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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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   1901. The Yankee Clapper Posted: September 22, 2018 at 12:13 AM (#5749383)
It looks like Grassley has given Ford yet another extension
However, late Friday, Grassley tweeted: “Five times now we hv granted extension for Dr Ford to decide if she wants to proceed w her desire stated one wk ago that she wants to tell senate her story Dr Ford if u changed ur mind say so so we can move on I want to hear ur testimony. Come to us or we to u.”

Minutes later, he added: "Judge Kavanaugh I just granted another extension to Dr Ford to decide if she wants to proceed w the statement she made last week to testify to the senate She shld decide so we can move on I want to hear her. I hope u understand. It’s not my normal approach to b indecisive."

I certainly hope there is a more formal letter going out, noting a more precise response time. At least there were no emojis.
   1902. bobm Posted: September 22, 2018 at 12:14 AM (#5749384)
And once again, since there's not likely to be any such proof, you revert to the courtroom standard rather than wanting to consider the sort of evidence that might lead someone to give relatively more credence to either Ford or Kavanaugh's recollections:

"Well, Your Honor. We have plenty of hearsay and conjecture. Those are *kinds* of evidence."
   1903. The Yankee Clapper Posted: September 22, 2018 at 12:15 AM (#5749385)
BREAKING: Montgomery MD PD Chief Tom Manger confirms will investigate sexual allegations against Brett Kavanaugh if a complaint is filed.
Laurence Tribe notes that the crime of kidnaping has no statute of limitations in Maryland.

If Deborah Katz won't let her client testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee, she certainly isn't going to let her file a false police report.
   1904. Mike A Posted: September 22, 2018 at 12:17 AM (#5749386)
Apparently Paul Gosar started pushing the 'theories' that Charlottesville was perpetrated by Obama sympathizers and/or George Soros. Gosar even went so far as to say Soros turned in 'his own kind' to the Nazis. Those comments are what led his family to break from him...as his brother did not mince words:

"It’s just despicable. To slander (Soros) like that — you know, an 87-year-old guy, never did anything wrong to you — and you just slander him without any proof, just based on some Alex Jones bulls---. And then you don’t even have the guts or decency to apologize.”

Gosar is Tea Party super right-wing...he even boycotted the Pope because Francis is a socialist who believes in climate change:

"Media reports indicate His Holiness instead intends to focus the brunt of his speech on climate change-a climate that has been changing since first created in Genesis. More troubling is the fact that this climate change talk has adopted all of the socialist talking points, wrapped false science and ideology into “climate justice” and is being presented to guilt people into leftist policies."

And...Gosar's got a 99.99% chance of winning reelection. Nice job, America.
   1905. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: September 22, 2018 at 12:18 AM (#5749388)
she certainly isn't going to let her file a false police report.


And there it is. Unlike you, I don't assume she's either lying or telling the truth, or something in-between. But is it any wonder she is reluctant to testify to people who think like you?
   1906. The Yankee Clapper Posted: September 22, 2018 at 12:58 AM (#5749395)
And there it is. Unlike you, I don't assume she's either lying or telling the truth, or something in-between. But is it any wonder she is reluctant to testify to people who think like you?

Hilarious. Misirlou thinks it's beyond the pale to even suggest that an unsworn, untimely, uncorroborated, and unproven allegation might not hold up, but he has uttered not a word of admonshment to those here who have repeatedly pronounced that incredibly flimsy "evidence" as sufficient. Misirlou is essentially saying how dare anyone doubt an extremely doubtful story, a standard he applies with great selectivity, and then suggests that people doubting Ms. Ford's story justifies her not testifying. That's total BS.
   1907. tshipman Posted: September 22, 2018 at 01:32 AM (#5749396)
Hilarious. Misirlou thinks it's beyond the pale to even suggest that an unsworn, untimely, uncorroborated, and unproven allegation might not hold up, but he has uttered not a word of admonshment to those here who have repeatedly pronounced that incredibly flimsy "evidence" as sufficient. Misirlou is essentially saying how dare anyone doubt an extremely doubtful story, a standard he applies with great selectivity, and then suggests that people doubting Ms. Ford's story justifies her not testifying. That's total BS.


Hey dude, it's really simple: don't call victims liars with no evidence.

Until then, I guess you'll just keep shilling for pedophiles.
   1908. zenbitz Posted: September 22, 2018 at 01:34 AM (#5749397)
oh it was UNTIMELY. Why didn't you say so.
   1909. Ray (CTL) Posted: September 22, 2018 at 01:36 AM (#5749398)
I love Yankee Clapper continuing to make these forceful, confident assessments and predictions as if he has a reputation for being right.

He's that guy in Las Vegas who lost all of his betting money, then made an ATM withdrawal to win it back but lost that too, and then made another withdrawal, but now he's right back at the table with the last of his savings because forget about those other bets (what other bets?). He doesn't think, he doesn't hope, he KNOWS the next prediction is going to be the winner.


Having been in a broadly similar situation many times back in the day... it's clear Gonfalon is not a gambler. Once you've mac'd out a couple of times and are chasing losses, you don't think or KNOW you're going to turn it around. Quite to the contrary you're playing scared. It's scared money. You KNOW that you can turn it around with enough of a bankroll -- the swings inherent in gambling are just prob/stat -- but you expect that you'll probably time out and reach the end of your bankroll before it happens.
   1910. Ray (CTL) Posted: September 22, 2018 at 01:43 AM (#5749400)
Whelan recants...


Ed Whelan @EdWhelanEPPC

I made an appalling and inexcusable mistake of judgment in posting the tweet thread in a way that identified Kavanaugh's Georgetown Prep classmate. I take full responsibility for that mistake, and I deeply apologize for it. I realize that does not undo the mistake.
7:38 AM - Sep 21, 2018


There was a period of a few months several years ago when I occasionally dipped into The Corner on NRO. Whelan always struck me as a pure partisan. Not stupid, and made some interesting points (likely mostly because I hadn't heard them before), but generally just partisan. Wasn't saying anything that any generic right wing hack with a few brain cells to rub together was saying.

I don't take any position on his reporting abilities but... they don't appear to have served him well here.
   1911. perros Posted: September 22, 2018 at 01:47 AM (#5749401)
You can argue about what the US has been drawing the past 200 odd years, but for the most part it's steered the world OK. The US is the worst superpower, except for all the other ones that have been tried.


If the rule you followed brought you to Trump, of what use is the rule?
   1912. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: September 22, 2018 at 02:04 AM (#5749402)
   1913. The Yankee Clapper Posted: September 22, 2018 at 02:20 AM (#5749404)
Hey dude, it's really simple: don't call victims potential liars victims with no evidence.

FTFY.
   1914. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: September 22, 2018 at 02:34 AM (#5749405)
Four hard and fast deadlines abandoned, so far. And this from the side that has the votes, has an impeccable and unblemished nominee, wins on the optics, holds the high ground, and has nothing to fear from the outcome or its political aftermath. Just imagine if Republicans weren't winning this hard.
   1915. Srul Itza At Home Posted: September 22, 2018 at 04:14 AM (#5749409)
I can certainly see why that sort of hearing wouldn't appeal to you or Clapper or Grassley. For you it's either a smoking gun or nothing.


You misunderstand DMN, Clapper and Grassley

A smoking gun wouldn't matter, either.

They don't care if he did it, and they doesn't care if he is lying about it.

He would be a reliable vote for policies they prefer, and that is the only thing that matters.

Just because DMN hates Trump so much he appears to be on your side of some issues, does not change the fact that, other than that, he is a waste of space.
   1916. Count Vorror Rairol Mencoon (CoB) Posted: September 22, 2018 at 06:13 AM (#5749410)
Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm ... fecal soup!


