2:00PM Water Cooler 9/28/2018

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.

Readers, as before, I got wrapped round the axle on Kavanaugh. I’ll have more in a bit. A kind reader said not to be apologetic, so I’m not! –lambert UPDATE 3:37PM All done!


“Nafta Isn’t Dead Yet, Despite Missed Deadline” [Wall Street Journal]. “President Trump has concluded that trade talks with Canada have reached an impasse, giving up on the self-imposed Sept. 30 deadline for completing a full rewrite of the North American Free Trade Agreement. As a result, the administration plans to publish as soon as Friday the draft of a Mexico-only deal that would replace the quarter-century-old trilateral bloc. Does that mean the imminent breakup of the continentwide free-trade zone? Probably not, according to people familiar with the process. A more likely result is some fudging of the deadline and procedures, and more talks with Ottawa over the coming weeks, and possibly months.”



“Elizabeth Warren Introduces Plan to Expand Affordable Housing and Dismantle Racist Zoning Practices” [The Intercept]. “THIS WEEK, SEN. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., introduced the American Housing and Economic Mobility Act, one of the most far-reaching federal housing bills in decades. The legislation calls for a half-trillion dollar investment in affordable housing over the next 10 years, creating up to 3.2 million new units for low- and middle-income families. The bill also expands the protections of decades-old legislation to reduce discriminatory banking, ban housing discrimination, and desegregate neighborhoods. … Warren’s bill comes on the heels of two other federal housing bills introduced this summer by Democratic Sens. Cory Booker and Kamala Harris, of New Jersey and California, respectively. Harris’s bill, which came first, aims to provide financial relief to renters by creating a new refundable tax credit. Booker’s bill would also establish a refundable tax credit….” • Tax credits. Feh.

“Elizabeth Warren for president? New survey shows Mass. voters don’t love that idea” [Boston Globe]. “Fifty-eight percent of likely Massachusetts voters said they don’t think Warren should run for president, according to a Suffolk University Political Research Center/Boston Globe poll…. Only 32 percent of those surveyed said Warren should run. That’s about the same level of enthusiasm generated by former senator John Kerry. He got the support of 33 percent of voters — and, unlike Warren, he isn’t on anyone’s short list for strongest possible challengers to President Trump.” • Bain Capital’s Deval Patrick got 38.4%.


38 days until Election Day. 38 days is a long time in politics (as we are seeing right now with Kavanaugh).

A very important, nuanced thread, with lots of linky goodness:

Do read it all.

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“White House spokesman: Can’t say ‘for certain’ that we have the votes for Kavanaugh” [Politico]. “A handful of key senators, including Republicans Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski and Jeff Flake, as well as Democrat Joe Manchin, are being closely watched to see where they land on Kavanaugh. All four have yet to announce how they will vote on the Supreme Court nominee’s confirmation.” • Collins is meeting with four assault “survivors” at noon.

“Kavanaugh advances, with Flake calling for a delay in full Senate vote” [The Globe]. “After a flurry of last-minute negotiations, the Senate Judiciary Committee advanced Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination for the Supreme Court after agreeing to a late call from Republican Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona for a one week investigation into sexual assault allegations against the high court nominee… However, it’s unclear if Republican leaders — or President Donald Trump — will support Flake’s call for the investigation or might instead press forward with a full Senate vote on Kavanaugh’s nomination. Trump indicated on Friday that he’d leave the decision for such a delay up to the Senate. Speaking to reporters in the Oval Office, Trump called Christine Blasey Ford’s Thursday testimony both ‘compelling’ and ‘credible.'” • A jack move? Certainly unexpected…

“Democrats Walk Out” [Wall Street Journal]. “As Chairman Grassley read a statement praising Judge Kavanaugh and explaining his decision not to call further witnesses, several Democrats walked out: Sens. Whitehouse, Blumenthal, Hirono and Harris. As Mr. Grassley continued his statement praising the judge and criticizing the Democrats’ approach to the nomination, Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont walked out. Then the ranking Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee, Rep. Jerrold Nadler of New York, took a seat in the back of the room.” • Pointless.

“Angry and embittered, Kavanaugh casts nomination in partisan terms” [Yahoo News]. “Rebutting Christine Blasey Ford’s allegations of sexual assault, Kavanaugh cast himself as the victim, bitterly attacking the 10 Democrats seated before him. He called the initial hearings into his nomination an ’embarrassment,’ suggesting that he was the subject of ‘left-wing opposition groups.’ Sputtering with rage, Kavanaugh went so far as to claim that his opponents were seeking ‘revenge on behalf of the Clintons,’ though he offered no evidence for that assertion.” • Well, on left-wing liberal oppo, he was right, wasn’t he?

“Rachel Mitchell’s disappearing act confirms GOP blunder” [Politico]. “The five-minute rounds of questioning — a request from Ford’s legal team that not every Democrat was comfortable with initially — didn’t help the GOP’s cause, either. Mitchell couldn’t establish any rhythm, clearly frustrating Republicans…. But Mitchell pursued some seemingly trivial rounds of questioning that didn’t elicit any information to undermine Ford’s testimony. Mitchell and Ford had a lengthy exchange over Ford’s fear of flying, although they established that Ford often flew for her job as a psychologist and to attend family events. Some of Mitchell’s precious time was used to question Ford about her fear of flying and to ask whether she’d been to Australia. She said she had not. Mitchell clearly suffered from the fact that neither the committee, nor the FBI had questioned Ford previously, which left Mitchell probing a lot of dry holes and sometimes drawing answers that were unhelpful to the GOP side.” • The call for an FBI investigation would look a lot better if [genuflects] Joe Biden hadn’t said they were useless in the Anita Hill/Clarence Thomas hearings.

“”If They Can, They Will”: The Ford-Kavanaugh Hearing and the Angry Politics of Now” [Susan Glasser, The New Yorker]. “Emotion does not win on Capitol Hill, though, where the majority rules. The Democrats supporting Ford and demanding a more thorough investigation of her charges before voting on Kavanaugh do not control the Senate, and they did not get to set the terms of the hearings. In Washington, process determines outcome, and in this case the outcome was very likely determined from the moment Republicans on the Judiciary Committee set up the process. The process was designed to give us the deadlock of he-said-she-said, and, in the end, that is exactly what it did. Ford said she was ‘a hundred per cent certain’ that Kavanaugh had attacked her; Kavanaugh said he was ‘a hundred per cent’ sure he had not. How could it have been any other way? There was no independent F.B.I. investigation; no other witnesses were called. Questions were limited to one five-minute round for each senator. Ford spoke first and Kavanaugh second; he would have the last word.” • FWIW, I think a functional Democrat party would have had the Senators co-ordinate their questioning and make it truly an interrogation (they didn’t), wouldn’t allow last-minute outside parties (Avenatti, the New Yorker) to drive the selection of potential witnesses, and would have something to say about Kavanaugh’s opinions. Instead we get empty performative gestures like walk-outs and a focus on effing process, and nothing on, say, Roe v. Wade, which is surely the subtext of the entire exercise for both parties. UPDATE Not to mention Kavanaugh’s seamy record with Ken Starr, or his role as a politlcal operative generally. As a result–

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“The rape culture of the 1980s, explained by Sixteen Candles” [Vox]. “But if there’s one thing we can take away from the popular culture of the 1980s, when the alleged events took place, it’s that a sexual assault at that time might not have been immediately clear as what it was, for participants and observers alike. Some of the most popular comedies of the ’80s are filled with supposedly hilarious sequences that portray what in 2018 would be unambiguously considered date rape.” • An especially horrid incident played for laughs. One reaction–

• Making today’s outrage presentist?

UPDATE “Brett Kavanaugh’s Testimony Made It Easier Than Ever to Picture Him as an Aggressive, Entitled Teen” [Slate] • Henry the V without Prince Hal, as it were. That said, aggressive, entitled teens aren’t especially thin on the ground, and it’s a ways from a sense of entitlement to sexual assault. Now, an aggressive teen who, as an adult, is being nominated for the Supreme Court and has terrible opinions is quite another things, but the Democrats seem unable even to consider raising that issue. The norms fairy, perhaps.

UPDATE “The Editors: It is time for the Kavanaugh nomination to be withdrawn” [America]. “While we previously endorsed the nomination of Judge Kavanaugh on the basis of his legal credentials and his reputation as a committed textualist*, it is now clear that the nomination should be withdrawn…. Dr. Blasey’s accusations have neither been fully investigated nor been proven to a legal standard, but neither have they been conclusively disproved or shown to be less than credible. Judge Kavanaugh continues to enjoy a legal presumption of innocence, but the standard for a nominee to the Supreme Court is far higher; there is no presumption of confirmability. The best of the bad resolutions available in this dilemma is for Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination to be withdrawn.” • A Jesuit magazine.

“Christine Blasey Ford’s GoFundMe campaign is surging after today’s testimony” [CNN]. • $410,000 and rising.

“I Wasn’t Assaulted” [Libby Watson, Medium]. “I wasn’t assaulted, but there are lot of ways to get hurt in bed when you’re a woman.” • It’s like the 80s were a national laboratory for bad sex. Although maybe that was the 70s.

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At the margins….

“Democrats dropping $21 million on Senate digital ads largely targeting health care” [NBC]. “So far this cycle, [Senate Majority PAC (SMP)] has been the top outside spender of either party on ads. It’s spent almost $40 million through Wednesday, according to data from Advertising Analytics, and has more advertising dollars booked from now through Election Day than any other outside group.” • Does make you wonder what would happen with #MedicareForAll if the powers that be spent any money on advertising it, instead of propping up the wretched ObamaCare.

ME Senate:

Ringelstein’s done this before, and kudos to him, though I loathe that focus-grouped word “bold.”

Stats Watch

Personal Income and Outlays, August 2018: “The refrain of “strong” throughout the FOMC’s assessment of the economy on Wednesday isn’t confirmed by the personal income and outlays report for August where modest-to-moderate is the better description” [Econoday]. And: “Consumer income growth year-over-year is insignificantly lower than spending growth year-over-year…. Overall, the data is little different than last month” [Econintersect].

