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Monday, September 17, 2018

OTP 2018 September 17: How Brett Kavanaugh explains his baseball ticket debt

Kavanaugh described the baseball tickets as part of a group purchase divided amongst friends and avid Washington Nationals fans. Kavanaugh estimated he has attended “a couple hundred games” over the period of 2005 through 2017, when he purchased four season tickets, and also playoff ticket packages for the four years the Nationals reached the National League playoffs.

“I have attended all 11 Nationals home playoff games in their history,” Kavanaugh noted in his answers. “(We are 3-8 in those games.)”
His rationale for the tickets: “I am a huge sports fan.”

Beyond his baseball fandom, Kavanaugh noted in response to questions that has “not had gambling debts or participated in ‘fantasy’ leagues.”

 

(As always, views expressed in the article lede and comments are the views of the individual commenters and the submitter of the article and do not represent the views of Baseball Think Factory or its owner.)

Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: September 17, 2018 at 09:05 AM | 2479 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: nationals, off topic, politics, washington

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   1201. The Yankee Clapper Posted: September 19, 2018 at 09:01 PM (#5747805)
The Hill: Tide Turns For Kavanaugh:
Republicans who were facing a politically nightmarish predicament on Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh have gotten a reprieve from the most unlikely quarter: Christine Blasey Ford, the woman who has accused Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her in the early 1980s.

Ford’s refusal to testify at a special hearing of the Senate Judiciary Committee on Monday has played into the hands of Republicans, who argue that her story absent congressional testimony is essentially a partisan tactic to delay Kavanaugh’s confirmation.
. . .
“I think this has been a mess from start to finish,” said one Democratic strategist who was granted anonymity to speak candidly. This source questioned why Senate Judiciary Committee ranking member Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) kept her knowledge of Ford’s accusation to herself for so long, having first received a letter from her in July. (Feinstein has said it was because Ford was not willing to give up her own anonymity.)

But the Democratic strategist added, “On top of that, then you have the situation of Democrats saying she would testify, then a couple of days later saying ‘but only if.’ That has not helped their cause.”
. . .
“If she refuses to testify, it makes it look like this is a big political stunt,” said GOP strategist and former leadership aide John Feehery, who is also a columnist for The Hill.

Feehery said that, for figures like Collins and Murkowski, “it’s a little too cute by half. They are trying to be sympathetic to Ford, but she has to be willing to testify. You can’t make allegations from 30 years ago and then not be able to stand up to scrutiny.”

The Democratic strategist lamented what was, from his party’s view, a loss of leverage and momentum.

“What you saw in the beginning was Republicans like Flake, Collins, Murkowski starting to buckle in light of these allegations. Now you are seeing them start to coalesce. It plays right into the Republican narrative that this is all a delaying tactic.”

Senators Collins, Murkowski, Flake & Corker, who all called for delaying the Committee vote to allow Ms. Ford to be heard, have expressed exasperation with Ms. Ford's unwillingness to testify. She has to testify or Kavanaugh is confirmed, although testifying poorly is probably even worse for her politically.
   1202. Ray (CTL) Posted: September 19, 2018 at 09:05 PM (#5747808)
Politico reports that Donald Trump is furious at his "Trumpy see, Trumpy do" boy Ron DeSantis (Florida Gov. candidate) for DeSantis' tepid "I don't believe the numbers are inflated" statement about Puerto Rican hurricane fatalities. Trump alone believes that over 2,950 of the dead are fake.


The problem is that these are not 3,000 people who died *during* the storm. So you have to estimate deaths based on the aftermath of the storm, and at that you're picking an arbitrary time window (5 months) and then there's the elderly issue.

And, what are you trying to show? There was a storm. We know that. A severe storm in that region will result in deaths of elderly people. We know that. So the question is whether the US government's response was bad, average, good.... And how do you judge that? Against what baseline?
   1203. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: September 19, 2018 at 09:07 PM (#5747809)
Sure, but we all know Andy has to keep going to WaPo opinion columnists because they're all so reasonable there.

Aaron Blake isn't even an opinion columnist, and the only opinion columnists I ever link to here are conservatives. They're just not phony conservatives of the Trump variety.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

But maybe you can tell us what media sources are balanced enough to meet with your approval.

I like the NY Times. Then again, I grew up with it -- I have been doing the crossword for 50 years -- so it may be bias.

I like the news coverage of the WSJ, but not the editorials or op-eds.

I think part of it is that my tastes in punditry and editorials have changed -- I used to read them all, now I avoid them all. Editorials, op-eds, opinion pieces. They all seem shrill these days.


I usually skim most of the opinion columns except for Gerson, Brooks, Stephens and Douthat, whose writings I respect and read in their entirety. I usually agree with Krugman and Dionne and Rampell and Sullivan, but you'll never see me quoting them. I'd much rather link to articles and non-partisan analysis, and I spend far more time reading news articles and books than editorials or op-ed columnists.

And the pro-Trump columnists like Thiessen and that country editor loon from the Midwest the Post runs on Sundays? I get all the pro-Trump propaganda I need from the Horse's Ass himself, as well as from Clapper and JE around here. I don't need to read any more predictable spinning and BS from his media sycophants.

The only TV news I ever watch is the PBS News Hour, and about the only online political websites I follow are 538 and the RCP aggregate polls.

What really pisses me off about the Times is its sports section. Way too little baseball and football, way too much everything else.
   1204. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: September 19, 2018 at 09:10 PM (#5747816)
Funny how, I mean funny like we're clowns, we amuse you? we make you laugh, we're here to fuckin' amuse you? What do you mean funny, funny how? How are we funny?

EASY, Tommy!
   1205. The Interdimensional Council of Rickey!'s Posted: September 19, 2018 at 09:16 PM (#5747819)
The problem is that these are not 3,000 people who died *during* the storm. So you have to estimate deaths based on the aftermath of the storm, and at that you're picking an arbitrary time window (5 months) and then there's the elderly issue.

And, what are you trying to show? There was a storm. We know that. A severe storm in that region will result in deaths of elderly people. We know that. So the question is whether the US government's response was bad, average, good.... And how do you judge that? Against what baseline?


The massive death count in Puerto Rico is almost entirely due to the failure to restore power. Power was out for months. How long did it take to restore power in Houston? In New Orleans? After Sandy in NYC? That would be the baseline for hurricane emergency response by an even semi-competent administration.
   1206. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: September 19, 2018 at 09:23 PM (#5747825)
The massive death count in Puerto Rico is almost entirely due to the failure to restore power. Power was out for months. How long did it take to restore power in Houston? In New Orleans? After Sandy in NYC? That would be the baseline for hurricane emergency response by an even semi-competent administration.

It took 11 months for power to be fully restored in Puerto Rico (and some people there dispute that it has actually been fully restored).

During Sandy I think we were without power for 4 or 5 days in downtown Manhattan. I don't think that should be the standard (the Manhattan power loss was basically due to a single transformer explosion on 14th St., rather than extensive damage across the power grid), but 11 months is embarrassing and should be unacceptable.
   1207. BDC Posted: September 19, 2018 at 09:25 PM (#5747826)
All weather-related deaths are estimated vs. expected deaths absent the weather event. It being 100 degrees outside has never killed anybody, my whining about the Ballpark aside. When the power is off, though (as Sam and Inge note), and infirm people without AC die when they usually would survive, we say “the heat wave killed N people.” This does not mean we think a heat ray from the Sun directly zapped them. Hurricanes are no different, and it’s obvious why Trump is now trying to undo a standard way of thinking about them.
   1208. Greg K Posted: September 19, 2018 at 09:26 PM (#5747827)
While we're opening investigations, maybe the someone can figure out where Fan Bingbing is.
   1209. Srul Itza Posted: September 19, 2018 at 09:27 PM (#5747829)
What really pisses me off about the Times is its sports section. Way too little baseball and football, way too much everything else.