Eric Phelps steered a small, battery-powered pontoon boat over the tops of cornstalks and into the eastern North Carolina town of Wallace on Thursday afternoon. The smell of floodwater under a hot sun – a mix of oil, manure and mold – was overwhelming.

Gliding across the surface, Phelps saw something even more unsettling: dead chickens, hundreds of them, lodged against people’s fences, stuck in the tops of bushes, lapping up against front porch steps.

They are among the 3.4 million chickens confirmed killed in the floods that followed Hurricane Florence. In addition, about 5,500 hogs died, according to the Department of Agriculture, and some of the massive lagoons that hold their excrement are damaged and discharging a fecal soup.

...

The extent of the damage from Florence, which dropped 8 trillion gallons of water on the state, is unknown. The state department of environmental quality reported Thursday that at least six swine lagoons have suffered structural damage, and 30 have reported discharges. At least three of those with structural damage have been breached – the worst-case scenario, in which walls collapse. One released 2.2 million gallons in Duplin county, a department spokesperson told the Wall Street Journal.

...


Graun
   1917. TDF, trained monkey Posted: September 22, 2018 at 06:53 AM (#5749413)
So YC,I have to ask - what do you think of the men who've accused priests of acts from decades ago?
   1918. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: September 22, 2018 at 07:21 AM (#5749415)

And there it is. Unlike you, I don't assume she's either lying or telling the truth, or something in-between. But is it any wonder she is reluctant to testify to people who think like you?
Um, I mean, yes. "I only want to testify to people who believe me" is not a reasonable position.

And I don't see you making similar comments wrt Kavanaugh about the people here who have repeatedly called him a rapist.
   1919. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: September 22, 2018 at 07:27 AM (#5749416)
Hey dude, it's really simple: don't call victims liars with no evidence.
Sigh. What is it with leftists who don't understand that someone who accuses someone else of rape is not a "victim," or a "survivor," or whatever other jargon feminists push today. She (or he -- but really, always she) is an accuser. And the default position for a decent person is to assume that the accused is innocent, not that the accuser is telling the truth. And to place the burden of coming forth with evidence on the accuser.

Of course, if you are the accuser's friend or family member or lawyer or priest or therapist, it's okay to use the term victim; those people aren't expected to be fair or impartial between accuser and accused. But a bystander should stick with the presumption of innocence for the accused.
   1920. . Posted: September 22, 2018 at 07:35 AM (#5749417)
Hilarious. Misirlou thinks it's beyond the pale to even suggest that an unsworn, untimely, uncorroborated, and unproven allegation might not hold up, but he has uttered not a word of admonshment to those here who have repeatedly pronounced that incredibly flimsy "evidence" as sufficient. Misirlou is essentially saying how dare anyone doubt an extremely doubtful story,


There's nothing inherently "doubtful" about it in the least and it's not even a he said/she said situation since she names a third party. That third party has stated he will not testify (*), which is far more "suspicious" than her hesitation.

Another relevant person, Smyth, has denied being at the party in question when there *is* no party in question.

(*) And in broad strokes, the third party certainly resembles her description as a kind of hapless and inveterate drunk. His writings tend to confirm the type of attitudes about women someone who fits her description would have, though I don't want to paint with too broad a brush. Does what we know about Mark Judge 36 years later fit the type who would have behaved as she said he did 36 years ago? Yes, in essentially every particular.
   1921. . Posted: September 22, 2018 at 07:38 AM (#5749418)
And the default position for a decent person is to assume that the accused is innocent, not that the accuser is telling the truth.


No, that's entirely incorrect. That's the "default position" for a just tribunal with the power to impose sanctions, not generally for "decent people."

This isn't a trial and the Senate Judiciary Committee has no authority to impose any kind of sanction on Kavanaugh.
   1922. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: September 22, 2018 at 07:44 AM (#5749420)

Or she could simply be telling the truth,
Yes, Captain Obvious; that was covered by the fact that I said "Either she's telling the truth, lying, or mistaken." Not clear why you felt the need to raise the possibility that she was telling the truth as if I hadn't considered that when I already expressly (see -- that's how the word "express" is used) said it.

And once again, since there's not likely to be any such proof, you revert to the courtroom standard
And... there it is again. Whenever Andy has a morally, factually, and logically bankrupt position, he starts sneering about courtrooms or courts of law. The "courtroom standard" is the same as the standard for any intelligent, decent person: to require evidence.
rather than wanting to consider the sort of evidence that might lead someone to give relatively more credence to either Ford or Kavanaugh's recollections: Ford's therapist; Judge's descriptions of the drinking culture that he and Kavanaugh were a part of; experts who can testify to the relatively small percentage of false claims of acquaintance rape.
None of those things are "sorts of evidence."
   1923. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: September 22, 2018 at 07:48 AM (#5749421)
No, that's entirely incorrect. That's the "default position" for a just tribunal with the power to impose sanctions, not generally for "decent people."
Sorry, one would have to be a decent person to understand; you're not qualified.
   1924. Fancy Crazy Town Banana Pants Handle Posted: September 22, 2018 at 08:01 AM (#5749426)
And once again, since there's not likely to be any such proof, you revert to the courtroom standard
And... there it is again. Whenever Andy has a morally, factually, and logically bankrupt position, he starts sneering about courtrooms or courts of law. The "courtroom standard" is the same as the standard for any intelligent, decent person: to require evidence.

There has been evidence. Her account of what happened is in fact evidence. It may not be conclusive proof, to establish guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, but it is evidence.

And beyond a reasonable doubt is your "courtroom standard." But there is no reason to apply a standard of BARD in this case. This is not a criminal trial. This is for all intents and purposes a job interview. And there is no shortage of equally well qualified candidates to choose from.

If I am picking between two or more equally well qualified candidates for a job, and have a reasonable suspicion that one of them might have committed sexual assault, attempted rape, and lied about it under oath, and the other(s) do not... any "decent person" would pick one of the others. Ten times out of ten.
   1925. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: September 22, 2018 at 08:02 AM (#5749427)
And once again, since there's not likely to be any such proof, you revert to the courtroom standard rather than wanting to consider the sort of evidence that might lead someone to give relatively more credence to either Ford or Kavanaugh's recollections:

"Well, Your Honor. We have plenty of hearsay and conjecture. Those are *kinds* of evidence."


Right, and that's why accusations of acquaintance rape are never to be believed. Just ask the men who deny it!

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

I can certainly see why that sort of hearing wouldn't appeal to you or Clapper or Grassley. For you it's either a smoking gun or nothing.

You misunderstand DMN, Clapper and Grassley

A smoking gun wouldn't matter, either.

They don't care if he did it, and they doesn't care if he is lying about it.

He would be a reliable vote for policies they prefer, and that is the only thing that matters.

Just because DMN hates Trump so much he appears to be on your side of some issues, does not change the fact that, other than that, he is a waste of space.


Of course Grassley wouldn't care even if Ford produced a video of the incident. He might be embarrassed, but it'd take him about 15 seconds to set up a conference call with the White House and the Federalist Society to determine which reliably right wing RoboJudge should next be sent down the chute.

I'd say Clapper might care if Ford were a Republican activist, but then the Republican affiliations of Comey, Rosenstein and Mueller don't seem to have registered with him. To steal the old William F. Buckley cliche once again, he's like a steam calliope programmed by the Republican National Committee.

