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Republicans #notallRepublicans are evil.

Now comes the accusations of Kavanaugh exposing himself to someone and another of him either orchestrating or participating in a “train”. I hope you haven’t been eating breakfast.

It remains to be seen if either accusation is true. I’ll believe it when Ronan Farrow writes about it in the New Yorker or multiple witnesses can confirm. For what it’s worth, I know these things occurred in the 80s on campuses (not from personal experience but from someone who was at one) so it shouldn’t be that difficult to track down witnesses. That might be why Grassley was so determined to ram Kavanaugh through the confirmation process and not get the FBI involved.

Meanwhile, there have been multiple Republican Senators on the record pretty much mocking the Democrats about how they’re going to vote Kavanaugh in because they can. Senators like Lindsay Graham, Mitch McConnell, Dean Heller and Jeff Flake.

They have the votes. They can do it even if it turns out Kavanaugh is a well known sexual harasser and former train engineer. I’ll bet they’ve all known for quite some time what’s in Kavanaugh’s dossier. For all we know that’s the real reason Trump chose him. For sure they know he lied about using stolen Democratic documents. We know that he was a Clinton “elf” in the 90s and made a list of prying and humiliating questions for Clinton to answer about his sex life. Kavanaugh has always been a very conservative, Republican political operative who for years didn’t even try to hide his partisan bias. His decisions aren’t motivated by any principle but from Catholic Kavanaugh making himself an instrument of his party.

If I were a Senator, the thing that would have turned me off of Kavanaugh was that incident with him and Fred Gutenberg where Kavanaugh looked at him coldly and hautily and then turned away without shaking hands. It’s like a perfect tableau that sums up all you needed to know about the man. Here is a privileged man of influence, connections and power dismissing a citizen who has had his life turned upside-down by Republican policy. That’s what we can all expect from him if he gets on the US Supreme Court. He’ll literally be looking down on us and acting like our concerns are of no importance to him.

And before the accusations even came up, Republican Senators were only too happy to confirm him. They’ll all line up behind Mitch McConnell and do whatever they want to us because we were on the losing end of a hacked election.

We’re the witnesses. We know who they are now. We see their true natures. None of us should have felt any expectation that the ones who say they can’t stand Trump for principled reasons would have thought twice about taking their turn screwing us when the time comes.

It remains to be seen whether the new revelations will change that. But once you see the ugliness in someone it’s hard to unsee it.

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Pulling it all together.

Peter Daou sums up the Kavanaugh nomination:

But there’s something else going on here that feels like uncovering a pile of maggots in DC. It’s been all too clear since Anita Hill that women were considered second class citizens. The question was, where did that come from considering that so many women were ready to move into positions of power. Why is it we have so little governmental support in terms of family leave, day care, reproductive rights, equal pay? Why is it that the concerns of more than half of the country are disregarded Congress after Congress?

I have been reading a lot of Op/Ed’s by contemporaries of Brett Kavanaugh where I’m starting to get a clearer picture of where the ugliness is coming from. Here are two pieces in the Washington Post that clarify the picture. The first is about Christine Blasey Ford and how she tried to remake her life in her own image by leaving her suburban DC area home and going to California.

Her husband explains:

“She didn’t always get along with her parents because of differing political views,” Russell said. “It was a very male-dominated environment. Everyone was interested in what’s going on with the men, and the women are sidelined, and she didn’t get the attention or respect she felt she deserved. That’s why she was in California, to get away from the D.C. scene.”

That seems to be a persistent theme throughout these accounts of what it was like to grow up in Ford and Kavanaugh’s social set. It’s very male dominated.

The second piece is by Greg Jaffe, another prep school alumnus in Kavanaugh’s cohort goes into more detail about how this male dominance expresses itself:

All of the teachers who signed my 50th-birthday card were men. The few women who signed it all worked as administrators. This fact was no doubt a product of Landon’s culture in the 1980s: In my memory, we tested and terrorized the female teachers with petty acts of harassment, such as collectively staring at an eighth-grade earth science teacher’s breasts or dropping our pencils in unison at a specific time in the middle of her class (a feat we did not repeat for any male instructors). After several days of this behavior, the young science teacher broke down in tears. The reason I can recall only the names of my male teachers from that period is because the women usually didn’t stay long. (Today, Landon says that about one-third of its upper-school teachers are women, a big and welcome increase from my time at the school.)

