Woman who accused Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault comes forward

Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation as a Supreme Court justice would be a disaster for many years to come, ensuring a firmly conservative court for the future—perhaps even the overturning of decisions like Roe v. Wade. But then again, this would be the case for any of Trump’s nominees. I, for one, would prefer more of a centrist, but who can expect that in this age of right-wing American despotism?

Last week reports surfaced that, while at prep school (a private high school) in Maryland, Kavanaugh had sexually assaulted a woman in front of a witness, a far more serious accusation than the verbal harassment reported by Anita Hill during the Clarence Thomas hearings. But until today it seemed, because the woman didn’t come forward and details weren’t fully known, that this wouldn’t derail Kavanaugh’s nomination.

Today, however, the Washington Post names the woman, now a professor in California who has decided to come forward. Click on the screenshot to read the article:

It’s hard to decide what to think about this. On one hand, one has to ask why the woman would make the allegation if it weren’t true. But of course there are false reports. But her therapist from years ago has a record of her describing the incident, as does her husband, who also remembers Kavanaugh’s name. And the woman has passed a lie-detector test.

On the other hand, the supposed witness says he doesn’t recall the event (which of course Kavanaugh denies), and 65 women from the school have signed a letter testifying to Kavanaugh’s respectful treatment of women. The witness, however, is saying “no comment” now, whereas before he denied he saw any sexual assault. And of course plenty of assailants can behave properly to other women at their school.

This is one of those cases in which if the allegations are true, it’s a no-brainer: Kavanaugh is unsuited to the Court, or to be a judge in any court. The difficulty is in determining if the allegations are true. After all, it’s a he-said she-said business at the moment, and without more proof I’m not sure how this should weigh in Kavanaugh’s nomination.

I have no opinion on the matter yet save this: I think this will probably force Kavanaugh to withdraw his nomination (which Trump will furiously defend), and I won’t be sorry if that happens.

p.s. I forgot to add that the woman who has accused Kavanaugh, Christine Ford, should surely be given a chance to testify before the Senate committee vetting his nomination.

141 Comments

  1. GBJames
    Posted September 16, 2018 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

    One can hope for a withdrawal of the nomination. But I fear that among Republican Senators it will make no difference.

    • Historian
      Posted September 16, 2018 at 2:58 pm | Permalink

      Certainly, for most Republican senators these accusations will have no effect. Kavanaugh will deny the incident and the senators will say there is no evidence beyond the word and recollection of one woman. The confirmation will come down to the votes of Collins and Murkowski. I do not have confidence in them, but we will see. For the highly conservative Republican Congress, Kavanaugh would be their dream justice and they don’t want to buck Trump. So, my bet is 70-30 that Kavanaugh gets confirmed.

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted September 16, 2018 at 6:01 pm | Permalink

        I’d make it 6-to-5/pick ’em. I think Collins and Murkowski were wavering even before these allegations surfaced.

        • Ken Kukec
          Posted September 16, 2018 at 6:03 pm | Permalink

          Just heard retiring senator Jeff Flake (R-AZ) has gone iffy, too.

          • Heather Hastie
            Posted September 16, 2018 at 7:06 pm | Permalink

            Flake has begun to grow the slightest beginnings of a spine since he announced his retirement. We can only hope he enjoys the feeling of doing the right thing enough to continue doing it.

            • Ken Kukec
              Posted September 16, 2018 at 7:16 pm | Permalink

              Maybe, in his waning congressional days, he’ll feel some compunction to pull a John McCain.

              • Heather Hastie
                Posted September 16, 2018 at 7:33 pm | Permalink

                They’re both from the same state aren’t they? That might help influence him too.

            • rickflick
              Posted September 16, 2018 at 7:30 pm | Permalink

              The ossification of lemon jello comes to mind.

              • rickflick
                Posted September 16, 2018 at 7:31 pm | Permalink

                It must be quite painful.

              • Posted September 17, 2018 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

                I wonder how that works. My father used to consider jello a 5th state of matter.

    • Posted September 16, 2018 at 8:45 pm | Permalink

      Unless *everyone* involved, save Kavanaugh, backs her up, no chance he’ll resign.

      Why should he? The “right” people have his back.

  2. Randall Schenck
    Posted September 16, 2018 at 2:43 pm | Permalink

    To say I won’t be sorry is an understatement for sure. This judge has already lied several times during these hearings and previous testimony when being questioned for the job he has now. They have also withheld tons of white house documents that should have been made available prior to voting on this guy. The reasons for withholding can only be for one reason – to hide his actions while working in the white house.

    On the question of this woman and her story – it should not even have come to this. This guy is so bad for this job or any federal judge job it simply should not happen. The republicans are attempting to ram this through because they know it stinks. This was going to be Trump’s ticket out of trouble because he thinks the president is above the law. That is why Trump put him on the list and why he picked him. Even McConnell said they should not go with him but they would not listen.

  3. Carey
    Posted September 16, 2018 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

    I agree with your insights. I am inclined to reserve judgment until further investigation is completed. I’ve read that people’s memories can be inaccurate even when they are sure the memories are true. My first reaction is to believe the allegations, but it’s better to not to jump to conclusions before all the evidence is available.

    • Heather Hastie
      Posted September 16, 2018 at 7:16 pm | Permalink

      We can all have false memories. However, that is different to the false memories that are attributed to recovered memory, where bad therapists could create bad memories even without realizing they were doing it.

      Personally, I think that it’s unlikely that it’s a false memory in this case, and not just because I don’t like Kavanaugh so it suits me that he may have done this.

      • Posted September 18, 2018 at 12:07 am | Permalink

        Do we know if she had hypnosis or other interventions? What drugs he or she has used over the decades?

        I don’t think we do, but it’s relevant.

  4. eric
    Posted September 16, 2018 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

    This is one of those cases in which if the allegations are true, it’s a no-brainer: Kavanaugh is unsuited to the Court, or to be a judge in any court.

    I disagree. I fully believe he committed the assault. And I probably oppose his legal position on just about anything. However, I don’t think a sexual assault committed by someone in high school should disqualify anyone for a job in their 50s. That is not liberalism. That is not a commitment to second chances or rehabilitation over punishment. What that is, is, heres-your-yellow-paper lets-create-an-underclass-of-permanently-disenfranchised-people right-wing authoritarianism. (For the record, I also disagree with Olivia Munn’s statement about Streigel. If she doesn’t want to work with the guy, I understand that. But to say that people who have committed sexual assault or hurt animals deserve no second chance, ever is to circle around the back of the political spectrum from left to right, IMO.)

