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NBC News:

GOP asks White House to order FBI investigation of Kavanaugh

Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., is seeking to reopen the FBI background check of the nominee in light of several sexual misconduct allegations.

So what happened? Bipartisanship, for a change. Chris Coons (a good friend of Flake’s), and some very brave women convinced Flake to stand firm on this. Mitch McConnell does not have the votes on the floor without Flake and a supportive Lisa Murkowski and Susan Collins.

I was very optimistic after Dr. Ford’s testimony because you’d have to be a robot not to be moved. Even Trump thought she was credible.

What happens next? I don’t know but it is a definite set-back for McConnell and a win for the country that Trump agrees to redo FBI background checks. Take it seriously, slow down, check it out. The fix is not always in, even when they think it is. Meanwhile, call your Senators.


McClatchy/Miami Herald:

Who were the women who confronted Sen. Jeff Flake about Kavanaugh vote in an elevator?

So who were the two women whose confrontation with Flake may have been a factor in his decision?

The Center for Popular Democracy identified them as Ana Maria Archila, co-executive director of the group, and another woman named Maria Gallagher. A spokeswoman for the Center for Popular Democracy said Gallagher was not directly affiliated with the organization, but was “just a passionate person.”

Melissa Healey/LA Times:

Here’s what experts who study sexual violence say about the credibility of Christine Blasey Ford’s testimony

Patricia Resick, professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, Duke University

Who she is: Resick is a leader in the field of sexual trauma. Her research focuses on the lasting effects of traumatic events, particularly on women. She has worked with rape victims for more than 40 years, and since the 1980s, she has been developing and testing cognitive process therapy as a treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder.

What’s your overall reaction to Christine Blasey Ford’s testimony?

I am not her therapist and have not met with Ford personally. I am reacting based on my experience with sexual assault survivors.

She said she doesn’t remember where it took place. That rings true because until you know you are in danger, there is no reason to remember everyday details.

Another thing that rings true is that Ford was clearly emotional when talking about the details of the assault. She says it drastically changed her life, and that she was too embarrassed to tell her parents that she was at a house drinking with boys.

Jamil Smith/Rolling Stone:

Brett Kavanaugh’s Fragile Manhood

Thursday’s hearing was a master class in Trumpian masculinity

A lack of both preparation and editing are two things that have characterized Trump during his political career. So, too, has his petulance. Men, particularly white and privileged men, find that they can get away with acting like colicky children, and they are infantilized when it suits them. (Witness how Donald Trump Jr. and Jared Kushner, both adult men, are “good kids” in Trump’s eyes while actual boys like the Central Park Five, whom Trump said should be executed, were suddenly graduated to adulthood.) Even better for Kavanaugh, the subject of Thursday’s hearing was his juvenile behavior. He seemed to take license to behave as he once did in his youth. His testimony was a tantrum.

Bruce Shapiro/The Nation:

Brett Kavanaugh and the Case of the Vanishing Rape Victim
Long before the recent charges against him, we already had evidence of Kavanaugh’s disturbing lack of empathy for rape victims.

We all want more evidence of how Brett Kavanaugh behaved toward women as a student (was he a violent, binge-drinking predator, or just an entitled, binge-drinking lout?). Maybe we’ll get it, maybe not. But in the meantime, we have plenty of evidence of his adult judicial thinking about laws addressing violence against women—and of a disturbing willingness to erase rape victims from the record.

Specifically, we have Judge Kavanaugh’s praise for the late Chief Justice William Rehnquist’s ruling in United States v. Morrison. Though it got just passing mention in Kavanaugh’s first Judiciary Committee hearing, back in 2000 this was a massively consequential case: In a 5-4 ruling, the deeply divided justices, led by Rehnquist, gutted key sections of the 1994 Violence Against Women Act.

The Atlantic:

The 25 Candidates for 2018 Sunk by #MeToo Allegations

This election cycle, claims of sexual harassment or misconduct have ended the bids of 12 Republicans and 13 Democrats. But many others facing accusations remain in office.

The #MeToo movement is already having profound effects on the current election cycle, and not just at the national level: According to an analysis by The Atlantic, at least 25 candidates for office in 2018 have ended their campaigns or bids for reelection after allegations of sexual harassment or misconduct.

Their ranks include 12 Republicans and 13 Democrats, first-time candidates and seasoned incumbents alike. Eight were running high-profile campaigns for positions at the federal level, while 17 were state-level candidates.

What follows is a list of these 25 candidates—all of whom could have served or continued serving in some of the highest offices in the land. More than a dozen additional politicians are listed too, including those who face allegations and remain in office, and those who aren’t up for reelection until at least 2020.

USA Today:

As a military lawyer, I understood he-said, she-said as a euphemism for lack of evidence. But that’s a myth and a cop-out. Due process yields evidence.

