NYT puts in request for information about Brett Kavanaugh’s wife

Here we may have another example of the New York Times‘s double standards comparable to their having hired Sarah Jeong while firing Quinn Norton for the same acts committed by Jeong (nasty and bigoted statements on Twitter).

In this short article (click on screenshot to read it), two of the paper’s investigative reporters explain why they put in a freedom-of-information request for records on the wife of Brett Kavanaugh, the conservative whom Trump has nominated to the Supreme Court. Like all on the Left, I’m upset but not surprised at what Trump did, and also scared at how this will skew the law regressively rightwards for decades. But there’s not much we can do about it.

The Times asked the state of Maryland for records on Ashley Estes Kavanaugh, who is the town manager of Chevy Chase, Maryland. That request yielded 85 pages of emails, none of which provided the “smoking gun” that, I suspect, the Times was looking for.

And that may be the rub. It’s perfectly fine—indeed, appropriate—for a newspaper to dig into the background of a Supreme Court nominee, and even his spouse. But did they do the digging on the wives or husbands of liberal nominees like Ruth Bader Ginsburg or Sonia Sotomayor (she’s now divorced), or, for that matter, Anthony Kennedy? If they didn’t, then it looks as if they’re going after conservative justices (and by proxy, Trump) but going easy on liberal ones.  I don’t know if this is the case, but there may be a reason why the Times had to explain what it did in this article. This is an unusual admission that the Times justifies with this statement:

And yet, we recognized before submitting the request that this was a possible outcome. We often file public records requests that yield no newsworthy information.

But when it comes to reporting on a potential Supreme Court justice, we had to try.

Of course it was the potential justice’s wife at issue, not the nominee himself.

The readers’ comments on the piece are almost all negative, pointing out the possible hypocrisy of the Times. It’s up to the paper to clarify whether vetting the spouses of Supreme Court nominees has been their standard procedure.

Here are some of the readers’ comments, most of them measured and not anti-press:

Meanwhile, the Times has announced that it’s sent Bari Weiss to Australia, which I see as nothing other than an exile to get her away from the New York writers who have demonized her for criticizing the Regressive Left. Her new job?

  • Bari Weiss of Opinion will head over after Thanksgiving. She will be writing about Australia’s role in the world, politics and feminism, and also working on partnerships and events.

Seriously? They needed her voice in New York—in America. Calling out the excesses of the American Left is what Weiss was good at. It’s just one more step in the paper’s move to Control Leftism.

h/t: cesar

70 Comments

  1. tubby
    Posted August 11, 2018 at 10:13 am | Permalink

    It’s probably better to submit requests to the LoC to get his papers from his time before he got a seat on the bench. He apparently lied to congress during his confirmation hearings, the DoJ didn’t follow up because who knows why, McConnell didn’t seem to want him nominated for mysterious reasons, and the Republicans are attempting to hide his documents. If there’s a smoking gun, it’s there, along with some other potential ethics violations while in his current appointment.

    • Randall Schenck
      Posted August 11, 2018 at 10:45 am | Permalink

      You are on the right trail with this. Just this past week I believe, the congress democrats have submitted freedom of information requests for documents on Kavanaugh going back to his time working in the white house for Bush. Otherwise the republicans were not going to release any of this stuff as requested. They are attempting to rush confirmation through the Senate and avoid providing this essential information on the guy. This is going to be a real fight to uncover important info on whether or not, he lied several years ago regarding his involvement with torture by the Bush administration.

  2. GBJames
    Posted August 11, 2018 at 10:28 am | Permalink

    If a case of bias is to be made then it needs to argue that this happens whenever a conservative judge is nominated, not just on the basis of this one case.

  3. Historian
    Posted August 11, 2018 at 10:31 am | Permalink

    Two days ago I posted this comment in response to another comment regarding Bari Weiss being transferred to Australia:

    “Yes, you are just speculating why Bari Weiss is being transferred to Australia. Several other journalists are going there as well. Are they also being exiled? It is just as reasonable to speculate that she looks upon the move as an opportunity. If she feels the NYT is screwing her, she can easily find another position with a publication more kindly to her ideological leanings. Therefore, I’d prefer to have some facts before reaching judgments. If Weiss has made a statement related to the move, a quick Google search hasn’t revealed it.”

