The Open Thread for September 24, 2018

Ronan Farrow and Jane Mayer writing in the New Yorker about a new allegation of misconduct against Supreme Court nominee Bret Kavanaugh.

“The woman at the center of the story, Deborah Ramirez, who is fifty-three, attended Yale with Kavanaugh, where she studied sociology and psychology. Later, she spent years working for an organization that supports victims of domestic violence. The New Yorker contacted Ramirez after learning of her possible involvement in an incident involving Kavanaugh. The allegation was also conveyed to Democratic senators by a civil-rights lawyer. For Ramirez, the sudden attention has been unwelcome, and prompted difficult choices. She was at first hesitant to speak publicly, partly because her memories contained gaps because she had been drinking at the time of the alleged incident.”

‘In her initial conversations with The New Yorker, she was reluctant to characterize Kavanaugh’s role in the alleged incident with certainty. After six days of carefully assessing her memories and consulting with her attorney, Ramirez said that she felt confident enough of her recollections to say that she remembers Kavanaugh had exposed himself at a drunken dormitory party, thrust his penis in her face, and caused her to touch it without her consent as she pushed him away. Ramirez is now calling for the F.B.I. to investigate Kavanaugh’s role in the incident.”

According to the New Yorker story, Senate Republicans new about this LAST WEEK. And yet they have kept pushing for Kavanaugh, probably trying to jam his nomination through before the story would come out. Mitch McConnell and Chuck Grassley have a lot to answer for.

“The Republican Party’s fight to save President Trump’s embattled Supreme Court nominee amid allegations of sexual assault has surfaced deep anxieties over the hypermasculine mind-set that has come to define the GOP in the nation’s roiling gender debate,” the Washington Post reports.

“The images are striking: The specter of Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee — all 11 of them men — questioning federal Judge Brett A. Kavanaugh’s female accuser. A senior GOP aide working on the confirmation resigning amid his own sexual harassment allegations. A viral photo of ‘women for Kavanaugh’ featuring more men than women. A South Carolina Republican congressman making a crude joke about Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg being groped by former president Abraham Lincoln.”

“And then there is the party’s id, Trump, who as a candidate denied more than a dozen accusations of sexual assault and harassment and sought to silence and retaliate against his accusers — and who as president has defended one accused man after another.”

After President Trump tweeted criticism of Christine Blasey Ford for accusing Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell called the president on Friday to say his tweets did not help, CNN reports.

Trump has not tweeted criticism of Ford since that phone call.

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) said the testimony of Brett Kavanaugh’s accuser won’t change his mind, no matter what she says, Politico reports.

Said Graham: “You can’t bring it in a criminal court, you would never sue civilly, you couldn’t even get a warrant. What am I supposed to do? Go ahead and ruin this guy’s life based on an accusation? I don’t know when it happened, I don’t know where it happened, and everybody named in regard to being there said it didn’t happen.”

“Congressional Republicans have found a solution to all their internal problems that plague their party: Delay them until after the midterms,” Politico reports.

“As the GOP fights to confirm Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell are seeking to make as few political errors as possible before November. But they are setting up a lame duck that will be characterized by a race to replace Ryan, a government shutdown fight and brutal divisions on several long-shot pieces of legislation that will quickly morph into a nightmare for the party no matter the results of the elections.”

Giffords PAC is going to spend nearly $1.5 million on a TV and digital ad targeting vulnerable Rep. Mike Coffman (R-CO).

Playbook: “Democratic operatives tell us that they believe the midterms are going to be a turning point on gun control. Their reasoning: Students from the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida have ramped up their activism across the country in an effort to register young voters. And, the WSJrecently put out an analysis with Kantar Media/CMAG data that found there has been a 22% increase in ads promoting stricter gun regulations since four years ago.”

New York Times: “With Judge Kavanaugh and his accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, tentatively scheduled to testify this week before the Senate Judiciary Committee, and many women furious over President Trump’s attacks on Dr. Blasey, a Supreme Court nomination that was once seen as a political winner in many conservative-leaning states could, instead, rouse female voters and independents who otherwise may have cared little about the confirmation fight.”

