Senate panel approves Kavanaugh, Flake demands FBI investigation

This just in: the Senate Judiciary Committee voted (11-10) along party lines to confirm Brett Kavanaugh, but then Republican Senator Jeff Flake (who’s retiring after this term) said he won’t vote for Kavanaugh in the final confirmation unless there’s an FBI investigation that clears him. The NYT report is below. The vote, I suppose, was predictable, but I still don’t think Kavanaugh will wind up sitting on the Court.

One thing that bothered me about Kavanaugh’s testimony yesterday was that he was unwilling to either call for Mark Judge to appear and be questioned, or for the FBI to investigate him. If the man was innocent, why not? Those actions would, if he didn’t commit assault, only serve to help him. Despite Kavanaugh’s truculence, if there’s an FBI investigation—and now I think there should be—it might resolve both of these issues. I want to hear Judge’s testimony under oath.

I don’t know how Kavanaugh’s final vote will play out in the midterm elections; people have guessed that it would either help the Republicans if he’s voted down or hurt them if he’s confirmed, but the political season in America is so crazy that I’m taking a break from hazarding guesses.

h/t: Grania

226 Comments

  1. eric
    Posted September 28, 2018 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

    I still don’t think Kavanaugh will wind up sitting on the Court.

    Okay Jerry, I have to ask then: what other GOPer do you think votes against him…and why? What public statement has that second person made recently, that you think they’re voting against him? Because as much as I hope you are right, I don’t really see any empirical evidence that any other GOP Senator is going to cross party lines and vote against him.

    Flake’s comment is great, but it’s not enough. A 50-50 vote let’s Pence cast the tie breaking vote, and we all know how that’s going to go.

    • Posted September 28, 2018 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

      Perhaps this is just wish thinking, but I’m hoping that one other Republican will come to his/her senses. No, I don’t have any empirical evidence or names, but this is just my gut feeling, and I don’t see why you require me to provide names at this point.

      • yazikus
        Posted September 28, 2018 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

        I wish people would look beyond Collins and Murkowski (who I think are perhaps less likely to change their minds than others) and focus on finding a principled republican senator from somewhere with actual family values that could be persuaded on the point of integrity. There must be at least one, no?

        • Randall Schenck
          Posted September 28, 2018 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

          But here is the reporting. Flake got confirmation from Murkowski that she was with him in asking for the investigation to be reopened. If it had been someone else, I’m sure they would say so. What does your family values have to do with this? I am sure Kavanaugh has great family values.

          • yazikus
            Posted September 28, 2018 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

            What does your family values have to do with this?

            Maybe ‘family values’ wasn’t the right term. I’m thinking of honest, respectable fiscal conservatives I know who are sickened by reports of his behavior.
            At worst, from what we know, he’s a hard-drinking gambler(and is living beyond his means)with a very questionable history.

            • Randall Schenck
              Posted September 28, 2018 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

              I am sure you do, but apparently not many of them are on this committee, considering the way they are acting. According to Kavanaugh he was almost a chior boy. Went to church every Sunday. Maybe hung over but hey and real citizen.

            • rickflick
              Posted September 28, 2018 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

              Any Republican who bolts will be on DT’s shiltist, which means they will be primaried in the next electoral turn of the thumbscrew.

              • Diana MacPherson
                Posted September 28, 2018 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

                I wonder if the cracks are starting to show….if people are going to get braver about Trump because they suspect he’s done for too.

                Also, I enjoyed your funny “hypothesis” comment on the earlier Kavanaugh thread.

              • rickflick
                Posted September 28, 2018 at 3:59 pm | Permalink

                Well if the Dems get the House of Representatives, there will be a lot of committee investigations where many of Trump’s cronies and accusers will be interrogated under oath on nation wide living color. That could easily be the beginning of the end for DT. That’s my hypothesis anyway.

        • Linda Calhoun
          Posted September 28, 2018 at 3:15 pm | Permalink

          Murkowski might vote no because she was elected as a write-in, with huge support from the Native American population. They are uniformly opposed to Kavanaugh because he has already been involved in limiting Native rights, and has written opinions that they find very wrong.

          L

      • eric
        Posted September 28, 2018 at 8:19 pm | Permalink

        I don’t see why you require me to provide names at this point.

        Well, for two reasons. First, because I was hoping you had found some public statement or other evidence that I had missed. Second, because with a small sample (i.e. 51 GOP Senators), I don’t think we can count on getting another vote through the statistical lowering of opinion for him. If millions of people were voting on this, I would believe that Kavanaugh’s approval rating after the hearing had dipped from 51% to <49%. But with 51 individuals, I don't think that's going to happen. An individual Senator is going to have to change their mind, and unfortunately right now, I don't see any evidence that any of them (except Flake, if he doesn't get an FBI investigation) are going to do it

  2. yazikus
    Posted September 28, 2018 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

    I want to hear Judge’s testimony under oath.

    They don’t want it because the man has literally written books about his youthful debauchery with Kavanaugh. It will put to rest the idea that he (Kav) was a teetoling choir boy, which is what Kavanaugh has telling the Senate.

    but I still don’t think Kavanaugh will wind up sitting on the Court.

    I appreciate your optimism.

    • mordacious1
      Posted September 28, 2018 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

      He never said he didn’t drink. Just the opposite. He said he loves/loved beer and drinks a lot of it. He just stated he didn’t assault women and was a virgin through high school.

      • yazikus
        Posted September 28, 2018 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

        He’s said he’s never had enough beers to not remember something. That is clearly false. His old classmates have given plenty of comments (in addition to what he has said of himself in speeches)indicating that he was a very heavy drinker.

        Did you not see the bit where they were reading from the speech he gave at Yale? He lied about what he wrote right there.

        • mordacious1
          Posted September 28, 2018 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

          Where did you get teetotaler choirboy out of that?

          • yazikus
            Posted September 28, 2018 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

            You must not have seen his Fox interview? Stating that his high school years were filled with church, service projects and wholesome friendships?

            • Diana MacPherson
              Posted September 28, 2018 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

              Indeed.

              The vast majority of the time I spent in high school was studying or focused on sports and being a good friend to the boys and the girls that I was friends with….I went to an all-boys Catholic high school where I was focused on academics and athletics, going to church every Sunday … working on my service projects and friendship — friendship with my fellow classmates and friendship with girls from the local all-girls Catholic schools.

              • mordacious1
                Posted September 28, 2018 at 7:57 pm | Permalink

                And all that is true. And one thing he did to relax and have fun was to drink beer with his friends. Therefore he’s a serial gang rapist.

              • Diana MacPherson
                Posted September 28, 2018 at 10:34 pm | Permalink

                Not what I was arguing at all. Just showing how he portrayed himself. And no one has officially accused him of rape….yet.

            • mordacious1
              Posted September 28, 2018 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

              …and drinking. He never denied drinking a lot of beer.

              • Posted September 28, 2018 at 5:58 pm | Permalink

                None of these things yazikus or DM cite is remotely related to the claim they are defending. You don’t need evidence it seems.

        • Posted September 28, 2018 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

          In 2001, following a boyz sailing trip, BK emailed:

          “Apologies to all for … growing aggressive after blowing still another game of dice (don’t recall.)”

          • yazikus
            Posted September 28, 2018 at 3:28 pm | Permalink

            I know, and that is half of what offends me. It is such a lazy and disprovable lie. He clearly has little respect for the USian public.

            • Posted September 28, 2018 at 4:25 pm | Permalink

              His readiness to lie so frequently, so badly, and about such trivial matters, is yet further indication of his arrogance, narcissism, and disdain for others.

        • eric
          Posted September 28, 2018 at 8:26 pm | Permalink

          He’s said he’s never had enough beers to not remember something. That is clearly false.

          I agree. He even bragged about getting that drunk in his yearbook. I would also count it as a blatant lie under oath when he said the “Renate Alumnius” comment in his yearbook had ‘no [intended] sexual undertone’.

          It’s just baffling to me that any Senator would believe that. Actually my belief is that they all of them – all – know it’s a lie. But the GOPers don’t want to point out that their man lied under oath about something so trivial, and the Dems don’t want to point it out because they don’t want to hang their case on such a trivial lie.

          • Posted September 29, 2018 at 11:26 am | Permalink

            The Dems could include the lies (there were several), the unresponsiveness (he didn’t directly answer several question), and the belligerence (he answered several questions with his own questions and claimed he was a victim of some vast Dem conspiracy) in a statement that would avoid the “trivial” label.

      • Merilee
        Posted September 28, 2018 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

        He could have done what Ford says he did and still technically be a virgin.

        • mordacious1
          Posted September 28, 2018 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

          Of course, I didn’t state otherwise.