When I lived in NYC, I would read the Times in the morning, and the Post and the News in the afternoon, mostly for the sports coverage (this was in the pre-sabermetric days), and sometimes Newsday.

   1210. Srul Itza Posted: September 19, 2018 at 09:30 PM (#5747834)
How long did it take to restore power in Houston? In New Orleans? After Sandy in NYC? That would be the baseline for hurricane emergency response by an even semi-competent administration.


I agree, but I don't think 100% of the blame here goes to Trump's FEMA. Puerto Rico and its power company were and are pretty dysfunctional, and the power grid was in pretty bad shape even before the storm.

   1211. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: September 19, 2018 at 09:36 PM (#5747836)
I agree, but I don't think 100% of the blame here goes to Trump's FEMA. Puerto Rico and its power company were and are pretty dysfunctional, and the power grid was in pretty bad shape even before the storm.


I agree. I don't put all 3,000 deaths on Trump, or even one of them. What's deplorable is his denial that there were 3,000 deaths, or even admitting to a fraction of them. Those people died, as a direct or indirect result of the hurricane. Trump playing politics with the numbers is just another deplorable act by him.
   1212. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: September 19, 2018 at 09:38 PM (#5747839)
When I lived in NYC, I would read the Times in the morning, and the Post and the News in the afternoon, mostly for the sports coverage (this was in the pre-sabermetric days), and sometimes Newsday.

I haven't lived in New York since before you were born, but whenever I visited it in the 60's and 70's I used to love to read the fabulous Abdullah's and Oiwin's mostly hapless baseball pics, where they bet hypothetical units of "Valdivielsos" and "Kranepools" instead of dollars. That wasn't just pre-sabermetric, that was pre-Murdoch. Bring back Dorothy Schiff and Murray Kempton.
   1213. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: September 19, 2018 at 09:40 PM (#5747841)
What's deplorable is his denial that there were 3,000 deaths, or even admitting to a fraction of them. Those people died, as a direct or indirect result of the hurricane. Trump playing politics with the numbers is just another deplorable act by him.

In Trump's defense, it was the wettest of waters.
   1214. Ray (CTL) Posted: September 19, 2018 at 09:40 PM (#5747842)
The massive death count in Puerto Rico is almost entirely due to the failure to restore power. Power was out for months. How long did it take to restore power in Houston? In New Orleans? After Sandy in NYC? That would be the baseline for hurricane emergency response by an even semi-competent administration.


No it would not be. The infrastructure in Puerto Rico is nothing like the infrastructure in those other places. And it is, you know, an island.

People make the most ridiculous arguments in a rush to condemn the emergency response of a Republican-controlled federal government.

And regardless of what Trump said he's not responsible for a single death so all you're doing is engaging in some weird form of virtue signaling.
   1215. zenbitz Posted: September 19, 2018 at 09:43 PM (#5747846)
I'm not remotely prepared to accept a position of "Well, we have the votes, so we don't need to investigate whether our preferred candidate is a rapist."


SInce there is nothing you can do about it, you should probably prepare to accept it. Or move to Canada?
   1216. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: September 19, 2018 at 09:46 PM (#5747852)
SInce there is nothing you can do about it, you should probably prepare to accept it. Or move to Canada?


Well, I'm not going to start a revolution or anything. I'm too old for that.
   1217. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: September 19, 2018 at 09:47 PM (#5747855)
‘These are the stories of our lives’: Prep school alumni hear echoes in assault claim
Bettina Lanyi remembers. It was 1986, and she was in eighth grade. She and a friend went to a house in Washington’s Tenleytown neighborhood packed with high school kids, including a throng of boys from Gonzaga College High School and Georgetown Preparatory School. There was a lot of beer. A few fights broke out. Lanyi recalls being pawed and kissed. It freaked her out. She hadn’t been drinking, but her friend, also an eighth-grader, had.

Lanyi turned around to see a large freshman from one of the schools lying on top of her friend. Lanyi, then a petite 13-year-old, shoved the boy and kicked him. The boy was surprised and appealed to Lanyi to let him continue. “I’ll never get her number otherwise,” he told her. She took her friend and left. ...

“There was a lot of shame and stigma then if a girl was raped, so girls tried to hide it. They didn’t tell anyone,” Lanyi said. “The term ‘date rape’ wasn’t something that even existed then. So if it happened, it was always kind of the girl’s fault.”

Lanyi’s recollection of a private school culture suffused by alcohol and drugs — and frequent if unreported sexual assault or misbehavior — is widely shared by students who attended those schools in the 1980s. It was, they recalled, an era marked by excess and illegality that went widely unchecked by parents and school leaders who were unaware or uninterested in cracking down on the behavior.

On Tuesday, Lanyi helped launch an online letter of support for Ford from women and men who grew up in the upper Northwest Washington neighborhoods and Maryland suburbs that fed into the exclusive private schools and country clubs during the same era that Ford and Kavanaugh attended their schools.

The letter’s message to Ford is unambiguous: “We believe you. Each one of us heard your story and not one of us was surprised. These are the stories of our lives and our friends’ lives.”

More than 300 people signed the letter, including graduates of Stone Ridge, Georgetown Prep, Georgetown Visitation Preparatory School, Gonzaga and many others.

A similar letter of support for Ford from Holton-Arms graduates bore 925 signatures Wednesday, including from actress Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Class of 1979.

The letters came in response to a missive Friday signed by 65 women supporting Kavanaugh after the assault allegations emerged but before Ford came forward. ...

All of the women interviewed for this story took pains to point out that not all of the students at the all-boys schools took part in this culture. But the problem was widespread and toxic, they said.

“There were lots of teenage boys I knew at Prep and Gonzaga who were not sexually assaulting girls, but they were in an environment where that was seen as acceptable,” said a woman who attended Stone Ridge in the late 1980s and is a member of the Blessed Sacrament Roman Catholic parish in Washington, the same church Kavanaugh attends. “The story that Dr. Ford told, that doesn’t surprise me at all.”

Women also recounted threats and verbal assault and demeaning behavior and comments.

A 1980 Visitation graduate recalls politely asking a Georgetown Prep football player and his friends to leave a party that had ended at her friend’s house. The boys didn’t want to go and said so, asking the woman how she was going to make them leave. One took a step in her direction. She cracked the Heineken bottle from which she had been drinking against the wall and pointed the jagged edge at him. The boy walked away, muttering obscenities. They weren’t friends before, and certainly not after. The woman watched as the man steadily became a pillar of society. She doubts he remembers. ...
   1218. Srul Itza Posted: September 19, 2018 at 09:49 PM (#5747858)
That wasn't just pre-sabermetric, that was pre-Murdoch.


I remember the Pre-Murdoch Post very well, when trumpeting its connection to Alexander Hamilton didn't seem quite so ironic, and the middle eight pages of the paper were a pull out section of well written editorials and column. I used to deliver it as a paperboy in Rockland County in the mid to late 60's, along with the Journal News, after school.
   1219. Srul Itza Posted: September 19, 2018 at 09:50 PM (#5747859)
Well, I'm not going to start a revolution or anything. I'm too old for that.


If you change your mind, just remember to print enough pamphlets.
   1220. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: September 19, 2018 at 09:53 PM (#5747862)
No it would not be. The infrastructure in Puerto Rico is nothing like the infrastructure in those other places. And it is, you know, an island.

