Vince Alongi / Flickr Hope...
Vince Alongi / Flickr

This was not the ending to the Kavanaugh nomination that I predicted and it was not the ending that I wanted.

I am so, so sorry that it ended that way.

My heart is with each and every one of you today.

It is devastating.

I really hoped that Collins would listen to the people of her state and do the right thing.

It is maddening that so few people have so much power.

It is also a reminder, for each and every one of us, of what we need to do between now and November 6th.  We have a month, you guys, just a month.

Perhaps the most important month of our lives.

Get working.  Do something.  Do more.  Here are some ideas:

Donate to ActBlue

Donate to Swing Left

Send postcards to voters in other districts

Sign up to go door to door in your district

Sign up to drive people to the polls

 Find your local Democratic Party and volunteer!

Find more ideas here in Yosef 52’s great diary

First, The Silver Lining

Just because he is getting in, it won’t be over

If Republicans lose the majority in one or both chambers in the November midterms, the Democrats will use their majority power to pick up the FBI  investigation precisely where it left off.

First, there may be compelling evidence Kavanaugh did what he was accused of and then misled the Senate. In that case, Nadler and his committee will waste little time drafting articles of impeachment. The Senate is then required to hold a trial to determine if Kavanaugh should be removed.

Alternatively, compelling evidence may be brought that Kavanaugh lied about his drinking, his calendar entries, his social life and matters like knowledge of Ramirez’s claims. The House doesn’t have to conclude he committed perjury to find that his answers were so misleading that he should be disqualified from serving on any court. Republicans feign amazement we are talking about “minor” matters,  but no lie under oath is too little to disqualify a Supreme Court judge. (Even President Trump said so!)

Democrats, if convinced he lied, will surely mount an impeachment effort.

INDEED — House Democrat Promises Kavanaugh Investigation if Party Wins Control

House Democrats will open an investigation into accusations of sexual misconduct and perjury against Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh if they win control of the House in November, Representative Jerrold Nadler, the New York Democrat in line to be the chairman of the Judiciary Committee, said on Friday.

Speaking on the eve of Judge Kavanaugh’s confirmation vote this weekend, Mr. Nadler said that there was evidence that Senate Republicans and the F.B.I. had overseen a “whitewash” investigation of the allegations and that the legitimacy of the Supreme Court was at stake. He sidestepped the issue of impeachment.

“It is not something we are eager to do,” Mr. Nadler said in an interview. “But the Senate having failed to do its proper constitutionally mandated job of advise and consent, we are going to have to do something to provide a check and balance, to protect the rule of law and to protect the legitimacy of one of our most important institutions.”

This will galvanize our base for November:  Educated white women were already recoiling from Trump. Then came Kavanaugh.

Even before Christine Blasey Ford delivered her controlled but explosive testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee last week, college-educated white women like her represented a rising threat to Republican prospects in the November election.

“College-educated white women have identified very strongly with Dr. Ford and relate to her as a person, and will be turned off by the angry diatribes of Brett Kavanaugh,” says Democratic pollster Ben Tulchin. “This dynamic will likely further boost college-educated women’s engagement in this election.”

New polling released Monday showed how the confrontation over Ford’s allegations could reinforce these dynamics. A national Quinnipiac University survey found that 61% of college-educated white women said they believed Ford over Kavanaugh; 58% of such well-educated women said the Senate should reject his nomination, according to detailed results provided by Quinnipiac.

From 538

 A CBS News/YouGov poll conducted earlier this week found that more voters would be angry than enthusiastic if Kavanaugh was confirmed — but also, more voters would be angry than enthusiastic if Kavanaugh was not confirmed. Whichever party doesn’t get its way on Kavanaugh will have more reason to feel aggrieved — and perhaps more motivation to turn out to vote.

More Americans believe Ford.

More Independents want reps to oppose Kavanaugh

Angry over Kavanaugh’s confirmation? This fight was worth having. And it continues.

Of course, these days every event generates its own backlash, and Kavanaugh’s coming confirmation will likely make Democrats, particularly Democratic women, even more angry and motivated than they have been up until now.