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted September 28, 2018 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

        He claimed in his Fox News interview (which is something no other SCOTUS nominee has ever seen fit to do before) that his main interests in prep school were “going to church every Sunday at Little Flower, working on [his] service project, and friendship.”

        The is a far different picture than the one painted by his yearbook, or by Mark Judge’s prep-school debauchery roman à clef, Wasted: Tales of a GenX Drunk, or by the recent statements by many of Kavanaugh’s classmates at Georgetown Prep and Yale.

        • eric
          Posted September 28, 2018 at 8:29 pm | Permalink

          But again, they aren’t mutually exclusive. As Jimmy Buffet says, ‘there’s a fine line between Saturday night and Sunday morning.’ Partying his brains out on Saturday and going to church on Sunday might be hard on the hangover, but I’m sure he wouldn’t be the only young Christian to do it regularly.

  3. eric
    Posted September 28, 2018 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

    If the man was innocent, why not? Those actions would, if he didn’t commit assault, only serve to help him.

    It’s partisan politics. McConnell and Trump want him confirmed asap so they can put this issue to rest and go campaign for reelection (for others, if not themselves). Also so that Kavanaugh can vote on the new SCOTUS cases that start getting heard on October 1. An FBI investigation would take weeks. So he says ‘no’ to please his political sponsors and his party.

    I want to hear Judge’s testimony under oath.

    He’s already released two signed and witnessed statements saying he doesn’t remember any event like the one described. I’m not sure we’d get anything more out of him other than more political theater.

    I don’t know how Kavanaugh’s final vote will play out in the midterm elections

    I’m going to go against what I’ve heard a lot of pundits say, and say instead I think whomever wins on this issue loses somewhat in the midterms. I.e. if Kavanaugh is confirmed, that energizes liberals to vote. OTOH if Kavanaugh fails to be confirmed, that’s going to energize evangelical conservatives to turn out – particularly in states where a Dem Senator is up for reelection.

    • Mark R.
      Posted September 28, 2018 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

      “OTOH if Kavanaugh fails to be confirmed, that’s going to energize evangelical conservatives to turn out – particularly in states where a Dem Senator is up for reelection.”

      I don’t agree. Evangelical conservatives don’t want Kavanaugh, they want Amy Barrett (an anti Roe v. Wade extremist…if you are incestuously raped and impregnated you still can’t get an abortion). So if he isn’t confirmed, they’ll get their wish for someone even more extreme when it comes to dismantling women’s rights.

      My opinion is ALL Dems get energized either way, and only Republican evangelicals get energized if he isn’t confirmed.

      But I’m with Jerry when it comes to hazarding guesses in this insane political climate.

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted September 28, 2018 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

        Plus, Kavanaugh is the least popular SCOTUS nominee since people began polling on such questions, with only 38% of respondents favoring his confirmation.

        It’s possible that Kavanaugh’s getting dinged (if he does) will energize the GOP base. It’s also possible that it will dispirit evangelical voters that Trump and the Republican congress they voted for couldn’t get the job done, thus depressing GOP turnout.

    • Linda Calhoun
      Posted September 28, 2018 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

      Anita Hill’s FBI investigation only took two days.

      L

    • gluonspring
      Posted September 28, 2018 at 3:52 pm | Permalink

      want him confirmed asap so they can put this issue to rest and go campaign for reelection

      Also, there is a slim chance that they will lose the senate in Nov, and with it the ability to confirm on party line vote. This would have to drag out through the lame duck too to do that, because obviously this congress will not be bothered by norms against confirming in the lame duck, but they are actively worried about these slim possibilities. Dems have almost no tools to resist them, but running out the clock in this way and hopping for a miracle win in November is their one card and they are playing it.

  4. Diana MacPherson
    Posted September 28, 2018 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

    I think there is more chance of Kavanaugh not receiving his final confirmation if there is an FBI investigation. It’s limited to 1 week but I think that might just do. I suspect more women will come forward.

    Good grief, his performance yesterday would make me not want to hire him for any job. He was disrespectful and belligerent to his questioners.

    • mordacious1
      Posted September 28, 2018 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

      After what they did to his family, they deserved a dressing down. The Democrats were willing to ruin this man’s reputation over politics, I’m glad I left that party a while back. I’d be embarrassed to be a Democrat now.

      • Diana MacPherson
        Posted September 28, 2018 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

        No, they didn’t deserve to have comments thrown back to them about how much beer they drank. You never saw Bill Clinton or Oliver North act belligerent like that. It’s called decorum and respect.

      • Mark R.
        Posted September 28, 2018 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

        “After what they did to his family…”

        Oh, cry me a river. Kavanaugh did it to his own family when he lied and tried to cover up his Kavanaughty past. Blaming the Dems for his lies and cover ups is plain silly.

        • mordacious1
          Posted September 28, 2018 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

          In July, when Feinstein had the letter, she could have asked for a confidential investigation which would have kept Ford and Kavanaugh’s names out of the press. Instead, they sat on it until the last minute and “someone” leaked it to the press. The point was to delay, no matter who it harmed. It’s sleazy and to me, unacceptable. YMMV.

          • Ken Kukec
            Posted September 28, 2018 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

            Last minute, schmast minute. It’s only the “last minute” because McConnell and Grassley are following orders from their overlord in the Oval Office to ram this nominee through a compliant Republican congress as fast as possible.

            I’m old enough to remember when Republicans were happy as clams to go a full year without a full compliment of nine Supreme Court justices.

            • Nicolaas Stempels
              Posted September 28, 2018 at 11:32 pm | Permalink

              And if you can go more than a year without a full crew, why not two? I guess that is the reason Mr McConnell wants to ‘plough through’. He fears a taste of his own medicine:
              After November, no more nominations if the Dems win the Senate (unless Mr Trump would slyly propose Mr Garland) and after 2020 the Democratic POTUS could nominate whomever is suitable.
              And if in 2020 the Democrats have the 2/3 majority in the House (not totally impossible with the economic downturn predicted by 2020), they can start by impeaching Mr Kavanaug, and add Mr Thomas, for good measure.

          • Randall Schenck
            Posted September 28, 2018 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

            You are doing two things here that always happen. Hindsight thinking, which is always easy. And the facts are, she wanted to remain unknown. How you go to the FBI while promising to keep it all quiet, I don’t know. Anyway, it was not some conspiracy by the Senator. Once it got out, she passed it on to the committee as she needed to do.

          • Posted September 28, 2018 at 11:14 pm | Permalink

            This “last minute” crap is just an excuse to push and rush the confirmation through. Why the need to rush? We are talking about an unelected lifetime position with enormous influence over people’s lives. Due diligence is more important than timing. Unless, of course, you’re rushing it through before the election. The Republicans were certainly in no rush when Obama nominated Garland.

        • W.Benson
          Posted September 28, 2018 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

          Kavanaughty!

          • Diana MacPherson
            Posted September 28, 2018 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

            I too enjoyed “Kavanaughty”.

            • Mark R.
              Posted September 28, 2018 at 2:56 pm | Permalink

              I actually first saw that on Heather’s Homilies. Someone (sorry I forget who) wrote: #Kavanaughty.

          • Posted September 28, 2018 at 3:33 pm | Permalink

            This sleaze bag shares a close spelling of my surname, so in honor of his Yale days, I’m going with “Dick Wagger”.

      • Curt Nelson
        Posted September 29, 2018 at 6:31 am | Permalink

        Embarrassed to be a Democrat? Compared to the Republicans?

        What a mysterious world it is.

        • mordacious1
          Posted September 29, 2018 at 8:25 am | Permalink

          I’m not a Republican either. It amazes me how otherwise intelligent people can’t see what the Democratic Party is becoming. Cheering on the obnoxious behavior of the past few weeks will only make them worse.

          • Curt Nelson
            Posted September 29, 2018 at 9:54 am | Permalink

            But what the Republican party is becoming (has become) is 100 times worse. So grousing about Democrats, who’re having to deal with the Republicans, seems ridiculous.

            • mordacious1
              Posted September 29, 2018 at 10:11 am | Permalink

              Yeah, Democrats are wrong, but Republicans are evil…I get it. I just don’t believe it anymore.

              • Curt Nelson
                Posted September 29, 2018 at 10:39 am | Permalink

                Is Trumpism beginning to appeal to you or do you think Democrats are adopting their own vile approach to governing? If it’s the latter maybe you could explain it and why it’s more threatening than Trumpism.

              • mordacious1
                Posted September 29, 2018 at 11:07 am | Permalink

                Trump doesn’t equal Republican.

                Once Reagan turned the Party over to the evangelicals, I was done with them. I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but the religious right is having diminishing sway in the party. Also, the Republicans are closer to center/right than the Democrats are to center/left. Democrats are going over the deep end in their resistance to Trump. As a centrist, I can vote for a moderate conservative over a far left liberal. That’s about it.

