Daily Check-In 09/28/2018

Friday, September 28th.

 

THE RUSSIAN INVESTIGATION

Yes, shit other than Kavanaugh happened on Friday.  To be honest, I’m surprised more things didn’t come out since everyone was distracted.

Devin Nunes and the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence decided to release some of the transcripts from their hearings.  They’re not releasing the transcripts from all of the interviews, and I’ve got $20 that says the stuff they do release is heavily redacted.

 

SCOTUS & #METOO

Ok, a metric fucktonne of things happened from Thursday to Friday, and there is no way that I’m going to organize all of the stories below into subcategories and sub-subcategories, so let me sum up what happened.

After Brett’s temper tantrum in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee, everyone and their mother came out either against him, or at least in favor of an investigation.  When the American Bar Association and your alma mater revoke their endorsement, you done fucked up.

The Judiciary Committee voted 11-10, completely on partisan lines, to approve Brett Kavanaugh for a floor vote for the Senate.  However, Jeff Flake of Arizona had a moment of conscious guilt.  Maybe he’s angling for a POTUS run in 2020, or getting stopped by the rape survivors on his way to the elevator shook him, but he recommended that the committee reopen the FBI investigation into Brett Kavanaugh, and that they should be given at least a week.  Senators Lisa Murkowski fo Alaska and Jon Tester of Montana also endorsed this plan.

So, we’re looking at one week for the FBI to investigate the claims against Brett Kavanaugh, and possibly the claims that he perjured himself as well.  There’s rumors going around that they’ll look into his debts and who paid them, too.

Of course, count on the White House to try to stymie this investigation.  Over the weekend, a memo leaked from to the press that White House Counsel Don McGahn gave orders to the FBI to only investigate the claims of Dr. Ford and Deborah Ramirez, not Julie Swetnick or any of the other women.  This is the dumbest thing they could do, so therefore, going by the Rule 45, [Out of all of the available options, pick the dumbest one.], they would try to reign in the FBI.  I’m hesitant to believe that the FBI would listen to that order, and that they told McGahn to pound sand.  Countercheckist and Louise Mensch hold the same opinion as me.

Why would that be the dumbest decision that Trump could make? Michael Avenatti represents Julie Swetnick, and Trump is afraid of him.  So far this year, Avenatti’s work against Trump and Cohen helped lead to a felony conviction and plea deal for Micheal Cohen, Trump’s long time personal fixer.  Trump is afraid that these claims carry weight, and that if they talk to the FBI, then Kavanaugh is toast.  Instead, this plays right into Avenatti’s hand.  By trying to curtail the FBI from investigating those claims, that forces him to take the claims of his client and the witnesses public, and with a gang-rape allegation and a stymied investigation, Trump loses the PR war.  His only course of action then will be to continue to attack the lawyer, the victim, and the witnesses, creating an even bigger shitstorm.  During this shitstorm, I’d expect another woman or two to come forward, alleging that they too were also drugged and raped at parties where Brett and his buddies were present.

Also, check the Rumor Mill section on how they think they’ve reverse engineered the time, date, and location of Dr. Ford’s attack.  It gets weird.

 

 

LINT. I keep hearing from retired Bu folks who did/do background checks that they aren’t cumulative – meaning they don’t start from scratch each time. That means only the first check of the 6 would have even been in the ballpark of catching K’s high school/college behavior.

2. In addition, background check questions specifically ask about alcohol use/abuse (remember the third “A” in CARLA F. BAD). So that check is the one which would contain “derogatory” information on that front, if there was any.

3. I’m not sure who the consumer/custodian is of that first check (when K worked for Starr), but that could at least shed some light on his drinking habits then. (Of course these are expanding references from ppl K would have initially suggested for interviews, so who knows).

4. The main point is that saying he went through “6 background checks” is misleading, since each subsequent one would have covered a later and later portion of his life.

 

 

COHEN, NEW YORK, EMOLUMENTS, AND OTHER LAWSUITS

 

TRUMP THE RUSSIAN ASSET

 

FIGHTING BACK

The last few weeks have been agonizing. The Kavanaugh hearings dredged up so much that was buried, badness all around…hearing all of the “Why I Report” stories, and then watching Kavanaugh’s angry pouting,…I’m a combination of nauseous, angry, exhausted, and resolute.

I want to take this pause in the proceedings to thank all of the women who came forward, and Dr. Ford especially. We are all in your debt. This is a crisis point in our democracy, and you delivered, at great personal risk, and I’m grateful.

 

COLD WAR 2.0

 

FIXING THE INTERNET

 

THE PROPAGANDA MACHINE

The past two days I’ve watched police stop reporters from doing their jobs by kicking them out of an area where a meeting was being held, and I’ve been physically pushed away from following a senator through a public Capitol hallway. Mobility has been severely limited.

In all instances, no protesters were present. It was just reporters, staff, and senators. I understand a need for heightened security. But some of this was just nonsensical. I’m not sure who is making these decisions, or how long it will last. But it’s not ideal.

One of the best things about the Capitol is the extraordinary level of press freedom here — you can catch up with any member of Congress as they’re walking to a meeting or going to votes and ask them questions. They get to decide if they want to answer or not. It’s great.

Part of why we’re able to do that is because Capitol police do an excellent job of protecting members, staff, and press. I appreciate the important work they do. I also know they’re not to blame for the changes with regard to press. I’m simply saying this can’t become the norm.

 

 

TRADE WAR AND ECONOMY

 

CRIME AND PUNISHMENT

 

ELECTION 2018

 

ENVIRONMENT AND SCIENCE

 

PROGRESS IS PROGRESS

 

RUMOR MILL

Wait, what?

 

[In response to This tweet form Bernie Sanders talking about the partisanship of the Judiciary Committee]

Yes, Bernie. Because of you. Now, let’s see all the Russian trolls and paid shills show up to defend you. They always do.

You sullied the First Republic and Fourteenth State. I’ll be pleased when you’re at Ft. Leavenworth, KS, or ADX Florence, Colorado. Both suit you better than the Champlain Islands.

I can’t wait for the Grand Jury to explain to America why Jane wanted to use Burlington College money to buy up that Diocesan building so damn quickly. With your help. You know what I mean. Oh, and funnel money to her kids for “woodworking.”

 

The Date of the Attack

The good folks on Twitter think they figured out when the attack on Dr. Ford took place.  Let’s take this from the top.

According to Dr. Ford’s opening statement, she mentioned that 3 boys were at the party where she was attacked; Brett, Mark Judge, and PJ Smyth.  Using Kavanaugh’s own calendar from the summer of 1982, those three names line up with July 1, 1982. Daily Check-In 09/27/2018 has a link to the Annotated Calendar from WaPo.  The entry from that day is “Tobin’s House — Workout / Go to Timmy’s for Skis w/ Judge, Tom, PJ, Bernie, Squi”.  PJ is only mentioned one other time in the calendar.  They saw Rocky III on June 13th.  They went to Timmy’s house for “ski’s”.  Considering that the waterskiing sucks around Maryland, jet skiing was still taking off, and there isn’t snow for hundreds of miles in the Maryland summer, it’s more likely that “ski’s” are Brewski’s, or beers.  Considering how much of a frat boy jock meathead he is, this is almost a certainty.

Why does it say “ski’s” on the calendar, and not “Party” like it did back in May?  Brett was grounded for a while after that party.  When he tried to deny it, his parents probably looked at the calendar and said “You wrote Party on your calendar.”  Since Brett is not a complete fucking idiot, he tried to find a less stupid way of writing his plans down on the calendar.  Beers, bottles, bongs, and brews are all stupid things, but he hoped that Ski’s was innocent enough to get away with it.  If his parents asked, Timmy got a new jet ski and they were riding it.  Plausible deniability.

If Brett’s calendar is as accurate as he claims, the only night that all three boys were together was July 1, 1982.

 

That’s it for Friday.  I’m closing out today with a quote about memory, and why the people crying about how Brett doesn’t remember it should be a big deal.

From “Street Fighter”

Bison: For you; The day Bison graced your village was the most important day in your life. But for me… it was tuesday.

Our brains are wired to survive, and if we have a traumatic experience that almost kills us, we will remember as much as possible as time slows down.  This is our brains way of survival.  If we’re encountering these elements later, we can avoid them.  I’m scared shitless of heights because I almost fell off of a very tall height.  I can still remember the “oh shit” feeling right now as I type this, and that was more than 20 years ago.  I can describe other times I almost died and my mind went into hyper mode.  Time stands still, and you try to gather all of the information to keep it from happening again.  Those traumas also shape our futures.  I avoid tall overlooks and structures as much as humanly possible.  Hell, I don’t even like climbing a step stool unless absolutely necessary.  And I’m not even going to get into the other near-death experiences I’ve had.

The person perpetrating the trauma on the other hand might not remember.  For them, their behavior could be run of the mill or not as traumatic, or a response to trauma. The first person to pull a gun on me likely wouldn’t remember me at all, but I still remember the gray sweatsuit he was wearing that day.  The second person to pull a gun on me probably won’t remember the events of that day, but I still remember catching the look of the pistol out of the corner of my eye and hearing the opening of “Elaan of Troyius” playing in the background.  The person who drove into my lane causing me to wreck my bike in a ditch doesn’t remember what happened.  Fuck, they didn’t even slow down to see if I was still alive.  I remember, though.

Saying that an attempted rape didn’t place because the rapist, who has a history of getting blackout drunk and being an asshole” doesn’t remember it as well as the victim is bullshit.

Thank you, and have a good one.

 

“Without Journalists, it’s just propaganda.”

– Katy Tur

Daily Check-In 09/27/2018

Thursday, September 27, 2018

 

THE RUSSIAN INVESTIGATION

Richard “Ricky” Pinedo has received death threats after testifying before a grand jury and helping special counsel Robert Mueller secure an indictment against 13 Russians accused in an elaborate plot to disrupt the 2016 presidential election, his attorney, Jeremy Lessem, said in court papers.

