ChrisWeigant.com

Friday Talking Points -- The Questions We Wanted To Hear Democrats Ask Kavanaugh

[ Posted Friday, September 28th, 2018 – 18:34 PDT ]

When we thought about what to write in today's article, we had a pretty good idea of what we were going to say. But then, as sometimes happens, events overtook us. As of this writing, the Senate Judiciary Committee has now voted to recommend Brett Kavanaugh to the full Senate for a confirmation vote. However, while Senator Jeff Flake did vote along party lines, he also apparently demanded something in return -- which was precisely the thing Democrats have been calling for all along: reopening the F.B.I.'s background investigation into Kavanaugh, due to all of the new accusations against him back when he was a student. Almost immediately, Senator Lisa Murkowski backed up Flake and said she too supported letting the F.B.I. do their job before she would be willing to vote to confirm him. Since the Republicans only enjoy a 51-49 majority, two defections is all it would take for Kavanaugh not to be confirmed in the final vote.

Chuck Grassley, the chair of the Judiciary Committee, bowed to the inevitable by punting the football to Mitch McConnell. This was appropriate, since Grassley has now done his job and secured the committee vote -- the floor vote before the full Senate is entirely up to McConnell. The rather surprising thing is that Donald Trump also completely deferred to McConnell, saying he'd agree to wait if the Senate wanted to delay the vote. Later, Trump completely caved and instructed the F.B.I. to reopen the background check into Kavanaugh, which is supremely ironic (if you'll pardon the pun), since this was exactly what Republicans have been fighting so hard against for the past two weeks. All the histrionics from the Republicans were ultimately for naught, and the F.B.I. will now be allowed to do their job anyway. As the Democrats have been demanding, all along. And as should have happened two weeks ago.

Faced with the reality of the situation, McConnell was forced to delay plans for the final confirmation vote. As of this writing, he still plans on keeping the Senate in session and holding the first procedural vote (not the final vote) tomorrow, but will no longer schedule the final vote for Tuesday, as he originally planned to do. Flake and Murkowski will assumably vote to proceed, while withholding their final vote decision until the F.B.I. reports back.

This, obviously, is an extraordinary turn of events in a week chock full of extraordinary events. In fact, this week was so extraordinary that we are going to completely dispense with our normal weekly format today, because we are as overwhelmed by everyone else by rapidly-developing events. So there will be no awards handed out this week at all, and we're turning the entire Talking Points section over to discussing the Dr. Christine Blasey Ford / Brett Kavanaugh hearing which took place yesterday. This was a momentous historical event, so we plan to focus exclusively on it rather than trying to break it down into discrete talking points.

In other words, our entire outline for what we were going to write just got tossed out the window. So it goes.

In a normal week, this introduction would run down all the important events of the past week, but this week everything just paled in comparison to the import of yesterday's hearing. To be sure, other momentous events also took place during the past week, including President Donald Trump literally becoming the world's laughingstock while giving a speech in front of the United Nations General Assembly, Trump accusing China with no evidence whatsoever of meddling in the 2018 election (while simultaneously refusing to even mention Russia at all), the U.S.-China trade war escalating even further, and Trump giving only the fourth full solo press conference of his entire term in office. Plus the ongoing drama between Trump and Rod Rosenstein (Has he quit? Is he about to quit? Will he be fired? Stay tuned!), a budget standoff averted by Trump signing a budget bill that gives him zero money for his border wall, and another big tax cut bill passing the House (for purely political reasons -- nobody thinks it has the slightest chance in the Senate, especially not before the midterm elections). Oh, and Bill Cosby went to jail, to begin serving his sentence of 3-to-10 years. In any other week, any single one of those stories might have been grist for our weekly mill here, but at this point who even remembers any of it?

Yes, incredibly enough -- with all the rest of that going on -- it was still a one-story week. We already wrote our snap judgments about the hearing yesterday, from which we are confident of only a single prediction: that in 20 or 30 years, people will still immediately recognize the name Dr. Christine Blasey Ford. No matter how it all plays out, she will join Anita Hill and Monica Lewinsky on the list of women who changed politics forever because of sexual misconduct or allegations of sexual misconduct. Nobody today has to explain who Hill or Lewinsky is, because we all already know. That's how it will be for decades to come with Ford's name. At this point, that's the only thing which seems absolutely certain.

Keeping that in mind, we will now attempt to put this week into some sort of political perspective. As we've already mentioned, by doing so we risk events overtaking our writing, so if any of this is outdated by the time you read it you can understand why.

 

Friday Talking Points

Volume 502 (9/28/18)

Like many Americans, we spent yesterday riveted to the television. As with most history-making events, it didn't even matter what channel we watched, because there was only one thing being broadcast -- gavel-to-gavel coverage of the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing. We are dating ourselves by even pointing this out, because before cable television existed, it was extremely rare for such a thing to happen, especially from the world of politics (as opposed to, say, the outbreak of a war or natural disaster).

The country all but halted in its tracks to watch this hearing. Wall Street was even reportedly somnolent, since all the traders were ignoring the serious business of making money to watch what was happening on television. People are already pointing out that it was one of those days where everyone will remember where they were and what they were doing when it happened. Personally, we were planted on the couch from beginning to end, and we didn't miss a minute of what happened.

Even after a night and a day to process what happened, we still find our reactions are rather disjointed. So we're going to try to start from the big picture and work our way down to the actual details of the testimony itself.

When the week began, there was only Christine Blasey Ford. By the time the hearing happened, though, two more accusers had publicly stepped forward. These two accusations remained in the background during the hearings, without ever really being directly addressed.

Two things stood out from the early part of the week, before the hearings began, both of which pointed out the absurdity of the position Republicans were taking. The first came from Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, who summed up the Catch-22 nature of what the Republicans were trying to get away with. He tweeted this out shortly after the second woman had come forward:

News of a second sexual assault allegation against Kavanaugh is being rebutted by Republicans on grounds that it's not "corroborated." They stopped the FBI investigation that might have corroborated Professor Ford's testimony and now complain about corroboration? Unbelievable.

Yes, it was unbelievable, and it remained so throughout the hearing. Without employing Orwellian doublethink, you simply cannot coherently argue both that there is no corroboration and that a further investigation would not be helpful in corroborating either his or her story (take your pick). Screaming "there's no evidence" while blocking an investigation which could uncover such evidence is either Orwellian or belongs in Wonderland with Alice and the Red Queen (again, take your pick).

But the highest level of chutzpah came from Sarah Huckabee Sanders, who made the following statement on behalf of the White House -- on Fox News, where she knew her boss would see it:

The president wants this process to come to a vote because that's what's supposed to happen. In every single one of these instances where someone is nominated, they go before, they have a hearing and then the senators vote on it.

Um, yeah, Sarah. All except one. Again, we revert to Orwellian terms, since the entire Republican Party has obviously thrown the sordid history of how Merrick Garland was treated right down the memory hole.

Republicans may have conveniently forgotten this episode, but Democrats most decidedly have not. As many scathingly pointed out to Sarah, on Twitter.

The Republican position was simply untenable, no matter how you looked at it. They tried distraction; by complaining mightily about the timing of the accusations, about Dianne Feinstein, about politics, about some sort of left-wing conspiracy, and about just about anything under the sun that wasn't actually about the accusations themselves. In the end, no matter how much bluster they brought to bear, it simply did not work.

There is one thing the American people generally agree upon, no matter their political stripe. Just like other vague and nebulous political terms (e.g.: liberty, freedom, rights), it is hard to actually define, but most voters agree that fairness is a concept that both sides of the political aisle should strive for. And no matter how hard Republicans tried to change the subject, allowing Dr. Christine Blasey Ford to testify was seen as fair by just about everyone whose viewpoint wasn't so tainted by partisanship that they still were willing to give the benefit of the doubt. Which is a vast majority of the actual voters, no matter what the pundits may actually believe. Hearing her out was seen as fair, which is why Chuck Grassley had to back down multiple times from his own self-imposed "deadlines" for working out the details of the hearing with Ford's lawyers.

Also seen as unfair was the Republican insistence on refusing to let the F.B.I. investigate the claims. This position also became politically untenable today, as everyone from Donald Trump to Mitch McConnell to Chuck Grassley finally had to admit.

We have to admit that we weren't all that impressed by the Democrats on the committee insisting on focusing their questions (and their metaphorical spotlight) so intensely on the question of having the F.B.I. investigate. They only had five minutes each to ask Brett Kavanaugh questions, and we felt that a lot of them wasted a whole lot of time essentially asking the same question over and over again -- a question that Kavanaugh refused to answer. After all, it wasn't actually up to him whether the White House directed the F.B.I. to reopen their background investigation, and it wasn't up to him what Chuck Grassley or Mitch McConnell did.

But we were wrong. We're certainly not above admitting that, now. Because the strategy worked. It convinced the one guy -- Jeff Flake -- who appeared convincible, that the basic concept of fairness absolutely demanded letting the F.B.I. do their job.

Of course, by the time Flake acted, the tide was already turning. The American Bar Association called for the F.B.I. to investigate, immediately after the hearing. So did Yale University. A prominent Jesuit magazine, America Magazine, rescinded its endorsement of Kavanaugh and joined the growing chorus calling for the F.B.I. to investigate. Perhaps most convincing were the two brave women who cornered Flake in an elevator to heap shame upon his just-announced decision to approve Kavanaugh in the committee vote. But whatever changed his mind, once Flake stated his newfound support for an investigation, the Republican stonewall immediately crumbled. Lisa Murkowski immediately backed him up, and so did Susan Collins. Grassley, McConnell, and Trump all fell into line with blinding speed. Rarely do you see such an all-out political retreat happen so quickly, especially from Republicans.

As for the hearing itself, we have to say that the Republicans did largely avoid being portrayed as hostile or demeaning to Ford, or to sexual assault survivors, or to women in general. They did so by hiding behind a woman's skirts, so to speak, in what can only be described as cowardly fashion. They hired a sexual assault prosecutor to ask Ford questions rather than ask their own questions. To put it mildly, she didn't do such a hot job for them. But her appearance did avoid outright sexism or hostility towards the witness, which was the main reason for hiring her in the first place. The only stumble happened away from the hearing room, when Orrin Hatch called Ford "attractive" and "pleasing" -- terminology that was not exactly appreciated by women. Hatch's office quickly walked back his insulting language, and (astonishingly) he turned out to be the only Republican politician who stuck his foot in his mouth in such a fashion all day long. So just on the level of "please save us from our own inherent sexism," hiring the prosecutor turned out to be a smart move for the Republicans on the committee.