Chicago Purchasing Managers Index, September 2018: “General economic growth in Chicago slowed in September” [Econoday]. “[S]till very strong.” And: “The results of this survey continue to correlate to district Federal Reserve manufacturing surveys – and generallly aligns with the overall trend of the ISM manufacturing survey” [Econintersect].

Consumer Sentiment, September 2018 (Final): “very healthy,” “down slightly” [Econoday]. “Income optimism across all groups is the strongest since 2004 and is getting a lift from declining inflation expectations and, with this, the prospect of rising spending power. And despite concerns over tariffs, which were cited by nearly 1/3 of the sample, consumers see economic growth continuing and unemployment falling. Note that among those who cite tariffs as a concern, confidence is generally lower.” And: “Final September 2018 Michigan Consumer Sentiment Little Changed From Preliminary” [Econintersect].

Retail: “Inside the New Amazon 4-Star Store, a Novelty Gift Shop” [Wall Street Journal]. “Reminiscent of a novelty gift store or an airport gadget shop, the new Amazon 4-star store on Thursday was selling his and hers mugs, candles, teapots, pet toys, ‘Star Wars’ droids and vegetable peelers… ‘Approximately 90% of all retail is still happening in the physical store,’ said Rob Garf, vice president of strategy and insights at Salesforce Commerce Cloud. ‘This is less about Amazon getting into a new genre or category of retail, I think this is Amazon testing and learning about physical retail.'”

The Bezzle: “How Dirty Money Disappears Into the Black Hole of Cryptocurrency” [Wall Street Journal]. “A North Korean agent, a stolen-credit-card peddler and the mastermind of an $80 million Ponzi scheme had a common problem. They needed to launder their dirty money. They found a common solution in ShapeShift AG, an online exchange backed by established American venture-capital firms that lets people anonymously trade bitcoin, which police can track, for other digital currencies that can’t be followed…. The company’s financial backers include Pantera Capital and FundersClub in California and Access Venture Partners in Colorado. Partners with Pantera and Access said their legal reviews satisfied them that ShapeShift is operating within the law. FundersClub and its partners didn’t respond to messages seeking comment…. A Wall Street Journal investigation identified nearly $90 million in suspected criminal proceeds that flowed through such intermediaries over two years.” • Lots of colorful characters in this story!

Tech: “Facebook Is Breached, Putting 50 Million Users’ Data at Risk” [New York Times]. “Facebook said it did not know the origin or identity of the attackers, nor had it fully assessed the scope of the attack. The company said it was still in the beginning stages of its investigation.” • And I’m sure we’ll be kept fully informed…

Tech: And speaking of Facebook, this Job Description:

I think Facebook is already doing a pretty good job “driving innovation” in “ethics.” Is this new position really needed?

Tech: You don’t own anything digital unless you control the storage. Thread:

Like giving you a rental voucher after stealing your house… .

Tech: “Google CEO will testify before U.S. House on bias accusations” [Reuters]. “Google Chief Executive Sundar Pichai has agreed to testify before the U.S. House Judiciary Committee later this year over Republican concerns that the company is biased against conservatives, a senior Republican said on Friday.” • It’s biased against the left, too! But you won’t hear about that….


Simulcasting The Second International Conference of Modern Monetary Theory (#mmtconf18), Friday-Sunday, Sept 28-30, The New School, New York City (hat tip, DCBLogger):

Class Warfare

“Port Workers Plan Strike in L.A. to Challenge Logistics Firms” [Bloomberg]. “Warehouse workers and truck drivers at Los Angeles ports are planning to launch a three-day strike Monday, aiming to put pressure on logistics companies they claim owe them back wages. The strike is the latest effort by labor groups to focus on workers who companies don’t consider direct employees, or who get their paychecks from other firms in the supply chain. It also exemplifies how strikes in the U.S. have shifted toward drawing public scrutiny to corporate behavior and workers’ demands — such as the union-backed “Fight for $15″ — rather than directly disrupting their bottom line. Port officials have said that previous Teamster port strikes led to some shipments being turned away but had a limited impact on port operations. The union hopes that its mobilizations next week will heighten public pressure on the logistics firms and on their prominent clients, which the Teamsters said include Amazon.com Inc., Toyota Motor Corp., Puma and Rio Tinto Plc.” • Hmm. I wonder how the locals feel about that “public scrutiny” model. Still, nice to the Democrats all over this, supporting labor right before the mid-terms. Oh, wait…

“Pope defrocks Chilean priest at center of abuse scandal” [Associated Press]. “Francis sparked a crisis in his papacy earlier this year when he strongly defended one of Karadima’s protégés, Bishop Juan Barros, against accusations that he had witnessed Karadima’s abuse and ignored it Francis had claimed that the accusations against Barros were “calumny” and politically motivated, and he defended his 2015 decision to appoint Barros bishop of a small Chilean diocese over the objections of the faithful and many in the Chilean hierarchy. After realizing that something was amiss, Francis ordered a Vatican investigation that uncovered decades of abuse and cover-ups by the Chilean church leadership. Francis apologized to the victims, inviting Cruz and fellow survivors James Hamilton and Jose Andres Murillo to the Vatican for four days of talks. He set about making amends, including getting every active bishop in Chile to offer to resign. To date, he has accepted seven of the more than 30 resignations offered, including that of Barros.” • I’m glad some bishops resigned. In Chile. It’s a atart.

News of the Wired

For those who remember the terror alerts, post-9/11:

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Readers, feel free to contact me at lambert [UNDERSCORE] strether [DOT] corrente [AT] yahoo [DOT] com, with (a) links, and even better (b) sources I should curate regularly, (c) how to send me a check if you are allergic to PayPal, and (d) to find out how to send me images of plants. Vegetables are fine! Fungi are deemed to be honorary plants! If you want your handle to appear as a credit, please place it at the start of your mail in parentheses: (thus). Otherwise, I will anonymize by using your initials. See the previous Water Cooler (with plant) here. Today’s plant (AH):

AH writes: “This is the project my mom and I worked on this summer. The previous owner had built garden beds around the entire house, which is great. The problem, though, is that she (the previous owner) only planted hosta. It was hosta for days. Hundreds of feet of it, hundreds of plants. So I had to dig it all up in order to plant the gardens my mom is really good at creating. She designs gardens specifically where plants flower at different times throughout the summer. This picture is late summer where most of the garden had already flowered, like bleeding hearts and most of the bulb flowers (I suck at remembering the names of things). The garden pictured here is mostly from Spragues (our favorite nursery in central Maine), plus rocks pulled from the woods out back. We also found a small birch along the rock wall of the property (below the greenhouse). Personally, I would do without the cheesy garden ornaments, but it’s my mom’s house and she loves those things. We will repeat this every summer until all hosta has been conquered once and for all!” Spragues is where I got my first plants, too!

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Readers, I’m still running a bit short on plants. Probably a little soon for fall foliage, or wrapping up the garden, but I’m sure you can find something! How about a project you completed over the summer?

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About Lambert Strether

Readers, I have had a correspondent characterize my views as realistic cynical. Let me briefly explain them. I believe in universal programs that provide concrete material benefits, especially to the working class. Medicare for All is the prime example, but tuition-free college and a Post Office Bank also fall under this heading. So do a Jobs Guarantee and a Debt Jubilee. Clearly, neither liberal Democrats nor conservative Republicans can deliver on such programs, because the two are different flavors of neoliberalism (“Because markets”). I don’t much care about the “ism” that delivers the benefits, although whichever one does have to put common humanity first, as opposed to markets. Could be a second FDR saving capitalism, democratic socialism leashing and collaring it, or communism razing it. I don’t much care, as long as the benefits are delivered. To me, the key issue — and this is why Medicare for All is always first with me — is the tens of thousands of excess “deaths from despair,” as described by the Case-Deaton study, and other recent studies. That enormous body count makes Medicare for All, at the very least, a moral and strategic imperative. And that level of suffering and organic damage makes the concerns of identity politics — even the worthy fight to help the refugees Bush, Obama, and Clinton’s wars created — bright shiny objects by comparison. Hence my frustration with the news flow — currently in my view the swirling intersection of two, separate Shock Doctrine campaigns, one by the Administration, and the other by out-of-power liberals and their allies in the State and in the press — a news flow that constantly forces me to focus on matters that I regard as of secondary importance to the excess deaths. What kind of political economy is it that halts or even reverses the increases in life expectancy that civilized societies have achieved? I am also very hopeful that the continuing destruction of both party establishments will open the space for voices supporting programs similar to those I have listed; let’s call such voices “the left.” Volatility creates opportunity, especially if the Democrat establishment, which puts markets first and opposes all such programs, isn’t allowed to get back into the saddle. Eyes on the prize! I love the tactical level, and secretly love even the horse race, since I’ve been blogging about it daily for fourteen years, but everything I write has this perspective at the back of it.


  1. Altandmain

    Are drivers as a whole getting more aggressive in the US? We seem to be heading in that direction in Canada too.

    I crossed the border a couple of weeks ago from Canada where I live into the US. First thing intersection where there were pedestrians, I stopped and let the pedestrians cross. Then the guy behind me all of a sudden accelerated and went over the yellow line and crossed ahead of the pedestrians. I knew it was an American from the license plate as. It was a yellow NY one.

    When I was crossing the road myself on foot, I noticed the same. Drivers seem to be more aggressive than before. Finally on my way back, the guy behind me, an American from NY again, eager to get into Canada honked. The border officer was also surprised.

    Incidents like this are pretty rare where I live in Canada and some of them would get you demerit points if the police found you doing them.

    Are people just getting more aggressive about driving in the US or I am just having an outlier experience? We have more than our share of awful drivers in Canada, but my recent experience was pretty unprecedented for me.

    That said, things are getting worse in some parts of Canada. I have found drivers in Toronto to be very aggressive. Apparently the insurance rates are sky high there.

    What has been the experience of other NCers?