What was the death toll in Hawaii as a result of Hurricane Lane?

The fact that Puerto Rico's infrastructure and finances are so terrible is a black mark on our country. This is not a partisan thing; it has been terrible at least since the financial crisis. But there certainly seemed like a lack of urgency to fix things on the part of the current administration after the storm, underscored by Trump's repeatedly highlighting the "low" death count.
   1221. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: September 19, 2018 at 10:00 PM (#5747864)
Newsweek:
Trump's approval rating is higher than support for Kavanaugh to Supreme Court.
It's about 8.5% higher.
   1222. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: September 19, 2018 at 10:01 PM (#5747865)
I remember the Pre-Murdoch Post very well, when trumpeting its connection to Alexander Hamilton didn't seem quite so ironic, and the middle eight pages of the paper were a pull out section of well written editorials and column. I used to deliver it as a paperboy in Rockland County in the mid to late 60's, along with the Journal News, after school.

Funny how the editorial slant of the Post and the Daily News have each done a 180 since then. The News was to the right of Attila the Hun, while the Post was far and away the most liberal paper in the city.
   1223. PreservedFish Posted: September 19, 2018 at 10:03 PM (#5747867)
It's totally fair to ask whether or not the Trump administration did all it could. I certainly don't know the whole story inside and out, but I do at least remember the controversy surrounding the White House's heel-dragging before granting a waiver to the Jones Act, which expedited shipping to the islands. That seemed like low-hanging fruit, but they screwed it up. Whether the overall impression that Trump didn't care about Puerto Rico is true or not, it's undoubtedly strengthened by this petty squabbling about the death toll. I don't know to what extent it matters to the relief effort whether or not the president gives a #### or not, but I suspect it's not immaterial.
   1224. Ray (CTL) Posted: September 19, 2018 at 10:03 PM (#5747868)
No it would not be. The infrastructure in Puerto Rico is nothing like the infrastructure in those other places. And it is, you know, an island.

What was the death toll in Hawaii as a result of Hurricane Lane?


We have to wait another four months to find out.

The fact that Puerto Rico's infrastructure and finances are so terrible is a black mark on our country. This is not a partisan thing; it has been terrible at least since the financial crisis. But there certainly seemed like a lack of urgency to fix things on the part of the current administration after the storm, underscored by Trump's repeatedly highlighting the "low" death count.


"Seemed like." And Trump's confusion isn't hard to figure out. He was told by the government when he visited it was 16. Later it was 65. Then hundreds according to the next formal estimate. Then thousands. Going from 16 to 3,000 will throw anyone. So you need to look at the basis of each estimate to reconcile it. The final estimate included 5 months; a mathematical estimate from "normal" data going back 8 years; some attempt to determine whether a cause of death listed on a death certificate was indirectly hurricane-related; etc.
   1225. The Interdimensional Council of Rickey!'s Posted: September 19, 2018 at 10:09 PM (#5747872)
You clearly did not ask your question with intellectual honesty, Ray. You have no interest in the honest answer.
   1226. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: September 19, 2018 at 10:11 PM (#5747875)
The guy who says "No it would not" based on nothing but his sense of self is irritated by the arrogance of "seemed like."
   1227. The Yankee Clapper Posted: September 19, 2018 at 10:12 PM (#5747876)
There's been lots of talk here about potential infighting among GOP House Leadership types, but it appears that the Dems have taken the early lead in such matters. Proposed Rule Change Could Complicate Pelosi's Future:
In a move described as a direct shot at Nancy Pelosi, some Democrats in the lower chamber are trying to make it more difficult for one of their own to become speaker of the House. At least 10 Democrats in the lower chamber have signed onto a letter to Caucus Chair Joe Crowley seeking a change to caucus rules that would raise the number of votes required to nominate a candidate for speaker. Current rules mandate that a nominee receive support from only a simple majority of caucus members before advancing to the floor for a vote. The letter requests that threshold be changed to 218, a majority of the House.
. . .
Multiple House Democratic sources said the letter has been in the works for the last week. Those sources see it as an attempt to increase the threshold needed for Pelosi, the minority leader, to be the caucus’s nominee for speaker should Democrats take the House in November. While 10 signatures don’t even come close to representing most of the caucus, the figure is nevertheless significant: Only five are needed for a vote on a petition like this one. The proposed rule change will be voted on next week.
. . .
Two senior House Democratic aides told me the move is likely the brainchild of Assistant Democratic Leader Jim Clyburn, who has openly expressed his desire to take the speaker’s gavel. One of his closest allies, Ohio Representative Marcia Fudge, has been actively recruiting signatures for the letter in the last week. “There’s no scenario in which Fudge would do this without Clyburn’s blessing,” one of the sources said. “This seems to be a Clyburn-for-speaker play.”
. . .
“A majority of the caucus will likely see this as a betrayal from within,” added one source close to Democratic leadership. “This leadership structure has been in place for 12 years. And the last thing we need is a ‘Dems in Disarray’ narrative this close to November.”

We know that Pelosi and her #2, Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, hate each other. Pelosi unsuccessfully tried to purge him with near-crook John Murtha when the Dems captured the House after the 2006 election, and now the #3 leadership guy, Jim Clyburn, is promoting a long-shot rules change to empower Pelosi critics. Those leadership meetings must be tons of fun. Democrats may want to vote GOP this year just so their entire House leadership crew would get tossed in the aftermath of defeat.
   1228. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: September 19, 2018 at 10:14 PM (#5747878)
Mark Harris:
I keep reading stories that the GOP was worried about Kavanaugh but has been growing in confidence over the last couple of days, and this shift toward optimism seems based on nothing more than "Let's just all say this bitch is lying!"
   1229. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: September 19, 2018 at 10:16 PM (#5747879)
Only Yankee Clapper would see minority Democrats seriously competing over which of them will be Speaker of the House in 2019 as a positive sign for the Republicans.
   1230. BDC Posted: September 19, 2018 at 10:19 PM (#5747882)
And Trump's confusion isn't hard to figure out. He was told by the government when he visited it was 16. Later it was 65. Then hundreds according to the next formal estimate. Then thousands. Going from 16 to 3,000 will throw anyone


Does Trump not understand the passage of time? Aside from the initial estimates being too low, the later counts also included deaths over several months after he visited.
   1231. SouthSideRyan Posted: September 19, 2018 at 10:21 PM (#5747883)
Trump does not understand X tends to be a safe bet.
   1232. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: September 19, 2018 at 10:34 PM (#5747888)
And Trump's confusion isn't hard to figure out. He was told by the government when he visited it was 16. Later it was 65. Then hundreds according to the next formal estimate. Then thousands. Going from 16 to 3,000 will throw anyone


Don't we call that the soft bigotry of low expectations? Trump can't figure out that many people who's lives depend on electricity will die because of a lack thereof in the aftermath of a devastating hurricane?
   1233. Ray (CTL) Posted: September 19, 2018 at 10:35 PM (#5747889)
I keep reading stories that the GOP was worried about Kavanaugh but has been growing in confidence over the last couple of days, and this shift toward optimism seems based on nothing more than "Let's just all say this ##### is lying!"


Or the increasing thought that Kavanaugh will be confirmed is based on the accuser setting conditions on whether she testifies and as the hours tick on not confirming that she will testify even if her conditions are not met.
   1234. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: September 19, 2018 at 10:38 PM (#5747890)
It is pretty great that Ray is using the "But Trump is a moron" defense of Trump. It a refreshing and interesting take on the matter, I grant him that.
   1235. Ray (CTL) Posted: September 19, 2018 at 10:40 PM (#5747892)
Does Trump not understand


Yes.

