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Marathon Man Newz / Because The Children
« on: Today at 08:54:52 AM »
Once again, we have a biased journalist making a case for going after Kavanaugh because to NOT do so would send the wrong message to teenage girls.

This is all about trying to push Kavanaugh into the #MeToo meat grinder, when it isn't at all clear as to the circumstances. When there's a witch hunt, everybody who might be a witch IS a witch. That's the narrative here, unfortunately.I wonder how far this will go. Quite a  ways, I expect. We're just getting started down this road.

Why the Kavanaugh accusations matter so much to teen girls like me
To those dismissing the Kavanaugh allegations: Teen girls are listening.
By Elizabeth Love  Sep 25, 2018, 11:00am EDT
First Person
Vox's home for compelling, provocative narrative essays.

Here’s how some of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh’s former classmates described him and his friends when they attended Yale in the ’80s:

“Kavanaugh became a member of the Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity, or ‘DKE,’ which several students said was known for its wild and, in the view of some critics, misogynistic parties,” wrote Ronan Farrow and Jane Mayer in the New Yorker’s recent investigation into a second accusation of sexual misconduct against Kavanaugh. “Kavanaugh was also a member of an all-male secret society, Truth and Courage, which was popularly known by the nickname ‘Tit and Clit.’” In another interview in the article, a former classmate described Kavanaugh and his friends as a “wolfy group of guys.”

I’m 18 years old, only six months older than Brett Kavanaugh was when he allegedly sexually assaulted a 15-year-old girl. (Kavanaugh denies the allegations.) I know boys that matched the descriptions of him and his friends — belligerent, abusive, and entitled — because they can be. They know they are destined for high places in society simply because they were born into privilege. Now that I’ve been in college for a few weeks, I’m getting the sense these kinds of boys are here too.

Most high school girls know these boys. At parties, we learn to be vigilant when they’re around. In college, we’re taught how to distract potential attackers. We learn to keep an eye on our friends and intervene in situations that seem dangerous.

But that doesn’t mean that boys like this are the norm — they are a dangerous anomaly. And now our country is telling them not only that sexual assault as a teenager is forgivable, but that if the allegations are true, it would not even disqualify a person from the highest court in America. As a teenage girl, it terrifies me. Even if a teenage boy’s age might save him from consequences, our age does not save us from the trauma of assault.

Sexual assault is not typical “risky teen behavior”
Multiple commentators have argued the allegations against Kavanaugh, if true, can be chalked up to nothing more than youthful indiscretion. “Should the fact that a 17-year-old, presumably very drunk kid, did this, should this be disqualifying?” asked New York Times opinion editor Bari Weiss on MSNBC.

“Drunk teenagers playing seven minutes in heaven” is how Fox News commentator Stephen Miller described it. “Kavanaugh was a teenager at the time. Of course he was different then; he was a third of the age he is now. And teens do stupid, dangerous and destructive things,” wrote Jonathan Zimmerman in USA Today.

The argument — that teenagers are more prone to risky behavior because our brains aren’t developed enough to make careful decisions — is dangerous rhetoric. Suggesting that fast cars or underage drinking are the same as attempting to rape somebody is a false equivalence. Moreover, the dismissal of Kavanaugh’s alleged actions because he was a teen suggests that his alleged error was not assault but nearsightedness: a failure to assess potential consequences for him.

But sexual abuse should not be seen as a matter of risk assessment, or as something that teenagers simply “grow out of.” This shifts the focus from the trauma inevitably faced by the victim to the consequences faced by the perpetrator as the reason not to commit abuse. It is an alarming suggestion that this is what is reprehensible instead of focusing on its inherent immorality.

Teens who are listening to this national conversation are terrified
Girls my age are watching, reading, and hearing these conversations. And it’s making us scared. I have one friend who told me that the worst part is the clear disregard for women’s safety at the highest levels of the government. Another is terrified to give a man like that so much power, assuming the allegations are true.

Most of all, we’re each scared that the national conversation around Kavanaugh gives entitled young men today the green light to be abusive without worrying that it could affect their future ambitions. We don’t understand how, in the midst of the #MeToo movement, people could be so dismissive of such serious accusations. We feel like we’re sliding backward.

I’m saddened for teenage boys, too. Their entire age group shouldn’t be demonized by adults defending Kavanaugh on the basis of his age at the time of the accusations. To suggest that this is normal, that “boys will be boys,” isn’t fair to the vast majority of teenage boys who don’t behave this way. The young men that I know are disturbed by the accusations, emphasizing that any boy should know that sexual assault is wrong at 17. This is not typical drunken teenage behavior.

Maybe those focused on Kavanaugh’s age know all this but simply believe the accusations are too old to be relevant. But age is nothing without atonement. If Kavanaugh’s statement had shown that he had reformed, or that he had taught his children to be better, or, at the very least, that he now understands the severity of these alleged actions, perhaps the accusations wouldn’t be so clearly disqualifying.

But the moment we start to excuse the teenage actions of our nation’s leaders, we put young girls at risk. We tell them that the traumas they experience don’t “count,” and that if they speak up, they’ll be dismissed. And we tell teen boys that entitlement to women’s bodies is inherent and normal.

If the allegations are proven to be accurate after testimony from his accusers, Kavanaugh has no business serving on the highest court in our country. To confirm him tells teen girls everywhere that their safety doesn’t matter.

Elizabeth Love is a first-year at Columbia University. Her writing has been featured in the Huffington Post and the Salt Lake Tribune. Find her on Twitter @lizlove000.