Part of the prosecutor's problem was she simply was not used to the committee's format (which is pretty standard for congressional committees, we should mention) -- five-minute question periods which alternate from one side of the aisle to the other, arranged on both sides by seniority. Prosecutors work in a much different environment, where they are used to slowly building a case step by step, and then drawing a big sweeping conclusion at the end (usually: "this witness simply cannot be trusted"). She could not follow this playbook given the constraints of the committee format, and she wound up failing to ever reach any sort of conclusion about any of what she was asking Ford about. In the end, Ford's testimony was not undermined in the slightest by all of these rather weak efforts.

Surprisingly, when the committee reconvened after lunch, the Republicans continued to let their hired gun ask their questions for them, during Kavanaugh's testimony. But when she started asking rather pointed questions about the drinking culture Kavanaugh apparently came of age in, they abruptly yanked the plug on her and started unleashing political tirades instead. Leading off this effort was Lindsey Graham, who has personally tossed down the memory hole pretty much everything his late friend John McCain ever stood for. Graham's five-minute tantrum will long be remembered from this hearing, that's our humble guess. While other GOP senators tried to match Graham's outburst, none of them really even came close.

Democrats, on the other hand, didn't achieve a whole lot beyond hammering home how unfair it was that the F.B.I. was not being allowed the chance to do what they do so well. There were plenty of subjects they failed to address in their questions, most prominently the culture of drinking that Brett Kavanaugh was -- by his own admission -- a part of during both high school and college. Kavanaugh gave repeated answers to questions about this culture that were never followed up on, even though his answers sounded almost exactly like a teenager trying -- and badly failing -- to lie about what happened that evening, after arriving home drunk, after curfew, with a newly-crumpled fender on the family car. Which is indeed the perfect metaphor for his performance.

Only one of the questions we sincerely would have loved to have seen Democrats ask was actually asked, and it was almost at the very end of his testimony (when Kamala Harris asked Kavanaugh whether he'd be willing to take the same polygraph test that Ford had voluntarily undergone). That is the type of question we wanted to hear. Even when Democrats were attempting to get some answers out of Kavanaugh on drinking, they really didn't do all that great a job of it. Here is our list of what we would have liked to hear Kavanaugh asked:

  • We really didn't get a complete answer to the question the other side just asked, so allow me to state it with more clarity. When you say you occasionally had "too many beers," how many would that be, exactly? What number do you have in mind when you use that phrase? How many beers did you drink in an average sitting when you were in high school? How about when you were in college? How many times a month did you drink that many beers in one sitting? What is the highest number of beers you have ever consumed in a single day?
  • [If Kavanaugh refused to offer specifics to any of those questions...] But you have claimed that not once while you were drinking did you ever -- ever -- fail to remember what happened. So why is it that you now cannot accurately state how many beers you drank in any given circumstance? Could it be that you simply forgot?
  • You appear indignant about any questions about your yearbook entry. Why, if you are so dismissive of this line of questioning, did you bring the subject up yourself in your opening statement? If you expected us to ignore your yearbook, then why even mention it?
  • Do you seriously expect anyone in this room to believe that bragging of being a member of the "Beach Week Ralph Club" merely meant you have a weak stomach? How often, when drinking, did you drink to the point of vomiting? Every time? Every other time? Once a month? Once in a blue moon? What?
  • So let's see, you are now stating that you only drank [insert Kavanaugh's answer on the frequency of his drinking] times per month. Then how in the world could you ever have made a pledge with your friends to drink 100 kegs of beer before graduation? I read about this pledge in Mark Judge's book, Wasted: Tales Of A Gen-X Drunk. And you bragged on your yearbook page that you were the, quote, treasurer, unquote, of the quote, 100 Kegs Or Bust Club, unquote.
  • I remind you that you are under oath, and I'd like a straight answer to the question: did you write your own yearbook entry? You have tried to insinuate that the yearbook editors somehow spruced the text up. Again, sir, you are under oath. Did you write this yearbook entry or not? I can read your entire entry to you word-for-word, if you need to be reminded of any of it.
  • I'm sorry, but you seem perturbed by the graphic and detailed quality of these questions. How can you sit there and complain that anyone being examined for fitness for high office shouldn't have to answer such questions when you were instrumental in writing the most detailed and graphic questions imaginable for Bill Clinton to answer, when you worked for Ken Starr's investigation? How do you square those two? In the summer of 1998, you yourself wrote that the, quote, idea of going easy on him at the questioning is thus abhorrent to me, unquote. Were those your words? And yet you sit here now and object to us asking you detailed questions? Can you understand why the public would find that hypocritical in the extreme?
  • In your opening statement, you rather bizarrely referred to "the Clintons" masterminding some grand conspiracy against you. Do you have any details which might back up such an unsubstantiated claim? Would you allow someone to testify to such a thing in your courtroom without evidence or proof? Wouldn't it be more accurate -- given your history working for Ken Starr, after all -- to say that rather than the Clintons being behind some vast left-wing conspiracy against you that instead you were actually part of the vast right-wing conspiracy against them?
  • You have misleadingly stated several times that when you were in high school, and I quote, the drinking age in Maryland was 18, so seniors could legally drink. What age were you during the summer of 1982? Were you 18? Were you drinking illegally all that time? Did others procure alcohol for you, or did you either lie about your age or have a fake I.D. to purchase beer yourself? Were you born before or after the first of July, 1964? It is beyond belief -- seeing as how you were so interested in drinking beer back then -- that you could have been unaware that, during the era of Mothers Against Drunk Driving, Maryland changed its drinking age on July 1, 1982. This was the exact same day that you wrote on your calendar that you went to a friend's house to drink some brewskis. So while those in the class above you -- those who were seniors when you were a junior in high school -- got grandfathered in while the drinking age raised year by year from 18 to 19 to 20 to 21, you would not have been included, and if you had continued to live in Maryland, you would not have been allowed to legally drink until your twenty-first birthday.
  • It is also beyond credibility that you wrote and spoke of ball games where no one in attendance remembered the score -- these are ball games that you personally attended, not merely watched on television -- because you were all having such a good time that you didn't notice the game itself. Would any parent at the time have believed such nonsense if you used this as an explanation for what you wrote or said?
  • Do you really seriously expect anyone here to believe that a bunch of football players would write in their yearbook that they were a, quote, "Renate alumnius" or "Renate alumni," unquote, in order to honor a close female friend? This phrase appears fourteen times in your school's 1983 yearbook, either on personal pages like your own or with a group photo of the football team. Are you aware that two of your classmates have said that this was nothing short of bragging about your sexual conquests? Are you aware that the woman in question, when she only recently became aware of this slur perpetrated against her by you and your buddies, said, and I quote: I can't begin to comprehend what goes through the minds of 17-year-old boys who write such things, but the insinuation is horrible, hurtful, and simply untrue. I pray their daughters are never treated this way, unquote? Does that sound to you like she feels she is being respected by the use of such a term? And if what you say is true -- no matter how farfetched it now sounds -- and you were actually mentioning the girl to honor her and her platonic friendship, then why has she never read this comment before now? If you were indeed honoring her, then why didn't a single one of you show it to her, back then? Your claim is beyond ridiculous, it in fact skates right up to the edge of perjuring yourself before this committee.
  • Speaking of perjury, how do you square your earlier testimony to this committee that you would not, quote, get within three ZIP codes, unquote, of a political controversy and that judges ought to be, quote, above politics; we stay out of it, unquote, with the claims of a political, quote, hit job, unquote against you that you just made in your opening statement? Because you seem to have put the lie to your own claim, even going as far as naming "the Clintons" in such a statement, without a shred of evidence.
  • Are you really going to stick to your claim that a student obviously caught up in the jock culture of the times who bragged about being an officer of the "100 Kegs Or Bust Club" and of ralphing it up down in Ocean City and of not being able to remember baseball games you attended and of having "too many beers" at times and even "passing out" or "going to sleep" from drinking to excess would always faithfully remember exactly what took place while you were so often inebriated? Which brings me to my final question. If we cannot believe your claim that you faithfully remembered each and every bout of drinking too many beers, then why should we not believe Dr. Ford's accusation in full while simultaneously believing that you truly have no memory of it happening -- because you could not remember it the very next day?

Those are the questions we would have asked Brett Kavanaugh, had we had the opportunity. And we were indeed disappointed that nary a one was posed by the Democrats on the committee.

You have to understand the culture of the times. In fact, Kavanaugh himself offered up two prime examples in his opening statement: the movies Fast Times At Ridgemont High and Animal House. We would also recommend Dazed And Confused and the much-less-well-known River's Edge to anyone who did not personally attend high school in the late 1970s and/or early 1980s. Or the single season of the excellent television show Freaks And Geeks, for that matter. These all launched the acting careers of an astounding number of popular actors today, in fact (most notably, perhaps, including the first appearance on screen of Matthew McConaughey in Dazed And Confused). And these movies did not appear in a vacuum. They were not Star Wars or The Lord Of The Rings -- not some fantastical universe which sprang from some fiction-writer's creative mind. They reflected the actual culture of the times -- some more accurately than others, to be sure, but again, they did not exist in a vacuum.

This was where Brett Kavanaugh came of age. He was by his own admission a prominent student athlete. And yet he swore under oath that he never -- never, mind you -- drank so much he didn't fully remember everything the next day. How many high school jocks from back then would even dare to make such a ludicrous claim?

That was Kavanaugh's biggest weakness, and while Democrats did rather timidly probe this weakness, they never drilled down beyond the surface-level answers Kavanaugh gave. Any one of the above lines of questioning might have shown that Kavanaugh was not being fully truthful in his testimony, despite swearing an oath to do so before he began.

If Democrats truly had wanted to win the battle for public opinion, that's what they really should have done. Because anyone who remembers that era knows how far-fetched Kavanaugh's facile explanations truly were. From the tail end of the Baby Boomers through the beginnings of Generation X (the group who, for a short time, were known as "Posties" for "Post-Baby-Boomers"), Kavanaugh's testimony would have appeared more and more ridiculous. Much like, as we stated before, a teenager desperately trying to pin the blame for his drunken entry back home at 3:30 in the morning on anyone else under the sun than himself.

Democrats on the committee chose to go a different route. Today, this decision proved to be the right one, we fully admit. Concentrating on the F.B.I. and the patent unfairness of not investigating very credible claims proved to be more persuasive to people like Jeff Flake than a full-frontal attack might have been.

Still, it would have made for even-more-fascinating television, wouldn't it have?