    Look, there’s lots of good reasons for senators to vote against the guy. The fact that he’ll likely strip away the civil rights of women and minorities, for example. And that he’s claimed in the past that a sitting President is essentially above the law, for another. The fact that he committed a crime 30 years ago is not, however, IMO one of them.

    • Randall Schenck
      Posted September 16, 2018 at 2:54 pm | Permalink

      If you firmly believe he committed the assault (and I do not see how you could be so firm on that), how about lying about it? He has specifically lied about it you know.

      • eric
        Posted September 16, 2018 at 7:17 pm | Permalink

        Lying about it is exactly the sort of thing the Senate should consider and probably reject him over. However (a) that’s very different than saying ‘because he committed it, he should not be allowed the position,’ and (b) given the remembrance of even the victim is vague, I expect his denial is sincere. Human memory isn’t a hard drive with replay: even if he did it, after 30 years and no accusation or negative consequence, he probably doesn’t remember the event as him sexually assaulting the woman.

        • Randy Bessinger
          Posted September 16, 2018 at 7:49 pm | Permalink

          But isn’t not remembering and saying you do lying and I say that for either party.

          • Posted September 18, 2018 at 12:12 am | Permalink

            No. Seriously, read some books on how memory actually works. People sincerely misremember and misforget. Especially after a long period of time.

            We had a discussion here about Neil Tyson and his alleged memories about Bush and the Koran. Tyson made and doubled down on demonstrably false claims. But he did not seem to be lying. He had scrambled memories.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted September 16, 2018 at 6:13 pm | Permalink

      It’s one thing to get a “second chance”; it’s quite another to merit a lifetime appointment to the court of last resort.

      • Randy Bessinger
        Posted September 16, 2018 at 6:22 pm | Permalink

        +1

      • eric
        Posted September 16, 2018 at 7:21 pm | Permalink

        Why?
        Either he didn’t do it, he did it and he’s rehabilitated, or he did it and he isn’t. If he didn’t do it or is rehabilitated, then IMO this story is no reason to deny him the appointment (though many other things might be). If he did it and isn’t rehabilitated, then there as no reason to treat this court as any different than a circuit or lower court appointment.

        • Randy Bessinger
          Posted September 16, 2018 at 7:32 pm | Permalink

          To me, it is the lying that is important. Either he is telling the truth or he is not. I have no idea, but it bothers me that it probably doesn’t matter (as I think he gets confirmed). If he is not lying, then it is probably a political stunt that I hate but truth seems not to matter these days.

          • eric
            Posted September 16, 2018 at 9:39 pm | Permalink

            If he’s lying during his confirmation hearing, yes I agree that would be reason to disqualify him. But see my reply to Randall above. I’m not sure he’s lying. Wrong /= lying.

        • Ken Kukec
          Posted September 16, 2018 at 7:34 pm | Permalink

          We hold those who would ascend to the highest court in the land to a higher standard, like Caesar’s wife.

          • eric
            Posted September 16, 2018 at 8:08 pm | Permalink

            I think the higher standard of relevance is current expected conduct, not what someone did 35 years ago after many beers when they were 17.

            Hugo Black was a member of the KKK in his youth. And he wrote the decision in Korematsu – a big stain on anyone’s record. He also thought flag burning was ok to outlaw. However he also became one of the architects of the 20th century, liberal, interpretation of the first amendment, expanding freedoms of the press, of speech, and of religion. He’s the one who expanded the first’s religious protections to include ideologies like humanism. Your “higher standard” would have eliminated him.

            His record is decidedly mixed though IMO (much) more positive than negative. But the important point here is, his youthful evils did not predict his later mature decisions. His public statements in 1937 – the same year he was nominated – were far more predictive of his future behavior on the court. I have no doubt, similarly, than Kavanaugh’s behavior and opinions now are far more predictive of his future rulings than the fact that he assaulted a woman 35 years ago. Though frankly, his current judicial opinions should be reason enough to disqualify him.

      • Rita
        Posted September 17, 2018 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

        +1

      • Posted September 17, 2018 at 11:25 pm | Permalink

        Special pleading.

  5. Roger
    Posted September 16, 2018 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

    I thought lie-detectors are pseudoscience.

    • Randall Schenck
      Posted September 16, 2018 at 3:04 pm | Permalink

      You cannot use them in court. I do not think you call that pseudoscience.

      • Roger
        Posted September 16, 2018 at 3:47 pm | Permalink

        I don’t understand why nobody in the media or in the blogosphere, or movies and TV industry for that matter, or heck the police too, got the memo that they are pseudoscience. The courts did.

        • Gamall
          Posted September 17, 2018 at 7:29 am | Permalink

          AFAIK they are a typically American thing. I have never heard of them being used in Europe.

    • John
      Posted September 16, 2018 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

      It is: http://www.apa.org/research/action/polygraph.aspx

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted September 16, 2018 at 6:10 pm | Permalink

      Lie detectors are great tools for working a confession out of a guilty party. As science, when it comes actually to “detecting lies,” they’re arrant nonsense.

      • Michael Fisher
        Posted September 16, 2018 at 6:27 pm | Permalink

        I agree a lie detector machine, in the ‘right’ hands, is a bit of theatre to wrong foot the unprepared & gullible. Even if the procedure is taken seriously with all the controls [no pushy cops about & a ‘professional’ administering the test] there are problems with what questions to ask, how to design the question, what order to ask them in & how to interpret the results. There is good evidence that there are successful techniques to subvert ones responses to questioning – that rat Aldrich Ames passed two CIA polygraphs.

      • Roger
        Posted September 16, 2018 at 7:48 pm | Permalink

        And great for making innocent people look guilty. You know, like whatever-they-are-sniffing-for super-powered sniffing dogs. If they sniff something that isn’t there, the excuse is that the something must have been there or in the near vicinity anytime within in the past zillion years.

    • Posted September 17, 2018 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

      The use of them is often that. They are, effectively, anxiety detectors.