                BTW, I voted for Obama twice, and Hillary twice. Hopefully, the Dems won’t nominate someone far from mainstream, so I can vote for them again. I couldn’t vote for any of the current front runners. We shall see.

    • Merilee
      Posted September 28, 2018 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

      The way he asked Senator K from Minnesota how much SHE drank🤬

      • Diana MacPherson
        Posted September 28, 2018 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

        Yes, that’s it exactly.

        • Blue
          Posted September 28, 2018 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

          +1 and incredibly, … … O wait, USUAL it is =
          the r e p u g n a n t .backlash. – querying of a woman. AND .not. of a man.

          By a patriarchal and pathological liar.

          Blue

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted September 28, 2018 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

        I thought it a real high point in judiciary committee history when Kavanaugh blamed all his troubles on “pent-up anger about President Trump and the 2016 election … revenge on behalf of the Clintons and millions of dollars in money from outside left-wing opposition groups[.]”

        Kavanaugh is a longtime Republican Party hack — a hack who’s well-qualified by education and experience, sure, but a hack, tout court — who’s made Zelig-like appearances at all the GOP’s major crimes over the past quarter century, from Elian Gonzalez, to the Starr chamber investigation, to the 2000 election recount.

        Live by the hackery, die by the hackery, I always say.

        • Diana MacPherson
          Posted September 28, 2018 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

          Ha! I’m going to steal that “hackery” line for something – I’m not sure what but for something.

        • gluonspring
          Posted September 28, 2018 at 4:06 pm | Permalink

          It’s definitely historic. I expect him to be confirmed anyway, and that diatribe will further undermine the already sliding credibility of the court because what Democrat will ever accept a ruling made by a guy with such an obvious partisan chip on his shoulders? None. So he’ll be installed and then it’ll just be a matter of time before either:

          * Dems get enough power to pack the court, expanding it to 11 seats or whatever.

          OR

          * A Dem president or Blue state chooses to simply ignore SCOTUS rulings they don’t like on key topics.

          It spirals out of control from there, and future historians will look back at this pivotal tirade as one of the pivot points in the unraveling of the country.

          I’m what you call an optimist. 😉

      • Posted September 28, 2018 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

        … that question could and should have been retorted with:
        so your condoning taking advantage of a young female while under the influence of alcohol.

        I don’t know who ‘he’ is, i’m just following the drama of it all.

    • Simon Hayward
      Posted September 28, 2018 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

      It was interesting behavior for what is, in essence, a job interview.

      I see Murkowski is now joining Flake in asking for an FBI investigation.

      Will Kavanaugh withdraw before that happens? Who knows.

      • Diana MacPherson
        Posted September 28, 2018 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

        He did say he’d never quit so….

      • Posted September 28, 2018 at 3:35 pm | Permalink

        Entitled narcissists generally don’t.

        The FBI investigation is a fig leaf. It of course won’t find any definitive proof, so the GOPs on the fence can vote for confirmation behind that cover.

        • Posted September 28, 2018 at 3:56 pm | Permalink

          Maybe but we have hope that the FBI is motivated by wanting to be seen as competent and not partisan. Trump even believes they’re in league with the Dems. I don’t believe that’s the case but they may be anti-Trump due to all the insults he’s hurled at them. As I understand it, the FBI will produce a report and give it to Congress. Unless it is particularly damning, the GOP will declare that it doesn’t change anything and they will force through Kavanaugh’s nomination. The Dems will say that it disqualifies him and that Trump needs to nominate someone else. As usual, it will depend on the swing votes in the Senate.

          • Posted September 28, 2018 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

            If the GOP senators’ standard is definitive proof of Blasey-Ford’s accusation, we already know the outcome.

            Nevertheless, her testimony could be strongly corroborated. BK’s calendar entry for July 1, 1982 describes him drinking with the three other boys who Blasey-Ford says were at the party. She also claims BK and Judge showed signs of having drank earlier. She further mentions running into Judge at the supermarket 6 (??) weeks later. Judge wrote of a summer job at the supermarket (which he regularly showed up for hung over.) The FBI can subpoena Judge’s employment records, work backwards from those dates, then question the four who went to ‘Timmie’s for [brew]skis’ that day and about what transpired later that evening.

            • Posted September 28, 2018 at 5:00 pm | Permalink

              Might be able to figure out where Timmie lived and see if it rings any more bells with Ford. I worry that such things can’t be done in a week though. How fast can the FBI move in such cases?

              • Posted September 28, 2018 at 5:36 pm | Permalink

                One-pass interviews. Not much, I’m afraid. The investigation will need to be crowdsourced.

              • Posted September 29, 2018 at 9:41 am | Permalink

                Tim Gaudette, then of Rockville, MD. The street address is known and 11 miles from the country club where Blasey had swum earlier that day.

                NB:
                * in BK’s Fox interview (which he allowed to be considered sworn testimony for Congress), he describes in detail the party, including location (“near Connecticut Avenue and East-West Highway”), that he alleges never happens!!

                * In his testimony before Congress, his motor mouth went out of its way to assert that such a party would had to have happened on a weekend — yet [brew]ski’s at Timmies occurred on a Thursday;

                * The moment Rachel Mitchell started asking BK about the July 1, 1982 entry was when she was abruptly removed and Lindsay Graham jumped in with his panegyric.

              • Posted September 29, 2018 at 11:58 am | Permalink

                Excellent! I think analyses like yours conducted in the week to come will be equally as important in knocking down Kavanaugh as the FBI’s investigation. We have everyone poring over his testimony, his calendar, Urban Dictionary, and whatever. Reporters and amateur sleuths will be digging up all kinds of stuff.

              • Posted September 29, 2018 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

                Reporters and amateur sleuths will be digging up all kinds of stuff.

                Hopefully, with the objective of further tainting Bk to the point that the senate fence-sitters will be too uncomfortable endorsing him.

    • eric
      Posted September 28, 2018 at 8:33 pm | Permalink

      That was showing his loyalty to his party. Which is truly tasteless and somewhat despicable in a supreme court nominee, given that they are supposed to hold themselves above partisan politics, but I think Kavanaugh thought he had no choice. His ‘audience’ was really the GOP part of the Senate, and he has to convince them he’s such a trustworthy conservative, some so “on their side”, that it’s worth all the negative publicity they’re getting to confirm him. Attacking the Democrats does that.

      • Posted September 29, 2018 at 11:29 am | Permalink

        I don’t see why the Dems don’t make a bigger noise about Kavanaugh’s obvious lack of judicial independence as demonstrated by his testimony on Thursday. Obviously the GOP won’t care but there were probably millions of American voters watching that might.

        • Posted September 29, 2018 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

          Not to millions of undecided voters, I’m afraid.

          It seems pretty much everyone is hung-ho into the extreme partisanship nowadays .

          • Posted September 29, 2018 at 1:05 pm | Permalink

            True but it must also be true that people change their minds. Also, there must be new voters all the time and people that suddenly start paying attention to these things. It is likely that things will not always be so partisan, or we have Civil War 2.0.

        • rickflick
          Posted September 29, 2018 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

          I agree. Not enough play. Although Blumenthal did a nice summary of the case against in his final statement and did a nice job of elevating the issue of lack of fitness and political bias. More should be done along these lines. Kava is someone I fear. His temper and self righteousness frightens me. I would not want to be a defendant in his courtroom.

          • Diane G
            Posted September 30, 2018 at 2:14 am | Permalink

            The Roy Moore from Georgetown Prep.

            • rickflick
              Posted September 30, 2018 at 5:09 am | Permalink

              Right. I wouldn’t want to find myself cuffed in the back seat of his squad car.

  5. Randall Schenck
    Posted September 28, 2018 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

    What we are seeing here is the end of Kavanaugh. PCC is correct. Flake, along with Murkowski and maybe Collins are all the power you need to say – Trump, give us an FBI investigation… If is either do this or we vote no. So they will get it. And this may be all that is needed to finish this deal.

    There are other republicans, believe it or not who are also behind Flake.

  6. Ken Kukec
    Posted September 28, 2018 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

    Flake’s trying out for the part of Hamlet from the Desert.

    If Flake has a little starch in his stance on this, it likely means that Collins, Murkowski, and three of the red-state Democrats who’re up for reelection — Manchin, Donnelly, and Heitcamp (all of whom voted for Gorsuch last year) — will hang tough with him, at least on the FBI-investigation front.

    • Randall Schenck
      Posted September 28, 2018 at 2:04 pm | Permalink

      About 5 minutes under the hot lights for Mark Judge and it will be all over.

