« meanwhile, back on planet earth... | Main | How the other half (of the world) lives »

September 29, 2018

Comments

How did/does/will this 'gentlemen’s and women’s agreement' work?

the FBI will do what it does. Flake et al will say, "OK, looks good to me!" and will then vote to confirm.

Succinct and I don't disagree at all cleek, but I wonder how Flake conveyed to Grassley that the FBI investigation was necessary. The TPM link has a hot mic exchange and I wonder if Grassley's 'gentlemen’s and women’s agreement' means that this was a combination of Flake and Collins and/or Murkowski.

From what I've seen, Flake huddled with both Murkowski and Collins. And then told Grassley (and McConnell) that the three of them would be No votes when it got to the Senate floor, absent reopening the FBI investigation.

So while it's a "gentlemen's agreement", he's also got a gun to their heads.

I agree that it's still more likely than not that Flake will vote to confirm. (Although that elevator confrontation seems to have shaken him badly.) But that's assuming the FBI finds nada. Any sign, e.g. from Judge, that Kavanaugh has kied, about anything during his testimony and he's toast.

One other detail (for whatever it may be worth). The ABA also called for reopening the FBI investigation. "Deciding to proceed without conducting an additional investigation would not only have a lasting impact on the Senate’s reputation, but it will also negatively affect the great trust necessary for the American people to have in the Supreme Court,” ABA President Robert Carlson wrote. This as Kavanaugh was including the ABA's earlier endorsement in his rant about how qualified he is.

Dominoes falling?

Any sign, e.g. from Judge, that Kavanaugh has lied, about anything during his testimony and he's toast.

Except that the lying was already obvious, and Flake wasn't moved by that.

I don't know what motivates people like Flake and Sasse who talk a good game, and seem to care about integrity, but no one with a functioning conscience who cares about truth could justify a Kavanaugh yes vote.

Murkowski telling McConnell that she won't vote for Kavanaugh on the floor unless Flake gets the FBI investigation is all it took to seal the deal. Flake probably had Murkowski's promise to do that before he made his demand.

This assumes that McConnell could not count on Heitkamp or Manchin to defect.

Maybe Collins backed up Flake and Murkowski, maybe not.

All of the above are still liable to vote for Kavanaugh on the floor no matter what the FBI reports. So it's possible the drama is just a well-orchestrated sideshow.

Strutting bantam Lindsey Graham would still vote for Kavanaugh if the FBI turned up actual videotape of young Brett committing actual rape. To preserve the dignity of future nominees, don't you know. Folksy old god-botherer Kennedy would also. Anybody who thinks the Republicans are less committed to shoving Kavanaugh's ass into a SCOTUS seat than Democrats are to blocking him is too foolish to argue with.

The sex-and-drinking stuff is a sideshow because for Republicans not-a-rapist is perfectly adequate qualification for a SCOTUS nominee, and transparent lies are not a disqualification.

--TP

I stand corrected. Flake had spoken with Murkowski and she was onboard. But he had not spoken with Collins.

Except that the lying was already obvious, and Flake wasn't moved by that.

Yes, it was obvious. I'd say blatantly obvious.

But what it wasn't, thanks to careful management by Grassley, was contradicted on the record. The FBI report may change that.

I don't now what "contradicted on the record" means. Do Grassley et al pretend that "Devil's Triangle was just a drinking game" is not "on the record", or that it's to be believed by not-stupid people, or what?

--TP

I think what motivates Sasse is that he loves being a pedant and talking about virtue, but he's also enough of a partisan ideologue to go all in on his opponent's motes while ignoring his own side's beams.

IOW he's a sophist building his own brand in the image of Buckley out of what Trilling aptly described as "irritable mental gestures which seek to resemble ideas"

"contradicted on the record" means someone said, either in front of the committee or in the official FBI report, something which contradicts or conflicts with it.

Just "we all know better" isn't sufficient. Because there are plenty of stupid, or wilfully ignorant, people out there. Unfortunately, many of them vote. On the record means there's something clearly beyond rumor to smack them with.

"irritable mental gestures which seek to resemble ideas"

That's a great line.

*****

Where I am now (per the title of the post) is: still processing what I heard of the hearings, because that's much more interesting to me than trying to game out the next and next and next moves of senators, much less of Clickbait.

Per my sometimes horrified, sometimes bemused fascination with the question of why we do what we do, a moment from one of BK's answers came back to me just now. The topic was high school/underage drinking, and IIRC he was answering at obfuscatory length, and his answer included something to the effect that "Well, I was underage, yes, but the seniors were legal."

So....so what? So...that's more okay than if he bought alcohol his own underage self? He drank the alcohol his friends furnished him illegally, but he didn't actually buy it, so....what?

I see this as just another chapter in the teenage-style project of misdirection, of filling the air with lots of factoids and assertions and speculations and side stories in hopes that your parents won't notice that you actually haven't answered the question, or that they'll get tired of the game before you do, or that this senator's five minutes will expire ditto.

