Links 9/28/18

NASA to celebrate 55th anniversary of first Moon landing by, er, deciding how to land humans on the Moon again The Register

2018 Arctic sea ice minimum Arctic Sea Ice Blog (Chuck L)

‘Diplomatic Immunity’ Used to Traffick Human Blood and Pathogens for Secret Military Program 21WIRE (Chuck L)

Psilocybin Mushrooms Deserve Less Strict Legal Status, Argue Scientists Inverse


An internal war is raging over Google’s China search engine, says the man who walked out over the plans Business Insider

American creditors say China should honour pre-Communist debts Economist (UserFriendly). Help me.


Activists ‘Deeply Disappointed’ With Parts of Majority Judgment in Aadhaar Case The Wire

Adultery Is No Longer a Crime in India Time

A year after Jharkhand girl died of starvation, Aadhaar tragedies are on the rise Scroll (J-LS)

Italy’s government agrees sharply higher public spending plan Financial Times


UK nationals would suffer under skills-based immigration, EU tells Javid Guardian

Boris Johnson sets out his ‘Super Canada’ Brexit plan BBC. Boris is at it again. See the takedown:

Brexit: Plan Oaf for oblivion Richard North

In Britain, Even Children Are Feeling the Effects of Austerity New York Times

Time to clean up the London laundromat Financial Times (UserFriendly)


The Biggest Wildcard In The Iran Sanctions Saga OilPrice

Netanyahu claims Israel has found Iran’s ‘secret atomic warehouse’ Guardian (Kevin W)

Why India can’t join Iran’s sanctions busters Economic Times of India (J-LS)

Delusions of Victory Carnegie Middle East Center (Chuck L)

Big Brother is Watching Watch

Being Julian Assange Consortiumnews

Delta’s fully biometric terminal is the first in the US engadget

The case for publicly enforced online rights Financial Times (David L)

Kavanaugh. The Judiciary committee meeting is set for 9:30 AM today, which would end with a vote. If it happens, it’s because Republicans have the votes to get Kavanuagh out of committee. If not, it will be postponed. Last night, the message was that things were system go.

I don’t like having to opine on this, because the whole matter is a mess. As dreadful a prospect as Kavanaugh is, if the Dems beat him back, Trump will simply nominate someone at least as bad who will either be a woman or go under tougher review for possible skeletons in their closet.

Clarky90 posted this in comments:

Here is a current example:
Brett Kavanaugh’s SCARY Opening Statements
posted by The Young Turks

and then, the same 42 minute BK statement, but posted by Mark Dice
Brett Kavanaugh’s Powerful Opening Statement

Read the comments in both clips.
Two different Worlds. Two different realities. Different forms of sentience.
Super science fiction, happening right in front of us.

When Yglesias makes sense…..

Christine Blasey Ford and Brett Kavanaugh hearing: What we learned BBC

Corker announces support for Kavanaugh The Hill

Four Key Undecided Senators Meet Privately on Kavanaugh Vote Bloomberg. Note that Democrat Joe Manchin is one of them.

Trump stands by Kavanaugh, praises performance at Senate hearing The Hill

What Brett Kavanaugh Really Learned in High School: Make the Rules, Break the Rules and Prosper Counterpunch

The Kavanaugh Hearings Encapsulate the Rampant Emotionalism of American Politics Benjamin Studebaker (Randy K)

Voting Machine Used in Half of US Is Vulnerable to Attack, Report Finds Wall Street Journal

Latinos Are in Position to Decide Majorities in Congress RealClearPolitics (UserFriendly)

Police State Watch

Busted! How to Handle the Police Until You Get a Lawyer – by Mary Griego YouTube. A public service announcement. I don’t think I’d be good at this. I’d probably have the wrong tone in my voice telling the police “no” to a request to search without a warrant.

New Treasury data busts the myth of government “inefficiency” In These Times (Glenn F)

The death of once high-flying VC funds TechCrunch (Ulpanaylaylo)

Buybacks Are Keeping The Bull Market Alive SafehHaven

The Securities and Exchange Commission has filed a lawsuit accusing Tesla boss Elon Musk of securities fraud. BBC (Chuck L, David L)

S.E.C. Sues Tesla’s Elon Musk Over Fraud in Move That Could Oust Him New York Times. “The suit seeks to bar Mr. Musk, who is also Tesla’s chairman, from serving as an executive or director of publicly traded companies like Tesla. Such a punishment is one of the most serious remedies the S.E.C. can impose against a corporate executive.” Moi: The normally craven SEC must see this as slam dunk.

The Fed’s Not Backing Off: Powell’s Standouts & Zingers at the Press Conference Wolf Richter (EM)

State Treasurer Calls for Investigation into CalPERS CEO’s Hiring Chief Investment Officer (Kevin W)

10 years after the financial crash, more Americans say they’d be proud to work on Wall Street MarketWatch. UserFriendly: “LOL, poor banks”

Class Warfare

Can Money Buy Happiness? The Evidence Base (UserFriendly)

How the Great Recession turned America’s student-loan problem into a $1.5 trillion crisis MarketWatch

The Body in Poverty Nation

Companies That Mistreat Their Customers Are Mistreating Their Employees Current Affairs (UserFriendly)

If the soul is ignored long enough, the body rebels openDemocracy. A doctor on racism.

Unions Are Lying, Cheating Rats’: Leaked Video Reveals Amazon’s Belligerent Anti-Worker Tactics Common Dreams (Kevin W)

Antidote du jour. Another 2016 submission languishing in my inbox From Jyoti:

Three juvenile Cooper’s Hawks in my back yard near Santa Fe, NM.

After a terrible failure last year our resident pair of Cooper’s Hawks succeeded this time around and produced three offspring. Early on one fledgling fell out of its nest, but the two remanning ones managed to grow into charming young males who were recently joined by a slightly older young female that one day appeared out of nowhere.

Interestingly the parent hawks were the ones who left the scene as soon as the young ones were able to fly and thus were expected to fend for themselves.

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. Livius Drusus

    Re: Unions Are Lying, Cheating Rats’: Leaked Video Reveals Amazon’s Belligerent Anti-Worker Tactics.

    From the article:

    The 45-minute training video—which, according to Gizmodo, was sent to managers of the Amazon-owned Whole Foods last week—instructs company leaders on how to detect “early warning signs of potential organizing,” which include workers “suddenly hanging out together” and using “union words” like “living wage.”

    This would be funny if it wasn’t so disgusting. Yeah workers socializing and talking about a living wage, how terrible. Interestingly, I am reading a book about the Catholic labor movement in 19th century Europe (Paul Misner’s Social Catholicism in Europe: From the Onset of Industrialization to the First World War in case anyone is interested) and one of the things that jumped out at me was that capitalists promoted temperance not just out of a sense of moralism but also because they knew that when workers socialized in taverns they would discuss work and politics and they could start getting the wrong ideas about capitalism. Unions were outlawed but workers could join associations as long as they were for individual religious or moral edification and weren’t political.

    I think you see this same attitude among the capitalist elite today. People are encouraged to be social but only if they are engaged in harmless activities that don’t threaten the status quo in any serious way. Any efforts at improvement must be performed on an individual basis hence the popularity of self-help gurus. Ultimately, though, it is better for workers to be divided and atomized. Don’t hang out with other workers too much, you might become infected with the wrong ideas! Just go home, lock yourself in your room and strap on the virtual reality headset and forget about stuff like unions and living wages.

    1. Montanamaven

      I picked up a book on the sale table at a college bookstore in NOLA. “Faces Along the Bar: Lore and Order in the Workingman’s Saloon 1870 to 1920” by Madelyn Powers. It’s a very readable dissection of what you are talking about in your book. The back room in a Saloon was for discussing how to make a better life for themselves and their families. Some union organizers emphasized living wages. The Wobblies and freedom types emphasized leisure time in the form of shorter worker hours. Both ideas were to be discouraged but especially having more leisure time. In leisure people have a tendency to invent things and to question the system.

      1. Amfortas the Hippie

        My “office” during our hospital experience has been a porch/patio at a bar and grill a 1/2 mile away.(I can smoke there mainly). It’s a working class hangout(made my dad nervous,but tickles my inner anthropologist),where’s bunch of Uber drivers linger waiting on fares. I was finishing my ipa with the driver who was gonna take me, and listening to the shop banter…when I said, “ from everything I’ve read about yalls eperience, I reckon you guys should unionize” all but one laughed uproaringly. Upon further inquiry, I learned that 75% really didn’t know what a union is( the mindf&#$ is functioning as designed), and the rest indicated that such talk could get them fired.
        This is texas, of course…where only cops and nfl players have functioning union representation.
        All this anecdotal evidence says to me that we have a large hill to climb.

          1. Amfortas the Hippie

            More power than the teachers unions…at least inTexas.
            My main point, confirmed over many such informal talks, over many years, is that regular Texans don’t know what a union is or does, and often mindlessly parrot the mythos of the bosses regarding organized labor.(“union thugs”,etc)

            1. beth

              Amfortas, I don’t know how many years you have lived in Texas, but Teachers don’t have unions. The “unions” don’t bargain for wages nor effectively lobby for any improvements. They just sap money from teachers parasitically.

              They are pretend unions. The public that hates unions alway like to think they do something. If you disagree, please tell me of anything they have done in the 20 years I have lived here.

              1. Elizabeth Burton

                Are you speaking as a teacher, or a retired teacher? I can’t think so, since I regularly read reports of the fights teachers and their unions engage in on behalf of their schools and students.

          2. Wukchumni

            About the only union members I come into contact with on a regular basis are paid lavishly, compared to the other people doing the same exact job @ say Wal*Mart, or Old Navy.

            Funny how supermarket checkers lucked out in the overall demise of unions.

            1. drumlin woodchuckles

              Do you consider the Wal*Mart or Old Navy job doers to be adequately paid and the union members you come in contact with to be excessively paid? Or do you consider the union members you come in contact with to be sufficiently paid and the Wal*Mart and Old Navy same-job-doers to be insufficiently paid?

              Would you like to see the Wal*Mart and Old Navy workers’ wages raised to what union members you come in contact with make? Or would you like to see the union members you come into contact with have their wages lowered to the Wal*Mart and Old Navy level?

              1. Wukchumni

                All i’m saying is that the checkout cashier for all 3 types of retail businesses, perform exactly the same job.

                We were in the hot tub @ our rental condo in Mammoth, and there was a couple soaking with us, and it turned out they were old school supermarket checkers pulling down $34 an hour and excellent bennies.

                Should all checker jobs pay that much?

        1. HotFlash

          Hello Amfortas, best wishes with Ms Hippie’s ongoing, and yours.

          Since you are in TX, I will not refer to her as Mrs Hippie. (ducks and runs).

    2. Off The Street

      Some things never change. My buddy’s then-employer years ago had a simple policy:

      Keep them sullen, but not rebellious.

      1. todde

        I heard:

        “i don’t want to monitor what my employees are doing at work, that costs money. I want 12 people lined up outside wanting their job, and they’ll monitor themselves.”

        1. Craig H.

          That is the NFL’s secret. There is such a thing as a good boss. One time I had a boss that told me they thought the secret to their success was that almost everybody will perform well if you expect them to perform well. Treat them with respect. Very simple stuff. The workers in the NFL work their ass off. There are rare exceptions. The Houston Texans cut Case Keenum a few years ago to add a quarterback that they had to cut a year later because of his poor work ethic. If Ryan Mallet hadn’t been cut for being a goof-off he would be totally forgotten. That he is remembered as a goof-off tells you how unusual the phenomenon is.

          The management of the Texans seems clueless but the fans sure wish they hadn’t cut Case.

          Bezos might think such a concept is hilarious. If you expect people to be lying thieving scum they are more likely to fulfill that expectation for you.

          1. Arizona Slim

            Ryan Mallett didn’t exactly cover himself in glory when he played for my beloved Michigan Wolverines.

          2. ewmayer

            “The workers in the NFL work their ass off. There are rare exceptions.”