“Suburban women are pivotal in this year’s campaign and many of them were already tilting toward Democrats because of their contempt for President Trump. If Republicans are too harsh in their questioning of Dr. Blasey, they risk inviting an even greater backlash at the ballot box in an election where their House majority is in peril and their one-vote Senate majority is teetering.”

“The ongoing custody battle between former Trump campaign operatives Jason Miller and A.J. Delgado has taken another nasty turn: In an explosive new court filing, Delgado’s legal team alleges that Miller—prior to their own high-profile extramarital romance—carried out an affair with a woman he met at an Orlando strip club,” Splinter reports.

“Additionally, the court documents claim, when the woman found out she was pregnant, Miller surreptitiously dosed her with an abortion pill without her knowledge, leading, the woman claims, to the pregnancy’s termination and nearly her death.”

President Trump vowed to eradicate a “lingering stench” at the Justice Department, hours after it was reported that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein discussed wearing a “wire” to record conversations with Trump and recruiting Cabinet members to invoke the 25th Amendment to remove him from office, CNNreports.

Said Trump: “I want to tell you, we have great people in the Department of Justice, we have great people. These are people, I really believe, you take a poll, I got to be at 95%. But we had some real bad ones — you see what’s happened at the FBI, they’re all gone, they’re all gone, they’re all gone. But there’s a lingering stench and we’re going to get rid of that, too.”

“When Donald Trump won his upset presidential victory in 2016, Christine Blasey Ford’s thoughts quickly turned to a name most Americans had never heard of but one that had unsettled her for years: Brett M. Kavanaugh,” the Washington Post reports.

“Kavanaugh — a judge on the prestigious U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia — was among those mentioned as a possible replacement for Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, who died in 2016. When Trump nominated Neil M. Gorsuch, Ford was relieved but still uneasy.”

“Ford had already moved 3,000 miles away from the affluent Maryland suburbs where she says Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her at a house party — a charge he would emphatically deny. Suddenly, living in California didn’t seem far enough. Maybe another hemisphere would be. She went online to research other democracies where her family might settle, including New Zealand.”

“A federal court ruled that a Cabinet secretary must provide, for the first time in 19 years, a deposition in a civil case,” Politico reports.

“The Cabinet member, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, must answer questions about the inclusion of a citizenship question on the 2020 Census.”

Said U.S. District Judge Jesse Furman: “Applying well-established principles to the unusual facts of these cases, the court concludes that the question is not a close one. Secretary Ross must sit for a deposition because, among other things, his intent and credibility are directly at issue in these cases.”

“A former top White House official has revised her statement to investigators about a key event in the probe of Russian interference in the 2016 election, after her initial claim was contradicted by the guilty plea of former national security adviser Michael Flynn,” the Washington Post reports.

“K.T. McFarland, who briefly served as Flynn’s deputy, has now said that he may have been referring to sanctions when they spoke in late December 2016 after Flynn’s calls with Russia’s ambassador to the United States. When FBI agents first visited her at her Long Island home in the summer of 2017, McFarland denied ever talking to Flynn about any discussion of sanctions between him and the ambassador, Sergey Kislyak, in December 2016 during the presidential transition.”

Judge Brett Kavanaugh “has calendars from the summer of 1982 that he plans to hand over to the Senate Judiciary Committee that do not show a party consistent with the description of his accuser, Christine Blasey Ford,” the New York Times reports.

“The calendars do not disprove Dr. Blasey’s allegations, Judge Kavanaugh’s team acknowledged. He could have attended a party that he did not list. But his team will argue to the senators that the calendars provide no corroboration for her account of a small gathering at a house where he allegedly pinned her to a bed and tried to remove her clothing.”

The Associated Press reports that President Trump polled staff on Air Force One on whether he should fire Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.

He also called his outside network of advisers while watching Fox News report on the story that Rosentstein had suggested wearing a wire to secretly record Trump.

“The messages were mixed, but more were in favor of containing the urge to fire Rosenstein, a move that would declare open warfare with the Justice Department and cast doubt on the future of the special counsel’s Russia probe, according to two people familiar with the exchanges but not authorized to publicly discuss private conversations.”