But I do think that David's different, although in this case he lines up with the goobers. As several of us have noted many times, David sees cases like this through the eyes of a defense lawyer, and even though it's obvious that Kavanaugh's idea of the law mostly coincides with his own, I think he'd be offering the same defense of a Democratic nominee accused of rape by a Republican woman. His often silly and faux superior style of presenting his opinions can sometimes make it hard to know where performance ends and serious analysis begins, but I think it's important to distinguish between the two roles. And just because he's an absolute loon on things like Taxes Steal Your Life, that doesn't mean that he's a generic right wing hack, even though admittedly in some cases it's often hard to tell.

EDIT: See #1922 above for a perfect illustration of that last paragraph.
   1926. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: September 22, 2018 at 08:31 AM (#5749429)
There has been evidence. Her account of what happened is in fact evidence. It may not be conclusive proof, to establish guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, but it is evidence.
Yes and no. Her account will be evidence… if we hear it. So far we haven’t. (I’m not even talking about under oath; I mean we haven’t heard it at all, but only secondhand accounts of it. If she went on 60 Minutes as some have suggested, we could weigh the fact that it wasn’t under oath or subject to cross-examination against it, but at least we’d have a chance to evaluate it.)

And beyond a reasonable doubt is your "courtroom standard." But there is no reason to apply a standard of BARD in this case.
BARD is one courtroom standard; it is not the only courtroom standard. Others include “clear and convincing evidence” and “preponderance of the evidence.” At no point in this discussion have I applied the first standard (yours) or argued that anyone else should apply it.
This is not a criminal trial. This is for all intents and purposes a job interview. And there is no shortage of equally well qualified candidates to choose from.
It is not a criminal trial. It is also not a mere job interview. A job interview has no consequences beyond the interviewee or someone else getting a job. If the interviewee doesn’t get the job, (a) most people will never even know the interviewee was turned down, and (b) all it means is that they liked a different candidate better. This, OTOH, is public, and it is for all intents and purposes an adjudication of allegations against him. If the allegations are found credible, he won’t go to jail, but it would be difficult for him to keep his current job, let alone get the one he’s applying for.

If I am picking between two or more equally well qualified candidates for a job, and have a reasonable suspicion that one of them might have committed sexual assault, attempted rape, and lied about it under oath, and the other(s) do not... any "decent person" would pick one of the others. Ten times out of ten.
That assumes that your suspicion is in fact reasonable. Which depends on what evidence it’s based on.
   1927. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: September 22, 2018 at 08:54 AM (#5749433)
And I don't see you making similar comments wrt Kavanaugh about the people here who have repeatedly called him a rapist.


Has anyone officially connected to the confirmation process called him, or hinted that he is a rapist? Because plenty have done the same WRT Ford.
   1928. Fancy Crazy Town Banana Pants Handle Posted: September 22, 2018 at 09:01 AM (#5749434)
Yes and no. Her account will be evidence… if we hear it. So far we haven’t. (I’m not even talking about under oath; I mean we haven’t heard it at all, but only secondhand accounts of it. If she went on 60 Minutes as some have suggested, we could weigh the fact that it wasn’t under oath or subject to cross-examination against it, but at least we’d have a chance to evaluate it.)

Her letter to Feinstein is in fact evidence. Again, perhaps not sufficient to convict of anything, but evidence. You are also confusing something being public, with something being there. There is no reason her account has to be public for it to be counted as evidence. The public is not the one making the decision her, the senate is. Whether you can evaluate her account is beside the point. It affects nothing about the inherent quality of the evidence. The only thing it impacts is your potential vote in a future senate election.

BARD is one courtroom standard; it is not the only courtroom standard. Others include “clear and convincing evidence” and “preponderance of the evidence.” At no point in this discussion have I applied the first standard (yours) or argued that anyone else should apply it.

Yes, I am aware that there are other standards. But given the line of your argument, was based on presumption of innocence for the accused, that seemed to be the legal standard you were implicitly angling for. Still, I would reject the notion that any of them have any value for a job interview. And I think assumption of innocence for the accused that you have argued for, would have to at the very minimum reach a 50% threshold for likelihood.

It is not a criminal trial. It is also not a mere job interview. A job interview has no consequences beyond the interviewee or someone else getting a job. If the interviewee doesn’t get the job, (a) most people will never even know the interviewee was turned down, and (b) all it means is that they liked a different candidate better. This, OTOH, is public, and it is for all intents and purposes an adjudication of allegations against him. If the allegations are found credible, he won’t go to jail, but it would be difficult for him to keep his current job, let alone get the one he’s applying for.

Yes, it is public. That is the nature of the position of the job. So are many other job interviews that have an element of public interest, whether explicitly or implicitly. That does not change the fact that it is a job interview, or your incentive to hire the best candidate based on the available information.
Baseball manager hirings are often in the public eye. If one of the candidates had a suspicion of committing sexual assault, attempted rape, and lying about it under oath, the team would move on to the other candidates in less than 2 seconds. No matter what it meant for the candidates future job prospects. Those are not the concern of the people making the hiring decision. Getting a suitable candidate is.

That assumes that your suspicion is in fact reasonable. Which depends on what evidence it’s based on.

So for the sake of argument. Let's say there is a parent of one of your daughter's friends. For sake of argument, let's call him... Kett Bravanaugh. And you know someone has alleged that he is a paedophile and attempted child molester. How reasonable does your suspicion have to be, that this could be true, before you would no longer be a "decent person" if you refused to let your daughter stay there for a sleepover?

99%? 90%? 66%? 50%? 25%? 10%? 5%? 1%? Less?
   1929. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: September 22, 2018 at 09:20 AM (#5749437)
Just saw an interview on CNN with a bunch of, I can only call them deplorable, women defending Kavanaugh. All the usual deplorable troupes came out:

"If it really happened, why didn't she report it then?"

"Tell me, what high school boy doesn't do this?"

"You can't judge a man by what he did as a boy"

   1930. Greg K Posted: September 22, 2018 at 10:07 AM (#5749440)
Oddly enough, I am reading a book right now by the art historian Ivan Gaskell that talks about the proto-photographic qualities of mid-17th-century Dutch art (specifically Vermeer). One theory (though Gaskell doesn't buy it) is that Vermeer and other meticulous realists used a camera obscura to compose their designs. I am now imagining a Parliamentary proceeding in Westminster Hall with some hired Dutchman off to the side painting everything from a big old box.

Wenceslaus Hollar actually did quite a few etchings of the 1641 session of parliament (and Strafford's execution).

Though, he was Czech, not Dutch. And as you can see they weren't quite photographic quality. I've never thought about it before, but many of his most famous etchings were of massive public events, so he probably was drawing what he had seen himself.
   1931. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: September 22, 2018 at 10:17 AM (#5749441)
So for the sake of argument. Let's say there is a parent of one of your daughter's friends. For sake of argument, let's call him... Kett Bravanaugh.

Look, it's bad enough that Crazy Eddie Whelan outed Ford's doppelganger rapist. And now this. What did poor Kett Bravanaugh ever do to you?
   1932. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: September 22, 2018 at 10:20 AM (#5749442)
Just saw an interview on CNN with a bunch of, I can only call them deplorable, women defending Kavanaugh.
I understand. This is a gender issue. All women understand and empathize with Ford, because XX, while men are rapey culture misogynists. I mean, there may be a few women who don’t think that women should be automatically believed when they come out with uncorroborated 36-year old claims, but they’re just deplorable. All woke people know that failing to report something has no bearing on its veracity. #MeTooHighFive
   1933. dlf Posted: September 22, 2018 at 10:30 AM (#5749444)
BARD is one courtroom standard; it is not the only courtroom standard. Others include “clear and convincing evidence” and “preponderance of the evidence.” At no point in this discussion have I applied the first standard (yours) or argued that anyone else should apply it.


