+ Let’s not get too carried away with high-minded talk about the sanctity of the Supremes. It’s nearly impossible for the sniveling brute Brett Kavanaugh to leave too much of a stain on the same Court that has decided Dred Scott, Plessy, the pro-eugenics ruling in Buck v. Bell, Korematsu and Citizens United. More likely Kavanaugh will blend right in with its sordid history. Real social change is driven by political movements not a few enlightened jurists.
+ We should thank Kavanaugh for dropping the mask during his mad rant on Thursday. This is what they are all like behind closed doors: Gorsuch, Comey, Holder, Yoo. Imagine the kind of shit Brett & his crew were saying while they edited the torture memos over a keg? And BK wasn’t the worst. Those goons were down the hall in Cheney’s shop of horrors.
+ Is it any surprise that Brett Kavanaugh, a man who was a sexual predator in high school and college, would “mature” into a lawyer who helped draft legal justifications for the torture of other humans?
+ Senator Grassley likes his persecutions to run on time…
+ Every question Dr. Ford answered that the Republicans didn’t have the guts to ask for themselves revealed them for the cowardly goons they are….
+ Lindsey Graham is a writhing toad of sexual confusion and animus.
+ In response to the testimony of a woman who was shoved from behind into a bedroom and sexually assaulted, Lindsey Graham says that he “feels ambushed.”
+ What happens when none of the questioners are competent to question the witness. Most of the senators and the prosecutor don’t even understand what Dr. Ford is saying…
+ GOP prosecutor interrogating Dr. Ford about every aspect of her finances and badgering her over “who paid for the polygraph” (her lawyers), but we still don’t know who paid off Brett Kavanaugh’s debts….
+ Here’s how the GOP Senators on the Judiciary Committee voted on the 2013 Violence Against Women Act…
Mr. Grassley: NAY
Mr. Hatch: NAY
Mr. Graham: NAY
Mr. Cornyn: NAY
Mr. Lee: NAY
Mr. Cruz: NAY
+ Grassley: “Stop the clock, will you?” It won’t help stem the bleeding, Chuck.
+ Santorum on CNN: “Watching her, she seemed authentic…and that’s a big problem for Brett Kavanaugh.” When you’ve lost Latin for Asshole & all you’ve got left is Don Jr., you’re in a mess of trouble…
+ Thankfully, Kavanaugh didn’t bring the girls basketball team with him, still someone should probably file a restraining order against the judge before practices start for the new season…
+ No one would ever accuse me of being a fan of the Clintons, but how many times did Brett Kavanaugh and the Starr team come up with new evidence at the last minute that wasn’t even related to the crimes they were investigating?
+ Clarence “High-Tech Lynching” Thomas seems to have been the model for Kavanaugh’s belligerent, self-pitying angry man routine. Call it manufactured indignity.
+ Kavanaugh: “This is a smear, plain and simple.”
Brett had better hope he didn’t leave a smear…
+ Kavanaugh’s strategy: rage, tears and beers.
+ Brett Kavanaugh’s snarling voice is the squeal of white male privilege caught in a leg-hold trap…
+ Feinstein is pathetic. She can’t defend Ford, herself or her staff. Kavanaugh ran right over her and she just took it.
+ Would you document on your calendar a small gathering where you tried to rape someone?
+ Kavanaugh’s violent demeanor is that of a man who has enjoyed impunity for everything he has ever done in his life up to this point…
+ Kavanaugh: “Everybody praises my temperament, damnit!”
+ Liliana Segura: “It feels like we’re all at a wedding in hell and the best man’s toast has gone off the rails.”
+ Who will ask how many beers Brett had for lunch?
+ Brett: FFFFF referred to Squi’s stuttering way of saying “fuck”.
Every high school boy: FFFFF means “Find ’em, fetch ’em, feel ’em, fuck ’em, forget ’em.”