So it’s possible that Kavanaugh’s confirmation will guarantee a Democratic House in the fall. But even if that weren’t true, this battle would have been worth fighting.

There are multiple reasons why a party and an ideological movement might take on a fight like this one. They can do it simply because it’s the right thing to do. They can do it in the hopes of winning a short term victory or a long term victory. And they can do it because the fight itself — the process we go through before the outcome is decided — changes things for the better.

When we look back on the Kavanaugh controversy, we’re probably going to say that as painful as it was, it accelerated vital societal change. The contrast between Blasey Ford (poised under great stress, seemingly sincere in her posture that she had come forward to help the country) and Kavanaugh (angry, unhinged, resentful at seeing his ascension challenged, sneeringly contemptuous of opposition lawmakers, especially female ones like Senator Amy Klobuchar) will be burned in our minds forever.

Beyond this, the hearing — and this whole saga — surely will have a major cultural impact. More and more women are coming forward to tell their stories of harassment and assault, in many cases trauma they’ve kept silent about for years or decades.

Republicans’ misogyny will come back to haunt them

Republicans, too, could win this fight for the swing Supreme Court seat, but they cannot bestow legitimacy upon Kavanaugh or erase their record of weaponized misogyny. Progressives will seek his recusal in every case of political significance. Every 5-4 decision in which Kavanaugh is the deciding vote will be denounced as illegitimate, the work of a partisan judge elevated to the court by nefarious means. The decision will be respected legally in the short term, but in the future, it will be argued, the decision should carry zero precedential weight. Those he once accused of participating in a left-wing cabal will seek to vacate cases they lose in which Kavanaugh was the deciding vote. In future cases, they will urge  justices and lower court judges to downgrade the importance of these decisions, in effect treating them as unpublished opinions that should not impact future cases.

Democrats will ferret out the witnesses whom the FBI ignored and subpoena FBI officials to testify. They will leak the full FBI report at some point and disclose any communications between the FBI and White House that reveal efforts to curb the FBI investigation. They will seek Kavanaugh’s removal, and maybe even his disbarment.

When a Democratic president eventually wins the White House with a Democratic Senate majority, you can count on a court-packing scheme. Most critically, any decision Kavanaugh renders in Trump’s favor on the Russia probe might ignite a constitutional conflagration in which the majority of the country sees an illegitimate justice protect a president illegitimately elected with the assistance of the United States’ foe, Russia.

None of this is desirable, nor would it have been conceivable had Trump picked another justice. However, in producing a worthless investigation and declaring open season on sex-crimes victims, Republicans push women out of the party and onto political war-footing. If power politics is what the Republicans want, women and others in the anti-Republican coalition (male and female Democrats, independents and ex-Republicans) will learn to play just as fiercely.

In the meantime, Americans wounded and angered by this turn of events have two weapons — the power of the ballot box and the power to deny Kavanaugh’s legitimacy. If they need any more motivation, they need only recall Trump’s monstrous mocking of Ford, Kavanaugh’s vengeful rant against the left and belligerence toward female senators, and a fraudulent FBI report designed to exonerate the accused, not to find out the truth.

For me, I’ll recollect Ford’s trembling voice acknowledging that she might be “annihilated” for her effort to spare the country from a grievously unfit justice. She got that right.

This is not one of those decisions that will seem like a better idea in the rear-view mirror.

They have made a giant mistake here and we are going to make sure they pay for it at the voting booth.

We CAN win on November and will WILL if we all work hard!

For example, Republicans Really Could Lose That Tennessee Senate Seat

The Senate race in Tennessee between former Gov. Phil Bredesen and Rep. Marsha Blackburn has flown largely under the radar this year. It’s no wonder, given all the hype about turning Texas blue and how Democratic senators in red states might be imperiled by their Kavanaugh confirmation votes. But Tennessee could be one of the pivotal contests come November.