I'm sorry. Finish the question.
   1236. Dog on the sidewalk Posted: September 19, 2018 at 10:55 PM (#5747896)
Ray has long been going back and forth between "Trump is a fool" and "Trump is just operating on a higher level than everyone else," as it suits his argument at the moment.
   1237. Howie Menckel Posted: September 19, 2018 at 11:03 PM (#5747899)
I used to deliver it as a paperboy in Rockland County in the mid to late 60's, along with the Journal News, after school.

another Journal News paperboy alum here, circa 1973.
   1238. The Yankee Clapper Posted: September 19, 2018 at 11:10 PM (#5747900)
Chairman Grassley's Letter To Judiciary Committee Democrats:
I received your letter dated September 18, 2018, asking me not to reopen the hearing on Judge Kavanaugh's nomination, scheduled for Monday, September 24. Dr. Christine Blasey Ford has made serious allegations against Judge Kavanaugh. She has said repeatedly that she wants to tell her story. And she has a right to be heard. Holding a hearing is in the best interests ofjustice and for the parties involved. This will allow Dr. Ford to make her allegations under oath, as her attorney has publicly requested. At the same time, reopening the hearing will allow Judge Kavanaugh, who has categorically denied Dr. Ford's allegations, to address these allegations without further delay.

I understand how difficult it might be for Dr. Ford to publicly testify on this subject. I have therefore offered her many options. We've offered her a public hearing, a private hearing, a public staff interview, or a private staff interview. The staff is even willing to fly to California, or anywhere else, to meet her.

An open session would be a matter of public record, while a closed session will remain confidential. I certainly can understand that Dr. Ford might be distrustful of the Committee's ability to keep matters confidential based on the Democratic members' recent conduct, but I sincerely hope that, if she chooses to testify in a closed session, that my colleagues can see their way to plugging the leaks which have plagued this nomination and gain her trust.

Your letter requests that I demand that the FBI conduct an additional investigation into this matter. This request demonstrates a fundamental misunderstanding of the FBI background investigation process. Before nominating an individual to a judicial or executive office, the White House directs the FBI to conduct a background investigation. The FBI compiles information about a prospective nominee and sends it to the White House. The White House then provides FBI background investigation files to the Senate as a courtesy to help us determine whether to confirm a nominee. But the FBI does not make a credibility assessment of any information it receives with respect to a nominee. Nor is it tasked with investigating those matters that this Committee deems important. The Constitution assigns the Senate, and only the Senate, with the task of advising the President on his nominees and consenting ifthe circumstances merit. We have no power to commandeer an Executive Branch agency into conducting .ill!! due diligence. The job of assessing and investigating a nominee's qualifications in order to decide whether to consent to the nomination is ours, and ours alone.

Second, your request ignores the fact that Dr. Ford has already made her allegations public. The purpose of the background investigation process is to compile information in a confidential manner. Confidentiality permits people to speak freely and candidly about the character and qualifications of the nominee. The White House requires the Senate to keep background investigation files private so that people can speak anonymously to investigators ifthey so desire. Because Dr. Ford's allegations are in the public arena, there is no longer a need for a confidential FBI investigation.

In 1991, the FBI's additional investigation into Professor Anita Hill's allegations occurred when the allegations were still non-public. When the Senate received Professor Hill's non-public allegations of sexual harassment, then-Chairman Biden expeditiously notified the White House. (That decision sits in sharp contrast to Senator Feinstein's decision to sit on Dr. Ford's allegations for more than six weeks.) The White House directed the FBI to conduct a handful of interviews regarding Professor Hill's allegations. The FBI completed the interviews within a few days. The White House turned the interview reports over to the Senate as a courtesy. The contents of one of those reports was leaked to the public soon after. The hearing was subsequently reopened five days after the allegations were made public.

We are in the same position the Committee was in after Professor Hill's allegations were leaked. After that leak, we did not ask the FBI to conduct an investigation. Instead, we reopened the hearing and assessed the testimony that was given on our own. As in 1991, it is now up to the Senate to gather and assess the relevant evidence.

The Majority staff spoke with Judge Kavanaugh as part of the background investigation. Judge Kavanaugh immediately agreed to cooperate with Senate investigators. He sat for a transcribed interview on Monday. He understood that he was under penalty of felony, ifhe was not truthful. He fully, candidly, and unequivocally answered all questions. We have no reason to doubt the truthfulness of Judge Kavanaugh's testimony. Judge Kavanaugh volunteered to come back for a public hearing.

As is standard practice, we invited the Minority staff to participate and ask Judge Kavanaugh its own questions, but the Minority staff declined. The Majority staff has also sought to set up interviews with Dr. Ford, Mark Judge, and two other alleged witnesses. The Minority staff is welcome to participate in the investigative process as well, but it has thus far declined.

I have scheduled the hearing continuation for this Monday because Dr. Ford, through her counsel, expressed the desire to tell her story under oath. It is my understanding that Dr. Ford has been represented by counsel in this matter for months and thus should be adequately prepared to testify. I am following the same timeline Chairman Biden did after Professor Hill's allegations were made public. It would be a disservice to Dr. Ford, Judge Kavanaugh, this Committee, and the American people to delay this hearing any further.

Ofcourse, we wouldn't find ourselves in this position if we had been made aware ofthe allegations in a timelier manner. The Ran.king Member was aware ofthese allegations since July. But her staff did not ask Judge Kavanaugh about them during routine background investigation phone calls in late-August. Senator Feinstein did not ask Judge Kavanaugh about these allegations during her closed-door meeting on August 20. The Ranking Member withheld this serious information about Judge Kavanaugh from her colleagues, 64 ofwhom had private meetings with Judge Kavanaugh and could have asked him about the allegations directly. She did not ask about them when Judge Kavanaugh appeared before the Committee for more than 32 hours of testimony over 3 days. Nor did she attend the closed session of the hearing when members can ask Judge Kavanaugh about sensitive matters. And she did not ask any questions about these allegations among the nearly 1,300 written questions sent to Judge Kavanaugh after the hearing.

Senator Feinstein only informed the FBI of the allegations after they were leaked to the media on the eve of a confirmation vote. The proper course of action would have been to investigate Dr. Ford's serious allegations as quickly and as thoroughly as possible, as I did as soon as these allegations were made known to me.

I'm also concerned what the recent events mean for whistleblowers, especially victims of sexual assault. Dr. Ford expressed the desire that her allegations remain non-public. I can't emphasize how important it is to respect whistleblowers' and victims' desire for confidentiality. But notwithstanding her wishes for confidentiality, her allegations became public. I fear that the leaks of confidential information will discourage whistleblowers and victims from coming forward in the future.

This is but the latest-and most serious--of your side's abuse ofthis confirmation process. There has been delay and obstruction of this process at every tum and with every argument available. Therefore, I will view any additional complaints about the process very skeptically.

Strong stuff. Read the whole thing.
   1239. The Yankee Clapper Posted: September 19, 2018 at 11:16 PM (#5747903)
Or the increasing thought that Kavanaugh will be confirmed is based on the accuser setting conditions on whether she testifies and as the hours tick on not confirming that she will testify even if her conditions are not met.

We'll see how it plays out, but I'm getting an increasing vibe from well-connected GOP legal types that Ford's story isn't holding up well on further examination. That Democrats seem increasingly desperate that Ford not testify reinforces that notion.
   1240. Srul Itza Posted: September 19, 2018 at 11:24 PM (#5747904)
another Journal News paperboy alum here, circa 1973.


I was from Spring Valley (Hillcrest area), Ramapo Class of '73. You?