      • Historian
        Posted September 28, 2018 at 3:21 pm | Permalink

        If they are authorized to do an investigation, the FBI will question Judge and others. There is little likelihood that they will testify to the Senate under oath.

        • Randall Schenck
          Posted September 28, 2018 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

          No, I don’t think any of it will be before congress. Just the friendly FBI man. And if the FBI comes a knocking at Kavanaugh’s door?? Well, it will be over by then.

  7. busterggi
    Posted September 28, 2018 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

    Kavanaugh will be seated – expect a court that re-affirm Dred Scott.

    • W.Benson
      Posted September 28, 2018 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

      If Democrats win a strong majority in both houses in November, they can go nuclear and expand the Supreme Court to eleven judges.

      • Linda Calhoun
        Posted September 28, 2018 at 3:23 pm | Permalink

        Trump would veto that bill.

        That strategy is going to have to wait until there is a Dem president.

        L

        • Posted September 28, 2018 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

          At that point, it would be Pence doing the vetoing, but yeah.

        • eric
          Posted September 28, 2018 at 8:37 pm | Permalink

          I really hope they don’t. It’s not good to screw with institutional structure just to get your policy way. That’s what dictators do.

          If they’re going for such a naked power play, I’d rather they impeached Kavanaugh for lying under oath.

      • Historian
        Posted September 28, 2018 at 3:23 pm | Permalink

        Due to the electoral map, there is zero chance that the Democrats will have a strong majority in the Senate. It’s even possible they may lose a few seats. However, 2020 looks much brighter for Democrats.

        • eric
          Posted September 28, 2018 at 8:39 pm | Permalink

          538 gives them about a 33% chance.
          Not good, but certainly not zero. Here’s a link.

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted September 28, 2018 at 4:10 pm | Permalink

        That court-packing plan didn’t go so well for Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

    • gluonspring
      Posted September 28, 2018 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

      Originalism. It’ll really take you back if you let it.

  8. Chadwick Jones
    Posted September 28, 2018 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

    I sure hope you’re right.

    • rickflick
      Posted September 28, 2018 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

      Me too.

  9. Posted September 28, 2018 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

    Across the pond I had not followed this story at all until last night when I followed Jerry’s link to C-Span which happened to coincide with Kavanaugh’s peak-livid in his opening statement. So I was hooked. I did not see Dr. Ford’s testimony.

    My amateur impressions were these. Kavanaugh’s credibility gradually worsened over the course of the few hours, but not to breaking-point. Notwithstanding that he may be innocent, his demeanour was not what I would expect from a senior judge. Feinstein’s rôle in the release of Dr. Ford’s story into the media – and the timing of it – looks extremely shady. There was far too much grand-standing & editorializing from Senators: they would do well simply to ask questions and stop reverting to the Dickensian stereotype of pompous Americans reiterating how wonderful this great country is. I had not seen Lindsay Graham in the flesh before and was unaware that he appears to be auditioning for the part of Leonardo di Caprio’s plantation-owner neighbour in “Django Unchained”.

    On my twitter feed, it was genuinely eye-opening to find that reactions to Kavanaugh’s testimony split almost entirely on party lines – and in a visceral way. It was as if they did not see the same drama that I did. More evidence, I suppose, that you have to see things for yourself before assuming that the truth lies somewhere between two poles.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted September 28, 2018 at 2:56 pm | Permalink

      “There was far too much grand-standing & editorializing from Senators …”

      Oh my, yon innocent Mr. O’Sullivan. That’s not a criticism; that’s a job description. Were it not for all the “grand-standing & editorializing” the senate chamber — where sits the self-described “world’s greatest deliberative body” — would be naught but 100 empty desks. 🙂

      • Posted September 28, 2018 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

        Yeah, Ken, but this was a Committee meeting, they are supposed to be boring. The UK Parliament Home Affairs Committee on anti-Semitism even managed ditch-waterositude when it grilled Ken “that-reminds-me-a-bit-of-Hitler” Livingstone. Don’t bother to watch the link: you’ll fall asleep. Top committeeing. http://www.parliamentlive.tv/Event/Index/55be8924-0d03-4b3e-a966-687266bddfe2

        • eric
          Posted September 28, 2018 at 8:41 pm | Permalink

          They’re boring when they’re on CSPAN and nobody is watching. But pointing a major network camera at a Senator is like putting your lazy cat on speed.

  10. Randall Schenck
    Posted September 28, 2018 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

    Can now confirm that yes, there will be a one week investigation before further voting. Also, the attorney for Judge is saying he will testify to the FBI but wants it kept quiet? I don’t know how they do that?

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted September 28, 2018 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

      Slap a subpoena on his dry-drunk ass!

      The American people have “a right to every man’s evidence,” as the venerable saying has it.

      • Randall Schenck
        Posted September 28, 2018 at 3:22 pm | Permalink

        Yeah, I think that is what the democrats have been saying now for several days. I think what we had is – yesterday, Kavanaugh and the republicans on the committee did there best bluff. Like a bad poker hand. Today, Flake called their bluff. Game over.

      • Historian
        Posted September 28, 2018 at 3:29 pm | Permalink

        Correct me if I am wrong, but I believe that the FBI, through a grand jury, can only issue subpoenas in a criminal case, which is not the situation here. Since Judge and the others will not testify to the Senate, no subpoena can be issued by it either.

        • Randall Schenck
          Posted September 28, 2018 at 3:43 pm | Permalink

          I believe you are right…no criminal case here, just background reopening on Kavanaugh. But, the Senate committee can subpoena to come before them. If you say, oh, I will talk to the FBI instead, they will probably say good. As we know, when talking to the FBI you don’t want to lie. That gets you right to jail.

          • Eli
            Posted September 28, 2018 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

            Judge has submitted sworn statements to the Senate which carry the same penalty for perjury as lying to the FBI. So what’s the point?

            • Randall Schenck
              Posted September 28, 2018 at 4:40 pm | Permalink

              My understanding is, his lawyer has sent two short letters, signed by his attorney. They say almost nothing except he does not remember. Useless. Until he is sitting in front of the FBI or the congressional committee for QUESTIONING he has done nothing. This guy was in the room during the assault and probably a participant. Sure, lets just let him send a letter and everything is good??

              • Eli
                Posted September 28, 2018 at 5:35 pm | Permalink

                If he really was a participant (and likely even if he wasn’t), any self-respecting lawyer would advise him to invoke his rights under the 5th amendment. So he will surely say nothing more than what’s in the letters.

              • Randall Schenck
                Posted September 28, 2018 at 6:43 pm | Permalink

                I think if his lawyer is worth anything, he will sing like a bird and then go back into hiding for a few years. If the guy just claims up he is admitting guilt. The feds don’t like that. They really like people who sit down and tell the truth. Ask Manafort and all those Trump guys who wish they had not lied to the FBI.

              • Ken Kukec
                Posted September 28, 2018 at 6:50 pm | Permalink

                @Eli

                Mark Judge, like anyone else, can simply refuse to speak with the FBI agents, so he has no need to assert his 5th Amendment privilege. If he does so, however, I would expect he’d be subject congressional subpoena in that event, in which (since he’s under compulsion of process) he could Take Five. A party doing so, however, has the burden of establishing a realistic possibility of being prosecuted, which, given the age of the events in question, Mr. Judge would be hard-pressed to do. And in any event, if he did assert his 5th, the senate could trump his assertion by the simple expedient of granting him testimonial immunity (which wouldn’t be a big deal, since the prospects of prosecution are so remote anyway).

                All told, it’s unlikely Mr. Judge will be able to avail himself of this escape hatch. Also, keep in mind that a grant of immunity doesn’t apply to perjury, so if he lies in his testimony, he could still be prosecuted for that crime.

              • Eli
                Posted September 28, 2018 at 8:02 pm | Permalink

                @Ken

                I will defer to your expertise in these matters. I will point out that blankly, out-of-hand refusing to cooperate with the FBI paints one in a very unfavorable light. On the other hand, pleading the 5th and refusing to answer specific questions when you are alleged to be a participant in attempted sexual assault is sensible and AIUI (contrary to Randall) does not mean you’re admitting guilt.

            • Posted September 28, 2018 at 4:52 pm | Permalink

              If I understand it correctly, sworn statements say only what the swearers wanted them to say. They can be carefully worded to avoid lying. They are also offered through their lawyers making it somewhat impersonal.

              When the FBI does the questioning, they have their “FBI” jackets on and they get to ask the questions. Also, once the FBI has done their questioning, Congress may want them to testify publicly in one of their hearings so all can judge their veracity.

            • Ken Kukec
              Posted September 28, 2018 at 5:22 pm | Permalink

              Spoken like someone who’s never had the FBI come a-knockin’ at his door, Eli. There’s a world of difference between slapping your signature on a conclusory coupla sentences put together by your own lawyer and a full-on Q&A interview with two (or more) G-men.

