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The Kavanaugh Saga Live and Updated: The Voting

The Kavanaugh Saga Live and Updated: The Voting

Update: Collins and Manchin are both a yes, and that should seal the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.

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The Kavanaugh Saga comes back to the floor of the Senate today. This mornings procedural vote to proceed advances the nomination for what is expected to be the final vote on confirmation sometime Saturday.

NYT

The 51-49 vote is the next-to-last step in the most tumultuous Supreme Court confirmation process in decades. Senator Susan Collins, Republican of Maine, said her vote to move the confirmation forward did not signal how she will vote in the end. Instead, she will announce her position on Judge Kavanaugh at 3 p.m. Friday. Senator Joe Manchin III, Democrat of West Virginia, also voted yes, freeing
Vice President Mike Pence from a tiebreaking vote on the nomination after Senator Lisa Murkowski, Republican of Alaska, voted no.

For Judge Kavanaugh, and the country, the stakes are huge: If confirmed, President Trump’s second Supreme Court nominee will replace the high court’s swing vote, the retired Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, with a committed conservative, shifting the ideological balance on the court toward the right for generations.

Friday’s vote ushers in 30 hours of debate before the Senate takes its final vote on Judge Kavanaugh. It came as senators were still absorbing the results of a confidential F.B.I. inquiry into allegations of sexual assault against Judge Kavanaugh, allegations that have torn apart the Senate and divided the nation.

Previous Postings:

After a day full of emotional testimony and heated debate both in the Senate Judiciary Committee dais and around the country, the Kavanaugh confirmation hearings will re-convene this morning.

CNN:

Friday’s scheduled vote at 9:30 a.m. ET is an effort by Republicans to bring a swift end to a confirmation process roiled by sexual assault allegations, even as Democrats demand more answers.

During an intense, day-long hearing Thursday, California professor Christine Blasey Ford testified that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her while they were both teenagers in the early 1980s. Kavanaugh later offered a vociferous and emotional defense, alternately shouting and tearing up on national television.

A day after the drama, it’s not clear whether committee Republicans have the votes to move Kavanaugh’s nomination to the full Senate, with Republican Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona appearing to be the swing vote on a committee with 11 GOP members and 10 Democrats. The vote will be the first one in a series to determine whether conservatives lock in a favorable court for a generation with a 5-4 majority.After the committee votes, the current plan is to hold a procedural vote on the Senate floor midday Saturday and hold the final vote early next week.

When Kavanaugh’s vote goes before the full chamber, two moderate Republican senators — Alaska’s Lisa Murkowski and Maine’s Susan Collins — are other key votes who are not on the committee but have not said how they will vote. Republicans control the full Senate 51-49.
Murkowski, Collins, Flake and West Virginia Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin huddled in a Capitol Hill office following the hearing Thursday. When they emerged, they would only tell reporters they were undecided and wanted to think about their impending decision.

Update 1: Senator Flake is a Yes, which gives the Republicans the votes to pass out of committee

Update 2: Motion to subpoena Mark Judge fails

Update 3: Vote set for 1:30pm EST. They will be doing plenty of talking till then, but that is when the vote to send the confirmation to the Senate will be taken.

Update 4: One last bit of drama before the vote, and Sen. Flake is right in the middle of it, again.

Update 5: After the Flake drama, he’s seated and says he will vote for Kavanaugh to clear committee with understanding the floor vote will be delayed one week. Vote passes 11-10 to report nominee to full Senate.

Original 9/27/2016 post:

NPR: Brett Kavanaugh And Christine Blasey Ford’s Road To A Senate Hearing

Members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, along with the American public, will for the first time on Thursday hear directly from Christine Blasey Ford, the university professor who has accused Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault when they were both teenagers in high school.

She and Kavanaugh will both testify under oath, in public. The stakes couldn’t be higher; a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court may rest on whose account senators believe. Nearly 6 in 10 Americans say they plan to follow the hearings closely, with many yet to make up their minds, according to an NPR-PBS Newshour-Marist poll.

The Judiciary Committee released excerpts of Kavanaugh and Ford’s prepared testimony Thursday. Ford will say, “I am here today not because I want to be. I am terrified. I am here because I believe it is my civic duty to tell you what happened to me while Brett Kavanaugh and I were in high school.”

In his prepared remarks, Kavanaugh admits, “I was not perfect in those days, just as I am not perfect today. I drank beer with my friends, usually on weekends. Sometimes I had too many. In retrospect, I said and did things in high school that make me cringe now. But that’s not why we are here today. What I’ve been accused of is far more serious than juvenile misbehavior. I never did anything remotely resembling what Dr. Ford describes.”

Update 1:

Update 2:

Update 3:

Update 4:

Update 5:

Update 6:

Update 7: One last bit of drama before the vote, and Sen. Flake is right in the middle of it, again.


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516 thoughts on “The Kavanaugh Saga Live and Updated: The Voting

        • More than anything it is two things: 1) The number of people who have come forward to defend Kavanaugh, people who were in his social group then. 2) The fact that the Democrats have politicized this so much that it’s impossible to not believe there is more going on.

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          • Considering there is no statue of limitations on these kind of crimes in Maryland, these people have a vested interest in defending Mr. Kavanaugh, because when the state opens an investigation they become material witnesses. So take them with a grain of salt.

            As to politicization – Mr. McConnell started us down that road by denying Mr. Garland even a hearing.

            And if you are watching – She’s not lying.

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            • At this point I am waving away any complaints that the Democrats are trying to politicize this because it just seems like not wanting to deal with an issue.

              I don’t even know what the correct response would be to avoid the “don’t politicize the issue” charge. Never bring it up? How does that help anyone except people who don’t like Democrats very much.

              Lots of things are political whether an individual likes this or not.

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              • Depends on the specifics of the charge. If Feinstein held it back until the last moment to unleash it, then that’s playing politics and in a bad way.

                I don’t think that’s the case as I think the revelations, but it’s where a lot of people are coming from.

                They’re also accusing Democrats of basically just trying to delay-delay-delay by whatever means necessary and are not being entirely straightforward about that being their goal. I think this accusation is true, but I don’t consider it especially out-of-bounds and I would likely be doing the same in their place.

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                • There a bit of projection going on among the people who insist everything the D’s are doing is politics. Those people remember the Garland thing so they assume the D’s are doing the same thing. Possible, yes. But the vehemence which some R’s are showing suggests they think the D’s are acting exactly as cynically as they did.

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                • I really don’t get the charge that political things are being handled in a political matter.

                  Supreme Court positions are political. Democrats aren’t idiots. We know that Kavanaugh would not get the nod unless he was a surefire for gutting or severely curtailing rulings and issues that were important to Democrats. We are close to an election that there is a small but reasonably and possibly growing chance that Democrats can take back the Senate.

                  Of course this is political

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                  • This is entirely correct. AND it is also political that Trump picked the guy with skeletons in his closet and a particular softness on presidential constraint, instead of equally qualified conservative judges with neither of those things. AND it is also political that all but four GOP senators immediately and completely got in line with that nomination.

                    Politics, as in trying to get people to vote for you instead of the other guy, is part of the story, and what every politician spends much of their time doing. Also, this is an important act with decades-long consequences both regarding the outcome of cases and the status of the Supreme Court in the public consciousness.

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                  • Depends on how the politics is being played, and whether what you’re doing violates reasonable standards of good governance.

                    Let’s say hypothetically that Feinstein had information that suggested that Republicans were about to put an attempted rapist on the Supreme Court. She decides not to come forward with it and then let it progress into the 11th hour, then spring it.

                    Along the way, she would have – among other things – dramatically decreased the odds of any investigation and increased the odds that a rapist would be sitting on the courts.

                    Would you not see anything wrong with that? I would, and I would condemn it accordingly.

                    Having followed the revelation as it revealed, I don’t think that’s what happened. But a lot of people do think that’s what happened.

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                    • “Along the way, she would have – among other things – dramatically decreased the odds of any investigation and increased the odds that a rapist would be sitting on the courts.”

                      This is the point I made last night with Jesse. American voters will not determine if Kavanaugh sits on the court, but outraged American voters will vote in November. The cynic in me remains convinced that Democrats* would prefer the political leverage of Republicans confirming Kavanaugh more than him being dismissed from the process.

                      *I’m referring to the turds in Congress, not Joe Democrat on the street. I won’t ascribe such nefarious behavior to the average citizen.

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                      • My honest guess is that assuming the GOP gets somebody else lined up, all of this won’t have made much of a difference. The two scenarios in which I am wrong:

                        1) Kavanaugh goes down and they don’t have somebody else lined up. A non-trivial possibility but mostly one that reduces their options to a handful of people.
                        2) Kavanaugh is confirmed and the story just keeps getting worse and worse. I have thought from the start that multiple accusers was the biggest threat to the GOP here, and that appears to be the case. However the other cases pan out.

                        Notably, both of these possibilities hurt the GOP. There is an outside possibility that if they can get Kavanaugh through and if things die down after that, the GOP is helped by a reduced enthusiasm gap. That actually corresponds with my anecdotal evidence, but not the polling at all.