But what's done is done, and we are where we are now. We enter a period of being in Limbo which will last for a week. There are five senators who still have not indicated how they will vote. Two are Democrats from very red states: Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota. Both are in tight re-election races right now. There are also three Republicans who still have not said how they will cast their final vote: Jeff Flake, Susan Collins, and Lisa Murkowski. Republicans need at least two out of those five votes to get Kavanaugh confirmed. No matter what else happens next week (unless Rod Rosenstein suddenly gets fired), these five will be front and center, under the media and public microscope.

What looked like a slam-dunk for Republicans two weeks ago is now wide open, to put this another way. Republicans may indeed seat Brett Kavanaugh on the Supreme Court at the end of this process, but it now seems equally possible that he will either never get a vote (because his nomination is withdrawn) or that he will fail to be confirmed by the full Senate.

No matter which of these winds up happening in the end, though, everyone is going to remember this week for a long time to come. Yesterday's hearing was one for the ages. History was already made, even though the final verdict is still out. And even in the year 2040 and beyond, Dr. Christine Blasey Ford's name will still be well-known to all Americans. That's really the only safe bet, at this point.

-- Chris Weigant

 

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Cross-posted at: Democratic Underground

 

103 Comments on “Friday Talking Points -- The Questions We Wanted To Hear Democrats Ask Kavanaugh”

  1. [1] 
    Paula wrote:

    I think your list of questions is excellent - those of us who have been following stories of people coming forward and all the rest knew Kavanaugh was skirting and obfuscating one thing after another, as your list exposes.

    Kavanaugh filibustered his way through several answers - some Dems were better at reining him in than others. And the five-minute rule was absolutely rotten as a means to getting to the bottom of anything. It contributed to the overall appearance of a show-trial rather than a genuine fact-finding effort and it should be abandoned.

    But in the end the constant return to "why won't you call for the FBI to clear your name Mr. I'm Innocent" was enough to help us live to fight another day.

    The central problem with Kav is that he appears to be a liar. His sexual predation may/may not have extended beyond his youth but if it occurred, as alleged, it's one more thing he's lied about. And while he can lie on FOX and, evidently, lie to Senators (since Repubs don't care), he supposedly can't lie to the FBI without penalties. I think he knew this, as did GOP Sens, so they all did what they could to help him avoid the FBI.

    And since they all tried so very hard to achieve that, I really have to wonder what they were afraid of. It makes me wonder if he'll go through with it - I won't be surprised if he withdraws. I'd give it a 50-50 chance.

  2. [2] 
    ericksor wrote:

    Amen.

  3. [3] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Under the category of I'll believe it when I see it:

    "We are enter a period of being in Limbo which will last for a week."

    How aboot instead of wasting the week speculating aboot what will be known the next week you (and everyone here) consider just taking this week off from this (after the 497 and a half comments this weekend) and leaving it to stew in Limbo and maybe spend some time on the many issues that are continually left out due to the "Big Story of the Day/Week"?

  4. [4] 
    TheStig wrote:

    CW - I just want to say this column is outstanding rapid response journalism. Made all the more remarkable by your recent internet woes!

    The questions you would have asked K. are excellent, but
    I would like him to answer one more:

    Why in the hell did you loose your judicial temperament and play the angry victim?

    Was it cable news chatter suggesting it might be smart to emulate Judge Thomas' angry "lynching by the man" strategy?

    Did Trump, who has been known to use TV anger with good effect, put a bug in Judge K's ear? If so, was his his motive to help or hinder you?

    Or did K. simply lose his cool?

    Whatever the cause, Democrats had a rare "The Lord hath delivered him into my hands" moment. I hope they don't waste the save.

  5. [5] 
    andygaus wrote:

    Sen. Whitehouse, I believe, asked how to play a jolly game of "Devil's Triangle." He might also have asked, can you remember anyone you used to play Devil's Triangle with? Did you play it with Mark Judge? How do you win the game or decide when it's over? Who was the friend who used to say "Fffffffuck!" Can you name any other friends who heard him say that? Did you use the word "alumnus" only to describe former female friends with whom you'd had a respectful relationship, but not male friends?

  6. [6] 
    andygaus wrote:

    Also, I think Sen. Harris started to ask, "Do you prefer the best evidence in a legal proceeding?" This might have been a powerful way to expose how amateurish it was to say that Mark Judge had signed a statement, so there was no point in subpoenaing him for cross-examination by the committee.

  7. [7] 
    James T Canuck wrote:

    A grim list of mind-twisting queries for a liar to keep straight, or a simple task for someone who could easily have parried the entire subject with a simple... "I was 18, white, shamelessly governed by 'privus lex', and a card-carrying member of the elite as chosen by our social standing... therefore my actions were not only expected, but overlooked when in the extreme"

    So climb back down off my back, you impertinent Proles.

    "No, no, hell no. My life, my family's lives are in smithereens because of you left-wing wretches asking me about my...my, yes my vestal youth *pause for an upper lip quiver and tear production* Sheesh, only last night my two kids, Hanoria and Whitesonly conducted a prayer session to 'forgive the varlet that his rightly accused their daddy of misdeeds' My wife, Bluntforcefrigid and I are adamant that I believe I have never perpetrated an attack of any sort on anyone I can't remember by name or calendar reference."

    What a pile of shit. To make matters worse, and that's a true gift, Kavanaugh then decides he's now interviewing the Democratic members for a gilded seat and all the trappings thereto. I sat, jaw-agape, thinking, that guy has a slappable face in spades... someone please test my theory before he tells kamala Harris to get his hat and coat.

    All I took away from the 'bread and circus' of Thursday was, Typical Trump chaos. Hells donkeys, Trump even abandoned his public upbraid of Rosenstein once he realised the extent of the public focus on Ford and Kavanaugh. He'll no doubt save that spectacle for a slow news day, such as they don't seem to happen that often anymore in this 'Yellow matter custard dripping from a dead dog's eye, Crabalocker fishwife, pornographic priestess...Man, you been a naughty girl, you let your knickers down' Trumpian farce.

    I digress. Kavanaugh with quietly withdraw, blame the left-wing conspiracy he inaugurated 37 years ago and salvage his 250k a year job, and retreat back into burbs with his two point five Wife and children of the martyred.

    Trump will lob another holy-hand grenade at a rabbit dragging the collective attention of a nation down another convenient hole. I miss the old days when Trump was at the center of scandal, at least he can be consistently cringe-worthy, without the tears.

    Nice column CW, always more than we dare to dream.

    LL&P

    LL&P

  8. [8] 
    Paula wrote:

    [7] James: bravo! Great Walrus reference and so pefect!

  9. [9] 
    James T Canuck wrote:

    [8] I was going to say "Trumpian goo goo g'joob"... I get carried away sometimes.

    :)

    LL&P

  10. [10] 
    Steedo wrote:

    JTC- Most slapable face has been reserved for Ted Cruz but this pasty, privileged punk is a strong contender. Most notable during the hearing for me was Lindsey Graham's case of the vapors, quite the drama queen. Agreed kudos for CW going above the call, technology is great when it works.

  11. [11] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    I have a thought: how much of the FBI findings will we get to see?

    Are the FBI allowed to find 'missing' witnesses? Like whoever held that party. We know some pretty specific details about the basic layout of the house and its approximate location. If we made a Venn diagram of all of Ford's and Kavanaugh's acquaintances who lived in that area, how many lived in two-story walk-ups with an upstairs bathroom situated directly across from a bedroom?

    This, too, would make such a good movie (I wish I could pre-buy shares of the "Mueller" blockbuster). It has (they'd both have) the future of the Nation at stake, a mystery, and a dedicated team of FBI investigators racing the clock. Popcorn time!

  12. [12] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    Paula [1] -

    Alas, the 5-min rule is necessary due to the large number of senators. 21 people times even 5 minutes equals (with breaks) hours upon hours. Earlier, we had longer sessions with Kavanaugh, and it was absolutely freakin' endless.

    I agree about the constant refrain of "FBI... FBI... FBI..." I didn't like it at the time, but I've come around since then.

    My reaction to Kavanaugh was that he was a typical frat boy/elitist jock student, who had so often heard the "boys will be boys" refrain that he thought he could get away with anything. But maybe that's just me...

    Good point about withdrawal. I could even write his press statement myself: "The damage this has already done to my loving family has proven to be too much, so for the sake of my beautiful daughters, I reluctantly withdraw my consideration for the high court." Complete, of course, with plenty of (crocodile) tears.

    And here's one for Michale:

    "Your tears seem in no way... crocodilian"
    -Fat Tony, The Simpsons

    ... just because....

    Remember when Republicans used to decry the "culture of victimhood"? Yeah, those were the days, eh?

    TheStig [4] -

    Well, thank you for the kind words! Yeah, it's been a tough week, but I tried to keep (mostly) up to date throughout it...

    I appear to be back up and running, and indeed it was frustrating beyond belief to be locked out this particular week, that's for sure!

    You added an excellent question, but I believe it is answered by: "an audience of one, at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave."

    andygaus [5] -

    Yeah, Whitehouse had some good shots at K. I specifically refrained from examining in detail K's answer to both "boof" and "Devil's Triangle", although the rest of the internet seems to have responded. Personally, I felt it was just too much for a family column.

    Heh. So to speak, of course...

    :-)

    James T Canuck [7] -

    Nice use of "privus lex," I have to admit. I learned the etymology of the word from Robert Anton Wilson, myself, a long time ago.

    To wit: "Privelege" means nothing short of "private law."

    You might just enjoy the following:

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/opinions/wp/2018/09/27/how-dare-you-do-this-to-brett-kavanaugh/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.0a6ee652f38d

    :-)

    But didn't you mean to say, when you wrote:

    I sat, jaw-agape, thinking, that guy has a slappable face in spades... someone please test my theory before he tells kamala Harris to get his hat and coat.

    ...and her coathanger?

    Heh.

    Nice "I am the Eggman" reference in there, too, have to say...

    Ooooo! A Monty Python reference, too! For the uninitiated:

    LAUNCELOT: We have the Holy Hand Grenade.

    ARTHUR: Yes, of course! The Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch! 'Tis one of the sacred relics Brother Maynard carries with him! Brother Maynard! Bring up the Holy Hand Grenade! How does it, uh... how does it work?

    LAUNCELOT: I know not, my liege.

    ARTHUR: Consult the Book Of Armaments.

    MAYNARD: Armaments, Chapter Two, Verses Nine to Twenty-One.

    BROTHER: "And Saint Atila raised the hand grenade up on high saying, 'Oh, Lord, bless this thy hand grenade that with it thou mayest blow thy enemies to tiny bits -- in thy mercy.' And the Lord did grin, and people did feast upon the lambs, and sloths, and carp, and anchovies, and orangutans, and breakfast cereals, and fruit bats, and large..."

    MAYNARD: Skip a bit, Brother.