    1. Wukchumni

      If I lived in NYC and bought a new car there, i’d definitely opt for the extended warranty on the horn, but out west you seldom ever hear them being used.

      Now, that said. The freeways in SoCal are a complete jam-job @ any hour and occasional respites where traffic flows ok, and to add to the arteries, formerly forbidden hidden away routes via side streets are now online to direct cars away from intermittent parking lots like the 101 or the 405. From what I understand, those unfortunate people living on streets such as these, are pretty pissed off.

      Most of the agro comes from getting on the freeway or making a lane change, and then there’s always the BEFNAR* in front of you to deal with, which snarls things more often than not.

      The great irony of driving in Los Angeles, is most of the time, you only need something along the lines of a Smart car, as it goes just as quick as that Ferrari that’s also stuck going nowhere fast.

      * brakes engaged for no apparent reason

      1. pretzelattack

        drivers seem much more aggressive to me these days; i particularly don’t like the frequency drivers cut in front of you with little room and no warning. pointless risk when they could do it much more smoothly.

        1. Wukchumni

          There’s zero zilch nada traffic here on the other side of nowhere, and it’s weird getting used to driving in a Big Smoke, as it isn’t so much aggression, probably just more sardines trying to fit into the can.

          One thing I notice is how a good many drivers are always seemingly angling for a precious car length here, another one there, and they’ll do 5 lane changes to make it happen like so many auto dervishes.

        2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          I would like to add that cyclists are aggressive too, in the same way drivers are (that is, some riders and some drives, and not all).

          Recently, I was driving to a market.

          As I came to the traffic light, which was green, I passed some cyclists arriving at the intersection almost simultaneously (but obvious just before me, because I passed them by).

          I intended to make a right turn, but I did not know if the cyclists wanted to go straight (no hand signal from them).

          So, I waited (for them to pass me by).

          The next thing I heard was angry shouts for me to go ahead and make the right turn.

          Like I was rude to wait for them to go ahead.

          So, cyclists are aggressive (mentally at least,, in the sense of being rude or mean).

          1. Mo's Bike Shop

            Did you make some signal indicating that you were waiting for them to pass? That’s hard to do. For the cyclists, you could be a good samaritan*, or you could be just finishing up your game of candy crush, or you could be Geeorge Zimmerman. I take your word that you were being a samaritan :) But cyclists get a lot of up close experiences with people who do not comprehend that they are driving a death tractor. It’s less stress to simply presume everyone is trying to kill you as a matter of course and not take it too personally.

            And the right hook is the first thing you learn when you commute by bike. Best avoidance would be to anticipate looking like a right hook and hang back. But then you may get yelled at to ‘get on with it.’ Can’t even quit the game, etc.

            In fact the biggest frustration of cycling for me–after the things that will actually kill you–is trying to get across to helpful motorists that I am never going to get into their right of way. They could offer me cake. Won’t do it.

            And the ones who stop in the middle of the four-lane, to cheerily wave me to come off the cross walk island in front of them, are the fuel of nightmares. They never check the rear view, and I sometimes have to just double back to get them to go away.

            Threadwise: craziness seems to be down here in north Flahdeda from a year or two ago. Cell phone zombies waaaay up.

      2. Randy

        I never could understand why those cars were called smart cars. My 2001 Civic got better gas mileage, could haul more people and cargo and was plainly more safe in a crash to anybody that ever looked at the two vehicles.

        Smart car, sort of like smart appliances, etc.

        1. Altandmain

          It was just a marketing term IMO.

          The gas mileage and reliability were terrible, especially considering the size of vehicle. So too was the value for money.

      3. Yves Smith

        I hardly drive, and my pet peeve, on the rare occasions when I am on freeways (which is in Maine and Alabama) is the frequency with which cars in the left lane drive at 85-90 MPH and act as if this is a matter of right. I normally drive in the left lane, a judicious roughy 10 MPH over the speed limit (as in 70 to 80 depending on what the speed limit is).

        It does not take long at all for a car to be riding my bumper, as in insanely close, a car lane or less behind me. If I had to brake suddenly, we’d both be dead.

        I often faux innocently play flying roadblock, find a car in the right lane that is going over the speed limit but not as much as I am, and match their speed to thwart the clown from passing on the right, which is what they usually do in the end.

        And these of course are also typically large cars, like pickup trucks or big SUVs, so they seem confident of their ability to bully drivers of smaller vehicles.

        1. Jonathan Holland Becnel

          Thats me alright!

          I like to find a car doing 90mph. I stay about a 1/4 mile back.

          As soon as i see them brake, i brake.

          Then again i love driving fast as it doesnt scare me.

          Sorry for tail gating but ya know IM IN A HURRY AHHHHH lol

        2. Ape

          You do see how both sides of that reflect a social aggression and anomie on the verge of breakdown? You’re both playing negative sum games to show social dominance over meaningless shit, right?

          And it’s *normal* in America! Everyone at each other throats day in and out over crap like expressway right of way, place in line (really Americans are serious dicks about feeling that someone has cut in line) and such – while being too afraid to stand up to anyone with higher status (obviously not Yves). Or because they’re upset with the petty power crap they stand for everyday.

          I can’t see this ending well. Someday someone will cut the throat of the Spirit supervisor and the whole thing will explode.

        3. JBird4049

          It does not take long at all for a car to be riding my bumper, as in insanely close, a car lane or less behind me. If I had to brake suddenly, we’d both be dead.

          Honestly, I do have a bit of a road anger problem, but I manage to keep clear in my mind about what will happen if I manage to lose control of the multi-ton vehicle I’m hurling around.

          However, I sometimes look in my rear-view mirror and cannot see the front bumper, license plate, headlights, or the entire front of the car behind me, but can give a very detailed description of its driver; I often drive on multi-lane highways and often the lanes are, if not open, going above the limit. If somebody is so late why are they hiding behind still (speeding-over-the-limit me) when there are 1,2, or more faster lanes around me??

    2. Carolinian

      FWIW I’ve been aggressively tailgated by an 18 wheeler while in Canada. It wasn’t quite Spielberg’s Duel but had that flavor. I think my American tag had something to do with it. Do Canadians have a ‘tude about Americans?

      But you are absolutely right about American drivers getting worse (and I occasionally drive all over the country). Stop signs are now yield signs, speed limits mean little and if you are on the freeway you are apt to be cut off with inches to spare–presumably by cars with those radar range detector displays.

      1. Olga

        One of the more horrible drives I’ve ever made was from Calgary to Vancouver- night, snow, sleet, poor visibility, narrow and winding road (yes Hwy 1 becomes a two-lane road in spots). I was tailgated by all kinds of cars, while 18-wheelers zoomed by. We were stuck for extra 45min twice because of an over-turned 18-wheeler. I don’t think I’ve ever seen more stupidly aggressive driving behaviour in my life. You must live in some very quaint, quiet spot in Canada. Vancouverites are typically quite aggressive drivers – unless they are slow because of distractions.

        1. Unna

          I’ve found Calgary to be insane. Dangerous even. So I try not to go there and that’s too bad for me, I guess. So I stay in the woods in the Interior, BC. Found the Digby end of NS to be the most civilized place to cross the street. Even better than North East Vermont. FWIW. But it wouldn’t surprise me to think that rising social-economic tensions in the US are contributing to bad behavior. Why wouldn’t it?

        2. Altandmain

          I live in Central Canada.

          I am not as familiar with driving in the West, but in the big cities drivers seem to be more aggressive all around.

      2. Mo's Bike Shop

        Stop signs are now yield signs

        And yield signs now mean “Chicken!”

        Seriously, to me, I see a lack of comprehension of the rules of the road. No clue about four way stops. No, you can’t block an intersection with no light just because you are waiting for a lighted intersection. !11!What that big white line behind your wheels at the stop sign means!11! Forget things like the farther you are behind the next car at the light, the sooner all of you can leave.

        But then I don’t think any other society in history has required all of it citizens to become a teamster or just go die. So there are bound to be a few hiccups.

    3. barefoot charley

      I agree, and note in Northern California and Chicago that people drive faster too. I left Chicago 35 years ago because the congestion became too much. The city wasn’t growing, but with everyone bolting car seats to their butts, it seemed like it. The increased congestion sparked more aggression and road rage. I live way back in the country now but drive enough to note increased speeds and aggression even in small towns as cars replace people in public, and roads thicken with traffic.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        I may regret saying this, but those self-driving cars are starting to look not so bad at all…

        1. polecat

          Unless your the likes of say, John Anderton, in which case, even a recog can’t save you .. all the more so if the ride your sealed in is a firey steel and plastic MUSKoxen …

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            Carry an extra hammer (to break the window)?

            From the car speaker before the trip: “Your rent-extracting self driving car comes with an emergency escape tool kit. Please make sure you know where it is located.”

        2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          And that brings up another question – are we better off with AI robot Supreme Court justices?

          “If it is good enough for your life, to be driven in a self-driving car, it should, in theory, be good enough to be an impartial judge, no???”

          Of course, a robot judge would have to recuse itself on any case involving, say, robot person-hood.

          “No, you are just a slave machine.”

        3. jo6pac

          Nope I don’t think so. AI will learn on the job to drive the same way, only you’ll have no control and will be locked in for your own safety;-)

    4. danpaco

      Having just moved back to Toronto after 5 years in NY I have a few observations on driving styles. Toronto drivers are not aggressive, they’re passive aggressive. Toronto drivers need at least a 1000ft of space before turning left (overly cautious) but will gladly give you the finger and honk at you if you make the turn in less. Ontario drivers are also terrible for not moving to the right after passing (if they are even going that fast) on the highway. In NY there seems to be more aggressive drivers as a whole and as a result traffic seems to flow better because thats just the driving culture.

      1. Arthur Dent

        Ontario drivers are like Southern California drivers – oblivious and uncaring. So you just get random speeds and turns, which in turn are fairly dangerous as it is the variability of speed in a lane that is more of a risk than the absolute speed. At least drivers in cities like NYC, Boston, and Montreal are paying attention even if they are aggressive.