Of course, in this case a lot of people noticed, much good will it do us.

https://digbysblog.blogspot.com/2018/09/the-difference-between-ford-and.html

The thing about FBI investigations (and the reason it was being resisted) is you don't know, let alone control, where they will go.

FBI reaches out to second woman who has accused Brett Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct
The woman in this case being Kavanaugh's fellow Yale student, Ms Ramirez.

Cue FBI-as-Deep-State rants in 5, 4, 3, ...

wj: On the record means there's something clearly beyond rumor to smack them with.

I don't believe that "on the record" will persuade the kind of people who already dismiss the evidence of their own eyes and ears.

I agree that it's just barely possible Flake, Murkowski, and Collins will say "My common sense wasn't enough to figure out that Kavanaugh lied to my face, but now that the FBI says so ..."

Of course that "..." may translate as "Tut, tut, but it's not enough to vote him down". We shall see.

--TP

Tony, my sense (or maybe naive hope) is that there are a few Senators who are basically looking for an excuse to vote against Kavanaugh. "Excuse" as in "something that they think will avoid losing their next election". That's a sad commentary on them, to be sure. But it's the hand we've got to play.

wj...it seems like a forlorn hope to me, call it naive if you want. I don't think they're looking for an excuse to vote him down, I think it's more like "maybe the horse will talk."

Janie, for the overwhelming majority of Republican Senators, I would agree. Except that majority, although huge, isn't actually overwhelming. For the simple reason that voting Kavanaugh down only requires a couple of them.

I think Murkowski is in the "searching for an excuse" category. Flake may be -- else why bother here?

Even Collins isn't impossible. I think she would rather toe the party line. But what is she seeing in the electoral environment back there in Maine? Not what is the environment, but what does she think it is?

I don't know what she's seeing in Maine, or what she thinks she's seeing.

But I think she's more likely to be looking to be let off the hook for voting yes than the other way around. An FBI investigation that doesn't find anything much will let her say "at least we tried." And since he is obviously an upstanding choir boy, that's all she'll need.

That's not a statement about her electoral prospects (I have in fact heard rumors that she might not run again, but that's very thin gruel), it's a bet about what she'll do without something very big from the FBI that would let her point to it for the opposite reason.

Push play. Turn up volume.

https://twitter.com/girlsreallyrule/status/1045747245939871746?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1045815031928160256&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.balloon-juice.com%2F

Cue FBI-as-Deep-State rants in 5, 4, 3, ...

lesser minds are already there!

if you can stomach ZeroHedge, they were going on the other day about how Ford is in with the CIA (and so is SunTrust bank! cripes! that makes me an accomplice!)

wj, what do you think the FBI can find out that would give these senators a clear path to voting no?

It seems unlikely that anything can be proven about Ford's allegations directly, short of Mark Judge swearing under oath that what she says happened, happened. But it seems far more likely that he too was too blind drunk to remember, and that he wouldn't swear anyhow.

So, other people coming forward? As with Cosby and others, the sheer numbers overwhelming doubt, either about his treatment of women or his continued drinking habits? But it seems like that would have happened already if it was going to at all.

Or maybe -- it seems the likeliest -- lots of little chips of factoids that show how much he's been lying. "Devil's Triangle," etc. etc. etc. etc. But I don't think our dear senator from Maine will vote "no" on that stuff. I don't know about the others.

Convoluted, but from the Twitter account of Ben Wittes, apparently a friend of BK and until recently (although it's stated only very obliquely at the top of the thread) a big booster:

@freethebill Sep 28 Replying to @benjaminwittes

"...the well-settled principle that false exculpatory statements are evidence - often strong evidence - of guilt." -from an Appeals Court opinion that Kavanaugh signed.

There is real evidence that Kavanaugh lied about boofing, blacking out, devil's triangle and Renate Alumnius.

@freethebill
Sep 28

He likely lied about his propensity to drink to incoherence because that would corroborate much of what Dr. Ford stated in her testimony. Devil's triangle and Renate Alumnus also corroborate the accusations of "training."

HT BJ.

For clarity's sake, those comments are in response to something Wittes wrote, they're not his. His is buried in a reference to a legal case.

Can anybody enlighten me about what "the accusations of "training" are"? I listened to the whole 9 hours, and don't remember anything about training except football training etc.

Wow on that Appeals Court opinion, JanieM. That could do for him!

"training" is the alleged gang rape, i believe. the boys were lined up like train cars, waiting their turn.

Oh I see, thanks cleek.

They called it "pulling a train" when I was a teenager....so the usage is at least that old.

Interesting, I'd never heard that usage over here, but that could just be me.

In all honesty, I'm pretty sure I only ever heard it said out loud once in my life, but it was said in a context, and about a person, such that I never forgot it.

I think a lot of people fundamentally misunderstand how this country works.