Marathon Man Newz / Nate Silver on Kavanaugh
« on: Today at 05:46:25 AM »
I've been expecting this article. It would be much easier to make the GOP give up on Kavanaugh, because the allegations of sexual misconduct make him a liability, than it would be to prove anything. I hate to see this, because it just means the Democrats will have won using a very questionable tactic that will no doubt be used with increasing frequency.

Nate Silver is one of the guys who called the election for Hillary, if you remember. So did I, but I believed the polls.

SEP. 25, 2018, AT 6:36 AM

The GOP’s Least-Worst Option Is If Kavanaugh Withdraws — And Soon
By Nate Silver

Filed under 2018 Election

Brett Kavanaugh has never been a popular Supreme Court nominee — and he’s probably becoming more unpopular still following allegations earlier this month by Christine Blasey Ford that Kavanaugh had attempted to sexually assault her when they both were in high school. No one this unpopular has ever been been confirmed to the Supreme Court; the only previous nominees who polled as poorly as Kavanaugh either had their names withdrawn (Harriet Miers) or lost their confirmation vote (Robert Bork). And all of this polling was taken before at least two other accusations surfaced of potential sexual misconduct involving Kavanaugh1 — and before Ford and Kavanaugh’s testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee, which is scheduled for Thursday.

President Trump and Congressional Republicans are not afraid to take unpopular actions in pursuit of their ideological goals. Last year, they spent many months trying and failing to pass a repeal of Obamacare, even though those efforts were extremely unpopular. And they passed a tax bill that was highly unpopular at the time of its passage, although its numbers have since improved some. The Supreme Court is at least as much of a priority for Republicans.

The difference on Kavanaugh is that there are several other conservative nominees who could potentially replace him — and who may have been better picks in the first place. In other words, you would think Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell have better options than rolling the dice with Kavanaugh. Amy Coney Barrett, for example, a judge on the 7th Circuit and one of Trump’s reported finalists when Kavanaugh was chosen, has several advantages from the GOP’s point of view. She’d potentially be more conservative than Kavanaugh, at least on issues such as abortion; she’s already been confirmed (to her circuit seat) by the current Senate; and it might not hurt Republicans to choose a woman when the four conservatives on the current Supreme Court are all men.

Barrett also isn’t facing several accusations of sexual misconduct, as Kavanaugh is.

But there’s a midterm coming up in just six weeks. And there’s about a 3 in 10 chance that Republicans lose the Senate, according to the FiveThirtyEight forecast. Could Republicans really get Barrett or another nominee confirmed before then? And if not, could they confirm her in the so-called “lame duck session” after the midterms but before the new Congress meets on Jan. 3.

The answers are “possibly” and “probably” — but the timing is getting dicier by the day. As of Tuesday morning, we’ll be 42 days away from the Nov. 6 midterms, and exactly 100 days away from when the new Congress convenes. The eight current members of the Supreme Court variously took between 50 and 99 days to be confirmed:

How long does it take to confirm a Supreme Court justice?
Days from nomination to confirmation for current members of the Supreme Court

Ruth Bader Ginsburg   50   

John Roberts*   62   

Neil Gorsuch   65   

Sonia Sotomayor   66   

Stephen Breyer   73   

Samuel Alito   82   

Elena Kagan   87   

Clarence Thomas   99   

Days until midterms   42   

Days until next Congress   100   

*Roberts was initially nominated for associate justice and then withdrawn and re-nominated for Chief Justice; our count of his confirmation time includes the combined time from both nominations.


That makes the timing awfully interesting (and makes Republican complaints about Democratic delays to the process a little easier to understand). If Kavanaugh were to withdraw his name today, and Trump were to nominate someone else in his place tomorrow, the GOP might be able to confirm the replacement before the midterms — but the timing would be tight and would require a faster confirmation process than for any current member of the Supreme Court.

The lame-duck session would be a safer bet, but it’s not without risk for the GOP. One problem is that they might lose the Senate — to repeat ourselves, there’s about a 30 percent chance of this. Because the Senate is a much heavier lift for Democrats than the House, in the scenarios where the GOP loses the Senate, they’d probably also lose the House by wide margin; in our simulations, Republicans lose an average of about 50 (!!) House seats in scenarios where they also lose the Senate. The House doesn’t have any say in the Supreme Court nomination process, but would Republicans really want to push forward a nomination after losing by such a landslide margin?

My guess is probably yes — a Supreme Court seat really is that important to them. But the politics are uncertain; there aren’t really a lot of recent precedents for a party taking such significant action during the lame duck session. And several Republican senators, after just having seen their colleagues take a drubbing in the 2018 midterms, might be skittish about what such a vote would mean for their survival in 2020, when the Senate map is a fairly tough one for the GOP.

In addition, there’s the chance the next nominee could have vetting problems, too. Historically, about 25 percent of Supreme Court nominations lapse, are voted down or are withdrawn.

Here’s the thing, though. The longer the GOP takes to replace Kavanaugh, the worse the timing problems become for them. If, say, the confirmation process on Kavanaugh drags out for another two weeks before he’s voted down or withdrawn, and then Trump takes another two weeks to choose a replacement because the overall process has become such a mess, then confirmation before the midterms would be extremely challenging. There also might not be enough time to seriously vet the new nominee before the lame-duck session, giving Republicans less margin for error then, too.

So why not just “plow right through” and vote to confirm Kavanaugh anyway, allegations and everything else aside? Although there’s a good chance McConnell is bluffing, that seems to be the current plan, with McConnell having promised a vote in the “near future” on Kavanaugh and no accusers other than Ford set to testify.

