it. I do think it’s irrelevant to electoral politics: the voters, as a whole, don’t care much. Very few people are going to have their vote swayed based on which party has the best (or even more coherent!) foreign policy.

I do care about foreign policy, quite a lot. And I also think what passes for a “Left” in the US has failed to answer some useful and practical questions. But... it’s not as if the Republicans are better. (And in fact they are much worse.) So it’s also not the deciding factor in my vote.

It is, however, a decent reason for me to pour an extra whiskey and feel depressed from time to time.
posted by fencerjimmy at 6:22 PM on September 14 [8 favorites]


If only the Democrats would run someone with FP experience, maybe someone who was the nation's top diplomat. Idk, it's a wacky idea.
posted by fluttering hellfire at 6:25 PM on September 14 [153 favorites]


> “Fuck rich people, and they’re commiting real crimes ” actually seems like a pretty strong differentiating factor to me there, FWIW.

I, too, strongly sympathise with the sentiment, but don't think it's a good idea in practice. I think it's possible to accept that our countries (a) should be doing much more to prosecute wealthy white collar criminals, and (b) should seize the proceeds of their crimes, while still strongly resisting (c) that it's a good idea to promote the notion that law enforcement should support itself via seizure.
Can we at least get rid of the societal pretense that enforcing those laws is something we'd like to do but simply can't afford and openly admit that those leading our society are making a deliberate choice about how to prioritize enforcement?

I totally agree that we've seen horrible things happen when law enforcement is left to support itself via seizure (and chiefly against society's more vulnerable members -- only rarely against those who have the means to fight back.) But the pendulum needs to swing back a bit -- currently financial crimes and tax evasion are extremely under-prosecuted and under-stigmatized. Trump practically bragged about them during the campaign.
posted by Nerd of the North at 6:28 PM on September 14 [37 favorites]


People, seriously - Politico is shit. Once in a while they break something, that's the only thing that has any worth there. Ignore any kind of "analytical" stuff from them.
posted by Chrysostom at 6:30 PM on September 14 [19 favorites]


Occasionally, just for the kicks, I accept a Fecesbook request to join a Trump support group, which I then harass, because fuck building bridges. Anyways, I mention this because earlier on today one of the loogans on the Trump group I am currently a member of bragged about how Trump bested Obama in 2016 election. What the hell am I supposed to do with this!?

That being said, here's a redo of a Stephen Miller drawing I did last year, updated for these times.

This racist fuckstick is a very happy man indeed these days, hence the coruscating smile.
posted by Phlegmco(tm) at 6:34 PM on September 14 [27 favorites]


@maggieNYT: John Dowd emails other lawyers involved in the Trump case and says of Manafort, “PM has no info on President or campaign.”

It, er, strains credulity to suggest that the campaign chairman lacks any information concerning both the candidate and the campaign.


And the recipients of that message would know that - so they would correctly understand that Dowd meant something more narrow - i.e. that, although the legal team is aware that incriminating information about the President and the campaign exists, PM doesn't have any of that info.
posted by The World Famous at 6:35 PM on September 14 [2 favorites]


People, seriously - Politico is shit. Once in a while they break something, that's the only thing that has any worth there. Ignore any kind of "analytical" stuff from them.

In science, some fields are viewed as squashing beginning scientists by harsh, unreasonable criticism; the phrase used is "eating their young". Politico is that for the rising progressive wing of the Democratic party.
posted by bluesky43 at 6:35 PM on September 14 [5 favorites]


Hopefully the rising Democratic progressive wing calls their bluff and develops a plank for foreign policy. I don’t mean that in a “They better listen and be Very Serious” way, but as long as we’ve got 2020 in our sights, it doesn’t hurt to spend some of the next 18 months thinking of responses to this type of bullshit. Besides “Trump’s idea of foreign policy is to call world leaders names on Twitter at 3am, but I’m the one who needs to be serious?”
posted by Autumnheart at 6:40 PM on September 14 [11 favorites]


I mean, I seriously don’t think it matters electorally what the Democrats’ FP looks like. I don’t think it moves the needle at all.

The FP wonks I know are so horrified by Trump, I think they’ll vote for anyone who promises not to crank call foreign leaders. I also don’t think there are enough FP wonks out there for that to matter.

I want the Democrats to have a sane foreign policy because I think it matters what our foreign policy is. I think that, for better or for worse, the US is powerful and influential and our policy will impact the world.

But if a candidate for office asked me how much attention to pay to foreign policy? Just enough not to look stupid if someone asks you a question. As long as you sound like you aren’t going to embarrass us or start a war, I think a Democrat doesn’t need much foreign policy knowledge in the current environment. (Demonstrably, Republicans don’t need to meet much of a standard.)

And now for that drink...
posted by fencerjimmy at 6:56 PM on September 14 [20 favorites]


What was it that allowed Mueller to secure the cooperation of Manafort just before the second trial that wasn't present before the first trial? When and how did the leverage shift that caused Manafort to flip this time around?

That would be 8 felony convictions in the bag. Manafort was hoping for a MAGAhead hung jury or a pardon before he got convicted.


I understood that Paulie was simply running out of money. All those Hail Mary bullshit motions brought by high-priced lawyers, one full trial down -- that's a lot of money. And with a bigger, second trial coming up...

So hoping for a pardon, burning through all his dirty cash... he was running out of options. And Mueller knows as any good litigator does, it's all a matter of knowing when the fruit is ripe. *pluck*
posted by Capt. Renault at 6:56 PM on September 14 [13 favorites]


Can we at least get rid of the societal pretense that enforcing those laws is something we'd like to do but simply can't afford and openly admit that those leading our society are making a deliberate choice about how to prioritize enforcement?

Yes, I agree, although I will admit to being unsure about how central this particular claim (of expenses) is to the problem of underprosecution, as opposed to our societal institutions conditioning us to simply think of white collar crime as "not real crime". I don't, personally get the impression that there's a strong narrative that we don't prosecute these crimes because of the cost of doing so, even though Trump has tried to whip one up recently.

All that said, I absolutely agree that the idea that it's too expensive or difficult to prosecute should be opposed wherever it emerges, and that it may well be entirely reasonable, on a systemic level, to point out that much of the cost of prosecution can be recouped through seizure. It's the further step towards suggesting a dependence on asset seizure that I think would be (while fun to imagine, I have to admit) counterproductive.
posted by howfar at 7:20 PM on September 14


The FP wonks I know are so horrified by Trump, I think they’ll vote for anyone who promises not to crank call foreign leaders.

Here's my foreign policy plan:
America needs to rebuild its strong network of global connections. To that end, I will be making sure we are well-represented on the global state - that we have a presence in all our allied nations, and in all international alliance groups that set multi-nation policies and treaties.

Many people are dissatisfied with our existing treaties, most of which were written before before the global internet changed so much about communication, so it's time to review those in light of more recent technological and political changes. We need foreign policy that allows America to take its proper place on the world stage! We need treaties that allow us to trade for the supplies that keep us thriving, and provide us with buyers for our tremendous industrial production.

...and so on. It's not hard to come up with a rough outline for "we should have a foreign policy that isn't based on 'screw all foreigners,'" and someone who has more actual knowledge than me (which is to say, damn near everyone reading this thread, and anyone ever elected to a federal position, bar one) could fill in enough details to run a coherent campaign. Something-something advisors, yadda yadda reduce military spending increased efficiency, etc.

Nobody thinks the Democrats are weak on foreign policy, because look who they'd be running against.
posted by ErisLordFreedom at 7:21 PM on September 14 [14 favorites]


About five hours after Manafort publicly flips on trump, MICHAEL COHEN IS THE LATEST FORMER TRUMP ALLY TO TALK TO MUELLER (Vanity Fair, Emily Jane Fox News)

In recent weeks, it has also become common knowledge among close friends of Michael Cohen, Trump’s former personal attorney, that Cohen is talking to the Mueller team, according to people familiar with the situation. (Cohen did not respond to request for comment, nor did his attorney, Guy Petrillo. A spokesman for the special counsel’s office declined to comment.)

... It is a remarkable reversal from a year ago, when Cohen told me he would take a bullet for the president. But Cohen has now been squeezed financially, emotionally, and legally in a way he could not have imagined.


Geez I hope he treads very fucking carefully because what he's done has been fucking disgusting, does he hear us?
posted by petebest at 7:22 PM on September 14 [12 favorites]


I see that Bari Weiss, a prodigious bullshit peddler who ought to write for Breitbart, and not the NY Times, has knives out for Julia Salazar in this cracking smear job—borderline libellous— of a piece, "Julia Salazar, the Left’s Post-Truth Politician: The democratic socialist lied. And lied. And lied. Then she won handily in Brooklyn."
posted by standardasparagus at 7:26 PM on September 14 [11 favorites]


To cap off today, @realDonaldTrump has doubled down on Puerto Rico casualty conspiracies:
“When Trump visited the island territory last October, OFFICIALS told him in a briefing 16 PEOPLE had died from Maria.” The Washington Post. This was long AFTER the hurricane took place. Over many months it went to 64 PEOPLE. Then, like magic, “3000 PEOPLE KILLED.” They hired....
....GWU Research to tell them how many people had died in Puerto Rico (how would they not know this?). This method was never done with previous hurricanes because other jurisdictions know how many people were killed. FIFTY TIMES LAST ORIGINAL NUMBER - NO WAY!
#batshitinsane tag added to this FPP.
posted by Doktor Zed at 7:29 PM on September 14 [33 favorites]


A couple points on the Kavanaugh letter. There's been discussion & speculation on which girls' school the 65 women attended. The answer? All of them.

Here’s How That Letter From 65 Women Supporting Brett Kavanaugh Came Together So Quickly
McCaleb said the process of gathering the signatures was a quick one, and that women who had attended five different girls high schools in the area signed on to it. Kavanaugh attended an all-boys high school in Bethesda, Maryland.
Apparently Brett really got around.

god, that one thread of braindead repubs tweeting their snotty mocking takes on the kavanaugh high school allegations before they actually knew what the allegations WERE was incredibly fucking ugly.

Well I dunno about snotty Republicans but it seems at least some of the 65 women were unaware of the allegations they were rebutting:
Another of the signatories, reached by BuzzFeed News, said she was contacted Thursday by McCaleb about the possibility of signing on to a letter attesting to Kavanaugh’s character. Megan Williams told BuzzFeed News that she was not aware of specific allegations against Kavanaugh when she signed the letter, but said, “I can’t even tell you how out of character” that would be and made clear that she stood behind the letter. “The guy’s a saint.”
posted by scalefree at 7:33 PM on September 14 [6 favorites]


Hopefully the rising Democratic progressive wing calls their bluff and develops a plank for foreign polic

Fellow Travellers, foreign Policy from the left.

“The current liberal foreign policy agenda is primarily defensive, an attempt to preserve what is already lost. This is doomed to failure. The rest of the world knows there are going to be future Republican presidents. The GOP was only in exile for one presidential term after Watergate. George W. Bush started a war of aggression based on a lie and served two terms and the Democrats still only had a united government from 2008-2010. Iran-Contra, possibly the closest analogy to the nebulous Trump-Russia scandal, led to no negative electoral consequences for Reagan at all. And given where the GOP base is, they’re highly likely to nominate candidates in the Trumpian mold for the foreseeable future. Thus, unless drastic measures are taken, the next Republican president will take another chunk out of the “Rules-Based Liberal Order” and the next one yet another until there’s nothing to defend at all.”
posted by The Whelk at 7:46 PM on September 14 [28 favorites]


WSJ, Michael C. Bender, White House Considered Replacing FEMA Chief as Florence Was Gathering Steam
Investigators have told administration officials that Mr. Long, while under surveillance, often left agency headquarters on Thursdays and traveled home with a caravan of federal workers, who stayed in nearby hotels for the long weekend, the people said. He has spent about 150 days in North Carolina since he took over the job last year, which included weekends and time-off, the people said.
...
Mr. Long was informed last fall by DHS attorneys and the inspector general that his trips home violated the law, the people said. The inspector general’s office has told administration officials that they tailed Mr. Long’s caravan to determine whether he was using federal resources to return home despite the warnings, the person briefed on the investigation said.

The inspector general’s final report is expected in the coming days, but preliminary findings have been shared with DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, administration officials said. The existence of the investigation was earlier reported by Politico on Thursday.

Ms. Nielsen brought details of the preliminary findings to Mr. Long and urged him to resign if the allegations were accurate, one administration official said. Another official familiar with the situation disputed that the secretary made that suggestion to Mr. Long.
...
Senior White House officials discussed replacing Mr. Long in the past several days, according to one person familiar with the matter. White House chief of staff John Kelly ultimately decided to leave Mr. Long in place until the final report was available, the person said. A White House spokeswoman declined to comment.
I understand that conducting investigations is what the IG does, but if you have to literally tail an agency head to see if he's bringing caravans of federal workers 400 miles each way for long weekends, it seems like the trust issue is already pretty extreme.
posted by zachlipton at 7:55 PM on September 14 [25 favorites]


To cap off today, @realDonaldTrump has doubled down on Puerto Rico casualty conspiracies:

Daniel Dale
It's barely worth engaging with such nonsense, but one point: Trump is wrong that other jurisdictions simply know how many people died in a hurricane without doing studies. Here's a good story on how complicated and incomplete the Katrina count was/is: https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/we-still-dont-know-how-many-people-died-because-of-katrina/
• One more point of fact: Trump is wrong to suggest there was nothing in between the "64 deaths" count and the "3,000 deaths" estimate. In August, Puerto Rico reported to Congress that there were 1,427 more deaths than normal over the 4 months post-Maria.
posted by chris24 at 8:01 PM on September 14 [38 favorites]


I thought sure that, when called on that, he was going to double down with "Well, I said only a few died in the hurricane. IN the hurricane. Like, during. When the storm was over, sure, maybe some other people died, but they didn't die IN the hurricane. They died AFTER. That's what I said, and I was exactly right."
posted by The otter lady at 8:06 PM on September 14 [2 favorites]


Roll Call: 3 Key Takeaways from the Manafort deal:

1. This was not a “win for both sides” — Mueller’s team won
No matter how you look at it, this deal has to be seen as a massive victory for Mueller and his special counsel team.

The only concession the special counsel made was to repackage the charges against Manafort in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia from seven counts to two and to ask judges for a shorter sentence.

Besides that, prosecutors extracted a guilty plea, a cooperation agreement from Manafort to tell them everything he knows and fork over any documents they request, an admission of guilt to the 10 remaining charges from the Eastern Virginia trial, and likely a multiyear prison sentence for Manafort.

... 2. That pardon from Trump suddenly looks less likely
For months, analysts, experts and political talking heads have speculated Trump could reward Manafort with a presidential pardon for holding out on a plea agreement ... By striking an 11th-hour deal with Mueller, Manafort could be putting that potential pardon in jeopardy.

... Taking the plea deal is a stunning reversal of legal strategy for Manafort, who endured a three-week trial in Eastern Virginia in which the government presented a highly compelling case to extract guilty verdicts on eight of 18 counts.

“Now, he’s doing the thing that will keep Trump from giving him a pardon: He’s giving up everything he knows about Trump,” Litman said.

... 3. Manafort’s plea deal with Mueller likely would not have been as lopsided if he had struck one earlier

Holding out on cooperation with Mueller’s team for as long as he did only weakened Manafort’s bargaining position.


Mueller's team's professional competence is, really, very nice to see, in contrast.
*snif*
posted by petebest at 8:11 PM on September 14 [35 favorites]


@realDonaldTrump: When President Obama said that he has been to “57 States,” very little mention in Fake News Media. Can you imagine if I said that...story of the year! @IngrahamAngle

I know we've been bad in so many ways, but I still can't wrap my head around what we've done to deserve this hell.
posted by zachlipton at 8:16 PM on September 14 [72 favorites]


USA Today law reporter Brad Heath on Manafort's superseding criminal information:
It's totally normal for prosecutors to file a criminal information when someone is going to plead. But this filing is very unusual. It's a "speaking" information - 37 pages long with multiple exhibits. That's not something you see often.

I've never, ever seen a felony information that includes exhibits. This one has almost 40 pages of them.
So... why did Mueller go for the extreme overkill in documenting all this stuff? Popehat speculates:
I know y'all are used to be saying "no, this is typical, it happens all the time," but I've never seen anything like that Manafort superseding information -- the charging instrument he'll plead to.

Review: in federal court if you're charged with a felony you have a right to be indicted by grand jury. An "information" is a charging instrument used when (a) it's a minor crime for which indictment isn't required or (b) you're going to waive indictment and plead guilty.

Informations are usually relatively concise and not too performative. This one is -- wow. It's 38 pages. It has EXHIBITS. I cannot remember ever seeing an Information with exhibits. Any other fedcrim practitioners out there ever see one?

It's only two counts -- conspiracy to defraud the united states (all the pre-charge stuff he did) and conspiracy to obstruct justice (the post-charge witness tampering). But the descriptions are lavishly detailed. Now, it's not unusual to have the defendant admit to a robust statement of facts. But this level of detail in the information strikes me as unusual. The exhibits are especially a novelty to me.

I could be wrong of course. But it appears that the information is calculated to make it more politically painful to pardon Manafort -- to make a preemptive strike on the "he was unfairly prosecuted for old stuff that was nothing" narrative.
posted by Jpfed at 8:18 PM on September 14 [66 favorites]


@realDonaldTrump: When President Obama said that he has been to “57 States,” very little mention in Fake News Media. Can you imagine if I said that...story of the year! @IngrahamAngle

live tweeting fox news while a storm ravages the coast and your campaign manager cuts a deal with the prosecutor investigating you is definitely the new fiddling while rome burns
posted by dis_integration at 8:31 PM on September 14 [132 favorites]


In this CNN clip (1 minute in), Manafort's lawyer says (emphasis mine):
"Mr. Manafort... has accepted responsibility. He wanted to make sure that his family was able to remain safe and live a good life."
Can anyone else parse what this means? It seems very odd to hear language like this from a lawyer here in the United States - implying that a man's family might not be safe because of his own conviction in a court of law.

Could this mean he's afraid of Russian reprisals against his family for cooperating with the Feds? And that he's worked out protection for them as part of his plea deal?
posted by purple_frogs at 8:34 PM on September 14 [20 favorites]


Could this mean he's afraid of Russian reprisals against his family for cooperating with the Feds? And that he's worked out protection for them as part of his plea deal?

That might be something a historian can tell us years from now, but in the immediate future, people can only speculate on what Manafort's lawyer meant.
posted by Quonab at 8:38 PM on September 14 [2 favorites]


The 57 states thing is used by dumb racist right wingers to suggest Obama is a secret Muslim for what it's worth. So Trump's tweet serves additionally as a racist dogwhistle from a dumb racist to all his followers.
posted by Justinian at 8:40 PM on September 14 [16 favorites]


RE: Buzzfeed's Here’s How That Letter From 65 Women Supporting Brett Kavanaugh Came Together So Quickly

"In an interview Friday, McCaleb said the letter-writing campaign began after her husband, Scott McCaleb, got a call from a reporter following initial reporting by the Intercept and BuzzFeed News about a secret letter containing an allegation against Kavanaugh."

Why reach out to Scott McCaleb for a quote?

- In a July 2 piece at the AmLaw Litigation Daily (sans paywall here), "Wiley Rein partner Scott McCaleb attended Gonzaga College High School in D.C. and remembers competing against Kavanaugh, a skilled athlete who was a year older and who wore number 23."

- On July 9, per USA Today: "Scott McCaleb has been a friend since he and Kavanaugh attended rival Jesuit high schools in 1980."

- By July 11, McCaleb's a "childhood friend" in the WaPo profile The Elite World of Brett Kavanaugh, one who praises the nominee as "always kind of like an old soul... more mature than the rest of us. He was always the guy who was going home to do his homework.”

But I like the AmLaw entry, because like today's Buzzfeed article it features Travis Lenkner (who, as it happens, is a Federalist Society contributor). Buzzfeed describes him as "a former Kavanaugh clerk who has been helping support the judge during the confirmation process." Per AmLaw:
“There is an army of people who stand ready and prepared to spring to action to support him” in the confirmation process, said Travis Lenkner, managing partner at Keller Lenkner... Lenkner, who clerked for both Kavanaugh and Kennedy, said the group he's helping to assemble includes people from every stage of Kavanaugh’s life, from “childhood friends through and including his law clerks.”

“His high school class I know to be organized,” Lenkner said.
It's still nice how the rocky confirmation process has deepened, and lengthened, the Kavanaugh-McCaleb friendship.
posted by Iris Gambol at 8:46 PM on September 14 [9 favorites]


This letter from 65 women who Kavanaugh didn't rape sounds more and more like a list of the first 65 Republican Catholic school alumni in the DC area who also contributed to the Federalist Society and answered the phone when Grassley called.
posted by T.D. Strange at 8:50 PM on September 14 [64 favorites]


Missed one! August 9, Chicago Tribune, "Inside Brett Kavanaugh's personal finances: credit card debts, $92,000 country-club fee": Several friends of Kavanaugh described him as frugal. "He was never a guy who was very concerned about money," said Scott McCaleb, a childhood friend. "And I don't mean that in the way that he's a child of privilege. Certainly his parents have means, but it's just not the way that he thought."

(You couldn't ask for a better friend than Scott McCabe. And that Meghan's a real peach, too.)
posted by Iris Gambol at 8:54 PM on September 14 [13 favorites]


Could this friend so good be the same friend who was in the room during the incident alleged?
posted by riverlife at 9:35 PM on September 14 [4 favorites]


Nah, that'd be Mark Judge.
posted by Iris Gambol at 9:52 PM on September 14 [5 favorites]


Metro DC DSA sent a warning email tonight:
James O'Keefe — notorious right-wing propagandist, failed provocateur, and sex boat creep — has set his sights on Metro DC DSA!

This afternoon, O'Keefe announced on Twitter that he's planning to release a video doxxing federal government workers who hold leftist political beliefs or engage in leftist organizing. The embedded video clip includes images of the IRS, DOJ, EPA, and GAO buildings, specific reference to a "socialist organization," and several chapter members' voices.

If you work for a federal government agency or contractor, do yourself a favor and take some time right now to lock down your social media accounts and activate two factor authentication on whichever platforms you use that provide that option.

The chapter has put together a basic guide to communications and personal security that's a good place to start, and we also recommend Gizmodo's guide to help make your social media accounts as private as possible.

As the chapter sees new growth and success, we also become the focus of increased scrutiny, surveillance, and attacks, and it's good practice to have a handle on what to expect and how you can best protect yourself.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 10:07 PM on September 14 [48 favorites]


Twitter is just going to let that stand. Fabulous.
posted by fluttering hellfire at 10:13 PM on September 14 [1 favorite]


National Treasure Dahlia Lithwick, Our System Is Too Broken to Assess the Sexual Assault Claim Against Kavanaugh. Very much worth reading.

Nah, that'd be Mark Judge.

This guy is...well he's something. As nycsouthpaw puts it: "The classmate, Mark Judge, has made sort of a cottage industry of writing about sexual morality at Georgetown Prep, his high school, from an orthodox Catholic perspective."

It's weird to be so concerned about the sexual liberalism at your high school that you write articles and a book complaining about it decades later, right? It's all so very creepy and weird.
posted by zachlipton at 10:18 PM on September 14 [27 favorites]


" an admission of guilt to the 10 remaining charges from the Eastern Virginia trial, and likely a multiyear prison sentence for Manafort."

This is huge. One of those counts (statement of offense) was The Federal Savings Bank, which if you remember:

Evidence presented at the trial has shown that Trump’s onetime campaign chief talked with Calk in 2016 about a potential job in the incoming administration. Jobs that were allegedly mentioned included Treasury secretary, Army secretary and secretary of Housing and Urban Development. Calk ultimately did not get a job in the Trump administration.
(American Banker)
posted by mikelieman at 10:22 PM on September 14 [5 favorites]


It's weird to be so concerned about the sexual liberalism at your high school that you write articles and a book complaining about it decades later, right? It's all so very creepy and weird.

Yes, it is. And it applies to Trump and Pence and Kavanaugh...
posted by SakuraK at 10:26 PM on September 14 [2 favorites]


When President Obama said that he has been to “57 States,” very little mention in Fake News Media.

Well, it was over 10 years ago. And he wasn't president yet. Just a verbal slip on the primary campaign trail.
posted by kirkaracha at 10:26 PM on September 14 [5 favorites]


Oh yeah, Mark Judge, the guy saying nothing happened, is also responsible for that particularity awful Daily Caller column in which his bike is stolen, he decides a black person must have taken it (based entirely on his assessment of neighborhood demographics), and declares "the end of my white guilt."
posted by zachlipton at 10:29 PM on September 14 [17 favorites]


I’m in Heathrow watching some 24 hr news on mute. I think it’s French? The chyron at the bottom has various country updates, with source in brackets. For US stuff they show video that says “file footage” of Trump, Manafort, and Mueller.


UNITED STATES: Former Trump campaign manager Manafort to plead guilty, cooperate (prosecutor)
UNITED STATES: Manafort plea unrelated to Trump’s 2016 victory (White House)


The campaign manager’s wrong doings had somehow nothing to do with the campaign. Right.
posted by sio42 at 10:38 PM on September 14 [3 favorites]


Late on a Friday, a conflicting statement about the next salvo of tariffs on China is announced

President Donald Trump instructed aides on Thursday to proceed with tariffs on about $200 billion more in Chinese products despite his Treasury secretary’s attempt to restart talks with Beijing to resolve the trade war, according to four people familiar with the matter.

But an announcement of the new round of tariffs has been delayed as the administration considers revisions based on concerns raised in public comments, the people said. Trump may be running low on products he can target without significant backlash from major U.S. companies and consumers, two of the people said.


Single source leakers not welcome?
posted by infini at 10:49 PM on September 14 [4 favorites]






[fake, sort of]
posted by scalefree at 12:46 AM on September 15


I see that Bari Weiss, a prodigious bullshit peddler who ought to write for Breitbart, and not the NY Times, has knives out for Julia Salazar in this cracking smear job—borderline libellous— of a piece, "Julia Salazar, the Left’s Post-Truth Politician: The democratic socialist lied. And lied. And lied. Then she won handily in Brooklyn."

So. Even if I accepted this narrative about Salazar (which I don't), I just... fucking... wow. "The President of the United States, his entire inner circle, and a pantshit-load of GOP Senators and Representatives, all lie repeatedly about easily verifiable facts, often in the service of denigrating entire demographic groups, and when called on it, they double down on the lie, and continue lying. And so does this newly nominated Democratic candidate for STATE SENATOR in one of our nation's fifty (50) states. See, both sides do it!"
posted by duffell at 2:50 AM on September 15 [26 favorites]


I can't believe the "57 states" thing was thumbed-in by Trump hisself; the tweet exhibited the correct usage of a comma within a quote.
posted by porpoise at 3:20 AM on September 15 [7 favorites]


The incredible thing is taking a misstated “47” as “57” by an overtired candidate, the meaning of which was clear (and true) in the context of what he was saying, and equating that with the literally thousands of repeated, sociopathically self-serving, demonstrable lies by the sitting US President, about everything from the size of his inauguration crowd, to the economy, to the number of casualties in a natural disaster.

Justice can’t come fast enough for the whole corrupt rat’s nest.
posted by darkstar at 5:10 AM on September 15 [77 favorites]


Remember the joke that Trump is "Trump Is A Comment Section Running for President"? The "57 states" thing has always been one of those indicators in an online argument that a right-wing commenter was out of ammunition and could only parrot the lamest criticism of Obama.
posted by octothorpe at 5:22 AM on September 15 [30 favorites]


This afternoon, O'Keefe announced on Twitter that he's planning to release a video doxxing federal government workers who hold leftist political beliefs or engage in leftist organizing.

“While I cannot take the time to name all the men in the State Department who have been named as members of the Communist Party and members of a spy ring, I have here in my hand a list of 205.” - Joseph McCarthy
posted by chris24 at 5:31 AM on September 15 [21 favorites]


When President Obama said that he has been to “57 States,” very little mention in Fake News Media

Another tweet, another lie, as it was covered immediately to the point that Obama felt compelled to issue an apology that very same day. I've subsequently heard about it many times and I don't watch or read conservative news sources at all. Also, he was candidate Obama at the time, not president.

Unless by "Fake News Media" he means imaginary institutions like "The New Zork Times" or "The Foal Free Press" which, one would reluctantly have to concede, never did bring up the 57 States gaffe. So I guess, technically Trump's tweet is...accurate?
posted by xigxag at 6:07 AM on September 15 [7 favorites]


From the article about Manafort's plea deal petebest quoted and linked to above, the final paragraphs warmed my heart most:

Above all, Manafort needs to tell the full truth. Mueller has collected folders upon folders of information since he began his investigation and spoken with dozens of witnesses. Manafort would be hard-pressed to bend the truth around him.

“As always, Rule No. 1 with Mueller, you don’t know what he knows,” Litman said. “If Manafort says anything that’s false, everything, everything goes away, including this plea agreement. The whole hammer returns.”

posted by robotdevil at 6:08 AM on September 15 [33 favorites]


Any thoughts as to whether the Manafort flip will trigger Trump to lash-out and actually shut-down Mueller's investigation? Yes, I know that would be really, really bad, the worst ever, so bad you wouldn't believe, optics, but this is Trump we're talking about. His people seem to have been able to talk him off the ledge at times, but I have to think this new development has the real potential to push him over the edge into Saturday Night Massacre territory.
posted by Thorzdad at 6:27 AM on September 15 [1 favorite]


Any thoughts as to whether the Manafort flip will trigger Trump to lash-out and actually shut-down Mueller's investigation?

It's been pretty well broadcast in the last few weeks that Sessions is out after the midterms, so i think that once he has a new AG he is shutting down the investigation. Not sure what has restrained him so far but there's no way that he's not being begged to leave Mueller alone until after November.
posted by dis_integration at 6:48 AM on September 15 [3 favorites]


It's been pretty well broadcast in the last few weeks that Sessions is out after the midterms, so i think that once he has a new AG he is shutting down the investigation. Not sure what has restrained him so far but there's no way that he's not being begged to leave Mueller alone until after November.

Now that Paulie the Ostrich has been flipped, Mueller can get answers to questions like, "Tell us exactly how the Trump Campaign conspired with the Kremlin" straight from Paulie-O's mouth?"

The way things are accelerating, this could all be over in October.
posted by mikelieman at 6:55 AM on September 15 [1 favorite]


Mueller knows what’s up and he’ll take care of things before Trump can shut him down I’m sure. Prob why the Manafort thing happened now. I don’t think Mueller would do all this work to have it come to nothing.

He knows way more than any of us and I’ve got to believe he’s got a plan.
posted by sio42 at 7:09 AM on September 15 [15 favorites]


Indeed. He (thankfully) made a massive strategic error in waiting this long, if he does intend to fire Mueller. If he does it before the midterms, it looks horrible and drives turnout for Democrats. If he does it after midterms, the newly Democratic house (TTTCS) can pick up and cause some real headaches. If he doesn't do it at all, the investigation keeps going, and he looks weak to his base, plus he gets caught in it. From his perspective, the time should have been way, way early, because it would have delayed everything substantially. Sure, there would have been massive protests, it would still have fired up Democrats for midterms, but without the votes to remove him from office, none of that matters. And any investigation would be starting way back from where it is now.

His only real chance at avoiding consequences in all this is if he gets re-elected then dies of old age in office. Any delay for any reason would be a good thing for him.

But he didn't. And Paul Manafort flipped. And now he's screwed.
posted by mrgoat at 7:09 AM on September 15 [4 favorites]


I think this guy is a pollster with the economist, or Pew, or something. ANYWAY:
I've held off writing this tweet, but it's time...

@BetoORourke
is one or two good likely voter polls away from me rating the Senate race as a Tossup. His odds are already 2x the ones I gave Trump and I expect that to increase over the cycle — the seat is really in play, y'all.
Thank you, Texas MeFites, I know you guys have been working your asses off.
posted by schadenfrau at 7:18 AM on September 15 [125 favorites]


What must it be like for Mueller, as a Republican, to learn firsthand (and really be the only person in the country with the solid evidence) that his entire party has sold its soul to foreign interests? To discover that the taint reaches so far that if he does his job right, no one at the federal level in his party will be electable ever again? To know that as deeply as he must know it, and yet to see the ravenous masses of Trumpers on the news and realize no case he makes can be strong enough to break their enchantment, that they literally love Trump more than they love the USA, that they love Russia more than an American who's black or gay or a Democrat?

The sang froid on the guy is stunning.
posted by rikschell at 7:29 AM on September 15 [60 favorites]




What must it be like for Mueller, as a Republican, to learn firsthand (and really be the only person in the country with the solid evidence) that his entire party has sold its soul to foreign interests? ...

Imagine his disgust, not just as a Republican which is something he can change, but as a Marine. ( N.B.: In this Old Hippie's opinion, I RESPECT The Marines )

It was standard practice for Marines to be rotated out of combat, and later that year Mueller found himself assigned to a desk job at Marine headquarters in Arlington, Virginia. There he discovered something about himself: “I didn’t relish the US Marine Corps absent combat.”

So he headed to law school with the goal of serving his country as a prosecutor. He went on to hold high positions in five presidential administrations. He led the Criminal Division of the Justice Department, overseeing the US investigation of the Lockerbie bombing and the federal prosecution of the Gambino crime family boss John Gotti. He became director of the FBI one week before September 11, 2001, and stayed on to become the bureau’s longest-serving director since J. Edgar Hoover.

And yet, throughout his five-decade career, that year of combat experience with the Marines has loomed large in Mueller’s mind. “I’m most proud the Marines Corps deemed me worthy of leading other Marines,” he told me in a 2009 interview.
Semper fidelis, y'all!
posted by mikelieman at 8:02 AM on September 15 [26 favorites]


Because it's Never Too Early, the NYT says Mattis will be out soon for being "a Democrat at heart"(?!). Noted reasonable man and walrus impersonator John Bolton has brought in the Deputy NatSec Advisor Mattis blocked, ("Ms. Ricardel"), which reportedly has shifted the balance of power in the extremley sane and stable White House, and now they're all giggly with Pompeo about how to commit dirty deeds and stroke Trump's hollow, bloated heart-wig.
posted by petebest at 8:09 AM on September 15 [5 favorites]


One thing that I heard in an interview with somebody who'd talked to Mueller was how Mueller stressed the importance of making his bed each morning, even when he was out doing whatever he did as a Marine. And the interviewer said he'd laughed at that and Mueller was like, no, it's really important.

And I agree. I am solidly on Team Making Your Bed in the Morning and somehow that anecdote makes me feel that Mueller is the Man for the Job.
posted by angrycat at 8:20 AM on September 15 [42 favorites]


@mattyglesias: Trump should produce a list of 65 foreign intelligence services he did not collude with.
posted by pjenks at 8:21 AM on September 15 [53 favorites]


What must it be like for Mueller, as a Republican, to learn firsthand (and really be the only person in the country with the solid evidence) that his entire party has sold its soul to foreign interests?

I think Mueller's known for a long time that organized crime had infiltrated government, maybe not quite the extent that his own party surrendered to it. On Gaslit Nation, Sarah Kendzior brought up a speech by Mueller in 2011 that describes the Trump administration pretty well:
We are investigating groups in Asia, Eastern Europe, West Africa, and the Middle East. And we are seeing cross-pollination between groups that historically have not worked together. Criminals who may never meet, but who share one thing in common: greed.

They may be former members of nation-state governments, security services, or the military. These individuals know who and what to target, and how best to do it. They are capitalists and entrepreneurs. But they are also master criminals who move easily between the licit and illicit worlds. And in some cases, these organizations are as forward-leaning as Fortune 500 companies.

This is not “The Sopranos,” with six guys sitting in a diner, shaking down a local business owner for $50 dollars a week. These criminal enterprises are making billions of dollars from human trafficking, health care fraud, computer intrusions, and copyright infringement. They are cornering the market on natural gas, oil, and precious metals, and selling to the highest bidder.

These crimes are not easily categorized. Nor can the damage, the dollar loss, or the ripple effects be easily calculated. It is much like a Venn diagram, where one crime intersects with another, in different jurisdictions, and with different groups.

How does this impact you? You may not recognize the source, but you will feel the effects. You might pay more for a gallon of gas. You might pay more for a luxury car from overseas. You will pay more for health care, mortgages, clothes, and food.

Yet we are concerned with more than just the financial impact. These groups may infiltrate our businesses. They may provide logistical support to hostile foreign powers. They may try to manipulate those at the highest levels of government. Indeed, these so-called “iron triangles” of organized criminals, corrupt government officials, and business leaders pose a significant national security threat.
posted by gladly at 8:27 AM on September 15 [114 favorites]


Mattis will be out soon for being "a Democrat at heart"

I do wonder how the ouster of Mattis as a SECRET DEM will affect Trump's approval among rank-and-file military and particularly among Marines. We've seen a lot of Mattis worship from veterans these last few years as a sort of proxy-Trump: I know relatively apolitical vets who regularly share Badass Mattis content in the same rhetorical placement as Trump cultists' God-Emperor memes. There's a clearly demonstrated loyalty among them to Mattis that supersedes loyalty to Trump and his 70% approval rating among enlisted Marines must in part be due to that.

If the general state of affairs continues indefinitely there will eventually be a military coup, soft of otherwise. Hell, Woodward's book essentially described a soft coup in miniature when Trump ordered Mattis to assassinate Assad, after which Mattis looked around at his subordinates and literally said "nah, that's not happening." That's not to say that hard military coups are good - they're almost always extremely reactionary and open military rule would likely be a lot more obviously fascist than this administration thus far - but firing Mattis as a traitor will not endear a lot of active and former military to Trump, to say the least.
posted by Rust Moranis at 8:30 AM on September 15 [8 favorites]


1. This was not a “win for both sides” — Mueller’s team won
No matter how you look at it, this deal has to be seen as a massive victory for Mueller and his special counsel team.


The Mueller team is amazing. And I won't get tired of winning - I will deeply enjoy every win from Mueller.
posted by bluesky43 at 8:48 AM on September 15 [5 favorites]


I too am grateful for the apparent professionalism and competence of the special counsel's team, but it sure is a sign of the times that we feel such palpable relief at well-educated, highly trained and professionally respected people in positions of power just doing what they're supposed to.
posted by howfar at 9:07 AM on September 15 [96 favorites]


The Political Myth of the Good Man - Prachi Gupta, Jezebel.com (The Slot)
I don’t know Brett Kavanaugh personally. Maybe he did treat those 65 women with “respect.” But his kindness to a select few does not make him a “good person,” as the letter insists. That the personal is political is one of feminism’s major stakes; to insist that the two be separated— to insist that good men can have bad politics or vice versa—seems to posit that policy is neutral; that it simply exists in the realm of the theoretical. But Kavanaugh’s eventual confirmation will affect me, and millions of others, very personally. Women, anticipating abortion rights roll-backs, have been rushing to get IUDs inserted—a painful process that isn’t right for everyone, and costs hundreds of dollars without insurance. His rulings could force women to carry unwanted pregnancies, a decision that will change the course of their lives and the lives of their families. The same dangers exist in his record on workers, on immigrant rights, on the impunity of massive corporations.

But then we already know that the good man narrative is a lie. We know that sexual harassment doesn’t disqualify a man from serving on the Supreme Court, and it seems unlikely that an attempted rape allegation will have an effect on Kavanaugh’s nomination. After all, he’s “always treated women with decency and respect”—or at least that’s what we’ve been told.
posted by ZeusHumms at 9:18 AM on September 15 [29 favorites]


but it sure is a sign of the times that we feel such palpable relief at well-educated, highly trained and professionally respected people in positions of power just doing what they're supposed to.

There's a reason we hire experts to do complicated, important things, like, oh, run a country! This is what we get when we elect outsiders to Run The Country Like A Business. (And why I want no celebs and no amateurs in 2020.) This cult of the amateur has got to go, at least for politics. When an expert is in charge, things get done, surprise surprise!

As far as Trump firing Mattis and PO'ing military folks: I think that ball started rolling when Trump was so disrespectful of John McCain and his family after his death. That got a lot of otherwise pretty apathetic people angry, and I think contributed to the drop in Trump's approval lately. The shit on the bed just keeps piling up higher and deeper.
posted by Rosie M. Banks at 9:21 AM on September 15 [21 favorites]


The Coast Guard removed a member from hurricane duty after he flashed a white power symbol on TV

I'll be honest: Most such accusations seems breathless and rife with the possibility for, at least, plausible deniability because of the ubiquitous and innocuous signal that has been co-opted. But this guy. He's like a cartoon character, looking right, seeing the cameras, looking left, seeing, I guess, that no ones over there would see him flash his stupid soooper seeekrit hand signal.

He is clearly, without any doubt, signaling to an audience he presumes the camera is reaching.

Disgusting. Repugnant. Shameful. Rout this guy and his ilk right out of the fucking military JFC I can't even.
posted by ImproviseOrDie at 9:44 AM on September 15 [66 favorites]


Rout this guy and his ilk right out of the fucking military JFC I can't even

So far they just "removed him from the response", which sounds like some weak sauce. Not even a mention if disciplinary action.
posted by duoshao at 10:17 AM on September 15 [4 favorites]


The White House said in July that the debts related to baseball tickets Kavanaugh bought for friends who later reimbursed him.

Media Matters's Simon Maloy: where's the letter from all the people Kavanaugh bought baseball tickets for
posted by Doktor Zed at 10:27 AM on September 15 [62 favorites]


To cap off today, @realDonaldTrump has doubled down on

Just FYI, Trump's entire MO is to double down on his lies. It's literally his stated main guiding principle in life to never go back on a lie, never apologize, never give an inch. Then his opponents have to spend all this energy countering with facts and data, which takes time and energy to collect and convince others of, by which time he's on to his next set of lies. This has been happening for his entire presidency.

Only the grinding wheel of the law and voting him and his enablers out of power will make his lies worthless.
posted by gwint at 11:02 AM on September 15 [36 favorites]


Why is everyone playing like buying your friends baseball tickets for hundreds of thousands of dollars is remotely normal instead of what it clearly is: some kind of corrupt money laundering or exchange?
posted by odinsdream at 11:05 AM on September 15 [92 favorites]


I would assume some one of his tax bracket had that chase sapphire rewards card so he’d get a lot of cash back for that.

But if someone can afford to pay him back they have their own sapphire rewards card.

So I have no clue why everyone is just like “yeah ok” unless they don’t realize his friends and peers are all making at least 200k a year or more.
posted by sio42 at 11:16 AM on September 15 [2 favorites]


Why is everyone playing like buying your friends baseball tickets for hundreds of thousands of dollars is remotely normal instead of what it clearly is: some kind of corrupt money laundering or exchange?

Oh come now, it's clearly just a bookkeeping error. I mean, what's 7-15 years of gross income working at minimum wage, between friends?
posted by Mayor West at 11:22 AM on September 15 [22 favorites]


There's something like 4700 baseball games a season, if he did have a gambling issue it's real easy to add up to 5 or 6 digits even if he's just betting $50 or $100 a game. The "tickets" as code for his gambling problem sounds pretty plausible to me, which means we really need to know exactly what happened to that credit card debt and who paid it for him.
posted by T.D. Strange at 11:29 AM on September 15 [20 favorites]


So far they just "removed him from the response", which sounds like some weak sauce. Not even a mention if disciplinary action.

That guy is definitely getting his ass kicked (verbally) at the very least, and will probably be watched by his first-line supervisor, and likely at least his O3-level supervisor (probably between three and five levels up) for the rest of his time at that job (as much as three years).

The fact that the Coast Guard said anything means they know this is a massive fuckup, if only a PR fuckup, and the fact that they did it so quickly tells me they know it's not just a PR fuckup.
posted by Etrigan at 11:47 AM on September 15 [28 favorites]


In further rich assholes/total garbage/Mike Pence news...

@AWolfeful
Betsy DeVos’s father-in-law Rich DeVos died. He was the co-founder of billion-dollar pyramid scheme Amway. So ANYWAY Mike Pence flew into Grand Rapids for the funeral... and got the whole neighborhood’s cars towed.

[Facebook screenshots]
posted by Artw at 12:02 PM on September 15 [39 favorites]


Why is everyone playing like buying your friends baseball tickets for hundreds of thousands of dollars is remotely normal instead of what it clearly is: some kind of corrupt money laundering or exchange?

Jon "Crazification Factor" Rogers lays out what's at play with Trump's nomination of Kavanaugh:
[...]McConnell infamously said Kavanaugh's paper trail would make him too difficult to confirm. *This* came up in the background check. THERE ARE A DOZEN OTHER CONSERVATIVE JUDGES WHO WOULD ROLL BACK ROE v WADE WHO ARE SQUEAKY CLEAN.
So why pick Kavanaugh, who has written extensively on the immunity of Presidents to legal consequences? Because of his giant legal mind? There are better conservative judges. Because of his easy confirmation? His paper trail's a nightmare.
Trump's superpower is attracting other people venal enough to do whatever he tells them to do in order to advance themselves. It's his one genuine talent.
[Friday] only confirms - Kavanaugh was the hardest possible confirmation choice on that list. There can only be one reason you choose the guy who makes the process that much harder. One.[...]
In any case, here's a link to the Block Brett script mentioned in the previous thread so you can phone (1-202-224-3121) or fax your senators and make them feel the heat.
posted by Doktor Zed at 12:13 PM on September 15 [43 favorites]


A friend of mine worked at Amway and says Rich DeVos once regaled a company Christmas party with the tale of how he had just that very week had something like a heart attack while at his vacation home in Alaska and put his cardiologist on the DeVos private plane, flew him to Alaska, bought a new private plane that would hold a cardiac care suite, had a new runway constructed at his vacation home because the new plane needed more space, and flew back to Grand Rapids. The capper DeVos chose to put on the speech was something to the effect of "God must have kept me alive so I could tell you this story, so here I am, isn't God great."

So yeah, it doesn't surprise me that his family just decided to have a bunch of the little peoples' cars towed to make it the slightest bit more convenient for them.
posted by Etrigan at 12:14 PM on September 15 [54 favorites]


"Liar, criminal, fool: pick your choice" (Mary Papenfuss, HuffPo) - Jerry Brown rips Trump a new one on the subject of climate change. I'm gonna miss this guy in November, even though Democrat Gavin Newsom is a shoo-in to succeed him.
posted by Rosie M. Banks at 12:45 PM on September 15 [5 favorites]


Por qué no los tres?
posted by riverlife at 12:58 PM on September 15 [28 favorites]


Jon "Crazification Factor" Rogers lays out what's at play with Trump's nomination of Kavanaugh:

Rachel Maddow makes it a bit more explicit in a recent segment. It's video so I'll summarize.

Maddow: Overlap In Brett Kavanaugh Nomination, Trump Russia Probe Becomes Clear

2016: Candidate Trump releases list of potential Supreme Court nominees given to him by the Federalist Society & promises to only select from it. Gorsuch is on the list, Kavanaugh is not.
February 1, 2017: Trump nominates Gorsuch.
May 1, 2017: As rumors of Kennedy's immanent retirement surface, Trump again promises to select only from the same list.
May 17, 2017: Robert Mueller is appointed Special Counsel.
Late 2017: Trump's "final" Supreme Court list adds 5 new names including Kavanaugh, over Mitch McConnell's objection due to extensive paper trail & views on executive power.
June 27, 2018: Justice Kennedy retires.
July 9, 2018: Trump nominates Kavanaugh.
Summer 2018: Senate Republicans outsource Kavanaugh document curation to private attorney William Burke, who represents Mueller witnesses Steve Bannon, Reince Priebus, Don McGahn among others.
posted by scalefree at 1:10 PM on September 15 [93 favorites]


The Coast Guard removed a member from hurricane duty after he flashed a white power symbol on TV

Anonymity protected though.
posted by srboisvert at 1:55 PM on September 15 [2 favorites]


@realDonaldTrump: Thank you Brock – it is my honor!
“We (@fema) have never had the support that we have had from this President.”
Administrator @FEMA_Brock

Amazing how everyone in the government knows they can have as many scandals as possible as long as they step up the over-the-top praise of the boss.
posted by zachlipton at 2:06 PM on September 15 [11 favorites]


Anonymity protected though.

While this does feel frustrating, I think that we have to recognise that, while it is exactly what an employer that didn't really care about this would do, it's also exactly what a competent employer, doing its job and preparing a proper disciplinary action against an employee, with the intention of dismiss them for gross misconduct, would do, in order to reduce the risk of that employee using it as a weapon in a wrongful dismissal claim.

I'm not saying which the Coast Guard is, because I genuinely don't know, but I don't think we can draw any inference from them not giving his identity (which is probably going to be known in less than 24 hours anyway, once the Internet gets to work on it), and I think the decision itself is the only proper choice.
posted by howfar at 2:06 PM on September 15 [31 favorites]


I'm not sure what I think about asset forfeiture being the only check on executive impunity...
posted by ethansr at 2:14 PM on September 15 [2 favorites]


While this does feel frustrating, I think that we have to recognise that, while it is exactly what an employer that didn't really care about this would do, it's also exactly what a competent employer, doing its job and preparing a proper disciplinary action against an employee, with the intention of dismiss them for gross misconduct, would do, in order to reduce the risk of that employee using it as an weapon in a wrongful dismissal claim.

As the Coast Guard is a branch of the US military, discipline is covered by the Uniform Code of Military Justice along with a number of branch-specific policies. See COMDTINST M1600.2, US Coast Guard Discipline and Conduct (PDF) for details.
posted by scalefree at 2:24 PM on September 15 [1 favorite]


“We (@fema) have never had the support that we have had from this President.”
Administrator @FEMA_Brock


Considering that all of Long’s previous time with FEMA was under Dubya, he’s not setting much of a bar there.
posted by Etrigan at 2:27 PM on September 15 [3 favorites]


Coast Guard is also the whitest of the armed services, and sensitive about that fact. While there are certainly racists within the agency, they're not known to harbor white supremacists the way that the Army is, for instance. So I think they'll respond with some alacrity, because they really do want to recruit more minority service members.
posted by suelac at 2:28 PM on September 15 [11 favorites]


“We (@fema) have never had the support that we have had from this President.”

That's not necessarily praise.
Brock Long's job is in jeopardy, btw. (SLWashington Post)
posted by Iris Gambol at 2:33 PM on September 15 [4 favorites]




Wouldn't it be SAD if the DeVos family were corrupt and lost all of their assets to government forfeiture?
posted by kiwi-epitome at 2:41 PM on September 15 [47 favorites]


I'm not sure what I think about asset forfeiture being the only check on executive impunity...

For punishment to have any deterrent effect, the subject must fear it. And it's clear that their assets are the only thing these people care about.
posted by Faint of Butt at 2:47 PM on September 15 [31 favorites]


Someone must have written a dissertation on the role of deliberate cruelty in politics: we have to deport someone whose life will be irreparably and severely harmed by that act on a technicality, because it's evidence that we are truly impartial and not driven by sentiment.
posted by Wrinkled Stumpskin at 3:00 PM on September 15 [6 favorites]


Wrinkled Stumpskin > I think one-dimensional chess is leapfrog

Seems more like Buck buck to me.
posted by Piso Mojado at 3:17 PM on September 15 [4 favorites]


For punishment to have any deterrent effect, the subject must fear it. And it's clear that their assets are the only thing these people care about.

But if the only punishment you face for stealing something is having to give it back, doesn't it seem worth the risk? Might as well try it, maybe you'll get away with it.

The reason they don't fear prison is because historically, people like them don't go to prison. Don't get me wrong, I'm very much in favor of asset forfeiture. But I think if the threat of prison in addition to asset forfeiture were more real, then you might actually have an effective deterrent.
posted by robotdevil at 3:30 PM on September 15 [17 favorites]


The NRA's got its hands full what with Maria Butina, Russian funding, Matt Rosendale, and so on, but still had time for:

National Rifle Association spokeswoman Dana Loesch said that a Dallas man killed in his own home by a police officer could have saved himself if he owned a gun.

The Atlantic's take: The NRA’s Catch-22 for Black Men Shot by Police

A National Rifle Association spokesperson says Botham Jean would still be alive if he’d had a firearm. But when African Americans legally bearing arms are shot by police, the organization’s media outlet doesn’t defend them.

Also, are you familiar with the NRA School Shield program? From the NRA blog, Monday:
NRA School Shield, in partnership with The NRA Foundation, has awarded more than $600,000 in grants to support vital school security projects and activities across the nation. A total of 54 grants were recommended to schools in 23 states, including both public and private K-12 educational institutions. Grants were awarded to eligible applicants for proposals that aimed to make our nation’s schools more secure by addressing known vulnerabilities through the implementation of industry best practices in security infrastructure, technology, personnel, training, and policy.

“The NRA is proud to be at a forefront of providing meaningful solutions to safeguard our nation’s schools,” said NRA President Oliver North. “Protecting our most precious resource – our children – with substantive measures that work should be the top priority for all Americans. Thanks to the generous support of NRA members, many schools will now have the necessary funding to enhance their security.”

John Perren, Senior Advisor to the NRA Executive Vice President, added “funding is a persistent challenge in most communities. By working closely with our dedicated field staff, we were able to initiate this first national grant cycle and look forward to growing this critical element of the program for many years to come.”

The NRA School Shield program was introduced in December 2012 as a new initiative focused on improving school security in an effort to help prevent national tragedies at educational institutions in America.
Five and a half years, and $600,000.00.

The organization has an annual operating budget of some quarter of a billion dollars.
posted by Iris Gambol at 3:39 PM on September 15 [40 favorites]


I am not a fan of asset forfeiture because as a practice (like other naively appealing things such as "zero-tolerance") disproportionately affects the poor and does not actually serve a deterrent effect. Rich people and corporations are generally assessed fines which they can afford to pay and do, whereupon they often recoup their losses using their connections, privilege, and ability to take money from other people. I'm a big fan of actually sending people to jail if they have been convicted of a white collar crime, and an even bigger fan of not giving short sentences to such people--whose crimes have often destabilized trust in the system and made it harder for common folk to get by.
posted by Peach at 3:41 PM on September 15 [9 favorites]


National Rifle Association spokeswoman Dana Loesch said that a Dallas man killed in his own home by a police officer could have saved himself if he owned a gun.