  6. Bob Bottemiller
    Posted September 16, 2018 at 3:11 pm | Permalink

    Jerry, I fear you are not connected to the reality of today’s Republican manic dedication: solidify economic, political and judicial control before any setbacks in the next two national elections.
    They may be about to lose control of the House. Continued control of the Senate is not guaranteed. They have passed a tax bill that shoves more economic output into the upper one percent. Unprecedented numbers of conservative judges have been placed in the federal court system. One older Supreme Court member abruptly retired to create an opening for a younger member dedicated to the same program. (This, after denying Obama traditional nominating rights.)
    I will not be surprised to see Clarence Thomas resign from the Court if, in 2019 or 2020, the Republicans expect to lose a
    Senate majority. That would give Trump a chance to install a third Justice.
    Bob B.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted September 16, 2018 at 6:20 pm | Permalink

      The new rule that now obtains is that a Supreme Court nominee will be confirmed only if the same political party controls the presidency and the US senate. It will take some major shifts in the American polity for that to change.

  7. chris
    Posted September 16, 2018 at 3:46 pm | Permalink

    I don’t like what I know of Kavanaugh and I certainly don’t want to see him on the Supreme Court but I don’t see how anyone (including Blasey Ford or Kavanaugh) can possibly know what happened 35(?) years ago at a party where teenagers were drinking. Unless one or both of them wrote a contemporaneous account of the incident.

    • AC Harper
      Posted September 16, 2018 at 4:08 pm | Permalink

      As a UK citizen I have no fixed views on the suitability of Kavanaugh but I wonder what motivated the woman to make allegations now and not earlier.

      • Achrachno
        Posted September 16, 2018 at 5:24 pm | Permalink

        The prospect of having her attempted rapist on the highest court, I imagine. I imagine she was reluctant to make an issue of it earlier because the costs probably appeared to exceed the benefits.

        • Heather Hastie
          Posted September 16, 2018 at 7:31 pm | Permalink

          I saw a very similar situation to what happened to this woman, although I was sober and slightly older (17). The girl concerned was 16 and so drunk she couldn’t walk. Everyone else had been drinking. I’ve never said anything about it to anyone in authority, though my friends and I talked about it for a few days afterwards at the time.

          I have no idea how he’s treated women since high school. If it happened to me, I wouldn’t bother to say anything now unless the man was going to be in a position such as Supreme Court justice, prime minister (or president), or something else for which such behaviour should be known about before people make their decision.

      • eric
        Posted September 16, 2018 at 7:35 pm | Permalink

        AIUI she brought it up in marriage counseling in 2012 and that prompted her (or her husband, or the press) to think about it now. So it’s hard to see why it would be untrue. I expect she brought it to the press now because she might not want him to be a SCOTUS even if she doesn’t want to bring a personal court case against him for the past wrong.

        The press discovering things about a candidate or potential appointee that ‘change the equation’ is part of the system, or at least the founders thought a free press was supposed to do exactly this sort of thing. So it shouldn’t be thought a failure that the information only came out now; this sort of independent investigative reveal is what press freedom was intended to support.

        • Posted September 17, 2018 at 11:30 pm | Permalink

          my Understanding is that he was not named in 2012, and that her account then involved 4 attackers.

          • Diane G
            Posted September 18, 2018 at 12:21 am | Permalink

            Where are you getting your info from–Fox News? Michael Savage, Mark Levin, Rush Limbaugh…?

          • Michael Fisher
            Posted September 18, 2018 at 6:31 am | Permalink

            Her account was that she attended a “gathering” at a house in suburban Maryland – herself & four others were there making five people IN THE HOUSE in total.

            The 2012 notes by the therapist [at her & her husband’s ‘couples therapy session’] gives the impression that there was herself & four others in the bedroom, but that’s the therapist’s misinterpretation – Ford description of the attack involves only two attackers & no onlooking 4th & 5th parties in the bedroom.

            There is a lot of information not released by the WaPO & it is my bet there’s more detail to come at the right time. The WaPo has known about these alleged events for a few weeks & in the process of telephonic corroboration they’ve naturally got the rumour mill going. That how the Repubs had time to sift for 65 names, which must have really got the whispers flying – a really stupid strategy that will backfire on them when any one name breaks ranks & says “well yes there waaaaaas THAT time when Brett maybe went a little too far with me, but…”

            How did such stupid, stupid people get into power?

            • Brujo Feo
              Posted September 18, 2018 at 11:37 am | Permalink

              “How did such stupid, stupid people get into power?”

              “Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard.”
              –H. L. Mencken

      • Posted October 19, 2018 at 4:27 pm | Permalink

        To me, it is a hit job.

  8. Brujo Feo
    Posted September 16, 2018 at 3:52 pm | Permalink

    sub

  9. Ruthann L. Richards
    Posted September 16, 2018 at 3:52 pm | Permalink

    Chris gets to my point: no one seems to be asking whether there was drinking at that party. If there was and he was drinking, it is no wonder he wouldn’t remember an assault.

    • Michael Fisher
      Posted September 16, 2018 at 5:48 pm | Permalink

      There was drinking at the party – it says so in the WaPo article

      • Randy Bessinger
        Posted September 16, 2018 at 6:32 pm | Permalink

        So, if he was drinking, he was underage..correct?

        • Michael Fisher
          Posted September 16, 2018 at 6:44 pm | Permalink

          He was 17.

          I’m a Brit – I don’t know what US alcohol laws apply on private property, in Maryland in the early 1980s BEFORE the National Minimum Drinking Age Act of 1984. Wiki says that 17 states, including Maryland, have laws against possession of alcohol by minors, but they do not prohibit its consumption by minors. Does raiding the parents booze supply constitute possession? Probably not I’d have thought.

  10. Bob
    Posted September 16, 2018 at 3:59 pm | Permalink

    RE: “…65 women from the school have signed a letter testifying to Kavanaugh’s respectful treatment of women.” The “school” was an all-male prep school, so this is nonsense.

    It seems to me that the claimant is highly credible — therapist’s notes, husband’s recollections, polygraph test, etc. Why in the world would this obviously accomplished and intelligent woman voluntarily put herself through this misery if what she was saying was not true?