The 28-year-old Santa Paula man pleaded guilty in February to using stolen identities to set up bank accounts that were then used by the Russians. Prosecutors have acknowledged he didn’t know that he was dealing with Russians.

Arguing that his client should only be sentenced to probation, Lessem said in court papers that Pinedo has accepted full responsibility for his actions and provided “crucial insight into internal flaws embedded in the online financial verification system.”

Pinedo, who is scheduled to be sentenced on Oct. 10, has provided investigators with “significant assistance” in identity theft probes, prosecutors said. He flew to Washington, D.C., to meet with investigators, explained how he obtained the stolen account numbers and gave investigators business records that identified the buyers of the stolen accounts, prosecutors said in a separate court filing.

Federal sentencing guidelines call for Pinedo to serve between 12 and 18 months behind bars, but noting his cooperation, prosecutors did not recommend any particular sentence.

From 2014 until 2017, Pinedo purchased the bank account numbers of real people and then sold the account numbers to anonymous customers on the internet, earning between $40,000 and $95,000, according to prosecutors. Pinedo never had access to the names, Social Security numbers or addresses of any of his victims and never saw himself as a thief, Lessem said.

Pinedo first learned he was in the FBI’s crosshairs when federal agents raided his family’s home in December 2017. Without a promise of immunity, Pinedo sat down with investigators from the special counsel’s office and agreed to testify before a grand jury that was investigating Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, according to Lessem.

Since then, Pinedo has noticed “strange unidentified vehicles” parked outside of his home, will not travel outside of the U.S. and suffers from anxiety driving around his neighborhood, Lessem said.

“Beyond the mere fact that he is now a convicted felon, Mr. Pinedo has suffered, and will continue to suffer, in ways far beyond what anyone else convicted of a similar offense would expect – and suffers these consequences as a result of helping this Country right the wrong his unwitting and foolish criminal conduct facilitated,” he wrote.

 

SCOTUS & #METOO

 

TRUMP THE RUSSIAN ASSET

 

TRAITOR TOTS

 

FIGHTING BACK

 

 

COLD WAR 2.0

 

#NEVERAGAIN

 

THE PROPAGANDA MACHINE

 

TRADE WAR AND ECONOMY

 

GOP: THE PARTY OF LINCOLN IS DEAD

 

 

CRIME AND PUNISHMENT

 

ENVIRONMENT

 

ELECTION 2018

 

 

RUMOR MILL

 

That’s it for Thursday.  I didn’t go into any editorial comments about today.  I’m too pissed off, hurt, frustrated, and angry to type.  That might sound unusual, but years ago I made a deal with myself to not publish anything when I’m too angry to type.  If I’m still angry after the second or third revision, then post it, but as a rule I do not write angry.

“But wait, I’ve seen you get downright mean at times?”  Yes.  And even then I still stepped away, calmed down, then unleashed my fury after several revisions.

There’s a post I’ve had in the back burner for a while.  After Friday’s Check-In, I’m finishing it up and releasing it.  It’s about how the two parties are not the same, on so many levels, but especially on sexual assault.  I was talked out of my original title, calling the GOP the “Pro-Rape Party”, but there’s still room in the sub-heading for that.

Whatever happens Friday, happens.  Either we’ll see someone stand up and do what’s right, or we’ll witness the Death Knell of the GOP.

 

Thank you, and have a good one.

 

“Without Journalists, it’s just propaganda.”

– Katy Tur

Daily Check-In 09/26/2018

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

 

THE RUSSIAN INVESTIGATION

Joint U.S.-Russian raids to kill top terrorists. Teamwork between an American government agency and a sanctioned Russian fund. Moscow pouring money into the Midwest.

These are just a few of the ideas the head of a Russian sovereign wealth fund touched on during his meeting with former Blackwater head Erik Prince in the Seychelles, just weeks before President Donald Trump’s inauguration, according to a memo exclusively reviewed by The Daily Beast.

The meeting between Prince, an influential Trump ally, and Kirill Dmitriev, the CEO of the sanctioned fund, took place on Jan. 11, 2017, at the Four Seasons Hotel in a bar overlooking the Indian Ocean. George Nader, a Lebanese-American businessman who advises the crown prince of the United Arab Emirates, was also present.

Special counsel Robert Mueller has looked into the meeting as part of his larger investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election. And nearly a year after the meeting, Prince told Congress his discussion with Dmitriev was just happenstance and took place “over a beer.” Prince also said he did not attend the meeting as a representative of the Trump team.

The first bullet point proposes the U.S. and Russia work together on “military coordination and joint actions in Syria against ISIS.” It’s an idea that appealed to some of the most important players in the early Trump administration; Mike Flynn, Trump’s first and famously Kremlin-friendly national security adviser, pushed to expand U.S.-Russian military communications in Syria, a move that may have been illegal.

Second, the memo proposes “a serious joint effort by U.S. and Russia to actively address the threat of nuclear, biological and chemical (WMD) terror.” While Trump, during the campaign and in the White House, talked of rebuilding America’s nuclear stockpile—and Putin rattled his saber similarly—the memo recommends the two countries work together on nuclear nonproliferation.

Third, the memo proposes ways the U.S. and Russia can develop “win-win economic investment initiatives that will be supported by both electorates.” “Understanding U.S. production by foreign companies is a focus of the new administration,” the memo says. It goes on to note that Russian companies would “make investments with RDIF financing to serve the U.S. market in the Midwest, creating real jobs for hard hit area with high employment.”

Fourth, the memo says the U.S. and Russia should have an “honest and open and continual dialogue on differences and concerns.” One of those concerns, the memo says, is resolving the Ukraine crisis—instigated by Russia’s invasion and annexation of Crimea in 2014—“through Minsk agreements and ensuring Ukraine fulfills its commitments.” The Minsk agreements were drafted and signed by warring parties to alleviate the conflict in Ukraine.

The memo also says the two countries should also coordinate a “working group between the State Department and Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs to address key differences.” It is unclear from the memo what those differences are.

Last, the memo proposes the U.S. and Russia set up a small working group with “2-3 people from each side authorized to finalize an action plan for a major improvement in the U.S.-Russia relationship” and proposes “coordination across major agencies and government bodies to achieve tangible impact in the next 9-12 months.”

Well, fuck.  That’s all legitimate sounding, right?  Nothing to fret over, just some friendly chit-chat over a beer on a remote island halfway around the world, right?

If it wasn’t obvious from the tone, that last part was sarcasm.  But, for shits and giggles, let’s break down the claims that Erik Prince has made, and look at it in the grand scheme of things.

The same day that news of the Steele Dossier makes headlines, less than a month after the last time Jared Kushner proposed a backchannel, and about 2 weeks after Mike Flynn was caught talking to the Russian Ambassador about sanctions, Erik Prince, a close associate and supporter of Trump whose sister is the soon-to-be Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos,  goes on a “business trip” to meet with representatives from Dubai on this exclusive island resort where a close and personal friend and representative of Putin just happens to be sitting at the bar with a memo.

A fucking memo.  With bullet points.

Who the fuck brings bullet points to a bar meeting?  I’ve had many meetings in bars, and they’ve never involved bullet points or memos.  That’s not something that gets handled “over a beer.”

What else strains credulity is that this meeting is taking place right after Russia attacked the United States, and instead of discussing economy breaking sanctions or which criminals are getting extradited, they’re coordinating joint military campaigns?

Might want to look up the definition of Treason, because coordinating military activities with a country that just attacked us gets pretty fucking close to the definition.

 

I talked about this yesterday on Daily Check-In 09/25/2018, but /r/politics saw it and decided it was the newest, craziest theory.  Jed’s thread brings up a great point that I did miss about dual sovereignty.  Many states, like New York, Virginia, and California, already have Double Jeopardy protection built into their states that prevent repeat prosecutions for the exact same crime.  State and Federal prosecutors in those states can’t charge the same person with the same crime using the same facts.  They have to use different facts, evidence, or instances of the crimes.  What Gamble would do is, if SCOTUS ruled in that way, it would extend that protection to all states and territories.

Here’s where I’m torn.  Outside of the lens of the Mueller Investigation, I like this idea.  I really do.  Prosecuting someone twice for the same crime seems malicious, cruel, and desperate.  With the Mueller Investigation, I’m worried that if this ruling goes through, that Trump would try to pardon everyone.  Not that they would go through, but he’ll try.  If that’s the case, that could make things a little more difficult to bring people to justice.

Ultimately, this is something that will have to be solved with an Amendment limiting the power of a Presidential Pardon.

 

 

SCOTUS & #METOO

Julie Swetnick

DECLARATION OF JULIE SWETNICK

1, JULIE SWETNICK, declare as follows:

1 – My name is Julie Swetnick and I am a resident of Washington, D.C. I fully understand the seriousness of the statements contained within this declaration. I have personal knowledge of the information stated herein and if called to testify to the same would and could do so.

2 – I am a graduate of Gaithersburg High School in Gaithersburg, MD.

3 – I presently hold the following active clearances associated with working within the federal government: Public Trust – U.S. Department of Treasury (DOT), U.S. Mint (USM), Internal Revenue Service (IRS). I have also previously held the following inactive clearances: Secret – U.S.

4 – Department of State (DOS), U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and Public Trust – U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Customs and Border Protection (CBP).

5 – My prior employment includes working with (a) Vietnam War Commemoration (VWC), Joint Services Providers (JSP), U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) in Arlington, Virginia; (b) U.S. Mint, U.S. Department of Treasury; (c) U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS), U.S. Department of Treasury; (d) Government Affairs and Communications Department, D.C. Department of General Services (DGS), Government of the District of Columbia (DC.Gov); (e) Customs and Border Protection (CBP), U.S. Department of Homeland Security; and (d) the U.S. Department of State (DOS). I was also one of the first 100 women in the world to achieve a Microsoft Certified Systems Engineering Certification (MCSE).