            LOL, let’s not forget the hapless (well, this year, after a more-successful Heisman-trophy-winner pick in the form of QB Baker Mayfield they are hopeful of hapfulness happening, or something) Cleveland Browns and the debacle of their #22 draft pick (their second of that year’s first round, they also had #8) of 2014 Johnny Manziel, currently attempting a comeback to pro football with the Montreal Alouettes of the CFL. Party on, Johnny!

            1. Craig H.

              Johnny is another one. It seems they are always quarterbacks, pass rushers, breakout receivers or cover corners.

              Back before capable running backs were classified as a commodity there were a couple of those.

              I wonder what the guy who decided to draft Manziel is doing now. I don’t know anybody and even I heard his personality was garbage before the draft.

        2. Enquiring Mind

          Forty years ago, my neighbor’s new roommate was a recent MBA, then in a training program at US Bank. As the six-month training was winding down the roommate asked his manager about options in permanent placement and was told he’d go to a remote small town branch. That wasn’t what the recruiter had mentioned so he expressed a desire for a different posting. Here is what ensued:
          Manager – “If you don’t want that job we have people lined up to take your place.”

          Roommate – (takes pre-arranged long weekend to hometown of Boston, interviews at a bank accepts their offer to double his salary). Calls Manager, “Consider this my notice.”

          Friend gets a call from Roommate relating above, much laughter, ending in “Mail me my clothes.”

          Some employers seem to believe that their company has the last job in the world, and that any and all employees should be bowing and scraping, tugging the forelock and otherwise abasing themselves. Reality intervenes on occasion. Of course, that was in the Johnny Paycheck era, when people were apt to tell the boss Take This Job and Shove It!

    3. Ranger Rick

      Something must be driving these supermarket workers to unionize. I’ve been seeing Whole Foods workers looking for union info and applicable laws (including previous attempts to unionize at Whole Foods, successful or not) through unofficial channels for weeks now.

    4. TimmyB

      The difficulty various governments have with cracking down on religious organizations in modern times lead to the formation of organizations such as the “Moslem Brotherhood.” Another example is how the Ayatollahs organized and defeated the Shah of Iran. The more things change, the more they stay the same.

    5. Elizabeth Burton

      Which is why I view the sudden flood of efforts all across the media to drive people off social media with a jaundiced eye. For all its flaws, it can and does operate precisely the same as those taverns and back rooms. The irony is that for all the ways the PTBs have to spy on us there, they can’t be too blatant about coming after us lest their real agenda be made clear.

    6. bones

      Livius, I’ve heard the argument that the decline of class conscious politics in the UK’s Labour Party can be linked with the decline of the neighborhood pub.

      Limeys, feel free to comment.

  2. QuarterBack

    How strange that the UK Register got its headline on NASA wrong. The 55th anniversary would be for the creation of the Apollo program itself in 1963, not of the first manned moon landing in 1969. BTW the first unmanned landing was in 1959 by the Soviet Union’s Luna 2 mission.

  3. Clive

    Re: SCOTUS Shenanigans

    I can’t comment due to too much distance from events, except to say that I keep half-expecting P. T. Barnum to be seen as the ranking member of the committee, but I’ve never believed the problem to be this- or that- nominee. The problem is the politicisation of the nomination and confirmation process itself.

    If you don’t want a politicised SCOTUS you guys need to get the authority to appoint new justices out of the hands of the politicians and into those of the judiciary. No, it’s not “democracy”. But then neither is the spectacle I’ve been watching, either.

    1. Brooklin Bridge

      (apologies, the following isn’t helpful, but it beckons too strongly.)

      The problem is the politicisation of the nomination and confirmation process itself.

      Who would choose the judiciary?

      Unfortunately, that is the problem with politicians; at some point they always touch everything, directly or otherwise. The voting process, originally by the people to choose those of the people who should govern the country for the people, turns out to be far better suited for quarantining a highly contagious group of sickos who have consistently proven themselves too toxic for exposure to other humans. On the bright side, there is no need to change the names, or the methods of this selection process. As a method of ferreting out the most socially pathological group of people in the entire country, it has proven to be almost flawless, making serious mistakes only once or twice per century.

      On the other hand, for governance, that admittedly leaves a bit of a gap…

      1. vlade

        As per my suggestion below – selection could be up to judicary, subject to approval by legislature. The main point is that executive CANNOT be involved in messing up judicary, too much of a conflict of interest

        1. Brooklin Bridge

          You, like Clive, are proposing concrete and well considered ideas. I’m being a stick in the mud. But there is truth in it. We have an environment in which corruption is remarkably persistent and incredibly good at getting around process over time.

          1. vlade

            TBH, any process can be worked around. This is a problem with people – they assume that once they put in place a process, they can stop. Democracy, of all regimes, depends entirely on how much effort people give it.

            I’m quite sick of “they stole our democracy!”. No, people tend to stop caring when something is (seen) working, and stop tending it. It’s like a garden – when you stop putting effort in, the weeds and pests will overwhelm it in no time, and will revert to a wild state. But that wild state won’t be the “natural” wild state either, as the ecosystem got messed up in the first place.

            So my suggestions may (or not) work for a while. But they are not a panacea, and anyone who’s selling a panacea is a snake oil salesman.

            1. Brooklin Bridge

              I thought your suggestion was a pretty good one. My reply questioned (to continue with the garden metaphor) whether there are not times when the garden becomes so overgrown or a plant so invasive that it creates an environment in which the only thing to do is to rip everything out (not give up) and start anew.

              That’s why I mentioned Crony Capitalism as a sub comment (the edit function ran out of time before I noticed it was missing as a qualifier). If democracy is the garden, then Crony Capitalism is the invasive plant I’m talking about and at a certain point it seems to overwhelm most or perhaps even any constructive efforts to “tend the garden.”

              Oh well, it was simply an idea. My apologies if it offended. You are absolutely right that democracy, in the best of times, requires participation and effort.

          2. Amfortas the Hippie

            I’ve had occasion to reread my favorite books while lurking around this enormous hospital…one of which is Arthur C Clarke’s “songs of distant earth”. A minor feature in this is “randomocracy”; wherein a computer picks the president or whatever, and the main disqualification is actually wanting the job.
            Watching the various rings of our circus, including the repeated but mostly unnoticed revelations regarding voting machines and other vote related shenanigans, my mind keeps returning to this idea.
            If the Dems were serious, I they’d be trying to nominate Nader for scotus, if they ever regain the power to do so.
            I expect the rapist to be confirmed, and for it to have little effect on gop electoral chances…and zero effect on the general trajectory of our banana empire.

            1. FluffytheObeseCat

              I also expect the ‘rapist’ to be confirmed. In fairness to him however, he is probably no more of one than hundreds of similar men throughout the Republican Establishment. The behavior on trial just now was endemic within his social subclass in his youth. That’s in part why the people who grew up within it are such repellent heels now, and why governance is a shambles on their watch.

              It’s also why they are so aggressively certain that us mopes need powerful legal curbs on our personal conduct. After all, they have to look in the mirror every morning.

              1. FluffytheObeseCat

                Kavanaugh is a distinctive sort of purse-lipped, Catholic, socially conservative pol who is invariably Republican today. And please don’t start whining about politicians from the 20th century who were of that type; the 20th century ended 17 years ago. The #metoo movement managed to take down at least one half-senile old Dem predator in the House recently, but he was a relic from the prior century (and too urban + black to go Repub in any event). One of the key trends of the past two decades is the overwhelming migration of this kind of charmer to the right side of the political spectrum. Only the color bar and urban districts prevent a few of these remaining heels from switching over.

                As we have seen with #metoo, there are still exceedingly powerful white predators today who side with Democrats……. but they are dispproportionately in media, not government. Notice too, how few titans of finance or the military/security subculture have fallen to #metoo? Republican-friendly power subcultures are clearly better insulated from the tiresome demands of equal rights types, whether it suits the doctrine of “both sides do it!”, or not.

                I don’t mind acknowledging the issues on which Republicans currently do better by our people. They are better on trade, treaties, and immigration in fundamental ways, because they don’t lie to themselves or to their constituents about the harsh realities of power. But they are also by and large, self-dealing, haughty little sh*ts who are not sufficiently afraid of the people. And they love beating down, publicly, on all who are perceived as inherently weaker.

                So, yes, just the Republican establishment, surely. They are currently the home, the cradle, the primary safe harbor for a certain type of nasty little martinet. Kavanaugh is just this week’s exemplar.

                1. Enquiring Mind

                  Kavanaugh is a distinctive sort of purse-lipped, Catholic,

                  There must be a sow’s ear connection somewhere, or a pursed-lip, lol

                2. gepay

                  I think many poor women endure much worse. I have seen a doc about the problem of sexual predators in the military. It seemed correct to me. This is a much bigger problem than whatever Kavanaugh did or didn’t do – although I don’t doubt those things went on – I once was an emotionally challenged teenage male. Those things were never witnessed by myself – although similar but less nasty things were. “candy is dandy but liquor is quicker” The pill,pot, and antibiotics made those kinds of actions unnecessary in the 60s when I was in college. or was it sex drugs and rock’n roll?
                  Kavanaugh is not good Supreme Court material for many other reasons but the Repubs have the house, the senate, and the presidency.
                  So Ford and Ramirez were drunk when this happened ford can’t remember when and where and many other things. Ramirez took 6 days to be sure it was Kavanaugh – there are no other witnesses coming forward for them. It’s a toss up for me.

            2. Eclair

              Amfortas, I just finished that book, found in a dusty pile of old paperbacks while cleaning out my in-law’s house. I found it fascinating, especially the ship leaving behind the ‘ambitious’ mutineers. Like injecting an alien virus into a cooperative culture. Loved the reluctant president, BTW.

            3. witters

              With the risk of confusing Plenue – Clarke’s sci fi idea is pure Plato: “the state whose prospective rulers come to their duties with the least enthusiasm is bound to have the best and most tranquil government, and the state whose rulers are eager to rule the worst.”

      2. Brooklin Bridge

        Omission! I should have specified Crony Capitalism (and there are other names for it) as the environment in which this process works so flawlessly.

    2. vlade

      The “democratic” appointment of judges is, well, shall we say NOT what you want if you want your judges to be apolitic.

      Working system could be for judicary to submit proposals that legislative could approve/reject. I’d not involve executive at all, since those are the most likely to get into a clash with judicary, hence have a conflit of interest. The problem is that humans executive inherited a lot of powers that our good ole kings/emeprors used to have, which included judicary and other appointments (coz, you know, legislation takes time to stop executives doing something, and is hard to do retrospective – judges can stop you in your tracks right now and here).

      1. Eureka Springs

        Key word “democratic”. Considering the Senate itself and of course all Senators are the very antithesis of “democratic” it does them great service when we the peeps help them by pretending that institution is in any way democratic. That they are democracy failing. Both the Senate and judges are bound to protect and defend an anti democratic constitution.

        Allowing other lawyers and judges to maintain their own hen house by nominating/appointing their own doesn’t seem democratic either.

        Here in Arkansas the peeps vote on more than 100 judges at the ballot box. But we know nothing about them, no basic resume, their actual records etc. And they most often run unopposed.

        1. vlade

          I’m using the word “democatic” it the currently accepted form. The good ole Athenians would call what we have oligarchic. Not beause we’re ruled by oligarchs (we are), but because they believed that given human nature any voting system (like what we have) will be corrupted sooner or later by oligarchs. Which is why they run sortitions instead, and in general worked really hard not to have a “representative” democacy, but “hard-to-corrupt” democracy. And even that failed, eventually.

          1. lyman alpha blob

            The good ole Athenians would call what they had oligarchic too if they were honest.

            I remember standing on the Areopagus, being told it was the place Athenians citizens used to assemble to conduct their civic business, and thinking how small it was.

            1. Wukchumni

              I remember most everything in Athens on the ancient to see list, was pretty small potatoes in stature. Heck, even the original 1896 Olympic games stadium looked like a high school stadium.

      2. flora

        old saying in the US: The Court follows the elections.
        my addition for modern times – and this isn’t a non sequitur imo – is that identity politics has nothing to do with democracy, and may even be a step away from democracy; the ‘one’ is redivided into the ‘many’, each ‘many’ encouraged to see themselves as against all others perhaps.

      3. Procopius

        I don’t know what would be a better way to select supreme court justices, but I am certain that elected judges are the second worst political decision possible, the worst being a balanced budget amendment.