    BROTHER: "And the Lord spake, saying, 'First shalt thou take out the Holy Pin. Then, shalt thou count to three, no more, no less. Three shall be the number thou shalt count, and the number of the counting shall be three. Four shalt thou not count, nor either count thou two, excepting that thou then proceed to three. Five is right out! Once the number three, being the third number, be reached, then lobbest thou thy Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch towards thou foe, who being naughty in my sight, shall snuff it.'"

    MAYNARD: Amen.

    ALL: Amen.

    ARTHUR: Right! One... two... five!

    GALAHAD: Three sir.

    ARTHUR: Three!

    Heh.

    And thanks, as always, for the kind words...

    :-)

    Steedo [10] -

    Yeah, we all live and die by our connectivity... something driven home to me this week for sure...

    Balthasar [11] -

    Yeah, that's a great question. Expecially when you consider that the FBI will report directly to the White House. And all that talk of a "limited scope" for the investigation...

    OK, that's it for now, I'll try to get through last week's backlog of comments later, promise!

    :-)

    -CW

  13. [13] 
    James T Canuck wrote:

    Beatles, Latin and Python, not easy to juggle in one post, I thought a Fleetwood line, "Oh... can it be so,
    this feeling follows me wherever I go"... was a bit OTT.

    Not so strangely, I was thinking back to the halcyon days of high school, dropping first, second, third, fourth and fifth periods to drink and stone. I don't recall the details of any gathering, but then we weren't attacking the girls of the group...

    LL&P

  14. [14] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    i agree with what russ wrote - the kind of person kavanaugh was in high school should not bear on his confirmation to SCOTUS, but the kind of person he is now is really disturbing and in my humble opinion disqualifying.

    http://www.chrisweigant.com/2018/09/25/president-laughingstock/#comment-128613

  15. [15] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    JTC [13] I had a similar class schedule ;}

    In my day (say, 1973 thereabouts) the 'hippie' smokers and the 'jock' drinkers were distinct groups (except for the Basketball team, which attracted stoners for some reason). Because I was considered a 'funny guy', I was invited to a few drinking parties, which I found both boring and disturbing. My stoner friends, by comparison, were into philosophy, art, underground comics, and music: Herbie Hankock, the Mahavishnu Orchestra, Yes and King Crimson. I could've lost my virginity sooner if I'd have hung with the drinkers (a female friend confided that to me at a reunion), but my intellectual life is richer now because I didn't.

    So there's that.

  16. [16] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    [14] Couldn't agree with you more. Would've preferred to have spent the last week arguing about the poor character of a Man who approves of torture, rather than about a Boy that was over-fond of booze.

  17. [17] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    Since it's likely he'll be confirmed, I was really hoping he'd be more even keeled and reflective rather than outraged and thin skinned

  18. [18] 
    ListenWhenYouHear wrote:

    nypoet22 [14]

    Thanks! I can’t help but keep thinking about how Kavanaugh could have responded to these allegations in a way that would have shown humility and compassion towards Dr. Ford even if he says he has no recollection of that night in question. His hostility and dishonesty are not characteristics we want in a Supreme Court Justice. Heck, his response seriously raises the question of whether he is fit to sit on any court!

    I agree that the FBI investigation will have little effect on how the GOP votes on his confirmation. I just want someone to ask the Republicans if honesty matters any more so we can get their official position on the truth!

  19. [19] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    his response seriously raises the question of whether he is fit to sit on any court

    Precisely so. Kavanaugh's over-the-top partisan tirade is exactly the opposite display of temperament that one would've expected from a person applying for the job of Sober Deliberator. "I like beer" isn't even close to the answer that was called for here.

    He was obviously coached in this by someone at the Trump White House that (unsurprisingly) believes that belligerency, bluster, lies and demagoguery are a better strategy in this instance than honesty and atonement. His decision to go with that cynical ploy renders his performance all the more deplorable as a result.

    If you should happen on a Senator ask him or her this: do you think that Kavanaugh was completely truthful about his yearbook entries? Really?

    Lying to Congress is a felony, one that Democrats believe Kavanaugh has committed over and over again, about the torture memos, about the theft of documents from Democratic archives, about the firing of US Attorneys, and now about this.

    Back when this issue first blew up, and I compared Kavanaugh's situation to that of Cosby and Weinstein, Michale countered with: there is a difference, and that is that the others exhibited a 'pattern of behavior'.

    Well, throughout this confirmation, Kavanaugh has indeed established a pattern of behavior - of lying under oath, of obfuscation, of evasion, and of obeisance to a White House too corrupt to value character over results.

    .

  20. [20] 
    LeaningBlue wrote:

    Avenatti's been in front of a bunch of microphones today. His half-hour long appearance starting off the first block of MSNBC's AM Joy this morning is podcasted here: https://tunein.com/podcasts/News/AM-Joy-p1007911/?topicId=125296806 .

    All of Av's talking points are likely to be found in there, at least those running the rest of the weekend. The menu includes the extent of the accusations, the possibility of a state-level criminal rape complaint, and the certainty of public "testimony" (my term) by his witnesses to felonious acts, in the event they are not included in the "limited" FBI investigation to his side's satisfaction. Everything on his shock and awe menu is discussed. At the end, Joy Reid graciously offered her platform next weekend should his witnesses need it.

    Avenatti is a big problem, and a loose cannon, or at least, he plays one on television.

  21. [21] 
    LeaningBlue wrote:

    I think Judge Kavanaugh has two distinct vulnerabilities, and each is a different threat to his acceptability as a Supreme Court Justice.

    The "headline" vulnerability of course, is the present and potential scope of the high school era accusations. As he retreats into claims of piety and innocence, it becomes easier and easier to show him at least to be a current liar, whether or not he is proven to be a youthful sexual predator, and at worst a felon.

    The second vulnerability is his world view forged by his experience as a political operative. While it gets far less media minutes, that's probably his original sin. Everything he did Thursday afternoon flows from that. Throwing a question back at a Senator's face comes from that. Blaming "the Clintons" for the attack on him bubbles up from that.

    Regardless of what will be presented by the FBI findings, I think there's a good chance that his public demonstration of his bitter partisan nature is already resonating. That resonance can easily spread among the public, and among too many senators in both parties, for him to ultimately be voted onto the Supreme Court.

    Politicians can be street fighters and trash talkers. Justices require moderation and the reticence of a sage. I won't be surprised if various explanations of the phrase "judicial temperament" figure prominently in the coverage across next week.

  22. [22] 
    andygaus wrote:

    By the way, did anyone EVEN NOTICE that we were supposed to have a constitutional crisis on Thursday when Trump was going to fire Rosenstein, and it just didn't happen (presumably because Trump couldn't stand to do anything with nobody watching)?

  23. [23] 
    Kick wrote:

    Excellent summary of the proceedings. Excellent list of questions. All I can say is yes, YES, YES! I lost count of the questions I hurled at my television set and how many times I said "moving on, moving on" and "reclaiming my time" as I watched them squander and fritter away their already inadequate and limited time.

    You appear indignant about any questions about your yearbook entry. Why, if you are so dismissive of this line of questioning, did you bring the subject up yourself in your opening statement?

    Yes, exactly this! Let me at him, it would go something like this:

    You brought it up, "Bart," and I will do the asking of the questions in my limited time, which due to obvious constraints will be asked in rapid fire succession. Please limit your answers to "yes" or "no" and answer with a number where applicable.

    [And then let multiple questions about the yearbook fly.]

    You've stated numerous times "I like beer." Did you ever consume anything else besides beer during high school? Yes or no, sir. Did you ever consume any grain alcohol like Everclear or similar types? Yes or no, sir. Did you ever spike punch with grain alcohol such as Everclear or similar types? Did you witness any of your classmates? Do you have any knowledge regarding spiking at any of the functions you attended? Yes or no, sir.

    Now, turning to your calendar, sir, and these too will be in rapid fire:

    * I noticed you numbered and circled your days at the beach. There are 8 numbered and circled days during "beach week" and an additional 8 numbered and circled days for a total of 16 days at the beach during the 4-month period you provided the committee. How many total days would you estimate you spent at the beach during a typical school year?

    * How many beers would you estimate would be consumed by you on a typical day at the beach? Any other type of alcohol besides beer? Any grain alcohol such as Everclear or similar types? Any of your classmates? Yes or no, sir.

    * Did you ever drink alcohol at the beach to the point of passing out? Did any of your classmates?

    * Were any illicit drugs used by you during high school or during beach week? Yes or no, sir. By any of your classmates?

    * You mentioned the Rehoboth Police in your yearbook. Were you ever questioned by the police? Detained? Were you ever arrested, sir? Yes or no, sir. Were any of your classmates?

  24. [24] 
    Kick wrote:

    Paula
    1

    The central problem with Kav is that he appears to be a liar.

    Yes! And it's a job interview to determine if Kavanaugh should get a lifetime promotion to the highest court in the United States and not a criminal investigation. Having said that, it certainly well could become a criminal investigation if credible evidence is produced from credible witness(es), which is arguably what has already happened with Dr. Blasey Ford.

    In addition, Ed Whelan and Chuck Grassley's communications director, Garret Ventry (who subsequently resigned), concocted a "doppelganger" stunt on twitter with the assistance of a powerhouse conservative firm named CRC Public Relations -- the firm behind "Swift Boat Veterans for Truth" -- with the aim of blaming another for the attack on Christine Blasey. Was Kavanaugh involved in this ridiculous stunt where they attempted to blame her attack on "Squi" a.k.a. Chris Garrett? If Kavanaugh wasn't involved in this stunt, which of Kavanaugh's classmates was?

    https://www.politico.com/story/2018/09/21/ed-whelan-kavanaugh-tweets-pr-firm-836405

    He failed.

    The government does not care what Kavanaugh did as a teenager in the heady atmosphere of the 1980s; however, they are infinitely interested in whether or not he is forthcoming regarding his past and whether or not he is truthful. The issue is credibility. Unfortunately, as is all too often the case, the omerta that surrounds guys like Kavanaugh is a tough nut to crack because to implicate him is an indictment of them.

    So there's a week and a slew of 302s forthcoming to allow the FBI to sort this out. Regardless any statements by the Trump administration, they'll go where the evidence leads. Nothing will be off limits in the reopening of the investigation... not his finances, not his classmates, not the corroboration of his latest testimony... nothing.

    It makes me wonder if he'll go through with it - I won't be surprised if he withdraws. I'd give it a 50-50 chance.

    I agree, and I suspect they'll request he submit to polygraph, and I also suspect he'll decline. The people he wouldn't list on his SF-86 are now up for questioning, and omerta will either hold or fold.