I recall patiently, and at times not so patiently, explaining that when commanders used the phrase “he said, she said,” they meant it as a euphemism for lack of evidence — and that it was flat-out wrong, a cop-out often informed by inaccurate stereotypes of sexual assault victims. I explained that a witness’s statement is of course evidence, and that the strength, or lack thereof, of such evidence is informed by common-sense credibility assessments.

Philip Bump/WaPo:

Here’s where Kavanaugh’s sworn testimony was misleading or wrong

As he began his questioning of Supreme Court nominee Brett M. Kavanaugh on Thursday, Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) asked Kavanaugh about a point of procedure in criminal trials.

“As a federal judge, you’re aware of the jury instruction falsus in omnibus, are you not?” Blumenthal asked. “You’re aware of that jury instruction?”

Kavanaugh said he was, but he deferred to Blumenthal on a direct translation.

“False in one thing, false in everything,” Blumenthal replied. “Meaning in jury instructions that we — some of us as prosecutors have heard many times, is — told the jury that they can disbelieve a witness if they find them to be false in one thing.”

Blumenthal’s point was that the exceptional hearings centered on the credibility of Kavanaugh and his accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, who alleged that she’d been assaulted by Kavanaugh at a house party in 1982 when both were in high school. Over the course of his testimony, though, Kavanaugh offered several answers to questions that stretched or misrepresented the truth.

Michaelangelo Signorile/HuffPost:

Republicans Will Rue The Day They Stood Behind Brett Kavanaugh

The fact that there may now be a delay on a final Senate vote to put Brett Kavanaugh on the Supreme Court changes nothing. Even if he goes down, the GOP has made its bed. And the revulsion at seeing Kavanaugh more than likely reach the Supreme Court ― after incident after incident after incident seemed to be the turning point on his nomination’s demise ― mirrors the way many of us felt about Donald Trump’s election almost two years ago.

That in both cases brave women came forward ― subjecting themselves to public humiliation, harassment and threatened physical harm ― only to have angry white men push their allegations aside isn’t lost on any of us.

The difference, now, is that we’re ready.

Matthew Dickenson/blog:


But the Senate hearing was not intended to determine the “truth” of Ford’s allegations, or Kavanaugh’s denials.  Nor, contrary to Feinstein’s claim, was it a “job interview” to determine whether Kavanaugh was qualified to serve on the Supreme Court. Instead, the hearing was designed to provide political cover for senators of both parties to vote the way they wanted to vote before the hearings began.  All they asked was for their witness to appear credible enough to allow them to cast a vote that could be defended back home, with their constituents.   And, in my view, and consistent with the responses I am getting from “normal” people who watched bits and pieces (or even more) of yesterday’s proceedings (I use “normal” in the statistical sense), both Ford and Kavanaugh cleared the bar.  Put another way, if you went into yesterday’s hearings believing Kavanaugh was guilty, I am quite sure you came out of it convinced you were right.  I suspect that among his defenders there was a similar reaction – “I thought he was innocent, and yesterday proved me correct.”  And for those of you who were genuinely undecided?  I doubt yesterday clarified anything, and that you are still undecided.

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  1. (Trump tore into Sen. Richard Blumenthal on Saturday over previous false claims the Connecticut Democrat made regarding his military service.

    “Senator Richard Blumenthal must talk about his fraudulent service in Vietnam, where for 12 years he told the people of Connecticut, as their Attorney General, that he was a great Marine War Hero,” Trump wrote. “Talked about his many battles of near death, but was never in Vietnam. Total Phony!”
    An investigation by the New York Times in 2010 revealed that Blumenthal made false claims about being in Vietnam during the war, finding that he received draft deferments when he was in college and then was in the Marine reserves in the U.S. Blumenthal claimed after the reports that he had “misspoken.”

    Blumenthal is leading a lawsuit with dozens of congressional Democrats against the president, claiming Trump violated the Constitution by doing business with foreign governments without the approval of Congress. A federal judge on Friday gave the go-ahead for the lawsuit to proceed.
    The Constitution’s emoluments clause prohibits presidents from receiving payments from foreign governments without congressional approval, and was meant to prevent corruption and foreign influence.
    Trump’s hotel, which is just blocks away from the White House, has hosted events for foreign governments and visiting officials while he’s been in office. The president stepped away from managing his businesses when he took office but still maintains ownership.)

    Mr. bone spurs himself is SO full of shit, I cannot to this day see how anyone could believe one single word out of that sorry no good piece of bigoted racist trash sewer mouth. And the criminal GOP is letting him do it, THEY ARE LETTING HIM DO IT, I want to see the list of who’s getting paid off and how much, it’s got to be a doozy. But as stupid as they are for supporting that criminal idiot they probably believe the check will clear!


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