If he had a gun, the NRA would have responded with "Black thug murders white lady cop after luring her into his apartment: police must be armed with flamethrowers."
posted by Rust Moranis at 3:44 PM on September 15 [53 favorites]


About Mark Judge...

Mother Jones: Brett Kavanaugh’s High School Friend Isn’t Helping the Nominee’s Case
He also describes an institution where alcoholism was rampant, a theme he detailed in his 1997 addiction memoir, Wasted: Tales of a Gen X Drunk.

That book chronicles Judge’s time as a teenage alcoholic. [...] While there’s nothing in the book that resembles the incident reportedly described in the private letter given to the FBI, Judge says his own black-out drinking while he and Kavanaugh were Georgetown Prep students “reached the point where once I had the first beer, I found it impossible to stop until I was completely annihilated.”
In the book there is someone called "Bart O'Kavanaugh" who is also a heavy drinker who passes out.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 3:54 PM on September 15 [56 favorites]


i swear to god, the NRA is like all the major confectionary manufacturers formed an advocacy group and every time someone died of insulin shock from eating too much candy, they sent out a spokesperson to say "there is only one appropriate response to these kinds of tragedies: MORE CANDY"
posted by murphy slaw at 3:57 PM on September 15 [46 favorites]




If he had a gun, the NRA would have responded with "Black thug murders white lady cop after luring her into his apartment: police must be armed with flamethrowers."

Make that "Black thug ON DRUGS murders white lady cop". After his murder they got a warrant, searched his apartment & found some weed. Which proved...something?
posted by scalefree at 4:21 PM on September 15 [8 favorites]




"said NRA President Oliver North"

wtf is wrong with this country
posted by tivalasvegas at 4:55 PM on September 15 [79 favorites]


A National Rifle Association spokesperson says Botham Jean would still be alive if he’d had a firearm.

So now the NRA is actively promoting cop-killing, yes?
posted by Mayor West at 5:06 PM on September 15 [31 favorites]


So now the NRA is actively promoting cop-killing, yes?

They're actually promoting "doing the other thing". Whichever choice you make, you should've made the other one instead.
posted by scalefree at 5:13 PM on September 15 [64 favorites]


wtf is wrong with this country

Arms dealing, money laundering, AND lying to Congress to protect a sitting president? The better question is, why hasn't he been made SecDef?
posted by Mayor West at 5:15 PM on September 15 [23 favorites]


Coast Guard is also the whitest of the armed services, and sensitive about that fact. While there are certainly racists within the agency, they're not known to harbor white supremacists the way that the Army is, for instance. So I think they'll respond with some alacrity, because they really do want to recruit more minority service members.

Basic was a long time ago, but for what it's worth: the very first utterance of the N-word in my recruit company got the offender bounced right out of the Coast Guard. Hard. Mercilessly. He wasn't a screw-up recruit and they weren't looking for an excuse. The company commander (drill instructor in common terms) was a white Cajun and the #2 was a black man who, if memory serves, had that day off or something. I remember the #2 being shocked that it played out the way it did. The second offense, late in training, wasn't the n-word but it was also offensive, and the offender was only saved by literally every person of color in the recruit company coming to his defense and saying yes he's a dumbass, but the context was different and he'll learn. And he was still very nearly done.

Basic training is a different world, of course, and I ran into bigots once I was out into the real world of the Coast Guard, but even there what I saw was a far cry from what I've seen in ordinary daily civilian life. And basic is also where they're trying to make sure policies and values get planted early and stick. Something as high-profile as this may well get the same sort of attention.

And yes, they absolutely want a more diverse workforce. It matters for all the reasons diversity is good in any other walk of life.

Looking at that video, I just... what the fuck, dude. I'm not going to jump on a soap box and say they'll fix this and everything is fine, 'cause ever since 2016 it feels like everything is garbage. But my first inclination is to say the Guard will take this seriously.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 5:31 PM on September 15 [68 favorites]


i swear to god, the NRA is like all the major confectionary manufacturers formed an advocacy group and every time someone died of insulin shock from eating too much candy, they sent out a spokesperson to say "there is only one appropriate response to these kinds of tragedies: MORE CANDY"

i completely agree with this.

brief tangentially related sidenote: reminds me of this wonderful ohmigod almost 11-year-old comment from robocop is bleeding and that made me smile.

posted by lazaruslong at 5:32 PM on September 15 [13 favorites]


@Olivianuzzi [photo]: The White House distributed this image to reporters on purpose earlier this evening

It's really an amazing photo. Trump looking miserably uninterested as he's supposedly being updated on disaster response, Pence standing there with his arms crossed supervising (but without a phone) as if he's forcing Trump to be there, the painting behind him. I can't imagine why anybody would voluntarially send this out to the world.
posted by zachlipton at 5:35 PM on September 15 [33 favorites]


It's really an amazing photo. Trump looking miserably uninterested as he's supposedly being updated on disaster response, Pence standing there with his arms crossed supervising (but without a phone) as if he's forcing Trump to be there, the painting behind him. I can't imagine why anybody would voluntarially send this out to the world.

Substantiates back up of the 25th Amendment? Gets him the hell out of there before Manafort explains the connection to Pence, and the reasons Pence mattered? They didn't do anything by mistake. Pence is in there for a reason. I don't know what that reason is, but I'd guess Pence would like that situation to continue.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 5:39 PM on September 15 [2 favorites]


The reason is Gilead. The nexus of theocratic conservative Protestantism and corporate power is the next level in this horrifying real-life Jumanji.
posted by tivalasvegas at 5:54 PM on September 15 [19 favorites]


The reason is Gilead. The nexus of theocratic conservative Protestantism and corporate power is the next level in this horrifying real-life Jumanji.

Whenever I think about dominionists like Pence and their christian theocracy fantasies, from the same Build The Wall people, I think of this passage from one of Jefferson's letters:
Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between Man & his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legitimate powers of government reach actions only, & not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should "make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof," thus building a wall of separation between Church & State.
BUILD THE WALL
posted by adept256 at 6:03 PM on September 15 [48 favorites]


The painting in that tweet is "Signing of the Peace Protocol Between Spain and the United States, August 12, 1898". President William McKinley is standing on the left and observing. Seated from left to right are Secretary of State William R. Day and, signing, French Ambassador to the United States Jules Cambon.

I don't find it particularly symbolic for the moment, but at least now you know.
posted by achrise at 6:09 PM on September 15 [18 favorites]


I did find it a little odd that Trump & Pence were both positioned nearly identically to the main figures in the painting. I don't see any greater meaning either, it was just odd.
posted by scalefree at 7:30 PM on September 15


They're positioned that way specifically for the photo op. I guar-an-tee it.
posted by Justinian at 7:31 PM on September 15 [10 favorites]


Imagine a future painting of key moments of the Trump administration.

"Minting of the Challenge Coin between President Trump and Little Rocket Man, June 12, 2018"
posted by T.D. Strange at 7:33 PM on September 15 [21 favorites]


Mattis will be out soon for being "a Democrat at heart"

Well, that would be a reversal for Trump. Obama fired/retired Mattis over disagreements about Iran policy and Obama's Iran deal. That's probably the primary reason Trump hired him, because it is the exact opposite of Obama firing him.

It would be weird/embarrassing for Trump to fire the same guy that Obama fired. And poor Mattis -- can't catch a break. I'm sure Mattis thinks that if both sides hate you, you must be right.
posted by JackFlash at 8:55 PM on September 15 [8 favorites]


Facing a Midterm Wipeout, Trump’s Alternate Reality Comes Crashing Down - Tina Nguyen, Vanity Fair
Despite his “RED WAVE” bravado, a grim fatalism may finally be sinking in for the president, whose personality is not exactly conducive to operating under siege.
...
There is something to be said for the fact that Trump has arrived at this realization [that control of the House could be lost] before D-day—“Over time he’s realized [that control of the House] can make all the difference in the world,” the source who’s discussed the midterms with Trump told Axios—and that he’s already attempting to seize control of the narrative. “He has repeated to folks that, if the Democrats impeach him, it would be a victory, politically, because it would be a complete overreach and he could exploit it and run against it in 2020.” It’s the same line being parroted among Trump allies, who have become convinced that an impeachment push by House Democrats would backfire, giving Trump a clear path to re-election—voters, they hypothesize, will be turned off by extremist posturing, and will instead flock to the middle of the road.

Of course, it’s one thing for Trump to extol the benefits of impeachment when the possibility is still at arm’s length. It’s another for a notoriously thin-skinned president to attempt to operate under siege. “This president is not interested in being an impeached president,” the source who’s talked to Trump told Axios. “His ego would not tolerate such a thing.” Trump’s worst traits—his egotism, his paranoia, his obsession with loyalty, his tendency to lash out—would only be exacerbated in an environment in which he’s constantly under attack. Governance would become, if possible, even more unworkable. Whether or not he has that possibility in mind, Trump has already found a scapegoat. “We’ll worry about [impeachment] if it ever happens,” he told a crowd in Montana last week. “But if it does happen, it’s your fault—because you didn’t go out to vote.”
Emphasis mine.
posted by ZeusHumms at 8:57 PM on September 15 [12 favorites]


Ex-GOP donor [Seth Klarman] urges support for Dems in midterms: 'Democracy is at stake'
Former GOP mega-donor Seth Klarman urged voters to support Democrats in the coming midterm elections and said in a recent interview that he believes “democracy is at stake.”

“One of the reasons I’m willing to come out of my shell and talk to you is because I think democracy is at stake,” Klarman said in an interview with The New York Times published on Saturday. “And maybe I’ll be able to convince some other people of that. And get them to support Democrats in 2018.”

Klarman, who was previously one of the biggest donors to the Republican Party in New England, told The Times he has donated $4.9 million to nearly 150 candidates.
Les Wexner renounces Republican Party affiliation after Obama stops in Columbus
After former Democratic President Barack Obama made a quiet stop in Columbus on Thursday night, the wealthiest Republican supporter in the state told a small audience at a Downtown event that he is fed up and has quit the Republican Party.

“I just decided I’m no longer a Republican,” said L Brands CEO Leslie H. Wexner, speaking during a panel discussion about civility at Miranova’s Ivory Room billed as a “Columbus Partnership and YPO Leadership Summit.”

“I’m an independent,” he said. “I won’t support this nonsense in the Republican Party. I’ve been a Republican since college, joined the Young Republican Club at Ohio State.
posted by gwint at 9:19 PM on September 15 [51 favorites]


National Rifle Association spokeswoman Dana Loesch said that a Dallas man killed in his own home by a police officer could have saved himself if he owned a gun.
I know that such suggestions aren't made in anything approaching good faith but there are people out there who actually believe that kind of shit and I want to ask them.. how do you think that would have worked in this situation? Actually, I don't want to ask them, because I know their answers will be idiotic, but I would kind of like to force them to think realistically about it just a little. But that is never gonna happen.
Also, are you familiar with the NRA School Shield program?
I'm much more familiar with their Ghoul Shield program.
posted by Nerd of the North at 9:25 PM on September 15 [10 favorites]


“I’m an Independent” he said, after enabling all this bullshit. He then went on to vote straight ticket Republican for the rest of his life like every other public “Independent” or “Libertarian.”
posted by Abehammerb Lincoln at 9:29 PM on September 15 [59 favorites]


Funny how the NRA didn't say shit about Philando Castile, a black man who was legally carrying a gun and got shot anyway.

I'm just like, at what point is it ever not ok for a police officer to kill someone? Is there any point? Because I think essentially there isn't. A cop can just say "fuck it" draw and kill you and the system will come up with some excuse why you deserved it.

And if you're a black person, clearly just existing is likely to provoke exactly that scenario.

And yet there are 80 bajilion cop shows on TV, always from the cops' POV, with tons of episodes about why a bad guy got away because of "regs" and "rights" and bullshit like that keeping these decent, near-superheroes from being able to protect the rest of us.
posted by emjaybee at 9:35 PM on September 15 [80 favorites]


Oh, they did say something about Philandro Castile. A very familiar something: "
"He was also in possession of a controlled substance and a firearm simultaneously, which is illegal. Stop lying," Loesch said on Twitter early Thursday.

She was responding to a tweet noting that Castile was a Minnesota carry permit holder who "followed the safety rules" but was still shot. The Twitter user questioned why the NRA was so slow to defend Castile, thinking it had to do with his race.
There are a few familiar go-tos when it comes to when different rules and laws are enforced or supported.
posted by Superplin at 9:42 PM on September 15 [22 favorites]




I have been thinking that when lots of people start booing, or even better laughing at, Trump during his rallies that might be a sign of his supporters finally waking up, an the emporer has no clothes moment. That would be the one thing Trump truly couldnt handle, be more effective than any amount of outright criticism, that would pop the balloon. This happening recently is not quite that, but gives me hope: 'Plaid shirt guy' thinks he was removed from Trump rally for 'not being enthusiastic enough'. (I hope this isn't considered too frivolous to post here.)
posted by blue shadows at 11:54 PM on September 15 [7 favorites]


Joe Biden and Jill Biden Speak at the 2018 Human Rights Campaign National Dinner

Missing you Joe. He did remark that he and Obama decided to give Trump a year in office before making any comment, then crossed his heart and asked for god's forgiveness.
posted by adept256 at 1:57 AM on September 16 [3 favorites]


He did remark that he and Obama decided to give Trump a year in office

For quite a few people a couple of weeks of Trump is more than a year already.
posted by Stoneshop at 2:01 AM on September 16 [13 favorites]


That pic of Trump and Pence.

People who aren’t us see the President listening with concern while the VP waits to hear the news.

There’s probably not even an actual phone call. Or if it is it’s not a real briefing.

This is totally staged (as we all know) but his supporters will see something different. Kind of like the vase where it’s two faces.
posted by sio42 at 3:25 AM on September 16 [3 favorites]


sio42: Kind of like the vase where it’s two faces

Exactly like that. Supporters see two faces in this pic, others see two pieces of faeces.
posted by Too-Ticky at 3:34 AM on September 16 [26 favorites]


The article about Jess King and Lancaster the Whelk posted above is really good and it’s fascinating to see such enthusiasm in areas that have not voted democratic previously. There’s a ton of excellent grassroots energy in PA, and I especially love Turn PA Blue, which has been supporting state level candidates since right after the 2016 election. They are incredibly active and have postcard campaigns and texting campaigns for the candidates for anyone who wants to help from out of state.

The bashing of the Democratic Party seems unwarranted though (they even got an HRC dig in there!) I don’t know anything about the specific candidate who was running against Jess King and maybe she was awful, but I have seen Emily’s List, the DCCC and the state Party back great, progressive candidates in many districts here in PA, and the party is going to get behind whoever wins the primary and has a shot. I’m also not sure what’s so bad about fundraising.

The state democrats seem to be doing an excellent job running a coordinated campaign with enthusiastic organizers here in PA, and they are canvassing everyone, not just reliable voters, but I guess since they are funded by the Democratic Party the Intercept does not consider it interesting? Anyway, I just think it’s all good and all helping, and nothing is wrong with fundraising and volunteering and building community, and the Democratic Party is not the enemy.
posted by rainydayfilms at 4:08 AM on September 16 [15 favorites]






I did find it a little odd that Trump & Pence were both positioned nearly identically to the main figures in the painting. I don't see any greater meaning either, it was just odd.

They are mimicking real adults.
posted by srboisvert at 5:47 AM on September 16 [9 favorites]


It’s the same line being parroted among Trump allies, who have become convinced that an impeachment push by House Democrats would backfire

Hello Congressional Democrats. What's happening? Um, I'm gonna need you go ahead and come in first thing for the impeachment. So if you could be here around nine, that would be great.
(starts to walk away) Oh, oh, yea…I forgot. I'm gonna also need you to get loud about it too. We, uh, lost some things the last two years and we need to sorta catch up. Thanks.

*shllp*
posted by petebest at 6:09 AM on September 16 [10 favorites]


They're not wrong. While the lunatic fringe keeps a stranglehold on GOP primaries there will be no impeachment.
posted by Definitely Not Sean Spicer at 6:36 AM on September 16 [2 favorites]


In the short term, I'd say impeachment is less of a threat than control of House Committees is. Wouldn't it be nice to have Schiff leading the Intelligence Committee instead of Nunes? Democrats in charge could run real investigations and turn up some real damaging information which, whether or not it resultsin mpeachment, could do much to contain and roll back the harms of this administration.
posted by jackbishop at 6:50 AM on September 16 [55 favorites]


My greatest fear is that Democrats are going to abstain from impeachment because they know they won't get a conviction in the Senate but people, not knowing any better, will blame the Democrats for not being quixotic and punish them in 2020.
posted by Definitely Not Sean Spicer at 7:14 AM on September 16 [7 favorites]


They can mayyybe hold off looking like do-nothing idiots with sufficient investigations and hearings, but yes, people are going to see impeachment as their job. I would suggest doing it.
posted by Artw at 7:17 AM on September 16 [10 favorites]


sometimes you have to do the right thing, even if it fails
posted by pyramid termite at 7:25 AM on September 16 [25 favorites]


The striking parallels between Brett Kavanaugh and Clarence Thomas - Anna North, Vox
Today, the details are different but the basic outline is eerily similar. In July, a woman reported to Democrats in Congress that Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh tried to sexually assault her when they were both in high school. He has denied the allegation.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), the ranking Democrat on the Judiciary Committee, knew about the allegation but declined to share it with the other Democrats on the committee, according to Ronan Farrow and Jane Mayer at the New Yorker. So it didn’t come up during Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearings.

Hill addressed the allegations against Kavanaugh on Friday, saying through a spokesperson that “the reluctance of someone to come forward demonstrates that even in the #MeToo era, it remains incredibly difficult to report harassment, abuse or assault by people in power.” She added that “the Senate Judiciary Committee should put in place a process that enables anyone with a complaint of this nature to be heard.”

Now the news is out, and the question is whether 2018 will be a replay of 1991. The past year, of course, has seen the rise of the #MeToo movement, as more and more Americans come forward to report sexual harassment and assault. Some of those accused — though not all — have faced significant consequences, including the loss of their jobs or, in a few cases, criminal prosecution.

But the outcome of the allegations against Kavanaugh will be a profound test of the power of #MeToo. Before the movement began, a Supreme Court nominee could be publicly accused of sexual misconduct and — due in part to the inaction of Democrats in Congress — be confirmed anyway. So far, Kavanaugh’s confirmation process has unfolded in much the same way Thomas’s did. We’re about to find out if the result will be the same.
posted by ZeusHumms at 7:25 AM on September 16 [16 favorites]


... people are going to see impeachment as their job. I would suggest doing it.

This. Democrats should treat it the same way the Republicans treated repealing the Affordable Care Act back when Obama was still President and there was no real chance of succeeding. The Republicans would not shy away from impeaching just because the odds were bad for conviction in the Senate. They would try again and again. And so should we. Draw up articles of impeachment with regard to emoluments. Draw up separate articles with respect to campaign finance laws. Draw up articles with respect to public corruption. Draw up articles with respect to foreign intelligence. Draw up articles with respect to treason. As far as I can tell, there is no double jeopardy standard for impeachment, so submit the same articles over and over again if you have to.

Then. If and when efforts to remove Trump fail, go back to the people in 2020 and say two things:

(1) Here is a mechanism to get rid of Trump: vote him out.
(2) We tried to do the right thing, and Republicans blocked us. Like they do for every morally weighty issue. Give us more power in the Congress to do what is right.
posted by Jonathan Livengood at 7:32 AM on September 16 [72 favorites]


It’s the same line being parroted among Trump allies, who have become convinced that an impeachment push by House Democrats would backfire

Bush "won" the presidency in 2000 after Clinton was impeached in 1999. Rs also retained control of the House and Senate though they did lose a few seats.

And that was for lying about a blowjob, not about betraying your country and being a mobster. Investigate and impeach the fucker. You can't worry about their base - they'll be fired up regardless - you have to fire up your base.
posted by chris24 at 7:41 AM on September 16 [45 favorites]


Whatever the Democrats do will be the wrong thing to Trump's base. Just like whatever Facebook and Twitter do conservative pundits will cry censorship. The MAGAhats and Teapartisans have found out that hysterical anger is a lever that moves people, we have to stop being moved.

We need to stop trying to figure out what will make authoritarians happy and do the right thing.

Appeasement doesn't work.
posted by Horkus at 8:15 AM on September 16 [45 favorites]


Eh, from my point of view the investigatory power is important because it creates a damning record of all the people who are not Trump who are involved in the destruction of the rule of law and of our civic institutions. The push for impeachment leads too easily into the narrative that it is Trump alone who is an aberration and a stain on good governance, when he's really simply the most extreme part of a widespread movement to cannibalize our society.

Admittedly, getting Republicans on record defending the indefensible when articles of impeachment are drawn up might serve a similar purpose, but doing it over and over seems like waste of time.

(OTOH, let's not count our chickens before they're hatched. Hopefully Democrats will be in a position to do any of this come November.)
posted by jackbishop at 8:16 AM on September 16 [15 favorites]


They could always vary things up a bit, try and impeach him on different grounds each time. It's not like there aren't double or even triple digits reasons to do it by now.
posted by Artw at 8:21 AM on September 16 [3 favorites]


It's maybe a telling thing about Trump that he puts more imagination into his insults than his endorsements. Trump foes can get nicknames, while endorsees like Rothfus get copy-and-paste words of support about being tough on crime and the border, loving the military, etc.
posted by growabrain at 8:36 AM on September 16 [5 favorites]


Supporters see two faces in this pic, others see two pieces of faeces.

Faeces, fasces — all the same in this administration.
posted by nathan_teske at 8:43 AM on September 16 [13 favorites]


Draw up articles of impeachment with regard to emoluments. Draw up separate articles with respect to campaign finance laws. Draw up articles with respect to public corruption. Draw up articles with respect to foreign intelligence. Draw up articles with respect to treason.

This. Make republicans in the senate vote on record, that violating the emoluments clause in the constitution is not grounds for removal from office. Then make them vote separately, that violations of campaign finance law are not grounds for removal from office. And so on - make each and every single republican in the senate go on record, voting to support every single one of trumps offences individually. These people thrive in the murky area where they can say one thing, do another, and lie their way through the grey areas. Pin them down.
posted by mrgoat at 8:46 AM on September 16 [66 favorites]




We should not impeach because then maybe the cult of Jeebus Trump Returned won't support us
posted by benzenedream at 8:47 AM on September 16 [1 favorite]


We need to stop trying to figure out what will make authoritarians happy and do the right thing.

Remember how happy everyone was when Obama tried to close Guantanamo but couldn't get the votes for it? Remember how people lionize him for his effort, however quixotic? Ha. Ha ha. No. People think it's his fault because he couldn't get the votes together. Do you think people will give the Dems an A for effort when the Senate fails to remove Trump from office?

If you're going to do the impeachment thing, might as well do it when you have a more realistic chance of success- after the Mueller investigation concludes (with his firing or otherwise).
posted by Jpfed at 9:33 AM on September 16 [16 favorites]


FEMA Director Sides With Hurricane Truthers, Refuses To Criticize Trump For Denying Maria Death Toll
On Sunday, Long attempted to distinguish the direct deaths from "indirect deaths," arguing that it would be tenuous to link those to the hurricane and the federal government's response.

"The GW study looked at what happened six months after the fact," Long said.

"You might see more deaths indirectly occur as time goes on because people have heart attacks due to stress, they fall off their house trying to fix their roof, they die in car crashes because they went through an intersection where the step lights weren’t working," he said
posted by T.D. Strange at 9:50 AM on September 16 [5 favorites]


FEC Commissioner Ellen L Weintraub on Chief Justice Roberts's surprise intervention in Crossroads Grassroots Policy Strategies v. Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington:
NICE WHILE IT LASTED: The DC Circuit declined earlier today to stay a lower court’s decision to kill an @FEC regulation that allowed #darkmoney… but Chief Justice Roberts has just ruled on the emergency appeal before him and stayed the decision himself.
https://www.supremecourt.gov/search.aspx?filename=/docket/docketfiles/html/public/18a274.html
Politico has more: Chief Justice Roberts Halts Campaign Finance Ruling
Chief Justice John Roberts stepped in Saturday to halt a federal judge’s order last month that a conservative political group said threatened to discourage independent expenditures by raising the prospect that anonymous donors could be exposed.

Roberts acted Saturday (PDF) after a three-judge D.C. Circuit panel turned down (PDF) the same arguments for a stay earlier in the day.

U.S. District Court Chief Judge Beryl A. Howell in August issued a ruling (PDF) invalidating a Federal Election Commission regulation that has allowed donors to so-called dark-money groups to remain anonymous.

That decision was the result of a lawsuit filed by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) against the FEC after Karl Rove's Crossroads GPS failed to disclose the names of contributors behind its effort to defeat Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown in 2012.

The district court’s ruling was set to take effect on Sept. 17, until Roberts intervened Saturday.[...]

It is not clear whether Roberts’ order is a short-term measure intended to allow further consideration of the issue by the justices, or whether it will remain in place through this fall's midterm elections.
posted by Doktor Zed at 9:51 AM on September 16 [16 favorites]


I did find it a little odd that Trump & Pence were both positioned nearly identically to the main figures in the painting.

Maybe they're doing "For the First Time in Forever" from Frozen.
posted by kirkaracha at 9:54 AM on September 16 [6 favorites]


Friday's New Rules: "Someone has to tell me why are all the best voices speaking against Republicans are Republicans"... Where are our potty-mouths? ... He is not on our side! How about this for a slogan -" We are not socialists - You're traitors!"
posted by growabrain at 10:15 AM on September 16 [4 favorites]


It's Not Just the President* Who Ought to Be Sweating Today
Other than softening the Republican Party's stance on Russian thuggery in the Ukraine, and maneuvering Mike Pence into the vice presidency, Manafort didn't do much in the short time he managed the president*'s campaign, except possibly commit some crimes. On Friday, the president*'s former campaign manager, and the person most responsible for the vice president's presence on the ticket, pleaded guilty to...wait for it..."conspiracy against the United States," which isn't really as serious as it sounds, but which is not something to which any president wants his former campaign manager to cop. Mike Pence has one foot in the barrel now, too.
...
And Robert Mueller, with no expression on his face, reaches across his desk for another document.
posted by kirkaracha at 10:20 AM on September 16 [12 favorites]


FEMA Director says: "You might see more deaths indirectly occur as time goes on because people have heart attacks due to stress, they fall off their house trying to fix their roof, they die in car crashes because they went through an intersection where the step lights weren’t working," he said

If only the U.S. had an agency for providing emergency health care, fixing roofs and repairing electricity to stop lights after a natural disaster.
posted by JackFlash at 10:23 AM on September 16 [95 favorites]


The Hurricane Maria response needs a full-blown investigation. Covering up 3000 deaths should be a human rights abuse.
posted by gucci mane at 10:28 AM on September 16 [69 favorites]


The Hurricane Maria response needs a full-blown investigation.

This is why I don't think impeachment is the critical issue. We know that ultimately, even successful impeachment just gets us Pence. Pence will not be impeached no matter what Mueller uncovers, both because Our Schumers Not Learn, but mainly because no Republicans would ever vote to give the presidency to a Democratic Speaker even in the fantasy-land scenario that they finally dumped Trump.

What can make a difference is real investigations dumping loads of information about Republican coverups into the public consciousness. We need to see the FEMA emails where they acknowledge how bad they're fucking up Maria in real time. We need to see every dollar flowing into Trump's pockets and see his full tax returns posted on the internet. We need to see our allies scared to share information because they know he'll hand it to Putin. We need to see Sessions and McConnell knew about the Russian collusion. We need to hear Republican officials testifying on all of this shit in open hearings.

There's more than enough things to investigate for a decade. Democrats should open hearings into all of it. I want these hearings to make Benghazi look like traffic court on a Wednesday in Fargo, ND.
posted by T.D. Strange at 10:42 AM on September 16 [55 favorites]


California professor, writer of confidential Brett Kavanaugh letter, speaks out about her allegation of sexual assault (WaPo)

Earlier this summer, Christine Blasey Ford wrote a confidential letter to a senior Democratic lawmaker alleging that Supreme Court nominee Brett M. Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her more than three decades ago, when they were high school students in suburban Maryland. Since Wednesday, she has watched as that bare-bones version of her story became public without her name or her consent, drawing a blanket denial from Kavanaugh and roiling a nomination that just days ago seemed all but certain to succeed.

Now, Ford has decided that if her story is going to be told, she wants to be the one to tell it.
posted by bluesky43 at 10:44 AM on September 16 [81 favorites]


FEMA Director explaining increased deaths says that after a natural disaster spousal abuse goes through the roof and you can't blame spousal abuse on anybody.
posted by JackFlash at 10:46 AM on September 16 [5 favorites]


I hope someone is helping Ford and her family with security.
posted by notyou at 10:46 AM on September 16 [21 favorites]


She has a lawyer who specilizes in sexual assault/harrassment so let's hope so.
posted by bluesky43 at 10:48 AM on September 16 [6 favorites]


NPR: Emoluments Lawsuit Moves a Step Closer to Trump
The attorneys general of Maryland and the District of Columbia want the legal authority to get any communications between President Trump and officials of foreign or U.S. state governments pertaining to his Trump International Hotel near the White House.

The proposal is one of several for "document discovery" in the historic civil suit against the president. As plaintiffs, D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine and Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh can seek documents to bolster their complaints. They made their proposals Friday in a filing in U.S. District Court in Greenbelt, Md.[...]

The attorneys general also want to obtain:
• records covering the hotel's business with foreign government officials;
• records of cash going from the hotel to the Trump revokable trust that holds the hotel, and then to Trump;
• documents from the federal General Services Administration, which leases the hotel building to the Trump hotel corporation, and from the U.S. Treasury, which handles the lease payments.
Bloomberg: Trump Answers Emolument Suit by Saying He Knows Very Little
President Donald Trump filed his first factual response to a lawsuit accusing him of violating the U.S. Constitution’s emoluments clauses, saying he’s the beneficiary of a trust set up to run his Washington hotel but doesn’t know who his guests are or how much they spend.[...]

Responding to a 144-paragraph complaint, Trump denied many allegations and didn’t directly respond to others for legal reasons. In response to specific claims about his business, he said he lacked detailed knowledge about the operations of the Trump Organization and of a trust managed for his benefit by his two sons and a business aide, Chief Financial Officer Allen Weisselberg.

The president, for instance, said he didn’t know that the Trump International Hotel in Washington, which opened in October 2016, had hired a director of diplomatic sales or the specifics of stays there by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and by Linda McMahon, who heads the Small Business Administration.

He said he "lacked knowledge or information sufficient to form a belief" as to the truth of the plaintiffs’ claim that the Kuwaiti embassy spent between $40,000 and $60,000 there for its National Day celebration in February 2017.
posted by Doktor Zed at 10:51 AM on September 16 [18 favorites]


It's maybe a telling thing about Trump that he puts more imagination into his insults than his endorsements. Trump foes can get nicknames, while endorsees like Rothfus get copy-and-paste words of support about being tough on crime and the border, loving the military, etc.


Pittsburghers note that tweet was by Chris Potter, hands down best political reporter in town.
posted by M-x shell at 10:58 AM on September 16 [5 favorites]


FEMA Director explaining increased deaths says that after a natural disaster spousal abuse goes through the roof and you can't blame spousal abuse on anybody.

I saw that clip too and I could not believe what I was hearing. He said it in kind of a laughing way that was horrendous. Here's the clip
posted by bluesky43 at 11:13 AM on September 16 [9 favorites]


This is why I don't think impeachment is the critical issue

The other advantage of Dems not pushing impeachment is that once Trump has given the Republicans everything they wanted -- tax cuts, 2 SCOTUS seats, etc -- and if a Dem majority makes him a lame duck, Trump will no longer have any upside for the Republicans and will continue to make them look bad. Let Republicans stew for a while and come begging for support invoking the 25th amendment.
posted by duoshao at 11:20 AM on September 16 [2 favorites]


White House Deputy Press Secretary Raj Shah (just now):
“As the story notes, we are standing with Judge Kavanaugh’s denial.”
posted by pjenks at 11:26 AM on September 16 [3 favorites]


I absolutely believe Professor Ford was attacked by Kavanaugh as is described in the WaPo article. I also expect that Kavanaugh has no memory of the incident -- to him, it was a drunken tussle during a party, probably forgotten within weeks, if not days. It meant nothing to him, would violate his self-image as a Good Catholic Guy, and has been deleted from his memory. That shit happened all the time in high school (and probably still does), and almost never results in consequences for the boys.

So no matter how awful the trauma was to Ms. Ford, it had no effect on Kavanaugh and it will have no effect on his nomination.

I wish I were less cynical.
posted by suelac at 11:28 AM on September 16 [78 favorites]


Let Republicans stew for a while and come begging for support invoking the 25th amendment.

Well, yes, but also no. Because that is their end game: Gilead. Theocracy.

We have to figure out how to resist both. I'm trying to figure out how to resist that from within the Christian Church, as are (I think) some others; but now we (meaning both state-resistant followers of Jesus, and people who aren't Christian) have to come together so we can save this country.

Shit's sake, that would have been a nearly incomprehensible sentence four years ago.

posted by tivalasvegas at 11:33 AM on September 16 [1 favorite]


Bloomberg: Trump Answers Emolument Suit by Saying He Knows Very Little

He could say that about anything.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 11:33 AM on September 16 [16 favorites]


I sure hope Democratic senators do a better job of covering Ms. Ford's back than Joe Biden did in the Anita Hill case because the Republicans are going to dump a world of hurt on her. Biden expresses some regret today that he didn't do a better job at the time.
posted by JackFlash at 11:38 AM on September 16 [11 favorites]


As a sober alcoholic who was a blackout drinker from age 12, I had many nights in High School where I do not remember what happened (blackouts). People need to tie his admitted high school persona (Business Insider article linked above by Iris Gambol) to this incident and question his capacity to be a judge at ANY level, let alone the Supreme Court, if he drinks so much he cannot remember trying to rape a woman. Also tying him to the character Bart O'Kavanaugh in his friend's book. It is a different angle to approach Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski from with respect to their support for him.
posted by W Grant at 11:39 AM on September 16 [17 favorites]


but now we (meaning both state-resistant followers of Jesus, and people who aren't Christian) have to come together so we can save this country.

I hope against hope that it isn't so, but I suspect that evangelicals are a lost cause.

I think a good place to start is to begin referring to the Republican Party in the past tense, or at least talking about it as if it is a dead or dying thing. Their failures to live up to their own principles is a matter of record, and these failures should be constantly thrown in their Roy Moore-promoting faces, even when talking about something else.
posted by rhizome at 11:42 AM on September 16 [2 favorites]


I also expect that Kavanaugh has no memory of the incident -- to him, it was a drunken tussle during a party, probably forgotten within weeks, if not days. It meant nothing to him, would violate his self-image as a Good Catholic Guy, and has been deleted from his memory.

That would explain why he was fucking dumb and arrogant enough to drag a bunch of high-school girls about the same age as the one he attempted to rape to his hearing last week and get his pic taken with them 50,000 times.
posted by FelliniBlank at 11:50 AM on September 16 [11 favorites]


I suspect that evangelicals are a lost cause.

It was a done deal even before they started forwarding "even heaven has a Wall!" memes.
posted by Rust Moranis at 11:50 AM on September 16 [4 favorites]


And lastly, the current top answer on a twitter thread by @carlreiner:
IF TRUMP CAN BE FULLY DESCRIBED IN 2 OR 3 SENTENCES, WHAT SENTENCE WOULD YOU USE?:
Prison sentence
posted by growabrain at 11:53 AM on September 16 [55 favorites]


I sure hope Democratic senators do a better job of covering Ms. Ford's back than Joe Biden did in the Anita Hill case because the Republicans are going to dump a world of hurt on her. Biden expresses some regret today that he didn't do a better job at the time.

I just finished reading Anita Hill's book Speak Truth to Power. It's clear from what she writes that the entire establishment colluded in discounting her story. The press, the congress people on the committee (for example, other women came forward with similar stories of Clarence Thomas but were not allowed to testify), and her community all sought to discount the story and vilify Ms. Hill. It's a heart breaking book to read. My hope is that during this time of the #metoo movement all of these sources will not be able to do to Ms. Ford what was done to Ms. Hill.
posted by bluesky43 at 11:53 AM on September 16 [20 favorites]


IF TRUMP CAN BE FULLY DESCRIBED IN 2 OR 3 SENTENCES, WHAT SENTENCE WOULD YOU USE?

One of the funniest anecdotes about Trump from Fear, from this review, is that his answer in a deposition to what he did for a living took up 16 pages.
posted by peeedro at 12:03 PM on September 16 [16 favorites]


Evangelicals are probably a lost cause in the short term, but maybe not in the long term. Their embrace of conservative politics, and hatefulness in general, is costing them dearly. They're losing 60 percent of their born&bred twentysomethings. Even the most diehards in the faith are noticing the emptying pews and sharp declines in baptisms. They notice the only growth churches see is from cannibalizing other churches' membership. They can't keep their youth and their outreach to an unsaved world has dropped to almost nothing.

A few of the leadership are starting to show the slightest glimmer of understanding. Pence spoke this year at the Southern Baptist Convention. There were several delegates who both protested and set up a vote to prevent his speech. Some of the protesters were conservative politically, but they realized how supporting Trump appeared to the outside world. They failed, but it's remarkable to me that the attempt was made.

As their membership continues to crater, I can see them putting a little more distance from politics and at least slight nudges towards inclusivity. It will be a matter of survival.
posted by Teegeeack AV Club Secretary at 12:10 PM on September 16 [8 favorites]


Ryan Goodman (EIC Just Security, NYU Law Prof, former DOD special counsel)
Damaging to Kavanaugh.

His alleged accomplice and character witness, Mark Judge, wrote the following in a review.

See for yourself how Judge describes "the wonderful beauty, of uncontrollable male passion," how "every man who’s fit to live has his own stories about the time."
Every man who's fit to live has his own stories about the time, like a Hard Case character, he ducked the police, got in over his head with money, or abandoned himself in pursuit of love or sex. We've all climbed up windowsills, driven all night, and gotten into fights over a girl. Of course, a man must be able to read a woman's signals, and it's a good thing that feminism is teaching young men that no means no and yes means yes. But there's also that ambiguous middle ground, where the woman seems interested and indicates, whether verbally or not, that the man needs to prove himself to her. And if that man is any kind of man, he'll allow himself to feel the awesome power, the wonderful beauty, of uncontrollable male passion.

Hard Case Crime, and pulp fiction in general, is not about controlling and hurting women, although there's some of that. It's an expression of authentic male passion, of sweaty sexiness, in a world of pajama boys, government-mandated health food, and reactionary conservative blowhards.
posted by chris24 at 12:20 PM on September 16 [16 favorites]


FEMA Director explaining increased deaths says that after a natural disaster spousal abuse goes through the roof and you can't blame spousal abuse on anybody.

I saw that clip too and I could not believe what I was hearing.


Wow I guess this is why we need real and fake tags. Even in the context of the current low bar, it didn’t even occur to me that someone would actually say that.

Anyway, the article from Kavanaugh’s victim is good and makes a pretty solid case. She has letters from therapy sessions years ago describing the incident. She took a polygraph test. I know I shouldn’t hope but people should be convinced by this and care about it.
posted by robotdevil at 12:28 PM on September 16 [15 favorites]


I know I shouldn’t hope but people should be convinced by this and care about it.

From what I'm seeing on Twitter people are already starting with the "if it's true why didn't she say anything at all to her friends back when it happened" bullshit.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 12:31 PM on September 16 [3 favorites]


I just finished reading Anita Hill's book Speak Truth to Power. It's clear from what she writes that the entire establishment colluded in discounting her story. The press, the congress people on the committee (for example, other women came forward with similar stories of Clarence Thomas but were not allowed to testify), and her community all sought to discount the story and vilify Ms. Hill. It's a heart breaking book to read. My hope is that during this time of the #metoo movement all of these sources will not be able to do to Ms. Ford what was done to Ms. Hill.

For decades many of the details from Hill's book have been well known, including all the corroboration from other women. And since then, Democrats have held control of the Senate a number of times. Why have we never heard any movement even from the lefter faction of the Senate to hold impeachment hearings for Thomas? Why do we not hear that now -- or for the realists out there who are willing to let a sexual harrasser sit a bit longer, calls for holding new hearings in 2021 if/when we hold the presidency? It's not like the original hearing was a legal case where he was found innocent and can't be retried, and it's not like a trial where some statute of limitations has expired. Sure, the super-majority needed to impeach him is unlikely to occur, even in 2021, but it seems like there are few downsides and many upsides for even a failed effort, including potentially hastening his voluntary retirement, showing that Democrats actually care about this stuff, demonstrating again that Republicans actively support harrassers, laying the groundwork for preventing people like Kavanaugh from being nominated or approved, and of course giving voice to victims who are rapidly being shuffled aside as the patriarchy seeks to close the door on the #MeToo movement and rehabilitate the abusers. A lifetime appointment should mean lifetime jeopardy. And the same should go for Kavanaugh should he be approved in the next few weeks.

And even beyond that, we should start pressuring legal scholars and law professors, many of whom are Democrats, to start denoting every case decided by a known abuser like Thomas or Kavanaugh with an asterisk, with the understanding that these cases should be universally considered less binding on future decisions. This idea that once a judge makes it through the gauntlet they are their decisions are now set in stone needs to be overturned.
posted by chortly at 12:36 PM on September 16 [29 favorites]


I'm really perplexed by how reprehensibly Feinstein has behaved here. Either she should have shared Prof. Ford's accusations in July/Aug when she became aware of them, or she should have shredded the info.

But no, she pulls this reckless, completely opportunistic-and-dodgy-looking Hail Mary after the hearings and just hands Ford to the mob, since she was pretty much forced against her stated will to out herself. And for what? It was vanishingly unlikely to make a difference even if people knew about the assault from the get-go, and certainly won't prevent Kavanaugh's confirmation now.
posted by FelliniBlank at 12:46 PM on September 16 [14 favorites]


and certainly won't prevent Kavanaugh's confirmation now.

Talia Lavin
I think it’s important not to concede defeat prematurely on Kavanaugh. Draw blood. Make it hurt. Get the quotes, and not just from Collins and Murkowski. Make them say exactly who they are and what they’re voting for. Fight.
posted by chris24 at 12:49 PM on September 16 [95 favorites]


Draw blood. Make it hurt.

Sure, I agree, but let's not overlook that it's mostly going to be Ford's blood and pain, and her family's.
posted by FelliniBlank at 12:52 PM on September 16 [13 favorites]


I'm really perplexed by how reprehensibly Feinstein has behaved here. Either she should have shared Prof. Ford's accusations in July/Aug when she became aware of them, or she should have shredded the info.

Feinstein was following the accusers request to keep it confidential. The Intercept (somehow not surprised) found out about the letter and published the existence of the letter against Ford's own wishes.
posted by PenDevil at 12:52 PM on September 16 [42 favorites]


I think it’s important not to concede defeat prematurely on Kavanaugh. Draw blood. Make it hurt. Get the quotes, and not just from Collins and Murkowski. Make them say exactly who they are and what they’re voting for. Fight.

Sure, don't just pressure Collins and Murkowski, but goddamn am I glad right now that the two (ostensibly) centrist, undecided Republicans are women. I honestly despair that, if they were men, there would be no chance at all that this would move the needle.

More women in office at every level!!
posted by Joey Buttafoucault at 12:56 PM on September 16 [10 favorites]


Hoo boy do I hurt for Ford right now.
posted by angrycat at 1:12 PM on September 16 [18 favorites]


"A few of the leadership are starting to show the slightest glimmer of understanding."

I'm suspicious of the leadership. And, as we all know, the majority of self-identified "evangelicals" are not actually church-going and the self-identification is almost exclusively sociopolitical.

But there has always been a minority of evangelicals who, you know, actually have the values they claim to have. I don't doubt that some of them have been disgustingly mercenary and held their noses for the sake of SCOTUS, but a lot of them did not.

My sister and her husband did not and have not, and he's a pastor and missionay. This is their life. They despise Trump, especially my sister, and she (like so many others) had to mostly quit Facebook because all the Trump supporters in her circle of friends and acquaintances enraged her and broke her heart. I think this has been a painfully eye-opening experience for her.

So, granted, she's not representative of the entire evangelical community, nor the upper leadership. But she's a reliable indicator, I think, of how the more sincere evangelical community will eventually break with regard to Trump. My sister, like me, is painfully earnest in her beliefs and living her values and is comfortable in dissent -- it's not about social-identity for her -- and while that's somewhat uncommon, I don't think you can draw hard lines betwen groups of people. Many more evangelicals, I don't doubt, would feel and speak up against Trump like she does if it weren't the case that community and social-ties and all that very human social stuff didn't tip the balance against it. I know mefites tend to be cynical about and hostile to religion, but there really are people out there, including evangelicals, who are both very genuine in their beliefs and who, to varying degrees, have internalized many of the benevolent and admirable values all religions include. Those people will jump ship eventually.

They're not going to be the holdouts. Sure, a lot of self-identified "evangelicals" will be, but only because that's shorthand for a broader social identity that very much intersects with the patriarchy and white supremacy. The core of Trump's base are those for whom patriarchy and white supremacy are the deepest values -- they would, and will, happily jettison "Christian Evangelism" if and when it conflicts with those values. I mean, we all know there's a cohort of gamergate types who are misogynist and white-supremacist while also self-identifying as atheists. Trump's core will adopt whatever social-identity within which they can further these hate-filled ideologies as cover. Just as Trump himself has. His values and politics have been all over the map, but misogyny and white-supremacy have been constant.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 1:21 PM on September 16 [17 favorites]


From what I'm seeing on Twitter people are already starting with the "if it's true why didn't she say anything at all to her friends back when it happened" bullshit.

Have people learned NOTHING?
posted by bluesky43 at 1:23 PM on September 16 [12 favorites]


but goddamn am I glad right now that the two (ostensibly) centrist, undecided Republicans are women. I honestly despair that, if they were men, there would be no chance at all that this would move the needle.

You think that it has a chance to move the needle now?
posted by Justinian at 1:24 PM on September 16


I just finished reading Anita Hill's book Speak Truth to Power. It's clear from what she writes that the entire establishment colluded in discounting her story. The press, the congress people on the committee......and her community all sought to discount the story and vilify Ms. Hill. It's a heart breaking book to read. My hope is that during this time of the #metoo movement all of these sources will not be able to do to Ms. Ford what was done to Ms. Hill.

That is institutionalized patriarchy (separate from White Privilege). I have been healing from the effects of long term childhood sexual abuse for over 25years -- 25 years ago no one wanted to hear about it and most ignored/denied it, Family, Friends, the Press, the Clergy, the local, State, and Federal Politicians, even some therapists didn't want to deal with it. Awareness and acceptance have improved in the past 25 years, but still have a long way to go. In 1991 things were even more archaic and the hearings with Anita Hill and the fallout from them helped many causes gain momentum -- if not for Anita's courage, the resources that saved me may not have been available (seriously, the foundations of the organization that helped me begin the healing process dated back to the early 1990's and were run by amazing, empowered women).

We are living through a period of dramatic and traumatic change, major upheaval of oppressive social norms. It is difficult, infuriating, scary, and beautiful all at the same time. Every action counts, no action is too small. Every bit of pressure added to the side of positive change moves us closer to the fundamental shift we need, and no one knows when/what/where that tipping point will happen. Press Collins and Murkowski and every other Senator to admit where they stand, this time around it might matter which side of history they choose!
posted by W Grant at 1:25 PM on September 16 [38 favorites]


Have people learned NOTHING?

Suspect this Is very timely.
posted by Artw at 1:25 PM on September 16 [3 favorites]


Nothing will stop the Republicans pushing him through.
posted by Yowser at 1:26 PM on September 16 [2 favorites]


I agree with Yowser. It's a done deal. Dems should display a procedural show-of-force, but with the understanding that it is even more quixotic than the impeachment.
posted by j_curiouser at 1:28 PM on September 16 [3 favorites]


Whatever their gender, Collins and Murkowski are Republicans and as such will always act to defend rapists in positions of power. It’s practically what the R stands for.
posted by Artw at 1:34 PM on September 16 [13 favorites]


About the only slim hope I have is that Ford going public and providing details will prompt some other women to do the same. Because you know there are others.

Years after he graduated from being an abusive prep school snot, the guy still had a history of blackout benders and long bro-licious weekends of gross debauchery followed by solemn oaths not to divulge info to spouses. Remember that 2001 trip from the "rub and tug" email exchange, ugh, with the "sorry I got aggressive and ruined things" bit.
posted by FelliniBlank at 1:35 PM on September 16 [25 favorites]


I think, of how the more sincere evangelical community will eventually break with regard to Trump.

They've got a lot of breaking to do. Recent polls show that white evangelical support for Trump in the last year has increased to an all time high. Today 81% of white evangelical men and 71% of white evangelical women support Trump. Only 22% disapprove.
posted by JackFlash at 1:37 PM on September 16 [9 favorites]


I’m actually a little less suprised that Feinstein wanted to sit on it than that the Intercept wanted to publish it. I guess they’re calculating it’s too late to make a difference except as a stick to use against her?
posted by Artw at 1:39 PM on September 16


Never mind these recent allegations, the tens of thousands of dollars of debt for "baseball tickets" should be disqualifying since the only other example I've seen of someone with a similar mount of debt for tickets was Paul F'in Manafort.
posted by PenDevil at 1:39 PM on September 16 [12 favorites]


Remember that 2001 trip from the "rub and tug" email exchange, ugh, with the "sorry I got aggressive and ruined things" bit.

At which time he was 36 years old, I might add, and had Rob Porter's WH job. [real]
posted by FelliniBlank at 1:41 PM on September 16 [14 favorites]


Be aware that polygraphs are bullshit. They are pure garbage.

Contemporaneous notes from a doctor? Not so much!
posted by Justinian at 1:43 PM on September 16 [19 favorites]


I’m actually a little less surprised that Feinstein wanted to sit on it than that the Intercept wanted to publish it.

We don't know the details of the leak but Feinstein absolutely had an obligation to maintain secrecy. No one has the right to force victims to expose themselves who have declined to go public.
posted by JackFlash at 1:43 PM on September 16 [12 favorites]


Pardon, the notes aren't contemporaneous with the alleged assault but they are from years ago before Trump's nomination of Kavanaugh was a gleam in a Federalist society asshole's eye.
posted by Justinian at 1:44 PM on September 16 [3 favorites]


I don’t live in Maine or Alaska. But for those who do, listening to the naysayers is a bad idea. Who knows what will move the needle— perhaps nothing— but giving up before we try is defeatist nonsense. It costs us little to call, to speak out, to ask our senators to represent us.

If it moves the needle, great. If not, then at least we did what we could. At best the words are spoken and the record laid that this man’s actions are not acceptable to a great deal of the public.

Should Anita Hill have stayed silent in 1991? I am very glad she did not. I am glad for everyone who does not now. Speak, be loud, even if it does not move this needle now; maybe it moves another, later.
posted by nat at 1:45 PM on September 16 [60 favorites]


About the only slim hope I have is that Ford going public and providing details will prompt some other women to do the same. Because you know there are others.

Maybe even one or two of the 65 women that signed the letter supporting him. It is surreal to me to read how his contemporaries are supporting him as I can relate to that type of fevered reaction and how it played in to my own denial and the external pressure to believe it did not happen to me. The energy I spent trying to believe the lie and deny the truth, no, cover up the the truth, hide from it/keep it hidden from others. That reaction is intense, Life and Death intense. Until the moment came when the denial broke and the Truth could start existing in my reality.
posted by W Grant at 1:46 PM on September 16 [19 favorites]


Democrats Call on Senate to Postpone Kavanaugh Vote

Yes, the Republicans are slimy enough to replay their norm-nuking SCOTUS power grab next week. No we should not give up fighting to delay it. You wanna steal the cake and eat it with your hands, do it in front of everybody like the garbage people you are then.

This just in from heaven, Angel McCain is "very concerned" and sends congrats to Brett.
posted by petebest at 1:50 PM on September 16 [21 favorites]


I have been on record re: court packing etc being not a great thing. But if the Republicans ram this through without even more hearings I'm basically on board with whatever. Pack the court, get rid of the filibuster for legislation (though they won't since Senators like the power it gives them), DC/PR statehood, you name it. Since Republicans will have essentially abandoned all pretence of governance. More than before, I mean.

I don't actually expect that stuff to happen but I'd be on board. Well, PR statehood is, I think, more a question of when than if. But the rest.
posted by Justinian at 1:53 PM on September 16 [18 favorites]


They've got a lot of breaking to do. Recent polls show that white evangelical support for Trump in the last year has increased to an all time high. Today 81% of white evangelical men and 71% of white evangelical women support Trump. Only 22% disapprove.

Note that this is also consistent with the hypothesis that sincere Christians are ditching the label "evangelical".
posted by ragtag at 1:57 PM on September 16 [13 favorites]


I actually think this will make a difference. She's too credible, the offense extreme and unambiguous, the allegations credible with regard to his background, and the current public climate regarding sexual assault against women all combine, in my opinion, to create an unprecedented situation. I'll be very sad to be proven wrong, if I am. At the moment, I have genuine hope.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 2:01 PM on September 16 [26 favorites]


I guess I shouldn't be surprised after the astounding display (of mostly men, iirc) rolling over and performing despair in the Roy Moore thread but WTF??? YES, WE NEED TO FUCKING KEEP FIGHTING! Call your goddamn senators!
posted by sunset in snow country at 2:02 PM on September 16 [49 favorites]


from Rebecca Traister @rtraister

So much of my work as an adult has been spent considering/working through the impact that the mishandling of Anita Hill’s testimony had on American politics, feminism and law; I’m quite honestly at a loss in the face of the possibility that we’re just going to do it all again.
posted by bluesky43 at 2:02 PM on September 16 [66 favorites]


the combination of "I'm a rich frat boy who can rape you and then have the entire community call me an angel" and "I'm here to take away your birth control" is so helllooooo Gilead, and given the addition of MeToo, it's a fascinating cultural moment.