    Kavanaugh is a bum, a highly partisan right-wing-nut political partisan. Having him on any court, let alone the SC, would be confirmation that the Republi-cons and The Drumph are willing to do anything if it advances their twisted and evil purposes. One of those purposes is to have a SC that will keep The Drumph in office.

    • Randall Schenck
      Posted September 16, 2018 at 4:12 pm | Permalink

      It is also nonsense because 65 women or 165 women saying he was a real nice guy does not mean anything. Additionally, they produced all those letters way too soon – it’s like they knew a few weeks back that this was going to happen and prepared the letters.

      • Steve Gerrard
        Posted September 16, 2018 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

        It certainly was done ahead of time. What we don’t know is how many women they asked. If they asked 75, and 65 said “perfect gentleman,” while the other 10 said “somewhat rapey”, they would only report the 65 positive reports.

        • rickflick
          Posted September 16, 2018 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

          Yes. In fact serial killers are sometimes fun to know. Ted Bundy was likeable. His victims “regarded him as handsome and charismatic”. I bet you could find many who would sign a letter of endorsement. Although non of his victims could.

          • Heather Hastie
            Posted September 16, 2018 at 7:32 pm | Permalink

            I wonder at all these women signing statements that he has been respectful in his treatment of women. I find that really weird. Further, “respectful treatment” isn’t the same thing as actual respect for women as equals. In fact it often means something completely patronizing and rather insulting.

            • eric
              Posted September 16, 2018 at 7:42 pm | Permalink

              Michael Fisher’s post below does a good job of explaining who the women were and why they probably have no objection to him. Basically, they were incidental/social contacts.

              And as others have pointed out, given that it’s the defense reporting their own ‘survey’ results, we have no idea how many women they contacted in order to get the 65 answers they chose to report.

              • Heather Hastie
                Posted September 16, 2018 at 7:47 pm | Permalink

                Cheers. I’ll have a look.

    • Brujo Feo
      Posted September 16, 2018 at 4:13 pm | Permalink

      Yes, today’s GOP is undeniably evil. But the Dems, in opposing it, have been weak and stupid. (The obvious example is how the Dems have sat on the sidelines and done nothing, while the GOP has absolutely mastered partisan gerrymandering.)

      I’ve been saying for a year or more now that if the Dems had the brains and the balls, they would be grooming Tammy Duckworth to run against Trump in 202. Unfortunately, they have neither, and the talk these days is about Joe Biden. Really?

      Which makes it likely that Der Drumpf will have six more years to stack the Supremes. And if Kavanaugh fails to get confirmed, do we really think that there aren’t any number of even worse choices waiting in the wings? This is what I find really dumbfounding–with every horrible act by the Mango Mussolini, we hear those who say: “This is it–we’ve finally reached rock bottom. It can’t possibly get any worse than this.” But of course it can get worse, and it will. Just watch who gets nominated next if Kavanaugh isn’t confirmed.

      • Brujo Feo
        Posted September 16, 2018 at 4:14 pm | Permalink

        “2020,” of course.

        • Randall Schenck
          Posted September 16, 2018 at 6:10 pm | Permalink

          Trump will have 6 more years…that’s funny.

          • Brujo Feo
            Posted September 16, 2018 at 7:07 pm | Permalink

            Funny? I’m going with horrifying. But the Dems don’t seem to have much interest in finding any candidates to run against him in 2020. Please correct me if I’m wrong.

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted September 16, 2018 at 7:12 pm | Permalink

        I think you’re grossly underestimating what a tough path someone who has never had an approval rating even close to 50%, nor a disapproval rating that’s ever fallen below 50% — and whom 10 million more Americans voted against than for in the last election — has to reelection, Brujo.

        • Brujo Feo
          Posted September 16, 2018 at 7:28 pm | Permalink

          Ken, I certainly hope that you’re correct. But your numbers are misleading. According to Wiki (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_presidential_election,_2016#Candidates_table), it was 65,853,514 for HRC, 62,984,828 for His Orange Shitheadedness. Less than a 3M difference. Yes, if you add up the votes for all OTHER candidates (I voted for Johnson myself, because in California, why not? HRC was already a lock without my vote), it’s around 10M, but so what? Are you suggesting that a significant portion of those 7M others are likely to vote Dem next time?

          And it’s irrelevant anyway. The electoral college vote (the only vote that ever matters) went 304/227/7. I repeat: in order to beat him, the Dems must present a candidate. They haven’t done so, and show little inclination to do so. Do you like a Trump/Biden matchup? How about Bernie redux?

          • Ken Kukec
            Posted September 16, 2018 at 7:43 pm | Permalink

            … it’s around 10M, but so what?

            So these are voters any other newly elected president would have worked hard to bring into the fold; Trump has not. Indeed, he has done nothing to increase his support, merely played to shrunken his base. I think far fewer people are going to be willing to expend their votes on quixotic third-party candidates the next time around, Brujo — including you, I hope.

            • Brujo Feo
              Posted September 16, 2018 at 8:17 pm | Permalink

              Ken–I registered LP in ’73; stayed that way until I switched to the GOP in 2008 ONLY to vote for Ron Paul in the primary. In 2016, I switched to Dem just to vote for Bernie in the primary.

              Once HRC was nominated (or even if Bernie had been), why not vote for Johnson? If I had voted Dem, and gotten 1,000 zillion more Californians to do so also, you know how many more votes that would have given the Dems in the E.C.? Zero–that’s how many.

              I’m going to stay Dem in ’20 just to vote for Tammy Duckworth (I hope–are you listening, Democrats?) in the primary. After the primary, what difference can it possibly make for whom I vote?

              • Ken Kukec
                Posted September 16, 2018 at 8:59 pm | Permalink

                Johnson got 142,653 votes in PA; Trump won by 68,236. He got 106,674 in WI; Trump won by 22,784. And in MI, Johnson got 172,136, and Trump won by just 10,704.

                I hope the voters in these swing states have seen the light, whatever it is you west-coast cats decide to do. 🙂

              • Brujo Feo
                Posted September 16, 2018 at 9:08 pm | Permalink

                Well, you’re exactly correct about that. Had I lived in one of those states, I would absolutely have swallowed my disdain for HRC and voted for her. She’s just the usual lying opportunist, and the Republic has survived two centuries of them. Der Drumpf is *sui generis* and an existential threat to most organisms above roaches and scorpions.

