Open Thread

The Open Thread for October 1, 2018

President Trump ripped NBC News after a report that the White House was limiting the scope of the FBI’s investigation into sexual assault allegations leveled against Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh.

Said Trump: “NBC News incorrectly reported (as usual) that I was limiting the FBI investigation of Judge Kavanaugh, and witnesses, only to certain people. Actually, I want them to interview whoever they deem appropriate, at their discretion. Please correct your reporting!”

The reporting is correct.   The New York Times reports “the emerging contours of the inquiry showed its limited scope.”

“Four witnesses will be questioned in coming days about aspects of the assault accusations against Judge Kavanaugh, according to two people familiar with the matter. Left off the list were former classmates who have contradicted Judge Kavanaugh’s congressional testimony about his drinking and partying as a student.”

Blasey Ford is not on the White House approved list of four people FBI is allowed to interview, according to the New York Times.  That is fucking insane and automatic proof of an impeachable cover up.

Jonathan Swan: “For the White House, it’s Brett Kavanaugh or bust. They have no Plan B and there’s not even discussion of one.”

Said one senior source: “He’s too big to fail now. Our base, our voters, our side, people are so mad. There’s nowhere to go. We’re gonna make them fucking vote. Manchin in West Virginia, in those red states. Joe Donnelly? He said he’s a no? Fine, we’ll see how that goes. There will be a vote on him… It will be a slugfest of a week.”

Said a White House source: “There’s no time before the election to put up a new person.”

“That’s just as well, because the small team working to confirm Kavanaugh has not been looking for a backup candidate, let alone vetting one.”

“You think I’m angry? You’re damn right I am. But you think I’m angry now, you just wait till I get on that Supreme Court, because then you’re all going to pay!”

Washington Post: “The scene at the hearing — in which Kavanaugh was defending himself against allegations of sexual assault — has at once thrust Klobuchar into the national spotlight and reinforced what could be her central shortcoming as a 2020 contender for the presidency. In a party that by most accounts is searching for liberals and powerful personalities to counteract President Trump, Klobuchar has crafted a brand almost diametrically opposed to that. In many ways, Klobuchar’s running and winning in 2020 would defy conventional wisdom, just as Trump did in 2016.”

“Yet more and more, she is finding herself earning strong reviews from partisan crowds, often on the strength of understated moments such as Thursday’s and the idea that she is essentially the complete antithesis of Trump. Where he’s brash, extreme and exuding machismo, she’s subtle, bookish, bipartisan and a woman in a party that is increasingly nominating female candidates.”

The Washington Post documents where Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh’s testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee was either wrong or misleading.

The Intercept reports that Brett Kavanaugh lied during his testimony about having no connections to Yale when he said, “I have no connections there. I got there by busting my tail.”  In fact, he was a legacy student: His grandfather, Everett Edward Kavanaugh, also went to Yale as an undergrad, as this yearbook shows.

Current Affairs: How we know Kavanaugh is lying.

When 85-year-old country music legend Willie Nelson joined 46-year-old Texas Democratic Senate candidate Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-TX) on stage Saturday night in Austin, they were greeted by more than 50,000 people, according to O’Rourke’s campaign. Other estimates cite roughly 55,000 in attendance. The Wall Street Journal reported Sunday those kind of numbers would make it the largest rally for a single candidate since “at least” the 2016 presidential campaign. Nelson even debuted a new song at the rally, “Vote ‘Em Out,” which he ended with a shout out to the Democratic candidate: “Thank you Beto, all the way buddy!”

Playbook: “The FBI has a tough job in the coming week. The investigation into Brett Kavanaugh is limited to ‘current credible allegations’ against the judge. But there seems to be a number of ways they can get crosswise with Democrats. For example: is the FBI going to probe Kavanaugh’s behavior at Yale? Is the investigation going to probe all allegations by Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, Deborah Ramirez and Julie Swetnick? Who decides what is credible? There are endless ways people will be able to discredit the investigation as not thorough enough.”