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                          • John Roberts was 23 days. He is something of a special case because he was already being considered for a different seat. That’s why I think the nominee is likely to be someone who was recently confirmed: Barrett, Thapar, or Willett. Most of the paperwork is already in order.

                            There’s an outside chance that it goes to Hardiman, who has twice been a runner up, or Kethledge who was also recently vetted.

                            I don’t think there’s anybody on the judiciary committee’s Republican side who needs to be campaigning.

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                            • The other thing is that even if the vote isn’t quite done, as long as they have somebody lined up for the lame duck session they can minimize damage. Appointing somebody during a lame duck term won’t go over well with independents and all that, but that cake may be baked at this point.

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                            • As much as I’d probably like Barrett; watching them tear into her Charismatic Catholic Christianity – believe me there would be a parade of former charismatics who would be happy to tell their story of how they were unhappy in the community – it would probably break me… I hope its someone else.

                              Apropos one of Burt’s posts about a better way to handle the SCOTUS vacancies, an idea hit me about having a president nominate at beginning of each term he/she is elected for a slate, say 3 or 4, of potential nominees that the Senate would pre-approve independent of any vacancy… their approval would be valid for some multiple of 4-years … 8- or 12. There would always be qualified/approved nominees in the bank, so to speak, and the opportunity for theatrics or parliamentary tricks would be reduced and/or eliminated. Obama would have had Garland, and McConnell wouldn’t have been able to stop it.

                              It wouldn’t eliminate or reduce the political factor… D’s nominate their preferred slate and R’s theirs… but I think it would probably de-escalate some of the brinksmanship.

                              Obviously, a pre-approved candidate could be challenged/removed for malfeasance should something like the Ford situation show up… so it’s not a hiding place… just an idea to stay within the constitutional framework, but reduce some (not all) of the politics from the process.

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                          • Regarding the time frame i’ll just note that one of the prior D complaints about this nomination was that all his records from his gov service aren’t’ available. The National Archives said it won’t be until the end of October i believe. So we haven’t been able to fully vet his writings while he worked in gov. Why? Well no good reason.

                            Some things shouldn’t be rush jobs.

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                    • There are other criticisms that I am less sympathetic to. The attempts to delay-delay-delay are mucking with the process and sometimes in breach of good faith, but that’s politics. I would be doing the same in their place. And they have a basis on which they’re acting, which is enough for me.

                      My only other criticism of Feinstein is that somebody released this to the press and they simply weren’t supposed to. That’s bad for some process-googoo reasons like whether people will come forward in the future. But mostly it’s bad because it wasn’t doing right by Dr Ford herself. And since Dr Ford is the victim with that and not the GOP, I have a hard time taking Republican complaints seriously.

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                      • My only other criticism of Feinstein…

                        I think it’s fair to judge her on the basis of politics.

                        Outcome A: K is put on the court.
                        1) K thinks NOTHING happened 36 years ago. He’s going to spend the rest of his life being called a rapist a few times a year. He’s on the court for the next 30 years, and he totally despises Team Blue because he KNOWS what utter scumbags they are.

                        2) The Dems base is fired up this next election.

                        Outcome B: K is NOT put on the court.
                        1) Highly likely we get that female (name?) in a lame duck setting… so we get to see the Dems go after her just as hard as they did K (it won’t matter), and she’s viewed as more likely to overturn Roe than K is.

                        I’m really hard pressed to see either result as a good thing from Team Blue’s standpoint.

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                • I can see that as a semi-plausible response to the calls for the FBI to investigate, but it really doesn’t explain the refusal to hear Ramirez’ testimony or subpoena Mark Judge.

                  And really the GOP has no standing to complain about nominees being delayed ever again.

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  1. In other news, two men have told the Senate that they, not Kavanaugh, assaulted Ford at a party, and gave details about it.

    Of course, having someone else confess rarely stops a lynch mob.

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  2. Will Truman: There are a lot of people on Twitter I follow convinced of his innocence, and a lot convinced of his guilt. I’m keeping a special eye on everyone in between.

    By that measure, Ford is doing a fantastic job.

    If you feel up to it posting some of those middler links would be useful. I don’t Twitter so I don’t really have access to those folks.

    The hired gun is trying to not appear awkward. Clearly she’s not enjoying her role.

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    • Neontaster is reliably right-of-center, hasn’t commented too much on matter and so probably had a more open mind than most:

      Neville hasn’t commented on it much. Pradheep was on the fence for the longest time but came down pretty hard for Kavanaugh after the New Yorker story broke:

      Rothman has been vaguely supportive of Kavanaugh and critical of the Democrats during this process but has had an open mind:

      They’re not sold or anything – they have evidentiary questions and whatnot – and I’m not sure how many minds will change at the end of the day, but I’m seeing a lot of this from people I think came in preparing to be skeptical.

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  3. As I suspected, the more entrenched factions remain so:
    “Great actress”
    “What’s up with that baby voice? That’s for sympathy”
    Or focusing on whether she’s sincerely afraid of flying and other irrelevant nonsense.
    I can barely watch.
    From a technical standpoint I’m not that impressed with Mitchell. I despise it when lawyers say “ok” after every answer.

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  4. I think even I, lifelong political junkie, am getting burned out on the theater of politics. I didn’t watch the Virginia Senate debate last night, and I decided to watch a youtube video recapping a reality show rather than watch the testimony live.

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    • Beer might sufficient to derail Kavanaugh.

      Maybe. We’ll never know. Right now his nom is being derailed by his repeatedly lying under oath, his radical views of the imperial presidency, his history as a partisan political operative, and his having been credibly accused of sexual assault.

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        • Before the Ford allegations surfaced the primary attacks on him were that Trump picked him primarily because he’d rule in Trump’s favor on legal challenges to the Presidency. (scandalous!) And trying to minimize his partisan politicking is what cased him to lie repeatedly under oath about the various roles he’s played for Republicans over the years. (less so but still scandalous!)

          Each of them seems to me sufficient to reject the nomination by any reasonable standard. Collectively, he should be toast. (And as I’ve said, in my view 1-4 is *precisely* why Trump wants him on the bench.)

          And ironically (well…) the most compelling reason for rejecting him – that he’s lied repeatedly under oath – is only now gaining any traction as a disqualifier.

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  5. I heard a bit of Judge Kavanugh’s opening statement. He sounded strident and like a partisan warning “there will be consequences”, not like a judge. Is the doubling down for right-wing martyrdom?

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    • Our first YOLO confirmation hearing!

      My guess is that the simplest explanation is the correct one: He’s mad because he believes he’s being railroaded for something he didn’t do. I would be made, too. You would be mad. Any of us would be mad. Future information may come in to move me off that position, but I don’t think he thinks he did it, even if he did.

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      • Alternate theory, he knows his most important audience:

        Of course, he needs more than just Trump. But he needs Trump first and foremost. Then, after that, his best chance is that Trump can roll Collins, Murk, and Flake by forcing a “Kavanaugh or nobody” choice.

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            • I think all of this is just “plausible deniability” cover for the right-wing and GOP base. No one can say for certainty what it stands for and the GOP now has a defense even though we all know what it means. The full-throttled defense is probably what they want and as Chris Hayes says he might honestly not remember anything because he was black out drunk.

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                    • greginak: The guy failed at minimum level judicial temperament which surprises the heck out of me. He should have the basics of his current job down…yet somehow….

                      I was travelling on business yesterday and was hearing bits and pieces of it all, and setting aside the other details, this REALLY jumped at me.

                      The dude has the mental toughness of a typically easy-to-trigger political partisan, which is to say he has none.

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                        • Mike Schilling: The way Kavanaugh was talking back to the senators questioning him, he sounded like an asshole punk teenager. His parents need to take away his car keys.

                          I’m with you 1,000,000%. He also needs a trip to the woodshed for a serious ass kicking.

                          Like I said on my Facebook, he’s a liar, a drunk and a sociopath. His tears and dramatics were pathetic. He’s a despicable excuse for a man. I don’t respect him. I don’t respect the support for him. I don’t respect the apologism. I don’t respect the moral cowardice of hiding behind “innocent until proven guilty” under the rubric of protecting the rights of the accused since I don’t find it genuine. People are getting uncomfortable and to that I say good. I’m sure it pales in comparison when compared to the victims of sexual assault that haven’t gotten justice because of a system designed to fuck them over.

                          Funny that I write this shortly after reading Kristen’s excellent piece on civility because the first thing I think when I read some of the crap in this conversation is whose head I should take off first.

                          I’m not kidding and politics has nothing to do with it although I have no problem admitting that conservatives, try as they might, by and large suck on this issue.

                          I have plenty of fights to pick with the left but those will have to wait.

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              • Right, but the Renata thing is independent of that. To concede that you got blackout drunk is to concede that you might have done it and your denials don’t mean much. To admit that okay you and some other kids were asses does not concede that. That is actually much closer to “boys being boys” than the other things he’s being accused of.

                I don’t know. Maybe he didn’t do it. Maybe he doesn’t actually get blackout drunk. I don’t know.