Too bad it's now and not something we're reading about in history class tho
posted by angrycat at 2:07 PM on September 16 [76 favorites]


Carrie Burdoff Brown:
A lawyer close to the White House said the nomination will not be withdrawn. “No way, not even a hint of it. If anything, it’s the opposite. If somebody can be brought down by accusations like this, then you, me, every man certainly should be worried.”
Well, they know their base.
posted by schadenfrau at 2:14 PM on September 16 [104 favorites]


And now a quick update on the Texas senatorial race:

“Former President George W. Bush is hosting a series of fundraising events for vulnerable Republican candidates, including a couple of House members facing tough re-election bids in his home state of Texas,” the Dallas Morning News reports.

Noticeably absent from the list is Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, a Republican who is facing a surprisingly robust challenge from Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-TX).”

As someone once said, "heh heh heh".
posted by petebest at 2:17 PM on September 16 [37 favorites]


So, if this is a done deal, what can be done to remove him if there's a blue wave in November? Is it politically possible to increase the number of justices on the court? Is that the only recourse short of violence? Because if so, democracy is done.
posted by photoslob at 2:17 PM on September 16


Why Brett Kavanaugh Might Lose Supreme Court Seat After Rape Allegation From NYMag

The White House’s response to the allegation raises the cultural stakes of the fight. “A lawyer close to the White House” tells Politico not only that Kavanaugh will not be withdrawn, but that his confirmation represents a higher cause: “No way, not even a hint of it. If anything, it’s the opposite. If somebody can be brought down by accusations like this, then you, me, every man certainly should be worried.” It’s perfectly obvious why Donald Trump would be eager to defend the principle that men must not have their careers derailed by accusations of sexual assault. It’s less clear that 50 Republican senators will be eager to join him.
posted by bluesky43 at 2:19 PM on September 16 [13 favorites]


So, if this is a done deal, what can be done to remove him if there's a blue wave in November? Is it politically possible to increase the number of justices on the court? Is that the only recourse short of violence? Because if so, democracy is done.

In all practicality? Absolutely nothing can be done to remove him. It's not possible to increase the number of justices on the court without blowing up the filibuster.
posted by Definitely Not Sean Spicer at 2:19 PM on September 16 [1 favorite]


Impeaching him would require 67 votes in the Senate. Packing the court would require 60 votes in the Senate. (Both assuming everyone votes). Whether that's politically possible is left as an exercise for the reader.
posted by Justinian at 2:19 PM on September 16 [2 favorites]


Is it politically possible to increase the number of justices on the court?

This has been covered repeatedly in previous threads.
posted by Candleman at 2:21 PM on September 16 [6 favorites]


It's not impossible that Kavanaugh has committed assaults that are within the statute of limitations. He's a man who (allegedly) was an inch away from rape on at least one occasion and reportedly has drinking, gambling, and other self-control issues. The prosecution of a sitting Justice for sexual assault would be very unseemly, maybe so unseemly that even Republicans wouldn't defend him.
posted by Joe in Australia at 2:42 PM on September 16 [7 favorites]




Ds need to go on record that they will investigate Kavanaugh and his background and subpoena documents withheld even if he is confirmed if they take the House or Senate. Delegitimize him and the Roberts court, gather evidence for impeachment or ammunition for expanding.
posted by chris24 at 2:44 PM on September 16 [60 favorites]


Be aware that polygraphs are bullshit. They are pure garbage.

There was a suggestion that Trump was going to have his staff take polygraph tests to identify the author of the NYT adults-in-the-room op-ed. Like a lie-detector test.

When the war with the machines begins, putting a lie-detector in this white house will be one of the stated grievances.
posted by adept256 at 2:46 PM on September 16 [4 favorites]


Ds need to go on record that they will investigate Kavanaugh and his background and subpoena documents withheld even if he is confirmed if they take the House or Senate. Delegitimize him and the Roberts court, gather evidence for impeachment or ammunition for expanding.

And question and interrogate anyone involved in getting his name to Trump to be nominated.
posted by ZeusHumms at 2:50 PM on September 16 [6 favorites]


Striking that Kavanaugh's big character witness and fellow accused won't give a definite denial.

Daniel Dale
The other person Blasey Ford is accusing, Mark Judge, tells the Weekly Standard: "...I repeat my earlier statement that I have no recollection of any of the events described in today’s Post article or attributed to her letter."
posted by chris24 at 2:54 PM on September 16 [14 favorites]


It's not impossible that Kavanaugh has committed assaults that are within the statute of limitations.

Paging Ronan Farrow.
posted by bluesky43 at 2:57 PM on September 16 [15 favorites]


I don’t think the White House will withdraw the nomination, but I bet some staffer somewhere is drawing up a list of alternatives in case Kavanaugh withdraws it himself.

Pressure can work. I hope reporters are muckraking very, very hard.
posted by schadenfrau at 2:58 PM on September 16 [10 favorites]


Also, not for nothing, but if the GOP is genuinely worried about the possibility of losing the Senate, too, you have to imagine there are Republican Senators and Senate hopefuls who don’t want to have to run on “we approve of rapists.”
posted by schadenfrau at 3:00 PM on September 16 [9 favorites]


We were already well on on our way to the largest gender gap in history. One reason to keep fighting even if we don't stop Kavanaugh is to make that gap even larger by forcing Rs to embrace and own this despicable man and action. Winning elections is really the only thing that will protect women.
posted by chris24 at 3:03 PM on September 16 [14 favorites]


Christ, these people...

@riotwomennn
The Kavanaugh witness who suggests nothing happened, he would tell us that Christine Blasey Ford is a liar.

I believe her.

Here is his page from the Kavanaugh yearbook:

A quote from Noel Coward,

"Certain women should be struck regularly, like gongs"



This entire country’s shitty “elite” is basically an endless parade of awful side characters from a Brett Easton Ellis book.
posted by Artw at 3:11 PM on September 16 [116 favorites]


@WaPoSean: NEWS: Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) tells me in an intv he that doesn’t think the Judiciary Cmte should move ahead with its Thursday vote on Kavanaugh until they hear more from Christine Blasey Ford. “For me, we can’t vote until we hear more.”

I'm sure he'll just go along with Grassley when the time comes, because that's what Jeff Flake does, but yeah.
posted by zachlipton at 3:12 PM on September 16 [42 favorites]


If you live in NYC, Jerry Nadler is the ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee. He's my congressman and I'm calling tomorrow morning to ask that he make a statement promising to investigate the entire Kavanaugh background and proceedings if Ds take the House.

You can call him too at (212) 367-7350.
posted by chris24 at 3:14 PM on September 16 [15 favorites]


Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) tells me in an intv he that doesn’t think the Judiciary Cmte should move ahead with its Thursday vote on Kavanaugh until they hear more from Christine Blasey Ford. “For me, we can’t vote until we hear more.”

Graham also said they should invite her to speak before the committee. Assuming they can do it fast because they can't mess up their precious rushed scheduled vote Thursday.
posted by chris24 at 3:15 PM on September 16 [4 favorites]


The problem with “forcing Rs to embrace and own this despicable man” is that there will never be a “surely this” moment. Releasing a tape of Trump boasting aboyt grabbing women didn't lead to wave of revulsion among Trump supporters; they just further normalised misogynistic speech by calling it locker-room talk. If Republicans “own” Kavanaugh's behaviour it will be by saying that boys will be boys, and what was she doing up there anyway.
posted by Joe in Australia at 3:21 PM on September 16 [11 favorites]


Have people learned NOTHING?

It can be very hard to make a man understand something when his patriarchy depends on his not understanding it.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 3:22 PM on September 16 [88 favorites]


The problem with “forcing Rs to embrace and own this despicable man” is that there will never be a “surely this” moment.

He's at 40% with a strong economy. The gender gap is largest in history. He's not immune. They're not immune. This accusation or any other isn't the silver bullet that will take them down, the elections they lose because they drove away enough white women will be what takes them down.
posted by chris24 at 3:25 PM on September 16 [47 favorites]


Seeing a lot of people (largely white dudes, shockingly) twist themselves into knots over Kavanaugh and "Should we hold someone's high school misdeeds against them? How many of us were saints in high school?" and I'm like, 1) WHEN IT'S SEXUAL ASSAULT YES WE SHOULD OBVIOUSLY and 2) Okay, on that "bbbut high school" point: is Kavanaugh handling this like an ethical adult now? Like, right now?

But I don't believe anyone arguing "bbbut high school" is arguing from a place of good faith, anyway, and at that point I want to skip straight to setting everything on fire.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 3:31 PM on September 16 [43 favorites]




Thank you, chris24, and everyone else who periodically reminds me that yes, things are piling up. I read the "there is no 'surely this' moment" comments and nod along, and my pessimism takes over. I'm not trying to correct anyone's behavior, or comments, or moments of deep despair. Mine comes from a place of self-protection. It hurts too much to keep getting so disappointed. No single "surely this" will ever be the thing. It is so, so helpful to have people remind me that yes, things are sticking. Not a lot with each thing, and not fast, but more and more. It helps me remember that the aggregate weight of each "surely this" is what is needed to pull them to their knees.
posted by tllaya at 3:42 PM on September 16 [14 favorites]


CNN now has the letter Blasey wrote to Feinstein. Since some of it may be triggering, I won't quote it. It does have a bit more info than the WaPo article.

CNN: Read the letter Christine Blasey Ford sent accusing Brett Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct
posted by chris24 at 4:02 PM on September 16 [4 favorites]


The problem with “forcing Rs to embrace and own this despicable man” is that there will never be a “surely this” moment.

Further to chris24's comment, see Lawyers, Guns, and Money: "Things can Matter at the Margin":
[It is said] that this won’t affect Trump with “his base.” Indeed it won’t. It also won’t lead to Trump resigning, or cause the Republican conference to start investigating him or vote against his judicial nominees. But elections are decided at the margin. Republicans are already staring at a wave in 2018, and losing even a point on the generic ballot would be a big deal. And Trump has almost no votes so spare; anything that accelerates the exodus of educated suburbanites from the GOP or motivates people of color or young people to come to [t]he polls is a serious problem even if the effects are relatively small.
posted by Joey Buttafoucault at 4:03 PM on September 16 [35 favorites]


I’ve posted this before but it remains relevant. Research shows a tipping point for large scale social change. Importantly, you won’t know when you’re close to the point. You could literally be one person away and then after that things change all at once. Keep hammering, there’s no one surely this moment, but they are surely building into a surely this avalanche and we don’t know which surely this snowflake it will be that brings it all down. Maybe it’s this one or the next one or another one but I have to believe one is coming eventually. Keep the faith and keep pushing! Link to article.
posted by robotdevil at 4:14 PM on September 16 [93 favorites]




Here's a picture of refugee children arriving in NY in 1946.

Because that last link is too much.
posted by adept256 at 4:21 PM on September 16 [14 favorites]


My horror dreams are coming true. Systematic abuse and acceptance that it's ok to abuse/rape/murder the weakest among us is now cool.

Yay merica.
posted by kiwi-epitome at 4:28 PM on September 16 [2 favorites]


Vox: The striking parallels between Brett Kavanaugh and Clarence Thomas

Hill addressed the allegations against Kavanaugh on Friday, saying through a spokesperson that “the reluctance of someone to come forward demonstrates that even in the #MeToo era, it remains incredibly difficult to report harassment, abuse or assault by people in power.” She added that “the Senate Judiciary Committee should put in place a process that enables anyone with a complaint of this nature to be heard.”
posted by bluesky43 at 4:32 PM on September 16 [6 favorites]


Graham also said they should invite her to speak before the committee. Assuming they can do it fast because they can't mess up their precious rushed scheduled vote Thursday.

So I guess this is going to be a direct repeat of what happened to Anita Hill.
posted by dilaudid at 4:34 PM on September 16 [2 favorites]


It's not impossible that Kavanaugh has committed assaults that are within the statute of limitations.

I don't know law, or even how to google it, but this page says that Maryland's statute of limitations for Assault is "No Time Limit"
posted by pjenks at 4:38 PM on September 16 [6 favorites]


So I guess this is going to be a direct repeat of what happened to Anita Hill.

Except with crowdfunding, because no good citizen should have to take on this pack of rampaging horrors and ever have to work another day in their life unless they want to.
posted by Scram at 4:39 PM on September 16 [13 favorites]


A U.S. Border Patrol supervisor was charged Saturday with murder in the deaths of four female sex workers following what authorities called a two-week killing spree that ended when a fifth woman escaped from him at a Texas gas station and found help. [AP]

Also breaking, Newsweek: ICE Agent Arrested On Charges Of Sodomy, Incest

Trump last month, Townhall: Trump Praises ICE, CBP: ‘People Respect Law and Order’
posted by Doktor Zed at 4:50 PM on September 16 [7 favorites]


Reminder to not take the cowardly path of so many in news by choosing to call the accusations "sexual misconduct". It was sexual and physical assault, as the victim plainly states.
posted by odinsdream at 4:51 PM on September 16 [18 favorites]




What's legit frightening to me, is that of the seven women with whom I've had a deep conversation about Mrs Ford's attack by kavanaugh is that every single one of us has had a similar experience. Granted, we are all around the same age as they are, and I'd like to think that sort of behavior is uncommon now, but all of us went to the same type of schools, i.e., Single gender, Catholic or prep, and, for example, Mrs. Ford made mention that she was wearing a one piece bathing suit. At my schools, we all wore body suits and panty hose, as defensive measures.

And when confronted about their behavior, boys were all "oh, I'm sorry, I was so wasted, and you were so pretty ." The only consequences were for the girls, ranging from rumors to pregnancy .

Men ask, why do women go to the bathroom in packs? This is why. We learned it from you, men. We learned it from you.
posted by SecretAgentSockpuppet at 5:09 PM on September 16 [115 favorites]




for example, Mrs. Ford made mention that she was wearing a one piece bathing suit. At my schools, we all wore body suits and panty hose, as defensive measures.

Jesus Christ I didn’t realize that’s what it was for. I thought there was, like...a pool.

Jesus Christ.
posted by schadenfrau at 5:16 PM on September 16 [65 favorites]


[…] for example, Mrs. Ford made mention that she was wearing a one piece bathing suit. At my schools, we all wore body suits and panty hose, as defensive measures.

Wow, I wondered why she mentioned she was wearing a bathing suit but I didn't connect the pieces.

I wish someone would ask Kavanaugh's 68 signatories how they handled invitations from Kavanaugh's crew.
posted by Joe in Australia at 5:16 PM on September 16 [8 favorites]


She is being doxxed on Twitter of course, with her home address and phone number being posted.

And being dismissed as a D donor. For a total of three donations totaling $72 over the last 4 years.
posted by chris24 at 5:23 PM on September 16 [9 favorites]


Corker joins Flake.

Burgess Everett (Politico)
More news: Sen. Bob Corker tells me that the Senate Judiciary panel shouldn't vote on Kavanaugh until Ford is heard out. "I think that would be best for all involved, including the nominee. If she does want to be heard, she should do so promptly."
posted by chris24 at 5:27 PM on September 16 [12 favorites]


I thought there was, like...a pool.

The WaPo article makes it sound like she had been to the pool earlier in the day:
Ford said she does not remember how the gathering came together the night of the incident. She said she often spent time in the summer at the Columbia Country Club pool in Chevy Chase, where in those pre-cellphone days, teenagers learned about gatherings via word of mouth. She also doesn’t recall who owned the house or how she got there.

Ford said she remembers that it was in Montgomery County, not far from the country club, and that no parents were home at the time.
posted by peeedro at 5:28 PM on September 16 [3 favorites]


So I guess this is going to be a direct repeat of what happened to Anita Hill.

Complete with Orrin Hatch on Judiciary ready to be a complete bastard. Some things never change. If Ford testifies and someone doesn't duct tape Hatch's mouth, he might succeed in getting Kavanaugh confirmed but losing the Senate.
posted by FelliniBlank at 5:31 PM on September 16 [2 favorites]


I'm not going to go crawling back through whatever online sewer of a comments section I found it in, but apparently she's also being smeared as a partisan accuser because she (allegedly -- the commenter was not someone whose credibility I would rely on) signed a letter protesting the Trump administration's family separation policy.

So somewhere out there on the internet a bot army is undoubtedly warming up, preparing to depict this poor woman, who didn't ask to be in this situation, as a hysterical (you KNOW they're going to use that word) SJW who is fabricating her accusation because that's just how deranged those SJWs are.
posted by Nerd of the North at 5:32 PM on September 16 [8 favorites]


because that's just how deranged those SJWs are.

And psychic too, planting the story with her therapist 6 years ago.
posted by chris24 at 5:35 PM on September 16 [23 favorites]


The gender gap is largest in history. He's not immune. They're not immune. This accusation or any other isn't the silver bullet that will take them down, the elections they lose because they drove away enough white women will be what takes them down.

I second this. Leading up to the election, I lost many Facebook acquaintances (and some actual “friends” and some family) but I could not bring myself to unfriend someone I used to be close with long ago, but had only reconnected with once Facebook came around. She was no fan of Trump in particular, but she wanted Republicans to win, Hilary is horrible etc. The day after the election she left a comment on a mutual friend’s post asking if thing were going to be that bad, really. I responded that maybe not for her as a white upper-middle-class person but certainly for a lot of other people and provided links to stories about children being taunted on the first day after the election and gave examples of many people who were soon going to have many problems.

She never posted about politics after that, so I imagined hopefully she at least had sense enough to be embarrassed by what was happening in the White House. Then this week suddenly she is posting and totally ripping Trump apart. I believe it was the story about Braille in the elevators that put her over the top, but it looks like this had been building up for a long time.

So there is one the story of one person reaching a tipping point, and hopefully it is being repeated with increasing frequency as we move forward!
posted by mikepop at 5:36 PM on September 16 [70 favorites]


So somewhere out there on the internet a bot army is undoubtedly warming up

For brevity, WaPo article edited to:

She said she often spent time in the summer at the CCCP
posted by adept256 at 5:37 PM on September 16 [1 favorite]


Oh, she's also untrustworthy because her counselor's notes don't mention Kavanaugh by name [eyeroll]. Like there was any reason for that to come up or for the therapist to note it if it did.

So obviously this assault she's inventing was perpetrated by someone else, and she thought in July, "Say, if Brett Kavanaugh were nominated, I could stop him from being confirmed by saying he's the guy from my shrink's notes from 6 years ago that I've never seen."
posted by FelliniBlank at 5:37 PM on September 16 [2 favorites]


Unless she were to decline to testify (which would be understandable, but she seems to have now indicated willingless) I don't think Flake and Corker can walk this one back. It's one thing to express concern, etc, and then go about your business. It's another to flat-out say "we won't go forward until X happens" and then to go forward anyway despite X not happening.

Yes, Yes, Flake is gonna Flake. Corker seems more likely to not pull a Flake to me.
posted by Justinian at 5:39 PM on September 16 [2 favorites]


Burgess Everett (Politico)
More news: Sen. Bob Corker tells me that the Senate Judiciary panel shouldn't vote on Kavanaugh until Ford is heard out. "I think that would be best for all involved, including the nominee. If she does want to be heard, she should do so promptly."


This isn't a promise to hold up the nomination, it's a threat by Corker against the victim that she has to come forth even more publicly than she already has and expose herself to even more personal danger from Corker's own party, or else he will confirm Kavanaugh on the vote scheduled for Thursday.

Corker is threatening the victim, not Trump or McConnell or Kavanaugh.
posted by T.D. Strange at 5:56 PM on September 16 [80 favorites]


This occurred to me too. Hearing from Ford alone is not an investigation.
posted by bluesky43 at 5:59 PM on September 16 [6 favorites]


I wonder if it would make a difference if a million women showed up to support her during her testimony. Fill the chamber, fill the building, fill the streets. Just reminding them all that we’re here.
posted by schadenfrau at 6:00 PM on September 16 [66 favorites]


Count me in.
posted by bluesky43 at 6:01 PM on September 16 [9 favorites]


Well, and like a law professor and parent can just drop everything to perform for the Inquisition.
posted by SecretAgentSockpuppet at 6:02 PM on September 16 [8 favorites]


I'll see your 65 women rolodex with this pussyhat flashmob
posted by adept256 at 6:02 PM on September 16 [39 favorites]


But she has to do it by the COMPLETELY MADE UP DEADLINE because otherwise... err... more incriminating documents might show up?
posted by Artw at 6:03 PM on September 16 [23 favorites]


Yeah, it's bullshit. The alternative is they ram Kavanaugh through anyway though.
posted by Justinian at 6:07 PM on September 16 [4 favorites]


This isn't a promise to hold up the nomination, it's a threat by Corker against the victim that she has to come forth even more publicly than she already has and expose herself to even more personal danger from Corker's own party, or else he will confirm Kavanaugh on the vote scheduled for Thursday.

Corker isn't on the Judiciary Committee.
posted by chris24 at 6:10 PM on September 16 [4 favorites]


@LauraLitvan: Dems reject Chuck Grassley's idea of having staff interview Kavanaugh and his accuser `There’s a lot of information we don’t know and the FBI should have the time it needs to investigate this new material,' Feinstein says. `Staff calls aren’t the appropriate way to handle this'

Yeah, this goes beyond something that can be handled in a conference call.
posted by zachlipton at 6:16 PM on September 16 [38 favorites]


Remember how happy everyone was when Obama tried to close Guantanamo but couldn't get the votes for it? Remember how people lionize him for his effort, however quixotic? Ha. Ha ha. No. People think it's his fault because he couldn't get the votes together. Do you think people will give the Dems an A for effort when the Senate fails to remove Trump from office?

I don't know. I remember countless investigations against the Clintons that stuck despite being hot air. I'd like to see articles of impeachment against Trump for simply being a disgusting human being, and then watch the Republicans argue that he's not for years. At the end of those arguments, even when Democrats ultimately lose impeachment, it would be crystal clear that, yes, in fact, Trump is a disgusting human being. This could be done ad nauseum with Trump as a criminal, Trump as a traitor, Trump as incompetent, etc. This stuff is all true, and putting a magnifying glass on Trump day after day might eventually make even his staunchest supporters nauseous.
posted by xammerboy at 7:01 PM on September 16 [18 favorites]


It occurs to me that when Kavanaugh and the GOP were organizing the PR campaign with teenage girls at the hearing and carpool letters, they probably didn't know about Ford specifically. Only a handful of people in Democratic offices did. But they knew enough about his past to know what kind of surprises to expect.
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 7:12 PM on September 16 [30 favorites]


At the end of those arguments, even when Democrats ultimately lose impeachment, it would be crystal clear that, yes, in fact, Trump is a disgusting human being. This could be done ad nauseum with Trump as a criminal, Trump as a traitor, Trump as incompetent, etc. This stuff is all true, and putting a magnifying glass on Trump day after day might eventually make even his staunchest supporters nauseous

That sounds pretty good to me as long as the midterms deliver the House (or in a perfect world the Senate too).
posted by bluesky43 at 7:31 PM on September 16


It occurs to me that when Kavanaugh and the GOP were organizing the PR campaign with teenage girls at the hearing and carpool letters, they probably didn't know about Ford specifically.

I agree that they seem not to have known about Ford specifically, but I also don't think this is just general "Well, probably he raped somebody" preparedness. I think they definitely know about some specific people that he raped or attempted to rape or impregnated and forced to get an abortion, and Ford just wasn't one of the names on their list.
posted by IAmUnaware at 7:31 PM on September 16 [7 favorites]


I believe it was the story about Braille in the elevators that put her over the top, but it looks like this had been building up for a long time.

Oh my that Braille thing was real? I just assumed it was all hypothetical, he said she said with maybe a few dropped [fake] tags.
posted by RolandOfEld at 7:45 PM on September 16 [1 favorite]


You can only do opposite on the rape victims you’re not blacked out for I guess. Fatal flaw, motherfuckers.
posted by Artw at 7:47 PM on September 16 [3 favorites]


Maybe you're familiar with 'Don't be a sucker', a post-war effort to educate the public about fascism, and predicts the rise of Trump 70 years ago.

This educational 1949 cartoon, 'Why play leap-frog?', explains economic growth:

Wages and prices often play leapfrog, one jumps up, and then the other. Which leads to a steady rise in our cost of living.

That's in the first minute, but please stay for how value is added to beef, incurring labour costs, because they give the bull a salon make-over on the way to the abattoir.

It all makes good economic sense in cartoon form. Really! What it misses is that increases in productivity haven't correlated with wages in half of the 70 years since this cartoon was made.

This cartoon, and 'don't be a sucker', were aimed at people that saw depression, fascism, and world war. There was seen a need for movies like this, because nobody wanted any of those things happen again.

I know the information is dated, and a modern economist could drill holes in this film. But, it seems like the effort to educate the public died with the memories of why it was needed.
posted by adept256 at 7:48 PM on September 16 [21 favorites]




Lauren Duca recently tweeted this:
Do you understand the power that has been awakened among women? We were always angry. The difference is now we’re angry and supercharged with fully-realized political agency. This is final wave feminism, honey. Get on board or get the fuck out of the way.
FINAL WAVE FEMINISM
posted by waitangi at 8:53 PM on September 16 [92 favorites]


FINAL WAVE FEMINISM

It's over 9000!
posted by Marticus at 8:55 PM on September 16 [19 favorites]


@mj_lee: Sen. Murkowski tells @stevebruskCNN that Senate Judiciary might need to consider delaying Kavanaugh vote: "This is not something that came up during the hearings. The hearings are now over. And if there is real substance to this it demands a response." Murkowski also notes that Christine Blasey Ford's allegations -- while they are old -- "seem to go into fair amount of detail." She says it is her job to figure out if there is any "there there."

Something, I guess?, but not much. This seems like an appropriate time to mention that there are no Republican women on the Senate Judiciary committee.
posted by zachlipton at 9:01 PM on September 16 [14 favorites]


I might be slow, but doesn't "delay the vote" mean "give Kavanaugh a window to take himself out?" I don't know what could possibly happen to his story other than festering, especially if anything else comes out.
posted by rhizome at 9:04 PM on September 16 [1 favorite]


In other news...

NYT, North Korea’s Trump-Era Strategy: Keep Making A-Bombs, but Quietly
North Korea is making nuclear fuel and building weapons as actively as ever, the publicly available evidence suggests. But he now appears to be borrowing a page from Israel, Pakistan and India: He is keeping quiet about it, conducting no public nuclear demonstrations and creating no crises, allowing Mr. Trump to portray a denuclearization effort as on track.
...
But even some of the president’s top national security officials privately concede that Mr. Trump’s declaration in June that “there is no longer a nuclear threat” from North Korea was a huge error, because it was taken as a signal by China and Russia that the crisis was over and that they could resume trading with the country.

Current and former intelligence officials say new assessments suggest that Mr. Kim has carefully read Mr. Trump and concluded that as long as the optics are good, and the exchanges between the two leaders are warm, he can hold off demands for progress toward disarmament. If Mr. Kim does not conduct tests, Mr. Trump is unlikely to call out evidence of a continued nuclear buildup.

“I’m shocked at how superficial things have been,” said Jung H. Pak, the C.I.A.’s mission leader for North Korea until she left last year for the Brookings Institution. “I think the North Koreans smell dysfunction and they see dysfunction in the president’s tweets and his compliments and his willingness to meet again.”
...
Whether they do see each other soon depends largely on the initiatives of Mr. Moon, the South Korean president, during his trip to Pyongyang. He has emerged as the most important actor in this nuclear dance, and he sees his role less as an American ally and more as a critical intermediary. He is concerned, one senior South Korean official said, that if Mr. Trump loses the House or feels more pressure from the special counsel investigation, he may veer toward resuming threats of military action.
There's also a WSJ piece, clearly trying to set the table ahead of tomorrow morning's Security Council meeting, New Doubts Emerge About U.S.-Led Sanctions on North Korea, in which a UN report is set to explain that sanctions have been ineffective, with much blame cast on China.

There's a weird thing going on here though. The Times story cites Nikki Haley as accusing the Russians of working to alter the draft report and said the experts who wrote the report "caved." The WSJ story, which is all about the report, does not mention this.
posted by zachlipton at 9:10 PM on September 16 [5 favorites]


FINAL WAVE FEMINISM
C'EST LA LUTTE FINALE
GROUPONS-NOUS ET DEMAIN
posted by runcifex at 9:10 PM on September 16 [12 favorites]


Friends of Graham’s say that on the things that matter to him most, his sycophancy has been a success.

...There, Graham and Trump discovered their mutual love for bro-ish trash talk and golf. “I think Lindsey likes the president a lot more than he thought he would,” says Steve Largent, the former NFL player who became close with Graham when they were freshmen in the House. But more, “I think Lindsey feels a little bit like the adult in the room, speaking with the president. I’m saying this — Lindsey has never said this to me — but there’s something about, I’m not going to say innocence, but the president’s affability as well as his naïveté that Lindsey is drawn to.”...

Oh god, the world's going to hell and Graham is doodling Trump's name in his notebook
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 9:28 PM on September 16 [13 favorites]


If somebody can be brought down by accusations like this, then you, me, every man certainly should be worried.

you know there's one weird trick to avoiding this kind of anxiety: DON'T SEXUALLY ASSAULT PEOPLE
posted by murphy slaw at 9:37 PM on September 16 [77 favorites]


Here's a tweet by Felicia Sonmez of the Washington Post. If you click into it you can scroll through an address Kavanaugh made at the Yale Law School Federalist Society Banquet in 2014.

He regales the guests talking about his falling down drunk hi jinks while at Yale Law School. So his drunk days continued from high school, through college and continued as a full-grown adult at law school.

Seems this guy has a real bro-ish drinking problem. The question is whether he still has one today given he still thinks it's hilarious in 2014. Seems some questions along these lines are in order. You don't want a black out drunk on the Supreme Court. Or perhaps gambling is just substituting one addiction for another. There's something, more than one thing, that just ain't right about this guy.
posted by JackFlash at 9:47 PM on September 16 [69 favorites]


FINAL WAVE FEMINISM

As a lefty/progressive guy whose eyes were opened at Boyzone and Schrödinger's Rapist and Emotional Labor, I say let's bring this on! We need more women and POC at every level of everything.
posted by ActingTheGoat at 9:47 PM on September 16 [3 favorites]


Eh, let's not equate addiction with being a bad person. If not just because that's an excuse for bad behavior, but it treats a disease as if it's a character flaw. I guarantee you know an addict that is not a rapist.
posted by adept256 at 10:16 PM on September 16 [6 favorites]


I’m gonna equate being a hidden addict that is also a judge that is also hiding that from the public as part of being appointed to the Supreme Court with maybe being a bit of a bad person TBH.
posted by Artw at 10:21 PM on September 16 [45 favorites]


Um.

@TomArnold: Mark Burnett just went apeshit & choked me at this huge Emmy party then he ran away with his torn Pink shirt & missing gold chain. I’m waiting for LAPD

I know we already have the batshitinsane tag, but does everything really need to be just this batshitinsane?
posted by zachlipton at 10:22 PM on September 16 [24 favorites]


Kavanaugh is Thomas 2.0, and will be expected to vote the same way, as a partisan hack. Is his wife a conspriacy theorist/lobbyist as well?
posted by benzenedream at 10:22 PM on September 16


Here's my latest circuit design from my day job. It's an active load for testing power supplies. I just sent the CAD files off to manufacturing.

Loadstar rev 1

[real]
posted by ryanrs at 10:23 PM on September 16 [14 favorites]


I know we already have the batshitinsane tag, but does everything really need to be just this batshitinsane?

apeshitinsane, surely.
posted by Rust Moranis at 10:36 PM on September 16 [8 favorites]


ELECTIONS NEWS

** 2018 House:
-- ME-02: Siena poll has GOP incumbent Poliquin up 47-42 on Dem Golden [MOE: +/- 4.5%]. [Trump 51-41 | Cook: Tossup]

-- KS-02: Siena poll has Dem Davis up 45-44 on GOPer Watkins [MOE: +/- 4.8%]. [Trump 56-37 | Cook: Tossup]

-- CO-06: Siena poll has Dem Crow up 51-40 on GOP incumbent Coffman [MOE: +/- 4.8%]. [Clinton 50-41 | Cook: Tossup]

-- IA-04: Expedition Strategies poll has GOP incumbent King up 43-37 on Dem Scholten [MOE: +/- 5.0%]. Poll appears to have been commissioned by the Scholten campaign [Trump 61-34 | Cook: Likely R]

-- Enten: Based on historicals, polls likely understating Dem margin on Election Day (you might remember Elliott Morris found the same thing a few days back).

-- Interesting thread from Wasserman pointing out you really need to dig beneath the headline numbers to see who's doing better in a race, and look at stuff like favorability and district partisan balance. This is why the raters have looked at those Siena polls with narrow leads for GOP incumbents and said, "Oooh, that is not good for the Republicans."

-- Lots to chew on in this faaaaascinating NYT story on the midterms. Takeaways:
* GOP internal polling has 23 incumbents tied or trailing. That's not even mentioning all of the open seats.
* NRCC and CLF (main super PAC) are at odds over strategy, each thinking the other is wasting money.
* Polling continually shows GOP voters don't think the Dems can win, leading to turnout concerns. See also this Axios piece.
** 2018 Senate:
-- MT: YouGov poll has Dem incumbent Tester up 47-45 on GOPer Rosendale [MOE: +/- 5.2%].

-- MO: YouGov poll has Dem incumbent McCaskill tied 45-45 with GOPer Hawley [MOE: +/- 3.3%].

-- NM: Albuquerque Journal poll has Dem incumbent Heinrich at 47, GOPer Rich at 26, and Libertarian Johnson at 16 [MOE: +/- 3.1%].

-- MN (A): Mason-Dixon poll has incumbent Dem Klobuchar up 60-30 GOPer Newberger [MOE: +/- 3.5%].

-- MN (B): Same Mason-Dixon poll has appointed incumbent Dem Smith up 44-37 on GOPer Housley.

-- NV: Gravis poll has Dem Rosen up 47-45 on GOP incumbent Heller [MOE: +/- 3.7%].
** Odds & ends:
-- NM gov: Same ABQ Journal poll has Dem Lujan Grisham up 50-43 on GOPer Pearce.

-- MN gov: Same Mason-Dixon poll has Dem Walz up 45-36. | RGA appears on the verge of giving up on this race, as they've begun cancelling ad buys.

-- OR gov: Hoffman Research poll has Dem incumbent Brown up 46-36 on GOPer Buehler [MOE:+/- 3.8%].

-- NV gov: Same Gravis poll has Dem Sisolak up 50-38 on GOPer Laxalt. | Downballot: LG: Dem Marshall up 45-35 on GOPer Roberson; AG: Dem Araujo tied 40-40 with GOP incumbent Cegavske

-- KS gov: Former and current GOP officeholders declining to endorse Kobach, or outright endorsing Dem candidate Kelly.

-- Total primary turnout in all states versus 2014: GOP up 24.5%; Dem up 64.4%.
posted by Chrysostom at 10:37 PM on September 16 [44 favorites]


I’m gonna equate being a hidden addict that is also a judge that is also hiding that from the public as part of being appointed to the Supreme Court with maybe being a bit of a bad person TBH.

At the very least a person with serious blackmail potential, which is definitely not a good thing for a SC justice.
posted by Pouteria at 11:24 PM on September 16 [28 favorites]


Arsenal For Democracy Episode on the Mass and Del primaries, good people on the ground information.
posted by The Whelk at 11:29 PM on September 16 [1 favorite]


The moment I saw this my heart sank. It's as inevitable as an egg that's already rolled off the kitchen counter & is halfway to the floor.

Flake opposes quick vote on Kavanaugh, putting confirmation in doubt
Three of those people also said they expect the president to go after Kavanaugh's accuser rather than to turn on the judge. They noted that Trump has done so before, not just denouncing his own accusers but also attacking those of others, notably, failed Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore.
posted by scalefree at 12:01 AM on September 17 [8 favorites]


I had this thought earlier. To get the plea deal, Manafort's would have already unloaded everything he knows to Mueller's team. More evidence that things may start happening at breakneck pace *

* for a federal court.
posted by mikelieman at 2:30 AM on September 17 [1 favorite]


I got a call from Beto O'Rourke's campaign last night, asking me to join them for a GOTV event. I thanked them, wished them luck, and told them I'm really not much good for this sort of thing on account of living in Maryland.
posted by Faint of Butt at 4:29 AM on September 17 [15 favorites]


I know we've been bad in so many ways, but I still can't wrap my head around what we've done to deserve this hell.

Talking with our mouths full, not using our inside voice, not washing behind our ears, stepping on cracks, eating with our elbows on the table, not using sir or ma'am, and all the other things our mothers told us not to do but we did anyways. It's all coming back to us hard now.
posted by LizBoBiz at 4:43 AM on September 17 [7 favorites]


@TomArnold: Mark Burnett just went apeshit & choked me at this huge Emmy party then he ran away with his torn Pink shirt & missing gold chain. I’m waiting for LAPD

TIL that Tom Arnold has been doing an investigative-journalism show for Viceland called "The Hunt For The Trump Tapes", and Episode 1 is about The Apprentice and apparently Mark Burnett didn't like it.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:43 AM on September 17 [27 favorites]


I got a call from Beto O'Rourke's campaign last night, asking me to join them for a GOTV event. I thanked them, wished them luck, and told them I'm really not much good for this sort of thing on account of living in Maryland.

Me too—last week, but via text. I told the texter I live in Va. she asked if I’d care to update my address in their records. I said no, that my address had never been and will never be local to Texas. They need to do a basic sort of donor addresses before wasting their time and efforts asking people in other time zones to come knock doors for Beto.
posted by ImproviseOrDie at 4:53 AM on September 17 [8 favorites]


Tom Arnold's story is apparently now backed up by a witness account by, of all people, Alyson Hannigan.

2018, y'all
posted by zombieflanders at 5:04 AM on September 17 [45 favorites]


Christine Blasey Ford's attorney, Debra Katz, just now on CBS This Morning:
Would your client be willing to testify under oath?

"My client will do whatever is necessary to make sure that the Senate Judiciary Committee has the full story...to allow them to make a full informed decision," says Debra Katz

"This is not an exercise that designed to get the truth, this an exercise that's designed to terrify somebody who's already been traumatized" says Katz on her client testifying in front of Judiciary
So they're calling the Senate GOP's bluff…

As for the greater significance of this charge against Kavanaugh, Shareblue editor Caroline Orr (@RVAWonk): "As you're considering the sexual assault accusation against Brett Kavanaugh, don't separate that from his anti-choice stance and his views on birth control (an 'abortion-inducing drug'). IT'S. ALL. ABOUT. CONTROLLING. WOMEN."
posted by Doktor Zed at 5:06 AM on September 17 [74 favorites]


According to Newsweek, Ted Cruz is mailing donation letters disguised as a legal summons:
The brown envelopes read “SUMMONS ENCLOSED- OPEN IMMEDIATELY” in large black letters, and have a return address of “official county summons.”

While the letter inside the envelope is a donation form for the Cruz campaign, there is some fear that certain voters may be confused by the mailer and think that they are required by law to pay a fee.

“Received this for my 88-year-old grandma,” wrote Sean Owen of Austin on Twitter. “Says it's a summons from Travis County, but is actually asking for money for Ted Cruz. Did your campaign authorize this? Is this even legal? Shame on you.”

posted by TwoStride at 5:45 AM on September 17 [73 favorites]


Severe moment of WTF:

@peteralexander
FLAGGING: Kellyanne Conway, moments ago to Fox News, on Kavanaugh’s accuser: “This woman should not be ignored and should not be insulted. She should be heard.”
posted by Artw at 5:57 AM on September 17 [27 favorites]




“Received this for my 88-year-old grandma,” wrote Sean Owen of Austin on Twitter. “Says it's a summons from Travis County, but is actually asking for money for Ted Cruz. Did your campaign authorize this? Is this even legal? Shame on you.”

@GeneforTexas Hello.

This is violation of the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act (DTPA).

I know, because I passed this law in 2015.

See below:
posted by scalefree at 6:06 AM on September 17 [90 favorites]


Kellyanne Conway, moments ago to Fox News, on Kavanaugh’s accuser: “This woman should not be ignored and should not be insulted. She should be heard.”

Well, she’s white, wealthy, and one of their own, is the first thing that came to mind. So that...”helps.”

NYTimes: Bloomberg May Run for President as a Democrat.

Every time I see this, I laugh. Literally the only thing in Bloomberg’s pro column is “has billions of dollars,” which is a significant con to the most active wing of the left. And no one likes him. He’s got the charisma of a toad.
posted by schadenfrau at 6:08 AM on September 17 [7 favorites]


Kellyanne Conway, moments ago to Fox News, on Kavanaugh’s accuser: “This woman should not be ignored and should not be insulted. She should be heard.”

Greg Sargent:
Folks, treat this Kellyanne claim with skepticism.

In this exchange, Kellyanne is *not* saying the Judiciary Committee will bring in Ford for public testimony.

She's saying the Committee will decide *how* she'll be "heard," which could mean *private* phone calls w/Senators.
posted by zombieflanders at 6:10 AM on September 17 [8 favorites]


Conway is the Trump White House's fig leaf. Her job is to seem like a facsimile of a reasonable woman without actually taking a genuinely principled stance. She even claims she had conversations about this with Trump (who supposedly agrees, if you can believe that) instead of, say, resigning in disgust over the number of confirmed abusers in his administration.

Talking to reporters, she went on to say, "She should testify under oath and she should do it on Capitol Hill but that’s up to the Senate Judiciary Committee they need to decide." And also that this allegation "has to be weighed against what we already know, which is that Judge Kavanaugh is a man of character and integrity... he has been lauded by women from every different aspect of his life."

But Debra Katz just told CNN that no one has asked her to testify yet: "We've heard from no one. We've seen various statements made on television, but statements that are being bandied about for political reason. But no one's asked her."
posted by Doktor Zed at 6:12 AM on September 17 [8 favorites]


A lawyer close to the White House said the nomination will not be withdrawn.

“No way, not even a hint of it,” the lawyer said. “If anything, it’s the opposite. If somebody can be brought down by accusations like this, then you, me, every man certainly should be worried. We can all be accused of something.”


It's almost as if... these Republican men have certain things in common...
posted by delfin at 6:18 AM on September 17 [36 favorites]


Anita Hill was allowed to testify. Thomas was confirmed anyway. Maybe certain R's just think it doesn't matter who testifies, Kavanaugh will get confirmed regardless? I hope enough has changed since the Thomas hearings for god's sake, but who knows.
posted by gwint at 6:21 AM on September 17 [1 favorite]


‘The House Is Probably Lost’: GOP Frets Blue Wave Could Decimate Party - Cameron Joseph, TPM
Democrats are still the underdogs for Senate control, and the high number of essentially tied seats means their chances of losing ground may be as likely as them capturing the chamber. But in past years, most close races tend to break towards one party or the other on Election Day. That could mean Republicans end up netting a seat or two — but it could also give Democrats the narrowest of majorities in the Senate.

“We’ve held the pieces together through Labor Day. If we can hold the pieces together for another two months this could happen,” said one Senate Democratic strategist. “I still wouldn’t call us favorites, we’ve got to hit an inside straight here, but it’s entirely possible.”
Far from a done deal though.
posted by ZeusHumms at 6:24 AM on September 17 [7 favorites]


(Meanwhile during this new Kavanaugh controversy, the mainstream media has been diligently avoiding the proverbial GOP elephant in the room: Donald Trump is a rapist.)
posted by Doktor Zed at 6:24 AM on September 17 [67 favorites]


Conway is the Trump White House's fig leaf.

They're all fig leaves. Nothing they say should be reported on, ever. This White House and its allies and its proxies and its wholly owned subsidiaries have proven that they have not so much as a nodding relationship with the truth, and what they say should be treated as not only worthless, but actively corrosive to discourse and the nation.

Report what actions are taken. Report what regulations are lifted, what laws are passed, what orders are given and carried out. None of their words about these things are true and germane and useful. Treat them that way. Give them the consideration they deserve, which is to say none whatsoever, not even to report that they were said.
posted by Etrigan at 6:24 AM on September 17 [20 favorites]


If somebody can be brought down by accusations like this, then you, me, every man certainly should be worried.

"Who among us HASN'T gotten blackout drunk and groped a woman? I mean, it was just college hijinks! Hahaha, how hilarious we were. Now, if we were to prosecute that kind of sexual assault as though it were REAL sexual assault, there'd hardly be a man left standing, would there?"

It's like they can't comprehend that there are people out there who aren't deeply fucked-up sexual predators. The only way their worldview works is if every man alive has the same sociopathic contempt for women.
posted by Mayor West at 6:27 AM on September 17 [69 favorites]


Susan Collins blames the Democrats:
Ms. Collins said in an interview on Sunday night that she considered the allegations serious and that Ms. Ford needed to be personally interviewed to get a fuller account. But Ms. Collins, who could conceivably decide the outcome in the narrowly divided Senate, said Democrats had done a disservice to both Ms. Ford and Judge Kavanaugh with their handling of the accusations.

“What is puzzling to me is the Democrats, by not bringing this out earlier, after having had this information for more than six weeks, have managed to cast a cloud of doubt on both the professor and the judge,” she said. “If they believed Professor Ford, why didn’t they surface this information earlier so that he could be questioned about it? And if they didn’t believe her and chose to withhold the information, why did they decide at the 11th hour to release it? It is really not fair to either of them the way it is was handled.”
Feinstein should have at least brought this to the committee in closed session, but it's not like this was a clear case, she was probably weighting the credibility of the information with what she knew Republicans like Collins would do to Ford's life, and that's not a light choice, and that's being proved as we speak with Republican attacks against the victim and her family.

Collins just wants this to go away. She's looking for every excuse to vote yes. There's a reason for that, Collins wants to overturn Roe. Period. There's no mysterious 11th dimension motive, that's the policy outcome that she wants. She just doesn't want to be blamed for it.
posted by T.D. Strange at 6:28 AM on September 17 [36 favorites]


I don’t think any of the GOP Senators who are still tethered to reality are relishing the idea of doing what they did to Anita Hill to a very suburban looking white woman in the month before a midterm election. An election where they’re already facing a massive enthusiasm gap and need suburban white women.

If I had to guess, I’d say the sociopathic misogynist wing of the GOP is relishing exactly that, because they have been chafing away as #metoo unfolded, all of them secretly afraid they were next. There might be a sense of putting these hysterical women in their place, once and for all.

The remaining members of the GOP who are not full on delusional see this as a very, very bad for them and want no part of it. I stress “not delusional,” because we all know they are still evil. But there are still a few who are not completely stupid, and have well-honed survival instincts. And I think most of them are Senators.

So. This should be interesting.
posted by schadenfrau at 6:28 AM on September 17 [43 favorites]


They’ll Crawl Over Broken Glass for Kavanaugh - Josh Marshall, TPM OpEd
... Republicans and the conservative legal movement (led by and typified by The Federalist Society, but not limited to it) have been working to get this fifth vote for more than forty years. This is the pay-off. They got one part of the way there with the corrupt Gorsuch nomination. Now they have the fifth vote in their sights.

The chance of letting that opportunity slip through their fingers is unthinkable. The White House and Senate Republicans are likely thinking that regardless of the credibility of the claim or what they think of it, Kavanaugh absolutely positively has to be confirmed. Because it’s not just about Kavanaugh. If he’s not confirmed it opens up the possibility that they won’t get the chance to replace Justice Kennedy and secure the fifth vote on the Court at all. Given that the Garland seat was stolen, should Democrats reclaim the chamber, I don’t think they should approve any nominee from President Trump. That’s unlikely. But Democrats [if they control the Senate] won’t give the President the opportunity to nominate a maximalist right wing judge the way Republicans are now. That’s a big difference.
posted by ZeusHumms at 6:31 AM on September 17 [14 favorites]


We've been here before: Jan, 15 2008: Draft Bloomberg Movement Launched
Two veteran political consultants from different political parties have joined forces and formed an independent committee to nudge New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg into running for President in 2008.

The two consultants, Douglas Bailey and Gerald Rafshoon, told reporters Tuesday that Bloomberg's name recognition, independent political affiliation and personal fortune make him unusually well positioned to break the partisan gridlock in Washington. "Michael Bloomberg, if he runs," said Bailey, "will be elected President of the United States."
Somehow his name comes up every election but no one but Washington political consultants and columnists have ever had any interest in him running.
posted by octothorpe at 6:35 AM on September 17 [6 favorites]


Also, what are the odds that some of the delay talk is about giving them time to do some polling and assess the possible damage of forcing Kavanaugh through immediately?
posted by schadenfrau at 6:36 AM on September 17 [4 favorites]


Susan Collins: “What is puzzling to me is the Democrats, by not bringing this out earlier, after having had this information for more than six weeks, have managed to cast a cloud of doubt on both the professor and the judge,” she said. “If they believed Professor Ford, why didn’t they surface this information earlier so that he could be questioned about it? And if they didn’t believe her and chose to withhold the information, why did they decide at the 11th hour to release it? It is really not fair to either of them the way it is was handled.”

The interview with one of Ford's lawyers this morning on NPR indicated that Ford requested anonymity after delivering her letter and Feinstein respected that. It was Ford's decision to go public. At least that's the story they're telling now (I somehow have a feeling this was cover for Feinstein but I could be wrong). The lawyer also indicated - as well she should - Ford was concerned about her and her family's safety but ultimately felt it was her civic duty to come forward.

Ford also has agreed to testify.

posted by bluesky43 at 6:39 AM on September 17 [11 favorites]


Here's the thing, why Kavanaugh? They have a list of 24 other ghouls vetted by the Federalist Society that would all rule indistinguishable from Kavanaugh, and surely all 24 weren't blackout fratboi rapists in highschool. They could easily force Kavanaugh to withdraw, nominate Hardison or Coney Barrett, and have this wrapped up before November with nothing the Democrats could really do about it.

Unless there's something special about Kavanaugh. Like he's the only one on that list who believes the president is unable to be prosecuted and has already pledged allegiance to Trump behind closed doors.
posted by T.D. Strange at 6:41 AM on September 17 [97 favorites]


Doktor Zed: Conway is the Trump White House's fig leaf. Her job is to seem like a facsimile of a reasonable woman without actually taking a genuinely principled stance.

Absolutely true, but it's reassuring that "taking the accusation seriously" is apparently what a fig leaf looks like now, as opposed to total dismissal. I mean, I don't think very many Republicans reacted to the Roy Moore horrors with "Let's hear the women out" (except for the few who already opposed him for his many other problems).

It's possible they think they can somehow spin even an undeniable story (the usual creeps are already doing a "Who among us" routine). That was somewhat more difficult with Moore (though a few people definitely tried, with the whole "Mary was underage" thing). But just like I felt that after Helsinki, Trump would be better served by openly embracing Putin instead of waffling, so too would I imagine the optimum "strategy" for Kavanaugh's supporters to be total, unrelenting denial.

ZeusHumms: They’ll Crawl Over Broken Glass for Kavanaugh - Josh Marshall, TPM OpEd

Some people perceive this as a reason to lose hope, but I think it's better framed as a reason to scatter broken glass in their path; they'll probably reach the destination but in considerably worse shape than they started.
posted by InTheYear2017 at 6:42 AM on September 17 [64 favorites]


Also, what are the odds that some of the delay talk is about giving them time to do some polling and assess the possible damage of forcing Kavanaugh through immediately?

Polling of voters in Maine on Kavanaugh has shown him underwater for a month now, and Collins is still playing dumb fucking games with us. This is about something else for her, be it personal and ideological, a sociopathic (if not entirely inaccurate) assumption that this will all blow over in time for her re-election bid in 2020, or just straight-up quid pro quo.
posted by zombieflanders at 6:45 AM on September 17 [14 favorites]


Yup. The real question for the three GOP Senators who have said they favor "delaying" the vote on Kavanaugh is whether or not they will vote no if (when) McConnell brings his confirmation to the floor for a vote. And I think the answer is no.

This is just thoughts and prayers level blather to try and burnish their image as mavericky independents, not any sort of actual statement of intent to block Kavanaugh. As several people have noted, this is absolutely critical to the entire Republican plan for decades. There is no possible way they'll let it fail.

In theory they could give Kavanaugh the boot and even if they lose the Senate in November (unlikely) rush through Trump's next appointee during the lame duck session. I highly doubt they'd want to take that risk, especially as giving Kavanaugh the boot now might seriously harm their odds of keeping the Senate after November.

I still think the political calculus is that there's no real risk to any Republican in confirming Kavanaugh and there's a great deal of risk for them in not confirming him. Vote no on Kavanaugh and the Trump cultists will be so outraged they might stay home, vote yes on Kavanaugh and at some future point there may be nebulous blame floating around that won't really hurt any Republicans. The clear choice for any Republican Senator is to vote yes on Kavanaugh.

I'm cake bet sure that McConnell will put Kavanaugh's nomination to a vote soon, and that he will be confirmed.

T.D. Strange Because he's already started the process and there's no actual downside for any Republican voting to confirm him. And the "fuck you" value of voting to confirm Kavanaugh has gone up with the allegations of sexual assault, which makes him perversely more attractive to many Republican voters.

The question is always: will this depress the Republican turnout? And while there may be a number of Repubican voters who aren't exactly enthuzed about placing (another) sexual predator on the Court, they're not going to care enough about it to stay home in November. More important, there's a **LOT** of Republican voters who really like "fuck you" as a position from their candidates, and voting yes on Kavanaugh now will both look stronger ("they stood up to the Democrat smear machine!") and gives them that "fuck you" answer that the Republican voting base loves.

There's no downside to voting yes, and there is a downside to voting no. Therefore they will vote yes.
posted by sotonohito at 6:46 AM on September 17 [6 favorites]


Unless there's something special about Kavanaugh.