There’s a poll going around showing horrifyingly high numbers of conservatives think K should be confirmed even if the accusations are true.

A lot of people on the left are taking that seriously, and merging it with a lot of other features of their world view to add up to a critique of conservatives and conservative culture as degenerate. Pundits like Matthew Yglesias are writing post after post about how the real issue here is that conservatives just don’t think it’s BAD to drunkenly hold a girl down and cover her mouth so she can’t scream as you try to rip her clothes off.

I think that fundamentally misunderstands the way conservatives relate to “beliefs.”

When conservatives advocate birtherism they aren’t describing a belief they cane to hold. When they say Trumps behavior is fine they’re not describing their real feelings. When they talk about soldiers and America it’s not something they actually think. When they talk about JESUS it’s not what they actually believe.

There’s a giant category error in how people think about this. These things aren’t their beliefs because they haven’t got beliefs. They’re making noises with their mouth holes. They know who they like and who they hate, and like Trump himself, anyone they like they praise in whatever way seems most obvious, and whoever they hate they condemn in whatever way seems easy and familiar.

They aren’t changing their minds when it’s convenient because their beliefs never ran deep enough for that to begin with. We don’t need to hypothesixe a reason for why they, for example, act as though they have 180 opposite opinions on gun control depending on whether we’re discussing Chicago or Mexico. They never had opinions. They had attitudes, and like water flowing downhill they made the mouth sounds necessary to justify them.

The Yglesias types think that conservative opinions need an explanation that can be found by harmonizing the things they do and say, but they’re trying to infer the shape of something that isn’t even there.

wj, what do you think the FBI can find out that would give these senators a clear path to voting no?

I don't have a lot of hope that they will find evidence to support Ford. Although what Judge might say is anyone's guess. Given how hard they have worked to avoid having him testify....

But what I think they may well find is evidence/testimony that directly contradicts something (probably a lot of somethings) that Kavanaugh said in his testimony. That is, evidence of perjury. His drinking seems like a likely possibility, but there may also be other stuff as well -- maybe something in the additional documents which are (slowly!) coming out, which there will now be time to process some more of.

Yes, I can imagine. We have a rather revolting expression here, recently publicised in the trial of a professional footballer accused of rape, of "spit-roasting", which refers to a man at each end of the same woman simultaneously. But I can't, offhand, think of an expression for men waiting in line, whether for a gang rape or a consensual orgy situation.

My comment relates to Janie's 04.01

They never had opinions. They had attitudes, and like water flowing downhill they made the mouth sounds necessary to justify them.

This, and the rest of Patrick's comment, is fascinating and, to the extent it is persuasive (which is to say rather), depressing. The only thing is, I have a feeiing it describes some groups other than conservatives as well.

In the few times that I've encountered the expression, "pulling a train," it implied a consensual situation.

It's going to be a pro forma farce.

Just enough cover for yes votes.

Two things at once.

First someone is looking for a good enough reason to say no, or a terrible enough confirmable revelation to cause a withdrawal. I have no idea what that would look like, and I suspect an FBI investigation won’t turn it up but who knows.

Second, someone wants time to see how this polls out before they commit to a vote. So if anyone want to poll you, do it.

Not a good pick. Too partisan.

Apologies for the paywall, if I can find it somewhere else I will re-link.

I'll say the same thing, again, and I'll keep on saying it.

Kavanaugh is not a good pick for the SCOTUS. He is too partisan an actor.

Trump should nominate somebody else.

There is a freaking conga line of bright shiny Federalist justices who would not bring Kavanaugh's baggage. Pick one of those.

From my point of view that would still suck, because it would result in a majority of justices who are, not just conservative by temperament or inclination, but doctrinaire originalist hard-liners.

And the reason *that* would suck is not because my personal preferences would not prevail, but because, in bold caps:

IT WILL COMPROMISE THE CREDIBILITY OF THE SCOTUS AS A FAIR AND IMPARTIAL ARBITER OF WHAT LAW DOES, AND SHOULD, MEAN.

It's actually valuable for the SCOTUS to be seen as a non-partisan institution. The (R)'s are going to destroy that.

And that's why this whole (R) kabuki clown show is so much, much, much worse than just a kabuki clown show.

They want power, and they are perfectly fine with breaking stuff - valuable, essential stuff - to get it.

That is gonna come back on them. So be it.

russell, I dont necessarily agree with needing a fair and non partisan institution. But if Hilary were picking this pick it would end up 5-4 partisans the other way. So, while I agree on the goal, I prefer this reality to the alternative.

Janie, I'm thinking that the White House restricting who the FBI can talk to, i.e. the pro forma farce, may turn out to be counterproductive. (Which would be in pattern for them.) At least if they want to give some Senators the patina of fairness to justify voting for him.

If nothing else, it will be interesting to see who they restrict the FBI to talking to.