                The Renata thing? I know what that’s about, and his denials undermine the other claims that I am a lot less sure about.

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                • Yeah, his obvious lying about relatively unimportant stuff may not directly make me think it’s more likely that he attempted sexual assault, but it does make me think I probably shouldn’t believe what he says about important stuff.

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                  • It seems like he has been dishonest and misleading in his testimonies to Congress in 2006 and 2018 on multiple points. If it doesn’t rise to the level of outright lie, it comes close, like Bill Clinton close. For me this is enough to DQ him from SCOTUS.

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                • It’s hard to tease out what the hell is going on anymore, but I think it comes down not so much to whether we believe Ford was telling the truth (I think she was) but whether *anything* Kavanaugh says can be viewed as the truth. The dude seems to lie every time he’s been in public since the nomination, and has lied under oath on ’06 when he received his current position as judge. He lies about big things, small things, out of convenience out of partisan loyalty, to please Trump…

                  Apart from his judicial philosophy and ideological leanings, the fact that he’s a incredibly dishonest ought to be – OUGHT to be – disqualifying. Tho, of course, my contention is that his observable “moral flexibility” is precisely why Trump is intent on ramming his nomination thru.

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                  • It’s hard to tease out what the hell is going on anymore, but I think it comes down not so much to whether we believe Ford was telling the truth (I think she was) but whether *anything* Kavanaugh says can be viewed as the truth. The dude seems to lie every time he’s been in public since the nomination, and has lied under oath on ’06 when he received his current position as judge. He lies about big things, small things, out of convenience out of partisan loyalty, to please Trump…

                    In a way I’m kind of hoping this nomination fails. But if Kavanaugh is confirmed, Democrats can’t really have any complaints.

                    He’s obviously qualified, and they threw some nasty stuff at him near the end but none of it really stuck so you can’t really blame the Senators who voted for him. There’s nothing really to do except cry in your beer and hope to win the next one.

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                • “The Renata Thing”? Hyperbolic high school verbiage would be the best explanation. I am sure we have all forgotten just how fictional high school really was.

                  But as long as I will live, I will never forget the vision of the most grave assembly in our Nation picking over things from a guy’s high school yearbook. Next up: A Supreme Court Nominee’s baseball card collection.

                  No, seriously – isn’t this all this trivial and ultimately, dull? You know how this sort of thing always plays out – he-said, she-said. The conflict self-abnegates and disappears.

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              • As I said, I’m just not buying it. You are seriously accepting his lame ass explanation for the “Renate Alumnus” thing? Did you skip your teenage years? Even the woman herself interpreted it to mean she was “easy”. And did you seen the poem written by another boy? “You need a date/its getting late/so don’t hesitate/call Renate”.

                And nobody anywhere ever has heard of a “drinking game” called Devil’s Triangle, but many are familiar with the sexual meaning.

                He was banking on everyone being gullible enough to believe him, rather than just admitting to being a stupid teenage boy doing stupid teenage boy things. I would have found him much more believable with even a modicum of self-deprecation.

                *edited because I said something insulting and regretted it.

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                • Yeah. This one not only had no credibility but it undermined the credibility of everything else he said. If you’re going to argue that it didn’t mean the *only* thing that comes to mind when I read something like that, you need more than just say-so.

                  Someone did poke around. Can’t remember who but I will share if I find it. Basically they determined that Kavanaugh was being truthful about what FFFFFFFFight or whatever was a reference to, but not the other stuff.

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                • I don’t know if he is banking on people being gullible. He is banking on partisanship, Trumpian powerplays, and motivated reasoning.

                  Then again, this could be a distinction without a difference.

                  Mike, the real Renate was so upset about this revelation that she dropped her support of Kavanaugh. She did not know about it until today.

                  What do you gain from believing him on this when everyone else’s reaction is “oh come on!!” He would have been better off saying “Teenage boys are very stupid and like to brag about sexual conquests that never happened. I am deeply sorry for those remarks.”

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                • Here’s my thing: If all of this was sexual references, then why have I not seen a list of people confirming that Kavanaugh fooled around with a lot of girls, probably while drinking? It seems like if they ARE sexual references, then it was teenage boys exaggerating or plain lying about their sexual conquests. Unfortunate, and something he should not have lied about, but not disqualifying.

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                    • Right. No matter what was the case with Renata – that he slept with her, that he’s lying – it’s not really disqualifying*. But that he would lie about something so trivial means I can’t trust him on the things where his stakes are much higher.

                      * – I will add, though, that sometimes you can reach a point where no one thing is singularly disqualifying, but the aggregate sum of things is. Or should be.

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                          • I guess for me it comes down to whether or not he could have admitted to any of the accusations related to his high school years and still been confirmed. In the #metoo era I’m inclined to say No, he could not have. So…wanting that job, and personally believing none of his behavior disqualified him, where was the incentive to tell the truth?

                            As for the court, I hold very little of their previous actions as proof of what they will do once on the court. Too many justices have proven that a life appointment to SCOTUS is extremely ‘liberating’.

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                            • I am not among those who say that he should have admitted to getting blackout drunk and whatnot, but he could have admitted that he was sometimes an ass who wrote some crude things in college and I am sure he would have been fine.

                              The former is ambiguous (as in I don’t know if it would have helped or hurt and there may be some genuine confusion there). The latter is an insult to our collective intelligence and, in my opinion, the response of someone whose instinct it is to lie.

                              But either way, it’s discrediting. It means I not only can’t believe him when he says he didn’t do it, but I can’t really believe anything he offers up as evidence that isn’t verified.

                              If I’m looking at two people telling contradictory stories, that’s a real problem when the other person doesn’t have it.

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                              • Fair enough. I guess I can very much put myself in his shoes and see myself struggling with how much to admit to, when I also have plenty of high school behavior I am embarrassed about. I certainly do not have the temperment to make it through a process like this, and I don’t know how many people in this country could say that do.

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                                • Two reactions:

                                  1. I suspect this is one (of many) reasons you would not make a very good Supreme Court justice.

                                  2. How does that have anything to do with his other lies (e.g. not watching Ford’s testimony)?

                                  He’s a dishonest partisan attack dog who was happy to dish sleaze against the Clintons, knows his lift doesn’t measure up, and his hoping to bluster his way to yes votes from Collins / Murkowski by saying literally whatever he thinks will be most helpful in any given moment. That, itself, should be disqualifying.

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                            • So…wanting that job, and personally believing none of his behavior disqualified him, where was the incentive to tell the truth?

                              I am not even sure how to respond to this. He’s a JUDGE. How about THE LAW as motivation not to lie? Let alone his integrity as a jurist. I cannot even begin to fathom this justification of a SCOTUS nominee needing “incentive” to tell the truth.

                              Am I misreading you? This just seems beyond the pale.

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                                  • I am on record as believing Clinton should have been removed from office for committing perjury while in office, so if Kavanaugh committed perjury yesterday I would be okay with removing him from the process.

                                    And I will say, I am not a lawyer but I am not sure where the line on these proceeds is between a court proceeding and an interview process. Everyone keeps talking about bringing in Mark Judge, is there precedent for that? I honestly don’t know.

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                                    • And I will say, I am not a lawyer but I am not sure where the line on these proceeds is between a court proceeding and an interview process

                                      I’m not a lawyer, either, but I assume that in the process, he is sworn to tell the truth and lying (or lying without later correcting the record in the same forum/proceeding) would be perjury. Maybe I’m wrong and he’s not sworn, or he’s sworn only when in front of the judiciary committee and not for the sake of the investigation.

                                      I’ll say that I share some of your instincts in this discussion. I’ll also say I haven’t been following this process very much or very closely. But those here who have pointed out inconsistencies in Kavanaugh’s story are credible enough to me to think that they’re probably right. Whether this all amounts to according to Hoyle perjury, I don’t know.

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                            • There’s a strong likelihood that he’s going to be confirmed despite credible allegations of sexual assault, and some of the Senators who will vote for him have stated outright that they don’t think he should be disqualified even if the allegations are true.

                              So maybe the idea that the #MeToo movement is an all-powerful force is a little implausible.

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              • I’ve been playing drinking games for years and partying Devil’s Triangle is a threesome not beer pong.

                I mean at this point if you choose to believe kavanaugh you’re just saying no nothing else matters other than a white guys pain and entitlement.

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      • It has been pointed out that Maryland has no statute of limitations on sexual assault when people wonder why Kavanaugh just didn’t do a “I was young and stupid” apology. Anything that comes close to saying he did it would be an admission of guilt of a still prosecutable crime under Maryland law. I don’t think a Maryland DA would go after a Circuit Court or Supreme Court Judge but he might not want to risk it.

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          • Knocking someone over and cutting off their air supply qualifies as assault under *any* state’s laws, wtf on the “not clearly that even”??

            And what he’s accused of, whether or not you could prosecute it as that, whether or not he DID that, but what he’s accused of, since that’s what you’re questioning – would be “and 3-309 for attempted” under that page’s definitions.

            Attempted Rape in the First Degree is where the actions he is accused of would be classified under Maryland law.