    3. PlutoniumKun

      In most countries appointing judges seems to be an internal process of varying levels of opacity. This invariably produces conservative and boys club networks of judges. But looking at the SCOTUS circus that can hardly be a worse outcome.

    4. QuarterBack

      Concur 100% with the process becoming a nightmarish circus; and by no means is this limited the yesterday’s SCOTUS hearings. This type of politicized process is especially dangerous today, in a time when access to information and control of digital records is wildly asymmetrical. Many in power have the ability to very quickly access every digital record (private or not) of you and your family, friends, and associates. They also have the knowledge and access to remove digital records that are exculpatory or otherwise damaging to their controlled narratives. We are now entering a crossroads for how our “civilized discourse” will be defined going forward. Keep your eyes and mind open, this is an important time in which we must work hard to prevent ourselves from building the very mechanism for entrapping and controlling our thoughts and will.

        1. Ranger Rick

          Why argue about factual reasons not to select a Supreme Court Justice when you can dig up ancient accusations and cast all the aspersions you like? Worked for Roy Moore.

          1. NotTimothyGeithner

            The key votes on the matter such as Donnelly love the non-rape aspects of Kavanaugh. Collins has happily voted for hideous policies all these years. You need to go after their place in society. These people shouldn’t be allowed out in public, a status they crave as politicians, without being labeled as scum.

      1. ChiGal in Carolina

        prevent ourselves from building the very mechanism for entrapping and controlling

        Sadly, it’s already largely in place. The question is whether enough of us will wake up and work together to dismantle it.

    5. johnnygl

      I think the reality is that the supreme court as currently designed is too unaccountable and too powerful. No jobs should be handed out as lifetime appointments.

      Only solution is to defang the supreme court. Historically, the good decisions the court has made haven’t been enforced sufficiently to matter and most of the time the court is actively stopping good legislation or just wholesale re-writing legislation the way it chooses.

      1. ChiGal in Carolina

        Hmm this may be throwing the baby out with the bathwater. Its power is being abused for sure, not sure it isn’t essential to the system of checks and balances.

        But right now the Fourth Estate, the legislature, and the executive are now run by corporations.

        1. Darthbobber

          Not sure. Most countries with parliamentary systems operate without courts having the final say on key issues, and generally seem to do as well as the US in this department?

          And what exactly IS being checked? Or balanced? I know the HS civics answer, but it seems implausible.

          1. bones

            I’m with Darth. See Yglesias tweet above. The Supreme Court has rarely functioned as a safeguard against the abuses of the other branches of government. We have to get past this idea. The Court has undermined its own legitimacy. The next Democratic president should pack the hell out of it — but I won’t hold my breath on that.

    6. JTMcPhee

      I learned in law school (a seminar put on by a British Great Thinker, sponsored by the then “good-liberal Student Bar Association” and not part of the faculty or curriculum) that the US “borrowed” its legal system from Britain when the British system was at one of its deeper nadirs. So we have Jarndyce v. Jarndyce as the basis for our “equity”/chancery jurisprudence, the worst excesses of the common law (judge-made and ‘tradition’), a really nasty approach to criminal law including, of course, various extensions of “Star Chamber” processes like the FISA court, and so forth. I recall the Brits via Parliament and the very different political processes there passed the Act of 1849 (I think) that fixed a lot of the problems. Repair (not “reform,” we know what that actually means), to standards of decency and for the benefit of the general welfare, seems to be a constant necessity, there and here,

      As far as filling in the judiciary goes, the endless loop debate of “appointment versus election,” and all the corruption that gets into any kind of system of power and adjudication and legitimization ain’t going away, especially now as the systems have been optimized by the Looters via generations of all of them pulling on the same end of the rope, policy-wise (the other end being around the necks of the Mopery.) Chicago has a combined appointment-elections system of putting corrupt judges (from the git-go) in place — where you have to have a Chinaman and the approval of the “Deans of the Chicago Bar” to get in as a “fill a vacancy,” or eventually “running” largely pro forma, and then awaiting the rubber stamp of “judicial retention elections.”

      The Brits have that other system, working your apprenticeship as solicitor and barrister (if inclined to pursue a judicial post) and then largely “acclamation of their peers (emphasize “peers”). And then of course corruption seeps in and you get stories like this on “reforming” the UK judiciary,

      And in the Chicago case, there are occasional spasms of “populist correction” like the Operation Greylord investigation and prosecutions that went on when I was practicing there — I knew one of the lawyers who kind of destroyed his career by peaching on the corrupt judges and clerks. And had occasion to appear before several of those eventually prosecuted judges, and observe the corruption in action. Of course there is a long line of people waiting for their turn at the trough, so you get rid of a few bad ones (with the least clout, usually) and in come the next merry band of bribe-takers and perverted of justice. There was one interesting attorney I recall, his name was Adam Bourgeois, and he was known in traffic and criminal court as “The Miracle Worker” for his facility at arranging acquittals and not pros’s for bad actors — usually involved an ex party meeting in the judge’s chambers with the ubiquitous “Mr. Green,” and everyone except maybe a disgusted prosecutor and the general public coming back into court with smiles on their faces…

      Here’s the FBI’s colloquial self-congratulation PR on Operation Greylord: “The corrupt you will have always with you.”

      So it matters little, humans being what they are, how the people who get to tell us what the law is and adjudicate right and wrong and all that are selected. By and large. There’s no way to avoid having a politicized judiciary, which after all is one of the branches of “government” which by its nature is “political.”

    7. Another Scott

      A lot of the issue about politicization of the courts (including lower and state courts) has been the results of the courts themselves rather than politicization of the appointments and confirmations. They strike down acts of legislatures and regulations regularly, often showing contempt for the other branches of government; Shelby County v. Holder is the most notable example of this. It has seemingly become regular, if not standard, practice to go to a friendly court as soon as there is a unfavorable law or regulation in hopes of getting it overturned. The courts could end this practice by refusing the cases, but don’t, I think because they enjoy the power it gives them.

    8. SoCal Rhino

      Dislike of “politics” in any setting (including the office) has always struck me as off target. I find much to agree with in Vlade’s take, as i would put it, a disdain for politics or the view of politics as a spectator sport is more the problem. There are no utopian end states, just the eternal struggle among interests, with no perfected saints in any faction.

    9. Anon

      I’ve been a lawyer in the US for over 30years now and can assure you that the most corrupt branch of government is the judiciary. Coming from a middle class background, i spent the first ten years being shocked as the corruption of which I was aware became more and more egregious. Now, it barely rates a shrug. Still, the LAST thing anyone should want is US judges selecting their colleagues and successors.

      1. Unna

        Still, the LAST thing anyone should want is US judges selecting their colleagues and successors.

        Thank you for saying this.

    10. perpetualWAR

      Funny you think getting the politicing of SCOTUS would improve that way. People need to understand the judiciary is highly politicized even in the lower ranks. Consider this: 65% of the King County Superior judges were appointed by the executive branch. Once in the position of judge, they then run unopposed in any future election. In WA State, the executive branch is mostly Democrat. So, the executive branch essentially is stuffing the judiciary with their people, doing their bidding.

    11. HotFlash

      I keep half-expecting P. T. Barnum to be seen as the ranking member of the committee

      Not likely, he’s currently busy being The President.

  4. UserFriendly

    Busted! How to Handle the Police Until You Get a Lawyer – by Mary Griego YouTube. A public service announcement. I don’t think I’d be good at this. I’d probably have the wrong tone in my voice telling the police “no” to a request to search without a warrant.

    Cops can ask you to exit your vehicle (if they had a reason to pull you over) and then they can do a terry frisk (quick pat down for weapons) if they have any reason to suspect you might have one (they can BS this easily). If during the frisk they touch something that they immediately recognize as contraband by touch they can get you for it. (they can also BS the by touch part easily too). Same goes for any passengers in your car.

    1. rd

      With over 300 million guns in the US, everybody can be suspected of having one on them.

      Thank you NRA for providing the police with a good excuse for stop and frisk.

      1. JBird4049

        Thank you NRA for providing the police with a good excuse for stop and frisk.

        Huh? The nation has been well armed since before it was a nation, never mind an independent country. For centuries. The NRA is itself a corrupt, racist, slimefest, but how is it at fault that the police lie and use dishonest tactics so that they routinely create the flimsiest excuses to violate both the law and the people they are suppose to protect and serve?

  5. ACF

    Re Kavanaugh

    Even if blocking Kavanaugh results in a different R judge that is substantively similar, it is a real victory to block him and I am grateful that Dr. Ford stood up as she did.

    He is worth blocking because:

    1) his testimony at his original confirmation and now is not credible on several points, that warrant their own investigation. Our system doesn’t work if you can flatly lie to Congress and be confirmed. There are other judges who are just as bad (my perspective) and won’t lie the same way who could be confirmed.

    2) confirming over yesterday’s spectacle sends deeply destructive messages that have lasting consequences:

    a) facts don’t matter (refusal to investigate claims, whether by FBI or by having Judge and other witnesses testify; this is independent of the facts don’t matter part of 1)

    b) the most credible survivor testimony is not worth investigation, when countered by self-righteous rage by someone with a record of appearing to telling lies under oath to Congress that themselves are worthy of true investigation.

    1. allan

      Agree. Although it now looks like, if BK gets through the committee, he will be approved by the Senate:

      Elaina Plott Verified account @elainaplott

      Interesting: A source close to Senator Manchin tells me now, “Short of claims that definitively prove Dr. Ford’s allegations or a realization that Kavanaugh will gut the healthcare law, Manchin will side with the overwhelming number of people in WV who want Kavanaugh confirmed.”

      Joe’s with us on everything but the war basic human decency.

      1. ACF

        I have an 11 year old daughter, and this has been quite a teaching moment. She was in school during the hearing, but my mother taped it, and we will watch it together. She’s social media friendly enough that she’s gotten the gist of what went down already, so with luck it won’t be too shocking for her to watch.

        1. TedKennedy

          Teach your daughter about Juanita Broaddrick or Keith Ellison

          Here’s a quote I love.

          FBI investigations do not reach conclusions or recommendations

          -Joe Biden
          Clarence Thomas Nomination

    2. scaevola

      1) You need to expand on the several points you mention with examples.

      2) What is the spectacle? Is the spectacle and destructive message that someone’s career, family, and personal life can be destroyed by unsubstantiated claims, even when counter evidence is produced?

      a) I assume your stating that now facts don’t matter… reference above. Dr. Ford’s allegation is not a fact. It is an uncorroborated allegation.

      b) I think your perspective is off here. You’re insinuating that Judge Kavanaugh’s testimony is what is stopping further investigation.

      Having the FBI do more than what it is currently asked to do regarding SCOTUS nominations will politicize the FBI. I believe the FBI has very serious credibility issues currently. The FBI does not want to be a political tool and we should not want it to be either.

      It was mentioned yesterday several times during the hearings that “Dr. Ford” is not on trial, neither is Judge Kavanaugh.

      The victory you mention would not have been real and meant nothing. Blocking his nomination is enough? If these allegations are true Judge Kavanaugh would not be fit to serve on the SCOTUS, but would be fit serve on the US Court of Appeals?

      I find it odd that many continue to attack Judge Kavanaugh for defending himself. It’s odd and terrifying that currently those who once supported and advocated for defendant’s rights are now abandoning those principles.

      It is quite ironic that SCOTUS nominee has to remind the American public that we believe in the presumption of innocence.

      1. ACF

        1) Having the FBI investigate this allegation is NOT “more than what it is currently asked to do”, because when Anita Hill made her claims, the FBI was asked to investigate. There is precedent precisely on point.

        2) I do not claim–though I do believe–that Dr. Ford’s statements are true. I claim they are credible enough to be investigated. I do not claim that Kavanaugh’s testimony prevents investigation. The President could order the investigation, or presumably the Senate Rs could. However neither feels they need to in light of Kavanaugh’s testimony. They are willing to take his statement as fact rather than as credible enough to justify investigation rather than take Ford as fact. Moreover, if K had said, when asked by D Senators, that he wanted an investigation to clear his name, the investigation would have happened. But he refused to say so.