The problem is that this is an extremely live news story; with several new accusations having come out against Kavanaugh over the weekend and debates about the credibility of Ford’s allegations still ongoing. It’s hard to know what would happen to Kavanaugh if more accusations came out after he’d already been confirmed to the Supreme Court, but the possibilities include impeachment and serious long-term damage to the Court’s reputation — along with whatever additional price the GOP had to pay at the midterms. Even if the GOP were able to confirm Kavanaugh before the midterms this year, a landslide election could put the GOP in a considerably worse position to hold the Senate when other Supreme Court nominations come up in 2019 through 2024.

Put another way, there are huge risks to the GOP in both rushing to confirm Kavanaugh and in letting the process play out for several more weeks — which means encouraging Kavanaugh to withdraw now, however painful it might be, is probably their least-worst option.

There is one other possibility, which is that McConnell — who reportedly didn’t want Kavanaugh to be chosen in the first place — could be rushing through the process in the hopes that Kavanaugh will be voted down (or forced to withdraw once it becomes clear that McConnell doesn’t have the votes). Back when Ford was Kavanaugh’s only accuser, this had seemed like a fairly likely exit strategy: The hearings would be engineered to allow Kavanaugh to save face, and perhaps to allow Republicans to stoke some grievances with their base. But wavering GOP senators such as Susan Collins and Jeff Flake would find some excuse to oppose his nomination and his nomination would be pulled. This scenario still seems like a distinct possibility — but the fact that the Kavanaugh story is developing so rapidly, with the stakes continuously increasing with every news cycle, could mean that McConnell is now pot-committed to the bluff even if he’d been hoping to keep his options open before.

I haven’t said much about the potential electoral upsides to the GOP of the confirmation process, such as possibly increasing base turnout, and putting vulnerable Democratic senators such as North Dakota’s Heidi Heitkamp to a tough vote on Kavanaugh or another nominee. That’s because I’m a little bit skeptical of them. Contrary to the conventional wisdom, it’s not clear that rank-and-file voters care about the Supreme Court as much as party activists and other “elites” do. And despite predictions that Anthony Kennedy’s retirement would help the GOP, Republicans’ electoral outlook has only gotten worse since then (and they’ve had especially poor polling in the past week or two).

For all that said, the Kavanaugh story has become unpredictable enough that its electoral effects are fairly uncertain, even if they’re weighted toward the downside for the GOP. If I were a Republican member of Congress facing reelection in 2018 or 2020, I’d just much rather take my chances with Barrett than with Kavanaugh.

Nate Silver is the founder and editor in chief of FiveThirtyEight.   @natesilver538

I can't seem to type the name Kavanaugh without my fingers somehow trying to type Kavanaough. This is obviously a brain glitch, and it makes me aware of how badly I type in general.....

If discovering this problem ends up improving my typing skills in the long run, at least Brett Kavanaugh will have done something I can view as positive.

And to think they said I lack enthusiasm.

Doom Psychology & Philosophy / Big Five Aspect Scale
« on: September 24, 2018, 08:49:51 PM »
JP refers to this personality scale and I had never run it on myself, so I thought I'd give it a go. If you go to Peterson's site it will direct you to a 100 question test which cost $10.

I decided to take it and then I found this shorter free version, which gave me similar results (although I seemed to get more extreme scores from the longer test). The longer test does give you more details. The main aspects do have some subsets, which it discussed...but it wasn't really that extensive.

The Big Five Aspects are:

Openness to Experience, made up of the aspects Openness/Creativity and Intellect

Conscientiousness, made up of the aspects Orderliness and Industriousness

Extraversion and introversion, made up of the aspects Enthusiasm and Assertiveness

Agreeableness made up of the aspects of Politeness and Compassion

Neuroticism, made up of the aspects of Withdrawal and Volatility

My scores:

Openess --- high

Agreeableness --- low

Extraversion ---- low

Neuroticism --- low

Explains a lot.
Explains a lot.

Marathon Man Newz / 600 Yale Women In Support of 2nd Kavanaugh Accuser
« on: September 24, 2018, 10:36:25 AM »
They might not know shit, but they are definitely in support. Whatever that means.

At least 600 women who graduated from Yale University between 1966 and 2018 have signed a letter in support of Deborah Ramirez, the second woman to come forward with allegations of sexual misconduct against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

What it really means is that many women out there, perhaps a majority of women (and  a fair sprinkling of men) are more than happy to believe ANY story of white male sexual misconduct, regardless of whether there happens to be a shred of evidence or not.

Contrary to popular belief, this is not representative of a giant step forward in calling out rapists and sexual predators. It IS representative of a cultural shift demonizing such behavior, but that isn't quite the same thing. The nuance here is important, unfortunately, but it's likely to be overlooked in a rush to judgment. Today's comments on the Diner confirm that much.

Marathon Man Newz / It's Definitely Duck Season For Kavanaugh
« on: September 24, 2018, 09:04:13 AM »
This is how justice plays out in the court of public opinion and social media. If enough people say you're guilty, then you must be guilty.

This article makes a few salient points but that's completely lost in the crap accusations. So Kavanaugh KNOWS someone who is KNOWN to have made inappropriate remarks. That damns him right there. QED.

Brett Kavanaugh’s habit of dissembling makes it hard to take his word over Ford’s
From his public remarks to his congressional testimony, he’s awfully dishonest.

By Matthew  Sep 24, 2018, 10:20am EDT

Christine Blasey Ford says Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her decades ago when they were both in high school. Deborah Ramirez says he exposed himself to her and forced her to touch his penis at a party while they were both at Yale. Kavanaugh says neither of those things happened.