But if Hilary were picking this pick it would end up 5-4 partisans the other way.

there is absolutely 0 chance any nominee HRC would have put up would have sat there shouting at Senators, cutting them off, screaming like Alex Jones about conspiracies by the GOP to make him/her look bad.

as russell has been saying for days now: it's not that Kavanaugh has opinions. it's that he is so naked and brazenly partisan (and a flaming asshole, to boot) that it actually makes one think that he will be acting in large part as a Republican operative, and not a judge.

why you refuse to acknowledge that remains a mystery.

Marty, do you mean you don't necessarily DISagree with needing a fair and non-partisan institution? Your last sentence suggests that.

If nothing else, it will be interesting to see who they restrict the FBI to talking to

"whatever you do, don't talk to Kavanaugh's old roomie Rapey McRapeyface!"

The Trumpies cleverness is only exceeded by their self-delusion.

Tactically, the best option for the Ds would be if they fail to stop Kavanaugh being confirmed now and can then impeach him when next they get control of the Senate. Assuming that the lies he's told in his testimony amount to an impeachable offence.

Since Maryland misdemeanors were referenced in the previous thread.

"In particular, while in most of the rest of the country misdemeanors are defined by their comparatively light punishments (usually a year or less in jail), in Maryland misdemeanors can lead to long prison terms, up to life in prison (as in this 1982 attempted rape case). The same is true of misdemeanor attempt; as a 1984 Maryland high court case put it,

Attempt is a common-law misdemeanor, which, prior to 1976, had no statutorily prescribed sentence limit; the sentence for attempt was solely within the discretion of the trial judge. In 1976, however, the legislature enacted § 644A of Article 27, which limited the sentence for attempt to the maximum sentence for the completed crime.

Maryland misdemeanors, then, aren't (and weren't) necessarily minor crimes, or crimes with a minor maximum penalty; certainly attempts to commit serious felonies aren't minor crimes. But they do (and did) carry with them different procedural rules, including the statute of limitations, which is the point that the police department letter mentioned."
Maryland Misdemeanor Law: What Maryland calls "misdemeanors" is very different from what other states do.

cleek, you have no idea how any judge might act if they were accused of rape, convicted in the press and called a liar by the Senators. No Democratic nominee would have been treated this way. The Democrats have destroyed one institution, the Senate, we shouldn't let them destroy Kavanaugh on their way to destroying the court.

Charles, thanks for that clarification. (I learn something new every day here!)

But the statue of limitations has still elapsed.

Gftnc, yes, thanks.

Pro Bono: ain't gonna happen:

To convict someone who has been impeached, a two-thirds majority vote is required by the Senate.

Unless you just mean that they could try him to discredit him without actually having a prayer of removing him.

Thanks JanieM, I forgot the rules.

The Democrats have destroyed one institution, the Senate,

WTF ?

i got two words for you:

MERRICK GARLAND

Every time russell comments he throws in that Trump should withdraw the nomination and pick a moderate judge, that is the real desire here.

Speaking for myself: absolutely Trump should pick a moderate judge. Regardless of the truth of Kavanaugh's personal failings, it's wrong to be packing the Supreme Court with political partisans. And the same would apply if Hillary Clinton were president. Or Barack Obama.

The Court should represent a range of views and backgrounds - Obama was right to appoint Sotomayor. But its political balance should be roughly in the US centre. The Court is already well to the right of that.

What other country has a very powerful and highly politicized Supreme Court?

No Democratic nominee would have been treated this way.

nobody has yet demanded to see his long-form birth certificate. he hasn't been accused of "paling around with terrorists". he hasn't been accused of killing Vince Foster.

how he is being "treated"?

either you care about rape or you don't. either you care about the truth or you don't. either you care about letting a guy who attempted to rape a 15 year old girl on the Court or you don't.

if you care about any of that, you should be more interested in the results of the FBI investigation than the fact that Team GOP might have to cool it's fucking jets for a week.

did he commit a crime? i don't know! quit treating him so badly by wanting to find out!

is he a liar, under oath? yes! but that's just because someone accused him of a crime that we don't want to investigate because it would be demoralizing right before an election if it turns out there's evidence against him!

STUF UP LIBZ! It's OUR SEAT ! OURS!OURS!OURS!OURS!OURS!

re Whitehouse: Uh. . . no. Seriously silly. We'll just have to disagree.

Do I understand this right? Kavanaugh's miraculously preserved diary shows a house party during "beach week" of exactly the sort Ford described

I'm pretty sure the beach week took place at beaches a couple of hours away from where Ford said the party took place.

Ford said, and confirmed that there were "at least" 4 boys present.

Ford: She has said: 1)four people present; 2) four boys and a couple of girls; 3) me and four others and finally at the hearing: 4)at least four boys.

No kidding. As if the answer to a yes-or-no question is a fifteen-minute prestidigitative walk down memory lane

Lol. No, I was just referring to Booker.