There are a number of facebook pages for back in the day Rockland and Spring Valley.
   1241. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: September 19, 2018 at 11:26 PM (#5747906)
Lawrence O'Donnell:
Lying to the FBI is a crime.

Dr. Christine Blasey Ford wants to talk to the FBI.

Brett Kavanaugh doesn’t want to talk to the FBI.

Kavanaugh’s friend & witness Mark Judge doesn’t want to talk to the FBI.

They all know lying to the FBI is a crime.

Strong stuff.
   1242. The Yankee Clapper Posted: September 19, 2018 at 11:29 PM (#5747907)
#1241 is a joke post. The same penalties apply to lying under oath to Congress.
   1243. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: September 19, 2018 at 11:32 PM (#5747908)
We'll see how it plays out, but I'm getting an increasing vibe from well-connected GOP legal types that Ford's story isn't holding up well on further examination.

At least give us the courtesy of sharing the content of these vibes with us before we read about them on Drudge or The Daily Caller.
   1244. Howie Menckel Posted: September 20, 2018 at 12:01 AM (#5747920)

I was from Spring Valley (Hillcrest area), Ramapo Class of '73. You?

There are a number of facebook pages for back in the day Rockland and Spring Valley.

Albertus Class of '79. what is this "facebook" that you speak of?
   1245. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: September 20, 2018 at 12:05 AM (#5747921)
Yankee Clapper labels things "joke posts" yet admiringly quotes Chuck Grassley's deeply serious and powerful letter. The letter that whines about constant leaks on the committee, then expresses faux bafflement that Diane Feinstein didn't expose the anonymity of Dr. Ford early enough for Grassley's tastes.


Judicial Committee member Orrin Hatch on FBI investigating Supreme Court nominees in 1991: "A very right to do, the perfect thing to do."

Judicial Committee member Orrin Hatch in 2018, speculating about the reaction if Dr. Ford's account of sexual assault is true: "I think it would be hard for Senators to not consider who the judge is today." Well, at least that explains why Hatch doesn't want an FBI investigation, when its findings already mean less than nothing to him.

Grassley's joke letter in #1238 shows that he's plainly sweating the press attention that turned today to the awkward comparison between the FBI's late Anita Hill investigation and the Republicans blocking an FBI investigation (thus far) into Dr. Ford's claim. One might even say Grassley is "increasingly" sweating the "increasingly" awkward comparison.
   1246. tshipman Posted: September 20, 2018 at 12:13 AM (#5747922)
Ofcourse, we wouldn't find ourselves in this position if we had been made aware ofthe allegations in a timelier manner. The Ran.king Member was aware ofthese allegations since July. But her staff did not ask Judge Kavanaugh about them during routine background investigation phone calls in late-August. Senator Feinstein did not ask Judge Kavanaugh about these allegations during her closed-door meeting on August 20.

...

I'm also concerned what the recent events mean for whistleblowers, especially victims of sexual assault. Dr. Ford expressed the desire that her allegations remain non-public. I can't emphasize how important it is to respect whistleblowers' and victims' desire for confidentiality. But notwithstanding her wishes for confidentiality, her allegations became public. I fear that the leaks of confidential information will discourage whistleblowers and victims from coming forward in the future.


Yeah, tons of concern for victims' rights from Grassley. It's so important that allegations remain confidential that Feinstein should have told everyone.

   1247. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: September 20, 2018 at 12:20 AM (#5747923)
Washington Post:
Republicans push to confirm Kavanaugh amid fears it will come at a political cost

President Trump and Senate Republicans on Wednesday took a hard line: full-speed ahead on Brett M. Kavanaugh’s nomination for the Supreme Court despite an allegation of sexual assault decades ago.

But privately, discussions about the political fallout gripped the party, with Republican lawmakers and strategists unnerved by the charged, gender-infused debates that have upended this campaign season.

Already burdened by an unpopular president and an energized Democratic electorate, the male-dominated GOP is now facing a torrent of scrutiny about how it is handling Kavanaugh’s accuser and whether the party’s push to install him on the high court by next week could come at a steep political cost with women and the independent voters who are the keystone for congressional majorities.

The uncertainty in Republican ranks evoked uneasy memories of how the hearings for Clarence Thomas’s Supreme Court nomination spurred what became known as the “Year of the Woman” in 1992, when a wave of Democratic women won office, and underscored widespread GOP disquiet over the fast-changing culture and the power of the #MeToo movement.

................Republican campaign veterans said the GOP’s reliance on Grassley — a sharp-tongued, 85-year-old conservative who has been in Congress since 1975 — as its point person brings complications as voters begin to pay closer attention, regardless of whether Ford ends up sitting before the committee.

..................“They’re putting on a brave face, but the party’s narrative with women has been unfortunate for the past three years or so and now they have this with Kavanaugh,” former Republican National Committee chairman Michael Steele said. “In getting behind him, there is real worry that they’re making it easier for Republican candidates to be targets. There is no escape hatch here.”

...........In the House, where the GOP holds a 23-seat majority, there are rising concerns about how the Kavanaugh issue is beginning to overshadow the Republican campaign touting the GOP-authored tax law and economic progress, according to two senior Republicans involved with national campaign planning who were not authorized to speak publicly.

One of those Republicans said several top GOP lawmakers have told colleagues that they hope Ford declines to show up for the hearing even as they issue statements urging her to do so.
   1248. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: September 20, 2018 at 12:25 AM (#5747924)
I'm pre-setting my TiVo for Sunday, October 28 to record Dr. Christine Blasey Ford's interview on "60 Minutes." It always pays to be prepared.
   1249. PepTech, the Legendary Posted: September 20, 2018 at 12:37 AM (#5747925)
Maybe she's got a blue dress...
   1250. The Yankee Clapper Posted: September 20, 2018 at 01:47 AM (#5747931)
Team Blue is betting heavily that smear & run tactics will be popular. Don't count on it. Bottom line is that Ford has an opportunity to testify under oath before the Senate Judiciary Committee - exactly what she and Senate Democrats asked for when she came forward. That she is now apparently unwilling to do so, and Senate Democrats don't want her to do so, says a lot about how credible her testimony is. If she doesn't testify, Dems are stuck with a worthless witness, while the Republicans will have a Supreme Court Justice who was willing to testify under oath at any and every opportunity. I think the GOP can live with that outcome. Perhaps those who think the Dems can magically spin Ford's unwillingness to testify under oath for political gain will be proved correct, but these same folks thought the last election was just a matter of counting the chromosomes. Ford won't be credible if she refuses to testify; Democrats are welcome to hitch their wagon to her fate, but it's political malpractice.
   1251. perros Posted: September 20, 2018 at 02:05 AM (#5747933)
You've hitched your wagon to Trump and Kavenaugh, Clapper. Best of luck.

   1252. perros Posted: September 20, 2018 at 02:12 AM (#5747934)


SInce there is nothing you can do about it, you should probably prepare to accept it. Or move to Canada?


Might as well lay back and enjoy it, huh?
   1253. tshipman Posted: September 20, 2018 at 02:12 AM (#5747935)
You've hitched your wagon to Trump and Kavenaugh, Clapper. Best of luck.


He hitched up for the Roy Moore express, too.
   1254. Ishmael Posted: September 20, 2018 at 04:58 AM (#5747938)
Perhaps those who think the Dems can magically spin Ford's unwillingness to testify under oath for political gain will be proved correct, but these same folks thought the last election was just a matter of counting the chromosomes.

Err…forty-six?
   1255. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: September 20, 2018 at 05:24 AM (#5747939)
46 chromosomes? In a row?