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) said he believes “a bureaucratic coup” led by enemies of President Trump is taking place at the Justice Department, and the senator asked that a new special counsel be appointed to investigate, the Washington Post reports.

Said Graham: “Before the election, the people in question tried to taint the election, tip it to Clinton’s favor; after the election, they’re trying to undermine the president.”

Delaware politics from a liberal, progressive and Democratic perspective. Keep Delaware Blue.

55 comments on “The Open Thread for September 24, 2018

  1. Avenatti is says he has witnesses:

    Avenatti’s response to the email was also included in the photo, to which he told Davis that he is “aware of significant evidence of multiple house parties in the Washington, D.C. area during the early 1980s, during which Brett Kavanagh, Mark Judge and others would participate in the targeting of women with alcohol/drugs to allow a ‘train’ of men to subsequently gang rape them.”

    “There are multiple witnesses that will corroborate these facts and each of them must be called to testify publicly,” Avenatti continued, before going on to list several questions he advised Senate investigators to pose to Kavanaugh “without delay and provide the answers to the American people.”

    FBI. Investigation. Now.

    • Yeah, he has no witnesses. All of the other witnesses have flatly denied all of Ford’s allegations. And all of the supposed witnesses of this Rodriguez woman have denied her allegations as well.

      I have no doubt she spent plenty of time wasted on her back in 1%er rec rooms in the early 80’s, but it is clear that she is lying about Kavanaugh.

      And Avenatti? Seriously?

      Confirmation. Now.

      • Rodriguez = Ramirez

      • Is this the Republican strategy? So predictable. Got any proof to back up your “I have no doubt she spent plenty of time wasted on her back in 1%er rec rooms in the early 80’s” claim? Or is this just one more example of your misogyny? After all, you’re a-okay with death threats against women.

        But we can all see how nervous you are.

      • You’re a disgusting POS… “I have no doubt she spent plenty of time wasted on her back…” Let’s not pretend that you were only referring to her exercise routine… Knowing your profile on this site, the consistent comments you leave, and your evident attitude towards women, you consulted your repugnant playbook to work in a euphemism that calls her a slut… Again, you’re a POS whose opinion and point of view is amoral and worthless.

  2. As expected another woman has come forth, and this one has employed Avenatti the bane of all things Trump. Are there others? Seems likely at this point, the question becomes when and if the Republicans bail on Kavanaugh. It’s obvious they knew what was coming as they had already prepared an assortment of low grade propaganda stunts like “Women for Kavanaugh” and the usual excuses like “youthful indiscretions”, “boys will be boys” etc. Will the rush to confirm backfire on the Republicans? Perhaps, but if they drop Kavanaugh there’s a good chance the Evangelicals will take it hard and perhaps sit out the 2018 election. Predict popcorn as imminent.

    • No chance will they bail on Kavanaugh. If anything Avenatti and a story even the Old Grey Lady wouldn’t print will harden their stance. This garbage cannot be allowed to continue.

  3. I wonder what Russia has on Graham to make him be such a subservient little grub. He went from reliable critic to Alex Jones parrot pretty fast.

    • Russia doesn’t have anything. Trump threatened him that he’d out him as gay.

      Remember, we’re talking here about a politician who doesn’t even have the guts to come out of the closet, so what can you expect?

  4. How does this work?

    “Judge Brett Kavanaugh “has calendars from the summer of 1982 that he plans to hand over to the Senate Judiciary Committee that do not show a party consistent with the description of his accuser, Christine Blasey Ford,” the New York Times reports.

    “The calendars do not disprove Dr. Blasey’s allegations, Judge Kavanaugh’s team acknowledged. He could have attended a party that he did not list. But his team will argue to the senators that the calendars provide no corroboration for her account of a small gathering at a house where he allegedly pinned her to a bed and tried to remove her clothing.”

    This is completely ridiculous – and weird. Yeah, I always remember marking my calendar to go to a friend’s party where their parents weren’t present. Let’s put that sh*t in writing!