What standard would you apply?

Personally, I would go with an even lower one: probable cause. I take no position vis a vis Ford's assertions or Kavanaugh's denials (I haven't spend much time looking into what has come out to date and even if I had would reserve opinion pending subsequent hearings), but as a general matter, I think that anyone *credibly* claimed to have committed attempted rape should serve as a Supreme Court Justice even if it wasn't enough for either criminal conviction or adverse civil finding.
   1934. BrianBrianson Posted: September 22, 2018 at 10:35 AM (#5749446)
C'mon, David, don't you know being a feminist means you should hold women to much higher standards in their politics than you hold men?
   1935. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: September 22, 2018 at 10:37 AM (#5749449)
I understand. This is a gender issue. All women understand and empathize with Ford, because XX, while men are rapey culture misogynists. I mean, there may be a few women who don’t think that women should be automatically believed when they come out with uncorroborated 36-year old claims, but they’re just deplorable. All woke people know that failing to report something has no bearing on its veracity. #MeTooHighFive


No, you don't understand. Women can support and believe Kavanaugh without calling all teenage boys rapists. Women can support and believe Kavanaugh without shaming all potential victims with the tired and ignorant troupe of "If this really happened, why didn't you report it then?"

I called them deplorable not because they support Kavanaugh, but because they used deplorable arguments.

edit: And I realize that winning is the only thing that matters, but do you think Kavanaugh really appreciates these arguments in is defense? Would you want to owe your promotion to an attitude of "Well, sure, he probably attempted rape when he was 17, but all 17 year old boys attempt rape and therefore we can't hold it against him. It's just in their nature."?
   1936. Greg K Posted: September 22, 2018 at 10:38 AM (#5749450)
I think that anyone *credibly* claimed to have committed attempted rape should serve as a Supreme Court Justice even if it wasn't enough for either criminal conviction or adverse civil finding.

Wouldn't that require a constitutional amendment to expand the size of the Supreme Court?
   1937. Chip Posted: September 22, 2018 at 10:47 AM (#5749452)
Republican communications advisor for the Judiciary Committee has abruptly resigned after NBC News began asking him about a sexual harassment complaint against him while he was working for the GOP in the North Carolina legislature. He was abruptly fired from that job in 2017.
   1938. Fancy Crazy Town Banana Pants Handle Posted: September 22, 2018 at 10:51 AM (#5749454)
I understand. This is a gender issue. All women understand and empathize with Ford, because XX, while men are rapey culture misogynists.

You really don't. It is as silly as when people trot out the "many women are against abortions" line.

It is a gender issue in the sense that it is about traditional gender roles, norms, and equality. There are many, many women who believe strongly in traditional gender roles, and do not believe women are equal to men. There are a lot of men who believe women are in fact equal, and should be free to make their own decisions, and be able to play by the same rules, norms, and standards as men.
   1939. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: September 22, 2018 at 10:55 AM (#5749455)
while men are rapey culture misogynists


I missed that part of David's reply. My argument, and issue with the deplorable women, was not that I or liberals, or feminists believe it, it's that apparently at least one of the Kavanaugh defenders not only believes it, but says it, as a reason why she supports Kavanaugh.

"Tell me, what high school boy doesn't do this?"


It doesn't get much more deplorable than that.
   1940. Lassus Posted: September 22, 2018 at 11:18 AM (#5749461)
while men are rapey culture misogynists

I appreciate when David reminds us the of the minim that actually separates him and Ray.
   1941. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: September 22, 2018 at 11:21 AM (#5749462)
And there it is. Unlike you, I don't assume she's either lying or telling the truth, or something in-between. But is it any wonder she is reluctant to testify to people who think like you?


Case in point:

McConnell says Senate will ‘plow right through’ to confirm Kavanaugh

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is telling evangelical activists the Senate will “plow right through” and move to confirm Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.

McConnell told the annual Values Voter conference Friday “in the very near future, Judge Kavanaugh will be on the United States Supreme Court.” He urges the Republican-leaning activists to “keep the faith” and predicts senators will do their jobs.


It's not that she is reluctant to testify to people who don't believe her. She's understandably reluctant to testify to people who don't care what she says and will give it no weight in their decision.

Imagine a judge in a rape trial saying before the trial begins that "In the very near future, (the accused) will be exonerated of these false charges." What woman would be enthusiastic to go through that ordeal?
   1942. Avoid Running At All Times- S. Paige Posted: September 22, 2018 at 11:34 AM (#5749464)
McConnell must know something about the accusations: that he and his fellow Republican senators don’t believe them or don’t give a sh*t even if true.
   1943. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: September 22, 2018 at 11:43 AM (#5749465)
that he and his fellow Republican senators don’t believe them or don’t give a sh*t even if true.


I think it's the latter, and everything that is going on is designed to :

a) disuade her from testifying, and failing that
b) make her story as incredible as possible to give them cover to ram through a possible rapist.
   1944. Fancy Crazy Town Banana Pants Handle Posted: September 22, 2018 at 11:45 AM (#5749466)
I think it's the latter, and everything that is going on is designed to :

a) disuade her from testifying, and failing that
b) make her story as incredible as possible to give them cover to ram through a possible rapist.

I mean it is not as if they are being coy about it. There are several senators who have come out and flat out said so.
   1945. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: September 22, 2018 at 11:56 AM (#5749468)
For example, the question Trump and many others are asking "Why did she take so long to report it." , is a legitimate question if asked in a good faith attempt to gain knowledge. But it's not. It's being asked rhetorically as a way of casting shade on her story, with the barely hidden subtext of ..."because it isn't true." If they truly wanted an answer, they would take testimony from experts to explain why so many don't report, or delay reporting their assault. It doesn't make her story true, but it removes or at least alleviates the prevailing assumption that she took so long because it's not true. But they won't do that because it might make it harder to "plow through" with the nomination.
   1946. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: September 22, 2018 at 12:07 PM (#5749470)
For example, the question Trump and many others are asking "Why did she take so long to report it." , is a legitimate question if asked in a good faith attempt to gain knowledge. But it's not. It's being asked rhetorically as a way of casting shade on her story, with the barely hidden subtext of ..."because it isn't true." If they truly wanted an answer, they would take testimony from experts to explain why so many don't report, or delay reporting their assault.

Or they might just ask Ronald Reagan's daughter.
   1947. perros Posted: September 22, 2018 at 12:12 PM (#5749473)
"Plough right through" is a perfect metaphor for the Party of Rape.
   1948. Fancy Crazy Town Banana Pants Handle Posted: September 22, 2018 at 12:27 PM (#5749480)
That's Party of Legitimate Rape™
   1949. Lassus Posted: September 22, 2018 at 12:37 PM (#5749485)
Reading about the Beto/Ted debate, it doesn't seem like anyone landed any really big blows, not a lot of coverage on soundbites out of the debate. PROBABLY not the best news for Beto, but also notable that Ted couldn't really bloody him either. (Noted, however, that I don't think he really needs to, just hold serve.)
   1950. . Posted: September 22, 2018 at 01:07 PM (#5749500)
For example, the question Trump and many others are asking "Why did she take so long to report it." , is a legitimate question if asked in a good faith attempt to gain knowledge. But it's not. It's being asked rhetorically as a way of casting shade on her story, with the barely hidden subtext of ..."because it isn't true."


Yes, exactly.