But Bredesen was also a popular politician; when he left Tennessee’s governor’s mansion in 2011, one survey found he had a 63 percent favorability rating. Bredesen served as mayor of Nashville from 1991 to 1999and was elected governor in 2002, beating out his Republican opponent by under 2 points. He was reelected in 2006, walloping his GOP challenger by 39 points while that same year, Sen. Bob Corker won his race by 3 points.

Uber will offer free rides to polling stations on Election Day

Uber said Thursday that it will offer free rides to polling stations on Election Day, as well as an in-app feature that lets riders know where to cast their votes.

The ride-sharing company unveiled its “Get to the Polls” feature as part of a series of initiatives to encourage riders to vote in the midterm elections on Nov. 6. Riders can enter their home address into the app, which will then identify their designated polling place.

In addition, Uber is partnering with Democracy Works and #VoteTogether to provide free rides to voters, who must first obtain promo codes from one of the voting advocacy groups.

Cook announced 4 shifts in governors races yesterday — all in our direction.

and this won’t be for a few more years, but YES PLEASE!!

Great Legal News

NYS is going after the Trump “Foundation”

Chicago police Officer Jason Van Dyke found guilty of second-degree murder in Laquan McDonald killing

Chicago police Officer Jason Van Dyke was found guilty Friday of second-degree murder in the 2014 fatal shooting of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald.

Van Dyke was the first Chicago police officer to be charged with first-degree murder since 1980.
Video of the shooting led to protests, a Justice Department civil rights investigation, criticism of the city’s mayor and eventually the ouster of the police superintendent.
The prosecution said Van Dyke fired unnecessarily within six seconds after arriving at the scene, striking McDonald 16 times.
It is way too rare for justice to be served in these cases.  I am very grateful that this time it is.

Russia Russia Russia

Mueller has been quiet lately (likely due to the midterms) but that doesn’t mean stuff is still going on.
And because I thought we might all need a boost today (we all need a boost today, right?), I went through old diaries to find reminders of all that is going on.
Ready for some reminders?

First, There’s actually lots of evidence of Trump-Russia collusion that we know about, even without what Mueller knows and we don’t.  And Muelller knows about this AND MORE.  Justice will be served.

The circumstantial case for collusion

  • Two separate hacks of Democratic Party emails 
  • Their releases also seemed strategically timed
  • Trump and his campaign, at the time, believed these emails were a big deal and cited them frequently.
  • “WikiLeaks, I love WikiLeaks,” he said on several occasions on the campaign trail, and he also explicitly called on the Russian government to hack and release Hillary Clinton’s emails.
  • Trump also spent the 2016 campaign running an overtly pro-Russian campaign message, praising Vladimir Putin’s leadership, defending him from allegations of murdering his political opponents, and calling for a realignment of US strategy in Syria and Ukraine.

There was extensive outreach between Trump and Russia

In reality, as exhaustively documented by the Moscow Project, there were extensive communications between people in Trump’s orbit and Russian government figures or others who had, or purported to have, close ties to the Putin regime.

The Manafort-Deripaska nexus is very suspicious

Manafort clearly saw his work for Trump as directly linked to his work for pro-Russian forces. 

The collusion in plain sight

in Trump’s case, there was absolutely no secret! Trump quite openly ran on a pro-Russia platform, adopting Russian views on the conflicts in Syria and Ukraine, defending Putin’s character, and vowing to break up the NATO alliance.

Second, people on the inside are sure that Trump is in trouble.  Here is one example:

Journalist Marci Wheeler (who spoke to the FBI) Says Mueller Has Trump’s Number

“Well, my part’s going to be a surprise for virtually everyone, but some of what I know was in public….

“I assume it must be true that there are many witnesses like me who were witnesses to stuff that nobody knows about, who were watching people who no one’s paying attention to who were part of this, and so yeah, I suspect that that kind of case is going to be pretty surprising and pretty strong.

“I mean, I’ve said that I never talked to Peter Strzok, who is the FBI agent that Trump attacked in Helsinki today. He wasn’t anywhere near the testimony I gave to the FBI; I wasn’t actually speaking to the Mueller inquiry when I did, and I can point to things that, between what I told the FBI and what I found, you know, shortly thereafter lying out there in public, I can get right to Trump, and I assume that’s true by a number of means, and therefore … Mueller is sitting on a lot, and he, I think, is going to roll it out. 