Something something Anthony Kennedy, Anthony Kennedy's son and Deutschbank something something
posted by fluttering hellfire at 6:47 AM on September 17 [70 favorites]


Kavanaugh wasn't on the original Federalist Society list that Trump swore he'd take all his nominees from. He was only added after Mueller was appointed. It's not too hard to draw a line connecting those events.
posted by scalefree at 6:47 AM on September 17 [89 favorites]


Also, going against Trump in any way at all is known to be very bad for Republican politicians. Unless Trump withdraws Kavanaugh's nomination, they're positioned between either voting Yes, or going against Trump, which will infuriate his base.

And Trump's base is about 50% of the Republican voters, even if only a few of them stay home in November that's enough to tip a lot of elections.
posted by sotonohito at 6:49 AM on September 17


They need to do a basic sort of donor addresses before wasting their time and efforts asking people in other time zones to come knock doors for Beto.
Textbanking databases come from different sources, and addresses may not be part of it, or current.
Any texting op I've been on has a box for 'out of state', so by answering that, you've made their database a little better.
posted by MtDewd at 6:51 AM on September 17 [3 favorites]


So when's the pussyhat flashmob?

From the "tipping point" link above,

When organizations turn a blind eye to sexual harassment in the workplace, how many people need to take a stand before the behavior is no longer seen as normal?

According to a new paper to be published tomorrow in Science (link is external), there is a quantifiable answer: roughly 25% of people need to take a stand before large-scale social change occurs. This idea of a social tipping point applies to standards in the workplace, and any type of movement or initiative.


Seems do-able.
posted by petebest at 6:51 AM on September 17 [15 favorites]


Jr. has weighed in on Ford's allegations on instagram.

I really hope Mueller takes this guy down. Hard.
posted by Tabitha Someday at 6:53 AM on September 17 [28 favorites]


The special thing he brings to the table is “being corrupt as shit, no, more corrupt than that”. Everyone is very aware of this, hence the rush, and at a guess I’d say the history of sexual assaults is something that was known at some level and even approved of for ensuring the corruption. That a victim would slip through the cracks and not get stomped on before going public is maybe not what they intended, but to not exactly a minus to them. These guys love to wink and gloat, remember.
posted by Artw at 6:54 AM on September 17 [5 favorites]


The evil but not delusional Republicans are quaking in anticipation of more women coming forward.
posted by jointhedance at 6:58 AM on September 17 [3 favorites]


So Hillary Clinton wrote an excellent op-ed in the Atlantic which was published yesterday. I encourage you to read it. If nothing else, it feels pretty great to read a cogent summary (with some omissions, but still) of what the hell is going on and some real solutions.

She opens with exactly the three things that to my mind at least are the worst of the worst - baby jails, Puerto Rico, and Russian election interference. Doesn't directly call him on collusion, which I kind of get.

Goes on to outline 5 ways that Trump is destroying our democracy: assault on the rule of law, election legitimacy (e.g. Russia AND gerrymandering and vote suppression), on truth and reason (e.g. lying constantly, attacks on the press), corruption, undermining national unity through hate speech.

Goes further to really call him out and a lot - transgender military service, Muslim ban, police oversight, civil rights protection, ICE. Like Obama recently did, she then describes him as a symptom while calling out the Kochs and Mercer. She explicitly notes that "both sides" stuff is bullshit and this is not a symmetrical problem.

And because she is an actual adult , she then offers solutions:

1. Turnout and vote in the midterms.
2. Serious housecleaning "after Trump" e.g. implementing Intelligence committee recommendations on election security, repairing the Voting Rights act, overturn Citizens United, abolish the Electoral College.
3. Try to heal social fabric through national service programs, civics education, economic reform.

I really needed this article this morning. This is what some semblance of real leadership looks like from the party, in my opinion. And kinda feels like a shift in the window, especially re: electoral college.
posted by lazaruslong at 6:59 AM on September 17 [157 favorites]


The evil but not delusional Republicans are quaking in anticipation of more women coming forward.

The speed of pulling together the 65 women who didn't go to high school with Kavanaugh makes me suspicious but is there any sourced indication of more women? I haven't seen any. If there are, I hope they make the decision with some speed to come forward - Ford is going to be a rush testimony followed by a rushed Kavanaugh and then boom, another sexual harasser on the SC.
posted by bluesky43 at 7:01 AM on September 17 [2 favorites]


Sen. Collins: “... If they believed Professor Ford, why didn’t they surface this information earlier so that he could be questioned about it? And if they didn’t believe her and chose to withhold the information, why did they decide at the 11th hour to release it?

Remember that Grassley had his "65 women for Kavanaugh" letter all ready to go. The question is *not* why didn't the Democrats release the information sooner, it's why did Senator Collins' own party keep this information out of the public hearings, and damn near keep it from becoming public at all?

Collins is a fraud, through and through.
posted by martin q blank at 7:02 AM on September 17 [12 favorites]


HRC: 2. Serious housecleaning "after Trump" e.g. implementing Intelligence committee recommendations on election security, repairing the Voting Rights act, overturn Citizens United, abolish the Electoral College.

YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
posted by bluesky43 at 7:02 AM on September 17 [18 favorites]


surely all 24 weren't blackout fratboi rapists in highschool

To be honest, at this point, the only reason I agree with this "surely" is that some of them are women. Otherwise I'd put it no higher than "possibly".
posted by howfar at 7:03 AM on September 17 [30 favorites]


sotonohito, that analysis just strikes me as wrong. There is a very clear, quantifiable downside to Susan Collins for voting yes, and it’s currently at about 1.2 mil.

And I think they’re all wondering what happens if they lose the Senate entirely. If they delay on Kavanaugh until after the midterms, they probably keep the Senate and still get him on the bench. If they rush him through now they might lose the Senate. Some of them may think that’s worth it, but I bet some of them are having to think about it.

I’d say they’re waiting to see if more accusers come forward, to see what the new info does to polling, and to figure out their own fortunes.
posted by schadenfrau at 7:03 AM on September 17 [7 favorites]


They have a list of 24 other ghouls vetted by the Federalist Society that would all rule indistinguishable from Kavanaugh, and surely all 24 weren't blackout fratboi rapists in highschool.

Citation needed. But also, my guess is that Kavanaugh bent the knee, kissed the ring, and otherwise ingratiated himself with Trump in a way that put him at the top of the list. Some of the other candidates might not have, or not done so enthusiastically enough.
posted by emjaybee at 7:04 AM on September 17 [5 favorites]


but is there any sourced indication of more women?

I've not heard of any. I am predicting based on my belief that an entitled privileged man who got away with assaulting one woman has probably assaulted other women.
posted by jointhedance at 7:08 AM on September 17 [12 favorites]


I would just like to highlight the fact that Kavanaugh is currently a judge on the D.C. Circuit Court. Stopping his appointment to the Supreme Court is not enough. He needs to be investigated and impeached and removed from his current position as well. I'm making this clear to my Senators and rep today when I call them -- this goes way beyond SCOTUS; this is about a sexual predator who is right now a circuit court judge with considerable power. He isn't qualified for the job he's applying for OR the one he currently has. I'm coming for both and I will continue moving goalposts as necessary until he has no say in the life or actions of any woman or girl, including his own daughters.
posted by melissasaurus at 7:09 AM on September 17 [99 favorites]


I wonder if Kavanaugh will still be allowed to coach girl's basketball after all this.
posted by ZeusHumms at 7:10 AM on September 17 [45 favorites]


Collins is still playing dumb fucking games with us. This is about something else for her

I don't understand this thinking. We're talking about a Supreme Court justice. This is one of, if not the, most valuable prizes in U.S. politics- especially for conservatives, who have for decades laid the groundwork to attack a number of SCOTUS decisions they want reversed. There doesn't have to be anything else. This is it. This is the prize. Like Josh Marshall said, they'll crawl over glass to get this.
posted by Jpfed at 7:17 AM on September 17 [13 favorites]


There is a very clear, quantifiable downside to Susan Collins for voting yes, and it’s currently at about 1.2 mil.

Another downside is around 550,000: the number of women of voting age in Maine in 2020. How many of them who were okay with her playacting at being the Adult Moderate Republican Woman are going to be okay with her sitting face-to-face with a nice, respectable white woman and ignoring her?
posted by Etrigan at 7:18 AM on September 17 [8 favorites]


Does anyone know if Collins has thought about retirement to the right wing grift? The classy kind, with seats on boards and such, not the kind where you sell nonsense books and supplements to addle-brained racists. I wonder if there are some straight up bribes being offered right about now.
posted by schadenfrau at 7:22 AM on September 17 [3 favorites]


This is it. This is the prize. Like Josh Marshall said, they'll crawl over glass to get this.

I've said this before here but I'll say it again, many moons ago in the early 2000's I picked up a an old revision of Understanding American Government in a discount book shop. I don't remember much about that book but one thing I remember clearly is that it stated unequivocally the most important and significant action of the President is placing Justices on the Supreme Court.
posted by PenDevil at 7:23 AM on September 17 [8 favorites]


Empress, my kids are in seventh grade in public school in Florida, and right now they're doing a year-long civics class. (The teacher is also giving them one extra credit point for each time, up to five, that they publicly recite the preamble to the Constitution today. It's Constitution Day, y'all!) The syllabus is really impressive. Could MeMail it to you if you're interested.
posted by martin q blank at 7:25 AM on September 17 [6 favorites]


While we're at this whole "getting rid of judges who have sexually edit: assaulted women" can we get some justice for Anita Hill too?
posted by nikaspark at 7:25 AM on September 17 [41 favorites]


The other thing is the uncertainty. Do any of them know how compromised Kavanaugh is? I bet not, which is worse, because they suspect, along with the rest of us. He’s got addiction, gambling, sexual assault, and money problems, and he was picked to put the fix in on an investigation about the President, the GOP, and Russia.

If you’re a Republican Senator who wants to stay a Senator, or who is already wary of what’s going to happen in 2020, do you want a Democratic House investigating Kavanaugh for the next two years?

Actually, that’s the a though. Have any Dems come out and said they will thoroughly investigate Kavanaugh if they take back the House and he’s on the court?

Because the one thing they might still fear is sunlight, and none of them know what investigations will turn up, or who they’ll take down.
posted by schadenfrau at 7:27 AM on September 17 [6 favorites]


Actually, that’s the a though. Have any Dems come out and said they will thoroughly investigate Kavanaugh if they take back the House and he’s on the court?

Jerry Nadler has, yes.
posted by fluttering hellfire at 7:29 AM on September 17 [18 favorites]


Does anyone know if Collins has thought about retirement to the right wing grift?

The U.S. Senate is not Step 3 on anyone's Grift Plan. That's what the House is for. You only get to the Senate by knowing that you are Important and Necessary to the Security of the Republic, and the only way you leave is when you already know you're dead. She might retire, but only after she knows she's not going to win in 2020.
posted by Etrigan at 7:31 AM on September 17 [7 favorites]


Fully grasping how integrated the entire republican infrastructure is to nominate supreme Court nominees is breathtaking, from local municipal elections to vote suppression initiatives, entire societies built around nurturing lawyers and protecting vile people as long as they'll vote the right way... I think if I stared at the entire system I wouldn't believe it.

And then I realize the Conservatives probably have this in Canada too right under my nose, and despair.
posted by Yowser at 7:41 AM on September 17 [7 favorites]


Hmmm, justice for Anita Hill in the form of Justice Anita Hill maybe? Cuz I think she'd do pretty well on the Court. I mean, she's 62 so I don't really support her as a nominee because I'd rather we nominated some left wing 30 somethings. But it'd be appropriate as a belated apology to impeach Thomas and replace him with Hill.
posted by sotonohito at 7:44 AM on September 17 [11 favorites]


@green_footballs
UPDATE: In a creepy right wing convergence, Brett Kavanaugh’s high school friend Mark Judge has written pieces attacking rape victims for Holocaust denier Chuck C. Johnson’s blog.

Not a fan of that source but it seems like something that should be readily confirmable.
posted by Artw at 7:44 AM on September 17 [7 favorites]


adept256: I know the information is dated, and a modern economist could drill holes in this film. But, it seems like the effort to educate the public died with the memories of why it was needed.

Just like anti-vaxers who sprouted up once polio no longer haunted parents with visions of their once-lively children being crippled for life, inoculating people against fascism seemed like less of a problem when Hitler and Mussolini are reduced to cartoon caricatures of themselves. Similarly, if you believe that the "enemy" has been defeated and won't return, you don't need to be ready for a (political) battle --

Chrysostom: Polling continually shows GOP voters don't think the Dems can win, leading to turnout concerns. See also this Axios piece.
A source who has seen recent polling, conducted by the Republican National Committee, told me the data show that a majority of Trump voters don't believe the mountain of evidence that Democrats will win back the House in November.

By the numbers: 57% of strong Trump supporters believe it's unlikely Democrats win the House, according to the source, who wasn't authorized to share findings from the RNC poll with the media. (The survey of 800 registered voters — 480 via landline calls and 320 via cellphone calls — was conducted from Aug. 29 to Sept. 2 and has a margin of error of 3.5%.)
Ohohoho ... if the Trump Reality Distortion Bubble is a factor in taking down Trump ... *kisses fingers* Delicious!
posted by filthy light thief at 7:46 AM on September 17 [32 favorites]


Johnson posted an archive.is, which is a sketchy site but they have never modified saved pages to my knowledge.
posted by Yowser at 7:46 AM on September 17


Actually, that’s the a though. Have any Dems come out and said they will thoroughly investigate Kavanaugh if they take back the House and he’s on the court?
---
Jerry Nadler has, yes.


While Nadler is great and has called for the delaying of any vote and a full investigation of Kavanaugh, to my knowledge he has yet to state that he will lead an investigation post-comfirmation if necessary if Ds take the House and he is Judiciary Committee Chairman. So please call to push for this.

Also, yesterday I gave the NYC number for his office, but in calling that number this morning they are referring this matter to their DC office. That number is 202-225-5635. The lady who answered in DC said that they hadn't definitely made a decision but that it was a good point that she would pass on the congressman. And I got right though to her (as well as his NYC office) so jam the phones.
posted by chris24 at 7:46 AM on September 17 [8 favorites]


Ohohoho ... if the Trump Reality Distortion Bubble is a factor in taking down Trump ... *kisses fingers* Delicious!

Of course there’s always the chance that they’ll lose, decide they actually have won, and retain power anyway. That’s what Trump is teeing up, anyway.
posted by Artw at 7:48 AM on September 17 [7 favorites]


Not a fan of that source but it seems like something that should be readily confirmable.

FWIW the LGF guy pretty much had a 180 in terms of his ideology, and is if not a full-on leftist, is at least liberal/progressive.
posted by zombieflanders at 7:49 AM on September 17 [10 favorites]




Ohohoho ... if the Trump Reality Distortion Bubble is a factor in taking down Trump ... *kisses fingers* Delicious!

The other edge to this sword is that no victory by democrats will ever be seen as legitimate by these people. And it’s going to be ugly when those conspiracy theories get into full swing.
posted by C'est la D.C. at 7:49 AM on September 17 [5 favorites]


CrowdPac raised enough to match Collins' coffers, apparently & is closing in on 93% of an additional total goal of $1.5M.
posted by yoga at 7:52 AM on September 17 [22 favorites]


FWIW the LGF guy pretty much had a 180 in terms of his ideology, and is if not a full-on leftist, is at least liberal/progressive.

There's two bloggers with that name. Charles Johnson (LGF) is an ex right winger who converted. Chuck Johnson is a racist right winger (but I repeat myself).
posted by scalefree at 7:53 AM on September 17 [9 favorites]


data show that a majority of Trump voters don't believe the mountain of evidence that Democrats will win back the House in November

You know what would get them out to vote? Having to protect a SC pick from the vile Democrats.

Things have gotten really complicated for Republicans. Couldn't happen to worse people.

I'm off to call Jerry Nadler's DC office and ask that he publicly commit to fully investigating Kavanaugh even after he's confirmed. Thanks to chris24 for the number to his DC office: 202-225-5635.

Once again, senior Dem on the House Judiciary Committee Jerry Nadler's DC office number:

202-225-5635

Call and tell him to commit to fully investigating Kavanaugh even if he's confirmed.
posted by schadenfrau at 7:54 AM on September 17 [14 favorites]


Ohohoho ... if the Trump Reality Distortion Bubble is a factor in taking down Trump ... *kisses fingers* Delicious!

That's a nice fascist goverment you got there, shame if it were to be constitutionally incapable of objectively evaluating the force of the enemy.
posted by mrjohnmuller at 7:54 AM on September 17 [18 favorites]


More on Kavanaugh's rape-y friend: Brett Kavanaugh's Alleged Accomplice Has Spent Years Trying to Discredit Rape Accusations Online
Judge is a conservative author who has written for publications like the Daily Caller and American Spectator and published the book Wasted: Tales of a Gen X Drunk, in which he describes his experience as a teenage alcoholic. In her account, Ford alleged that both Judge and Kavanaugh were “stumbling drunk” at the time of the incident. (In the Weekly Standard, Judge denied the alleged events ever took place.) In his book, Judge describes someone named “Bart O’Kavanaugh” puking after drinking too much, according to Mother Jones.

That’s just the beginning of Judge’s checkered history in publishing. The magazine summarized another bit of his illustrious career:
Judge’s more controversial writings include a 2012 Daily Caller column about his bike getting stolen and “the very high odds” the thief was a black man. A piece he wrote in 2006 on PoliticalMavens.com starts out with a incendiary question: “You’re thinking it even if you don’t say it: Are gay people perverts?”
As several journalists on Twitter pointed out, Judge has also spent a significant amount of time questioning other accounts of sexual assault and asserting other deeply gross ideas about sexuality, including suggesting that a clothing choice could incite rape.
[...]
From there, things just get weirder. Though Judge quickly deleted his social media profiles as attention focused on him in the wake of the allegations, much of it was documented by internet sleuths. They found a YouTube channel that appeared to belong to Judge onto which he uploaded bizarre videos that intercut innocuous visuals of books and cityscapes with sexualized videos of young women. Twitter user TheDiscomfiture screenshotted many of the videos (some of them have been re-uploaded here). A deleted Flickr account users also linked to Judge featured similar images. Other photos that allegedly originated on Judge’s deleted Facebook page featured young girls in bikinis at a resort.
posted by zombieflanders at 7:59 AM on September 17 [29 favorites]


Graham: Trump came 'really close' to moving U.S. dependents out of South Korea
Sen. Lindsey Graham confirmed on Sunday “there was a point in time” when he and President Donald Trump seriously discussed pulling U.S. military dependents out of South Korea — a move that would have been widely seen as a precursor to military action on the peninsula.
First of, what the fuck, second off, what the fuck, why did we learn about this in a Bob Woodward book, and now you're just offhandedly admitting that yeah, we nearly went to war on the Korean Peninsula but not to worry, we're all okay now? and third off, he's not even in the Administration, making this decision isn't really up to him, why was he involved?

I mean, this is terrifying. And it's not going to make the news.
posted by BungaDunga at 8:01 AM on September 17 [58 favorites]


From there, things just get weirder.

Predators of a feather flock together.

Wonder if they're starting to regret the whole "but he coaches girls basketball" thing.
posted by schadenfrau at 8:02 AM on September 17 [22 favorites]


First of, what the fuck, second off, what the fuck, why did we learn about this in a Bob Woodward book, and now you're just offhandedly admitting that yeah, we nearly went to war on the Korean Peninsula but not to worry, we're all okay now?

Like the dossier, the reveals in FEAR just keep getting confirmed.
posted by chris24 at 8:04 AM on September 17 [9 favorites]


A source who has seen recent polling, conducted by the Republican National Committee, told me the data show that a majority of Trump voters don't believe the mountain of evidence that Democrats will win back the House in November.

That's good for November, but I'm really not looking forward to the inevitable Dolchstoßlegende.
posted by J.K. Seazer at 8:04 AM on September 17 [1 favorite]


@dlippman
.@AndrewRestuccia and I called many of Kavanaugh's 65 female HS acquittances who signed a letter supporting him. After his accuser came out on Sunday, only TWO said they still stood by him. More than two dozen didn't respond, and two declined to comment.

Maybe they are regretting some life decisions there.
posted by Artw at 8:06 AM on September 17 [101 favorites]




FYI, Kavanaugh has turned up at the White House as of about ten or so minutes ago.
posted by anastasiav at 8:07 AM on September 17 [17 favorites]


As a person who was raped in high school in a very similar manner to Professor Ford, who actually threatened a peer counselor who found out about the "incident" with revealing their drug use if they told anyone what they had heard (which I'm not proud of, but you do what you need to in order to survive) if they pull Kavanaugh's nomination because of her coming forward, I will eat an entire cake in her honor.
posted by Sophie1 at 8:11 AM on September 17 [87 favorites]


schadenfrau: Wonder if they're starting to regret the whole "but he coaches girls basketball" thing.

On Twitter, Jeet Heer suspects something more disturbing: that it's exactly why they did that. It wasn't just the basketball -- the testimonials on him really seemed to emphasize his conduct around women. Was that to establish some image of his "character" before anything else came out?

Meanwhile: I second/third/etc the recommendations to read the Hillary Clinton Atlantic piece. This part make me do a small fist-pump though I'm sure some would find it too lukewarm:

I don’t agree with critics who say that capitalism is fundamentally incompatible with democracy—but unregulated, predatory capitalism certainly is. Massive economic inequality and corporate monopoly power are antidemocratic and corrode the American way of life.
posted by InTheYear2017 at 8:12 AM on September 17 [26 favorites]


Kavanaugh summoned to the White House, comes out with a statement that he wants to testify to answer the rape allegations.

So they think they need to answer the accusations ...sufficiently? before they confirm him, so they grok that this is bad. But they do not grok that there is literally no way for public testimony to go well for them with the constituencies they need, because they are monsters.

This has Donald Trump's idiotic fingerprints all over it. McConnell and the other competent-evil ghouls must be apoplectic.
posted by schadenfrau at 8:16 AM on September 17 [26 favorites]


There's two bloggers with that name. Charles Johnson (LGF) is an ex right winger who converted. Chuck Johnson is a racist right winger (but I repeat myself).

Chuck looks like a malevolent leprechaun & is known for posing with other despicables using the racist 3 finger salute & a long list of trolling efforts. It's his site the pro rapist columns would have appeared.
posted by scalefree at 8:17 AM on September 17


This has Donald Trump's idiotic fingerprints all over it.

It sure does. "Just go out there and say you didn't do it, and everything will blow over." It also indicates, though, that Trump is personally rattled by this accusation. The reasons why are obvious to those who have followed Trump's own decades of abuse of women.
posted by odinsdream at 8:20 AM on September 17 [29 favorites]


This has Donald Trump's idiotic fingerprints all over it.

From Woodward's Fear, via Axios:
Trump life advice: "Trump gave some private advice to a friend who had acknowledged some bad behavior toward women. Real power is fear. It's all about strength. Never show weakness. You've always got to be strong. Don't be bullied. ... 'You've got to deny, deny, deny and push back on these women.'"

"'If you admit to anything and any culpability, then you're dead. That was a big mistake you made. You didn't come out guns blazing and just challenge them. You showed weakness. You've got to be strong. You've got to be aggressive. You've got to push back hard. You've got to deny anything that's said about you. Never admit.'"
Journalists should be chasing down every possible lead as to the identity of this "friend". It would be too good a coincidence if this were Kavanaugh, but the way the Trump White House is run, it's eminently possible.
posted by Doktor Zed at 8:26 AM on September 17 [24 favorites]


The Disturbing Symmetry Between Trump and Kavanaugh - Jesse Lee and Talia Dessel, Washington Monthly
If Kavanaugh is confirmed, ... echoes of Trump’s authoritarianism will ring through Supreme Court opinions for decades to come. But we should step back and ask ourselves: if virtually every senator is horrified at the lawless, autocratic themes of Trump’s mis-capitalized tweets, why should we not be just as revolted when they are dressed up in legal sophistry by a career partisan political operative? We don’t know whether Kavanaugh himself is corrupt, but we do know his Supreme Court nomination was made with corrupt intent.
posted by ZeusHumms at 8:28 AM on September 17 [16 favorites]


They might still ram it through, but my feeling is that the wheels are starting to come off.
posted by schadenfrau at 8:30 AM on September 17 [18 favorites]


“This is a completely false allegation. I have never done anything like what the accuser describes—to her or to anyone," Kavanaugh said. "Because this never happened, I had no idea who was making this accusation until she identified herself yesterday."

Umm, that last bit doesn't come across as great as it did in your head, Brett.
posted by Capt. Renault at 8:30 AM on September 17 [75 favorites]


There's two bloggers with that name. Charles Johnson (LGF) is an ex right winger who converted. Chuck Johnson is a racist right winger (but I repeat myself).
---
Chuck looks like a malevolent leprechaun & is known for posing with other despicables using the racist 3 finger salute & a long list of trolling efforts. It's his site the pro rapist columns would have appeared.


Chuck is a Holocaust denier who was kicked off Twitter for fundraising/organizing to "take out" civil rights activist Deray Mckesson. He's full Nazi.
posted by chris24 at 8:39 AM on September 17 [11 favorites]


Poking around the darker, mustier corners of Daily Kos and the like, there are still people salty at Kirsten Gillibrand and the Democratic senators on behalf of poor, martyred Al Franken. But with the Kavanaugh case, it's easier and easier to see the wisdom of Gillibrand's actions and the Senate's stance on Franken and his resignation. It was apparent when Doug Jones won in Alabama and it's even more obvious to me now - nobody can "whatabout" the Democrats. We're not perfect, but we do our best to keep our noses clean and make our party the big tent.

I'm so glad we've come a long way since Anita Hill (and, no, Uncle Joe, I have not forgiven or forgotten). We wouldn't have the moral force to oppose Kavanaugh so thoroughly if we tolerated a harasser in our midst. Put THAT in your pipe and smoke it, Gillibrand haters.
posted by Rosie M. Banks at 8:39 AM on September 17 [89 favorites]


nobody can "whatabout" the Democrats.

Oh they're doing their best with Keith Ellison and Bill Clinton.
posted by chris24 at 8:41 AM on September 17 [8 favorites]


They might still ram it through, but my feeling is that the wheels are starting to come off.

You know, the Temporal Distortion Field we're all living in means many have forgotten that JUST FRIDAY, Trump's campaign manager cut a deal which means he's already given Mueller's team everything he can.

I believe that if everything goes right, this friday -- grand jury day -- we'll see Kushner and Donald Jr. get indicted.
posted by mikelieman at 8:45 AM on September 17 [16 favorites]


“This is a completely false allegation. I have never done anything like what the accuser describes—to her or to anyone," Kavanaugh said. "Because this never happened, I had no idea who was making this accusation until she identified herself yesterday."

Yeah, but Kavanaugh, you're an alcoholic who blacks out when drunk, so what you claim to recall isn't really credible, is it?
posted by mikelieman at 8:46 AM on September 17 [62 favorites]


I had no idea who was making this accusation until she identified herself yesterday.

Uh... is this an implicit admission that this happened more than once?
posted by PenDevil at 8:58 AM on September 17 [17 favorites]


I mean, this is terrifying. And it's not going to make the news.
It and other Graham/Trump convos are present in Woodward's Fear.
Always when asked to end X war (Afghanistan, etc). Graham replies "It never ends!" It's his GOP control dystopian mantra apparently.
posted by Harry Caul at 8:59 AM on September 17 [1 favorite]


I have seriously fucking had it with Glenn Greenwald and The Intercept.
-They outed Reality Winner and she's in jail now
-They set in motion the events that led to outing Dr. Ford and her family is getting death threats now
-Greenwald is now on Twitter attacking Feinstein for not revealing it sooner even though Dr. Ford said in the WaPo article that Feinstein honored her wishes to be kept anonymous
-Leftist bros are falling in place, attacking Feinstein and Dr. Ford for not being willing to take one for the team and destroy Dr. Ford's life to help derail the confirmation earlier
Women, as victims of systematic oppression, don't actually matter anywhere, in any of this. Even the men "on our side" cannot conceive of us anything other than inciting incidents, collateral damage, political pawns.
posted by the turtle's teeth at 9:03 AM on September 17 [144 favorites]


I had no idea who was making this accusation until she identified herself yesterday.

Uh... is this an implicit admission that this happened more than once?

I find it hard to believe that it didn't happen more than once - what Ford describes sounds so... practiced.

But, to stay logical, if someone were to anonymously accuse you of doing something you truly had never done, you would have no way to know who made the accusation. We don't need to twist his words to make Kavanaugh seem repugnant.
posted by Kriesa at 9:05 AM on September 17 [23 favorites]


Even the men "on our side" cannot conceive of us anything other than inciting incidents, collateral damage, political pawns.

In no way, shape or form is GG on your side.
posted by jaduncan at 9:06 AM on September 17 [41 favorites]


Haven't seen this posted yet. From Andrea Wolfson on Friday:
FWIW, a DC lawyer told me this morning he'd been waiting for Kavanaugh's #MeToo moment ... but the story he knew wasn't from high school but a summer clerkship.
And last night:
Turned my mentions off because YIKES, but let me add he's already shared what he heard with a reporter as did the person with firsthand knowledge.
posted by Rhaomi at 9:10 AM on September 17 [86 favorites]


In the the other Collins news, the NY GOP has given up on trying to get indicted Rep Chris Collins off of the ballot in NY-27. Sounds like this might even result in his bail getting revoked somehow?
posted by Chrysostom at 9:19 AM on September 17 [4 favorites]


And then I realize the Conservatives probably have this in Canada too right under my nose, and despair.

Canada's judiciary is pretty non-partisan to the extent that when a judge wore a MAGA hat in court right after Trump's election he was immediately suspended with pay for most of a year until the disciplinary hearing concluded and he was ultimately sanctioned with a 30 day suspension without pay.
posted by srboisvert at 9:20 AM on September 17 [2 favorites]


this seems significant:

@SenatorCollins

Professor Ford and Judge Kavanaugh should both testify under oath before the Judiciary Committee.

9/17/18 12:03pm
posted by Exceptional_Hubris at 9:43 AM on September 17 [25 favorites]


The GOP would like to make a thing out of the absence of Kavanaugh's name in the therapist's notes, but a therapist chimes in:
Hi, Mr [Mike Lee (R-UT) comms director Conn] Carroll. Ethically, we therapists are discouraged from naming accused individuals in therapy notes even if they are named in session. That Kavanaugh’s name is not in the notes is meaningless & just says the therapist was observing ethical protocol when writing them.

Rather than name accused perpetrators, we are trained to write about them in purposely detailed-but-vague language. Instead of naming Kavanaugh, it would be standard practice to write the verbiage that is in the notes to document the patient’s statements in a therapy session.

If you had taken a breath and a few minutes to consult with a psychologist, psychiatrist, or other mental health specialist, we could have told you that we generally don’t name the subjects of allegations in therapy notes, particularly when not related to mandated reporting.

Because the professor was an adult reporting a past assault that was not the subject of mandated reporting laws but was subject to laws re privileged communication, the therapist did the right thing keeping names out of notes.
posted by Jpfed at 9:44 AM on September 17 [83 favorites]


Haven't seen this posted yet. From Andrea Wolfson on Friday:
FWIW, a DC lawyer told me this morning he'd been waiting for Kavanaugh's #MeToo moment ... but the story he knew wasn't from high school but a summer clerkship.


Who is Andrea Wolfson? Her twitter profile doesn't indicate any news affiliation and I'm wondering about the source.
posted by bluesky43 at 9:48 AM on September 17 [3 favorites]


From the AP last night ( via Chicago Tribune )
A committee spokesman said late Sunday that its chairman, Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa, was trying to arrange separate, follow-up calls with Kavanaugh and Ford, but just for aides to Grassley and Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., before Thursday's scheduled vote. Critics have already accused the GOP of fast-tracking the process to get Kavanaugh on the court by Oct. 1, the first day of the fall term.
I presume this has already been shot down.
posted by ZeusHumms at 9:49 AM on September 17 [1 favorite]


Google says Wolfson is a freelance writer/editor, but I'm not finding any bylines so either that's incorrect or what she writes/edits isn't public-facing and bylined.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 9:56 AM on September 17 [1 favorite]


Uh... is this an implicit admission that this happened more than once?

Perhaps. Regardless, anyone who would offer such an awkward and ambiguous statement and pretend that it's in any way dispositive shouldn't be allowed anywhere near a federal bench (except possibly as a defendant).
posted by HillbillyInBC at 10:04 AM on September 17 [2 favorites]


Oklahoma Police Chief Resigns Over Neo-Nazi Ties, Gets Job in Neighboring Police Force

Who says the USA can't have a guaranteed employment program? We already have one for Nazis.
posted by Rust Moranis at 10:12 AM on September 17 [41 favorites]


Media Matters:
Trump ally and conservative political operator Roger Stone: “This is a woman looking for her Anita Hill moment. This is her 15 minutes.”
Oooh boy. I think they are really misreading the room on this. And I think it’s genuine. I think they think this will work.
posted by schadenfrau at 10:20 AM on September 17 [91 favorites]


HER ANITA HILL MOMENT?~!~!~!~
posted by odinsdream at 10:23 AM on September 17 [62 favorites]


Somebody should ask Anita Hill if she's thrilled about having her "Anita Hill moment". Good lord, these people are detached from reality.
posted by mcstayinskool at 10:27 AM on September 17 [28 favorites]


Yes, who among us didn’t dream, as young girls, of the day when we could be gaslighted by Congress.
posted by schadenfrau at 10:27 AM on September 17 [147 favorites]


It’s every woman’s dream to talk about sexual harassment and assault in front of a ton of old men, dozens of cameras, and blinding light.
posted by sio42 at 10:27 AM on September 17 [88 favorites]


Oh man this one broke me. I’m crying laughing. Like yes I had my Anita Hill Barbie, didn’t you?
posted by schadenfrau at 10:30 AM on September 17 [36 favorites]


Perhaps. Regardless, anyone who would offer such an awkward and ambiguous statement and pretend that it's in any way dispositive shouldn't be allowed anywhere near a federal bench (except possibly as a defendant).

This dude played dumb so hard under questioning from Kamala Harris I wondered if he was fit to stand trial, let alone serve as a judge. It was all transparently an act, of course; he didn't want to answer her questions. But that's what was so gross about his whole charade. He can't be that dumb and have gotten as far as he has in his career.

But he can be that dishonest. Because he is.

There is clearly more than one victim out there. I hope they come forward, but I absolutely can't and don't blame them if they stay silent. One should be enough, damn it. One is too many.

And I'm increasingly enraged by all the assholes still clinging to the "bbbut high school!" and "they could come for all of us!" shit as if all of us guys have been awful to women all our lives.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 10:30 AM on September 17 [31 favorites]


For his audience it was the time that uppity black woman got shown up since Thomas got the vote anyway and further it meant women always lie about sexual assault to get on TV.
posted by Burhanistan at 10:32 AM on September 17 [5 favorites]


Like yes I had my Anita Hill Barbie, didn’t you?

I mean, fuck the entire world for the fact that an Anita Hill Barbie is a joke when she should ACTUALLY have been a heroine for all time with whom companies were desperate to ally so they could co-opt and monetize her image and sell it to young girls because she was so brave.
posted by Yoko Ono's Advice Column at 10:33 AM on September 17 [50 favorites]


Remember when Obama's solicitor general Neal Katyal endorsed Kavanaugh because he's so nice and smart? After endorsing Gorsuch?
Katyal, July 13: Regardless of where one stands on the Kavanaugh nomination, this is 100% right. I’ve seen it myself many times firsthand with his former clerks. His mentoring and guidance is a model for all of us in the legal profession.
Yglesias: Congratulations to all the fancy lawyer democrats who embarrassed themselves for the sake of Brett Kavanaugh and higher loyalty to Yale

And resistance hero Ben Wittes, September 8th:
There are a lot of good reasons for liberals to oppose Kavanaugh. He’s a genuine conservative who will do a lot of the things liberals are afraid of. One of the reasons to oppose him is not that he’s some kind of terrible person. He’s a thoroughly decent and honorable person.
posted by T.D. Strange at 10:38 AM on September 17 [17 favorites]


I want to remind Roger Stone that the only person who has recanted in the Anita Hill situation is the Republican!Political!Operative! (Dave Brock) who wrote a hit job book about her. He has backed up and reversed himself on what he wrote. This doesn't lend extra credibility to known sleazeball operatives like Stone.
posted by puddledork at 10:46 AM on September 17 [5 favorites]


Since Mark Judge was a participant and witness to this attack, it seems the Judiciary Committee also needs to bring him in for testimony. That's going to be a real problem for them because he is not a sympathetic character and has a long trail of anti-women writing. He is the author of a book "Wasted: Tales of a Gen X Drunk," which sort of blows away any testimony of "I have no recollection" of this event.

If Republicans are going to put Ms. Ford on trial, they should also put Mark Judge on trial and burn him down. He is recorded in the high school yearbook as being Kavanaugh's partner in crime, glorifying their drinking exploits. Democrats need to paint a picture of what shitty people Kavanaugh and Judge were.
posted by JackFlash at 10:50 AM on September 17 [58 favorites]


Meanwhile, in economic news, the WSJ finds Trump Promised a Rush of Repatriated Cash, But Company Responses Are Modest—President Trump had said trillions of dollars would flow back to the U.S. quickly in the wake of the new tax law, but a WSJ analysis finds many companies are taking their time
The Wall Street Journal reviewed securities filings from 108 publicly traded companies accounting for the vast majority of an estimated $2.7 trillion in profits parked abroad, and asked each company what it was doing with the funds. In their filings and responses, they said they have repatriated about $143 billion so far this year.

About two-thirds of the money came from two corporations—networking-equipment giant Cisco Systems Inc. and drugmaker Gilead Sciences Inc. Beyond that, companies have announced plans to repatriate an additional $37 billion. Some with the largest stockpiles, including Apple Inc., have made general promises to repatriate profits without saying when or how much.

More than a dozen large companies, including General Electric Co. and Boston Scientific Corp. , have said they don’t need past foreign earnings in the U.S. or have no immediate plans to bring cash home. Far more are waiting or won’t say.
And because Trump needs a distraction from Kavanaugh, an unnamed senior administration official told Reuters over the weekend that Trump is 'likely' to announce new China tariffs as early as Monday. Stocks and the dollar are down on the news (Bloomberg).
posted by Doktor Zed at 10:51 AM on September 17 [8 favorites]


Stone has dirty tricks as his primary claim to fame. I can't imagine trusting his good faith regarding anything.
posted by jaduncan at 10:52 AM on September 17


Two worthwhile columns from the WaPo:

About the allegations, There’s nothing unusual about the timing of the Kavanaugh allegations. Lawyers familiar with sexual assault cases know delays in reporting are common.

About the reporting on the allegations, The claim against Kavanaugh is not a suspicious 11th-hour bombshell. Because we’re not in the 11th hour.
This isn’t the 11th hour, because the clock isn’t running out; in fact, there is no clock.

There’s time for more reporting. There’s time to hear out Ford publicly, as she now says she’s willing to make happen. There’s time for deliberate consideration and second thoughts.

Let senators — and the country — be informed, as they were about Schwarzenegger, as they were not fully about Thomas.

Journalism is known for its punishing deadlines.

But there is no deadline here.
posted by peeedro at 10:54 AM on September 17 [52 favorites]




But there is no deadline here.

The “deadline” (in GOP world) is 11/6.
posted by Barack Spinoza at 10:59 AM on September 17 [2 favorites]


Johnny Verhovek, political reporter at ABC News:
NEW:
@WeDemandJustice
, leading anti-Kavanaugh group on the left is planning a $700,000 TV/digital ad buy focused on the Blasey Ford allegations in AK/ME and for the first time since Kennedy's retirement is adding NV and CO to pressure Heller/Gardner
/The wheels on the bus come the fuck off
Come the fuck off
Come the fuck off
posted by schadenfrau at 11:01 AM on September 17 [49 favorites]


Trump’s ‘Apprentice’ Backstage Tapes Now In Possession Of Ronan Farrow, According To Tom Arnold

Even if this is 100% bullshit, Farrow should just never comment on it to see how much people sweat.
posted by zombieflanders at 11:01 AM on September 17 [61 favorites]


(Although I thought Gardner wasn’t running for re-election?)
posted by schadenfrau at 11:02 AM on September 17


He is (as far as anyone knows) but he's not up until 2020.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 11:04 AM on September 17 [1 favorite]


Gardner is up in 2020.

Latest NV poll has Heller about 10 points underwater with approval among women.
posted by Chrysostom at 11:05 AM on September 17


Trump Promised a Rush of Repatriated Cash, But Company Responses Are Modest

These companies are in no hurry to repatriate foreign held cash because they effectively already have. Instead of a 20% tax on domestic earnings, the Trump tax cuts allow companies to bring home their foreign cash at a 8% tax rate.

But what big companies like Apple and Microsoft have done in the past is borrow billions of dollars at very low interest rates using their foreign cash holdings as collateral. This allows them to use the borrowed cash for dividends and stock buybacks without paying taxes on the foreign cash by bringing in home. The result of this financial engineering is to return cash to stockholders without paying taxes. Apple has over $250 billion in foreign earnings and Microsoft has over $150 billion. Incidentally, the cash actually sits in New York banks, but it is recorded as foreign earnings not subject to taxes.

Very low interest rates allowed these big corporations to borrow billions for almost free. They are in no hurry to actually bring their cash back and pay even the low 8% tax rate until interest rates on borrowed money increase significantly.
posted by JackFlash at 11:14 AM on September 17 [38 favorites]


Even if this is 100% bullshit, Farrow should just never comment on it to see how much people sweat.

He might be able to resist commenting but Jon Lovett would need his mouth taped shut to keep from gloating. (Bless them both.)
posted by Yoko Ono's Advice Column at 11:14 AM on September 17 [20 favorites]


Trump’s ‘Apprentice’ Backstage Tapes Now In Possession Of Ronan Farrow, According To Tom Arnold

My hand to God this is the first time anything in this whole sorry mess has given me a glimmer of hope.

And Tom Arnold being the investigative reporter that cracks the case? I did not see that one coming.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 11:20 AM on September 17 [18 favorites]


I didn’t see Ronan motherfucking Farrow coming either, but 2018 is on the good stuff, so.
posted by schadenfrau at 11:22 AM on September 17 [31 favorites]


LACaldwellDC: NEWS: @OrrinHatch just spoke to Kavanaugh and Kavaaugh denies being at the party in question per a Hatch aide. Hatch told me kavanaugh is “honest” and “straightforward” and said after talkng to Kavanaugh the woman might be “mixed up”

Setting Hatch's effluent aside, that's a significant escalation if Kavanaugh is denying he was there at all. Ford said four boys were at the party. I have to assume reporters are trying to run down who else was there that night.
posted by zachlipton at 11:22 AM on September 17 [31 favorites]


Schumer Says FBI Should Reopen Kavanaugh Check

From CNN: According to multiple sources, Kavanaugh has also hired an attorney.

Reuters, via
posted by petebest at 11:26 AM on September 17 [45 favorites]


Hatch told me kavanaugh is “honest” and “straightforward” and said after talking to Kavanaugh the woman might be “mixed up”

Orrin's going straight-up wandering womb.
posted by Rust Moranis at 11:27 AM on September 17 [9 favorites]


Here’s why the allegation against Kavanaugh is credible: He’s smeared and attacked women before - Heather Digby Parton, Salon
"[Brett Kavanaugh] is not just a conservative jurist. He's not John Roberts. He's not even Neil Gorsuch. He's a Republican operative who is posing as a judge" -- Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, on Pod Save America.
...
Here is [an example] just to illustrate the depth of his character deficiencies. Back in the 1990s, conservative activists went to DefCon One when Bill Clinton came into office. A whole group of young conservative lawyers joined the cause, Kavanaugh among them. His first big job for the movement was as Ken Starr's point man on the Vince Foster case.

Indeed, it was Kavanaugh who pushed for the investigation even though Foster's death had been amply covered by congressional committees, the local police, the FBI and the first special counsel Robert Fisk, all of whom had concluded found that the former deputy White House counsel had committed suicide. But Kavanaugh was deep in the right-wing fever swamp and argued to Starr that they could unscrupulously use the fact that there were unfounded conspiracy theories surrounding Foster's death to reopen the case, despite the grieving family's desperate pleas for the government to stop the "outrageous innuendo and speculation for political ends."

Kavanaugh was apparently particularly interested in Rush Limbaugh's odious suggestion to his legions of listeners that Foster had been murdered in an apartment secretly owned by Hillary Clinton. He spent three years and $2 million attempting to dig up dirt on the dead man, at one point demanding that Foster's teenage daughter give the authorities specimens of her hair -- an apparent attempt to prove or imply that a hair found on Foster's jacket had belonged to Hillary Clinton.

Kavanaugh asked everyone involved about this nonexistent affair between Clinton and Foster -- even, eventually, Clinton herself. It later became clear that Kavanaugh knew all along that Foster had committed suicide, and that he had used the power and resources of the independent counsel's office to lend credibility to vulgar sexual rumors about the first lady, in the process needlessly torturing the family of a dead man.
posted by ZeusHumms at 11:33 AM on September 17 [101 favorites]


not just the basketball -- the testimonials on him really seemed to emphasize his conduct around women. Was that to establish some image of his "character" before anything else came out?

My cynicism runs deeper on this: I bet the whole reason he coaches a girls basketball team in the first place was to establish some public “nice to girls” PR, because I doubt that Dr. Ford is the only woman whom Kavanaugh has assaulted, and his “problem behavior” would be a Known Thing in his judicial grooming from years ago. These assholes absolutely would cynically assess ‘so he may have a few drunken rapes in his past’ as an image problem they should get out in front of and preemptively astroturf by having him do something like coach girls basketball (rather than, you know, disqualify him from further consideration and grooming).
posted by LooseFilter at 11:35 AM on September 17 [22 favorites]


> Kavaaugh denies being at the party in question per a Hatch aide

Wait, to make this denial, wouldn't one necessarily have to have a recollection of the specific party in question? Why would one remember this party among (or even along with) others after 35 years?
posted by klarck at 11:36 AM on September 17 [50 favorites]


Schumer Says FBI Should Reopen Kavanaugh Check

The FBI routinely does security clearance investigations and a big part of that is uncovering possible alcohol, drug and gambling issues. Looking at his credit card receipts for the last year or two would be interesting.
posted by JackFlash at 11:36 AM on September 17 [16 favorites]


Imagine being given the gift of holding the highest elected office on earth—one of only 45 people in history to do so—and literally spending most of it watching TV and tweeting nonsense
posted by growabrain at 11:39 AM on September 17 [19 favorites]




In NO COLLUSION! news, Wikileaks' Julian Assange sought a visa from Russia in 2010, per AP.

2010 was when Sweden issued an arrest warrant for Assange.

2010 was the year ol' Paulie The Ostrich borrowed $10 meellion dollars from Kremlin sweetheart and oligarch Oleg Deripaska.
posted by petebest at 11:41 AM on September 17 [13 favorites]


And resistance hero Ben Wittes, September 8th:
There are a lot of good reasons for liberals to oppose Kavanaugh. He’s a genuine conservative who will do a lot of the things liberals are afraid of. One of the reasons to oppose him is not that he’s some kind of terrible person. He’s a thoroughly decent and honorable person.
Manners are not character and the delusion that they are is a luxury most easily afforded by those who do not fear that they will be personally affected by the misdeeds of those in power.

You can be an outwardly polite person who behaves publicly in societally acceptable fashion while still being an awful person and Ben Wittes should be smart enough to realize that even if he doesn't personally have much to lose from a Kavanaugh appointment.
posted by Nerd of the North at 11:42 AM on September 17 [39 favorites]


Looks like I lost the link to the example in the excerpt I posted from Digby's Salon post. Here it is again:

The Partisan Battle Brett Kavanaugh Now Regrets - By Michael D. Shear and Adam Liptak, NYTimes.
posted by ZeusHumms at 11:43 AM on September 17


He might be able to resist commenting but Jon Lovett would need his mouth taped shut to keep from gloating. (Bless them both.)

Bless all four of their little cotton socks, they are my favorite Democrat power couple by several orders of magnitude. I'll be honest, until Ronan's name was dropped I had 100% assumed that all of this was Tom Arnold's unfortunately public psychotic break, but now I'm kind of down to 95% and 2018 y'all. Alyson Hannigan tweeting about the fight might take me down to 93%.
posted by soren_lorensen at 11:45 AM on September 17 [20 favorites]


You can be an outwardly polite person who behaves publicly in societally acceptable fashion while still being an awful person, and Ben Wittes should be smart enough to realize that even if he doesn't personally have much to lose from a Kavanaugh appointment.
I think Ben Wittes, as with many members of the purported Resistance, said exactly what he meant to say, to further exactly the political agenda he wants furthered.
posted by rorgy at 11:46 AM on September 17 [6 favorites]


zachlipton: Setting Hatch's effluent aside, that's a significant escalation if Kavanaugh is denying he was there at all.

I'd say it's his only available option if he wants to feign any kind of innocence. It's still a Hail Mary tactic because the 2012 documentation renders any exculpatory narrative into nonsense. Did she lie to the therapist for no reason? Or she was assaulted, but now she's mistaken or lying about the perpatrator's identity and the "real" attacker remains unknown to the public? None of that computes. They know it, which is one reason some creeps are going for "boys will be boys" instead of total denial. Nothing in between is available to them.

One remarkable thing about the backlash to MeToo is the flexibility of the notion of "due process" in their complaints. We're basically reaching the point where it sounds like coherent English for someone to rant: "I can't believe my brother is being arrested and tried... all because of an accusation! I mean, whatever happened to due process?"
posted by InTheYear2017 at 11:50 AM on September 17 [8 favorites]


Nerd of the North: "Manners are not character and the delusion that they are is a luxury most easily afforded by those who do not fear that they will be personally affected by the misdeeds of those in power."

"Manners ARE character!" - New GOP slogan
posted by Krazor at 11:51 AM on September 17




It's the MeToo backlash, but it's also the daily campaign of bullshit against the Russia investigation, and really anything that might call Republicans to account for their behavior.

"The cops investigating me think I might have done something bad! It's so unfair!"
posted by scaryblackdeath at 11:53 AM on September 17 [4 favorites]


scaryblackdeath: It's the MeToo backlash, but it's also the daily campaign of bullshit against the Russia investigation, and really anything that might call Republicans to account for their behavior.

Right, but there's a patriarchy-specific flavor that happens to overlap some with Republicanism. For example, "Due process!!" was a big thing among lefty defenders of Al Franken.

I'm saying their current framework has stretched the parameters to the point that the simple existence of a public accusation is already regarded as an excessive punishment. From this, they imply (without articulating explicitly) it's wrong to reach even that point without some unspecified "due process" first, even though that's where it begins. Or perhaps they feel it's acceptable to make the accusation, but for anyone to consider that it could be true is something poor Mr Kavanaugh doesn't deserve -- hence, a permanent shield for him.

Equating the first and last steps of the reckoning procedure (whether a criminal trial or confirmation hearing) has an important flipside, which is that the people doing this equation can arbitrarily decide that law enforcement does have an absolute right to treat any arrested person as badly as they please. Conservatives typically spit on the concept of "due process" and "technicalities" by figuring that arrest may as well be conviction, because "Why would you be arrested if you didn't do anything wrong?"

Their trick is to switch from one mode to the other depending on whether the accused is a white man. And they do it to absurd extremes that confuse everyone else's conversations. When someone is simply raising the question of whether Kavanugh assaulted someone, that's treated as equivalent to the horrors of lynching. But when cops shoot someone, this actual lynching becomes "law and order" in action. Sexual misdeeds are "shades of gray", but how one reacts to cops is, well, black and white.
posted by InTheYear2017 at 12:14 PM on September 17 [29 favorites]


> Schumer Says FBI Should Reopen Kavanaugh Check

From CNN: According to multiple sources, Kavanaugh has also hired an attorney.


This is where a sane party with sane leadership would understand that, regardless of the outcome of the investigation and the testimonies of Ford and/or Judge, the winning move now is to give the Democrats a symbolic victory by asking Kavanaugh to step aside (with some language about how he's a good and honorable man, but the dastardly Democrats have gummed up the works) and then immediately railroad some generic alternative in, preferably a woman to help undercut the abuse angle (not that women can't be abusers, of course.) There are plenty of "qualified" women with the same reprehensible views on reproductive freedom, social safety net programs, etc., and I'm sure most of them would go along with Kavanaugh's crackpot views on executive power, perhaps without the liability of having said so on the record the way Kavanaugh has.

But this is not a sane party with sane leadership, it's a crime family with the world's dumbest and most misogynistic Don in charge. He can't stand folding now to win a stronger hand later, especially if it means having a woman save his ass. So the shitshow will go on.
posted by tonycpsu at 12:25 PM on September 17 [77 favorites]


I bet the whole reason he coaches a girls basketball team in the first place was to establish some public “nice to girls” PR

going by my personal experience in high school, and some of the unseemly stuff in Kavanaugh's emails, and in Judge's whole... oeuvre... i think it's perhaps less complicated than that. he could coach a girls basketball team simply because he wants to ogle girls and this gives him both plausible deniability and an opportunity to continue being around young girls in a socially-sanctioned way.
posted by halation at 12:27 PM on September 17 [40 favorites]


It does all sort of fit together. If anybody who attracts the attention of a police officer deserves to be executed on the street (or in their living room, etc), then any investigation into me, or someone like me, must be wrong and unfounded, because I don't deserve to be executed!
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 12:34 PM on September 17 [14 favorites]


It's like how a lot of the conversation out of older, more conservative, white men has been worry about their "youthful indiscretions" (read: fucked up thing they did because it was the '70s) wrecking their lives at 50-something. But at some point, shouldn't a position like, I don't know President, or SCOTUS justice maybe be one of those professions that requires someone to not do shitty things at all points in their lives?
posted by Definitely Not Sean Spicer at 12:44 PM on September 17 [32 favorites]


Yeah, I've had my share of indiscretions and that is why I will never run for public office, and probably shouldn't be famous either. It's a pretty simple calculus: is there anything in your past you'd rather people didn't know? Then don't choose a life where people find out.
posted by rhizome at 12:48 PM on September 17 [18 favorites]


This isn’t the 11th hour, because the clock isn’t running out; in fact, there is no clock.