            (a)?A person may not attempt to commit rape in the first degree.

            (b)?A person who violates this section is guilty of a felony and on conviction is subject to imprisonment not exceeding life.”

            https://codes.findlaw.com/md/criminal-law/md-code-crim-law-sect-3-309.html

            And rape in the first degree being defined at your link as
            “engaging in sexual intercourse with another without his or her consent by force, using weapons, strangling or inflicting serious physical injury, threatening with death, serious injury, or kidnapping, or committed with another’s help or during a burglary”

            He’s accused of attempting to engage in sexual intercourse without consent, by force, committed with another’s help.

            So yes, you are wrong.

            What is it about this case that leads people to lose their ability to read?

            (note, I am obviously not a lawyer. BUT THIS IS OBVIOUS.)

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          • I simply have to be wrong about what I about to write.

            I am not sure what Kavanaugh is accused of qualifies as sexual assault under Maryland law: It might be closer to *simple* assault ( and not clearly that even) . The Maryland sex crimes as described at the link are pretty graphically grounded in penetration:

            This is a good point. As described by Mrs Ford, Kavanaugh is clearly guilty of simple assault. But even then I don’t think he’s guilty of attempted rape, and frankly I don’t think any prosecutor would try to convict him of it, even in an extreme case assuming there were no issues around witness credibility, eg there was video.

            Obviously, nobody actually raped her, and it doesn’t seem like anybody actually tried to either. It’s a matter of intent. Grinding on top of a person without their consent is an assault in its own right, but it’s not rape. But at that time, was his intention to actually rape her (ie, some kind of sexual penetration)? Maybe, but probably not.

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            • According to her account, he was ripping her clothes off. Juries don’t tend to convict in testimony-only cases, if they believe the assault happened at all in the first place, based on “surely the guy cutting off your ability to scream for help or breathe properly, and ripping your clothes off, wasn’t meaning to *rape* you”.

              If you don’t believe anything happened, you don’t believe anything happened. But:
              a) what Les Cargill said wasn’t “what is he guilty of?” but “what he is accused of”, so it’s not a “good point” that he was making, that you are reiterating, you’re twisting his (flatly erroneous) point to your own purposes
              b) if you go down the road of “what if something did happen?” in the first place, why believe the guy who would then be lying at least about that, rather than the person who was telling the truth about that?

              It didn’t happen, but if it did, surely it wasn’t all THAT bad isn’t logically consistent. Very human to want to believe that. But not at all consistent with the very principles of logic and reason that y’all claim to be the ones upholding here.

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              • According to her account, he was ripping her clothes off. Juries don’t tend to convict in testimony-only cases, if they believe the assault happened at all in the first place, based on “surely the guy cutting off your ability to scream for help or breathe properly, and ripping your clothes off, wasn’t meaning to *rape* you”.

                Frankly, this paragraph doesn’t make very much sense. I think you kinda got a caught in the middle of two or three halfway related thoughts.

                In any event there’s a few different things at play here. First of all, based on what Mrs Ford has accused Judge Kavanaugh of, it’s definitely wrong to think that the this is not an assault at all. Clearly, it is a simple assault at least. I do think Les is right to guess that it’s not attempted rape (if in fact I’m representing Les correctly here). By Mrs Ford’s own words, it’s simply not remotely clear that Mark Judge or Kavanaugh ever intended to complete an act of penetration. In fact, my guess is they didn’t.

                From the prosecutor’s point of view, even with the assumption that this is going to be contemporaneously prosecuted to fullest extent likely to win a conviction, this is already weak case because it’s testimony-only, like you said. I don’t think a prosecutor would attempt to convict on attempted rape, which requires definitive conclusions about Mark Judge and Kavanaugh’s intent which probably don’t hold up, as opposed to simple assault where they are clearly guilty.

                Though, it has to be acknowledged, that if the prosecutor for some reason has a particular animus or motivation to try the case as attempted rape, there’s certainly enough there to take your chances with.

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                • I’m glad to see you’re willing to concede I’m right about most of that.

                  While you’re at it, would you like to note that you were wrong about whether Dr. (not Mrs.) Ford was going to testify this morning? Or have you already done that somewhere?

                  It’s fine if you don’t want to, but I’d like to see it if you do, and there’s been a lot of comments flying around these past few days.

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                    • Yeah, Thursday morning. Sorry. It’s all been one long damn day to me, this week.

                      Do you always refuse non-medical Drs. their titles or is that something special? (If the latter, don’t feel the need to explain what it is to me.)

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                        • For what it’s worth, I usually think that way, too. I also edge toward “Mr.”/”Ms.” when it comes to medical doctors, too: they already have a lot of power over their patients and I don’t want to give them more. More simply, I don’t like calling people “doctor.”

                          Unfortunately, I don’t do that consistently. And I’m afraid that a universal “don’t call people ‘doctor'” practice will antagonize some people needlessly. Also, I realize women and minorities tend to get less respect in general, and if they’ve earned a doctorate, maybe that will give more respect. But then maybe I’m being condescending by changing the rules for someone I deem disadvantaged or marginalized. (ETA: I might also “deem” wrongly. Who am I to assume that power?)

                          (To be clear, all this hand wringing comes from working in an academic setting. If it weren’t an almost daily experience, I could afford to be much more consistent. But it’s also working in this setting that steels me against calling people “doctor.” A faculty member complaining about some unimportant slight from the administration isn’t being a “doctor,” they’re (usually) being a whiner.)

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              • It didn’t happen, but if it did, surely it wasn’t all THAT bad isn’t logically consistent. Very human to want to believe that. But not at all consistent with the very principles of logic and reason that y’all claim to be the ones upholding here.

                Now, in terms of what I believe, I don’t think Kavanaugh had anything to do with this woman in any way remotely like what she testified yesterday. That isn’t to say that nothing at all untoward happened to Mrs Ford. Any number of things are possible in that regard.

                The only thing I’m reasonably confident of is that somebody knows some things about this that we haven’t been told yet. In particular, I suspect we’re being jerked around by Mrs Ford’s attorney, who let’s note was hired at the recommendation of Mrs Feinstein and is therefore pretty well aligned to the Democrats’ agenda in this situation, which isn’t necessarily the same as Mrs Ford’s agenda.

                We’ve already seen the edges of this, wherein apparently the attorney didn’t disclose to her client the willingness of Judiciary Committee majority to fly staff out to California to interview Mrs Ford, thereby leading to delay and drama in the process.

                In this context, Mrs Ford’s statements, which are surely coached and guided by counsel, likely do reflect her actual beliefs imo, but they are also phrased and couched in ways which reflect the political needs of the Democratic Party.

                Like the attempted rape thing. Calling this attempted rape is the most florid possible description of this incident (and probably inaccurate), but of course nobody associated with Judge Kavanaugh is going to try to justify why that’s the case (and they haven’t). I suspect the Democrats need this extra incendiary juice, because if it were a case of simple assault, there might not be enough to take the confirmation process, which appeared to be heading to successful conclusion, off course.

                More topically, everything we know about the social context of this “event” has tended toward exonerating Judge Kavanaugh. She can’t place the incident, or say when it happened, and the people she said were there have all issued statements that it didn’t happen.

                So lo and behold, we get basically no more social context information in the ten days since her name became public. Everything just dried up. That’s because Judge Kavanaugh didn’t do it, and if Mrs Ford provided more circumstantial detail about what she remembers, it would stir other people to confirm all the whys and wherefores of why he didn’t do it (and we might have a decent idea of what really happened as well).

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                • Can you take just a second, and think about, if you had/have a kid, or another loved one whom you feel protective toward, what them telling you someone trapped them in a room, pinned them down in a fishable position, started ripping off their clothes, and kept them from calling out or breathing properly by putting a hand over their mouth, what that would sound like?

                  Only because I think if you can make that empathic leap, “attempted rape” might not sound so florid. Mistaken, sure, I can see how you’re viewing almost every single thing about this situation differently than I am – certainly your understanding of the role of trauma in shaping memories is different than mine – and as such you can’t imagine that these things are true – but surely not florid.

                  Of all the adjectives….

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                  • Only because I think if you can make that empathic leap, “attempted rape” might not sound so florid.

                    Why don’t we call it an attempted murder then? That’s probably more accurate. Putting your hand over someone’s mouth so that they can’t breathe is an act in furtherance toward a murder not a rape.

                    If Mrs Ford had said that, then or now, but especially then, it would be more intuitive for us, “Yes, what they did was wrong and they will be punished, but it’s not really attempted murder, they never really wanted to kill you.”

                    Basically the same train of thought applies to an attempted rape except that it’s less intuitive for us, and a closer call.

                    In fact, it’s very plausible that Mrs Ford put it that way until she was coached out of it by her attorney.

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                      • She also said he couldn’t rip her clothes off because he was too drunk to manage it. She had whatever she normally threw on over a bathing suit in the summer. Unless it was a Victorian lace-up corset, that’s extremely drunk, bordering on black out, unless he was just horseplaying with her.

                        Of course we don’t know who the he was, other than it wasn’t anyone she named.