But I think he’s postulating that Donald Trump has Kleinfelter syndrome.
   1256. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: September 20, 2018 at 05:57 AM (#5747940)
Clapper seems to think that Charles Grassley has the power to shape the narrative of this nomination simply by stonewalling everything, and that the only things that could possibly derail it would be either a tearful confession by Kavanaugh or a 36 year old tape recording. We'll see whether that holds true.
Holding a hearing and inviting her to testify is literally the opposite of stonewalling.

And this whole "We need to investigate" misunderstands that the hearing is an investigation. What investigation would the FBI do? It would interview her and find out what information she has. Which is exactly the same thing the committee will do. Just because the latter is public doesn't mean it isn't an investigation.
   1257. manchestermets Posted: September 20, 2018 at 07:14 AM (#5747941)
More from President Very Smart: Trump urged Spain to 'build a wall' across Sahara, says minister

Josep Borrell, also a former President of the European Parliament, disagreed with the strategy.

...

"The border with the Sahara cannot be bigger than our border with Mexico," the President is reported to have said.

The US-Mexico border is 1,954 miles (3,145 km) long. The Sahara desert stretches for 3,000 miles.
   1258. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: September 20, 2018 at 07:22 AM (#5747942)
Clapper seems to think that Charles Grassley has the power to shape the narrative of this nomination simply by stonewalling everything, and that the only things that could possibly derail it would be either a tearful confession by Kavanaugh or a 36 year old tape recording. We'll see whether that holds true.

Holding a hearing and inviting her to testify is literally the opposite of stonewalling.


The stonewalling comment was in reference to the rigid and (so far) nonnegotiable terms of Grassley's invitation: The set-in-stone date, the dismissal of the idea of a prior FBI inquiry, and the refusal to consider the live testimony of anyone other than Ford and Kavanaugh.

Look, we all know that in the absence of a confession by either of them that they'd been lying, there's not likely to be any foolproof way of ascertaining the truth about Miz Ford's accusation. But if that's the standard, why go through the pretense of a hearing to begin with? Kavanaugh denies everything, his drinking buddy Judge backs him up, no smoking gun, end of story. That seems to be your position, and it's fitting considering your profession.

But if the standard isn't 100% certainty, but obtaining information that might lead us to a reasonable judgment about whether this incident likely took place, then witnesses like Ford's therapist, and Mark Judge, might be of added value in reaching such an assessment, as might the testimony of friends of Kavanaugh and Judge who could assess the likelihood of the incident within the context of the drinking culture of Georgetown Prep into the mix. Likelihood, not certainty.

And yes, somehow I don't think a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court should be awarded to someone for simply just going up there and denying everything, and that's that. What's the rush?

   1259. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: September 20, 2018 at 07:40 AM (#5747944)
I do think Judge should have to testify – I suspect the reason he doesn’t want to is that he doesn’t want to be asked about other people/parties (not involving Kavanaugh) – but Ford’s therapist isn’t a witness to anything, and testimony that lots of high schoolers partied and got drunk in 1982 is worthless in this context. (Boldfacing and repeating “likelihood” doesn’t make the argument less dumb.)

And yes, somehow I don't think a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court should be awarded to someone for simply just going up there and denying everything, and that's that.
The appointment isn’t for denying things. The appointment is for a stellar career and demonstrated excellence. There’s no question he would deserve to be - and would be - confirmed absent this allegation, so the issue is whether the appointment should be detailed based on a completely unsubstantiated and unsubstantiatable allegation from 36 years ago.

What's the rush?
No rush; they’ve taken plenty of time for the nomination already.
   1260. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: September 20, 2018 at 07:59 AM (#5747947)
No rush; they’ve taken plenty of time for the nomination already.


Funny stuff David. The GOP is rushing and everyone knows why. Think about it, you'll get there.
   1261. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: September 20, 2018 at 08:06 AM (#5747949)
Funny stuff David. The GOP is rushing and everyone knows why. Think about it, you'll get there
Nope. This nomination has already taken a bit longer than average. You confuse rejecting stalling tactics with rushing. (They already accommodated those once by reopening the hearings and delaying the vote.)
   1262. Swoboda is freedom Posted: September 20, 2018 at 08:23 AM (#5747953)
Nope. This nomination has already taken a bit longer than average. You confuse rejecting stalling tactics with rushing. (They already accommodated those once by reopening the hearings and delaying the vote.)


Serious question- what is the average time for hearings/confirmation?
   1263. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: September 20, 2018 at 08:23 AM (#5747954)
Nope.


Yup. The GOP is absolutely in a rush. They want to get it done this year. Originally it was before the election to excite their base and now with the chance of losing the Senate they have a deadline. Plus, of course, if there is going to be blowback from the process that effects the upcoming midterms they want as much distance between any vote and that election as possible.

Pretending the GOP is not operating under any kind of timeline is kind of dumb. Those various timelines and external pressures are "the rush". And before you get all pedantic "rush" was not my word, so let's not get into one of your special little internet word definition games.
   1264. TDF, trained monkey Posted: September 20, 2018 at 08:30 AM (#5747955)
The appointment isn’t for denying things. The appointment is for a stellar career and demonstrated excellence. There’s no question he would deserve to be - and would be - confirmed absent this allegation, so the issue is whether the appointment should be detailed based on a completely unsubstantiated and unsubstantiatable allegation from 36 years ago.
Excuse me for sounding Clapper-ish, but to suggest that the current GOP timeline for confirmation is anything but political is laughable on its face considering what they did to Merrick Garland.
   1265. Zonk just has affection for alumni Posted: September 20, 2018 at 08:40 AM (#5747956)
Strong stuff. Read the whole thing.


Bullshit stuff is what it is -

Unless, this is a different Grassley than the one who had no problem with a SCOTUS seat unfilled for an entire year?

If it's the same one, though - he doesn't get to use words like "timely" or otherwise references dates and timeframes. He previously proved that they're meaningless and unimportant.
   1266. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: September 20, 2018 at 08:44 AM (#5747957)
Yup. The GOP is absolutely in a rush. They want to get it done this year.
The second assertion is not the same as the first. Of course they want to get it done this year, but that’s not a rush; that’s the normal order of things. No, originally it was not before the election to excite the base; originally it was before the first Monday in October, since that’s when the term starts.
And before you get all pedantic "rush" was not my word,
This is priceless. First, it’s a flat out lie; “rush” was indeed your word. You used it at least twice, in 1260 and 1263. Second, if you hadn’t used it, then your jumping in the middle would have been a non sequitur.

Andy: the GOP is rushing.
Me: No, they’re not.
You: Yes, they’re rushing.
Me: No, they’re not rushing, because X.
You: Yes, they’re rushing. But rushing isn’t my word so you’re being pedantic by arguing that they’re not rushing.
   1267. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: September 20, 2018 at 08:49 AM (#5747960)
This is priceless. First, it’s a flat out lie; “rush” was indeed your word. You used it at least twice, in 1260 and 1263. Second, if you hadn’t used it, then your jumping in the middle would have been a non sequitur.


I knew you couldn't resist, you are quite predictable that way. I really love how you recount how it is Andy's word right after insisting it is mine. Thanks for the laugh dude.
   1268. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: September 20, 2018 at 08:52 AM (#5747962)
Speaking of laughing, I don't think Trump's "You should build a wall across the Sahara to stop immigration to Spain" is getting nearly enough play.