“We definitely were terrible to the female teachers,” said Patrick Breen, a lifelong friend who is now a history professor at Providence College in Rhode Island. He remembered the middle-school Spanish teacher who felt angry and harassed when someone from my class put a jock strap on her dog, which she brought to school.

A few of the male teachers contributed to this culture. One U.S. history teacher introduced us to women’s suffrage by calling on a student who was often unprepared for class and asking him to tell us all he knew about the movement. The student stuttered and stammered for a few seconds. “That’s enough,” the teacher declared with finality, in a way that made clear he was dispensing with the subject, not the student.

What was that song from South Pacific? “You’ve got to be carefully taught?”

I could never figure out what it was about Hillary Clinton that the DC establishment hated so much. We have all asked ourselves this question, haven’t we? It just never made any sense. From a corruption and ethics standpoint, it is rare that you will find anyone as clean as she is. That doesn’t mean she’s perfect. It just means that every aspect of her life has been poured over with a magnifying glass and nothing of any import has ever come up. All of her scandals turn out to have nothing very much of interest at the bottom of it.

And we all know that there are few women in the world who had better credentials for running the country.

But what is any of that when it comes to penetrating this exclusive country club set of male power? These people don’t even consider women’s suffrage as anything that ruffles their feathers. They are so entrenched with so many connections and networks to keep their interests at the forefront of our national discourse that they never have to worry about women. Child care policies? Fuck that shit. We’ll just make her life miserable until she’s humiliated and quits.

That’s what the last 30 years have felt like. The guys weren’t paying enough attention to the feminist movement. Then came the backlash where this nucleation of male power decided to prevent any changes that would subvert their dominate paradigm. And the papers of record are chock full of men and women from this same stratum of society with their private schools, ivy leagues and connections. When was the last time a talented writer with a state school degree from a poor family got a job at the Washington Post or New York Times or The New Yorker or The Atlantic? That’s how 25 years of constant attacks on women in power happen.

Maisie Hirono gave the frustration a voice this week when she told men to “shut up and step up”. Battling this entrenched testocracy is exhausting, we’ve been doing it for too long and, frankly, we deserve better than this.

The backlash to the backlash is here. No more Anita Hills. No more calling Sandra Fluke a slut. No more degradation of Hillary Clinton. No more stripping rights from women. It’s not going to work this time. I thought #metoo was in danger of winding down but this nomination has breathed new life into the movement.

It goes way beyond sexual harassment. It’s more like we just aren’t going to take this lying down anymore. How dare Trump, Sexual Harraser in Chief, and Mitch Connell work so hard to confirm someone like Brett Kavanaugh, who will have a lifetime appointment to viciously strike down any initiative we legislate to make the workplace and society fairer for women.

I dare Mitch McConnell to “plow ahead” with Kavanaugh’s confirmation. I want to see him do it. The fury is about to break on him and the Republicans like they have never seen. In 18th century France, those suburban, Country Club, well-connected men and their families would be dragged out of their comfortable mini mansions and quickly dispatched by angry mobs. They were taken out just for the sin of being, actual charges being mostly superfluous when you have a job to do.

Something like that is about to happen now, minus the decapitations. Or decapitations of a metaphorical sort.

We’ll start with throwing them out. Then we’ll ruin their lives like they’ve ruined so many womens’ lives.

The time has come.

In the meantime, Brett Kavanaugh, the guy who put together a list of questions for Clinton to find out every salacious detail of what he did with Monica Lewinsky in what was a *consensual* relationship that she was a fully adult party to, well, Brett finds it very uncomfortable that anyone would ask about his sex life.

Fancy that.

You know, I don’t think they GAF

In my twitter stream…

They’ve got the votes and even if we vote every single Republican out of office, they will have set up the court to finally bury a knife into the back of the New Deal. They’ll scuttle any legislation that the donor class doesn’t like. They’ll be handsomely rewarded either with wingnut welfare or an ungodly amount of campaign cash.

They just do not care.

They’re like salmon who, having battered their way upstream to spawn, can die safely knowing that their legacy will live forever. So, of course they assume that the votes are there for Kavanaugh whether the public loathes him or not. He can be sworn in ASAP and all the elections in the world won’t change that unless the Democrats decide to impeach Clarence Thomas’s ass.

This is what we get for keeping our powder dry for years and let the Obamabots roll over the old coalition in 2008.

No, the rest of us don’t deserve it but just try to stop them. They think it’s fun to make us irrelevant. It’s what they live for.