+ Charles Lane: “Since it’s come up — I grew up across the street in Chevy Chase from the guy known as ‘Squi’ and saw him every day in my childhood. He did not stutter, so nothing to mock in that dept. but he did have that funny way of saying the F-word, as BK said. FWIW.”
+ We interrupt these proceedings for a 15 minute beer break.
+ On the night Brett Kavanaugh told the Federalist Society he was “falling out of the bus onto the front steps of Yale Law School at about 4:45 a.m.”, “Roger Clemens was pitching, George Brett was playing third, no outfield that night….” Thanks for clearing that up, Judge. Did you keep the scorecard? Because it looks like Brett played first base that night…
+ Democratic senators are performing as ineptly as they did during the Anita Hill hearing.
+ Each Democrat should have focused on a separate line of questioning. Instead, they all asked the same three questions and got the same evasions and prevarications. The clumsy GOP surrogate elicited more useful information from both Ford and the Judge than all of the Democrats–until she was suddenly evicted to make way for Lindsey Graham’s volcanic tantrum…
+ Not one question for the great advocate of women clerks about the disgusting behavior of his mentor Kosinski, who I’m sure also studied hard in high school and college.
+ The best service the Republicans performed for their country during the hearing was to rub Joe Biden’s bullshit in the face of the Democrats.
+ Remember that Kavanaugh’s hero Antonin Scalia once dissented in a death penalty case (Herrera v. Collins) by arguing that innocence was NOT a legitimate grounds for granting an appeal. Sorry, Brett.
+ I don’t think Kavanaugh would hesitate for a minute to, as did his G-Prep alum Gorsuch in his first act on the high court, consign a man to the death chamber even though serious doubts had been raised about his guilt and the fairness of his prosecute. In other words, the man’s empathy is almost entirely self-directed.
+ What happened to the sex crimes prosecutor? Was that how she interviews all of her suspects? Why did the GOP suspend the questioning of the sex crimes prosecutor once she pointed out the July 1st notation on Kavanaugh’s calendar about a party that included Judge, PJ and Squi where “skis” (brewskis) were consumed?
+ This is the day of the snarling white men!
+ Q. How much beer is too much beer?
Brett: “Whatever the chart says.”
+ The sleazy yearbook reference to “Renata” was a sign of respect, Kavanaugh claims, just like the UN ambassadors laughing at Trump….
+ Kavanaugh clerked for Judge Kosinski and swears he never saw any signs that the judge was serially harassing women. Why isn’t it reasonable that we might assume he has led the same secret life…
+ I don’t know if Kavanaugh participated in a gang-rape of Julie Swetnick, but there was certainly a political gang-rape by the Republicans in the afternoon session.
+ Rightwing sleaze-machine Erik Erikson proclaimed that after his own review of Kavanaugh’s resumé he counted possibly be a serial sex offender: “Garbage people do not accomplish what Kavanaugh has accomplished in the way he has accomplished it. Instead, garbage people tend to wind up writing for left-of-center online news outlets in DC.”
+ Of course, Kavanaugh clerked for certified “garbage person” Judge Alex Kosinski, the harasser of at least 12 women in the sanctity of his judicial chambers.
+ Does Kavanaugh’s vitriolic demeanor make it more or less likely that he is capable of committing an act of violence?
+ I sure hope The Cory Booker Show isn’t renewed for next season.
+ As Ralph Nader said, the Democrats should hold their own public hearing, question all the accusers and witnesses. They won’t. Because to be a Democrat is by definition to not do whatever it is that really needs to be done.
+ One would be tempted to say Orrin Hatch is senile. But he sounded just the same 27 years ago.
+ New liberal hero George W. Bush has been calling “moderate” Republican senators and a few of his old Democratic pals, like Joe Manchin, urging them to give his former staffer Kavanaugh a break: “Look, Flake, can you overlook the sexual predator stuff, so we can have our torture?”
+ Jeff Flake is the dead armadillo in the middle of the road. He is full of anguish, rending his conscience in public, before capitulating.