        Victoria, BC is an interesting place where pedestrians assume cars will stop and will simply step off the curb without looking. I am surprised more pedestrians aren’t road kill there.

        Ohio has “Driving on opioids is impaired driving” signs instead of “Don’t drive while drunk” which most places have. Ohio also has interstates with 75 mph speed limits to go along with oblivious drivers. So you get 85 and 55 mph in the left lane and presumably drivers on opiods, so every drive there is an adventure.

        1. JBird4049

          Try dealing with San Franciscans with their ears and eyes not paying any attention to the Real World. It’s just so fun having to avoid running over, or being run over, by people who never even realize how close they came to killing or being killed. I have been more scared sometimes while driving than walking because. There. Are. So. Many. Oblivious pedestrians.

    5. Arizona Slim

      Yours Truly encountered many aggressive drivers in Canada. And this was back in 1980, when I was attempting to bicycle along the Canadian side of Lake Huron. Three days on the Trans-Canada Highway were enough — those [family bloggers] were trying to kill me!

      I was VERY happy to get to Sault Ste. Marie so I could bike across the bridge and return to the States.

      1. PlutoniumKun

        I cycled a few years ago in Alberta, on down to NM on the Great Divide Trail. Although I avoided main roads I did find Canadian rural drivers to be very aggressive and careless, but maybe thats an Alberta thing. I found it better going south into Montana and down to Colorado, but a few local cyclists told me it was ‘the Lance effect’ – local drivers showing a little more respect to cyclists.

    6. Bugs Bunny

      People are tense. Saw that in Milwaukee and Chicago a few months ago. Horns in a NY minute.

      Still, out of all the drivers in the world, I think we Parisians are the worst.

      1. PlutoniumKun

        Having cycled in many cities in the world I can confidently say that Beirut drivers are far, far, worse than Parisians. Although rural Lebanese drivers may be even worse. In fact I found cycling around Paris a pleasure. I loved the way they don’t leave the parking brake on when they park their Citroens, so if there is a little space someone can gently butt cars along to make room.

        Oh, and now that i think of it, Chinese drivers are terrifying, and Bangkok and Taipei drivers aren’t much better. All Italians are incredibly skilled, while simultaneously incredibly careless.

        Recently in Spain I had two encounters with extremely aggressive drivers, once when driving, once when simply walking on an unpaved rural road. Both had UK registrations.

        1. Mo's Bike Shop

          Irish/Italian friend once explained to me how when you get a new car in Italy, the first thing you do is tear off the rear view mirror, “Because that ain’t where you’re going, so why should you worry about it?”

      2. witters

        True story: in Paris, in a multistory car park. Went to leave. Could not find an exit sign in the place. There wasn’t one. It was then I realized there was something to Existentialism.

    7. Rojo

      I’ve noticed a big uptick in overly reckless and aggressive driving as well.

      One thought: it might be Uber/Lyft?

    8. Watt4Bob

      I live in Minnesota, I have driven in a bunch in Canada in the last few years and I can verify your observation.

      I also drove a taxi for many years, ending in 1993, and drive a lot for my current job, so I have observed a lot.

      My observation is this; more and more, and increasingly over the years, American drivers have become angry and aggressive.

      I used to wonder what everyone was so angry about, but I have come to suspect it is related to our collective experiences of economic uncertainty, and being subjected to hateful political propaganda 24x7x365 has left all of us carrying a sack full of vague, ill-defined grudges that are never far from coming to the surface.

      This situation came into sharp focus when I started visiting Canada a couple years ago and noticed that my blood pressure decreased noticeably just as I crossed the border, and went up again when I returned to the states.

      I’m particularly mystified by the level of aggression displayed by the well-to-do, what have they got to be mad about?

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        > noticed that my blood pressure decreased noticeably just as I crossed the border, and went up again when I returned to the states.

        The exact same thing happened to me, when I lived there but would return to the States. This was some decades ago, and so but I blamed it on the burden of Empire, which Canada does not shoulder (and I don’t mean “Empire” or “burden” in a good way at all).

      2. JP

        When I go down to LA I stop in Castaic and drink three cups of coffee to get my aggressive on. On the #5 if you allow more then 20 feet from the bumper in front someone will fill that space, so it’s all tailgate all the time. It really pisses some off on the right when you won’t let them in after guttersnipping 5 cars on the shoulder. LA people think they can do anything and you can’t touch them. I came of age in Montreal where driving is a contact sport. LA people are really surprised when you hit their bumper or dent their fender when they insist on inserting their lexus in front of you. Don’t get me wrong, I am fully accomodative on a proper yield and merge. I just don’t like aggressive cheating and I readily tolerate honest mistakes but when the BMW on my right crosses three lanes to the right into the truck lane at high speed and then crosses back to pick up two car lengths and get in front of the car in front of me I want to calmly educate him.

    9. Mark in Portland

      Drivers have license to drive more aggressively because fewer traffic laws are being enforced. Lax traffic enforcement is the lax SEC of the US working class.

      1. Carolinian

        There ya go. Also they assume their battering ram trucks and large suvs (with airbags in every corner) will protect them.

        The stop sign thing is a particular peeve for me. Nobody ever seems to get a ticket.

    10. HotFlash

      Don’t have personal experience about other Cdn cities, but as a cyclist, yeah, TO drivers are getting vicious. We have had many, many cycle advocacy groups working on it (eg, Dandyhorse, Cycle Toronto — many more, but I omit ones w/only Facebook presence) and even pollster Angus Reid.

      But car drivers seem more entitled than ever, and cab drivers, too, and when there is a dispute, we cyclists get dead and the car driver has to get a carwash. Many drivers don’t seem to consider bikes ‘real’ traffic, so (many) car drivers figure they can cut in front of us to turn right, open doors into us, pass us on narrow streets or (a fave of mine!) cut in front of us to pass a streetcar on the right, or (Mr HotFlash’s fave) park in the bike lanes, forcing us into traffic and streetcar tracks. Taxi’s, Lyft and Uber are vying for the winner here.

      A bunch of us cyclists were trying to figure out why it’s so much worse to ride in TO these days. No conclusion but various suggestions. General entitlement, specific entitlement involving money and/or testosterone — we fear taxi’s and black SUV’s, which are kinda like pitbulls. No blame to the breed, but to the people who get that breed *because of* the tough-guy/girl image. We suspect that a lot of the aggression comes from Uber, Lyft, DoorDash and JustEat drivers, but not so identifiable as taxi’s. I was nearly killed three times in two blocks by the same bozo driver in a black SUV, who pulled up (cutting me off) to pick up a young lady who was glued to her cellphone. Uber or such, I assume. Shrug, hard to prove.

      1. ArcadiaMommy

        We have hills in our neighborhood in a mostly flat city. Each intersection has a stop sign on every corner. Huge groups of these bicyclists use our neighborhood to “train”. Guess how many people in these huge gaggles of bicyclists obey traffic laws and stop at the stop signs? Zero. I have yet to see ONE stop at a stop sign. I make my guys stop and look and I have been screamed at by the members of the bicycle gangs for this. I’m not sure they are obeying the speed limits going down hill. None of them live in the neighborhood. The peloton makes it awfully hard to just take a simple family bike ride. I also regularly encounter the peloton riding three and four abreast on the main streets, also in violation of local traffic laws, clogging up traffic and creating dangerous conditions for all.

      1. ChiGal in Carolina

        Okay: thanks for once again laying out such a spread. You have an eye for detail and take some big-picture shots too. There’s stuff that makes me wanna know more–gonna look for a more granular version of that approval chart–and stuff I can pretty much metabolize immediately like the Vox tweetstorm. All woven together with dry humor in an amused and skeptical voice that belies your fundamental decency: you, sir, are a humanist, the best kind of guide there is. And scary-smart as a whip.

        I think Facebook is already doing a pretty good job “driving innovation” in “ethics.” Is this new position really needed?

        You really curate the zeitgeist. Thank you!

  2. Edward E

    Beautiful colors in the backyard, hope you don’t have any razorback wild hogs around. I don’t even need a tiller anymore…

    ICYMI the solar observatory in Sunspot, New Mexico, seems a janitor was pretending to be a zillionaire or something kinda like that.


      1. Mo's Bike Shop

        Has anyone seen the Sun lately? I mean I just assumed it’s still there. “They’re not looking, take it away…” It’s too dark to check now.

    1. Arizona Slim

      NSFW? You’ve got that one right, allan!

      Here I am, in the coworking space, and there’s a guy who’s been in one of the phone/conversation booths for, oh a couple of hours. Yelling at the top of his voice, and man, it’s getting old.

      Oh, wait. The phone call ended. Peace has been restored to the coworking universe.

      I think I’ll listen to that mashup one more time.

    1. Arizona Slim

      I’m finishing up month 7 of my Facebook sobriety. This latest news makes me very glad that I logged out back on Monday, March 5.

      I could go on and on (matter of fact, I often do) about how my life has changed for the better.

      If you’re in Tucson, I’ll bend your ear in person, because I’m in the process of launching NC Meetup 3.0. Note to Yves: check your email. I sent you the announcement a couple of days ago.

  3. Wukchumni

    In some ways it feel as if the sexual revolution of the 70’s and 80’s was our Cabaret moment of yore, now looked at as scandalous in retrospect.

      1. Wukchumni

        Social mores of the time were interesting, as sex or the possibility of it was used extensively in advertising, something you really don’t see anymore.

        It wasn’t a one-way street either, it was aimed squarely @ everybody.

      2. ChiGal in Carolina

        Those who did not experience their integrity violated might. I kinda do. For me it was a time of freedom without fear.

    1. Wukchumni

      For some reason, we watched one of ‘ssshruberry’s speeches a dozen years ago, and about 30 seconds into it, its pretty obvious the teleprompter goes down, and he doesn’t know what to say.

      Watch his eyes dart around, perhaps looking for Mommy?


      About 5 minutes after the aborted 1st attempt, he aced the 2nd one.

    2. Arizona Slim

      During my morning bicycle commute, I pass by a house with one of those “Resist” signs in the front yard. To that sign, I say, “Conduct!”