    I stand by this comment. As of yet, we have no idea how Weiss feels about the transfer. Moreover, with her notoriety, she could certainly obtain a prominent position with another publication that she likes better if she is truly unhappy. Until we hear from her, I will not condemn the New York Times, which I will not hesitate to do if it turns out that she is being punished for her views.

    • Saul Sorrell-Till
      Posted August 11, 2018 at 11:55 am | Permalink

      Good post, as usual Historian.

      • Ben Curtis
        Posted August 11, 2018 at 8:06 pm | Permalink

        +1

    • Posted August 12, 2018 at 4:24 am | Permalink

      If my employer said to me “how would you like to spend six weeks in Australia” I’d bite their hand off.

  4. Posted August 11, 2018 at 10:40 am | Permalink

    I think I mentioned this earlier. Bari Weiss is only going to Australia for “six weeks or so”.

    • Historian
      Posted August 11, 2018 at 11:05 am | Permalink

      Another thing to keep in mind is that this is not the 18th century when it took months to transmit a communication between Australia and England. Weiss can gather information and write columns from a desk in Australia as easily as from a desk in Manhattan. Also, it appears that the notorious Sarah Jeong will be doing most of her writing from Portand, Oregon. Is the NYT exiling her as well? I don’t think so.

  5. Posted August 11, 2018 at 10:50 am | Permalink

    I will admit to not knowing the details but will make this suggestion anyway. 😉

    Isn’t the reason NYT has to resort to Freedom of Information requests because the GOP in Congress are refusing to supply the information for Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court Justice nomination process? If so, then arguments about whether they made the same requests for liberal justices are perhaps moot.

    Of course, information about a nominee’s spouse are probably NOT usually produced. In my second defense of NYT, perhaps they are merely following a lead. If they have a hint of some newsworthy tidbit, they have the right to follow it up. Perhaps there simply was no similar tidbit in the case of other SCOTUS nominees’ spouses.

    As I said, I don’t know the details so I’m prepared to be told I have it all wrong.

  6. Ken Kukec
    Posted August 11, 2018 at 10:53 am | Permalink

    With 51 Republicans in the senate (or, given that John McCain’s unlikely to make it back to vote, with 50 GOP senators plus VP Pence), confirmation by the senate is Kavanaugh’s to lose. And, from what I’ve seen and read of him so far, Kavanaugh just might be up to the task of losing it. A stumble during the judiciary committee hearings on questions regarding executive power or reproductive rights could cost him the vote(s) of Republican senators Susan Collins of Maine and/or Lisa Murkowski of Alaska. Plus, Kavanaugh seems to lack the superficial “aw shucks” charm of a Neil Gorsuch. US Senators, and the tv audience at home, eat that malarkey up.

    Absent such a stumble, I expect Kavanaugh to be confirmed, likely with the support of some Democrats running this Fall in red states, who will be released by Democratic leadership to cover their asses if it looks like Kavanaugh’s gonna make it anyway. If I had my druthers, however, I’d love to see Kavanaugh stonewalled from now until kingdom come — remember the Alamo, the Maine, Merrick Garland!

    • BJ
      Posted August 11, 2018 at 11:06 am | Permalink

      “If I had my druthers, however, I’d love to see Kavanaugh stonewalled from now until kingdom come — remember the Alamo, the Maine, Merrick Garland!”

      Let’s make up a new phrase for this type of administrative maneuvering to arbitrarily withhold a decision for confirmation: “strangled by a Garland.”

      “We have to stop this judge from being confirmed. Let’s strangle him with the Garland.”

      “You had over a year! Why didn’t your guy get the position?!?” “Sigh…They strangled him with the Garland.”

      • Taz
        Posted August 11, 2018 at 11:54 am | Permalink

        We already have “borked”.

        • BJ
          Posted August 11, 2018 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

          But that’s for a different kind of obstruction. That’s through destruction of reputation, not administrative shenanigans.

          • Taz
            Posted August 11, 2018 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

            True. I was just pointed out that there’s strong precedent for coining this new word.

            • Taz
              Posted August 11, 2018 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

              “pointing out”

            • BJ
              Posted August 11, 2018 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

              Gotcha. And, for what it’s worth, “borked” is a great word!

              Especially because you can post this video any time it happens to someone: bork bork bork.