6 – I first met Mark Judge and Brett Kavanaugh in approximately 1980-1981. I was introduced to them at a house party that I attended in the Washington, D.C. area. I observed Mark Judge and Brett Kavanaugh as extremely close friends during the early 1980s when I knew them and interacted with them. I would describe them as “joined at the hip” and I consistently saw them together in many social settings, There is no question in my mind that Mark Judge has significant information concerning the conduct of Brett Kavanaugh during the 1980s, especially as it relates to his actions toward women.

7 – Following that first introduction, I attended well over ten house parties in the Washington, D.C. area during the years 1981-1983 where Mark Judge and Brett Kavanaugh were present. These parties were a common occurrence in the area and occurred nearly every weekend during the school year. On numerous occasions at these parties, I witnessed Mark Judge and Brett Kavanaugh drink excessively and engage in highly inappropriate conduct, including being overly aggressive with girls and not taking “No” for an answer. This conduct included the fondling and grabbing of girls without their consent.

8 – I observed Brett Kavanaugh drink excessively at many of these parties and engage in abusive and physically aggressive behavior toward girls, including pressing girls against him without their consent, “grinding” against girls, and attempting to remove or shift girls’ clothing to expose private body parts. I likewise observed him be verbally abusive towards girls by making crude sexual comments to them that were designed to demean, humiliate and embarrass them. I often witnessed Brett Kavanaugh speak in a demeaning manner about girls in general as well as specific girls by name. I also witnessed Brett Kavanaugh behave as a “mean drunk” on many occasions at these parties.

9 – I have been told by other women that this conduct also occurred during the Summer months in Ocean City, Maryland on numerous occasions. I also witnessed such conduct on one occasion in Ocean City, Maryland during “Beach Week.”

10 – I have reviewed Brett Kavanaugh’s recent claim on Fox News regarding his alleged “innocence” during his high school years and lack of sexual activity. This claim is absolutely false and a lie. I witnessed Brett Kavanaugh consistently engage in excessive drinking and inappropriate contact of a sexual nature with women during the early 1980s.

11 – During the years 1981-82, I became aware of efforts by Mark Judge, Brett Kavanaugh and others to “spike” the “punch” at house parties I attended with drugs and/or grain alcohol so as to cause girls to lose their inhibitions and their ability to say “No.” This caused me to make an effort to purposely avoid the “punch” at these parties. I witnessed efforts by Mark Judge, Brett Kavanaugh and others to “target” particular girls so they could be taken advantage of; it was usually a girl that was especially vulnerable because she was alone at the party or shy.

12 – I also witnessed efforts by Mark Judge, Brett Kavanaugh and others to cause girls to become inebriated and disoriented so they could then be “gang raped” in a side room or bedroom by a “train” of numerous boys. I have a firm recollection of seeing boys lined up outside rooms at many of these parties waiting for their “turn” with a girl inside the room. These boys included Mark Judge and Brett Kavanaugh.

13 – In approximately 1982, I became the victim of one of these “gang” or “train” rapes where Mark Judge and Brett Kavanaugh were present. Shortly after the incident, I shared what had transpired with at least two other people. During the incident, I was incapacitated without my consent and unable to fight off the boys raping me. I believe I was drugged using Quaaludes or something similar placed in what I was drinking.

14 – I am aware of other witnesses that can attest to the truthfulness of each of the statements above.

I declare, under penalty of perjury and under the laws of the United States of America, that the foregoing is true and correct. I have executed this declaration on September 25, 2018.

Julie Swetnick

Damn.

 

If anyone needs some help, here’s some links From Reddit /u/katieames

For anyone who needs it:

RAINN

1in6 (Resource for male survivors.)

The next days/weeks are going to get ugly. Please take advantage of resources, should you need them. You are not alone.

Edit: Also, in addition to 1in6, be sure to consult RAINN’s page on Sexual Assault of Men and Boys.

There’s also MaleSurvivor.

Please take care of yourself this week, everyone.

Sorry, extra edit: It’s not at all my intention to overlook the fact that this Coach Kav nightmare is especially potent for women, as it encompasses everything wrong with a rich, powerful male centered power structure. I just wanted to drop those extra resources while we were here.

 

Rhode Island and 1998

A fifth accusation against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh was revealed in an interview transcript released by the Senate Judiciary Committee Wednesday night.

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) received a call from a man who claimed his “close acquaintance” had been sexually assaulted by Kavanaugh and pal Mark Judge on a docked boat in Newport, Rhode Island, in 1985.

The anonymous constituent said his friend was assaulted “by two heavily inebriated men she referred to at the time as Brett and Mark,” according to the committee. After she told the caller, he and another man went to the harbor to confront “Brett” and “Mark,” “leaving them with significant injuries.”

The caller said that he identified Kavanaugh after seeing the judge’s high school yearbook photo on TV over the weekend, at which point he called Whitehouse’s office.

Kavanaugh denied the allegations.

“I was not in Newport, haven’t been on a boat in Newport, not with Mark Judge on a boat, nor all those three things combined,” he said during the interview. “This is just completely made up, or at least not me. I don’t know what they’re referring to.”

This new accusation is the fifth made against Kavanaugh: three others of a sexual nature and one of physical assault.

Judge, Kavanaugh’s high school friend, has been named in multiple claims. Julie Swetnick said Wednesday that Judge was at the high school parties were “‘gang’ or ‘train’ rapes” occurred and Christine Blasey Ford,claimed that he was in the room when Kavanaugh tried to rape her. Judge’s ex-girlfriend, Elizabeth Rasor, told the New Yorker that he had told her about he and other classmates taking turns having sex with a drunken woman.

 

The Senate Judiciary Committee has asked Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh about another allegation of misconduct, according to redacted transcripts of phone conversations between committee staffers and Kavanaugh made available by the committee Wednesday evening.

The allegation was made in a letter sent to Sen. Cory Gardner, R-Co. on Sept. 22. According to the unnamed author of the letter, Kavanaugh drunkenly slammed a woman against a wall outside a bar in Washington D.C. in 1998. Kavanaugh had been out for the evening with the daughter of the woman who wrote the complaint as well as several friends.

“Her friend was dating him, and they left the bar under the influence of alcohol. They were all shocked when Brett Kavanaugh, shoved her friend up against the wall very aggressively and sexually,” the letter said. The letter said at least four witnesses were present, though it did not provide any names.

Kavanaugh denied the allegation during the phone call, saying “no” when asked if the events described in the letter ever occurred.

“It’s ridiculous. Total twilight zone. And no, I’ve never done anything like that,” Kavanaugh said.

 

I’m starting to lose track of all of the victims and accusers that have come forward, so it’s time to make a list.

  1. Dr. Christine Blasey Ford.  She was attacked at a house party in high school, got away when Mark Judge tried to join in and knocked Brett off of her.  Around 1981-1982.
  2. Deborah Ramirez.  Had too much to drink at a dorm party and while she was trying to get in her room, Brett dropped trou and hit her in the face with his dick.  At Yale, around 1982-85.
  3. Julie Swetnick.  Claims that Brett and Mark were rapists that got girls drunk or drugged enough so they couldn’t fight back against a gang rape.  She says she was raped in 1982 in the same manner she described.
  4. Unknown woman who went to the Montgomery County Police on Daily Check-In 09/24/2018, further detailed in Daily Check-In 09/25/2018.
  5. Rhode Island, 1985 boat assault.  Victim unknown.
  6. 1998 attack.

How many will we hear about before Thursday?  I think the over/under total will be 6.

That was me, from Daily Check-In 09/24/2018.  I swear to fuck I did not know, and was just taking an educated guess.  I have no internal sources, no hidden microphones anywhere, nothing.  I predicted that things would accelerate, but fuck, I wasn’t expecting this.

Sometimes, I hate being right.

But what if they’re fake claims?

I just saw a thread on Reddit where some people were trying to claim that one or more of these claims could be fake.  I don’t think so.  Here’s why…

It’s tactically a bad move. The time for multiple fake allegations would have been last week, while it was only one publicly known accuser with a name, not a day before a rushed show trial.

A fake claim needs time to sink in to the public awareness, percolate, then get attacked and debunked. This takes a few days, possibly a week. By the time the GOP could expose the accusations as fake, it’s past their desired timetable for a Kavanaugh vote. What good is a claim of fake accusations after they’ve voted?

Plus, planting fake claims only works if the original claim was suspect to begin with. If the first claim was an addict, a deadbeat, or someone of less than irreproachable character, then they could use claims of “they were in it for the money or fame” or “there was a revenge angle.” Instead, the first publicly known accuser is a Professor at Stanford Medical. The second works at/runs a non-profit for women sexual assault survivors, and the third is a Federal employee with so many clearances that she can literally use the phrase “I could tell you, but then I’d have to kill you.” The women in the claim aren’t prostitutes or runaways, they’re not women of color from bad neighborhoods. These are mostly white women from the most privileged backgrounds, going to private schools and Ivy League colleges. These women are in or near the circles of power.

Breaking down the anonymous accusations, there is the police report from Monday morning, a forceful dry-hump outside of a bar while Brett was working on the Starr Investigation, and an assault/rape on a boat where a friend of the victim grabbed a boy and beat the crap out of Mark and Brett, and only called it in when he saw the yearbook picture. Could any of those be a fake claim?

We know literally nothing about the first claim, but if a woman went to the police after all of this time, I’d tend to believe her. The only way I can see this being fake would be if the whole story was fabricated. However, fabricating this story runs the chance of bringing more women forward with similar claims. It’s a risky move with little upside and lot of downside.