  25. [25] 
    Kick wrote:

    TS
    4

    Why in the hell did you loose your judicial temperament and play the angry victim?

    Yes, this! The most damning thing Kavanaugh said, in my honest opinion, was where he invoked the Bible, Hosea 8:7:

    You sowed the wind for decades to come. I fear that the whole country will reap the whirlwind. ~ Brett Kavanaugh

    Was that a threat or a promise? Do tell, "Bart."

    Was it cable news chatter suggesting it might be smart to emulate Judge Thomas' angry "lynching by the man" strategy?

    I'm going with "yes."

    Did Trump, who has been known to use TV anger with good effect, put a bug in Judge K's ear?

    Probably "yes."

    https://www.cnn.com/politics/live-news/kavanaugh-ford-sexual-assault-hearing/h_b1504fccaafc71fb23fec31ab2885507

    Whatever the cause, Democrats had a rare "The Lord hath delivered him into my hands" moment. I hope they don't waste the save.

    1 Samuel 23:7... Amen.

  26. [26] 
    Kick wrote:

    JTC
    7

    Awesome post, JTC! OMG... I laughed, I cried, I spewed my coffee! You have outdone yourself, sir. :)

    I sat, jaw-agape, thinking, that guy has a slappable face in spades... someone please test my theory before he tells Kamala Harris to get his hat and coat.

    Yes, sir. I was thinking dartboard... locate my scissors and tape.

    I digress. Kavanaugh will quietly withdraw, blame the left-wing conspiracy he inaugurated 37 years ago and salvage his 250k a year job, and retreat back into burbs with his two point five Wife and children of the martyred.

    If they take a sufficiently deep dive and request a polygraph, that may yet happen. They can continue to blame the "left" for the series of events, but no one on the "left" made him perjure himself. No one on the "left" assaulted Dr. Blasey Ford or concocted a "doppelganger" twitter farce with a conservative smear factory to blame another classmate of Kavanaugh's; I want the answers to that. I want a FINCEN accounting.

    I miss the old days when Trump was at the center of scandal, at least he can be consistently cringe-worthy, without the tears.

    So you're saying you miss "Mueller Time" and "99 Bottles of Beer"? Not to worry, JTC, it's not the "wall" he was hoping for, but there's a whole lot more to come down. :)

  27. [27] 
    Kick wrote:

    Steedo
    10

    "Cruz," you say? That is a malediction around these parts. Hold your tongue! ;)

    Most notable during the hearing for me was Lindsey Graham's case of the vapors, quite the drama queen.

    I know, right!? For a moment there I thought Miss Lindsey might have to resort to the smelling salts. :)

  28. [28] 
    Kick wrote:

    Balthasar
    11

    I have a thought: how much of the FBI findings will we get to see?

    Let there be leaks of the 302s. If I hear any leaks (as my word is my bond) I won't hesitate to post them... whether I have the "facts to support" them or not. :)

    This, too, would make such a good movie (I wish I could pre-buy shares of the "Mueller" blockbuster).

    I too will take shares in Mueller Time IPO… tagline: "I like beer. I like beer. I like beer."

    It has (they'd both have) the future of the Nation at stake, a mystery, and a dedicated team of FBI investigators racing the clock. Popcorn time!

    I like popcorn. ;)

  29. [29] 
    Kick wrote:

    CW
    12

    But didn't you mean to say, when you wrote:

    I sat, jaw-agape, thinking, that guy has a slappable face in spades... someone please test my theory before he tells kamala Harris to get his hat and coat.

    ...and her coathanger?

    Wow... brilliant.

  30. [30] 
    Kick wrote:

    Russ
    18

    Agree totally... the issue is his credibility now.

    I agree that the FBI investigation will have little effect on how the GOP votes on his confirmation. I just want someone to ask the Republicans if honesty matters any more so we can get their official position on the truth!

    Indeed... it's not a bug, it's a feature. The GOP is now the Party of Trump: The Grand Old Prevaricators. Sad.

  31. [31] 
    James T Canuck wrote:

    [29] "...and her coathanger (sic)"

    Kick, I liked that too, it was a nice, subtle touch.

    Because I own nothing on the internet, I'm completely at ease with any additions to my posts.

    I think the only question I would have added would be:

    "Bret...Am I allowed to call you by your first name? [K..just this once] Bret, it's been suggested by former colleagues of yours that you have a preference, or an 'ideal' look you adhere to in choosing the female staffers in your orbit...is this true? if so, wouldn't you agree this lends credence to the notion that you consider women as objects rather than equals?"

    That is one thread that seems to be a constant throughout his career. In all aspects of his life, there is that re-occurring theme, whether it's as a high-school lothario, or a creator of salacious queries to make Clinton squirm during the Lewinski saga up to his wanting women around him of a certain look. He quite obviously, regardless of his protestations to the contrary, believe that women are equal. I will always blame his religious upbringing for that, all major religions see women as not quite as equal to men, they just have extremes as their difference. Muslim and Hindu faiths see women as a possession of a man, Catholicism maintains that the man holds ultimate sway over the reproductive system of a woman...I see no difference.

    Were we 'through the looking glass', could you imagine the hue and cry if the female counterparts in this other reality ordered all their men subjected to mandatory circumcision? It probably wouldn't sit well.

    LL&P

  32. [32] 
    Steedo wrote:

    Kick 27- No worries, he resembles Voldemort but I'm not afeared to speak his name. And to assuage your concerns, yes, there is a Beto sign in the yard.

  33. [33] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    could you imagine the hue and cry if the female counterparts in this other reality ordered all their men subjected to mandatory circumcision? It probably wouldn't sit well.

    ...and neither would they.

    Ba-dump-dump Chh!

  34. [34] 
    James T Canuck wrote:

    [33] Balty, indeed. The whole 'adult male circumcision' reminds me of that classic scene in Veep where Jonah Ryan is lying in bed after such a procedure, in obvious discomfort. Then the woman he does all this for dumps him, while his uncle looks on, pissing himself with laughter. Priceless scene.

    LL&P

  35. [35] 
    James T Canuck wrote:

    And now for something completely expected...

    Not sure if you folks have seen or can see this political cartoon... https://www.msn.com/en-ca/news/world/cartoon-in-response-to-kavanaugh-hearing-goes-viral/ar-BBNKqW1?ocid=spartandhp&fullscreen=true#image=1

    Just about sums up all of last week in American politics.

    LL&P

  36. [36] 
    TheStig wrote:

    CW-12

    "indeed it was frustrating beyond belief to be locked out this particular week."

    Must be catching...My internet has been down since late Friday and I just got it running again 10 minutes ago. What are the odds of a failed router followed by a new out of the box replacement that also wouldn't work? Cable guy installed yet another on a Sunday evening! Trifecta! I've got to look and see if I'm emitting an ethereal light or something.

  37. [37] 
    TheStig wrote:

    Kick-25

    1 Samuel 23:7.

    I was thinking in the context of th Great Oxford debate of 1860, Huxley vs "Soapy Sam."

  38. [38] 
    neilm wrote:

    "And then we fell in love, OK? No, really, he wrote me beautiful letters, and they’re great letters. We fell in love.”

    WTF? Kumbaya moments with a vicious dictator who runs concentration camps and starve his people. Yet a brave and honest American speaks out and he trashes her.

  39. [39] 
    James T Canuck wrote:

    [38]

    So Trump is channelling Eva Braun now? Anything that gets Jong Un out of those ghastly suits is fine by me. I'm guessing Trump has a thing for short, stocky tyrants shoe-horned into Lederhosen.

    If they close their next love-in with a few choruses of 'The Hills Are Alive with Music' or 'The Horst Wessel Lied', we'll know I'm right.

    :D

    LL&P

  40. [40] 
    Michale wrote:

    I just wanted to post one last time and explain why I won't be coming back here..

    The affidavit laying out these allegations is so deeply flawed and so filled with gaps that it would be easy for any experienced cross-examiner to raise doubts about the credibility of the affiant. One critical question is why this young woman would repeatedly return to parties where she claims to have witnessed gang rapes of drugged women.
    https://thehill.com/opinion/judiciary/409032-burden-on-avenatti-to-show-proof-or-face-consequences

    I simply refuse to associate with people who accept that a college woman who attends high school gang rape parties on multiple occasions and who parties next to children being drugged and gang raped is credible..

    People who think that SUCH actions are irrelevant and that the ONLY part that is important is who this scumbag is accusing...

    In other words, people who support the drugging and gang rape of children in order to push a Party agenda...

    I simply will not associate with people like that...

    As an aside...

    LB, you are the **ONLY** one here who rightly called out the lack of credibility of this Sweathog person...

    I have found a blog where there are spirited discussions that I think you will like... I sure would like to continue our discussions there if you wish..

    You can email me at michale AT em ef see see ef el DOT us if you would like to continue RATIONAL discussions...

    As to the rest... With some of ya'all this degradation where drugging and child gang rape is acceptable?? It's about what I expected...

    To the very few rest of ya'all??

    It's extremely disappointing...

  41. [41] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    @michale,

    dershowitz doesn't write anything in that article that i disagree with, but i never bought into silence equalling assent. for me, when something (or someone) is not worth my attention i don't bother allocating the brain cells, much less the pixels. time away from here will probably do you good.

    best,
    JL

  42. [42] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    "Don't you love her as she's walking out the door?"
    -The Doors

    Michale sure picked a lousy time to walk away. We'll never reach 497 and half comments without him.

  43. [43] 
    lharvey16 wrote:

    my index finger thanks you

  44. [44] 
    lharvey16 wrote:

    my index finger thanks you

  45. [45] 
    James T Canuck wrote:

    [40] "I simply refuse to associate with people who accept that a college woman who attends high school gang rape parties on multiple occasions and who parties next to children being drugged and gang raped is credible."
    1. Which woman are you talking about? Unless every source I've been able to reference is false, Swetnick is 51 years of age and unlikely to be 'a college woman' if anything, she would have been younger than the most of the people Kavanaugh was admittedly hanging around with.
    2. In Swetnick's sworn declaration https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/supreme-court/read-sworn-declaration-kavanaugh-accuser-julie-swetnick-n913336 She claims there are other people who can attest to the same thing she claims, and more importantly, she has two contemporaneous witnesses whom she told her story to.
    3. I'm fairly sure I have never said I condoned any of her claims beyond merely pointing them out, indeed, I went out of my way to say I wasn't a big fan of her greasy lawyer.

    So, I take umbrage with your 'facts and conclusions', unless of course we're talking about two different women making this accusation.

    An aside: Threatening a room in which you have been accused, by multiple people, of spamming and trolling with your discontinued presence is like threatening a dog with another bone if it keeps barking...so best of luck with that.