              But the rubber would really meet the road if Mark Judge were made (as he absolutely should be) to sit in the hot seat before the cameras, the country, and judiciary-committee interrogators in the senate hearing room.

              Seems the least we can ask regarding the lone percipient witness to a crucial event before we hand someone a lifetime appointment to the highest court in the land.

              • Eli
                Posted September 28, 2018 at 5:40 pm | Permalink

                Very perspicacious, Ken. I admit I’ve never had to talk to the FBI (and long may it continue).

                Regarding Judge, he’s already claimed under penalty of perjury that he can’t remember the events in question. So what’s more likely: he’s going to come clean to the FBI (thereby admitting he perjured himself in his sworn statements) or just repeat “I can’t recall” to every question asked?

              • Posted September 28, 2018 at 6:18 pm | Permalink

                They can ask questions inspired by passages in Judge’s book, “Wasted: Tales of a Gen X Drunk,” which refers to someone named Bart O’Kavanaugh. I guess it depends on how the FBI sees the task. If it is to prove Ford’s claim, that might be difficult. If it is to show that Kavanaugh lied under oath, the task might be a lot easier.

              • Ken Kukec
                Posted September 28, 2018 at 7:03 pm | Permalink

                @Eli

                The difference is this: I’m unaware of anyone’s having been prosecuted for a false statement made in a letter by their lawyer. But people are prosecuted all the time (including several defendants in the Mueller investigation), under 18 USC sec. 1001, for making false statements to the FBI. It’s much different looking agents in the eye and lying than simply affixing one’s name to a letter.

                Also, an interview by agents will range broadly over topics not broached in Judge’s written “statement.” (Keep in mind that Judge’s former girlfriend has said he admitted to her that he participated in train-pulling gang sex of the sort described in the sworn declaration by Julie Swetnick.)

              • Posted September 29, 2018 at 11:11 am | Permalink

                Plus Judge basically says he doesn’t remember the event. It is difficult to prove that he’s lying. He can also later say it is all starting to come back to him and it might even be true.

              • Eli
                Posted September 28, 2018 at 8:08 pm | Permalink

                @Ken

                The second letter by Judge was in his own name, not by his lawyer:
                https://www.judiciary.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/2018-09-27%20Judge%20to%20Grassley,%20Feinstein%20-%20Ford%20Allegation.pdf

                And again the penalties for perjury in a statement to the committee fall under the same rubric (18 USC 1001) as in an FBI interview:

        • Ken Kukec
          Posted September 28, 2018 at 4:20 pm | Permalink

          The judiciary committee has subpoena power, if 11 members (10 Dems + Flake) or his nibs, the chairman, chooses to use it.

          The FBI was given some limited administrative subpoena power starting back in the 1990, but it wouldn’t apply in a situation like this.

  11. ploubere
    Posted September 28, 2018 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

    No one ever lost money by betting that people won’t do the right thing if it costs them personally. No republican will vote against Kavanaugh, it would be too costly politically.

    • Randall Schenck
      Posted September 28, 2018 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

      How about if there is no vote?

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted September 28, 2018 at 3:10 pm | Permalink

      Kavanaugh is the least-popular nominee in history (including the little-lamented Robert Bork), so I don’t think it would be all that costly politically, except maybe when it comes to raising campaign dosh. But neither of the two GOP swing-vote senators — Collins and Murkowski — are up for reelection this year, so should be able to recover, if they want to step up and earn their Profile-in-Courage awards.

      • Posted September 28, 2018 at 3:22 pm | Permalink

        The political cost is running afoul of Trump.

        • ploubere
          Posted September 28, 2018 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

          And the republican leadership.

          • Posted September 28, 2018 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

            Right but they are just following Trump’s wishes at this point. If Trump pulls Kavanaugh, GOP leadership will be saying, “Brett who?”

            • Diana MacPherson
              Posted September 28, 2018 at 5:43 pm | Permalink

              Yeah and I suspect Trump already has picked another person.

              • Ken Kukec
                Posted September 28, 2018 at 6:37 pm | Permalink

                I’m sure Trump HATES that Kavanaugh got all weepy in his testimony yesterday. Sad!

                Weak as “Cryin'” Chuck Schumer.

              • Merilee
                Posted September 28, 2018 at 7:24 pm | Permalink

                When did Schumer cry?

              • Ken Kukec
                Posted September 28, 2018 at 8:02 pm | Permalink

                Here — watch it an weep, at President Stable Genius’s grotesqueness in mocking Schumer.

              • Merilee
                Posted September 28, 2018 at 8:32 pm | Permalink

                Not available in my country…Never mind, I can google it. Thanks anyhow.

              • Diana MacPherson
                Posted September 28, 2018 at 10:36 pm | Permalink

                YouTube tells me that video is not available in my country, the Soviet Republic of Kanuckistan. But, I think I have seen it. Ugh.

        • Ken Kukec
          Posted September 28, 2018 at 4:31 pm | Permalink

          Collins and Murkowski have been crosswise with Trump ever since the Obamacare repeal fiasco. Flake is a “never Trumper” and is retiring, so his only concern would be crossing someone who might make him rich once he launches his new career as a lobbyist.

          Also, Collins and Murkowski had problems with Kavanaugh even before the sex scandal broke. Alaska’s native population has programs that could be put in jeopardy based on some of Kavanaugh’s DC Circuit rulings, and Maine is purple anyway.

          Both could survive the further wrath of Trump and the Deplorables, but that doesn’t mean they’ll necessarily step up.

          One way or the other, however, they’ll vote in tandem.

          • Mark R.
            Posted September 28, 2018 at 7:28 pm | Permalink

            Flake was up in New Hampshire giving a “country over party” speech to donors. You think he’s thinking about lobbying or about a Trump primary challenge? I’m thinking the latter.

            • Ken Kukec
              Posted September 28, 2018 at 7:55 pm | Permalink

              I’d like to see somebody primary Trump. But Flake has no base of support in today’s Republican Party. The main reason he decided not to run for reelection was the likelihood he’d lose a primary challenge. His approval rating in Arizona is dismal (last I heard, in the neighborhood of 18% — which ain’t a neighborhood you wanna find yourself in, you’re thinking about national politics).

              • Mark R.
                Posted September 28, 2018 at 11:21 pm | Permalink

                Yes, a shill to be sure. Optimism in these times is scraped up from scraps.

  12. Merilee
    Posted September 28, 2018 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

    Sub

  13. Blue
    Posted September 28, 2018 at 2:58 pm | Permalink

    I post in the case that ya’ wanna learn,
    if ya’ do not already know of it, in re
    ‘the two – hour rule’ that:
    Senator Grassley, its patriarchal Chair,
    dropped this afternoon upon
    the ten Democrats of the Senate’s
    Judiciary Committee and
    its ranking Senator Feinstein, in particular … …

    whomp ! badda bing, badda bang, d r o p … …

    http://www.everycrsreport.com/reports/R45170.html

    more o’Th’ Same … … suicide by patriarchy !

    Blue

  14. Posted September 28, 2018 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

    So it looks like there will be an FBI investigation after all. Trump has even signalled he’s ok with that. One analyst said that the only reason this happened is that the GOP did the calculation and found they didn’t yet have the votes to confirm Kavanaugh.

    I expect Kavanaugh’s head to explode shortly as I he is guilty of at least being a drunken lout and the investigation will likely make that more obvious than it is now.

    Trump will be making a continuous calculation to see whether he needs to dump Kavanaugh to avoid being a “loser”. He may be ok with the FBI investigation only to buy time to line up a replacement nominee. Trump would like to be able to say that he didn’t lose but merely changed his mind.

    • Randall Schenck
      Posted September 28, 2018 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

      Yes, a replacement will be in order. Preferably one that is not crazy this time.

  15. yazikus
    Posted September 28, 2018 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

    Senate Judiciary Cmte. says it will request Trump admin. to instruct FBI to conduct a supplemental FBI background investigation on Kavanaugh nomination “limited to current credible allegations against the nominee and must be completed no later than one week from today.”

    Just seen on the news. What is the deal with the arbitrary deadline?

    • Randall Schenck
      Posted September 28, 2018 at 3:10 pm | Permalink

      That is what Flake and others asked for. The idea, do whatever you have to and get them to open the investigation. That is all they need.

    • Blue
      Posted September 28, 2018 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

      Arbitrary, yazikus, it may seem. But.

      .THAT. “ONE WEEK” – amount is the time
      specifically stated by Senator Flake with
      “not to exceed” that: he took as a stance
      before … … he would vote KNaughty outta Committee. AND TO: the full Senate floor.

      ~1:52p Eastern this afternoon.