        3) Kavanaugh’s calendar is not conclusive “counter evidence” unless you believe that a) he would have written down stopping by a small pre-party on the way to a bigger party and that every party ends up on the calendar. b) that they cover the relevant time period; Ford raised where Judge was working at the time as a time point that should help narrow the when, but without investigation, we don’t know when he worked there so we can’t be sure the timeline is right.

        4) We don’t know there is no corroboration of Dr. Ford because Judge has not been interrogated. An affidavit is not the same as testimony under cross examination. Imagine for a moment that Dr. Ford was your daughter, and people were saying the cops couldn’t question Judge because he’d signed a sworn statement that failed to corroborate your daughter. Beyond that an investigation would involve looking for other possible witnesses, if to nothing else, Kavanaugh’s drinking, which would go to his credibility.

        5) I didn’t use the word spectacle, and I don’t attack Kavanaugh for defending himself.

        6) In these comments I am not even addressing my upset on the ideological shift that will happen on the court this year. I am conceding that shift is inevitable because these Rs control the Senate and the White House. From an ideological perspective, you’re right, blocking Kavanaugh (at least unless and until a real investigation happens that disproves Ford’s claims or makes her claims wildly implausible) is an empty victory. But there’s more at stake here than the ideological bent of the court. My daughter, now 11, has not been sexually assaulted. But if she is someday, it is hard to imagine a more potent message from our government that if she shouldn’t report, because if she has the courage to tell her story and does so credibly and respectfully, the man she accuses will be believed *without* even interrogating the alleged eyewitness.

        7) Ford came forward before Kavanaugh was the nominee; simply when he was on the short list. To reject her testimony as a partisan crusade (even granting without conceding, because I do not believe it, that the Ds used her testimony in the most partisan way possible) is simply disingenuous.

        8) As to evidence of Kavanaugh’s lying to Congress that should be investigated, see: I’m not saying he did commit perjury; it’s not an easy standard. But at a minimum these are evidence related to his credibility, in the context of he said/she said with Dr. Ford.

        9) Actually, I think investigations of Kavanaugh should happen even after confirmation precisely because if he has been lying to Congress he should be removed from the Court of Appeals

        1. Katniss Everdeen

          Both sides of this have acknowledged that what kavanaugh is accused of is a crime. Both sides have questioned / attempted to explain why this “assault” was not reported to police at the time, but neither has denied that it should have been.

          There is no statute of limitations on sexual assault in the state of Maryland.

          Flawed as it is, the criminal justice system in this country has a remedy for situations such as this and it is neither a “background” investigation by the fbi nor a political “hearing” which comes down to whom do you “believe.”

          It is a police investigation that dispassionately and apolitically gathers and evaluates all available evidence to make the best possible determination of truthfulness or guilt. It happens everyday to people who are not privileged elites. It is the kind of investigation any american would demand if they or a family member was the victim of a crime, including kavanaugh himself, I’d expect. It’s the kind of investigation Ford was chastised for not demanding at the time. (Lucky for kavanaugh she didn’t.)

          Fer chrissakes, the sate of Pennsylvania just completed a massive investigation of pedophile priests that assigned guilt going back seven decades, identifying victims and perpetrators, some of whom were even dead.

          All this confusion and conflagration was completely unnecessary. The system has a way to handle situations such as this should those involved really want to get at the truth. But somebody has to want to know what really happened, regardless of who gets “hurt.”

          1. Steve H.

            What I don’t get is, why is the standard ‘innocent until proven guilty?’ Standards for civil cases are lower. Shouldn’t they be even more stringent for a Supreme?

            1. Todde

              Civil cases the burden of proof is on the planriff but it is not beyond a reasonable doubt but a proponderence of the evidence.

              I think youre getting your legal terms confused.

            2. dunning kroger

              No , unless someday you are accused of something , then we can lower the standard if you still want that

            3. Big River Bandido

              This isn’t a trial, or even a judicial proceeding; it’s a legislative hearing, and thus follows rules of politics, not law.

          2. flora

            “It’s the kind of investigation Ford was chastised for not demanding at the time”

            30 years ago in my college town there were no women police officers; secretaries and meter maids but no police officers. So when my room mate was assaulted in our rental apt. back yard in daylight by a stranger (she screamed and my then boyfriend ran out and scared the guy off. chased him 2 blocks trying to catch him…) Anyway, my roomie was shaken and furious and we told her to report it to the police, which she did. She was even angrier when she returned from the police station because the “officer” taking the report made lewd suggestions to her and made a joke of it. He got his jollies at her expense.

            30 years ago reporting assaults to the police only made a bad situation worse.

          3. dunning kroger

            dems sat on the accusation for a couple of months , I think its safe to assume they wanted him confirmed .

              1. dunning kroger

                If the dems wound up with a majority after the mid term then a bunch would resign so nothing would be expected of them.

              2. Procopius

                Wouldn’t make any difference. The new majority won’t be seated until January. Or are you thinking that some Senators (R) would not vote with their party if they no longer had to have party support (i.e, they lose in November)? McConnell isn’t going to let this be delayed past the New Year.

        2. Unna

          I didn’t find Dr. Ford credible at all. She came off to me as a somewhat disturbed person. She was caught in a dead lie in her testimony about her airplane phobia. She said she was afraid to fly to DC for a hearing because she has a fear of flying, but then she admitted she had no problem flying all over the Pacific on her numerous vacations. The female prosecutor was so deft in pulling this out of her it went almost without notice – until it would be brought up to the jury in closing argument where the question would be asked, is Dr. Ford a liar or merely a disturbed confabulator who needs help. Then there was the encounter between her and that boy, Judge, in a convenience store. Judge acted sheepishly when she spoke to him and she believed that was proof that he had done something he was ashamed of. But the question that prosecutor would ask the jury is whether that is that the way a sexual battery victim would likely behave a few weeks after she was almost raped? I would have loved to have seen Atty Mitchell have an uninterrupted couple hours with Ford.

          I know none of this is the politically correct thing to say, and yes, K will do a lot of serious harm on the SC. But as the B. Studebaker piece laments, American political culture has lost its ability anymore to think unemotionally about political issues. The Society of the Spectacle.

          1. ChiGal in Carolina

            Disturbed seems strong. Nervous and a people-pleaser for sure. So there was a disconnect in her smiling acknowledgement of how she flies around the world snorkeling without seeming to feel the need to explain why she didn’t want to fly to DC.

            Maybe she grits her teeth if there’s no other way or she wants it enough. But she wasn’t in analytical mode enough to think of saying that. She was clearly overwhelmed and just trying to put one foot in front of the other.

          2. todde

            The Society of the Spectacle

            I read the book.

            I believe it mentioned we will all be using symbols instead of words…. I think of it everytime I see emoticons.

            1. Procopius

              Words ARE symbols. Or did it mean we are going to return to ideographs, such as the Egyptians and Chinese developed 5,000 years ago?

      2. Carolinian

        Yves’ commenting above gets it right. This is all about confirmation bias. Those predisposed to believe Ford believe her and those on the other side believe Kavanaugh.

        The bottom line is that debates over Supreme Court nominees probably shouldn’t be about what they did in High School. So you could say the current dispute is of a piece with the Mueller investigation and all the rest of it–i.e. dig hard enough and you’ll find away to get rid of your enemy.

        If the Dems and especially the left are going to rise again they are going to have to do it the old fashioned way, at the ballot box. Even a technocratic ruling class needs the consent of the governed.

        1. ACF

          Agreed confirmation bias explains why someone believes Ford or Kavanaugh. But we’re not in a place where the only option is pick a side based on yesterday’s testimony. There is a key witness yet to be interrogated, and other facts that could be discovered. That is what is so appalling. The option of further investigation is real, is not inherently partisan or pre-determined. Agreed that the left or even traditional Ds can have no power over policy or the ideology of the court unless they win elections. But again, to investigate and ultimately confirm K or not isn’t about the court’s ideology; there is time for them to get a new nominee confirmed even IF the Rs lose the Senate in November. There is time to investigate K and approve him if the investigation warrants it. Even Rs lose, not a lock, control passes in January.

          1. Yves Smith Post author

            These are 30 year old memories. They are not reliable. I know someone who was in a legal proceeding who was absolutely convinced he had not admitted something to the police….and was stunned that it was on tape that he had. This was high stakes and within weeks of the recording. And this was before the day when you could fake a vocal track (the tape was analogue).

            Here’s a minor example. Friend of mine and his wife are class of ’87 at Harvard, same year Kavanaugh graduated from Yale. Wife dated a Yalie in Kavanaugh’s class. Hubby asks wife if she ever ran across Kavanaugh. First she says no. Then a few days later, she says yes, he had a sexist preppie roommate that she realizes was Kavanaugh.

            He asks what college (Yale speak for housing group, there were 300-400 people in each “college”) he was in.

            The college of the guy she dated was not the college Kavanaugh was in.

        2. Jorb

          The bottom line is that debates over Supreme Court nominees probably shouldn’t be about what they did in High School.

          He likely wouldn’t even be eligible for admission to the bar if he had been convicted of sexual assault, so asking him about it before a lifetime appointment seems fine to me.

          1. Lynne

            First, he would not have been convicted of sexual assault had this been reported, investigated, and prosecuted at the time because he was a juvenile.

            Second, given that there are people who have been convicted of murder admitted to the bar, I think you are assuming too much. Depends on the state.

          2. Heraclitus

            A female former federal prosecutor, Sydney…I didn’t remember her last name and can’t find the clip again–spoke on Fox right after Ford finished her testimony. I found her analysis believable. She said that she had doubts about Ford’s account, which didn’t seem credible to her, but she also concluded that no prosecutor in America would have charged Kavanaugh with anything based on the set of facts put forth by Ford if charges had been made at the time of the event.

            First of all, ‘sexual assault’ isn’t a charge. The law is more specific. ‘Attempted rape’ when he didn’t get any of her clothes off is a stretch. I’m not familiar enough with the Maryland code of laws, but there is no statute of limitations for sexual crimes punishable with a year or more in the penitentiary. This, if it happened, likely didn’t rise to that level. Any charges would likely have been a misdemeanor, and probably not even that.

            Does it not bother anyone that no one can find the house, or figure out who the owners were, and where the owners were?

            1. Heraclitus

              My point is that both sides agreeing what was described by Dr. Blasey Ford is a crime is probably political posturing by both Democrats and Republicans. Prosecutors, regardless of party, may have a different viewpoint.

        3. Katniss Everdeen

          When kavanaugh was asked about his high school career–was he John-boy Walton or Ferris Bueller–he answered that his high school years were “formative.” His word.

          With a lifetime appointment as a “supreme” american, I guess we’ll have plenty of time to check it out.

        4. curlydan

          I would say the old fashioned way “at the ballot box” PLUS the negotiating table. Had Obama known how to negotiate or possibly cared to when he nominated Garland, Kavanaugh wouldn’t be there and Gorsuch would be peddling his 1950s friendly “Leave It to Beaver” white guy shtick this month.

          1. Wukchumni

            Napoleon Obamaparte struck me as the kind of fellow that pays full sticker price for a new car, and then gets gamed in the sales department so badly, the salesmen throw themselves a party after he drives off.

            1. NotTimothyGeithner

              Obama just didn’t want the same things as you or Caesar. Obama much like the Clintons wanted to be accepted and even loved by the conservative power political establishment. They would go see, “we bring a way to win without pretending to like teeny bopper country music,” but conservatives tend to react to strength and would never embrace that kind of obvious weakness.

              Whenever Obama wanted something, he would get it because he was President and strong on his own. He is still a conservative and tied to the past and not capable of seeing the a new paradigm.

          2. Carolinian

            It says volumes that this is the ground on which the Dems have chosen to “go to the mattresses.” We, the US, go around the world blowing up thousands but what may or may not have happened 40 years ago at a high school party becomes the fuel for maximum outrage.

            If in fact the Republicans confirm they will do so because they have won more Senate elections, because they have the power. Watch and learn Dems….

            1. Elizabeth Burton

              And while everyone’s attention was stuck on the circus, the House GOP apparently approved yet another tax cut for the rich, according to Lloyd Doggett (D-TX).