The 1998 accusation is the only one that doesn’t fall into the mythical, magical lost times of the 1980’s, but it’s claims can be easily proved or disproved. The claim comes from the mother of a woman whose friend was dating Kavanaugh, and it was this friend that was assaulted outside of a bar in front of 3-4 friends. How many women were claiming to date Brett Kavanaugh back in 1998? It wouldn’t take a lot of investigative work to narrow this down and pinpoint it to a small group of women. This wouldn’t fit the pattern of a fake. A planted fake has to look like the other claims, not stand out on its own. A fake is supposed to kill existing claims, not drag the focus to a new, unexplored land of possible accusations. This one could be even riskier as a fake than the police report, as this brings grown women, working in Washington D.C. at the time of the attack, into the fray. What if the woman turns out to be Dick Cheney’s secretary? Do they call her a lying whore?

The only one of these claims that could possibly be a planted fake is the boat story, and this comes from a dude. That story claims that a girl went to a boat with two drunk guys, and they sexually assaulted her. She got away, and called her friend, the dude who called it in. Dude called up his buddy, let’s call him Buddy, and Dude and Buddy looked for the boat that the girl described to him. They found the boat, found the guys named Brett and Mark, and they proceeded to beat the crap out of them. Dude never knew their full names until he saw Brett’s yearbook picture on the news last week, at which point he called his Senator and relayed the story. This one is the only one of the three that could be a fake in my opinion. It’s the most outlandish, the most violent, the only one called in by a guy, and fits with the desire for revenge. However, the claims in it can be easily investigated. What kind of injuries were incurred? When did this happen? Did anyone see Mark or Brett walk around with a shiner or a chipped tooth during that time? Who are Dude and Buddy? Who was the girl? This claim is the most likely of the three to be a fake, but there are 5 people involved that could corroborate parts of it. Plus, if this claim is true, Dude just admitted to assault and battery.

I’m not saying these aren’t fake claims, but they don’t fit the established pattern of previous fake attempts from Project Veritas and their ilk, the timing doesn’t line up, they are too easily verifiable, and they run the risk of bringing forth more claims and risk against Kavanaugh.

Plus, this doesn’t even begin to examine the optics of planting fake assault and rape accusations in the #MeToo era.  Fake accusations only help the rich and powerful to keep up the narrative of the evil woman looking to make a payday, hurt some man, or get revenge for some perceived slight.  If someone or some group, like James O’Keefe and Project Veritas, planted a fake accusation then got caught planting it, they would be in serious danger.  The vast majority of rapes and sexual assaults never get reported, and assholes like him planting fake claims are a large part of it.  He would be seen as an enemy of women everywhere, and him and his staff would need protection.  On a good day, there would be protests outside of his office until it closed down and all of his staff would be harassed until they quit.  On a bad day, someone would go vigilante on him.

Now, if we get half a dozen claims of being gang-raped from these house parties from the early 80’s with explicit memories of the rapes themselves while they claim to be drugged or drunk, and they come from Right Wing Media, those will be the fakes. Planted fakes tend to expand upon existing claims, pushing details a little too far, but at the same time trying to maintain credulity. But the time is running out on any plants to be useful.

 

TRUMP THE RUSSIAN ASSET

 

TRAITOR TOTS

 

IMMIGRATION

 

COLD WAR 2.0

 

#NEVERAGAIN

 

FIXING THE INTERNET

 

THE PROPAGANDA MACHINE

 

WHITE HOUSE CHAOS

Oh, thank fuck, we’re back to something normal.  Remember when the craziest things going on for a couple days was Omarosa?  Pepperidge Farms remembers.

 

TRADE WAR AND ECONOMY

 

GOP: THE PARTY OF LINCOLN IS DEAD

 

CRIME AND PUNISHMENT

 

ELECTION 2018

 

RUMOR MILL

 

That’s it for Wednesday.  The Kavanaugh Hearing is scheduled for Thursday.  It’s gonna be an ugly day.  The trolls will be out in force, and all of it focusing on one woman testifying before a rigged Senate Committee who’s too afraid to ask their own questions.

The Republicans will relentlessly attack Dr. Ford, hoping for some type of crack or slip-up, and will move to attack her.  That’s why they brought in a woman attorney to ask questions.  They understand the optics of old white men berating a woman about a sexual assault looks bad, but another woman doing it is okay.

This is the world we currently live in.  It’s in our power to change it.

 

Thank you, and have a good one.

 

“Without Journalists, it’s just propaganda.”

– Katy Tur

 

 

 

 

Daily Check-In 09/25/2018

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

 

THE RUSSIAN INVESTIGATION

Utah lawmaker Orrin Hatch, who sits on the Senate Judiciary Committee, filed a 44-page amicus brief earlier this month in Gamble v. United States, a case that will consider whether the dual-sovereignty doctrine should be put to rest. The 150-year-old exception to the Fifth Amendment’s double-jeopardy clause allows state and federal courts to prosecute the same person for the same criminal offense. According to the brief he filed on September 11, Hatch believes the loophole should be closed. “The extensive federalization of criminal law has rendered ineffective the federalist underpinnings of the dual sovereignty doctrine,” his brief reads. “And its persistence impairs full realization of the Double Jeopardy Clause’s liberty protections.”

A spokesman for the Utah senator denied that his brief was inspired by the Mueller investigation, noting that Hatch has “worked for years to address the problem of overcriminalization in our federal code” and wants the Court “to reconsider the rationale” for the doctrine “in light of the rapid expansion of both the scope and substance of modern federal criminal law.”

But while Hatch has earned his bona fides in the arena of criminal-justice reform, the timing of his filing is nevertheless significant. For months, the Gamble case has been analyzed through the lens of the Mueller investigation, and Brett Kavanaugh, Trump’s nominee to replace retired Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, could be on the bench by the time the Court reconvenes this fall. The justices decided to hear the case one day after Kennedy announced his retirement.

Paul Rosenzweig, a former senior counsel on the Whitewater investigation who serves as a senior fellow at the conservative R Street Institute, said he thinks the Hatch brief is “wrong substantively.” “If over-federalization of crime is a problem, we should stop over-federalization,” Rosenzweig said. “Hatch’s answer is to end federalism.”

But he cautioned that the case’s implications may not be as significant as they may seem. “It is at least plausible that if the Court gets rid of the [doctrine], it would mean that an acquittal in state court would prevent a second trial in federal court and vice versa,” Rosenzweig told me. But Trump’s pardon power is “explicitly limited in the text of the Constitution to pardons for ‘offenses against the United States,’” Rosenzweig said. If that language is interpreted to mean federal criminal offenses specifically, a Trump pardon wouldn’t protect against a state criminal prosecution, he said, no matter what happens to the double-jeopardy clause in Gamble.

Amid this legal murkiness, “overall” one thing is clear, Rosenzweig said: “A result overturning 200 years of dual sovereignty would very much muddy the waters.”

This story has floated under the radar, but I felt the need to talk about it a little bit, as it does have the chance to really screw things up, no matter how small that chance is.

Gamble vs. United States deals with a case in which a man is being tried for a crime in Federal court after already being convicted for the same crime in Alabama.  Gamble had already served a year in prison for illegally owning a firearm.  Following this conviction, the Feds charged him with their version of this crime.

What Gamble is asking the Supreme Court to do is to rule that the Separate Jurisdictions exemption to Double Jeopardy be ruled unconstitutional in cases which the defendant was already tried.

Generally, I think this is actually a good idea, but I’m worried about how this could play out in practice.  If it’s the exact same crime, the accused has already had their day in court, and likely spent their time in prison.  Charging them again for the exact same offense is overkill, and often malicious.

One problem with getting rid of this would be in cases of corruption, jury tainting, racism, or witness tampering.  If Paulie gets charged with a crime in Missouri but gets acquitted because he paid off a jury member, then this case should be tried in a different jurisdiction.

Where this could apply to the Mueller Investigation is if this is ruled unconstitutional then we get into the clusterfuck of “who’s charging who for what?”  The Feds would have to coordinate with state and local governments on who was bringing what charges at what times to avoid dual prosecutions.  This gets even uglier if the ruling is especially broad.  If the Double Jeopardy exemption is removed for not just the exact same crime but for very similar statutes, there’s enough wiggle room with possible pardons at the Federal level wiping out most if not all opportunities at state charges.

One phrase I’ve used several times is “exact same crime.”  I’m not a lawyer, so I’m not going to try to debate the tiniest of details, but to my layman’s ears that means things like Murder for Murder, Robbery for Robbery, and Possession for Possession.  Murder 1 in PA is Murder 1 in the US.  Getting tried in one court prevents the other from coming after the perpetrator.  But there are more and different crimes available in both jurisdictions.  State laws don’t have Treason and Federal Income Tax Evasion, while the Feds don’t prosecute State Income Tax Evasion and state vehicle code violations.  There’s still plenty of room for both State and Federal governments to co-exist.

 

 

TRUMP THE RUSSIAN ASSET

 

TRAITOR TOTS

From this comment by /u/Karma-Kosmonaut

Rand Paul a traitor. Congress is infested with traitors.

The July 4th Russia meeting

Sen. Richard Shelby (Republican-Alabama)

Sen. Steve Daines (Republican-Montana)

Sen. John Thune (Republican-South Dakota)

Sen. John Kennedy (Republican-Louisianna)

Sen. Jerry Moran (Republican-Kansas)

Sen. John Hoeven (Republican-North Dakota)

Sen. Ron Johnson (Republican-Wisconsin)

Rep. Kay Granger (Republican-Texas)

The August 6th Russia meeting

Sen. Rand Paul (Republican-Kentucky)

 

 

FIGHTING BACK: LAUGH AT THE CLOWN

 

IMMIGRATION

 

COLD WAR 2.0

 

#NEVERAGAIN

 

THE PROPAGANDA MACHINE

Avenatti vs. The Trolls

Michael Avenatti on Tuesday lashed out at reports that a client who was preparing to level allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh was a fake and part of a ruse by an outside group targeting Avenatti.