Over the weekend, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell nonetheless committed himself to “plow right through” Ford’s allegations without a meaningful investigation. We learned from reporting by Jane Mayer and Ronan Farrow in the New Yorker that Senate Republicans’ initial response to learning of Ramirez’s allegations was to try to speed up the process so he’d be confirmed before the New Yorker ran her story.

Given the nature of the evidence at hand, it’s certainly possible that Kavanaugh is telling the truth about this. But I don’t believe he is.

I believe Ford and Ramirez, in part, because I do tend to “believe women.” Unreported sexual assault is common, and there is no conceivable motive for a false report in this case. Human memory and eyewitness testimony are unreliable, but researchers say the central fact of a traumatic event involving a previously known assailant is the kind of thing one is most likely to remember correctly.

It is, however, on some level, an inherently he-said, she-said kind of situation, and Kavanaugh rightly could not be sent to jail on the basis of this level of evidence. A promotion to a Supreme Court seat, however, seems like a place where a preponderance of evidence standard could prevail instead.

There’s a fundamental problem for Kavanaugh in a he-said, she-said context. There is one thing that I — who, like most Americans, did not follow his career pre-selection — really know about Brett Kavanaugh: He is willing to fib to get a Supreme Court seat.

Kavanaugh tried to bullshit his way into selection
When President Donald Trump announced Kavanaugh’s selection to fill the Supreme Court vacancy, these were the first three sentences Kavanaugh uttered to introduce himself to the American public:

Mr. President, thank you. Throughout this process, I’ve witnessed firsthand your appreciation for the vital role of the American judiciary. No president has ever consulted more widely, or talked with more people from more backgrounds, to seek input about a Supreme Court nomination.

Neither the claim that Trump appreciates the vital role of the American judiciary nor the claim that he consulted unusually widely in making his choice is true. What’s more troubling in some ways is that neither claim is even a proper lie intended to trick people.

Kavanaugh was, instead, offering what the philosopher Harry Frankfurt termed “bullshit.” The bullshitter, as Frankfurt wrote in his seminal essay on the subject, “does not care whether the things he says describe reality correctly. He just picks them out, or makes them up, to suit his purpose.”

In Kavanaugh’s case, the purpose was to butter up Trump. After Trump selected Neil Gorsuch to fill the vacancy left by Senate Republicans’ refusal to allow a vote on Merrick Garland’s nomination, Senate Democrats spent a fair amount of time during Gorsuch’s confirmation hearings asking slightly troll-y questions about Trump’s personal contempt for the independent judiciary and its role in the American constitutional system.

Gorsuch, befitting a jurist with a sense of personal dignity, denounced some of Trump’s excesses in this regard. We’ve later learned that this angered Trump, and he contemplated trying to spike the nomination, only to be talked out of it by White House aides.

Kavanaugh, having read the reporting on Gorsuch, and likely being aware that Trump has become more self-confident over time and now has more mastery over the institutional Republican Party, displayed considerably more loyalty to Trump and less personal dignity both in his introductory remarks and in his subsequent testimony.

The buttering-up of Trump is not, viewed in isolation, the worst thing in the world. But in some ways, its sheer triviality speaks volumes about Kavanaugh’s character. By the time he delivered those introductory remarks, Trump had already picked him. But in addition to whatever flattery he offered Trump in private, he was so thirsty for the president’s approval that he chose to gild the lily in his public remarks and then reemphasize loyalty to Trump during sworn testimony.

The impression it creates is of a man who is willing to say things that aren’t true to advance his career prospects in really marginal ways. A reasonable observer would conclude that he’d be willing to say things that aren’t true when his fate is truly on the line. And, indeed, that’s what we’ve seen him do in the past.

Kavanaugh misled Congress repeatedly in 2004

Kavanaugh has been bullshitting recently, but at other times, he seemingly did seek to outright mislead people.

During his 2004 confirmation hearings for a seat on the DC Circuit, Kavanaugh was asked about his role as a White House staffer in the effort to get William Pryor confirmed for a different appeals court seat.

“No, I was not involved in handling his nomination,” Kavanaugh said then in response to questioning. But as the Washington Post’s Seung Min Kim first reported, between 2002 and 2003, Kavanaugh was included in several emails referencing the Pryor nomination. In one exchange between Kavanaugh and White House aide Kyle Sampson, Kavanaugh is asked: “How did the Pryor interview go?” He responded, “Call me.” In another email chain, Kavanaugh is included in a conversation about a conference call to “coordinate plans and efforts” around Pryor.

Kavanaugh’s denials that he was involved with Manuel Miranda’s scheme to pilfer Democratic staff emails related to judicial confirmations also appear to be bogus. As Salvador Rizzo concluded in his fact-check column for the Washington Post:

The best-case scenario is that Kavanaugh, who is up for a seat on the nation’s highest court, has a glaring lack of curiosity or a superficial level of discernment. The worst-case scenario is that he has been feigning ignorance since his first confirmation hearing in the Senate in April 2004, which was held after the Senate sergeant-at-arms had released his report documenting Miranda’s serial theft.

And this isn’t the only time Kavanaugh has pleaded obliviousness. His mentor, Alex Kozinski, a formerly well-regarded appellate judge, was reportedly notorious among insiders for his inappropriate sexual remarks and has since been driven off the bench after accusations of sexual harassment. Kavanaugh claims to have noticed nothing untoward, including not remembering being on the recipient list for Kozinski’s email distribution list for dirty jokes.