    LL&P

  46. [46] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Balthy (33)-

    "Oh, come on, come on, come on, come on and take it-
    take another little piece of my hard on, baby."
    -Piece of my Heart parody

  47. [47] 
    neilm wrote:

    The Latest Con from the White House:

    9 regular people are sitting in a diner having coffee, their average income is $50,000. Warren Buffet walks in, now the average income is $800,000,000.

    A regular house in America cost $17,000 in 1963, today it is over $200,000.

    But, you say, the 9 people are still only worth $50,000 on average, shouldn't you use the median?

    And did you factor in inflation when comparing home prices from 55 years ago?

    No. And neither did the White House when it announced that wages have increased for Americans since 2017.

    The White House tells us that average wages have risen from $894.06 in January 2017 to $937.02 in August 2018.

    The con is that the inflation adjusted median wage for Americans as fallen from $876 to $848 - almost a 2% decline.

    Contrast this with the 5.73% increase in inflation adjusted median incomes in the last 18 months of Obama's presidency.

    This is why the Republicans are not running on the economy beyond the White House - real people are getting worse off. They feel safer in their jobs, but aren't very happy with them.

  48. [48] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    One positive of Michale's sabbatical could be that other comments won't get lost in the deluge.

    For example, maybe CW will explain why he won't address One Demand instead of leaving the rest of us to speculate with our own ideas of why such as this movie quote that is one possible reason:

    "I don't think about the things I don't think about."
    -Col. Matthew Brady
    Inherit the Wind

  49. [49] 
    neilm wrote:

    Quiet here this weekend - Michale must be stocking up on crow for November.

  50. [50] 
    neilm wrote:

    For example, maybe CW will explain why he won't address One Demand instead of leaving the rest of us to speculate with our own ideas

    I speculate that nobody wants to link to a website that for months has, on the front page no less, said "Substitute 2018 and 2020 where appropriate until site update is completed.", and prominently displays a 2015 Billy Joel song competition.

    Who would want to associate with an idea when the movement's website is tragically out of date?

  51. [51] 
    James T Canuck wrote:

    [49] neilm… lol, I get the sense Michale's absence will be short-lived, considering his premise for 'taking his ball and going home' has more holes in it than the fake Swiss Cheese Canada still gets to hike under the new, but essentially, same NAFTA agreement.

    One growing industry not addressed in the new agreement was Pot (outside the usual legal concerns) https://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2018/09/29/canadian-cannabis-dominate-industry_a_23545796/?utm_hp_ref=ca-homepage

    Maybe Canada will redress the ongoing overall trade surplus with the US, who knows, Canada might even get it to parity, that is, after all, what Trump claimed he wanted... hmmm

    LL&P

  52. [52] 
    Kick wrote:

    TS
    37

    I was thinking in the context of the Great Oxford debate of 1860, Huxley vs "Soapy Sam."

    Link to transcript... or it didn't happen! :p

    *smiles* *bats eyes* *winks*

  53. [53] 
    James T Canuck wrote:

    Kick... I love tradition. Various forums of debate are still widely enjoyed in the UK... this is the form they take nowadays, but are essentially the same as Huxley v Soapy... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dJYj6WbLFbg

    LL&P

  54. [54] 
    Kick wrote:

    neilm
    38

    WTF? Kumbaya moments with a vicious dictator who runs concentration camps and starve his people. Yet a brave and honest American speaks out and he trashes her.

    Neil is totally right! Trump "fell in love" with Kim Jong Un, a murderous thug who puts Christians in cages, and "Evangelicals" in the United States are just fine with that as long as The Donald deports the browns and defends the aggrieved white men like Brett Kavanaugh who are under attack in this country. Sad.

  55. [55] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Joshua and Michale,

    @michale,

    dershowitz doesn't write anything in that article that i disagree with, but i never bought into silence equalling assent. for me, when something (or someone) is not worth my attention i don't bother allocating the brain cells, much less the pixels. time away from here will probably do you good.

    best,
    JL

    I wholeheartedly agree with Joshua, Michale. You should know the both of us extremely well by now. Which means that you shouldn't be making negative assumptions about us when you know better.

    Rest up and get ready for the fundraising drive which is coming very soon!

    All the best to you and yours ...

  56. [56] 
    Kick wrote:

    JTC, Neil, JL, EM, Everybody
    51

    I get the sense Michale's absence will be short-lived, considering his premise for 'taking his ball and going home' has more holes in it than the fake Swiss Cheese Canada still gets to hike under the new, but essentially, same NAFTA agreement.

    Okay, please, Canadians and anybody who this is in their "wheelhouse" who can help me out regarding this new NAFTA deal. Is this more of a substantive change to NAFTA or just a name change and mostly optics? It seems to me like Trump has once again sold his minions one thing and then done another. Is this more window dressing and optics? Help, please. :)

  57. [57] 
    Kick wrote:

    JTC
    53

    Stephen Fry and Christopher Hitchens... yes, sir... a much more civilized way to debate than the use of firearms so often employed "across the pond."

  58. [58] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    Michale [40] = Like others that have commented, I'm skeptical of the whole 'silence equals assent' argument. Dershowitz is setting up Avenatti's client with an argument that doesn't allow that there was any moral ambiguity in the social situation - a standard that he won't apply himself to Netanyahu's regime in the West Bank, for instance.

    He goes on to undercut his own argument later in the piece by asserting (sans evidence) that Avenatti - Dershowitz's real target in this piece - might have 'tweaked the story' to make it sound more sensational, and suggests that the attorney-client privilege should be breached based on his hunch. He knows that there isn't actually a Court in this country that would consent to that, he just wants to beat Avenatti up with the insinuation.

    In other words, Dershowitz's article belongs less in the arena of legal reasoning, where he has some credibility, and more in the arena of political polemics, where lately, and increasingly, he has none, having long ago thrown in his lot with Israel's hard liners and their right-wing enablers here in the US.

    Dershowitz is here writing for an audience of one: Trump. His motivation is obvious - to get and keep access to the White House, so that he can continue to bend Trump's ear on the subject of Israel (a topic on which he would otherwise be unqualified to give advice, save for the fact that he's Jewish).

    Moreover, Dershowitz is quite aware that by making this particular argument, he's engaging in the oldest legal counter-strategy in the playbook - blaming the victim in order to divert attention away from the behavior of the accused.

    This is because Kavanaugh's defenders cannot bring the most reasonable defense into play: that 'spiking the punch' has been a thing at teen parties since punchbowls and booze were first brought into proximity to one another - catch the third Act of Back to the Future for an example in popular media.

    But Dershowitz knows that using that particular defense opens Kavanaugh up to a line of questions that he doesn't want pursued - Kavanaugh's motivation for spiking the punch in the first place.

    Avenatti's client isn't the first to point out the culture of group sexual assault that existed among Kavanaugh's crowd. Christine Ford indicated that Mark Judge stayed in the room during her assault. Mark Judge's girlfriend has said that he 'tearfully' described gang rapes that he was a part of to her. The letter sent by Julia Louise Dreyfus at her classmates, students at a girls school near Georgetown Prep, stated that some of them were 'survivors' of similar behavior.

    Finally, the 'silence equals assent' argument is just spurious, more of a meme than a basis for serious discussion. How much silence is required before it becomes assent? If Kav's accuser told a girlfriend about it, is she absolved from the sin of silence? Perhaps Dershowitz needs to read a copy of "A Handmaid's Tale" to understand how the issue of silent assent can be abused.

    I could, for example, demonstrate the complicity of the Republican Party to everything that Obama did, by pointing out that they all continued to pay their taxes, participate in representative government, and form contracts with the govenment even while he was President. Complicity. Where was the civil disobedience characteristic of a dedicated opposition? Were the streets blocked by sit-ins?

    Similarly, the Catholic Church opposes abortion, but have they ever forced the issue? Couldn't they mobilize their flocks to protest, to threaten to shut down nearly half of America's schools and hospitals until Roe is overturned? Is their (relative) silence complicity?

    You see? It's ultimately impossible to sustain that line of reasoning. That's what makes it a bad argument.

    Sorry this post is so long, but one reason that I haven't responded to this ridiculous argument is that a proper answer requires such depth, otherwise I'd prefer to call it nonsense and move on.

  59. [59] 
    Steedo wrote:

    Michale [40] I'll believe it's your last post when we never see another but for now I will go along. Ding dong the dick is dead.

  60. [60] 
    neilm wrote:

    The economy is currently like a two year old on a sugar high after the tax bill last year. But like a two year old the frantic energy is usually followed by a crash and a nap.

    The economy has a lot of signs that the rush is tapering. I'm seeing it at my company, and I'm not the only one. McKinsey's Economic Conditions Snapshot shows that executive business sentiment has gone into a tailspin from about +45 to basically zero in six months. These are global figures and emerging markets are being pushed down by a double whammy of a strong dollar and increased interest rates (a lot of emerging market companies borrowed at low dollar-denominated interest rates, so not only are their interest payments increasing, but they are also increasing in their own currency relative to the dollar).

    However the U.S. cannot carry the World, and as we force the Fed to react to a sugar rush, we damage our trading partners and everybody loses.

    This implies that you have a basic grasp of global economics and don't think that trade deficits are some sort of scoring mechanism in a game of who wins and who loses, like the White House does at the moment.

    I'm hoping that Trump is re-elected in 2020 because the economy is doing so well from his policies that even I can overlook everything else, because if I'm there then a lot of people have been lifted out of poverty in the U.S., however every ounce of common sense I have screams that we put our foot on the accelerator, pointed the car downhill and cut the brake cables, and now we are getting excited about how fast we are going.

    Source:

    https://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/strategy-and-corporate-finance/our-insights/economic-conditions-snapshot-september-2018-mckinsey-global-survey-results

  61. [61] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    You are part of the problem we find here, Steedo.

  62. [62] 
    Paula wrote:

    [58] Balthasar:

    Avenatti's client isn't the first to point out the culture of group sexual assault that existed among Kavanaugh's crowd. Christine Ford indicated that Mark Judge stayed in the room during her assault. Mark Judge's girlfriend has said that he 'tearfully' described gang rapes that he was a part of to her. The letter sent by Julia Louise Dreyfus at her classmates, students at a girls school near Georgetown Prep, stated that some of them were 'survivors' of similar behavior.

    I think this is an area that needs to be fleshed out more. What we're witnessing right now is the exposure of what might be a mountain of past crimes. How many girls/women were assaulted over how many years by how many privileged men? And how many MORE privileged men AND women knew and averted their eyes or covered up?