      Because it isn’t enough to resist what you’re against. Tell us what you’re for. What’s your policy platform? And how to you plan to bring it about?

        1. Mo's Bike Shop

          And no one has mentioned the torture thing. At least no one worth listening to.

          I see a lot of spectacles now and just think, mission accomplished.

        2. JBird4049

          Here I am, trapped in the American audience, watching the Congressional Theatre’s Mosh Pit from Hell all chest bumping, head banging, Media Meth-Heads pointing and screaming at the Fusion Hip-Hop, Country-Western, Death-Metal band F@@@ Yeah, America!!!: Greatest God D@@@ Mother@@@@@@ on Earth playing on stage. With the monstrous love child of Paul Lynde and Gene Simmons Emceeing the show.

          (This whole… thing is causing me to just lose my mind. The more I pay attention, the more of my brains just melt and evaporate out of my head. Perhaps that’s what is intended?)

    3. ChiGal in Carolina

      Big, if there’s any follow through. The terms are not just a delay, but an FBI investigation.
      If that doesn’t happen (likely cuz either up to McConnell or Trump) it gives a lot of cover for nays.

      If they are listening, that is where public opinion is: don’t rush to judgment and if you claim there is no evidence, at least conduct an investigation for some.

      1. pretzelattack

        makes sense to me. i don’t see the need to rush this. the guy doesn’t belong on the supreme ct anyway, so why rush to get him there without investigating a relevant issue?

          1. Tvc15

            I don’t think Kavanaugh would have allowed his own behavior in his court room either.
            Disregarding the accusations, his temperment during the hearing when addressing the democrats reminded me more of a spoiled, entitled partisan frat bro rather than a judge. Much less one being considered for the supreme court.
            I’m glad some sanity at least appears to have occurred with Flake’s insubordination of his colleagues in requesting an investigation. Unfortunately, I’m so cynical now I don’t trust an impartial investigation will occur.
            Cue that horrible Lee Greenwood song, I’m proud to be an American.

      2. clarky90

        I watched Dr Ford’s testimony. I was struck by her child-like voice, posture and body movements. It was as if I was watching a precocious, six-year-old child, who was inhabiting the body of a 51 year old Professor of Psychology.

        I do believe that Dr Ford was traumatized and abused as a child. However, I suspect that the abuse began when she was a little kid, at about the age that she was modeling during the hearing. (three to six years old)

        Learning to listen…

        1. KB

          Thank you….have been thinking the same..

          In this extremely hostile environment it seems dangerous to even point out something that I feel is obvious.

        2. Lee

          I think you might be infantilizing her a bit. She is a soft-spoken, polite and appealing person. Her vocabulary and her understanding of the matter at hand were hardly childlike.

          1. Lynne

            Actually, I would say that writing an anonymous letter alleging an attempted rape by a Supreme Court nominee and thinking that would stay confidential and anonymous is entirely childlike. Granted, it’s possible she never wanted to be anonymous and that was posturing. Either way, it doesn’t speak well for her.

            WHY, oh why, couldn’t the Democrats actually make something of the real issues rather than relying on this debacle? It’s almost like they just care about playing political games in a cozy little club with slimy congressional Republicans.

            1. Lee

              WHY, oh why, couldn’t the Democrats actually make something of the real issues rather than relying on this debacle?

              That would be to oppose the class interests of their squillionaire donors and their dwindling voter base who have been the beneficiaries of growing economic inequality.

          2. Yves Smith

            Her vocal register is pitched at the extreme high end of her natural range. This means that at least her voice is sending a message that she is very young and needs to be treated as fragile.

            All sorts of studies have found that non-verbal signals are 80%+ of communication. Just think of how the meaning of “Yeah” is heavily dependent on how you say it.

        3. ArcadiaMommy

          So how is she supposed to change the pitch of her voice? I am slim, short and look younger than I am. I am infantilizing myself? How should I remedy that so that I am worthy of consideration and respect?

          I won’t even dignify your comment about this women being abused as a child as it is uncalled for and minimizes Dr. Fors as a person.

          1. clarky90

            Hi ArcadiaMommy

            Have you worked with or helped, victims of childhood sexual and physical abuse? (clinically or counseling)?

          2. Yves Smith

            This isn’t “changing the pitch of her voice”. She is using only the very high end of her vocal register and not at all using her chest voice. This reduces her authority. I also register that she is sending a very loud “don’t be mean to me, don’t hurt me” message with her voice.

            Even if this was the result of childhood trauma, it doesn’t have to be sexual abuse. My mother pitches her voice very high, and she was beaten often by her father, including as she put it, to “within an inch of my life” once. She describes herself as spending her childhood terrified of her parents.

            Lambert commented on how he does not like the affectation of young women now consciously engaging in “vocal fry” to appear more in charge. I don’t hear it as more “serious” but just weird, but they and maybe also young men do.

            I have worked in other countries (for some time in the UK and Japan) and found myself pretty quickly adapting to their intonation (which in Japan meant pitching my voice higher).

            1. Lynne

              Vocal fry irritates the you-know-what out of me. It sounds like they are either so lazy they can’t take a complete breath with their diaphragm or are way too busy trying to sound cool instead of concentrating on business. But then, I’m becoming so curmudgeonly that I didn’t buy a software program yesterday because their contact page said to “click here to reach out to us.” That “reach out” is just more trendy passive aggressive and infantilizing BS like this business of “calling out” people, because apparently nobody should do something as energetic as actually criticizing someone, let alone taking responsibility for their own opinion instead of the bullying attempts at public shaming. And people should GET OFF MY LAWN. ;-)

            2. Darthbobber

              And does it even have to be the result of trauma? I’m a bit less than a decade older than Ford and Kavanaugh and Ford, and a lot of women seemed to have this in their repertoire of coping mechanisms. This was also, I think, objectively a high-stress situation, so it would hardly surprise me if someone who didn’t ordinarily speak like that (perhaps due to lack of such intimidating situations in normal life), did so on this stage. I doubt if projecting authority was high on her list of concerns.

              (My wife has a verbal mannerism that used to give me fits until I got used to it. She often ends declarative statements with a rise in pitch at the end, and a slight trail off of the voice, as if she were asking a question rather than making a statement.)

              1. Lambert Strether Post author

                > a lot of women seemed to have this in their repertoire of coping mechanisms.

                I have a really big sample of the voices of older academic women (professors and administrators) simply from sitting for hours on end, for years, in a coffee shop in my university town.

                Trust me, Ford’s voice is way, way out on the fat tail in terms of high pitch and fragile timbre. (Could be situational, of course, but it seems to me that her voice would revert to mean over the length of the hearing.)

        4. Unna

          Yes & Yes. I commented yesterday that you should close your eyes, listen to her, and guess the age of the person speaking. It’s just not the pitch and tone but the manner of her speech. This is a person who has problems and is being abused again by DiFi and politicians who don’t care. And note, this is not an endorsement of K.

          1. Darthbobber

            I think DiFi and co would have been perfectly happy to leave Ford’s story in the room where the dry powder is kept forever and a day, had not a staffer chosen to leak the matter. For those who recall, this was also the case originally with Anita Hill, who also did not want to come forward. That one also was going to stay in the dry powder room forever, with the knowledge of all the committee Democrats, had a staffer (consensus at the time blamed Howard Metzenbaum’s people. and when I say blamed, that was also the reaction of the committee democrats) not spilled that one.

            In any case, the ultimate decision to go forward was Ford’s, and suggesting without evidence that she’s the equivalent of a tiny child being manipulated by sinister forces outwith her control seems to be a bit of a reach to me.

        5. Bridget

          I commented yesterday that I perceived her to be childlike and fey, easily manipulated and suggestible.

          I also think that her handlers will not welcome an FBI interview because she is so fragile and unreliable, and unable to stick with the narratives they have constructed for her. (She did not appear to realize that her severe fear of flying was put forth as an excuse to delay the hearing, nor did she appear to be aware that the Senate Committee had offered to take her testimony in a private setting, anywhere she wanted. Nor did it appear to occur to her to demand to know who had violated her desire for anonymity).
          I think Dr. Ford has been used shamefully and she lacks the basic survival instincts to understand what has been done to her. This FBI investigation is going to turn up absolutely nothing to confirm her story and is more likely to prove embarrassing to her.

        6. Lambert Strether Post author

          I did listen to some of Ford’s testimony and Ford’s voice is striking, and greatly at variance with the class and cultural markers she displays, which project authority. I don’t want to speculate on whether she was abused as a child, or whether she is being manipulated now, as another commenter suggested. What I will say is that her voice screams vulnerability, and there were a lot of predators in the room, on both sides of the aisle.

          1. Darthbobber

            I would question the sanity of any outsider who took a seat in that den of vipers and did not show signs of being scared to death. Scary place full of scary people.

            I have trouble necessarily seeing this as a sign of anything except what we want to see. I know women who can go from the “Oh, I’m such a ferocious thing, you don’t wanna mess with me” persona to that one in the space of a couple minutes. And they’re both real.

              1. Darthbobber

                It has long seemed that way to me, which doesn’t mean it’s true. I also wouldn’t discount it in this case as an overresponse to coaching on how not to be that scary, other kind of woman.

    4. Anon


      It s interesting to me that Dr Ford never mentioned Kavanaugh’s name before it came up as a possible Supreme Court nominee in 2012 (did that trigger some repressed memory and she convinced herself that he was the culprit). It is also interesting that she stated that she had never sought therapy for this life-altering event. I wonder if her parents noticed any behavior changes or if her grades dropped after the alleged assault. I wonder how she got home (the house apparently was several miles away from her home). I wonder if any of her friends noticed she was upset or withdrawn. I wonder if she continued to go to “gatherings” where “wild” boys were drinking. I hope the FBI delves into these issues as well. And I wonder if Mark Judge comes out as credible after the FBI interviews and backs the judge what the Democrats will do.

      1. Darthbobber

        I wonder why you pick these things and ONLY these things to wonder about. Pretty selective choosing given the available menu. (and framing innuendo as things one “wonders” about is not exactly pathbreaking.)