“This probe is being done to mollify a handful of Republicans. The vast majority of Democrats were always going to vote against Kavanaugh. They are after Sens. Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski and Jeff Flake. And they only need two of the three.”

“And remember… This probe is not really a weeklong investigation. The vote on cloture could be Friday.”

Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) said that Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s office will be investigated to determine if it leaked a confidential letter from one of Brett Kavanaugh’s accusers, Politico reports.

Cotton also said that lawyers recommended to Christine Blasley Ford by Democrats will face a Washington, D.C., Bar investigation for telling her that committee staffers would not travel to California to interview her about her alleged assault.

Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), the leading Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee, told ABC News that if Brett Kavanaugh is confirmed as a Supreme Court justice, “the House will have to investigate” allegations of sexual assault and perjury if the Senate doesn’t “properly” do so through this week’s limited FBI probe.

Said Nadler: “We can’t have a justice on the court who has been credibly accused of sexual assault, who’s been accused of other things, including perjury.”

President Trump said that he and North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un “fell in love,” The Hill reports.

Said Trump: “I was really being tough and so was he. And we would go back and forth. And then we fell in love. No really. He wrote me beautiful letters. They were great letters. And then we fell in love.”

President Trump trashed Democrats and the media at the campaign event, saying the Kavanaugh hearing at which both the nominee and Ford testified showed that the Democrats were full of “anger” and “mean,” “nasty” and “untruthful,” NBC News reports.

The president said they were on a “mission to resist, obstruct and destroy. You’ve seen that over the last four days.”

He added: “They don’t care who they hurt, who they have to run over in order to get power and control. That’s what they want — power and control — we’re not going to give it to them.”

He also called the Democratic Party the “party of crime.”

Jamil Smith at the Rolling Stone on Brett Kavanaugh’s Fragile Manhood:  “A lack of both preparation and editing are two things that have characterized Trump during his political career. So, too, has his petulance. Men, particularly white and privileged men, find that they can get away with acting like colicky children, and they are infantilized when it suits them. (Witness how Donald Trump Jr. and Jared Kushner, both adult men, are “good kids” in Trump’s eyes while actual boys like the Central Park Five, whom Trump said should be executed, were suddenly graduated to adulthood.) Even better for Kavanaugh, the subject of Thursday’s hearing was his juvenile behavior. He seemed to take license to behave as he once did in his youth. His testimony was a tantrum.”

Bruce Shapiro at The Nation:  “We all want more evidence of how Brett Kavanaugh behaved toward women as a student (was he a violent, binge-drinking predator, or just an entitled, binge-drinking lout?). Maybe we’ll get it, maybe not. But in the meantime, we have plenty of evidence of his adult judicial thinking about laws addressing violence against women—and of a disturbing willingness to erase rape victims from the record.

Specifically, we have Judge Kavanaugh’s praise for the late Chief Justice William Rehnquist’s ruling in United States v. Morrison. Though it got just passing mention in Kavanaugh’s first Judiciary Committee hearing, back in 2000 this was a massively consequential case: In a 5-4 ruling, the deeply divided justices, led by Rehnquist, gutted key sections of the 1994 Violence Against Women Act.”

Michaelangelo Signorile at the Huffington Post says the Republicans Will Rue The Day They Stood Behind Brett Kavanaugh.

The fact that there may now be a delay on a final Senate vote to put Brett Kavanaugh on the Supreme Court changes nothing. Even if he goes down, the GOP has made its bed. And the revulsion at seeing Kavanaugh more than likely reach the Supreme Court ― after incident after incident after incident seemed to be the turning point on his nomination’s demise ― mirrors the way many of us felt about Donald Trump’s election almost two years ago.

That in both cases brave women came forward ― subjecting themselves to public humiliation, harassment and threatened physical harm ― only to have angry white men push their allegations aside isn’t lost on any of us.

The difference, now, is that we’re ready.



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

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