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                          • But he wasn’t even there, as established by his diary’s meticulous detailing of every single gathering he went to, his absence that summer, and the refutation of her allegations by Ford’s own friend who was named as a witness, along with all the named witnesses refuting her story.

                            If the attacker was too drunk to get her clothes off, he was way, way too drunk to drive, and probably couldn’t stand up very well. But that’s okay if he didn’t have to drive anywhere because he was already home.

                            None of the alleged attackers lived anywhere near where she said the attack took place, but the male friend she named as her connection to Kavanaugh did. That was the guy fingered by Ed Whelan, along with pictures of the inside of the house that matches her description, down to the narrow stairway.

                            I’m sure the FBI will be talking to him at length as part of their investigation, to find out if she was at a party with him, and if so, who else was there who can corroborate her presence.

                            And we get to air all of this in public because the Democrats on the committee didn’t care if they destroyed her life.

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                              • His diary is far more reliable than the HS yearbook the Democrats on the committee were relying on. And of course Ford’s yearbook makes her and her classmates look like drunken sexual predators, too. They even bragged about targeting younger boys.

                                Kavanaugh’s diary/calendar, modeled on his father’s, contains a daily record of the names of just about everyone he met with, and where, even if it was to have beers or just sit around. Now admittedly it is odd to keep such records throughout your life, but unfortunately for Ford’s claims, he was one of those odd people who did.

                                Given her claim that Kavanaugh and Judge thought what they did to her was hilariously funny, he wouldn’t have had any reason to delete or omit the alleged party from mention in his calender (just in case it came up again 37 years later during his nomination to the Supreme Court).

                                It is something Diane Feinstein or her staffers didn’t see coming, just like Ford’s own friend saying that she’d never met Kavanaugh, nor that Kavanaugh only partied with the girls from the Catholic schools. Their circles had little intersection.

                                As evidence of that, Ford said she ran into Judge 6 to 8 weeks later, where he worked at the Safeway. So one random encounter in a store every two months?

                                She also says she said “Hi” to him and that he looked pale. She cited this as evidence of her assault claim’s veracity. Actually, if someone had tried to rape me I don’t think I’d go up to them and say “Hi!” and feel offput if they didn’t give me a hug or something. If I was a juror, I would take that encounter as further evidence that her assault story is false. By her own account, Judge didn’t have much reason to think he’d done something wrong, whereas she had been terrified and fled the house. She should’ve been the one acting weird in the Safeway, not Judge.

                                And of course Judge probably looked pale because he was hung over, which apparently became a lifelong problem.

                                In any event, he’s talking to the FBI, as I’m sure are a whole lot of other people who knew Ford, such as her parents and siblings who pointedly failed to sign a statement in support of her claims. Perhaps they know her all too well.

                                And all this ugliness could’ve been avoided if Diane Feinstein had let the rest of the committee know of the allegations instead of keeping them secret, even while she met personally with Judge Kavanaugh.

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                              • The article’s opening paragraph states “On Thursday morning, before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Christine Blasey Ford detailed under oath her claim that Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh attacked her and sexually violated her when he was 17.

                                Sexually violated? Hrm… Definition: the crime of forcing a woman to submit to sexual intercourse against her will.

                                You can tell right there that the article is going to be very sloppy with facts, and sure enough, he quotes Ford’s description of the party and follows up with “Kavanaugh says that he never attended any event like this. Like what, though? He never attended a small gathering in Bethesda where people were drinking beer?

                                Kavanaugh is refering to a party with Ford, Leland, PJ, and Judge, as quite obviously he went to parties with other people. You might was well claim someone is lying when they deny being on the grassy knoll in Dallas by showing a high school picture of them on some random grassy knoll somewhere in Texas.

                                Then the author focuses on July 1st, again asserting that Kavanaugh’s denial of being at a party with Ford is a lie because on that day he was at a party with two of the people she named, PJ and Judge. However, that party included many people she didn’t name, and did not include her or Leland. Pretty hard for Kavanaugh and Judge to be sexually “violating” Ford in Bethesda when they’re 11 miles away at a completely different party with a different group of people.

                                And on and on he goes, trying to conjur up lies out of nothing.

                                None of it would explain why Ford can’t remember how she got to the party or how she got home, nor why such a brief encounter with a drunk guy so warped her psyche. I mean, worse things happen several times of night at the average drunken frat party.

                                My theory of the case is that she was assaulted as she described, but not by Kavanaugh, a boy she hardly knew and who didn’t know her (nor did his girlfriend), and who didn’t run in the same social circles. Why would she stay silent about an attack by some random a******s from Georgetown Prep? I would think she’d tell her friends to avoid them.

                                Silence is often the result of the attacker being close to the victim, often very close, and holding sway in the same social circles. Often its because the attacker is a boyfriend of one of the victim’s close friends. Often the attack is a deep, deep betrayal of a long-time trust.

                                So my theory is that Ford was attacked by an old friend that she deeply trusted for years, and she doesn’t remember how she got to the party or left the party because she rode with the attacker both before and after. It’s burned into her memory because it was a shocking betrayal of a close friendship, one that she still can’t come to grips with, so her mind won’t let her remember the two car rides because that would force her to remember who actually did it. So she desperately needs the attack to have been committed by someone else, someone she doesn’t like, someone she thinks is evil, someone she hardly knew.

                                And along comes Kavanaugh’s nomination, and all the pieces fall into place.

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                                  • Kavanaugh has letter of support from about a hundred women who’ve known him closely, all saying he is an exemplary person who has been tremendously supportive of them in their lives and careers. He has sent more women to clerk at the highest levels than any judge in US history. His conduct has always been above reproach.

                                    But that’s not enough when their are evil women who want to destroy innocent men in the name of social justice.

                                    Women like Ford are why we don’t automatically believe women when they make such charges, forcing actual victims of sexual assault to go through a legal meat grinder.

                                    And as you can see even in this thread, Kavanaugh’s spotless reputation has been utterly destroyed. Even if the FBI reports come back indicating that there is 0% chance that Ford’s accusation is true, and that she made it up out of whole cloth, tens of millions of Americans will still believe her, and believe Kavanaugh is a deviant sexual predator.

                                    Worse, the Democrats on the committee totally used Ford, throwing her to the wolves instead of having the FBI condut a discrete investigation. She’ll probably have to go into hiding, ending up working at a Safeway in Peoria, because the consequences of what she’s done under the spotlights of a Senate hearing will be a thousand times worse for her than what she claims Kavanaugh did.

                                    But of course the Senate Democrats don’t care because all they care about is power, the mid-terms, and stopping Trump, no matter how many lives they have to destroy.

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                                    • All I know is the guy was arrogant and dumb enough to lie about the simplest of things. To the Senate. For a lifetime appointment on a body that makes important legal decisions.

                                      Seriously, is Kavanaugh the last, best, great hope for conservative jurists? Are there no more Neil Gorsuch’s?

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                          • The Preppie Guide to Acing Your Job Interview:
                            ( Not applicable to those lacking a Yeti-like Mr. Toad.)

                            1. How dare you ask me to come here and explain myself!
                            2. Yes, I get drunk! Don’t you get drunk?
                            3. I was too drunk to rape anyone, so there!
                            4. I went to Yale, bitchez!
                            5. How dare you ask me to come here and explain myself!*

                            *Repeat as necessary, adding suitably masculine levels of volume and rage.

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          • 3-307: sexual offense in the third degree:
            (a)?A person may not:

            (1)(i)?engage in sexual contact with another without the consent of the other; ?and

            (ii)?1.?employ or display a dangerous weapon, or a physical object that the victim reasonably believes is a dangerous weapon;

            2.?suffocate, strangle, disfigure, or inflict serious physical injury on the victim or another in the course of committing the crime;

            3.?threaten, or place the victim in fear, that the victim, or an individual known to the victim, imminently will be subject to death, suffocation, strangulation, disfigurement, serious physical injury, or kidnapping; ?or

            4.?commit the crime while aided and abetted by another;

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  6. The people going to bat for Kavanaugh are telling the same story that always gets told to defend men accused of abuse. You could swap out his name for so many others and everything else would remain exactly the same. The desire to believe men and to excuse the things they have done is a bone-deep cancer. It is contemptible. The least Kavanaugh’s defenders could do is acknowledge what they’re willing to enable, and who they are willing to sacrifice, to preserve this cultural investment in prominent male innocence.

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    • The bias against accusers in sex crimes cases has more to do with our basic habits of accommodating information than any major imbalance. We accept as a basic rule that the onus is on the accuser; for sexually charged situations, the accuser simply faces a severely uphill battle.

      I’d be well beyond my limits if I said I thought there was a solution. It think this bias is baked into the cake at a fairly deep level. And it’s not conscious. It’s a product of other, probably otherwise preferable heuristics we embrace.

      To clarify – I don’t think it’s “the desire to believe men”. It’s the default bias towards skepticism of the accuser. And yeah – men play against that line.

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  7. If someone did that tu quoque stuff in a courtroom that Kavanaugh did to Klobuchar, I got to think there would be serious contempt charges.