She [his wife] has no reason not to back him 100% unless she's privy to information none of the rest of us are.

Exactly. It was just one piece of info, nothing more.

She knew Kavanaugh So either is she is lying or she is telling the truth. It is not possible that she would be mistaken.

Really? Not possible?

I'm inclined to side with Morris in this narrow case.

Nous, is Morris referring to people with otherwise normal psyche's? Because my understanding (admittedly limited and mostly from legal cases I've been involved with) suggests that there are situations where the psychological state of the victim and other psychological pressures can affect identification, especially down the road. That is why I would ask Ford for all therapist notes and whether she has a diagnosis of PTSD for this or some other event or any other diagnoses.

Yes, the constant repetition about Yale came across as quite creepy and weird

Not creepy but weird to me too. He seemed to be trying to emphasize that for him he couldn't party and do well at Yale because it was tough. But it didn't come across that way.

He kept saying they "refuted" it, which is laughable,

But he referred to all the witnesses that Ford said were there, not just Keyser. Keyser said:

“Simply put, Ms. Keyser does not know Mr. Kavanaugh and she has no recollection of ever being at a party or gathering where he was present, with, or without, Dr. Ford”

Judge said: "I never saw Brett act in the manner Dr. Ford describes."

P.J: "I have no knowledge of the party in question" and "I have never witnessed any improper conduct by Brett Kavanaugh towards women."

Kavanaugh obviously categorically denies the charge.

"Refute" can mean contradict, but more commonly means disproves. As an advocate, I'm sure I've used it for the "small r" meaning. But when you have two people saying "It did not happen," one saying "I have no knowledge of that party" and "I've never seem him act disrespectfully towards women" and her own friend saying "I don't recall ever being at a party with Kavanaugh", it is fair to say you have refuted the accusation.

But again, arguing you have refuted it and the fact finder finding in your favor are two different things. Obviously. Look here.

Some folks here need to 'man up' as they say and apologize for claims that Feinstein did this.

Because only direct leaks count, right? And Feinstein is stupid enough to directly leak it? I think someone else leaked it.

I was mad at Feinstein because she could have brought up an anonymous source without naming Ford just after she learned of it, questioned Kavanaugh in closed session, but did not.

Deeply horrible people. I wish them ill.

Just wow.

First of all, who cares about lies? Look at bc and Marty. They're fine with it.

sapient: Now I see the pie filter comment in its true light. You WERE saying I should be filtered as spam, right? Ad hominem much?

Btw, I found the question (I think) you said I didn't answer. I'll answer it. I just missed it when it was buried in all the Ford/Kavanaugh discussion.

As to the calendar, I found it more interesting that Garrett was there and she went out with Garrett at some point. If she were there, wouldn't she have remembered Garrett?

And as for me being ok with lies, I am not. Nor am I ok with sexual assault in any form. I have four daughters, and while I do not have the first-hand experience of the too many victims of such assault, it isn't hard for me to personalize it to the extent I am able.

bc,

May I assume that you find Whitehouse silly but Lindsey Graham serious?

--TP

The activity called "pulling a train", I believe, originated with motorcycle gangs, most notably the Hell's Angels, in the late 1950s and the 1960s.

Tom Wolfe describes his witness of one in "The Electric Koolaid Acid Test", when he hitched his star to Ken Kesey's and the Merry Pranksters' bus, called Further, when they stopped somewhere or other and the Hell's Angels were encamped nearby.

Next thing you know, Altamont.

Like everything in America, where the magnetic poles have reversed over the past fifty years and the window blinds on the Overton Window have required total refitting, the Hell's Angels now have bigger gangs to bang, being upstanding tax dodgers and America firsters, not to mention their connection to meth production and distribution, so they threw in with mp's and the Republican Party fucked up fantasia of fringe fascism:

https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/1489538/hells-angels-gun-slingers-and-off-duty-nuns-we-get-ringside-seat-for-republican-circus/

Of course, their principles, such as they are, are now sorely tested as mp is now pulling a train on Harley Davidson, the gang's ride when they aren't riding their women.

So ride Vespas, ya whiners, but patriotism is that thing between their legs. The Harley, that is.

When I think of the practice of pulling a train, which never comes to mind, of course, but it seems like an illustration of those public service commercials for sexual abstinence and/or protection, in which one is cautioned that you may be having sex with every other person your partner has engaged with, except in this case you get to meet most of them personally as they stand around shaking hands with the unemployed while in line.

You could ask me what a "chili cheese dog" is and what "take old one-eye to the optometrist" means too, but like everything, you can look it up yourselves.

Or ask Kavanaugh.

Merrick Garland tools around on a bicycle.

Mark Judge:

https://www.mediamatters.org/research/2018/09/21/brett-kavanaugh-s-friend-mark-judge-advocated-bigotry-and-extremism-and-even-wrote-about-being/221400

also Ms Keyser:

https://talkingpointsmemo.com/news/blasey-ford-friend-does-not-refute-dr-fords-account-of-assault-lawyer-says

Patrick: "They are making noises with their mouth holes"

Note to self: steal that.