There’s time for more reporting. There’s time to hear out Ford publicly, as she now says she’s willing to make happen. There’s time for deliberate consideration and second thoughts.

Let senators — and the country — be informed, as they were about Schwarzenegger, as they were not fully about Thomas.

Journalism is known for its punishing deadlines.

But there is no deadline here.


Well there is the open question of just how long the current president and majorities last which I suspect is the major driver behind the rush.
posted by srboisvert at 12:48 PM on September 17 [2 favorites]


This new turn of events really seems like a perfect opportunity for Susan Collins to switch to a "no" vote while still being able to deny that it had anything to do with the (now $1.37 million!!) Crowdpac or, ya know, the massive outrage and pressure from her own fucking constituents. C'mon, do the right thing in your own gross way!
posted by robotdevil at 12:50 PM on September 17 [26 favorites]


The outrage that Kavanaugh isn't getting due process can be easily understood by reference to this distillation of the conservative view of government and police in general, which I first saw in a recent politics thread:

The law exists to protect the powerful without binding them, and bind the weak without protecting them.

Kavanaugh is a prototypical product of white male privilege, and so for his reputation to be called into question by the mere accusation of a woman is antithetical to this worldview. It's scary and infuriating, almost as bad as if minorities were made to feel that they need not fear extrajudicial executions.
posted by skewed at 12:52 PM on September 17 [31 favorites]


Noted in the prior catch-all thread: The Trump Administration Is Shutting Down the Palestinian Office in Washington (Matthew Lee & Susannah George for AP via TIME Magazine, September 11, 2018)
The Trump administration ordered the closure of the Palestinian diplomatic mission in Washington on Monday and threatened sanctions against the International Criminal Court if it pursues investigations against the U.S., Israel, or other allies. The moves are likely to harden Palestinian resistance to the U.S. role as a peace broker.

The administration cited the refusal of Palestinian leaders to enter into peace talks with Israel as the reason for closing the Palestinian Liberation Organization office, although the U.S. has yet to present its plan to resolve the Israel-Palestinian conflict. The Palestinians accused the administration of dismantling decades of U.S. engagement with them.
Update from this weekend: Trump Administration Revokes Visas For Palestinian Envoy (NPR, Sept. 16, 2018)
Relations between the Trump administration and Palestinian officials continue to deteriorate. A Palestinian official says the U.S. has revoked the visas of a Palestinian envoy's family in Washington, D.C. This is just the latest point of friction after the Trump administration cut hundreds of millions of dollars in aid to the Palestinians.
...
last week, the Trump administration ordered the Palestinians' diplomatic office in Washington to close, and that's supposed to happen by next month. And the State Department says that is because the Palestinians are not engaging with Trump's peace team that's trying to broker a peace deal between the Palestinians and the Israelis. And, indeed, the Palestinian Authority did cut ties with the administration. That happened when the Trump administration recognized Jerusalem as Israel's capital. The Palestinians also wanted to establish their own capital in Jerusalem. And they say, the U.S. is undercutting one of our biggest demands and can't be a fair mediator in this conflict.

So the Palestinian envoy to Washington returned back to the Palestinian territories. And now, a Palestinian official says the U.S. is even revoking the envoy's wife and 5 and 7-year-old kids' visas. They had to leave their schools in Washington and leave the country, and the Palestinians are saying the U.S. is being spiteful.
The art of the deal bullying and instigation.
posted by filthy light thief at 12:53 PM on September 17 [10 favorites]


Jeet Heer (New Republic)
I want a venn diagram of people willing to argue "Give Kavanaugh a break, he was only 17" and "Trayvon Martin got what he deserved."
posted by chris24 at 12:56 PM on September 17 [163 favorites]


But at some point, shouldn't a position like, I don't know President, or SCOTUS justice maybe be one of those professions that requires someone to not do shitty things at all points in their lives?

Or District Court judge.

But yes: this literally about a group of people who we nominally do hold to a higher standard than most people need meet in order to hold the jobs -- and the responsibility -- for which they're being considered. Partisanship aside, it is completely irresponsible to be rushing Kavanaugh's confirmation, and his current position should be reconsidered: not that he should necessarily lose it (partisanly: he hecking should), but it's seems likely that he isn't qualified for that office either. There are plenty of competent, qualified people who could take his place -- on the Supreme Court, or in the lower courts.
posted by cjelli at 12:57 PM on September 17 [9 favorites]


It may be a little thing, but to me, I'm not looking for someone never to have had any youthful indiscretions. I'm looking for someone, if they did have a youthful indiscretion, that they have sufficiently matured beyond that indiscretion such that they fully own it, have made amends, indicate with the trajectory of their life that they are different person, etc.

It's the gas-lighting & pretending it never happened coupled with the hope that with a little "youthful indiscretion" thrown in for good measure the whole thing will blow over that infuriates me. That very clearly indicates the same shitty person who did the thing then & didn't think it was that big a deal remains a shitty person & continues to believe it's not that big a deal. That person is indeed a shitty person & doesn't deserve a position of authority. It also speaks volumes about the people who would prop up & defend such a person.
posted by narwhal at 12:59 PM on September 17 [82 favorites]




U.S. Is Ending Final Source of Aid for Palestinian Civilians
The move to prevent Palestinians — including, in many cases, children — from benefiting from the funds squeezes shut the last remaining channel of American aid to Palestinian civilians.

The money had already been budgeted by Congress for allocation in fiscal year 2017, which ends this month. In the past, these designated funds went mostly to programs that organized people-to-people exchanges between Palestinians and Israelis, often for youth. Some went to programs for Israeli Jews and Arabs.

Advocates had hoped this last $10 million pot of money would remain available to projects with Palestinians, even as the Trump administration cut all other aid.
[...]
“The bottom line is if you’re a Palestinian, you don’t have access to any of this,” said David Harden, a former American aid agency official who managed projects for 11 years in the West Bank and Gaza and who had been briefed on the decision. He called the decision vindictive. “Once you cut out East Jerusalem hospitals and cut out girls playing soccer with each other, it’s the end of hope.”

“Reconciliation activities should be beyond politics,” he added, saying that the programs had been very effective.

R. Nicholas Burns, a Harvard Kennedy School professor and former senior American diplomat who worked on Palestinian issues, said that “cutting off all American economic and humanitarian assistance to the Palestinian people is meanspirited and beneath a great nations like ours.”
And who was behind this blatant dehumanization of Palestinians and clear sabotage of the peace process? Guess:
The broad push to cut all funding to Palestinian civilians is promoted by Jared Kushner, the son-in-law of President Trump and the top White House adviser on the Middle East. Mr. Kushner has been working on a peace proposal for the Israelis and Palestinians, and is seeking maximum negotiating leverage over the Palestinians.
posted by zombieflanders at 1:06 PM on September 17 [18 favorites]


Also: US funding cuts risk life-saving surgeries for Gaza children
The training of Palestinian doctors and life-saving surgery for children from Gaza could be terminated due to the US decision to halt funding for the Conflict Management and Mitigation Program, which—according to a New York Times's report Friday—is the latest funding program the United States has yet to budget.

US officials said the Conflict Management and Mitigation Program would not receive further funding in addition to the aid which was already approved and is expected to end in September.

Among the organizations that could be severely affected by this decision is the Peres Center for Peace and Innovation, which runs programs for joint Palestinian and Israeli football teams, training programs for Palestinian doctors, and promotes life-saving surgeries for Palestinian children in Gaza and the West Bank.

Another program that is at risk is the Palestinian Peace Coalition—Geneva Initiative (PPC-GI) which ran a project that brought 500 Israeli and Palestinian young people together to participate in peace activities, learn about the conflict, and suggest different ways of resolving it.
posted by zombieflanders at 1:06 PM on September 17 [6 favorites]


chris24: Jeet Heer (new Republic) -- I want a venn diagram of people willing to argue "Give Kavanaugh a break, he was only 17" and "Trayvon Martin got what he deserved."

Here's your diagram.

[Spoiler: it's a circle.]


Ajit Pai calls California’s net neutrality rules “illegal” -- CA enforcing neutrality because "Pai abdicated his responsibility," senator says. (Jon Brodkin for Ars Technica, Sept. 17, 2018)
California's attempt to enforce net neutrality rules is "illegal" and "poses a risk to the rest of the country," Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai said in a speech on Friday [at the Maine Heritage Policy Center - transcript (PDF), hosted by FCC.gov].

Pai's remarks drew an immediate rebuke from California Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco), who authored the net neutrality bill that passed California's legislature and now awaits the signature of Governor Jerry Brown.

California's net neutrality rules are "necessary and legal because Chairman Pai abdicated his responsibility to ensure an open Internet," Wiener said in a press release.

"Unlike Pai's FCC, California isn't run by the big telecom and cable companies," Wiener also said. "Pai can take whatever potshots at California he wants. The reality is that California is the world's innovation capital, and unlike the crony capitalism promoted by the Trump administration, California understands exactly what it takes to foster an open innovation economy with a level playing field."
...
Wiener also criticized Pai for remaining silent on Verizon's recent throttling of Santa Clara County firefighters while they fought the state's largest-ever wildfire.

"When Verizon was caught throttling the data connection of a wildfire-fighting crew in California, Chairman Pai said nothing and did nothing," Wiener said. "That silence says far more than his words today."
posted by filthy light thief at 1:06 PM on September 17 [72 favorites]


Attempted rape is not an “indiscretion,” youthful or otherwise.
posted by schadenfrau at 1:07 PM on September 17 [88 favorites]


I get the feeling that Mr Wiener has had a file on his PC desktop called "burns 4 pai.txt" for quite some time.
posted by howfar at 1:12 PM on September 17 [14 favorites]


Attempted rape is not an “indiscretion,” youthful or otherwise.

As Michelle Goldberg pointed out, the Central Park 5, who were innocent, were 14, 14, 15, 15, and 16 when Donald Trump called for them to be executed.
posted by JackFlash at 1:13 PM on September 17 [113 favorites]


@schadenfrau: 100% agreed, 0 argument. I'm only speaking to the larger issue of what we should expect of our leaders. I do not personally require a pristine record devoid of mistakes. I also do not believe attempted rape is simply a mistake.
posted by narwhal at 1:14 PM on September 17 [10 favorites]


Alexandra Petri, Every man should be worried. At least, I’m worried.
I mean, it’s not as though they’re people, are they? At the moment of conception, yes, but then they come out Daughters, not people! They grow into objects; some become Wives or Mothers, others Hags or Crones. Then they die! If they were people, we would not expect dominion over their bodies, surely; if they were people, we would not feel entitled to their smiles. If they were people, I could read a novel with a female protagonist and not be instantly confused and alarmed.
posted by zachlipton at 1:16 PM on September 17 [74 favorites]


@mkraju: Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn throws cold water on a public hearing for Brett Kavanaugh. What Senate Democrats want to do is “create a show trial,” and “I think it would be a mistake to reward bad behavior,” he told us

Gross as hell.

Beyond that, what Democrats are calling for is to have the FBI reopen the background check, investigate, and report back, and then the Judiciary Committee can "conduct hearings as necessary" based on the results. Grassley, on the other hand, thinks this can be cleared up in a staff-level conference call so they can still rush to the vote this week.
posted by zachlipton at 1:31 PM on September 17 [11 favorites]


Coach K is so dedicated, he can be found at high-school girls' basketball games when his own damn team isn't on the court.
Kavanaugh would even attend games at another school, Georgetown Visitation, just because he admired the school’s coach.

“I’d show up for a game, and one of the only other people in the stands would be Brett Kavanaugh,” said Tom Conaghan, a lawyer whose daughter played for Kavanaugh at one point.
That article, The Post's The Elite World of Brett Kavanaugh, from July, also opens with a quote from his bartender:
The Chevy Chase Lounge is a neighborhood joint where bartender Tim Higgins is accustomed to bantering with long-standing patrons, including a middle-aged guy named Brett who likes to pop in for a Budweiser and a burger after coaching his daughters’ basketball games... “Most people in Washington tell you what they do,” Higgins said from behind the bar Tuesday, the day after Trump nominated Kavanaugh. “I never knew Brett was a lawyer. I expect we’ll be seeing him in here a lot less.”
... and closes with a quote from the bar's owner.

[No idea where his kids go post-game.]
posted by Iris Gambol at 1:33 PM on September 17 [22 favorites]


> “I think it would be a mistake to reward bad behavior,”

said Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn, "and that is why I am calling on Judge Kavanaugh to step aside from this Supreme Court nomination."

What, he didn't say that?
posted by RedOrGreen at 1:35 PM on September 17 [8 favorites]




ok so Cornyn is saying there wont be testimony . . . but Collins said 4 hours ago that both Ford and Kavanaugh should testify before the committee. . . is someone going to ask her if she will withold her yes vote UNLESS there is further testimony/investigation on this issue?
posted by Exceptional_Hubris at 1:37 PM on September 17 [4 favorites]


Schumer Says FBI Should Reopen Kavanaugh Check

Bloomberg: White House Hasn’t Asked FBI to Vet Kavanaugh Allegations, Sources Say
The White House hasn’t asked the FBI to investigate the allegation that Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh sexually assaulted a woman when they were in high school, a request required for the bureau to take further action, according to two people familiar with the matter.[...]

Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee have said they want the FBI to investigate the allegation. But FBI background investigations are conducted under specific procedures and through requests from government agencies -- which in Kavanaugh’s case would come from the White House, said the two people who asked not to be identified discussing the sensitive matter.
Trump's verbal chaff remarks to the White House press pool this afternoon suggest he's in no hurry to do so:
The FBI has I think gone through a process six times with him over the years where he went to higher and higher positions. He is somebody very special. At the same time, we want to go through a process. We want to make sure everything is perfect, everything is just right. I wish the Democrats could have done this a lot sooner, because they had this information for many months. And they shouldnt have waited til literally the last days. They should have done it a lot sooner. But with all of that being said we want to go through the process. One thing I will say is that as I understand it, Judge Kavanaugh spent quite a bit of time with Senator Feinstein and it wasnt even brought up at that meeting and she had this information. So you would have thought certainly that she would have brought it up at the meeting not wait til everythings finished and then have to start a process all over again. But with all of it being said, we want to go through a full process. I have great confidence in the US Senate and in their procedures and what theyre doing and I think thats probably what theyre going to do. Theyll go through a process and hear everybody out. I think its important. I believe they think its important. But again, he is one of the great intellects and one of the finest people that anybody has known. You look at his references Ive never seen anything quite like it.
Then in answer to the question of delaying the confirmation vote, he replied, "It depends on the process. Id like to see a complete process." At no point does he indicate he has any idea of what this "process" entails.
posted by Doktor Zed at 2:01 PM on September 17 [3 favorites]


NBC News, Suzy Khimm, Federal mine safety official warned the Trump administration is putting miners in danger, violating law
Two days before his term ended, a member of the independent federal commission overseeing mine safety accused the Trump administration of an "unlawful" action that he warned could endanger the "lives of the nation's miners."

Robert F. Cohen, whose term expired last month on the mine safety and health panel, alleged in a scathing dissent that Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta had undertaken an illegal move cutting back on a worker safety rule that threatens to undermine the "most powerful tool for protecting the lives of the nation's miners."

Cohen's criticism was in response to the Trump administration easing enforcement of a key worker safety rule against a West Virginia coal mine, despite finding "significant and substantial" violations at the facility.
I was told Trump loves miners, right?
posted by zachlipton at 2:16 PM on September 17 [14 favorites]


John Harwood, CNBC: McConnell complains that Democrats aren’t following “standard bi-partisan process” and “regular order” on Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court

ARE YOU KIDDING? I am shocked that McConnell could choke those objections out with a straight face.
posted by gladly at 2:16 PM on September 17 [96 favorites]


Forgot to link: McConnell's remarks from the Senate floor today.
posted by gladly at 2:20 PM on September 17 [1 favorite]


Sec of State Pompeo just announced that FY19 refugee acceptance ceiling is being lowered to 30k from 45k (and it appears this includes asylees as well who have traditionally come from a separate pool).

Its probably worth pointing out that because of excess delays in vetting we only let in about 21k/45k this year, and that this did NOT seem to be the way that Pompeo and the DoD wanted things to go (they remain concerned about Iraqi translators were turning our backs on). Stephen Miller gets the win.
posted by Exceptional_Hubris at 2:22 PM on September 17 [3 favorites]


Brett Kavanaugh at his nomination ceremony at the White House in July:
"No president has ever consulted more widely or talked to more people from more backgrounds to seek input for a Supreme Court nomination."

We knew he was a partisan sycophant and a liar from day one.
posted by JackFlash at 2:25 PM on September 17 [12 favorites]


WaPo, John Hudson, Trump administration disowns Haley’s plan for a U.N. meeting on Iran
Focusing the meeting on Iran, however, drew immediate concerns from U.S. allies who believed that the topic would expose sharp disagreements between the United States, France and Britain over the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, which Trump unilaterally withdrew from in May.

Other U.S. officials also voiced concerns that an article of the U.N. Charter would allow Iran to participate in the meeting because it is a “party to a dispute under consideration,” raising the prospect of an awkward and contentious standoff between Trump and a representative from Iran. “Trump risked a collision with the UK and France over Iran at the U.N. Theresa May and Emmanuel Macron would have had no choice but to defend the nuclear deal in the council,” said Richard Gowan, a senior fellow at the United Nations University, a global affairs think tank.
...
Instead of leading a meeting on Iran, Trump will chair a debate on nonproliferation, constitutionalism and sovereignty, said the diplomats, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss future planning.
That Haley frequently seems to run into these weird public policy conflicts with the White House has been a really weird and under-covered subplot of this administration.
posted by zachlipton at 2:29 PM on September 17 [11 favorites]


Statement from the Press Secretary
At the request of a number of committees of Congress, and for reasons of transparency, the President has directed the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and the Department of Justice (including the FBI) to provide for the immediate declassification of the following materials: (1) pages 10-12 and 17-34 of the June 2017 application to the FISA court in the matter of Carter W. Page; (2) all FBI reports of interviews with Bruce G. Ohr prepared in connection with the Russia investigation; and (3) all FBI reports of interviews prepared in connection with all Carter Page FISA applications.

In addition, President Donald J. Trump has directed the Department of Justice (including the FBI) to publicly release all text messages relating to the Russia investigation, without redaction, of James Comey, Andrew McCabe, Peter Strzok, Lisa Page, and Bruce Ohr.
Please make the news stop.
posted by zachlipton at 2:30 PM on September 17 [19 favorites]



Attempted rape is not an “indiscretion,” youthful or otherwise.

As Michelle Goldberg pointed out, the Central Park 5, who were innocent, were 14, 14, 15, 15, and 16 when Donald Trump called for them to be executed.


The same people saying Kavanaugh was "only" 17 just a couple months ago told us that Roy Moore's accuser knew what she was doing at 14. And called 12 year old Tamir Rice a grown man. And called Don Jr. a "kid", at forty-fucking-one.
posted by T.D. Strange at 2:37 PM on September 17 [95 favorites]


the President has directed the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and the Department of Justice (including the FBI) to provide for the immediate declassification of the following materials:

Reading tea leaves, Trump has finally lost it over Paulie Ostrich flipping, has to do something to stoke his ego.

The "ONE TRICK" he has is the whole crackpot hypothesis that the Russian Collusion investigation is based on Page and the Steele Dossier, which was the reason the FBI was wiretapping him.

Which ignores the reality that Paul Manafort went down for financial crimes, and that Donald Jr. already confessed to the illegal meeting with Russian criminals in Trump Tower.
posted by mikelieman at 2:39 PM on September 17 [7 favorites]


News oclock just wont quit today:

Leaving McConnell's office, Se. John Kennedy said there will be a public "opportunity" to hear from Ford and Kavanaugh.

"There will be a full opportunity for the accuser and the accused to be heard - in public."

[as repored by Manu Raju's twitter moments ago]
posted by Exceptional_Hubris at 2:40 PM on September 17 [3 favorites]


@LACaldwellDC: NEWS: sen Kennedy says there will be a public hearing with Kennedy [sic: should be Kavanaugh] and Ford.
A source close to the process says Kennedy’s statement is accurate.

I'm reading elsewhere that this will take place next week.

I hope Mark Judge can be called as a witness as well.
posted by zachlipton at 2:40 PM on September 17 [4 favorites]


They're really going to re-run the Anita Hill hearings like they think that's going to help.

Except this time we have Kamala Harris in place of Creepy Granddad Joe.
posted by T.D. Strange at 2:43 PM on September 17 [44 favorites]


And pretty crucially the accuser is a white woman [i wish it didnt matter but i know it does].
posted by Exceptional_Hubris at 2:44 PM on September 17 [18 favorites]


I'm reading elsewhere that this will take place next week.

I hope Mark Judge can be called as a witness as well.


MARK JUDGE REMARKS MARK JUDGE
posted by Barack Spinoza at 2:44 PM on September 17 [64 favorites]


This is almost fascinating. They’re going to risk their Senate majority to hold hearings that might also cost them this SC seat, all at the insistence of the doddering narcissist they’ve desperately been trying to manage. Senate republicans know this is horribly self destructive, and yet they’re compelled to do it anyway.

It’s like an institutional wraithing.
posted by schadenfrau at 2:46 PM on September 17 [39 favorites]


Senate republicans know this is horribly self destructive, and yet they’re compelled to do it anyway.

Arguably, at least some of them don't, or tell themselves that it's less of a risk -- if you believe that Ford is lying, if you believe she won't come off well during her testimony, if you believe that America's love-affair for clean-looking white men will prevail, then open court testimony could help. After all, didn't Anita Hill testify publicly? Didn't Clarence Thomas get on the court anyways?

Personally, I'm really hoping that this backfires on them, and that these completely out-of-touch assholes will overplay their hand with Ford on public TV. Ford shouldn't have to go through with this, but by all accounts, her lawyer is the real effing deal, and Ford is an actual real hero.

Which is also to say, fuck Mitch McConnell.
posted by joyceanmachine at 3:01 PM on September 17 [47 favorites]


>@LACaldwellDC: NEWS: sen Kennedy says there will be a public hearing with Kennedy [sic: should be Kavanaugh] and Ford. A source close to the process says Kennedy’s statement is accurate.

I'm reading elsewhere that this will take place next week.


Is the upcoming Judiciary Committee vote going to be delayed for this, or...?

I would assume so, except for several years of cynicism about McConnell.
posted by cjelli at 3:12 PM on September 17 [2 favorites]


@mkraju: Buckle up: Public hearing will be Monday, per @SunlenSerfaty

The hearing will include Judge Kavanaugh and Professor Ford.

----

On declassification:

@rcohen [Sen. Warner's comms director]: Note, category #3 (“all FBI reports of interviews prepared in connection with all Carter Page FISA applications”) is HIGHLY source-revealing. If the WH does it wrong, they will irreparably damage intelligence relationships and quite possibly **put lives at risk**

On the other hand, @Tom_Winter: This is truly unprecedented. It has the potential the backfire on the President as information that would normally not find its way into a court filing (such as raw intel, tips, hearsay, law enforcement discussions) will be made public.
posted by zachlipton at 3:13 PM on September 17 [27 favorites]


President Donald J. Trump has directed the Department of Justice (including the FBI) to publicly release all text messages relating to the Russia investigation, without redaction

Ugh. This is why @realDonaldTrump retweeted Fox News yesterday: ".@DevinNunes: “I think full transparency is in order here.” #SundayFutures @MariaBartiromo"

Meanwhile, key Senate Republicans expressed support for Mueller probe—Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and John Kennedy of Louisiana said on the Sunday shows that Mueller should be allowed to finish his investigation, as did Ken Starr and Chris Christie (Atlantic)
Graham spoke up on CBS’s Face the Nation. “I trust him to be honest and fair,” the Judiciary Committee member said of Mueller, adding that he was intent on “making sure that Mueller can complete his investigation without political interference.” When asked whether it was a “witch hunt,” Graham did not defend the president’s label. Instead he promised that “nothing's going to happen to Mueller’s investigation politically. He's going to be allowed to finish it.”

Kennedy, also a member of the Judiciary Committee, said on Fox News Sunday that the special counsel should not be fired before finishing his work. “I want him to report to the American people, give them the facts. The American people are smart enough to figure it out,” he said. Kennedy’s earlier statements had signaled greater impatience, as in May when he opined that it was “time to wrap things up.”
Either Manafort's plea deal has Graham and Kennedy so spooked they're back-pedalling like mad, or they'd learned something truly hideous was coming down from the Trump White House and desperately wanted to wash their hands of it. Maybe something even worse than this declassification-palooza.
posted by Doktor Zed at 3:16 PM on September 17 [11 favorites]


Either Manafort's plea deal has Graham and Kennedy so spooked they're back-pedalling like mad, or they'd learned something truly hideous was coming down from the Trump White House and desperately wanted to wash their hands of it. Maybe something even worse than this declassification-palooza.

But it's not like SC or LA would ever vote Democratic in their lifetime. They have more to lose hanging Dear Leader out to dry.
posted by Definitely Not Sean Spicer at 3:19 PM on September 17


Louisiana has a Democratic governor. You might also remember that Alabama could never elect a Democratic Senator, until they did.
posted by Chrysostom at 3:26 PM on September 17 [48 favorites]




Exceptional_Hubris: "Sec of State Pompeo just announced that FY19 refugee acceptance ceiling is being lowered to 30k from 45k (and it appears this includes asylees as well who have traditionally come from a separate pool)."

Apparently, they did not consult Judiciary, and people are not happy:
@seungminkim: Dem and GOP aides on the Judiciary Committee both tell me they were not consulted nor notified as required under law

@nahaltoosi: Guess what else! @SecPompeo made the announcement on the refugee cap before the admin consulted with all of the top lawmakers on the judiciary committees. So umm, some people on the Hill are pissed right now.
posted by Chrysostom at 3:30 PM on September 17 [31 favorites]


Lauren Gambino (Guardian)
Hatch, if hearings found her allegations to be credible: "If that was true, I think it would be hard for senators to not consider who the judge is today. That’s the issue. Is this judge a really good man? And he is. And by any measure he is."

---

If the allegations are true, he's a rapist who shows no remorse and instead is lying about assaulting her and trying to smear her character. By any measure he's despicable.
posted by chris24 at 3:34 PM on September 17 [62 favorites]


CNN: An investigation targeting Brock Long, the administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, has been referred to federal prosecutors to determine whether criminal charges should be pursued, the Wall Street Journal reports.

NYT: House Oversight Committee to investigate Long.
posted by Chrysostom at 3:35 PM on September 17 [30 favorites]


Vox, Dara Lind, Under Trump, refugee admissions are falling way short — except for Europeans. The US has set regional goals for the numbers of refugees it accepts. The administration is way, way, way below those goals for every region of the world except Europe, where they're exceeding them, as shown in the handy chart in the article. Many of those admitted from Europe are evangelical Christians from Ukraine. Yet Iranian Christians applying for refugee status don't seem to be getting the same consideration.
posted by zachlipton at 3:36 PM on September 17 [21 favorites]


Statement from the President
Today, following seven weeks of public notice, hearings, and extensive opportunities for comment, I directed the United States Trade Representative (USTR) to proceed with placing additional tariffs on roughly $200 billion of imports from China. The tariffs will take effect on September 24, 2018, and be set at a level of 10 percent until the end of the year. On January 1, the tariffs will rise to 25 percent. Further, if China takes retaliatory action against our farmers or other industries, we will immediately pursue phase three, which is tariffs on approximately $267 billion of additional imports.
Welp. Can we please stop just calling it a tariff as though that's a magical thing? It's a tax. That Americans pay. Trump just ordered a tax increase.
posted by zachlipton at 3:39 PM on September 17 [74 favorites]


People ask me why I listen to Sean Hannity's radio show on a regular basis on my way home from work. One reason is, of course, that I am a masochistic knucklehead.

But another is that it gives a very clear roadmap as to what the President is thinking and what he is reasonably likely to do. Hannity's Usual Gang Of Idiots has been calling for precisely this declassification for months now, and upped the volume significantly on it in the last week. It's ALMOST as if they knew what was coming.

It is, of course, a ridiculous maneuver because the people most likely to be swayed by this "evidence" are the people who ALREADY believe that the Mueller investigation is a witch hunt, that it is irrevocably tainted, and that the Deep State is working hard to hide Hillary's felonies and frame Donald Trump. His base is already motivated to come out and vote Republican in 50 days because otherwise THE PRESIDENT WILL BE UNJUSTLY IMPEACHED!, or so they keep hearing; they don't need more "proof."

But in a close election year, if even a tiny percentage of the unswayed buy this narrative, it's a problem. So it is up to we, the people who Actually Read, to debunk this horrorshow.
posted by delfin at 3:40 PM on September 17 [13 favorites]


This is almost fascinating. They’re going to risk their Senate majority to hold hearings that might also cost them this SC seat

It won't cost them the seat. The alternative to Kavanaugh isn't a liberal justice, it's another Federalist judge. Hell it might be one that McConnell and the rest actually prefer to Kavanaugh since he wasn't their first - or second - choice. The person who really wants Kavanaugh is Trump. For obvious reasons.

If Kavanaugh crashes and burns they'll get Kethledge or Hardiman. Not, like, Garland or Michelle Obama or whatever.
posted by Justinian at 3:46 PM on September 17 [10 favorites]


Even if they lose the election they still have two months to push through whatever crap justice they want through the Senate.
posted by Definitely Not Sean Spicer at 3:48 PM on September 17 [6 favorites]


From the WaPo article about the White House undermining Haley on her plans for an Iran session at the UN Security Council:
During his debut address at the General Assembly last year, Trump emphasized the importance of the sovereignty of individual nations as opposed to multilateral approaches to global problem solving. He also referred to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un as "Rocket Man" and threatened to "totally destroy" his country.

The president's penchant for bold and improvised remarks has captured the focus and anxieties of nation's preparing for this month's global summit in New York. […]
Also, the emperor's president's new clothes are so very elegant and subtle, not to say translucent, that rival nations confess themselves unable to compete.
posted by Joe in Australia at 3:49 PM on September 17 [4 favorites]


Republicans will spend the next week finding every despicable manner they can think of to attack Ms. Ford, as they did Anita Hill. They will not be hearing from her, they will be swarming to destroy her. This will be an obscenity, a patriarchal inquisition.

The only decent thing left to do is to remove the nominee from consideration. As they are the party of Sauron, they can be counted upon to crawl and slither across the broken glass.
posted by riverlife at 3:50 PM on September 17 [8 favorites]


If Kavanaugh crashes and burns they'll get Kethledge or Hardiman. Not, like, Garland or Michelle Obama or whatever.

Well, sure, but I'd still rather have it be, you know, not a rapist.
posted by Chrysostom at 3:51 PM on September 17 [73 favorites]


It won't cost them the seat. The alternative to Kavanaugh isn't a liberal justice, it's another Federalist judge.

I believe there are still a few timelines left where they drag this out too long, get hammered by a bunch more reveals and some more Trump clownery, and the concurrent fuck ups snowball (as with ACA repeal) so that they end up in a political situation where they can’t confirm anyone so close to the midterms and also can’t NOT confirm anyone and make a recess appointment. And then the Dems win the Senate and refuse to bring anyone but Garland to a vote.

Admittedly that is stretching my knowledge of Senate procedure pretty thin, and I do not *technically* know if that is possible or just fanfic based on muddled understanding of The Rules. But it feels right, in a writerly sort of way.
posted by schadenfrau at 3:53 PM on September 17 [6 favorites]


5,000 lies. Holy shit. That is impressive. I just wish this were a cartoon and he the villain instead of the leader of my very real country full of actual humans.
posted by GoblinHoney at 4:00 PM on September 17 [4 favorites]


There are 108 days until the new Congress is sworn in. That’s enough time to get a new nominee through. You wouldn’t want *much* less time than that, and Republicans would probably rather not hold the vote any closer to the midterms than they have to. I would think if Kavanaugh were to withdraw they’d vote on the next nominee after the election.
posted by EarBucket at 4:02 PM on September 17


I assume if Kavanaugh is rejected, trump will just push someone through during the next senate recess, no? (Perhaps even Kavanaugh. Is there anything to prevent that kind of thing from happening?)
posted by Atom Eyes at 4:05 PM on September 17


Another complicating factor, the federal budget runs out again in 13 days. There's been practically no discussion of a budget deal and Trump has threatened to veto a CR. A protracted funding fight either before the election or during the lame duck will cut into the number of legislative days they have to do anything else, including confirm another nominee. There's a lot of opportunity for Democrats to wreak havoc with the calendar, if they win the Senate, AND if they decide to actually do their fucking jobs. Both open questions.
posted by T.D. Strange at 4:06 PM on September 17 [16 favorites]


If Kavanaugh withdraws and someone convinces Trump to nominate someone with a cleaner, more accessible (e.g., less full of political scheming) record, it's entirely possible they could get it done before January 20.

But Trump is committed to Kavanaugh as the one guy on the list who he thinks will be His Guy on the Court. OTOH Kavanaugh may take the matter into his own hands, depending on his tolerance for the process. (He has shown no distaste for dirty politics so far, though.)
posted by suelac at 4:07 PM on September 17 [4 favorites]


Trump to declassify documents relating to Russia investigation, Carter Page FISA warrant

Things are about to get very, very ugly, aren't they?
posted by howfar at 4:14 PM on September 17 [7 favorites]


Mandatory: About to?
posted by Nerd of the North at 4:16 PM on September 17 [21 favorites]


He has shown no distaste for dirty politics so far, though

He's also never been the target.

I think he should get a very full appreciation of what he's been dishing out, but I'm not in charge.
posted by schadenfrau at 4:16 PM on September 17 [5 favorites]


I should explain, that I've got a feeling that Trump is now so astonishingly desperate that moves like this are going to start coming thick and fast.
posted by howfar at 4:17 PM on September 17 [11 favorites]


So the Ford Kavanaugh hearings are next Monday. I didn’t catch if the Committee vote on the calendar for this Thursday has also been delayed. Has it?
posted by notyou at 4:28 PM on September 17 [1 favorite]


Yep, Committee vote delayed, per WaPo.
posted by notyou at 4:33 PM on September 17 [14 favorites]


It is, of course, a ridiculous maneuver because the people most likely to be swayed by this "evidence" are the people who ALREADY believe that the Mueller investigation is a witch hunt, that it is irrevocably tainted, and that the Deep State is working hard to hide Hillary's felonies and frame Donald Trump.

The media would never run some relatively benign leaked electronic messages 24/7 to drum up an exciting narrative before an election, no.

One really wonders in all of the various ways our three-letter agencies are being politicized behind the scenes, if this is happening in the public eye.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 4:41 PM on September 17 [2 favorites]


immediate declassification of the following materials

This seems like an unwise plan. Anything remotely exculpatory would probably have been leaked already, and the material could contain things that are unflattering or incriminating to the administration. People express themselves differently in texts they think are private, for example, than they would in a memo for the record.

[Funny way of making this point redacted.]
posted by kirkaracha at 4:44 PM on September 17 [1 favorite]




So Flake is who we're hoping not to advance this out of committee? Ben 'Concerned Words' Sasse maybe?
posted by fluttering hellfire at 4:47 PM on September 17 [1 favorite]


Another complicating factor, the federal budget runs out again in 13 days. There's been practically no discussion of a budget deal and Trump has threatened to veto a CR

This is not true, unless you mean "no discussion" between Congress and the White House? The House and Senate have worked out consensus versions of two out of the three "minibus" spending bills for the next fiscal year, and the third seems doable (with conference committee talks ongoing).
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 4:48 PM on September 17 [3 favorites]


via CNN:

release all text messages related to the Russia investigation from former FBI Director James Comey, former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, former FBI agent Peter Strzok, former FBI lawyer Lisa Page and Bruce Ohr, a Justice Department official. Trump has singled out all of those individuals in the past with withering criticism, often on Twitter.

NO ENEMIES LIST! YOU"RE THE ENEMIES LIST!
posted by vrakatar at 4:49 PM on September 17 [15 favorites]


Remember how Sec. Ross said that they wanted to add a citizenship question to the census at the request of DOJ to enforce the Voting Rights Act?

Yeah, that turns out to have been a lie. The ongoing lawsuit over this has pried loose an email in which DOJ says they don't want to touch the issue because they're getting enough bad press right now (because of "the whole Comey matter"). Then they tried to get Homeland Security to come up with a reason why the census needs to ask about citizenship, and DHS didn't want to touch it. They've repeatedly lied about this from the start.

----

Neither DOJ nor the FBI has any idea how the redaction process for this announcement is being handled, and they think it’s possible that the White House is just doing it on its own and could release this material as early as Monday night, according to a source familiar with the process.

For what it's worth, as that story came out, DOJ put out a statement that they're following a declassification review process.

Regardless, it remains entirely inappropriate for the President to declassify documents about an investigation into him and his staff in the middle of that investigation.
posted by zachlipton at 4:52 PM on September 17 [57 favorites]


I think there is a decent chance that Kavanaugh will be derailed. Now, odds are, someone else who will grant the GOP wish list will get appointed and confirmed. However, doesn’t matter right now. Right now the Dems need to run that ground ball out. Who knows, maybe something will come up with the next nominee, or something else that prevents them from seating the next justice. Cross the bridges when you get to them.
posted by azpenguin at 4:53 PM on September 17 [34 favorites]


This is not true, unless you mean "no discussion" between Congress and the White House? The House and Senate have worked out consensus versions of two out of the three "minibus" spending bills for the next fiscal year, and the third seems doable (with conference committee talks ongoing).

I mainly meant between the White House and Congress, although I don't think there's any way they don't pass a CR either into the lame duck or into the next Congress. There will not be a full year budget deal. And Dems have leverage on which one with Trump still threatening a veto as of like Friday. They could force only a short CR until just after the election.
posted by T.D. Strange at 5:07 PM on September 17


I think there is a decent chance that Kavanaugh will be derailed. Now, odds are, someone else who will grant the GOP wish list will get appointed and confirmed. However, doesn’t matter right now. Right now the Dems need to run that ground ball out. Who knows, maybe something will come up with the next nominee, or something else that prevents them from seating the next justice. Cross the bridges when you get to them.

Part of the hope here is that none of the other ready candidates are full-on "prez is above prosecution" sycophants , no? so a win on that front if he gets derailed.
posted by OHenryPacey at 5:16 PM on September 17 [11 favorites]


@RonaldKlain [he was Chief Counsel to the Senate Judiciary committee during the Thomas nomination]: Here's some advice, based on the Thomas-Hill experience: Both Dems and GOP should want professional, outside counsel to question Kavanaugh and Ford at a public hearing -- not Senators. Make this a search for the truth, not a political platform for Senators of EITHER party.
posted by zachlipton at 5:17 PM on September 17 [27 favorites]


it’s possible that the White House is just doing it on its own and could release this material as early as Monday night

The Executive branch is literally a threat to the nation at this point, like transparently.
posted by odinsdream at 5:25 PM on September 17 [33 favorites]


Make this a search for the truth, not a political platform for Senators of EITHER party.

Hah. Whatever few hobbled horses remain in that barn will have plenty of opportunity to scatter over the coming week.
posted by notyou at 5:31 PM on September 17 [5 favorites]


People who worked with Kavanaugh when he clerked for disgraced misogynist Judge Kozinski have stories to tell. Cyrus Sanai, an attorney who worked with Kavanaugh in the same office, via The Intercept:

The only way these important stories can be told is if Congress moves the spotlight . . . to the judges who made the judiciary safe for Judge Kozinski to satisfy his deviant needs. If this Committee, or the Judiciary Committee, does so, I have assurances that more people will step forward.”

In late July Sanai sent letters to Feinstein and Grassley, neither of whom has responded. He now suggests the Committee subpoena emails between Kozinski and Kavanaugh to reveal Kavanaugh's actual knowledge (and let's face it, likely collaboration) in what was clearly rampant scumbag behavior in that office.

I have no doubt there is more dirt on Kavanaugh. I don't know what it would take for Feinstein or anyone else to go after it.

Previously on the blue.
posted by 6thsense at 5:38 PM on September 17 [36 favorites]


Let's talk about Alex Kozinski - Ian Millhiser, Think Progress
I knew about Kozinski. I could have reported out his behavior and I did not. It is one of my greatest failings as a journalist.

But I tell this story not to self-flagellate. I tell it to convey just how widespread news of Kozinski’s behavior was among a certain kind of law school graduate. If I, a liberal who applied only to liberal judges’ chambers and didn’t have the stratospheric grades needed to secure a Kozinski clerkship even if I wanted it, knew so much about Kozinski’s behavior, imagine what Judge Kavanaugh must have known.

Imagine what Judge Kavanaugh must have heard while he was Kozinski’s law clerk...

Kavanaugh’s repeated claims that he has no recollection of Kozinski making sexually inappropriate comments to a law clerk — or that he never even heard anyone raise concerns about such behavior by Kozinski — are quite literally unbelievable...

All of which is a long way of saying that, when Judge Kavanaugh says that he has “never done anything like” holding a woman down and trying to rape her — as psychology professor Christine Blasey Ford says that Kavanaugh did to her in high school — it’s a good idea to take Kavanaugh’s own statement with a grain of salt.
posted by Iris Gambol at 5:56 PM on September 17 [60 favorites]


It would be nice if we could get Republican senators on the record answering: "You say there is no evidence he did X, Y or Z, and therefore you will be voting for him. If we later discover he did in fact do X, Y or Z, will you vote to remove him?"
posted by chortly at 5:58 PM on September 17 [22 favorites]


Rebecca Traister in the Cut: And You Thought Trump Voters Were Mad: American women are furious — and our politics and culture will never be the same.

After reading this I am literally shaking.
posted by bluesky43 at 6:03 PM on September 17 [16 favorites]


It is inconceivable that Kavanaugh didn't know what was going on. This article goes into great detail regarding potential evidence. In the end, Heidi Bond, one of the women who came forward regarding Kozinski's behavior, does not think that Kavanaugh's knowledge of Kozinski's sexual harassment and other troubling behavior is disqualifying. But denying that knowledge should be. She writes:

This country is in desperate need of honest conversations about how sexual harassment thrives. I am more willing to support someone who has thoughtfully considered his past than someone who is unable, even in hindsight, to recognize ways in which he could have been a better ally to women.

What I find disturbing is that when faced with a few simple questions, Kavanaugh decided that evasion was a better path than introspection. We should demand more from a nominee to the Supreme Court.

posted by 6thsense at 6:08 PM on September 17 [34 favorites]


So Ronald Klain needs someone to explain who Karmala Harris is to him?

I mean, I get that having it come from ostensibly non-partisan source but I have no doubt that Harris will be impressive if ends up questioning Ford and/or Kavanaugh.
posted by VTX at 6:19 PM on September 17


Kansas woman told birth certificate wasn’t enough to prove citizenship for passport

I was sincerely surprised to see that the person denied a passport apparently isn't a POC.
[via Boing Boing]
posted by Joe in Australia at 6:22 PM on September 17 [16 favorites]


Um, from that Rebecca Traister piece, about how men are moving right as fast as women are moving left:
Twenty-eight percent more white male millennials said they supported Republican congressional candidates in the spring of 2018 than did in the fall of 2016, according to a Reuters poll.
That is terrifying.
posted by schadenfrau at 6:29 PM on September 17 [72 favorites]


If Kavanaugh crashes and burns they'll get Kethledge or Hardiman. Not, like, Garland or Michelle Obama or whatever.

The new SCOTUS term starts on Oct 1. Even if we can't stop a conservative being confirmed, is there an advantage to Democrats in making sure that they can't confirm someone before the new term starts?
posted by duoshao at 6:31 PM on September 17 [1 favorite]


Twenty-eight percent more white male millennials said they supported Republican congressional candidates in the spring of 2018 than did in the fall of 2016, according to a Reuters poll.

From Pew: 14% of Americans have changed their mind on a political or social issue in the last year because of something they saw on social media. Among young men, it's 29%.
posted by Rust Moranis at 6:36 PM on September 17 [18 favorites]


Justices generally recuse themselves from cases where they weren't on the court to hear the oral arguments (and maybe if they missed preliminary stuff too? idk) so if Kavanaugh's appointment was delayed and he followed convention (lol) there could be some cases he doesn't vote on.
posted by edeezy at 6:36 PM on September 17


Louisiana has a Democratic governor.

After Jindal, yeah.
posted by Melismata at 6:52 PM on September 17 [2 favorites]


I would imagine that having a horrible GOP incumbent is probably the best way for a Democrat elected.
posted by Chrysostom at 6:56 PM on September 17 [2 favorites]


Twenty-eight percent more white male millennials said they supported Republican congressional candidates in the spring of 2018 than did in the fall of 2016, according to a Reuters poll.

So much for the "just wait for them to die off" theory. Now more than ever we need to build our coalitions among women and people of color. Get everyone registered to vote, in every precinct in every state.
posted by Joey Buttafoucault at 7:01 PM on September 17 [68 favorites]


NARAL is giving out free "I Believe Dr. Christine Blasey Ford" buttons, which I find interesting for a number of reasons. I see a lot of "donate and we'll send you this sticker" and occasionally even free stickers from political orgs, but nothing as substantial as a button. Even if they're getting my shipping address in exchange (which they probably already have), that says to me that they see this as a SERIOUS potential tipping point. (I'm curious too what kind of shipping they're using since this is all coming on so fast - if they're hoping to get these out to people in any sort of timely manner, that could be $$$.) In general I'm just really impressed with the leadership that NARAL and Ilyse Hogue have shown on Kavanaugh.

Someone said earlier that even if we have to have a terrible right-wing Federalist Society judge, they'd still prefer one who isn't a rapist. Let me agree and add to that a little. Forcing the withdrawal of the nomination of someone who appears to be a rapist is in itself an end. It shows that we take sexual assault seriously. It says to victims that we take their pain seriously and it says to abusers that they cannot expect to coast by. It is culture change. But I also think this has value not just as a warning to others. I fear Roe v Wade reversal, greatly, but I also truly believe that the difference between a judge who would reverse Roe v Wade but is not a rapist and a judge who would reverse Roe v Wade and IS, is significant enough to matter. Sure I'd rather have RBG 2, and I hate compromise. But the thought of someone who did what Kavanaugh is accused of, sitting on the court and passing judgment, is repugnant enough to me that his removal in and of itself would be a victory. It matters to me.
posted by sunset in snow country at 7:12 PM on September 17 [93 favorites]


If you look at this Pew piece from a few months ago, men aged 18-34 back the GOP over Dems by a slight margin (50-47), while women aged 18-34 back Dems over the GOP by a huge margin (68-24).
The gap narrows with age, and over 50 there's only a very slight shift to the Dems for women vs men.

So if you think millenials are liberal or natural Democratic voters, that's really only true for women. I suspect if you narrowed it to white millenial men you'd see an even bigger lean towards the GOP.
posted by thefoxgod at 7:14 PM on September 17 [9 favorites]


ELECTIONS NEWS

** 2018 House:
-- ME-02: Mellman Group poll has Dem Golden up 54-46 on GOP incumbent Poliquin [MOE: +/- 4.9%]. This poll design uses Maine's ranked choice voting system. Poll was commissioned by the Golden campaign. [Trump 51-41 | Cook: Tossup]

-- CA-22: Strategies 360 poll has GOP incumbent Nunes up 50-44 on Dem Janz [MOE: +/- 4.9%]. Poll was commissioned by the Janz campaign. [Trump 52-43 | Cook: Solid R]

-- IA-03: DCCC poll has Dem Axne up 46-43 on GOP incumbent Young [MOE: +/- 4.9%]. Poll was commissioned by the DCCC. [Trump 49-45 | Cook: Tossup]

-- OH-01: GBA Strategies poll has Dem Pureval up 46-44 on GOP incumbent Chabot [MOE: +/- 4.4%]. Poll was commissioned by the Pureval campaign. [Trump 51-45 | Cook: Tossup]

-- NM-01: ABQ Journal poll has Dem Haaland up 49-41 on GOPer Arnold-Jones [MOE: +/- 4.8%]. Haaland would be the first Native American woman ever elected to Congress. [Clinton 52-35 | Cook: Solid D]

-- NM-02: Same ABQ Journal poll has GOPer Harrell up 48-41 on Dem Torres Small. [Trump 50-40 | Cook: Leans R]

-- NY-27: Indicted GOP incumbent Collins will not be coming off of the ballot after all. District's strong red lean may be enough to save him, though. [Trump 60-35 | Cook: Likely R]

-- MA-03: Recount in the Dem primary here ends up with initial leader Trahan still the winner. [Clinton 58-35 | Cook: Solid D]

-- 538: California GOPers fighting to keep races about local issues, not Trump.

-- Generic ballot in the 538 average is D+9.1 (49.0/39.9).
** 2018 Senate:
-- WV: Emerson poll has incumbent Dem Manchin up 45-33 on GOPer Morrisey [MOE: +/- 3.5%]. FWIW, they also polled the House races, but a) had really small numbers of respondents and b) very high undecideds. So, they're probably not really worth anything.

-- TN: SSRS poll has Dem Bredesen up 50-42 on GOPer Blackburn (RV) // Bredesen up 50-45 (LV) [MOE: +/- 3.5%].

-- AZ: SSRS poll has Dem Sinema up 48-41 on GOPer McSally (RV) // Sinema up 50-41 (LV) [MOE: +/- 3.5%].

-- MI: Tarrance Group poll has Dem incumbent Stabenow up 49-38 on GOPer James [MOE: +/- 4.1%]. Poll was commissioned by the James campaign.


** Odds & ends:
-- TN gov: Same SSRS poll has GOPer Lee up 52-43 on Dem Dean.

-- AZ gov: Same SSRS poll has GOP incumbent Ducey up 48-45 on Dem Garcia.

-- TPM talks with party strategist types. Everyone sees House as lost for GOP, Dems with narrow but viable shot at Senate. tl;dr here.
posted by Chrysostom at 7:28 PM on September 17 [28 favorites]


Meanwhile on the Florida Senate trail:
.@FLGovScott exits back door after just 10 minutes in restaurant crowd booing and shouting “coward”
posted by Chrysostom at 7:30 PM on September 17 [87 favorites]


"I believe Anita Hill" buttons were a thing in 1991.

I keep reminding myself now that the hearing is scheduled that Professor Ford didn't choose this. Her identity was being kept secret by Sen. Feinstein's office at her request; she repeatedly declined to speak publicly. It was only after reporters were showing up at her door and workplace that she felt she had to come forward. That doesn't make her one iota less heroic for speaking up, but it emphasizes just how much the phenomenal cavalcade of awfulness that is ensuing wasn't her choice ~35 years ago and wasn't her choice now. And that's all the more reason to have her back.
posted by zachlipton at 7:32 PM on September 17 [60 favorites]


So if you think millenials are liberal or natural Democratic voters, that's really only true for women. I suspect if you narrowed it to white millenial men you'd see an even bigger lean towards the GOP.

53 percent of the white female voters in this country voted for Donald Trump.
posted by ActingTheGoat at 7:33 PM on September 17 [12 favorites]


53 percent of the white female voters in this country voted for Donald Trump.

Right, and you can see that in these polls where women over a certain age vote pretty much the same as men.

It's younger women who have a huge bias towards the Democrats, but since younger voters make up a much smaller slice of the electorate it doesn't move the overall needle as much.

Would be interesting to see white women 18-34, but if all women 18-34 are 68-24 Dem-GOP, we can safely say white women 18-34 are still much more Dem-leaning (given a country that is over 70% white).
posted by thefoxgod at 7:39 PM on September 17 [2 favorites]


Damn, I wish I had the resources to be able to drop everything and fly to DC for Monday, just so I could show support for Dr. Christine Blasey Ford.
posted by SecretAgentSockpuppet at 7:43 PM on September 17 [11 favorites]


Statistics note: the conservatism of the white male millenials critically depends on both the race and gender aspects in combination. White millenials in general do lean Democratic, as do male millennials in general. (If that sounds confusing: the first stat includes women, the second people of color).

Playing with the Reuters poll online is a visually engrossing time-waster. I should clarify that I couldn't seem to filter to "millenials" as an age category, but rather 18-29 plus 30-39; millennials must be up to something like 25-35 now.
posted by InTheYear2017 at 7:49 PM on September 17 [8 favorites]


From Pew: 14% of Americans have changed their mind on a political or social issue in the last year because of something they saw on social media. Among young men, it's 29%.

Man, corporate ad-driven social media is just a threat to democracy, period.
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 7:51 PM on September 17 [24 favorites]


but since younger voters make up a much smaller slice of the electorate it doesn't move the overall needle as much.

Not exactly. Younger voters make up a smaller slice of people who bother to vote. Millennials now out number Boomers in the electorate which is defined as those eligible to vote.
posted by JackFlash at 7:51 PM on September 17 [3 favorites]


as do male millennials in general

I guess it all depends on what "millenial" means. But the link I posted from Pew showed 18-34 males (which I guess is younger millenials + whatever comes after them)? skewing GOP slightly.

That said, it was close, so depending on the poll you might see the opposite. The interesting part was the dramatic difference between young men and young women.
posted by thefoxgod at 7:52 PM on September 17 [1 favorite]


Younger voters make up a smaller slice of people who bother to vote

Sorry, yes, thats what I meant --- as you say electorate is the wrong word.
posted by thefoxgod at 7:52 PM on September 17 [1 favorite]


The letter of support for Dr. Blasey Ford has been signed by more than 200 Holton-Arms School alumnae - including Julia Louis-Dreyfus.

Class of '79.

Louis-Dreyfus, an active Twitter user, had given previous evidence that she might be skeptical of Kavanaugh’s nomination, but had not revealed her personal connection to Kavanaugh or his accuser.

(Her tweet reblogs a link to a Mother Jones article, The Many Mysteries of Brett Kavanaugh’s Finances, calling it a "crucial read." Both the tweet and the article were published THREE days ago.)
posted by Iris Gambol at 8:11 PM on September 17 [35 favorites]


Millennials are in the driver's seat of the electorate -- if we could just convince them to take the wheel.
posted by JackFlash at 8:13 PM on September 17 [2 favorites]


More on the support numbers.