Did you catch that?  She alone has info she gave the FBI that can link right to Trump and she is sure that others do too.  That is insane!

When asked if the revelations in Mueller’s report will ultimately be jaw-dropping, like The Sixth Sense, or a disappointment, like The Village, Wheeler said this:

“I think there are some big plot twists. I did a series some months ago when the questions that Mueller wants Trump to answer came out, and I laid it out. This is clear quid pro quo. They went to Trump and said, ‘We’ll help you. We want sanctions relief, we want Syria, throw in Ukraine, maybe we’ll throw in a Trump Tower.’ And that’s it; that is the basic equation we’re talking about.”

so this is a woman who knows a lot and has spoken to Mueller and she is certain that there is a quid pro quo and she has said elsewhere that everyone in the Trump tower meeting is implicated (i.e. Jr, Kushner, Manafort) and Trump himself.  This is HUGE.

Third, the evidence for obstruction is overwhelming:

We have to understand this in the context of the many actions Trump has taken to hinder and obstruct the investigation into the Russia scandal:

  • According to former FBI director James B. Comey’s sworn testimony and contemporaneous notes, at the end of an Oval Office meeting the day after he fired national security adviser Michael Flynn, Trump ordered everyone else from the room, then asked Comey to lay off the investigation of Flynn, saying “I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go.” Flynn has since pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI and is cooperating with the Mueller investigation.
  • “I just fired the head of the F.B.I. He was crazy, a real nut job,” Trump reportedly told the Russian ambassador and foreign minister in an Oval Office visit. “I faced great pressure because of Russia. That’s taken off.”
  • The next day, Trump admitted on national television that, “when I decided to just do it [fire Comey], I said to myself, I said ‘you know, this Russia thing with Trump and Russia is a made-up story.’”
  • Trump made separate requests to Director of National Intelligence Daniel Coats and National Security Agency Director Michael S. Rogers to make public statements proclaiming that there was no collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. They both refused.
  • Trump made separate requests to Sen. Richard Burr, the chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee; Sen. Roy Blunt, another member of the committee; and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to end the committee’s investigation of the Russia scandal.
  • When news broke in June 2017 that a year earlier Trump’s son, son-in-law and campaign chairman had met in Trump Tower with a group of Russians whom they hoped were in possession of dirt on Hillary Clinton obtained by the Russian government, President Trump personally dictated a misleading statement to be released to the press, claiming falsely that the meeting had nothing to do with the campaign but was just about the adoption of Russian orphans.

We can speculate on whether a jury would look at this pattern of behavior (and whatever else he may have done that hasn’t yet come to light) and find Trump guilty of obstruction of justice. But there’s no question that Trump has repeatedly taken completely inappropriate actions that have no purpose other than to hinder the Russia investigation.

Fourth, Mueller has already done a TON:

Mueller and his superposse just keep on coming

Mueller has won 35 indictments and six convictions — including of Trump’s national security adviser Michael Flynn, campaign chairman Paul Manafort, and deputy campaign chairman Rick Gates. You can make that 37 indictments and eight convictions if you count Michael Cohen, Trump’s personal lawyer, and Sam Patten, a lobbyist linked to Manafort, who pleaded guilty in other jurisdictions to charges arising from Mueller’s work. Cohen’s plea deal was particularly significant, because he implicated the president in a conspiracy to violate federal campaign-finance laws. Even if Mueller were to end his probe tomorrow, he already would be judged one of the most successful special counsels in history.

Mueller’s latest triumph came last week when Manafort, having already been convicted of eight felony counts, agreed to plead guilty to two more counts to avoid another trial. In return for having the other charges dropped, Manafort pledged to cooperate with the special counsel. Trump and his lawyers have adopted a mantra of “no collusion,” as if that were the only crime of which he could possibly be guilty, but Manafort represents collusion in the flesh: He is a longtime agent for Russian and Ukrainian oligarchs who worked closely with a suspected Russian intelligence operative.