    How liable are any of the bystanders? How liable, now, are any of the perps from over the years?

    How many former perps now hold high positions in important places?

    How much like Weinstein's Hollywood is the beltway?

  63. [63] 
    Paula wrote:

    [59] Steedo: Seconded.

  64. [64] 
    James T Canuck wrote:

    [56] kick... I've been going over the minutia of the new agreement, for the most part, quite a lot has been updated to be relevant today, the agreement is 20 years old. The US does get to up their imports into Canada of eggs, chickens, Turkeys some dairy products and feed stock...so long as the standards to which Canada holds its own producers to. In other words, the one percent increase will probably mean an actual decrease in imports, as Canada maintains slightly higher production, feeding and housing standard than the US...so, I'm inclined say that's another talking point untethered to fact...The same applies to steal, a tariff remains because Trump is misinformed that Canada and Mexico 'dump' steal on the US market that is of low quality. I can't speak to Mexico, but I can speak to Canada and the US...Canada upholds the same standards as the US, neither country imports imperfectly forged steel for building--note building-- That's just another Trumpian pile of crap, he's admitted today that tariffs remain to cajole China into a trade deal, had one of his many trade renege's not been TPPA, he could have easily argued within it that China was selling cheap steal to all three NAFTA countries and that needed a redress...Walking from TPPA was a clumsy, amateurish political and economic blunder on Trump's part, he wanted to change economic conditions of the deal, so he closed the courthouse, fired the judge before he could renew his drivers licence. This is why political dilettantes never succeed in the long run.

    So, personally, I couldn't care less about this agreement, none of Canada's primary trades have been touched, oil, coal, bitumen, softwood lumber, fisheries, soy, wheat, nat gas, diamond, gold, silver, platinum and plutonium. All unaffected, and if the dairy is of the same quality we can get here, who cares...were I a Wisconsin dairy producer, I'd be more worried about the subsidies they get from DC, the grey area for them is the parity, which Canada has no problem with, but the truth is, DC subsidises the dairy industry to be cheaply exported, hence Canada's tariff on the industry, the new agreement seems to imply that DC has to cut the subsidy before six years, or six percent imports of US dairy is realised in Canada...
    Also, Trump just jettisoned any chance of cheaper pharmaceuticals for Americans, contrary to what he campaigned on, he added an extra two years to the copy right of drugs against the generic drug companies...who are largely owned by big pharma anyway? So, don't expect prescription prices to fall anytime soon, and so much for draining the swamp...

    All in all, DRUMFTA is a slightly rushed, somewhat updated version of NAFTA with mild concessions on all sides. It remains to be seen if it's ratified by all legislators involved...because of Trudeau's complete mandate here, he can do what he wants with it for a few years, same in Mexico, the us...not so much, congress may never ratify it.

    LL&P

  65. [65] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    JTC,

    because of Trudeau's complete mandate here, he can do what he wants with it for a few years, same in Mexico, the us...not so much, congress may never ratify it.

    I'm curious as to why you think Congress may never ratify it.

    I was thinking that this could be an issue that most Americans can agree to - Republican and Democrat, alike.

    If Democrats choose to oppose this simply as part of their overall resistance to Trump, then I suggest they think again.

  66. [66] 
    neilm wrote:

    I'm curious as to why you think Congress may never ratify it.

    One reason is the drug prices. Healthcare is a potent weapon for the Democrats and if they can insist that they need a better deal for Americans on drug prices then they not only make the White House look in the pocket of big pharma, but also wrong foot him on healthcare leading up to 2020.

    If the White House tries to renegotiate and fails then the whole "great deal maker" becomes a laughingstock, and if they don't then they look like they are trying to increase drug prices. A nice lose-lose for the White House and a win-win for the Democrats and Americans.

  67. [67] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    I'm curious as to why you think Congress may never ratify it.

    That's easy. It takes a 2/3 vote to ratify a treaty in the Senate, something that's not going to happen unless a lot of constituents are made happy and whole, which by all accounts, this treaty fails to do.

    Trump has the power to enter into an informal arrangement with Canada - to abide by the draft treaty until ratification - but if legal challenges arise, the issue will be decided based on the previously ratified treaty, rather than the informal agreement.

    You'd almost think that some other power was at play here, and when you think about it in Britain, too, where suddenly, and at our own hands, economic arrangements that were once dependable are suddenly up in the air, and treaties are trashed like parking receipts. Someone not fond of the West, obviously.

  68. [68] 
    Steedo wrote:

    EM [61]- Perhaps you should stick to policing the Elizabeth Miller blog (if such exists) instead of your habit of playing the scoldy junior-high librarian in charge.

  69. [69] 
    James T Canuck wrote:

    [65] E M, it's not quite that simple in the US. Canada and its provinces took the cautionary measure to deal with DC and the states simultaneously, so what might be good for Wisconsin is iffy in Michigan and be outrageous in Ohio. So all the states have their own agendas and constituents to worry about, they are represented in congress. In Canada, the feds aren't at the mercy of every little fiefdom when decisions of the nation are at stake. Trudeau has a majority in Parliament that American politicians could only dream about, in context, the Liberal majority could almost certainly repeal every (US) constitutional amendment with a partisan vote in parliament.

    I'm not suggesting the democrats oppose the new agreement, I'm just pointing out that there will be GOP members of congress who don't want to pay the price of towing the party line at the polls in their own corner of America... You assumed that the democrats would be the enemy of the agreement because of the shambolic political environment the US is in, which is odd to me, given that this very same thing that played out with repealing Obamacare and is playing out now with Kavanaugh.

    LL&P

  70. [70] 
    TheStig wrote:

    EM-61

    With all respect, I think the problem has solved itself. Not that the problem can't or won't come back.

  71. [71] 
    TheStig wrote:

    Does anybody else think the Trump word salad has gotten a lot worse over the past couple of days? He repeats himself three times instead of two during what passes for a sentence. Staff lined up behind him can't repress eye rolling. It not Tina Fey level eye rolling, it's eye rolling lite, but that's still eye rolling.

    I've always wondered why staff line up behind a President during white how TV sessions. Is it to keep Presidents from running away?

  72. [72] 
    James T Canuck wrote:

    [70] I not sure I see a problem in need of sorting, as I have said before, comment sections in blogs are for comments/opinions. I don't always agree with people here that are obviously of a similar political bent as I, in the same way I have sided with others on the far end of the spectrum from my own core beliefs. Each and every subject is weighed against ones own beliefs, sometimes they align with others out of normal political lockstep.

    I freely admit I'm left-libertarian, but I don't advocate for abortion, religion and ultra governmental intrusion, right-libertarians want guns, god and right to life and zero/little governmental oversight. We share some beliefs, but we aren't diametrically opposed at the core. Were I still living in the US, I'd be an Independent-left leaning.

    LL&P

  73. [73] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    Stig [71]: Is it to keep Presidents from running away?

    It could be for other reasons. Famously, Colin Powell made George Tenet sit behind him when he gave his indictment of Iraq to the U.N. - which was possibly the biggest pile of bullshit delivered to that august body by somebody not named Khadaffi.

    So it could be that, like Powell, Trump doesn't want sole responsibility for the crap he's spewing. Then, too, loyalty has become an issue lately.

    It worked for Powell, incidentally. Anytime anyone sees that picture, they're reminded that Tenet told him that the information was a "slam dunk".

    .

  74. [74] 
    James T Canuck wrote:

    [71] Stig, what you call word salad I call superlative drivel in liew of actual intelligence. Trump tries to come off as a renaissance man, and fails miserably. His 'salad' enters when he goes off the teleprompter to add un-necessary adjectives.

    Bigly.

    LL&P

  75. [75] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Balthasar,

    What I meant to ask is why would anyone think their won't be a 2/3 vote in Congress.

    How do you see this deal failing "a lot of constituents"?

    As far as trade deals go, this seems to be a good one. And, it also has a sunset clause whereby it can be renegotiated in six years.

    Why would a majority of Senate Democrats not vote to ratify the USMCA on trade?

  76. [76] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Neil,

    I can't imagine Democrats trying to oppose this deal on one issue like lower drug prices. Besides, are there not other ways Democrats can fight higher drug prices?

    You know that free (and fair) trade throughout North America is critical to the economies of all three parties and that is why Congress will ratify it or suffer severe consequences.

  77. [77] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    JTC,

    You assumed that the democrats would be the enemy of the agreement …

    Actually, I assumed the opposite.

  78. [78] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    Liz [75]: How do you see this deal failing "a lot of constituents"? As far as trade deals go, this seems to be a good one. And, it also has a sunset clause whereby it can be renegotiated in six years.

    Don't get me wrong. If Canada and Mexico both indicate that they want the deal, it will pass, eventually.

    But, from the information I've seen and heard, it will result in higher prices on both sides, particularly, as Neil notes, in prescription drugs.

    If Democrats take the Senate in November, they can block ratification until they're seated in January. Then they might insist on beneficial changes to the Treaty, or on a side treaty regarding drug prices in particular, prior to ratification.

  79. [79] 
    neilm wrote:

    As far as trade deals go, this seems to be a good one. And, it also has a sunset clause whereby it can be renegotiated in six years.

    I laughed at that - the minute it is guaranteed the clown is thrown out of the White House (it will probably be four years earlier, but they weren't risking the stupidity of the american electorate) they want a mulligan.

    I get the feeling we are going to see a lot of mulligans in 2021 - the TPP is an obvious one - the other countries are keeping it warm for us.

  80. [80] 
    neilm wrote:

    I can't imagine Democrats trying to oppose this deal on one issue like lower drug prices.

    Prescription charges are crazy in the U.S. and importing from Canada is a great option. Americans trust that Canadians have real drugs, so they aren't going to get ripped off, but get much lower prices. The correct solution, as you point out, is to do this through separate legislation, but we all know that both sides of the political spectrum will ensure this doesn't happen. However a simple fix like "let us buy Canadian drugs" is simpler and also there will be a lot of other industries that want the deal to go through and will outspend the drug companies if it comes to that.

  81. [81] 
    James T Canuck wrote:

    [77] We're chasing our tails. My point was, either party in congress, or even a couple of members from either party could put the brakes or even the kybosh on the agreement.
    One thing's for sure, Canada and Mexico will wait to see what happens in November in the US before they even start sharpening their pencils.

    America's international agreements aren't trusted like they once were, it's unfortunate, but true. The prevailing sentiment in Canada is, until the US congress votes on the agreement, it's not worth the paper it's written on.

    LL&P

  82. [82] 
    James T Canuck wrote:

    For the record...

    Trade is an important factor in international relations, but it isn't all about the 'almighty buck' and the insipid avarice connected to the Pan-American dream.