              1. The Rev Kev

                Ding! Ding! Ding! We have a winner! Good catch that Elizabeth. I was wondering what was being passed while everybody was sucked into the Kavanagh spectacle. It is sucking the oxygen out of everything the past few days and not enough attention is being paid to other stuff happening in the US such as the approaching mid-terms.

      3. a different chris

        Again, have you ever looked over candidates for a job in your life? Because it sure sounds like you haven’t.

        1) What “counter-evidence”? Seriously? It’s he-said/she-said/other-guy-is-in-hiding
        2) “The FBI does not want to be a political tool and we should not want it to be either.” So now you admit it’s political and not a trial? So what were you going on about in #1?
        3) “Blocking his nomination is enough?” Yes. If Dr. Ford wishes to bring it to court, which she clearly does not, then he does need to be put on trial. He’s good enough to be a Supreme or not, that’s a, pardon the expression, “judgement” call that is going to be made here. Don’t overcomplicate it, that’s the Democrat’s specialty.
        4) “I find it odd that many continue to attack Judge Kavanaugh for defending himself.” No we find it odd that a guy somebody thinks is suited for a lifetime appointment to the highest court in the land reacts like an adolescent when challenged.
        5) “that SCOTUS nominee has to remind the American public that we believe in the presumption of innocence.” Now you’re back on the “trial” part. Is this politics or a jury trial? You just seem to pick and choose.

        #4 has more to do with Kavanaugh’s unfitness to be an SC judge than anything else. He showed a serious lack of self-control.

      4. Otis B Driftwood

        Kavanaugh behaved like a spoiled brat who until that moment in his privileged life had not been held to account.

        I will only agree that this alone should not be what decides his nomination. His career provides plenty of other reasons to reject him – first and foremost, that he is a demonstrable liar.

        1. Rosa

          Dr. Ford also had a very privileged way of discovering she had PTSD: she decided to remodel her home and wanted to include a new, second entrance. Her husband disagreed so they went to couples therapy where she blurted out that she needed a second entrance to escape Kavanaugh. She made PTSD sound like a first world problem.

      5. stefan

        Investigating the allegation would be fairly straightforward involving a week or two. The witnesses are known, so it is simply a matter of law enforcement questioning them in person and reporting their findings.

        Since there is no statute of limitations on sexual assault in the State of Maryland, it may well be that authorities there will take up the matter now that it has been brought to their attention. So perhaps it would be better for the nation to settle the question first, before the man is elevated to the highest court.

        1. Heraclitus

          Are you being sarcastic? No prosecutor would touch this then or now. But throw in that his mother is a federal judge. Please.

    3. Bugs Bunny

      Sort of an odd comment but here goes: I kept asking myself who Kavanaugh reminded me of while he was at the height of his histrionics…there was something very familiar about his voice, his look, his gestures, the drama.

      Then it hit me: crooked lawyer Saul Goodman from Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul.

      So there is a doppelgänger.

      1. whine country

        Surely you know that the term corrupt lawyer is redundant. True also with respect to crooked politician. Do you mean to suggest that you have the same disdain for the Jimmy McBride as you do the rest of the corrupt clowns in the circus we’re watching (which is not theater BTW). Seriously, I understand that you are trying to provide a little levity, but I couldn’t just sit here and let you attack my personal favorite lawyer – the very same Jimmy McBride, aka Saul Goodman. He’s just a fictional guy who has been run into the ground too many times by the very corrupt people who somehow do the same things to the rest of us in real life. For us the only way to cope is to adopt the attitude of this fictional character and try to do whatever we got to do. In the end, “S’all good man”.

      2. ChiGal in Carolina

        Have to disagree cuz Jimmy might feel put upon and aggrieved but lacks the aggression: he doesn’t come off like a bully.

        1. Bugs Bunny

          I’m thinking that if Jimmy were up for the USSC, he would be even more willing to step over any line possible to get that seat.

          1. whine country

            So, help me out here Bugs. You’re not so upset about his assaulting women but it’s his disregard for the law that really irks you?

            1. Elizabeth Burton

              The two positions are not mutually exclusive, despite the ongoing efforts of too many people to pretend otherwise. Some of us are perfectly capable of disliking a candidate for more than one reason.

              First, there is still no actually evidence of his having assaulted anyone beyond the statements of accusers. Those of us who still believe in “innocent until proven guilty” and detest trial by corporate media find that disturbing, and extrapolating from that to say we somehow belittle sexual assault is trolling of the first caliber.

              Second, I will repeat what I’ve said several times already in a number of different places. If we allow an individual’s lifetime sexual history to become the most important criterion for his or her appointment to public office (or a job, for that matter), we may as well all go home and plan for the apocalypse.

              Finally, this entire event has made it possible for Kavanaugh’s truly awful history on the bench to be quietly tucked away from public view. Someone I know well enough to know she would never support him on that basis literally said that, other than this adolescent sexual issue, she didn’t think he was “all that bad.”

            2. witters

              “You’re not so upset about his assaulting women.” So the proof is in?

              Who said there was a big fact/value distinction?

              (Again, this has all been fascinating.)

            3. Bugs Bunny

              I don’t see how you can deduce that from my comment. I was just saying that the nominee resembled an anti-heroic character from a TV show.

      3. MichaelC

        Yes!! I was feeling that same incongruous recognition throughout but couldn’t put my finger on who he was mirroring.

    4. Llewelyn Moss

      Clearly, one of them lied to congress in that hearing, which is a Felony.
      1) She sounded totally credible and has nothing to gain by coming forward. She said she wants an FBI investigation.
      2) He defiantly defended himself. Everyone knows innocent people get mad at acusations, right? So he had to show anger (quite the temper you got there judge). When asked repeatedly if he would call for an FBI investigation he said NO (by virtue of his silence and furrowed brow).

      Repubs would slam him through if he murdered Santa Claus. All that matters to Repubs is getting another Neoliberal onto SCOTUS.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        Conservatism is inherently about dominance, and if they can’t win this fight, the right isn’t powerful and needs to reassess their coalition which puts them in a position of powerlessness for a time.

        There are two other issues for the right with Kavanaugh:

        -there are enough Republican women who are okay with Draconian abortion laws as long as there is the appearance of an out for “deserving” cases, just enough to let them feel good about themselves. I’m not sure the GOP has a bench of credible actors who can sit upright through a hearing without demanding women lose the right to vote. Kavanaugh had his outburst, but he was reacting. These outbursts would be completely unsolicited. This is where the GOP is.

        -the defeat of Kavanaugh would probably lead to a demand for a lady judge which would drive certain elements among the right crazy. Those same female types probably can’t be counted on to throw women in jail for not having dead eyes in public.

        1. Llewelyn Moss

          >> “there are enough Republican women who are okay with Draconian abortion laws ”
          Well, as long as the rich can opt for ‘quiet’ abortions when they need it.

          Next Up. US to adopt the Christian version of Sharia Law.
          This hearing has been a good litmus test of the health of the US Democracy. Hint: It is dead.

          1. Carolinian

            Next Up. US to adopt the Christian version of Sharia Law.

            Seriously? Since I live among the people you are so afraid of I can assure you that my neighborhood features some rainbow flags, our downtown library has copies of The L Word and gay themed films, the local economy’s dependence on a foreign auto plant means that retardation into an era of tent revivals and blue laws is most unlikely. The price that the south had to pay to become the New South was to leave all that behind and nobody seems very upset about it (but don’t touch their guns).

            1. Pat

              I’m not afraid of most Christians regardless of sect. I’m afraid of our rich, powerful and outright crazy, who use religion to control and manipulate people. And this includes the people at the top of most of our religions. This isn’t really about religion, anymore, Levitical law or Sharia law it is about power and protecting that power.

              It is about subjugating the quarrelsome and the outsiders. It is about rejecting ideas that may lessen their influence.

              Sure there are some followers who honestly believe that this would make America better. But for the most part, I’m pretty damn sure most of them would no more want their Bishop, Priest, Rabbi, Imam, Chaplain, etc deciding their rights then the rest of us non believers do.

              Just as it isn’t about sex, it really isn’t about religion, it is all about power.

            2. Llewelyn Moss

              Glad you live in an enlightened community. But you can’t deny there is a subset of Evangelicals (x%) that feel it’s their divine duty to punish the blasphemers (ex. to gays: no wedding cakes for you). More of that to come with the conservative heavy SCOTUS.

        2. ACF

          Yes re dominance. K’s testimony, and ramming him through afterward, is the primal scream of the patriarchy–the white elite part in particular–responding to #MeToo

            1. NotTimothyGeithner

              Lindsey has always been a thug. He just likes to yuk it up with the msm, much like Saint McCain.

      2. Anon

        This may not be true. Lying means knowingly telling an untruth. The science of memory (see Dr Elizabeth Loftus for example) tells us that memories change over time and may not be reliable in 30% or more of cases. Both of them may truly believe what they say is “truth.” Is that the same as lying?

    5. marym

      Thank you. In support of your points:

      Marcy Wheeler

      So here’s what we saw yesterday: Christine Blasey Ford was unflappable and consistent. By comparison, Kavanaugh — at least in his statement — appeared to be precisely what he denied he was. His denials that he was a blackout drunk (and therefore that he assaulted Ford but didn’t remember it) were not credible and stopped well short of supporting his claim. And his own calendar, and the Republicans own prosecutor, identified a get-together that matches the time and attendees identified by Ford.

      The GOP tried to set up a whitewash of this evidence. But instead, it failed, and they were left with screaming men.

      Buzzfeed reporter

      Paul McLeod Verified account @pdmcleod
      The Democratic motion to subpoena Mark Judge is defeated on a party line 11-10 vote.
      6:45 AM – 28 Sep 2018

      Ronan Farrow and Jane Mayer
      E-mails Show That Republican Senate Staff Stymied a Kavanaugh Accuser’s Effort to Give Testimony

      [from Deborah Ramirez’s attorney John Clune]

      Almost immediately in our correspondence, they became less interested in hearing from her and more interested in discovering what witnesses we could bring forward. Since it was only the majority staff that made these demands, as the minority staff questioned those demands as unprecedented, we became suspicious that any disclosures we might file would be shared inappropriately with Judge Kavanaugh or others to prepare and attack …

      It is remarkable that the committee admits they had enough information to question Judge Kavanaugh under oath on Debbie’s statements in The New Yorker, yet that very same information was insufficient for Debbie’s counsel to earn even a phone call.

      1. Anon

        “Christine Blasey Ford was unflappable and consistent.”

        Long-time prosecutor here, and I have to say this is what bothers me the most. Crime victims, in my experience, are NOT unflappable and consistent. They are anything but, and it can be hard work to explain to juries why that is. To me, “unflappable and consistent” is a tell that something is off with her testimony. Obviously, YMMV

    6. John k

      Silver lining…
      Reps voting to install someone many women think is orvwas a wannabe rapist may affect both midterms and 2020.
      Course, if dems are to reap max advantage, best if none of them vote for him.

  6. Polar Donkey

    Weird news out of Memphis last night. The president of the chamber of commerce was greeting runners at the finish line of a 5 mile run sponsored by the chamber. Guy pulls up in a Ford truck, walks over and blows the president’s brains out, then drives off. At first mpd called it a robbery, but enough people saw that it seem the president was targeted that there is no mention of robbery in newspaper story. Forget it Jake. It’s Chinatown.

    1. johnnygl

      Yikes, targeted assassinations have become frighteningly common in Mexico, not that the media would bother to discuss how important that is. I really, really hope we don’t see more of that here….or anywhere.

      1. JTMcPhee

        Of course there have not been that many targeted assassinations here — Huey Long, John Lennon, JFK, RFK, MLK (maybe people wanting to do decency need to change their list names so they don’t start with “K” or “L?”). Or have there?, and

        Interesting to observe that corporate rulers assassinate so many via pollution, deprivation, corruption, police activities, Karen Silkwood treatment, and the like, yet the mopery does not act likewise in self-defense or revenge. Because we are passive and decent and know Thou Shalt Not Kill and all that.

        1. pretzelattack

          wellstone was a promising start on the “w”‘s. they’re doing their dead level best on assange (hangs self in guantanomo cell, authorities dismiss concerns about his hands being tied behind him).