    Eta – even with a premptive apology.

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  8. My realizations:

    I don’t want to watch a woman go through this
    I don’t want to watch a man go through that
    I don’t trust any commentator to give me a fair description of what happened, barring a calamity
    It doesn’t matter what I think of the accusations

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  9. My inclination is to believe that Kavanaugh most likely is guilty of the acts he is accused of. However my reaction to likely minded friends on my Facebook feed is almost cult like filled with memes treating Ford as a saint and Kavanaugh as a devil. There is one example, from a woman, of the opposite. I don’t like this aspect of modern politics. Everybody is pledged to full support of everything your side is for. You have to demonstrate the same intensity of feeling, post the same memes, and say the same things. Your not allowed to qualify anything or disagree even in the most minor way on the most minor issue. Any side of disagreement is used as an opportunity to pounce for heresy.

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  10. Random thoughts:

    1. Republican complaints about how horribly partisan Democrats are and how truly contemptible and clearly awful and low this is, complete with blatant innuendo that it’s all made up to delay things and smear a candidate…kinda falls flat after Garland was never even giving a hearing, and Gorsuch was confirmed without any of this.

    2. Kavanaugh is clearly lying about his drinking history. I’m not gonna speculate on why, but he was selling a lot of BS on that point, and his refusal to be honest about that really bugged me.

    3. The fact that Judge wasn’t asked to testify seems….odd. I would assume, if Judge were willing to absolutely clear Kavanaugh, he’d be up first thing in the morning. Or before Kavanuagh testified. I can’t help but feel there’s a really good reason the GOP decided his presence was not worth demanding.

    4. Why did the prosecutor the GOP had to grill Ford get suddenly shut up and ignored on Kavanaugh, right when she seemed to be trying to nail down a timeline?

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      • Gorsuch wasn’t the nominee that would lock in a conservative majority for a generation.

        People who ignored a nominee for that long don’t get to bitch about a few weeks delay. Not and have their whining taking seriously by anyone not drinking the kool-aid.

        I really do think my 4th thought was the most important. She was asking about a specific party and a specific entry in his calendar, and suddenly the whole GOP side of the committee stopped letting her ask questions.

        I don’t think it was purely the fairly obvious reference to cocaine that was the reason.

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    • Garland should have been given a vote. Not doing so was politics.

      If you’re going to compare this situation with Garland, you’re conceding that it’s been driven by politics. Unsubstantiated attacks (you have to admit that some of them are unsubstantiated) are being used as political tools. You don’t give our guy a vote, we’ll destroy your guy’s reputation.

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    • Because she was trying to nail down a timeline. And because she was getting somewhere… Did no body else see that entry on his calendar noting a gathering that included him, Judge, the PJ dude, and a few others? She was about to get going on that point when they decided she was done.

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      • This touches on one of my late-night observations, which is that…

        the Democrats didn’t do a very good job.

        They should have been asking about this. They probably should have asked about Whelan, too. But especially this. This was one of the biggest vulnerabilities and it didn’t come up. Republicans stopped Mitchell, but they couldn’t stop Harris. And they didn’t do it even after Mitchell was stopped.

        Instead they tried to hammer and hammer and hammer on the fact that he drunk a lot (an important point, but there were diminishing returns well before they stopped) and the FBI investigation that wasn’t going to happen, that key swing vote senators didn’t even want, and that even a lot of anti-K people got tired of.

        Irony of ironies, I think Democrats might have done better with their own Mitchell.

        .

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        • I was baffled by their failure to hone in on that. I’m not sure some even noticed it. It was like they were just waiting for their turn to speak but paying no attention to what was actually happening. I realize I may have a higher expectation due to professional training, but honestly it seemed like an obvious avenue to go down… not to mention many of them are ALSO trained lawyers… a former prosecutor, no less. It was a let down.

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        • Whether or not he drank a lot is a pretty insignificant point in the larger scheme of things. Why? Because it was in high school, and it was also in high school in the “boys will be boys” era.

          had this come up at the time, then there probably would have been some sort of settlement and the records would have been sealed.

          I get the feeling that presentism bias figures prominently in the collective willing suspension f disbelief/cognitive dissonance about this issue.

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  11. My overwhelming impression was that both were speaking with sincerity. I don’t know that an FBI investigation would get us any closer to the truth — I suspect it won’t. But delaying the vote for a week or so and letting an investigation proceed might allow passions to cool. I think the GOP would be foolish to push his nomination through right now but … the GOP are foolish and in thrall to Trump.

    My real concern is that if they cram through Kavanaugh now he will be permanently damaged and the institution tarnished, regardless of what comes out later. Clear this up as best we can now. Then vote.

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      • I have a hard time with that as well. If we was speaking with sincerity he wouldn’t lie repeatedly under oath, including lying being at a party fitting Ford’s description when his own calendar contradicts that claim.

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        • His own calendar confirms his claim. You’ve been misinformed by listening to one of the Democrats on the committee, probably Sheldon Whitehouse. Kavanaugh’s diary says he was at a party at Tim Gaudette’s house with Mark Judge, Tom Kaine, PJ Smyth, Bernie McCarthy, and Chris Garrett. Missing are Ford and Leland Keyser. Of course Leland Keyser says she never met Kavanaugh, much less partied with him. He went there from Tobin’s house where he was working out, not drinking beer.

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  12. For what its worth, the most right-wing and quasi-MRAist law school acquaintance I have was following and found Kavanagh to be an uncredible witness. Reasons cited

    – Angry, argumentative demenour with the questioner while refusing to answer the question in such a manner that suggests a tendency to avoid giving answers adverse to interest even if they are the truth. Would not directly answer questions about alcohol, but deflected to academic and athletic accomplishments.

    – Tendency in this testimony and previous interviews to present himself as a choir boy when that simply does not square with other people’s assessment of him at this time.

    – Non-responsive, dismissive and uncredible answers to questions about his yearbook.

    – Answer regarding Renate Alumnus seems uncredible compared to teenage boy behaviour.

    My own assessment is that I’ve seen Kavanagh give straight faced statements on small matters that I don’t believe to be true. When I see a tendency to say what I have reason to believe to be lies to cover up small instances of inconsquentially bad behaviour, I am skeptical of straight faced declarations against more serious behaviour. I don’t know that he’s lying, but I don’t think he’s a very credible witness. Simply put, to me he seems like someone more invested in defending the image he wants to present to others of himself than telling the truth, even under serious circumstances.

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  13. Mike Dwyer: Garland was never even giving a hearing, and Gorsuch was confirmed without any of this.

    Gorsuch wasn’t the nominee that would lock in a conservative majority for a generation.

    I think why Trump and all that follows has been so depressing for me is that it seems that the characture conservative is an accurate reflection of the overwhelming majority. I mean, many are nice people personally, but their moral compasses are irredeemably broken.

    And then you get those conservatives that dont wantbto appear that way (perhaps even to themselves), and they can watch a blatantbpartisan effort by republicans to suppress evidence (i loved those republucan senators who refused to call any witnesses beyond Ford and then said she had there was no new evidence), a nominee who refused even to follow the pretence of non-partisanship and who clearly lied undr oath on the small stuff…. and tut over democrat partisanship.

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    • I mean, many are nice people personally, but their moral compasses are irredeemably broken.

      Pretty much it.
      They are behaving exactly as the caricature of reactionaries desperately, naked, trying to preserve the hierarchy of entitled white men.

      It doesn’t matter that some are personally nice, like the ones I know.
      Those people in those old photos of people screaming at the little girls integrating a school were all very nice people too.

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      • “They are behaving exactly as the caricature of reactionaries desperately, naked, trying to preserve the hierarchy of entitled white men.”

        Chip – Is race a factor here now too? How many of the Republican men on the committee voted for Sotomayer and Kagan?

        I also keep coming back to Hillary being nominated in 2016. Given the treatment of all the women who accused Bill Clinton, by Hillary herself, I can’t possibly take Democrats seriously as a party that actually cares about women.

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        • Given your defenses of Kavanaugh and your claims that this is a political hit, not actual concern about the mettle of someone about to be confirmed to a life-time appointment to the nation’s highest court, I can’t possibly believe that you actually care about women, either.

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          • Rebecca – Believing that Democrats took advantage of a (probable) sexual assault victim for political purposes and that their outrage is not concern for women, but a calculated political move, does not mean I don’t care about women. There have already been several articles written elsewhere that this ultimately harms #metoo. I can both think this process was a farce AND care about women. The two positions are not mutually exclusive.

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            • Believing that Democrats took advantage of a (probable) sexual assault victim for political purposes

              By keeping a confidential letter confidential?

              I can both think this process was a farce AND care about women.

              Yes, but your treatment of the testimony, constant excuse-making for Kavanaugh (including by rewriting both Ford’s claims and Kavanaugh’s response to both be friendlier to Kavanaugh), and assertion that it is reasonable and not disqualifying for him to constantly lie under oath are flatly inconsistent with actually caring about women, which is true regardless of what you think internally.