        1. allan

          Anons are springing up left and right. Aa of this moment, there seem to be 3 on this thread.

          It reminds me of a sexual harassment case that I followed some time ago for professional reasons.
          Anonymous or new commenters sprang up on various sites to make fairly detailed claims
          about the case, all favoring one side of the story. Hmmm …

            1. drumlin woodchuckles

              Maybe a painful and scary deterrent to people commenting as “anon” would be . . . anyone commenting as anon will have their email published along with their comment. Only those who pick a real nom d’ blog get to have their email hidden.

                1. Lynne

                  My two cents: please don’t. I have seen some good comments by “Anon” and some bad ones. I think the commentariat is able to tell the difference. And in a few cases, I think it’s obvious why the commenter has chosen to make a particular comment anonymously.

                  1. Yves Smith

                    People who have used “anon” can come up with handles they use regularly. This is not a high bar.

                    Among the many reasons to object to “anon” is that it is a way to try to evade blacklisting and winds up creating more work for the site admins.

                  2. Lambert Strether Post author

                    I don’t demand a real-life identity (like Facebook attempts to, which I think is pernicious). I do demand a persona. I think anon denies that. There is also a subset of the anons who think they have a right to comment, and then use anon, which is hard to moderate for, to game the system.

        2. FluffytheObeseCat

          Since Dr. Ford acquitted herself well in speaking to Congress her semi-pro detractors need to take a different tack. Insinuations about her early childhood “absolve” them of slut-shaming, but allow them to downgrade her recollections even more effectively than if they continued to push the “boycrazy” meme. Of course, they may come back to that one later. However, if she had testified in a no-nonsense way, with any hardness in her tone at all, the shamey finger pointing would have continued without a break.

      2. flora

        Good essay here on rich, entitled, elite privilege… and a ‘rite of passage’ into predation to prove one’s worth.

        “Sexual impunity in this world is nothing less than a ritual of belonging—a way of signaling that, having proven yourself equal to this brand of casually intimate victimization (the behavior that feudal aristocrats shrugged off as droit du seigneur) you can confidently lay claim to all the many big-ticket quarries of Alpha-level male achievement. ”


  4. Roland

    Drivers in Canada have definitely become more impatient and aggressive. The Trans-Canada Hwy through the BC mountains during summertime is much more dangerous than any of the mountain climbing I do. I have had some close calls caused by people passing across the double yellow line while going around a blind curve.

    And it seems that nobody has an idea of a safe following distance anymore.

    It used to be that Montrealers were the rudest Canadian drivers. But nowadays they’ve been far surpassed by the Calgarians and Vancouverites.

    It’s a shame about Alberta–back in the 1980’s the people there were some of the most courteous drivers to be found anywhere. But now that whole province is like a big brodozer derby.

    1. WobblyTelomeres

      I used to compare Alberta to Alabama (although it’s probably closer to Oklahoma) after getting an earful about the evils of big gooberment there from a guy who saw my Alabama plate and thought he’d encountered a kindred spirit.

      But, Rob Ford? Really? How do Canadians, among whom one will find some of the finest people on the planet, condemn our Giant Big-Brained Orange Raccoon and elect another Ford? Especially after the last one. I was in Toronto a couple of weeks ago and asked my buddies about that.

      “WTF are you guys doing?”


      And the room sighed.

      1. danpaco

        To be fair, the incumbent provincial Liberals were a dead party walking after 12 years in power and the Conservative party was going to win regardless. Patrick Brown, the previous Conservative leader, had a substantial majority coming with +50% of the vote. (a wide margin in a 3 party system) Due to the Conservatives having a “Me Too” moment with their leader and sacking him, Doug Ford wins the party leadership, 2 months before the election. With Doug at the helm the Conservatives only won with 40% of the vote and a smaller majority government than the previous leader would have had.

      2. NotTimothyGeithner

        (Raises eyebrow) Are Canadians polite or was politeness forced? Certainly, the U.S. Civil Rights movement takes precedence both its scope and severity, but Canada wasn’t a randomly enlightened colony populated by former loyalists.

        Being friendly and so forth is good in many ways, but printing in two languages wasn’t done to be trendy. The French-Canadian diaspora in New England and the Mid West didn’t arrive because Canada was so awesome that they had to get away to be less awesome to avoid a blackhole of awesomeness forming.

        1. danpaco

          The awesomeness you are referring to must be the Queen, especially in the French Canadian diaspora. My grandfather, French Canadian, signed up with the US Airborne Regiment in WW2 because he didn’t want to fight for “Queen and Country”. She is the head, although ceremonially, of the military after all.

          1. Wukchumni

            One odd thing about French-Canadian men as opposed to most anybody else (save Doukhobours, Mennonites et al) in Canada @ the time, in that they were exempt from the draft.

      3. Roland

        Well, Ford is Ontario’s problem, not Alberta’s. Alberta currently has a mildly centrist provincial government under the NDP’s Rachel Notley. The city of Calgary also has a mildly centrist mayor, Naheed Nenshi, now enjoying his third consecutive term in office.

        As voters, Albertans have become very tolerant and mildly liberal. It’s as if the province has devoted itself to exorcising the spirit of Ralph Klein.

        But as motorists, Albertans have become extremely neoliberal: aggressive, self-seeking, contemptuous of those less powerful, and disdainful of all checks.

        1. WobblyTelomeres

          But as motorists, Albertans have become extremely neoliberal: aggressive, self-seeking, contemptuous of those less powerful, and disdainful of all checks.

          My experience in Alberta is largely on motorcycles, almost always on the way to/from points north (Denali, Yellowknife), and in any confrontation betwixt a pickup/car and motorcycle, the pickup/car ALWAYS wins. I provide advice, gratis, to TV protagonists who are being pursued by villians-on-motorcycles, “You’re in a Corolla fercrissake, run over him!”

  5. Carolinian

    Re Kavanaugh’s reference to Clinton revenge–this presumably had to do with his role in the Starr investigation. That’s a CT on his part for sure but a lot of that going around.

    The colloquy about fear of flying was because a friend of Ford said she would have to be driven across country to the hearing because she was afraid of flying and had claustrophobia. In fact she has flown quite a lot both for business and vacations (and to the hearing). The righties are making a thing out of this.

    And WSWS has yet another article suggesting the Dems, as with Russiagate, are attacking from the right. Their view is that sexual politics is a way of avoiding economic and empire issues.


      1. Carolinian

        I believe the Repubs were suggesting it was just a deceptive excuse to delay the hearing until yesterday.

          1. Carolinian

            Meantime lawyers for Ford are asking the Senate Judiciary Committee to schedule a hearing for her to be heard on Thursday, allowing time for Ford to make the drive from California to Washington D.C. Ford’s friend, Kate Devarney, told CNN this week that Ford’s fear of flying is directly related to her allegation of assault, and that an airplane is “the ultimate closed space where you cannot get away.”


            Ford: Yes. So that was certainly what I was hoping to avoid, having to get on an airplane, but I eventually was able to get up the gumption with the help of some friends and get on the plane.

            Mitchell: When you were here in the mid-Atlantic area back in August, end of July, August, how did you get here?

            Ford: Also by airplane. I come here once a year during the summer to visit my family. I’m sorry, not here, I go to Delaware.

            Mitchell: Okay. In fact, you fly fairly frequently for your hobbies and you’ve had to fly for your work, is that true?

            Ford: Correct, unfortunately.

            Mitchell: You were consulting by a statistician in Sydney, Australia, is that right?

            Ford: I have never been to Australia, but the company that I work for is based in Australia and they have an office in San Francisco, California. I don’t think I’ll make it to Australia.

            Mitchell: It is long. I also saw on your CV that you list the following interest of surf travel and you put Hawaii, Costa Rica, South Pacific Islands and French Polynesia. Have you been to all of those places?

            Ford: Correct.

            Mitchell: By airplane?

            Ford: Yes.

            Mitchell: And your interests also include oceanography, Hawaiian and Tahitian culture. Did you travel by air as a part of those interests?

            Ford: Correct. It’s easier for me to travel going that direction when it’s a vacation.

            This doesn’t seem like a totally irrelevant exchange, actually.

            1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

              For sure I would not fly on Leonardo Da Vinci’s flying machine, though there is a legend that one of his apprentices tested it on Monte Ceceri, and had a broken leg to show for it.

          2. anon

            It seems she also was able to work up the “courage” to get on an airplane for a polygraph. I guess no one does those in California.

            1. Fiery Hunt

              Very wrong in your disinformation.

              She had already flown back east to visit family. East coast attorney arranged the polygraph while she was still back east. Tester flew to her.

              Do better, troll.

              1. bones

                She flew plenty though — to Hawaii, Costa Rica, etc. She was being dishonest about this. It doesn’t mean she was being dishonest about her account, which is corroborated by her therapy session. And if this is damning, Kavanaugh was caught in a few more lies.

                1. Darthbobber

                  More like others were exaggerating on her behalf to extend the (utterly arbitrary) deadline the committee majority sought to impose. I know people who are quite uncomfortable with flying (personally, I’ll drive from Philly to Chicago to avoid it), but will nonetheless fly if it is necessary for timeliness, or the destinsation isn’t rapidly accessible any other way. (If you don’t want to fly to Hawaii you can, of course, take a ship, but they don’t exactly depart every few hours, and the transit time is several days.)

            1. JCC

              Nice catch, I thought it was excellent. Just one more example that BK is much more a politician than a Constitutional Lawyer and completely undeserving of a seat on the SC.

              I bet he was coached by Mr. L. Graham.

            2. Lambert Strether Post author

              That’s a very good chart. For the less-than-trusting, like me, the dodges are charted as magenta lines, and you can click on the lines and see the question and answer. From my sampling, DK is a artful dodger indeed.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Something to do on a cold winter Sunday – watching these in a row

      Back to the Future, especially the Enchantment Under the Sea Dance scene…kids were wild, but not that wild…they had chaperones.