              • Posted August 11, 2018 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

                The accidental onomatopoeia of “borked” is delightful! I’m hoping “trumped” becomes such a word very soon.

          • Ken Kukec
            Posted August 11, 2018 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

            Robert Bork didn’t help himself none in his Judiciary Committee performance, either. Halfa dozen GOPers voted against him. Plus, there was the little matter of payback for his having served as executioner in the Saturday Night Massacre.

            (Personally, I’d’ve voted to confirm Bork, since I’m no fan of the namby-pamby argument in favor of moderate centrism. William O. Douglas, Hugo Black, Louis Brandeis — none of ’em coulda passed that smell test. It excludes justices with the hint of greatness (or, to be fair, disaster) about them. These days, after their problems with David Souter and Anthony Kennedy — and Harry Blackmun before him — and their near-miss with Harriet Myers, Republicans in particular won’t nominate anybody who hasn’t been thoroughly field-tested and found unobjectionable by the base, but cautious enough to pass muster with the Senate.)

            • BJ
              Posted August 11, 2018 at 5:06 pm | Permalink

              Your first paragraph is, of course, correct, but the man was ultimately destroyed for ulterior motives. He certainly didn’t deserve the treatment he got, and he probably should have been confirmed.

              • Ken Kukec
                Posted August 11, 2018 at 7:40 pm | Permalink

                “Destroyed”? The man sat on the DC Circuit from from 1982 till ’88 (and could’ve continued sitting on it for the rest of his life, as Douglas Ginsburg, the other DC Circuit judge rejected for the seat that ultimately went to Anthony Kennedy has done), had he not resigned his lifetime appointment to go on the rightwing think-tank (aka wingnut-welfare) circuit — American Enterprise Institute, Hudson Institute, visiting professorships at conservative law schools, etc.

                As I said above, I’d’ve voted to confirm him, but Robert Bork isn’t a particularly sympathetic figure. I think you’re throwing around that word “destroyed” pretty loosely here, BJ.

              • BJ
                Posted August 11, 2018 at 11:55 pm | Permalink

                I meant that his public persona was destroyed during the confirmation process.

    • Randall Schenck
      Posted August 11, 2018 at 11:06 am | Permalink

      Yes, but all of the documents from his time in the Bush admin. should be released. That stuff is key to determining if this guy lied. I do not think it has anything to do with whatever the Times is doing. This Freedom of Info stuff is coming from Congress because the Republicans are refusing.

    • Historian
      Posted August 11, 2018 at 11:12 am | Permalink

      Barring some bombshell revelation, it is almost certain the Kavanaugh will get confirmed. Red State Democratic senators virtually assure this.

      If the filibuster rule for Supreme Court nominee (repealed by Mitch McConnell during the Gorsuch nomination), we would have a different story. It’s amazing how attitudes toward the filibuster changes when one party in the Senate replaces another in the majority, but lacking a super majority of 60 votes.

    • Taz
      Posted August 11, 2018 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

      I’d at least like to see the confirmation held up until after the midterms.

      • Mark R.
        Posted August 11, 2018 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

        The confirmation should be held up until the Mueller investigation is over.

        • Ken Kukec
          Posted August 11, 2018 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

          Until hell freezes over, you ask me.

          • Mark R.
            Posted August 11, 2018 at 7:31 pm | Permalink

            Got me there!

  7. Ken Kukec
    Posted August 11, 2018 at 11:14 am | Permalink

    My goodness, these NYT reporters are conducting themselves like common Republicans! I don’t cotton to the idea of going after anyone’s spouse (unless the spouse has made a public figure of himself or herself by injecting themself into our public discourse), but it’s tough to have a fair fight when only one side plays according to Hoyle (just ask the Redcoats who tangled with Francis Marion in the swamps of South Carolina).

    • Taz
      Posted August 11, 2018 at 11:36 am | Permalink

      One side being the NYT and the other side being Republicans? That’s PCC’s point, isn’t it.

      these NYT reporters are conducting themselves like common Republicans
      Some of them might actually BE Republicans! (Shocking, I know).

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted August 11, 2018 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

        Not disagreeing with him; just saying this is no time to go wobbly.