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              • I think it’s far more accurate to say that those things are inconsistent with @Mike-Dwyer’s more general care for women. Which is a real thing, for which we have a great deal of evidence (as much evidence as one ever has about people we only know on the internet.) To just leave it there “these things are flatly inconsistent” and not go from that to the more general statements folks are making. (And if you weren’t intending to do so, to go to the general, apologies for singling you out.)

                More broadly, people are often inconsistent and often grab on to ideas about things that are inconsistent with their stated and even lived values generally. I find it more fair and more effective to call them on the inconsistencies rather than assert that if they have this one inconsistency (or even these twelve, or three hundred, inconsistencies) in how they view the world, then everything else is a sham.

                I mean, I think that when we’re talking about how they interpret things in the world around them — not so much in the case of someone like Kavanaugh, whose world is crumbling around him as he desperately tries to shore it up and hide the consequences of him having been a liar and a terrible person for so long. He may succeed in the shoring — but fish that guy.

                But @mike-dwyer? You can think he’s wrong about all kinds of things (lord knows I do) without having to resolve him into binary states. He cares deeply about (at least many) women and ALSO … the things you listed. Cognitive dissonance, particularly the unacknowledged kind, is something we all do – part of the human condition – and pretending it doesn’t exist doesn’t lead to an accurate model of the world.

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                • I was (apparently inartfully) trying to make a somewhat different point, that is perhaps best made in reference to a political figure: I care 0% whether Ronald Reagan honestly believed he loved black people and treated them fairly. I care 1% whether he was kind to individual black people he met in his life. That he voted against the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act; that he vetoed the Civil Rights Restoration Act; that he gave a states rights speech in Neshoba County; etc.

                  Here, Mike may very well believe he thinks highly of women, and be kind to women he knows, but what’s he’s expressing and supporting is the opposite of that. Given that I’m not Mike’s IRL friend, the latter is what I care about.

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                  • You’re not Mike’s IRL friend but you are in IRL (because online is *real* albeit different) community with him.

                    The more I learn from my moral betters (and there are plenty of people I consider to be such), the more I’m convinced community is key to building something better in our world than what we have right now. Wherever it happens.

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                      • I wasn’t saying you needed to be polite, I was saying the massive overgeneralization is both unfair and ineffective. Basing a claim like that on one set of responses, no matter how wrong-headed, and not on all the other contrary evidence you have from other things he’s said in the last however many years, is, IMO, inaccurate.

                        But I’m not a moderator anymore, in fact I’m deliberately *removed* from all moderator activity at my own request, so feel free to completely ignore my opinion.

                        I mostly agree with you about this entire situation which is the only reason I felt moved to offer it in the first place.

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                        • “I deeply care about the truth, have told the truth many times, and all of you have seen me tell the truth in this forum.”

                          “Sure, but you telling repeated lies on this hugely important topic is inconsistent with being a person who tells the truth”

                          “How dare you question my truthfulness”

                          (or, stated directly, my point is that what people who don’t support women generally do–including in this confirmation process–is to give every evidentiary lean, interpretation, and benefit of the doubt to the man, and find every reason to put his interests over the woman’s. And that observable behavior happens whether or not they mean to denigrate women, or have any other internal personal view/opinions. Mike has been busily engaged in doing *exactly that* at a high stakes moment where “caring about women” compels the opposite conduct.

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                  • So, unless I am 100% onboard with the female accuser in every situation I somehow don’t support women? Or is this simply a case of you taking one conversation topic and making inferences about what my opinion on that singular topic means about me as a person?

                    I was a liberal and a registered Democrat during the Lewinsky stuff. That entire process and the way she was treated by the Clintons is what pushed me to the Right. Nearly two decades later Hillary told women that if they didn’t support her they were bad feminists. My daughter, who was a Sanders supporter and very far from me politically was outraged by it because she wasn’t going to be told what it meant to support women. She taught me a good example there.

                    If more evidence comes out proving Ford’s claims, I’ll be the first to call for Kavanaugh’s nomination to be pulled. Until then though, you can continue to speculate as to what my written opinions mean about my 43 years on earth, and you will probably mostly be wrong, but apparently this site is full of mind readers.

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                    • No. If you respond to allegations by whitewashing them, making up alternate-reality defenses, and saying that a Supreme Court justice should be excused for lying repeatedly under oath simply because he was accused (credibly) of sexual assault, you’re part of the problem.

                      Note I’m not reacting the same way to people who simply point out the (real) missing facts as I am to you. There’s a reason for that.

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                      • *sigh* You have been claiming to be a mind reader and presuming guilt since before Ford testified or any of her claims were actually investigated…but yeah, I’m the problem.

                        I usually find when trying to consider both sides of a story, it’s helpful to consider alternative explanations. I do think something happened to Ford, I’m just not sure she has the facts right. That doesn’t mean Kavanaugh wasn’t a little shit 35 years ago, but so far I remain less than 100% convinced. If you want to read more into that, as I said, that’s more your problem than mine.

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                        • No. I haven’t at any time claimed to read anyone’s mind.

                          Before the hearing, my issue was she told a story accusing Kavanaugh of doing X, Y, Z. Kavanaugh said only that none of it happened.

                          You went on an extended discussion of how it’s probably not a big deal because Kavanaugh could have innocently done X, and not realized it caused her to believe he was doing Y. Which completely an inexcusably ignored Z (a willful omission you failed to correct when multiple commenters called you on it). Also, Kavanaugh wasn’t saying “maybe X happened and I regret it, so you were inventing a defense no one was using.

                          None of that is mind reading, none of that is what Dr. Blasey deserved (regardless of who you believe is more credible), and that practice is exactly one of the things victims face when going public.

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                          • All of that speculation (from me) happened prior to Thursday. The reason I engaged in that speculation is because all I have seen on this site and elsewhere is a lot of liberals judging Kavanaugh before they ever heard Ford or Kavanaugh’s rebuttal. It was the same guilty-until-proven-innocent attitude that Sam advocated for in his post the other day. So if the Left had already decided they believed Ford, why not let the conservatives speculate about how she could have gotten things wrong? That’s not victim shaming or be unsupportive of women. It’s a direct response to liberals showing their bias well-before Thursday’s hearing.

                            I guess maybe I’m a schmuck for failing the morality test, but the stakes are so incredibly low here that well, it just doesn’t feel like I did.

                            What I can say is that if I was actually playing a role in this process, beyond engaging with partisans on an internet site, both Ford and Kavanaugh would have gotten a fair listen from me, I would have also considered any other evidence presented, and would have come to the conclusion that Ford told a compelling story, but i was equally moved by Kavanaugh’s rebuttal and find myself no more certain that I was on Wednesday. I would love for the FBI to help me understand things better, so we’ll see how the next week goes. As I said to Rebecca though, I do believe Kavanaugh probably perjured himself at some point about the yearbook stuff, so if the FBI clears him, i have no doubt you guys will use perjury as the reason why he should not be seated on the court.

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              • Nevermoor – If you will notice in this entire thread there is nowhere that I make personal attacks or speculate about how individual commenters feel about anything, what their motives are, etc (and seriously, if I am mistaken there, point it out and I will apologize to that person). I do make generic comments about Democrats but that always applies to those in Congress, not a commenter who is registered as one.

                With all of that said, I have been writing for this site for going on a decade now. You’re welcome to comb through my posts and because I share a LOT of personal details you can surely make all kinds of conclusions about me as a person. In that regard, you could probably ascertain at least as much about me as Kavanaugh and considerably more than any of us know about Ford.

                On the other hand, I know nothing about you. You comment under an alias, I’m not even clear on your gender, race, etc and frankly I would never ask you for those details. So obviously you have me at a disadvantage in terms of facts known, but yet only one of us feels comfortable in speculating about how the other person feels about women.

                Given all of that, my comments have been confined to discussing the public figures involved in the Kavanaugh hearing. If you are so outraged by my opinions that you need to also question my morals, that is your problem, not mine.

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                • Pointing out that you don’t do that (explicitly) anywhere in this thread is a little dubious when you’ve done it in many other threads in the last few weeks, including some milder but definitely personal digs in the last few days (“Sam and his Righteousness” ring any bells??) and have carried on those themes here without the explicit attacks. Pretty much all aimed very clearly at the same person.

                  Or to be completely direct about it:

                  If you’re going to hand out apologies for making personal attacks on this website, I think you could definitely start with Sam.

                  I mean, you’re not required to make apologies, nor do I think it’s my job or my place to decide whether you’re required to make them, and I’m certainly not asking as an editor that you make them. I’m not asking you to do anything. But if you were *going* to make them, that’d be the place to start.

                  Stopping doing it – cold turkey rather than in fits and starts – would be even more convincing, as far as you walking the walk you’ve been talking on that front goes.

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                  • While I will continue to push back on Sam on a regular basis, at your own insistance I have refrained from speculating about his motivations directly, which is the most you should hope for. Beyond that, I would urge you to stop intervening on that topic, but it appears to be an irresistable impulse.

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                      • Koz: Why, what is pathetic about it?