        • Posted September 17, 2018 at 11:35 pm | Permalink

          Trump has better numbers now than when elected. At one point he was written off because he had 75% disapproval. But elections are not about 1 candidate. Run Hillary again and see what happens.

    • Michael Fisher
      Posted September 16, 2018 at 6:08 pm | Permalink

      THis is a correction Bob. The “nonsense” is an error in reporting by PCC[E] – the 65 women of course did not go to the all boys prep school.
      PCC[E] quote:

      “…and 65 women from the school have signed a letter testifying to Kavanaugh’s respectful treatment of women”

      A .pdf of the letter in question, dated 14th September, can be found HERE

      And below is my copy/paste of the contents without the header addresses & without the 65 names [to save space] – note the bolded part:

      Dear Chairman Grassley and Ranking Member Feinstein:

      We are women who have known Brett Kavanaugh for more than 35 years and knew him while he attended high school between 1979 and 1983. For the entire time we have known Brett Kavanaugh, he has behaved honorably and treated women with respect. We strongly believe it is important to convey this information to the Committee at this time.

      Brett attended Georgetown Prep, an all boys high school in Rockville, Maryland. He was an outstanding student and athlete with a wide circle of friends. Almost all of us attended all-girls high schools in the area. We knew Brett well through social events, sports, church, and various other activities. Many of us have remained close friends with him and his family over the years. Through the more than 35 years we have known him, Brett has stood out for his friendship, character, and integrity. In particular, he has always treated women with decency and respect. That was true when he was in high school, and it has remained true to this day.

      The signers of this letter hold a broad range of political views. Many of us are not lawyers, but we know Brett Kavanaugh as a person. And he has always been a good person.

      • Randy Bessinger
        Posted September 16, 2018 at 6:45 pm | Permalink

        I wonder if any of them can confirm whether he was at this party and can confirm underage drinking. Not saying that is disqualifying but would give some context.

        • Michael Fisher
          Posted September 16, 2018 at 7:05 pm | Permalink

          Here is the relevant parts of the WaPo article:

          Ford said she was able to escape when Kavanaugh’s friend and classmate at Georgetown Preparatory School, Mark Judge, jumped on top of them, sending all three tumbling. She said she ran from the room, briefly locked herself in a bathroom and then fled the house. [….] Reached by email Sunday, Judge declined to comment. In an interview Friday with The Weekly Standard, before Ford’s name was known, he denied that any such incident occurred. “It’s just absolutely nuts. I never saw Brett act that way,” Judge said. He told the New York Times that Kavanaugh was a “brilliant student” who loved sports and was not “into anything crazy or illegal”

          Thus we are told that the witness to the alleged assault is a Mark Judge.

          Assuming for the moment that the party took place … there’s no reporting on the identities of other attendees to the party.
          No reporting as to whether or not other attendees have come forward.
          Ford says it occurred in a bedroom, in a house in Montgomery County – but we don’t know if the house has been identified & perhaps Ford doesn’t know the address.

          This is hot news – journalists & politicos on both ‘sides’ will be burning the phone lines. If the party occurred I’m certain the address will be determined & others will come forward who were there, but not in the bedroom. Nothing will come of it – Kavanaugh’s ship will continue sailing along fairly smoothly.

          IF other women come forward re Kavanaugh then he is sunk of course.

          • Randy Bessinger
            Posted September 16, 2018 at 7:14 pm | Permalink

            I agree that will probably be the case. I really do hate politics these days.

          • Mark R.
            Posted September 16, 2018 at 8:19 pm | Permalink

            I can’t even name 65 school mates from high school…let alone 65 females. I actually started writing names when I heard of this 24-hour, 65-witness thing. So dumb when you look at the feasibility of it; I dare anyone out there to try and list 65 school mates from high school. I’m 49, I got close to 40 before I got bored. 70% were male names. And to say 65 females knew your character when the person in question went to an all-male highschool is complete bullshit. Hopefully our dysfunctional Senate will see through said bullshit.

            Not that Trump’s next pick is going to be anything other than an “Originalist” hack. However, when the dems have no real power, any postponement of filling Kennedy’s seat I regard as a win.

            • Michael Fisher
              Posted September 16, 2018 at 8:45 pm | Permalink

              These aren’t normal people like you & me. The system in the US & the UK for the ‘chosen people’ is the same & I have bumped into it painfully as one who is not in the club. Little Jessica [or Harry] lives in the right area among the right people & goes to the right pre-school at age 3 or 4. There are many birthday party invites – usually at restaurants to save muss at home – and NOT being invited is social career suicide! You are dead.

              The essential need to network is drummed into these kids from year dot. The need to have a well rounded CV overrides abilities & interests, thus we have Kavanaugh portrayed as some sort of intellect & a basketball jock too – bullshit. He’s also a practising Catholic & they are like the Freemasons – free with recommending & elevating people on the basis of connections & views rather than ability & character. It’s the Boston Brahmins writ large.

              A few of Kavanaugh’s law clerks are the children of judges, people he knows through the church & other webs going back decades. This is how the game is played at their level.

              Of course 65 women knew him from school connections 35 years ago – there’s probably hundreds who recognise him now who went to socials where he was present as a toddler & a teen.

              • Ken Kukec
                Posted September 16, 2018 at 9:03 pm | Permalink

                When do we get to eat the rich? 🙂

              • Michael Fisher
                Posted September 16, 2018 at 9:17 pm | Permalink

                @Ken I hope we eat the rich before they enslave or kill the poor. The gap is growing with no end in sight.

              • rickflick
                Posted September 16, 2018 at 11:24 pm | Permalink

                First, finish your vegetables.

            • Michael Fisher
              Posted September 16, 2018 at 9:16 pm | Permalink

              An example of this networking in action is the extraordinary rise of a family of Boston dirt poor Irish to ultimate, legit power in only a few generations. And they hit the jackpot quite a few times:

              President of the United States
              A U.S. attorney general
              Four other members of the United States House of Representatives or Senate
              Two U.S. ambassadors
              A lieutenant governor
              Three state legislators
              And one mayor.

              Is that an unlikely concentration of abilities & character in one family or is it corruption, burying of many unfortunate ‘mistakes’, education, massaging of CVs, networking & a driven upbringing in action combined with buckets of cash?