  8. Saul Sorrell-Till
    Posted August 11, 2018 at 11:23 am | Permalink

    How does the NY Times’s apparent wholesale transformation into an illiberal left newspaper square with the criticism they’ve received for interviewing a white supremacist and ‘humanising’ him in the process?

    I don’t read these American papers or sites like NYT or Wapo, but I’ve heard claims from both sides of the aisle that the NYT is simultaneously too favourable to the illiberal left and at the same time too easy on the far-right.

    The same kind of Schrodinger’s-accusations are made about the BBC here in Britain – the left say it’s biased against the left and for the right, the right say it’s biased against the right and for the left. Most of the time this kind of nonsensical criticism from both sides is a sign that(in their hideously imperfect way) the media organisation in question is doing its job.

    I don’t know if that’s the case with the NYT, but at this site I’ve heard the Huffington Post described as the equivalent of Breitbart, and The Guardian described as the British equivalent of the Huffington Post. Now I do know the Guardian, and I am relatively qualified to talk about it. And Breitbart and The Guardian are not equivalent or even close to being equivalent.

    I also don’t know why the NYT honing in on a conservative Supreme Conservative Nomination’s familial ties is any more indicative of an unacceptable political bias than WEIT’s focus on the ‘ctrl left’ over Donald Trump’s constant stream of hypocrisy and criminality, or the American right’s vicious cynicism.
    I’ve read very few articles on WEIT about the right’s perfidies(and bear in mind that we are living in a particularly fecund time for anyone with an interest in writing about right-wing awfulness) compared with the steadily increasing number of daily articles about the illiberal-left’s admittedly infuriating hypocrisy and obnoxiousness.

    Maybe I’ve just made an idiot of myself by wondering about the bias of the NYT, when it’s obvious that they’re biased. I don’t read it so I don’t know. But we are all biased to some extent, even WEIT, and at this point in time it feels like some kind of side needs to be taken. Principled neutrality eventually becomes a weakspot for cynical opponents, and it can even shade into a kind of passive aggressive opposition to one’s own ‘side’.

    Look at Quillette; the site that proclaimed itself a bastion of freethinking liberalism, measured and unbiased, but which has limited itself to publishing nothing but anti-SJW/anti-left articles. Few of the articles in themselves are bad, some of them are excellent. But it’s like Templeton: when all you do is sponsor one side of the debate you’re still not being balanced. At this point Quillette is just a highbrow hub of confirmation bias.

    This is such a crucial point in history. I can almost physically feel the juddering hum of the American political system overworking itself, and I can certainly see the influence Donald Trump and his repulsive leadership is having on my own country, where a recrudescent far-right feel the freedom to rip off women’s burqas in the street, and Boris Johnson openly co-opts Trump’s dog-whistle populism in his language on minorities. Believe me when I say it makes me fucking angry.
    I have been criticising the illiberal-left for most of my political life(not long to be fair). But times change, and priorities change with them, and I do not think it makes sense to disproportionately focus on relatively insignificant illiberal leftists when there are people on the right whose explicit target is liberal democracy itself.

    Apologies for the length of this post. I’ve been meaning to say all of this for quite a while now. It all tumbled out.

    • BJ
      Posted August 11, 2018 at 11:31 am | Permalink

      Things are not completely binary, especially when a shift takes place over a long period of time. All I can say is that I read the NYT for nearly 20 years, and in the last five or so I’ve seen a significant shift in how and what it reports things. This shift has accelerated and become less subtle with incidents like Jeong, Weiss, and others.

      I don’t want the NYT to become some right-wing rag. I want it to be the respected and respectable institution it used to be. Unfortunately, it has largely already lost most respect, and that happened a couple of years ago.

    • BJ
      Posted August 11, 2018 at 11:33 am | Permalink

      Also, Quillette is not the most important newspaper in America and, perhaps, the world. It is not a place where people dream of working, or which has the social cache and influence of the NYT. Quillette and the NYT have absolutely nothing to do with one another. To compare them is to acknowledge that the NYT is slowly sinking into the territory of an activist publication (which is what Quillette is, though with lower standards and far less cache and respect).

      • Saul Sorrell-Till
        Posted August 11, 2018 at 11:50 am | Permalink

        At no point did I suggest that Quillette was as popular or as significant or as influential as the NYT. I didn’t even compare them. Either you know that, and you don;t care, or you didn’t read what I said. Which is understandable given the length of the post. But it’s a mischaracterisation of my position.