    The bully tactics of Trump regime, and the 'stick-up' mentality of keeping your friends and neighbours to heel by brow beating, and lying about the true nature of the relationship, hasn't sat well in Canada. American's are still well liked and trusted, but the government is loathed. A great many people in Canada see this last few months as nothing short of a double-cross and a knife in the back, especially in light of the fact that Canadians are still dying in your fucking war in Afghanistan because we honoured OUR agreement(article 5 NATO). You can almost take it to the bank, once this ransom demand, NAFTA 2.0 is signed, Canada will be out of the 'Empire Killer' before the ink is dry. I gather also, Canada, UK, New Zealand and Australia have tightened their grip on sharing military intel with the US, expect it to tighten more until Trump and his gang are cast aside, and long after until trust is mutual.

    I only point this out because a fish only understands the contents of its tank. From all I have seen, I think the majority of Americans don't quite see or listen to the outside world. I think it's a mistake to assume that in a post Trumpian era the US will be welcomed back into the fold of its previous allies and trading partners. Trump and his MAGA stink will be on America for a generation, luckily, the American people, as I said, are still liked and trusted...It's not like Trump represents the majority.

    LL&P

  83. [83] 
    Kick wrote:

    JTC
    64

    Nice post. Exactly what I wanted... a Canadian to tell set me straight about what it is and isn't.

    So, personally, I couldn't care less about this agreement, none of Canada's primary trades have been touched, oil, coal, bitumen, softwood lumber, fisheries, soy, wheat, nat gas, diamond, gold, silver, platinum and plutonium.

    Sounds good for our friends to the North.

    Also, Trump just jettisoned any chance of cheaper pharmaceuticals for Americans, contrary to what he campaigned on, he added an extra two years to the copy right of drugs against the generic drug companies...who are largely owned by big pharma anyway? So, don't expect prescription prices to fall anytime soon, and so much for draining the swamp...

    Well, that sounds about right... Situation Normal... SNAFU; the minions will love it because they'll believe whatever Trump or Fox tells them.

    All in all, DRUMFTA is a slightly rushed, somewhat updated version of NAFTA with mild concessions on all sides.

    DRUMFTA! *laughs*

    It remains to be seen if it's ratified by all legislators involved...because of Trudeau's complete mandate here, he can do what he wants with it for a few years, same in Mexico, the us...not so much, congress may never ratify it.

    Nothing the U.S. Congress does surprises me anymore.

    Thank you for explaining me this, JTC! It is truly appreciated. :)

  84. [84] 
    Kick wrote:

    EM
    65

    I was thinking that this could be an issue that most Americans can agree to - Republican and Democrat, alike.

    I think you're exactly right.

    If Democrats choose to oppose this simply as part of their overall resistance to Trump, then I suggest they think again.

    I suspect you'll have a few that need some attention and make some noise about the details... situation normal... but this one should easily pass. :)

  85. [85] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    JTC[82],

    You make some good points. Canadians, generally speaking, are still smarting from being labeled a national security threat wrt the steel and aluminum tariffs that are a separate issue from the USMCA on trade.

    As for the impact of Trump's actions on trade and foreign relations, the length and severity of the impact will depend in large part on who replaces Trump. That is why I think Biden is the best antidote to Trump and Trumpism.

  86. [86] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Kick,

    Did you hear what Trump said at the presser when he was talking about being surprised about how Kavanaugh was talking about beers so much?

    Oh, it made be laugh out loud! I mean, I was laughing with the president, not at him …

    He said, and I paraphrase, I don't drink alcohol; never have for whatever reason; it's a good thing - can you imagine if I did drink!

    Heh.

  87. [87] 
    neilm wrote:

    JTC [82] The stupidity of this 4 years will last decades, and the loss of trust in America's word will cost us 10x over.

    Trust is earned in drops but can be lost by the bucket. The clown show we have for an administration has lost bucket loads already, and are bailing furiously because Donnie Orangeface really has no clue how the World works.

  88. [88] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Neil,

    The impact of Trump on the promise of America and on America's future global leadership role need not last decades.

    Not if Senator Biden is Trump's successor.

  89. [89] 
    TheStig wrote:

    Kick-52

    "link to transcript... or it didn't happen! :p"

    Well, there is no verbatim transcript of the Huxley-Wilberforce encounter, and the biblical quote is most likely an embellishment. The quote does serve to emphasize how Wilberforce dismissively gave Huxley a softball pitch, which Huxley (not a great debater by most accounts) proceeded to knock out of the park.

    I love the story because I have an direct academic chain to Darwin's Bulldog.

  90. [90] 
    neilm wrote:

    The impact of Trump on the promise of America and on America's future global leadership role need not last decades.

    Not if Senator Biden is Trump's successor.

    The problem isn't Biden's - it is that other countries wouldn't trust some Trumpian clown after Biden to stick with the agreements Biden repaired. NAFTA, the Iran Deal, Paris, TPP, etc. show that one idiot can undo the good that decades of intelligent leadership can build.

    The "Six Year Review" clause is likely to be the first of many America will have to agree to - and long release clauses are likely to be the norm as well.

  91. [91] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    The problem isn't Biden's - it is that other countries wouldn't trust some Trumpian clown after Biden,/I>

    You know, I never thought of that problem … that Americans could elect someone like Trump again.

    Still, that's not an argument against Biden in 2020. Not the least because his choice for running mate would be extraordinary. :)

  92. [92] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Neil,

    The problem isn't Biden's - it is that other countries wouldn't trust some Trumpian clown after Biden …

    You know, I never thought of that problem … that Americans could elect someone like Trump again.

    Still, that's not an argument against Biden in 2020. Not the least because his choice for running mate would be extraordinary. :)

  93. [93] 
    Kick wrote:

    EM
    86

    Did you hear what Trump said at the presser when he was talking about being surprised about how Kavanaugh was talking about beers so much?

    Yes. TS is right, though, Trump is getting worse.

    Oh, it made be laugh out loud! I mean, I was laughing with the president, not at him …

    I was shaking my head... yet again... at the shameless lies. This won't surprise anyone whatsoever, but Donald Trump is a liar.

    He said, and I paraphrase, I don't drink alcohol; never have for whatever reason; it's a good thing - can you imagine if I did drink!

    Can you imagine Trump drinking? It's easy if you try:

    https://www.sbs.com.au/news/how-social-media-reacted-to-trump-s-claim-he-never-drinks

    I've never found anything in print... yet... to verify this story, but it is widely known by people who know these things that Donald Trump is lying about never drinking. There's a widely known tale how Trump was drinking one time and had a few too many strawberry margaritas. Once outside the establishment, Trump began to vomit red and freaked out, became angry and scared, demanding someone call an ambulance because he thought he was bleeding. Poor dumb drunk had to be reminded that it was the strawberry drinks they had consumed and not his own blood.

    Surprise... not surprise… Trump lies! :)

  94. [94] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Well, it still made me laugh.

  95. [95] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    That reminds me of my cherry whiskey party … or, more accurately, of its aftermath.

  96. [96] 
    Kick wrote:

    EM

    Here are more pictures of Trump "never" drinking.

    https://www.quora.com/How-often-does-President-Trump-drink-alcohol

    Some of these "drinks" appear to be water glasses that are similar to wine glasses, though.

  97. [97] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    It looked like a bloody massacre. Ahem.

  98. [98] 
    Kick wrote:

    EM
    95

    That reminds me of my cherry whiskey party … or, more accurately, of its aftermath.

    Ooops. Canadians do have some great whiskey. :)

  99. [99] 
    LeaningBlue wrote:

    It's only Monday, and I just now heard the Kav news of the day for the first time.

    I'd say the confirmation success half life is down to one day. There are too many threads unraveling in the press in real time. I don't see how he comes back from this by Friday, if in fact the FBI can now interview witnesses beyond the initial four.

  100. [100] 
    James T Canuck wrote:

    Liz... I'm so glad I'm not the only one thinking Biden will be President Biden in 2020. Trump will attack him for being Obama's 2nd, but trump's a racist, so it'll backfire. Trump will have a go at Biden over plagiarism...no one cares, most people don't even know what that is, so it will backfire. Trump will challenge Biden to a fistfight, Trump will run away or hide, like all bully's do, so that will backfire.

    I still maintain, if Trump thinks he stands a chance in 2020, however remote, his ego will demand to see it through, more to extend his days of freedom than any inner fealty to the nation. If Trump senses all is lost, he'll step aside for Pence, under condition of blanket pardons. Pence has always been the 'establishment man', he did more to carry Trump to his 'massive' 60,000 vote difference of the Electoral College dive over the line than Trump...Pence carried the mulligan nutter fringe. Pence has always pledged allegiance, but is rarely around when Trump steps on his own banana peel. Biden will beat Pence easily too.

    The next US election should be decided by people willing to put aside their religious disability and deal with the general health of the nation. It's time to wake up as planet. Religion is in retrograde, there are more people secure in the knowledge that we are made of stars, than there are who believe in some miserable freak using lifeforms as playthings. The time has passed for faith to make smart people sound stupid and the stupid to feel smart.

    I'm fed up with all the theocratic idiocy pushing society around.

    Mulligans indeed, what utter hypocrisy...

    LL&P

  101. [101] 
    Kick wrote:

    TS
    89

    Well, there is no verbatim transcript of the Huxley-Wilberforce encounter, and the biblical quote is most likely an embellishment.

    That was supposed to be a joke... no transcript, didn't happen! Very interesting stuff, though, and I spent a good couple hours reading multiple links and several different accounts written close to the time of the event. One of them:

    http://www.victorianweb.org/science/biology/oxforddebate.html

    I love the story because I have an direct academic chain to Darwin's Bulldog.

    Oh, really!? So you're a dastard, are you!? ;)

    Just kidding. It's a word I learned today at that link above. I love history. :)

  102. [102] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    neilm (50)-
    Anyone that is interested in exploring ideas and thinking aboot the ideas instead of looking for lame excuses to avoid thinking aboot the ideas. (see comment 48 for an appropriate movie quote regarding those looking for excuses to avoid thinking aboot ideas)

  103. [103] 
    TheStig wrote:

    Kick-101

    I defend Darwin and The Origin of Species 1st ed. a couple of times a year. Almost always to someone who has never bothered to read the book. Darwin could write engaging prose (Voyage of the Beagle) but Origiin is anything but an easy read. Darwin got the broad strokes of evolution mostly right in the 1st edition...and tended to muddy the waters in subsequent editions. Darwin was never aware of early geneticists. He came so close, but he never read the letter Gregor Mendel sent him. I consider Darwin one of The Great Minds, but his work is a century and a half old.

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