      Blue

    • Mark R.
      Posted September 28, 2018 at 3:53 pm | Permalink

      I heard that the “week” will be this Tuesday to next Tuesday. That’s enough time to look into Ford, talk to Mark Judge, etc., but I don’t think it’s enough time to thoroughly vet the other two accusers.

      • Posted September 28, 2018 at 4:00 pm | Permalink

        As I understood what was said in the meeting, heard on the radio while driving, Flake explicitly limited the proposed investigation to Ford’s accusations.

        • Mark R.
          Posted September 28, 2018 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

          Aha, thanks for the clarification.

          • Posted September 28, 2018 at 4:10 pm | Permalink

            Looks like I may be wrong about this. Fox News (came up first in this particular search) says:

            http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2018/09/28/senate-gop-leaders-agree-to-seek-additional-fbi-background-investigation-into-brett-kavanaugh-before-final-vote.html

            [Earlier, the Senate Judiciary Committee said it is requesting that Trump “instruct the FBI” to conduct the investigation, which would be “limited to current credible allegations against the nominee and must be completed no later than one week from today.”]

            I’m not sure who gets to decide which are “credible allegations”.

            • Mark R.
              Posted September 28, 2018 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

              I may be wrong about this, but I think the FBI investigation findings are given to the White House. From there I imagine they could clean it up, or just say nothing was found. I don’t know if that’s feasible, but I’m always worried about this crime-ridden administration.

              • Posted September 28, 2018 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

                You are probably right about the report going to the WH but there would be a cost for Trump to suppress or alter the report. I don’t think Trump could do it without someone immediately leaking the real thing.

              • Randall Schenck
                Posted September 28, 2018 at 5:00 pm | Permalink

                I don’t think they get to do that. I would say the white house will look at it to see if Trump then wants to pull the nomination. He will turn over what they have to the committee. This should include whatever they get from the main guy, Mark Judge, plus others who were at the party and maybe others who can confirm what kind of a drinker he was. The drinking question can be checked beyond the party. The FBI could very well want to take what they find and do another questioning of Kavanaugh.

              • Ken Kukec
                Posted September 28, 2018 at 9:02 pm | Permalink

                My understanding is that the FBI 302 reports will be delivered to the White House and all 100 members of the US senate.

  16. Posted September 28, 2018 at 4:25 pm | Permalink

    “. . .people have guessed that it would either help the Republicans if he’s voted down or hurt them if he’s confirmed.”

    My guess is that it’s going to help the Republicans either way–or at least not help the Democrats. The behavior of the Dems on the committee, not to mention of the leftwing loonies shouting in the hearing room, isn’t likely to win over many independents, which is where their best chance lies.

    However, it really all hinges on which side gets off their duffs on election day. The Dems’ motto at this point needs to be: “Stop whining and VOTE!!”

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted September 28, 2018 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

      I doubt putting a credibly accused sex offender on the court of last resort would help Republicans with college-educated, suburban women, who are shaping up to be the swing voters in this election.

      • Posted September 28, 2018 at 5:29 pm | Permalink

        It’s safe to say you could be right, Ken. It’s probably not true, but it’s safe. 😊

        • Ken Kukec
          Posted September 29, 2018 at 11:38 am | Permalink

          Thanks for the Groucho-like line, Gary. 🙂

          • Posted September 29, 2018 at 5:39 pm | Permalink

            Actually, I stole that from Martin Short.

    • Mark R.
      Posted September 28, 2018 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

      “Left-wing loonies”…are you referring to the women who were protesting because they are assault survivors? If so, those “loonies” are probably the ones that forced Flake to change his mind about the FBI investigation. I guess the loonies won- good for them. And you’re damning the Dems’ behavior on the committee, but say nothing about Kavanaugh’s ranting, lies, and deflections. “Devil’s Triangle is a drinking game” my ass!

      • Posted September 28, 2018 at 5:25 pm | Permalink

        “Left-wing loonies”…are you referring to the women who were protesting because they are assault survivors?

        Actually, I was referring to the 30 or more people who disrupted the hearings on Sept. 4th and 5th over abortion and Roe vs Wade, before the issue of assault was ever raised. To my knowledge, there were no protests in the hearing room after Christine Ford’s accusation surfaced.

        As for my “damning the Dems’ behavior” and giving the Republicans a pass, I do think the Republicans came off looking better overall. This is no reflection on my partisan leanings (I’m one of them pesky Independents) and even less on the respective natures of the beasts in question. It simply reflects that the Republicans pretty much had a sure victory and the Dems a sure defeat. It’s much easier to behave/look better when you’re winning.

        • Posted September 28, 2018 at 5:51 pm | Permalink

          Sorry, if you think the Republicans came out of yesterday’s hearings looking better then you too are a Republican. Even if you completely dismiss Ford’s testimony, it was obvious that the hearing was a sham. The GOP had no interest in learning the truth and Kavanaugh showed that he’s a completely political animal, mentioning a Dem conspiracy and Clinton revenge. He showed anger at a process that was completely in his favor.

          Such a person has no place on the Supreme Court. Remember past Supreme Court nomination hearings where the nominee’s judicial independence is the most sought after quality? Well, this was the opposite of those.

          • Mark R.
            Posted September 28, 2018 at 7:14 pm | Permalink

            Exactly. Hell, at the “Values Voter Summit” last week, McConnell all but guaranteed the attendees that Kavanaugh would be confirmed. He was innocent of all charges before the hearings even began. A sham is right…at least Flake (what an ironic name for this toad) put out the fig leaf of an FBI investigation. I don’t know why it is so difficult for Republicans to face truths.

          • Posted September 28, 2018 at 7:55 pm | Permalink

            “. . .the hearing was a sham. The GOP had no interest in learning the truth.”

            I agree it was a sham.: neither party had any interest in learning the truth. The GOP’s only goal is to get Kavenaugh confirmed before the November election and the Dems want only to stall until after the November election. That’s what all this is about; one shouldn’t have to be an Independent to see/admit this.

            • Mark R.
              Posted September 28, 2018 at 11:28 pm | Permalink

              You’re confused…I’m tired of arguing with your strange Independent I’m correct attitude.

              • Posted September 30, 2018 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

                “I’m tired of arguing with your strange Independent I’m correct attitude.”

                I’d be the first to admit that I’m often incorrect, but I’m never uncertain. 😊

            • Posted September 29, 2018 at 11:20 am | Permalink

              Obviously the Dems don’t want to see Kavanaugh confirmed and delay is one tactic. While we might wish for a world in which Dems and GOP work together, the Dems are now in a position where they need to match the tactics of the GOP just to hold up their side. The denial of Merritt Garland’s nomination gives Dems a free pass for many things, delay being perhaps the least.

              All that said, I see no evidence for your claim that Dems don’t care about getting to the truth. They’ve called for a proper investigation of Ford’s claims. What more can they do?

              As things stand right now, the call for an FBI investigation stands as a reasonable proxy for wanting to get to the truth. If you are for the investigation, you want to get to the truth. If you don’t see the need for an investigation, you aren’t interested in seeking the truth. It really is that simple.

        • Mark R.
          Posted September 28, 2018 at 7:14 pm | Permalink

          protest away I say.

  17. dabertini
    Posted September 28, 2018 at 4:58 pm | Permalink

    I dunno bout you but i would hate to be kavanaugh if he has lied.

  18. Jon Gallant
    Posted September 28, 2018 at 6:00 pm | Permalink

    After Judge Kavanaugh is confirmed, President Trump may well have still another opportunity to name a member of the Supreme Court, for Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, at 85 years, is not getting any younger. The candidate Mr. Trump should nominate to take her place is almost blindingly obvious.

    It is Ната́лья Влади́мировна Весельни́цкая (or, in English, Natalia Vladimirovna Veselnitskaya), a Russian lawyer who was well known to the leaders of the President’s 2016 election campaign. Paul Manafort, at the time chairman of the campaign committee, the candidate’s son Donald Trump Jr., and the candidate’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, all got together with her in a celebrated Trump Tower confab on June 9, 2016. The campaign committee explained that it was held only to discuss the adoption of Russian urchins, apparently a hobby of Donald Trump Jr. and a legal specialty of Ms. Весельни́цкая’s. In any case, President Trump asserts that he knew nothing about the urchin adoption meeting, has never heard of Paul Manafort, and is barely acquainted with either Jared Kushner or Donald Trump Jr..

    • Posted September 28, 2018 at 6:05 pm | Permalink

      Funny and scary at the same time. Sounds like the seed idea for a good Saturday Night Live skit.

  19. Ken Kukec
    Posted September 28, 2018 at 6:28 pm | Permalink

    A certain DC Circuit judge name o’ Brett Kavanaugh (maybe you heard of him?) wrote an opinion holding that polygraph tests were sufficiently reliable for the Feds to use them as an investigative tool and for background checks.