        I repeatedly said that I don’t read the NYT. But I have heard wildly differing opinions on it; from WEIT I’ve heard it described as a paper that’s too soft on the illiberal-left, even wholesale colonised by the regressive left, while from other places I’ve heard it’s too lenient with the alt-right/populist-right. And I’ve heard anecdotal evidence in support of both arguments.
        My point of comparison in such a situation is the BBC, which gets it in the neck from both the left and the right for somehow being biased in favour of _both sides._

        I understand that you personally think it’s “lost most respect…years ago”. That’s not the impression I get from hearing people talking about it, and it’s not the impression I get from your post either in which you refer to its cachet/respect and high standards.

        • BJ
          Posted August 11, 2018 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

          You were making the point that maybe a publication like the NYT does need to take sides, just like Quillette does. I have no problem with Quillette because it’s a small website made to take one side and everyone knows it. I thought my response was a good way to address that. I didn’t mean it in any other way.

          And I was unclear on whose respect I was talking about in my last paragraph, which was about my respect (though my impression is that it has lost a lot of respect among many other people like me — center-left liberals — such as PCC(E)).

        • BJ
          Posted August 11, 2018 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

          And just a friendly request: I think you’ve seen me have lengthy discussions on this website over the years, and I hope you have perceived me to be one who argues in good faith. If something I say doesn’t seem to make sense, it’s unlikely that it’s because I didn’t read your post or willfully ignored or misrepresented something you wrote. In the future, if it seems like I missed something you said, just assume I misunderstood or simply missed something. It usually won’t be the case that my mistake was malicious or an intentional failure to read or misinterpret your post. So, just feel free to point out whatever you think the problem is, rather than accusing me of bad faith. I like you, and I don’t want to have the same relationship with you that was apparently unavoidable with another poster the other day.

          • BJ
            Posted August 11, 2018 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

            And please don’t take this as having a chiding tone. I’m only asking because I think you’re smart and enjoy debating with you, especially since we often disagree and you make points that give me pause for thought. I just don’t want to lost that conversation the way I did with another user who assumes bad faith on my part.

            • Posted August 11, 2018 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

              This comment of yours. BJ, is all the more interesting as it shows up in my email as a comment to yourself! It is fascinating when read as a soliloquy. 😉

              • Ken Kukec
                Posted August 11, 2018 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

                “… when read as a soliloquy.”

                Figures. BJ is WEIT’s melancholy Dane, happily suffering the sling’s and arrows of others’ outrageous comments.

                To respond or not to respond? That is his question. 🙂

              • BJ
                Posted August 11, 2018 at 5:09 pm | Permalink

                Hahaha you should hear the way I talk to myself. I’m not half as kind!

          • Saul Sorrell-Till
            Posted August 11, 2018 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

            Well, that’s very decent of you BJ.

            I think given what I was trying to say and given how long the post was, it’s more likely that I didn’t communicate my opinion particularly precisely. I think I’ll have trouble doing so in this post too though, because I’m aware of the roolz, and I’m aware it’s not appreciated by the host when posters criticise what he chooses to write about.

            Honestly, and to a certain limited extent, I do think that liberals are perfectly justified in picking a side.
            This is not something that the right would ever need to even argue about – they’re comfortable with partisanship: Donald Trump is arguably the most poisonous human being to hold office in a postwar western democracy, and still the voices on the other side who have had the backbone to stand up and say ‘never Trump’ could be gathered in a school gym(I don’t know why a school gym, I couldn’t think of anything else).
            The polls demonstrate the extent to which the right have swung behind Trump. It is total. And what are some centrist liberals/centre-left liberals doing? They are doubling down on criticism of obnoxious left-wing students and cretins on Twitter.

            Now before anyone says ‘it’s possible to do both’; I know. I do both myself. But to bury one’s head in the sand and focus only on a comparatively insignificant political faction on the left, while ignoring or reducing to a footnote the right’s existential attacks on liberal democratic mainstays like the free press, equality legislation, epistemic universalism, the judiciary, etc. is a path to oblivion.