      Animal House.

      Sixteen Candles

      and the finale: Rashomon.

    2. Lambert Strether Post author

      > That’s a CT on his part for sure but a lot of that going around.

      I don’t think it’s CT at all. The Beltway is also an enormous grudge match. Payback that takes decades to play out is entirely possible.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        Perhaps, I thought Republicans were always batty or at least long enough for it to amount to forever, I wonder how disturbed people became by the hard ball politics of the GOP and the ilk of David Brock in the 90’s. Has there always been a desire for revenge, and a creative revenge, against not just the GOP elites but the annoying people we knew in our daily lives who would forward deranged emails about the Clintons and Democrats? Did people take it personally? I expect Republicans to say anything once they start with “baby killers”, but if you weren’t ready for that, how would you feel about it?

    3. Lambert Strether Post author

      > And WSWS has yet another article suggesting the Dems, as with Russiagate, are attacking from the right. Their view is that sexual politics is a way of avoiding economic and empire issues.

      No question (although the issues are intertwined). And these sexual politics — white bourgeois feminism — most certainly are.

    4. Hameloose Cannon

      “Dems […] attacking from the right. –Everything done by anybody is to the right of the International Committee of the Fourth International [wsws.org], short of quantum correspondence with Engels, himself. It’s not every day the press, searching high, not low, captures a functional sociopath specimen in his natural environment, ascending to the highest authority in the land. A sadist with alcohol and gambling problems. Say what you want about the President, Trump is not “functional” as Kavanaugh appears to be nor was he groomed for his entire adult life for the apex of law power structure. It is no coincidence a psychologist is coming forward and recognizing the encounter for what it was.

    5. Mo's Bike Shop

      Their view is that sexual politics is a way of avoiding economic and empire issues

      Okay, I guess I am a commie.

      *Adjusts mike* That’s Torture! Torture! Torture! Torture!

      And this has also been a demonstration that prep/elite college/frat is not even about merit, but willingness to join the omerta and turn off your better self for the promise of gain. Do The Current Democrats understand what they are doing by picking at this scab?

      Well I guess everyone forgot about Cameron and the pig by now. So maybe no problem.

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        > Well I guess everyone forgot about Cameron and the pig by now.

        Thank you for bringing back that happy memory (and you are quite right, it’s the same mechanism).

        The elephant in the room is that this Catholic milieu is exactly where one would breed and groom the lawyers to overturn Roe v. Wade (the object of this entire exercise, surely, beyond owning the libs). It’s rather too bad that the grooming process was so repulsive (the omerta, the deadening of empathy and conscience).

  6. BoyDownTheLane

    Any truth to the report that the alleged victim in the political drama is closely affiliated with the CIA and some of its people out at Stanford?

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      It reminds me of Hitchcock’s Spellbound, where the bad guy turns out to be the head of the mental hospital, Dr. Murchison.

    2. Lambert Strether Post author

      If there is, I can’t find it, and I did look. The sourcing seems to be the fever swamps of InfoWars. Not to absolve Stanford of CIA ties; it has them. But Stanford is a huge institution, and CIA tie to Standard !== CIA tie to Ford.

  7. polecat

    Is it just me .. or has anyone noticed something weird in that AFP pres. pop. chart ..

    Did bush and clinton submit to some kind of clandestine “FACE OFF” or sumptin … ?

  8. Carey

    From the Glasser/ New Yorker article:

    “…In Washington, process determines outcome,..”

    Since when? The gaslighting will continue until…

  9. Elizabeth Burton

    That color-coded alert system post-9/11? Lifted from Patrick McGooghan’s classic ’60s series The Prisoner. Number Two has phones of various colors—red, green, and orange. A “yellow alert” got the various controlling entities up and running after the violator. An “orange alert” launched the Bouncing White Bubble of Death.

    I’m sure there’s a red alert there somewhere, but I’ve only just started rewatching it, so stay tuned. What’s truly terrifying, though, is how much the entire system resembles our daily lives.

      1. ObjectiveFunction

        A coastal loop from Chester to Swansea, taking in Anglesey and Portmeirion, plus Welsh castles is a lovely road trip, highly recommended.

        Portmeirion cove evidently enjoys a Gulf Stream moderated microclimate that allows palm trees to survive there year round. (for now)

    1. Mo's Bike Shop

      Be seeing you!

      I’ll probably check that out again.

      I had to do a lot of websites that accessed that stupid fear scale, there was an API, and I always assumed that Airplane! was the source. :)

  10. Summer

    Tech: You don’t own anything digital unless you control the storage….

    Just think, if those purchased movies become available again, do then magically re-appear in a library as quickly as they disappeared?

    1. The Rev Kev

      They say that possession is nine-tenths of the law. Those movies sit on their servers so by that maxim, they still own it.

    2. Big River Bandido

      I remember seeing this tweetstorm when it first came out, but the complaint leaves one really important question unanswered: in the purchase, did the customer download the files to his/her own disk? The Apple license (at least for the iTunes audio files I’ve purchased over the years) allows you to make a limited number of copies, and backups.

      I could see how Apple could, via the link to the user’s iTunes Library, actually change, replace, or remove content that is stored in that location — and with an application such as a game, I can see how that would be necessary to deliver enhancements and upgrades. But for content which is fixed and final — and which came with “content ownership” (at least during the Steve Jobs era, when that was the company’s ethos) — Apple has no right to mess with content purchased under that model. I suppose if Apple wants to change their terms, that’s their choice — but any content purchased under the old contract is by definition yours.

      I had my own bad experience with iTunes movies a few years ago, when I downloaded all the STTNG episodes, only to discover that Apple didn’t allow me to project them from my laptop onto my own teevee monitor. Never purchased another movie again, and never will. But when it comes to music, this is my profession and I often purchase audio files because I need them *right away* for a project. Once I’ve purchased a track, my attitude is like Mama Bear. I paid for it — it’s mine.

      Does Apple have access to backups, or any audio files stored in another location other than the iTunes Library? If they’re actually going that far, that sure sounds like theft. But the tweeter wasn’t very specific in his claim.

  11. MichaelSF

    I’m a little surprised that Kavanaugh let himself get so rattled in the committee proceedings. After all, if he’s turned down he returns to being a life-time appt Federal judge on the DC Court of Appeals, often referred to as the second-highest court in the land.

    Yes, he won’t be able to do as much on the appeals court to bring about the dystopian future he seems to crave, but a good soldier would take the hit for the team and go back to his dirty-work while the Administration finds a more photogenic candidate.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      If he isn’t confirmed, he’s lost 40 years of public brown nosing, being invited to every party, and having all kinds of honors heaped on him. If he isn’t confirmed, yes, he has a good job, but he doesn’t have a cash out job anymore. What company wants him to represent the corporate image? Hobby Lobby? Maybe.

      They let the Justices play dress up at the SOTU. The pomp and pageantry is a big selling point.

      1. Carolinian

        According to one of my history sources (Gore Vidal novels) the SC used to meet in a little room between the House and Senate chambers. Their current grandiose, marble clad headquarters was controversial when built.

        1. Romancing The Loan

          I saw it when I toured the Capitol! The guide picked up that we were lawyers and took us in after the formal tour was over. It was smallish but lovely – lots of old wood and marble. Apparently they still use it sometimes to change clothes, for some reason.

        2. Richard

          Gore Vidal is a terrific resource both for general zeitgeist of a period, and for fine details like your SC example. Not too shabby as a novelist, either.
          Drop everything and read Creation now, if you haven’t before.

  12. Summer

    Re: Housing reform as tax credits

    Meaning more tax scams and little “reform.”
    Everytime a reform is tied to taxes, just consider nothing changed.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      That is only 81 years and some months from today.

      More than a few of us will be there to meet the end…including those blood-transfused, immortality searching billionaires.

      *The first emperor of China, after having ascended the highest power peak, and controlled more money than anyone else, had the same immortality desire. Many, since then, have believed that he died as a direct result of the very search, as one quack recommended mercury as the elixir.

    2. John k

      Yes, we’ll all be dead in 2100.
      People evolved in the age of glaciers, and some even lived in Siberia in those times. 7 degrees would crash population, but this will happen even if temps don’t rise, we’re headed for 9 billion before century end, IMO earth can only sustain one or two.

      1. Mo's Bike Shop

        Uff, you looked at the comments? MOA is from web 1.0. Kunstler’s comments are like that.

        I was there back in the day, but no idea how they manage it. Thanks NC.

    1. Hameloose Cannon

      And now we know why he is a former intelligence officer. Scrolling down, the comic sans font really lends credibility to sober analysis.

      1. anon

        She was outside the house, 6 miles from home (at least), without a cell phone (it was 1982). How did she get home? Was she upset? Did no one notice her condition? Did her family not notice anything wrong? I don’t find it plausible. Based on actual science of memory, I think it more likely this is a repressed traumatic memory that has evolved over time.

        1. bones

          The “science” of “repressed traumatic memory” is actually a bunch of bunkum and totally . The article you posted is nothing but speculation and bunkum. It’s not inconceivable that the teenage Ford had a friend in a the neighborhood with a car; or that she walked back to the country club, where her parents picked her up; or that she took a bus somewhere and then got a ride from a friend with a car; or that she called a friend with a car or her parents from a payphone…etc. This is the kind of stuff the teenagers do. Apparently, for the writer of the blog you linked to, it’s problematic that Brett and Mark arrived at the party already intoxcated. “Okay. How did they get to the mystery house? Did both drive drunk to the location?” Again, this is what teenagers do. I’m sure Bart O’Kavanaugh did plenty of drunk driving in his day, and puking in cars, as Judge mentioned in his book.

          1. Lambert Strether Post author

            Anyone who read the many articles I’ve posted on the house party milieu in the 80s Beltway milieu can come up with any number of plausible scenarios. Somebody took her home. She bummed a ride. Nobody would remember because to them it was unremarkable.