As the archives show, my pro-female credentials speak for themselves, and I would have the same opinion without it, but I do have a very recent experience of a very good friend being acquaintance sexually assaulted in a foreign country. I'm one of the few people she told and may be the only one. Before telling me she said, "Please don't judge me." As she was telling me, and in the aftermath, there was present the undercurrent that she was struggling with the idea that it was somehow her fault. Of course, it wasn't remotely her fault in any way, shape, or form and of course I wasn't going to judge her in any way, shape, or form -- but this is how the vast majority of women process these situations. We know this how? Because that's how the vast majority of women say they process these situations. And then that opinion and perspective outwardly evinces itself by ... wait for it ... them not reporting these incidents very much.

Now, given this understandable reality, why would a woman sign up to listen to a bunch of people, many older men, insinuate that it *was* somehow their fault and that there *was* something they did that should be judged?

She of course didn't think of "reporting" the incident for an iota of a second. (*) She internalized it her way, went home, and moved on. Obviously, it's still a "thing" and will likely be for some time.

(*) And of course I didn't react by "presuming the innocence" of the shitbag that did it.
   1951. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: September 22, 2018 at 01:07 PM (#5749501)
Re: #1949--
By far, most body blows in political debates are the self-inflicted kind.
   1952. BDC Posted: September 22, 2018 at 01:11 PM (#5749502)
he and his fellow Republican senators don’t believe them or don’t give a sh*t even if true


Yes. And this works itself out in a peculiar way. Because it's the age of #MeToo, no man is safe from accusations, which means that all accusations are presumed false. It's not as if the girl has even cried wolf (though there's always Duke Lacrosse to fall back on). It's that the girl has cried at all. If one girl can cry, then what's to stop any girl from crying, which means we can never believe any of them (unless there's a recording à la Weinstein or a photo à la Franken).

But when you think about it … when the wave of #MeToo broke in the past year or so, to a lot of people it seemed like every man in the world was suddenly revealed as a harasser or worse. Of course the number of the accused was an extremely tiny percentage of men, presumably because a pretty small percentage of men go in for rapey behavior.

Presumably an extremely tiny percentage of #MeToo accusations were in turn false, though many of them have been shown to be true. Some are undecidable because so far past or denied by the accused, but that's life, the past is not an open book.

But whatever the realities of the situation, the immediate rallying cry of anti-feminist conservatives is "some women have spoken out, therefore you can't trust any woman."

   1953. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: September 22, 2018 at 01:17 PM (#5749508)

What standard would you apply?

Personally, I would go with an even lower one: probable cause. I take no position vis a vis Ford's assertions or Kavanaugh's denials (I haven't spend much time looking into what has come out to date and even if I had would reserve opinion pending subsequent hearings), but as a general matter, I think that anyone *credibly* claimed to have committed attempted rape should serve as a Supreme Court Justice even if it wasn't enough for either criminal conviction or adverse civil finding.
That's a very very low standard. Virtually any accusation that doesn't violate the laws of physics would be sufficient to constitute probable cause. I know you say that you're not speaking of Ford specifically, but there's nothing about her claim that's incredible.

I understand the argument that we're talking about a near-irrevocable decision to put someone on the court, but preponderance still seems low to me.
   1954. . Posted: September 22, 2018 at 01:18 PM (#5749509)
But when you think about it … when the wave of #MeToo broke in the past year or so, to a lot of people it seemed like every man in the world was suddenly revealed as a harasser or worse. Of course the number of the accused was an extremely tiny percentage of men, presumably because a pretty small percentage of men go in for rapey behavior.


The real problem with #MeToo is that it doesn't distinguish well between "rapey" and something like Franken.

As Andrew Sullivan's latest for NY Magazine argues, we live in an extremely binary and tribal culture now, in which centrists and nuance have been virtually entirely marginalized. He's careful with his rhetoric and referred to what's going on as the stuff of "cultural revolution," and he's right. It's an almost pitch perfect essay and I adopt and commend it.
   1955. BDC Posted: September 22, 2018 at 01:25 PM (#5749512)
The real problem with #MeToo is that it doesn't distinguish well between "rapey" and something like Franken


It distinguished fine between Franken and Weinstein. Franken was persuaded to leave the Senate, but he hasn't been indicted, unless I missed something.

Those who failed to distinguish between Franken and Weinstein were not their accusers or the authorities; it was people who were inclined to dismiss all women's complaints as power games, the revenge of the jilted, or the curse of the spider woman.
   1956. TDF, trained monkey Posted: September 22, 2018 at 01:26 PM (#5749514)
"Tell me, what high school boy doesn't do this?"

"You can't judge a man by what he did as a boy"
As I noted on Facebook: I hope I'm not defined by what I did as a drunk 17 year old. But the way I, as a 55 year old, respond to what I did as a drunk 17 year old absolutely defines me.
   1957. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: September 22, 2018 at 01:27 PM (#5749515)

For example, the question Trump and many others are asking "Why did she take so long to report it." , is a legitimate question if asked in a good faith attempt to gain knowledge. But it's not. It's being asked rhetorically as a way of casting shade on her story, with the barely hidden subtext of ..."because it isn't true." If they truly wanted an answer, they would take testimony from experts to explain why so many don't report, or delay reporting their assault. It doesn't make her story true, but it removes or at least alleviates the prevailing assumption that she took so long because it's not true. But they won't do that because it might make it harder to "plow through" with the nomination.
What you're saying is that people are only allowed to ask questions to get answers that affirm her story, but not cast doubt on it. The only knowledge that we're allowed to gain by asking questions it the knowledge that none of her behavior can be treated as undermining her accusations.

The fact that she waited decades of course does not prove her story to be false, but it certainly does make it less credible than if she had reported¹ it at the time. (But much more importantly, it makes it less reliable.) If she has reasons why she didn't report it, then she needs to give those reasons; a supposed expert can't explain that she's telling the truth because lots of women wait decades.


¹Note that I am using "report" broadly, not just reporting it to the police.
   1958. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: September 22, 2018 at 01:28 PM (#5749516)
but there's nothing about her claim that's incredible.


Give Trump and the Republican Senators some time. They'll get there. Trump's "If this happened and was so bad, there has to be a police repot. Bring it forth (or it didn't happen)" was just the opening salvo. Clapper's all in on supporting the bullying tactics that make Ford reluctant to come forward so that his secure knowledge that this is all made up will get a boost.*

*as if Ford is the first person in history to set conditions on their appearing before the Senate to testify, thus, she has to be lying.
   1959. TDF, trained monkey Posted: September 22, 2018 at 01:31 PM (#5749518)
The fact that she waited decades of course does not prove her story to be false, but it certainly does make it less credible than if she had reported¹ it at the time. (But much more importantly, it makes it less reliable.) If she has reasons why she didn't report it, then she needs to give those reasons; a supposed expert can't explain that she's telling the truth because lots of women wait decades.
I'll ask you the same question I asked YC (who hasn't responded): What do you think of the men who've accused priests of acts from decades ago?
   1960. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: September 22, 2018 at 01:32 PM (#5749520)
If she has reasons why she didn't report it, then she needs to give those reasons; a supposed expert can't explain that she's telling the truth because lots of women wait decades.


No they can't, and that's not what I'm arguing. But the expert can explain how her reasons are credible and commonplace (if they are) to people who are ignorant on the subject. Like SBB, I have first hand knowledge of the dynamic that trauma plays with people.
   1961. . Posted: September 22, 2018 at 01:33 PM (#5749521)
I should also report some additional personal experience so as to not let falsehoods and untruths spread. I'm for all intents and purposes the same age as Kavanaugh. The number of times in my late teens to late 20s that I was drunk/wasted and pursued or pondered pursuing also-present women run to triple digits. I have several friends who could say the same, and if we count the stories they've told of escapades in that area, we're probably in mid-triple digits.