+ The Soul of Flake: I’m voting for Kavanaugh because I didn’t hear enough evidence to vote against him, this just after voting to suppress a subpoena that would have allowed him to hear more evidence against him. Then he calls for a weeklong FBI investigation, after voting to move the nominee out of the committee. On the Hill, this is called Flaking Out.
+ Dear Liberals, the FBI investigation will be overseen by director Christopher Wray, who was two years behind Brett-boy at both Yale and Yale Law. After graduation, they entered the same rightwing political orbit and both took jobs in the Bush Administration. How do you think it’s going to turn out?
+ I think the FBI investigation helps Brett-boy. The conclusion will be ambiguous and thus will seem to clear him, overshadowing the multiple reasons he should never be allowed near the Supreme Court. The question is: who resisted it so firmly? Brett, Grassley, Mitch, or Trump?
+ After all of Judge Kavanaugh’s self-pitying histrionics, he didn’t punch a single hole in the credibility of Dr. Ford.
+ Kavanaugh pursued Clinton for years over lying about consensual sex. Yet Brett-boy lied compulsively under oath while trying to defend himself against a credible allegation that he tried to rape a minor–to the wild applause of Bubba’s most puritanical scolds, like Graham & Hatch.
+ Even if Ford had filed charges against Kavanaugh in 1982, the odds are pretty good that he would have gotten off. Less than a third of young men who are prosecuted for rape are convicted. Unless, of course, you’re black, in which case you’re shot before ever gets to trial.
+ Ellen Barkin: “I have seen men cry like kavanaugh, the one who cried at my feet after smashing my face thru a glass coffee table, the one sobbing and screaming until i understood it was my fault for making him angry enough to attack me. Deny, attack, become the victim…cry if you are able.”
+ The Democrats could have shut down the committee vote by refusing to attend the hearing today and denying a quorum, which by committee rules requires the presence of at least seven members, including two of the opposing party. Instead, speeches…It’s hard not to agree with the odious Graham that the Democrats exploited Dr. Ford for their own craven political purposes, which did not include actually stopping the elevation of a wounded Brett Kavanaugh to the high bench.
+ I couldn’t think of a better way to undermine the allegations against Brett Kavanaugh than what MSDNC is doing by putting Linda Fairstein, the prosecutor in the Central Park 5 case, on as “an expert “in the Kavanaugh case. As far as I know, Fairstein never recanted or apologized for her frame up of those innocent kids.
+ Here’s Linda Fairstein, MSDNC “expert” on the allegations against Kavanaugh, still defending a couple of months ago her false and malicious prosecution of the Central Park Five.
+ It seems impossible, but FoxNews has actually gotten more misogynistic since Ailes and O’Reilly got the boot…
+ According to the Urban Dictionary, during the act of a “Devil’s Triangle” the two men must never engage in eye contact. Did Brett cop a glance at Mark? Maybe Lindsey Graham will inquire?
+ Brett Kavanaugh: “This is something out of a Twilight Zone episode.”
+ Stuart Newman: “I don’t remember any gang rapes in a Twilight Zone episode.”
+ Kavanaugh friend: “Brett never hung out with public school girls from Gaithersburg.”
+ So many shoes have dropped in the Kavanaugh affair that Nike’s thinking of building a new media campaign around him.
+ Actor Ken Olin: “Since Trump was elected he’s sent us more alleged rapists than Mexico.”
+ It looks like Kavanaugh learned something from his pursuit of Bill Clinton as part of Ken Starr’s legal posse: How to artfully dance around questions about sex…
+ Brenda from Missouri calls C-SPAN: “I’m a 76-year-old woman who was sexually molested in 2nd grade. This brings back so much pain. Thought I was over it but it’s not. You will never forget it. You get confused & you don’t understand it but you never forget what happened to you.”
+ Elizabeth Ferrari: “Sometimes memory goes sideways, too. This morning I didn’t remember the event but standing in a police station, surrounded by hostile cops who refused to take a report because they’d decided my aggressor was the good guy. And a woman cop very quietly walking up to me in the middle of that critical crowd and taking pictures.”