          1. Polar Donkey

            The Memphis economy is mostly based on distribution. The corruption piggybacks on that. If you want move opiods out of Alabama, it will pass through Memphis. Fighting cocks (chickens) or pitbulls, it will pass through Memphis. Drugs from Mexico, it all goes through Memphis. Along with the products getting moved comes the dirty money. The president of the chamber used to run a failed airlines. After your airlines fails, how do you become the president of the chamber of commerce? Of course, this could have been just random violence.

            1. NotTimothyGeithner

              After your airlines fails, how do you become the president of the chamber of commerce?

              It appears he left prior to the failure, and being interested in the job is usually sufficient. Given the realities of air travel and that industry, yes, it does seem like the various drug enforcement organizations missed this one (wink, wink).

          2. JTMcPhee

            Only too well aware of that. What surprises me is the asymmetry of the situation. The looters and dark ops people kill with mostly impunity, and us ordinary people just take it, without “taking arms against a sea of troubles.” Not too many remedies for the imbalance between those whose consciences free them to kill, and those who can’t cross that bloody red line…

            All gets down to “what’s it all about, Alfie?”

        2. Wukchumni

          Barbara Tuchman’s “The Proud Tower” is bristling with assassinations of European leaders, and one hell of a book, as per everything she wrote.

  7. Eureka Springs

    Companies That Mistreat Their Customers Are Mistreating Their Employees

    What a typical and horrific story. Never heard of spirit airlines, but before opening the link countless possible companies came to mind. In fact it would have been difficult to think of companies which the article wouldn’t be about.

    Systemic problems.

    I think the gist of the title and article lets employees off the hook. Far too many people justify horrific treatment of one another because they need a job or everyone else does it. And this goes for government too. Lies into war, torture, separating immigrant kids from family, the TSA, denial of health care, etc., etc.

  8. Louis Fyne

    >>>>Read the comments in both clips.
    Two different Worlds. Two different realities. Different forms of sentience.
    Super science fiction, happening right in front of us.

    Scott Adams has been saying this all along for 2+ years. Same “reality” two+ different interpretations depending on one’s own personal experiences, biases, viewpoint, opinions, etc. And there is actual neuroscience to support that view.

  9. a different chris

    I am an awful person in general but even at that still feel guilty at getting some humor from this, but:

    >Adultery Is No Longer a Crime in India

    I suddenly got a picture of all of India now slinking around like the beginning scenes of A Shot In The Dark.

  10. a different chris

    >How the Great Recession turned America’s student-loan problem into a $1.5 trillion crisis

    How the Great Recession turned America’s student-loan scam into a $1.5 trillion crisis

    Fixed it for MarketWatch. As usual in this crumbling amoral society, so many people are guilty that nobody will get fingered.

  11. a different chris

    As dreadful a prospect as Kavanaugh is, if the Dems beat him back, Trump will simply nominate someone at least as bad who will either be a woman or go under tougher review for possible skeletons in their closet.

    I agree with all the underlying thoughts, but I don’t get the “why bother with Kavanaugh” bit? Beat anybody you can beat. Kick and scream and swear. A loss for that side is a loss, this is a long game. *If* – and I have no idea – Kavanaugh actually gets dropped that’s one more sleazebag who actually got a sliver of what he deserved. Remember Al Capone making shoes.

    Unless you think putting Kavanaugh on the SC will properly besmirch the entire edifice, in which case you certainly have a point. And I admit that is why I decided Trump is more useful as President than the incredibly slippery Clinton. He really, really brings our problems into focus.

    It is a war – and the problem is the other army, not an individual general. But the only way to win the war is to beat the other side’s individuals. Am I making any sense?

    1. MLS

      IMO it has nothing to do with Kavanuagh, per se. This is all about the midterms and the Ds wanting to make the Rs look like they’re supporting a serial rapist for the SCOTUS (I’m not commenting on whether he committed any crimes or not, just that perception is reality) or forcing them to drop him which would piss off the R base. Heads Democrats win, tails Republicans lose. That’s why Feinstein sits on this for weeks, why Dr. Hunt’s name is leaked, and none of her interviews/statements were done in private to protect her anonymity as she said she wanted. All to create this political theater. Ultimately it fires up their base and they come and vote a few more Rs out.

      As an aside, I feel bad for Dr. Ford. Something awful happened to this woman and it looks to me like she’s at best gotten a lot of really bad advice or at worst been horribly used.

      1. Unna

        I think Dr. Ford is an abuse victim, most likely a series of abuses of many kinds and types throughout her life. It’s just my sense of things and I feel sorry for her. And I’m not talking about K because I don’t know what did, or didn’t, happen there. But Dr. Ford was grotesquely abused by the Dems and Sen. DiFi who pulled her, maybe already a very vulnerable person, into their cynical political power fight very much against her will. It looks like Ford’s letter was sent with the understanding it would be kept anonymous, it was held for as long as possible, then the allegations leaked, then her identity leaked, and if that is what in fact happened, well, then, how much better than the Repubs are the Dems, really?

      2. Aumua

        It looks to me like by this point she is along for the ride, like it or not. I don’t know if Dr. Ford really knew what she was signing up for, and it’s the pain of awareness of the sordidness of this whole thing I see on her face. I think she knows she knows she’s being used, but she’s stuck now. I’m pretty sure that what she said happened is what happened, but that doesn’t change the fact that her traumatic experience is being used as a political tool. This isn’t about rape, they don’t care. It’s about getting Kavanaugh, and by extension getting Trump and Republicans. This whole thing makes rape a big f’n joke. Just another tool in the bag to be pulled out when needed. And everyone cheers along. What a travesty.

        All of this is so disgusting I can’t even.

  12. Craig H.

    antidote . . .

    > Early on one fledgling fell out of its nest

    David Attenborough has great video in one on of the series (I think it was Birds but I don’t remember the specifics) of a pelican shoving one, and then a little later a second, fledgling out of the nest because resources are tight and they want to be sure at least one makes it out on their own. Some fledglings fall. And some are shoved out.

    It’s like company downsizing.

  13. Otis B Driftwood

    Re Kavanaugh, the only view worth its salt is that the Supreme Court is about to seat a petulant, dishonest, entitled and intemperate frat boy.

    1. nycTerrierist

      My thought exactly. He showed us who he is alright.
      After all, he hung out w/W. for years.

      Imagine if a woman gave a performance like that? she’d be toast

    2. NotTimothyGeithner

      petulant, dishonest, entitled and intemperate frat boy.

      This isn’t the problem with Kavanaugh. The problem is he’s a predator. Not all people who fit the above description are rapists. I always liked my friend’s rapist and wouldn’t have described him by any of those adjectives until I knew about events subsequently. Dishonest and entitled would be appropriate in retrospect, but those are minor flaws compared to being a rapist.

    3. pretzelattack

      george w is supporting him, one petulant dishonest entitled and intemperate frat boy supporting another. will this affect his reconciliation with the right wing d’s? tune in for tomorrow’s exciting episode of “days of our lives” to find out what happens to these characters.

    4. voteforno6

      Yeah, I’m guessing that his exchange with Amy Klobuchar in particular is not going to sit well with quite a number of people. Some people make the the mistake of confusing “Minnesota Nice” with weakness. I think that Charles Pierce had a good take on him – this is the kind of guy that, if you run into him in a bar, you move to the other side of the room.

    1. JohnnyGL

      The Republicans are taking this weird stance of saying “I believe her, but it doesn’t matter”, which is arguably worse than “I think she’s mistaken and accused the wrong guy, I’m confirming”.

      This whole thing is getting like the health care repeal spectacle with people lashing out at Senators in public. I wonder if the Republicans are going to force a floor vote and let a few defectors become #resistance heroes and kill off his nomination there. That’s how the health care bill died, it may be the approach on Kav’s nomination.

      1. Llewelyn Moss

        I predict Kavanaugh will win the senate floor vote. There are more than enough sociopath senators (both sides of the isle). They will play their usual trick of letting a few senators in liberal states vote Nay, but make up for it by bribing a few red state Dem senators with pet project funding. It’s all just a circus. The govt is totally dysfunctional/corrupt. They will get their new Neoliberal justice one way or another.

    2. Wukchumni

      These various video-op ambushes are good for shaming the intended victim, but have the potential for mayhem. Imagine if just one of the crowd that was chanting to Ted Cruz & his wife @ a restaurant in Humordor last week, was armed & dangerous, and the crowd had so whipped him or her into a frenzy, that bullets started flying?

      1. JTMcPhee

        So we should just shut up and eat our gruel, right? If we get any. Because who knows what crazy lurks in the streets? Grand Theft Auto knows…

        1. Wukchumni

          All i’m saying is it’s about to get weird on account of easy accessibility to primarily restaurants where people important enough to be mocked, make reservations, and somebody told 2 friends, and they told 2 friends, and so on, no real vetting of the ad hoc mob.

          Eventually after something dreadful happens @ an eatery aside from awful service, is Homeland Security advised of all restaurant reservations ahead of time in Humordor?

        2. Lynne

          No, we should go to county committee meetings, stuff envelopes, go door to door, talk more or less politely to the neighbors, nominate people we want to office, and then go vote for them. All the things that the right-wingers did when they started to take over in the late 70’s and 80’s. We all know what **works** and it’s not yelling insults in a restaurant or elevator.

      2. todde

        Hey, guess what happens when Liberals whip up black people with ‘black injustice points’?

        They go into poor white neighborhoods and murder white people.

        And then claim ‘self defense’ and get away with it.

        When I was 13 I watched 5 black dudes murder a white guy, they beat him down with bricks and jumped on his chest when they were done, while I hid in some bushed with a large butcher knife that I found.

        and it was self defense somehow.

        So I wouldn’t have to imagine anything. We used to call that ‘friday night’.

        1. marym

          There are always arguments that any given protest tactic may make things worse in some way rather than better. Please don’t use that as an excuses for racial stereotyping, also a tactic that arguably makes things worse rather than better.

          1. Todde

   explain somwthing to you: i will do whatever i please.

            As for making things worse, ive lived with violence my entire 50 years of existence.

            You.can deal with your reality and i will deal with mine.

            1. todde

              to put it another way, I will show the same concern when a restaurant that Ted Cruz
              eats at gets shot up as marym showed me here.

              I mean sure I watched 5 BLACK guys beat a man to death, which takes a while and then get away with murder, but my god, I mentioned they were black!!!!

              that is the real crime here, I wouldn’t want to ‘make things worse’

              1. todde

                And do you know what people who aren’t Dr. Ford have to go thru when they testify against gang bangers?

                They show up at court and line up in the front row, just so you know what you will have to deal with when you walk (not get flown to DC) yourself back to your neighborhood. If your lucky, the bailiff may drag them out of court, while they’re yelling and screaming, but then the point has already been made.

                What poor white people do get is, when they decide to go outside the system and murder a gangbanger, the cops will shake your hand. And then they will put them in prison.

                All of this I’ve seen with my own two eyes. I can not express how little I care about making things worse.

                O and a wh*re who just happens to be black drove 20 miles to jump my daughter because she got in a fight with some ex con (who just got back from the Penn for murder) was trying to assault one of my daughters friends, who knows this his brother.

                Why do I have to call her a wh*re? because she has been convicted of prostitution 3 times and my daughter had to get an AIDS test because the wh*re bite and then bled all over my daughter.

                So, as you can see, I don’t share your concern about my speech on a blog making things worse.

            2. ChiGal in Carolina

              I wasn’t there and you were, so not gainsaying your reality. But I have spent a good bit of time on the south side of Chicago in places like Back of the Yards hanging with former gang members.

              They experienced the mirror image of what you describe when they strayed into Bridgeport, white ethnic territory. And they dished it out too, mostly to other delinquents.

              They don’t spend a lot of time talking about social justice except insofar as injustice is a given, and for sure they don’t link their adolescent (I include their 20s) behavior to a desire to right wrongs.

              They came up in a violent culture, as you say you did, and it was how they got by (and yes, did time for it), not something that was politically motivated.

              1. todde

                I’ve got a brother that murdered a black man and I’ve got sisters that married and had kids with black men.