It was never considered "OK," or anything close, even within the mores of this crowd, to have done what Kavanaugh is alleged to do. If anyone had sat around on a hungover Sunday afternoon in college or whatnot and told a story of how the night before he and a friend dragged a girl at a party into a bedroom, cranked up the music, put their hand over her mouth when she tried to scream, and was ripping her clothes off against her will until she managed to escape, the person telling the story would have been an outcast. No one ever told a story like that or even said that they heard that someone else a couple friend levels removed had done something like that.

Of course, pondering it, there's always the possibility that someone did do something like that and didn't want to say it out loud, but the fact that they didn't want to say it out loud demonstrates the norm.

   1962. . Posted: September 22, 2018 at 01:35 PM (#5749523)
Those who failed to distinguish between Franken and Weinstein were not their accusers or the authorities; it was people who were inclined to dismiss all women's complaints as power games, the revenge of the jilted, or the curse of the spider woman.


??

Franken's resignation from the Senate was essentially demanded so as to further #MeToo principles.
   1963. . Posted: September 22, 2018 at 01:48 PM (#5749526)
If she has reasons why she didn't report it, then she needs to give those reasons


And of course a perfectly plausible answer would be (*), "I don't know; I was 15 and that's just the way I dealt with the incident and the trauma." "Why didn't you tell anyone?" is akin to a question like, "Why are you afraid of flying?"

(*) Whether it's the answer she gives, or otherwise.
   1964. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: September 22, 2018 at 01:49 PM (#5749527)
The fact that she waited decades of course does not prove her story to be false, but it certainly does make it less credible than if she had reported¹ it at the time. (But much more importantly, it makes it less reliable.) If she has reasons why she didn't report it, then she needs to give those reasons; a supposed expert can't explain that she's telling the truth because lots of women wait decades.

¹Note that I am using "report" broadly, not just reporting it to the police.


Not only has Ford given her reasons for remaining silent for so long, innumerable numbers of other women who've been in her position have spoken out as to why they kept quiet. This isn't acquaintance rape's first rodeo.

It's still hard for many of us to discern just what it would take for you to believe Ford's account, short of a confession by Kavanaugh, corroborative testimony by his friend and drinking buddy Mark Judge, or some miraculously acquired semen-stained pair of clothing with traces of Kavanaugh's DNA. Since none of those scenarios are likely to unfold, your inference seems to be that we have no moral choice but to believe Kavanaugh's denial.

Again, I can see that in a court of law, but given what we've seen in Ford's letter, in the stories of other women (like Ronald Reagan's daughter) who were assaulted and kept quiet out of fear or shame, and in the copious amount of information we've seen uncovered about Kavanaugh's participation in the drinking culture at Georgetown Prep,** I'd like to know exactly what you'd require to believe that Ford's account rings true, and that Kavanaugh's denials don't simply amount to Case Closed.

We've also heard (not from you) about Ford's motivations for coming out with her story. Democratic "activist", and all that.

But what about, for Christ's sake, Kavanaugh's obvious motivations for denying it, when he knows that there's no chance of any courtroom-level proof ever emerging? He's got everything to gain and nothing to lose by simply sticking to his story, regardless of its truth. "Who benefits by lying?" is a test that doesn't just apply to Miz Ford.

** As in Kavanaugh's high school yearbook entry, where he listed himself as treasurer of the “100 Kegs or Bust” club; and in Mark Judge's thinly veiled references to him in his writings about that culture.
   1965. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: September 22, 2018 at 02:02 PM (#5749533)
And of course a perfectly plausible answer would be (*), "I don't know; that's just the way I dealt with the incident and the trauma." "Why didn't you tell anyone?" is akin to a question like, "Why are you afraid of flying?"

(*) Whether it's the answer she gives, or otherwise.


I'm going to be as vague as possible here while trying to get the point across:

My daughter suffered trauma at about age 7 or 8. She reported it to us more or less contemporaneously, and we dealt with it, took her to our female doctor, did a therapy session, and talked a lot with her. Life went on normally.

6 or 7 years later, she's displaying what we assumed was normal teenage girl behavior. Out of the blue, she asks us if she can go to therapy. We said yes of course, and had not yet put 2 and 2 together. After about 8 or 9 sessions, the therapist says it's time for a family meeting. In the meeting, my daughter was really struggling to tell us something, when it finally dawned on me and I say "Are you talking about (the situation)?" I have never seen anyone so shocked at anything in my life. "You knew!?" She remembered every detail of the event, as related to us years before, but nothing about the aftermath. She had been struggling for years, knowing she should tell us, but was too afraid and ashamed to do so. A couple of dozen therapy sessions later, she's the sweetest, most thoughtful and mature 16 YO girl I can imagine. I have nightmares thinking about and alternate reality in which she wasn't mature enough to ask to go to therapy.

None of this make's Ford's story more plausible, but it angers me to no end to see people trivialize her story and her struggles to agree to testify to a openly hostile audience, in order to get their precious Supreme Court seat.

And I'll say this. If Ford is intentionally lying, may she rot in hell, not only for what she did to an innocent man, but to assault victims everywhere. Given the consequences of that, I tend to think she is not.
   1966. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: September 22, 2018 at 02:06 PM (#5749536)
As in Kavanaugh's high school yearbook entry, where he listed himself as treasurer of the “100 Kegs or Bust” club; and in Mark Judge's thinly veiled references to him in his writings about that culture.


Are we sure it's his handwriting? better get Clapper on the case.
   1967. Lassus Posted: September 22, 2018 at 02:09 PM (#5749538)
Am I like the only person on the planet website who has no trouble being judged or defined by how I acted when I was 14-23?
   1968. Lassus Posted: September 22, 2018 at 02:10 PM (#5749539)
None of this make's Ford's story more plausible, but it angers me to no end to see people trivialize her story and her struggles to agree to testify to a openly hostile audience in order to get their precious Supreme Court seat.

And I'll say this. If Ford is intentionally lying, may she rot in hell, not only for what she did to an innocent man, but to assault victims everywhere. Given the consequences of that, I tend to think she is not.
Very well said.
   1969. The Yankee Clapper Posted: September 22, 2018 at 02:18 PM (#5749544)
. . . and it's not even a he said/she said situation since she names a third party.

All the third parties named by Ford dispute her account*. There is no contemporaneous corroboration of her account, and the only [extremely weak] corroboration is selected excerpts of notes created after Kavanaugh was already the leading GOP Supreme Court contender, and those notes contradict Ford in several important aspects. As noted above, it's more than a bit abnormal to assume unsworn, untimely, uncorroborated, and unproven allegations are truthful, but to do so when the accuser resists testifying under oath is amazing display of partisan frenzy. The evidence does not favor Ford at this point, even by a preponderance standard, and that will be even more so if she continues to stonewall efforts to get her to testify.

*There is supposedly a 4th person, described in one account as a female friend of Ford, IIRC. It's not publicly known whether she has been contacted or given a statement, although obviously there must be considerable efforts being expended on that. Given the massive publicity already, the fact that no one has come forward to corroborate Ford's story says quite a bit.
   1970. GregD Posted: September 22, 2018 at 02:20 PM (#5749546)
Wouldn't that require a constitutional amendment to expand the size of the Supreme Court?


Actually just a change in statute. Court size is set by Congress not by the Constitution.