I would love to hear someone, anyone, try to defend that statement as anything but completely imbecilic.
   1269. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: September 20, 2018 at 08:56 AM (#5747963)
I really love how you recount how it is Andy's word right after insisting it is mine.
Uh, I know Andy doesn’t understand intellectual property, but I didn’t realize that you didn’t either. Are you under the impression that if one person uses a word it becomes theirs and nobody else's? Andy used it first. Then you used it. That makes it both of yours. But I’m glad you’re now admitting that your claim they’re rushing is bullshit.
   1270. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: September 20, 2018 at 09:00 AM (#5747965)
But I’m glad you’re now admitting that your claim they’re rushing is bullshit.


I am not, I am mocking you. There is a not subtle difference between admitting something and making fun of someone. I am doing the second one.

But sure, the GOP is totally not in a rush at all. Nope. No rush. They just have all these deadlines they have to meet, and because of all those deadlines (the ones I mentioned before) the are totally not rushing, but are rather proceeding in a hurried fashion in order to hit their deadlines. But other than the speed with which they are trying to wrap things up, despite the new revelations, there is no rush at all.

Note: The above paragraph is - once more - mocking. In case you missed it I am not really truly agreeing the GOP is in no rush. Just to be clear for you.
   1271. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: September 20, 2018 at 09:20 AM (#5747972)
Excuse me for sounding Clapper-ish, but to suggest that the current GOP timeline for confirmation is anything but political is laughable on its face considering what they did to Merrick Garland.


I think the Garland case is instructive because it illustrates a clear political belief that leaving a Supreme Court seat vacant for a year does not pose any sort of risk of the integrity of the Republic. Accepting this as true, there's no legitimate reason to move with any particular sense of urgency here.
   1272. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: September 20, 2018 at 09:22 AM (#5747973)
Is urgency different than rushing? Asking for a friend.
   1273. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: September 20, 2018 at 09:23 AM (#5747974)
Find smarter friends.
   1274. Zonk just has affection for alumni Posted: September 20, 2018 at 09:24 AM (#5747975)
Is urgency different than rushing? Asking for a friend.


Yes.

Urgency is a noun. Rushing is the gerund form of a verb.
   1275. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: September 20, 2018 at 09:28 AM (#5747977)
Find friends like Zonk.
   1276. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: September 20, 2018 at 09:32 AM (#5747979)
“This seems to be a Clyburn-for-speaker play.”


Just wanted to note that if Clyburn (or anyone else) mounts a formal challenge to Pelosi, she'll break their backs and grind their bones to make her bread, just like always.
   1277. JL72 Posted: September 20, 2018 at 09:32 AM (#5747980)
There’s no question he would deserve to be - and would be - confirmed absent this allegation


Actually, there are serious questions about that in view of his testimony about not receiving any Democratic strategy material while at the White House. You can disagree, but the idea that no reasonable person could conclude that Kavanaugh either lied or is dumb as a post is wrong.
   1278. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: September 20, 2018 at 09:32 AM (#5747981)
Accepting this as true, there's no legitimate reason to move with any particular sense of urgency here.


Are political reasons inherently not legitimate? Because the GOP has several political reasons to have a sense of urgency.
   1279. PreservedFish Posted: September 20, 2018 at 09:35 AM (#5747982)
I would say that "rushing" implies that one might make errors due to one's haste, that one is going too fast. "Urgency" lacks that implication.
   1280. Ray (CTL) Posted: September 20, 2018 at 09:36 AM (#5747983)
Turley:

SEN. MAZIE HIRONO (D-HI): I think we all know when something is not fair, when something smells. This is so patently not fair to her and what really bothers me and gets me so angry that the White House is victimizing this person. Why don’t we get that out there? Why should we participate in the victimization of someone who has the courage to come forward? And she is under no obligation to participate in a smearing of her and her family. That is why I am very clear about what needs to happen. But at the same time if the Republicans go forward with their plan to railroad this fast-track as they have so many other nominations, I expect the members of the press to talk about how unfair that is. I don’t think that is editorializing, that is laying out the facts. I expect that from you guys…

HIRONO: I expect the men in this country and the men in this committee because we all signed on to this letter to demand an FBI investigation. But really guess who is perpetuating all of these kinds of actions? It’s the men in this country. And I just want to say to the men in this country: just shut up and step up, do the right thing for a change.


--

Hirono is clearly right that Ford must be treated fairly and not punished for coming forward with her allegation. That includes not having to testify next to Kavanaugh, as her counsel suggested was the plan for Monday. However, the calling of the hearing is not a form of victimization. Her allegation was made shortly before the vote on Kavanaugh and the vote has been delayed. A hearing has been scheduled for Monday but Ford is now saying that she will not testify unless the FBI launched an investigation.

On the issue of believing Ford, do you believe that she has a right to be believed or to be heard?


   1281. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: September 20, 2018 at 09:40 AM (#5747984)
Yeah, they're not rushing this through. Of course not.
“This has been a drive-by shooting when it comes to Kavanaugh. . . . I’ll listen to the lady, but we’re going to bring this to a close.”

--- Lindsey Graham

"High tech lynching" was much more colorful.
   1282. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: September 20, 2018 at 09:44 AM (#5747985)
What investigation would the FBI do? It would interview her and find out what information she has.


Don't pretend to be stupid. You don't do it as well as SBB or Clapper.
   1283. Ray (CTL) Posted: September 20, 2018 at 09:58 AM (#5747988)
Turley:

Believing Kavanaugh or Blasey Ford before hearing testimony is bias, not blind justice

Jonathan Turley, Opinion columnist Published 4:28 p.m. ET Sept. 19, 2018 | Updated 8:22 a.m. ET Sept. 20, 2018

Senate Democrats say the FBI should look into the sexual-assault allegation against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh as his accuser wants. Republicans say that's unnecessary because the Senate is conducting its own investigation. (Sept. 19) AP
Democratic senators say they believe Brett Kavanaugh's accuser, Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, but belief before the hearing isn't blind justice. It's bias.

It is a growing mantra on and off Capitol Hill. Both members and commentators have insisted that Christine Blasey Ford “has a right to be believed.” Hawaii's Democratic Sen. Mazie Hirono not only has insisted that she and other women alleging abuse “need to be believed,” but men need to “just shut up and step up.” It is a jarring disconnect for members who insist that they confirm a nominee who will approach legal questions with a fair and open mind while dispensing with such considerations in their own treatment of his nomination. The fact is that Ford has a right to be heard and to be treated fairly. Neither she nor Kavanaugh have a right to be believed on the basis for an allegation or a denial.

Throughout the confirmation hearings, Democratic Senators pressed Kavanaugh as to whether he was a lock for business and corporate interests — favoring certain types of litigants and not giving a fair hearing to others. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse denounced the conservatives on the Court — and by extension Kavanaugh — as changing their approach based on who was making allegations. He decried conservative jurists who spared corporate or business litigation from what they viewed as the “indignity of equal treatment.”

Kavanaugh and Ford deserve blind justice

Yet, the touchstone of legal process is neutral, consistent, and fair review. That means that no one has an advantage because who they are or what they represent or what they are alleging. Law is objective and, yes, blind.

These politicians however insist that blind justice means turning a blind eye to abuse. Various Democratic senators announced within days of Ford’s allegations that they believe her, including Minority Leader Chuck Schumer. Hillary Clinton and others have insisted that the test is whether you believe any woman alleging abuse. Clinton declared "I want to send a message to every survivor of sexual assault ... You have the right to be believed, and we're with you."

What precisely does that mean?