                We all hang out and love each other because we know and understand each other.

                Nobody from the outside will ever tell me how to act or minimize me or what I’ve experienced without getting a hostile reaction, even if they say please.

                If people want to hand out consequences to me for what I do, I am ok with that.

                  1. ChiGal in Carolina

                    Yup. And I don’t think anyone needs to administer consequences. We just all need to communicate more clearly maybe.

                    I responded to another comment you made before seeing this.


                  2. JBird4049

                    Oh, that is so true.

                    Having any form of PTSD can make one react badly, although not as much as many may think. Just being poor in too many areas of the United States is to live in an ocean of potential PTSD.

        2. todde

          So the point wasn’t ‘racial’ as I could care less what heppened decades ago. I am already over and we got ours.

          When you murder a black gang banger the police put you in prison for it, but they do shake your hand and tell you ‘good job’ before they do so.

          The point is: I will have no concern at all if a restaurant full of people that Ted Cruz gets gets shot up.

          I will give the same concern that Marym gave me about my experience watching another person get beat to death.

          I great big “family blog you Todd, who cares?” is what I got, and that is what I will give back.

          1. ChiGal in Carolina

            It didn’t seem like the point of your original comment was to express how traumatized you were. It was more, been there, done that.

            And now you say it was years ago, you’re over it. So why fault another commenter for failing to show empathy you did not appear to be seeking? I am certain if you had framed it as such you would have gotten a compassionate response.

            marym is not exactly known around here for her “eff you mf” style.

            She was engaging with your introduction of race into the conversation, which was pretty overt.

            And for the record, I am sorry for all the violence you witnessed, it sounds terrifying. No kid should have to live like that, Black or “white”.

            1. todde

              my original point is:

              if you want to be concerned with ‘making things worse’ for people like Ted Cruz and his fellow patrons at a restaurant or anyone else for that matter because of ‘protest tactics’, I won’t share your concern.

              When people go around chanting ‘no justice, no peace’, it means something different to me than people like marym.

              When black people or anyone else start shooting people like Ted Cruz, you won’t hear a peep out of me.

              why kill each other over scraps from the table when we can take over the table?

              Marym sounds like people who would explain to me that, ‘sure a black man beat you half to death with a brick during school because of what happened to rodney king, but you need to concern yourself with the socio-economic factors that led to this and not the fact that you almost died.’

              Like I have/had any control over socio-economic factors or wasn’t living under the same ones they were. That’s why we were in the same school with a 75% poverty rate and a 12% ‘literacy’ rate.

              That’s also why we have each others as spouses and have each others kids….

              1. todde

                I didn’t fault her for lack of compassion.

                I faulted her for accusing me of ‘racial stereotyping’.

                When someone murders someone I know because of their skin color, and I mention it, no one gets to accuse me of being the person doing ‘racial stereotyping’ without a response.

                I think marym is confusing me with the people who committed the murders…and that will make me hostile.

              2. marym

                I was off-line for a while today. I don’t think I meant anything more than what I said, but apparently not clearly.

                There was no intention of dismissing your experience of violence.

                I did suppress the initial impulse to bring up lynching or other ethnically or racially motivated violence by white people, as a pointless and insulting “what about” argument neither relevant to my point, nor useful for developing a way out of the violence within and between those of us of the 99%.

                However, to try to re-state my point: proposing that people not protest non-violently because it might suddenly remind some oppressed group of their oppression, and inspire them to be violent, in my opinion, is itself insulting to an oppressed group’s ability to understand and react [productively or not] to its own circumstances; doesn’t contribute to understanding the roots of violence; isn’t useful in developing a way out; and is actually detrimental to achieving those objectives.

                If we’re going to critique the impact of rhetoric or actions which cause people to rise up, whether non-violently or violently, whether constructively around a cause or irrationally against each other, we most need to critique the rhetoric and actions of the oppressors, not each of each other. That’s why I said “Please.”

                Thank you to you and ChiGal for a useful discussion.

                  1. todde

                    I’m saying if you want to protest violently, shoot Ted Cruz. Start there.

                    Or a Mayor, or a Police Chief, or go rampaging thru some wealthy neighborhood.

                    you know, the actual people doing the oppressing.

                    I won’t care at all.

      3. Llewelyn Moss

        They got publicly embarrassed for shameful acts. That’s fine with me. And no one got shot. And if they are worried about “bullets flying”, maybe congress should pass sane gun laws instead of ALWAYS whoring for the NRA? Just a thought.

        1. Wukchumni

          It’s never really the gun’s fault in these moments of passion, as the blame lies squarely on the index finger.

        2. skippy

          The problem in America is the gun – culture – and not so much the gun. So much so that peoples mental states change when in a room with one.

          Await the “smart” phone that comes with a death ray.

    3. Darthbobber

      How do people manage to keep expecting more from Flake? He has no problem with the deeds, only the optics and the crassness. Thought this would be evident by now.

  14. Mark Gisleson

    Yglesias is simply speaking to the truth that the neoliberals have always known exactly how corrupt things are, and are still insisting that we would be better off under their brand of corruption.

    They will start to “make sense” only as long as it takes to destabilize Trump, then they’ll re-assume power and will use all of Trump’s abuses as the foundation for their new attacks on the underclass. And they’ll need to find a new country to bomb since everyone in Yemen will be dead by then.

  15. The Rev Kev

    “Delta’s fully biometric terminal is the first in the US”

    Hmmm. I think that I can see what happens next. As you have been biometrically identified getting through the airport, this information is then sold on to commercial companies who then tailor the advertising that you will be subjected to while in that aluminium tube. Maybe Facebook will get the tender but at 20,000 feet how will you be able escape it? Talk about a trapped audience.

    1. polecat

      “Hey ! John Anderton” .. “You could sure use a GUINNESS today, after that bumpy flight you just experienced !”

  16. Jeff W

    The two links from Counterpunch and Benjamin Studebaker. Back to back reflect, for me so much of what is wrong with politics in the US.

    This, from Counterpunch:

    Thirty-five years to reflect on why so many felt the need to annihilate their personalities, why they were so careless and aggressive, how they thought about girls and sex and, especially, the privilege of breaking rules and getting away with it. It appears now that this former self-described member of the “Rehobeth Police Fan Club” had not thought about it a bit.

    [emphasis added]

    That’s, in a way, the backdrop of this whole sordid, sorry spectacle of US politics, where the élites—the mainstream of both parties—have broken the rules and betrayed the public interest again and again, in so many innumerable ways, and not given a moment’s thought to the consequences for the vast majority of Americans—no, worse, if they had thought about them, they would have acted no differently. That the Republicans might move forward with this nomination seems to me part and parcel of the same thing—they have countless other Federalist-groomed jurists, with equally-odious policy positions, whom they could nominate, who would not be under a cloud as Brett Kavanaugh is, not only in terms of character but in terms of having a role in countenancing such things as torture—so, if the nomination gets out of committee, Kavanaugh will be rammed through, not in spite of the swirl of controversy, but because of it—as a display of “we’ll get the result we want, no matter what, simply because we have the power to do so.” (We’ll invade endless countries, crash the financial system, surveil at home and abroad, profit off of sickness, degrade the Internet, lower the living standards of everyday Americans, enriching those who are already unimaginably well-off, on and on, simply because we have the power to do so.)

    And all this will be cloaked in the mindless, dumbed-down emotionalism of US politics, as Benjamin Studebaker points out. Kavanaugh’s actual reactionary policy positions aside, we don’t have to assess if he has the requisite temperament—the wisdom, the compassion, the probity—that we’d want of a jurist sitting on the highest court in the land, we just have to know that, on the one hand, he’s a good “carpool dad” and, on the other, that he is somehow even more deserving of this Supreme Court nomination because he is under attack—being “wronged” in the domain of his sexual behavior 35 years ago—if he is—vitiates, no, precludes, any sensible inquiry into issues of his temperament or his positions on policy. None of this emphasis on emotionalism in US politics is accidental—it’s meant to preempt reasoned arguments about policy based on things like facts and data—the Kavanaugh hearing just happens to display this unfortunate feature of US politics, always overwrought by an reasonable standard, in high relief. Exertions of power heedless of consequence and diversionary appeals to emotion—what more can be said?

    1. RUKidding

      Good analysis. Agree. Thanks for that.

      It’s a total mess, but that’s how I see it.

      We all know that there’s stacks and gobs of other Federalist Society approved Judges who’re ready to toss Roe v Wade under the bus and support the Elite at all costs, whilst grinding the poorz and the rest of us under their boot heels.

      Why Kavanuagh? Nay verily to toss a very large middle finger at us hapless proles. We’re doing it because we CAN. Nyah nyah nyah. We got ours, EFF you.

      And so it goes…

      I couldn’t bear or be bothered to watch that Kabuki show yesterday. It just hammers home how Effed up we are, and it only gets worse from here.

      Good luck to us all.

      Yeah, we are exceptional alright.

      1. Jeff W

        Thank you. I agree —we’re effed up totally. I feel like I’ve got to add this:

        The brazen assertion of power contrary to any pretense of acting in the public interest—let’s “foam the runways for the banks” and not prosecute anyone for financial fraud while tens of thousands of Americans lose their homes to foreclosure based events arising from those very same actions; let’s keep in place this crappy, inefficient patchwork of a healthcare system that risks the health and financial well-being of millions of Americans so as not to “disrupt” the profits of the private health insurers; no, wait, let’s try to get rid of even that; let’s act as if Americans getting 18% of the policy positions they actually want is some sort of functioning democracy—all that borders on the dystopian. As readers of this blog, we’re all familiar with each of these items and innumerable others—yet the gestalt is truly mind-numbing.

        But, coupled with those emotional appeals, it becomes ludicrous. Never mind all of the above. Don’t you want to “have a beer” with George Bush? Isn’t Barack Obama, with his soaring, empty rhetoric and appeals to
        us “folks” cool and urbane? Your daughter might not be able to end an unwanted pregnancy but Brett Kavanaugh would drive her to school with his kids if he could—he’s a swell guy after all. It’s nuts.

        Studebaker writes:

        Kavanaugh attacked…Then he moaned for sympathy…Then he got belligerent, interrupted people, and answered their questions with questions:

        In any other country this kind of behaviour from a judge would in itself be disqualifying, nevermind [sic] the accusations, nevermind [sic] Kavanaugh’s far-right ideology score and history of excusing torture.

        He’s a victim and, any inquiry as to whether he did what he did or not is not just irrelevant, it’s illegitimate—the powerful can never be held to account. To do so is to engage in political advantage, a witch hunt, “class warfare”—whatever the circumstances call for. We must look forward, never back.

        Studebaker makes clear that all that behavior on the part of Kavanaugh is a manipulative ploy. I don’t mind the manipulation so much and I don’t really care if it’s actually a ploy or not—I mind that this appeal to emotion actually works in American culture—or at least is viewed as somehow acceptable in lieu of rational discourse—and isn’t laughed out of existence, isn’t mocked mercilessly for the dopey sham that it is, as it would be in, say, British culture. It’s absurd, painful and tragic at the same time.

    2. flora

      In 2009 people thought the GOP was toast but the Dems rehabilitated them in time for the 2010 midterms, which the GOP won.
      Now people think the Dems are toast but this particular nominee at this particular time might be just the thing to rehab the Dems in time for the 2018 midterm elections. GOP returning a favor? (Kabuki on many levels.)

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        One element important to remember is the GOP doesn’t expect to win the White House under their current coalition, and two, the GOP is vile. Is it possible Kavanaugh really is the best they have to offer? Guys like Charlie Christ and Mike Bloomberg just ooze greed and cartoonish super evil, but even they can’t stay in the GOP.

        Nancy Pelosi won’t be there forever. What happens when the GOP comes up against even mildly competent or morally invested opponents? HRC is 70, and the “New Democrats” started gaining major power over the Democratic Party in the mid-80’s which ushered in Republican rule everywhere.

        The next Presidential election season starts in 39 days. The GOP is going to lose. The Senate map is more favorable to Democrats to pick up seats. Yes, the Democrats are still the Democrats, and there are people who believe Joe Biden as depicted in “The Onion” is the real Joe Biden. Doing something stupid is still possible.