The overall impression one gets of Kavanaugh is of a man who is not that scrupulous in his recollections and who is very willing to say things that are false or misleading to both Congress and the public in order to get ahead.

Don’t lie to Congress and the public if you want people to believe you
The past week has seen a lot of takes about due process, presumptions of innocence, and other questions relating to how we should think about the situation at hand, in which Ford has a credible accusation but no contemporaneous witnesses or real proof.

The answer as a matter of criminal law is fairly clear: Victims are not going to be able to get perpetrators sent to jail on the basis of this kind of evidence. While that’s unfortunate in many ways, there’s also no way around it consistent with the principles of justice and due process.

But as a political matter, we have a different situation.

It sounds a little old-fashioned in the Trump era, but you are genuinely not supposed to pull up to a microphone in the White House and say stuff that isn’t true. And you’re not supposed to mislead Congress — even if you manage to do so in ways that don’t meet the legal standard for perjury.

Why not? Well, on one level, because truthfulness and honest, decent behavior are supposed to be their own rewards in public life. But there’s another reason to develop a track record for honesty and forthrightness, even when telling the truth is inconvenient: The time may come when you find yourself asking skeptical people to take your word for it.

It’s obviously possible that Ford is lying for no reason or suffering from some kind of inexplicable confusion, and that her revelations then prompted a misleading or misremembered story from Ramirez. But it’s certain that after bullshitting about Trump, dissembling about Pryor, misleading about Miranda, and offering an implausible plea of ignorance about Kozinski, Kavanaugh isn’t a trustworthy figure.

That’s not enough to prosecute him — and realistically probably not enough to impeach him, even though he deserves it over the congressional testimony alone. But it’s ample grounds to deny him a seat on the Supreme Court.

Marathon Man Newz / Kavanaugh To Use the SODDI Defense
« on: September 24, 2018, 08:11:23 AM »
Some other dude did it. Always worth a try.

I saw this one coming, and said so in an earlier post.

Calendars From 1982 Show Kavanaugh Was "Out Of Town" When Ford Assault Allegedly Took Place

Mon, 09/24/2018 - 08:21

In his latest attempt to clear his name following allegations from Palo Alto University Professor Christine Blasey Ford claiming that he had had attempted to sexually assault her more than 35 years ago when they were seniors in high school, Judge Brett Kavanaugh will hand over calendars from the summer of 1982 which supposedly show that he was out of town when the party described by Ford allegedly took place.

According to the New York Times, the calendars do not disprove Ford’s allegations, as he could have attended a party that he did not list on his calendar. Instead, his team intends to argue that Kavanaugh's calendars don't confirm Ford's account of how an inebriated Kavanaugh allegedly pinned her to a bed and tried to remove her clothing. Ford has said she does not recall the specific date of the party.

The calendar pages from June, July and August 1982, which were examined by The New York Times, show that Judge Kavanaugh was out of town much of the summer at the beach or away with his parents. When he was at home, the calendars list his basketball games, movie outings, football workouts and college interviews. A few parties are mentioned but include names of friends other than those identified by Dr. Blasey.

The challenge for senators trying to confirm or refute the accusation against Judge Kavanaugh is that Dr. Blasey has said she does not recall the specific date or location of the house where the alleged incident occurred. She has said she believes it was during the summer of 1982, and she remembers wearing a bathing suit with other clothing on top of it, suggesting the party might have taken place after a swim outing at a local country club.

While three other people whom Ford said were also in attendance at the party have said they did not remember the incident, Ford's lawyer Debra Katz explained that this is hardly surprising.

"It’s not surprising that Ms. Keyser has no recollection of the evening as they did not discuss it," Ms. Katz said. "It’s also unremarkable that Ms. Keyser does not remember attending a specific gathering 30 years ago at which nothing of consequence happened to her. Dr. Ford of course will never forget this gathering because of what happened to her there."

Kavanaugh doesn't intend to argue that Ford wasn't assaulted at the party; instead, his lawyers are expected to claim that the assailant wasn't Kavanaugh, but a friend of Kavanaugh's with whom he bore a striking resemblance.

Meanwhile, Kavanaugh's calendars appeared to offer an unusually detailed accounting of his teenage life.

The calendar pages are one-month pages with each day in a small box. Unusual for a teenager, Judge Kavanaugh seemed to keep track of his days even during summer vacation. The pages show typical teenage activities from the era, including "beach week" after the end of the school year and nights at the theater to see "Grease II," "Rocky III" and "Poltergeist" with friends.

Judge Kavanaugh was gone many weekends with his parents in St. Michaels, Md., and one weekend in Connecticut with his grandmother, according to the calendars. He listed an interview for Yale University, where he would eventually enroll, and the start of football camp in August, when he stayed in the dorms at Georgetown Prep. He also played summer league basketball.

Of course, given Sunday night's bombshell report that a second accuser is coming forward, Kavanaugh's defense team will need to come up with another strategy to defend against both of these accounts. But they were handed a reprieve Monday morning when reports surfaced that NBC, The New York Times and The Washington Post passed on Ronan Farrow's Kavanaugh accuser story because reporters felt uneasy about the facts.

The allegations were leveled by Kavanaugh's former Yale classmate Deborah Ramirez, who said Kavanaugh "pulled his penis out and tried to press it into her face" at a dorm-room party their freshman year. The stakes for this allegation are higher given that Kavanaugh was a legal adult at the time, and he swore during his previous testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee that he had never committed a sexual assault as an adult.

WTF bore an incredible resemblance to Kavanaugh in high school?