    Uh-oh.

    Wonder if the FBI will ask him & Mark Judge if they’re willing to wire-up. (I also wonder whether Kavanaugh’s lawyer might not already have had him take a confidential poly, the results of which perhaps aren’t suitable for public disclosure?) Be at least worth a question by some friendly FBI agents.

    Could get interesting.

    • Mark R.
      Posted September 28, 2018 at 7:20 pm | Permalink

      Could get very interesting indeed.

      This is totally off topic, but I’ve been wondering for some time now; how do you pronounce your surname? Kookech is my guess.

      • Merilee
        Posted September 28, 2018 at 7:31 pm | Permalink

        Funnily enough I just asked Ken the same question a couple of days ago. I think he said Kookek. Don’t woory, Ken, I/we don’t intend to use your name in vain😬

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted September 28, 2018 at 7:46 pm | Permalink

        Merilee’s right, and the answer I gave her is right here. 🙂

        • Mark R.
          Posted September 28, 2018 at 7:54 pm | Permalink

          Thanks! From now on, I’ll be pronouncing your name correctly. I’m surprised I missed that Merilee asked you this a couple days ago…then again, I rarely sub and depending on the day I don’t always read an entire thread.

        • Posted September 28, 2018 at 7:55 pm | Permalink

          Never mind the pronunciation, the nationality is much more intriguing. Ain’t that so, KKKK? Preach.

          • Ken Kukec
            Posted September 28, 2018 at 9:06 pm | Permalink

            Slovenian. As we like to say, there’s some in every SLOVEvenian. 🙂

            • yazikus
              Posted September 28, 2018 at 10:01 pm | Permalink

              Slovenia is beautiful! I hope to visit one day, and lay mine eyes upon the olm.

            • Nicolaas Stempels
              Posted September 28, 2018 at 11:09 pm | Permalink

              So you’re basically like the first lady? An American of Slovenian descent?

              • Ken Kukec
                Posted September 28, 2018 at 11:13 pm | Permalink

                Yep, third-generation, 1/2 (paternal side, obvs).

                FLOTUS is full-blooded, first-generation, I believe.

              • Diana MacPherson
                Posted September 28, 2018 at 11:24 pm | Permalink

                Yes and Ken is exactly like the FLOTUS except he doesn’t smile when told to and doesn’t look as good in a gown.

              • Ken Kukec
                Posted September 29, 2018 at 8:42 am | Permalink

                Mebbe so. But the “I Don’t Care, Do U?” jacket — who wore it better? 🙂

              • Merilee
                Posted September 29, 2018 at 9:40 am | Permalink

                Pics or it didn’t happen, Ken! Like to see you in the 5” heels, too.

        • Nicolaas Stempels
          Posted September 28, 2018 at 10:39 pm | Permalink

          Oops, I never wondered about it, but always assumed it was ‘kooketch’!

        • Mark R.
          Posted September 28, 2018 at 11:39 pm | Permalink

          You’re name backwards might sound similar. Cekuknek. Just sayin’. 😉 I can see the Marvel comic title: “Ken Kukec, the Western Cekuknek Kid.”

  20. Ken Kukec
    Posted September 28, 2018 at 7:35 pm | Permalink

    To those among us who believe it’s always rude and improper for citizens to confront government officials in public, apparently it was a pair of sexual-violence survivors confronting Sen. Jeff Flake while he was boarding an elevator in the Capitol Building (which some, I’m sure, would classify as “harassment”) that convinced Flake to take a stand in favor of an FBI investigation today.

    • Posted September 28, 2018 at 10:02 pm | Permalink

      Do we know that is why Flake called for an investigation? My impression is that it was a result of his meeting with the other members of the gang of four (Collins, Manchin, and Murkowski).

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted September 28, 2018 at 10:25 pm | Permalink

        I’m guessing it was a combination of factors, but Flake has said the face-to-face with the two women in the elevator had a big impact on him, which seems to be born out by the video I linked to above.

        • Ken Kukec
          Posted September 28, 2018 at 11:09 pm | Permalink

          “borne” out …

      • Posted September 29, 2018 at 11:34 am | Permalink

        He claimed that there were a number of things that changed his mind, not just the ladies in the elevator. It probably included the many people calling him “spineless” but he didn’t admit it.

        • Posted September 29, 2018 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

          On FB, I told Flake he had no honor, but I’ll give full credit to those two women in the elevator.

    • Posted September 29, 2018 at 11:09 am | Permalink

      “(which some, I’m sure, would classify as ‘harassment’)”

      It was definitely “harassment,” Ken—I can’t imagine what else one could call it—but harassment protected by the First Amendment.

      That said, I have to think that if it had been two males verbally assaulting a female senator, it would not have been allowed to go on. Also, if it was the reason Flake changed his mind, it’s unfortunately going to encourage similar behavior on any issue one disagrees with.

      But we’re in an “anything goes” moment in American politics, and shouting at a senator is at least better than shooting one.

  21. Posted September 28, 2018 at 7:59 pm | Permalink

    Have all Mr. K’s detractors gone under the microscope like he has? Well then, what’s fair or just about what’s going on here?

    • eric
      Posted September 28, 2018 at 9:49 pm | Permalink

      The microscope’s fairness is in being pointed at every nominee for Supreme Court Justice equally. And it is. As an example, the infamous practice of refusing to answer pointed questions about hypothetical cases – used by Kavanaugh, but pretty much every other nominee in recent history too – was actually started by RBG, because of the intense questioning she underwent.

      • Posted September 29, 2018 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

        Eric, Microscopes can’t be fare only people can do that, hopefully they will be. My POST #21 referred to detractors not competitors.

        • eric
          Posted September 29, 2018 at 6:35 pm | Permalink

          Sigh, Bill, did you really not understand my comment?

          There is nothing “unfair” here because Kavanaugh is being treated like every other SCOTUS nominee. Fairness here has nothing to do with whether they grill detractors as hard or not as him, it has to do with whether they grill him like they do other SCOTUS candidates. And they are.

          • Posted September 30, 2018 at 12:44 am | Permalink

            Sigh eric, touche condescension, politics is replete with unfairness. You missed my meaning firstly. There’s a paper trail here , be careful! I must have hit a nerve with the word detractor. Are you a detractor eric? Do you not want Mr. K approved for personal, for your own motives? It’s OK, you can say!

          • Posted September 30, 2018 at 12:44 am | Permalink

            Sigh eric, touche condescension, politics is replete with unfairness. You missed my meaning firstly. There’s a paper trail here , be careful! I must have hit a nerve with the word detractor. Are you a detractor eric? Do you not want Mr. K approved for personal, for your own motives? It’s OK, you can say!

      • Posted September 30, 2018 at 2:17 am | Permalink

        Really? why then are only talking about Mr.K?

  22. Posted September 28, 2018 at 7:59 pm | Permalink

    Have all Mr. K’s detractors gone under the microscope like he has? Well then, what’s fair or just about what’s going on here?

    • Posted September 28, 2018 at 8:57 pm | Permalink

      Have all Mr. K’s detractors gone under the microscope like he has? Well then, what’s fair or just about what’s going on here? We care about fair and just,we care about truth and honesty,right? We care about due process,right? Well then,what is going on here? Merely dialogue “boxing matches” to influence voters as to who will drive the “Bus”? their way, Or what?

  23. Steve Gerrard
    Posted September 28, 2018 at 8:08 pm | Permalink

    The indication is that the reason the GOP went along with the FBI background check is that they didn’t have the votes to confirm. This suggests to me that McConnell will not call for the vote after the investigation if they still don’t have the votes.

    That would make the calculus for the fence sitters a little different (Flake, Collins, Murkowski, Corker, Donnelly, Heitkamp, Manchin). If they say they will vote no, they may not have to actually vote at all. There will be leaks of who it was, but those won’t have the same impact as an official no vote.

    • eric
      Posted September 28, 2018 at 9:54 pm | Permalink

      The indication is that the reason the GOP went along with the FBI background check is that they didn’t have the votes to confirm.

      They can only afford to lose 1 Senator. With 2+ demanding the FBI investigation, it’s do it or lose the nomination.

      And you are probably right that McConnell won’t call a vote unless he is sure it will succeed. They could hypothetically do it out of spite, to lower the reelection chances of the other (non-Flake, non-Corker) GOP Senators who flip. However, IMO the far more likely scenario if they don’t have the votes is that Kavanaugh suddenly “chooses” to withdraw in order to spend more time with his family.

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted September 28, 2018 at 10:47 pm | Permalink

        McConnell isn’t usually one to bring a vote to the floor unless it’s a winner — as we saw with the Obamacare repeal efforts and the tax-cut-for-fat-cats bill.