(Yes this is pedantry and I get the joke you were making, which was funny)
   1971. Davo and his Moose Tacos Posted: September 22, 2018 at 02:26 PM (#5749551)
1067- I did lots and lots and lots of things from age 16 to 25 (before I was Saved) that I would hate to discuss in front of a hostile audience on national television.
   1972. BDC Posted: September 22, 2018 at 02:28 PM (#5749552)
Here's something off-off topic: Andrew Hacker's book The Math Myth, now out in paperback, makes a true "both sides" critique of the national fetish with math instruction. From my review:

Math is in fact stressed to the detriment of science, its acronym-mate in the formula STEM. And you can see why. As Hacker notes, science is always provisional and always contested. Science takes students into the thickets of evolution and climate change. We want our students to demonstrate pure aptitude, freed from the messiness of the arts and sciences. Math truly provides it: you can either recite Euclid's proof of an infinity of prime numbers or you can't, and once you can, you're irrefutable.

Hence we pour more and more money into teaching and assessment that is less and less useful outside of the mathematics classroom. Judging schools and students by math scores obviates the necessity to teach anyone the arithmetic that might make them more competent and critical adults, let alone the scientific method, the historical analysis, and the literary sensibility that might make them critical citizens. It's the one thing left and right can agree on and feel good about.
   1973. Greg K Posted: September 22, 2018 at 02:30 PM (#5749553)
Actually just a change in statute. Court size is set by Congress not by the Constitution.

(Yes this is pedantry and I get the joke you were making, which was funny)

Ha!

As I was typing that I realized I actually had no idea who determines the court's size. Serves me right for guessing.
   1974. The Yankee Clapper Posted: September 22, 2018 at 02:32 PM (#5749555)
Actually just a change in statute. Court size is set by Congress not by the Constitution

Although that's technically true, if there is anything that's part of the "unwritten Constitution", it's the size of the Supreme Court, which hasn't changed since 1869. There are more than a few liberals fantasizing about expanding the Court if the Democrats ever control the White House and Congress, to get a Court more to their liking, although that would presumably also require abolishing the legislature filibuster. However, if FDR at the height of his popularity couldn't pull that off, I very much doubt it's going to happen in anything like the current political climate, and I expect those proposing it would pay a heavy political penalty for attempting such a power grab.
   1975. Joe Bivens, Slack Rumped Rutabaga Head Posted: September 22, 2018 at 02:32 PM (#5749556)
"You can't judge a man by what he did as a boy"


To add to 1956, you can judge a man by what he denies he did as a boy (if he did it).
   1976. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: September 22, 2018 at 02:34 PM (#5749558)
And I'll say this. If Ford is intentionally lying, may she rot in hell, not only for what she did to an innocent man, but to assault victims everywhere. Given the consequences of that, I tend to think she is not.

Very well said.

Thirded.
   1977. The Yankee Clapper Posted: September 22, 2018 at 02:36 PM (#5749559)
Drudge says Ford will testify, no details or articles there or elsewhere yet.
   1978. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: September 22, 2018 at 02:36 PM (#5749560)
Although that's technically true, if there is anything that's part of the "unwritten Constitution", it's the size of the Supreme Court, which hasn't changed since 1869. There are more than a few liberals fantasizing about expanding the Court if the Democrats ever control the White House and Congress, to get a Court more to their liking, although that would presumably also require abolishing the legislature filibuster. However, if FDR at the height of his popularity couldn't pull that off, I very much doubt it's going to happen in anything like the current political climate, and I expect those proposing it would pay a heavy political penalty for attempting such a power grab.


There is nothing too trivial, not even a joke about a typo, that Clapper can't turn into an anti- Democrat post.
   1979. TDF, trained monkey Posted: September 22, 2018 at 02:39 PM (#5749561)
Although that's technically true, if there is anything that's part of the "unwritten Constitution", it's the size of the Supreme Court, which hasn't changed since 1869.
(1) That's 80 years after the COTUS was written.

(2) Before that, it changed a lot.

IOW, I highly doubt the number of justices is really held in higher stead than anything else not formally written down.

EDIT:
However, if FDR at the height of his popularity couldn't pull that off, I very much doubt it's going to happen in anything like the current political climate, and I expect those proposing it would pay a heavy political penalty for attempting such a power grab.
FDR was trying to almost double the size of the court, to 15. He may have had more success if he hadn't overplayed his hand.
   1980. Greg K Posted: September 22, 2018 at 02:41 PM (#5749562)
Although that's technically true, if there is anything that's part of the "unwritten Constitution", it's the size of the Supreme Court, which hasn't changed since 1869. There are more than a few liberals fantasizing about expanding the Court if the Democrats ever control the White House and Congress, to get a Court more to their liking, although that would presumably also require abolishing the legislature filibuster. However, if FDR at the height of his popularity couldn't pull that off, I very much doubt it's going to happen in anything like the current political climate, and I expect those proposing it would pay a heavy political penalty for attempting such a power grab.


Would abolishing the filibuster just require the same procedure as the recent abolition of filibusters for nominations (a simple majority)? If so it seems like today's political climate is exactly the kind of atmosphere necessary. Polarization, obstructionist opposition, and lack of respect for norms seems like the hallmarks of 2010s American politics.
   1981. BDC Posted: September 22, 2018 at 02:45 PM (#5749563)
I will predict that the number of Supreme Court Justices will, in future, fall by one for every retirement or death while the Senate and White House are in different hands, and then be topped up to nine the next time both are under the same control.

The long-term political and constitutional implications of this dynamic may not be all that different from the status quo.
   1982. GregD Posted: September 22, 2018 at 02:50 PM (#5749566)
Would abolishing the filibuster just require the same procedure as the recent abolition of filibusters for nominations (a simple majority)? If so it seems like today's political climate is exactly the kind of atmosphere necessary. Polarization, obstructionist opposition, and lack of respect for norms seems like the hallmarks of 2010s American politics.
Yes it's a rule of the Senate. In the late 19th century the House was shaped by filibusters more than the Senate. The House broke the filibuster late in the 19th century (I'm going by memory so could be off). Filibusters in the Senate arose basically in the Jacksonian Era but achieved new power in the 20th century; plenty of stuff passed the 19th century Senate of a straight majority vote.
   1983. Morty Causa Posted: September 22, 2018 at 02:52 PM (#5749568)
Andrew Sullivan essay referenced above in Post 1954

I concur. This is a well-written article and its points are well-taken. Snippets:

Haidt and Lukianoff note how humans are constructed genetically for this kind of tribal warfare, to divide the world instinctively into in-groups and out-groups almost from infancy. For homo sapiens, it is natural to see the world, as Rabbi Jonathan Sacks put it, as radically “divided into the unimpeachably good and the irredeemably bad.” It is much harder to see, as Solzhenitsyn did, even after he had been sent to the gulag by his ideological enemies, that good and evil run through every human heart.

As Claire Lehmann, the founding editor of the refreshingly heterodox new website Quillette has put it, “the Woke Left has a moral hierarchy with white men at the bottom. The Alt-Right has a moral hierarchy that puts white men at the top.” The looming midterms will not be about health care or executive power or constitutional norms (although all these things will be at stake). They will primarily be about which tribe you are in, and these tribes are increasingly sorted racially and by gender. The parties are currently doing all they can to maximize these tribal conflicts as a way to seek power. This isn’t liberal democracy.