Several Hundred Holton-Arms Alums Sign Letter In Support Of Kavanaugh Accuser by Rachel Kurzius

As of Monday afternoon, more than 430 people had signed the letter


...

Politico reached out to the 65 women after the details of Ford's allegations emerged, and so far, five of them continue to stand by him. Most of the others have not responded to requests for comment.
posted by phoque at 8:27 PM on September 17 [36 favorites]


The national archives today released Brett kavanaughs memo about what Kenneth Starr should ask President Clinton. He surely has changed his tune on presidential prerogative. Link to wapo staging of documents.
posted by SecretAgentSockpuppet at 8:29 PM on September 17 [16 favorites]


This "white women millenials are dems until they get married" thing is obvious, it's happened with my own friends.

Liberal women marry more conservative men and vote with him, regardless of their beliefs, to keep peace in the house. Eventually they either go all in or they divorce, usually after they've had kids, because their core beliefs diverge too much. I realize the plural of anecdote isn't data, but it's true for most of my friends circle (and I know a decent number of people).

Anyone else? According to 538, GOP men and 2x more likely to be married to Dem women than the other way around (6% vs. 3%, respectively). However, that number also doubles as these couples age (between about 35 and 60, based on their charts).

And it seems to come from shifting their identity from identifying as a woman among a group of women equally affected by issues to having a shared marital identity with the husband, based on another similar study from last year:
"Over 67 percent of never married women and 66 percent of divorced women perceive what happens to other women as having some or a lot to do with what happens in their own lives. Only 56.5 percent of married women hold the same views."
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 9:14 PM on September 17 [32 favorites]


I'm not saying Ted Cruz is getting desperate, but now he's falsely claiming Beto O'Rourke wants to ban barbecue.

Wait, I guess I am saying he's getting desperate.
posted by kirkaracha at 9:20 PM on September 17 [40 favorites]


There is an awful lot in Traister's book excerpt. This leapt out at me as something I need to remember amidst all the Dems should Dems shouldn't. "Better tactical choices might not have changed the result, but there is communicative, coalition-building power in a fight — a fight that is right, and that is only going to get more intense." Others have said it in this thread. Always fight. You might not win, but sometimes you do, and you have to be in the fight when the GOPers self-destruct (Roy Moore). But the fight itself is worth it not just for the chance of winning, or for the signal it sends, or for the one more stick on the "surely this" pile reaching a tipping point, but because the fight itself is worth it for what is does and what people do.
posted by Gotanda at 9:45 PM on September 17 [55 favorites]


flop sweat is just about the only thing ted cruz wears well
posted by murphy slaw at 9:47 PM on September 17 [9 favorites]


Gotanda: And to know you won't die wondering what might have happened if only you had tried to make a difference. The excerpt was hard to read because it emphasizes how Sisyphean the effort feels: like we're still rolling that same fucking stone, up and up that same hill.

But I won't stop rolling it just yet.

I canvassed 88 houses since Saturday and several GOP neighbors shook my hand and said I was too nice to be an actual Democrat.

By god, I'm going to show them. Hate may push me out my own front door, but just like my family, everyone in my g.d. neighborhood will remember me as the Good Liberal. I'm trying to lead by example, and I'm just so tired. But not TOO tired, not yet.

Not too tired to stop being a Nice Activist. Cause once I start yelling, I might never stop.
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 9:52 PM on September 17 [113 favorites]


what a week to finally catch up on these threads
posted by ryanrs at 9:55 PM on September 17 [15 favorites]


As an avid PredictIt user who's taken a bit of a break from the site lately, this Onion headline is pretty damn enjoyable:

Kavanaugh Sweating Bullets After Betting Life Savings On Being Confirmed To Supreme Court
posted by Rhaomi at 9:57 PM on September 17 [52 favorites]


This "white women millenials are dems until they get married" thing is obvious, it's happened with my own friends.

Liberal women marry more conservative men and vote with him, regardless of their beliefs, to keep peace in the house.


This is possibly how it works in many cases.

I think it's also possible there can be other things at work:

* Women who are happily married -- particularly in traditional marriages where the husband is taking on a protector / provider role -- are arguably people for whom patriarchy is more or less working.
* If George Lakoff is correct, this probably paves some neural pathways related to Strict Father morality as a social and political metaphor, making such people more sympathetic to language that invokes it.

On top of that... I think a lot of progressives have yet to come to grips with the strength of the case that political beliefs are heavily correlated with psychological temperament rather than arrived at through a reasoned process. How new generations are socialized probably matters on a number of fronts, but conservative-leaning temperaments (high conscientiousness, low openness) are probably not going to stop being distributed across populations just because they're born after 1982.

And finally -- speaking from my own recollections of what it's like to evaluate the political system as a teenager and young adult, there's often a cheeky sense of caricatured corruption or incompetence, a tendency to thumb your nose at the whole thing, and very little understanding of what's at stake or how the system works. And that's what it was like for me as a pretty good student in classes like US History/Government and Debate and the things you'd expect would help, with no weird online kek / 4chan culture jamming. As obvious as it seems to me now that Donald Trump somehow manages to be both several forms of corruption incarnate and a buffoon, I wonder how I would have done in the 18-24 range (though I'm pretty sure by 24 some sense had started to bake in). It's not at all hard for me to imagine young adults making reasonable sounding but ultimately dangerous judgments like "Well, Trump's an outsider, obviously we need to shake Washington up" or "He's not like those career politicians" or "Yeah, I'm voting TRUMP because that's what our corrupt system DESERVES" or whatever sounds sufficiently earnest and engaged or ironically cool without costing too much actual attention.

Now, there's reason for hope, too. Young adults nowadays know that society hasn't handed them as much of a rung up the ladder as it handed the Boomers, and the culture has socially liberalized a bit, and criticizing capitalism ain't what it was like in the 1980s. But it's nevertheless totally correct to realize that letting the Boomers die off isn't going to solve our problems alone. The forces that animate conservatism -- and perhaps even energize it to monstrous excess -- aren't just temporary aberrations or moral failures. They come from inside humanity and can re-emerge or be activated in most generations.
posted by wildblueyonder at 10:02 PM on September 17 [34 favorites]


Politico reached out to the 65 women after the details of Ford's allegations emerged, and so far, five of them continue to stand by him. Most of the others have not responded to requests for comment.

It's pretty clear that what happened was one or two women who actually knew Kavanaugh saw an opportunity, went to her/their social tribe and said, "Tribe!" and the tribe in turn rallied around the tribal flag by virtue of signing a letter--without ever really looking at what was going on or why, because tribe!

Now that the details are coming out they're all clamming up publicly but I imagine their private talk is a whole lot of "WTF did she get us into?"
posted by scaryblackdeath at 10:05 PM on September 17 [40 favorites]


[One deleted. Let's not veer off into broad speculation on why married women go bad etc. I realize you don't intend this, but it's a fast ticket to some sounds-pretty-misogynist stuff that we sure don't need in this thread. If nothing's happening, it is okay for nothing to be happening in here.]
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 10:24 PM on September 17 [32 favorites]


Well, The Guardian got ahold of an early copy of Stormy Daniel's upcoming book, Full Disclosure.
Whenever she saw Trump on television for years afterwards, Daniels writes, an internal monologue would play out: “‘I had sex with that’, I’d say to myself. Eech.”
Fair warning, there are some descriptions from the book you might not want entering your noggin.
posted by michswiss at 11:25 PM on September 17 [21 favorites]


[A few deleted. Yeah, no, we are not going to get into the whole "women angrily talking about sexism and sexual assault on social media makes men feel bad/turns them into Republicans" complaint.]
posted by taz (staff) at 11:46 PM on September 17 [59 favorites]


Fair warning, there are some descriptions from the book you might not want entering your noggin

Yeah, I've just read that article and OMG and I suspect people at Nintendo are going to be horrified by it. Mario Kart, and the character of Toad in particular, now have a different connotation.

{I veered away from cut and pasting in the description because people in the UK especially will be eating their breakfast around now and don't need that graphic imagery}
posted by Wordshore at 12:37 AM on September 18 [17 favorites]


I see a lot of "donate and we'll send you this sticker" and occasionally even free stickers from political orgs, but nothing as substantial as a button. Even if they're getting my shipping address in exchange (which they probably already have), that says to me that they see this as a SERIOUS potential tipping point.

My local DSA chapter always has a table of buttons out at general meetings. At the first one I went to in July there were even some screw-backed cloisonnéd lapel pins, which disappeared quickly. So possibly the commanding heights of the heavy button production economy have been seized by socialists.

(Though also, more seriously and in case you're unaware, there are hand tools somewhat like a large paper punch which squeeze together a transparent protective film, printed image, and some pre-made metal parts into a button almost instantaneously. Perhaps there are corps of irregular rapid-response button makers throughout the countryside, like the French Resistance, awaiting only postage from the central organization to print out.)
posted by XMLicious at 12:48 AM on September 18 [20 favorites]


Karmala Harris

One hopes that that's going to turn into an entirely appropriate typo.
posted by Stoneshop at 12:57 AM on September 18 [17 favorites]


Whenever she saw Trump on television for years afterwards, Daniels writes, an internal monologue would play out: “‘I had sex with that’, I’d say to myself. Eech.”

Without getting into the unsavory physical details, the quote above combined with the below will bother him more than anything in FEAR.
“It may have been the least impressive sex I’d ever had, but clearly, he didn’t share that opinion.”
posted by chris24 at 4:15 AM on September 18 [21 favorites]


chris24, I had the same thought when I read the Guardian’s coverage – particularly the discussion of size. That will either crater him, or spur him to some kind of ludicrously compensatory over-reaction.

If the latter is fumbling and incompetent and strictly verbal, so much the better, but god help us all if he seeks to immanentize the big stick.
posted by adamgreenfield at 4:33 AM on September 18 [7 favorites]


I suspect we'll have the joy of presidential tweets about size and prowess. As if this timeline wasn't bad enough.
posted by chris24 at 4:35 AM on September 18 [8 favorites]


There was a general agreement many, many, many Scaramuccis ago, perhaps even when Stormy Daniels' involvement was first discussed, that we would not share the salacious details of their affair in these threads. Please, for the sake of some of our final shreds of sanity - leave the details behind links that people can chose to follow or not.
posted by Molesome at 4:35 AM on September 18 [54 favorites]


538: Will Democratic Senators Lose Despite The ‘Blue Wave’?
This year, however, we have a seeming contradiction: The polls are pointing toward a wave in the House, with an average projected gain of 35 to 40 seats for Democrats and a popular vote win of 8 to 10 points.6 And yet, Democrats are at risk of losing several of their own Senate seats, which could offset any gains they may make among GOP-held seats and make it much harder for Democrats to take control of the Senate.
...
A handful of Democrats, such as West Virginia’s Joe Manchin, Ohio’s Sherrod Brown and Pennsylvania’s Bob Casey, are running slightly ahead of their fundamentals, but most Democrats are underperforming them. Florida, North Dakota and Missouri, where polls show near toss-ups in races that the fundamentals suggest should be Democratic-leaning, are the most important cases. Montana’s Jon Tester and Indiana’s Joe Donnelly, although they lead in most polls, also fall into this category, as fundamentals suggest they should have a slightly clearer advantage.
NYT (Haberman): Trump’s Growing Legal Team Has a Problem: It’s Operating Partly in the Dark
Mr. Dowd took Mr. Trump at his word that he had done nothing wrong and never conducted a full internal investigation to determine the president’s true legal exposure. During Mr. Dowd’s tenure, prosecutors interviewed at least 10 senior administration officials without Mr. Trump’s lawyers first learning what the witnesses planned to say, or debriefing their lawyers afterward — a basic step that could have given the president’s lawyers a view into what Mr. Mueller had learned. And once Mr. Dowd was gone, the new legal team had to spend at least 20 hours interviewing the president about the episodes under investigation, another necessary step Mr. Dowd and his associates had apparently not completed.
posted by T.D. Strange at 4:37 AM on September 18 [26 favorites]


Okay, just one:

Daniels’ alleged relationship with Trump included one moment in 2007, she writes, in which she is with Trump in a hotel room watching a Shark Week broadcast on cable television when he receives a phone call from Hillary Clinton, then running against Barack Obama for the Democratic presidential nomination.

“Then, to make it crazier, Hillary Clinton called,” Daniels writes. “He had a whole conversation about the race, repeatedly mentioning ‘our plan’...


That's. That is crazy.
posted by petebest at 5:14 AM on September 18 [30 favorites]


I have a suggestion for a slogan.
How about:
No, thank you - we already have one sexual assaulter on the court.
posted by growabrain at 5:21 AM on September 18 [5 favorites]


Guardian: Rightwing thinktanks unveil radical plan for US-UK Brexit trade deal
A radical blueprint for a free trade deal between the UK and the US that would see the NHS opened to foreign competition, a bonfire of consumer and environmental regulations and freedom of movement between the two countries for workers, is to be launched by prominent Brexiters.

The blueprint will be seen as significant because of the close links between the organisations behind it and the UK secretary for international trade, Liam Fox, and the US president, Donald Trump.

The text of the new trade deal has been prepared by the Initiative for Free Trade (IFT) – a thinktank founded by the longtime Eurosceptic MEP Daniel Hannan, one of the leaders of Vote Leave – and the Cato Institute, a rightwing libertarian thinktank in the US founded and funded by the fossil fuel magnates and major political donors the Koch family.

The “ideal UK-US free trade deal” was due to be launched later on Tuesday in both London and Washington but the Cato Institute appears to have accidentally posted it online early.
Cached version of the full pdf.
posted by runcifex at 5:22 AM on September 18 [11 favorites]


Rightwing thinktanks unveil radical plan for US-UK Brexit trade deal

If all of Britain started calling this "the Trump plan," would that crater any hope of it gaining political traction there? If so, take it as a humble suggestion.
posted by duffell at 5:39 AM on September 18 [24 favorites]


“Then, to make it crazier, Hillary Clinton called,” Daniels writes. “He had a whole conversation about the race, repeatedly mentioning ‘our plan’...
For some time in 2007-2008, Trump was very publicly in on getting Clinton elected. The man has no recurring tenets except greed, vanity and racism.
posted by Harry Caul at 5:45 AM on September 18 [35 favorites]


If all of Britain started calling this "the Trump plan," would that crater any hope of it gaining political traction there? If so, take it as a humble suggestion.

I like to think it just begging the “sell the NHS to US” plan would be enough to produce rioting on the streets, but we live in very dumb times and Brexit has its own momentum of stupidity. If you can assure people that it’s racist in some way half the UK will probably go for it, is the sad truth that has been revealed to us.
posted by Artw at 5:46 AM on September 18 [12 favorites]


For some time in 2007-2008, Trump was very publicly in on getting Clinton elected. The man has no recurring tenets except greed, vanity and racism.

If Daniels' account of the call is true, says a hell of a lot about Clinton's ethics too. Trump was a full on birther at that point.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 6:01 AM on September 18 [16 favorites]


If all of Britain started calling this "the Trump plan," would that crater any hope of it gaining political traction there? If so, take it as a humble suggestion.

Considering what the word means in these isles, one would think such a strategy might work. Unfortunately a certain fraction of people here, like their Stateside counterparts, seem entirely willing to submit to a life wreathed in the reeking mephitic vapors just so long as immigrants, cosmopolitans or their darker-hued neighbors suffer a little worse.
posted by adamgreenfield at 6:05 AM on September 18 [7 favorites]


The Guardian: “Then, to make it crazier, Hillary Clinton called,” Daniels writes. “He had a whole conversation about the race, repeatedly mentioning ‘our plan’...

Harry Caul: For some time in 2007-2008, Trump was very publicly in on getting Clinton elected. The man has no recurring tenets except greed, vanity and racism.

Lentrohamsanin: If Daniels' account of the call is true, says a hell of a lot about Clinton's ethics too. Trump was a full on birther at that point.

Are you possibly thinking of the next election cycle after that? As far as I can tell, before Obama won the 2008 nomination (and hence the time period Clinton was campaigning), Trump hadn't said anything about his birth.

In the Wikipedia article Barack Obama citizenship conspiracy theories, the chronologically-earliest reference to Trump is 2010, when the National Enquirer pushed it at the behest of Michael Cohen, in conjunction with promoting a possible 2012 presidential campaign. Then his famous major public moves started in 2011, when he called himself "a little skeptical" in an interview, and it snowballed from there, all the way past the official publicizing of the certificate and well after the 2012 election.
posted by InTheYear2017 at 6:26 AM on September 18 [41 favorites]


Noted anti-feminist and usual pointless contrarian Caitlin Flanagan writes an essay in the Atlantic about her own Brett Kavanaugh.

This is why the GOP should be very, very worried. Republican women don’t seem to identify much with people who aren’t like them. But Christine Blasey Ford is like them. Worse: she’s like their image of themselves. They’ll believe her, and they’ll believe what happened to her matters in ways they haven’t been able to muster for people who don’t make them think, “that was me.”

And they genuinely do not see this. This is what’s so amazing to me. There was a leaked RNC poll recently that indicated that the GOP’s enthusiasm gap is getting worse because GOP voters buy the propaganda completely, and thus do not believe it is possible for the Democrats to win. They’ve gaslighted themselves to the point where they’re too disoriented to navigate political reality.

Their misogyny works the same way. They literally cannot see this as catastrophically damaging.

I think they’re really, really wrong.
posted by schadenfrau at 6:33 AM on September 18 [45 favorites]


NYT (Haberman): Trump’s Growing Legal Team Has a Problem: It’s Operating Partly in the Dark

Haberman's taking flack on Twitter over how this piece throws Dowd under a bus, courtesy of her sources at the Trump White House. And she tips her hand in a tweet about their agenda (rather than make it explicit in the article): "Dowd emerged as something of a hero in Woodward book. But multiple people connected to the case say he sold the president early on that he had a special bond with Mueller and could get the probe wrapped in a few weeks"

CNN legal analyst Ross Garber argues, "This ⁦@maggieNYT⁩ piece puts too much blame on Dowd. Yes, I never really got the cooperate and pray approach. But the legal operation has always been way too thin. Main issue is likely a client who doesn’t realize the scope or depth of the problem." and "Prep and debrief is critical. But hampered by court holdings finding no attorney-client privilege for WH lawyers. So wouldn’t have been done directly by Dowd, Cobb or any WH lawyer. Instead through cooperation and communication with witnesses’ lawyers."

Haberman also glosses over this significant detail: "What is more, it is not clear if Mr. Trump has given his lawyers a full account of some key events in which he has been involved as president or during his decades running the Trump Organization." Trump is famously the client so mendacious that his own lawyers had to meet with him in pairs, but delving into this aspect of Trump's legal representation would risk losing access, so the NYT's readers don't hear more on the subject. (Trump's lawyers did convey this much, before attacking Dowd again: "The sense of unease among the president’s lawyers can be traced, in part, to their client. Mr. Trump has repeatedly undermined his position by posting on Twitter or taking other actions that could add to the obstruction case against him.")

Among Team Trump, the big dog that didn't bark is Emmet Flood, who stays out of the fray until the article's conclusion (which contains the only piece of important real news in it): "Since [Trump's surprise tweet about McGahn's departure], Mr. Trump has had discussions with Mr. Flood about replacing Mr. McGahn. But Mr. Flood is hesitant, in part because that could pull him away from one of the main reasons he initially joined the White House: to represent another president in impeachment proceeding."
posted by Doktor Zed at 6:35 AM on September 18 [22 favorites]


If Daniels' account of the call is true, says a hell of a lot about Clinton's ethics too. Trump was a full on birther at that point.

As InTheYear2017 said, no he wasn't. The first time he went birther was 2011.

A timeline of Trump's birther comments.
posted by chris24 at 7:02 AM on September 18 [5 favorites]


[A couple deleted. "Identity politics" reads to many people as a dismissive phrase and linking that to accusations of crimes reads like dismissing the crime; so let's not kick off that unintended but inevitable derail.]
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 7:09 AM on September 18 [11 favorites]


Another person confirms that Blasey Ford talked about the attempted rape before this year.
In an interview Monday with this news organization, White said that Blasey Ford had told her about the alleged assault — without naming Kavanaugh — in late 2017 during the height of the #MeToo movement and long before Kavanaugh was a Supreme Court nominee.

Last year, White had added her own #MeToo story about being raped as a teenager to a Facebook post.

“She reached out to me afterward, supporting me and my story and that she had something happen to her when she was really young and that the guy was a federal judge,” White said. “She said she had been assaulted. She said hers had been violent as well, physically scary, fighting for her life.”

It’s been difficult for Blasey Ford over the years, she told White, because the judge’s name would come up as “a super powerful guy and he might be a contender for a Supreme Court position one day.”
posted by chris24 at 7:16 AM on September 18 [56 favorites]


Caitlin Flanagan being suddenly useful is very on-brand for 2018.

Their misogyny works the same way. They literally cannot see this as catastrophically damaging.

They just won an election on the strength of it, though. I can see being cocky (pun intended?) after that.
posted by emjaybee at 7:17 AM on September 18 [5 favorites]


The Kavanaugh assault allegations are a reminder that Democrats were smart to push Al Franken out - Matthew Yglesias, Vox
But at the end of the day, cleaning up your own house isn’t just the right thing to do — it’s smart politics. If Kirsten Gillibrand and other women of the Democratic Senate caucus hadn’t pushed Franken out months ago, today’s strong political hand versus Kavanaugh could easily have been a Menendez-like fiasco instead.
posted by ZeusHumms at 7:28 AM on September 18 [101 favorites]


I saw someone arguing that it's unfair to judge Kavanaugh by his actions when he was a teenager. I expect this line to be used more often as a fallback to the efforts to discredit Blasey Ford, so here's why it's obviously wrong.

First: repentance requires admitting fault. We can't give someone credit for growing past something they refuse to admit they did.

Second: Kavanaugh's lack of respect for women's bodily autonomy has continued in his career as a judge. In Garza v. Hargan he argued that an undocumented minor didn't have the right to choose abortion. In Doe v. DC he argued that intellectually disabled women don't have the right to refuse abortion.
posted by skymt at 7:31 AM on September 18 [49 favorites]


The Kavanaugh assault allegations are a reminder that Democrats were smart to push Al Franken out - Matthew Yglesias, Vox

And also a reminder to say fuck off to Soros and all the other donors and party hacks attacking and blaming Gillibrand for supposedly pushing him out. It was never even true and just a reflection of the misogyny still present in many circles in the Democratic Party.
posted by chris24 at 7:31 AM on September 18 [24 favorites]


I saw someone arguing that it's unfair to judge Kavanaugh by his actions when he was a teenager.

As I posted before, even if you grant this, then you should be judging him as an adult who's an unrepentant rapist who's lying to smear his victim.

And also Trayvon fucking Martin. These same fucks thought that 17 year old deserved to die.
posted by chris24 at 7:33 AM on September 18 [51 favorites]


A corollary to my comment above: the extent to which GOP Senators are blind to how Kavanaugh will play is the extent to which they see themselves in him.

So. Hoooo boy.
posted by schadenfrau at 7:37 AM on September 18 [22 favorites]


yeah, one of the most obvious tells of white supremacy is that for white dudes, anything that happened more than a year ago is a youthful indiscretion, even if you're in your fifties
posted by murphy slaw at 7:40 AM on September 18 [45 favorites]


As InTheYear2017 said, no he wasn't. The first time he went birther was 2011.

Yep, I was ahead on the timeline.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 7:41 AM on September 18 [4 favorites]


I saw someone arguing that it's unfair to judge Kavanaugh by his actions when he was a teenager.

Even if you were to grant this, what about everyone else he’s raped since then? Because under no circumstances was “drag someone into a room, turn the music up and attempt to violently rape them” a one-off, especially given that he got away with it at the time.

Even if they don’t want to come forward now (which, fair enough) - his other victims are certainly out there somewhere.
posted by chappell, ambrose at 7:44 AM on September 18 [16 favorites]


Wow. Caitlin Flanagan wrote a personal essay that doesn't make me want to scream at her...? Shit is getting hell of bizarre.
posted by Don Pepino at 7:47 AM on September 18 [10 favorites]


Judge to Georgia voting officials: You’re terrible at digital security -- "Advanced persistent threats… and ordinary hacking are unfortunately here to stay." (Cyrus Farivar for Ars Technica, Sept. 18, 2018)
Georgia’s upcoming November 6, 2018 election will remain purely electronic and will not switch to paper to ward off potential hackers, a federal judge in Atlanta ruled on Monday evening.

But as US District Judge Amy Totenberg wrote, she is not at all happy with the inadequate efforts by state officials to shore up their digital security measures.

"The Court advises the Defendants that further delay is not tolerable in their confronting and tackling the challenges before the State’s election balloting system," she wrote in her order.

"The State’s posture in this litigation—and some of the testimony and evidence presented—indicated that the Defendants and State election officials had buried their heads in the sand."
Emphasis mine, because this is slightly terrifying.
posted by filthy light thief at 7:49 AM on September 18 [25 favorites]


under no circumstances was “drag someone into a room, turn the music up and attempt to violently rape them” a one-off, especially given that he got away with it at the time.

He was blackout drunk and doesn't remember any of it. He might've done the flopping on top but not the dragging and the music upturning. I can totally see a case for this being a one-off. But so? It shouldn't be a survivable one-off, since it was violent and ruined someone's life for years on end. Fuck him. He got so stupid drunk he doesn't even remember the goddamn party? Then he's at fault for whatever happened just like every high school girl who ever got too drunk to fuck and was sexually assaulted has been held accountable for what happened to her because it's illegal to be a girl, 17, and drunk.
posted by Don Pepino at 7:55 AM on September 18 [13 favorites]


Because what even is this world anymore—Mario Rubio is doxxing Salt Bae on twitter dot com.
posted by octobersurprise at 7:58 AM on September 18 [8 favorites]




What I don't get is how Totenberg can acknowledge that the Georgia system of elections is massively fucked and basically an invitation for cheating, hacking, and foreign interference and then say that it's totally fine to use in November's elections.

Let's be serious here: paper ballots aren't really complex or difficult, the idea that there isn't enough time to print them between now and November is absurd. And the State of Georgia is **ALREADY** printing paper ballots in the form of absentee ballots and postal ballots. So clearly they have the capability to print more and just use those.

So WTF is wrong with her? She clearly sees and understands the problem, but she refuses to order it be remedied.
posted by sotonohito at 7:59 AM on September 18 [11 favorites]


Cook Political moves NY-27 in light of indicted incumbent staying on the ballot: Likely R => Leans R

Current totals:

Solid D: 182 D, 0 R
Likely D: 9 D, 3 R
Leans D: 1 D, 8 R
Tossup: 2 D, 28 R
Leans R: 0 D, 28 R
Likely R: 1 D, 25 R
Solid R: 0 D, 148 R
posted by Chrysostom at 8:00 AM on September 18 [9 favorites]


He got so stupid drunk he doesn't even remember the goddamn party? Then he's at fault for whatever happened just like every high school girl who ever got too drunk to fuck and was sexually assaulted has been held accountable for what happened to her because it's illegal to be a girl, 17, and drunk.

He would be at fault, full stop. Being drunk (even blackout drunk) is not a criminal defense.*

* There's an exception if the defendant was involuntarily drunk (e.g. someone spiked their drinks without their knowledge), but that's clearly not what happened here.
posted by jedicus at 8:01 AM on September 18 [15 favorites]


He got so stupid drunk he doesn't even remember the goddamn party? Then he's at fault for whatever happened just like every high school girl who ever got too drunk to fuck and was sexually assaulted has been held accountable for what happened to her because it's illegal to be a girl, 17, and drunk.

Not to mention that his reflex is to lie about it so transparently that the parsing of his lie is going to become "the real story".
posted by Etrigan at 8:06 AM on September 18 [14 favorites]


She clearly sees and understands the problem, but she refuses to order it be remedied.

She didn't "refuse" anything. She decided based on the available evidence that ordering a switch this close to the election would be more likely to cause harm to voters than to let the existing electronic system slide for another cycle:
The Court’s greater concern, in considering the evidence, is that the massive scrambling required to implement such injunctive relief in roughly 2,600 precincts and 159 countries will seriously test the organizational capacity of the personnel handling the election, to the detriment of Georgia voters.
...
Further, early elections begin mid-October. This poses an even earlier deadline for action and organization. Fulton County’s Elections Director testified that the County would only be able to cope with the challenges of an immediate ballot requirement by limiting early voting to one central location, rather than offering it at 20 locations spread throughout the county. This, of course, would likely directly impact voter turnout and access to voting.
...
There is nothing like bureaucratic confusion and long lines to sour a citizen. And that description does not even touch on whether voters themselves, many of whom may never have cast a paper ballot before, will have been provided reasonable materials to prepare them for properly executing the paper ballots.
The risk due to hacking is unacceptably high, but the risk due to ordering recalcitrant state and local officials to switch their voting infrastructure, print ballots and instructions, train poll workers, etc in 7 weeks is near certain.
posted by jedicus at 8:09 AM on September 18 [28 favorites]


Final nominee numbers in (not counting Louisiana):

Women are 43% of all Dem House nominees (previous record: 29% in 2016)

Women are 50% of all non-incumbent Dem House nominees (previous record: 29% in 2012)
posted by Chrysostom at 8:12 AM on September 18 [64 favorites]


I really, really want to see the Dems dig into his drinking history, especially in light of those emails about the fishing trip from 2000. “You wrote this email apologizing for a violent outburst during a game of dice – even though you said at the time you didn't remember having that outburst. You accepted that it happened because other people who were there told you that it did. Because you have a pattern of getting blackout drunk and needing witnesses to fill you in on your actions. But today you're telling us that this outburst can't have happened, because you'd remember it. Really?”
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 8:14 AM on September 18 [141 favorites]


Ongoing reminder that Bari Weiss is garbage.

Between her and Megan "I would be cool with a teen murderer getting a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court" McArdle, they're practically singing a duet of "Excitable Boy."
posted by octobersurprise at 8:28 AM on September 18 [23 favorites]


On solidarity and Professor Ford. This is a little off-topic, so I'm sorry, and mods please delete if you think so. But yesterday I was standing at the bus stop when a man started threatening and pushing around a young woman - she said later he was her boyfriend. Now all the men all kind of sidled away and all the young women gathered around her and shouted at the guy to leave her alone. And he was very threatening, pushing her and running up to her, chasing her and making blood curdling threats. The women gathered around her, they held her hand, one of them called the police and another one got her phone out and filmed what was happening. They were like her bodyguard. They saw the guy off, once he realised he was being filmed. The police turned up later to take statements. That is real solidarity and I hope this is what Prof. Ford is surrounded by in the coming weeks: good, tough, competent women who have her back. She's going to need it, but they can do wonders.
posted by glasseyes at 8:43 AM on September 18 [164 favorites]


I suspect we'll have the joy of presidential tweets about size and prowess. As if this timeline wasn't bad enough.

This is your occasional reminder that Trump bragged about his junk on live TV during a Republican primary debate. And here we are.
posted by Gelatin at 8:53 AM on September 18 [12 favorites]


That is real solidarity and I hope this is what Prof. Ford is surrounded by in the coming weeks: good, tough, competent women who have her back.

It would also be swell if, unlike those cowardly assholes at the bus stop, men had some solidarity to spare for her the way they didn't for Anita Hill once upon a time.
posted by a fiendish thingy at 8:53 AM on September 18 [61 favorites]


Anita Hill: How to Get the Kavanaugh Hearings Right - Anita Hill, NYTimes OpEd
"The Senate Judiciary Committee has a chance to do better by the country than it did nearly three decades ago."

Today, the public expects better from our government than we got in 1991, when our representatives performed in ways that gave employers permission to mishandle workplace harassment complaints throughout the following decades. That the Senate Judiciary Committee still lacks a protocol for vetting sexual harassment and assault claims that surface during a confirmation hearing suggests that the committee has learned little from the Thomas hearing, much less the more recent #MeToo movement.
...
In 1991, the phrase “they just don’t get it” became a popular way of describing senators’ reaction to sexual violence. With years of hindsight, mounds of evidence of the prevalence and harm that sexual violence causes individuals and our institutions, as well as a Senate with more women than ever, “not getting it” isn’t an option for our elected representatives. In 2018, our senators must get it right.
posted by ZeusHumms at 8:57 AM on September 18 [74 favorites]


Megan "I would be cool with a teen murderer getting a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court" McArdle

She leaves out the teeny-tiny part of what juvenile record expungement advocates want where the teen murderer is getting caught, convicted, punished and rehabilitated and showing remorse preceding the forgiveness.

Because in the current context that's awkward since none of it has happened.

So pretty much a typical 'libertarian' argument where all of the actual important details are ignored in favor of the strategic and limited deployment of abstract principles to further an anti-liberty far right cause.
posted by srboisvert at 9:03 AM on September 18 [30 favorites]


I just popped into Talking Points Memo and found this. It looks as if Kavanugh's defense is shifting from didn't do it to can't remember to it was just horsing around:
Interesting and perhaps disturbing moment a short time ago as Carrie Severino, spokesperson of the Judicial Crisis Network, was interviewed on CNN. The JCN is the central campaign arm for Republican judicial nominations. The Federalist Society grooms and chooses the nominees. The JCN runs the campaigns, runs political ads in Senators’ states, as necessary. Here Severino argues that it’s not clear that what Ford describes wasn’t simply “rough horse play” as opposed to attempted rape.
The CNN video is at the link. Choice quote: "There's 35 years of memory that we're trying to play with here ...".
posted by maudlin at 9:14 AM on September 18 [18 favorites]


A lot of people are framing the "horseplay" comment as a general shift in strategy because of its source, but I don't think they're that organized. Severino, other Republicans, and Kavanaugh himself are all just... saying things.

An actual shift in strategy would entail Kavanaugh taking that route, which would mean blatantly changing his story. If that happens, then good lord I am not anticipating the next national conversation with much relish: they'll be saying "It's perfectly normal to do this stuff as a teen... and also normal to then lie about it as an adult because the fake news media doesn't understaaaand"
posted by InTheYear2017 at 9:23 AM on September 18 [6 favorites]


Sen. Susan Collins just posted this:
"I'm writing to the Chairman & RM of Judiciary Cmte respectfully recommending that at Monday’s hearing, counsel for Prof. Ford be allocated time to question Judge Kavanaugh & counsel for the Judge be granted equal time to question Prof. Ford, followed by questions from Senators. Such an approach would provide more continuity, elicit the most information & allow an in-depth examination of the allegations."
And via MSNBC's Kyle Griffin (@ kylegriffin1):
Feinstein: "Chairman Grassley today said there would be only two witnesses invited to testify at theKavanaugh hearing next week on sexual assault allegations. Compare that to the 22 witnesses at the 1991 Anita Hill hearing and it’s impossible to take this process seriously."

Chris Coons said on CNN that he might cede his time at Monday's hearing to Kamala Harris and Amy Klobuchar because of their prosecutorial experience: "We've got members of the committee who are far more experienced than I am in these matters."
Incidentally, NYMag's Yashar Ali (@yashar) shared this on Sunday: "About a year ago a woman came to me with a highly credible and deeply disturbing sexual assault accusation against a current senior government official. Over the past year, I have stayed in touch with her. She has been reluctant to come forward. Moments ago she sent me this text."
You see what they're doing to Professor Christine Blasey Ford? Calling her a) a liar b) a liberal activist c) saying it doesn't matter since it was high school and d) saying she shouldn't have been drunk underage. That's why women don't come forward. Not in this America.
posted by Doktor Zed at 9:27 AM on September 18 [109 favorites]


A lot of people are framing the "horseplay" comment as a general shift in strategy because of its source, but I don't think they're that organized. Severino, other Republicans, and Kavanaugh himself are all just... saying things.

Ah, but it shows that hist supporters don't believe him, either, else why would they attempt to minimize the activity?
posted by Mental Wimp at 9:28 AM on September 18 [7 favorites]


Also, Griffin reports, “All 10 Senate Judiciary Democrats are calling for more witnesses at Monday's hearing: "While the Committee unquestionably needs to hear from both [Kavanaugh and Ford], there are other relevant witnesses who should be questioned under oath, in a public setting."” (Here's their letter.)
posted by Doktor Zed at 9:29 AM on September 18 [22 favorites]


At a minimum Judge needs to testify. He's the other accused assailant and Kavanaugh's alibi. And he'll make a terrible witness for Rs because he's a misogynistic slime ball.
posted by chris24 at 9:35 AM on September 18 [35 favorites]


Here Severino argues that it’s not clear that what Ford describes wasn’t simply “rough horse play” as opposed to attempted rape.

So what if it was just "just rough horse play"? It was still nonconsensual..
posted by Gelatin at 9:36 AM on September 18 [27 favorites]


It looks as if Kavanugh's defense is shifting from didn't do it to can't remember to it was just horsing around

They either learned literally nothing from Roy Moore, or they’re hamstrung by the idiot. I think probably a little bit of both.

This is going to be a disaster for the GOP. It’s going to be traumatic as hell for women everywhere, and one woman in particular, and it is going to cost them.
posted by schadenfrau at 9:36 AM on September 18 [14 favorites]


I just popped into Talking Points Memo and found this. It looks as if Kavanugh's defense is shifting from didn't do it to can't remember to it was just horsing around:

And with that, this episode goes from merely enraging to actually triggering for me. I can't think I'm alone here. I was gaslit in this way repeatedly and aggressively three decades ago and fuck no am I dealing with that horseshit again. I am incandescent right now.
posted by soren_lorensen at 9:38 AM on September 18 [95 favorites]


[McArdle] leaves out the teeny-tiny part of what juvenile record expungement advocates want where the teen murderer is getting caught, convicted, punished and rehabilitated and showing remorse preceding the forgiveness.

Because in the current context that's awkward since none of it has happened.


McArdle also leaves out the part that her stance only applies to Republican judges, though of course one would do well to assume so.

That anyone takes Megan McArdle seriously, let alone gives her a national platform, is a blot on our national discourse.
posted by Gelatin at 9:38 AM on September 18 [14 favorites]


soren_lorensen - I am honestly considering whether I need to leave work right now. I've been nearly under my desk for two days. I am switching between incandescent and a puddle within minutes. It's not just you.
posted by Sophie1 at 9:42 AM on September 18 [35 favorites]


"Rough horse play" is right up there with "locker room talk" and "deleted family units."
posted by Rust Moranis at 9:47 AM on September 18 [40 favorites]


For what it's worth I'm putting my anger into joining a phone bank tonight to canvass for Tracy Matrino, the Dem challenger to the unspeakably horrific Tom Reed.
posted by bluesky43 at 9:47 AM on September 18 [27 favorites]


Feinstein: "Chairman Grassley today said there would be only two witnesses invited to testify at theKavanaugh hearing next week on sexual assault allegations. Compare that to the 22 witnesses at the 1991 Anita Hill hearing and it’s impossible to take this process seriously."

Honestly, Anita Hill deserves the Medal of Freedom. Who knew that what she went through would be reverberating so strongly 27 years later and that now, we know the game and just aren't going to take it.
posted by bluesky43 at 9:50 AM on September 18 [53 favorites]


NPR/Marist Poll: 1 In 3 Americans Think A Foreign Country Will Change Midterm Votes (Sept. 17, 2018)
About 1 out of every 3 American adults think a foreign country is likely to change vote tallies and results in the upcoming midterm elections, according to a new NPR/Marist poll released Monday.

The finding comes even as there is no evidence Russia or any other country manipulated or tried to manipulate the vote count in 2016 or at any other point in American history.
First, I'm not sure if that's reassuring or scary, in light of the Georgia paperless ballot case. Second, the second sentence is a weird one, in that it's technically true, but in stating it that way, may be misleading, given that Russian Hacks on U.S. Voting System Wider Than Previously Known (Michael Riley and Jordan Robertson for Bloomberg, June 13, 2017)
Russia’s cyberattack on the U.S. electoral system before Donald Trump’s election was far more widespread than has been publicly revealed, including incursions into voter databases and software systems in almost twice as many states as previously reported.

In Illinois, investigators found evidence that cyber intruders tried to delete or alter voter data. The hackers accessed software designed to be used by poll workers on Election Day, and in at least one state accessed a campaign finance database. Details of the wave of attacks, in the summer and fall of 2016, were provided by three people with direct knowledge of the U.S. investigation into the matter. In all, the Russian hackers hit systems in a total of 39 states, one of them said.
The difference is that the attack was against voter systems, not the votes themselves, at least as documented there.

In a prior megapost, someone linked to an investigative journalist who tried to document and argue that some votes were suspicious, but my searching is currently failing me. Even without direct vote tampering, Russia clearly has engaged in cyber attacks against U.S. Democracy as a larger structure. If you're even asking if Russia hacked the election, Russia got what it wanted -- It's all about sowing confusion and doubt. (Paul Musgrave for the Washington Post, November 28, 2016)
posted by filthy light thief at 9:53 AM on September 18 [21 favorites]


This isn't even the kind of anger I can be productive with. Like, my head is going to open up and demons are going to fly out and also I am going to start sobbing uncontrollably at the same time. It's not great for public outreach.
posted by soren_lorensen at 9:54 AM on September 18 [21 favorites]


Georgia. Where Sergei Kislyak hung out at Kennesaw which just happens to be where the voting servers are. No big deal.
posted by fluttering hellfire at 9:57 AM on September 18 [30 favorites]


[Couple deleted; folks, gonna ask that people exercise some restraint about how many graphic details or "so-and-so made this dismissive comment about rape" we need to repeat in here and then go over and over. Fair to make the point that dismissive reactions are bad, but that point's been made and just be conscious that you're inflicting those comments on fellow site members, when honestly we know the gist of the gross things that will be said, and it may not be great for folks' mental health to dwell there.]
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 9:58 AM on September 18 [23 favorites]


NPR: The finding comes even as there is no evidence Russia or any other country manipulated or tried to manipulate the vote count in 2016 or at any other point in American history.

For this statement to not be a lie requires that you define "tried to manipulate" in some bizarre way that doesn't include trying to hack into the information technology infrastructure of many states. Why does NPR hate the truth?
posted by Mental Wimp at 9:59 AM on September 18 [7 favorites]


oh here's a surprise
MANHATTAN (CN) – Department of Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross told Congress earlier this year that he added a citizenship question to the 2020 census to help the Department of Justice enforce the Voting Rights Act.

Contradicting that sworn testimony, new evidence shows that Ross received a memo several months earlier informing him that the Justice Department wanted to avoid monkeying around with the census because of “the whole Comey matter.”
— Adam Klasfeld, "Unsealed Ross Memo Contradicts Testimony to Congress"
posted by octobersurprise at 10:01 AM on September 18 [30 favorites]


zachlipton: Statement from the President
Today, following seven weeks of public notice, hearings, and extensive opportunities for comment, I directed the United States Trade Representative (USTR) to proceed with placing additional tariffs on roughly $200 billion of imports from China. The tariffs will take effect on September 24, 2018, and be set at a level of 10 percent until the end of the year.
China Sets Tariffs On $60 Billion In U.S. Goods, Retaliating Against U.S. Duties (NPR, Sept. 18, 2018)
Hours after President Trump announced tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese goods, China responded with its own levies on $60 billion worth of U.S. products.

Chinese state television on Tuesday reported that the government has decided to impose tariffs of 5 percent to 10 percent on $60 billion worth of U.S. products, starting on Monday. The tariffs will apply to 5,207 items.*

If the U.S. continues to raise its tariffs, China will respond in kind, the report said. That sets the stage for yet another set of tariffs. Trump on Monday also threatened to add levies on about $267 billion of additional imports if China retaliated.

"The Chinese side reiterates that the aim of imposing these tariffs is to prevent trade frictions from escalating and it is a measure of last resort against American unilateralism and trade protectionism," the Chinese state television report said.
* According to Will Martin at Business Insider via Yahoo! Finance, this will account for as much as 95% of all US exports to China.

China Is Better Able To Withstand A Trade War Than In The Past (NPR, July 12, 2018)
As President Trump threatens to heap more tariffs on Chinese imports, he's got one important fact on his side: The United States remains China's biggest single export market, buying some $500 billion in goods last year alone.

But China is less dependent on the American market than it was even a decade ago and in some ways is better able to withstand a trade war than the United States.

"The question is less whether we can do harm to them than, which one can endure the pain the better? And there are some reasons to believe that over the short term, the Chinese are better positioned to manage this," says Robert Ross, a professor of political science at Boston College and an expert on U.S.-China relations.
...
"Trade is around 20 percent of China's economy," she says. "Ten years ago, it was 40 percent."

At the same time, U.S. companies like Boeing, General Motors and Apple now make plenty of money in China's vast consumer market, giving Beijing leverage over the U.S. economy that it once lacked.
Yeah, this isn't going to end well for the U.S., unless we consider a possible result being the ouster of Trump, but even then, it's coming at a high price for many people in the U.S.
posted by filthy light thief at 10:02 AM on September 18 [14 favorites]


Take courage from this interview with Anita Hill and John Oliver. Her courage is inspiring. The whole segment is great but the interview starts around minute 18.
posted by bluesky43 at 10:04 AM on September 18 [24 favorites]


"Rough horse play"

It was also a long way from that or a drunken indiscretion.

It was two 17 year old jocks who lay in wait to corral and assault someone 2 years their junior. They weren't too drunk to pre-meditate the crime. And the countermeasures they took to prevent her escaping, or being discovered by anyone else at the party shows they knew absolutely they _were_ committing a crime.

That's pretty much the definition of predatory behaviour. And while sure, people do dumb stuff as kids, and grow out of it; being a predator: less so.

Particularly as all the evidence (such as the dice game, and in the same email his making sure that everyone was on the same page about not telling spouses about the trip, and gambling problems) indicates that he hasn't changed, never mind repented.

I suspect a lot of the reason that they're pushing him for the job is that he is lacking in both empathy and morals, and will be willing to do whatever's asked of him regardless of any other consideration.
posted by Buntix at 10:05 AM on September 18 [60 favorites]


Holding a "not actually a trial but kinda yeah" to question a sexual assault victim, who didn't ask for this shit, and her assailant in a congressional hearing just before said assailant is confirmed to the supreme court is definitely a very 2018 thing to be happening and I am fucking irate about it. It's extremely triggering, and it's utter bullshit and I fucking hate it.
posted by odinsdream at 10:06 AM on September 18 [66 favorites]


Trump-proof aspects of Manafort deal rankle lawyers

part of the deal says that if Manafort’s guilty pleas or convictions are wiped out for any reason, prosecutors immediately have the right to charge him with any other crimes he may have committed previously or confessed to during recent plea negotiations.
posted by bluesky43 at 10:09 AM on September 18 [68 favorites]


In regards to the now-active trade war, I bet dollars to donuts that we'll find out from some expose or leak that Trump still thinks his tariffs mean that China will write a $200B check to the US.

I think it's likely that he has NO IDEA where the money comes from.

He never worried about that before, why would he now?
posted by Dashy at 10:23 AM on September 18 [14 favorites]


Anderson Cooper Thoroughly Wrecks Donald Trump Jr. For Spreading Lies About Him - Rafi Schwartz, Splinter News

The lies were about Cooper's recent hurricane coverage. Cooper responded on his TV show.
posted by ZeusHumms at 10:24 AM on September 18 [16 favorites]


New Dean Phillips ad features Bigfoot asking the important questions, "Does Erik Paulsen even exist?"
posted by octobersurprise at 10:29 AM on September 18 [12 favorites]


In regards to the now-active trade war, I bet dollars to donuts that we'll find out from some expose or leak that Trump still thinks his tariffs mean that China will write a $200B check to the US.

In fact...
China is now paying us billions of dollars, and we will see how that all works out. It’s a — I have great respect for President Xi, as you know. I was over there for two days with him. I have a lot of respect for China. But last year, we lost $375 billion in deficits, and we had, in my opinion, way over $500 billion in cash. And that’s not including certain items that we won’t even talk about.

So we’re not going to lose that. We can’t do that. We can’t do that anymore. It should have been done many years ago. It should have been done by other Presidents. And actually, it’s a disgrace that it wasn’t done.

So China is now paying us billions of dollars in tariffs, and hopefully we’ll be able to work something out. We’ll be having an announcement tonight after close of market, and that will take place. Pretty comprehensive statement. Kevin may speak and Larry Kudlow may speak a little bit at that time. But some very positive news. I think it’s going to work out very well with China. I think they want to make a deal. They do want to make a deal — that I can tell you. They want to make a deal.
posted by notyou at 10:29 AM on September 18 [21 favorites]


Reuters, Trump adviser eyes entitlement cuts to plug U.S. budget gaps
A top economic adviser to President Donald Trump said on Monday he expects U.S. budget deficits of about 4 percent to 5 percent of the country’s economic output for the next one to two years, adding that there would likely be an effort in 2019 to cut spending on entitlement programs.

“We have to be tougher on spending,” White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said in remarks to the Economic Club of New York, adding that government spending was the reason for the wider budget deficits, not the Republican-led tax cuts activated this year. Kudlow did not specify where future cuts would be made.
...
Kudlow also said he did not expect the Congress would be able to make the Trump administration’s recent individual tax cuts permanent before the Nov. 6 midterm congressional elections. “I don’t think it will get through the whole Congress” before the election, he said, but added that making the personal tax cuts permanent “is a good message” and disagreed with forecasts that they would further increase budget deficits.
The unmitigated gall of these assholes, who want more more more tax cuts, yet have suddenly become concerned with the deficit.
posted by zachlipton at 10:30 AM on September 18 [67 favorites]


I think it's likely that he has NO IDEA where the money comes from.

He never worried about that before, why would he now?

posted by Dashy at 10:23 AM on September 18 [2 favorites +] [!]


Is it possible the economic retraction effects from all these added taxes to commerce will show up in the numbers before the mid-terms?
posted by Mental Wimp at 10:30 AM on September 18 [1 favorite]


The unmitigated gall of these assholes, who want more more more tax cuts, yet have suddenly become concerned with the deficit.

Paul Ryan has been saying this explicitly for over a decade now, including during the 2012 and 2016 campaigns. He said it the day after the tax scam passed. But voters in Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania didn't believe him and gave the Republicans a mandate to do it anyway.
posted by T.D. Strange at 10:39 AM on September 18 [15 favorites]


Re: Kavanaugh (in case anyone wants to skip this)

They’re giving themselves a week to see if they can find something to go after her with and to figure out how much it costs them (polling).

It will get worse for them. Especially if there’s a full court press against them.

I think the odds are good they’ll pull the nomination.

What happens after that is anyone’s guess, but I hope Dems have a plan to take full advantage of it. If we can keep the seat open through the midterms we might get to keep it from going evil.
posted by schadenfrau at 10:49 AM on September 18 [14 favorites]


A lot of people are framing the "horseplay" comment as a general shift in strategy because of its source, but I don't think they're that organized. Severino, other Republicans, and Kavanaugh himself are all just... saying things.

This has been the Republican defense PR strategy for quite some time. Multiple different style denials by multiple different sources so that they can all be put out there yet at the same time be officially denied. What would be really nice would be if someone leaked the distribution of these inconsistent talking points from a source close to the republican leadership and/or Kavanaugh.

They are little green excuses.
posted by srboisvert at 10:49 AM on September 18 [10 favorites]


Georgia’s upcoming November 6, 2018 election will remain purely electronic and will not switch to paper to ward off potential hackers

Oh, so they're handing the election to Kemp. Ok.
posted by Fleebnork at 10:51 AM on September 18 [6 favorites]


Particularly as all the evidence (such as the dice game, and in the same email his making sure that everyone was on the same page about not telling spouses about the trip, and gambling problems) indicates that he hasn't changed, never mind repented.

I suspect a lot of the reason that they're pushing him for the job is that he is lacking in both empathy and morals, and will be willing to do whatever's asked of him regardless of any other consideration.


Not to mention that his coordinated lying to spouses about 'what happens on trip stays on trip' is a pretty much a bald declaration that he is extremely susceptible to blackmail.
posted by srboisvert at 10:54 AM on September 18 [44 favorites]


>Georgia’s upcoming November 6, 2018 election will remain purely electronic and will not switch to paper to ward off potential hackers

Oh, so they're handing the election to Kemp. Ok.


Another read on this is that the representation from election officials was, essentially, 'if we're ordered to go fully paper in under two months, we will absolutely use that as cover to minimize early voting and keep turnout low,' which would also favor the Republican party.

The underlying problem here is that the judge didn't have all that many good options, given the situation on the ground and the timing of elections. There are some fundamental problems with how elections are run in the United States are beyond the scope of a single judge to fix -- the situation here should be a spur to a new voting rights act, because we need to prevent this kind of problem from ever occurring.
posted by cjelli at 11:00 AM on September 18 [11 favorites]


Buzzfeed reports on the secret society that Kavanaugh belonged to at Yale. It was jokingly referred to as Tits and Clits, and it's primary objective was drinking and sexing up coeds.

Re, incandescent fury and tears, I am right there with you. This whole thing has brought 40 years of buried triggers and put them right on the drawing room table. I was at the Drs this morning, and read a story about this and just shook my head as I put the paper down, and this lady about 20 years my senior, just as proper and buttoned up as you'd expect of an older lady sporting a bouffaint hairdo that was mostly hope and hair spray, and she patted my hand and said, that Kavanaugh boy is just no good is he? And I said, no ma'am, he is not. And she said, you know honey, I never suspected it would take this long, or women would have to fight this hard, she said, but maybe someday, our sons will see us as people.

I haven't stopped crying.
posted by SecretAgentSockpuppet at 11:00 AM on September 18 [233 favorites]


I can't do anything from canada but I'd love to see this whole bullshit trial swarmed by a sea of pink hats cause fuck the courage it is taking her to come forward is amazing and I really hope she has people that have her back. This is triggering to all survivors all over the world. People tell me to not worry cause i'm not American but us media is everywhere and trump is a pox on the world.
posted by kanata at 11:02 AM on September 18 [17 favorites]




ELECTIONS NEWS

2018 Senate, WI:

Incumbent Baldwin (D) leads Vukmir (R) 53-42.