“I made the determination she was 100 percent credible well before Sunday night,” Avenatti, the attorney who also represents the adult-film actress Stormy Daniels in her lawsuit against President Donald Trump, told POLITICO, referring to the first time he disclosed the allegations involving Kavanaugh. “We’ve received over 3,000 inquiries in the last six months from people with all kinds of crazy stories and fabrications. I’ve heard it all. I’ve seen it all. Like we don’t vet clients. Give me a break.”

Kavanaugh is in a pitched battle to salvage his nomination, after two women have come forward to allege sexual misconduct decades ago. One of his accusers, Christine Blasey Ford, is set to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday about her allegation that a drunken Kavanaugh assaulted her at a house party when they were both in high school.

Anonline post on Tuesday claimed that Avenatti had been scammed by the online forum 4Chan, a place where online users delight in trolling public figures, setting off a firestorm on social media and purportedly jamming up Avenatti’s Twitter account. The attorney said he temporarily shut down the account because of online threats.

“This is just crazy that somebody can just tweet something out like this, or post it, and people just take it as truth,” he said. “It’s crazy.”

Avenatti, a possible presidential contender in 2020, said his client is “100 percent” real and still planned to come forward. When pressed on why the public should believe the accusations involving Kavanaugh when he hadn’t yet fronted a witness and had himself made claims over Twitter, Avenatti said he had remained consistent.

“I’ve been really clear. The timetable has not changed,” he said. “We haven’t moved the timetable back. Nothing’s changed. We don’t just do this at the drop of the hat. Had we waited until everything was in place to surface these allegations, then everyone would be complaining that we just dropped this on the committee at the last moment. There’s no winning in this situation. We wanted to surface the allegations for the committee, reasonably, once they were vetted, which is what we did.”

But he said members of the Judiciary Committee had not followed up on his offer to have them interview his client. Avenatti said the client had agreed to an FBI investigation and a polygraph test.

When asked whether she would take her story public regardless of whether the committee called her to testify, Avenatti responded: “Correct.”

“We have not arrived at a firm plan relating to the initial disclosure of these allegations,” he said. “We are still working through it. This is a very dynamic situation with a lot of emotions at stake.”

I’m going to give the short, short, version.  And no, I will not link to the original posts from 4Chan or screenshots from RedState, Daily Caller, or Townhall.  They are part of the amplification and propaganda problem.

A 4Chan user with a Pepe avatar claimed that he had convinced his stripper girlfriend to contact Michael Avenatti to bullshit him, get him to run his mouth, then organized a few of his Twitter buddies to attack his account.

The entire claim is bullshit.  First, it relies on a 4Chan user having a girlfriend.  Second, all of the “claims” were debunked in about 3 fucking seconds.  Third, this is classic Deza.  The exact same claims were made about the Steele Dossier when it came out, and the RWM ate that shit up like it was Mountain Dew flavored Doritos.

This ain’t Michael’s first rodeo.  He’s been dealing with this shit for a while, and the claims he made Daily Check-In 09/24/2018 against a sitting judge would cost him his career if they were made up.  Accusing an officer of the court of a crime is grounds for disbarment.  He needs receipts, statements, multiple witnesses, and enough background information to make his accusations stand up to scrutiny.

He ain’t fucking around.

 

SCOTUS & #METOO

 

WHITE HOUSE CHAOS

 

TRADE WAR AND ECONOMY

 

GOP: THE PARTY OF LINCOLN IS DEAD

 

CRIME AND PUNISHMENT

Cosby

Hey, hey hey, look who’s going to prison.  It’s America’s Favorite Drug Rapist TV Dad, Bill Cosby.

Should I start with a pudding pop joke?  How about asking if he has an orange knit sweater?

No.  I think I’ll just sit here and enjoy the schadenfreude, knowing that this monster will spend the bulk of his last years on this planet in prison.

 

 

ENVIRONMENT & SCIENCE

 

ELECTION 2018

 

PROGRESS IS PROGRESS

 

RUMOR MILL

 

That’s it for Tuesday.  It feels a little slower than Monday, but big things are coming for Wednesday.  How do I know?  Besides the fact that I’m posting this around lunchtime on Wednesday, I’ll just say I’ve got a feeling.

This is where I would normally say “I want to write something about…” but we know by now that I’ll forget the post by the end of the day.  I’m just going to buckle up and wait for the shitstorm to roll in.

SPOILER ALERT: Avenatti wasn’t bullshitting.  It’s much, much worse than most people thought, and I was unfortunately close to right.

 

Thank you, and have a good one.

 

“Without Journalists, it’s just propaganda.”

– Katy Tur

Daily Check-In 09/24/2018

Monday, September 24, 2018

 

THE RUSSIAN INVESTIGATION

Once again, the New York Times sticks their dick in the potato salad.  It’s bad enough that Daily Check-In 09/21/2018 when they ran that plant of a story against Rosenstein that was debunked in about 30 seconds flat.  Now, they run a story with a SINGLE FUCKING SOURCE claiming that Rod Rosenstein resigned.

At what point does incompetence become conspiratorial behavior?  Cause I think we’re pretty fucking close to that standard.

Anyway, a few other places picked up this story and ran with it, each using their own “sources”.  Eventually, WaPo and NBC got through the bullshit; Rod Rosenstein had not resigned, nor offered his resignation, but he was expecting to get fired.

Fast forward a couple hours to a White House meeting between Rosenstein and Chief of Staff John Kelly.  They meet, and…. nothing.  No quitting, no firing, nothing.  They have a meeting, then go about their business.  Rosenstein is scheduled to have a meeting with Trump on Thursday, around the same time that the Kavanaugh hearing is set to take place.

Following the meeting, a Senior Administration Official made the claim that Rod has offered his resignation, but Kelly turned it down.  In about 43 nanoseconds, the anonymous twitter accounts called bullshit on that claim, and said that Rod had refused to quit, and that he would have to be fired instead.  Also, Kelly got cold feet when 3/4 of Washington called him at once.

 

Special counsel Robert Mueller asked questions about the relationship between President Trump and the billionaire Russian-Azerbaijani family who arranged the June 2016 meetingbetween Trump campaign aides and a Russian lawyer linked to the Kremlin, according to a participant of the meeting.

Rob Goldstone, who worked as a publicist for the Agalarov family and contacted Donald Trump Jr. in June 2016 on their behalf, spent roughly eight hours talking to Mr. Mueller’s team in March. Weeks later, he testified before the special counsel’s grand jury probing Russian interference in the 2016 election and any possible collusion between Mr. Trump’s campaign and Moscow. The president and Russia deny any collusion.

In his 2016 email to the president’s son arranging the meeting, Mr. Goldstone said the Russian lawyer had damaging information about Democrat Hillary Clinton that had been collected by the Russian government as part of an effort to help Mr. Trump.

In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, he said Mr. Mueller’s investigators were particularly interested in how the relationship between Mr. Trump and the Agalarov family began, as well as a 2013 trip by Mr. Trump to Moscow for the Miss Universe pageant. The Agalarovs sponsored the pageant, which Mr. Trump co-owned at the time.

“They wanted to know about what I thought their relationship was with the Trumps, and what their relationship was with any Russian government officials, [including] the Kremlin,” Mr. Goldstone said.

Reflecting on his role in one of the key episodes of the special counsel investigation, Mr. Goldstone has written a book titled, “Pop Stars, Pageants and Presidents: How an Email Trumped My Life.” In the book, set to be released Tuesday, Mr. Goldstone describes his testimony before Mr. Mueller’s team and the grand jury.

In their meeting with Mr. Goldstone, investigators asked about the relationship between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Aras Agalarov, whose real-estate company has won several state contracts in Russia, and to whom Mr. Putin in 2013 awarded the Order of Honor of the Russian Federation, a high-profile civilian prize.

Mr. Goldstone said he never heard the elder Mr. Agalarov describe himself as friends with the Russian president, but said he was “very proud” of the projects he had done for the state.

Mr. Mueller last fall requested an interview with Emin Agalarov, which as of last month hadn’t yet been arranged, according to a lawyer for the Agalarovs. The lawyer didn’t respond to a request for comment on Monday.

Back to the investigation, Mueller is closing in on the ties between the Trump family and the Agalarov’s, and the millions of dollars of suspicious money transfers that took place between them.

 

 

TRUMP THE RUSSIAN ASSET

 

TRAITOR TOTS

 

FIGHTING BACK

 

IMMIGRATION

 

COLD WAR 2.0

 

#NEVERAGAIN

 

THE PROPAGANDA MACHINE

 

SCOTUS & #METOO

Avenatti Email

There is a long list of things I thought I’d never have to explain or describe when I started this blog.  I mean, this blog is focused mostly on politics.  So, I never thought that I would have to define “Running a train”, or any other related terms.

Since we’re gonna hear a few terms that most normal people might not be familiar with, I feel that I should help where I can, just to keep things somewhat organized.

Running a Train, or Pulling a Train, is a sexual act in which several men, at least 3 by rules of grammar but some might say only 2, take turns having sex with a woman.  Once one guy finishes up, the next takes over.

This is not to be confused with a Gang Rape, or the somewhat confusing and semi-related term Gang Bang.  Gang Rape is exactly that; rape performed by 3 or more men, usually with the implication that at least 2 men are involved at the same time throughout the act.

Running a Train and a Gang Bang can both be either consensual or non-consensual, while a Gang Rape, by its very definition, is non-consensual.  Consent has to be gained and maintained from beginning to end.  It is all too common for one of these acts to get out of hand.  For example, if the woman agreed to screw 4 guys, but a fifth joined in, that’s not cool.  If she agreed to a gang bang, but said no ass to mouth, if someone broke that rule, that would be cause for her to revoke consent.