And in this fevered, fetid atmosphere, where the stakes are always sky-high, there are no constraints. Dox, harass, troll, lie, smear, mock, distort, harangue, and preferably ruin: those are the tools of the alt-right just as much as they are the tools of the woke left. In such a civil war, the idea that the Supreme Court could ever perform the role it was designed to — interpret the law in a non-tribal way — is laughable.
   1984. GregD Posted: September 22, 2018 at 02:55 PM (#5749570)
Yes it's a rule of the Senate. In the late 19th century the House was shaped by filibusters more than the Senate. The House broke the filibuster late in the 19th century (I'm going by memory so could be off). Filibusters in the Senate arose basically in the Jacksonian Era but achieved new power in the 20th century; plenty of stuff passed the 19th century Senate of a straight majority vote.
in fact it was the House's threatened filibuster of the presidential election results in the disputed 1876 count that led to the negotiations that became the so-called "Compromise of 1877" and Hayes' inauguration
   1985. The Yankee Clapper Posted: September 22, 2018 at 02:57 PM (#5749571)
Would abolishing the filibuster just require the same procedure as the recent abolition of filibusters for nominations (a simple majority)? If so it seems like today's political climate is exactly the kind of atmosphere necessary. Polarization, obstructionist opposition, and lack of respect for norms seems like the hallmarks of 2010s American politics.

A majority of the Senate can overturn rulings of the presiding officer, so yes, a majority could hold its nose and ignore the prior precedents to rule 51 Senators can end debate on legislation. However, after abolishing the filibuster for nominations so quickly blew up in the Democrats face, one would think there'd be more caution the next time. Indeed, some who voted for abolishing the filibuster on nominations have expressed regret about doing that, and many Senators on both sides of the aisle have indicated they'd oppose abolishing the legislative filibuster. Anyone's guess as to whether that sentiment would hold in a future Senate in an unknown political climate, but it's fair to say that any modern-day Court Packing Scheme would require extremely controversial votes that would fundamentally change 2 of the 3 branches of American government. That's not going to be easy, and IMHO, it would be politically damaging to those proposing it.
   1986. perros Posted: September 22, 2018 at 03:01 PM (#5749573)
those are the tools of the alt-right just as much as they are the tools of the woke left.


I will tell you something. I watched this very closely, much more closely than you people watched it and you had a group on one side that was bad and you had a group on the other side that was also very violent. And nobody wants to say that, but I'll say it right now. You had a group on the other side and they were very, very violent.
   1987. The Yankee Clapper Posted: September 22, 2018 at 03:13 PM (#5749579)
Ford's willingness to testify may still be a bit iffy, going by the statement of her attorneys:
Dr. Ford accepts the Committee's request to provide her first-hand knowledge of Brett Kavanaugh's sexual misconduct next week. Although many aspects of the proposal you provided via email, on September 21, 2018, at 2:33 pm, are fundamentally inconsistent with the Committee's promise of a fair, impartial investigation into her allegations, and we are disappointed with the leaks and the bullying that have tainted the process, we are hopeful that we can reach agreement on details. Can we set up a time for later this afternoon to continue our negotiations?

Don't think there's really anything left to negotiate. How hard is to just say "Yes, I'll be there", like tens of thousands of witnesses at prior Congressional Hearings?
   1988. Kiko Sakata Posted: September 22, 2018 at 03:19 PM (#5749581)
Ford's willingness to testify may still be a bit iffy


Bravo, Clapper! That is a level of stubbornness that I can only dream about to turn the statement "Dr. Ford accepts the Committee's request to provide her first-hand knowledge of Brett Kavanaugh's sexual misconduct next week." into an "iffy" statement about her "willingness to testify". Bravo, indeed!
   1989. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: September 22, 2018 at 03:22 PM (#5749583)
I suspect some here are not good at suspecting. Hypothetically, some here propose bad hypotheticals. I predict some here's next prediction will be wrong.
   1990. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: September 22, 2018 at 03:22 PM (#5749584)
How hard is to just say "Yes, I'll be there", like tens of thousands of witnesses at prior Congressional Hearings?


Did none of those negotiate the terms of their appearance? Or is it just that you only have a problem with this one for some reason?
   1991. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: September 22, 2018 at 03:27 PM (#5749585)
"Tens of thousands of witnesses" is just Clap's new safe word.
   1992. perros Posted: September 22, 2018 at 03:29 PM (#5749586)
Here's a vital point -- the Andrew Sullivans and Sam Harrises and Dennis Pragers on down to the John Hockenbrrys want to preserve their privilege to pontificate from a self-proclaimed objective point of view that in actuality is a bourgeois white male point of view, above it all. Admittedly, I've often taken the same stance... and still sometimes do.

My woke left position is simply this -- listen to people outside of your own little group.
   1993. The Yankee Clapper Posted: September 22, 2018 at 03:34 PM (#5749587)
Bravo, Clapper! That is a level of stubbornness that I can only dream about to turn the statement "Dr. Ford accepts the Committee's request to provide her first-hand knowledge of Brett Kavanaugh's sexual misconduct next week." into an "iffy" statement about her "willingness to testify". Bravo, indeed!

Any doubt about Ford's willingness to testify originates in her camp, not with me. The letter (or e-mail) from Ford's attorneys, printed in its entirety in #1987, clearly indicates that from their perspective they have not reached "agreement on details" and that they wish "to continue our negotiations". Again, how many special conditions does Ford need that were never a problem for tens of thousands of prior witnesses at Congressional Hearings? Why won't she say just say "Yes, I'll be there"? And why are folks here so annoyed when I note that Ford's willingness to testify still seems conditional? Don't you believe Ford's own lawyers?
   1994. Mike A Posted: September 22, 2018 at 03:35 PM (#5749588)
Paul Gosar has responded to his six siblings and their support for his opposition, and it is gold:

"My siblings who chose to film ads against me are all liberal Democrats who hate President Trump. These disgruntled Hillary suppporters are related by blood to me but like leftists everywhere, they put political ideology before family. Stalin would be proud."
   1995. Morty Causa Posted: September 22, 2018 at 03:35 PM (#5749589)
The Preachers of the Great Awokening

You can't expect to get anywhere, to advance intellectually, if you are always reverting to impugning the character of proponents.


The chief dogmas of Wokeness are that:

All demographic groups are roughly biologically the same (which we have termed cosmic egalitarianism elsewhere).
Bigotry is pervasive.
Almost all disparities among demographic groups are caused by bigotry.
If we all work really hard, we can create a more just, multicultural society.
Diversity is almost always a good thing.
These dogmas have far-reaching consequences.
   1996. The Yankee Clapper Posted: September 22, 2018 at 03:36 PM (#5749590)
Did none of those negotiate the terms of their appearance? Or is it just that you only have a problem with this one for some reason?

Find me a single Congressional witness who attempted to impose the numerous conditions Ford has. Go ahead, I'll wait. Even the Mob guys didn't have such demands.
   1997. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: September 22, 2018 at 03:36 PM (#5749591)
Ford's willingness to testify may still be a bit iffy

Bravo, Clapper! That is a level of stubbornness that I can only dream about to turn the statement "Dr. Ford accepts the Committee's request to provide her first-hand knowledge of Brett Kavanaugh's sexual misconduct next week." into an "iffy" statement about her "willingness to testify". Bravo, indeed!

It must have left a bitter taste in Clapper's mouth to have his pet narrative kiboshed by a Drudge Report. Et tu, Matteo?
   1998. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: September 22, 2018 at 03:37 PM (#5749592)
Again, how many special conditions does Ford need that were never a problem for tens of thousands of prior witnesses at Congressional Hearings?


How the #### can you possibly know this? This is bullshit on a Trumpian level.
   1999. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: September 22, 2018 at 03:39 PM (#5749593)
Find me a single Congressional witness who attempted to impose the numerous conditions Ford has.


I have no idea. But the point is, neither do you.
   2000. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: September 22, 2018 at 03:40 PM (#5749594)

Find me a single Congressional witness who attempted to impose the numerous conditions Ford has. Go ahead, I'll wait.

Find us a single other sexual harassment or sexual assault victim who wasn't allowed to have anyone else testify on her behalf. They even allowed Anita Hill that much grace.
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