              • rickflick
                Posted September 16, 2018 at 11:27 pm | Permalink

                Kennedy?

              • Michael Fisher
                Posted September 17, 2018 at 12:06 am | Permalink

                The collective term is a Camelot of Kennedys

                Jackie wearing shades, a perfectly tailored suit & white gloves would have let no oiks past the Kingly Barbican unless on the way to menial domestic work deburring her hats & chiselling her cheeks. A bit of a reflection of Melania when I think of Jackie.

                When that dream died there was the gift of the island of Skorpios to her by Onassis who knew exactly what type of woman she was. Upon his death she lost all that & got a measly $25 millski – the vast bulk of the wealth stayed in the blood family & she tottered back to the USA. I laughed.

                Some Russian oligarch thinks he owns Skorpios now, but the Greeks are more cunning than the Americans & the Russians – the seller must have known the Greek government will not let such a sale occur & the Russian will not get his money back. I might laugh again when it’s all done & dusted.

              • rickflick
                Posted September 17, 2018 at 12:27 am | Permalink

                a measly $25 millski – not exactly pocket change.

              • Michael Fisher
                Posted September 17, 2018 at 12:51 am | Permalink

                Ari got a lot of biz via the connection to American ‘royalty’ – worth a lot more than $25M. She assumed wrongly that she’d get a sizeable chunk of the wealth & he let her believe her American beliefs. From his POV it worked out as seven [?] years of free trophy wife. They took full advantage of each other in various ways, but Ari got the better end of the deal all told.

              • Diane G
                Posted September 17, 2018 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

                Just to let you know how much I’m enjoying this post and your subsequent comments in this thread, Michael. 😉

                Sadly, as corrupt as (some of the) Kennedys might have been, they were also some of the last torch-carriers for some truly liberal* (by American standards, anyway) aspects of government.**

                *…or at least more so than most others in a position to do anything about it, recently.

                ***lol–all those “somes” got added, sequentially, as I reread this comment…

              • Michael Fisher
                Posted September 17, 2018 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

                Thank you Diane. I agree about the torch bearing bit especially, but I believe their high sense of self & family worth led them all [All as far as I can tell] to hold to the idea that they were above ordinary standards of morals & the law. That was just for common folks who needed the imposition of controls.

                They were perhaps following the lead of their beloved Popes & the Vatican hierarchy – masters of spin, cover up & lifetime silence through pay offs [received & given]. I’m betting the Kennedys learned brutality from the fathers & nuns who thread their way through the education of the Kennedy clan.

                Joe Kennedy treated his children like raw recruits at boot camp. He moulded them to further his ambitions for the Kennedy clan. His saying was: “It’s not who you are that counts. It’s who they think you are”

                It was Joe who got JFK boosted in the Readers Digest as a war hero [PT 109] which led to a callow youth getting on the first rung to prez.

                It was Joe who encouraged his sons to treat women as trophies & sperm receptacles.

                It was Joe who got his daughter Rosemary lobotomised without telling his wife Rose & then after the disastrous op – hid her away in Catholic institutions. All so that Rosemary would not stain the image of the Clan.

                How many other adjustments to reality occurred down the years before & since Mary Jo Kopechne? One heck of a screwed up extended family.

              • rickflick
                Posted September 17, 2018 at 5:21 pm | Permalink

                The Kennedys may have been unethical in many ways but John Kennedy as widely considered to have been one of the best modern presidents. He was committed to expanding democracy and improving human welfare. Also I remember Bobby as an effective attorney general and as a passionate defender of the poor. Ted got himself into hot water when young probably because of some of the pressure of the family name, but his terms as senator was filled with good works.
                I think you have to accept that some of our political leaders have personal (family) weaknesses, but that doesn’t negate their other achievements.

      • Michael Fisher
        Posted September 17, 2018 at 10:37 pm | Permalink

        @rickflick ~ heres a taster – I have much more 🙂

        I’ll repeat this from an earlier post: “It’s not who you are that counts. It’s who they think you are” ~ Joe Kennedy

        And Joe Kennedy on RFK: “He’s a great kid, he hates the same way I do”

        THE MAGIC PRESS CORPS

        RFK was an arrogant, intolerant fixer who worked both sides of the street. Quite capable of delivering two or more entirely different subtly shifted speeches on the same day depending on the ears – a great skill, but it’s actions that define the person & not the speech bubbles. The press adored him – they created the RFK liberal myth so now he’s remembered as an empathic, identifier with the vulnerable & forgotten. That’s the kid brought up with the silver spoon stuck on the same pedestal as the vacuous Princess Di – he had sincerity down pat. RFK getting killed saved himself the inconvenience of following through on his fine vote gathering rhetoric, thus his liberal credentials remained unsullied.

        POC [as one says now]

        During his short time in office, JFK & his AG RFK appointed five supporters of segregation to the federal judiciary.

        RFK opposed economic sanctions on South Africa for its apartheid policies & he opposed ‘bussing’ integration. And yet he is adored today in South Africa for visiting in ’66 & for some wonderful speeches. Moonshine given his inaction when it mattered. He was making the right vote-gathering noises:
        http://www.rfksafilm.org/html/back.php

        RFK had a right old go at Gene McCarthy during their televised debate for his support for building public housing in the suburbs: “You say you are going to take 10,000 Black people and move them into Orange County” he said with a certain incredulity, while in turn RFK’s ONE idea on the subject of reducing inner city poverty was tax breaks to corporations to move into blighted neighbourhoods! Ronald Reagan felt “Kennedy is talking more and more like me.”

        RFK authorized lunatic & imaginative perv J. Edgar Hoover to wiretap MLK
        Read this: https://www.newsweek.com/fbi-martin-luther-king-jr-surveillence-wiretap-report-j-edgar-hoover-780630

        COVERT OPS

        Read abot RFK & “Operation Mongoose” a black program of blackmail, sabotage & assassinations – the bros. authorized 163 such ops in less than three years.

        VIETNAM

        See I.F. Stone’s “While Others Dodge the Draft, Bobby Dodges the War.”

        • rickflick
          Posted September 17, 2018 at 11:36 pm | Permalink

          Hmmm… maybe so.