One case where there is no consent given is when a bunch of guys get a woman so drunk she passes out, and they guys fuck her unconscious body.  There’s a term for that…

Gang rape.

Back in the 80’s and 90’s, it had more “innocent” sounding terms like how she was the “girlfriend of the fraternity” or a “frattress”, or frat mattress.  This behavior was somewhat common in meathead and creep circles on college campuses.  In other words, this was “typical frat behavior.”  Now, I’m not saying that all all fraternities took part in getting girls drunk and fucking them against their will, or that this shit required Greek letters on the building.  It’s just that during my time in college, the places and people most associated with this flavor of rape were jocks and meatheads and party bros.

Did High School kids pull this shit?  Sure, I just never heard of any instances personally.  Of course, I also wasn’t partying much in High School, and when I did it was with all guys that treated girls with high regard, so I had no knowledge of that, but there were the occasional rumors that floated around.

Do I think Brett Kavanaugh and his buddies were capable of this?  From everything I’ve heard about him over the last few days, absolutely.  Even before the allegations came from Dr. Ford, here’s a preppy jock kid going to a fancy private school right outside of D.C., his Mommy was a Prosecutor, he pledged to a fraternity at Yale that was so rowdy that Animal House looked tame in comparison, and every controversial decision involving treating women like second class citizens, he’s been there.  He’s the poster boy for Republicans living out their Handmaiden’s Tale fantasies.  There are a lot of psychological characteristics that misogynists and rapists have in common, so none of this is really a stretch.  As soon as Dr. Ford came forward, I had a sickening feeling that we were just scratching the surface.  The letter with 65 women in defense of him was a little too quick on the return volley.  It’s not standard operating procedure to have a letter defending your character from one group of people unless there’s a specific thing they’re waiting for.  If he had a letter signed by 65 black guys saying how not-a-racist he was, I’d be expecting someone to come out with a racist tirade where he’s dropping the n-word more often than Eazy E from his N.W.A. days.  If he’s got a letter signed by 65 fat people talking about how great he is to the fat community, somewhere there’s a video of him torturing fat people at an amusement park by dangling a doughnut from a fishing pole in front of some fat person on a Rascal scooter with Type 2 diabetes.

He’s a severe asshole who grew up too privileged and never paid the consequences for his actions.  He grew up into an adult asshole who hasn’t had to suffer yet.

 

 

A possible fourth person has accused Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault, Maryland law enforcement officials told a Maryland newspaper.

An anonymous witness told Montgomery County investigators over the weekend about another incident that occurred while Kavanaugh was in high school, according to a Monday report in the Montgomery County Sentinel.

In a response to this report, The Montgomery County Police Department put out a statement that said it had not received a request from an alleged victim to start a criminal investigation — though it’s unclear if the witness from the Sentinel’s report is an alleged victim.

“At this time, the Montgomery County Police Department has not received a request by any alleged victim nor a victim’s attorney to initiate a police report or a criminal investigation regarding Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh,” the statement said.

How many will we hear about before Thursday?  I think the over/under total will be 6.  Two more will substantiate existing claims.  What’s my source?  Thin air, but this is ramping up pretty quick.

 

Yep, that’s right.  Brett’s mommy was a prosecutor in their jurisdiction that handled family court.  Imagining that prick using his mom’s position to intimidate people is less of a stretch than pulling my phone out of my pocket.  In other words, highly fucking likely.

 

TRADE WAR AND ECONOMY

 

GOP: THE PARTY OF LINCOLN IS DEAD

 

CRIME AND PUNISHMENT

 

ENVIRONMENT

 

ELECTION 2018

 

PROGRESS IS PROGRESS

 

RUMOR MILL

 

That’s it for Monday.  The Rosenstein smoke bomb really pulled a lot out of the day.  Even though the long-timers on the Rumor Mill are still relaxed, I’m not as calm.  I’m confident that Justice will prevail and that the Russian Investigation can’t be buried by a simple firing, but at the same time, I’ve learned to not put my full trust in only a few people on the Internet.

I’m confused.  Was the Rosenstein Ploy an attempt to distract from the Kavanaugh Shit Show, or is the Kavanaugh Shit Show an attempt to distract from the Rosenstein Ploy?

Hopefully on Tuesday I won’t have to describe any more sex acts in detail.  Not that I’m completely opposed to that, but this is supposed to be a political blog, not one where I debate the finer points of Train-Running Etiquette.

 

Thank you, and have a good one.

 

“Without Journalists, it’s just propaganda.”

– Katy Tur

Daily Check-In 09/21/2018

Friday, September 21, 2018

 

THE RUSSIAN INVESTIGATION

The New York Times article on Friday was a fucking hit piece, designed to give a reason to get rid of Rod Rosenstein, and it might work.  The Fox News crowd has been calling for his firing ever since the story came out, and it looks like Monday will be the day we find out if he’s fired, resigned, or gave everyone a big one finger salute.

They’ve been sitting on this story for a while, and could have dropped it at any time.  Why now?  My guess is to draw attention from the sexual assault accusation against Brett Kavanaugh.

Wait, I have that wrong.  I meant to say ACCUSATIONS.  In the plural tense.  As in more than one.  See the really big section in the middle of this article for details.

This tells us how important Kavanaugh is to Trump’s plans.  Trump could have picked any one of ten other judges from Heritage Foundation petri dish and he would have sailed through confirmation with nary a blink.  Instead, Trump picked the only one that argued that a President is above the law, that refuses to recuse himself from any matters involving Trump, and is compromised more ways than a rickety old bridge.  He needs Kavanaugh, and is willing to nuke his Presidency to do it.

I would like to point out something, though.  This has been wargamed by Mueller’s team.  They didn’t just plan on Rod getting fired someday, they planned FOR it.  Daily Check-In 11/06/2017 was the first mention of the Dead Man’s Switch, but Daily Check-In 04/03/2018 showed that this was in place since the beginning.  If Mueller is fired or if the SCO is disbanded, the Senior Assistant Special Counselor has full authority to bring all charges forward.  And there’s about a half dozen Senior Assistant Special Counselors.

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, these people said.

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.

For a time, investigators saw her answers as “inconsistent,” putting her in legal peril as the FBI tried to determine if she had lied to them.

 

 

COHEN, NEW YORK, AND THE OTHER LAWSUITS

 

WOODWARD AND THE ANONYMOUS OP-ED

 

TRUMP THE RUSSIAN ASSET

 

TRAITOR TOTS

 

FIGHTING BACK

 

IMMIGRATION

 

COLD WAR 2.0

 

#NEVERAGAIN

 

FIXING THE INTERNET

 

THE PROPAGANDA MACHINE

 

SCOTUS & #METOO

WASHINGTON—Vehemently defending the Supreme Court nominee against recent allegations of sexual assault, GOP officials declared Wednesday that Brett Kavanaugh shouldn’t be held accountable for something he did as a white teenager. “We’re talking about something that occurred when Mr. Kavanaugh was a mere 17-year-old Caucasian,” said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), adding that it was ridiculous to allow a single incident that happened when Kavanaugh was in an elite and mostly white high school ruin the career of such an accomplished white person. “I expect most of my colleagues here in the Senate remember what it’s like to be a young white man and make mistakes. The important thing is that we learn from those mistakes and grow up to be responsible white adults. It’s shameful that my Democratic colleagues feel the need to sully Judge Kavanaugh’s reputation when they, too, surely understand that boys of European descent will be boys of European descent.” McConnell went on to state that the assault would hardly even be noteworthy had the victim not been a 15-year-old white girl.

This is all satire, but sadly accurate.  As I said on Daily Check-In 09/18/18, it’s not just about a sexual assault, but race plays a part here, too.  The same old white men that are bending over backwards to defend

Aaaand…. that’s the Republican Party losing women.

Alyssa Milano on Friday announced on Twitter that she was sexually assaulted, but didn’t report it right away, in response to Trump’s dipshit question “Why didn’t she go to the cops if it was so bad?”  On her thread, many women, and some men too, explained why they didn’t report their sexual assaults to the police.  The responses were… sobering.

I read through dozens of them, and they left me both pissed off and sad.  Pissed off this this was so pervasive, and sad that many of the responses included the loved ones of the victims making matters worse.