+ Brett the 30-Year-Old Virgin?
+ Elliot Sperber: “When Kavanaugh says he didn’t have sex until many years after college maybe he meant consensual sex.”
+ How frequently do the children of prosecutors, like Brett Kavanaugh, turn out to be privileged little deviants who feel they can get away with almost any act of depravity?
+ I guess we now know why Kavanaugh appealed to Trump from that list of other Federalist Society clones….
+ The Senate Judiciary Committee Republicans say they have spoken to two men who think they, not Kavanaugh, had the 1982 encounter that formed the basis for her sexual abuse claim. Are they Franklin Graham and Jerry Falwell, Jr.?
+ 48% of evangelicals say they’d support Kavanaugh even if the allegations made by Dr. Ford were proved to be true.
+ Brett may have won the hearts of the Southern Baptists, but he just lost the Jesuits…
+ Let’s recall that the FBI investigation of Anita Hill’s charges did NOTHING to prevent Clarence Thomas from being elevated to the Supreme Court. But the Democrats couldn’t let this issue go, to their own doom.
+ If confirmed, Kavanaugh might become the first Supreme Court justice to be disbarred.
+ Trump claimed 4 or 5 women were paid off to make false accusations against. He didn’t mention that he paid off two women to gag them about real accusations against him.
+ According to the American Psychological Association:
“Sexual assault is likely the most under-reported crime in the United States. About two-thirds of female sexual assault victims do not report to the police, and many victims do not tell anyone. Sexual assault is a terrifying and humiliating experience. Women choose not to report for a variety of reasons — fear for their safety, being in shock, fear of not being believed, feeling embarrassed or ashamed, or expecting to be blamed.”
+ Barbara Ehrenreich: “I experienced assaults like those reported by Ford and Ramirez decades ago and, except for crying on a friend’s shoulder, did not tell anyone at the time. But if any of my assailants were nominated for a position of power, I would come forward immediately. And loudly.”
+ Trump’s wheezing more and more often these days. Which Dr. Feelgood will do his physical this year?
+ The laughter that erupted during Trump’s speech was the greatest moment at the UN since Hugo Chavez called George W. Bush “the Devil”:
+ Trump at #UNGA “America is governed by Americans. We reject the ideology of globalism and we embrace the doctrine of patriotism.”
Does anyone know if the Library of Congress has a copy of the “Doctrine of Patriotism?”
+ Trump: “China has total respect for Donald Trump and for Donald Trump’s very, very large brain.”
+ Did Trump really refer to the Kurdish reporter as “Mr. Kurd?”
+ The Sound and the Fury was more straightforward than Trump’s press conference.
+ Trump appears to be on Diet Crack.
+ Steven Rendall sums up Trump’s hallucinogenic press conference at the UN: “What a disaster. Besides the torrent of lies, he also ordered one woman reporter to sit down, interrupted every female reporter, spoke of how the sexual assault charges against *him* affected his views of the Kavanaugh charges, indicated that he seems to think all three Kavanaugh accusers will be heard from tomorrow, called a reporter who asked about the Kurds, “Mr. Kurd, and much more. He could fuck up a junkyard.”
+ Evo Morales to Trump at the UN Security Council meeting, which Trump was chairing: “In no way is the US interested in spreading democracy. Nor does the US care about Justice.” Morales pointed to Trump’s policy of “keeping children in cages” and the “illegal” move of the US embassy to Jerusalem.
“Thank you, Mr. President,” Trump meekly replied.
+ Darling Nikki, Will you please be quiet, please?
+ Did Melania sign off the new US sanctions against Cilia Flores, the first lady of Venezuela?
+ From Michael Lewis’s book on the Trump transition, The Fifth Risk…
+ John Bolton at the UN on Iran: “There will be hell to pay!…We are watching, and we will come after you.”