    • Posted October 19, 2018 at 4:30 pm | Permalink

      She seems strongly motivated. And the therapist’s notes did not nama Kavanaugh.

  11. Jimbo
    Posted September 16, 2018 at 4:13 pm | Permalink

    Whether or not Christine Ford was assaulted by Kavanaugh in high school, it strikes me as overtly political that she would speak out now “to do her civic duty” which appears to be code for preserving Roe v. Wade. While I support Roe, dislike Kavanaugh and don’t want him appointed to SCOTUS, Ford is trying to affect a political outcome with her story, not confront Kavanaugh on his conduct nor seek recompence. Why, and why now? And when they were both in high school while drunk? What was her conduct at the time? Further, this “friend” of Kavanaugh’s was also named. Was he unwillingly outed as a witness and must he now testify? Can someone force the testimony of another? That strikes me as creepy too.

    • Achrachno
      Posted September 16, 2018 at 5:27 pm | Permalink

      The prospect of having her attempted rapist on the highest court, I imagine. I imagine she was reluctant to make an issue of it earlier because the costs probably appeared to exceed the benefits.

    • Randy Bessinger
      Posted September 16, 2018 at 6:51 pm | Permalink

      Well, I think the Supreme Court has become very political. It is now war it seems especially after Obamas selection wasn’t even given a hearing. Sad really.

  12. paablo
    Posted September 16, 2018 at 4:19 pm | Permalink

    The “65 women” thing is irrelevant. If I murder someone and find 65 other people to testify that I didn’t shoot them, I am still a murderer.

    • Posted October 19, 2018 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

      What if there is just an uncorroborated statement by someone that you attempted to murder them 36 years ago?

  13. notsecurelyanchored
    Posted September 16, 2018 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

    The logical conclusion of all of this #MeToo is that there will be no men left in congress or on the courts except neuters who have never taken a drink or hustled a girl, not even in high school.

    • Historian
      Posted September 16, 2018 at 5:08 pm | Permalink

      Yeah, boys will be boys. Why should anyone get excited about the occasional attempted rape?

    • eric
      Posted September 16, 2018 at 7:48 pm | Permalink

      If we lose the entire male part of the boomers and gen x (of which I am one) because every male in those generations committed some sort of sexual offense, do you know how devastating that would be to the country???

      Answer: not at all. That still leaves half of the boomers and gen-xers as potential executive leaders, plus in the near future, millenials. I’m male pale and stale; many of us are highly qualified for senior executive positions. That’s not in question. But, we are in no way irreplaceable.

    • Mark R.
      Posted September 16, 2018 at 8:28 pm | Permalink

      “…no men left in congress or on the courts…” Let’s do it, that might be a good change. Let’s see what a female-majority congress and judiciary would look like. We’ve never seen one (so your fear and judgement of said reality is moot) but I for one would welcome the impossibility of that to happen. How much worse can we do in this male-dominated world we have now?

    • Rita
      Posted September 17, 2018 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

      So holding her down, covering her mouth when she tries to scream while you try to rip her clothes off is “just hustling a girl”? Wow!

    • Diane G
      Posted September 17, 2018 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

      Loving the responses to notsecurelyanchored, here!

  14. dd
    Posted September 16, 2018 at 5:14 pm | Permalink

    Below is the Weekly Standar write-up on this which includes the following from the Washington Post:
    “held her down with the weight of his body and fumbled with her clothes, seemingly hindered by his intoxication”

    https://www.weeklystandard.com/john-mccormack/professor-christine-blasey-ford-woman-alleging-misconduct-by-brett-kavanaugh-in-high-school-steps-forward

    • Posted October 19, 2018 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

      After that, good luck with finding perfect judges willing to apply for the Supreme Court and be dragged through such a mud!

  15. Randy Bessinger
    Posted September 16, 2018 at 5:20 pm | Permalink

    I believed Anita Hill and not Clarence Thomas and he is on the Court. I believe Kavanaugh will be confirmed.

    • Achrachno
      Posted September 16, 2018 at 5:32 pm | Permalink

      But he shouldn’t be. Don’t give up so easily.

      • Randy Bessinger
        Posted September 16, 2018 at 6:14 pm | Permalink

        Unfortunately, I don’t have a vote.

  16. Ken Kukec
    Posted September 16, 2018 at 5:22 pm | Permalink

    … and 65 women from the school have signed a letter testifying to Kavanaugh’s respectful treatment of women.

    I hear tell there were millions of women in London Jack the Ripper never laid a paw on.

    I don’t know what happened with Kavanaugh and the professor from California, and I’m willing to keep an open mind until we hear from all concerned. But these kinds of testimonials leave me unimpressed.

    • Achrachno
      Posted September 16, 2018 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

      And he apparently went to an all boys school anyway. If true, the 65 were not his classmates. Did they all even know him?

      • Diane G
        Posted September 17, 2018 at 2:22 pm | Permalink

        See Michael Fisher’s first (& subsequent) comment(s) in comment thread 10, above.

  17. Ken Kukec
    Posted September 16, 2018 at 5:35 pm | Permalink

    … I think this will probably force Kavanaugh to withdraw his nomination …

    I’m inclined to agree with you — but, then, when Anita Hill finished up in front of the Judiciary Committee, I thought Clarence Thomas was dead in the water, too, so shows you what I know.

    In any event, I’d love to see Kavanaugh get dinged by the senate, by any means necessary. It’s high time the Dems started playing hardball according to the GOP playbook.

    • Randall Schenck
      Posted September 16, 2018 at 6:18 pm | Permalink

      This guy apparently wants the job so bad he is willing to do just about anything to get it. Once you have lied and he has, continuing to lie is easy. Just ask Trump.

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted September 16, 2018 at 6:38 pm | Permalink

        Mitch McConnell told Trump not to nominate this guy, that others on the Federalist Society list — candidates with the same right-wing bona fides — would sail through, while Kavanaugh would be a problem in a congress with a bare 1-senator Republican majority. Trump refused to listen.

        Makes you wonder why, doesn’t it? Did Trump fall in love with Kavanaugh’s expansive views on the nonreviewability of executive power? Were some sub rosa assurances given?