        On the other hand, he has pledged he’ll bring the Kavanaugh nomination to a floor vote, come hell or high water. Maybe he’s bluffing the tergiversating members of his own caucus — or maybe he intends to punish the turncoats if it turns out the Republicans are holding a losing hand.

      • Nicolaas Stempels
        Posted September 28, 2018 at 11:06 pm | Permalink

        Yes!! His dear wife and two beautiful daughters need him in these trying times!

  24. Posted September 28, 2018 at 9:06 pm | Permalink

    Will a vote determine turth?

    • Nicolaas Stempels
      Posted September 28, 2018 at 10:48 pm | Permalink

      Nope. But Mr Kavanaugh has already been lying under oath in 2006. And his testimony on Thursday showed him not to be of Supreme Court material, to put it mildly.
      That is a truth that I’d think is more important, more relevant, than the truth of allegations of sexual assault as a teenager

      • Posted September 29, 2018 at 2:34 pm | Permalink

        If his lying is true, I’m with you on that!

        • eric
          Posted September 29, 2018 at 6:43 pm | Permalink

          Nicolaas is referring to his senate confirmation as a circuit court judge. He was asked (in 2006) if he had had any knowledge of or anything to do with the Bush administration’s detention and torture policy. Kavanaugh swore no. But back in 2002, when he was Kennedy’s clerk, he had discussed with other clerks and lawyers what Kennedy thought about the subject and how he could be expected to rule if the Bush administration tried to declare that detained terrorists wouldn’t get lawyers (Kennedy would vote against it).

          So he clearly did have knowledge of those policies, and even discussed with other government lawyers the professional, legal implications of what would happen if those policies ended up in front of the Supreme court.

      • Posted September 29, 2018 at 2:34 pm | Permalink

        If his lying is true, I’m with you on that!

        • Posted September 29, 2018 at 9:57 pm | Permalink

          Nicolaas, it s not my ambition to promote Mr. K. Judging from what little you and others have said on this page, I see you all know more about him and what’s going on than I do. That said, I see, nevertheless that he’s being attacked – in major ways that indicate an obvious political power struggle. This flak truly isn’t about Mr. K’s integrity, not to suggest integrity is un important for a judge, it especially is. This flack is about a supreme judge who will, ones presumes, side with Presedent Trump! This is the motive to defame Mr. Kavanaugh. It’s political chess.

          I suggest that any person who joins into current American politics as a player or as a supporter, anyone who has jumped into the political pool so to speak, cannot expect come out of it without being drenched and covered with it’s sticky chicanery, nor that onced under the microscope any time afterward cannot expect to emerge clean and unscathed – with reasonable explanations for his or her behavior. Politics is corrupt. We all know it, but turn a blind eye so our society can continue to run on. To do well in politics requires it: denying one’s best judgment, going with the flow. This may explain why our most talented, intelligent, qualified and ethical citizens do not run for office – not to say they don’t care! I know that they do care! They would do something more about it if they only knew how.

          Mr. K is just such a person who has jumped into that pool;I feel for him; I really do! In my view it could have been any ambitious sole in stead of him: a Democrat, some other Republican or an independent. If Mr. K is rejected, Trump’s next nominee will no doubt run the same gauntlet.

          • rickflick
            Posted September 29, 2018 at 11:02 pm | Permalink

            I see your point, but let me suggest an imaginary scenario. The Dems are totally bummed that GOP torpedoed Obama’s last nomination. They hate Mitch McConnell with a vengeance. But, DT, for some unbelievable reason nominates a very conservative but fully viable candidate without a checkered past and with a definitely judicial personality. Cool and objective. The Dems on the committee would definitely feel him out, question him harshly, but would eventually give him something of a pass. Maybe two or three Dems on the legislative committee would vote for him. He’d pass the Senate as a whole by a narrow but expected margin. Things would go on until the next showdown.
            But, in the case of Kavanaugh, you see the GOP in a panicky rush to confirm. You see a bare minimum of documentary history provided, you see a candidate as unforthcoming as ever has been, and then you have accusations of sexual assault, and a stonewalling by the GOP. This is the kind of situation you really need a very strenuous investigation. While it may seem like an unjust attack, it’s actually what is designed to happen as far as I can see.

          • Posted September 29, 2018 at 11:25 pm | Permalink

            “This flack is about a supreme judge who will, ones presumes, side with President Trump! This is the motive to defame Mr. Kavanaugh.”

            A Supreme Court justice is supposed to be independent of politics. While he (or she) is allowed to be human and have their own political choices, one of the qualifications for the job is judicial independence. So it is about a judge who might side with President Trump, a quality that should automatically disqualify him.

            As far as defaming Kavanaugh is concerned, it is only defamation if the accusations aren’t true. The jury’s out right now but it isn’t looking good from where I sit. He lied several times while under oath.

            It is possible for a confrontation to be political but one side be in the right and the other wrong.

            • Posted September 30, 2018 at 1:23 am | Permalink

              Paul, No! defamation is a matter of motive, irrespective of the facts. Mr. K is being defamed like Clinton, Hart, Thomas etc. by powerful political forces, via the media with no regard for due process or human respect.

  25. Ken Kukec
    Posted September 28, 2018 at 10:37 pm | Permalink

    The FBI is really moving on this, according to the LA Times, In addition to Dr. Ford, agents have already scheduled interviews with the other accusers who’ve come forward and alleged misconduct against Kavanaugh.

  26. W.Benson
    Posted September 28, 2018 at 10:46 pm | Permalink

    It now turns out that Kavanaugh engaged extensively in underage drinking while attending high school in Maryland. It is not an impeachable offense, although Kavanaugh apparently claimed under oath that he was of legal drinking age at the time.

    https://www.businessinsider.com/maryland-drinking-age-could-brett-kavanaugh-legally-drink-high-school-2018-9

    • Nicolaas Stempels
      Posted September 28, 2018 at 10:59 pm | Permalink

      It is like Mr Clinton’s case: that BJ by an intern was not so much the problem, but his lying about it was (and got him impeached).
      With Mr Kavanaugh too: that binge-drinking, gambling, sexually assaulting long ago is not his biggest problem, it is his lying about it now that is.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted September 28, 2018 at 11:00 pm | Permalink

      Kavanaugh lied with alacrity in his testimony yesterday, much of it transparent lies about relatively minor matters, including his drinking and the meaning of terminology in his yearbook — the “Ralph club,” the “Devil’s triangle,” “boofing,” “Renate’s alumnius [sic]”. If he will lie so readily about events of this time to spare himself minor embarrassments, why should anyone doubt he would lie about an attempted sexual assault?

      • Posted September 29, 2018 at 11:42 am | Permalink

        +1 Trump must regard K. as a son he never had, though his true sons probably can lie with alacrity as well.

  27. Diane G
    Posted September 29, 2018 at 12:49 am | Permalink

    sub

  28. Mike
    Posted September 29, 2018 at 8:12 am | Permalink

    What are the circumstances in which a S.C. Justice could be removed.?

    • Posted September 29, 2018 at 11:51 am | Permalink

      Isn’t it similar to impeaching a President? It’s not a criminal thing but a political one. The justification can be whatever gets enough votes to impeach.

  29. Diane G
    Posted September 30, 2018 at 2:47 am | Permalink

    Lest we get to hopeful for the FBI investigation–I was sorry to read this in the NYT:

    The renewed F.B.I. background check of Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh over allegations of sexual assault will be relatively limited, relying on voluntary interviews and document production.

    Former prosecutors said that because it is not a criminal investigation, F.B.I. agents will not be able to get search warrants or grand jury subpoenas compelling witnesses to testify or hand over documents. Witnesses and others can refuse to cooperate, though talking to an F.B.I. agent is often a powerful motivator to tell the truth.

    • rickflick
      Posted September 30, 2018 at 5:15 am | Permalink

      It’s almost as if the GOP isn’t eager to investigate Mr. K. If no one is willing to talk the FBI should submit a 30 page report with blank pages and ask DT and McConnell to sign it.

      • Posted September 30, 2018 at 6:47 am | Permalink

        It looks like Trump got caught trying to limit the investigation but has now backed off:

        • rickflick
          Posted September 30, 2018 at 7:03 am | Permalink

          I’m not sure that’s much of a concession based on the long list of restrictions in the Times article. “Only to certain people” is not the only thing I worry about.

  30. Posted October 1, 2018 at 11:51 am | Permalink

    I find it interesting (in the Chinese curse sense) that one can ask for an investigation and yet also put a time limit on it. (What would stop a key person to investigate from simply stalling? Lying to the FBI may be a felony, but simply not returning their calls isn’t, right?)


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