Mouth Hole, the next social media platform.

But when you have two people saying "It did not happen," one saying "I have no knowledge of that party" and "I've never seem him act disrespectfully towards women" and her own friend saying "I don't recall ever being at a party with Kavanaugh", it is fair to say you have refuted the accusation.

Laughable again. The two people who say it did not happen are the two accused of perpetrating and participating in the assault. Re Leland, it is perfectly possible to be at a party at someone's house and not know one of the other people there, and therefore not remember being at a party with them. To consider this anything like a refutation, even before the fact that nonetheless she says she believes Ford, is indeed laughable. Which leaves us with PJ, who as you quote, says "I have no knowledge of the party in question" and "I have never witnessed any improper conduct by Brett Kavanaugh towards women." In the name of all that is holy, how do you get a refutation out of any of this? What kind of a lawyer are you?

TP: While many on the right find Graham's comments "top 5 in the history of the senate" I disagree. He started off good. He should have stopped, though, soon after he said "when you see Sotomayor and Kagan, tell them Lindsey Graham said hello" and that he would never have done to them what Feinstein et al had done to Kavanaugh. That was good. He made a fine point. Putting Garland aside (I know that is hard if not impossible), he is right IMHO that if the D's had wanted the truth, they could have alerted the R's early on, kept it anonymous and called for an investigation. Feinstein did not. She questioned Kavanaugh and never even asked him about the incident. She recommended an activist lawyer for Ford. IMHO, Feinstein didn't care about Ford. She, like the other D's, already had their minds made up. The investigation will not change that even if he is completely exonerated by the investigation.

But making Kavanaugh too much of a victim with a victim in the room isn't good manners or optics. He would have been more effective pointing out that while Dr. Ford may not feel like anybody's pawn, she certainly was used as one.

Kavanaugh should have said to Harris: "Senator, if a full FBI investigation comes out in my favor, will you vote for me?"

See GFTNC what you just did? No matter how many people dont remember or have never witnessed, it simply cant be proven he didn't do it. Any fact that could actually be refuted, when, where, how she got there, how she got home, she doesn't remember.

So he cant say at that time I was in a different place or prove her ride took her someplace he could not have been, etc. and everyone she said could collaborate didnt. No matter who they believe.

He could have been in some house at some time with some group of people somewhere, snd there is no way to prove otherwise.

corroborate

Marty, nobody denies it is hard to get to the truth of something after this kind of time lapse. But for the purposes of this immediate comment, you are not reading what I actually said: Kavanaugh kept saying (again and again) that all of them refuted Ford's claims, and that is a lie by either meaning of the word refute, let alone by far the most common one, which is disprove. That's what I just did, showed that Kavanaugh lied.

No it isn't a lie and that is a real stretch, could he have said they didn't corroborate her story, ok that would be better. But that is a pretty trifling semantic argument in my opinion.

bc is Morris referring to people with otherwise normal psyche's? Because my understanding (admittedly limited and mostly from legal cases I've been involved with) suggests that there are situations where the psychological state of the victim and other psychological pressures can affect identification, especially down the road.

What Morris says later on in response to some questions:

Loftus' own research on memory variability published in 1987 contradicts much of what she said tonight. As she and every memory researcher worth his salt (including Jim McGaugh, her colleague at UCI) knows, emotional activation and enhanced recall post-event are strongly correlated. This has been replicated in scores of studies. No sane person would claim that the survivor of an airline crash would mis-remember their brush with death, why would it be different for a woman who was assaulted and thought she might die?

He also points to this NYT op ed as a much better account of the neuroscience involved.

His main point being that the narrative of why Dr. Ford might misremember who had been involved casts doubt on the very details that would have been reinforced in memory by trauma and demanded greater detail from her on the details that would be less likely to be strongly activated by her neurobiology, and that Loftus is not sufficiently well read on the subject to be considered an expert in this case.

At least that's my understanding of what he's argued on FB.

In the name of all that is holy, how do you get a refutation out of any of this? What kind of a lawyer are you?

Good grief, GFTNC, apparently a better lawyer than commenter. I'll try again because I clearly didn't communicate my point effectively.

A refutation can come from one person. You and others took shots at Kavanaugh as a judge "not knowing" what refutation really means. To refute means to prove wrong OR to deny. "I refute the charges" says the accused. Or "The charges have been conclusively refuted" says the judge. Some grammarists may point to the "to prove wrong" meaning as the more correct, but I hear "he refutes the allegations" all the time.

Plus as a lawyer, I'm always arguing my case. If I ARGUE that something has been refuted, the judge doesn't have to accept my ARGUMENT. If the evidence is sufficient for a fact finder to find in one side's favor, it is perfectly normal to argue that "the allegations have been refuted, your honor." But the judge may find otherwise.