    • Yeah, and I saved them all from high school, too. The sad thing is that these elitists — as opposed to the actualy elite, who earn their positions instead of being “groomed” for them — are the very people Trump voters think they were voting against.

      Lucian Truscott — that’s Lucian Truscott IV — had an interesting piece in Salon about this “grooming” process, and the creepy thing is that, minus the sex, it’s exactly how they groom victims of sexual abuse.

    • Maybe abusers mark their calendars for when they plan to abuse a woman? Don’t know, I’m not an abuser and don’t know any, but maybe that is the theory.

  5. The Miller and Delgado story is really horrific. Surreptitiously giving a woman an abortifacient is poisoning at best. And also shows you that these people are not pro-life worth a damn. They just want to control women and their reproductive choices.

    • “They just want to control women and their reproductive choices.”

      Yep! Yep! Yep! This is why they are against female-controlled birth control, as well. This has nothing to do with being “pro-life” and everything to do with control.

  6. 100% politics. If you lean left politically, you say Kavinaugh is guilty. If you lean right, you don’t think he is guilty.

    What’s going to happen if and when Kavinaugh is withdrawn? Does he get charged with a crime? Will there be a trial? Does he keep his current job?

    Will people even be interested in the fate of Kavinaugh after this has blown over, and if so, should people be interested in the fate of the accusers as well? I’m sure the lucrative book deals detailing with their bravery and suffering are already in the making.

    • You’re the one assigning guilt or innocence. The rest of us are calling for an investigation.

      • Of course, and then there definitely can’t be a vote because there is an ongoing investigation, and who knows how long that will last, right?

      • What a total waste of time. If the Liberal propaganda machine, spoke up sooner. Then, we would have saved a great deal of money. If he is guilty, then move on. Get to the next person, whoever that candidate is and investigate Kav., outside of the Supreme court nomination!

        • Jesus, did you type that after huffing paint?
          What now? money? You want Dryhump McBoozy investigated? Why dont you try calming down and collecting your thoughts before flapping your hands on the keypad.

          • Because he doesn’t have any thoughts to collect.

          • So, it’s ok to keep going down this road? Let’s move on and get another nominee, since this guy is tainted. Try him in a court outside of this and let’s move on. NO, liberals would rather waste more time!

            Al, go pound sand. Oh, maybe you should pull your head out of it first.

            • How in the world did you arrive at the idea that liberals control any part of the time frame?

            • Even less coherent than before. It’s a bit early to be hittin the sauce, no?

            • Yes, time is of the essence because…what, you’re bored? I’m starting to think you’re a middle-school student, because no adult could possibly be this stupid.

    • No. It’s a political hit job, nothing more than that. He will be confirmed.

      The one side effect is that Amy Coney Barrett will almost certainly be the replacement for RGB when she finally croaks.

      Can’t wait to see what DiFi comes up with for that nomination.

      • We all know you still wouldn’t give a shit if there was the video evidence of Kavanaugh being the second-coming of Earl Bradley… Still aggressively chanting “Confirm. Now.”…

        • We all know you could care less about due process, or rational thought for that matter.

          When you get some evidence – any evidence, really – let me know.

          Here’s a hint – if the New York Times isn’t going to touch an anti-Kavanaugh story, your narrative is in trouble.

          • You calling for due process is the funniest thing I’ve read all day.

            • Especially since this a job interview, not a trial. “Fair” process would include letting the FBI re-open the background investigation. Clear his name (if it is clearable.) But that is the avoidance here, right? A real look at these claims would certainly confirm what these women say.

              • Ever notice that all this guy does is issue predictions, then never ‘fesses up when he’s wrong? Take up fantasy sports, fella — you could at least win some money in the unlikely event you know what you’re talking about.

                • I believe he would call this “owning the libs”. He hasn’t a clue that we know he just repeats what his handlers tell him, nor does he get that all of this reinforces the image we already have of him as a character-less and ignorant git.

              • Bullshit. You have nothing whatsoever to support that assertion, other than your politics.

                Again – if the New York Times won’t report an anti-Trump storyline, there probably isn’t much there.