                        Fight for this, fight for that, fight for blah blah blah. Maybe this is a time where you should just quit fighting?

                        That’s a serious question? Oh right…you’re a partisan. My bad. To list a few examples:

                        1. If you think “us” as including “you” are winning anything out of this, you’re mistaken. Okay, maybe your partisan ego gets a bit of a stroking, but I guess I live by a higher set of standards, including one that assumes that the win-loss mentality is for simple-minded idiots. That applies to all partisans.

                        2. Roe v Wade was decided in ’73 and the Casey case I believe in ’92. Like it or not, abortion is protected. Maybe your side should simply shut the fuck up, accept the loss and stop fighting? Same with same sex marriage?

                        Yeah I didn’t think so.

                        3. Telling others to quit fighting when all I’ve seen from people of your ilk over thirty plus and whatever years fighting against the Clintons, liberalism, socialism, and whatever million other things trigger your frail sensibilities demonstrates your hypocrisy. People like you don’t stop because you’re too righteous in your cause. I have to assume that when you talk your shit to the lefties doing the same thing you do, you’re looking in a mirror. It’s amazing how much you’re alike.

                        Getting advice from you on political discourse is like getting advice from me on how to play center in the NBA.

                        Kids these days…

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                        • That’s a serious question? Oh right…you’re a partisan. My bad.

                          Yeah, it’s a serious question. It seems sort of troll-y, if you’re lib-ignorant, but it’s not really.

                          I’ve tried to point out more than once that politically speaking, from the point of view of our side, aside from your antagonism toward us, we’ve got nuthin’. There’s millions of people out there voting Republican every election, and it’s not because they deeply sympathize with the thesis formulated by Wm F Buckley in the classic Up From Liberalism.

                          But as things are playing out, we’ll probably get Kavanaugh confirmed, we’ll probably expand our majority in the Senate, Trump’s approval ratings are going up again. None of these things are likely to happen except that you simply can’t hide your hostility for us.

                          All of this behind the aggression of fight, fight, fight. Well, in contrast to the knee-jerk mentality that behind it, there is actually a real choice there. How about if you didn’t fight? What if you just let us win instead?

                          2. Roe v Wade was decided in ’73 and the Casey case I believe in ’92. Like it or not, abortion is protected. Maybe your side should simply shut the fuck up, accept the loss and stop fighting? Same with same sex marriage?

                          Yeah I didn’t think so.

                          Well yeah, because our side has a much more mature understanding of how to relate to political adversaries. Ie, we try to defeat them politically and leave them alone personally. Your side is credible about that sort of distinction, and less and less motivated to try to maintain it.

                          3. Telling others to quit fighting when all I’ve seen from people of your ilk over thirty plus and whatever years fighting against the Clintons, liberalism, socialism, and whatever million other things trigger your frail sensibilities demonstrates your hypocrisy.

                          Things are different now than in the Clinton-era. Then, we were arguing about public policy, like the libs are now. But for us, now, things are much different. We are arguing for our ability to lead our own lives in pretty normal ways, either in religious terms, or in secular bourgeois terms for that matter as well. That’s why the Kavanaugh thing has resonated so strongly for us.

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                          • Koz,

                            I’m certainly not lib-ignorant and I’d even go so far as to bet that I have more conservative characteristics than you (since you seem to do nothing more than back flips, twerks and pom-pom shakes for the Republican party). I didn’t find your question serious then. I think less of it now. I’m questioning why you even bothered to respond to me in the first place.

                            There’s millions of people out there voting Republican every electio

                            Millions of people vote Democrat too. I’ll check the math but there could have been more of them than you. Just pointing it out – don’t even think I’m making a judgment about the result.

                            and it’s not because they deeply sympathize with the thesis formulated by Wm F Buckley in the classic Up From Liberalism.

                            Ok, now you gone from calling me lib-ignorant to stupid. I can’t read this part of your comment and think that you’re doing anything other than calling me stupid because you make it sound as if I would believe that. I doubt most of the people on your team have heard of Buckley, or Hayek, or Friedman or Mayer or Kirk.

                            Your team is a toxic show of populism, nationalism, nativism, butthurt-towards-the-libs-ism, and some of the worst anti-intellectualism I’ve seen in a long time. Do you know the term I use on my Facebook page to refer to your team: “dumbfuck conservatism” – the meaning is pretty self explanatory and Trump fits that bill perfectly – dude’s a laughingstock in my part of the U.S.

                            In what universe would I believe that your team is comprised of people of principle? Conservatism died years ago.

                            None of these things are likely to happen except that you simply can’t hide your hostility for us.

                            When have I hidden my hostility and contempt for your ilk? Even when I can get along with conservatives, and I do, this whole team schitck with you – it’s crap. Maybe you have low enough standards to appreciate bottom feeders but I don’t.

                            Even after things swing the other way and you scurry away from public discourse like a cockroach, I won’t hide my hostility. Seeing as the “unhinged” label gets thrown around like empty cans of Schlitz at a Trump rally, I’m sure there will be those that say “Poor us and look at that unhinged asshole over there” and point in my direction. I can tell you that I’ll be the last person to lose sleep over it.

                            Well, in contrast to the knee-jerk mentality that behind it, there is actually a real choice there. How about if you didn’t fight? What if you just let us win instead?

                            You didn’t say please. I need not explain this hypocritical ask.

                            Well yeah, because our side has a much more mature understanding of how to relate to political adversaries.

                            So far, you’ve been a name caller and a hypocrite. Now you’re openly lying to me. I’ll add “liar” and “comedian” to your list of attributes. You’re the gift that keeps on giving.

                            By the way, what side do you think I’m on? If you say Left, I’m sure all the lefties will bust out laughing. They may even like you for a minute or two.

                            But for us, now, things are much different. We are arguing for our ability to lead our own lives in pretty normal ways, either in religious terms, or in secular bourgeois terms for that matter as well.

                            Do you think I’m going to tolerate you blatantly lying to me? I’m not so when you decide to have an adult conversation and make a good faith attempt to not come across as a lying fool, look me up. Until then, do whatever bottom feeders do.

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                            • Do you think I’m going to tolerate you blatantly lying to me? I’m not so when you decide to have an adult conversation and make a good faith attempt to not come across as a lying fool, look me up. Until then, do whatever bottom feeders do.

                              Ugh, obviously there’s a lot of hostility there. I won’t even try to plead innocent, because frankly I’m not even getting the premise of most of it. What I will say is that whatever the cause of the hostility is about, it has nothing to do with the post you’re replying to.

                              My thesis there is very simple: Quit Fighting. Give Up. Let Us Win. Maybe it’s a point of contention or maybe not, but I’m arguing this is a literal sense, not a troll-y one. It’s a radical idea, meaning a change at the root, not radical as the far Left of the political spectrum.

                              It’s not necessarily an idea that I expect you to like, but it is the item for bid, at least here. And it’s not at all ridiculous.

                              So pull your head out, and say something relevant. And if you are hostile, for the love of God say something comprehensible. I read pretty well, and if I don’t understand you, I’m gonna say, at least on a prima facie level that’s on you.

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                                • Em,

                                  Koz reminds me of one of those weasel types in high school that would talk a lot of smack about people and got away with it because he had big friends that would get between him and anyone that would call him to account.

                                  Lucky for me, I became friends with the baddest dude in the school so I didn’t care who was friends with who and you should have seen the behavior on the weasel kid when he knew I could splatter him anytime I felt like it and his friends would have ended up as roadkill if they tried to help him.

                                  Those guys learned the hard way when they messed with my younger brother.

                                  Koz is all talk no walk. Weasel.

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                                • It is ridiculous. Why would we ever do that? You wouldn’t.

                                  For two reasons, one smaller, one bigger.

                                  The smaller one is that it empowers us in ways we likely wouldn’t be able to do for ourselves, so presumably from the lib point of view that’s a bad thing. Libs have got themselves suckered into the likes of Avenatti and McElwee take the wheel and drive them off the cliff.

                                  The bigger one, the one that I was really getting at, is that this posture of antagonism and hostility among Americans is a bad thing no matter what public policy ends up being implemented. And to that end it would be a very valuable thing to figure out ways to dial down the hostility.

                                  I mean, I sympathize and largely agree with the arguments about irreconcilable differences and divorce and so on from a spiritual/psychological point of view. But that doesn’t mean that such a thing is actually plausible, and in this case, I don’t think that’s remotely the case, at least for the forseeable future.

                                  Related to that, if it does turn out the Blue Wave peters out, it’s very possible to think that libs are going to find themselves in the middle of November without any political power, without the immediate prospect of getting any, and without any justification for the Resistance mentality they spent almost two years on.

                                  And I think for a lot of libs that would be sort of the end of the story. But it’s not, in fact I think it’s the beginning. That in fact, lib civic engagement has the possibility of being much more fruitful, much more valuable, outside the context of having political power or grabbing for it. But whether that’s true or not, that’s well outside the lib imagination as it currently stands. My point is, it’s a valuable thing for libs to be thinking about, and maybe, if they actually thought about it they might find that they like what they can do in that context over what they’re trying to do now.

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