I don't think in my mind the four witnesses, two of whom are Kavanaugh and Judge, are conclusive. That wasn't my point and I apologize if I confused the issue. I was trying to say that Kavanaugh's use of the word "refute" was a fair use of the word. It is not ridiculous for Kavanaugh to argue the accusations have been refuted.

You obviously think he overstated his case and that is a fair opinion to have, IMHO.

These were not guys chewing the fat and talking loosely in a bar. This was a judge, who went to Yale, answering questions under oath in the senate. If he had said the relevant people did not corroborate her story, that would have been true. He knows the meaning of the word refute, so he lied. And he said it again and again, in clearly rehearsed words. It worked on people like you, maybe it will go on working. But it's a LIE.

I still can't believe we're talking about somebody like this getting on the SCOTUS. It's 1.15 a.m - good night!

One more point on refute: Is the evidence of the four witnesses irrefutable? No. Interesting how that word possess only one meaning, while refute has more than one.

Sorry, one last word. The most important tool of the law is language: the accurate use and interpretation of language is the absolute foundation of the law. The idea that a judge educated at America's top law school wouldn't understand the meaning of the word refute is absolutely unbelievable and, yes, laughable.

Just out of curiousity, GFTNC, where are you from originally?

bc: Kavanaugh should have said to Harris: "Senator, if a full FBI investigation comes out in my favor, will you vote for me?

Would Harris have been uppity if she replied "Judge, if the FBI finds proof that you've lied to us, should Senator Lindsey Graham vote against you?" ?

We live in different universes, bc. Water runs downhill in mine.

Also in my universe, a sitting judge and prospective Justice who, first thing out of the box and on national TV, kisses his padrone's ass with a scripted statement that is at best irresponsible bullshit and possibly a premeditated lie is a "silly" man. When he proceeds to lie, under oath and on national TV, while interrupting and insulting Senators who were elected by their constituents just like Lindsey Graham was, about slang phrases that not-stupid people know mean things that said judge denies they mean, his champions and defenders start to appear like "silly" men.

Surely we can "agree to disagree about that", right?

--TP

My last two comments were to Marty, I'm in bed and on my phone, so had not read bc's reply. Kavanaugh was under oath, not arguing a client's case. His use of the word refute, given the relevant people's statements, was absurd, and clearly meant to mislead. The man is a weasel, and a liar,and that's my last word, at least for tonight!

Since I was quoted from the previous post, where I wrote

Some folks here need to 'man up' as they say and apologize for claims that Feinstein did this.

bc complains
Because only direct leaks count, right? And Feinstein is stupid enough to directly leak it? I think someone else leaked it.

I was mad at Feinstein because she could have brought up an anonymous source without naming Ford just after she learned of it, questioned Kavanaugh in closed session, but did not.

I'm not going to go back through the thread, but if you'd like to go and show me that your anger directed at Feinstein included the above hedges, I would certainly take note of it. But if you want to come back to me with a discursion on what the word 'leak' means, I'll pass.

There's one other quote from the previous thread that I won't point out, but I would just note this. While I'm all for quoting and citing and I think that people should, given what was set out in the previous thread, my closing of the thread was to have us start afresh. Perhaps bc felt that I was targeting him, and if he wrote that Feinstein leaked or was somehow planning the leak, then he is included, but given the firehose torrent of information, I saw plenty of people all over making claims about what Feinstein did or did not do that were false and it wasn't targeted at him. But if people are not honest about their rhetoric, there is really no way to have a conversation, imho. There are real issues here, and I don't have much time for people who just want to disrupt that conversation, whether they are aware of what they do or not.

TP: putting Garland aside, could the procedure for bringing accusations of sexual assault against SCOTUS nominees be improved? Do you have any issue with how this was handled?

As for slang phrases, you may be a better judge than I on that. I didn't know the meanings ascribed to those words/phrases by others, so I admit I may not be a good judge on that issue. My friends and I had our own slang too, most of which I can't remember because it was in the early 80's and I didn't put it in my yearbook.

bc,

You can put Garland aside if it suits your world view, but it's presumptuous of you to ask me to do the same. Putting Garland aside would be a "hypothetical", you know.

Meanwhile, my question at 8:29 awaits your answer.

--TP

bc: To refute means to prove wrong OR to deny.

That may be the legal meaning. But in my experience, in general use and conversation "refute" means "prove to be false". Granted that, as nominally a lawyer, Kavanaugh might have been using the word in the legal usage. But arguing that reminds me forcibly of Bill Clinton's "It depends on what the meaning of is is."

Objection, compound.

wj: If I have time, I'll go through SCOTUS opinions with my subscription just to see how SCOTUS uses the word. "Refute" can mean reject, contradict, rebut and so forth. And that is the more common usage meaning. The more formal, classical meaning is to prove wrong.