+ Bolton pledged that US troops are not leaving Syria as long as “Iranian troops are outside Iranian borders.”
+ Bolton was always more likely to shave his mustache than change his position on Syria and Iran…
+ I never had any illusions about the true nature of Trump’s foreign policy and no one else should have after he tapped Bolton for National Security Advisor. Now it begins to unfold.
+ If you want a measure for how serious the risk of war with Iran really is, consider that Obama fired Mad Dog Mattis for being too much of a hardliner on Iran. In the Trump administration, Mattis is now one of the few voices of caution and restrain.
+ Rep. Jim Jordan: “When Republicans act like Republicans, we win. When we act like Democrats we lose.” How do we tell the difference?
+ I don’t know what kind of toxic waste Sheldon Adelson thrives on, but DC must be saturated with it now…
+ First bust the Taxi drivers unions, then watch the wages of the Uber drivers plummet…
+ With gate receipts for his new film ‘F 11/9’ sagging, Michael Moore goes the full-Hitler, claiming that Trump might stage a Reichstag fire-like event in order to grab more power….How much more power does Trump need? If you can get away with putting kids in concentration camps, you can get away with almost anything.
+ Migrant Children in Federal Detention
Sept. 2018: 12,800
May 2017: 2,400
+ Fahrenheit Michael Moore:
F-9/11: $28 mm (in first weekend)
F-11/9: $3.2 (in first weekend)
Is the weak box office for F-11/9 cause for more suspicion about the coming “blue wave” in November? Or just another sign that Moore is well beyond his “buy-by” date?
+ The Southern Ocean is warming twice as fast as the Pacific and the Atlantic. Why? Floating censors have pinpointed two causes, both human-generated: ozone depletion and greenhouse gas emissions.
+ At a speech to corporate bigwigs in Oslo, Barack Obama tweaked Trump for his “lack of commitment” on climate change. Nonsense. Trump is fully committed, much as Obama was, to the acceleration of climate change, he’s just more honest about it than Obama…(See our new book The Big Heat)
+ In a 500-page environmental impact statement, Trump’s National Highway Safety Association made a startling admission. The agency predicted 7-degree rise in global temperatures by the year 2100
+ Every 40 HOURS Antarctica is losing a BILLION tons of ice.
+ All the more reason, I guess, for the EPA to eliminate the office of the agency’s science advisor.
+ Does Rick Perry know which Department he is Secretary of yet?
+ British Union leader Tosh McDonald: “I set my alarm clock an hour earlier than I needed just so I could hate Thatcher for an hour longer. Since she died I don’t do that any more. But I still wake up an hour earlier. I can’t help it!”
+ Willie and the peace pipe…
+ Bono wrote a letter to Captain Beefheart asking if he would be interested in writing/recording together. The Captain sent a terse, handwritten reply: “Dear Bongo, No.”
+ 15 years ago today, Edward Said died. I still feel the loss. He left a void that hasn’t and perhaps can’t be filled. As I do every year on this day, I went back this morning and re-read Alexander Cockburn’s beautiful tribute to his friend and cried once again.
I’m Gonna Keep Drinking Until I’m Petrified
What I’m listening to this week (on vinyl)…
A Man and the Blues by Buddy Guy
Love and Wealth: the Lost Recordings by the Louvin Brothers
Piano and a Microphone by Prince
What I’m reading this week…
Hiking With Nietzsche by John Kaag
Shakespeare and the Resistance by Clare Asquith
Her Wings Are Clipped
Simone de Beauvoir: “The girl today can certainly go out alone, stroll in the Tuileries; but I have already said how hostile the street is: eyes everywhere, hands waiting: if she wanders absentmindedly, her thoughts elsewhere, if she lights a cigarette in a cafe, if she goes to the cinema alone, an unpleasant incident can quickly occur; she must inspire respect by the way she dresses and behaves: this concern rivets her to the ground and self. ‘Her wings are clipped.'”