            And if perfect neutrality is the standard to which liberals are held here, while the other side can call for Mueller to be killed, can put ‘Crush The Saboteurs’ on their front pages and can generally lie at 200mph, without anything more being expected of them, then we have reduced ourselves to the conservative caricature of liberals as simpering ‘oh-I-am-sorry-did-my-face-hurt-your-fist’ pushovers.

            Apologies for the length again. Sometimes it just builds up and pours out of every part of me. Which I think you’ll agree is a wonderful image.

            • Saul Sorrell-Till
              Posted August 11, 2018 at 2:53 pm | Permalink

              Incidentally, I brought up Quillette because it is frequently and approvingly referenced at WEIT.

              I definitely don’t think it’s recognised as taking one side either. The majority of its readers consider it a paragon of free thought and don’t agree that it takes a side at all. I think I had a back and forth with one of its contributors about this, about a year or so ago. He maintained that it was a neutral site with no agenda pro- or contra- the liberal-left.

              • BJ
                Posted August 11, 2018 at 5:07 pm | Permalink

                Well, glad we worked it out. I’d love to have a longer conversation about this, but, at some point, conversations become too complex for a website comment section, and are more appropriate to be had over a pint for a couple hours 🙂

    • Angel
      Posted August 11, 2018 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

      ++

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted August 11, 2018 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

      I think it more valid to criticize the NYT for slipping into mediocrity than into regressivism. Its politics is wishy-washy liberalism at best, and it was certainly hyper-critical of Hillary Clinton during the last election. The Times has a stronger commitment to corporatism than to “the Left” — however much it may sometimes canoodle with regressives in its op-ed pages.

      • Michael Fisher
        Posted August 11, 2018 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

        3 months or so ago I threatened the NYT subscription dept. with the might of the DCA when they put me on full price after 12 months of half price without sending me the required notice of a change. Got a wonderfully obsequious email written in the style of some New Yorker’s idea of how an English person expects to be addressed. Wish I’d kept the email. Got a further 12 months at half price – £0.85/week.

        One thing I’ll say for them – at least I can access their online site unlike most US newspapers who haven’t yet bothered to conform to the new EU privacy rules for EU subscribers.

    • Ben Curtis
      Posted August 11, 2018 at 8:32 pm | Permalink

      Love that expression “juddering hum of the American political system overworking itself” to describe the present situation. The press in this country has a dilemma – it is actually doing a lot better financially than a few years ago because of the “fake news” accusations, but may also fear that this is just a temporary reprieve from the whirlpool of lost ad revenue. Thanks for confirming my qualms about Quillette – I had already that led me to stop reading it because something seemed “off” in their articles.

    • Diane G
      Posted August 12, 2018 at 12:18 am | Permalink

      Thank you for this and your subsequent posts in this comment thread, Saul. I couldn’t agree more.

      • Saul Sorrell-Till
        Posted August 12, 2018 at 8:57 am | Permalink

        Thanks Diane 🙂

  9. Ken Kukec
    Posted August 11, 2018 at 11:30 am | Permalink

    At least Bari Weiss got exiled to Australia, where they still speak English (sorta). Coulda been worse. For insulting the Roman Emperor Augustus, the poet Ovid was banished to the Black Sea city of Timon, to live among the Pontic Greeks, whose language he could neither speak nor understand.

    • Saul Sorrell-Till
      Posted August 11, 2018 at 11:58 am | Permalink

      Apropos of nothing, my family moved to North Wales when I was seven.

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted August 11, 2018 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

        Hope it wasn’t punishment for lèse-majesté against the Queen. 🙂

        • Saul Sorrell-Till
          Posted August 11, 2018 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

          No, just a general, existential kind of punishment.

          • Diane G
            Posted August 12, 2018 at 12:19 am | Permalink

            😀

    • Michael Fisher
      Posted August 11, 2018 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

      As mentioned by Mr. Topping above Bari Weiss is only Oz-side for six weeks & then she’s back in her natural hunting grounds. In her own words:

      “And like Fran Lebowitz, I plan to die in Manhattan. Residency is for 6 weeks or so”

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted August 11, 2018 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

        Well, since SS-T mentioned Wales, and since Ms. Weiss mentioned dying in Manhattan, I’d point out (apropos nearly nothing) that Welshman Dylan Thomas died in Manhattan, too — fell down a flight of stairs at the Hotel Chelsea, after returning dead drunk from the White Horse Tavern.