Marathon Man Newz / More Kavanaugh Accusers Come Out Of The Woodwork
« on: September 24, 2018, 05:51:53 AM »
The #PileOn movement depends on more accusers coming forward to make sure the witches are clearly framed as witches before they get burned at the stake, or drowned, or denied a SCOTUS appointment.

I don't look for any real proof to be forthcoming, and that does bother me, whether Brett Kavanaugh was a teen-age rapist and/or college dorm weenie wagger.....or not. That's the trouble with the court of public opinion. Proof is not required, just enough accusations to make Kavanaugh look like a liability.

And when Kavanaugh gets dumped by Trump, it'll be a win for my side....except that's not how I like to win. I want to see some really credible evidence. Then I'll be happy...except they'll find some other Scalia clone to take his place, no doubt. Maybe the Democrats can head it off by stalling until after the election. That certainly looks like the game plan.

Soon, perhaps dozens of women will be able to access previously blocked memories of Brett Kavanaugh behaving badly.If you suddenly have such a memory, call Michael Avenatti to represent you in his class-action lawsuit.

Second Kavanaugh Accuser Emerges Alleging Sexual Misconduct; Feinstein Demands Hearing Cancelled

Avenatti Claims To Represent A Third Woman With ‘Credible’ Info On Kavanaugh

I'm not sure about the blindfold. Apparently TPTB in Maine are quick to get to the bottom of this lobster mistreatment by Charlotte the Lobster Lady. Can't have restaurant patrons ingesting microdoses of marijuana without their knowledge and consent, I suppose.

(I'm imagining some chubby guy up from Beantown...."I know I ate two already, but bring me another one. I'm REALLY hungry for lobster tonight, for some reason.")

Another $500 dinner for two. Sounds good for business.

Seems fair to me....if they take lobsters out of pots, why can't they put pot into the lobsters?

State Probes Eatery That Gave Pot to Lobsters

Charlotte's Legendary Lobster Pound says it just wants to calm them

By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Sep 22, 2018 11:37 AM CDT

A rare bright orange lobster shares the tank with regular lobsters in a seafood restaurant.   (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)
(NEWSER) – State health inspectors are investigating a Maine lobster restaurant that tried to mellow out lobsters with marijuana, the AP reports. The Portland Press Herald reports Charlotte's Legendary Lobster Pound in Southwest Harbor remains open but has stopped allowing customers to request meat from lobsters sedated with marijuana. Owner Charlotte Gill is a state-licensed medical marijuana caregiver.

Gill said Friday she had started offering "smoked" lobster meat recently and hopes to resume sales by mid-October. Maine Department of Health and Human Services spokeswoman Emily Spencer wouldn't say whether the state had asked Gill to halt such sales. It's unknown whether pot smoke actually calms lobsters or has any effect on their meat. "The process is for the physical comfort of the lobster, not the consumer," says Gill on her Facebook page. (In related news, President Trump's tariff war may hurt the lobster business.)

<a href="" target="_blank" class="new_win"></a>
Governor of Maine Responds to the Lobster Emergency

Marathon Man Newz / There Are No Accidental Tweets
« on: September 21, 2018, 03:35:42 PM »
Michael Cohen was obviously taking a poke directly at Trump. His Tweet was a perfect parody of the Donald. I wonder if it made the Orange Cheeto's butt pucker.


By Greg Walters Sep 21, 2018

Social media is a fickle beast. A few thumb taps, and your life can go haywire. Just ask President Trump’s former attorney turned dangerous enemy, Michael Cohen.

Cohen shocked Twitter late Thursday when he accidentally congratulated himself for “providing critical information” to the special counsel, which is probing Trump’s ties to Russia during the 2016 campaign.

Cohen praised himself, bizarrely in the third person, just minutes after a bombshell ABC News report dropped saying Cohen had already spent hours dishing to Robert Mueller’s investigators about the Trump campaign’s ties to Moscow and Trump’s business involvement with Russian interests.

Screen Shot 2018 09 21 at 5 34 07 PM
Screen Shot 2018 09 21 at 5 34 07 PM

Cohen soon deleted the tweet, and his lawyer and spokesman, Lanny Davis, jumped to clear the whole thing up.


I have an old friend who makes the stupidest FB posts you can imagine. They're so stupid I constantly hear about them from several different members of my family, even though I swore off FB a LONG time ago. All his friends, most of whom are liberal, are constantly giving him back a ration of shit in their comments, but he just keeps right on keeping on.

He's a vet, natch. And he (before he retired),  spent several years working as a southern real estate professional, a demographic group that Joe Bageant used to write about. Joe (as I recall) used to say it was a trade that attracted ignorant bigots, because it was an easy way for a stupid person to make lots of money, basically. (No disrespect to those in that field to whom that might not apply.)

But anyway, this guy, who is not really a bad  guy, is just an example I think of when I think of the Dunning-Kruger Effect.

He accepts a lot of Faux News at face value, loves Trump, and makes my gentle prods at feminists, ethnic minorities, and persons of special gender seem pretty...well, gentle.

Social media has made the Dunning-Kruger Effect so obvious, hasn't it? I remember the old saw my father used to tell me:

"It's better to keep your mouth shut and be thought a fool, than to open it and let people know for sure."

But that isn't true anymore, is it? Now you can join in with a solid phalanx of people just as eaten up with dumb-ass as you are, and form a proud parade of ignorant-ass motherfuckers. It's a Brave New World...the age of Dunning-Kruger Pride.

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Marathon Man Newz / The Part I Do Like About Christine Blasey Ford's Claims
« on: September 20, 2018, 01:15:00 PM »
For one thing several of America's Worst Assholes are really, really pissed off about it. It gives me particular pleasure that Christian Conservative Asshole Ralph Reed is pissed off.