I’d like to think public pressure in the next four days will make Kavanaugh withdraw his nomination because public humiliation of a partisan hack operative to the highest court in the land is effective. But even if he doesn’t, the GOP has the votes to shove him down our throats. And if they still want to after Monday, they will.

But don’t despair. Despair is for those who see the end beyond all doubt. We don’t know the end of this story yet. There could be a eucatastrophe. Like an asteroid. There’s always hope.

No comment

Must go bleach brain now.

Last week of summer

Good morning, everybody.

Getting to work this morning was a bear. There appears to be a minor landslide on my normal route to work. Downed trees. Did I miss a thunderstorm last night or is the ground around here already saturated beyond its capacity?

The news seems to have picked up in frequency and intensity in the last couple of weeks. Trump is about to compromise national security today by declassifying and releasing the Carter Page FISA application. Selectively, declassify, that is. Whatever makes the warrant look urgent and reasonable will likely not see the light of day; anything that looks exculpatory will be revealed, along with some word smithing.

Now, why would he still be bent out of shape by something that happened two years ago in the early stages of his campaign as nominee? Why is he still obsessing about that? I thought this investigation was all about why he fired Comey, for looking into the Russia allegations or something. Who knows. I’m sure it’s all a big misunderstanding.

Back to Brett: for what it’s worth, Christine Ford’s account of what happened seems very credible. Yes, indeedy. And this whole incident demonstrates conclusively why Kavanaugh should not be a Supreme Court Justice.

A wise man would have said, “I don’t remember the incident but I have no reason to question Ms. Ford’s account. I and my friends routinely drank too much at parties when we were teenagers. There are many things I regret doing when I was young. I’m very sorry if any of my actions have negatively affected anyone’s life and I apologize.”

Yep, that would have done it.

Instead, he doubled down.

That’s exactly what I would have expected from a political operative. Drag the accuser down to the abyss. Stimulate the base. But as a prospective justice, it is a big warning flag. It’s what we always suspected, that he’s a ruthless, arrogant, lying opportunist who suits the person who nominated him.

He may still get rammed through, though the podcasts I listened to yesterday seem to think that’s increasingly unlikely, not because of the infraction but because the lying is so obvious. This is not over in any case. The GOP is determined. We shouldn’t underestimate them and their bench of right wing, originalist, reactionaries is deep.

*****************************

Fall starts soon but I will miss the summer.

Walk to work music:

Nuts, sluts and lies.

We’ve been through this before with Clarence Thomas. A Supreme Court nominee has a sketchy past and a history of sexual harassment.

What happened to Christine Ford back in the early 80s was very common. Sometimes you got away, sometimes you didn’t. Nevertheless, it can put you in a stunned state, ruin relationships and stay with you for years. You make decisions based on those experiences and they can affect you for the rest of your life.

I can’t say what was going on in Brett Kavanaugh’s Head when he was 17. But he does seem to have come from the well off asshole contingent of student males who think their lives are already set for them. Yep, prep school, Ivy League, law school, clerkship, judge. Oh and a little anti Hillary Clinton elving with Laura Ingraham and George Conway for fun. What the hell, they were only democrats. How dare they take the White House away from Republicans? That’s like a god given right or something. Who the f*ck do those Clinton’s think they are??

Anyway, this should be easy enough to clear up. Get Mark Judge to testify under oath or have both Kavanaugh and Judge take polygraphs too.

It’s not the assault that ruins his fitness for the court. Teenagers do a lot of stupid things. Let’s assume this was a one-off and he’s repented. If that’s true, why lie about it?

Why indeed. Maybe it *wasn’t* a one off. Maybe there are others. (I wouldn’t be surprised). But if this is the only incidence, it would be better for Kavanaugh to admit to his youthful aggression and apologize than to try to say it never happened.

Because if you can lie about this, you’ll lie about anything.

But does it really matter? This is all about the Republicans solidifying their power in perpetuity so even if they get voted out of office in November, they’ll still have a reliable guy on the USSC who will continue to curtail voting rights, vote against consumers and labor, and make women second class citizens.

It will be a lifetime of holding us down.

Good Friday and American Honey

I’m at an undisclosed location taking a (mostly) digital break when I saw that Paul Manafort decided to talk.

Listening to Lady Antebellum and Kurt Vile, drinking whiskey and enjoying Friday Night with friends.

Plea agreements, Friday Night, whiskey and music. Does it get any better than this?