        • rickflick
          Posted September 16, 2018 at 7:25 pm | Permalink

          Legal jargon is quite fascinating. From watching so many courtroom dramas many terms are at least recognizable to the layman. Sub rosa is new to me:

          Latin, literally ‘under the rose,’ as an emblem of secrecy.

          • Ken Kukec
            Posted September 16, 2018 at 7:51 pm | Permalink

            Sub rosa is Latin, but it isn’t really a term one hears much in legal circles (and I forget where I first encountered it).

            Now, a similar term — sub silentio — is one one encounters in appellate court opinions from time to time, at least among my fellow pedants. 🙂

            • rickflick
              Posted September 16, 2018 at 8:10 pm | Permalink

              “Commonly, the term is used when a court overrules the holding of a case without specifically stating that it is doing so”

              Hmmm…sound like Justice Kavanaugh overturning Roe v Wade without mentioning it by name.

  18. Posted September 16, 2018 at 6:55 pm | Permalink

    Allegedly, this person talked about the attempted rape with her therapist in 2012 because she was afraid back then that Kavanaugh would be nominated to SCOTUS. This was in 2012, mind, when Obama was president and his already-anointed successor, Clinton, was presumed able to swamp any Republican candidate imagined at the time. I’m a Democrat and no fan of Kavanaugh, but something about the timing here reeks to me of dead fish.

    • Randy Bessinger
      Posted September 16, 2018 at 7:40 pm | Permalink

      I have no idea if it is true. Did we ever find out whether Hill was truthful or Thomas? Will we ever know?

    • Achrachno
      Posted September 16, 2018 at 7:41 pm | Permalink

      The stench is coming off Kavanaugh.

      • Rita
        Posted September 17, 2018 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

        +1

    • Posted October 19, 2018 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

      I think you are right.

  19. Posted September 16, 2018 at 7:14 pm | Permalink

    I believe Prof. Christine Ford. What Kavanaugh did speaks to character, and even if it was when he was a teenager (he was 17, she was 15) and possibly drunk, the fact stands that he has not made amends.

    • Randy Bessinger
      Posted September 16, 2018 at 7:43 pm | Permalink

      Well, if it happened, he is lying. If not, she is. I can’t think of another explanation short of delusion which is also bad for either party.

      • Randy Bessinger
        Posted September 16, 2018 at 7:46 pm | Permalink

        Oh, one other explanation is one or both parties were so drunk they don’t remember. Of course saying you remember when you don’t is still lying in my book.

        • Posted September 17, 2018 at 11:40 pm | Permalink

          I recommend Julia Shaw’s book on memory.

  20. max blancke
    Posted September 16, 2018 at 8:08 pm | Permalink

    Well, DF nd her people have known about this for months. I would be willing to bet that she has done everything possible to confirm the story. I understand that most here believe that Dems always act out of compassion and Repubs out of malice and evil. I think that is simplistic, and over humanizes the motives of Feinstein.
    I tend to believe that this release was timed to do the most damage. That they waited so long to release it, and did not address the issue during the hearings, indicates to me that possibly the accusations will not stand much scrutiny.
    The stakes are pretty high here, on all sides. I think it is foolish to assume there are depths to which either side would not sink.

    • eric
      Posted September 16, 2018 at 9:53 pm | Permalink

      I tend to believe that this release was timed to do the most damage.

      This is almost factually wrong, since it happened after the hearings ended. True, the vote has yet to be taken, but no Senator has to explain their vote in response to other Senator’s questions at this point. The release would’ve been far more effective months earlier than this, because that earlier exposition would’ve given the pro-abortion GOP senators a reason to demand the President nominate a different conservative justice. Now, however, they faced with the pragmatic and somewhat coercive dichotomy of support and keep their job or vote no and lose it.

      • Posted September 17, 2018 at 9:49 am | Permalink

        That it happened after the hearings is suspect. In a real search for truth Kavanaugh would have been asked about in the hearings and had a chance to respond, and be cross examined and his accuser would have appeared as well.

  21. Posted September 17, 2018 at 3:52 am | Permalink

    Reblogged this on jtveg's Blog.

  22. Bob
    Posted September 17, 2018 at 7:04 am | Permalink

    “…65 women from the school have signed a letter testifying to Kavanaugh’s respectful treatment of women.”

    How did they manage to round up 65 women and get them to sign a letter so quickly? I defy anyone to round up 65 people from their high school class and get them to sign something that fast. Did the Republicans know about this incident already and have the letter with signatures in a drawer in case this came out? A little too convenient for me.

  23. Gamall
    Posted September 17, 2018 at 7:31 am | Permalink


    I think this will probably force Kavanaugh to withdraw his nomination (which Trump will furiously defend), and I won’t be sorry if that happens.

    That people can be forced out or into anything by *allegations* is certainly something to feel sorry about, regardless of whether they are people we like or not.

  24. Curtis
    Posted September 17, 2018 at 11:38 am | Permalink

    The question is how a 30 year old totally unsubstantiated claim should treated. If we ignore them, then former criminals will prosper. If we believe them without evidence, innocent people will be screwed.

    I will always side on protecting the innocent knowing that this also protects the guilty. In the current times, people are too willing to throw false accusation for me to do otherwise. I withheld judgement on the odious Roy Moore. Once additional evidence came to light, I believed the accusers.

    At this point, this does not change my opinion of Kavanaugh. If there are more accusation, I will reconsider.

  25. Posted September 17, 2018 at 11:43 pm | Permalink

    Memory does not work the way many here appear to assume. Does anyone remember Neil de Grasse Tyson?

    It is quite possible she believes what she says but is wrong. It is quite possible he believes what he says but is wrong.

    I recommend Julia Shaw, The Memory Illusion.

  26. Posted September 18, 2018 at 10:48 am | Permalink

    It’s a sad situation where no one wins. Not the Democrats, not the Republicans, not professor Ford, or Judge Kavanaugh. Either she is lying and ruining a man’s reputation and cheapening other victims claims or he is lying and she did suffer many years with no justice and will get publicly dragged through her worst nightmare. Either way both individuals lives are tainted one way or another. And neither party will really win. Either the Republicans get their confirmation and people continue to view them as women hating rich men or Democrats win and the judge isn’t confirmed and we get to here about how Democrats are just slimy whistle blowers digging up false accusations. But most importantly America still loses because all of this behavior continues to divide this nation and it’s people.


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