        Warren isn’t serious Presidential timber, but she’ll win by default if it isn’t Sanders. Getting this nomination matters to the GOP, not only for their need to beat liberals, but they are running out of time.

        About the GOP, Trump’s “Build a Wall” rhetoric was in direct opposition to Republicans who hoped to win the support of socially conservative Hispanic voters. One of the keys to Florida being close enough to steal in 2000 was the strong showing W had among young non-Cuban Hispanic voters. Thats all disappeared now.

  17. Wukchumni

    NASA to celebrate 55th anniversary of first Moon landing by, er, deciding how to land humans on the Moon again The Register

    Space collectibles are a fairly limited field, and Apollo 11 is the ne plus ultra in it’s orbit. To put it in perspective, something from the Apollo 12 mission which also landed on the moon, is probably worth 1/10th that of Apollo 11.

    The bottom line is nobody really cares who accomplished something the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th or 6th time, it’s all about the first.

    DALLAS — In the summer of 1969, Rick Armstrong was 12 and whacking the baseball in the Houston-area Little League.

    He was selected to play in the all-star game — but he had to skip it, because he was at Cape Canaveral in Florida to watch his father, Neil A. Armstrong, blast off to the moon.

    “I wasn’t happy about that,” said Rick, now 61.

    As the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11 approaches, Rick and his brother Mark, 55, are auctioning about 3,000 belongings of their father, who died in 2012. In the process, they are revisiting their childhoods and the enduring legacy of their father as the first person to walk on the moon.

    But being the first man on the moon apparently was not enough to qualify for a Diners Club credit card. Neil Armstrong applied in 1974 and was rejected.

  18. todde

    yesterday I mentioned selling drugs to rich catholic school prep boys.

    One of them either had to dump a kilo and run from the police or he got caught by the police with a kilo. We never figured out exactly which it was.

    He was trying to pay someone to murder his parents and make it look like an accident for the insurance money, as the people who fronted him the coke wanted their money.

    Didn’t kill his parents, went into witness program after he turned everyone in.

    One of the less ‘classy’ (as in ecnomics)guys refused to cooperate and did 30 years. He literally got out about 3 years ago.

    So who is more moral?

    Let me add, the guy who did 30 years, when we were teenagers we used to try to shoot out traffic lights from the back of a motorcycle. Exciting and fun.

    One day that a-hole decides he’s going to start blinding shooting into people’s houses…

    1. ChiGal in Carolina

      Interesting point. There’s more than one kind of value system, hard to judge so globally. If your highest value is loyalty, you do the 30 years and take your odds on shooting a stranger. Or something.

      1. Todde

        I take it as classed base.

        Were we like that because we had less to lose while Catholic boy was like he was because he had more to lose?

        Or genetics. Some of us were born crazy

  19. Wukchumni

    What struck me yesterday, was the bully I was watching in various guises, who used their pulpit to shout louder, and hate to say it, but louder often wins when putted against meek, no matter if the latter has a better game.

  20. Wukchumni

    Psilocybin Mushrooms Deserve Less Strict Legal Status, Argue Scientists Inverse

    I’ve always found ‘shrooms to be the most on the down low drug, compared to anything else in terms of popular use. I’d guess the percentage of people that have partaken is in the 1% range of those that indulge in anything.

    Not sure that i’d want a bunch of people in a metropolis all tripping simultaneously, and certainly not driving, yikes!

  21. allan

    House cancels October votes, heads home to campaign [The Hill]

    House Republicans announced Friday they were canceling all votes for October and leaving for home, recessing with two weeks left on their October schedule to provide candidates with more time to campaign before the midterm elections. …

    But lawmakers did not come to an agreement on a farm bill to reauthorize the nation’s food and agriculture programs, which expire Sept. 30, meaning they will likely lapse.

    Hard to believe that noted policy wonk Paul Ryan would let this happen.

    Expect the lame duck to be an utter sh*tshow, with ousted GOPers using tax cuts and earmarks
    to audition for lobbying gigs.

    1. Lynne

      In other news, a recent poll puts Democrat Billie Sutton ahead of House incumbent Congresswoman Kristi Noem (R) in South Dakota’s governors race. Hard to express just how earth-shaking that is, is a Democrat wins that election, in one of the reddest of the red states. bet she was desperate to head home and campaign hard.

  22. Wukchumni

    A friend works for the Army Corp of Engineers here, and the workforce skews hard right, and she was a bit taken aback that the employees were watching the festivities during work, and told me that mainly, they were knocking Dr. Ford’s appearance, as that was all the ammo they had against her story, a sad spectacle, but showing of the 2 worlds we inhabit in these not so United States.

  23. Oregoncharles

    I don’t have much time this morning, but just in case no one else posted it:

    Two women cornered him in an elevator, stood in the door so it wouldn’t close, and poured eloquent coals on his head for what must have seemed an eternity – to him. His face is a study in humiliation. He can barely speak. It’s well worth watching. This sort of thing should happen to senators far more often.

    But a significant point: they’re exercising feminine privilege. Guys would have been cleared away much more quickly, and Flake would have felt no obligation to hear them out. Particularly revealing was the male aide (I assume) who tried to end the confrontation, then drew his head back looking slapped. It may not get them political power, but they sure had power over Flake once they caught him in the elevator, I think because they made it PERSONAL.

  24. Oregoncharles

    “Psilocybin Mushrooms Deserve Less Strict Legal Status, Argue Scientists ”

    Trying to get a medically useful drug off of Schedule One – same issue as marijuana, for the same reason: the Schedule is purely political, nothing to do with science or medicine.

  25. JBird4049

    American creditors say China should honour pre-Communist debts

    Here is hoping that those creditors achieve the same success as the Confederacy’s creditors got with the United States government after the Civil War, which was none at all.

    1. The Rev Kev

      Hey, just what did happen with all those Confederate debts? Be funny if China snapped them up and started to demand that they be honoured. Turn around is fair play as they say. Debts must always be payed after all – unless of course you have learned something from Dr. Hudson.

      1. Wukchumni

        The UK sold off all of the bonds that the CSA saddled them with, about 30 years ago.

        They got one half of 1% of their investment back, not figuring any inflation rate in the intervening 120 years.

  26. Lorenzo

    The Biggest Wildcard In The Iran Sanctions Saga OilPrice

    this seems like a narrow view. India and the US seem to be acting as expected i.e. playing fast and loose. Same goes for the EU. And real the wildcard from that perspective is how willing is the US to turn the screws on anyone still doing buisenss with Iran – so on the EU, Turkey, India.

    and also how far are the many arms of the militaries and intelligence communities of the GCC countries, the US and Israel are willing to go to destabilize the regime through their own means.

  27. Lorenzo

    Italy’s government agrees sharply higher public spending plan Financial Times

    so, their bond yields didn’t explode, or at least they didn’t broke recent highs. The Eurocrats seemed to all be willing to badmouth the recent moves -so much for solidarity- but I don’t see much in the way of action.

    so that’s a win for the populists, innit?

  28. rps

    At the expense of Ford and Kavanaugh’s personal and professional lives, as well as their integrity, ethical and moral characters, both have been reprehensibly assaulted by the democrat and republican bread & circus show for the masses. I’d say they both are caught in the avarice cross-hairs of both powers.

    I find it probable Ford was assaulted in her teens. I find it probable Kavanaugh was not the assailant too. In reviewing Ford’s testimony, she states, “My husband recalls that I named my attacker as Brett Kavanaugh.”

    Excerpts from the testimony:
    FORD: I told my husband before we were married that I had experienced a sexual assault. I had never told the details to anyone — the specific details — until May 2012, during a couples counseling session.
    FORD: In explaining why I wanted a second front door, I began to describe the assault in detail. I recall saying that the boy who assaulted me could someday be on the U.S. Supreme Court, and spoke a bit about his background at an elitist all-boys school in Bethesda, Maryland. My husband recalls that I named my attacker as Brett Kavanaugh.
    MITCHELL: OK. Would it be fair to say that Brett Kavanaugh’s name is not listed in those notes?
    FORD: His name is not listed in those notes.
    MITCHELL: And Brett Kavanaugh’s name is not in those notes, is that correct?
    FORD: Correct.
    MITCHELL: OK. In your interview with The Washington Post, you said that you told your husband early in your marriage that you had been a victim of, and I quote, “physical abuse.” In your statement, you said that before you were married, you told him that you had experienced, quote, “a sexual assault.” Do these two things refer to the same incident?
    FORD: Yes.
    MITCHELL: And at either point on these two times, did you use any names?
    FORD: No.
    KLOBUCHAR: Dr. Ford, under federal law — and I don’t expect you to know this, but statements made to medical professionals are considered to be more reliable. There’s a federal rule of evidence about this. You told your counselor about this back in 2012, is that right?
    FORD: My therapist?
    FORD: My individual therapist. Correct.
    KLOBUCHAR: Right and I understand that your husband was also present when you spoke about this incident in front of a counselor And he recalls you using Judge Kavanaugh’s name. Is that right?
    FORD: Yes, I just have to slow down a minute because I might have been confusing….

    The question is, does Ford remember it was Brett Kavanaugh who assaulted her or does Ford remember her husband recalling that she named her attacker as Brett Kavanaugh 6 years ago in a therapy session? There’s a big difference between saying I remember my assailant versus my husband recalls me saying I named my assailant during a therapy session in 2012. How is she determining her assailant through the husband or personally? This needs clarification…

    1. ChiGal in Carolina

      It was about whether she said the name to the therapist, NOT whether her memory of WHO relied on her husband. I cannot help but think either you didn’t watch or you are willfully obfuscating.

    2. Lynne

      but statements made to medical professionals are considered to be more reliable. There’s a federal rule of evidence about this.

      No, statements made to medical professionals under certain circumstances are exceptions to the hearsay rule. Hearsay is an out of court statement made by someone other than the witness offered “to prove the truth of the matter asserted.” To be admissible under that exception (Rule 803(b4), the statement must be:

      (4) Statement Made for Medical Diagnosis or Treatment. A statement that:
      (A) is made for — and is reasonably pertinent to — medical diagnosis or treatment; and
      (B) describes medical history; past or present symptoms or sensations; their inception; or their general cause.

      The out-of-court statement must meet the requirements and then, it is admissible. It doesn’t mean it has to be believed, just that it’s admissible even though it’s hearsay.
      Of course, in this situation, it is NOT hearsay because Ford was the one who allegedly made the statement and is the one testifying. But let’s assume for a minute that it was the therapist or husband testifying that Ford said that. The statement must be offered to prove the truth of the matter asserted. Apparently, in this case, to prove that she named Kavanaugh as her attacker. And, then, the statement must be made for (and be reasonably pertinent to) medical diagnosis or treatment. Tell me, HOW would that statement meet the requirements in the statute that Klobucher mentions?

      This whole thing is a mess. I don’t like what I see of Kavanaugh, but the Democrats are doing a fine job right now of proving to us: they consider rape to be a political weapon; they have no problem exploiting an apparently naive woman who thought she could be anonymous while making accusations that are grounds for libel; and they are nitwits who don’t understand the law but without the sense to know they don’t know it.

  29. Don Pelton


    The rape culture of the 1980s, explained by Sixteen Candles


    Here are the basic ideas embedded in this plot:

    • Girls who drink are asking for it. Girls who have sex are asking for it. Girls who go to parties are asking for it. They are asking for it even if they only drink and have sex and party with their monogamous boyfriends. Whatever happens to that kind of girl as a result is funny.

    • Boys are owed girls. A good guy will help his nerdy bro to get a girl. Her consent is not necessary or desired.

    • To avoid being the kind of girl who gets raped, you need to earn male approval. If you earn male approval, other girls might be raped, but you won’t be, and that will prove that you are special.

    • Once you earn male approval, it can be taken away — as Caroline’s goes away once Jake tires of her — and then you’ll go from being the kind of girl who doesn’t get raped to the kind of girl who does.

    • A good guy can participate in this whole system and remain an unsullied dream guy.

    • The kind of girl who gets raped has no right to complain about what happens to her. Also it isn’t rape.

    That’s how mainstream culture presented rape, and thus affirmed rape culture, in 1984.

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