   1284. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: September 20, 2018 at 09:59 AM (#5747989)
Don't pretend to be stupid.
Don’t be actually stupid. If this were a case in which there were forensic evidence of any sort, then the FBI would be useful, perhaps necessary, for investigating. But that doesn’t describe this situation. The only thing to be done here is to listen to testimony and evaluate credibility. (Note that in addition to refusing to appear, Ford has refused to cooperate with committee staff by supplying them information they can look into in advance of the hearing.)
   1285. Ray (CTL) Posted: September 20, 2018 at 10:02 AM (#5747991)
Seems more colorful than your typical get-off-my-lawn. (Typos are the Daily Mail's, not mine.)

Chase brushes off his rampant childhood abuse before slamming 'not funny' Will Ferrell and making ANOTHER racially-charged remark about Donald Glove

Chevy Chase sat down for an interview with The Washington Post in which he disparaged a number of actors and Saturday Night Live
'That means a whole generation of s***heads laughs at the worst f***ing humor in the world,' he said of SNL
'Just not funny. Makes $25 million a picture,' said Chase of Will Ferrell
'I didn’t see what all the folderol was about. She was good,' he said of Tina Fey
And he again made a rcially-charged comment about Donald Glover, after saying in The New Yorker: 'People think you’re funnier because you’re black'
Recounting the next time he ran into Glover, Chase said: 'I never saw a guy turn white so fast'
'Chevy is an abused kid,' explained his wife Jayni, although the actor did not want to discuss the abuse he endured as a child in the interview


Link

I could see someone like Milton Berle or someone making the same "just not funny" comments about Chase in the 80s.
   1286. . . . . . . Posted: September 20, 2018 at 10:04 AM (#5747992)
Yeah, tons of concern for victims' rights from Grassley. It's so important that allegations remain confidential that Feinstein should have told everyone.


You know, I'm pro-victims rights, but I'm pretty sure that even though one of those rights is a right to confidentiality, you waive that right once you mail your story to a ####### Congressman and Senator. It feels like Ford wants all the pros of having her story made as public as any story could be, without the cons of cross-examination. That goes beyond what a victim is entitled to - even a victim seeking to press criminal or civil charges wouldn't be entitled to that.
   1287. PreservedFish Posted: September 20, 2018 at 10:05 AM (#5747993)
Was it always known that Chase is tremendous #######?
   1288. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: September 20, 2018 at 10:09 AM (#5747994)
The only thing to be done here is to listen to testimony and evaluate credibility.


Yes, but a proper investigation would at an absolute minimum hear testimony of the alleged third person involved, and would also hear testimony from anyone else relevant who's names may come up in the testimony of the first three. A proper investigation would have neutral parties ask questions and take the initial testimony, not people who have already pre-judged the situation, one way or another. This sham hearing will do none of that. Yes, it is a kind of investigation, but the pretending to be stupid part is asserting that this hearing, if it takes place, is no less than what the FBI would do.
   1289. Zonk just has affection for alumni Posted: September 20, 2018 at 10:10 AM (#5747995)
You know, I'm pro-victims rights, but I'm pretty sure that even though one of those rights is a right to confidentiality, you waive that right once you mail your story to a ####### Congressman and Senator. It feels like Ford wants all the pros of having her story made as public as any story could be, without the cons of cross-examination. That goes beyond what a victim is entitled to - even a victim seeking to press criminal or civil charges wouldn't be entitled to that.


What "pros" would there be?

   1290. PreservedFish Posted: September 20, 2018 at 10:11 AM (#5747996)
What "pros" would there be?


Bringing disgrace to your tormentor, I would think.
   1291. The usual palaver and twaddle (Met Fan Charlie) Posted: September 20, 2018 at 10:13 AM (#5747998)
1227

There's been lots of talk here about potential infighting among GOP House Leadership types, but it appears that the Dems have taken the early lead in such matters.


Shorter Clapper: Whatever the issue, Democrats are worse, so nyah nyah nyah!
   1292. The usual palaver and twaddle (Met Fan Charlie) Posted: September 20, 2018 at 10:15 AM (#5748002)
1237

another Journal News paperboy alum here, circa 1973.


I delivered the Bergen [Evening] Record in 1978-79, Howie.
   1293. PepTech, the Legendary Posted: September 20, 2018 at 10:27 AM (#5748010)
Speaking of laughing, I don't think Trump's "You should build a wall across the Sahara to stop immigration to Spain" is getting nearly enough play.

I would love to hear someone, anyone, try to defend that statement
Well, Spain does have enclaves in Africa. The Sahara is in Africa. If they built big, beautiful walls around their enclaves, which are in Africa, which is where the Sahara is, they're kind of building a wall across the Sahara.
as anything but completely imbecilic.
Of course, there's about a hundred miles of Atlas Mountain Range between the Sahara and the Spanish enclave of Melilla, which is, it turns out, coastal.

And then there's the problem with "The Sahara" going through Mali, Mauritania, Algeria, Tunisia, Niger, Chad, Libya, Egypt, and Sudan, none of which are "Spain".

So never mind, I guess.
   1294. PepTech, the Legendary Posted: September 20, 2018 at 10:30 AM (#5748012)
Say, has anyone else noticed that Clapper seems to get a little worked up about judicial appointments? Just an observation.
   1295. My name is Votto, and I love to get blotto Posted: September 20, 2018 at 10:38 AM (#5748017)
Was it always known that Chase is tremendous #######?


Yes.
   1296. The usual palaver and twaddle (Met Fan Charlie) Posted: September 20, 2018 at 10:40 AM (#5748018)
1293

Of course, there's about a hundred miles of Atlas Mountain Range between the Sahara and the Spanish enclave of Melilla, which is, it turns out, coastal.


Ahhh yes...Melilla: the name of Trump's next wife.
   1297. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: September 20, 2018 at 10:41 AM (#5748019)
Say, has anyone else noticed that Clapper seems to get a little worked up about judicial appointments? Just an observation.


The vast majority of the positive* accomplishments under GOP President Trump are appointments. Their legislation is typically scarce, poorly written, and unpopular and ditto the executive orders. The only place to go when trying to talk up the current GOP reign of error is the economy and judicial appointments.

When that is what you got, you go with it.

* Edit to add "positive". There are many more negative accomplishments, of course.
   1298. bobm Posted: September 20, 2018 at 10:45 AM (#5748021)
Well, Spain does have enclaves in Africa. The Sahara is in Africa. If they built big, beautiful walls around their enclaves, which are in Africa, which is where the Sahara is, they're kind of building a wall across the Sahara.

NPR: The Fences Where Spain And Africa Meet

On a rocky beach in North Africa, a chain-link fence juts out into the Mediterranean Sea.

This is one of Africa's two land borders with Europe, at two Spanish cities on the African continent. Ceuta and Melilla are Spanish soil — and thus part of the European Union — separated from the rest of Europe by the Mediterranean, and separated from the rest of Africa by huge fences.

If someone manages to scale those fences, he lands in Europe. Tens of thousands of African and Arab migrants try to do that each year. Many have traveled hundreds of miles already, mostly from sub-Saharan Africa, but also from conflict zones like Syria or Somalia. Their journeys are similar to those many Latino migrants make northward to the U.S.-Mexico border.

Thousands of people cross the Morocco-Ceuta border legally every day. Dozens more are believed to cross illegally — smuggled in the back of trucks, or hidden in secret compartments under cars or in their trunks. Others manage to scale a huge double fence, lined with anti-climbing mesh and patrolled by border guards.

Still others swim. [...]

   1299. PreservedFish Posted: September 20, 2018 at 10:45 AM (#5748022)
The Spanish African enclaves do have walls - there was a good This American Life story about the efforts people make to surmount one of them.
   1300. PreservedFish Posted: September 20, 2018 at 10:46 AM (#5748023)
er
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