                How’s Keith Ellison these days, BTW?

                • Mitch Crane

                  Keith Ellison will face the voters of Minnesota on November 6th. If they reject him, he is out of office. If they elect him and later decide they made a mistake, they can vote him out in 4 years. Judge Kavanaugh will never face the voters. If he is confirmed, he will have a lifetime appointment.

                  “Due Process”? Do you know what that means? It means that when there are allegations, they are investigated. Serious allegations (like these and the consequences) are investigated thoroughly. The allegations do not have to be believed-but to have the screening re-opened and all parties and persons with possible knowledge should be spoken to by the FBI. The end result would either end in the withdrawal/rejection of the nomination, or the nominee could go on to serve with this cloud over his head gone. Who wouldn’t want that? I would. I do.

                  • Puhleeeze. These are not serious allegations.

                    It’s a political hit job, nothing more, nothing less.

                    Why did the Dems sit on it for two months?

                    They care no more about investigating this garbage then I do. They knew how weak it was.

                    Big miscalculation by DiFi, although I’m sure the senile old broad didn’t make the decision on her own.

                    The screeching pussy hat wearers were already prepared to crawl through broken glass to vote in November. Now the conservatives are just as determined. And there are more of them in the districts that will determine who has the House and Senate for the remainder of Trump’s first term.

                • And the NYT did not decline to report on the story. Apparently their reported was trying to reach Ramirez. She had made a deal to talk to the NYer exclusively.

                  Ellison is also under investigation by the DFL.

                  Wrong again, Sherlock.

  7. So Dr Ford made it up 7 years ago as a political manuever just in case a bogus story was need to detail a judicial appointment. Yeah, that checks out.

    You’re a genius.

    • These are the same people that think that Obama’s mother faked his birth in the US so that he could one day run for the Presidency. Reality isn’t really their thing.

  8. Finally a Delaware connection to this shitshow (other than the obligatory drivel from Coons that Kavanaugh must prove a negative):

    Maybe Alby can pick up a twelve pack of Natty Boh and have a little chat with Judge… about the Judge. I’m sure with his finely tuned journalistic instincts Alby will get right to the bottom of the Blasey-Ford matter…

    • Kavanaugh shouldn’t be confirmed because he’s a proven liar and worked his whole life as a partisan hack. Such people shouldn’t get seats on courts.

      You, on the other hand, still haven’t explained or even confronted your desperate need for affirmation. Does your wife know?

      • A Republican gets frisky with his high school date. Career ruined. A Democrat drowns his date. Serves 50 years in Congress.

        • If you’re trying to prove you’re a shitty human being, rest assured, we knew that already. You don’t have to keep demonstrating it.

        • Frisky = attempted rape

          I knew this behavior was widespread, but listening to anono and xyz self-confess is stunning.

          • Said it before, Pandora. Move on if he is guilty and go to trial. Self-confess, you make things up as you go, it’s hilarious! Al, go back to the basement.

            • Men who are concerned about having their lives ruined by an accusation of “friskiness” seem to have reason to worry.

              • I love how we’ve accepted that NOT giving a white man a massive promotion and giving him power over millions of loves is tantamount to RUINING HIS LIFE. this incel drunkard is still a judge for life. Still has his taxpayer funded health care and taxpayer funded job. “ruin his life’ give me a fucking break. His life should have been ruined 30 years ago when he was setting up frat house gang rapes.

            • The ones who won’t move on are the GOP. Moron.

    • What reason does Mark Judge have for not wanting (really not wanting) to testifying? Going so far as to have his lawyer put that in writing?

      Because he talked about his and his friends exploits.

  9. Just here for laughs. You provide plenty.

    • No you’re not. If you were here for laughs you wouldn’t have to write a word.

      I’ve read what you’ve written, and the anger isn’t for laughs, and your attitudes about everyone else here aren’t for laughs. You sound like a sociopath, and on this blog, you behave like a sociopath. This probably has something to do with the anonymity, but again, what kind of person behaves this way? For the most part, a sociopath.

      Ask you shrink what it says about you that you feel the need to do this.

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