        2. FluffytheObeseCat

          “outside the house, 6 miles from home (at least)

          At least. And the implication that it was freakishly unlikely is as ridiculous as much of the rest of the 2018-vintage commentary about her allegations. Most regular posters here are old enough to remember when teenagers commonly walked 6 miles across familiar residential areas, night or day. Walking home in the dark was not the rare and terrifying experience it’s now painted out to be.

          1982 was before the “Satanist run the daycares!!!” craze. Before helicopter parenting. And before the explosion of gated communities and sidewalk deficient exurbs. Even young blonde females walked home at night on occasion back then. It would have been a somewhat scary hike after what allegedly happened, but not unlikely in 1982.

          1. Lambert Strether Post author

            > not unlikely in 1982

            Very true. And we might also imagine a combination of bumming a ride and walking. All this “Look at the map!!! It’s six miles!!!!!” is tendentious post facto nitpicking.

        3. JCC

          (My guess is that these sorts of analyses work very well among the freshmen trolls on ZeroHedge, particularly those who cannot imagine the existence of payphones or walked more than two blocks since Uber/Lyft/Helicopter Parents were created)

        4. Darthbobber

          I find all these things you flog so breathlessly to be utterly unremarkable. And I see no “science” in your science, just woo.

        5. Lambert Strether Post author

          > repressed traumatic memory

          That brings back really bad memories of the satanic ritual abuse moral panic. It’s also not clear to me why repressing trauma would be adaptive.

        6. Yves Smith

          I am a bit older that Ford, but I don’t remember anything with specificity from high school…..except one morning when I went to a debate when it was 27 below zero and we had to trudge a bit through the snow to get to the venue. That’s a teeny maybe 3 minute snippet where my memory is exact but aside from it being at the UofM campus in Marquette in January 1973 on a Saturday, I can’t tell you anything more. I certainly can’t tell you the building since I was driven to and fro. So I don’t find her lack of precision that unusual. However, it does mean that it’s hard to treat her memory as dispositive.

          Re her parents not noticing? Come on. She could have easily come home, stuck her head in the den, said, “I’m back,” and gone to bed. Teen avoidance of parents is also pretty normal.

          I’m not saying it is impossible that this is a repressed memory that has loose anchors. But her memories being limited does not prove that.

  13. bones

    Re: Dems pointless “walkout” protest: If they had done this *before* the committee voted to send Kavanaugh’s nomination to the floor, they could have actually done something. I just read that the judiciary committee’s quorum includes 2 members of the opposition party. Republicans would have had no qualms about obstructing the vote. The Dems are indeed pointless.

    1. bones

      The lack of guile of Dems is infuriating even if it is to be expected. Today Flake began addressing the Committee saying he shared Democrats discomfort at moving forward with a vote until allegations could be investigated, and proceeded to make a motion for a vote to send the nomination to the floor. It was not exactly clear what his motion was, but Grassley understood perfectly. It was obviously coordinated as a face-saving exercise for Flake. A Democrat with a backbone could have called him on it. Just say, “Point of order! What exactly is the motion? No, I don’t want your interpretation (Grassley’s) of Flake’s motion. Flake, are you motioning to move forward with a vote (without an amendment for investigation — as Grassley clarified), despite your self-declared discomfort?” Make him own it! Pathetic.

      1. Big River Bandido

        There’s no lack of guile. The Democrats are acting completely according to plan: foam the runways for the right, but put up a good show along the way.

    2. Mo's Bike Shop

      The sound of the beloved family dog not realizing the sliding glass door was closed is heard again. We used to smile about it.

  14. ObjectiveFunction

    As an early 80s kid now raising a daughter, I am following the less polemical memoirs around #metoo 2.0 with great interest.

    Thanks for the link to Dr. Bedera’s bibliography, very helpful, especially the 11.8% self-identified ‘opportunistic rapist’ stat.

    I suppose we must add to that watch out list additional boys who ‘would have but never got the chance’, and encounters where he saw ‘consensual’ but she really submitted under duress. So call it a ‘threat population’ of about a third of boys at a given party? (the rest will more or less take ‘no’ for an answer)

    But then there’s this mumbo jumbo:

    Using longitudinal qualitative data, this work traces the ways in which men who pledge abstinence until marriage manage a tension between both “sacred” and “beastly” discourses surrounding sexuality. The situational and interactional gendered practices of these men highlight their attempts to resolve the incongruity between practices of sexual purity and hegemonic definitions of masculinity. I argue that a decision to pledge sexual abstinence until marriage is an example of hybrid masculinities (Bridges and Pascoe 2014) in that the postmarriage transition to a more hegemonically masculine status suggests that such practices are not challenging current gendered systems of power and inequality.

  15. Steely Glint

    Thank you Lambert for the great Nicole Bedera thread – took a long time to read. First I would like to offer an example of Christine Blasey’s work: The article is Bruce Arno, Christine Blasey, Enid Hunkeler, Janell Lee and Chris Hayward, “Does Gender Moderate the Relationship Between Childhood Maltreatment and Adult Depression?” Child Maltreatment (8/2011), 175-183.
    The article looks at trauma in children, including “emotional, physical and sexual abuse,” and the way it leads to depression (Major Depressive Disorder or MDD). And the question here was whether boys and girls process all this differently, or there is a difference between the sexes with regard to how likely they are to fall victim to major depression as a result of being abused.
    Notice the date. An example of lemons into lemonade? Also work on PSTD & yoga.
    Also considering flying, I also have the fear, but if there are family troubles or a chance to meet up with old friends (an enjoyable end to the endurance), I just may swallow my fear. I also took notice of Nicole’s note that “believing is care”; so true. What I followed was Sheldon Whitehouse & his notice to Kavenaugh that the hearing would not end for him (or words to that effect). I think this might lead to perjury charges being leveled.

    1. Steely Glint

      Also listened to a recovering alcoholic (10 plus years) who noticed a “tell”. When Bret Kavanaugh was under stress during his testimony he reached for a glass of water. Didn’t matter that it was water, it was a drink; a customary reaching for a drink.

      1. Roland

        Nerves can lead to dry mouth.

        Which can lead to drinking water.

        “When you hear hooves, think horses, not zebras!”

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      > The taxpayers are out $115 million.

      No, they aren’t. Federal taxes do not pay for Federal spending.

      Of course, the crash is an amazing waste of real resources that could be put to better use, as is the plane itself.

  16. edmondo

    “Christine Blasey Ford’s GoFundMe campaign is surging after today’s testimony” [CNN]. • $410,000 and rising.

    Now more than $750,000. I guess the book deal(s) is/are next. Not a bag haul.

    1. WobblyTelomeres

      She was/is quite brave. Suggesting Christine Ford would come forward and endure the death threats and other wretchedness she has, such as the rants of Lindsey Graham and Brett Kavanough, with grace, for money is insulting to the women (1 in 5) who have survived a sexual assault. That they are able to lift their chins and march into another day is profoundly courageous.

      1. anon

        Really. A lot of discrepancies in her memory. Her therapist wrote that 4 boys were involved in the assault (Ford says this was an error but in most circumstances the contemporaneous notes of a health care provider is of more value than the 6 year old recollections of the patient). Her letter to DiFi said that she was there with 4 others (Kav, Judge, PJ , Leland?). She met with her lawyers and realizing the discrepancy now states there were 4 boys and another girl present (the fourth boy conveniently with a forgotten name). Nothing to question here I guess.

        1. Pat

          Not in comparison to the multitude of various versions that Kavanough has told regarding his drinking over the course of the last few days – something that he really didn’t need to lie about. IOW, he has clearly committed perjury on this alone, so I don’t think anything you can state about Ford can begin to beat that for ‘discrepancies’.

          I would far prefer that our elite would roast the son of a bitch for his numerous support of evil over the last few decades (something I feel regarding everyone involved in our torture of numerous people in the last decade not just him by the way), but in this great he said/she said battle the only one who really benefits from their version is, yes, Kavanough.

    2. Lambert Strether Post author

      > the book deal(s) is/are next. Not a bag [sic] haul.

      For the Comeys and McCabes of this world, I agree. I don’t agree with Ford (else I would have thrown in a “ka-ching” after the link).

      However, it is interesting systemically in that it shows the ability of #MeToo and the #Resistance to direct the discourse to their advantage, simply by inducing their networks to pay for the service. That’s a new thing. I think it’s a bad thing (since how does the Walmart or McDonald’s worker do it?)

  17. John

    Deer and voles assure that I will never grow hostas outside the cat perimeter around my house. The Japanese eat them….hostas that is. I know hosta collectors who are obsessive about them. Just as many hate them. Gardeners are crazy.

  18. WheresOurTeddy

    “How Dirty Money Disappears Into the Black Hole of Cryptocurrency”

    90 million dollars?!? That’s over 3 days profits for HSBC!

  19. CCZ

    A Washington Post article about Ms. Ford going to college and California to get away from her trauma stated:

    “”For college, her first chance to start over in a new place, she chose the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, five hours away.
    “It was not easy for her,” said Dan Goldstein, one of her closest friends at the time. “She had gone to a very small girls school and now was at a giant state university.”
    Years later, Ford would describe college as a time when she “derailed,” struggling with symptoms of trauma she did not yet understand.””

    She did graduate from UNC in 1988.

    But, her brother, the future attorney, also attended the University of North Carolina and received his UNC Juris Doctor and MBA degrees on December 31, 1986, meaning that he was there for perhaps 2 to 3 of the same years as was Christine. And brother Ralph appears to have occasionally enjoyed a good party!!

    Interestingly an October 21, 1985 a “Daily Tar Heel” (page 6) article included the following:

    Graduates Come Back To Party
    Despite UNC’s loss to Florida State, those who attended the post-game party Saturday sponsored by Kappa Alpha fraternity in Little Frat Court were still smiling and enjoying festivities.
    Students, alumni, and visitors packed into Little Frat Court after the game to drink beer, socialize, and celebrate the Homecoming weekend….
    Ralph Blasey, a graduate student from Bethesda, Md. said the loss to FSU had no effect on the on the amount of partying after the game. “Most people don’t even know there was a football game,” he said.

    So, although away from home, she was not far away from family.

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