        Here’s hoping death shall have no such dominion over Bari Weiss. 🙂

        • Michael Fisher
          Posted August 11, 2018 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

          Hah “dominion” – a bit of Dylan snuck in there. I’m not sure he fell downstairs & died. Also the White Horse Tavern was seven days prior to popping his Welsh clogs.

          • Ken Kukec
            Posted August 11, 2018 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

            Well, that’s the story they tell at the Chelsea, anyway. Heard it from a bartender and the maître d’hôtel on my first visit there in the 1970s. The two told a tale of how Thomas announced from the second floor landing that he’d just had 32 shots at the White Horse, which he claimed was some kind of record, then fell dead away and broke his neck tumbling down the stairs.

            Of course, that may simply have been their way of pulling the leg of a dewy-eyed pilgrim on his first haj to the great writers’ mecca.

            • Michael Fisher
              Posted August 11, 2018 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

              Yeah, that’s bollix he was in hosp a good while before he died from pneumonia with complications such as brain swelling. He boasted that he had 18 shots at the White Horse a week before death according to Wiki, but the staff reckon he had maybe 9 [again according to Wiki]. Ending up in hospital kills a lot of alcoholics – they’re not allowed to ‘maintain’ & the change in routine plus too much food is a heck of a shock to the system.

              • Ken Kukec
                Posted August 11, 2018 at 7:45 pm | Permalink

                I guess the version I heard was one of those “inspired by true events” stories, where certain characters and events have been combined for dramatic effect. 🙂

              • Mark R.
                Posted August 11, 2018 at 7:52 pm | Permalink

                Oh as I was young and easy in the mercy of his means, Time held me green and dying Though I sang in my chains like the sea.

                You and Ken talking about his death, I couldn’t help it.

              • Michael Fisher
                Posted August 11, 2018 at 8:04 pm | Permalink

                I likes to improve my educlamation so everything helps. Now I’m reading Fern Hill so thanks. It has an interesting rhythm to it & dead simple words. Like a Celtic Robert Frost.

              • Mark R.
                Posted August 11, 2018 at 9:57 pm | Permalink

                I don’t know if Jerry’s favorite poet is D. Thomas, but I remember vaguely such a proclamation.

                Re. Fern Hill. Yes, a very structured and narrative type of poem. Not too cryptic, but just cryptic enough. Dunno why, poets need to have a cryptic edge. “I sang in my chains like the sea.” That’s an ending to ponder. Thomas experimented all over the place, including strange paragraphs shaped like pyramids and such. I sort of understand why, but I love more his honest, lyrical, auto-biographical poetry. I like rhythmic narratives. This is how I learned to read poetry I suppose. I’m with Robert Zimmerman…I’d change my name in respect.

  10. Posted August 11, 2018 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

    After what the Republicans did with the Garland nomination, in my opinion ANYTHING is justified to scuttle the Kavanaugh nomination. The Republicans don’t play by the rules — they are fundamentally dishonest and ruthless — so the Democrats have to get tough. The stakes are too high to hesitate about the niceties.

  11. Randall Schenck
    Posted August 11, 2018 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

    Based on what I am seeing here, I don’t see anything wrong with what the Times is doing.

    https://www.aim.org/don-irvine-blog/ny-times-targets-scotus-nominee-kavanaughs-wife-with-foia-request/

    The Republicans are sandbagging this deal and this guys wife was in a public function.

    • Taz
      Posted August 11, 2018 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

      I don’t know. I find it hard to believe that anything his wife is doing as town manager of Chevy Chase, Maryland is relevant to his nomination.

    • Saul Sorrell-Till
      Posted August 11, 2018 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

      And how exactly does this FOI request make the NYT a ‘ctrl left’ publication? Even if I were to accept that it’s egregiously partisan, which I’m not sure I do, what makes it ‘ctrl-left’ as opposed to simple liberal-left, or just anti-Trump, partisanship?

  12. Randall Schenck
    Posted August 11, 2018 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

    Same subject but different request from the democrats.

    http://thehill.com/homenews/senate/400903-senate-dems-make-unprecedented-foia-request-for-kavanaugh-documents

  13. Kelcey BURMAN
    Posted August 11, 2018 at 3:47 pm | Permalink

    Yay Australia needs her voice here too.


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