When people talk about Rape Culture, this is it in a nutshell.

image.png

 

I have known men of great character from Georgetown Prep. My son is named after one, another is my daughter’s Godfather. I would trust those men with my life. 1/ @ChuckGrassley@SenFeinstein@JohnCornyn@SenWhitehouse@SenSasse@SenAmyKlobuchar@JeffFlake@SenKamalaHarris

A man either has character or he doesn’t. When one has character, power and wealth cannot diminish that. When one lacks character, power and wealth amplify the damage he leaves in his wake. 2/ @senorrinhatch@SenBooker@SenTedCruz@ChrisCoons@SenThomTillis@SenBlumenthal

I was sexually assaulted in the mid-80’s at the home of one of Kavanaugh’s schoolmates. The host of that party added his name to this letter to the Judiciary Committee attesting to Kavanaugh’s character. https://bit.ly/2MOJ1gH 3/ #metoo@LindseyGrahamSC@SenatorDurbin

This week has been a difficult one for women like me who are forced to relive the spectre of being assaulted by one young man as another watches the door. The pain is compounded by the crucification of Kavanaugh’s accuser in the media, the twittersphere and the U.S. Senate. 4/

Decades ago, when we were sexually assaulted, we didn’t report it. “Date rape” was barely entering the lexicon. We thought rape and assault were things that happened in parking garages or dark alleys. We didn’t know how to quantify these actions by men in our own peer groups. 5/

When we were assaulted, we blamed ourselves for drinking excessively or being in the wrong place or trusting the wrong person. We were humiliated and we saw no examples of recourse. We know better now. We want our sons and daughters to know better. 6/ @MikeCrapo@SenatorLeahy

Here’s the deal about character: if you are not rapey, you don’t sexually assault women. If you are, you might. Can you grow out of being rapey? I hope so. I’d like to believe in redemption. But I do think a rapey past should disqualify you from a seat on the Supreme Court. 7/

I have seen the signatures of my schoolmates saying Kavanaugh never treated them with disrespect. Perhaps they don’t realize that some men in their social circles did not treat the women on the periphery of those circles with the same reverence as the ones in the center. /8

I see myself in Dr. Blasey because of our shared experiences. I don’t know if Kavanaugh disrespected women in his youth. I do know that his documented values suggest he does not respect their agency now. I am clearly biased. 9/ #metoo#ibelieveher

I am biased. The Senate Judiciary Committee is also biased. That is why Blasey and Kavanaugh should be afforded a thorough, nonpartisan investigation, not a rushed political side-show. 10/ @SenMikeLee@maziehirono@SenatorCollins@SenJohnKennedy

To our elected representatives: – rape is non-partisan – sexual assault survivors are watching you – our children are watching you. Are you sure that rape is the hill you want to die on? 11/ #angrywomenvote

To the man who assaulted me in the basement of that house decades ago: I learned this week that there is no statute of limitations for felony sexual assault in Montgomery County, MD. I sincerely hope your nights will be as sleepless as mine as I consider my next steps. /end

 

 

Oh shit.  Byline by Ronan Farrow and Jane Mayer.

As Senate Republicans press for a swift vote to confirm Brett Kavanaugh, President Trump’s nominee to the Supreme Court, Senate Democrats are investigating a new allegation of sexual misconduct against Kavanaugh. The claim dates to the 1983-84 academic school year, when Kavanaugh was a freshman at Yale University. The offices of at least four Democratic senators have received information about the allegation, and at least two have begun investigating it. Senior Republican staffers also learned of the allegation last week and, in conversations with The New Yorker, expressed concern about its potential impact on Kavanaugh’s nomination. Soon after, Senate Republicans issued renewed calls to accelerate the timing of a committee vote. The Democratic Senate offices reviewing the allegations believe that they merit further investigation. “This is another serious, credible, and disturbing allegation against Brett Kavanaugh. It should be fully investigated,” Senator Mazie Hirono, of Hawaii, said. An aide in one of the other Senate offices added, “These allegations seem credible, and we’re taking them very seriously. If established, they’re clearly disqualifying.”

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 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. “I would think an F.B.I. investigation would be warranted,” she said.

Ramirez said that, when both she and Kavanaugh were freshmen at Yale, she was invited by a friend on the women’s soccer team to a dorm-room party. She recalled that the party took place in a suite at Lawrance Hall, in the part of Yale known as Old Campus, and that a small group of students decided to play a drinking game together. “We were sitting in a circle,” she said. “People would pick who drank.” Ramirez was chosen repeatedly, she said, and quickly became inebriated. At one point, she said, a male student pointed a gag plastic penis in her direction. Later, she said, she was on the floor, foggy and slurring her words, as that male student and another stood nearby. (Ramirez identified the two male onlookers, but, at her request, The New Yorker is not naming them.)

A third male student then exposed himself to her. “I remember a penis being in front of my face,” she said. “I knew that’s not what I wanted, even in that state of mind.” She recalled remarking, “That’s not a real penis,” and the other students laughing at her confusion and taunting her, one encouraging her to “kiss it.” She said that she pushed the person away, touching it in the process. Ramirez, who was raised a devout Catholic in Connecticut, said that she was shaken. “I wasn’t going to touch a penis until I was married,” she said. “I was embarrassed and ashamed and humiliated.” She remembers Kavanaugh standing to her right and laughing, pulling up his pants. “Brett was laughing,” she said. “I can still see his face, and his hips coming forward, like when you pull up your pants.” She recalled another male student shouting about the incident. “Somebody yelled down the hall, ‘Brett Kavanaugh just put his penis in Debbie’s face,’ ” she said. “It was his full name. I don’t think it was just ‘Brett.’ And I remember hearing and being mortified that this was out there.”

 

Oh, and this came in around the same time…

Want to know why the Senate Republicans have such a hard-on for getting this confirmation through?  It’s the same reason that they have a letter with 65 women supporting Kavanaugh ready to release minutes after Dr. Ford’s accusations came out.  It’s also the same reason why everyone in the Republican Party told Trump it was a bad idea to pick Brett Kavanaugh: Dr. Ford wasn’t the only one.  Far from the only one.

And this one took place when Kavanaugh was an adult, in college.  Remember when Senator Hirono from Hawaii asked him if he was ever accused of sexual harassment or assault as an adult, and he said no while under oath?  Yeah, this makes that statement Perjury.  Or lying to the Senate under oath.  Both of those are felonies.

This week coming up is going to be nuts.

 

TRADE WAR AND ECONOMY

 

GOP: THE PARTY OF LINCOLN IS DEAD

 

CRIME AND PUNISHMENT

 

ENVIRONMENT & SCIENCE

 

ELECTION 2018

 

IN OTHER NEWS…

 

RUMOR MILL

I’m not gonna name names because I’m not a complete asshole, but let me just say: I’ve looked into some of the women who signed the “Kavanaugh didn’t assault US” letter and I found I don’t quite trust their judgement on what a man of integrity really is like. Why not? Well…

One’s husband is a known adulterer-a news article about his infidelity said his dalliances *while he was an elected official* would “make Anthony Weiner blush.” That same dude owns a rehab facility that was put under serious review by the state it’s in for assaulting CHILDREN in their care with needles. They profit off the opioid crisis, just FYI. One belongs to a family with a major commercial interest in “conservative” propaganda, aka for-profit “news.” Another has a sibling directly linked to AMI, as in:  John Schindler link about AMI, owners of National Enquirer

So, darling provokunts and traitortwats, just want you to know…I’m still working my way through the list. And I’m REAAAALLY REAAAALLY GOOD AT THIS STUFF. And you, quite clearly, suck at anticipating the research skills of housewives you offend with your blatant misogyny.

P.S. more on AMI from Mob Oracle

Link to Lincoln’s Bible thread on AMI being funded by Mob Money

 

That’s it for the weekend.  Prepare for the shitstorm.  Get your marching boots ready, it’s about to go down.

This is one of my longer posts, but dammit, too many things happened, and as much as I’d like to say “screw it, I need a night off,” I can’t be that selfish.  I feel like we are entering into a historic time in the world, and we need to know years from now what happened this week.

Rumors floated around for a long time that something major was going to break in late September.  I know, I hate those vague warnings too.  They sound like half-assed prophets claiming that the world will end next Thursday, then on Friday will either rejoice at the world being saved, or make a new prediction for a few days later.  But late September has been pretty consistent.  I’m not sure what’s going to happen, but I can’t shake this feeling that something big is going to happen, but the shape is still nebulous.

I’d say screw it and let’s get drunk, but this is one of those times I want to remember what’s going on.

 

Thank you, and have a good one.

 

“Without Journalists, it’s just propaganda.”

– Katy Tur

Daily Check-In 09/20/2018

Thursday, September 20, 2018

 

THE RUSSIAN INVESTIGATION

President Donald Trump’s former personal attorney, Michael Cohen, has participated over the last month in multiple interview sessions lasting for hours with investigators from the office of special counsel, Robert Mueller, sources tell ABC News.

The special counsel’s questioning of Cohen, one of the president’s closest associates over the past decade, has focused primarily on all aspects of Trump’s dealings with Russia — including financial and business dealings and the investigation into alleged collusion with Russia by the Trump campaign and its surrogates to influence the outcome of the 2016 presidential election, sources familiar with the matter tell ABC News.

Investigators were also interested in knowing, the sources say, whether Trump or any of his associates discussed the possibility of a pardon with Cohen.

Over the 16 months that Mueller has been investigating, the president has repeatedly bashed the investigation as a partisan witch hunt, insisting there has been no collusion and no obstruction of justice.

The interviews with Cohen took place in Washington, D.C., and New York City. They were also attended in part by prosecutors from the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Southern District of New York.

Cohen’s participation in the meetings has been voluntary — without any guarantee of leniency from prosecutors, according to several people familiar with the situation.

ABC News has also learned that Cohen is also cooperating with a separate probe by New York state authorities into the inner workings of the Trump family charity and the Trump Organization, where Cohen served as an executive vice president and special counsel to Trump for 10 years.

The news of Cohen’s dealings with federal and state investigators comes close on the heels of another potentially perilous legal development for the president: the guilty pleas last week from Trump’s former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, who struck a deal with Mueller’s prosecutors in exchange for his cooperation.

As the Manafort deal was taking shape — Mueller’s team had already been talking to Cohen.

And given Cohen’s prolonged time spent in proximity to Trump, his family and the inner-workings of the Trump Organization, some insiders consider his cooperation with authorities to be one of most serious potential legal threats to confront the president.

At a plea hearing in August, Cohen told a federal judge that he had arranged for the payments to two women “in coordination with, and at the direction of a candidate for federal office,” referring to then-candidate Trump, and added that he participated in the transactions with the principal purpose of influencing the election.

Those statements, under oath, were an about-face from Cohen’s public comments about his role in the deals with Karen McDougal and Stephanie Clifford, aka Stormy Daniels. Cohen had previously insisted that he’d paid Clifford with his own money, on his own initiative and without the knowledge of Trump.

The president has long denied the allegations of the affairs with McDougal and Clifford and has claimed he did not know in advance about the deals Cohen secured. On the day of Cohen’s court appearance, the president openly mocked him on Twitter.