Maybe an outlier? Hopefully not.
posted by rocketman at 11:11 AM on September 18 [6 favorites]


ZeusHumms: The lies were about Cooper's recent hurricane coverage. Cooper responded on his TV show.

The stupid story is: way back in 2008, Cooper reported live from Hurricane Ike, in a place where the water level changed considerably -- it's up to his waist, while his camera crew is less than a foot deep.

They're misrepresenting the image as from Florence. But even more idiotically, they're refusing to believe that the level can change like that, even though, like, parking lots surrounded by walled ledges exist everywhere. It's like moon landing denial on the basis of pictures not matching one's wrong intuitions. (The "optical illusion" quality of the image is also exactly why they shot the footage, as a warning -- that area would be deceptive to anyone considering walking or driving near it.)

But when you think about it further (not a recommended activity), the accusation that CNN would do this to "make Trump look bad" is incoherent. People blame the White House for how it responds to hurricanes, but they don't think Trump's presence causes worse flooding than would be happening under Hillary, like something out of The Lion King. (Yes, climate change has a role, but the cause-effect linkage is much broader than that.)
posted by InTheYear2017 at 11:16 AM on September 18 [15 favorites]


Where Sergei Kislyak hung out at Kennesaw which just happens to be where the voting servers are.

Were.

A computer server crucial to a lawsuit against Georgia election officials was quietly wiped clean by its custodians just after the suit was filed, The Associated Press has learned. (Oct. 2017)

It’s not clear who ordered the server’s data irretrievably erased.

The Kennesaw elections center answers to Georgia’s secretary of state, Brian Kemp, a Republican running for governor in 2018 and the suit’s main defendant. His spokeswoman issued a statement Thursday saying his office had neither involvement nor advanced warning of the decision. It blamed “the undeniable ineptitude” at the Kennesaw State elections center.


That would be Republifuck gubernatorial racist shithead candidate Brian "what security holes" Kemp there. Who will 100% continue to cheat his way into a "red state" governorship without any consequences whenever given the chance, which he just was. Yay paperless electronic voting.
posted by petebest at 11:16 AM on September 18 [28 favorites]


If we can keep the seat open through the midterms we might get to keep it from going evil.

Just wanted to offer the depressing reminder that the new Congress is not seated until Jan. 3. Even if Democrats win the Senate on Nov. 6, Republicans will still have nearly two months to confirm either Kavanaugh or another Trump appointee.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 11:17 AM on September 18 [3 favorites]


Maybe an outlier? Hopefully not.

Baldwin has been ahead an average of 11 points, it's not really a race to be concerned about. If anything, she'll be helping pull up Evers in the governor race.
posted by Chrysostom at 11:18 AM on September 18 [7 favorites]


WaPo, White House reviews incident involving Epoch Times photographer handing a folder to Trump
The White House has reviewed an incident last week in which a news photographer for the Epoch Times, a publication banned in China for its critical coverage, stepped into a restricted area and handed President Trump a folder during an official event.

The photographer, identified by other photojournalists as Samira Bouaou, passed the purple-colored folder to Trump as he was walking out of the East Room on Sept. 12 after delivering remarks at a reception for the Congressional Medal of Honor Society.
@ksenijapavlovic: .@EpochTimes photographer, Samira Bouaou who handed @realDonaldTrump a mysterious folder told me today that she can’t tell me what was inside. I asked her colleague did Samira act on behalf of their organization or on her own, she responded: “I can’t comment”

The Epoch Times is a publication closely linked with (exactly in which way and how much depends on who you ask) Falun Gong.
posted by zachlipton at 11:19 AM on September 18 [15 favorites]


Contradicting that sworn testimony, new evidence shows that Ross received a memo several months earlier informing him that the Justice Department wanted to avoid monkeying around with the census because of “the whole Comey matter.”

If the Democrats take the House come November (TTTCS), could they censure/bring perjury charges against Ross for lying to a previous Congress that was controlled by Republicans?
posted by Gelatin at 11:20 AM on September 18 [5 favorites]


It’s not clear who ordered the server’s data irretrievably erased.

That's OK, I'm more interested in whose responsibility it was to keep it safe. It takes two to tango: the guy with the knife and the guy who leaves the door unlocked.
posted by rhizome at 11:24 AM on September 18 [2 favorites]


Tariffs are paid when imports actually cross through customs right? They aren’t some kind of one off fee like he’s making it seem?

China could literally just stop exporting so much to the US and then the increased tariffs would mean nothing.

And we’d be paying more to export our goods there which if they don’t want them, we’re also out of luck.

I admit I don’t know the most about economics or have a business background but this China tariffs things seems like really super “shoot your self in the foot” territory.
posted by sio42 at 11:26 AM on September 18 [5 favorites]


Politico has more: Chief Justice Roberts Halts Campaign Finance Ruling

Update: it was unhalted.

@chrisgeidner: BREAKING: The Supreme Court DENIES the stay requested by Crossroads GPS in its challenge to keep donors secret, vacating the stay entered by Chief Justice Roberts over the weekend.
posted by zachlipton at 11:26 AM on September 18 [59 favorites]


> This afternoon, O'Keefe announced on Twitter that he's planning to release a video doxxing federal government workers who hold leftist political beliefs or engage in leftist organizing. The embedded video clip includes images of the IRS, DOJ, EPA, and GAO buildings, specific reference to a "socialist organization," and several chapter members' voices.

James O'Keefe's First "Deep State" Subversive is Neither Deep Nor Subversive
Karaffa boasts about doing non-government work on government time, and he really does have quite a few irons in the fire -- he's a commissioner on the Advisory Neighborhood Commission in D.C.'s Mount Pleasant neighborhood, and, as noted, he works on Democratic Socialist campaigns -- here he's identified as a contact person for the campaign of Lee Carter, an ex-Marine and DSA member who was elected to the Virginia House of Delegates in 2017, in an upset victory over the Republican who was the House majority whip, Jackson Miller.

Should Karaffa be doing DSA or neighborhood commission business on work time? No -- but this isn't the Deep State. [...]

Karaffa says in the video that he's safe because it's impossible to fire federal workers. O'Keefe didn't get what he presumably wanted -- evidence of federal employees working to thwart Trump -- so he defined "Deep State" down. Now it just means "government bureaucrats who bunk off work."
posted by tonycpsu at 11:28 AM on September 18 [7 favorites]


WP: The Senate on Tuesday passed a short-term spending bill that would keep the government running through Dec. 7, aiming to put off a fight over funding for President Trump’s border wall until after the midterm elections.
posted by Chrysostom at 11:32 AM on September 18 [4 favorites]


If anything, she'll be helping pull up Evers in the governor race.

Evers at +5 in latest Marquette poll (RCP average +4.7). I don't see ads so I don't know to what extent WI Dems are trying to benefit from Baldwin opponent Leah Vukmir's ALEC connections.
posted by Jpfed at 11:33 AM on September 18 [3 favorites]


China could literally just stop exporting so much to the US and then the increased tariffs would mean nothing.

In fact, China has been working toward developing its domestic demand so that it is less reliant on exports -- for 2017 exports were ~19 percent of GDP; in 2005 exports accounted for ~36 percent of GDP, according to the World Bank.
posted by notyou at 11:36 AM on September 18 [2 favorites]


Yeah, Evers has been looking good, too. Dems also have a decent shot at flipping the WI Senate, so it's great everyone seems to be going steady.
posted by Chrysostom at 11:36 AM on September 18 [2 favorites]


This ad is great.

Dean Phillips (D: MN-3)
As @RepErikPaulsen hides from voters and misrepresents his record and the truth, here's a little dose of humor based on fact: a Congressman who avoids voters at all costs, is the 6th biggest taker of PAC money in Congress and is bought and sold by special interests. #Truth #MN03

VIDEO

---

As is this line of attack.

Rich Cordray (D: OH Gov)
Both @MikeDeWine and I have served as AG but our records are starkly different: I got back $2 billion from Wall Street to Ohio retirees. DeWine (on his first day) sued to take away health care and strip Ohioans of protections for pre-existing conditions.
posted by chris24 at 11:43 AM on September 18 [46 favorites]


Paul Ryan has been saying this explicitly for over a decade now, including during the 2012 and 2016 campaigns. He said it the day after the tax scam passed. But voters in Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania didn't believe him and gave the Republicans a mandate to do it anyway.

And the so-called "elite political press" considered him a "serious, honest policy wonk" who was genuinely concerned about the deficit, despite years of just barely bothering to obfuscate the usual Republican strategy of "cut taxes for the rich, use the resulting deficits to slash social spending.

National treasure Charles Pierce has said that the political press is so desperate for a "serious, honest conservative' to balance the Democrats' much more reality-based budget priorities that they willingly fell for Ryan's cynical pretense.
posted by Gelatin at 11:45 AM on September 18 [15 favorites]


"It looks as if Kavanaugh's defense is shifting from didn't do it to can't remember to it was just horsing around"

The guy who tried to abduct me when I was 13 -- who grabbed me and carried me up the street while threatening me that he had a gun -- he told the police he was just goofing off. Just playing around. It was "just a joke!" He didn't even know me.

It's a classic bullshit excuse for guys like that.

I would be incandescently angry too, but I've been sick for two weeks and so all I can manage is to huddle on the couch and try not to think about it.
posted by litlnemo at 11:47 AM on September 18 [83 favorites]


It blamed “the undeniable ineptitude”

That's what they're calling Kislyak behind his back?
posted by fluttering hellfire at 11:47 AM on September 18 [2 favorites]


>>It blamed “the undeniable ineptitude”
>That's what they're calling Kislyak behind his back?


I thought that was Don Jr., but how can he be involved with Georgia as well? Didn't he have a full portfolio already?
posted by RedOrGreen at 11:59 AM on September 18 [1 favorite]


I literally can’t keep straight if we’re talking about State Georgia or Country Georgia which you’d think would be easier in a thread ostensibly about US politics.
posted by sio42 at 12:05 PM on September 18 [35 favorites]


It takes two to tango: the guy with the knife and the guy who leaves the door unlocked.

Reminder: no partner dancing with rhizome
posted by nicwolff at 12:08 PM on September 18 [45 favorites]


Just wanted to offer the depressing reminder that the new Congress is not seated until Jan. 3. Even if Democrats win the Senate on Nov. 6, Republicans will still have nearly two months to confirm either Kavanaugh or another Trump appointee.

Entirely warranted. But just to remind everyone:

We thought ACA repeal was a done deal, too.

Fight as though you can win.
posted by schadenfrau at 12:16 PM on September 18 [100 favorites]


This continual fighting over continuing resolutions as Congress funds the government in months long dribs and drabs and someone or other threatens shutdowns a couple times a year seems incredibly unhealthy for a nation.

Would there be anything wrong with passing a law saying that in the event Congress fails to pass an annual budget all government agencies are to be funded at their last budgetary levels plus inflation? Just to keep this kayfabe from repeating endlessly?

In Westminster systems if a government fails to pass a budget it counts basically as a vote of no confidence and triggers new elections if the government can't form a new coalition that will pass a budget. You can argue that's not exactly ideal, and it certainly is a system with problems, but at least it's not as prone to being gamed and abused as our current blackmail via budget system is.
posted by sotonohito at 12:19 PM on September 18 [15 favorites]




A new report called Alternative Influence: Broadcasting the Reactionary Right on YouTube, was published today by Data & Society, a research institute in New York City that is focused on the social and cultural issues arising from data-centric and automated technologies.

“Social networking between influencers makes it easy for audience members to be incrementally exposed to, and come to trust, ever more extremist political positions,” writes report author Rebecca Lewis, who outlines how YouTube incentivizes their behavior.

Lewis illustrates common techniques that these far-right influencers use to make money as they cultivate alternative social identities and use production value to increase their appeal as countercultural social underdogs. The report offers a data visualization of this network to show how connected influencers act as a conduit for viewership.

Three key quotes from Alternative Influence:

“Increasingly, understanding the circulation of extremist political content does not just involve fringe communities and anonymous actors. Instead, it requires us to scrutinize polished, well-lit microcelebrities and the captivating videos that are easily available on the pages of the internet’s most popular video platform.”

“By connecting to and interacting with one another through YouTube videos, influencers with mainstream audiences lend their credibility to openly white nationalist and other extremist content creators.”

“YouTube monetizes influence for everyone, regardless of how harmful their belief systems are. The platform, and its parent company, have allowed racist, misogynist, and harassing content to remain online – and in many cases, to generate advertising revenue – as long as it does not explicitly include slurs. YouTube also profits directly from features like Super Chat which often incentivizes ‘shocking’ content.”
posted by Bella Donna at 12:34 PM on September 18 [11 favorites]


@Breaking911 [video]: Senator Mazie Hirono (D-HI): "I just want to say to the men of this country, just shut up and step up.”

She followed that with "do the right thing."

@lbarronlopez: As I was asking @maziehirono questions just now, she looked right at @SenateMajLdr as he was passing in Ohio Clock corridor outside Senate chamber, and said: “Do the right thing!” Cornyn chuckled a little. Hirono’s staffers were visibly taken aback.
posted by zachlipton at 12:36 PM on September 18 [111 favorites]


So it looks like McConnell just sent everyone home for the week?
posted by Etrigan at 12:48 PM on September 18


Would there be anything wrong with passing a law saying that in the event Congress fails to pass an annual budget all government agencies are to be funded at their last budgetary levels plus inflation? Just to keep this kayfabe from repeating endlessly?

The same people causing these shitty "threaten shutdown-pass CR-repeat" cycles are the ones who would be voting to pass such a law. A law that would force them to give up the hostage in their hostage-holding tactic. Not gonna happen.
posted by Rykey at 12:54 PM on September 18 [5 favorites]


So it looks like McConnell just sent everyone home for the week?

Have an easy fast, everybody.
posted by Faint of Butt at 12:56 PM on September 18 [13 favorites]


Tariffs are paid when imports actually cross through customs right?

Right. The most important thing to remember is that China doesn't pay a dime of the tariff. The tariff is paid the U.S. company that purchases the item and the cost of that tariff is passed on to U.S. consumers. A tariff is just a sales tax increase paid by Americans.

So when Trump says "China is paying us billions in tariffs" he is simply lying to the public. It sounds a lot better to say China is paying the U.S. when in fact Trump in increasing taxes on Americans.
posted by JackFlash at 12:56 PM on September 18 [77 favorites]


ELECTIONS NEWS

** 2018 House:
-- FL-26: Siena poll has GOP incumbent Curbelo up 47-44 on Dem Mucarsel-Powell [MOE: +/- 5.0%]. Nate Cohn has talked about them really struggling getting some demographics to respond on this poll. [Clinton 57-41 | Cook: Leans R]

-- VA-02: Garin-Hart-Yang poll has Dem Luria up 51-43 on GOP incumbent Taylor [MOE: +/- 5.0%]. Poll was commissioned by the Luria campaign. [Trump 49-45 | Cook: Tossup]

-- CA-39: Monmouth poll has GOP incumbent Kim up 46-42 on Dem Cisneros in their potential voters model. Midterms model has Kim up 51-41, Dem surge model has Kim up 49-43. [MOE: +/- 4.9%]. | This is the first House poll that's looked really good for the GOP in a while. It matches a trend of relative Dem underperformance with Hispanic voters. Unclear if that's being driven by lower Hispanic propensity to vote, or by difficulty getting polling responses (as mentioned above). [Clinton 52-43 | Cook: Tossup]

-- KS-02: Three dozen former elected Republican officials endorsed Dem Paul Davis. [Trump 56-37 | Cook: Tossup]

-- More on the leaked internal GOP polling (Bloomberg, AP, Kevin Drum, Josh Green) Takeaways:
* About half of Republican are strong Trump supporters. These are the ones who think that Democrats can't win, and thus, may not turn out.
* The other half are "soft" supporters. These ones broadly aren't in favor of party priorities, so may actually vote for Dems.
-- Paper-thin margin in the MA-07 Dem primary may boost chances of state moving to ranked choice voting.

-- Axios: Dems are running hard on health care as an issue.
** 2018 Senate:
-- VA: SSRS poll has Dem incumbent Kaine up 51-33 on GOPer Stewart (RV) // Kaine up 52-36 (LV) [MOE: +/- 4.6%].

-- WI: Marquette poll has Dem incumbent Baldwin up 53-42 on GOPer Vukmir (LV) // Baldwin up 52-40 (RV) [MOE: +/- 4.4%].

-- OH: BWU poll has Dem incumbent Brown up 49-32 on GOPer Renacci [MOE: +/- 3.6%].

-- MO: Trafalgar poll has GOPer Hawly up 47-44 on Dem incumbent McCaskill [MOE: +/- 2.4%].

-- TX: Quinnipiac poll has GOP incumbent Cruz up 54-45 on Dem O'Rourke [MOE: +/- 4.1%]. This is a considerably wider advantage for Cruz than other recent polling.

-- 538: Where Dem Senators are and are not outperforming "fundamentals."

** Odds & ends:
-- WI gov: Same Marquette poll has Dem Evers up 49-44 on GOP incumbent Walker (LV) // Evers up 47-43 (RV). || AG race also polled: GOP incumbent Schimel up 48-41 on Dem Kaul (LV) // Schimel up 47-40 (RV).

-- OH gov: Same BWU poll has GOPer DeWine up 42-37 on Dem Cordray.

-- TX gov: Same Quinnipiac poll has GOP incumbent Abbott up 58-39 on Dem Valdez.

-- KS gov: Three-term former GOP Senator Nancy Kassebaum joins the litany of GOP figures endorsing Dem Kelly.

-- Judge kicks MO initiative for non-partisan state legislative redistricting off the ballot. Proponents to appeal.

-- GOP candidate for CO lt gov was tied up in the Navy's Tailhook scandal. (kids, ask your parents!)
posted by Chrysostom at 1:02 PM on September 18 [23 favorites]


Data Firms Team up to Prevent the Next Cambridge Analytica Scandal (Issie Lapowsky for Wired, Sept. 17, 2018)
A bipartisan group of political data firms are drafting a set of industry standards that they hope will prevent voter data from being misused like it was in 2016. The guidelines cover transparency, foreign influence in elections, responsible data sourcing and storage, and other measures meant to root out bad actors in the industry and help fend off security threats.

The conversations, which are being organized by Georgetown University's Institute of Politics and Public Service, come at a time when data collection more broadly faces increased scrutiny from lawmakers and consumers. Ever since news broke this spring that the political firm Cambridge Analytica used an app to hoover up data on tens of millions of Americans and use it for political purposes, Facebook and other Silicon Valley tech giants have had to answer to Congress and their customers about their mass data collection operations. But the Georgetown group focuses specifically on the responsibilities of the companies that undergird some of the country's biggest political campaigns. Among the firms participating in these discussions are Republican shops like DeepRoot Analytics, WPA Intelligence, and Targeted Victory, as well as Democratic firms, including Bully Pulpit Interactive, NGP VAN, and DSPolitical.

"These are the firms that power all of the elections in America, and so my hope was if you can get them in a room and get them to understand the importance of the data they’re using and to self-regulate, you could achieve a dramatic improvement on behalf of voters," says Tim Sparapani, a fellow at the Georgetown Institute who is overseeing the group.

Sparapani served as Facebook's first director of public policy from 2009 until 2011, after spending several years at the American Civil Liberties Union. A self-proclaimed privacy advocate, he has warned about the need for stricter oversight of data brokers for years. These are companies that collect, store, and analyze data about consumers for a variety of purposes. In the political world, that data can include basic information about how many times a person has voted, their party registration, and their donation record, but it can also include social media and commercial data that can help campaigns better understand who a given person is and target them with political advertising.

The data broker industry remains largely unregulated, both inside and outside politics. The Federal Trade Commission has urged Congress to regulate data brokers since at least 2012, but nothing has come of it so far. In June, Vermont became the first state to pass a data broker law, which goes into effect in January.
Vermont First State to Pass Data Broker Law (Katherine Armstrong for DBR (Drinker Biddle) on Data, June 4, 2018)
Vermont lawmakers recently passed a first-of-its-kind data broker law, which protects consumers from credit freeze fees, data fraud and clarifies data security requirements.

The new law defines a data broker as: “a business, or unit or units of a business, separately or together, that knowingly collects and sells or licenses to third parties the brokered personal information of a consumer with whom the business does not have a direct relationship.”

The Vermont Data Broker Law requires that data brokers:

• register annually with the Secretary of State.
• incorporate standard security measures in handling their personally identifiable information.
• notify authorities of security breaches.
• eliminate fees associated with initiating or lifting credit freezes. Note: The Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief and Consumer Protection Act signed by President Trump on May 24 also includes a provision that eliminates fees associated with initiating or lifting credit freezes.

The law refers to “Brokered PI” which is broader than the definition of personally identifiable information (PII) that is the subject of the law’s information security program requirements. Brokered PI includes one or more elements such as name address, place of birth, mother’s maiden name, biometric authentication data, contact information of immediate family members, Social Security numbers or other government identification numbers, or “other information that, alone or in to combination with the other information sold or licensed, should allow a reasonable person to identify the consumer with reasonable certainty.”
posted by filthy light thief at 1:04 PM on September 18 [30 favorites]


Ok Politico is often trash, but:
"The president has told close associates in recent days that he views DeSantis as profoundly disloyal for distancing himself from the president’s assertion that the Hurricane Maria death toll was inflated by Democrats for political purposes"
He's like a wrecking ball.
posted by schadenfrau at 1:05 PM on September 18 [19 favorites]




-- MO: Trafalgar poll has GOPer Hawly up 47-44 on Dem incumbent McCaskill [MOE: +/- 2.4%].

I was out doorknocking for Claire this past Saturday and I can tell you 3 things are hurting her at least from what I gleaned from my conversations

1. Josh Hawley's attack ads are working. He's been putting out a lot going after McCaskill's husband over wealth. I mean, I point out that they aren't going after her over issues but instead are attacking her husband who is obvs not running for office but old people watch a LOT of TV and this is the message they're getting. If registered democrats in liberal STL city are getting skeptical based on these, I fear RED MO is lost.

2. McCaskill is not doing enough to refute the attacks from the Hawley camp. I completely agree with this.

3. People who support her and who I checkmarked as Strongly McCaskill, are pretty pissed that she hasn't come out with a statement on Kavanaugh. I am too.
posted by fluttering hellfire at 1:22 PM on September 18 [34 favorites]


You know, I think I am detecting a repeating theme:

In an email from 2000 about a drunken trip and regarding spouses: "What happens on the trip stays on the trip."

At a Yale speech in 2014 about a drunken bus expedition: "What happens on the bus stays on the bus."

At a Columbia speech in 2015: "What happens at Georgetown Prep, stays at Georgetown Prep. That's been good thing for all of us I think."

This seems to be the way he has run his entire life to avoid accountability for his behavior.
posted by JackFlash at 1:23 PM on September 18 [137 favorites]


I hope Collins is getting an earful about the trade war. Here's an article about how local dealers are laying off staff as the Chinese market for the stuff has all moved to Canada (and the Canadian dealers/exporters are buying the stock off the boats in ME).
Flaherty: What have the tariffs meant for your business?

It means I had to get rid of about 25 or 30 percent of my staff. We will not be profitable this year. We’re hoping we can wait out the trade war. I don’t know if that’s possible because no one knows how long it will go on. I’ve focused my business on China, and for about the last 8 years, 9 years, that’s been the majority of my business. People are like, “Well, can’t you just go sell your lobsters someplace else?” and it’s like, “Well no, I can’t really go sell my lobsters someplace else because — could you please point me in the direction of a country with 1.3 billion people that eats a lot of live seafood? I don’t know another one.”
I guess this means that any independent processors and distributors will go out of business, or get bought up by more Canadian distributors. Winning?
posted by Hermeowne Grangepurr at 1:31 PM on September 18 [33 favorites]


Mark Judge sent a letter to the Judiciary Committee: "I have no memory of this alleged incident." He appears to want to be excluded from this narrative in any way and does not want to testify.
posted by zachlipton at 1:35 PM on September 18 [25 favorites]




JackFlash: You know, I think I am detecting a repeating theme:

In an email from 2000 about a drunken trip and regarding spouses: "What happens on the trip stays on the trip."

At a Yale speech in 2014 about a drunken bus expedition: "What happens on the bus stays on the bus."

At a Columbia speech in 2015: "What happens at Georgetown Prep, stays at Georgetown Prep. That's been good thing for all of us I think."

This seems to be the way he has run his entire life to avoid accountability for his behavior.


I look forward to someone using this logic in one of his courts, hopefully not the Supreme Court. "I'm sorry, your honor, but I was lead to believe, by your own words from numerous incidences, that actions that happened in one location and stayed in that location were inadmissible in court."
posted by filthy light thief at 1:38 PM on September 18 [66 favorites]


It’s not interstate commerce if it all stays in the same place.
posted by Huffy Puffy at 1:42 PM on September 18 [4 favorites]


Mike Judge also wrote in 2015 he is no longer daring white, secular women.
posted by The Whelk at 1:43 PM on September 18 [8 favorites]


Why on Earth is the GOP standing by Kavanaugh?
The more practical reason for Republicans to forge ahead with Kavanaugh is the possibility that they might not get someone else confirmed before the midterms, which would be disastrous if Democrats captured the Senate (which, according to FiveThirtyEight, has a propability of 1-in-3). But Republicans can almost certainly get a nominee confirmed before then. And even if they didn't, they could use the post-election lame duck session to confirm a nominee. This might be unusual practice, but then so was holding a Supreme Court seat vacant for well over a calendar year while refusing to give President Obama's nominee so much as a hearing. Republicans have very consistently put substantive priorities over procedural norms, and they would do what it takes to get a second Trump nominee confirmed.

So why not pursue this course? In addition to possible political miscalculation, there's the reality of negative polarization. Even if the ultimate policy results would be similar, Kavanaugh stepping aside would still be perceived by many Republicans as a "win" for Democrats. And Trump, to put it mildly, is not wont to concede error.

But there's another issue at play here. As Vox's Matt Yglesias observes, Trump has effectively made the entire Republican Party complicit in his corruption and misconduct. If being credibly accused of attempted sexual assault as a teenager is disqualifying for a Supreme Court seat, then what does that say about Trump's fitness to be president? He has, after all, been credibly accused himself of sexual assault, and openly boasted about his tendency to grope women. Congressional Republicans who have not merely accepted Trump as the leader of their party but actively shielded him from any accountability are going to have a hard time holding any Republican to any standard of behavior.

This doesn't mean Kavanaugh's confirmation is inevitable, but it explains why Republicans seem initially unwilling to back off, despite it probably being in their political interests to do so.
posted by tonycpsu at 1:44 PM on September 18 [28 favorites]


Mark Judge sent a letter to the Judiciary Committee

Mark Judge's lawyer sent a letter to the Judiciary Committee.

It is totally reasonable for someone to retain counsel and not want to testify in public, but at the same time, as a PR thing I'm not sure that looks great for an alleged witness and Kavanaugh's close friend to definitely vouch for him...informally, as long as he's not under oath.
posted by cjelli at 1:48 PM on September 18 [7 favorites]


What happens at Georgetown Prep, stays at Georgetown Prep. That's been good thing for all of us I think

Nah, it's cool, guys... see, that's an ironclad rule, there. Part of the Bro Code. Engraved on a stone tablet. No one could ever possibly break it. Certainly not, for example, someone who has dirt on what actually did happen, and wanted to hold it over the head of a justice of the supreme fucking court in exchange for a favorable ruling.
posted by Mayor West at 1:51 PM on September 18 [51 favorites]


When you've lost David Brooks

One of the weakest entries in the When You Bring a Mouse To School Extended Universe.
posted by condour75 at 2:02 PM on September 18 [45 favorites]


Mike Judge also wrote in 2015 he is no longer daring white, secular women.

That should be "Mark Judge" and "dating", not daring, in case you were wondering why the artist behind Beavis & Butthead was proposing dares to white secular women.
posted by Autumnheart at 2:02 PM on September 18 [92 favorites]


Senate Democrats write to White House counsel Don McGahn asking whether he was aware of these -- or other -- allegations against Kavanaugh.

The letter ties this back to McGahn's alleged knowledge of (and lack of action on) allegations against White House Staff Secretary Rob Porter.
posted by cjelli at 2:08 PM on September 18 [12 favorites]


Stormy Daniels Is Trying to Ruin Your Day With Her Description of Trump's Anatomy
The bright side, I guess, is that Stormy Daniels certainly has a way with words and a gift for simile. The dark side, and it's so dark, is that now we all have to pluck out our eyes and take a vow of silence.

You win some, you lose some.
...
I suppose it could be worse, although I currently cannot possibly imagine anything worse than waking up to the news of Mr. Toad's Not-So-Wild Ride. But the week is still early yet, so I've got hope! And what's more American than that?
posted by kirkaracha at 2:13 PM on September 18 [16 favorites]


CNN, ICE official stands by comparing detention centers to 'summer camp,' won't say if he'd send his kids to one
Democratic Sen. Kamala Harris of California asked Immigration and Customs Enforcement's chief of arrests and deportations, Matthew Albence, if he stood by his comments earlier this summer that family detention centers are like "summer camp."
"Absolutely I do," he said.
But he demurred when asked whether he'd send his own children, or those of people he is close to, to the centers.
"Would you send your children to one of these detention centers?" she asked.
"That question's not applicable," he said.
...
"How long is too long, do you think, to detain a child in a detention facility?" Peters asked.
"I'm certainly not qualified to answer that question, sir," Albence said.
Hassan asked why, given all of the research, their agencies support nullifying the court settlement that caps detention of families.
Perez said the goal was deterring families from coming to the US.
"From CBP's perspective, the modification of the Flores agreement is more so a deterrence and the ability to help deter a myriad of pull factors (for immigrants)," Perez said, as the officials explained that the administration thinks immigrants are attracted to the US because they believe families get a free pass into the country.
posted by zachlipton at 2:18 PM on September 18 [16 favorites]


tonycpsu: And Trump, to put it mildly, is not wont to concede error.

It's not error he won't concede here, it's fault. As Doktor Zed quoted upthread from Woodward's book: Trump life advice: "Trump gave some private advice to a friend who had acknowledged some bad behavior toward women. Real power is fear. It's all about strength. Never show weakness. You've always got to be strong. Don't be bullied. ... 'You've got to deny, deny, deny and push back on these women.'"

Strength and dominance over anyone, but especially women and minorities. To concede means you're weak, and only weak people are ever in the wrong.
posted by filthy light thief at 2:35 PM on September 18 [12 favorites]


[A few deleted. This isn't Twitter, go ahead and write up a more substantial summary of a thing rather than just dropping a teaser. Separately, let's please dial back the zingers and little riffs and whatnot; chat to Chat and emotional outcries to the venting thread; aiming for less noise and more signal in this thread.]
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 2:37 PM on September 18 [9 favorites]


What happens after that is anyone’s guess, but I hope Dems have a plan to take full advantage of it. If we can keep the seat open through the midterms we might get to keep it from going evil.

"The President's vetting is so flawed that he didn't learn of this before nominating Kavanaugh, therefore until we learn what changes have been made to his vetting to prevent issues like this, we cannot move forward on any candidate"
posted by mikelieman at 2:38 PM on September 18 [16 favorites]


How can his vetting be flawed when he doesn't even know what vetting means here?
posted by Melismata at 2:39 PM on September 18 [1 favorite]


NYT: Trump Administration Formally Rolls Back Rule Aimed at Limiting Methane Pollution

Had it been finalized, it would have cut methane from the oil and gas sector by as much as 35 percent and helped the United States to achieve its greenhouse gas emissions goal under the global Paris Agreement on climate change. The Trump administration has so far revised, rewritten or moved to repeal 76 environmental regulations, the vast majority of which would have helped curb climate change.

Methane's 86 times more powerful a greenhouse gas than CO2 and the release of it might well be setting off a feedback loop that in a best-case scenario would put alligators in the arctic in a couple decades. Any headline you see containing the word "methane" should probably be your most alarming story of the day.
posted by Rust Moranis at 2:39 PM on September 18 [40 favorites]




"Oh, and also we're mounting a full investigation of Trump-Russia and obstruction using the power of the subpoena, and it would be incredibly irresponsible to allow the president to seat a Supreme Court justice who would be in a position to rule on either track of that investigation."
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 2:40 PM on September 18 [8 favorites]


Ok, so the NYT summarizes: Trump Sides With Kavanaugh, Accusing Democrats of Timing Sex Assault Charge to Delay Confirmation
President Trump falsely charged on Tuesday that Democrats had sought to time a sexual assault allegation against his Supreme Court nominee...
It ends with a threat and a promise:
Aides have successfully lobbied Mr. Trump to refrain from tweeting attacks on Dr. Blasey ... Asked by a reporter whether the accusations were “just politics,” Mr. Trump said: “I don’t want to say that. Maybe I’ll say that in a couple of days, but I don’t want to say that now.”
posted by RedOrGreen at 2:49 PM on September 18 [3 favorites]


HuffPost, Amanda Terkel, Republicans Consider Using Female Staffers To Question Christine Blasey Ford: "Every Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee is male. They normally would be the ones to face Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh’s accuser."
posted by zachlipton at 2:58 PM on September 18 [2 favorites]


Curious what the vote tally was on the Roberts dark money stay reversal — the link (and five others I reviewed) didn’t say. Does the whole court vote to take up an emergency case?
posted by notyou at 2:58 PM on September 18


The order reads, in its entirety, "The application for stay, presented to The Chief Justice and by him referred to the Court, is denied. The order heretofore entered by The Chief Justice is vacated."

The implication is that Roberts meant for the stay to be a temporary one until the full SCOTUS could consider the request in more detail and decide what to do with it on a permanent basis. The fact that no justice is listed as dissenting from the order implies that the decision was unanimous, but we can't know that for sure.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 3:01 PM on September 18 [2 favorites]


Mark Judge sent a letter to the Judiciary Committee: "I have no memory of this alleged incident." He appears to want to be excluded from this narrative in any way and does not want to testify.

Shouldn't be his fucking choice. Kavanaugh himself was quite adamant in forcing everybody to testify when on the Starr investigation. "It is our job to make [Clinton's] pattern of revolting behavior clear — piece by painful piece. Aren’t we failing to fulfill our duty to the American people if we willingly ‘conspire’ with the president in an effort to conceal the true nature of his acts?”

Subpoena him. And if they won't Ds should when they take control of a house.
posted by chris24 at 3:01 PM on September 18 [64 favorites]




Mark Judge sent a letter to the Judiciary Committee: "I have no memory of this alleged incident." He appears to want to be excluded from this narrative in any way and does not want to testify.

Also, you're his character witness, alibi and friend and you won't testify in his defense for the highest court in the land. Hmm...
posted by chris24 at 3:09 PM on September 18 [5 favorites]


And yeti persisted

They're stealing my lines!
posted by Rumple at 3:12 PM on September 18 [8 favorites]


NYT, Kavanaugh’s Accuser Has Yet to Confirm Appearance at Monday Hearings

Dr. Blasey [the name she uses professionally, apparently, though articles have used both] has received death threats (and supportive messages) and "is effectively in hiding" with her family, having moved out of her house:
“Ninety percent of people think she’s a hero and are extremely supportive of her, and 10 percent want her to die immediately,” the person said, adding, “Her worst fears are coming true.”
posted by zachlipton at 3:22 PM on September 18 [31 favorites]


A U.S. Military Intervention in Venezuela Would Be a Disaster

Looks like Donnie wants his own continent to invade
posted by infini at 3:23 PM on September 18 [3 favorites]


Nate Silver on where we're at looking towards the Dem primary in 2020:
At this point in 2014, there were 28 potential GOP candidates, per Wikipedia, and we eventually wound up with 17 candidates. There are currently *42* potential Democratic candidates, per Wikipedia, not counting several Rocky De La Fuente types
Awww yisss, this is gonna be a fiasco. *42* real candidates so far! Although it doesn't seem fair to exclusde Rocky De La Fuente types since such a type went on to crush his enemies and see them driven before him in the last Republican primary.
posted by Justinian at 3:23 PM on September 18 [1 favorite]


Also, there's no statute of limitations for this in Maryland. So Judge could possibly take the 5th to avoid any possible albeit unlikely criminal liability for those crimes or perjury. He has been careful to say he doesn't remember the incident and not to deny anything ever happened, so it seems he's worried some evidence may exist. And him taking the 5th would alone probably be enough to sink Kavanaugh.

Subpoena him.
posted by chris24 at 3:24 PM on September 18 [29 favorites]


CNBC, Wilbur Ross: Trump's new China tariffs will increase prices but 'nobody is going to actually notice'
Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross concedes that prices in the U.S. will increase as a result of the new China tariffs put in place by President Donald Trump.

However, Ross told CNBC on Tuesday, "Nobody is going to actually notice it at the end of the day," because the hikes will be "spread across thousands and thousands of products."
So we're now admitting that US consumers will be paying the taxes Trump just imposed, but they somehow won't notice because lots of products will get more expensive?

As for Sec. Ross's claim that China is "out of bullets" to retaliate because they export so much more to us than we export to them, consider Dean Baker, NYT Is Badly Mistaken: China Has Many Many Options in Trade War with Trump:
The most effective would probably be to stop paying attention to patent and copyright claims of U.S. corporations. It can encourage domestic Chinese companies to make millions of copies of Windows based computers, without paying a penny to Microsoft. It can do the same with iPhones and Apple. In fact, it can encourage Chinese companies to export these unauthorized copies all over the world, destroying Microsoft and Apple's markets in third countries.

It can do the same with fertilizers and pesticides, making Monsanto and other chemical giants unhappy. And, it can do this with Pfizer and Merck's drugs, flooding the world with low cost generic drugs. Even a short period of generic availability may do permanent damage to these companies' markets.
posted by zachlipton at 3:33 PM on September 18 [39 favorites]


Every Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee is male.

At least they're not all white dudes, though. Oh wait.
posted by kirkaracha at 3:38 PM on September 18 [7 favorites]


Re: the trade war, China could also start unwinding their HUGE stockpile of US Treasuries, which would likely spike already-increasing interest rates. That's more of a nuclear option, as it hurts them too, but the idea that the US holds ultimate leverage over the trade relationship is preposterous.
posted by johnny jenga at 3:42 PM on September 18 [4 favorites]


However, Ross told CNBC on Tuesday, "Nobody is going to actually notice it at the end of the day," because the hikes will be "spread across thousands and thousands of products."

This is wacky:

1: nobody will notice that thousands of the things they buy are ~10 percent more expensive than they were six months ago (depending on how much of the cost sellers eat and how much of the end product consists of tariffed input goods)?;

2: okay fine, if nobody is going to notice, then your own "bullets" in your trade war aren't actually very good.
posted by notyou at 3:43 PM on September 18 [17 favorites]


On the one hand, American companies are fully complicit in, if not directly responsible for, the race to the bottom that has helped make much of China an environmental and human rights disaster. It is insane the extent to which the artificially, intentionally weakened costs of fuel and labor--combined with loose environmental but stringent economic policies--drove down the cost of manufacturing something in China to the point where it *just made sense* to manufacture everything there.

There are plenty of arguments for why that isn't great for the USA or the rest of the world.

On the other hand, the president is a venal idiot surrounded by craven rich glad-handlers who seem intent on lining their pockets while the world is literally destroyed around them, and everything about his administration's "economic policy" is definitively incompetent, and it's clear that his base has no idea what tariffs are or who pays them.

I never thought I'd see America intentionally destroy its own global hegemonic force just to own the libz.
posted by aspersioncast at 3:45 PM on September 18 [50 favorites]


Horseplay, you say? (Alexandra Petri, WaPo)
This is another situation where human beings want to do something violent and bad and they are trying to hide themselves under the cover of a horse. This is a real Greek Soldiers in a Wooden Replica situation, or like when Tolstoy killed off that poor horse in “Anna Karenina” just so he could have a metaphor for a failed relationship. This is just like all the horses who are stuck in those Confederate statues. This isn’t our doing. Stop sneaking up from behind and pointing this at us. It startles us.

How dare, I repeat, how DARE you sully my name with these smears? Black Beauty never did this. Boxer never did this. He never played. He never even thought. He just worked harder. Ginger did not waste her life between the shafts of a Victorian taxicab so you could blame us for this.

Horseplay! My god! When I think of what horses have done for you? Our friendship is magic; our gallop polls, reliable.

This is not horseplay. Force himself on someone? Put a hand over someone’s mouth? Do I look as though I have hands?

Get off your high me! No pal of mine, no!
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 3:58 PM on September 18 [42 favorites]


Quick CA48 update:
@DanaRohrabacher: Proud to be supporting Gracey Van Der Mark for school board. She is a patriot and a parent who has great potential to make a difference for our children and our state.. and yes, our country. #ca48 #ovsd #oceanviewschooldistrict #huntingtonbeach
She seems nice. I guess?

*googles*

OC Weekly:
The controversy over a Huntington Beach resident’s bigoted online comments and offline associations with known alt-right racists came before the Ocean View School District board of trustees meeting last night. Gracey Van Der Mark, a member of the district’s Measure R Citizens Oversight Committee, referred to blacks at a Committee for Racial Justice workshop in Santa Monica as “colored people” doing the bidding of Jews in written comments to her own YouTube video from the event. During the hours-long meeting, the board voted 4-1 to remove Van Der Mark from her post.
Oh, I get it -- firing up the base!
posted by notyou at 4:00 PM on September 18 [53 favorites]


Ok, so the NYT summarizes: Trump Sides With Kavanaugh, Accusing Democrats of Timing Sex Assault Charge to Delay Confirmation

Unfortunately, the summarizations and clips of Trump speaking that the regular media must employ to suit their own formats can't convey the effect of reading Trump in his own words, which border on formal thought disorder. Here's how he responded, verbatim, from this afternoon's White House press pool:
Question: Mr. president how long of a delay is acceptable in the hearings for Judge Kavanaugh?

Trump: I think its a great question quite frankly, we are looking to get this done as quickly as possible. He is a truly outstanding person as you know, hes got an unblemished record. Its a terrible thing that took place, its frankly a terrible thing that this information wasnt given to us a long time ago, months ago when they got it, they could have done that instead of waiting till everything was finished and then scream. but thats what the Democrats do, its an obstruction, its resistance, its whatever you have to do.

With all of that being said, its a process. We all feel, Speaking for all of the Republicans, we feel we want to go through this process and we want to give everybody a chance to say what they have to say. So we have time available, we will delay the process till its finished out, I guess weve invited everybodyI can tell you this Judge Kavanaugh is anxious to do itI dont know about the other party, but Judge Kavanaugh is very anxious to do it.

A delay is certainly acceptable but we want to get to the bottom of everything. We want everybody to speak up and speak out, the fact is this should have been done a long time ago..and the fact is when Senator Feinstein had Judge Kavanaugh in her office for a long time she never even mentioned this, it was a long time ago

We want to hear both sides

Question: Do you think the FBI should be involved?

Trump: I dont think the FBI should be involved because they dont want to be involved, if they wanted to be I would certainly do that. As you say, this is not really their thing. The Senators will do a good job.
Later, during the joint press conference by Trump and Polish President Duda (in itself extraordinary in its cringeworthiness), Trump blathered on about how the FBI reopening Kavanaugh's background investigation "wouldnt bother me, other than the FBI, Jon [Jon Decker of Fox, because of course he's on a first-name basis], said that they really dont do that; that's not what they do. Now, they have done, supposedly, six background checks over the years, as Judge Kavanaugh has gone beautifully up a ladder. He's an incredible individual. Great intellect, great judge. Impeccable history in every way -- in every way." He then went on about how he feels so badly for him for having to go through this, how he doesn't deserve this, how Sen. Feinstein didn't bring it up during her interview with him—"Because they obstruct and because they resist. That's the name of their campaign against me. They just resist and they just obstruct. And, frankly, I think they're lousy on policy, and in many ways, they're lousy politicians. But they're very good on obstruction. And it's shame, because this is a great gentleman."

Also today, Kyle Griffin reports that All 10 Senate Judiciary Democrats are asking FBI director Chris Wray and W.H. counsel Don McGahn to reopen Brett Kavanaugh's background investigation. (Letter attached) Because the FBI cannot reopen their investigation without explicit instructions from the White House, which Trump, for all his word-salad tossing, is refusing to do.
posted by Doktor Zed at 4:10 PM on September 18 [31 favorites]


Harry Caul: Roberts' stay on dark money denied. Political nonprofits must now name many of their donors under federal court ruling after Supreme Court declines to intervene.

I wonder how many dark-money fuses are blowing right now as a result of this decision. This is great.
posted by clawsoon at 4:14 PM on September 18 [19 favorites]




Here's just a bit more on CA48 and specifically a tweet from incumbent Rep Dana Rohrabacher (R-Kamchatka) that maybe captures the dynamic here as the challenger (Harley Rouda) is seemingly everywhere (I've been canvassed TWICE already) while @Dana's effort seems moribund, which perhaps explains why he and his campaign decided to embrace (or weirdly grip hands with) an energetic young nativist pol the likes of Van Der Mark:
@DanaRohrabacher: Appreciated the Mokhbery family opening their home for a meet n greet to help me get acquainted with their neighbors and their concerns.
The pictures attached to that tweet -- all I can think of is sepia-toned mayo.
posted by notyou at 4:20 PM on September 18 [3 favorites]


"Just wanted to offer the depressing reminder that the new Congress is not seated until Jan. 3. Even if Democrats win the Senate on Nov. 6, Republicans will still have nearly two months to confirm either Kavanaugh or another Trump appointee."

"Entirely warranted. But just to remind everyone:

We thought ACA repeal was a done deal, too.

Fight as though you can win."


As this has been a recurring theme in our threads lately, this paragraph from today's DSA September dispatch seemed appropriate and made me smile:

"This litany is enough to make even an optimist pause. But we socialists tend to be, to paraphrase the famous Italian political theorist Antonio Gramsci “pessimists because of intelligence, but optimists because of will.”

Metafilter: pessimists because of intelligence, but optimists because of will.
posted by robotdevil at 4:22 PM on September 18 [98 favorites]


Cynicism is reactionary. It's true!
posted by notyou at 4:26 PM on September 18 [2 favorites]




That quote is on a giant billboard on Newport Blvd in Costa Mesa right now. Costa Mesa is part of CA-48.
posted by sideshow at 4:47 PM on September 18 [67 favorites]


Watch the video. Kavanaugh did the whole Foster thing, which he knew was bullshit, just to hurt Clinton and sully Hillary with the lie that she'd had an affair with Foster. He's slime and rape isn't out character but in fact unsurprising knowing what we do about him.

@TheLeadCNN
By reopening the investigation of Vince Foster's suicide Kavanuagh "tormented the Foster family in the most vicious, cruel, abuse of power I think I've ever seen in 30 years," says @PaulBegala: "If he would do something that horrible, I don't know what he was like in high school"

VIDEO
posted by chris24 at 4:51 PM on September 18 [69 favorites]


the summarizations and clips of Trump speaking that the regular media must employ to suit their own formats can't convey the effect of reading Trump in his own words, which border on formal thought disorder.

I had a weird moment earlier this year where I got in a debate with a conservative snowflake who was mad about the phrase "toxic masculinity" and cited it as evidence that progressives were in the middle of a war on men.

I was pretty flummoxed by this, because to me it seemed *totally obvious* saying "toxic masculinity" was no more an attack on men in general than saying "toxic relationship" is an attack on all relationships or "toxic food" would be a war on eating. The adjective denotes a subcategory of the noun it modifies, it isn't an equivalence relation.

But the more I talked to him, the more it became obvious that there were only two possibilities: either he couldn't concede the point because to do so would to be to undermine the counterattack that he wanted to make (and the charge of a war on men was a post-hoc reason for rather than a motivation ).... or adjectives functioned as equivalence by association for this person.

At first I wrote this off as a kind of dysfunction and misunderstanding of language. How could he not know this is how language works? We went to the same public schools and parts of speech and sentence diagrams were all part of the curriculum. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized it was possible that I was as likely to have a fringe relationship with language as he was. Maybe more. I wrote my first computer programs inside the critical period for language development, and spent a lot of time studying Math and CS. Maybe a training and predisposition to get parse-y really aren't that common.

Then I started noticing something specific about Trump's word salad. The syntax is iffy, chains of reason are largely absent. But equivalence by association is all over the place. That's what the nicknames are ("Crooked Hillary"). And look at his speech "we. get this done. quickly." "He. outstanding person. unblemished. record." "democrats. obstruct. resistance."

When Republicans attack Democrats on budget issues, they don't get out charts and figures. They just say it over and over again "tax and spend, tax and spend." It has all the logic of a playground taunt, and moreover, I think some of the Republicans who use it may even understand to some degree they are not using language to articulate any aspect of reality, they are using it in much the way a playground bully does, but they're as proud to conduct discussion this way as they are to own guns, possibly for some of the same reasons.

I'm certainly tempted to deride and dismiss this kind of approach as *dumb*. There's a sense in which it is. Conducting discussion this way habituates people to engaging it. It amplifies the tendency, as most human actions makes their future reprise easier. Past Republican sowing of this kind of thing has resulted in Trump as POTUS, a prospect even many Rs are ostensibly (if quietly and often ineffectually) dismayed at. Unchecked this kind of momentum tends to war against aspects of civilization that are based on competence and studied judgment.

But the fact seems to be some large portion doesn't have an analytical relationship with their political views. Maybe those of us who want the world governed analytically, competently, and studiedly need to also learn how to talk to people for whom adjectives and other aspects of language often function as equivalence-by-association.
posted by wildblueyonder at 4:52 PM on September 18 [113 favorites]


Ginger did not waste her life between the shafts of a Victorian taxicab so you could blame us for this.

Alexandra Petri you make my eyes all misty and shit
posted by angrycat at 5:06 PM on September 18 [25 favorites]


Not to discount any of your observations, wildblueyonder, but "the phrase toxic masculinity implies that all men are toxic" is a really really super common sealioning tactic in the misogoshphere. And never once have I seen anyone, having had adjectives and parts of speech explained patiently to them, concede the point.
posted by soren_lorensen at 5:09 PM on September 18 [25 favorites]


It is similar, in my mind, to some people's steadfast refusal to accept that saying "many people who support x are y" (where y might be, say "deplorable") does not imply that "if you support y you are x".
They just want to be offended and use it as a cudgel.
posted by flaterik at 5:12 PM on September 18 [8 favorites]


I had a weird moment earlier this year where I got in a debate with a conservative snowflake who was mad about the phrase "toxic masculinity" and cited it as evidence that progressives were in the middle of a war on men.

My life has gotten so much simpler and better when I stopped caring what bad people think. And if they're Trumpettes at this point they're bad people. Telling people honestly what I think of them and/or their actions has ended friendships and family relationships and it hasn't been a loss at all. Don't debate with them. Say goodbye to them.
posted by chris24 at 5:17 PM on September 18 [57 favorites]


Language has a material effect on the world, outside of how that language signifies. Although it is possible to use language to do “parse-ey” things, to use language like computer scientists use language, or claim to use language,1 for the most part when we use language we are using it to achieve a rhetorical effect rather than to perform logic.

This is not bad! A culture that somehow, Vulcan-like, treated language as a tool for logic without regard to its rhetorical effects on the audience would not be a superior culture; if nothing else, it would get rolled by the first bad actor that figured out how to sneak rhetorical effects into logical language. And all languages, by dint of their status as symbolic representations, are susceptible to this category of attack (see footnote 1. Also see science fiction novelist China Miéville’s Embassytown. Also see several of my own novels.)

Which means that on the one hand, yes, we have to pitch our statements for people who don’t treat language as a formal exercise in logic, and yes, we must learn how to use language for its rhetorical effects beyond its capacity for demonstrating logical proofs, but also it means that we must admit that they, the people who don’t use language solely as a tool for doing logic, are right, and we, the folks who want to treat logos as governing over the material world rather than being itself a messily material thing, are arrogantly, obnoxiously wrong.

1: google for unix/C co-inventor Ken Thompson’s “Reflections on Trusting Trust” for a charming demonstration of how statements in even formal languages can never be provably related to any particular meaning.
posted by Reclusive Novelist Thomas Pynchon at 5:17 PM on September 18 [24 favorites]


Breaking NYT:

Christine Blasey Ford Wants F.B.I. to Investigate Kavanaugh Before She Testifies
Christine Blasey Ford, who has accused Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh, the Supreme Court nominee, of sexual assault, said an investigation should be a “first step” before she agrees to testify.

Her position puts the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing scheduled for Monday in doubt.
posted by Barack Spinoza at 5:17 PM on September 18 [69 favorites]


wildblueyonder: Flagged as "fantastic;" thanks! Summarizes what I've been thinking about for a long time now. I'm printing this and reading it repeatedly until I can seamlessly apply these ideas in real time to my own arguments.
posted by ZenMasterThis at 5:19 PM on September 18


but "the phrase toxic masculinity implies that all men are toxic" is a really really super common sealioning tactic in the misogoshphere.

I wouldn't go so far as to call this a sealioning tactic. They only have the one flavor of "masculinity". To them, everything else is some other form of effeminate/[insert various slurs here] behavior.
posted by Xyanthilous P. Harrierstick at 5:21 PM on September 18 [7 favorites]


Vanity Fair serves up some unsourced Trumpland gossip: As the Kavanaugh Nightmare Escalates, Trump Is Gripped With Uncertainty As Ivanka Suggests Cutting The Judge Loose
According to three sources, Kavanaugh’s imperiled confirmation has unsettled Trump and the White House. “Everyone knows his predisposition is to punch back, but this is a different situation than an election,” a former West Wing official briefed on the strategy discussions said.[....]

According to sources, several factors are at play. White House advisers are worried that more damaging information about Kavanaugh could come out. Two sources told me the White House has heard rumors that Ford’s account will be verified by women who say she told it to them contemporaneously.[...] One source says Ivanka Trump has told her father to “cut bait” and drop Kavanaugh.[...]

But the threat of losing the House and Senate seems to have helped convince Trump not to go scorched-earth on Ford. If Trump antagonizes women voters, it could increase the odds Republicans would lose both houses in Congress. “Trump knows the Senate is not looking good,” an outside adviser said. “It’s all about the impeachment, he knows it’s coming.”