Evangelical Leaders Are Frustrated at G.O.P. Caution on Kavanaugh Allegation

By Jeremy W. Peters and Elizabeth Dias
Sept. 20, 2018

Worried their chance to cement a conservative majority on the Supreme Court could slip away, a growing number of evangelical and anti-abortion leaders are expressing frustration that Senate Republicans and the White House are not protecting Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh more forcefully from a sexual assault allegation and warning that conservative voters may stay home in November if his nomination falls apart.

Several of these leaders, including ones with close ties to the White House and Senate Republicans, are urging Republicans to move forward with a confirmation vote imminently unless the woman who accused Judge Kavanaugh of sexual assault, Christine Blasey Ford, agrees to share her story with the Senate Judiciary Committee within the next few days.

The pleas are, in part, an attempt to apply political pressure: Some evangelical leaders are warning that religious conservatives may feel little motivation to vote in the midterm elections unless Senate Republicans move the nomination out of committee soon and do more to defend Judge Kavanaugh from what they say is a desperate Democratic ploy to prevent President Trump from filling future court vacancies.

“One of the political costs of failing to confirm Brett Kavanaugh is likely the loss of the United States Senate,” said Ralph Reed, the founder of the Faith and Freedom Coalition who is in frequent contact with the White House.

“If Republicans were to fail to defend and confirm such an obviously and eminently qualified and decent nominee,” Mr. Reed added, “then it will be very difficult to motivate and energize faith-based and conservative voters in November.”

The evangelist Franklin Graham, one of Mr. Trump’s most unwavering defenders, told the Christian Broadcasting Network this week, “I hope the Senate is smarter than this, and they’re not going to let this stop the process from moving forward and confirming this man.”

Social conservatives are already envisioning a worst-case scenario related to Judge Kavanaugh, and they say it is not a remote one. Republican promises to shift the Supreme Court further to the right — which just a few days ago seemed like a fait accompli — have been one of the major reasons conservatives say they are willing to tolerate an otherwise dysfunctional Republican-controlled government. If Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination fails, and recent political history is any guide, voters will most likely point the finger not at Mr. Trump but at Republican lawmakers.

To be sure, evangelicals leaders are trying to push Senate leaders to stiffen their resolve to force the Kavanaugh confirmation to a vote at a time when it may be politically perilous to do so. And the likelihood that the base will stay home in November and risk handing the Senate to the Democrats may be relatively low, given how popular Mr. Trump remains with white evangelicals.

It's been fairly obvious from the beginning that the chances of finding some smoking gun that clearly demonstrated that the Trump campaign deliberately colluded with Russia or Russians in a way that truly changed the outcome of the 2016 election were slim to none.

This doesn't indciate to me Trump is a good POTUS, or that he wouldn't chew gum off the sidewalk to improve his public image, or that it ever bothered him to bend or break the law in his attempts to make a fast buck in any of his previous incarnations as a developer, TV personality, or ritzy country club entrepreneur. In my mind he's a reptile.

But Bob Woodward has stated publicly that he couldn't find evidence of Trump or his slimy minions colluding with Russia, and that tells me the evidence is lacking.

If Mueller completes his probe and exonerates Trump, I expect that will be a major boost for his current shitty numbers, and his voting base of working class doofuses  will be positively ecstatic.

Woodward Admits No Evidence Of Trump-Russia Collusion: "I Looked For It Hard For 2 Years"

Thu, 09/20/2018 - 13:05

Authored by John Walsh via,

Bob Woodward’s book Fear has been a sensation in many respects. But one aspect has barely been mentioned.

After two years of exhaustive research for his book, Woodward says that he has found no evidence of collusion between Putin’s government and Donald Trump’s campaign in 2016. Zilch, nada, zero. And Woodward strained very hard looking for it.

This largely ignored blockbuster admission came in a radio interview with Hugh Hewitt reported by Real Clear Politics here, where a recording of the full interview can also be found.

Real Clear Politics reports the text of the exchange thus:

“In an interview with Hugh Hewitt on Friday, Bob Woodward said that in his two years of investigating for his new book, ‘Fear,’ he found no evidence of collusion or espionage between Trump and Russia. Woodward said he looked for it ‘hard’ and yet turned up nothing.

“’Did you, Bob Woodward, hear anything in your research in your interviews that sounded like espionage or collusion?’ Hugh Hewitt asked Woodward.

"’I did not, and of course, I looked for it, looked for it hard,’ Woodward answered. ‘And so you know, there we are. …..’

“’But you’ve seen no collusion?’ Hewitt asked again to confirm.

“’I have not,’ Woodward affirmed.

“Hewitt would once again ask Woodward about collusion at the conclusion of the interview.

“’Very last question, Bob Woodward, I just want to confirm, at the end of two years of writing this book, this intensive effort, you saw no effort, you, personally, had no evidence of collusion or espionage by the president presented to you?’ Hewitt asked.

“’That is correct,’ Woodward said.”

The attitude in the mass media with respect to the work that Woodward has done on Fear borders on a sort of deification. He is considered careful, exhaustive and reliable. He is considered to have sources throughout the government that provide the best information possible. So it is said, over and over. Thus, his word on this issue should be worth its weight in gold. Unfortunately, this failure to uncover collusion barely gets covered.

The issue of collusion hangs over the head of the Presidency, unresolved after two years. Why is this of great importance? It should not need to be said, but the issue of collusion involves the two nuclear superpowers, each of which has 1550 nuclear weapons on hair trigger alert ready to go at a moment’s notice and capable of reaching one another within minutes. It is an issue that can affect our very survival.