Since entering his guilty pleas last month — Cohen has also been in contact with the New York Attorney General’s office, according to multiple people close to the matter.

In June, the acting New York Attorney General, Barbara Underwood, filed a civil lawsuit accusing Trump’s charitable foundation and its directors of having “operated in persistent violation of state and federal law governing New York State charities” for more than a decade by paying off legal bills with charitable funds, promoting Trump hotels, and purchasing personal items.

The lawsuit names Trump, his sons Don Jr. and Eric, and his daughter, Ivanka, as defendants.

A representative of the Trump Foundation called the lawsuit, “politics at its very worst.”

Underwood’s office has not ruled out launching a state criminal investigation into the foundation if evidence warrants it. And she has also asked the Internal Revenue Service and the Federal Election Commission to look into the charity’s operations.

Oh, shit.  While Manafort was negotiating his plea deal and starting his proffer, Cohen was already talking to Robert Mueller’s team.  (Daily Check-In 09/14/2018)  That means Mueller’s team met with both Trump’s Consigliere  and his Campaign Chairman in the same week.

Cohen can put Trump in the pre-meeting meeting for the June 9 Trump Tower meeting with the Russians.  He also implicated him Campaign Finance violations, and admitted to bank fraud to further those violations.  That’s just a couple of the thousands of shady things he’s been accused of participating in.

According to the Steele Dossier at AnnotatedDossier.com, Cohen was involved with previous attempts to open a Trump Tower in Moscow, met with Kremlin agents in Prague, served as a liaison between the Trump Campaign and the Kremlin, and tried to cover up Manafort’s Ukrainian scandal and Carter Page’s meetings with Rosneft.

Now, Mueller has verbal confirmation from Cohen on all of it.

Mueller almost certainly had this information for a long time, but now he’s got the confession.  One rumor I’m hearing that will be in Friday’s post is that Cohen had his personal phone with him on the Prague trip.  I feel like I’ve mentioned this before, but I wanted to say this again.  If Cohen had his normal, personal, not a burner phone with him on this trip to Prague, then it wouldn’t take much to track his movements.  Hell, even a burner or international phone could be tracked, if they knew what to look for.

How?  Tower triangulation, to start.  Every active cell phone is looking for a connection, and the companies running those towers have to keep track of them, so that they can route calls from one tower to the next.  If Cohen is on a train or driving, the phone will ping multiple towers, looking for the one with the best signal, and the network will route the call.  The carrier will have it in their logs that Cohen’s phone pinged the following towers at the following times with the following response times.  Using a little bit of math, his location can be pinpointed within a dozen or so meters for the entire trip.  If he made calls or texts to other numbers when he was up to some shady shit, then the investigators will do the same with those numbers, and if they’re within a few meters of each other at any point, Bingo.  This is also assuming they didn’t hotmic his phone, or have surveillance on him or the people he communicated with.

More importantly, Cohen is working with the New York State Attorney General’s Office on the several state investigations into Trump Organization and Trump Foundation.  As much as Mueller is the largest threat to Trump, New York is the dangerous for different reasons.  As I’ve mentioned many times before, state charges cannot be pardoned by the Federal government.  If Cohen delivers Trump and his family to New York State, he’s toast.  His only hope then would be to never leave office and hope that he can’t be removed due to state criminal charges.

Something of note, there is no public cooperation agreement between Cohen.  Not saying that there isn’t a private one, but I find that part interesting.  That tells me that either Cohen is hoping for a deal, they have a private one, the prosecutors want to see what he knows first, or Cohen doesn’t care and just wants to bury Trump.  There’s probably some combination of factors, but I really like the last idea the most.  Remember when Trump leaked the information about the McDougal payoff after the Special Master in the case decided that it was privileged information? (Daily Check-In 07/20/2018)  Cohen talking to Muells is payback for Trump fucking Cohen.  At least in part.  There’s probably the whole not-dying-in-prison-or-tried-for-treason thing too, but the fact that revenge is a motivator makes me feel all warm inside.

 

 

COHEN, NEW YORK, AND THE OTHER LAWSUITS

See above.  I try to keep these separate, but pretty soon the crossovers will look like one of those CW Superhero specials with 38 shows working together for a very complicated theme.

 

TRUMP THE RUSSIAN ASSET

 

TRAITOR TOTS

 

FIGHTING BACK

Agency officials aren’t assenting to Trump’s demand for “immediate declassification” of some materials related to the Russia investigation, and are likely to push for redactions, according to people with knowledge of the matter. At the same time, the FBI is willing to probe sexual assault allegations that have jeopardized Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court — despite Trump’s claims otherwise — but it can’t do so without a formal White House request.

The tension adds to an already fraught relationship between the president and the law enforcement agencies he oversees. Trump has repeatedly attacked Attorney General Jeff Sessions for failing to quash Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian election meddling in the 2016 elections, and he’s accused the Justice Department and FBI of targeting him and Republicans because of political bias.

The controversies are seen as a test for FBI Director Christopher Wray, who has repeatedly vowed to defend the agency’s work from political manipulation. While Sessions has taken the brunt of the president’s ire, the FBI was on the receiving end last month when Trump said he’d “get involved” if the Justice Department and FBI didn’t “start doing their job.” He accused the agencies of turning a blind eye to possible ties between Democrats and Russia, and instead focusing on him and his campaign.

 

 

IMMIGRATION

 

COLD WAR 2.0

 

#NEVERAGAIN

 

THE PROPAGANDA MACHINE

 

SCOTUS & #METOO – THE KAVANAUGH RAPEYTIME ADVENTURE SERIES

Ford might choose to appear on Monday, and make a powerful opening statement accusing Republicans of running a sham investigation. Committee Chairman Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) has figured out it would be a good idea to interview her in advance of Monday’s hearings, but the staffers conducting the interview would be unlikely to have the ability or the will to follow up on investigative leads. Ford can and should refuse to give her inquisitors two bites at the apple. When she gets in front of the cameras, she should remind the country:

• This concerns attempted rape, something far more serious than the allegations raised by Anita Hill against Clarence Thomas during his 1991 confirmation hearings.

•  The FBI investigated Hill’s claims within three days (Republicans could have sent the FBI and gotten a report back by now if they hadn’t been stalling).

• Mark Judge allegedly witnessed the attack, but Republicans refuse to call him as a witness, so we can assume that they regard him as a person who would harm Kavanaugh’s defense.

• Republicans’ insistence that Ford provide even more detail is hypocritical (since they don’t want an FBI investigation) and misguided, given the large body of research concerning memories of victims of sexual assault (e.g., gaps in memory are common).

• If Kavanaugh was an excessive drinker in high school, as has been alleged, he’s in no position to testify accurately as to what he did and didn’t do.

• The unsubstantiated attacks on Ford by members such as Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) reveal that they have predetermined the outcome of the hearing. (“She had plenty of chances to bring it up, she did not,” Graham said. “We’re not going to play this game anymore. We [want] Miss Ford to be heard but clearly to me, in August, she hired a lawyer who’s a very activist lawyer, who does not like President Trump and paid for a polygraph.”) But this is no “game,” and Ford has every right to seek counsel to fend off attacks like the very ones that Republican senators are making.

• There is no need to rush to a vote in the next few days. None. Republicans have set an artificial deadline for fear that more damaging information might come out.

In short, Ford can use the hearing to put the senators, who have behaved shabbily, on defense.

Ford has another option: Hold a news conference with her own experts and make the case directly to the American people. She can sit down for an interview with a respected TV journalist. She can say whatever she wants, make certain that experts are heard and even recount the much more extensive investigative efforts undertaken when Hill stepped forward. To make her case to the American people and convince them that she is sincere, honest and credible, Ford doesn’t need the Senate.

Ford also might have the ability to go to local police to investigate if the White House refuses to activate the FBI. The Hill reports: “Can Brett Kavanaugh be investigated for an attempted rape he allegedly committed over three decades ago? In Maryland, it’s entirely possible under the law, according to some experts. Now members of the American public are calling for Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh to open an investigation, especially if the FBI doesn’t.” That would be a process over which neither the Senate nor the Trump administration would have any control.

At least he’s got the approval Kiddie Diddler Crowd.

 

TRADE WAR AND ECONOMY

Nothing will change for the better in their home market, they and other D.C. vendors say, until the sellers form a union to take on Levy, EMS, and Skins management. A group of peeved vendors showed up at FedExField on Sunday to hand out union cards and information sheets about the pay discrepancies between their hometown and others.

There was also a movement to get vendors to boycott FedExField this coming Sunday, when the Skins will play the Packers. The Eagles and Ravens will also have home games, and vendor organizers advised those that weren’t already planning on staying away from FedExField to do so.

“I will not work there,” Harol said. “I will not contribute to what they’re doing.”

Skins spokesman Tony Wyllie told Deadspin that while the team is responsible for bringing the new concessionaire, Levy, into the stadium, vendor issues are not the team’s problem. “Our deal is with Levy,” Wyllie said. “[Beer sellers] are not Redskins employees. We have no insight on what they pay. We don’t make the deals.”

 

 

GOP: THE PARTY OF LINCOLN IS DEAD

 

CRIME AND PUNISHMENT

It’s not 2Pac, but at least he’ll spend most of, if not the rest of his life in jail.

 

PRIESTS

 

ENVIRONMENT, HURRICANES, AND SCIENCE

 

ELECTION 2018

 

PUERTO RICO

 

PROGRESS IS PROGRESS

 

RUMOR MILL

 

That’s it for Thursday.  If history is any clue, Friday will be nuts.

One of these days, I’m going to go through all of these posts to find the posts I’ve talked about doing.  I keep saying I want to write this or that, but then I get distracted by the next shiny object or ball of twine.

I wonder what Friday’s Ball of Twine will be.

 

Thank you, and have a good one.

 

“Without Journalists, it’s just propaganda.”

– Katy Tur