This is nowhere close to Clintonian. Nobody parses words like the Billster. I laughed out loud when I heard him say that and at the same time admired his devious logical skills.

Overruled. I don't know what "compound" means.

--TP

bc, it's Clintonian in that both are being devious while saying something that their wider audience (and both were speaking to a wide audience) would see very differently than the lawyers listening.

TP: I'm not silly (nor am I a "champion"). Some senators were silly (not all). Kavanaugh was silly at times too. So we can agree to partially agree ('cause I'm a glass half-full kind of guy).

wj: I just don't see it that way. Kavanaugh was reverting to lawyer mode in probably THE most intense argument of his life. And it was an argument. Everyone gives Ford a break when she wasn't even under attack. Give him a break.

If it comes out that he did this and it was what she said, I take it back. Then you will have to hold me back.

russell, I dont necessarily agree with needing a fair and non partisan institution.

And this - this understanding, or lack thereof, of how our public institutions are supposed to operate - is precisely why I say the (R)'s need to be utterly crushed.

But if Hilary were picking this pick it would end up 5-4 partisans the other way

This is called a contrafactual, and also bears more than a passing resemblance to projection.

bc,

I'm not silly either. So let me rephrase my question in a serious tone:

Granting for the sake of argument that

Kavanaugh should have said to Harris: "Senator, if a full FBI investigation comes out in my favor, will you vote for me?
would you call it appropriate or inappropriate for Harris to respond with
"Judge, if the FBI finds proof that you've lied to us, should Senator Lindsey Graham vote against you?"

For purposes of my question we can put aside the fact that Brett Kavanaugh was a witness before Senator Harris.

You're not under subpoena, bc. You can ignore the question if you like.

--TP

You do realize russell that a few comments down gftnc noted I had mistyped what should have been I dont necessarily disagree

TP Oops, my bad. I thought I answered that.

And before I answer, I'm trying to approach this as logically as I can. I didn't mean it as a snub in saying to put Garland to one side. It was meant as a hypo, nothing more. It wasn't a pun, frex. Like I have said many times before, I'd be pissed if the situation were reversed on Garland.

So my answer: If she answered the question, then yes it would be a completely appropriate question. And he should answer yes.

bc,

What if Senator Harris did NOT answer the witness's question but responded with exactly and only the words I "quoted"?

I'm not trying to badger you, but I want to be sure I'm not misinterpreting your "If she answered the question" preamble.

--TP

You do realize russell that a few comments down gftnc noted I had mistyped what should have been I dont necessarily disagree

I did not realize, thank you for bringing it to my attention.

Apologies for the misunderstanding.

Nonetheless, I find the (R)'s at the national level to be a profoundly harmful crew. I want them out.

All good russell.

Because only direct leaks count, right? And Feinstein is stupid enough to directly leak it? I think someone else leaked it.

The Intercept, who would know, says it didn't come from Feinstein.

QED.

And the Intercept said it was not from someone on Feinstein’s staff. So she goes slinking around to find someone outside of the people she hires to shop the leak, with the admonition that her name be kept out if it. It’s a pity that the Dems don’t have someone like Whelen or Leo to turn to…

What if Senator Harris did NOT answer the witness's question but responded with exactly and only the words I "quoted"?

Then he should answer yes and press her for an answer.

And the Intercept said it was not from someone on Feinstein’s staff

lj: I put two different thoughts there and expressed them poorly. 1) I was pointing out that smart people don't leak in such a way as they can be identified by the recipient (so I would not be surprised for the Intercept to say "Feinstein wasn't the source" even if she were); and 2) I don't think Feinstein leaked it.

bc, I hope I'm not being too picky when I note that the implication of the first thought is that Feinstein somehow did it and contradicts your second thought.

We were talking about fidelity, and I have been in situations where someone has asked me to keep a confidence, and I have, even though I thought that a lot of trouble might have been avoided if I had revealed what I knew. But because I was asked to keep things confidential and not put forward the person's name, I didn't. I see Feinstein as being placed in a similar position, perhaps with much higher stakes, by Eshoo.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6219515/New-questions-leaked-Christine-Fords-explosive-accusation-Brett-Kavanaugh.html

bc, I am English, born South African but left when three and educated throughout in the English educational system. "Refute" means to prove false. The secondary usage of "contradict, deny" is a mistaken usage which gained some ground in the second half of the 20th century, but is incorrect. "Disinterested" means impartial, without an interest to declare. "Uninterested" means not interested. Millions of people use "disinterested" incorrectly, but I would not expect this to be the case by senior judges, who are supposed to be disinterested.

Even using the word "refuted" to mean contradicted or denied, this was a lie. Saying you don't remember something happening is not denying it happened, and saying you never witnessed something happening is not denying that it may have happened out of your presence, as in this case. Calling the denials of accused people "refutation" is laughable.

The comments to this entry are closed.

Blog powered by Typepad