Trump’s end will be dramatic — but it is also looking increasingly likely.

Finally, looking through my old diaries reminded me that I spent months and months and months praying and hoping for “flip flip flips” from Manafort and Cohen AND BOTH OF THEM ARE HELPING MUELLER NOW.  That is HUGE.  We can’t forget that!

Paul Manafort’s Cooperation With Mueller Is the Biggest Blow Yet to Trump

The president and his former campaign chairman have spent months sharing information about the Russia investigation. Now Manafort has decided to help the government.

Legal experts characterized Manafort’s move as a significant win for Mueller—and a big setback for Trump. “Manafort’s cooperation is a tremendous achievement for the Mueller investigation—maybe the single biggest development yet,” said Seth Waxman, a former federal prosecutor in Washington, D.C. “Manafort provides Mueller with an insider to the infamous June 2016 Trump Tower meeting and likely many other key moments.”

“This is also incredibly important because if the president were to pardon Manafort under these circumstances, the case against the president for obstruction of justice would be even more compelling,” Waxman said. “In short, this is a huge day for the government.”

There could be another advantage for Mueller, too: “The investigation now gains even more legitimacy in the eyes of the public because, in pleading guilty, Manafort is essentially announcing that Mueller’s investigation is spot-on regarding the crimes he committed,” said Glenn Kirschner, a former federal prosecutor in Washington, D.C. “So this continues to chip away at the witch-hunt argument.”

And here is an article that was written BEFORE we found out Cohen was sharing everything he knew with Mueller:

Michael Cohen and the End Stage of the Trump Presidency

There are lots of details and surprises to come, but the endgame of this Presidency seems as clear now as those of Iraq and the financial crisis did months before they unfolded. Last week, federal investigators raided the offices of Michael Cohen, the man who has been closer than anybody to Trump’s most problematic business and personal relationships.

I am unaware of anybody who has taken a serious look at Trump’s business who doesn’t believe that there is a high likelihood of rampant criminality. In Azerbaijan, he did business with a likely money launderer for Iran’s Revolutionary Guard. In the Republic of Georgia, he partnered with a group that was being investigated for a possible role in the largest known bank-fraud and money-laundering case in history. In Indonesia, his development partner is “knee-deep in dirty politics”; there are criminal investigations of his deals in Brazil; the F.B.I. is reportedly looking into his daughter Ivanka’s role in the Trump hotel in Vancouver, for which she worked with a Malaysian family that has admitted to financial fraud. Back home, Donald, Jr., and Ivanka were investigated for financial crimes associated with the Trump hotel in SoHo—an investigation that was halted suspiciously. His Taj Mahal casino received what was then the largest fine in history for money-laundering violations.

many people have a vague sense of Trump’s shadiness, but once the full details are better known and digested, a fundamentally different narrative about Trump will become commonplace.

Cohen was the key intermediary between the Trump family and its partners around the world; he was chief consigliere and dealmaker throughout its period of expansion into global partnerships with sketchy oligarchs. He wasn’t a slick politico who showed up for a few months. He knows everything, he recorded much of it, and now prosecutors will know it, too. It seems inevitable that much will be made public. We don’t know when. We don’t know the precise path the next few months will take. There will be resistance and denial and counterattacks. But it seems likely that, when we look back on this week, we will see it as a turning point. We are now in the end stages of the Trump Presidency.

so keep all these things in mind when you feel as if we are losing every battle.  We are NOT.

We won the ACA battle.

We have won many special elections.

We have a special prosecutor examining not only Trump’s Russia ties but also shady business dealings.

Paul Manafort flipped on Trump.

Michael Cohen flipped on Trump.

We have many, many reasons for hope.  Keep faith.  You are not alone.  There are more of us than there are of them and together, we can take the House and maybe even the Senate in November.

Keep fighting!  I remain lucky and proud to be in this with all of you. ❤️  ✊  ❤️

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This is a Creative Commons article. The original version of this article appeared here.

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