Even before the Kavanaugh crisis, Trump has been worried about Republicans’ declining fortunes, and he’s been finding ways to shift the blame. Trump told a friend in the Oval Office last week that it would be Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan’s fault if Republicans lost the House and the Senate, according to a person familiar with the conversation. “This is the election about Ryan and McConnell—it’s about those guys,” Trump said. Trump referred to his 2020 campaign as “the real election.” “It’s pure Trump. He has to come up with a way he’s not responsible if Republicans lose,” a former West Wing staffer said.
Incidentally, Trump is privately lashing out at one of his top allies, Ron DeSantis, angrily accusing the Florida Republican gubernatorial nominee of publicly betraying him, Politico writes. This betrayal consists of "distancing himself from the president’s assertion that the Hurricane Maria death toll was inflated by Democrats for political purposes." And Trump is entirely capable of withholding support for DeSantis in the 2018 elections despite needing a GOP-friendly Florida in 2020.
posted by Doktor Zed at 5:28 PM on September 18 [15 favorites]


This nomination needs to be withdrawn now. He had better not be the nominee by the end of Maddow tonight. Republican men are toxic.
posted by fluttering hellfire at 5:31 PM on September 18 [8 favorites]




Wow. Blasey Ford says that Grassley scheduled the public hearing expecting her to testify “at the same table” as Kavanaugh. At the same table as the man she says once tried to rape her.

The full letter.
posted by chris24 at 5:41 PM on September 18 [18 favorites]


Senate GOP to Prof Ford: Take It Or Leave It - Josh Marshall, TPM
I want to note what appears to be clearly a unified strategy among Republican Senators to put the onus on Professor Ford personally and blame her if the hearing doesn’t happen. They’ve unilaterally announced a process and are now arguing that Ford is at fault if she doesn’t agree. Look at the specific wording.

Read these quotes, which clearly come from a pre-arranged agreement.

Mitch McConnell said Ford will have “the opportunity to be heard.

Sen. Grassley’s spokesperson: “Our staff reached out to Dr. Ford’s lawyer with multiple emails yesterday to schedule a similar call and inform her of the upcoming hearing, where she will have the opportunity to share her story with the Committee. Her lawyer has not yet responded.”

Sens Collins and Cornyn are referring to Ford’s non-response so far.

Sen. Collins: “That’s very puzzling to me…I really hope that she doesn’t pass up that opportunity.”

Sen. Cornyn: “That’s pretty telling, she hasn’t responded to the committee’s normal processes and we don’t know if she’s coming or not but this is her chance. This is her one chance. We hope she does.”
posted by ZeusHumms at 5:48 PM on September 18 [24 favorites]


The lawyer Trump wanted to hire and who he frequently tweet quotes. From the White Supremacy Hour with Tucker Carlson.

Madeline Peltz (MMFA)
JOE DIGENOVA on Dr. Ford: She doesn’t really want to testify because when she does she’s going to look like the loon she is. she may very well believe everything she’s saying and that is one of the signs of lunacy, believe something that isn't real.

VIDEO
posted by chris24 at 5:59 PM on September 18 [4 favorites]


Wow. Blasey Ford says that Grassley scheduled the public hearing expecting her to testify “at the same table” as Kavanaugh. At the same table as the man she says once tried to rape her.

The full letter.


I'm really glad she has some good lawyers, and I hope they know how to play the public relations game. This letter suggests that they do. The GOP senators who are trying to manipulate this unfair process are going to drive right into a hornets nest.
posted by bluesky43 at 5:59 PM on September 18 [23 favorites]


and what the heck Susan Collins? what a total disappointment.
posted by bluesky43 at 6:00 PM on September 18 [6 favorites]


Vanity Fair serves up some unsourced Trumpland gossip: As the Kavanaugh Nightmare Escalates, Trump Is Gripped With Uncertainty As Ivanka Suggests Cutting The Judge Loose

I REALLY hope that the GOP/Trump is too stupid, too arrogant and too stubborn to take what is obviously the best path forward. I don't want to put Dr. Ford in any more pain than she has already endured, but the longer this drags on and the more discovery there is, all the better. May the GOP crash and burn.
posted by bluesky43 at 6:04 PM on September 18 [4 favorites]


The GOP senators who are trying to manipulate this unfair process are going to drive right into a hornets nest.

Are they? They know the public won't really see this unless it's on TV. That's how the Anita Hill hearings turned into such a spectacle, and they're trying to intimidate Ford into backing down by cooking up the most unpleasant scenario possible to avoid that this time while still claiming they gave her "due process" or the "opportunity to be heard". At which point they'll claim she was lying because she wouldn't show up to sit at the same table as her rapist on national television, and confirm Kavanaugh.

They're bringing the full weight of the Republican party down on one victim and daring her to call their bluff. That's an impossible burden and they know it.

And this appears to be at least in part Susan Collins' idea. Moderate Susan Collins.

Rape enabler Susan Collins.
posted by T.D. Strange at 6:05 PM on September 18 [69 favorites]


for all of her wretched career as a senator, Susan Collins has tried to get people to overlook that she’s a right-wing loon by coasting on Olympia Snowe’s reputation as a moderate. it’s bizarre that that has somehow worked, but, well, it has.
posted by Reclusive Novelist Thomas Pynchon at 6:05 PM on September 18 [33 favorites]


Asking for an FBI investigation is a bit weird. Does the FBI usually investigate this sort of thing? I mean, she can ask, but is it a reasonable thing to happen?
posted by BungaDunga at 6:13 PM on September 18


Jesse Lehrich
the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013 passed the Senate 78-22.

the 6 highest ranking Rs on @senjudiciary voted against it:
– Grassley
– Hatch
– Graham
– Cornyn
– Lee
– Cruz
posted by chris24 at 6:14 PM on September 18 [74 favorites]


Asking for an FBI investigation is a bit weird. Does the FBI usually investigate this sort of thing? I mean, she can ask, but is it a reasonable thing to happen?

They do background checks for nominees and other appointees and they definitely investigate lying on your background check. Even today when Trump talked about it, he didn't say they didn't do this, he said they didn't want to.
posted by chris24 at 6:15 PM on September 18 [9 favorites]


Whoever is coordinating Dean Phillips' media campaign for MN-03 is bringing their a-game. First Bigfoot asking if Erik Paulsen exists and now Erik the Pac Man.
posted by nathan_teske at 6:17 PM on September 18 [20 favorites]


As NPR told it, no federal crime was committed, so FBI is out in that regard. OTOH (they said) the FBI Background Investigation could be re-opened. This is typically where disqualifying dirt is discovered on nominees. re: trump saying, "they didn't want to" - he's trying to conflate the two investigations to keep the conversation murky (imho).
posted by j_curiouser at 6:19 PM on September 18


Asking for an FBI investigation is a bit weird. Does the FBI usually investigate this sort of thing? I mean, she can ask, but is it a reasonable thing to happen?

The FBI was involved during the Clarence Thomas committee hearings and interviewed Anita Hill, so there's clear precedent.
posted by bluesky43 at 6:23 PM on September 18 [22 favorites]


the 6 highest ranking Rs on @senjudiciary voted against it:

And of course human garbage Rubio voted against it as well. Why would you vote against the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act?!
posted by photoslob at 6:24 PM on September 18 [5 favorites]


They know the public won't really see this unless it's on TV.

A high profile primetime interview about what happened, and why she rejected a show hearing, would be a good next step.
posted by condour75 at 6:26 PM on September 18 [18 favorites]


wildblueyonder, I think you're onto something regarding adjective usage. For example, take the fairly common conservative (back when such creatures as conservatives existed) complaint about "burdensome regulations" and their effect on business. I originally would hear this and think oh, they're complaining about the subset of regulations that they believe are burdensome. But later I came to realize that most often, people who said this really thought (or claimed; I'm terrible at mind reading) that all regulations were burdensome; the phrase "burdensome regulations" was idiomatic, not to be split into noun and adjective. If you accept for purposes of argument that some people have this as a common feature of their discourse, they might hear other adjective- noun combinations in this idiomatic way. I have known men who, when they first encountered the term "toxic masculinity," took it in this way and got defensive, but after a brief discussion, were able to understand it wasn't a statement purporting to describe all of masculinity (in my view, that's one way to separate good faith from bad faith--if people are open to going past their first assumption upon discussion, and don't keep relying on the debunked assumption to prove a point). Your analysis helps me to understand how someone might form such an interpretation, without necessarily acting in bad faith. Thanks!
posted by mabelstreet at 6:44 PM on September 18 [25 favorites]


Sure, that might be the most effective thing next to coming in on fire like Pete Strozk and making them look like morons in open hearings. But a high profile primetime interview is still a huge burden to place on someone who was until two days ago an anonymous private citizen. And a victim decades later. You could envision Ford going on national TV and giving a devastating takedown, but it's unfair to expect or demand it.
posted by T.D. Strange at 6:45 PM on September 18 [19 favorites]


nathan_teske: Whoever is coordinating Dean Phillips' media campaign for MN-03 is bringing their a-game. First Bigfoot asking if Erik Paulsen exists and now Erik the Pac Man.

I want to question the wisdom of using the opponent as the protagonist, but the whole thing is pretty genius, particularly the substitution of the ghosts with four everyday constituents trying to reach him.
posted by InTheYear2017 at 6:48 PM on September 18 [1 favorite]


In all the other apeshit nonsense this may have been asked, but isn't it highly unusual that Kavanaugh's statements are going through the White House? Did this happen with e.g. Bork?
posted by aspersioncast at 7:00 PM on September 18 [3 favorites]


Sen. Hatch, now:
The FBI does not do investigations like this. The responsibility falls to us. Chairman @ChuckGrassley has moved our committee vote to accommodate Dr. Ford’s lawyer’s offer on TV yesterday to have her client testify before the Judiciary Committee. We should proceed as planned.
Sen. Hatch, then:
"She didn't bring those instances up when she was interviewed by the FBI. But she brought them up with the committee. It's too contrived, too slick. The language was so unusual she would have had to remember it when the FBI interviewed her."
Go to the FBI: say that's a reason to ignore her claims and she should have gone to the committee. Go to the committee: say that's a reason to ignore her claims and she should have gone to the FBI. It's almost like Senator Hatch isn't acting in good faith.

The fact that both he and Grassley both have been on the committee for thirty years is depressing enough by itself, but still.

[Hat tip to this excellent Twitter thread by @nycsouthpaw]
posted by cjelli at 7:01 PM on September 18 [38 favorites]


but isn't it highly unusual that Kavanaugh's statements are going through the White House?

It seems by now everyone just subconsciously assumes that anyone trump wants to seat is a newly compromised loyalist so of course he’s going to use their amenities because he’s in the Family now.
posted by Burhanistan at 7:03 PM on September 18 [2 favorites]


but it's unfair to expect or demand it.

Absolutely. I didn't mean to suggest she owed it to us. Just that it seems like it would be a good end run around their bullshit.
posted by condour75 at 7:06 PM on September 18 [2 favorites]


It's almost like Senator Hatch isn't acting in good faith.

Orrin Hatch once said there was “no question” Merrick Garland could be confirmed to the Supreme Court.
posted by kirkaracha at 7:07 PM on September 18 [25 favorites]


From a little digging all I've found so far is that the Gipper's press secretary was just as horrid as Suckabee.
posted by aspersioncast at 7:08 PM on September 18 [1 favorite]


the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013 passed the Senate 78-22.

Now that you mention it, don't forget that the VAWA expires at the end of September, for the first time in 24 years, and there is no indication at this time that Congress plans to act on it by that deadline.

The VAWA provides grants to community organizations working on the prevention and care of domestic violence victims such as education programs, victim assistance and shelters. These programs will terminate without reauthorization.
posted by JackFlash at 7:10 PM on September 18 [47 favorites]


and what the heck Susan Collins? what a total disappointment.

As a former constituent of hers, people should have stopped pretending she was reasonable a long time ago.

A note on the language use discussion: George Lakoff has been talking about this since the Bush years. He's really the one that popularized the notion of framing.
posted by Miko at 7:16 PM on September 18 [24 favorites]


Surprise, it seems Trump was lying.

Chris Strohm (Bloomberg):
Bloomberg News: The FBI did not tell Trump or anyone else at the White House that the bureau doesn’t want to be involved in an investigation of allegations against Kavanaugh, according to a person familiar with the matter.
posted by chris24 at 7:57 PM on September 18 [30 favorites]


Dr. Ford's lawyer is a boss. Interview with Anderson Cooper
posted by bluesky43 at 8:00 PM on September 18 [7 favorites]


ELECTIONS NEWS - Pt. 2

** 2018 House:
-- NM-02: Siena poll has Dem Torres Small up 46-45 on GOPer Herrell [MOE: +/- 4.9%]. [Trump 50-40 | Cook: Leans R]

-- TX-07: Siena poll has GOP incumbent Culberson up 48-45 on Dem Fletcher [MOE: +/- 5.0%]. FWIW, they also tested the Senate race; O'Rourke leads 51-44. Experts feel this is consonant with a Cruz statewide lead of a couple of points. [Clinton 49-47 | Cook: Tossup]
** 2018 Senate:
-- AZ: TargetSmart poll has Dem Sinema up 51-46 on GOPer McSally [MOE: +/- 4.0%]. Poll was commissioned by a progressive PAC.

-- MI: Target-Insyght poll has Dem incumbent Stabenow up 55-40 on GOPer James [MOE: +/- 3.0%].
** Odds & ends:
-- AZ gov: Same TargetSmart poll has incumbent GOP Ducey up 49-48 on Dem Garcia.

-- MI gov: Same Target-Insyght poll has Dem Whitmer up 50-41 on GOPer Schuette.

-- WP's Dave Weigel has a new regular newsletter out about the midterms and other stuff, recommended.

-- Dems just lost a very winnable special election in Texas SD-19. Local analysis is that it was pretty much the candidate running a very half-assed campaign, but the area is significantly Hispanic, so this adds to the troubling indications that maybe Hispanic turnout for Dems is not going to be what they want. District has significant overlap with TX-23 (Hurd | Leans R).
posted by Chrysostom at 8:16 PM on September 18 [23 favorites]




Susan Collins is a Republican. Every Republican in Congress has an intense and vested interest in enacting Trump’s agenda. Trump’s agenda isn’t even Trump’s agenda, it’s THEIR agenda and Trump is THEIR sock puppet. Stop looking to Republicans to somehow stop doing what they’ve been working for 50 years to do. They have literally spent billions of dollars and manipulated our entire understanding of the American social contract in order to achieve exactly this. Putting hydroponically cultivated Republican activists on the Supreme Court, who have a lifelong history of violence and disenfranchisement of women and will enshrine those principles into federal law, is the GOAL. Not the hang-up. Just like making a white supremacist who openly mocks minorities and women, brags about sexual assault, has absolutely no respect or even knowledge of the law, and normalizes fascist behavior, into the next president was the GOAL. Not the hang-up. Republicans would not pick a moral, woman-respecting guy to sit on the bench because they are trying, with great intent and enthusiasm, to dismantle women’s rights entirely, just like they are trying, with great intent and enthusiasm, to dismantle our democracy entirely. Even now, they are acting to keep people from voting, attacking the press, and using law enforcement agencies to strip people of their US citizenship. That is the GOAL. Not the hang-up.

The sooner everyone figures this out already, the better off we’ll be. EVERY Republican in Congress has acted with complete consistency since 2016. Quit looking for outliers and hidden moderates because there aren’t any. They are all bankrupt. This is not the Trump agenda, this is the Republican agenda, and people need to start associating that with EVERY elected official who has an R next to their name.
posted by Autumnheart at 8:23 PM on September 18 [145 favorites]


Josh Marshall thinks the GOP will still have to end up hearing from Ford in public, and that if they do, Kavanaugh is torpedoed. I have to say I'm a lot more skeptical. I think this whole "she's gotta come in Monday and testify, that's the offer" strategem is likely to work. She says (correctly), "well, that's obviously bullshit," they say, "well then, tough," and on we go to the confirmation vote.

I sure hope I'm wrong.
posted by Chrysostom at 8:31 PM on September 18 [37 favorites]


Concur with the above. The Monday or never offer leaves them just enough rhetorical room to keep the wobblies in line while giving the firebreathers more fuel for the hate mills.

On the other side, the mistreatment of Ford should energize a lot of folks to get even more involved in the midterms. After that, geez, does a successful effort to uncover more wrongdoing by Kavanaugh after he’s seated lead to impeachment or short of that given the venality of the GOP, civil/criminal exposure?

[edit: to be clear, by “mistreatment of Ford” I mean the current situation, not what Kavanaugh did to her 30 years ago.]
posted by notyou at 8:42 PM on September 18 [2 favorites]


Please. It’ll be 3 days of raking her over the fucking coals, her probably having to go into the Witness Protection Program to get away from all the rape and death threats, and by this time next week we’ll be on to Trump going nuts on Twitter about some other damn thing while probably starting a #getbackinthekitchen campaign.
posted by Autumnheart at 8:48 PM on September 18 [15 favorites]


Autumnheart: Stop looking to Republicans to somehow stop doing what they’ve been working for 50 years to do.

Correct. However, when it comes to a general reckoning with them, we have to act as if alternate paths were always available. There is no "Not guilty by reason of the corruption runs into the deepest parts of the soul".

One of my senators is Pat Toomey. He will never change. And because of that, his life, or at least his job, needs to be made as miserable as possible as long as possible. You can't reform them but you can disincentive them.
posted by InTheYear2017 at 8:52 PM on September 18 [15 favorites]


Re: Ford refusing to testify on Monday, It's important to remember how much it took for her to come forward at all; she was in contact with Feinstein's office for a month before the hearing, and declined to be named. Even after the hearing came and went with nobody finding an angle to bring up the assault without her testimony, she didn't come forward. It took a cavalcade of leaks by third parties to push her into doing the WaPo story. That doesn't sound like a woman who's spoiling for a fight with the most powerful misogynists on the continent. From the beginning, her goal has been to spur an investigation of Kavanaugh's past, not to confront him and his patrons herself.

(And just to be clear, I don't blame her one fucking bit for that)
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 9:02 PM on September 18 [54 favorites]


Is the FBI incompetent? Don't they run background checks on people in Government positions? Asking for another background check now will reveal that the first people didn't uncover anything and were incompetent? Do they bother asking Senators on the Judiciary panel, do you have an information that would or should be added? Did Senator Feinstein fail to provide the letter or documents to the FBI in June?
posted by brent at 9:09 PM on September 18 [2 favorites]


One of my senators is Pat Toomey. He will never change. And because of that, his life, or at least his job, needs to be made as miserable as possible as long as possible. You can't reform them but you can disincentive them.

There is no way to disincentivize them. They hold all the power. They could have him admit to rape under oath and confirm him the next day. There’s literally no way to stop it. And make their job miserable? Like what, call their office a jillion times and bug the shit out of some staffer? Are they suddenly going to care about any of that, after two years of conspicuously not caring?

This is the same pointless game show principle behind “Vote a certain way or we’ll fund your opponent!” Just fund their opponent. Calling their office doesn’t disincentivize them, embarrassing them in public doesn’t do it, million-person marches aren’t doing it. We need people to run against them and win (which people are doing! Hurray), and we need to protect the integrity of our elections. These people cannot be disincentivized. They need to be removed.
posted by Autumnheart at 9:17 PM on September 18 [13 favorites]


There is no way to disincentivize them.

This has been empirically disproven. Even if we stipulate that the "moderates" are just extremists like all the rest, but playing a role to put one over on their constituents, they're still playing the role, and sometimes keeping up that performance requires them to push back against the party's right wing, if we deny them all plausible excuses to go along. That's how we ended up with three Republicans voting against Obamacare repeal. That's how we forced some of the most publicly bad executive branch nominees to drop out. Hell, that's how we ended up with Flake/Murkowski/Collins demanding a new hearing and not just pushing ahead with a vote, as they could have done.

The higher the stakes the harder it is, so it's far from guaranteed to work here, but to say it can never work, under any circumstances, is too pessimistic even for 2018.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 9:28 PM on September 18 [64 favorites]


Is the FBI incompetent? Don't they run background checks on people in Government positions? Asking for another background check now will reveal that the first people didn't uncover anything and were incompetent? Do they bother asking Senators on the Judiciary panel, do you have an information that would or should be added? Did Senator Feinstein fail to provide the letter or documents to the FBI in June?

The Senate Judiciary Committee has a nominations staff, which includes nominations clerks and investigators who operate with security clearance in a secure environment and work together with the FBI to investigate the backgrounds of judicial nominees. Both the majority and minority on the Committee have these staff members, who report to the Chairman and the Ranking Member, respectively. In other words, Grassley has a Nominations Clerk and Nominations Investigator (more than one of each, potentially), and Feinstein does, as well. They work together, though the partisan separation also applies to some of what they do.

Orrin Hatch was the Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee for many years and is very well aware of how this all works, and knows very well how the Committee's nominations investigation staff interacts with the FBI and does background investigations on nominees to uncover stuff like this. If one looks back at the people who have been employed as Nominations Clerks for the Senate Judiciary over the last 20 years or so, including those on Hatch's Judiciary staff, one will find people closely connected to current high-profile political figures who certainly understand the process well enough that their misrepresentations are inexcusable.
posted by The World Famous at 9:28 PM on September 18 [12 favorites]


nathan_teske: Whoever is coordinating Dean Phillips' media campaign for MN-03 is bringing their a-game. First Bigfoot asking if Erik Paulsen exists and now Erik the Pac Man.

I want to question the wisdom of using the opponent as the protagonist, but the whole thing is pretty genius, particularly the substitution of the ghosts with four everyday constituents trying to reach him.
posted by InTheYear2017 at 10:48 AM on September 19 [1 favorite +] [!]


I did a thing where I basically just told a bunch of Chinese people in mainland China this is the sickest burn in US politics I've ever seen and gave some context, plus bragged slightly about Minnesota Dem pride. I've got 5 people trying to get past L1 and laughing their butts off. Hats off to this campaign from Chinese people in mainland China. The message resounds HARD.
posted by saysthis at 10:40 PM on September 18 [21 favorites]


Dr. Ford's lawyer is a boss. Interview with Anderson Cooper

I concur.

Background: Lisa J. Banks, partner at Katz, Marshall & Banks

“I have always believed that it is important to fight hard for those who are not in a position of power.”
posted by mikelieman at 10:46 PM on September 18 [4 favorites]


Bigfoot asking if Erik Paulsen exists

Forgive one more comment, but this is hilarious. I don't care where you are on the political spectrum, it deserves to be asked, is our political advertising agencies learning? I have to say yes after seeing this and the PACman game. I wanna vote for Dean Phillips on his advertising alone. This is obviously someone with a killer sense of humor, forget Al Franken, I want this guy in Congress!!!!!! And who is the advertising agency behind this?! Research is ongoing on my part, but damn, this is some good stuff.
posted by saysthis at 10:54 PM on September 18 [10 favorites]


Does anyone know who the man behind Senator Hirono is in the clip linked above?
posted by taz at 11:32 PM on September 18 [1 favorite]


But the fact seems to be some large portion doesn't have an analytical relationship with their political views. Maybe those of us who want the world governed analytically, competently, and studiedly need to also learn how to talk to people for whom adjectives and other aspects of language often function as equivalence-by-association.

Honestly I think MOST people fall into this category. I HATE to admit it, but even my husband does, for all that his opinions are usually on the "correct" side of things. I can't stand to watch news with him, actually, because of the extent to which his opinions are knee-jerk reactions with no education of the actual issue. Like, usually we agree about things, but to me, as someone arguably "overly obsessed" with keeping up with politics, from the kinds of things he yells at his TV screen, I can tell he doesn't know anything about what he's reacting to. It's purely "x word=negative response, y word = positive response."

Is it because he didn't have a college education? Is it because he has spent the last several years working 60+ hours/week and doesn't have time to keep up? Or is it just because he's not a very introspective person? It's not a question of intelligence in any case, or ability to engage with ideas on a deeper level because IF a topic is presented to him in depth, either from like a documentary source or if I take the time to really explain an issue to him, he can engage with it perfectly well. But mostly he doesn't and doesn't want to.
posted by threeturtles at 11:38 PM on September 18 [19 favorites]


Does anyone know who the man behind Senator Hirono is in the clip linked above?

It's Sen. Blumenthal, you can see him better in this photo from today.
posted by peeedro at 11:54 PM on September 18 [1 favorite]


This is the same pointless game show principle behind “Vote a certain way or we’ll fund your opponent!”

Seems to me that offering someone a million dollar head start to run against Collins is a pretty good way of “incentivizing” exactly what you’re calling for.

These peoples’ biggest changeable advantage is that they have more money because they represent rich people and corporations.
posted by spitbull at 3:50 AM on September 19 [11 favorites]


Dr. Ford's lawyer is a boss.

She's a Soros stooge. No, seriously, that's the argument Bill-O, the nutosphere and the Washington Times are pushing. Because Open Society several years ago gave some money to social welfare org Sixteen Thirty and in the past Sixteen Thirty gave some money to Demand Justice, which advocates using the courts to advance progressive causes.

And Katz also is a vice chair for the Project on Government Oversight, a non-partisan government watchdog that's been around since 1981, but it too has received some money from Open Society. Plus she's donated to Dems.

Remember folks, money in politics/charity is only ok when it's a Republican billionaire funding it. Otherwise it's a (((globalist))) conspiracy.
posted by chris24 at 4:06 AM on September 19 [41 favorites]


I wanna vote for Dean Phillips on his advertising alone. This is obviously someone with a killer sense of humor, forget Al Franken, I want this guy in Congress!

Dean Phillips is a likable guy, but that PAC Man thing has apparently been around for a while, and was funded by "End Citizens United."

The Bigfoot thing does come from his campaign, though. Phillips' day job is not comedy, but marketing. He knows what he is doing with this stuff.
posted by OnceUponATime at 4:09 AM on September 19 [2 favorites]


[A few deleted. Please consider making a separate post for deep dives on side topics (linguistics of adjective association as related to political and cultural leanings, Foucault's disciplinary society and the rightists vs the leftists, etc.) and Chat for chatty stuff. It's all interesting, but this can't be the Katamari thread for all the things. Spacious commenting real estate available now in new post threads about various thinky things!!]
posted by taz (staff) at 4:42 AM on September 19 [24 favorites]


I want to note what appears to be clearly a unified strategy among Republican Senators to put the onus on Professor Ford personally and blame her if the hearing doesn’t happen. They’ve unilaterally announced a process and are now arguing that Ford is at fault if she doesn’t agree. Look at the specific wording.

So to be clear the Republican senate's strategy is to get her into a room with Kavanaugh and his friends and close the door and then gang up on her so Kavanaugh can get what he wants?
posted by srboisvert at 5:20 AM on September 19 [94 favorites]


While turning up the rhetorical volume so nobody can hear what is really going on.
posted by nubs at 5:25 AM on September 19 [26 favorites]


After the Betomentum seemed to fade yesterday...

New Reuters polls:

Beto O'Rourke (D) +2 in Texas (contradicting yesterday's Q poll with Cruz +9).

Gillum (D) +6 in Florida.

Sinema (D) +3 in Arizona.

But Rs Heller (+3) and Scott (+1) hold small leads in NV and FL.
posted by chris24 at 5:28 AM on September 19 [19 favorites]


Today's Distraction Attempt™ from EmptyWig Enterprises goes to . . . *rrip* Hating Jeff Sessions!

“I don’t have an Attorney General. It’s very sad.”

He's not FOR YOU, you stupid ... Ugh, just roll the clip.

“I’m so sad over Jeff Sessions because he came to me. He was the first Senator that endorsed me. And he wanted to be Attorney General, and I didn’t see it. And then he went through the nominating process and he did very poorly. I mean, he was mixed up and confused.”

“We’ll see what happens. A lot of people have asked me to do that. And I guess I study history*, and I say I just want to leave things alone, but it was very unfair what he did. And my worst enemies, I mean, people that, you know, are on the other side of me, in a lot of ways including politically, have said that was a very unfair thing he did.

“We’ll see how it goes with Jeff. I’m very disappointed in Jeff. Very disappointed.”


Hey, there's that elusive common ground! We can all get behind being very disappointed by The Racist Elf.

* *snort* study history! Bwahaa! Ehhh. G-d. *snif*
posted by petebest at 5:38 AM on September 19 [27 favorites]


He was the first Senator that endorsed me. And he wanted to be Attorney General, and I didn’t see it. And then he went through the nominating process and he did very poorly. I mean, he was mixed up and confused

This was basically the same line he tried with Omarosa after she left: "I thought she was totally unqualified, but she wanted a job and she said nice things about me for years." So basically his fallback state is "I hire people because they flatter me, not because they are qualified for the role." Good stuff.
posted by Room 101 at 5:43 AM on September 19 [49 favorites]


A facebook post from a classmate of Dr. Ford and Brett Kavanaugh:

Christine Blasey Ford was a year or so behind me, I did not know her personally but I remember her. This incident did happen. Many of us heard a buzz about it indirectly with few specific details.
posted by bluesky43 at 6:24 AM on September 19 [83 favorites]


[A couple deleted. Folks, please try to refrain from repeating basically the very same general assertion/argument over and over again in the same thread. (e.g., "Republicans support the Republican agenda" is plain enough that people can understand it the first time.)]
posted by taz (staff) at 6:32 AM on September 19 [9 favorites]


I can't imagine why R senators might want their female staffers to question Ford.

@LGTrombatore
I wrote to my congressman, @BillCassidy concerning Kavanaugh. I shared with him, my story about my rape and why this is particularly triggering and hard for me, and many other survivors, right now. He responded to my email with Kavanaugh's resume.
posted by chris24 at 6:41 AM on September 19 [70 favorites]


i'll see your 65 women

and raise you 534

599 Women Who Attended Blasey Ford’s High School Sign Letter Of Support
posted by murphy slaw at 6:44 AM on September 19 [73 favorites]


Here's a letter for your Senators. Republicans Routinely Enable Rapists is how I'm going to be framing this issue.
I demand a full and complete investigation into Brett Kavanaugh's alleged sexual assault of Christine Blasey Ford before she testifies before the Judiciary Committee. It is not too much to ask that a Supreme Court Justice or a DC Circuit Court judge be beyond reproach as far as sexual assault.

To have only two witnesses indicates that Trump's Senatorial pets have no interest in protecting one woman, much less all women, from a predator like Brett Kavanaugh. Men like Kavanaugh, who clearly does not see women as people, almost never violate just one woman.

[For Democratic Senators: Please convey to Charles Grassley that he and all Republicans routinely enable rapists. Please also share this sentiment with Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski. Pro-rapist is the Republican brand. Make them own it. ]

[For Republican Senators: Please know that when I see you and your colleagues defending Brett Kavanaugh, I see only that Republicans routinely enable rapists. Pro-rapist is fast becoming your brand and confirming Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court for life will firmly entrench the Republican party in this identity.]

This nomination must be halted post haste, and Kavanaugh must be removed from his current judicial position.

Sincerely,
[your name]
posted by Excommunicated Cardinal at 6:49 AM on September 19 [59 favorites]


Trump Calls Hurricane Florence ‘One of the Wettest We’ve Ever Seen From the Standpoint of Water’
In his latest video, Trump comments on Hurricane Florence. “This is a tough hurricane,” he proclaims, “one of the wettest we’ve ever seen from the standpoint of water.” Whether Florence is also wet from other standpoints is a question the president did not address.
...
In the video, Trump is using his favorite dignified scowl. (The New York Times reported last year that the president told staff he wants to look “like Churchill” when he makes this face.) Except Churchill knew more words than an average 10-year-old, and he also wrote them down before he started speaking to the entire country.
posted by kirkaracha at 7:13 AM on September 19 [31 favorites]


[One deleted, there's already a thread on the Laurie Penny essay on bad-faith debaters. For thinkpieces like that, stuff about alt-right strategy, and general how-to-navigate-these-times stuff, it's fine to make a separate thread.]
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 7:16 AM on September 19 [9 favorites]


CNBC, Wilbur Ross: Trump's new China tariffs will increase prices but 'nobody is going to actually notice'

Totally unrelatedly, last week we learned Wilbur Ross earned at least $46.8 million in 2017, his ethics filing shows (Washington Post).
posted by Doktor Zed at 7:17 AM on September 19 [12 favorites]


Hadn't seen this posted before: Trump on Stern. 40 interviews between 1993 to 2015, most of them annotated with time stamps so you dont have to suffer the entire broadcast.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 7:30 AM on September 19 [5 favorites]


Trump Calls Hurricane Florence ‘One of the Wettest We’ve Ever Seen From the Standpoint of Water’

In other news, water is wet.
posted by ZenMasterThis at 7:42 AM on September 19 [7 favorites]


And now, your friggin' hourly reminder that Donald Trump is not at all a well human:

Trump Says He Should've Fired Comey "Before I Got Here"

Said Trump: “If I did one mistake with Comey, I should have fired him before I got here. I should have fired him right after the convention ..."

"An option that was not actually available to him." the WaPo notes, officiously.
posted by petebest at 7:45 AM on September 19 [71 favorites]


Democrats should worry about all their close special election losses - Dylan Scott, Vox

Aside from districts which are difficult to win because of effective gerrymandering and a
The other fear: Democratic voters don’t show up

The battlefield itself is part of 2018’s challenge for Democrats: The map is tilted toward Republicans. Democrats need to overperform to compete when a district’s voters are 8 points more Republican than the country as a whole. We’ve seen they can have a strong showing and still fall short.

But the other, related fear is that Democratic voters simply won’t show up. The party is putting a lot of faith in young, diverse, progressive candidates to motivate their base, not to mention antipathy toward President Trump. But Democrats have the bigger lift: While older, whiter Republican voters might be a shrinking share of the populace, they reliably turn out to vote every midterm.

Younger, nonwhite voters have historically been much less dependable. Some surveys this year have already revealed warnings signs for Democrats. Younger voters do not seem to feel an overwhelming sense of urgency this year. In some of these tightly contested seats that Democrats are trying to flip, just a handful of those voters staying home could be the difference, and 29 percent of millennial voters say they feel the 2018 midterms are any more important than past elections.
posted by ZeusHumms at 7:48 AM on September 19 [8 favorites]


Younger, nonwhite voters have historically been much less dependable. And may be easier to purge off active voter rolls.
posted by ZeusHumms at 7:48 AM on September 19 [12 favorites]


> Younger voters do not seem to feel an overwhelming sense of urgency this year.

Well, who can blame them? It's been a slow couple of news years. Not much going on.
posted by The Card Cheat at 7:57 AM on September 19 [9 favorites]


We may have to confront the fact that we, as a species, are just incredibly stupid.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 7:59 AM on September 19 [66 favorites]


Unions promote reliable turnout for the Democratic Party and living wages. That's why they're a target of conservative/moneyed Republicans.
posted by Emmy Noether at 7:59 AM on September 19 [23 favorites]


We can beat him.

Kavanaugh is down to just 31% support in the first post-letter poll from Reuters, dropping him below Bork's approval rating in 1987 and a historical low. 36% don't want him confirmed, up 6% from their last poll. The number of women who don't want him confirmed went up 7 points.
posted by chris24 at 8:09 AM on September 19 [46 favorites]


Arguing that losing by 1 point in districts where they lost by 23 points last time means the Dems are in trouble is like arguing that Jacob deGrom isn’t a good pitcher because he only has 8 wins this season.

And you can copy and paste “but young voters don’t turn out!” to literally any article, ever. It’s baked into the likely voter models. The survey that asks young voters if it’s more important to vote in this midterm rather than other midterms when they were like 10 years old and not paying attention is a meaningless question.

“YOU SHOULD WORRY ABOUT THINGS”. Gee, thanks Vox, I didn’t have enough to worry about already.
posted by Huffy Puffy at 8:09 AM on September 19 [39 favorites]


The sad thing about young voter disenthusiasm, if young voters turned out at the rate that old voters did it would remake the entire political landscape in this country overnight.

There would not be a hard right in this country anymore because they wouldn't be able to win enough elections to matter.
posted by Definitely Not Sean Spicer at 8:13 AM on September 19 [10 favorites]


The thing is, Dem results in Congressional special elections were pretty accurately predicted by partisan lean and the generic ballot. These are the same indicators showing that Dems are strong favorites to re-take the House.

Nothing is ever guaranteed, and the party should be directing efforts at youth and Hispanic turnout. But that article is excessively panicky.
posted by Chrysostom at 8:14 AM on September 19 [23 favorites]


The sad thing about young voter disenthusiasm, if young voters turned out at the rate that old voters did it would remake the entire political landscape in this country overnight.

There would not be a hard right in this country anymore because they wouldn't be able to win enough elections to matter.


Maybe? Australia has basically 100% youth turnout, since they have mandatory voting, and although things are certainly better than here, they are definitely not a post-capitalist paradise.
posted by Chrysostom at 8:16 AM on September 19 [10 favorites]


I don't think that's a relevant comparison, Chrysostom. The political landscape of the US is completely different from that of Australia. Of course, it's entirely unpredictable how voting patterns would change if voting were made mandatory.
posted by J.K. Seazer at 8:24 AM on September 19 [1 favorite]


Australia has basically 100% youth turnout, since they have mandatory voting, and although things are certainly better than here, they are definitely not a post-capitalist paradise.

The conservatives are in favor of most social programs because they would be annihilated at the next polls if they fuck with them. Every family making under AUD$94K gets a payment from the government every fortnight for their kids. The middle class make decent income. The minimum wage is indexed properly! IT'S ENOUGH TO LIVE ON!

Like it's not a post-capitalist paradise but if we woke up the next morning and the the US had changed to an Australian political landscape with all of its services and institutions, things would be significantly better for millions of Americans that morning.
posted by Definitely Not Sean Spicer at 8:28 AM on September 19 [73 favorites]


I'd rather unnecessarily panic than be complacent.

If turnout is lower than it could be, we should try to boost it regardless of if we're in the lead or not.
posted by schmod at 8:30 AM on September 19 [8 favorites]


The 'Trump suggests a new Fort Trump in Poland' Guardian article that was linked above has a really misleading headline and I wanted to clarify to anyone who didn't click through: Trump did not propose or suggest shit

We already have bases in Poland. From the articles text, Polish president Duda wants more US presence; he suggested another base, offered $2b from his government to pay for it, and HE joked about calling it Fort Trump.

I can't vouch for why the Polish president would want more US presence but my first guess would be to piss off Merkel and/or bond with Trump and/or make sure Trump understands that Poland is different from Germany.
posted by Rainbo Vagrant at 8:38 AM on September 19 [8 favorites]


The other fear: Democratic voters don’t show up

We have a Dem senator from Alabama, on a special election, no less, so things might be different this time.
But it is true that the harder we fight, the more enthusiasm that we can drum up, the better our chances for the Senate.
posted by eclectist at 8:39 AM on September 19 [16 favorites]


For something different, Mother Jones has a category/newsletter called "Recharge" which makes a nice change of pace.
posted by ZeusHumms at 8:42 AM on September 19 [7 favorites]


Kavanaugh is the perfect nominee for our era of elite impunity. He embodies the driving themes of the Trump era, albeit in more genteel, traditional form than the president himself. Themes of elite impunity in the face of open transgression; of redemption without recompense for those in authority; and of a society that extends endless opportunity for some and deploys unyielding punishment for others. He is both the product of a political movement devoted to the protection of existing hierarchies of race, gender, and wealth, and a representative of the power structure that sits at the top of those hierarchies.
posted by growabrain at 8:43 AM on September 19 [23 favorites]


Like right now, the price of insulin is skyrocketing in the United States. It's been around for decades. We know how to make it. It should be highly competitive. But nope, we're paying $500/bottle for it now.

Australia? They've just added new diabetes drugs to the PBS (national prescription drug scheme). For the people who need those drugs it cuts the costs to a third of privately buying them. They've browbeat the manufacturers into providing a decent price for it. The government knows how much it's going to pay for it because they know how exactly many people in Australia have diabetes. The seniors and unemployed rock up to the pharmacist with their card and A$6.40 and they get a month's worth of diabetes drugs and insulin. Regular people pay A$38.50 but they also have a yearly cap of A$1521.80 on prescriptions. After that they're all free for the year. A$384.00 if you're a senior or unemployed.

I'm not sure how calling it "certainly better but not a post-capitalist paradise" even does that difference justice. I know people here who would kill to have a system like that for their insulin.
posted by Definitely Not Sean Spicer at 8:44 AM on September 19 [92 favorites]


schmod: I'd rather unnecessarily panic than be complacent.

If turnout is lower than it could be, we should try to boost it regardless of if we're in the lead or not.


I think it can be a fine line to walk, being optimistic yet not complacent. Panic will get us nowhere, and fatalism is a sin, but complacency and staying home is also a sin. What we need is the politics version of "trust but verify:" not just hope, but work toward the best.

(And for the record I'm pulling for Beto, but donating to Jacky Rosen in Nevada, who has a better shot at flipping that Senate seat and really could use the money; same with Heidi Heitkamp in ND - a little money goes a longer way in her race because ND is so thinly populated. I love Beto but he's taking up all the oxygen in the D senate room. And why yes, I rubberneck at other states' Senate races because mine in CA is so boring.)
posted by Rosie M. Banks at 8:47 AM on September 19 [31 favorites]


EXCLUSIVE: Trump says exposing ‘corrupt’ FBI probe could be ‘crowning achievement’ of presidency
President Trump in an exclusive interview with Hill.TV said Tuesday he ordered the release of classified documents in the Russia collusion case to show the public the FBI probe started as a “hoax” and that exposing it could become one of the “crowning achievements” of his presidency.

“What we’ve done is a great service to the country, really,” Trump said in a 45-minute, wide-ranging interview in the Oval Office.

“I hope to be able to call this, along with tax cuts and regulation and all the things I’ve done ... in its own way this might be the most important thing because this was corrupt,” he said.

Trump also said he regretted not firing former FBI Director James Comey immediately instead of waiting until May 2017, confirming an account his lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, gave Hill.TV earlier in the day that Trump was dismayed in 2016 by the way Comey handled the Hillary Clinton email case and began discussing firing him well before he became president.

“If I did one mistake with Comey, I should have fired him before I got here. I should have fired him the day I won the primaries,” Trump said. “I should have fired him right after the convention, say I don’t want that guy. Or at least fired him the first day on the job. ... I would have been better off firing him or putting out a statement that I don’t want him there when I get there.”
posted by scalefree at 8:49 AM on September 19 [4 favorites]


Strange how Trump's newfound zeal for transparency doesn't extend to his releasing his tax returns like every president has for the last 40+ years.
posted by kirkaracha at 8:52 AM on September 19 [45 favorites]


Re insulin, I take a lupus drug called plaquenil, it's a malaria drug that's been around for 70years. Not long ago, that drug was $4 a month. Now that drug is $400 a month. (Retail) Because America lets companies buy old generic patents and charge whatever the market will stand. Don't wanna die, then this is what you have to pay for the privilege.
posted by SecretAgentSockpuppet at 8:52 AM on September 19 [67 favorites]


“If I did one mistake with Comey, I should have fired him before I got here. I should have fired him the day I won the primaries,” Trump said. “I should have fired him right after the convention, say I don’t want that guy. Or at least fired him the first day on the job. ... I would have been better off firing him or putting out a statement that I don’t want him there when I get there.”

This exceeds even Trumpian levels of bullshit. He praised Comey during the election for his handling of "Hillary's emails" and later after the inauguration and at points all along the way.
posted by notyou at 8:57 AM on September 19 [35 favorites]


I can't vouch for why the Polish president would want more US presence

You mean besides the entire history of Poland Austria/Russia/Prussia Poland Germany Poland Soviet-dominated-Poland Poland?
posted by Etrigan at 8:58 AM on September 19 [19 favorites]


The government knows how much it's going to pay for it because they know how exactly many people in Australia have diabetes. The seniors and unemployed rock up to the pharmacist with their card and A$6.40 and they get a month's worth of diabetes drugs and insulin. Regular people pay A$38.50 but they also have a yearly cap of A$1521.80 on prescriptions. After that they're all free for the year. A$384.00 if you're a senior or unemployed.

For comparison, I work a highly-compensated, white collar job in the US. It's a good job. I even have dental!

But my company pays almost $24,000 a year in health care premiums, exclusive of dental and vision, and I kick in a little under $6,000 a year, all to have coverage that kicks in after we've paid $10,000 out of pocket.

That's right. $30,000 a year, so that I can have my remaining health care costs capped at $10,000. Before that, the primary benefit is that we get the "insurance" rate, rather than the uninsuredrate, which is not entirely something to sneeze at. For example, my kid recently dislocated his forearm. We were seen at the emergency room for less than five minutes combined by the nurse and doctor, without so much as an aspirin being prescribed or administered. We didn't do x-rays, because the forearm popped back into place when I picked him up to be weighed.

The uninsured rate was over $5,000. We paid $650 or so out of pocket, because that's the rate our insurance company had negotiated.

tl;dr: YES AUSTRALIA DEFINITELY NOT PERFECT BUT JESUS FUCKING CHRIST
posted by joyceanmachine at 8:59 AM on September 19 [87 favorites]


Trump: I don’t have an attorney general.
(via The Hill, in case you're avoiding the place)
posted by Thorzdad at 9:01 AM on September 19 [2 favorites]


Arguing that losing by 1 point in districts where they lost by 23 points last time means the Dems are in trouble is like arguing that Jacob deGrom isn’t a good pitcher because he only has 8 wins this season.

For all of you lucky enough to not be depressed Mets fans: deGrom is likely the best pitcher in baseball this season, he just happens to play for one of the very worst performing teams at the same time.

He still has a chance to win the National League Cy Young (pretty much pitcher of the year), but if he played for even a median performing team, he'd be putting up historic numbers.
posted by sideshow at 9:02 AM on September 19 [6 favorites]


> This exceeds even Trumpian levels of bullshit.

But can Trumpian levels of bullshit even have an upper limit? It seems like one of those "Could God create a rock so big that not even She could lift it?"-type thought exercises.
posted by The Card Cheat at 9:03 AM on September 19 [10 favorites]


[Probably enough on Australia vs USA health care costs -- we could easily go way, way further with this and I'm asking if people want to really pursue that, better to make a separate thread.]
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 9:06 AM on September 19 [9 favorites]


Cody Wilson, Austin man behind 3D-printed gun company, charged with child sex assault

It's almost like all these alt-right psychopaths are alt-right psychopaths.
posted by Rust Moranis at 9:07 AM on September 19 [110 favorites]


I can't vouch for why the Polish president would want more US presence

You mean besides the entire history of Poland Austria/Russia/Prussia Poland Germany Poland Soviet-dominated-Poland Poland?


My family is from next door, Lithuania, and the entirety of their feelings about geopolitics can be distilled down to two words: Fuck Russia.

There was a brief interlude of "Hell Yeah Germany!" during WWII because they kicked out the Russians/Soviets, but that also quickly turned into "Fuck Germany" as it became clear the Nazi's were actually worse.

Anyway, not a lot of Lithuanian support for Trump's "Putin is my pal" stance.
posted by sideshow at 9:07 AM on September 19 [10 favorites]


Partner and I just moved from Texas to Wisconsin and I'm *pretty sure* we can each vote in one or the other state. I'm thinking we should both try and vote in Texas to pull for Beto, but I'm not up on how close Wisconsin races are looking. Thoughts?
posted by avalonian at 9:17 AM on September 19


[Cody Wilson does something monstrous]
It's almost like all these alt-right psychopaths are alt-right psychopaths.
It's also a lot like they're et up with the dumb. If you're going to become stupidfamous on the internet, don't do horrific crimes and make no effort to hide the fact that it's you doing them. If you're going to be a horrific criminal, don't court stupid internet fame. It's not a chicken/egg situation: whichever one comes first, you don't do the other one, unless you're et up with the dumb from head to foot.
posted by Don Pepino at 9:18 AM on September 19 [13 favorites]


This exceeds even Trumpian levels of bullshit. He praised Comey during the election for his handling of "Hillary's emails" and later after the inauguration and at points all along the way.

All that makes sense if you begin with the hypothesis, "Donald Trump is mentally incompetent."

Which prompts the periodic reminder: Don't spend effort looking for rational motivations of irrational people. There are none.
posted by mikelieman at 9:18 AM on September 19 [12 favorites]


The Washington Post's national security reporter Greg Miller has a book coming out, and the paper has published a lengthy excerpt. I don't see anything ground-breaking in the excerpt, but it looks promising.
‘The Apprentice’ book excerpt: At CIA’s ‘Russia House,’ growing alarm about 2016 election interference
posted by martin q blank at 9:20 AM on September 19 [3 favorites]


ELECTIONS NEWS

** 2018 Senate:
-- Several polls from Reuters/Ipsos, all with an MOE of +/- 3.5%:
* AZ: Dem Sinema up 47- 44 on GOPer McSally.
* NV: GOP incumbent Heller up 46-43 on Dem Rosen.
* FL: GOPer Scott up 46-45 on incumbent Dem Nelson.
* CA: Incumbent Feinstein up 44-24 on de León.
* TX: Dem O'Rouke up 47-45 on GOP incumbent Cruz.
-- MA: Suffolk poll has incumbent Dem Warren up 54-24 on GOPer Diehl [MOE: +/- 4.4%].

-- MD: Goucher poll has Dem incumbent Cardin up 56-17 on GOPer Campbell [MOE: +/- 3.4%].

-- IN: GOP worried they are blowing pickup opportunity.
** 2018 House:
-- IL-06: Garin Hart Yang poll has Dem Casten up 47-44 on GOP incumbent Roskam [MOE: +/- 3.5%]. Poll was commissioned by the Casten campaign. [Clinton 50-43 | Cook: Tossup]

-- NJ-02: Stockton poll has Dem Van Drew up 55-32 on GOPer Grossman [MOE: +/- 4.2%]. [Trump 51-46 | Likely D]

-- NYT on bellwether districts.

-- More on concerns about Hispanic turnout.

-- FL-27: Dems worried Shalala not running aggressively enough. [Clinton 59-39 | Leans D]

-- 538 look at the 21 Obama-Trump districts.
** Odds & ends:
-- Governor polls from that batch of Reuters/Ipsos:
* AZ: GOP incumbent Ducey up 51-39 on Dem Garcia.
* NV: GOPer Laxalt up 43-40 on Dem Sisolak.
* FL: Dem Gillum up 50-44 on GOPer DeSantis.
* CA: Dem Newsom up 52-40 on GOPer Cox.
* TX: GOP incumbent Abbott up 50-41 on Dem Valdez.
-- MA gov: Same Suffolk poll has GOP incumbent Baker up 55-28 on Dem Gonzalez.

-- MD gov: Same Goucher poll has GOP incumbent Hogan up 54-32 on Dem Jealous.

-- In the MN AG race, which would normally be a walk for the Dems, but has been roiled by allegations of abuse by Ellison, an MPR news poll finds Ellison still up 41-36 on GOPer Wardlow [MOE: +/- 3.5%].

-- Judge orders GOP primary re-run for Georgia House seat after numerous voters were found to been incorrectly included or excluded from the district. This kind of remedy is very unusual.
posted by Chrysostom at 9:23 AM on September 19 [23 favorites]


Yeah, I'm aware of Poland's history and why NATO exists, but - aside from that - Poland is also having issues with the international right wing xenophobic psychopath movement. But I don't remember how it's positioned in their government nor where the president falls in that regard. I think they've been getting cyberattacks from Russia too IIRC, and Trump was a beneficiary of Russian cyberattacks. Theres more context around this.
posted by Rainbo Vagrant at 9:23 AM on September 19 [2 favorites]


Chryststom: MA gov: Same Suffolk poll has GOP incumbent Baker up 55-28 on Dem Gonzalez.

Several days ago there was a huge disaster in suburban Boston where like seventy houses caught on fire in the town of Lawrence, Mass., most likely due to the local gas utility.

Governor Baker showed up on site immediately for the press conference and stayed engaged over the next few days, and really took the stick to the gas company (Columbia Gas). In other words, he's looking very Leader-ish these days, which probably helps with his lead.
posted by wenestvedt at 9:30 AM on September 19 [2 favorites]


I wish Trump had fired Comey after he won the primaries. He wouldn't be president today.
posted by chris24 at 9:32 AM on September 19 [48 favorites]


Partner and I just moved from Texas to Wisconsin and I'm *pretty sure* we can each vote in one or the other state.

This question is unanswerable not due to a lack of clarity around election laws and ethics but rather because it isnt possible to determine which human shitstain is worse in the context between ted cruz and scott walker.

Much as i want Beto to win, i think you should vote where you now live, especially since Wisconsin will let you register in person up until the friday before the election.
posted by Exceptional_Hubris at 9:34 AM on September 19 [15 favorites]


Yeah, I'm aware of Poland's history and why NATO exists, but - aside from that - Poland is also having issues with the international right wing xenophobic psychopath movement.

Duda is a nationalist, but he's a Polish nationalist, and he knows that Putin is a lot more active against Polish national interests than Trump.

Also, bear in mind that US military bases in friendly countries don't close down quickly. If Duda can suck up to Trump enough to get Fort Trump established and made the new home of the 1st Armored Division, then it's going to be there long past when Donald Trump leaves the White House (and, in fact, the mortal plane).

Trump sucks up to Putin because he doesn't believe that Putin's ever going to stop him from doing what he wants. Duda is sucking up to Trump because he knows that Putin will.
posted by Etrigan at 9:35 AM on September 19 [3 favorites]


When Cody Wilson's convicted of his child sex assault all his guns will be taken away from him, which gives me a hearty chuckle.
posted by Rust Moranis at 9:35 AM on September 19 [29 favorites]


Much as i want Beto to win, i think you should vote where you now live, especially since Wisconsin will let you register in person up until the friday before the election.

Please make sure you vote for all of the downballot races, too.
posted by Chrysostom at 9:37 AM on September 19 [20 favorites]


Partner and I just moved from Texas to Wisconsin and I'm *pretty sure* we can each vote in one or the other state.

Wisconsin, no question. Until Walker trashed the joint, the state had a strong culture of civic responsibil