As Daniel Ellsberg informs us in his book, The Doomsday Machine, this situation is fraught with the chance of miscalculation or accident, which would immediately engulf us in nuclear holocaust leading to the death of billions and possibly of all humanity. This issue of collusion and its embodiment in the Mueller investigation in a dispute often called Russiagate has prevented the Presidents of Russia and the US from meeting sufficiently long to deal with this nuclear danger. And as Stephen F. Cohen, Professor Emeritus of Russian History at Princeton University, has often pointed out, this prevents our President from making concessions on some issues to get movement on others. Anything less than a tough guy approach, the approach of an Über-hawk, is treated by an hysterical press with suspicion and denunciation.

Take the recent and very brief Summit between Trump and Putin in Helsinki as an example. Condemnation was everywhere in the media and the follow-up Summit has been postponed until next year, probably out of concern for how the press would treat it leading up to the midterms. This has happened even though it does not quite make sense. Polling showed that a majority of the American people approved of the Helsinki Summit and also of the planned follow-up. Over 60% desire improved relationship with Russia, sometimes called Détente 2.0. And yet there was virtually no support voiced for this Summit from the US Peace Community, CodePink being a prominent exception.

So let us take note. Woodward has added his voice to those who have been unable to find any evidence of collusion with Russia. After two years of finding nothing and given the danger that the crippling of US-Russia relation poses to our survival, is it not time to say “Enough”?

Woodward has now added his voice to many, many others. They have worked hard for years and have found no evidence for collusion. Enough of Partisanship and hysteria. For the sake of our survival, Enough.

So, pursuant to our conversation yesterday, I saw this headline on ZH this morning. Now I like ZH, because they post a lot of good economic articles and good market articles too. But they try to panic the markets to make their short-selling clients happy.

Like the macro economist whose initials are BS (how unfortunate is that?), they tend to exaggerate things when it suits them, which is really, really often.

The Dollar Is Dumping As Bond Rout Spreads

And they prove it, right? The chart doesn't lie.

Hmmm. Or does it? Here's the long term dollar chart.

Screen Shot 2018 09 20 at 11 05 12 AM
Screen Shot 2018 09 20 at 11 05 12 AM

Ho hum. Call me when we reach the 2014 level. Back when markets were collapsing, right? What you say? Markets weren't even collapsing when the USD was in the toilet in 2014?

Here's a link to the whole Chicken Little article for anyone who wants to read it.

When the government considers you a dangerous man. The guy who 3D printed guns and wanted to make money selling the software to do it, is being hunted down on the other side of the world because he paid a 16 year old for consensual sex here in Austin. Now, she's a victim, poor thing. I wonder if she had to give back the $500.

Taiwan Hunts for Cody Wilson After Underage Sex Accusation
3D-printed gun creator's last known location was Taipei

By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Sep 20, 2018 5:47 AM CDT

(NEWSER) – Taiwan said Thursday it is looking for the owner of a Texas company that makes untraceable 3D-printed guns who is wanted on an arrest warrant tied to an accusation that he had sex with an underage girl and paid her $500 afterward. The National Immigration Agency and Criminal Investigation Bureau confirmed that Cody Wilson was in Taiwan after arriving on the island earlier this month. Division Director Kan Yen-min was quoted by the official Central News Agency as saying the bureau has yet to receive intelligence from the US regarding Wilson, but will continue seeking more information about the case. Taiwan and the US do not have an extradition treaty but cooperate extensively on legal and security matters, reports the AP.

Austin, Texas, police Cmdr. Troy Officer said Wednesday that his department is working with national and international law enforcement agencies to find Wilson, whose last known location was Taiwan's capital, Taipei. Officer said it's unclear why Wilson went to Taiwan, but he is known to travel extensively. He said before Wilson flew there, a friend of the 16-year-old girl informed Wilson that police were investigating the accusation that he had sex with the youth. Wilson is identified in the affidavit as the owner of Austin-based Defense Distributed. After a federal court barred Wilson from posting the printable gun blueprints online for free last month, he announced he had begun selling them for any amount of money to US customers through his website.

Marathon Man Newz / More on the Observatory Closing
« on: September 20, 2018, 04:18:42 AM »
It gets better and better.

Child Porn Caused Closure of New Mexico Observatory
After laptop was seized, janitor warned of 'serial killer'

By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 20, 2018 2:28 AM CDT

(NEWSER) – After the Sunspot Solar Observatory in New Mexico mysteriously closed for 11 days, citing unspecified "security concerns," rumors of alien sightings or other strange cosmic goings-on proliferated. But the real reason was apparently the disturbing behavior of an Earthling janitor, reports the Albuquerque Journal. According to a federal search warrant, the facility in the mountains of Lincoln National Forest was shut down during an FBI child pornography investigation. They began investigating the facility after the observatory's WiFi was used to send and receive child porn and a worker at the facility found a laptop with "not good" images on it, KTSM reports.

Court documents state that after the facility's chief observer told agents that the only person who could access the observatory during the hours that the child porn was downloaded was a janitor, the FBI seized a laptop. The documents state that when he discovered that the laptop was gone, the janitor "feverishly" searched the facility for it and warned the observer that somebody had been breaking in to steal Internet service. The Journal reports that the FBI closed the observatory for security reasons after the janitor warned the observer that a serial killer might "enter the facility and execute someone." The observatory reopened Monday after Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy announced there was no longer a threat to staff.

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